EU plans to deal with 'troublemakers' (that's you and me)
In the wake of the scandalous verdict ion the trial of police thugs who attacked peaceful demonstrators in Genoa seven years ago, Statewatch has prepared a detailed rundown of EU plans to deal with what they call 'troublemakers'. They don't mean war criminals Blair, Brown and co, but you and I. Read what these champions of peace and democracy have in mind for anyone who doesn't lie down in front of the neoliberal steamroller in "Protests: proposals to create EU-wide 'troublemakers' database"
European Union sets its military sights on space
European space policy is increasingly driven by military rather than civil objectives, according to the report From Venus to Mars: the European Union´s steps towards the militarisation of space. Released on the eve of the European Space Agency (ESA) Ministerial meeting in The Hague, Netherlands on 25 and 26 November, which will set new objectives and budgets for the agency, the report can be downloaded from the website of the Dutch Campaign to Stop the Arms Trade..
Violence Today: Actually Existing Barbarism
Socialist Register 2009
edited by Leo Panitch and Colin Leys
Given the extent and extremity of violence today, even in the absence of world war, and two decades after the end of actually-existing socialism, it is hard not feel that we are living in another age of barbarism. The scale and pervasiveness of violence today calls urgently for serious analysis—from “the war on terror” and counter-insurgencies, from terror and counter-terror, suicide bombings and torture, civil wars and anarchy, entailing human tragedies on a scale comparable to those of the two world wars, not to mention urban gang warfare, or the persistence of chronic violence against women. That the nirvana of global capitalism finds millions of people once again just “wishing (a) not to be killed, (b) for a good warm coat” (as Stendhal is said to have put it in a different era) is, when fully contemplated, appalling.
The opening essay offers an overview of the scale and variety of contemporary violence while also taking up once again the question of socialism versus barbarism. Other essays analyze the nature and roots of paradigmatic cases and types of violence today around the world. And several of the concluding essays deal, from various different standpoints, with the still important question of whether violence has any place in socialist strategy in the context of today’s actually-existing barbarism.
This is the latest in a long-running series of annual collections of left writings. Contributors include Lynne Segal, Michael Brie, Samir Amin and John Berger. To read more or order a copy, go to this website
Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of Imperial Right
After the Cold War Western powers needed a new system of justification to maintain their dominance. Powerful countries invoke "humanitarianism" and "national security interests" to intervene in other sovereign countries. In East Timor and Haiti, countries like the US and the UK have supported governments they later perceived as threats. The UN is the only legitimate forum for decisions about the use of force. Read Chomsky's arguments in Monthly Review