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Full With Noise: Theory and Japanese Noise Music
by Paul Hegarty.......... "Full with Noise,..." is about noise music, specifically the version that has come to be called Japanese Noise -- itself composed of many different strands. The first half deals with the question of noise. What is it, whose is it, and how can we think about it. Also, how does noise inflect our thinking, rather than being an object; at what point does noise lose its noiseness and become meaning, music, signification? Or -- is there even a point where noise can subsist? Mostly, the text below takes the view that noise is a function of not-noise, itself a function of not being noise. Noise is no more original than music or meaning, and yet its position is to indicate the banished, overcome primordiality, and cannot lose this 'meaning'. Noise, then, is neither the outside of language nor music, nor is it simply categorisable, at some point or other, as belonging exclusively to the world of meaning, understanding, truth and knowledge. Read More ...
Dirty HC Punk explosion - Bristol scene Rise up + Disorder 9 free CDs
From The Cortinas to Lunatic Fringe and Disorder, Bristol had a huge Punk scene that has influenced, affected and stimulated a vast range of artists that operate in the city. Many of these artists produce music that wouldn’t necessarily suggest a Punk heritage but scratch beneath the surface of a lot of the major players in the Bristol milieu and you will find a fondness for the times of `spikey barnets’, limited musical ability, a `F*** You’ attitude and disrespect for the music industry and its poseur hierarchy. Read More ...
Dinosaur Jr.
Beyond + 17 albums free download
A straight shot west out of Boston on I-90 will carry you, in two hours or less, to Western Massachusetts, where the country still looks like it did twenty or even 40 years ago: college towns, I-91 tracing the same lazy ladder from Springfield up through Holyoke and Northampton, Amherst and Deerfield. Out there it's taken for granted that the houses will be drafty, the winters uniformly long, and that, on any given trip to the local supermarket, one might spot Thurston or Lou or Kim or J, on-and-off locals for more than twenty years. {audio}http://www.archive.org/download/DinosaurJrDrawings/07Drawerings_64kb.mp3{/audio} ... Drawerings Read More ...
Leon Theremin /1896-1993/ - the great forefather of Rock N' Roll /big noise master/
In 1919, in the midst of the Russian Civil War, Theremin invented the musical instrument that bears his name. The theremin is an electronic device that resonates sound when its operator waves his hands near its two antennas. It was the first musical instrument designed to be played without being touched. He invented the theremin (also called the thereminvox) in 1919, when his country was in the midst of the Russian Civil War. After a lengthy tour of Europe, during which he demonstrated his invention to full audiences, Theremin found his way to the United States. He performed the theremin with the New York Philharmonic in 1928. He patented his invention in 1929 (U.S. Patent 1,661,058 ) and subsequently granted commercial production rights to RCA. In 1938 Theremin was kidnapped in the New York apartment he shared with his American wife (the black ballet dancer, Iavana Williams) by the NKVD (forerunners of the KGB). He was transported back to Russia, and accused of propagating anti-Soviet propaganda by Stalin. Read More ...
Animal Collective
Album: Fall Be Kind + 9 albums free download
By way of decrying a society that left its citizens unbearably restrained, Edith Wharton describes how in New York in the 1870s, women would order dresses from their Paris dressmakers and then leave them in tissue paper at least two years before wearing them in public; the thought of showing them "in advance of the fashion" was unforgivably vulgar. Social life has changed, but cultural life seems just as restricted now – even Animal Collective are held back by trends that seem a couple of years old (and that they helped to invent). When I think back on 2009, I’ll first remember how our impoverished aesthetic generation repeatedly scraped the resin from the cultural trash barrel. Every second person is wearing neon leggings, and the ones who aren’t rock a ‘70s aesthetic, with high-waisted jeans and moccasins. Christmas sweaters are getting impossible to find at the thrift store. Ska revival. Garage rock revival. It never ends. Read More ...
Guapo
Elixirs
For just over 10 years, London's Guapo has been working in the world of avant and progressive rock. The band's past is a bit hard to track with its numerous lineup changes and guest musicians. The most recent change in roster was the resignation of Matthew Thompson, the founding member of Guapo, which occurred just before the release of 2005's Black Oni. The departure of Thompson has left Guapo with percussionist David Smith and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O'Sullivan. Though O'Sullivan is by no means a founding member of the band, but he was essential in honing the sound on Guapo's last two LPs: Five Suns and Black Oni. These two albums have been pivotal in building Guapo's following of fans, so it's hard not to credit O'Sullivan as an asset to the band.... {audio}http://www.neurotrecordings.com/artists/guapo/audio/Guapo-The%20Selenotrope.mp3 {/audio} ... The Selenotrope Read More ...
The Swans - THIS IS NOT A REUNION - Message From Gira + free discography download (20 CDs)
Michael Gira's re-activated Swans will be undertaking their first U.S. performances in 13 years, celebrating the Fall release of the first new Swans album since Soundtracks For The Blind (1997). The album was recorded by Jason LeFarge at Seizure's Palace in Brooklyn and is currently be remixed by Gira with Bryce Goggin (Antony & The Johnsons, Akron/Family) at Trout Recordings. Read More ...
New Zealand Psychedelic Noise scene + 6 free CDs
For a small country New Zealand has long been pumping out some impressive music. Way back in the 1960s it was crazed long-haired punkers messed up on all sorts of stuff - musical (the Pretty Things, Love, the 13th Floor Elevators, the Troggs and who-knows-what-else) and I guess otherwise. Some of the best of these bands (at least, the ones that recorded) can be heard on Wild Things vol 1 and 2, compiled by NZ music historian John Baker, the first of which came out on Flying Nun, the second probably on Baker's own Zero Records, also the home to No. 8 Wire: Psychedelia Without Drugs. Read More ...

