reviews

After the Apology—Aboriginal communities fight back against continuing Stolen Generations

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 15/06/2018 - 7:32pm in

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reviews

Ten years ago, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued an apology to the Stolen Generations, Aboriginal people affected by policies from the early 1900s to the 1970s that systematically removed children from their families in order to force assimilation.

For many Aboriginal people, the Apology was an important acknowledgement of the immense pain they suffered being removed from their country, their culture and their language. But the last ten years has proven how tokenistic this apology was.

In the decade since the Apology, the number of Indigenous children in out of home care has doubled from 9054 in 2007 to 17,664 in 2017. This is a far greater number of children than were removed at any other time in Australian history and the rate of removal is soon set to equal the 20th century Stolen Generations. The money spent removing Aboriginal children and keeping them in “care” is more than $1.5 billion a year.

Larissa Behrendt’s film, After the Apology, explores the consequences of intergenerational trauma caused by forced removal and the fightback from Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR)—women campaigning to get their kids back from the child protection system.

Through their personal stories we learn of the brutality of contemporary removals. Suellyn Tighe explains how Family and Community Services (FACS) show up unannounced on her doorstep with police at 3am to abduct her grandchildren.

An animation of the story of a mother, Kerry, explains that fabricated evidence was used to justify stealing her 18-month-old daughter Stella. FACS alleged that Stella was playing in the kitchen with dog faeces, but Kerry didn’t even own a dog.

In another animation we hear from Donna, a mother stripped of her toddler because the child was underweight and therefore deemed “neglected”, even though doctors had confirmed this was genetic.

In footage from a fiery protest meeting of affected black families confronting FACS, we learn that a grandmother was denied the role of carer because she suffered post-natal depression 20 years ago. Hazel Collins worked as a nurse for 30 years, but was still denied the care of three of her grandchildren.

Indigenous children are ten times more likely to be in out of home care than non-Indigenous children.

Racism

This is a racist system, underpinned by a Eurocentric view that demonises parenting practices outside the mould of the nuclear family.

Jenny Swan explains in the film that “our culture is matriarchal”, with grandmothers playing a huge role in the grandchildren’s lives. In many Aboriginal communities, the whole extended family is responsible for raising kids and this is a source of strength.

But FACS use children moving between nights with their grandparents, aunties and uncles as evidence of chaos and neglect.

Despite an “Aboriginal Child Placement Principle” written into child protection laws, in 2016 69.8 per cent of Aboriginal children in out of home care were placed away from their Aboriginal families, cutting off connections to culture and community entirely.

This has devastating consequences. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody found that two-thirds of the 99 deaths investigated were people who had been removed from their families as children.

The film explores the way that extreme poverty and racism, the direct result of oppression and ongoing colonisation, create the conditions for many child removals.

High rates of family violence, alcohol and substance addiction and homelessness—all triggers for removal—are being made worse by consistent attacks on Aboriginal communities. Rather than supporting struggling families, both state and federal governments are defunding communities and Aboriginal-controlled support services across the country.

After the Apology does not just explain what’s wrong with the system—it is a powerful call to action.

We see the way that Grandmothers and other family members are fighting hard on the ground for change. Protests at parliament house, rallies and sit-ins at FACS offices and public meetings to build support are all strategies being used to force FACS to consult with families and return children.

Recent policy developments have demonstrated the urgency of stepping up this fight. Governments across the country are moving to get court orders placing Aboriginal children, even newborn babies, in out of home care until they are 18 years old, almost immediately after they are removed.

In NSW, Minister Pru Goward is loosening restrictions on adoption and has recently granted a massive injection of funding into adoption services.

All this makes the possibilities of restoration to family far harder. And despite a damning Royal Commission into the horrors children suffer in the NT juvenile detention and foster care systems, NT Minister Dale Wakefield recently announced the government was committed to removing even greater numbers of children from their families.

By Ruby Wawn

After the Apology
Directed by Larissa Behrendt
Screening in cinemas via Demand.Film

The post After the Apology—Aboriginal communities fight back against continuing Stolen Generations appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Online Philosophy Resources Weekly Update

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/06/2018 - 9:02pm in

Here’s the weekly report of new entries in online philosophical resources and new reviews of philosophy books. 

We recently added a new section to the weekly update: “Reviews of Philosophy Books in the Popular Press”. This section contains links to recent reviews of books by academic philosophers that are published in non-academic venues, such as newspapers, magazines, literary websites, etc. Since there are many such possible venues, your assistance in noticing relevant reviews would be much appreciated: if you see something, please send in the link. Thanks!

