Seeing (Portuguese: Ensaio sobre a Lucidez, lit. Essay on Lucidity) is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José Saramago. It was published in Portuguese in 2004 and in English in 2006, and it is a sequel to one of his most famous works, Blindness.

Seeing is a story set in the same country featured in Blindness and begins with a parliamentary election in which the majority of the populace casts blank ballots. The story revolves around the struggles of the government and its various members as they try to simultaneously understand and destroy the amorphous non-movement of blank-voters.

Read it here

youtube

Slavoj Zizek on Robespierre, Virtue and Terror

2

If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again. Of course, you don’t have to be homeless to use a library, but that’s the point. You don’t have to be anyone in particular to go inside and stay as long as you want, sit in its armchairs, read the news, write your dissertation, charge your phone, use the bathroom, check your email, find the address of a hotel or homeless shelter. Of all the institutions we have, both public and private, the public library is the truest democratic space.

Federal funding for libraries is down nearly 40 percent since 2000. Our democracy may never wholly recover

1 may 2015 - A riot cop who was chasing a protester is tackled and beaten with his own club in Male in the Maldives.

Maldivians were protesting because of the sentencing to 13 years in prison on terrorism charges of the nation’s first democratically elected leader, whose government was toppled by police and military in 2012. Almost all of the country’s opposition leaders were arrested following the protests. [video]/[article]

HOLD THIS NEW GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE.

Yesterday I asked you to remember the past five years. I asked you to remember the devastation that the Tories have inflicted on Britain. I asked you to reject the Conservatives.

Alas, democracy has spoken: the Conservatives have a majority.

I’m bewildered, dismayed, disappointed but most of all I’M ANGRY.

I’M ANGRY THAT A GOVERNMENT THAT IS HELLBENT ON CUTTING THE DEFICIT AT ANY COST HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT A GOVERNMENT WILLING TO CARVE UP AND SELL INSTITUTIONS THAT QUINTESSENTIALLY DEFINE BRITAIN HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS SOUGHT TO DEMONISE AND HAS CONSEQUENTLY ALIENATED A NATION’S POLITICS HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN PUNISHED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE COALITION AND YET THE PARTY WHICH WAS AT THE HELM HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED.

I’M ANGRY THAT RUPERT MURDOCH HAS BEEN ABLE TO USE HIS MEDIA EMPIRE TO TARNISH A MAN’S CREDIBILITY AND DETERMINE THE ELECTION.

I’M ANGRY THAT THE GREEN PARTY MANAGED TO CARRY IN EXCESS OF A MILLION POPULAR VOTES AND YET THIS HAS ONLY TRANSLATED INTO ONE PARLIAMENTARY SEAT. 

I’M ANGRY THAT THE LABOUR PARTY WILL INEVITABLY TAKE THIS ELECTION AS A SIGN TO MOVE BACK TO NEW LABOUR POLITICS, THUS MAKING THE CHOICE BETWEEN LABOUR AND CONSERVATIVE EVEN MORE MINUTE ONCE AGAIN.

So today, I ask you to remember how you are feeling right now. I ask you to channel your anger, fears and disappointment and I ask you to make bloody damn sure that this new Conservative government is accountable to the people. 

DEMOCRACY SPOKE LAST NIGHT BUT IT NEEDS TO CARRY ON SPEAKING FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS AND BEYOND.

TAKE YOUR ANGER AND REMEMBER.

In Scandinavia, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden — they are very democratic countries, obviously, the voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States. In those countries, health care is the right of all people. And in those countries, college education, graduate school is free. In those countries, retirement benefits, child care are stronger than in the United States of America, and in those countries, by and large, government works for ordinary people in the middle class, rather than, as is the case right now in our country, for the billionaire class.
6

Noam Chomsky - “10 strategies of manipulation” by the media

Historically the media have proven highly efficient to mold public opinion. Thanks to the media paraphernalia and propaganda, have been created or destroyed social movements, justified wars, tempered financial crisis, spurred on some other ideological currents, and even given the phenomenon of media as producers of reality within the collective psyche. But how to detect the most common strategies for understanding these psychosocial tools which, surely, we participate? Encourage stupidity, promote a sense of guilt, promote distraction, or construct artificial problems and then magically, solve them, are just some of these tactics.

1. The strategy of distraction

The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information. distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. “Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals (quote from text Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

2. Create problems, then offer solutions

This method is also called “problem -reaction- solution. “It creates a problem, a “situation” referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is the applicant‟s security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Or: create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.

3. Self-blame Strengthen

To let individual blame for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual autodesvalida and guilt, which creates a depression, one of whose effects is to inhibit its action. And, without action, there is no revolution!

4. The gradual strategy

acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions ( neoliberalism ) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, massive unemployment, wages, and do not guarantee a decent income, so many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.

5. The strategy of deferring

Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter. First, because the effort is not used immediately. Then, because the public, masses, is always the tendency to expect naively that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.

6. Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity

Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement. “The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be the poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes (See „ Silent Weapons for Quiet War).”

7. Go to the public as a little child

Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children‟s intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient. The harder one tries to deceive the viewer look, the more it tends to adopt a tone infantilising. Why? “If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger (see Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”

8. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves

Over the past 50 years, advances of accelerated science has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.

9. Use the emotional side more than the reflection

Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis , and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas , desires, fears and anxieties , compulsions, or induce behaviors …

10. To encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity

Promote the public to believe that the fact is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated…