Having your cake and eating it

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

26 February 2018

“I have always in the end got what I set out to get. Though keeping it may be another matter. But I have always believed profoundly in the magnetism of desire. There is no superstition about it – if one wants a thing intensely enough one must finally achieve it, for the simple reason that all one’s thoughts and actions are directed towards that end, both consciously and unconsciously, and there is tremendous power in that unconscious propulsion towards the objective. The trouble with the majority of people is that they do not know what they want from life, and even when they have some idea, there is no passion in their wanting.”

“It has always seemed to me that the only intelligent and satisfactory principle of life is that of determining both to have one’s cake and eat it. People say that it can’t be done, and for those people it obviously can’t. In order to make it a practical working philosophy, two things are needful, and those the very things which the vast majority of people lack – immense vitality and a flair for living. I have both. I have always known what I wanted and never been afraid to go after it. Nor had any superstitious fear about taking what life offered and being glad of it, and not stopping to wonder whether it were ‘wise’. It is all this business of being sensible and discreet which drains all the colour and gaiety and spontaneous joy out of living.”

“I have had a full crowded life, like Ulysses, ‘all times I have enjoyed greatly, have suffered greatly…’. Heavens, how one has wept, but heavens how one has laughed and loved and delighted, too. ‘Sensible’ people call it living on one’s emotions, but how else can one live? Living on one’s intellect is a sterile and barren business. Not to feel is not to live.”

The passages above are taken from Chapter XII of “Confessions and Impressions”, published in 1930, the first of three volumes of autobiography from the pen of Ethel Mannin (1900-1984), prolific London-born author of novels, short stories, travel books and works on education and child psychology. Mannin was born to working-class parents and left school at 15 to work as a typist in an advertising agency. As can be inferred from the passages quoted above, she was an early “liberated woman” with a contempt for convention. Popular during the first half of the twentieth century, she is now largely forgotten.

Antigone1984:

In the second passage quoted above, Mannin gives short shrift to people who say that you can’t have your cake and eat it. One of those falling into that category would undoubtedly be the current Polish President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who has just told UK Ministers seeking to negotiate Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union that they can’t have their cake and eat it. [See our post EU sticks it to UK published on 24 February 2018].

British novelist Julian Barnes, however, takes Mannin’s side, but foresees another problem: “You can have your cake and eat it, the only trouble is you get fat.

—–

 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

——-

 

Posted in Education, Europe, Ireland, Literature, Philosophy, Poland, UK, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hell on Earth

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

25 February 2018

After three days of wrangling, the UN Security Council yesterday 24 February 2018 unanimously adopted a resolution urging a 30-day truce “without delay” in Eastern Ghouta, an enclave adjacent to the Syrian capital Damascus where rebel forces are holding out against troops loyal to the sanguinary Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, henchman of the ruthless Russian tsar Vladimir Putin.

The resolution is a dead letter.

Only hours after the UN resolution, Syria commenced a ground offensive against the rebel enclave and continued to pound it with improvised barrel bombs and shells.

The UN resolution was agreed to permit aid deliveries and medical evacuations but – the price for Moscow’s agreement to the resolution – operations against fundamentalist jihadist rebel groups are not covered by the truce.

This get-out clause is, naturally, being cited by the Syrian regime to justify its continued attacks on the enclave.

Which, of course, was the reason that Moscow insisted on exempting certain rebel forces from the truce. It agreed to the cease-fire in the knowledge that it would be impossible to implement in practice if certain rebel groups were still fair game for the regime.

Since the enclave is relatively small and all the rebel factions are necessarily in close proximity within it, the Syrian regime can happily continue with its attacks, claiming that it is targeting only the jihadist groups. However, the bombs themselves, many of them (according to reports) improvised unguided barrel bombs, do not distinguish between the various rebel groups or between rebel groups and civilians.

Nearly 400 000 people, mostly civilians and including non-combatant women and children, are trapped in Eastern Ghouta. About 520 people are said to have died, including more than 120 children, in Eastern Ghouta since a relentless barrage of regime rocket fire, shelling and airstrikes began last Sunday 18 February 2018. The regime has also been targeting bombs at hospitals in the rebel-held area.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the situation in the Eastern Ghouta is like “Hell on Earth”.

 Today 25 February 2018 Pope Francis said the violence was “inhuman” and called for an immediate halt to the deadly bombardment to allow access for humanitarian aid.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied targeting civilians and said it is trying to liberate the Eastern Ghouta from “terrorists” – a term it uses to describe both jihadist militants and mainstream rebel groups opposed to the regime – basically, anyone who opposes the bloodstained dictatorship.

