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A Blog About Human Rights
UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights
5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights
Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights
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Human Rights in Ireland >>
Nick Hudson Coming to London ? Get Tickets Now Tue May 17, 2022 18:00 | Will Jones
Nick Hudson of PANDA is coming to London on Thursday May 26th to deliver ?The Quest for Open Science?, after which he will be interviewed by Jeffrey Peel from the New Era and take questions from the audience.
The post Nick Hudson Coming to London ? Get Tickets Now appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Don?t Panic Mr Monkeypox! Social Distancing Returns Due to New Viral Panic Tue May 17, 2022 16:53 | Toby Young
At least one medical practice in West London has reintroduced social distancing to reduce the risk of patients contracting Monkeypox. This, in spite of the fact that there are only nine cases so far in the U.K.
The post Don’t Panic Mr Monkeypox! Social Distancing Returns Due to New Viral Panic appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Are All Britain?s Current Woes Traceable to a Group of Entitled ?Tory Toffs? at Oxford in the 1980s? Tue May 17, 2022 13:00 | Toby Young
Simon Kuper's book about how a small group of 'Tory Toffs' who were at Oxford in the 1980s masterminded the Brexit project to reclaim their aristocratic birthright is highly entertaining, but not convincing.
The post Are All Britain’s Current Woes Traceable to a Group of Entitled ‘Tory Toffs’ at Oxford in the 1980s? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Forget Science ? Climate Now Has a Central Role in The Culture Wars Tue May 17, 2022 11:26 | Chris Morrison
You might think that if you debunk patently silly extreme weather claims, the entire fear agenda will go away. Think again. Climate change is now firmly embedded in the culture wars surrounding race, identity and gender.
The post Forget Science ? Climate Now Has a Central Role in The Culture Wars appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Would the U.S. Side With Ukraine?s Far-Right Against Zelensky? Tue May 17, 2022 10:10 | Noah Carl
Why didn't the US back Zelensky? The New York Times wrote earlier this year that his government could be overthrown by far-right groups if he ?agrees to a peace deal that in their minds gives too much to Moscow?.
The post Would the U.S. Side With Ukraine?s Far-Right Against Zelensky? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Lockdown Skeptics >>
Voltaire, international edition
Chinese Hypothesis on US Military Biological Experiments Wed May 25, 2022 21:41 | en
?House of Russian War Crimes? inaugurated at Davos Tue May 24, 2022 17:19 | en
US Armed Forces will have to pay with their blood: General Milley Tue May 24, 2022 16:36 | en
A new war is being prepared for after the defeat in the face of Russia, by Thier... Tue May 24, 2022 10:00 | en
Eichmann's hours-long interview partially unearthed Mon May 23, 2022 21:56 | en
Voltaire Network >>
Irish Indymedia & the Technical and Ideological Apparatus of Activism
Monday November 10, 2003 21:23 by Marc Mulholland
Extract of Story from the Newswire:
"The leaders of the various leftist groups have decided not to participate in a site they regard as beneath their dignity. They know that they will be attacked by ireful posters in disrespectful and probably vulgar and abusive terms. The rank and file of the various vanguard revolutionary parties are obviously discouraged from going to have a look-see. Those who do speak-up for their parties usually (though not always) sign on anonymously.
Comment on content is mostly sect-ish point scoring. This can be entertaining, though more often boring and obscure. There are sometimes vigorous and illuminating debates. Even these, however, tend to be very limited in scope. The median Indymedia contributor despises the market, barely accepts that democracy exists, and assumes that the most malevolent motives move all 'bourgeois' and 'imperialist' politicians.
It's a pity that the project was not much more broadly based politically, but I suppose the zealots are always going to colonise these fora and drive out the less committed.
In all, though, I think the evolution of written word publishing has had interesting effects on the far-left, with potentially far-reaching effects. I’ll elaborate . . . . ."
Irish Indymedia and thoughts on the Technical and Ideological Apparatus of
Irish Indymedia is an oddly vociferous place. It was set up as a site to collate
reports derived from amateur activists and participants rather than the
News stories are mostly press releases advertising planned demonstrations, or
fulsome reports by the organisers afterwards. Here one can find hard to come by
information. Generally, however, they are of relatively little interest, and not
a serious alternative to the established media at all.
Much more fun is to be found in the comments section. Those who regularly
contribute seem fairly few in number and dispersed between the SWP, the
Socialist Party, anarchists and the odd Sinn Feiner. A very few liberals /
conservatives / libertarians sally in to have crack with redbaiting. However,
Indymedia's readership and contributor base must be far bigger than any of the
left-wing party newspapers in Ireland (with the exception, possibly, of AP/RN -
Sinn Fein's newspaper).
The leaders of the various leftist groups have decided not to participate in a
site they regard as beneath their dignity. They know that they will be attacked
by ireful posters in disrespectful and probably vulgar and abusive terms. The
rank and file of the various vanguard revolutionary parties are obviously
discouraged from going to have a look-see. Those who do speak-up for their
parties usually (though not always) sign on anonymously.
