Archive for January, 2007

Gold magnate complaining about “Rogue” NGOs

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

video_button_white_dred.gifThis is an interview by FT to Peter Munk, founder and chairman of Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold mining corporation. He is a an example of corporate magnate confronting neoliberal governance. So, few words on the latter to contextualise. Neoliberal governance is a strategy to articulate social conflict (on labour, social, environmental fronts) to the priorities of capital’s accumulation, as for example promoted by the UN global compact. It is grounded on the discourse of “Partnership and participation” between business and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working on social and environmental issues. This implies the mutual (i.e. business-NGOs) acceptance of shared normative standards, certain degree of agreements on basic common principles, lines defining who is in or who is out of the “partnership”. Once NGOs are confronted with the offer of partnership by big businesses and government institutions, the key questions are the following: What are the principles of selection? Who is participating in the establishment of partnerships and who is not? Whom do they represent? Will they accept the common ground necessary to play ‘games under rules’ of market and business, or will they want to play games about rules? And if setting rules is part of the game,to what extent are
participants under external pressure (such as socially constrained access to resources) that limits their space and power to set the rules they desire beyond the market? And if their rules are not those of the market and profit,will they then be labelled ‘rouges’,‘deviants’,‘terrorists’,and criminalised accordingly? In this video, gold magnate Peter Munk call then “rougue” and it would be interesting to know who is he taling about, what the activities and struggle on the ground they are involved on. Anybody knows out there?

Communist Manifestoon

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

video_button_white_dred.gifI found this 8 minutes video, voice over text from Marx and Engels 1848 Communist Manifesto and images from a broad range of Golden Age XXth Century Hollywood animation. And what a pairing this is!

A not so old debate

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

video_button_white_dred.gifThe following two videoclips are an extract of a debate held in Holland in 1974, between Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky. What is interesting for us is that they capture a quite current contraposition between two approaches to politics, that of a politics of immanence (Foucault) and of transcendence (Chomsky). For Foucault concepts such as justice and human nature are socially constructed within our civilisation, class society and form of knowledge, hence we cannot appeal to “these notions to describe or justify a fight which should — and shall in principle — overthrow the very fundamentals of our society.” To Chomsky instead, there is a fundamental absolute basis, “ultimately residing in fundamental human qualities” in term of which the “real notion of justice is grounded”. The current class based system of justice also ambody a “kind of a groping towards the true humanly valuable concept of justice, and decency, and love and kindness and love” that Chomsky believes are real.

If we take constituent struggles as our starting point — as struggles constituting the outside of capital in the here and now — both perspectives are useful, and limited. From Chomsky’s critique of Foucault we derive the need to create an outside to capital’s civilisation. From Foucault’s critique of Chomsky we derive the need to recognise this outside within. From the perspective of struggles that posit values outside capital (hence other senses of justice, human nature, etc.), struggles constitute frontlines, hence posit absolutes in the here and now at the same time.

Part 1

Part 2

report of an autonomous government

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

encuentro2006.jpgI report here an English translation of an article from La Journada reporting on the Zapatista’s “an encounter of resistances and rebellions against global capitalism and neoliberalism, which has prepared for and planned the death and destruction of humanity and the natural environment” (from narconews)

Thousands Rebel Against Neoliberalism in Chiapas

Almost 13 Years After the Armed Uprising, Achievements of the Autonomous Governments Are Illustrated

By Hermann Bellinghausen
La Jornada

January 12, 2007

Oventic, Chiapas, MX. December 30, 2006: One day before the 13th anniversary of its armed uprising, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) welcomed followers from 30 countries, all adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, which Lt. Colonel Moisés, in name of the “Zezta Internazional,” called (more…)