Not Ukraine’s Revolutionary Moment

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AntiNote: As news breaks today of military incidents between Ukrainian government forces and separatist militants in the East, we are once again reeling from the quickly-shifting circumstances in that country. This interview with Volodymyr Ishchenko is less than a week old, and may already be nearing its expiration date…

But: Ishchenko’s statements (as well as his writing; links below) contain a certain wisdom and thoughtful consideration that make them less perishable. As today’s violence sends the international commentariat into fits of hyperbole, lambasting one side or the other (as if there are even just “two sides!”), we find that Ishchenko’s reasoned call for more nuance is as relevant—even urgent—as ever.

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Bulgaria: at Fortress Europe’s Postern Gate

AntiNote: this article was the result of a recent collaboration between LeftEast and the new Balkan web portal Bilten.org, where it can be read in Serbo-Croatian.  It appeared in the original English last week on LeftEast.  Reprinted with permission.

“While the EU proclaims democracy and universal human rights, a new form of nationalism is on the rise – one that is not founded in the nation-state but is instead fortifying the wealthy core member-states by turning the periphery into an alert border zone.”

by Tsvetelina Hristova and Raya Apostolova

When Greece began construction of a wall along its border with Turkey in 2012, nationalist formations in Bulgaria voiced the same demand for the country’s southern border. Back then, this demand seemed comic at best and was ridiculed throughout the political spectrum. Two years later, a barbed-wire fence along the Turkish-Bulgarian border is a nationalist dream-come-true.

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Lack of Diversity in Policy and Media has Consequences

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 12 April 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview here.

Argun, Chechnya, 2002. International Women’s Day. 12 Chechen women showing portraits of their missing male relatives. Source: Thomas Dworzak via Fotojournalismus (Tumblr)

Argun, Chechnya, 2002. International Women’s Day. 12 Chechen women showing portraits of their missing male relatives. Source: Thomas Dworzak via Fotojournalismus (Tumblr)

“The mistake people make is to say that there’s violence in Chechnya because Chechens are violent. Politics is what motivates ethnic conflict. Ethnic conflicts don’t happen because a particular ethnicity is inclined to violence.”

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“The World We Live in Is Created by Slavery”

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 15 February 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to Greg Grandin about his recent book The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New WorldGrandin asks us to acknowledge, reexamine and confront the legacy of slavery—in all its historical forms but in particular the brutal example of the trade on the Middle Passage—in our assessment of current political, social, and economic relations and institutions.

Looking out from AntiDote’s home base in Europe (where a torrid and nearly unchallenged ascent of racist ideologies across the Continent can truly no longer be denied), and Switzerland in particular (where a referendum tightening immigration policy passed last month, accompanied by an across-the-board denial that the vote had anything to do with racial discrimination), we are moved to remind our readers that the philosophical lessons Grandin sets out are applicable not only in North America, as so many here—not without an air of relief and reproach—seem to think, but everywhere.

SlaveTrade01

In the 1770s the Spanish began to use phrases associated with today’s society—they began to privatize and deregulate the slave trade.

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Fuck them, they make three thousand a month

This text originally appeared on 9.2.2014 at http://www.lupiga.com/vijesti/glasnik-pregazene-generacije-o-sarajevskim-neredima

By Faruk Šehić, recipient of the European Union Prize for Literature

What actually happened that Friday 7th of February, what wild force was it that had awoken in the people and taken control of the streets surrounding the buildings of the Presidency of BiH and the Canton of Sarajevo? The day before, it had begun in front of the building of the cantonal government during one in a long line of workers’ protests. Amateur footage on the internet documented police brutality and police ineptitude to deal with the situation which quickly escalated. It was to be expected that Friday would be even worse and with even more tension than that first day when the uprising began spreading through the streets of Tuzla. Around noon on the Friday, the building of the cantonal government in Tuzla was set ablaze. After I saw that on state TV, I headed toward city centre.

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Neoliberalism and the “Davos Class”

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 25 January 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) interviewed Hilary Wainwright about her contribution to the Transnational Institute report State of Power 2014: Exposing the Davos Class, an examination of the nature of neoliberalism and the need to resist it in diverse ways, many of which may not be ‘political’ per se. 

The “ecology” of resistance needed to upend the “complex and constantly mobile organism” of neoliberalism is one of the central themes we are exploring on AntiDote; Wainwright’s explanations and imaginative terminology provide a useful framework for these continuing discussions.

Neoliberalism was a product of a class struggle from above, which was won by Thatcher and Reagan and those who wanted to get rid of any constraint on the market.

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The Radical Pessimist on Iran

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Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission.  Listen to the full interview here.

AntiNote: On 1 February 2014, This is Hell! host Chuck Mertz talked with sociologist and writer Kevan Harris on a wide range of topics which have one essential thing in common: nobody else seems to be talking much about them.

“There’s not a nuclear weapons program.  But that doesn’t stop anybody from using dog-whistle polemic.”

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