In Egypt, the population has once again risen against the dictatorship – this time that of the military regime which has stepped into the vacuum of power after the overthrow of the tyrant Mubarak. Continue reading “Some Comments on Egyptian and Turkish Politics”
The Useless Manifesto: The Folly of the Fake Left
“Beware of conservatives bearing gifts.” This should be the lesson that every leftist and progressive of whatever stripe had learned over the many decades and even centuries of political struggle. When the right attempts to oppose the policies of the left, this is what one would expect, and obstructionist and backward as it may be at times, it at least expresses real interests in a straightforward manner. When on the other hand they start pretending to help the left, whether under the guise of ‘shared values’ or by attempting to draw them into a politics of liberal talking and reactionary doing, things get seriously dangerous. However, most of the 19th as well as the 20th century has had a left wing strong enough to constantly be on the offensive against such attempts, to learn to identify them and to combat them effectively by showing time and again how the liberalism of the right doesn’t really mean what it pretends to mean. Unfortunately, these days the serious left has been diminished so much that they are weak and easily caught unawares, and many of the supporters of the new generation are not rooted enough in history to recognize them. This gives ample opportunity for the worst kind of false flag operations undertaken under the banner of the ‘modern left’ and similar phrases.
No, this is not some conspiratorial rant. Continue reading “The Useless Manifesto: The Folly of the Fake Left”
Two Minor Notes on Job Creation and Atheist Policy
The mirage of ‘creating jobs’
In this time of crisis, unemployment is once again high on the public’s agenda. In the United States, even official unemployment has reached figures as high as 10%, and in many Western European countries things are not much better. Hundreds of billions in public debt have been piled up to combat this, because every politician knows that their continuance in office depends first and foremost on satisfying the constituents’ demands, and what they demand is jobs. But here as always the limits of the liberal understanding of the world show themselves immediately, namely in the way they go about defending their employment policies. Everywhere in the Western states the emphasis is on the process of ‘job creation’ by the capitalist market system. Everywhere the one criterion for a measure or bill is whether it will or will not make the market ‘create jobs’.
A recent article in Time magazine illustrates the issue quite well. Continue reading “Two Minor Notes on Job Creation and Atheist Policy”
Swiss minaret ban sign of worrying xenophobia
The Swiss Confederation by referendum has decided, with a 57.5% majority, to constitutionally ban the use of minarets in the country. 22 of the 26 cantons also voted in favor of the proposition, making it legal.(1) The use or definition of minarets is not specifically defined, making the application of the provision unclear, and moreover there are only 4 mosques with minarets in the country to begin with. It is therefore obvious that the minaret itself here functions not as an architectural eyesore, which indeed it need not be given the excellent traditions of Islamic religious architecture, but as a proxy for the presence of muslims in Switzerland. Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the Minister of Justice of the Confederation, attempted to explain the result of the referendum as “not a vote against Islam, but a vote directed against fundamentalist utterances”.(2) The preposterousness of this claim is obvious, given that a minaret, although a vehicle of utterances, is not itself an utterance. Nor does it make much sense to call a tower a ‘fundament’, whether conceptually or from an engineer’s perspective.
The ludicrousness of the proposition aside, it is yet another step in a worrying pan-European trend to directly attack the muslim minorities in their respective countries. Continue reading “Swiss minaret ban sign of worrying xenophobia”