First off, I completely object to the term “piracy”. Pirates are violent sociopaths, regardless of their forms of self-organsation. Just in using the term “piracy” one has already lost the debate, as inherent to the concept of piracy is the ideology of property and the enslavement of humanity under its rubric. To use the term “piracy” one is admitting the legitimacy and primacy of another position – that of the proprietarian from whom one is pirating their “property”. Without a coherent notion of “property”, the idea of “Piracy” is a meaningless term. The potential of piracy is zero. It will be snuffed out like any other threat to capital. There are other terms available for what people are doing with data, terms that aren’t so laden with murder and brutality. Terms like Sharing. My position comes from one of sharing, not piracy. Sharing is an innate human characteristic. It is a virtue, not a crime. Also, the mental states and societies described by piracy versus sharing are worlds apart. A society of piracy is a society of theft and brutality, where one “gets” or “takes” things and is always at a disadvantage as a condemned character to society. A society of piracy is a society of property, and thus a society of money, a society of class conflict, a society of violence and extortion. By contrast, a society of sharing is a society where notions of property and all the violence and conflict around property and its prerogatives and entitlements are absent. In short, a society based in sharing is a step towards a new and better society, one based in ideas and practices that are vastly more sustainable than what obtains today: the self-destructive lunatic society of property and its brutal defence. So, I am more than happy to entertain a discussion about sharing. I am not willing to discuss piracy.

angelicguitar said:

I call the prince from Snow White "Prince Human" because in the original 1937 trailer when the narrator lists all the characters, I swear to God, he says "Human".

that poor man’s been nameless for 77 years now someone at disney really needs to give him a name come on now

while they’re at it give Charming a proper name and do something about Adam because the legitimacy of that one’s been up in the air for years now

and if this is the trailer you’re talking about then I think he’s using “human” to describe Snow White? like “Snow White: warm, human”

"French cultural production, in all its forms, is far superior to anything in the United States!"

OH YEAH OKAY.

This gem was overheard in my graduate course today. Let’s ignore the relationship between France and the United States, shall we? Negating the legitimacy of American cultural production automatically makes you ~more cultured~. (I got over this puerile sentiment in high school, thanks.) This only tells me how little these babies know. There are sooo many examples of American influence on French culture. Jazz, anyone? Hip Hop? It goes beyond music. The influence of American cinema on the French New Wave, for example. Of Poe on writers like Baudelaire. I can go on and on…

It’s nothing more than profound insecurity.

late liberalism is meant as a way of periodizing and spatializing liberal formations. The argument is that from the 50s through the 70s, liberal governments—liberal governmentality—were shaken by two severe legitimacy crises. On the one hand, anticolonial, Native, and radical social movements shook the legitimacy of paternalistic liberalism and, on the other hand, Keynesian stagflation shook the legitimacy of the capitalist management of markets. From the perspective of these two slow moving events the politics of recognition and economics of neoliberalism should be seen as strategic containments of potentially more radical futures. It’s unclear whether in the wake of 9/11 multiculturalism remains the key mode of containing the radical otherwise and in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 neoliberal market forms will mutate into something else.
—  Elizabeth Povinelli, Late Liberal Geontologies
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Alvaro Arbeloa neglects to greet Captain Iker Casillas ahead of the 1st leg of the Supercopa VS Atlético Madrid.

The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the workings of institutions that appear to be both neutral and independent, to criticize and attack them in such a manner that the political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them
—  Foucault
Libyan rebels plan to begin exporting oil themselves

This is a big deal for the opposition council. The Libyan rebel government’s deal with Qatar to export oil has obvious benefits to their cause, and they aren’t strictly economic. One aspect of the Libyan struggle we can’t overlook is the need for others to perceive their legitimacy — the more the rebellion shows a unified, proactive, and competent front, the more pressure it may put on Gaddafi’s beleaguered allies to desert him. The immediately refused rebel ceasefire offer was a good example, and this follows suit — the practical proof that oil exports can resume despite Gaddafi’s efforts to the contrary is another psychological victory against a regime that’s already reported as suffering key defections by officials. source

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There can be no absolution, no redemption of past crimes unless the outcomes are changed. So long as the aggressors’ posterity continue to reap the benefits of that aggression, the crimes are merely replicated in the present. In effect, the aggression remains ongoing and, in that, there can be no legitimacy. Not now, not ever.
—  Ward Churchill
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I wrote this song for all the beautiful ladies out there.

The Electoral Red Line

What with all the talk of “red lines” out in the political universe, let me offer my own warning about a red line we are at least in sight of, if not quite ready to cross: the line between fighting an election, and delegitimating elections themselves.

Here’s the thing: in our democracy, elections are one of the primary ways we establish the legitimacy of the government. I may not like who wins, but the mere fact that I had the chance to vote (even if I didn’t) is seen to make the outcome legitimate. So long as I was not unfairly denied the chance to vote, and so long as the votes were fairly counted, and so long as I have the fair chance to vote in the future, I’m stuck with the result. The other side won. Get over it, to channel Mr. Justice Scalia.

This three part test—the fair chance to vote, the fair counting of votes, and the fair chance to vote in the future—is a pretty tough, but extremely important, combination to pull off. Citizens of countries that manage this generally trust their governments, believe that they have a real say in shaping the decisions that affect their lives, and otherwise perceive themselves as part of a healthy national community. By contrast, people who live in  countries that don’t figure out how to meet the three “fairs” often believe their leaders to be corrupt, their fates to be limited, and their governments bad.

Unfortunately, we seem increasingly hell bent on blowing this. We try to drive voters off voting rolls while claiming that we are really interested in preventing the non-occurring epidemic of in-person vote fraud. We put political hacks in charge of counting the vote and watch as they litigate what is or is not a real vote. We accuse one president of getting in office just because his daddy picked the Supreme Court justices who ruled in his favor (George Bush), and then accuse the next one of being illegitimate because he’s supposedly not an American and/or was elected through voter fraud — or, perhaps more seriously, because he is an Other (black, Muslim, you name it).

While I get how all this works as a short-term political tactic — the politics of corruption and fear are hardly a new phenomenon — I am afraid that we are at risk of crossing the infamous red line: the point of no return. At some point, the endless bombardment of negative ads, of claims that some candidate or another is illegitimate, and of ceaseless assertions that the election’s results were corrupted may well have the effect of convincing large numbers of Americans that their political system is their enemy. Ronald Reagan’s famous quip, that the nine scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” speaks exactly to this point. It “works.” But it might not work.

Irony lies in the fact that our strengths are our weaknesses. Winning elections might well destroy the point of elections. It’s something to think about.

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