Comment on content is mostly sect-ish point scoring. This can be entertaining,
though more often boring and obscure. There are sometimes vigorous and
illuminating debates. Even these, however, tend to be very limited in scope. The
median Indymedia contributor despises the market, barely accepts that democracy
exists, and assumes that the most malevolent motives move all 'bourgeois' and
It's a pity that the project was not much more broadly based politically, but I
suppose the zealots are always going to colonise these fora and drive out the
In all, though, I think the evolution of written word publishing has had
interesting effects on the far-left, with potentially far-reaching effects. I’ll
When I was involved in the Militant, we used to laboriously produce leaflets
with mechanical gestettner machines. Papers & pamphlets were painfully and
expensively produced by skilled designers and compositors. All this served to
put the technology of practical ideological dissemination far out of the reach
of the 'rank and file'. It simply took too much skill and effort to put together
and publish a credible pamphlet without the aid of the 'organisation'. (I did
manage it twice, but both times had no means to distribute them - being too
embarrassed to push them myself).
The leadership cabal had a monopoly on the publication of 'perspective'
documents. As they constructed the various canonical documents, they gained that
mastery over understanding and exposition that comes from writing.
Writing is far more important in developing ideas than is oral debate. The
leadership would always affirm that the ideas 'emerged' from a process of
debate. If so it was like Mao's Zedong's 'Mass Line'. Mao
argued that the piecemeal and scattered ideas of the rank and file should be
gathered together by the Communist leadership, which then cogitated, shaped and
composed them into 'theorised' knowledge. This line, in turn, was to be
delivered back to masses as their own clarified thought. Something similar
happened, in microscopic scale, within the various ‘revolutionary parties’. It
was not real democracy. In fact, real debate requires multiple sites of focussed
reflection. It requires multiple writers. Otherwise, as was always the case, the
leadership, in writing up documents, had an invincible advantage in establishing
This stage of the ultra-left (mid -1980s) - the un-Reformed stage where a
priesthood controlled all access to the Holy Book of publishing - began to
transorm with the emergence of cheap and easy desk-top publishing (early 1990s).
The impact of this was, on the one hand, to facilitate the emergence of
factions, capable of producing and maintaining their written 'platforms' and
congealing into permanent petty parties. Monoliths like Militant began to
fragment. The Anarchist alternative to Leninist parties began to proliferate.
On the other hand, single-issue 'fronts' assumed a certain independence from
their Leninist sponsors as they had easy access to their own means of
ideological propagandising and organisation. 'United Frontism' took on a new
substance and permanence. (A few, such as ‘Black Panther’ in Britain, broke from
the organisation that had sponsored them).
The hard-left world seems recently to have been further revolutionised by
internet publishing - even cheaper, easier and more accessible that DTP. Most
obviously, it gives a voice to every dissident. For this snowstorm of criticism,
there is an audience in and around every vanguard sect like the SWP, SP or
whatever. The Leninist leaders have ever greater difficulty in insulating their
members. The Weekly Worker has made a huge impact on
ultra-left by appearing free on the net every week. As a scandal sheet of the
leftish sects, it is hugely popular with the activists. No leadership cabal is
now safe from the most searching and often violent critiques (though they employ
the familiar rhetorical and organisational measures to minimise the damage).
The internet makes access to alternative ideas much easier for the rank and file
of the ultra-left groups. More importantly, it allows many more sub-leadership
individuals to set down their thoughts and ideas in connected prose, a process
that has huge potential to expose internalised assumptions to critique. To read
is one thing, and its subversive effects can be countered by party leaderships.
But to write is really to force oneself to think through ideas. Particularly if
such scribblings are instantly published on the WWW, there is created the
psychological conditions necessary to generate that self-regard required to
unhitch oneself from self-effacing respect for the leadership's 'understanding
All this, I think, threatens the semi-cultish hold the leaderships of leftist
groupuscules have historically exercised over their memberships. It seems to
have fuelled the factionalism of parties such as Militant over the past 15 years
or so. Now, arguably, it is creating a genuine cadre - right across the party
divides of the ultra-left – which inclines towards abandoning the ego-centred
shibboleths of their petty party leaders in favour of constructing a broader
left unity. It is a revolution from below, or the middle ranks anyway. So far it
is incomplete and prone to local reverses, due to the bureaucratic manipulations
of united fronts by the like of the SWP (who have massively weakened, for
example, the Anti-War Movement).
Initiatives like the Socialist Alliance and the Scottish Socialist Party have
many explanations, including the plans and ambitions of Leninist leaders. But it
also indicates the release of an activist constituency from the serfdom of
vanguard party loyalty and their consequent availability as organisers of a
potentially much wider hard-left electorate. The Anti-War Movement - even if
variegated - indicates something of the potential scale. Opinion polls
suggest that the united ultra-left in France would attract serious consideration
from some 31% in presidential elections. More realistically, maybe somewhere
between 10% and 20% in contemporary western societies would support
anti-capitalist environmentalist movements, if not actually 'socialist
There are many causes for all this. But one should not ignore those mundane
transformations of the means of production, distribution and communication that
activists directly rely upon. They have the capacity to produce significant
shifts in the superstructure of activist politics. Bill Gates is the unwitting
father of the new New Left.