Assorted Articles V

Now and then I go through a backlog of political articles I tucked away to read again and find some I want to share.

During the Canadian election there has been resistance to the racist, far-right PPC, which is running candidates across the country. The party is profoundly dangerous, and opposing it should seem reasonable to any observer. However, it brings to mind that media tends to criticize anti-racist actions as much as it criticizes the actions of the far-right (Nazis, fascists, et al.). A piece from FAIR, from when the Charlottesville attacks happened, highlights the danger of not siding with anti-fascist actions.

Since the Charlottesville attack a month ago, a review of commentary in the six top broadsheet newspapers—the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post—found virtually equal amounts of condemnation of fascists and anti-fascist protesters.

Between August 12 and September 12, these papers ran 28 op-eds or editorials condemning the anti-fascist movement known as antifa, or calling on politicians to do so, and 27 condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists, or calling on politicians—namely Donald Trump—to do so.

In Month After Charlottesville, Papers Spent as Much Time Condemning Anti-Nazis as Nazis

I’m always hoping to find more music coming out of communist, socialist, and anarchist perspectives, and Radical Guide highlighted one collective that was a joy to discover.

Music and art has always played a major part in sharing ideas of radical thought. A Radical Guide is committed to making sure we feature art and music from around the world. Today we want to highlight, The Soundz of the South (SOS)

The Soundz of the South (SOS), based in Cape Town, South Africa, is a political arts collective of activists who use hip-hop and poetry to spread revolutionary messages, raise consciousness and critique neo-liberalism.

The aim of the network is to facilitate and encourage a process of self-organization against neoliberalism within communities as part of the broader struggle to emancipate us all.

Radical Music of the World: The Soundz of the South

Most folks aren’t aware of how policing developed as a way to defend capital from workers. David Whitehouse gives a solid overview of how the police we see today were developed in “The role of the police is protecting capitalism“.

In England and the United States, the police were invented within the space of just a few decades—roughly from 1825 to 1855.

The new institution was not a response to an increase in crime, and it really didn’t lead to new methods for dealing with crime. The most common way for authorities to solve a crime, before and since the invention of police, has been for someone to tell them who did it.

Besides, crime has to do with the acts of individuals, and the ruling elites who invented the police were responding to challenges posed by collective action. To put it in a nutshell: The authorities created the police in response to large, defiant crowds.

The role of the police is protecting capitalism” by David Whitehouse

The stories we tell shape how we see the world and the futures we work to create. One pervasive and insidious idea is that people become selfish in the face of disasters. In “Weaponized Narrative” Cory Doctorow wrote about the importance of recognizing and building up the reality that people do help others when the worst happens.

This is an old narrative, the xenophobia story, and it’s what makes crises into tragedies. The world has many disasters in its future: between climate change and microbes and wars and the security/technology debt in our badly designed, widely deployed Internet of Things, we are set for plenty of challenges in the future. We can only resolve these challenges cooperatively. No one nation can sort out climate change – even the Nepalese can’t simply withdraw to their high ground while the seas rise, because they’re still sharing an atmosphere and microbes with the rest of us. If the Syrian refugee crisis has taught us anything, it’s that wars affect many nations, not just the belligerents. It’s trivially obvious that when a city fails, it will need skilled people and those of good will to put it back on its feet – engineers and doctors and childcare workers and carpenters – and that cities happen to be conveniently filled with those people, so the optimal way to get things running with a minimum of fuss and suffering isn’t to bug out, it’s to grab a shovel and start digging.

Weaponized Narrative” by Cory Doctorow

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

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