[The above account is a conflation of reports today in the BBC and the UK’s online Guardian newspaper]

Here are some excerpts from an analysis today of the latest events in Syria by the Guardian commentator Simon Tisdall, a journalist with whom we often find ourselves in agreement:

“The first signs from Eastern Ghouta are not encouraging. A day after the UN Security Council finally agreed a ceasefire, it was back to bombing-as-usual for Syria’s regime. It is as though the vote for a truce in the besieged enclave, so long in coming and so contentious, never happened at all.

 

Bashar al-ASssad, Syria’s president, is primarily culpable. He probably no longer cares what the world thinks. He has no reputation to lose. Perhaps he calculates one final push by his ground forces will finish the rebels, before a ceasefire takes hold.

 

But the larger burden of responsibility lies with Russia. It was Vladimir Putin who rescued Assad when he was losing the war. Russia’s president has protected his Syrian poodle from war crimes charges and blocked inquiries into his use of banned chemical weapons. Putin has bathed in the kudos of seeming to supplant the US as the Middle East’s big mover and shaker.

 

And it was Putin who delayed the UN ceasefire last week, even as Ghouta’s children were dying, watering down its provisions. He ensured, in effect, that anybody Assad deems a “terrorist” is still fair game for his barrel bombers. That is why the fighting continues unchecked.

 

The Syrian conflict began as a popular, internal uprising against a dictator. But since Russia jumped in militarily it has become Putin’s war. It is Moscow’s biggest foreign military adventure since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Remember how that ended [Antigone1984: the Russians were forced to pull out ignominiously ten years later]….

 

Russia’s global prestige, geo-strategic interests and political and military credibility are now inextricably linked to Assad. Increasingly that looks like a bad bet that Putin cannot afford to lose.

 

Syria is a shocking, baffling mess. For ordinary Russians, it is a waste of men and money. For a watching world, appalled by scenes of relentless brutality and cruelty in Ghouta, Aleppo, and a thousand other towns and cities, it is Putin’s mess. It’s up to him to fix it.”

 

Antigone1984:

 

In general, we are opposed to western military intervention in the Arab world. It usually leads to interminable conflict and the emergence of anarchic failed states (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria).

However, when it is a question of the butchery of innocent men, women and children, our resolve falters somewhat. As it did in Bosnia, with the genocide of  more than 8 000 Muslim Bosnians by Serbs in Srebrenica in 1995. As a result, the subsequent  intervention in Serbia by NATO in 1999 we welcomed.

 

What if, instead of planning to give a bloody nose to North Korea, particularly at a time when it is seeking a rapprochement with South Korea and apparently (according to the South Koreans) would be happy to have talks with the US, the United States instead  intervened on this occasion to give Putin a helping hand in “fixing” this mess (as Guardian commentator Tisdall puts it)?

 

What if, on humanitarian grounds, the US were to give Bashar al-Assad a bloody nose (and more) by taking out his airforce and maybe the Syrian presidential palace as well? The last US President Barack Obama had the chance to do just that some years ago when Assad attacked a civilian settlement in Syria with sarin gas. The use of chemical weapons was supposed to be a red line for the US at that time.

Obama chickened out and sat on his hands.

Perhaps the current US president could trump him?

If, in doing so, he helped put a stop to the carnage in Syria, who knows,  he might even get some liberals to back him.

 Just a thought.

G’night, folks.

 

—–

 

You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. .Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

——-

 

Posted in Guardian, Military, Police, Politics, Russia, Syria, UK, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EU sticks it to UK

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

24 February 2018

It is of existential importance to the European Union that the secession of the United Kingdom should fail.

If Britain leaves the EU and remains economically viable standing on its own two feet, then other disgruntled members among the 27 remaining EU states – Hungary and Poland, perhaps, even austerity-battered Greece – might follow suit and the whole megalomaniac enterprise intended to lead to a United States of Europe could collapse like a set of dominos – just as the Soviet Union did after 1989. There is no iron law which states that political entities will last forever. Quite the contrary, as history teaches us.

This is why the EU is desperate that Britain should fail to make a go of it and, eventually, sooner or later, see the errors of its ways, come back into the fold and allow the whole bang shooting match to lurch on as before.

In a referendum on 23 June 2016, the British people voted by 51.9 % to 48.1 % to leave the EU.

Since then the EU has wasted no opportunity to thwart this democratic decision. As the recent German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble once memorably said, “elections change nothing”.

