We Must Rise from the Ashes of Liberal Democracy

Donald Trump’s January 20 inaugural address was ideology at its purest, its simple message relying on a series of obvious inconsistencies. At its most elementary it sounded like something that Bernie Sanders could have said: I speak for all you forgotten, neglected and exploited hardworking people. I am your voice. You are now in power. However, beyond the obvious contrast between these proclamations and Trump’s early nominations (Rex Tillerson, the voice of exploited, hardworking people?),[ …]

The truth shall set you free, but not this truth

As the drama surrounding Julian Assange escalates, it is worth momentarily distinguishing WikiLeaks from its mercurial founder, and instead asking what WikiLeaks itself means today. Thus far, the story has been cast as a struggle between WikiLeaks and the United States empire. The central issue, then, is whether the publishing of confidential state documents is an act in support of the freedom of information, of the people’s right to know, or an act of terrorism[ …]

Iraq’s False Promises

If you want to understand why the Bush administration invaded Iraq, read Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, not the National Security Strategy of the United States. Only the twisted logic of dreams can explain why the United States thinks that the aggressive pursuit of contradictory goals — promoting democracy, affirming U.S. hegemony, and ensuring stable energy supplies — will produce success. To illustrate the weird logic of dreams, Sigmund Freud used to evoke a story about[ …]

Use Your Illusions

Noam Chomsky called for people to vote for Obama ‘without illusions’. I fully share Chomsky’s doubts about the real consequences of Obama’s victory: from a pragmatic perspective, it is quite possible that Obama will make only some minor improvements, turning out to be ‘Bush with a human face’. He will pursue the same basic policies in a more attractive way and thus effectively strengthen the US hegemony, damaged by the catastrophe of the Bush years.[ …]

Turkey is a thorn in the side of a cosy western consensus

Recent days have seen Dick Cheney and Tony Blair point belligerent fingers at Tehran, but both spoke in the slipstream of Bernard Kouchner, who a month ago warned the world that it should prepare for war over Iran’s nuclear programme. “We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war,” said the French minister of foreign affairs. The swell of rhetoric – which culminated in President Bush’s assertion last week that a nuclear-armed[ …]

The depraved heroes of 24 are the Himmlers of Hollywood

n Sunday, the fifth season of the phenomenally successful television drama 24 will start in the US. Each season is composed of 24 one-hour episodes and the whole season covers the events of a single day. The story of the latest series is the desperate attempt of the LA-based Counter Terrorist Unit to prevent an act of catastrophic magnitude and the action focuses on the unit’s agents, the White House and the terrorist suspects. The[ …]

Biopolitics: Between Terri Schiavo and Guantanamo

Now we finally learned what we all suspected: the numerous reports and testimonies about the Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons were a trap to distract the attention of the public from the true secret: in the last days, big media reported that the CIA operates secret detention facilities beyond the reach of the law and outside official oversight at bases in two eastern European countries and some other Asian countries. The CIA has not even[ …]

What lies beneath

In the months before Slovenia’s entry to the European Union, whenever a foreign journalist asked me what new dimension Slovenia would contribute to Europe, my answer was: nothing. Slovenes are obsessed with the notion that, although a small nation, we are a cultural superpower: we possess a hidden treasury of masterpieces that wait to be acknowledged by the wider world. Maybe this treasure is too fragile to survive intact the exposure to the fresh air[ …]

Paranoid Reflections

Everyone fears the possibility that the US attack on Iraq will have a catastrophic outcome – an ecological disaster of gigantic proportions, high American casualties, a terrorist attack in the West. If the war is over quickly (perhaps even by the time this is published) and if Saddam’s regime disintegrates, there will be a general sigh of relief, even among many critics of US policy. It is tempting to consider the hypothesis that the US[ …]

Gerhard Schroeder’s Minority Report and Its Consequences

In The Minority Report (2002), Steven Spielberg’s last film based on a Phillip Dick short story, criminals are arrested before they commit their crime, since three humans who, through monstrous scientific experiments, acquired the capacity to foresee the future, can exactly predict their acts (the “minority report” from the title refers to those rare cases where one of the three mediums employed by the police disagrees with the other two about a crime to be[ …]