~Virtual Virtuosity~

My thoughts, in the form of collected quotes
Who I Follow
What may appear to US eyes as Cuban intransigence is, in part, a manifestation of Cuban refusal to submit to the United States, borne by a people still convinced that they have a right of self-determination and national sovereignty. Not for the first time in the twentieth century, the larger moral seems to have gone quite unheeded. Small, obstinately independent peoples, imbued with exalted if perhaps romantic notions of nation, can be crushed but never conquered, not even by superpowers, and as soon as the big power weakens or turns its attention elsewhere, they will be back.
Louis A. Pérez Jr., ‘Fear and Loathing of Fidel Castro: Sources of US Policy toward Cuba’, Journal of Latin American Studies (May, 2002)
Polls show consistently that the public is opposed to more Pentagon spending. But the voice of business again says the opposite; business leaders are well aware that the Pentagon is the core of the welfare state for the rich.
Noam Chomsky, ‘Power and Prospects’
America today is the main sponsor of the Israeli regime and its decades-old crimes against humanity. These crimes are once again on display in the most despicable and barbaric way. American citizens therefore have a heavy responsibility to bear. They must decide which side they are on: that of genocide or human rights.
Finian Cunningham, ‘American choice: genocide or justice?’, Press TV
In the modern era, the employment of ethnic difference in western power and propaganda systems is now seen as essential. Obama epitomises this, though the cabinet of George W. Bush - his warmongering clique - was the most multiracial in presidential history.
John Pilger, ‘The return of George Orwell and Big Brother’s war on Palestine, Ukraine and the truth’
Though not always fair or transparent, mafia dons thrive because their system of parallel justice offers tangible solutions to long-standing feuds that would otherwise keep land and families locked in decades-long stases. Without the mafia, it would have been impossible to clear land in Bangalore for the innumerable IT parks, upscale hotels, airports and high-end apartment buildings that are now the city’s signature.
Jason Miklian and Scott Carney, ‘Corruption, Justice and Violence in Democratic India’
I was like many women and thought the aim of exercise was to lose weight… Boxing training, however, has made me love being strong and I now have no desire to be skinny at all. I want muscles.
Gia Milinovich, ‘I punched the man who broke into my home – it came naturally’, The Guardian
The mission of the labour movement is to free mankind from the superstitions and sins of the market, and to abolish the poverty which is the fruit of those sins. That goal can be attained by extending to the direction of the economy the principles of democratic politics. It is by the people who do the work that the hours of labour, the conditions of employment, the division of the produce is to be determined. It is by the workers themselves, that the captains of industry are to be chosen, and chosen to be servants, not masters. It is for the welfare of all that the coordinated labour of all must be directed… This is democracy.
Henry Demarest Lloyd, American political activist and journalist (1893)
There are short but illegal paths in daily life, such as corruption in government. This is also true for sports when you use doping… Similarly, the Mafia applies violence and omertà in order to dominate the markets… and they create black markets illicitly.
Roberto De Benedittis, president of Libera Sport, an Italian non-governmental civil society organization
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’