Emmanuel

XR strategy is based on bad science

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If you happened to be using bad science to impose a strategy that turned out to be inefficient, and if as a result of this inefficiency billions of people died... who would be the most violent person in the room? This is the question Roger Hallam (a founder of XR) and George Monbiot (a Guardian journalist and prominent supporter of XR) would do well to ponder as the collapse of the earth's biosphere and the system fueling that collapse are claiming more lives every day.

Both of these men have been arguing in favor of non-violent civil disobedience as the only acceptable tactic to avert catastrophic climate change. This stance is usually justified by referencing a study entitled “Why Civil Resistance Works” authored by Erica Chenoweth.

Moral philosophy and abortion

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The debate around abortion is sometimes characterised as an opposition between the morals of the church and personal morals. But is this an accurate description? Moral philosophy can broadly be defined as the branch of philosophy that contemplates what is right and wrong. It explores the nature of morality and examines how people should live their lives in relation to others. But a closer look at what characterises moral philosophy leads to the conclusion that while the expression “relying on personal morals” may come across as a useful shortcut to describe what the pro-choice stance is about, it is also a misuse of moral terminology which has the effect of casting a positive light on moral philosophy, rather than helping us come to terms with the deeply problematic nature of this field. As I hope to make clear, arguments in favour of abortion rights are rooted in anti-authoritarianism whereas moral philosophy can only exist as a rhetorical tool of authoritarianism (even when it is used with good intentions).

Jordan Peterson & Sam Harris - what brings them together for a tour and why do they attract the far-right.

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Jordan Peterson is a Canadian scholar who rose to prominence after his statements concerning a bill passed in Canada (C-16) to prevent trans people from being targeted by hate propaganda and from being denied services, employment or accommodation on the basis of their gender expression and identity. Peterson’s stance consisted in a slippery slope argument whereby this kind of law would supposedly lead to people being fined or imprisoned for not using a trans person’s preferred pronouns. By framing the law as an attack on free speech, Peterson may have mislead many people into thinking that this fantasy of his was actually what the content of the bill was about. Indeed the Canadian Bar Association made a lengthy public reply to his concerns (though without naming Peterson), clearly stating that the bill had been grossly misunderstood.

As it turns out, Jordan Peterson believes that hierarchies of class, gender and race are ordained by nature. As a direct outcome of this, he denies the existence of white privilege or patriarchy and is known to believe, along with many fascist organisations, that ideologies which contradict this perspective are part of a marxist conspiracy (‘’cultural marxism’’) to undermine western values and bring about totalitarianism. With no sense or irony whatsoever, Peterson suggested that kindergarten educators who supposedly target children with “postmodern marxist ideologies” should be tried for treason.

Union Struggle: How the Minions Fought and Won Against GRU

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In 2015, 2 years after graduating from an animation school in Paris, I found myself participating for the first time in a struggle as a unionised worker. At the time my interest in the anarchist critique of our current institutions was increasing, but having no first hand experience of class struggle, I couldn’t relate to what anarchism had to say about unions. By telling the story of this fight, I hope to show how much can be learnt from a single campaign and why action is the best way to assimilate theory and perfect it. I also hope that the specifics of this story will be a useful addition to the wealth of past experiences anarchists can learn from.

PESCO and The Militarisation of the EU

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The idea that the European Union is an undemocratic entity has become unremarkable, yet its latest authoritarian move shouldn’t be overlooked since the negative consequences will be felt both in Europe and abroad.

On the 11th of December 2017 the European council decided to establish a European military command structure under the acronym of PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation). This happened only a month after EU member states issued a statement about their intention to participate in this European defence cooperation. The speed of the process and the signing up of countries with neutrality policies such as Ireland, Sweden, and Austria raises a red flag. In Ireland, the decision to be part of PESCO happened after a rushed debate and was in direct violation of Ireland’s neutrality stance. On top of this, one interpretation of the 6th article of the Irish constitution implies that any delegation of power to the EU should be put to a referendum.

So why has PESCO suddenly become a priority? What is the geopolitical meaning of this move and what exactly does PESCO entail?

Comic - Why Pro-Life is a Lie

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Anti-choice advocates like Youth Defence / Precious Life and the Iona Institute claim to be driven by an indiscriminate empathy and a genuine concern for human beings' universal right to life, hence invocations to 'Love Both' and the 'pro-life' label.

Are these claims to be taken seriously? Not for a second, as clearly illustrated in this pro-choice comic (PDF).

Pro Life is a Lie - dismantling the anti-choice spin

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When pro-choice militants argue that their struggle is the continuation of a historical fight against the oppression of women, they are met with a pro-life movement which attempts to symmetrically paint itself as fighting for the rights of ‘‘the unborn child’’, a category which would otherwise remain defenseless and be sentenced to life or death by their bearers.

But both sides are far from holding symmetrical views. For one thing, while people who can get pregnant initiated the pro-choice movement, there is no doubt embryos didn’t start the pro-life movement. No pro-life advocate would deny this trivial statement, if anything they would use the voicelessness of “the unborn” as an argument to emphasise the unfair nature of abortion rights.

While it is easy to understand why one group would be motivated to fight for their own interests, explaining why a group would me motivated to fight on behalf of another group is not as straightforward. Pro-life advocates would have us believe that they are fighting for the “unborn child” first and foremost out of a strong sense of empathy and out of an unremitting commitment to defend the human right to life. The problem is that this is demonstrably untrue. Far from being satisfying explanations, empathy and adhesion to moral principles don’t even qualify as partial explanations for the commitment of pro-life advocates.

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