cable street: they shall not pass

Cable Street was a battle in 1936 in London in which Jews, Irish, Leftists and citizens waged a pitched battle with police to arrest a planned march of fascists through a predominantly jewish area. The police were unsuccessful in breaking their line and permitting Oswald Mosley and five-thousand followers to pass, averting what could have been a mini-kristillinacht.  Six-thousand police failed to clear the road and the fostering of fascism in Britain was curbed through essentially the determination of diverse communities pulling together in common cause. But today, we seem to be approaching a tipping point; almost blinded by the pacification of our Society of the Spectacle and the projection of fantasies and ideals onto all the offerings of consumer culture and the entertainment industrial complex, which tends to blind us to the precipice that we approach. The evil of inertia.

There is just outrage at bailouts gifts by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Unbeknownst to most, this largesse has not been limited to banks includes para-financial concerns such as brokerages, market funds and companies who are foreign based. The Fed has revealed itself to have little concern for employment. The bailouts under various names are a complex collage that seem almost improvised to please the recipient but they have enriched stockholders, bondholders and top executives while depression levels unemployment and forty-four million citizens take recourse to food stamps.Clearly, technology is deflationary.

Homer, Winslow. Snap the Whip. Read More:

The U.S. system is one in which the government Treasury has deficits and sells bonds as life support. The Fed prints money to purchase bonds and makes no money owning them. This can’t last forever and the situation has been compared to a pair of alcoholics supporting each other so neither falls.Much of this is lost on us it seems from a disconnected perceived field we experience from the disengagement of experience we absorb from a television or computer screen where mythology is magnified and maybe our zombie banks are just a reflection of a zombie citizenry waiting to be spoon-fed another instantly mythologizing moment.

And, there is some truth in Ron Paul’s assertion of America’s creeping fascism. Like Heidegger asserting that Nazism contained an inner greatness, we tend to believe the same with capitalism and the market economy as something reassuring. Still, it does not exclude it having a vision, a genuine vision, one of a concept of deep solidarity that provides the basis for a community of people. It is probably this grafting of a non-ideological element onto a system of fierce competition and exploitation that gives it enough moral spice to keep on. As Slavoj  Zizek has asserted, ” Fascist ideology manipulates authentic popular longing for a true community … of course it distorts the expression of this longing in order to legitimize the continuation of the relations of social domination and exploitation. In order to be able to achieve this effect, however, it none the less had to incorporate authentic popular longing.” People are not simply coerced. Nor do they directly accept open plays of power. Rather, their tie to an ideological formation is secured by utopian longings for something more, something better. Every ideology, including fascism, relies on such a non-ideological kernel…. In our present deepening disparity regarding income equality, there is much to reflect on these kernels rendered as,  “an ecstatic aestheticized experience of Community.”

Read More: ---Moving along to the right, we have the oft-quoted Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who put his aesthetic into practice and became an early supporter of Italian fascism: War is beautiful because it establishes man’s dominion over the subjugated machinery by means of gas masks, terrifying megaphones, flame throwers, and small tanks. War is beautiful because it initiates the dreamt-of metalization of the human body. War is beautiful because it enriches a flowering meadow with the fiery orchids of machine guns.---

Rick Salutin:153 august trade ministers from the nations of the World Trade Organization are gathered in Geneva to chant the ancient spells for warding off economic disaster. Beware of beggar thy neighbour (Woooo). Firmly resist protectionism in all its forms (Woooo). Canada’s own Ed Fast will join a lively “anti-protectionism” news conference.

This is the time-honoured response to crises: hoary phrases meant to inject wisdom gained from earlier crises. It’s the economic equivalent of fighting the last war to avoid thinking about the one now raging. No, wait: it’s more like droning a few clichés about the last war to avoid thinking about it too….

---Max Levitas recalls the electricity in the air as more than 100,000 Jews, Irish workers, communists and residents battled police to stop fascists marching through a Jewish area of east London in 1936. The protesters threw marbles under the hooves of police horses and residents dumped garbage and chamber pots from their windows in what became known as the "Battle of Cable Street." Dozens were injured in the violent clashes as baton-wielding officers unsuccessfully tried to break their lines. Seventy-five years later, the sprightly 96-year-old is still out on the streets. To Levitas and his fellow anti-fascist campaigners, Cable Street stands as a still-relevant warning for Britain today. "Look what's happening again. It's a recurrence of the fight which we had against racism," Levitas told Reuters. With Britain's economy in a downturn and unemployment rising, academics and experts say Britain is witnessing the rise of a new "far right," with the grass-roots English Defence League (EDL) as its more publicly acceptable face.--- Read More:

…Why is this so irritating? One: because the main bullet points used by the WTO in their craftily defined way — free trade, globalization, anti-protectionism — pretty much created this mess. Two: because we of all people should know that, since it began, more or less, with the 1989 U.S.-Canada free trade deal. It was a test run for what followed. Let me explain why I say this.

