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11 April 2008

Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism, Bertrand Russell, 1918



Part I.

I. Marx And Socialist Doctrine
II. Bakunin And Anarchism
III. The Syndicalist Revolt

Part II.
Problems Of The Future

IV. Work And Pay
V. Government And Law
VI. International Relations
VII. Science And Art Under Socialism
VIII.The World As It Could Be Made

In Praise of Idleness, Bertrand Russell, 1932

IMF: Rising Inflation Complicating Response To World Slowdown

Other related links here:

10 April 2008

Telecom Whistleblower Discovers Circuit That Allows Access to All Systems on Wireless Carrier -- Phone Calls, Text Messages, Emails and More

09 April 2008

Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher | Irving Singer

Or, "I mean, I loved it at Radcliffe, but..." A very interesting point: Singer groups Welles' The Trial, Bergman's The Silence, and Antonioni's L'avventura together in interesting ways. Hadn't thought of it that way; seen 'em all.

From MITWorld:

His latest book, Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher, came about quite accidentally, Irving Singer recounts. Singer was writing a book about several filmmakers, and discovered, when starting on the Bergman chapter, that the filmmaker had directed dozens of movies. Singer set out to explore this oeuvre – no easy task, since only the most recognizable titles are to be found at Netflix or the public library.

Thus began Singer’s ardent exploration of Bergman, and his appreciation of Bergman’s genius. “He created a new art form by combining his talents as a man of the theater, cinema and TV,” says Singer. In this lecture, he discusses how Bergman used philosophical ideas “in an extended sense” -- not by including philosophical discussions in his films, but through his masterful use of cinematic technique to examine the particularities of human experience.

Singer describes how Bergman wove aspects of his own life’s story into his films, in intense and vivid ways. A son of a harsh Lutheran priest, Bergman was nearly paralyzed by his fear of death. Singer recounts how Bergman worked through a series of movies with religious significance (Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Seventh Seal), and was finally “cured of his fear of death.” He also became an atheist, but may have returned to some kind of religious faith at his life’s end.

Singer quotes Bergman denying that his “movies are full of symbols.” Rather, Bergman used close-ups of faces and hands (relying on a repertory company of 18 actor-friends), and created bleak landscapes and silences, to convey feelings like fear, isolation and oppression, in contrast to the comedic and optimistic elements in many of his films. Singer reads a selection from his book that deals with the film, From the Life of the Marionettes, which is “the most consummate expression of Bergman’s pessimistic vision.” Singer draws analogies to Hitchcock’s Psycho, but believes Bergman goes much farther, examining political evil, and how contemporary capitalist society “dehumanizes, and turns people into emotional illiterates.”

Irving Singer has been writing a cycle of four books on the philosophy of film, all of which are now finished and have been or shortly will be published by The MIT Press: Reality Transformed: Film as Meaning and Technique (1998, paperback 2000); Three Philosophical Filmmakers: Hitchcock, Welles, Renoir (2004, paperback 2005); Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher: Reflections on his Creativity (2007); Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film (2008). He has also published an expanded edition of his book Sex: A Philosophical Primer (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004) and completed more than half of a new book on the nature of creativity.

Singer's MIT Philosophy website

Video length is 1:20:16.

John Jenkins, Manager, MIT Press bookstore, introduces Irving Singer.

At :42, Singer begins.

At 47:01, Singer reads from his book, Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher.

At 1:07:27, Singer takes questions.

Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher
2007 MIT Press

The information on this page was accurate as of the day the video was added to MIT World. This video was added to MIT World on 2008-03-31.

08 April 2008

Doug Henwood Interviews Noam Chomsky, Feb, 2008

Wall Street, Doug Henwood, 1997: Free (Legally) Book

Inside Iraq: Reasons for War -- Finkelstein and Mearsheimer on AlJazeera English

They don't agree, as you'll see.

Would you like change with that? -- On Obamamania

Excellent commentary from the Left Business Observer.

Noam Chomsky on US Imperial Grand Strategy in Latin America, 2003

The interview is in English with Spanish subtitles.

Israel's Tehran connection: Israel, while supposedly observing an ironclad boycott of all things Iranian, is happily buying Iranian oil

Thus, a long friendship continues. This isn't sarcasm: Iran, Israel, and the US have worked together for decades; see Trita Parsi's book (search for it on this blog). For example, Iran-Contra.

But maybe some of the Israeli and US warmongers will have to find another justification for their actions, now that it's clear the Israelis have been breaking their own boycott.

Secret US plan for military future in Iraq

From The Guardian:

A confidential draft agreement covering the future of US forces in Iraq, passed to the Guardian, shows that provision is being made for an open-ended military presence in the country.

The draft strategic framework agreement between the US and Iraqi governments, dated March 7 and marked "secret" and "sensitive", is intended to replace the existing UN mandate and authorises the US to "conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security" without time limit.

