Tagged ‘Culture‘

When Divestment Isn’t Enough

Generation Progress

September 23, 2013

Demonstrators call for the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally in front of the White House. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)(Via The Nation Blog)

It’s early March and raining as I ride through the mountains of the Mad River Valley. Where white usually paints lines thicker than the lane marker, there is no snow. As I hitchhike through Vermont with two talkative strangers, I’m worried by the stories a mother tells one of my teenage companions. This native Vermonter recounts the winters of her childhood, full of snow and flurries, while her daughter stares out at the pavement, as grey and dry as sky. I look out the window myself, only to see sleds abandoned and pale yellow tracts of grass. The stories of this woman’s childhood now pass as legend. The daughter grimaces as her mother tells a story she’s heard many times before.

FLASHBACK | The Last Twenty Years of Social Liquidation

August 27, 2013

by Miguel Amorós

“In the society of the spectacle protest is a form of leisure and the tragic pathos of the class struggle must recede before hilarity, relaxation and festival, genuine forms of the neo-contestatory spirit which has found in pot and pan-banging, whistles, and costume parades its most suitable means of expression and in software, blogs and cell-phones its best weapons.”

The last twenty years of social liquidation - Miguel Amorós

In this 2006 lecture, Miguel Amorós depicts the previous twenty years as a period of radical changes for the emancipatory project, beginning with “the disappearance of the workers milieu” in the 1980s and the simultaneous rise of a new youth movement which, because it “started from zero” as a result of its lack of historical memory, was in part drawn to violence (“immediate confrontation”), and in part to the practice of “neo-contestatory”, “festive” forms of simulated struggle (“In the society of the spectacle protest is a form of leisure”), only to be “absorbed by the dynamic of survival in a hostile environment” as “the fifth wheel of the electoral bandwagon of social democracy”.

Concerning the Degeneration of Revolutionary Ideals after the End of the Working Class in the West

“The present period is one of those when everything that seems normally to constitute a reason for living dwindles away, when one must, on pain of sinking into confusion or apathy, call everything into question again.”1

On July 19, 1936 the Spanish proletariat responded to Franco’s coup d’état by unleashing a social revolution. On February 23, 1981 another coup d’état took place, one that met with the most absolute indifference of the proletarians, who hardly bothered to change the station on their radios or TVs. This contrast of attitudes reflects the fact that the proletariat was in 1936 the principal social factor in politics, while in 1981 it was not even an auxiliary factor for the interests of others. If the coup of 1936 was directed against the proletariat, the coup of 1981 was a settling of accounts between different factions of power. Not even in the most alarmist analyses was the workers’ predilection for struggle taken into consideration for the simple reason that it was minimal. The perpetrators of the coup d’état ignored the proletariat because it was no more than a secondary figure of political rhetoric, one that was historically finished.

WATCH: SOFT POWER | The Partnering of Western NGOS and the US Military

WATCH: SOFT POWER | The Partnering of Western NGOS and the US Military

Image: 3P Human Security’ is working to develop guidance documents to deconflict between local and international NGOs and other civil society groups to the challenges in Afghanistan and Iraq, top US military and political under a new Department of Defense Directive that puts stabilization on par with war-fighting. | 3P organized a March 2010 roundtable hosted by Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars between global peacebuilding civil society organizations and US government and military personnel. This report details an agenda for future discussions. | 3P organized a March 2010 roundtable hosted by Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars between global peacebuilding civil society organizations and US government and military personnel. | 3P worked with the University of Notre Dame to plan a three day discussion between global practitioners and NGOs in peacebuilding and development to discuss their relationship with military personnel in their countries, hosted by the Kroc Center for International Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame.

March 5, 2013

by Forrest Palmer & Cory Morningstar – WKOG


It seems to me that somewhere along the line that people don’t have a clear understanding of the role and the unique nature of NGOs. And not surprisingly so considering what’s going on in Iraq at the moment. On one side we have US Military personnel parading in certain times in civilian clothes, driving white 4×4’s and even driving civilian vehicles. We have civilian “aid workers” wearing Department of Defense ID’s surrounded by armed security guards. The media meanwhile refer to soldiers and armed security personnel killed in action as humanitarians, and NGOs themselves in some cases request and accept military escorts or contracts from the Department of Defense. – Denis Dragovic, International Rescue Committee, 2004


In response to the challenges in Afghanistan and Iraq, top US military and political leaders call for strengthened civilian capacities and more effective civil-military cooperation. US military personnel increasingly conduct humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities to achieve stabilization effects under a new Department of Defense Directive that puts stabilization on par with war-fighting. Military leaders list “building civil society” and “local ownership” in their strategies and seek NGOs as “implementing partners.” – Civil Society – Military Dialogue, 3P Human Security

WATCH: Jose Mujica, President d’Uruguai. Canviar la Vida (English Subtitles)



 “I’m not just a peasant. I am also the president.”

mujica image

The Sunday Times, January 2013 – ALONG a dirt road on the outskirts of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, stands a ramshackle house with chipped walls and a 26-year-old car parked outside. This is the home of the man who runs the country.