Odd

Cyberwar Hype Intended to Destroy the Open Internet
The biggest threat to the open internet is not Chinese government hackers or greedy anti-net-neutrality ISPs, it’s Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence. McConnell’s not dangerous because he knows anything about SQL injection hacks, but because he knows about social engineering. He’s the nice-seeming guy who’s willing and able to use fear-mongering to manipulate the federal bureaucracy for his own ends, while coming off like a straight shooter to those who are not in the know. When he was head of the country’s national intelligence, he scared President Bush with visions of e-doom, prompting the president to sign a comprehensive secret order that unleashed tens of billions of dollars into the military’s black budget so they could start making firewalls and building malware into military equipment. Read More ...
The Peyote Way Church of God - believe that the Holy Sacrament Peyote can lead an individual toward a more spiritual life
The Peyote Way Church of God is a non-sectarian, multicultural, experiential, Peyotist organization located in southeastern Arizona, in the remote Aravaipa wilderness. It is not affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Native American Church, or any other religious organizations, though we do accept people from all faiths. Church membership is open to all races. We encourage individuals to create their own rituals as they become acquainted with the great mystery. We believe that the Holy Sacrament Peyote, when taken according to our sacramental procedure and combined with a holistic lifestyle (see Word of Wisdom), can lead an individual toward a more spiritual life. Peyote is currently listed as a controlled substance and its religious use is protected by Federal law only for Native American members of the Native American Church. Read More ...
All world secret underground bases build for space travelers
The following material comes from people who know the Dulce (underground) base exists. They are people who worked in the labs; abductees taken to the base; people who assisted in the construction; intelligence personal (NSA,CIA,FBI ... ect.) and UFO / inner-earth researchers. This information is meant for those who are seriously interested in the dulce base. for your own protection be advised to “use caution” while investigating this complex.Does a strange world exist beneath our feet? Strange legends have persisted for centuries about the mysterious cavern world and the equally strange beings who inhabit it.  More UFOlogists have considered the possibility that UFOs may be emanating from subterranean bases, that UFO aliens have constructed these bases to carry out various missions involving Earth or humans. Read More ...
Dreamachine - stroboscopic flicker device enter you to a hypnagogic state - try it right here in your browser
The dreamachine (or dream machine) is a stroboscopic  flicker device that produces visual stimuli. Artist Brion Gysin and William Burroughs's "systems adviser" Ian Sommerville created the dreamachine after reading William Grey Walter's book, The Living Brain. In its original form, a dreamachine is made from a cylinder with slits cut in the sides. The cylinder is placed on a record turntable and rotated at 78 or 45 revolutions per minute. A light bulb is suspended in the center of the cylinder and the rotation speed allows the light to come out from the holes at a constant frequency of between 8 and 13 pulses per second. This frequency range corresponds to alpha waves, electrical oscillations  normally present in the human brain while relaxing. Read More ...
Japan’s Annual Penis Festival – Celebrates Fertility
KOMAKI, Japan — It's springtime in Japan and that means one thing. Actually, two things. Penis festivals and vagina festivals. It may sound like a sophomoric gag. But these are folk rites going back at least 1,500 years, into Japan's agricultural past. They're held to ensure a good harvest and promote baby-making. Maybe they should hold more such festivals. Japan has one of the world's lowest birthrates (1.37 children per woman), which experts blame on stagnant incomes and changing gender relations. Read More ...
Rarest Fishes in the World
Aquatic Lifeforms You Never Caught While Fishing:
Black-lip Rattail ............ These sorts of rattails feed in the muddy seafloor by gliding along head down and tail up, powered by gentle undulations of a long fin under the tail. The triangular head has sensory cells underneath that help detect animals buried in the mud or sand. The common name comes from the black edges around the mouth. Read More ...
Island of Ghosts: Hashima Island - Japan’s rotting metropolis
Hashima, an island located in Nagasaki Bay, is better known as Warship Island (Gunkanshima). The island was inhabited until the end of the 19th century, when it was discovered that the ground below it held tons of coal. The island soon became a center of a major mining complex owned by Mitsubishi Corporation. As the complex expanded, rock brought out of the shafts was used to artificially expand the island. Seawalls created in this expansion turned Hashima into the monstrous looking Gunkanshima; its artificial appearance makes it looks more like a battleship than an island. Read More ...
Japan Monster mummies - the preserved remains of demons, mermaids, kappa, tengu, raijū, and human monks
These fairly freaky historical remains can be found lurking in dark corners of Buddhist temples and museums across Japan. Known as monster mummies, they are, in fact, the preserved remains of demons, mermaids, kappa, tengu and raijū. Or should I say things that people thought were demons, mermaids, kappa, tengu and raijū. They are not pretty, but they are really fascinating. Read More ...

