Life and Work of Anarchist Omar Aziz

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OmarAzizOmar Aziz (fondly known by friends as Abu Kamel) was born in Damascus. He returned to Syria from exile in Saudi Arabia and the United States in the early days of the Syrian revolution. An intellectual, economist, anarchist, husband and father, at the age of 63, he committed himself to the revolutionary struggle. He worked together with local activists to collect humanitarian aid and distribute it to suburbs of Damascus that were under attack by the regime. Through his writing and activity he promoted local self-governance, horizontal organization, cooperation, solidarity and mutual aid as the means by which people could emancipate themselves from the tyranny of the state. Together with comrades, Aziz founded the first local committee in Barzeh, Damascus.The example spread across Syria and with it some of the most promising and lasting examples of non-hierarchical self organization to have emerged from the countries of the Arab Spring.

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On Bullshit

by Harry Frankfurt
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One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory.

Syria and the Euro-Leftist Double Impotency

Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, many radical leftist groups and networks, both on the international and local levels in Europe and around the world, have engaged in a heated debate on whether to support the revolution or not, and whether it was a revolution or an imperialist conspiracy.

The European counterargument against the revolution had a quite telling approach that was different from many in the rest of the world. It wasn’t just the usual claim that the Assad regime is one of the last standing anti-imperialist forces. That claim became weaker in Europe after the aggravation of the regime crimes accompanied with hard-to-deny evidence of its brutality continuously coming out from Syria. But many within the European left over and over affirmed that they will not support what is happening in Syria until they find revolutionary forces worthy of their support. The difference in approach was in the claim that there was no third option that is “revolutionary” and that poses a substitute to both the Assad regime and the Islamist militias.

This approach wasn’t only problematic in its privileged laziness in not doing the needed effort to find these networks in Syria, but also in its White-tailored presets for what is a “better future” for the Syrians. Continue Reading

The Coming Insurrection

The book is divided into two parts. The first attempts a complete diagnosis of the totality of modern capitalist civilization, moving through what the Invisible Committee identify as the “seven circles” of alienation: “self, social relations, work, the economy, urbanity, the environment, and to close civilization”.The latter part of the book begins to offer a prescription for revolutionary struggle based on the formation of communes, or affinity group-style units, in an underground network that will build its forces outside of mainstream politics, and attack in moments of crisis – political, social, environmental – to push towards anti-capitalist revolution. The insurrection envisioned by the Invisible Committee will revolve around “the local appropriation of power by the people, of the physical blocking of the economy and of the annihilation of police forces”.Continue Reading

Why Pacifism Is Morally Indefensible

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Influenced by Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi is perhaps the first person to put the principles of nonviolence and non-cooperation into effect of a mass scale. Explaining this principle, in For Pacifists, he wrote;

The science of war leads one to dictatorship, pure and simple. The science of non-violence alone can lead one to pure democracy…Power based on love is thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment….It is a blasphemy to say non-violence can be practiced only by individuals and never by nations which are composed of individuals…The nearest approach to purest anarchy would be a democracy based on non-violence…A society organized and run on the basis of complete non-violence would be the purest anarchy.Continue Reading

The Struggle Against Orientalism in Reverse

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We have in the first part attempted to show how and why the struggle against Islamophobia is a major issue for the radical left (although it is unfortunately often overlooked by some comrades) in its struggle for an egalitarian and emancipated society against the capitalist system. In this second part, we want to demonstrate that the struggle against Islamophobia should under no circumstances be replaced by “Orientalism in reverse or in return” that affects certain parts of the radical left when we analyze the Middle East and North Africa.Continue Reading

GYBO – Manifesto 2.0

Gaza Youth to Planet Earth! Anyone out there? “Gaza what?”

The previous manifesto seems to have grown bigger than expected; many supported us, many others stood firmly against us, and very few stayed indifferent. Everyone had an opinion, yet rarely did they listen to others’ and in the middle of that mess, our own voice remained unheard.

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The Woman in Red Speaks

translatingtaksim

Using the influence of a symbolic photograph is not a sign of justice

The woman in red (Ceyda Sungur) is not satisfied that the police officer who sprayed her is being prosecuted (http://translatingtaksim.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/policeman-who-sprayed-tear-gas-to-woman-in-red-faces-three-years-in-jail/)

woman in red

In an article she wrote in Radikal (http://www.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/kirmizili_kadin_radikal_icin_yazdi_o_polisin_yargilanmasi_yetmez-1171207), she says:

I didn’t want to speak till now as I didn’t want to change the symbolic value of ‘the woman in red’ and I didn’t want to make an individual more important than the movement itself. But now I feel I owe an explanation especially to the families of those who were killed during Gezi. No one should talk of justice until the killers and those responsible for the killings are punished. Prosecuting a 23 years old police officer for acting alone yet still under the orders of his superiors is not sufficient compensation for the violence incited by a government who described the police…

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Eyes With No Memory See Nothing

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The situation in Greece is reaching a point comparable to that of mid-1930s Spain. On the brink of civil war, as a lab rat in the ongoing neoliberal austerity experiment, Greek society is being pushed further and further towards the complete obliteration of democratically achieved civil and human rights and is becoming a festering sore of rightwing nationalism.Continue Reading

Revolution within the revolution

Leila's blog

Those that have bought into regime narratives that it is engaged in an existential battle against Al Qaeda terrorists must be feeling a little confused this week.

Revolutionary activists have long been protesting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), known locally as Daesh, the main Al Qaeda affiliated group in Syria.[1]

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