"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
Sunday, March 09, 2014
|Svoboda supporter carries portrait of Nazi ally Bandera|
EXTRACT: So let us deal with the most pressing question - was there a fascist coup or Banderaite takeover? Inevitably, George Galloway has already taken to Twitter to denounce the “fascist and ultra-nationalist coup” in Kiev. It is certainly the case that the groups that ran and policed Euromaidan - such as Spilna Sprava (Common Cause), Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), Patriots of Ukraine, Svoboda, etc - clearly fit the ‘fascist’ description. That is, groups of rightwing, anti-Semitic, non-state fighting squads that exist to destroy anything that passes for leftwing politics and resolve the crisis gripping the top of Ukrainian society in a negative fashion. These were the groups or people that in the main took on the riot police, organised the demonstrations and chased off those leftwingers brave (or foolhardy) enough to turn up at Independence Square.
In which case, how do we characterise Euromaidan, etc? Well, the description that seems closest to reality is that of an orange-brown movement - one that covers a wide range of forces from pro- EU liberals and the hard right merging into the far right and fascistic milieu. What is vital to recognise when looking at the ultra-nationalistic groups is that we are not dealing with fringe groups or movements. For instance, Svoboda is the fourth largest party in parliament - it won 10.44% of the vote in the 2012 parliamentary elections and secured 37 seats (Svoboda subsequently joined a formal coalition with two centre-right parties to form the parliament’s collective opposition). In other words, Svoboda has a mass base.
Friday, March 07, 2014
|Svoboda partisans: carrying portraits of Ukraine's Nazi ally, Stepan Bandera|
EXTRACT: It is instructive to read the recent remarks of Sergei Glazyev, a senior adviser to Putin.6 He makes the point that Yanukovych, from the point of view of the ruling elite, did not act in a decisive enough manner - instead, we had a pattern of repression followed by compromise and vice versa. Of course, Machiavelli in The prince advised rulers to do one of two things in a crisis: either ruthlessly crush the opposition or come to a compromise - but do not do both, as that always leads to disaster. The obvious example is Tiananmen Square, where the Beijing regime sent the tanks in and made sure such a situation would not recur - it did what, from its perspective, had to be done. Yanukovych, on the other hand, waited three months to show the opposition who was boss - and by then it was too late - deep fissures had opened up in the regime and the army itself was obviously split. This was manifested by troops parading into the square and swearing an oath of allegiance to the speaker of the parliament.
Glazyev also argued that there was a “clear need” for the “federalisation” of Ukraine in order to avoid its bloody break-up. According to him, this would require giving the various regions “sufficient rights”, the ability to “form their budgets” and even the possibility of “partial foreign identity” - he used the example of Greenland, which is an autonomous country within Denmark. In other words, his envisaged Ukrainian ‘federation’ would be totally unlike the one to its north, where the constituent parts have no right to separate. But Glazyev’s proposed new structure would allow parts of Ukraine to be swallowed up by Russia.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
|Winds, floods and the revenge of nature|
EXTRACT: However, the real problem goes much deeper. As alluded to by Pickles, many within the EA and elsewhere are very dubious about the benefits of dredging - and rightly so. Not only will dredging make very little difference, if any: it can be positively damaging. You do not have to be a genius to work it out. A river’s capacity is tiny by comparison to the catchment from which it draws its water. Therefore, dredging is likely to cause faster and more dangerous floods downstream when the water hits - for example - the nearest urban obstacle, like a trail track or bridge.
But the problems do not end there. If you cut off a river from its flood plain by turning it into a deep trench, you run the risk of speeding up the flow of water to other areas downstream. Congratulations - you have just made a bad situation worse by creating more dangerous rivers, undermining the foundations of bridges, weirs, culverts and river walls and causing untold destruction to the natural world; removing gravel from river beds by dredging leads to the loss of spawning grounds for fish, and can cause the loss of some species, like otters and water voles. And you may have spent enormous amounts of money making this ecological disaster. Now there is real joined-up thinking.