Science

The World's First Commercial Brain-Computer Interface + history of BCI
A brain–computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a direct neural interface or a brain–machine interface, is a direct communication pathway between a brain and an external device. BCIs are often aimed at assisting, augmenting or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. Research on BCIs began in the 1970s at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) under a grant from the National Science Foundation, followed by a contract from DARPA. The papers published after this research also mark the first appearance of the expression brain–computer interface in scientific literature. Read More ...
Meet ALICE - new CERNs giant detector
The giant ALICE detector is already underway at CERN, and researchers are scrambling to add an electromagnetic calorimeter to capture jet-quenching, the newest way to look inside the quark-gluon plasma — the hot, dense state of matter that filled the earliest universe, which the Large Hadron Collider will soon recreate by slamming lead nuclei into one another.  CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is known mainly as the accelerator that will soon begin searching for the Higgs particle, and other new physics, in proton collisions at unprecedented energies — up to 14 TeV (14 trillion electron volts) at the center of mass — and with unprecedented beam intensities. But the same machine will also collide massive nuclei, specifically lead ions, to energies never achieved before in the laboratory. Read More ...
Vadim Chernobrov & Russian secrets experiments with time machines
A disturbing story in the March, 2005. 1 issue of Pravda suggests that the U. S. Government is working on the discovery of a mysterious point over the South Pole that may be a passageway backward in time. According to the article, some American and British scientists working in Antarctica on January 27, 1995, noticed a spinning gray fog in the sky over the pole. U. S. physicist Mariann McLein said at first they believed it to be some kind of sandstorm. But after a while they noticed that the fog did not change its form and did not move so they decided to investigate. Read More ...
The Secrets of Coral Castle and pyramids EXPLAINED by Leedskalnin's Magnetic Current theory
Coral Castle doesn't look much like a castle, but that hasn't discouraged generations of tourists from wanting to see it. That's because it was built by one man, Ed Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant who single-handedly and mysteriously excavated, carved, and erected over 2.2 million pounds of coral rock to build this place, even though he stood only five feet tall and weighed a mere 100 pounds. Ed was as secretive as he was misguided. He never told anyone how he carved and set into place the walls, gates, monoliths, and moon crescents that make up much of his Castle. Some of these blocks weigh as much as 30 tons. Ed often worked at night, by lantern light, so that no one could see him. He used only tools that he fashioned himself from wrecks in an auto junkyard. Read More ...
Microbial communities in fluid inclusions and long-term survival in halite + The 11th Hour - documentary
Fluid inclusions in modern and ancient buried halite from Death Valley and Saline Valley, California, USA, contain an ecosystem of “salt-loving” (halophilic) prokaryotes and eukaryotes, some of which are alive. Prokaryotes may survive inside fluid inclusions for tens of thousands of years using carbon and other metabolites supplied by the trapped microbial community, most notably the single-celled alga Dunaliella, an important primary producer in hypersaline systems. Deeper understanding of the long-term survival of prokaryotes in fluid inclusions will complement studies that further explore microbial life on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system, where materials that potentially harbor microorganisms are millions and even billions of years old. Read More ...
How Norbert Wiener Invents Cybernetics + his book " God and Golem, Inc.........."
Norbert Wiener invented the field of cybernetics, inspiring a generation of scientists to think of computer technology as a means to extend human capabilities. Norbert Wiener was born on November 26, 1894, and received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard University at the age of 18 for a thesis on mathematical logic ( see below "The Logic of Boolean Algebra").  After working as a journalist, university teacher, engineer, and writer, Wiener he was hired by MIT in 1919, coincidentally the same year as Vannevar Bush. In 1933, Wiener won the Bôcher Prize for his brilliant work on Tauberian theorems and generalized harmonic analysis. Read More ...
The T2K Experiment - From Tokai To Kamioka - Where is the anti-matter?
From the beginning of 2010, the T2K experiment will fire a beam of muon-neutrinos from Tokai on Japan's east coast, 300km accross the country to a detector at Kamioka. It hopes to investigate the phenomenon of "neutrino oscillations" by looking for "muon neutrinos" oscillating into "electron neutrinos".  A million pound detector has been built at the University of Warwick as part of a vital experiment to investigate fundamental particles - neutrinos. Read More ...
Careerism and Psychopathy in the US Military leadership
The internal workings of the US military had little significance to the overall state of the nation, except during wars – until the post-WWII era.   With the military dominating our foreign policy and being one of the most trusted institution, the character of our senior generals may become a major factor shaping our future.  Hence the importance of this chapter by GI Wilson from The Pentagon Labyrinth: Ten Short Essays to Help You Through It, edited by Winslow T. Wheeler and published by the Center for Defense Information and the World Security Institute.  You can see a summary and download a free copy of this important book at the Project for Government Oversight (POGO). Read More ...

