Andrew N Flood

Identity Politics is a Four way Conflict

Date:

Discussions about Identity Politics (IdPol) absorbs a huge amount of energy across the political spectrum.  Discussion on the left however is often complicated and made overly hostile because they take place along the single axis of oppression which means proponents of IdPol get lumped in with Hilary Clinton while opponents get lumped in with Donald Trump.  This understandably encourages bad faith discussions that throw a lot of heat and very little light. Here we are going to argue that a much more useful exchange can happen when we instead create a plot where one axis is oppression and the second is exploitation as that puts both Trump & Clinton a good distance away from socialists. [Audio of this article]

Savita was one of us - we owe her our Yes to Repeal this Friday

Date:

At the start of the referendum campaign in March, I took this photograph showing the poster image of Savita, who died because of the 8th amendment, and in the background a huge billboard with a CGI / cartoon of what is meant to be an 11 week old foetus.  Both have the common slogan ‘one of us’ - the photograph invites us to consider if the life of this 31-year-old woman of colour, who was denied a life-saving abortion, really has the same value as an anonymous and unknown 11-week-old foetus.

This is the question we will be voting on this Friday, indeed beyond that we are voting on whether a doctor who gives a life-saving abortion in a Savita-like case should have the threat of a 14-year jail sentence hanging over them - as the 2013 law lays down - whether any of the hundreds of pregnant people taking abortion pills at home in Ireland should be doing so under the risk of that 14-year sentence.  That is the law as it stands - to change it, the 8th must be repealed.

An account of how #Strike4Repeal went in Dublin

Date:

Andrew spent the day of March 8th 2017 recording #Strike4Repeal and has edited this 20 minute video account of how the day went down in Dublin.  Below you will also find a  text transcript of his account.

I headed into Dublin early on #Strike4Repeal day because a little birds had told me of the plan to cover up and alter some of Dublin’s statues in the early morning.

Three futures: Barbarism, UBI Warehousing or Anarchism

Date:

Our global society is broken. Donald Trump & Brexit are symptoms along with the rise of the far right elsewhere in Europe. In an old pattern, fundamental economic crisis often results in society becoming very much more brutal for most people.  In the age of nuclear weapons this current crisis could be our last.  And with a somewhat longer countdown to disaster we are also facing climate catastrophe.

The crisis is fundamental rather than temporary because there are two underlying factors that are irreversible.  The first is the end of the era where the environmental costs of growth could be mostly discounted in the belief that dilution would neutralise pollution.  For much of the industrial revolution the poisonous effluent dumped into the ecosystem had only local severe effects with the vast oceans and atmosphere diluting the pollutants enough that global effects were minor.  This is no longer the case with climate change being the most talked about of several examples where the pollution generated by growth can no longer be absorbed without serious global consequences. 

[As this is a long read we have also made
the entire piece available on audio,
listen as you are doing the dishes 
or you can download a PDF version]

Trump & the myth of the progressive but misled 'white working class' voters

Date:

Once it became clear that Trump was going to become the president of the USA, my Facebook feed became cluttered with attempts to understand how that could possibly happen.  How could a white supremacist, misogynist and utterly transparent snake oil salesman accumulate so many votes?  Those on the left both inside and outside the borders of the USA struggled to understand what had happened.

[Listen to the audio of this entire article]

A common conclusion in too many of these pieces is that the left needs to reach out, and listen to the concerns of, those who voted for him as a priority.  In a similar fashion to how sections of the left evaluated Brexit, they see a working class anti-establishment rebellion in the Trump vote from what they term the ‘white working class’. They believe that component was won by Trump because it has been neglected by the left - often, they will assert, because the rest of the left was distracted by what they call identity politics.

Rojava revolution - Co-operatives & assemblies - video with commentary in the text

Date:

As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it’s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.

We’ve tried to address this imbalance somewhat, both in our coverage and through bringing a number of Kurdish and other speakers over to talk at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. They spoke about what is happening behind the front lines. What is it that is being constructed that so many have judged is worth going to the front lines to defend against ISIS? Our speakers this year included Erjan Ayboga author of ‘Revolution in Rojava’ and US academic Janet Biehl who has visited the region twice since the revolution to investigate what is happening on the ground.

Not wanting Apples billions? The landlords agent is not our friend

Date:

The native Irish ruling class have long been prone to parasitical activity, enriching themselves by acting as agents of absentee landlords or today as law firms for multinationals keen to avoid and evade paying taxes.  As landlords agents that involved breaking down the doors to evict those who were literally dying of starvation.  The modern form is less hands on but the repercussions are similar, the 13 billion they don’t want to collect from Apple are the same billions whose absence has people dying on hospital trolleys.

Video documentary on the Belfast Rally for Choice 2016

Date:

This year Belfast saw its largest pro-choice demonstration when about a thousand people took to the streets for the Rally for Choice.  This was a significant achievement and to mark it we’ve put together this brief documentary featuring footage from the march, some of the speakers and interviews with both organisers and participants.

Solidarity & self-organisation at the Dunkirk refugee camp - A better world is possible

Date:

Around 1000 people currently live in a camp near Dunkirk in France.  Many of them are Kurdish, fleeing either ISIS in Syria, the Iranian state or the Turkish states war against the Kurdish part of its population.  Some families have already spent 10 months in the camp.

Many hope to get to the UK just a short and very famous journey away across the sea.  There is a motorway near the camp and when traffic slows down some in desperation try and leap onto passing lorries.  Sometimes people get killed doing this.

It’s an all too familiar story and there is a liberal tendency to paint the people living in these conditions as victims requiring our charity.  What we want to talk about here is how this isn’t the case, that instead people in the camps are self organising with solidarity activists and in the most difficult of circumstances taking some control back over their lives. It's solidarity we need to talk about, not charity.

Making sense of the Brexit tide of reaction and the reality of the racist vote

Date:

The Leave / Brexit vote in the referendum came in the end as a surprise, a narrow win for Remain was expected. This may be because the core Leave vote was in the run-down white working class communities of the now desolate English and Welsh industrial zones. A population trapped in conditions of long-term unemployment and poverty who no one really pays much attention to anymore.

Some on the left have seized on the makeup of this core vote to suggest that there was some progressive element to the Brexit vote despite the campaign being led by racist hatemongers and wealthy US-oriented neoliberals. Mostly that’s a mixture of wishful thinking and post hoc justification for having called for a Leave vote in the first place, but it is true that a section of the working class, C2DEs in marketing speak, voted to Leave in close to a 2:1 ratio. Is the class composition of that vote enough to automatically make it progressive regardless of content? And what does it tell us that a section of the radical left seems to think the answer to that question is yes, that it is enough to be anti-establishment?

WSM social media posts Powered by Juicer

 

 

 

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter

Syndicate content