The new section joins the rest of our weekly survey of online philosophy resources, which includes the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (NDPR), 1000-Word PhilosophyWireless Philosophy (Wi-Phi), and occasionally some other sites.

SEP

New:

  1. Giordano Bruno, by Dilwyn Knox (University College London).

Revised:

  1. Abhidharma, by Noa Ronkin (Oxford).
  2. Moral Naturalism, by Matthew Lutz (Wuhan) and James Lenman (Sheffield).
  3. Logic and Information, by Maricarmen Martinez (University of the Andes) and Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson (Sydney).
  4. Constructive Mathematics, by Douglas Bridges (Canterbury) and Erik Palmgren (Stockholm).

IEP Ø

1000-Word Philosophy

  1. Dharma in Abhidharma Buddhism, by Nicholas Jones (Alabama-Huntsville).
  2. Mary Astell’s “A Serious Proposal to the Ladies”, by Simone Webb (University College London).

Wireless Philosophy Ø

NDPR

  1. Nancy Nyquist Potter (Louisville) reviews Real Hallucinations: Psychiatric Illness, Intentionality, and the Interpersonal World (MIT), by Matthew Ratcliffe.
  2. Lloyd P. Gerson (Toronto) reviews Aristotle on Religion (Cambridge), by Mor Segev.
  3. Scott Aikin (Vanderbilt) reviews Voicing Dissent: The Ethics and Epistemology of Making Disagreement Public (Routledge), by Casey Rebecca Johnson (ed.).
  4. John Dillon (Trinity College, Dublin) reviews Platonist Philosophy 80 BC to AD 250: An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation (Cambridge), by George Boys-Stones.
  5. Michael Milona (Auburn) reviews Ethical Sentimentalism: New Perspectives (Cambridge), by Remy Debes and Karsten R. Stueber (eds.).
  6. Daniel Herwitz (Michigan) reviews Michael Fried and Philosophy (Routledge), by Mathew Abbot (ed.).
  7. Tristram McPherson (Ohio State) reviews Choosing Normative Concepts (Oxford), by Matti Eklund.
  8. Harold Noonan (Nottingham) reviews Macroscopic Metaphysics: Middle-Sized Objects and Longish Processes (Springer), by Paul Needham.
  9. Richard Eldridge (Swarthmore College) reviews What Philosophy Is For (Chicago), by Michael Hampe.

Recent Philosophy Book Reviews in Non-Academic Media

  1. Theodore G. Ammon’s Jimi Hendrix and Philosophy: Experience Required, reviewed by Glenn Dallas at San Francisco Book Review.
  2. Tamler Sommers’ Why Honor Matters, reviewed by Adam Kirsch at The Atlantic.

Compiled by @MichaelGlawson (University of South Carolina)

 

The post Online Philosophy Resources Weekly Update appeared first on Daily Nous.

Money, Power, Gay Shenanigans

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/05/2018 - 6:25am in

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reviews


At this point, you might be wondering what the plot of this book is, and that’s a fair question. “My old friend the novelist Lawrence Norfolk used to say, ‘You write marvelous descriptions, but why do you have these terrible plots?’” Hollinghurst noted in The Paris Review, in 2011. “I like evoking atmospheres and analyzing relationships and feelings, but plot I feel faintly embarrassed by.” If I try to explain the wider plot of The Sparsholt Affair, and the half-tangled lives of a cast of supporting characters who flit in and about without too much consequence, it all begins to fall apart. In the fourth section, as the book begins—very slowly—to wind down, Johnny is living a relatively untroubled life in London as a moderately successful portrait painter. He’s a vegetarian. He fathers a child with a lesbian couple. He has a long-term partner called Pat, of whom we only really glimpse his “broad back and hairy thighs and long fat member, retiring now after a hard half-hour’s work,” and who later dies, of cancer, essentially in a footnote.

5 big problems with Kill All Normies

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/05/2018 - 1:04am in

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reviews

image/jpeg iconWhite_lipped_tree_frog_cairns_jan_8_2006.jpg

‘Kill All Normies’ (KAN) is a bestselling book, recently translated into Spanish, and is having a continuing influence on public discussion of topics from the alt-right to ‘incel’ misogynists to the purported failings of the left.

