Archive for April, 2014

This piece was first published in blog form by Dissent: A Quarterly of Politics and Culture, 15 April 2014, on the unfolding events in Ukraine. The rise of nationalism, or identity politics is widespread across the world in the face of  ongoing integration into globalised capitalism. A perhaps softer yet nevertheless insidious sentiment is prevalent here in Australia, as can be seen with proposed changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to allow bigots to have their say. Or to the heinous treatment of asylum seekers in detention centres from Villawood to Manus Island and Nauru.

As Adam Blanden states, ”historically, ultra-nationalism has only emerged where existing systems of social security and the organization of work have been radically undermined (as in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) and where social forces for change (in the form of political parties or unions or wider civil society movements) have splintered. In these circumstances, the highly disciplined  and increasingly articulate far right tends to outpace the centrist dinosaurs and eclipse the left. These are the conditions we’re in now. And they’re bringing ultra-nationalism and racism back to the heart of the EU.”     As market fundamentalism stretches its tentacles into every pocket of this earth, a steady suckering and furling back into the mouth of this voracious beast through imposed structural adjustments of the IMF, the string-laden loans of the World Bank, the pressures of the World Trade Organisation, through corruption and sweetheart deals, and as this fundamentalism disenfranchises the poor and forces millions into even greater poverty, little wonder such nationalisms are on the rise.                  

 

 

 

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A pertinent and timely piece.

The Belle Jar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynistandeugenicsenthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Neither Reasonable Nor Scientific Neither Reasonable Nor Scientific

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were…

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Arundhati Roy on NGOs

Posted: April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

NGOs complicit in the neoliberal agenda.

Development Industry

Arundhati Roy’s position on NGOs from here:

A SECOND hazard facing mass movements is the NGO-ization of resistance. It will be easy to twist what I’m about to say into an indictment of all NGOs. That would be a falsehood. In the murky waters of fake NGOs set up or to siphon off grant money or as tax dodges (in states like Bihar, they are given as dowry), of course, there are NGOs doing valuable work. But it’s important to consider the NGO phenomenon in a broader political context. In India, for instance, the funded NGO boom began in the late 1980s and 1990s. It coincided with the opening of India’s markets to neoliberalism.

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