Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Far Right Internet and Death threats

Are politics on the internet. Youtube personality Richard (the Dick) Coughlan has had a somewhat mixed reaction to his BNP exposures last week, the video below is from a self confessed BNP supporter and comrade of Combat 18 and is definitely in the "not a fan" column of Coughlan's BNP series and decided to leave the ranks of the silent majority and use his democratic rights to register his discontent.

He does this by threatening to go on down to Faversham with a crew of boys to beat the shit out of him. Truly Democracy in action.

Now this is the internet and that death threat was clearly all bluster, and it is true that every political movement has those oddballs and quacks among there ranks to ensure embarrassment for all. But in the case of the BNP this kind of behaviour is nothing exceptional and is in danger of becoming quite mundane.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Australia to hold snap elections

It seems Australia's about to have a fresh election in August after Current PM Julia Gillard (pictured) ousted predecessor Kevin Rudd.

I must confess I'm a bit out of touch with the political intrigues of the Prison Continent, which is a bit embarrassing given A the Labour (or Labor) party is in power and B I have a quite large number of relatives living over there.

Still I was able to find this artists impression of how the power struggle occurred, enjoy.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Face of British terrorism

The UK has been blighted by a long history of political violence (terrorism) and sadly as the 21st century has shown that heritage to still be quite popular with certain groups in our society. We all know about 7/7 and the news happily drives to down town Belfast every time a dissident Irish Republican or Unionist drunkard get fed up with not being allowed to get a gang together to take out there frustrations on the nearest "proddy" or "papist" like in the good old days of the troubles, and starts lashing out to wreck the peace process.

But theres one group that kind of gets overlooked its the good old home grown white power survivalist groups of terrorists. The BNP has a rather chequered history with groups and individuals who are shall we say a couple of bourbons short of full biscuit tin.

The one who takes the cake of course is the case of Robert Cottage and Davis Jackson, a summary of there arrests can be seen below.

Another special mention goes to Terrence Gavan a nail bomb maker.

Acts like these tend to be ignored by the main stream media, the case in the video above received only a brief mention in the Newsbriefs section in the Sunday Times. Reasons for this differ wildly but the most logical seems to be that White nationalist terrorism doesn't really fit into the atmosphere of fear that the war on terror phenomena has cultivated, in that the main enemy in this narrative are the "Islamic, and the middle eastern" so editors and the like probably don't think that these stories would get as much attention as they would if Robert and Terrence were called Ahkmed and Ali.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Very late spring cleaning

Well its been a few months now and I feel its time for a bit tweaking and editing. Some of the little gadgets and titles were cute at first but have worn out there welcome with me so I think now would be good time to change a few things before I become to set in my ways. I'm not the most computer literate of nerds here so were probably (definitely)only talking about cosmetic changes. I've also got dozens of half finished posts that may be salvageable, to look through.

Photo source

You know what Churchill said don't you? no well neither do the BNP

Anyone whose been browsing around the internet and had the misfortune to stumble upon stormfront or another white power/ Aryan brotherhood site or blog etc. Then you've probably seen a version of the following "If Fascism is to rise again, then it will be cloaked in the quise of opposition to fascism" this is often attributed to Churchill and bandied about in response to the actions of groups like Unite Against Fascism(UAF). But is it really true?

Well no this fellow here did some research conveniently saving me the trouble, and it seems that the quote has been somewhat mis-attributed and taken out of context (naturally).

But what about the main point of the little quote? have the opponents of Fascism guilty of becoming the very thing they despise? well no not really, I mean Fascism is an movement with a very specific ideology that is at the centre of every action they do and unless groups like the UAF are part of some sort of Machiavellian plot to fool the general public while they finish polishing there Jack boots they aren't Fascistic.

Now are they behaving in a way that doesn't exactly keep to the spirit of Voltaire's ideals of freedom of expression perhaps, but thats a debate for another day and the original quote doesn't really cover that.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Defeat the Empire, sign up to the Rebellion today!

Well not really, you should sign up just not to the rebel alliance. Its time for another instalment of my long running (as far as this blog is concerned anyway)series about plugging internet based pressure group 38 Degrees and todays a very special episode as its a long overdue bashing of Murdoch. You see Murdochs news International (his main centre of global power) is attempting to fully buy up BSkyB the company in charge of the Sky satellite network.