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Online Philosophy Resources Weekly Update

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 22/05/2018 - 10:48pm in

We’ve added a new section to the Online Philosophy Resources Weekly Update: “Reviews of Philosophy Books in the Popular Press.”

This section will contain links to recent reviews of books by academic philosophers that are published in non-academic venues, such as newspapers, magazines, literary websites, etc. Since there are many such possible venues, your assistance in noticing relevant reviews would be much appreciated: if you see something, please send in the link. Thanks!

The new section joins the rest of our weekly survey of online philosophy resources, which includes the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (NDPR), 1000-Word Philosophy, Wireless Philosophy (Wi-Phi), and occasionally some other sites.

SEP

New:

  1. Neo-Kantianism, by Jeremy Heis (California-Irvine).

Revised:

  1. Olympiodorus, by Christian Wildberg (California-Irvine).
  2. David, by Christian Wildberg (California-Irvine).
  3. Paraconsistent Logic, by Graham Priest (Melbourne), Koji Tanaka (Australian National), and Zach Weber (Otago).
  4. Experiment in Biology, by Marcel Weber (Genève).
  5. Arabic and Islamic Metaphysics, by Amos Bertolacci (Scuola Normale Superiore).

IEP Ø

1000-Word Philosophy

  1. The Epistemology of Disagreement, by Jonathan Matheson (North Florida).

Wireless Philosophy Ø

NDPR

  1. James R. Beebe (Buffalo) reviews On Folk Epistemology: How We Think and Talk about Knowledge (Oxford), by Mikkel Gerken.
  2. Darren Hudson Hick (Furman) reviews  Isn’t That Clever: A Philosophical Account of Humor and Comedy (Routledge), by Steven Gimbel.
  3. A.C. Paseau (Oxford) reviews  Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge: Approaches from Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science (Routledge), by Sorin Bangu (ed.).
  4. Claudio Corradett (Rome) reviews Technosystem: The Social Life of Reason (Harvard), by Andrew Feenberg.
  5. Norbert Paulo (Graz/Salzburg) reviews Designing in Ethics (Cambridge), by Jeroen van den Hoven, Seumas Miller, and Thomas Pogge (eds.).
  6. David Killoren (Australian Catholic University) reviews Shooting to Kill: The Ethics of Police and Military Use of Lethal Force (Oxford), by Seumas Miller.
  7. Rosa M. Calcaterra (Roma Tre University) reviews Kósmos Noetós (Springer), by Ivo Assad Ibri.
  8. John W. Carroll (North Carolina State) reviews Paradoxes of Time Travel (Oxford), by Ryan Wasserman.

Reviews of Philosophy Books in the Popular Press

  1. Gordon Marino’s The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age, reviewed by Edward F. Mooney in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
  2. T.M. Scanlon’s Why Does Equality Matter? (Oxford), reviewed by David Owens in The Times Literary Supplement.

Compiled by @MichaelGlawson (University of South Carolina)

 

The post Online Philosophy Resources Weekly Update appeared first on Daily Nous.

Angela Nagle's Plagiarise Any Nonsense

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/05/2018 - 9:33pm in

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fascism, reviews

image/jpeg iconKill-All-Normies-Angela-Nagle.JPG

Nagle's poorly sourced book on the online culture wars includes a copy and pasted definition of a fascist ideology and misrepresents non-binary genders.

You could mock the alphabet soup of groups like the CPB, CPGB and CPGB-ML, but if you then added in the CPGB-ML Naglean-Brezhnevist split as an example of an actual group based on someone putting it in their twitter bio in 2017 for a week, no-one would take you seriously.

Mike Harman

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New sinews of working class power

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 11:20am in

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reviews

Much has been written about how globalisation has rendered workers powerless. American socialist Kim Moody’s important new book on the restructuring of capital in the past four decades argues that the working class, far from disappearing, has renewed potential power, writes Mark L Thomas.

The defeats suffered by the working class movement from the late 1970s onwards created a new common sense that saw the increased internationalisation of the world economy as having fragmented and dissolved the working class. It might still show up in statistics but its collective power had been undermined, perhaps fatally.

This train of argument held that as millions of the former industrial jobs were lost, the new landscape of work that emerged was made up of smaller workplaces, ever rising numbers of insecure workers and footloose employers able to shift production elsewhere with relative ease in the face of any signs of militancy.

Kim Moody’s new book tears apart this picture and presents a very different account that points to the immense potential for the renewal of working class power.