Space

UFO's of Nazi Germany
Viktor Schauberger & UFO's of Nazi Germany
It was nearly the end of WWII. At that same time, scientist Viktor Schauberger worked on a secret project. Johannes Kepler, whose ideas Schauberger followed, had knowledge of the secret teachings of Pythagoras that had been adopted and kept secret. It was the knowledge of Implosion (in this case the utilization of the potential of the inner worlds in the outer world). Hitler knew - as did the Thule and Vril people - that the divine principle was always constructive. A technology however that is based on explosion and therefore is destructive runs against the divine principle. Thus they wanted to create a technology based on Implosion. Read More ...
It Takes a Giant Cosmos to Create Life and Mind + new Supernova Discovered to be the 'Creation-Machines' of the Cosmos
Excerpt from 'The Intelligent Universe', James Gardner ................... There is a time machine clearly visible right outside your front door. It’s easy to see—in fact, it’s impossible to overlook—although its awesome powers are generally ignored by all but a discerning few.  The unearthly beauty, the ineffable grandeur, and the ingenuity of construction of this time machine are humbling to every human being who makes an effort to probe into the enigma of its origin and the mystery of its ultimate destiny. The time machine of which I speak is emphatically not of human origin. Indeed, a few venturesome scientists are beginning to entertain a truly incredible possibility: that this device is an artifact bequeathed to us by a supremely evolved intelligence that existed long, long ago and far, far away. All knowledgeable observers agree that the scope of its stupendous powers and the sheer delicacy of its miniscule moving parts seem nothing short of miraculous. Read More ...
The Size Of Our World or How Insignificant the Earth Really Is in the Universe
Compared to you and me, the Earth is really big. But compared to Jupiter and the Sun, the Earth is pretty tiny. There are many ways we can measure the size of the Earth. Let's look at how big the Earth is, and then compare it to other objects in the Solar System. The diameter of the Earth is 12,742 km. In other words, if you dug a hole down into the Earth, passed through the center of the Earth, and came out the other side, you would have dug a hole 12,742 km deep (on average). That's about 4 times longer than the diameter of the Moon. Read More ...
Strange Images from Space - Photos&videos of the Bizarre in Our Universe
Some weird and unusual objects are floating around in the cosmos. Space is always serving up something new, unusual, and unexpected. Here are images and explanations of obejcts that have amazed and delighted astronomers. Read More ...
Project Icarus: Gas Mining on Uranus
Project Icarus is a 21st century theoretical study of a mission to another star. Icarus aims to build on the work of the celebrated Daedalus project. Between the period 1973-1978 members of the BIS undertook a theoretical study of a flyby mission to Barnard's star 5.9 light years away. This was Project Daedalus and remains one of the most complete studies of an interstellar probe to date. The 54,000 ton two-stage vehicle was powered by inertial confinement fusion using electron beams to compress the D/He3 fusion capsules to ignition. It would obtain an eventual cruise velocity of 36,000km/s or 12% of light speed from over 700kN of thrust, burning at a specific impulse of 1 million seconds, reaching its destination in approximately 50 years. Read More ...
Astronomers had found evidence of something that occurred before the (conventional) Big Bang
Our cosmos was "bruised" in collisions with other universes. Now astronomers have found the first evidence of these impacts in the cosmic microwave background. There's something exciting afoot in the world of cosmology. Last month, Roger Penrose at the University of Oxford and Vahe Gurzadyan at Yerevan State University in Armenia announced that they had found patterns of concentric circles in the cosmic microwave background, the echo of the Big Bang. Read More ...
Mysterious Radio Waves from Unknown Object in M82 Galaxy
There is something strange is lurking in the galactic neighborhood. An unknown object in galaxy M82 12 million light-years away has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before except perhaps by Ford Prefect. M82 is starburst galaxy five times as bright as the Milky Way and one hundred times as bright as our galaxy's center. "We don't know what it is," says co-discoverer Tom Muxlow of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics near Macclesfield, UK. But its apparent sideways velocity is four times the speed of light. This "superluminal" motion occurs usually in high-speed jets of material bursting out by black holes. Read More ...
Nibiru - great arrival of Planet X  + Timeline of 2012. cataclysm
“A secret document prepared for Prime Minister Putin by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is claiming that President Medvedev confirmed in his extended meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in February 2011 that the new planet named Tyche (pronounced ty-kee) by NASA will be appearing in the Earth’s night sky by 2012. Though the existence of this planet had long been known to the ancients, it has only been in the past year that Western scientists have begun informing their citizens about this unprecedented event soon to occur, but who are, also, still failing to tell how catastrophic its appearance will be. Tyche was the name coined for this ancient celestial body by the two astrophysicists proposing it for “planet” status, Daniel Whitmire and John Matese from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Read More ...

