"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"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."
(Andre Gide)
"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."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"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"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Brazil: Half Riot, Half Carnival

Protesting against everything from to fares and football
EXTRACT: Not so long ago, large sections of the left were promoting Brazil as a model to emulate. Here was a country, we were told, which had defied the neoliberal consensus and developed an alternative economic strategy - leading to an economic boom. You see, Keynesianism does work. Just as enthusiastically, the Workers Party of Brazil - along with Communist Refoundation in Italy - was promoted as the model for a ‘broad’ and ‘non-dogmatic’ party of the left. Evidence for this, it was claimed, was the way it hosted and organised the World Social Forum - allowing for ‘consensual’ and ‘non-hierarchical’ decision-making.

Nonsense on sticks, of course. At the WSF, the WP leadership and its allies precisely used the ‘consensual’ but non-democratic and non-accountable mechanisms to bureaucratically manipulate the whole thing from beginning to end - it got all the results it wanted. The same goes naturally for WP’s much lauded ‘non-dogmatism’, which in practice meant the rejection of every working class principle. Hence it has steadily drifted to the right, now committed to running capitalism instead of challenging it. WP has held the presidency for 10 years and is part of the 11-party ‘For Brazil to keep on changing’ coalition, which after the 2010 parliamentary elections gained 352 of the 513 seats in the chamber of deputies, as well as 54 of the 81 seats in the federal senate - granting Rousseff a comfortable majority in both houses. She has used this to attack the working class, not empower it. Communists, on the other hand, argue that you should never form a government or enter a coalition unless you have a realistic chance of implementing the minimum programme - based on working class power and beginning the transition to socialism.

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