This is a very troubling prospect for Britain's Democratic future for several reasons. One News international and its many subsidiaries and junior companies already own or hold controlling stakes in a large amount of Britain's not to mention the worlds media,(heres a piece by John Pilger describing the situation in Australia Murdochs native spawning pit), but its also a slap in the face to the people who actually bothered to vote in the last election as the move clearly represents an attempt on Murdochs part to claim the "spoils of war" from his backing of the Tories.

Now you might be wondering how signing a bloody petition on the internet no less could actually help matters. Well there are a few reasons why this action may prove with enough support effective. First the actual minister in charge of deciding whether or not to bring full scrutiny of any take off and then yay or nay them is one Vince Cable. Who is of course firmly on the Dem side of the ConDem coalition so not only is he not entirely in the corporate lobbies hands especially not Murdochs as arguably it was his papers scaremongering about a hung parliament that contributed to the Libdems poor showing.

But it also comes at a time when the Libdems at a particularly vulnerable juncture for the Libdems after all the news that 48% of Libdem voters won't make the same mistake in this poll and with Davey Cameron publically distancing himself from the Liberals over electoral reform (hey what do you know theres a campaign for that too)Vince and Co. could justifiably break with the Tories over one or two minor quibbles such as this one without rocking the boat to much.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Thomas Paine Scholar, Revolutionary Bridge builder and filthy Atheist

As you all know it was Yankee independence day two days ago. So why didn't I make a post about it on the actually day if I was so inclined? well I was busy then and yesterday and I live in a village with a rather poor internet connection, my download speeds are slower and between 5 o'clock and half past eleven when I'm actually free to use the Computer it stops working almost entirely (I can just about check my e-mails and that takes around 20 minutes) so yeah.

Anyway I'm on now, So on to Thomas Paine. I've chosen the American independence day to talk about a lesser known yet highly important figure in the conflict that resulted in the birth of the 13 states.

Paine was originally a Corset maker from East Anglia, incidentally Cromwell was from East Anglia as well, what is it with East Anglia and producing radical political figures? He soon became famous on both sides of the pond with his best sellers the Common Sense the Rights of man and the much more controversial Age of the Reason.

When Paine moved to the then American colony of Pennsylvania after befriending Franklin (the one on the money who was never a president) he became a writer for a local news paper and wrote articles on a number of injustices he had seen throughout his life, a particularly favourite target of his at the time was slavery and the churches role in supporting and defending it. Some of the minor denominations held at the time the view that black skin and other negroid features where the mark of Cain and it was thus Gods will to punish them and treat them as less then human.

At the same time the opposition to the taxation acts levied against the colonies was just starting to make itself known, a riot broke out at the governor of Massachusetts house and shortly after many of the provisions on goods were repealed with one big exception tea.To rub in the wound the Taxes only applied to the colonies the East India Company was free to run its tea operations without the taxation which meant that the colonies could now be flooded with cheaper tea undercutting the local growers.

And I think we all now how that situation ended. Paine became highly excited about this growing radicalism in America and wrote on of the earliest political pamphlet called Common Sense, in Common sense Paine argued not only for the end of unfair taxation, but also for the end of Monarchy and the creation of a Democratically elected state. Common sense was not only a best seller (it sold a 140,000 copies at a time when the population was only 3 million*) it was also much more radical then any of the other "Founding Fathers" were at the time. Most of the future Revolutionaries were still calling for a much higher standing with the crown in vein of a Dominion rather then a vassal state.

However Paine and his Common Sense became increasingly influential and he was soon meeting and greeting Franklins other friends including George Washington. In fact Paine is sometimes credited with getting Washington to back the idea of an dependent republic. And again I'm sure we all know where this growing radicalism ended up.

However apart from writing inspiring works on the overthrow of Monarchy in America Paine is also and interesting example of the limitations of Bourgeois Revolutions. Bourgeois Revolutions were the ones where the Revolts against the Aristocracy and the Feudal landlords, often lead by the professionals and the business minded land owners. Most of the American founding Fathers with Paine being a big exception where land owners and merchant of some description, (Thomas Jefferson has become quite infamous for his slave owning)and in the French Revolution many of its leaders where Journalists and Lawyers, Robespierre the leader of the infamous Committee of Public Safety was before the Revolution and well loved Defence lawyer often defending poor plaintiffs (and often losing).