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Enter Amount:

Only Communism can save liberal democracy

Slavoj Zizek .......... 1989 marked not only the defeat of the Communist State-Socialism, but also the defeat of the Western Social Democracy. Nowhere is the misery of today's Left more palpable than in its "principled" defence of the Social-Democratic Welfare State: the idea is that, in the absence of a feasible radical Leftist project, all that the Left can do is to bombard the state with demands for the expansion of the Welfare State, knowing well that the State will not be able to deliver. This necessary disappointment serves as a reminder of the basic impotence of the social-democratic Left and thus push the people towards a new radical revolutionary Left.



Needless to say, such a politics of cynical "pedagogy" is destined to fail, since it fights a lost battle: in the present politico-ideological constellation, the reaction to the inability of the Welfare State to deliver will be Rightist populism. In order to avoid this reaction, the Left will have to propose its own positive project beyond the confines of the Social-Democratic Welfare State. This is why it is totally erroneous to pin our hopes on strong Nation-States, which can defend the acquisitions of the Welfare State, against trans-national bodies like the European Union, which, so the story goes, serve as the instruments of the global capital to dismantle whatever remained of the Welfare State. From here, it is only a short step to accept the "strategic alliance" with the nationalist Right worried about the dilution of national identity in trans-national Europe.

(One of the crazy consequences of this stance is that some Leftists support the Czech liberal-conservative President Vaclav Klaus, a staunch Euro-sceptic: his ferocious anti-Communism and opposition to the "totalitarian" Welfare State is dismissed as a cunning strategy to render acceptable his anti-Europeanism ...)

So where does the Left stand today? Alain Badiou wonderfully characterized the post-Socialist situation as "this troubled situation, in which we see Evil dancing on the ruins of Evil": there is no question of any nostalgia, the Communist regimes were "evil" - the problem is that what replaced them is also "evil," albeit in a different way.
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In what way?

Back in 1991, Badiou gave a more theoretical formulation to the old quip from the times of Really Existing Socialism about the difference between the democratic West and the Communist East.

In the East, the public word of intellectuals is eagerly awaited and has a great resonance, but they are prohibited to speak and write freely; while in the West, they can say and write whatever they want, but their word is ignored by the wide public.

Badiou opposes the West and the East with regard to the different way the (rule of the) Law is located between the two extremes of State and philosophy (thinking).

In the East, philosophy is asserted in its importance, but as a State-philosophy, directly subordinated to the State, so that there is no rule of Law: the reference to philosophy justifies the State as working directly on behalf of the Truth of History, and this higher Truth allows it to dispense with the rule of Law and its formal freedom.

In the West, the State is not legitimized by the higher Truth of History, but by democratic elections guaranteed by the rule of Law, and the consequence is that the State as well as the public are indifferent to philosophy:

"The submission of politics to the theme of Law in parliamentary societies... leads to the impossibility of discerning the philosopher from the sophist... Inversely, in bureaucratic societies it is impossible to distinguish the philosopher from the functionary or the policeman. In the last instance, philosophy is generally nothing other than the word of the tyrant."


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In both cases, philosophy is denied its truth and autonomy because:

the inherent adversaries of the identity of philosophy, the sophist and the tyrant, or even the journalist and the policeman, declare themselves philosophers.


