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Ed Webb

Mitt Romney's Search for Simple Answers - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Colonialism not mentioned explicitly. Bizarre, given the particular context of Gov Romney's remarks.
Ed Webb

Idiocy as WMD » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names - 0 views

  • The more oppressive a political system, then, the greater its assault on its subjects’ minds, for it’s not enough for any dictator, king or totalitarian system to oppress and exploit, but it must, and I mean must, make its people idiotic as well
  • whatever utility it may have for the disenfranchised and/or rebellious, the Web is most useful to our rulers. As Dmitry Orlov points out in a recent blog, the internet is a powerful surveillance tool for the state and, what’s more, it also keeps the masses distracted and pacified
  • Not content to kill and loot, America must do it to pulsating music; cool, orgasmic dancing; raunchy reality shows and violence-filled Hollywood blockbusters, and these are also meant for its victims, no less. In a 1997 article published by the US Army War College, Ralph Peters gushes about a “personally intrusive” and “lethal” cultural assault as a key tactic in the American quest for global supremacy. As information master, the American Empire will destroy its “information victims.” What’s more, “our victims volunteer” because they are unable to resist the seductiveness of American culture.
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  • these savages need to take webcast courses from us sophisticates when it comes to genocide, or ecocide, or any other kind of cides you can think of
  • Defending the empire, Ralph Peters cheerfully agrees, “The internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and community.”
  • many of us will cling even more fiercely to these illusions of knowledge, love, sex and community as we blunder forward. A breathing and tactile life will become even more alien, I’m afraid. Here and there, a band of unplugged weirdos, to be hunted down and exterminated, with their demise shown on TV as warning and entertainment
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    This is fun!
Ed Webb

What Gingrich Didn't Learn in Congo - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    In shocking news, Newt probably speaks and reads French.
Ed Webb

Niall Ferguson: How American Civilization Can Avoid Collapse - The Daily Beast - 0 views

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    Be sure to enjoy the readers' comments!
Ed Webb

Alaa Abd El Fattah, Egyptian activist, celebrates the US election results - 0 views

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    I don't expect we'll hear much of this perspective inside the US!
Ed Webb

LENIN'S TOMB: Why neoliberalism persists - 0 views

  • Finance has enjoyed hegemony in the past partially on account of its role in the British empire. Britain's overseas trading companies such as the East India Company or the Hudson Bay Company were based in the City of London, and it was the City's activities which financed the planters and traders. The capital's financial centre was the nexus between domestic producers and the colonies. Undoubtedly, finance has a similar role in today's imperialism, the mechanism by which surplus extracted in the 'periphery' is transferred to ruling classes in the 'metropole'. In fact, one of the reasons why the British government started to take a keen interest in consolidating the City's global role in the late 1960s was due to the loss of the colonies and the need to take on rising financial competitors, not least Wall Street.
  • The fact of the matter is that there often hasn't been enough profit to be had in productive investment, while high-risk speculation has consistently delivered, and will continue to do so as long as the public bails the bankers out at moments of crisis. Just how much neoliberalism has delivered is suggested by the fact that by 2006, two fifths of all corporate profits in the US were accumulated in the financial sector - more than double the ratio at the height of 'Reagonomics' two decades before.
Ed Webb

British Identity and the Legacy of Empire | openDemocracy - 0 views

  • the extent to which the legacy of the British Empire continues to influence contemporary politics and society has also been overlooked by most parties. Only the Conservatives have acknowledged it as a policy aspiration, promising in their manifesto that they will ‘strengthen the Commonwealth as a focus for promoting democratic values and development’. However, their intention to establish annual limits on non-EU migrants suggest that Conservative views towards the former empire continue to be infused with elements of colonialism – a confused message that encourages stronger Commonwealth bonds through the promotion of British values and aid whilst restricting of historic patterns of population exchange.
  • The Commonwealth provides stark evidence that imperial withdrawal in some former colonies was not controlled or bloodless and that the post-colonial legacy of the British Empire is far from entirely positive. Sustained efforts to re-evaluate the legacy of empire have proven slight, suggesting a post-empire myopia that can be somewhat attributed to the contentious nature of empire and its inheritance.
  • The extent to which the UK can be seen as a post-empire state must be questioned. For some, such as Robert Cooper, British foreign policy continues to be shaped by an ascription to ‘liberal imperialism’. Moreover, transnational constitutional ties endure, with the Monarch continuing as Head of State of sixteen states - of which the UK is but one – and fourteen British Overseas Territories. The Crown is represented in a number of differing ways within the political systems of the Commonwealth realms, providing a key constitutional role with significant—though often theoretical—powers which reflect the enduring legacy of the British parliamentary model of government. The presence of the Monarch on coins and stamps in various Commonwealth realms, and the continued prominence of other ‘banal’ symbols such as the Union Flag on some national flags, suggest the persistence of a more generous transnational Britishness.
Ed Webb

The Battle of Britain 2010 Edition and Living in the Shadow of Empire | openDemocracy - 0 views

  • an Imperial Parliament
  • The long story of the last thirty years is the continuation of the Empire mindset long after the Empire itself has disappeared off the face of the globe. Our political classes still see themselves at the heart of an imperial dispensation, the City and its grotesque distortions of the British economy, business and industry have come even more centrestage, and the strange obsession of our governing classes with Atlanticism has been more revealed as a fanaticism.

    Britain is still living in the shadow of Empire, and strangely enough, this is something more acutely grasped by those doyens of the New Right and neo-conservatism, Niall Ferguson and Andrew Roberts, than anyone on the centre-left.

  • we are shorn of illusion that socialism or progressive change can be built in the cradle of the Empire State
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