Although most of the critiques to which my work was exposed in the last years are "so-called," fast denunciations not worthy of a serious reply, some of them do at least raise pertinent questions : which, exactly, is the status of violence in social life, and how can one justify resort to it? Is in our societies a radical social change -- not just a revolt but the imposition of a new order - objectively possible? What is materialism today, beyond the usual versions of deconstructionist discursive materialism, Deleuzian "new materialism," and scientific naturalism? And, last but not least, what immanent role do jokes play in theory?
Unarmed Ukrainian troops march on the Belbek airfield in Crimea to retake it from soldiers under Russian command. After a shouting match, the Ukrainians withdrew and some members of both sides played soccer together.
Carl Gibson, co-founder of U.S. Uncut, is joining with other Occupy Wall Street organizers to launch a new populist political party. While more details (including the name of the party and the identities of other key organizers) will be available when the group launches on March 20, the party will be explicitly anti-capitalist.
David Harvey is unabashedly political in his book Rebel Cities, published in 2012. He roots urban planning firmly in the realm of human rights and draws a distinct ‘line in the sand’ between cities which honor the rights of its citizens and those which have been ‘bought out’ by greater powers.
It is a shock. Not an unexpected one, because though the mind was alive, the body had been declining for months. I shall miss him, because Tony Benn was a towering figure, one of the rare politicians, in his day, who was a household name, bigger than any post he held. It will not emerge from the tributes we will hear today, but it was also staggering how much he was reviled in his time, because he was not some gentle socialist guru, he was a political sreet fighter, warm in his friendships and harsh in his judgements.
The first time I met Tony Benn was years ago at the WBAI Pacifica radio station in New York. We were both being simultaneously interviewed about the events of the day. He was delighted to be able to speak his mind and share his progressive views with mine on the radio. “There’s much more freedom of speech in the U.S. than in the U.K.,” he remarked to me. “Not that much more,” I said. That was the closest we came to a disagreement.
The former Labour Cabinet Minister, author and long-serving MP Tony Benn has passed away today, aged 88. In 2009, our deputy editor Mary Wakefield interviewed Benn about the financial crisis and the basic decency at the heart of all human beings. Here is the article in full.
Slightly more than ten years ago, in the heat of the moment, the West believed a war on terrorism was useful - so, it was prepared to give up civil liberties. Then the crisis hit in 2008. The banks unjustly demanded a bailout and the West passively went along. Today, again, the West in general passively believes the narrative of its secret services in favor of state control. What’s wrong with us? Why do we give up our liberties so easily? And how can we avoid this trend toward authoritarianism?
Tony Benn is the only person to whom I have ever given permission to smoke in church. My reasoning: we sometimes use clouds of incense, so what does a cloud of pipe tobacco matter? But really, I allowed him to do it because he was Tony Benn. And, to be honest, even if I'd have said no, I'm not sure he would have taken a blind bit of notice.
( March 12, 2014, Tokyo, Sri Lanka Guardian) World-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky traveled to Japan last week ahead of the three-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis. Chomsky, now 85 years old, met with Fukushima survivors, including families who evacuated the area after the meltdown. "[It’s] particularly horrifying that this is happening in Japan with its unique, horrendous experiences with the impact of nuclear explosions, which we don’t have to discuss," Chomsky says. "And it’s particularly horrifying when happening to children — but unfortunately, this is what happens all the time."
On Thursday 3 April 2014, Birkbeck’s Department of Politics will be hosting leading social theorists David Harvey and Andy Merrifield in conversation about the contradictions of capitalism and the new urban question.
Catching up with Isaac Wilder, who we first met during the height of Occupy actions as he and a small band of hackers set out to build the people's Internet. (Two years later, where is Occupy's Internet?
“Now in a world of international capitalism, we are being dominated increasingly by people we did not elect, can’t remove and who therefore do not have to listen to us…..” Tony Benn, Steps of St.Pauls, 9/11/11.