One should add here that Badiou in no way secretly or openly prefers the police party-State to the State of Law: he states that it is fully legitimate to prefer the State of Law to the police party-State; he draws here another key distinction:

"The trap would be to imagine that this preference, which concerns the objective history of the State, is really a subjective political decision."

What he means by "subjective political decision" is the authentic collective engagement along the Communist lines: such an engagement is not "opposed" to parliamentary democracy, it simply moves at a radically different level - that is, in it political engagement is not limited to the singular act of voting, but implies a much more radical continuous "fidelity" to a Cause, a patient collective "work of love."

Today, when the democratic honeymoon is definitely over, this lesson is more actual than ever: what Badiou put in theoretical terms is confirmed by daily experience of the majority of ordinary people: the collapse of Communist regimes in 1989 was no Event in the sense of a historical break, of giving birth to something New in the history of emancipation.

After this supposed break, things just returned to their capitalist normality, so that we have the same passage from the enthusiasm of freedom to the rule of profit and egotism described already by Marx in his analysis of the French Revolution.

Exemplary here is the case of Vaclav Havel: his followers were shocked to learn that this highly ethical fighter for "living in truth" later engaged in shady business deals with suspicious real estate companies dominated by the ex-members of the Communist secret police.
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And so, how naive did Timothy Garton Ash appear on his visit to Poland in 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism: blind to the vulgar grey reality around him, he tried to convince the Poles that they should feel glorious, as if their land is still the noble land of Solidarity.

The ruling ideology is, of course, well aware of this gap, and its reply is "maturity": one should get rid of utopian hopes which can only end up in totalitarianism and accept the new capitalist reality. The tragedy is that some Leftists subscribe to this judgment.

Alain Badiou described three distinct ways for a revolutionary - or radical emancipatory - movements to fail.

First, there is, of course, a direct defeat: one is simply crushed by the enemy forces.

Second, there is defeat in the victory itself: one wins over the enemy (temporarily, at least) by way of taking over the main power-agenda of the enemy (the goal is simply to seize state power, either in the parliamentary-democratic way or in a direct identification of the Party with the State).

On the top of these two versions, there is a third, perhaps most authentic, but also most terrifying, form of failure: guided by the correct instinct that every attempt to consolidate the revolution into a form of State power represents a betrayal of the revolution, but unable to invent and impose on social reality a truly alternative social order, the revolutionary movement engages in a desperate strategy of protecting its purity by the "ultra-leftist" resort to destructive terror.
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Badiou aptly calls this last version the "sacrificial temptation of the void":

"One of the great Maoist slogans from the red years was 'Dare to fight, dare to win'. But we know that, if it is not easy to follow this slogan, if subjectivity is afraid not so much to fight but to win, it is because struggle exposes it to a simple failure (the attack didn't succeed), while victory exposes it to the most fearsome form of failure: the awareness that one won in vain, that victory prepares repetition, restauration. That a revolution is never more than a between-two-States. It is from here that the sacrificial temptation of the void comes. The most fearsome enemy of the politics of emancipation is not the repression by the established order. It is the interiority of nihilism, and the cruelty without limits which can accompany its void."

What Badiou is effectively saying here is the exact opposite of Mao's "Dare to win!" - one should be afraid to win (to take power, to establish a new socio-political reality), because the lesson of the twentieth century is that victory either ends in restoration (return to the logic of State power) or gets caught in the infernal cycle of self-destructive purification.

This is why Badiou proposes to replace purification with subtraction: instead of "winning" (taking over power) one maintains a distance towards state power, one creates spaces subtracted from State. But does this not represent a kind of division of labour between the radical and the pragmatic Left?
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Subtracting itself from State politics, the radical Left limits itself to assuming principled positions and bombarding the State with impossible demands, while the pragmatic Left makes a pact with the devil in the sense of Peter Mandelson's admission that, when it comes to the economy, we are all Thatcherites.

Is Communism then simply "impossible" in the sense that it cannot be stabilized into a new order? Even Badiou presents the eternal "Idea of Communism" as something which returns again and again, from Spartacus and Thomas Munzer to Rosa Luxemburg and the Maoist Cultural Revolution - in other words, as something that fails again and again.

The term "impossible" should make us stop and think. Today, impossible and possible are distributed in a strange way, both simultaneously exploding into an excess.

