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It wasn’t just hate. Fascism offered robust social welfare

Note of the blogger: It’s a painful title to post on my blog because of my strong antifascist beliefs. I believe robust social welfare has been built in Scandinavia without resorting to racism, hate, discipline and the murder of fantasy, freedom, play and many other essential traits of what make us human. We should always learn from societies who promote respect for other human beings not from societies that live and thrive on finding every reason to denigrate whoever and whatever is different.

Still this article is worth reading because it takes a different angle from which to observe the rise of Right in Europe, in the US and elsewhere in the world.

 

An analogy is haunting the United States – the analogy of fascism. It is virtually impossible (outside certain parts of the Right-wing itself) to try to understand the resurgent Right without hearing it described as – or compared with – 20th-century interwar fascism. Like fascism, the resurgent Right is irrational, close-minded, violent and racist. So goes the analogy, and there’s truth to it. But fascism did not become powerful simply by appealing to citizens’ darkest instincts. Fascism also, crucially, spoke to the social and psychological needs of citizens to be protected from the ravages of capitalism at a time when other political actors were offering little help.

Source: It wasn’t just hate. Fascism offered robust social welfare | Aeon Ideas

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Will Donald Trump Escalate the Devastating War—and Worsen the Resulting Food Shortage—in Yemen?

This week marks the beginning of year three of the Saudi-led military intervention in the civil war in Yemen, an intervention that has resulted in an epic tragedy of destruction and starvation. Tens of thousands of Yemenis marked the occasion by pouring into the streets of the capital, Sanna, to call for an end to the Saudi airstrikes that have been supported by the United States military. But instead of pushing to jump-start stalemated negotiations to end the conflict, the Trump administration seems anxious to get more deeply involved in the war by supporting an attack on the key port of Hodeidah and resuming halted weapons sales.

https://www.truthdig.com/report/item/will_donald_trump_escalate_the_devastating_war_and_hunger_in_yemen_20170327

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Middle East

 

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The Falsity of False Consciousness

People do not always behave the way we think they ought to behave. We often perceive others as behaving in ways we think is contrary to their self-interest. This seems crazy or foolish. We then accuse these persons of “false consciousness.”The term itself was invented by Friedrich Engels in the late nineteenth century to explain why workers (or at least some workers) didn’t support workers’ parties at the polls or didn’t support strikes called by a union. The answer for Engels was that, for some reason, these workers misperceived their self-interest, suffering from “false consciousness.”The remedy was twofold: Those with the approved level of “class consciousness” should seek to educate those whose “class consciousness” was deficient. At the same time, they should pursue as far as possible the political actions that are dictated by class-conscious individuals and organizations.

Source: The Falsity of False Consciousness

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in North America

 

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Civilians in western Mosul are being shot at by Isis and Iraqi forces alike

Civilians trying to flee the besieged Isis-held enclave in west Mosul are being shot dead by Isis and Iraqi army snipers as they try to cross the Tigris River, says an eyewitness trapped inside the city with his family.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Jasim, a 33-year old Iraqi Sunni living in west Mosul near the 5th Bridge, said: “I want to rescue my mother and take her to the eastern part, but it is dangerous. Three people were killed in our neighbourhood trying to cross the river to the eastern side. They were shot dead by the snipers.”

Jasim explained that “Daesh (Isis) have snipers who cover the river bank between the 5th and 6th bridges”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/west-mosul-isis-battle-city-northern-iraq-army-coalition-forces-syria-daesh-islamic-state-sunni-a7652401.html

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Syria: Final evacuation of Homs begins under close Russian supervision

They came out of the dawn. Young men dressed and scarved in black and carrying Kalashnikovs, old men in wheelchairs, mothers in midnight niqabs, a teenager with a child in one arm and a strapped rifle draped over the other, a serious man with a big gold and green Koran in his right hand and a small figure with a vast shaggy beard, the very last Che Guevara, walking and limping and sometimes marching almost nonchalantly onto the buses. They came from the very last rebel enclave in Homs. And they were, some of them, going to fight another day.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/homs-evacuation-syria-russia-military-supervision-bashar-al-assad-regime-rebels-a7652481.html