The EU strategy since the election has been three-fold:

  1. Use of the stick. This is the primary weapon in the EU arsenal. They have bent over backwards to make the secession negotiations between the UK and the EU as difficult as possible. Threatening Britain with economic collapse, Brussels has insisted that any economic deal must be on the EU’s terms. The EU will lay down the conditions and the UK can take it or leave it. No question of a genuine negotiation on an amicable basis with give-and-take on both sides. If the UK wants continued economic relations with the EU after Brexit it will have to be on terms set unilaterally by Brussels.  Those conditions, as the EU has repeatedly stressed, must involve continued acceptance of the rules of the EU’s single market and customs union under the supervision of the European Court of Justice together with continued contributions to the EU budget but no say in decisions taken by the EU authorities – the European Council, the European Commission or the European Parliament. This is what, in negotiations, is called a “non-negotiable demand”. It is presented to the other party in the full knowledge that they cannot accept it. Since the single market and the customs union constitute the EU’s core, Britain would be bound by all its current EU obligations but would have no say in future EU decision-taking. By definition its position would be worse than at present: all the responsibilities but no share of the power. Far from leaving the EU, the position for which a majority of UK voters opted, to all intents and purposes the UK would remain within the core EU structures but no longer as a member but rather as a vassal state. Moreover, it would still be subject to EU court decisions while having no UK judges in the EU court to represent it.

We had a good example of this hardline approach yesterday, as reported by both the BBC and the Guardian.

Speaking on the occasion of an informal meeting of EU heads of state and government, Mr Donald Tusk, the current Polish President of the EU Council, appeared to reject outright the British preference for a unique custom-built special relationship between the UK and the EU, taking into account the interests of both parties as sovereign bodies.

Mr Tusk is quoted as saying that media reports suggested that a “have your cake and eat it” approach was still alive in the UK. “If these reports are correct, I am afraid that the UK position today is based on pure illusion,” he is quoted as saying. He is said to have ruled out any notion that the UK will be allowed to “cherry-pick” aspects of its future relationship with the EU or that it will be able to join the single market “à la carte” .

The UK government is currently thought to want to exit from the current customs union with the EU – but to mirror EU rules in some industries in an attempt to achieve “frictionless trade”. A senior UK minister, Jeremy Hunt, is quoted as saying that the regulations covering some UK sectors could be aligned with those that apply to their European counterparts. “But it will be on a voluntary basis. We will, as a sovereign power, have the right to choose to diverge.” In other sectors regulations might diverge from those in the EU in order to give the UK a competitive advantage in the international marketplace.

2. Use of the carrot. Hardly a week goes by without one senior EU figure or another suggesting to the UK government that it should ignore the democratically expressed wishes of the British people and turn a blind eye to the referendum. The patter is always the same and is always accompanied by an ingratiating smile: “If you were to decide, after all, to stay in the EU, we would, of course, welcome you back in with open arms.”

3. However, just in case the carrot-and-stick approach is not sufficiently effective to achieve their objectives, they are conspiring day-in-day out with a fifth column of UK Brexit opponents across the party political divide and throughout the media establishment to sway public opinion against leaving the EU by stoking fears that to leave the EU would inevitably provoke an economic Armageddon. Remember, these guys can foretell the future. Like Nostradamus, they “know” what is going to happen. They must be the first people in history with such “knowledge”. As we have often said to self-styled prophets, why don’t they hightail it to a betting shop and do themselves some good?

Antigone1984:

Oh dear. It has not turned out as it was supposed to, neither for those opposed to Brexit or for the Brexiteers.

For those opposed to Brexit, particularly the cosmopolitan metropolitan elite, who had generally assumed that, after 43 years of EU membership, the country would vote to press ahead on the road to a United States of Europe, the referendum result was a catastrophe with which they are still struggling to come to terms.

Those in favour of Brexit were naturally chuffed by the result. However, many of them naively expected an easy ride from the EU when it came to developing an economic modus vivendi post-Brexit. After all, they thought, rightly in our view, that it was in the interests of both parties to negotiate a mutually beneficial divorce – a win-win deal – given that both sides benefit enormously from their mutual economic and financial relations. This position is put most optimistically in the polemic, “Why vote leave”, a very readable summary of the arguments for Brexit written by UK MEP Daniel Hannan and published before the referendum in 2016 by Head Zeus. After all, Britain has traded successfully with the Continent since King Offa of Mercia signed the first recorded commercial treaty in English history with the Emperor Charlemagne in 796. Why stop now?

However, this optimism has been comprehensively dashed by the hardline approach adopted by the EU in the aftermath of the referendum.