On the one hand, in the domains of personal freedoms and scientific technology, the impossible is more and more possible (or so we are told): "nothing is impossible." We can enjoy sex in all its perverse variations, entire archives of music, films and TV series are available for download. There is even now the prospect of enhancing our physical and mental abilities, of manipulating our basic properties through interventions into genome, up to the tech-gnostic dream achieving immortality by way of fully transforming our identity into a software which can be downloaded from one to another hardware ...
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On the other hand, especially in the domain of socio-economic relations, our era perceives itself as the era of maturity in which, with the collapse of Communist states, humanity has abandoned the old millenarian utopian dreams and accepted the constraints of reality (namely, the capitalist socio-economic reality) with all its impossibilities.

And so, today we cannot engage in large collective acts (which necessarily end in totalitarian terror), cling to the old Welfare State (it makes you non-competitive and leads to economic crisis), isolate yourself from the global market, and so on, and so on.

It is crucial clearly to distinguish here between two impossibilities: the impossibility of a social antagonism and the impossibility on which the predominant ideological field focuses. Impossibility is here re-doubled, it serves as a mask of itself: the ideological function of the second impossibility is to obfuscate the real of the first impossibility.

Today, the ruling ideology endeavours to make us accept the "impossibility" of a radical change, of abolishing capitalism, of a democracy not constrained to parliamentary game, in order to render invisible the impossible/real of the antagonism which cuts across capitalist societies.

This real is impossible in the sense that it is the impossible of the existing social order - which, however, in no way implies that this real/impossible cannot be directly dealt with and radically transformed in a "crazy" act which changes the basic "transcendental" coordinates of a social field, an act which changes the very coordinates of what is possible and thus retroactively creates its own conditions of possibility.
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This is why Communism concerns the Real: to act as a Communist means to intervene into the real of the basic antagonism which underlies today's global capitalism.

In authentic Marxism, totality is not an ideal, but a critical notion - to locate a phenomenon in its totality does not mean to see the hidden harmony of the Whole, but to include into a system all its "symptoms," antagonisms, inconsistencies, as its integral parts.

In this sense, liberalism and fundamentalism form a "totality": the opposition of liberalism and fundamentalism is structured so that liberalism itself generates its opposite. So what about the core values of liberalism: freedom, equality, fraternity? The paradox is that liberalism itself is not strong enough to save them against the fundamentalist onslaught.

Fundamentalism is a reaction - a false, mystifying, reaction, of course - against a real flaw of liberalism, and this is why it is again and again generated by liberalism. Left to itself, liberalism will slowly undermine itself - the only thing that can save its core is a renewed Left.

In Western and Eastern Europe, there are signs of a long-term re-arrangement of the political space. Until recently, the political space was dominated by two main parties which addressed the entire electoral body: a Right-of-centre party (Christian-Democrat, or liberal-conservative) and a Left-of-centre party (socialist, social-democratic), with smaller parties addressing a narrow electorate (greens, liberals, etc.).

Now, there is progressively emerging one party which stands for global capitalism as such, usually with relative tolerance towards abortion, gay rights, religious and ethnic minorities; opposing this party is a stronger and stronger anti-immigrant populist party which, on its fringes, is accompanied by directly racist neo-Fascist groups.
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The Truth About Communism ..... On the 90th October Revolution´s Anniversary, this documentary presents the violent rise of the Soviet Empire from the Chaos of revolution to the terror of the Cold War and is charted using remarkable footage of actual events. Special interest is the subject of the Spanish Revolution. This is the bestcollection of historical film footage on the topic of CommunistImperialism ever assembled. Featuring an introduction from Alexander Kerensky President of Russia following the Revolution that deposed the Czar Regime and before the Communist took over. Narrator: Ronald Reagan Year: 1962




The exemplary case is here Poland: after the disappearance of the ex-Communists, the main parties are the "anti-ideological" centrist liberal party of the Prime Minister Donald Dusk, and the conservative Christian party of Kaczynski brothers.

Silvio Berlusconi in Italy is a proof that even this ultimate opposition is not insurmountable: the same party, his Forza Italia, can be both the global-capitalist-party and integrate the populist anti-immigrant tendency.

In the de-politicized sphere of post-ideological administration, the only way to mobilize people is to awaken fear (from immigrants - that is, from the neighbour). To quote Gaspar Tamas, we are thus again slowly approaching the situation in which "there is no one between Tsar and Lenin" - in which the complex situation will be reduced to a simple basic choice: community or collective, Socialism or Communism.

To put it in the well-known terms from 1968, in order for its key legacy to survive, liberalism needs the brotherly help of the radical Left.

The task is thus to remain faithful to what Badiou calls the eternal Idea of Communism: the egalitarian spirit alive for thousands of years in revolts and utopian dreams, in radical movements from Spartacus to Thomas Muntzer up to some religions (Buddhism versus Hinduism, Daoism or Legalists versus Confucianism, and so on).