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Middle East

 

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When Mosul falls: Iraq may win the war, but risks losing the peace

As Iraqi forces close in on the last IS strongholds in Mosul, Iraqi experts, UN and international officials fear Baghdad could find it has won the war but lost the peace.Will military victory be followed by sectarian abuses or incompetent government administration which squander popular support and reopen the way to extremism of a new kind?Though expressed more diplomatically, this was the question which lay behind the Iraq component of Wednesday’s meeting in Washington of foreign ministers of the so-called global coalition to defeat Islamic State.

Source: When Mosul falls: Iraq may win the war, but risks losing the peace | Middle East Eye

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Trump’s war on terror has quickly become as barbaric and savage as he promised

FROM THE START of his presidency, Donald Trump’s “war on terror” has entailed the seemingly indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in the name of killing terrorists. In other words, Trump has escalated the 16-year-old core premise of America’s foreign policy — that it has the right to bomb any country in the world where people it regards as terrorists are found — and in doing so, has fulfilled the warped campaign pledges he repeatedly expressed.

The most recent atrocity was the killing of as many as 200 Iraqi civilians from U.S. airstrikes this week in Mosul. That was preceded a few days earlier by the killing of dozens of Syrian civilians in Raqqa province when the U.S. targeted a school where people had taken refuge, which itself was preceded a week earlier by the U.S. destruction of a mosque near Aleppo that also killed dozens. And one of Trump’s first military actions was what can only be described as a massacre carried out by Navy SEALs, in which 30 Yemenis were killed; among the children killed was an 8-year-old American girl (whose 16-year-old American brother was killed by a drone under Obama).

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/26/trumps-war-on-terror-has-quickly-become-as-barbaric-and-savage-as-he-promised/

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in North America

 

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A Last Chance for Turkish Democracy 

The first time I met Selahattin Demirtaş, the leader of Turkey’s largest Kurdish political party, known as the H.D.P., he arrived at a restaurant in Istanbul with a single assistant accompanying him. Demirtaş is warm and funny. Among other things, he is an accomplished player of the saz, a string instrument that resembles the oud. At the time—it was 2011—Demirtaş was trying to lead his party and people away from a history of confrontation with the country’s central government. It wasn’t easy. Like other Kurdish leaders in Turkey, Demirtaş had spent time in prison and seen many of his comrades killed. I remember him telling me how, in the nineteen-nineties, when civil unrest in the country’s Kurdish areas was hitting its bloody peak, a particular make of car—a white Renault—had been notorious in Kurdish towns. The cars were used by Turkish intelligence officers, who had developed a terrifying reputation for torturing and executing Kurds. “I’ve been inside the Renaults,’’ Demirtaş told me. “A lot of people I know never made it out of them.”
http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-last-chance-for-turkish-democracy/amp#

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Middle East

 

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‘We see them as monsters. At least Israel makes normal, typical war’: As Isis caliphate shrinks, Syrian anger grows 

It must be the most beautiful front line in the world. Turn right at the ancient city of Qatna, drive east for 40 miles and you’ll come to a village called Telwared, the “Hill of Roses”. There are fields of yellow flowers, sheep and cattle and almond orchards and an old T-62 tank and then a series of largely empty, slightly sinister two-storey houses and a row of gentle hills to the south. That’s where Isis holds its ground, an ideology quite divorced from all this beauty and bright sky and sunlight.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-caliphate-shrinks-syrian-army-hatred-jibl-jarrah-russia-soldiers-a7650991.html

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Around the World, the Slippers Are a Symbol of Home 

I hoard slippers—the thin-soled, terry kind that many hotels include in their amenity packages. My house is full of them, some still plastic-wrapped. Shoes that will never be good for anything but indoor wear. Yet to me, they are simply too precious to leave behind.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/03/home-is-where-the-slippers-are/519579/

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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