The Syrian Deal: Is the End in Sight?

The Workers Dreadnought

In the last few days a deal has been in the making that will effectively end the Syrian civil war and open up a new military alliance against the Islamic State (IS). The deal will look effectively like what I regarded to be the best case scenario in 2013: the Assad government will recognise some of the opposition most notably the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), but also hopefully the National Coordination Committee for Democracy Change (NCB). They will call for snap elections, which will include the participation of this opposition and will predictably see their participation in government. In exchange, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – as weak as it is – will stop fighting the Syrian National Army and join them in the war against IS. But what is far more important is that this will allow for the formation of an American-Russian-Syrian-Iranian coalition against IS. The question of course is whether such a deal…

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Building Norway: a critique of Slavoj Žižek

Idiot Joy Showland

Most of us are now grimly aware of the pernicious hydraulic metaphor for migration – the tendency in newspapers or opinion columns for movements of people to be described in ominously fluid terms: a flood, a wave, a stream, a tide, an influx, a rising body of stinking brown water that can only threaten any settled population. This language isn’t just monstrously deindividuating and dehumanising: when hundreds of migrants are dying at sea, it helps to suture up any ethical laceration before it can fully open itself. Water to water, dust to dust. Vast numbers of people – children included – can sink beneath the waves without anyone feeling any need to do anything about it; it’s only once bodies wash up on beaches that there’s an imperative to act. So it’s unfortunate, but not surprising, that The Non-Existence of Norway, Slavoj Žižek’s essay on migration in the London…

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Relations in the University (Between Students and Staff)

A piece probing the relationship between university students and those employed by the university.

University Base Area

It likely is not news to those who are closely connected to the university that the master-slave dialectic exists in full-force. Custodians are expected to bow to the students, students are expected to kowtow to professors, professors, meanwhile, submit to the administration, while the administration is subject to the rule of the president, who is, in turn, dominated by the board of trustees or whatever specific entity exists in your locale. The point is that all of these threads exist in a state of flux where none are ever satisfied; students need more from the university while the university tries to gauge more from the students. This is while the fixed capital itself—the dormitories and student centers and department buildings— suffer from ill-maintenance due to the custodians not receiving adequate means to repair and maintain, and yet, still expected to keep the entire house of cards balancing in the chaotic…

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“I am Boycotting The Election, and You Should Too”

Solidarity to the boycott.

Boycott Elections

It was just months before the October Revolution when Lenin published The State and Revolution, his scathing critique of—among other things—social democracy and the reformist tendencies that littered the political landscape of his time, and almost 100 years later we can make the very same observations about our own political context here in Canada. However, today it is not a people’s revolution that awaits us any time soon, but instead another election cycle in the three-ring circus (four rings, if we count the Green Party) that is capitalist democracy. It is a spectacle in which members of the professional political class perform for (read: pander to) their respective political bases and the vacillating ‘undecideds’ which they hope to corral into their corners just long enough to secure votes, after which they will promptly betray and ignore the people until the next time they need to secure votes once again.

–>…

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CUNY Security Protects and Serves Zionism, Rough Handles Students

The struggle against reaction continues.

Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee

The Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, Students Without Borders, and NYC Students for Justice in Palestine had called for a protest against Iddo Netanyahu, brother of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Iddo Netanyahu served in Sayeret Matkal (a special forces unit of the terrorist IDF), supports the actions of his brother as the leader of the settler Zionist state, and publicly says Iran is Israel’s biggest threat. Iddo is producing a play at City College throughout the month of September, about a family facing the predicament of whether or not to escape Berlin in the 1930s.

CUNY students from many campuses came to protest and speak out against him despite the rain, outraged that Netanyahu could make a play about the terrible crimes committed against the Jewish people, while supporting the same thing being done to Palestinians today. Students spoke about how CUNY is also guilty, for hosting Netanyahu, as well…

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Re. Indirectly Social Labor in the Critique of Political Economy, chapter one

Kapitalism101

A few thoughts on the concept of Indirectly Social Labor in The Critique of Political Economy

As far as I know, Marx does not use the term “indirectly social labor” at all in the Critique of Political Economy. However much of the first chapter deals with the unique way in which private labor becomes social in a capitalist economy. In this post I hope to extract the key points from the first chapter in relation to this unique form of social labor.

In the first few pages Marx establishes that when commodities pass as equivalents (when A stands as the equivalent of B) that they therefore represent the same entity. This entity is materialized social labor. Since value is a homogenous substance differing only in number but never in quality so must the substance of value, labor be uniform and homogenous. Though the labor that creates use-values is heterogeneous, corresponding…

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Relations in the University (Between Students)

Another piece on university life, this time with an emphasis on relations between students.

University Base Area

Relations between Undergraduates follow an altered version of the paradigm between high school students; this is to say that the cliques—Otaku nerds, gaming geeks, athletes and jocks, theater and performing arts, and creative writing aficionados (among others) all have their own co-mingling spaces. So whether the student is a History inclined fellow or a Queer supporter, there is, theoretically speaking, a place for them on campus.

The altered component comes into place with the inclusion of a greater degree of autonomy. With students voluntarily being at the university, and with a milder level of maturity expected, comes (supposedly) a more intellectually stimulating experience once the inclusion of knowledge learned from courses are taken into account. So the equation, thus, is: [High School] + 1, the one being the inherent Otherness of University—its intellectual and voluntary component.

And yet it is important to remember we live in a postmodern age. Social…

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