The problem is how to avoid the alternative of radical social explosions which end in defeat, unable to stabilize themselves in a new order, or of equality, but displaced to a domain outside social reality (in Buddhism we are all equal in nirvana).

It is here that the originality of the Western thought enters, in its three great historical ruptures: Greek philosophy breaking with the mythic universe; Christianity breaking with the pagan universe; modern democracy breaking with traditional authority.

In all these cases, the egalitarian spirit is transposed into a - limited, but nonetheless actual - new positive order.
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In short, the wager of the Western thought is that radical negativity (whose first and immediate expression is egalitarian terror) is not condemned to remain a short ecstatic outburst after which things have to return to normal; on the contrary, radical negativity, this undermining of every traditional hierarchic order, can articulate itself in a new positive order in which it acquires the stability of a new form of life.

This is the meaning of the Holy Spirit in Christianity: faith can not only be expressed in, but exists as the collective of believers. This faith is in itself based on "terror" indicated by Christ's words that he brings sword, not peace, that whoever doesn't hate his father and mother is not his true follower - the content of this terror is the rejection of all traditional hierarchic community ties, with the wager that another collective link is possible based on this terror, an egalitarian link of believers connected by agape as political love.

Another example of such an egalitarian link based on terror is democracy itself. One should follow Claude Lefort's description of democracy here: the democratic axiom is that the place of power is empty, that there is no one who is directly qualified for this post either by tradition, charisma, or his expert and leadership properties.

This is why, before democracy can enter the stage, terror has to do its work, forever dissociating the place of power from any natural or directly qualified pretender: the gap between this place and those who temporarily occupy it should be maintained at any cost.
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But we can well imagine a democratic procedure maintaining the same gap on account of the irreducible moment of contingency in every electoral result: far from being its limitation, the fact that the elections do not pretend to select the most qualified person is what protects them from the totalitarian temptation - which is why, as it was clear already to the Ancient Greeks, the most democratic form of selecting who will rule us is by a lot.

That is to say, as Lefort has demonstrated, the achievement of democracy is to turn what is in traditional authoritarian power the moment of its greatest crisis, the moment of transition from one to another master when, for a moment, "the throne is empty," which causes panic, into the very resort of its strength: democratic elections are the moment of passing through the zero-point when the complex network of social links is dissolved into purely quantitative multiplicity of individuals whose votes are mechanically counted.

The moment of terror, of the dissolution of all hierarchic links, is thus re-enacted and transformed into the foundation of a new and stable positive political order. Hegel is thus perhaps wrong in his fear of the direct universal democratic vote (see his nervous rejection of the English Reform Bill in 1831): it is precisely democracy which accomplishes the "magic" trick of converting the negativity (the self-destructive absolute freedom which coincides with the reign of terror) into a stable new political order: in democracy.
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Once upon a time, we called this Communism. Why is its re-actualization so difficult to imagine today? Because we live in an era of naturalization: political decisions are as a rule presented as matters of pure economic necessity. For instance, when austerity measures are imposed, we are repeatedly told that this is simply what has to be done.

In May 2010 and again in June 2011, large demonstrations exploded in Greece after the government announced the austerity measures it has to adopt in order to meet the conditions of the European Union for the bailout money to avoid the state's financial collapse.

One often hears that the true message of the Greek crisis is that not only Euro, but the project of the united Europe itself is dead. But before endorsing this general statement, one should add a Leninist twist to it: Europe is dead, OK, but - which Europe?

The answer is: the post-political Europe of accomodation to world market, the Europe which was repeatedly rejected at referendums, the Brussels technocratic-expert Europe. The Europe which presents itself as standing for the cold European reason against Greek passion and corruption, for mathematics against pathetics.

But, utopian as it may appear, the space is still open for another Europe, a re-politicized Europe, a Europe founded on a shared emancipatory project, a Europe that gave birth to ancient Greek democracy, to French and October revolutions.

This is why one should avoid the temptation to react to the ongoing financial crisis with a retreat to fully sovereign nation-states, easy preys of the freely-floating international capital which can play one state against the other.

More than ever, the reply to every crisis should be even more internationalist and universalist than the universality of global capital. The idea of resisting global capital on behalf of the defense of particular ethnic identities is more suicidal than ever, with the spectre of the North Korean juche idea lurking behind.

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Slavoj Žižek discussing Hegel in reference to Charlie Chaplins The Great Dictator, Leni Riefenstahl, fascism, the Nazi propaganda film Kolberg, Alfred Hitchcocks Vertigo, objectivity in film. He also spoke about Peter Sloterdijk and Jürgen Habermas as well as ethics, dignity, military technology, pharmonarcoleptic drugs, scientology and Ron Hubbard. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee, Switzerland.



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