Year: 2011

Vaclav Havel :: Freedom Fighter or Militarist Capitalist?

The biggest myths perpetuated in the history of political economic analysis are the established contradistinctions between ‘democracy’ and ‘dictatorship’. Based on outlined differences, democracy is canonized as the opposite model of political governance to what is disgraced as dictatorship. And with this logic in place, Vaclav Havel is glorified to be a “freedom fighter” of his land, and Kim Jong-il is denounced as a dictator who throttled freedom in his country. It may be an irony that both these leaders died around the same time, but what is way bigger a concern is the manner in which they are being judged as historical subjects. In a corporate media culture that actively moulds our everyday thought processes through news contents, it is necessary to pause awhile, and dissect such enormous conclusions and examine if the impositions of such documented views are merely hasty, or purely methodical. For history is not just a body of collective knowledge compiled for posterity, but more importantly, critical investigations into historical scholarships instill the more necessary weapons in the minds of …

Of Occupy Wall Street :: Democracy, Free Press, Police State & the American Liberty Myths

“We own half the world, oh say can you seeAnd the name for our profits is ‘Democracy’ So, like it or not, you will have to be free ‘Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys We’re the Cops of the World…” – Comrade Phil Ochs (1940-1976) “State Police Keeps Press Away; Arrests and Assaults Peaceful People” This is the Democracy that brings the likes of Bush and Obama to power. The Democracy that lets Democrats and Republicans contend with each other to run the American imperialism. The Democracy which exemplifies itself as the freedom forum to force its way into rest of the world. The Democracy that thrives on individual liberty, and free press! And, when the rest of the world opposes the mammoth contradictions and brutalities of what the Democracy comprises, the Democracy then teaches the world a lesson. Across the world, the lesson comes in the form of lingering unforgiving wars where the Democracy annihilates the humanity that disregards its proclaimed superiority. And, nearer home, the Democracy manifests in its nakedness, in …

Occupy Wall Street: Challenges, Privileges & Futures

“One who tells the people revolutionary legends, 
and who amuses them with sensational stories, 
is as criminal as the geographer 
who would draw up false charts for navigators.” 
- HPO Lissagaray, “History of the Paris Commune of 1871” (1877) The challenges to Occupy Wall Street are many. Some even more critical than the very issues the protestors are fighting against. Whereas it claims to be the 99%, yet the movement practices the age-old privileges of class and race blindness. Similar to most white liberal movements, the OWS is hardly inclusive of the people of color. Although the spirit is radical and the intent is revolutionary, the movement itself suffers from a lack of critical understanding on how race and class intersect. In reality, 99% of people do not form a class in themselves. This is because the 99% of population comprise a significant amount of aspiring rich, a “middle class” category of people who have steadfastly refused to side with the poor working class whenever the latter has organized itself. In the US, this segment …

They Did Not Kill Just Gaddafi…

They could not annihilate Africa. So they killed Gaddafi. They could not devastate a collective aspiration for freedom from imperialism. So they killed Gadhafi. They could not forever shatter the promises of internationalism, socialism, Arab nationalism, and third world liberation. So they killed Gaddafi. They could not resolve the capitalistic contradictions in their home states, the Wall Street occupiers and the occupiers in London and Madrid, and in Paris. So they killed Gaddafi. They could not address the sheer crisis of masculinity their elected presidents and prime ministers struggled with, while their democratically elected leaders raped their interns and approved inmates being assaulted in their prison systems. So they killed Gaddafi. They could not justify their political assassinations of numerous heads of states who defied their atrocities, from Patrice Lumumba to Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, or of their murdering former allies that disagreed with them later from Saddam Hussain and Osama bin Laden to Anwar al-Awlaki – among hundreds of thousands others, without any due course of justice or legal recourses. So they killed Gaddafi. They …

SlutWalk Must Evolve Into WomanWalk!

SlutWalk has turned out to be a phenomenal movement on a global scale, aimed at challenging rape culture, rampant sexual violence, victim-blaming and slut-shaming in our society. Historically, in the garb of tradition, culture and mannerisms, men have conveniently imposed upon women certain moral standards that upholds patriarchy, reduces women into objects of either desire, lust, or procreation while at the same time stripping them off their intrinsic and equal human rights as individuals who can object to such strictures as and when necessary. In so many ways, a movement such as SlutWalk is a vociferous expression of the radical notion that women are human beings at equal footing with men in our vastly sexist world. Women must be able to wear what they want to wear (or, not wear), they must be able to consent to sexual advances when they want to engage in a sexual activity, and similarly, their wishes must be respected whenever they refuse to be touched. No matter if a woman is being “slutty” or being “serious”, when she says …