The authorisation is described as "temporary" and the agreement says the US "does not desire permanent bases or a permanent military presence in Iraq". But the absence of a time limit or restrictions on the US and other coalition forces - including the British - in the country means it is likely to be strongly opposed in Iraq and the US.

Iraqi critics point out that the agreement contains no limits on numbers of US forces, the weapons they are able to deploy, their legal status or powers over Iraqi citizens, going far beyond long-term US security agreements with other countries. The agreement is intended to govern the status of the US military and other members of the multinational force.

Following recent clashes between Iraqi troops and Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army in Basra, and threats by the Iraqi government to ban his supporters from regional elections in the autumn, anti-occupation Sadrists and Sunni parties are expected to mount strong opposition in parliament to the agreement, which the US wants to see finalised by the end of July. The UN mandate expires at the end of the year.

One well-placed Iraqi Sunni political source said yesterday: "The feeling in Baghdad is that this agreement is going to be rejected in its current form, particularly after the events of the last couple of weeks. The government is more or less happy with it as it is, but parliament is a different matter."

It is also likely to prove controversial in Washington, where it has been criticised by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has accused the administration of seeking to tie the hands of the next president by committing to Iraq's protection by US forces.

The defence secretary, Robert Gates, argued in February that the planned agreement would be similar to dozens of "status of forces" pacts the US has around the world and would not commit it to defend Iraq. But Democratic Congress members, including Senator Edward Kennedy, a senior member of the armed services committee, have said it goes well beyond other such agreements and amounts to a treaty, which has to be ratified by the Senate under the constitution.

Administration officials have conceded that if the agreement were to include security guarantees to Iraq, it would have to go before Congress. But the leaked draft only states that it is "in the mutual interest of the United States and Iraq that Iraq maintain its sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and that external threats to Iraq be deterred. Accordingly, the US and Iraq are to consult immediately whenever the territorial integrity or political independence of Iraq is threatened."

Significantly -- given the tension between the US and Iran, and the latter's close relations with the Iraqi administration's Shia parties -- the draft agreement specifies that the "US does not seek to use Iraq territory as a platform for offensive operations against other states".

General David Petraeus, US commander in Iraq, is to face questioning from all three presidential candidates on Capitol Hill today when he reports to the Senate on his surge strategy, which increased US forces in Iraq by about 30,000 last year.

Both Clinton and Democratic rival Barack Obama are committed to beginning troop withdrawals from Iraq. Republican senator John McCain has pledged to maintain troop levels until the country is secure.

Thus the charade continues.

Stuffed and Starved: As Food Riots Break Out Across the Globe, Raj Patel Details “The Hidden Battle for the World Food System”

Capitalism at its finest.

07 April 2008

Why Red Sox Fans Rule

Zogby Poll: McCain Bests Both Obama, Clinton in 3-Way General Election Tests: Independent candidate Ralph Nader wins 5%, taking more support from Demz

From Zogby, March 15th. Now, if the Democrats were more interested in winning than in serving their corporate masters, they'd do the obvious electoral-politics thing: steal at least some of Nader's issues to grab his constituency -- obviously, those that don't alienate the base, which equals exactly none. And imagine how many ex-Paul voters and other potential voters who are understandably disgusted, such as my 92-year-old, FDR-liberal grandmother, who is not voting for the first time ever, would jump on a real Democratic ticket?

So, why doesn't it happen? I leave that to you to figure out.

State Dept. Renews Blackwater Contract in Iraq Despite Pentagon Labeling Sept. Baghdad Killing of 17 Civilians “A Criminal Event”

You're shocked, I'm sure.

Obama advisor recommends keeping 60,000 to 80,000 troops in Iraq through 2010

Unlike the candidate's promise, which was worthless, as it ignored bases, contractors, the air war, etc.

Big shock. Here's the actual paper, from CNAS. Will Obama's supporters put serious pressure on the candidate, or will they stay on-message? A case-by-case situation, clearly, but let's not kid ourselves that Obama is the "peace candidate."


I don't mention Hillary's identical hypocrisy, noted in the article linked in the post title, because there is no fantasy about her, as opposed to Obama, except among the true Kool-Aid drinkers.

06 April 2008

Betray-Us Ready to Announce Causus Belli Against Iran

It's all going exactly as predicted by those with the ability to seek out and face reality. As usual, Information Clearing House is right on top of it:

  1. Iran joined militias in battle for Basra
  2. British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes
  3. Petraeus Testimony Next Week Will Signal Iran Attack
Think Hillary, McCain, or Obama will let out a peep? Right. This is what happens when you don't impeach war-criminal fascists.

Noam Chomsky Interview w/F-Files WNHU 88.7 FM in 2006