Sunday, January 31, 2016
Friday, January 29, 2016
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
"It's not politicians who will end oppression. It's the radicals, with the stink in their clothes, rebellion in their brain, hope in their heart and direct action in their fists." ~David Bowie
Recognizing that his own videos would be played in heavy rotation, Bowie used the medium to attack Australian racism and discrimination against aboriginal people. The “Let’s Dance” clip was incredibly important for what it said about race and erasure in the country, and broadcast it around the world. The Guardian recalls that Bowie, in an interview with ABC television, said it was, “A direct statement on integration.” Speaking to MTV’s Kurt Loder, Bowie noted that “In the north, there’s unbelievable intolerance. The Aborigines can’t even buy their drinks in the same bars—they have to go round the back and get them through what’s called a ‘dog hatch’. And then they’re forbidden from drinking them on the same side of the street as the bar.”
The female protagonist of the video, Joelene King, spoke to the Guardian in 2015 about the video's critical message. “It lets the world know that Australia has a black history,” she said. “That this history is alive and well. We’re still here.”
Monday, January 11, 2016
"Yes, I agree with your arguments, but how are you going to get everyone else to?” This is a common reaction of people when the idea of establishing Socialism is put to them. Ninety nine out of a hundred agree it would be pleasant to live in a moneyless world where they had free access to everything they required, where threats like war and pollution no longer existed, where work was not something they were forced to do and therefore disliked, but something they did out of choice and took pride and pleasure in. Yet when we have satisfied them that the world’s resources, if exploited with a view to use and not to profit, could satisfy all the needs of all human beings, and when they have accepted that it is not against “human nature” for people to live together in harmony, to associate rather than to compete: then they are inclined to say that this is all very well in theory, but how are you going to convince the majority of people that Socialism would be best for them?
Capitalism has given, and is giving, people the weapons to destroy it. At the moment people are thoroughly dissatisfied with all that capitalism involves (unpleasant work, rationing by wages, intolerable social and psychological pressures), but seeing no alternative still continue to support it. Hence, whilst being increasingly aware of the fact that they are deprived, they either limit themselves to demanding a slightly less minute share of the capitalist cake, or their frustrations explode into violence. But neither course of action leads far. Before we can get rid of a system we must understand the nature of it and have another system to put in its place. It is unconvincing to attack capitalism without being able to propose an alternative to it. That alternative, Socialism, is what we propose.
The important principles that underlay Marx and Engels’ policies were:
1. The scheme of social evolution (primitive communism, chattel slavery, feudalism, capitalism. Communism) was meant as a description of what had happened in Western Europe and was not necessarily universally applicable.
2. The socialist revolution depended on a certain level of social and economic development and could not take place anytime and anywhere merely because a determined minority wanted it.
3. Those who represented a ruling class politically did not have to be of that class, but merely had to share its views and protect its material interests.
4. Under capitalism the working class were already the economically important class since the capitalists had become economically redundant “leaving the work of supervision to an increasingly numerous category of managers.” All that was needed to dislodge them from their privileged position was a political revolution.
5. To win political power the working class as a whole had to be “conscious of their common class position, class interests, and class enemies, and willing to act upon that consciousness” and to have organised themselves into a “gigantic political party.”
6. After winning political power the working class would for a “limited” or “short” period become the ruling class as a step towards the abolition of all classes. This political transition period would be the dictatorship of the proletariat as a whole, and not of a minority of revolutionary leaders.
7. In socialist society production of commodities, i.e. articles for sale, would come to an end. Instead “production would no longer be directed by the interests of a privileged minority but would be guided by an overall rational plan which had reference solely to human needs.”
8. In socialist society the coercive State machine would be replaced by “a nonpolitical type of authority” and there would be “effective communal decision without coercion.”
9. The socialist revolution would take place “just possibly at the polling booths, but much more likely at the barricades.” The Socialist Party would now put the emphasis emphatically the other way round.
10. In economically backward countries still dominated by feudal rule socialists should help the bourgeoisie to carry through their revolution. We say this is now no longer necessary since capitalism is firmly established as the dominant world system so that socialists everywhere should be working for the immediate establishment of socialism on a world scale.
11. Marx and Engels regarded Tsarist Russia “as the most serious obstacle to revolutionary progress" and advocated and supported war against it. Our position is it now wrong to support wars.
12. In the early stages of Socialism there could not be full free distribution according to needs and. although money would be abolished, distribution would take place by means of non-circulating labour-time vouchers. The Socialist Party explains that, even if there was a temporary shortage, such vouchers would not be the fairest method of rationing but that in any event the tremendous technical developments in the last hundred years have meant that free distribution can be implemented almost immediately.
Football fans should get a bigger say in the day-to-day running of clubs, according to Scotland's sports minister, Jamie Hepburn. In a speech at Hampden, Hepburn said fan involvement and, in some cases, ownership "does work". He said: "I firmly believe there is a powerful and persuasive case for supporter involvement and - where appropriate - ownership of their clubs.
"It is commonplace in the Bundesliga (German league) so often held up as an example of best practice on and off the field. And supporter involvement and ownership is gaining momentum here in Scotland too. Hearts and Motherwell are pursuing high-profile fan ownership models, while other clubs like Clyde, Dunfermline and Stirling Albion have led the way. So fan involvement and ownership can - and does - work."
The Scottish Football Supporters Association which has a membership of around 46,000 people, has produced a manifesto based in part on the responses, setting out how to "renew, reform and reclaim" football for fans and communities and called for a national conversation on "sweeping changes".
The story told primarily by the media is one of Palestinian stabbers and Israeli retaliation in self-defense. However, as the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor documents in this 100-day report, proven Palestinian attacks are relatively small in number and often committed by lone youths, while the number of arrests, harassment and executions committed by Israeli forces are increasingly excessive and disproportionate. Its report covering the period between 1 October, 2015 and 8 January, 2016 indicate that 150 Palestinians, including seven women and 27 minors, were extrajudicially executed, with Israel refusing to release the bodies of 24 to their families. In contrast, 27 Israelis, including one woman, were killed by Palestinians. In addition, 15,759 Palestinians were injured, 92 seriously—including 58 journalists and 103 emergency medical personnel. Among Israelis, 385 were injured, 33 seriously. Palestinians attacked Israeli individuals or property an estimated 227 times, ranging from knife stabbings to car rammings. The most common incident, however, was stone-throwing by Palestinian youth. These incidents primarily occurred around checkpoints and on streets linking Palestinian cities and villages. They resulted in the death of 27 Israelis, including one woman, and the injury of 385 others (33 of whom were seriously wounded).
Two-thirds of Palestinian victims—95 of 150—were executed in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the border area of the Gaza Strip during protests or immediately upon detention. Many were killed merely on “suspicion,” including those falsely accused of trying to attack Israelis. In mid-October of 2015, Euro-Med published a video recording showing eight Palestinians being arbitrarily executed by Israeli forces. The UN special rapporteur called on the UN to launch a special investigation into such extrajudicial killings. Since the escalation of protests in October 2015, 3,401 Palestinians have been detained—58 percent more than during the same period the year before. About half of these detainees, 1,511, are minors. One in every 3 of these detainees was exposed to cruel treatment such as beatings, humiliation, hand-cuffing and blindfolding.