At this stage, it is not possible to predict the outcome. A watered-down version of Brexit may be adopted which will satisfy neither Remainers nor Brexiteers. Moreover, even if Britain does leave the EU, it will still presumably be eligible to re-apply for membership if life outside becomes intolerable. Besides, it is also quite possible that the UK’s Conservative Government, which does not have an overall majority in Parliament without support from outside its own party, will be unable to persuade MPs to adopt the legislation needed for Brexit to take place at all: a minority of Conservative MPs are opposed to Brexit and these could join forces with the increasingly popular Labour Party to outvote the government. The Labour Party has been ambivalent towards Brexit so far but it appears to be moving in the direction of supporting continued membership of the EU. If Brexit does not get through Parliament, a general election is inevitable – a general election which the Labour Party is currently in pole position to win. Since getting into power is the main objective of a political party, it is more than likely that the Labour Party will, in any case, put expediency before principle and oppose Brexit in Parliament – if only on the grounds that this is the swiftest way for it to get into power.

Kicking off with this post, we propose to publish further occasional posts on the Brexit saga.

For a fuller background to Brexit, readers can check out four of our earlier posts:

  1. Our magnum opus stating a case for Brexit: Contra Unionem Europaeam
  2. The result of the UK referendum on Brexit, which took place on 23 June 2016: The peasants have revolted
  3. A short resumé of our case for Brexit, being a summary of the 10 key arguments: Why the UK does not need the EU crutch
  4. An in-depth analysis of immigration, which plays a major role on the Brexit stage: Immigration

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Posted in Economics, Europe, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Politics, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Disraeli

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

23 February 2018

“There is no act of treachery, or meanness, of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.”

Quotation from the novel Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), who was Prime Minister of Britain in 1868 and 1874-80

Antigone1984:

The novel was published in 1826 and 1827. That was then and this is now… Mais plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

For our take on the current situation as regards political parties, check out our post “Partitocracy v. Democracy” below.

—–

 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)D
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

——-

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Butchery of the Innocents

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

22 February 2018

A bill has been tabled in the Icelandic Parliament that would ban circumcision for non-medical reasons, according to a report on the BBC on 20 February 2018. If enacted, the bill would make Iceland the first European country to ban the practice.

The move has provoked a strong reaction from religious groups. Jewish and Muslim leaders have condemned the bill as an attack on religious freedom.

Claiming that the practice violates the rights of the child, the bill would impose a six-year prison term for cutting off a baby boy’s prepuce without medical justification.

Tabling the bill earlier this month, MP Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir of the Progressive Party, said: “Everyone has the right to believe in what they want, but the rights of children come above the right to believe”.

The bill – which has yet to have its first reading in the Icelandic parliament and then be considered by a parliamentary committee – maintains that circumcision “involves permanent intervention in a child’s body that can cause severe pain”.

If adopted by parliament, the legislation would complement a law passed in 2005 banning female genital mutilation.

However, the Nordic Jewish Communities condemned the ban on “the most central rite” in their faith. Jewish campaign group Milah UK said that comparison with female genital mutilation was unwarranted, claiming that male circumcision involved “no recognized long-term negative impact on the child”.

According to the BBC, The Bishop of Reykjavik, Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir said: “The danger that arises, if this bill becomes law, is that Judaism and Islam will become criminalized religions. We must avoid all such forms of extremism.”

However, Michelle Roberts, a BBC health editor, says that circumcision is not entirely risk-free, the main risks being bleeding and infection. However, doctors may recommend circumcision if the boy has phimosis (an unusually tight foreskin) or suffers from balanitis (inflammation of the glans – the top part – of the penis).

While Iceland would be the first European country to ban non-medical circumcision, the practice is becoming more controversial and has been contested in court in Germany and the UK. In 2013 the Council of Europe recommended that countries take steps to ensure that good medical and sanitary practices are followed when circumcision is performed.

Antigone1984:

We last addressed this subject on 6 October 2012 in our post circumcision .

As we said then, ”Circumcision is a barbaric ritual involving the forcible mutilation of the natural body of a defenceless baby that is not of an age to give its assent to the aggression. The assent of the parents is irrelevant. It is the rights of the child that are at stake. The excision of a normal foreskin has no medical justification. Circumcision purely as a religious rite is, therefore, in our view, unconditionally wrong.”

And, regardless of the long-term effect, what about the pain suffered by the baby as part of its body is cut off? Is that OK?

In its report, the BBC refers to circumcision as “surgery”.

This is highly misleading. Surgery is a term that refers to corporal incision (cuts made in skin or flesh) for medical purposes.