Friday, February 14, 2014
|Illusions in EU rife|
EXTRACT: True, in the minds of many Ukranians [EU] associate status in theory means the free movement of labour - which, of course, is very attractive to many, especially younger citizens, looking towards Germany as a possible port of call in their hopes for a better future. Many are genuinely enthusiastic about the EU and all it appears to offer. But cruelly it is very unlikely that associate status will lead to the free movement of labour, leaving the ambitious - using that word in the best sense - trapped in a decaying and fragmenting Ukraine. A horrible situation.
After all, what is the alternative facing them? Russia has offered £14 billion in aid (cheap oil, cheap gas, etc) and some sort of ‘common market’ that also includes - wait for it - Belarus and Kazakhstan. It is almost impossible to conceive of a less appealing prospect. By comparison, Greece, Spain and Portugal are near to paradise on earth. Belarus (literally ‘white Rus’) is a truly weird and frightening place, like a cross between Putin’s and Stalin’s Russia - it still has all the old monstrous statues. Kazakhstan, another strange place, has a large Russian-speaking minority. Yet the only thing these countries have in common - or at least parts of them - is an inchoate and nostalgic Slavophilism, which would quickly break down under the cold economic winds.
Thursday, February 06, 2014
|Dieudonné M'bala M'bala: political ambitions|
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
|Bribed, dishonest and murderous|
EXTRACT: Yes, for leftwingers and progressively minded people it is not exactly a shocking idea that the police are institutionally corrupt - that we are not dealing with rotten apples, but rather with the normal running of the state. However, it is an excellent development that this knowledge is becoming more widely known - so, thank you, Andrew Mitchell, Keith Wallis and ‘V53’. Every article, every report, every scandal that exposes the rotten nature of the police and the bourgeois state as a whole is to be positively welcomed - no more illusions in the force. It can never be transformed into a neutral, let alone benign, institution - it is our enemy. We look forward to a time when the juries are instinctively hostile to the police and all other agents of the bourgeois state.
Monday, January 13, 2014
|War aims were clearly imperialist|
EXTRACT: At the outbreak of war, Britain presided over a global empire - where was the democracy in India, Africa, etc? Simple answer - there was none. Instead there was vicious repression against who anyone who dared to defy imperialist rule. Closer to home in Ireland, Britain used every brutal tactic in the book to hang onto its colony - suppressing the Easter Rising in 1916 and setting up the Black and Tans to terrorise the Irish people. It would have been news indeed to them that Britain was fighting for democracy and liberty. The simple fact is that the British ruling class went to war to defend its imperialist booty: vast swathes of land and territory which it had taken using brutal and overwhelming force (something that Winston Churchill was totally open about with regards to both world wars). On the other hand, fair’s fair, Germany wanted its own colonies. But apart from South West Africa, Tanganyika, Cameroon and a few other remote possessions, no colonies were vacant - Britain, France, Holland, etc, had it all sewn up.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Friday, January 03, 2014
Sunday, December 29, 2013
EXTRACT: Of course, the bourgeois press delights in North Korea - feeding us near endless stories about its bizarre control freakery and quite literal deification of its leaders. The odious Kim Jong-un is regularly described as a “great person born of heaven”, the “eternally immovable mental mainstay of the Korean people”, the “people’s spiritual pillar and the lighthouse of hope”, etc. All totally revolting, it goes without saying.
But then again, Marxists do not buy into the idea assiduously promulgated by the western media that North Korea is the weirdest place ever to have existed - or, conversely, that the UK is the most normal society on the planet. For the most part, generations of schoolchildren have been told that Britain has a glorious and uninterrupted history going back to at least 1066 and that from medieval times onwards dynastic succession was believed to be divinely sanctioned - all perfectly normal. You might get ‘good’ monarchs and ‘bad’ monarchs, but that is just part of the divine deal. Ours is not to wonder why. Think about our present unelected ruler, Elizabeth II. She is the “defender of faith” and has two birthdays. Why is this any less weird than North Korea’s “eternal president”? Face it. The UK is a bizarre, fucked-up, place - as we communists constantly emphasise. When it comes to absurd ritual and mindless dynastic pomp you can never beat the UK. Sorry, Kim.