Now in Paines case he was soon to fall fowl of the Revolution he played a part in making. Paine was not a rich man (he didn't bother copyrighting Common sense) and ended up losing so much money he was thrown in debtors prison. Angry that his "friends" especially Washington did nothing to help him and there continued consent toward slavery led him to publicly fall out with the others. This effectively cost him his support in America as the wealthy were already keen to get rid of him (during the war he proposed taxing rich "Patriots" to fund the Revolutionary army) but his criticism of George Washington who at the time was almost being worshipped like a God or some sort of Roman Emperor, effectively made him a pariah with common Americans. A situation that his increasingly apparent Atheism didn't help.

Apparently when he return to America when Jefferson was in power he was unable to find work and became so poor that when finally found a friend who would let him crash in his house for a bit he was apparently so filthy that it took a whole day of scrubbing to get him somewhat clean and he became known as a "stinking atheist" until he died shortly after.

* White population, does not include population of slaves, or natives living on or around the colonies territory.

Photo Source

Saturday, 3 July 2010

I Read Some Marx (And I Liked It)

It might be considered bad form or lazy to have two posts in a row be music embeds but I just could not let this amazing little ditty pass by with out some comment.

Awesome, the fact that they've managed to make lyrics that A sound good and B are a fairly adequate if naturally simplified (it is after all a three minute cover of a pop song) presentation of the Bread and butter of the Manifesto.

Would love to see them take on Das Kapital, though perhaps they should break that one down into a whole album, ensuring that overproduction is given enough attention.

Or perhaps a ballad in the style of Celtic folk about Dialectical Materialism.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Patriotism and Communism a match made in heaven?

Short answer no. But this bizarre cover of Men at works Land down under by the Red Army Choir yes that Red Army Choir, its pretty damn catchy, though they do mangle a couple of the original lyrics its still a pretty faithful adaptation of an Aussie drinking song.. I mean patriotic ballad.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Politics and gaming

The main reason for this post is to A come up with some other things to talk about when things get a little slow, and B get a bit of practise in identification and evaluation.

Perhaps my most nerdiest "hobby" is finding political subtexts in fiction especially in the fantastical variety and then over analysing and criticising it. For example I found a unbelievably omnipresent US Liberal subtext in World War Z (a book about a near Zombie apocalypse told from a global perspective) which together with the numerous cultural and historic errors really ruin the book for me, but I might get to that later. Obviously for some books and films the politics is so transparent and in your face that isn't even subtext it is the whole bloody thing. And sometimes the actually subtext is entirely unintentional and all in your head. I once watched an interview with the creators of Bagpuss where they told the story of how they received a research thesis about how all the characters in the show represent one class or professional elite in modern society and how they interact with one another, they found this very surprising as they thought the show was about a lazy toy cat and his friends.

Anyway one theme that does often interest me time and again is the depictions of future/alien societies that have gone down a completely different social evolution to are own. Thats probably what attracted me to Sociology back in six form. And also explains why I did so poorly at it given that I spent much of my time watching telly and playing games rather then revising for the exams.

Thee most common examples are of course the space Fascists. Probably because a militaristic dystopia run by hyper nationalists with a strong emphasis on duty to the state despite being run by an oligarchy of military officers and political serpents is both easy to show (swastika like symbols, read banners, and soldiers everywhere) and starkly different to our individualistic liberal civilisation ensuring stark contrasts.

And I have to say I actually quite like Fascism.... in space anyway. The Cardassians from Star Trek always struck me as the most interesting villains of the show sociologically, the Klingons were just a race of drunk vikings and the Romulans were just evil for the sake of it. Where as the Cardassians in contrast were developed to be somewhat realistic and human (despite being reptiles) they were Fascistic but the back story gave very believable and understandable reasons for why there society developed as it had done. But again I'll come back to them later.

Anyway I've recently been playing my old video games recently since I've had a bit of down time while looking for work, one of the games I've been playing that got thinking of the whole subtext in media thing was the Killzone series. Now if your not family with it its the one set in the future were mankind has colonised a few planets and theres a war between the American accented NATOesque ISA (the military wing of Earth and its colonies) and the Helghast a subspecies of former humans who are up in the picture, and could reasonably be described as British Space nazi's (there voiced by Sean Pertwee and Brian Cox among other Brits) at least in the first game.