That is why the Council of Europe is wrong, in our view, to recommend that countries take steps to ensure that good medical and sanitary practices are followed when circumcision is performed. Circumcision for non-medical purposes is a non-medical procedure. It is illogical to recommend “good medical and sanitary practices” for a procedure that is non-medical. The Council of Europe, to which the European Court of Human Rights, the Continent’s supreme human rights tribunal,  is attached, should be calling for a blanket ban on this barbarous practice.

Doctors who carry out circumcisions should also examine their consciences. Since the time of Hippocrates of Kos, the Greek physician traditionally regarded as the  father of Western medicine, who died around 380 BC,  medical practitioners have been assumed to be bound by the Hippocratic Oath, which commits them to use their skills solely for the purpose of improving a patient’s health.

Let us call a spade a spade. Incision for non-medical purposes is not surgery but butchery. In the case of children, it is the butchery of the innocents.

However, this is one of the few occasions on which we are able to make a positive suggestion that might be able, in this area, to reconcile the conflicting demands of religion and medicine.

Long-standing cultural practices are usually of mega importance to those who practise them. The upset that the prohibition of circumcision would cause to many Jews and Muslims should not be downplayed.

Our suggestion, therefore, is that the actual act of circumcision be replaced by a ritual symbolic procedure conserving the spiritual objectives for which circumcision is currently prescribed.

There are precedents. For example – unless this practice has been discontinued unbeknownst to us –  when Roman Catholics take communion, they do not actually eat the blood and flesh of Christ. Instead, they eat a white wheaten wafer (simbolising the body of Christ) and drink a potion of wine (symbolising the blood of Christ).

 —–

 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

——-

 

 

Posted in COUNTRIES/INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, Europe, Finland, Health, Iceland, Israel, Justice, Politics, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UK, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In praise of speaking out

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

21 February 2018

 

“It’s the hinge that squeaks that gets the grease”

Malcolm X (1925-1965), US political radical.

 

—–

 

You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

——-

 

 

Posted in Politics, Revolution, UK, USA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ANTIGONE1984 SPRINGS TO LIFE AGAIN

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

20 February 2018

Antigone1984 is aiming to relaunch. This attempt may or not be successful. We shall have to wait and see. However, in order to avoid any misunderstanding, we want to re-emphasize a number of points ( a fuller picture of our aims and beliefs is contained in our Mission Statement above):

 

  1. This is a committed left-wing (in US English, “liberal”) blog.
  2. It is intended, therefore, to promote an exclusively left-wing viewpoint. Antigone1984 is not a journal of record aimed at presenting a balance of left-wing and right-wing views. It is a polemical tract intended to promote the left. We leave it to conventional commentators, of which there are legions, to root for the right.
  3. Within the spectrum of left-wing opinion, the blog has three unconditional standpoints.

 

      It supports:

 

  1. human rights (first and foremost being the right to life and hence repudiation in all circumstances of the death penalty and, more broadly, war).
  2. political, economic and cultural cooperation instead of competition. A natural corollary is our outright opposition to the market economy: we are unreservedly anti-capitalist.
  3. universal participative democracy (as opposed to so-called “representative” democracy, whereby the fate of human beings is stealthily micro-managed by tight-knit hierarchically-organised political parties composed of elites of principle-free self-seeking opportunists [check out our article below on “Partitocracy v. Democracy” for further information].

 

With the above in mind, we have a favour to ask of internauts who happen upon the blog. If you disagree with the three standpoints mentioned above, then please switch off immediately: this blog is not for you. The blog is aimed at readers who are already committed left-wingers as well as at those who still have an open mind on the principles we have sketched out above.

Finally, we would ask readers to have some patience with us till we get back into our stride. We published the blog almost daily for around five years (from 2011 to 2015). Then in July 2015 the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspras, leader of the previously vociferous left-wing Syriza Party, took only a week flatly to disregard the results of a national referendum rejecting the imposition of economic austerity by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. At that point Antigone1984 threw in the towel. The postwar history of Europe is littered with erstwhile left-wing parties who have sold out comprehensively to the right. Tsipras set a new standard: never has a leftwing party on this Continent sold out so quickly and so comprehensively to the forces of reaction. In such bleak circumstances, what was the point, we thought, of continuing. The blog sputtered into lethargic decline and largely ceased publication.

That was then, however, and now is now. After Winter cometh the Spring…the green shoots of hope push once again through the damp soil… LA LUTTE CONTINUE!

—–

 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

——-

 

 

Posted in Economics, Europe, Greece, Military, Politics, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment