Berfrois

Occupybook

Occupybook

Rather than creating an alternative internet, that is free, self-managed and non-commercial, contemporary tech activists seem much more concerned with harnessing the potential of the corporate internet, making use of the capabilities of gigantic corporate social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

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Cannoned

Cannoned

Police using tear gas and water cannons at Gezi Park, Istanbul. Photograph by Alan Hilditch by Anna Feigenbaum Scrubbing away the white-wash of ‘less lethal’ riot control reveals a history littered with humanitarian disasters, weaponisation, inadequate testing, and corporate profiteering. What does a ‘public consultation’ on water cannon mean...

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Remembering Stuart Hall

Remembering Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall has died. The enormity of the loss cannot be exaggerated. There is little point trying to measure Hall’s importance against other significant figures: he himself would have abhorred the macho individualism of such a gesture. But it has been a long time since the intellectual Left in...

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Jenny Diski pretty much agrees with Russell Brand

Jenny Diski pretty much agrees with Russell Brand

The Court Jester, William Merritt Chase, 1875 by Jenny Diski It is the time of the comedians. Western politics as it is perceived by populations and portrayed by the media of every kind is in such a parlous state, that it is not a metaphor but a reality developing...

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Alexander McGregor: Marx in Japan

Alexander McGregor: Marx in Japan

In the cold war years, Japan forged a contradictory relationship with its erstwhile occupiers, the United States. On the one hand various capillaries of Japanese society burned with resentment towards a Western capitalism that forced upon it a new diet of humility and economic subordination – perhaps best represented...

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Oscar Wilde’s Socialism

Oscar Wilde’s Socialism

The chief advantage that would result from the establishment of Socialism is, undoubtedly, the fact that Socialism would relieve us from that sordid necessity of living for others which, in the present condition of things, presses so hardly upon almost everybody. In fact, scarcely any one at all escapes.

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Socialist Zionism ultimately meant socialism for no one…

Socialist Zionism ultimately meant socialism for no one…

From 5 Broken Cameras, directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, 2011 From Jacobin: The Left has a checkered history when it comes to Palestine. For at least the first two decades of Israel’s existence, due in part to the attempted extermination of European Jewry, in part to the...

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Outclassed?

Outclassed?

Despite not employing much of the jargon, Stephen Schryer is resolutely Marxist - and not New Left or post - Marxist either, but the old-style, “primacy of class,” bourgeoisie vs. proletariat kind. His excellent first book, Fantasies of the New Class: Ideologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II American...

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A Year of Hollande by John Gaffney

A Year of Hollande by John Gaffney

One year ago, on the day of François Hollande’s inauguration as the seventh President of the French Fifth Republic, May 15th, 2012, it poured with rain all day long. Inexplicably, no one offered him a raincoat or the protection of an umbrella. He spent the day’s ceremony drenched to...

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Ironoffspring

Ironoffspring

Margaret Thatcher, illustrated by Gerald Scarfe From The Guardian: When I was a kid, Thatcher was the headmistress of our country. Her voice, a bellicose yawn, somehow both boring and boring – I could ignore the content but the intent drilled its way in. She became leader of the...

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Monarchist

Monarchist

From Eurozine: Barack Obama’s updated version of the so-called war on terror has received a free pass from most US political and legal scholars. To be sure, civil libertarians and liberal voices on the editorial pages of the New York Times have pilloried Obama for his failure to fulfil...

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