Spinelli's Footsteps

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Sunday 8 May 2011

Letter to Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

today is Mother's Day here in Finland. Do you have children? If yes, I hope they come and see you, or send you greetings. If no, I wonder if your own mother is around still so that you can go and see her, or send her greetings. If your mother is dead, I hope you have recognised it is springtime so that you can enjoy God's creation. But if you did it already yesterday, and have a terrible headache this morning, and hope your mother had never given birth, then have one more for the road, and you will be happier when you die. There are many more possibilities, of course. After all, OBL's funeral in December 2001, which was reported by UNI, the Indian news agency, might have been faked. I said as much in a short letter to the editor (of "Hufvudstadsbladet", our main newspaper in Swedish). I also wrote a longer piece, but that one was refused by the editors of two publications. The first just said he doesn't publish it; the second, that it was far too long. When are you going to send me your controversial essay?

Cheers,

Mikael

Saturday 30 January 2010

Enough of Blair, Bush and Berlusconi! Long live the 911 Truth Movement!

W,

you wrote:

It might be my imagination but I have been sensing a despondency or at least a lack of optimism in your e-mails.

We must try to be beyond optimism and pessimism, like in the famous Romain Rolland quote (a favourite of Gramsci's):'pessimism of the intelligence, optimism of the will'. Ernst Bloch's Prinzip Hoffnung points in the same direction.

And Gandhi said something like this: what we do probably completely lacks significance, but it is very important that we do it anyway.

So let's hope that the Spinelli component is gaining strength from day to day. Let me give you some examples: only recently, there appreared a first scholarly biography of the man (the one by Graglia). And, by the way, yourself and myself also illustrate the growing importance of Spinelli : only 5 years ago, I had hardly heard about the guy; by now I have already managed to spread the word abt his Ventotene manifesto and 1984 draft constitution to several friends and foes, via email, www and printed articles. And then, look at all those, young and old, intellectuals and activists, who are soooo bitterly anti-EU. The time is approaching when they are bound to (re)discover Spinelli...

Finally, let's not forget that Spinelli is dead and that we must try to supersede him. He certainly had an inkling about 'the atomic age', yes, when we compare him with the contemporary zombies of Paris, Berlin, London and Brussels:

Contemple-les, mon âme; ils sont vraiment affreux! - Baudelaire

But Spinelli did not yet know of the nanotech, biotech and robotics based weapons systems of the 2010s; nor did he, on the other hand, have any first hand experience of the new superpower of the cyberlibrary, which is now offered to us.

And then, W, you also wrote:

I have been wondering what solutions might be possible.

You commented, perhaps not without irony, that people (read: myself) would not be ready to change their attitude. On the contrary, people (including myslf) will not be die-hard if you manage to document your view in a convincing manner. However, in the case of the 'chemtrails', what you have said so far leads me to ask: would you be ready to part from the truth, if that would help to mobilize the people for our goals?

No, lying must be condemned in politics, even when no other "solution" seems available. Enough of Blair, Bush and Berlusconi! Long live the 911 Truth Movement!

All the best.

- Mika

PS Do you need more grounds for hope? Here comes:

""What the election and the global embrace of Obama's brand proved decisively is that there is a tremendous appetite for progressive change - that many, many people do not want markets opened at gunpoint, are repelled by torture, believe passionately in civil liberties, want corporations out of politics, see global warming as the fight of our time, and very much want to be part of a political project larger than themselves.

Those kinds of transformative goals are only ever achieved when independent social movements build the numbers and the organizational power to make muscular demands of their elites. Obama won office by capitalizing on our profound nostalgia for those kinds of social movements. But it was only an echo, a memory. The task ahead is to build movements that are - to borrow an old Coke slogan - the real thing. As Studs Terkel, the great oral historian, used to say: "Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up."

Quoted from Naomi Klein's new preface to the 10th anniversary edition of her book No Logo which has been published a week ago.

Monday 3 August 2009

"Skype and ICQ Face Ban in Russia"

This morning, my buddy M posted an item about Skype and ICQ Face Ban in Russia:

When the Russian state initiates an executive order to inspect citizens' mail (EDM, July 21), it is the regime's idea of business as usual. However, when big business initiates harsh legislation to ban foreign competition and invokes national security as the rationale, it might seem rather an unusual business practice elsewhere, except in Russia. On July 21, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), the country's main big business lobbyist, colloquially known as the "Oligarchs' Trade Union," proposed a crack down on internet service providers (ISP's). More specifically, the RSPP made a strong case for the Russian state to crackdown on telephone calls made through ISP's such as Skype and Zebra Telecom, or ban them altogether, since they cannot be wiretapped (www.rspp.ru, July 21).

this news about Skype and ICQ in Russia is in its own way typical (of much news today) in that it may be quite difficult to establish what it means.

Russian telecom companies fight their competitions? But is that news? Competitors and the state join forces to restrict free speech? Maybe, but to what extent are Skype and/or ICQ free? Are they free because they cannot be wiretapped?

Can Skype and/or ICQ not be wiretapped? ''Skype, the Internet calling service recently acquired by eBay Inc., provides free voice calls and instant messaging between users. Unlike other Internet voice services, Skype calls are encrypted - encoded using complex mathematical operations. That apparently makes them impossible to snoop on, though the company leaves the issue somewhat open to question'', the Associated Press reported back in 2006. But how about the owners of Skype, do they not have access to the encryption algorithms? The one who encrypts is also the one who decrypts, and does not function in a political vacuum, either. ''Surveillance is a practice often shrouded in secrecy. Although many people may be vaguely aware that governments and corporations regularly engage in surveillance (indeed, often in collusion) it is a practice that is difficult to identify and document directly. Not surprisingly, therefore, surveillance practices are often the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories. Our lives today are surrounded by mediated communications, serviced by third parties and private entities, sent through channels that pass through multiple political jurisdictions, each step of which offers an opportunity for surveillance. Can we rely on the assurances of the service providers and technology companies who tell us they are secure and private? Should we trust the assurances of a well-known global brand?'' (Quoted from the Foreword to Warfare Monitor/ONI Asia joint report,__ Breaching Trust: An analysis of surveillance and security practices on China's TOM-Skype platform__, by Nart Villeneuve, the Citizen Lab, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto).

I, who write this message, am in no way an expert. I am actually only very briefly and rapidly looking into the nature of this news between my first and second cup of coffee on a beautiful morning in August, probably because the news is about Russia. Russia's border is only ca 100 km away from my home. Yet, after my second cup, I may already forget about the whole thing. Have a nice day, - M

Sunday 14 June 2009

Le taux d'abstention

Le taux d'abstention restera élevé jusqu'à l'émergence d'un parti spinellien qui est déterminé à abolir le complexe militaro-industriel transatlantique.