NATO’s Inferno By William Bowles

29 September 2006

Civilised (adjective): cultured, educated, refined, enlightened, polite, elegant, sophisticated, urbane
Civilise (verb): to enlighten, educate, cultivate, improve, advance, develop, refine

Poor old Dante Alighieri, were he around today, I am sure he would find it difficult to find the words to describe the evils visited by so-called civilised nations on the defenceless of the planet, assuming that is, he was fully informed of what is going on.

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Crisis Capitalism By William Bowles

25 September 2006

My buddy S. Artesian who writes such inciteful deconstructions of capitalism[1] especially its depradations of South America, is, it has to be admitted, pretty much a lone voice these days, at least in the so-called developed world.

An avowedly unreconstructed Marxist, that is, he continues to utilise Marx’s razor sharp analysis of capitalism in all its gory details which as events unfold in this post-Soviet world of capital in (yet) another crisis, becomes all the more relevant to our current predicament.

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Book Review: Illusion and Reality By William Bowles

23 September 2006

Strange Liberators – Militarism, Mayhem and the Pursuit of Profit by Gregory Elich. Llumina Press, 2006.

Strange LIberatorsAround 1990, when I was living in New York, I, along with two or three other people were invited to an evening at the North Korean Mission to the United Nations where we were plied with a meal of amazing and delicious Korean cuisine followed by an interminable and utterly boring (to my jaded, Western eyes) video that attempted to put the North Korean case.

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Confusion in the ranks By William Bowles

20 September 2006

Do you believe in synchronicity? Yeah, I know it sounds like some mystical new age crapola, but it is a fact that the creative process is driven by—well who knows what—quantum physics? All those impossible entities whizzing around (metaphorically speaking) in our brains that make connections, driven by an impossible number of combinations that we call the imagination that are the sum (and then some) of what we are born with and all the experiences we go through from birth that end up making us what we are.

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Media Lens: The Invisible Corporate Shadow

14 September 2006 — Media Lens

The Australian social scientist Alex Carey summed up the evolution of political power in the last century as follows:

“The twentieth century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” (’Taking the risk out of democracy,’ University of Illinois Press, 1995, p.ix)

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About that sweatshop in your head By William Bowles

12 September 2006

Anybody who has read Joe Bageant’s excellent cries of rage[1] here will surely sympathise with the guy, stuck as he is firmly in the craw of a totally insane beast. The question is, who will choke first? As of writing, all bets are off.

Yet before I go off half-cocked it’s worth remembering that here in the UK we have our own version of insanity and I am no less stuck even if in the craw of a lesser beast than Joe is, nor are my fellow citizens any the less caught up in the madness than Joe’s neighbours on the Beltway. (For our sins we are all condemned to our own special hell. Conditions may vary from state to state, please check your purchase agreement.)

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Madmen and Sedatives: Contraband and muffled noises from inside the Iron Theater By Joe Bageant

9 September 2006 — Joe Bageant

Nobody talks about it out loud, but a few million Americans are seriously doubting their sanity these days. Or having their sanity doubted. Or both. They seldom speak their minds because what is going on in there is a vision of society that conjures grave doubt, if not outright horror. It is the kind of stuff that will get your ass kicked off the island in a heartbeat. Nobody wants to hear it.

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Book Review: ‘Haciendo posible lo imposible’ By William Bowles

8 September 2006

Review: ‘Democracy and Revolution – Latin America and Socialism Today’, D.L. Raby

‘[O]nly a fool could think that the solution to the world’s problems lies in capitalism.’ – Hugo Chavez Ruz

I really like this book; firstly its straightforward language makes it accessible unlike the verbal diarrhoea that usually afflicts academic writing, especially on the ‘left’ with all its talk of paradigmatic this and the dialectics of that.

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Media Lens: Beyond Propaganda – Climate Change, BP Greenwash and the Press

5 September 2006 — Media Lens

On May 25, one of us spent several minutes laughing on the phone with a friend of ours, an environmental journalist. We were looking at the homepage of the Independent website – a newspaper that has made huge efforts to present itself as a radical campaigning force for action on climate change. A February 17 news report, for example, was titled: ‘Greenhouse gases are already past threshold that spells disaster.’ A May 4 article read: ’Global warming fastest for 20,000 years – and it is mankind’s fault.’ Continue reading