Collectives are not sentient human beings. It is folly to suppose that just because each member of the collective has some voice in determining the actions of the collective, that the collective thereby is some sort of scaled-up human-like decision-maker. It is not, and it cannot be. …

Anthropomorphizing collectives – including collections of voters – is a mistaken and dangerous folly. Its romance is surely real for many people, but that doesn’t make the practice any less mistaken and foolish.

6

Limiting Democracy                                          

A day after pro-democracy activists protested China’s plan to place limits on democracy in Hong Kong, police patrolled the streets of the business district and barricades were erected outside buildings including the Cheung Kong Center, owned by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, and HSBC Holdings Plc’s Asian headquarters, in a sign of heightened tensions.

China’s demand to vet candidates for the 2017 election angered pro-democracy lawmakers and activist group Occupy Central With Love and Peace, which said it will organize protests culminating in the mass occupation of Hong Kong’s central business district.

President Xi Jinping’s uncompromising stance on limiting democratic reforms in Hong Kong marks a public show of strength that signals to the world — and China’s own citizens — that the ruling Communist Party won’t tolerate any challenges to its authority.

“Beijing has been quite obsessed with projecting a strong image to the world that it has a solid grip on power and its decisions mustn’t be challenged,” said He Weifang, a law professor at Peking University. “Sometimes it looks more arrogant than strong, but the central government doesn’t care, because it would rather err on the side of looking strong than weak.”

Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

© 2014 Bloomberg Finance LP

September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
“I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,”
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

6

The nazi-party called “The Swedish Party” was in Malmö, Sweden today (and had a permit from the police, WTF). About 2000 people were there to peacefully let them know that they are not welcome here.

Singing and shouting, the demonstrators were loud, but as peaceful you can be when there are nazis invading our city.

The police respond by running an unarmed, non-threatening person over with a bus.

The police respond by riding over people who did nothing but try to let the nazis know that they are not welcome here. 10-15 cops on horses riding over people, continuously, over and over again.

A nazi tried to pull of a woman’s hijab, hit her, the cops saw but did nothing.

People are lying bloody on the streets, when people come over to help, the cops tell them no.

The cops have blood on their hands, and they are now, after giving the nazis a ride away from there, standing outside the emergency room to “protect people from violent activists”.

To everyone thinking Sweden is an equal country: no, it’s not. Nazis get free rides from the police after they propagate their disgusting message, and innocent people who just wants equality are being run over by the cops.

This is not the first time this happens. In the 20s, Swedish military opened fire into a group of unarmed demonstrators.

Last year, a similar thing to what happened today happened in Stockholm.

This year, at similar demonstrations, cops have been running people over, beating them with batons and arresting people for no good reason.

This spring, on international women’s day, happy demonstrators move from a peaceful and happy demonstration to a party, and on the way, several of them are stabbed by nazis. The police and media call this a “fight between different activists”, while nazis were carrying knives, and feminists were stabbed in the back and beaten up so badly that one of them had to stay in the hospital for months.

Sweden is not equal. Europe is not equal. The US isn’t equal. It isn’t peaceful. It isn’t democratic. They are taking democracy away from us. We can’t let them.

Palestinians understand, from so fucking far away, that this is RACISM.
And so many fuckwads in the United States do NOT.

A lot of my family in Mexico was so shocked to hear me say that I hate the United States while I was there visiting them last month. “How could you hate the United States?”

Well this is how. The US is fucked, and almost everyone can see it except for the fucking US.

2

"I engaged my father in long discussions after dinner, trying to reconcile our imprisonment during the war and all the ideals that I’d been reading about. My father said to me, ‘Our democracy is a people’s democracy. It can be as great as a people can be, but it’s also as fallible as people are. And our democracy is vitally dependent on good people being actively engaged in the process.’"

Throwback: Ana Kasparian interviewed actor and activist George Takei and discussed how spending early parts of his life in a US internment camp motivated him to stay engaged in politics. 

5

‘Overkill’: Images from Ferguson protest show cops treating city like a war zone

As demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri enter their fourth night, pictures and online posts from the scene show an escalation in response from St. Louis County police.

Despite police insisting, “Your right to demonstrate is not being obstructed,” they have brought at least 70 SWAT team officers and one tank to stand opposite the protesters in the street. The Huffington Post reported that state Sen. Maria Chapelle Nadal (D), who criticized the police response in an MSNBC interview on Tuesday night, was taken into custody.

But if we define terrorism as the use of violence against civilians for political objectives, then the US state is the world’s leading terrorist. The powers that be in global society and that control the global political discourse attach the label “terrorist” to violence that they do not approve of, and they attach the label of “freedom and democracy and security” to violence that they do approve of, or that they commit themselves. Moreover, increasingly “terrorism” is used to simply describe political dissent, so that legitimate social movements and political struggles against global capitalism become labeled as “terrorism” in order to justify their suppression.
—  William I. Robinson, professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara
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