~Virtual Virtuosity~

My thoughts, in the form of collected quotes
Who I Follow
Rightist liberals like to point out similarities between left and right “extremisms”: Hitler’s terror and camps imitated Bolshevik terror, the Leninist party is today alive in al-Qaeda – does this not rather indicate how fascism replaces (takes the place of) a failed leftist revolution? Its rise is the left’s failure, but simultaneously a proof that there was a revolutionary potential, a dissatisfaction which the left was not able to mobilise. And does the same not hold for today’s so-called “islamo-fascism”? Is the rise of radical Islamism not correlative to the disappearance of the secular left in Muslim countries? Today, when Afghanistan is portrayed as the utmost Islamic fundamentalist country, who still remembers that, 30 years ago, it was a country with strong secular tradition, up to a powerful Communist party which took power there independently of the Soviet Union? As Thomas Frank has shown, the same goes for Kansas, the homegrown US version of Afghanistan: the very state which was till the 1970s the bedrock of radical leftist populism, is today the bedrock of Christian fundamentalism. And the same goes for Europe: the failure of the leftist alternative to global capitalism gives birth to anti-immigrant populism.
Slavoj Žižek, ‘Only a radicalised left can save Europe’, The New Statesman
For the average Indian citizen, corruption is a visible reminder of the failed promise of democracy.
Jason Miklian and Scott Carney, ‘Corruption, Justice and Violence in Democratic India’
In the last two decades, the Berlusconi governments, the Olive Tree governments of the center-left coalition, and the recent technocrat government of Mario Monti proved that the mafias could not be defeated solely by the politicians. Conversely, a bottom-up social resistance is a requisite to defy the Mafia.
Baris Cayli, ‘Using Sports Against the Italian Mafia: Policies and Challenges on the Path of Cultural Renewal’, Sociology of Sport Journal
Only by taking back our food and our seeds can we rescue ourselves from the totalitarianism that is being put in place. We have a short window of time to reclaim our bread and our freedom. Otherwise, we will have neither bread nor freedom.
Dr. Vandana Shiva, Indian activist and eco-feminist
On today’s market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol… And the list goes on: what about virtual sex as sex without sex, the Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without warfare, the contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics, up to today’s tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of the other deprived of its otherness – the decaffeinated other who dances fascinating dances and has an ecologically sound holistic approach to reality, while features like wife beating remain out of sight.
Slavoj Žižek, ‘Only a radicalised left can save Europe’, The New Statesman
When organized crime becomes important to markets, it often becomes easier to adapt to it instead of chasing it. That happens for soccer, politics, tax evasion—it’s part of our country’s nature.
Antonio Ingroia, Italian anti-Mafia prosecutor
The men returned to work not because they had stopped believing in what they were fighting for … Houses were being repossessed, marriages were breaking up, the kids were going without, and there was no end in sight. We were not now picketing steelworkers to try and stop coal or steel. We were picketing people who had stood on the picket lines with us for a whole year. Proud, strong miners crying because they were going back to work. We had no right to demand that they continue with the strike.
Terry Thomas, the left-wing NUM vice-president in South Wales during the miners’ strike of 1984-85
I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being.
Barack Obama
This Castro/Communist experiment constitutes a genuine social revolution, albeit a perverted one. If it is interrupted by the force of the world’s foremost ‘imperialist’ and ‘capitalist’ power in the absence of a major provocation, such action will discredit the US and tend to validate the uncompleted experiment… Direct US assistance should be avoided… Excessive US or even foreign assistance or involvement will become known and thus tend to sap nationalist initiative, lessen revolutionary motivation and appeal, and allow Castro convincingly to blame the US.
George Denney, US Director of State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1963)
Most of our children do not know our story. They are not taught our story. They are taught someone else’s story. They are taught his-story… We’ve got to stop depending on our enemies to tell our story to our children.
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Alvesta Wright Jr.