Moody dismisses claims that major increases in more tenuous employment relationships now shape the world of work, creating a “precariat” of insecure, casualised workers displacing the more permanent, stable forms of work that underpinned collective organisation by workers in the past.

Moody’s response is captured by the section heading “Precarious work: growth, but less than you thought”. Temporary agency workers, those on short-term contracts, on-call work, bogus self-employment and involuntary part-time work made up 15.2 percent of the American workforce in 1995 on the figures of the US Bureau of Labor Studies and 15.5 percent a decade later. This is a marginal increase that leaves most workers in the US in permanent employment.

Nor are workers constantly leaving or changing their jobs. Average job tenure, the time someone stays in the same job, has changed little since the early 1970s. For 24 to 35 year olds it was 3.5 years in 2006, rising to 6.6 years for the 35 to 44 age group and 10.3 years for those aged 45 to 54.

And the neoliberal era has not seen workplaces getting smaller in terms of the size of workforce: “In 2008 altogether 24.7 million workers were employed in workplaces of 500 or more or 20 percent of the employed workforce compared to 16.5 million, also 20 percent, in 1986. Those employed in workplaces of a thousand or more rose to 16.5 million, or 14 percent, of the total workforce in 2008 from 10.7 million, or 13 percent, in 1986.”

Intensification

While the number of workers in manufacturing has fallen—due to rising productivity and not the offshoring of production and rising imports, as Trump (and many US union leaders) would have it—workers in the service sector have become concentrated in bigger workplaces and subject to greater levels of exploitation and work intensification. And like their counterparts in manufacturing, they have experienced repeated attacks on their pensions, benefits and pay while ever increasing wealth has accumulated for the owners of capital at the top of society.

Moody argues that the sharpening competition between rival capitals that marks the neoliberal era initially saw large-scale restructuring, involving mass layoffs, destruction of some firms and the break-up of others. This splintered the old patterns of employment, including some of the centres of union power built in previous upsurges of working class struggle (in the US for example capital shifted away from the industrial centres in the North to the Mid-West and the South with weaker traditions of workplace militancy).

But the logic of competition also created a counter-tendency to such fragmentation and reorganisation. It drove a new round of consolidation—or the concentration and centralisation of capitals as Marx described it—with fewer and larger firms dominating industry after industry, increasingly tied together by just-in-time supply chains organised through “logistics clusters” highly vulnerable to disruption.

Such new concentrations of capital have also created new concentrations of workers with the potential to launch a new wave of working class militancy and workplace organisation.

Moody also argues that the reorganisation of capital in the US (and he suggests in Europe too) has witnessed a shift since the mid-1990s away from the creation of multi-industry corporate “conglomerates” to consolidation within single industries, which are more favourable targets for union organising.

The US car industry led the way here. In the 1980s and early 1990s the “Big Three” car producers (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) declined, ending car assembly on the East and West Coasts, shifting production to the US Mid-West with historically weaker centres of union organisation, alongside the rise of foreign owned “transplants” — concentrated in the upper South, such as Kentucky and Tennessee and the US Southeast.

Parts suppliers then tended to cluster around these locations and, in turn, went through a process of consolidation and centralisation with the number of auto components firms falling by as much as 80 percent over the two decades from 1990 to 2010, creating an industry dominated by fewer and larger firms. As Moody notes, “today, the auto industry as a whole is more centralised, structured, and tightly linked, with its parts suppliers fewer and larger, and more geographically concentrated in two regions than was the case in the glory days of the Big Three.”

Restructuring

By the start of the 21st century this process of consolidation spread across US industry. So meat processing and packing saw drastic restructuring in the 1980s with a wave of takeovers and plant closures; by 2011 the biggest four companies controlled 75 percent of meat production.

And similar patterns of brutal shakeouts followed by new rounds of consolidation took place in the US steel industry (where two companies now dominate domestic production); logistics (with five firms dominating rail freight and employing 80 percent of the industry’s workers, while UPS and FedEx alone employ 40 percent of the US’s 1.7 million trucking and delivery workers); the airline industry (where ten major firms a decade ago have been reduced to four) and telecommunications (with four firms controlling 90 percent of the market).

Such trends also applied to service industries. Nearly three-quarters of former community hospitals are now part of large urban corporate chains, employing 4.5 million workers and with the average workforce size in community hospitals increased. A similar picture can be seen in US nursing care homes and the hotel industry, while the rise of Wal-Mart in the 1990s and of online businesses such as Amazon in the 2000s drove a major concentration into the hands of a few giant firms in the retail industry.

