On Saturday, March 24, hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C. and cities across the country for the March for Our Lives. The demonstration, inspired by the courageous response of students in Parkland, Florida, after the February 14 school massacre, will be a historic protest against gun violence and the stranglehold that a hard right-wing minority of gun fundamentalists have over our political system.
Socialists have historically been skeptical of policies that fall under the category of “gun control” because they have been geared toward criminalizing and profiling Black and Brown people–along with those suffering from mental illness–while ignoring domestic violence, militarism, poverty and other issues that lie at the root of most violent crime.
But one of the most encouraging aspects of this new protest movement is that students are pushing the gun discussion beyond its previous narrow focus and connecting it to broader issues of inequality and injustice. That process is being led in many places by Black students, who are both standing in solidarity with Parkland and demanding that racism be understood as central to the issue of gun violence.
In the days and weeks following the 2016 presidential elections, reports surfaced about how a small British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, might have played a pivotal role in Donald Trump’s surprise victory. The company claimed to have formulated algorithms to influence American voters using individually targeted political advertisements. It reportedly generated personality profiles of millions of individual citizens by collecting up to 5000 data points on each person. Then Cambridge Analytica used these “psychographic” tools to send voters carefully crafted online messages about candidates or hot-button political issues….
Last week, comrades published Conflictual Wisdom, “Revolutionary Introspection towards the Preservation of the Anarchist Individual & Community.” In this collection, longtime anarchists reflect on how to maintain longevity while confronting seemingly invincible adversaries. Here, we present a refined version of one of the anonymous contributions, exploring how to understand the anarchist project outside a post-Christian millenarian narrative of redemption.
“They are just ghosts, the ones who think people fight to win! They fight because they like it.’”
–And There Was Light, Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, blind hero of the French Resistance
It is not a question of whether we can win, but of how we wish to live.
During our 2 hours 15 min conversation with David Wood we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: why politics is the future of technology; why technology is not enough; why intelligence is not enough; the thesis of Transcending Politics; humanism, transhumanism and transpolitics; techno-libertarian and techno-progressive transhumanism; smart politics and lean regulation; H pedia as a shared transhumanist knowledge base; the scientific method and other pillars for transcending politics; human nature and eugenics; AI and technological unemployment; bitcoin and blockchain; humanity’s grand challenges and global governance; going beyong the transhumanist narrative…
“It’s been a hell of a few days,” says Andrew Cobb, whose house in Houston’s Fifth Ward was spared the brunt of Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters. His decentralized, grassroots relief effort called the “West Street Response Team” started with a simple scouting mission to a nearby flood plain across Highway 59 on Sunday.
After he and his roommates arrived at the location, they began coordinating with neighbors from the area on social media to find specific addresses of people needing rescue. They paddled more than two miles out in an inflatable kayak to make their first rescue of a mother and son, who they brought back to their own home to shelter for a few days.
As Florida braces for Hurricane Irma, we look at conditions in Texas prisons since Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast two weeks ago with a historic downpour that lasted several days and caused massive flooding. Prisoners were not evacuated from either the federal prison or three Texas prisons in the heavily flooded city of Beaumont, east of Houston, where high water was so destructive that it disabled the city’s water supply system. State prison officials say water did not flood prisons there. But a prisoner named named Clifton Cloer, who is housed on the first floor of the Stiles Unit in Beaumont, told his wife that he stood in water up to his kneecaps during the storm and later faced the stench of backed-up toilets. We speak to Rachel Villalobos, who has been in touch with her husband who is held at the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont; Lance Lowry, the president of AFSCME Local 3807 of the Texas Correctional Employees; and Democracy Now! correspondent Renée Feltz.
Hurricane Harvey has sparked comparisons to Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans 12 years ago yesterday. The devastating storm killed more than 1,800 people and forced more than 1 million people to evacuate. Both the government and major aid agencies like the Red Cross were widely criticized for failing to respond adequately to the disaster. Instead, local residents took matters into their own hands, launching relief, recovery and mutual aid efforts such as the Common Ground Collective. For more on the Red Cross’s failures and local grassroots relief efforts, we speak with Scott Crow, author and anarchist who helped found the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and Jonathan Katz, director of the Media and Journalism Initiative at Duke University and former Haiti correspondent for the Associated Press. He’s the author of “The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster” and a new article headlined “The Red Cross Won’t Save Houston.”
Dave Webb is a member of the World Beyond War Coordinating Committee and chair of the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), and well as Vice President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Convenor of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space: http://space4peace.org
Webb is an Emeritus Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Leeds Beckett University (previously Leeds Metropolitan University). Webb has been involved in the campaign to scrap the UK Trident nuclear weapons system and has also focused on campaigning to close two U.S. bases in Yorkshire (where he lives) – Fylingdales (a missile defence radar base) and Menwith Hill (the huge NSA spy base).
We discuss the upcoming 25th Annual Global Network Conference & Protest: “Pivot Toward War: US Missile Defense & the Weaponization of Space” to be held on April 7-9, 2017, in Huntsville, Alabama: http://space4peace.org
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.