Monthly Archive for January, 2009

Saying No to Hugo Chávez’s Baloney Revolution

Getting out there and defending social ownership has numerous challenges. One of them is the need to disown various past and present regimes in Third World backwaters that give the idea a bad name. There hadn’t been any new ones for a while, and then along came Hugo Chávez in Venezuela with his “Bolivarian Revolution” and “21st Century Socialism”.

This “process” has two main features – limiting democracy and freedom both for opponents and adherents, and using oil revenue to buy support. There are also various bits of window dressing but these are of secondary importance. Continue reading ‘Saying No to Hugo Chávez’s Baloney Revolution’

Stopping Australian Internet Censorship: Strategy Discussion #nocensorship #nocleanfeed

On Saturday January 10th, I went to a meeting of the Brisbane branch of the Digital Liberty Coalition, and came away with the job of drafting a leaflet for the next small public protest, planned for Australia Day.

The leaflet needs to reflect the strategy of the anti-censorship campaign. After the December 13th 2008 rallies in six capital cities, plus the one in Hobart a week later, some very useful debate about strategy and tactics cropped up. I want this article to bring that debate to as wide an audience as possible, and I want to use that debate to draft the leaflet. There are several different possible strategies, and we need to know what people think is the most effective one.

Using the terms “Clean Feed” and “filtering” instead of “censorship”

I brought up this topic at the meeting last night, after this comment about the December 13th 2008 rally in Melbourne:

Several speakers and posters referred to internet “filtering”.

That, like the “no cleanfeed” campaign name, reflects success of the enemy’s slick marketing strategy which has involved spending millions to spread the concept of “internet safety” – and similar doublespeak.

Other speakers did not mention filtering and spoke only of “censorship”. I suspect the organizers understand the point, and are trying to make the shift, but have not yet grasped the fact that making the shift itself requires open discussion/debate of the difference at rallies – ie take the opportunity of those speakers or posters referring to filtering to explain the purpose of a policy of never referring to filters, but only to censorship.

Also, such policies need to be debated at organizing meetings and formally adopted, so people fully understand (and can change) the tactics.

The Government’s tactics are based on getting people to assume that the Internet is dangerous and dirty, and that people need to Government to clean it up for them. I agree with the argument that using words like “clean feed” and “filter” put us on the back foot. I think that use of those words should be discouraged by people campaigning against the Government’s censorship plans.

Continue reading ‘Stopping Australian Internet Censorship: Strategy Discussion #nocensorship #nocleanfeed’

Zombies march on Gaza

A few day’s ago, Arthur posted the following comment in the old Marwan Barghouti thread.  I’m reposting it here, followed by my own thoughts about current events in Gaza.

Arthur’s comment:

This topic seems a good reminder about the hazards of prediction in commenting on the latest Israeli outrage.

Not having been following events recently, let alone expected the latest, its difficult to be confident in analysing what’s going on.

But for what it’s worth, the parallels with both the previous murderous assault on Lebanon and Nixon’s Christmas bombing of Hanoi, again strike me as eerie.

As was obvious at the time, though hardly noticed, the main point of killing a thousand or so Lebanese was to establish a clear understanding among all but the looniest sections of Israeli opinion, of the fact that it’s pointless, that the old policies have failed and they will have to back off generally.

Continue reading ‘Zombies march on Gaza’

End-game in the war for Greater Israel

The current attack on Palestinians in Gaza is a display of brutal military might, but ought not to be construed as evidence of Israeli strength because the War for Greater Israel really has been lost.  Despite the delays, the outcome must be a viable Palestinian State in the short term future. The killing continues, not because Israeli leaders believe that they have any chance of preventing that short term outcome, but because the racism inherent in Zionism  means that the lives of Palestinians are still expendable in the lead-up to the Israeli elections.

Since 2002, we at Strange Times/LastSuperpower have argued that supporting the Zionist war for greater Israel has become untenable for the USA and that we should therefore expect to see a Palestinian State within the next few years. Five years have passed since we first made that prediction and yet the Palestinians remain not only stateless and  now split between HAMAS controlled Gaza and a Fatah ‘controlled’,  but still occupied West Bank. Nevertheless, I think we are right to  remain confident and that our detractors will scoff less as events unfold in 2009. It is very clear that neither  Livni or Netanyahu have any realistic alternatives to acccepting that 40 years on, they have lost the war for greater Israel.  The attack on Gaza is designed to show just that. When it  is over and the elections have been contested and won,  the next step will have to be a comprehensive settlement.

Continue reading ‘End-game in the war for Greater Israel’