This process has also driven the reorganisation of supply chains and the “logistics revolution”. New logistics clusters composed of “transportation hubs, massive warehouses and distribution centres, aerotropolises, sea ports, intermodal yards, and sophisticated technology” developed, employing thousands of workers and either in, or next to, large urban centres. Moody suggests that there are roughly 60 such clusters in the US, with the biggest around Chicago, Los Angeles and the New York-New Jersey area.

Such “distribution cities” also have huge concentrations of workers. Chicago alone has around 150,000 to 200,000 warehouse workers in its wider metropolitan area. The new UPS “Worldport” superhub in Louisville, Kentucky, employs 55,000 workers while FedEx’s superhub in Memphis, Tennessee, is the “largest cargo airport in the world” as well as a rail and trucking hub that employs 220,000 workers. Overall, Moody estimates that 3.5 to 4 million workers are employed in the US logistics industry.

Such workers are under enormous pressure—subject to constant orders to speed up delivery times and minimise the time goods spend, unsold, in storage. But they also possess enormous potential power to disrupt US capital’s crucial supply chains:

“With increased competition, advanced technology, and the logistics revolution more and more workers have found themselves locked into what amounts to a global supply chain gang. These chains, however, can be broken. Along with their interconnectivity, their very time-bound tension makes them extremely vulnerable to worker action.”

And that vulnerability is increased by the fact that such supply chains depend on large amounts of fixed and sunk capital in the form of roads, rails, ports, warehouses, communication systems, equipment, and so on. Such past investments cannot be easily abandoned by firms without enormous damage to their profitability.

Footloose

Far from being footloose, this provides, in Moody’s words, “a more or less stationary target for unionisation and collective action”. Indeed, Moody suggests that “logistics workers have at least as much leverage in the economy of today as autoworkers did in the 1970s”.

Moody also places confronting racism central to realising the new potential power of workers in the US. In part due to globalisation itself, the US working class—like the working class across the advanced industrial economies—is more ethnically diverse today than four decades ago. Black, Asian and Latino people made up over a third of the US population by 2010 compared with 20 percent in 1980 and workers from these groups make up 35 percent of the employed working class. The new logistics clusters in and around the major urban centres in particular draw on such workers:

“Blacks, Latinos, Asians, including immigrants, composed 15-16 percent of the workers in production, transportation, and material moving occupations as well as in service occupations in 1981 now make up close to 40 percent of each of these broad occupational groups… African Americans make up almost half of the warehouse workforce in the Chicago area and Latinos in the Los Angeles and New York-New Jersey clusters.”

As Moody stresses this means that for union organising to be successful it will have to address racial and gender inequalities, for example around pay disparities; something that is limited where unions adopt a routinist approach that doesn’t seek to confront employers.

Moody’s argument not only insists the working class still exists but that its structural capacity to organise and paralyse production has grown as the restructuring and consolidation of capital has created a “new terrain” for the class struggle. Such a case is highly welcome to socialists who argue that workers possess the collective power to not just challenge capital but to break it.

On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War by Kim Moody is published by Haymarket

Originally published in Socialist Review (UK)

The post New sinews of working class power appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Not the Backward-Glancing Comrade

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 3:52am in


Temelkuran, a generation removed from Gürbılek, represents something else: not the backward-glancing comrade but the daughter of one, born in 1973, raised in Izmir by a social-democrat father and Maoist mother. It’d be hard to think of a more consummate figure of what a true Turkish “new left” would look like: democratic socialist, feminist, with books on the legacies of the Armenian genocide, on the Arab Spring, on the Latin American pink tide (untranslated), chapters and articles on Kurdish politics, nearly three million Twitter followers and a vast, sui generis facility with the media. A New Left Review essay one day—a TED talk the next.

Sanctuaries of Trust and Caring

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/04/2018 - 5:33am in

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reviews, Film


Back in the 1990s, I predicted — maybe it was after I saw Happiness — that sound design would soon get so extreme that there would be a movie in which we heard not just the sound of salt leaving a saltshaker, but also the sound of it hitting the food. With Phantom Thread, that day has come.

The Passions of Max Eastman

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/03/2018 - 7:20pm in

One of the “hottest radicals” of the early twentieth century, Max Eastman is now largely left out of the pantheon of the left. Can we still learn from this idiosyncratic editor today?

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