Canada was a trading nation long before “free trade.” The real point of those deals wasn’t trade. It was to give to ownership, i.e., those with money to hire and invest, an advantage over those they hired, i.e., the workforce. With that “freedom,” they shipped jobs and factories abroad to cheaper workforces. Naturally the incomes of those at home declined. There we

ewer “good” jobs making things and many more “precarious,” ill-paid ones….

Rick Salutin on 1965: At the top of the steps before the domed building, police had disrupted a protest against campus military recruitment. What I saw was not just protesters being hauled from a line. It was excitement in the faces of the officers and animation in their bodies. Many protesters were long-haired women with something provocative in their dress and hair, and the police violence felt like a response. That’s what hit me: the engagement of the armed agents of the state. They were not just doing a job or maintaining order. They were into it, as one said. And I thought, this is how it was in Nazi Germany. The entire conceptual structure I’d imbibed, including the uniqueness of the Holocaust, crumpled. People are capable of this, I thought. They just are. Put these cops in Nazi Germany, and some would do what the SS or camp guards did. The uniqueness of the Holocaust and any ideas built on it melted away. So this is what the force of the state is about, I thought — and human nature, too. Read More:

…But the economy still required the workforce to spend so they went into ever greater debt: first with credit cards; then, especially in the U.S., using their homes as ATMs. Meanwhile, the financial sector, which expanded as the manufacturing sector shrank, became drunk with its new power and its own “freedom” from control — another component of globalization — and invented bizarre financial “instruments” that made them giddily rich. Then it all crashed. But it started with “free” trade. Read More:–salutin-free-trade-is-a-bad-idea-that-just-gets-worse


Mind you, Freud was one of many who repudiated the bourgeois view of human nature. He did so long before the Holocaust then died on its eve, having chillingly anticipated it with notions like the Id, which undermined civilization’s efforts to be civilized. Back then, there was a cottage industry in rejecting the bourgeois ethos, like Antonin Artaud’s theatre of cruelty. Nazism itself banked on anti-bourgeois disgust. In fact, it is surprising that German Jews such as Emil and Arendt could say they were surprised by the descent into barbarity. Horrified and enraged but not startled. Unless it is one thing to anticipate theoretically a breakdown of civilization, but something else to see it embodied before your gaze while you pass through the fire yourself. That might send you scurrying to an earlier world view that once seemed banal. I can sort of hear Arendt say, “Look, Artaud was theatre. Freud was theory. But this happened. No one really expected it.” Read More:

Max Beckmann. The Departure. ---Fascism introduces aesthetics into political life as a way of giving the masses “a chance to express themselves” instead of a chance to claim their “right to change property relations” (p. 241). Communism responds by politicizing art, by demystifying the production, the distribution, the form, and the content of art, in an attempt to make art serve the cause of the masses and not vice versa. --- Read More: image:

…Of course, neither Emil nor Arendt were surprised at the brutality and barbarism of Nazism; they knew those were hardy perennials that weren’t blooming for the first time. But each insisted on the uniqueness of the Nazi case: Emil because it was self-destructive, and Arendt because of the cold intellectuality — that it was based, not on emotional satisfaction, but on logically carrying an ideology to the end. You can call these crucial differences amounting to something new in history, or you can say they’re mere variations. Nazi motives were articulated ideologically. But does that mean they got no traditional vicarious, sadistic release? I doubt it. There’s always something new and something ancient, a particular version of timeless impulses. Everything was always possible. ibid.

---Benjamin writes, inaccurately, "the process of pictorial reproduction was enormously accelerated, so that it could now keep pace with speech… images are captured at the speed of an actors speech." In fact, images communicate at a speed that is faster than speech. There is more symbolic information being communicated in Gaga's video than can be decoded by even an astute observer. The inability for an audience to arrive at a definitive verdict produces the net effect of increasing consumption. We watch again and again and again, over 100 million times. Gaga is joyously toxic; her physicality and actions lay claim to an expression of feminism, or perhaps more tenuously, deeply repressed opposition to her actions, and self-mutilation. Yet she commits it anyway, gleefully: l'art pour l'art. And the Fame; delicious Fame....Benjamin:self-alienation has reached the point where it can experience its own annihilation as a supreme aesthetic pleasure. Such is the aestheticizing of politics, as practiced by fascism. Communism replies by politicizing art. Read More:

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