Playing with Political Fire

by Brenda Heard

The timing of political manoeuvring often reveals the stark business of domination.  Sometimes the timing is flagrant, like the recent commotion in Greece.  In the very hours of forbidding the passage of the aid flotilla to Gaza, the financially strapped Greek government welcomed the approval of an €8.7 billion aid payment from the European Union.  With Israel’s position as an EU-groupie, even the Associated Press couldn’t resist smirking at Greece’s underlying ‘incentive to cozy up to its rich Mediterranean neighbor’.

Political manoeuvring also thrives on more subtle timing, as for example in the case of the notorious indictments of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Widely announced as imminent in December 2010, they somehow found themselves on the backburner when the Arab uprisings claimed every corner of Middle East news coverage.  Some six months later, on the heels of the formation of a Lebanese government non-hostile to the targeted Hezbollah—in the very hours between finalising the government’s policy statement  and its being subject to a parliamentary vote of confidence—only then were the indictments set into motion.  Bored of battling the credibility of Arab protests, international media eagerly shifted to the new sensational headlines.

Particularly when it comes to the Zionist project, the Western Israeli Alliance has often banked on timing—on distraction and exploitation. Five years ago, for instance, Israeli forces repeated the pretext-invasions of 1978 and 1982.  Five years ago, Israeli forces renewed their aggressive campaigns of 1978 and 1982.  With the full backing of their Western allies, five years ago Israeli forces again attacked Lebanon.

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The Violence of Illusion

Amartya Sen on Identity and Violence. In his otherwise thought provoking lecture, Sen appears to assume that identities are only determined, discovered or assumed. He overlooks the fact that sometimes they are imposed. He also appears to overlook the relations of power which accentuate identity, or for that matter the functional, defensive necessity of identity as a means of resisting domination. (thanks Eric)

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is widely recognized for his ability to join economics and philosophy, reflected in his work through ethics and a sense of common humanity. In this Hitchcock Lecture from UC Berkeley he explores the violence of illusion.

Is Belief in Richard Dawkins Necessary for Salvation?

Terry Eagleton
Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton delivers the 2008 Dwight H. Terry Lectures at Yale on Faith and Fundamentalism.

Terry Eagleton, John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester, has been a Fellow of four Oxford and Cambridge colleges and has held the Thomas Warton Chair of English Literature at the University of Oxford. Professor Eagleton has authored scores of studies of literary, cultural, and political criticism and written plays for both stage and television in Britain and Ireland, as well as a screenplay for Derek Jarman’s film Wittgenstein. Terry Eagleton is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Faith and Fundamentalism: Is Belief in Richard Dawkins Necessary for Salvation?

April 1, 2008     Christianity: Fair and Foul

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Aldous Huxley: The Ultimate Revolution

Aldous huxleyAldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, rated number one in the List Muse Top 100 Fiction books list, here discusses influence, controlling the public mind and government.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”  Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution (44:17): MP3

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