Again the back story which is surprisingly detailed and complex for a game called Killzone. Pretty much subverts it, like the Cardassians the explanation for why the Helghast decided that goose stepping was the way to go is fairly understandable and parallels the rise of Hitler.

A brief(ish) summary:

The Helghast were originally the Helghan corporations a company that under Earth orders colonised and ran two worlds the paradise of Vekta were they lived and Helghan a nightmarish world with bad weather and a poisonous atmosphere, but was also loaded wit petruxide (space oil) and thus was the site of many refineries and work crews.

Stifled by Earth corruption Helghan tried to secede, Earth called in the ISA and easily crushed the Helghans who only had a police force/customs guards. The survivors flee to Hleghan to escape Earth oppression and are force to make a new life on it. The atmosphere is do harsh that many perish, the survivors evolve to better cope and become somewhat separate from the human genome as a resoulte.

Earth decides it will be cheaper and easier to force the Helghans to keep mining the ore themselves rather then having to occupy it so make peace with them granting Helghan its desired independence but they must keep production levels up and sell them at a severe undervaluation in a way similar to how Germany after the Treaty of Versailles had to keep giving up millions of Tonnes of its resources to the Allied powers or face invasion. (the justification for the occupation of the Ruhr was that Germany missed a payment of lumber).

The humiliation of defeat and the continued economic plundering coupled with the inability of the Helghan government to do anything but kowtow keep the Helghans impoverished and angry as resentment bubbles other. This is obviously a play on the stabbed in the back myth in Germany as well as the continued economic stagnation and seeming powerlessness of the politicians to stand up to foreign bullying.

These internal fractures enable a young charismatic demagogue by the name of Visari to build a mass populist movement of all Helghan society in opposition to the status quo by offering not only future revenge but also pride. Visari is the one who comes up with the name Helghast deriving from the German Ghast meaning ghost or spirit to differentiate them from humanity. He also starts the trend of using the gasmask A symbol of low standing) into a symbol of Helghast pride. It quite obvious that Visari is supposed to be Hitler (in the 30's anyway) as one thing that is sometimes missing in documentaries and anylses of the rise of the Nazi's is that they didn't just preach hatred of the foreign meddler or how the Jews and Slavs were rodents, they also spent a lot of there time and propaganda budget on rebuilding German pride. They were also very critical of the Bourgeoisie snobbery of the Prussian Yunkers and industrialists and would often spend time venerating the tools of Labour (the German Labour Front had its own militaristic parades). In fact the whole the doctrine of Volksgemeinschaft was about creating harmony between the classes of Germany based on the shared pride Proles and Bourgeois had for there German national identity, and any symbol of German life that wasn't tainted by international Jewery was not to be belittled no matter how low.

Visari sweeps to power after a fake assassination attempt similar to the Reichstag fire. He then begins a program of rapid militarisation paid for by black market smuggling and some long overdue renegotiations on Helghan trade agreements, similar to Striessmens deals to lessen the economic burden of Germany in the late 1920's.

The militarisation of Hleghast society complete, Visari sets out to reclaim the planet of Vekta in a similar way to Hitlers early land grabs in the 30's or Clemenceau's Revanchist goal of reclaiming Alsace-Lorraine from the Germans after the humiliating Franco-Prussian war.

Summary over. There we see the main ingredients for the birth of Fascism are humilitaion, the feeling of unjust treatment inflaming the passions of the populous. We also see that the type of Nationalistic collectivism needed for a Fascist state class "harmonisation" is achieved in opposition to continued oppressive actions by the "Outsiders". And that through extreme military expansion the Fascist society can carry out the aims that maintain its stability; conflict and tensions with the "enemy" keep the people together and mobilised against one foe and give a convenient scapegoat to remove any dissent.

Thats pretty deep for an FPS that has lightning cannons and hover tanks.

Search This Blog

#blog-pager { display: block !important; float: none!important; } .blog-pager-older-link, .home-link, .blog-pager-newer-link { background-color: #FFFFFF!important; }