Teaching superiority, and the class-bias of the ‘expert’ witness

I think there is a case to be made that radicals need to perform a multitude of tasks to help make society less oppressive and exploitative, including pointing out why the current system is flawed. I suppose there is a case to be made that the radical left does have a tendency to spend the majority of it’s time analysing and pointing out the worst aspects of the current systems and structures, and not enough…

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How does ‘rape as entertainment’ factor into the wider matrix of domination

I have been researching in and around the idea of the social construction of identity, and how this plays into a matrix of domination in our wider societies. As part of this, the hierarchies of oppression and exploitation, and the social narratives that misinform about and distract from them, appears more like a series of interlocking processes with shared objectives and mutually beneficial proponents. One could in fact argue that a better understanding of this…

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Anti-war yesterday, solidarity today, equality tomorrow

One of the first pieces I ever had published was about Baby Bush's War in Iraq, and the corresponding mass mobilisation of solidarity in the global anti-war protest of February 2003. And just as it was promised at the time, over fifteen years later the dead are still mounting in Afghanistan and Iraq, democracy is nowhere to be seen, large sections of the Middle-East are at war, and of course the most aggressive regimes in…

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A political caste system ensures the entitlement of the absurd

One of the benefits of actual socialism being represented at the top of the UK Labour party is that, much like a lightning rod, it apparently draws fire from all directions. Helpfully, although not for the peace of mind of the socialists within the Labour Party, by putting actual socialists at the top of the party all the various people in positions of power that are anti-socialist, even if they had previously been pretending otherwise…

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The war on drugs was nothing more than a war on democracy and equality

The third essay in the War on Drugs series is the one that I found most upsetting to write and still find difficult to read. Even though, in terms of the Pax Americana, the 1960s was the decade that many of the calls for equality came together, I would argue that it was during the 1970's when the establishment strategy of presenting authoritarianism as democracy really began to unravel at pace, in the public arena…

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A society riven with hierarchy facilitates sociopaths and gives psychopaths free rein

I have shared my life with many people of many doctrines, beliefs and faiths, some religious and some political. One of the things that has never ceased to amaze me is the moral dissonance that affects so many people, regardless of whether their purported 'ideological core' is based on faith in scripture, or faith in science. Society, as it is structured today, seems to have a tendency to nudge people together into groups, and then…

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Me, the state and the drugs trade; the mathematical perfection of a power-inequality triangle

At a time when questions about the legalisation of cannabis are once again high on the news agenda, I think it is worth remembering the historical relationship between the state and the drugs trade. Although, it is only right that I first explain my personal history with the drugs trade. The British summer has in recent years become synonymous with large scale for-profit festivals. When I was younger, festivals where the time and place to…

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Football and socialism together are greater than the sum of their parts

As a socialist and a football fan, there have been periods when I found it a struggle to rationalise these two aspects of my identity. I know from speaking to other people, that the feeling that football and socialism are mutually exclusive is not entirely uncommon. Chomsky's comments didn't help, when during an interview he called sports “another crucial example of the indoctrination system”. In terms of the capitalist model of modern football, with it's…

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Questions facing The People’s Assembly; austerity or neo-liberalism and hierarchy or democracy?

Last Saturday I was at the People's Assembly conference sub-titled 'How can we achieve an anti-austerity government?'. I have two problems with this phrase. Firstly, I believe the word austerity has been hijacked by the ruling class to act as a euphemism for 'bankers' bailout'. And secondly, covering up for and bailing out the ruling class when they break stuff is pretty much what government in the UK, and Europe, and much of the world…

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You say tax avoidance, I say sociopaths

Between the Panama Papers in 2016 and the Paradise Papers in 2017, and against the fallout of the great 'bankers bailout scam' called austerity, there was a brief period when informed debates around the role of tax and tax avoidance where momentarily occurring in even the mainstream press. After years of justifying cutting public spending in order to bail out the criminally inept bankers, the corporate news media did an about turn and started laying…

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