Jose Mujica, a 77-year-old former left-wing guerrilla, is earning an international reputation as a pauper president who steadfastly refuses to accept any trappings of power. Read full article here.


FLASHBACK | Fabric of Identity

Fourth World Eye Blog

Oct 4, 2007

If the fabric of global society is analogous to a constantly shifting patchwork of cognitive relationships between tribes, institutions, markets and networks, then the fabric of each component of this weaving of narratives is comprised of the beliefs, opinions and views of the individuals interacting with each of these basic forms of human organization. As such, our foundational psychic identities, comprising ethnic or tribal origins and their cosmologies, are the sole authentic basis of determining who we are.

This is not to say that other, superficial identities, like race or religion, cannot exert powerful influences on our thoughts, words and deeds, but merely to point out that these identities – unlike our cultural heritage from original nations – are transitory. Much like ephemeral state boundaries arbitrarily overlaid on ancient lands and territories, coerced identities associated with modern states are transferable, even when underlying cultural characteristics remain.

Given the degree of disconnection today from our cultural and geographic roots, indeed from historical awareness, the voluntary and coerced identities we assume are largely superficial. But this doesn’t mean they are unimportant, only that they are more tenuous and vulnerable to subversion by dominant social ideologies. With few opportunities to find genuinely supportive social structures and organizations, most of us are left to fend for ourselves in creating an identity that both suits our needs and our understanding.

Absent the connectivity that defines relationships at a tribal or aboriginal level, we are faced with crafting a persona that blends and distinguishes what Manuel Castells calls the legitimizing identities of institutions, the project identities of reform, and the resistance identities of excluded peoples, depending on our view of history. Economic and political affiliations, of course, play a role in forming these views, but even they can be transcended by strong, determined individuals whose identities are supported by authentic philosophies and organized networks.

Fulfilling our various duties and responsibilities within this often frantic construct requires that we seek an identity we can live with; otherwise, when tested by the turbulence of social conflict, it will assuredly unravel.


[Jay Taber — recipient of the Defender of Democracy award — is an author, columnist, and research analyst at Public Good Project.]

MUST WATCH: Dr Steve Best – The Paralysis of Pacifism


WKOG: An excellent lecture by Dr Steven Best. Not to be missed.

“The desire for a nonviolent and cooperative world is the healthiest of all psychological manifestations. This is the overarching principle of liberation and revolution. Undoubtedly, it seems the highest order of contradiction that, in order to achieve nonviolence, we must first break with it in overcoming its root causes. Therein lies our only hope.” — Ward Churchill, Pacifism as Pathology


Conference: “The Paralysis of Pacifism: In Defense of Militant Direct Action and “Violence” for Animal Liberation” held by Prof. Steve Best in ex slaughterhouse of Aprilia – Italy – 06 September 2012.

Prof. Steve Best is a writer, speaker, public intellectual, and activist. Steven Best engages animal rights, species extinction, ecological crisis, biotechnology, liberation politics, terrorism, mass media and culture, globalization, and capitalist domination. He is Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso.

This conference has been organized by “Per Animalia Veritas” which is an organization that promotes antispecism as a radical revolution for a renewed cruelty-free and vegan society through militant activism.

To subscribe to Steve Best’s blog visit:

WATCH: The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders by John Potash

These are excerpts of The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders, the new film based on the book of the same title, now available on DVD. The subtitle of the book is U.S. Intelligence’s Murderous Targeting of Tupac, MLK, Malcolm, Panthers, Hendrix, Marley, Rappers and Linked Ethnic Leftists. These leftists include Robert F. Kennedy, Judi Bari and Filiberto Ojedo Rios. It’s based on 15 years of research and includes over 1,000 endnotes documenting it’s sources. These sources are from personal interviews, government documents and mostly mainstream media. Fred Hampton, Jr. contributed an Afterword and Pam Africa wrote a Foreword to which Mumia Abu-Jamal contributed an essay. For more info, see



Walking the Talk


Intercontinental Cry


Jul 9, 2012

Walking the talk of liberation news begins by not selling out our brothers and sisters. If we bankroll our media publications by running ads supporting the apartheid State of Israel, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Army, or the trafficking of women and children for prostitution, we are not promoting freedom.

We may be covering some important struggles or addressing some vital issues, but if we cannot do that without exploiting humanity, then we are merely flattering ourselves at the expense of others. Assimilationists and pious poseurs are not our brothers; they are capitalist activists furthering the mission of domination.

Competing for philanthropic political payoffs from the Ford Foundation or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — both of which undermine Indigenous liberation worldwide — or catering to crass commercial interests by stabbing others in the back, not only undermines solidarity, but also consolidates the criminalization of human relationships. Authentic liberation news doesn’t glorify greed, war or human exploitation to keep the doors open.



[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]