Libyan Revolution: The February Stage?

"Gadafi go to hell! Game Over!"

The revolution in Libya Is reaching the end of its “February Stage” (as in 1917 in Russia). But, perhaps it isn’t!

For by that period the Russian Revolution had many long-standing political parties and the first self-devised and set up Soviets were cropping up in many crucial areas.

But, there are literally no political parties of any standing or experience, and certainly none who have made revolution their study and purpose in Libya. There are no self-organisations of a working class and hence no political history and ideas of Socialism. Indeed, even the Middle Class seem to be bereft of parties and political positions: the simple demand for the removal of the dictator seems to be considered sufficient, (as it was also in Egypt).

Indeed, there is a good argument for saying that there is, as yet, no Working Class, in the usual meaning of the term..

Certainly, Gaddafi, as with other Arab Rulers, had imported labour from all over Asia and Africa, as an easily-handles “working class”: any trouble and they would be out, without any rights at all!

Of course, although some middle class technocrats could, and were, also imported (usually well-paid), there could not be other than the development of a native middle layer arising too.

Indeed, perhaps the situation is more like Russia in 1905, when a revolution of great herosim arose and failed.

For though King Idfris was removed by Gaddafi, he merely replaced him in a very similar position. So that revolution did not run its full course.

And that makes the current revolution, a bourgeois revolution – an attempt by the Middle Class to get political power for themselves, by ripping it away from the autocrat and his attached aristocracy..

It may even be compared with the English Revolution of the 17th century, for there too, no revolution was possible without the involvement of the lower classes. The gentleman farmers and merchants were incapable alone of removing the King: they needed and made an alliance with the lower classes, with the promise of Freedom for All, to mobilise all classes against the absolutist ruler and his hangers on. And , of course, there, like here in Libya, these soldiers expected something from their victory. Organisations like the Diggers and the Levellers grew in number with demands that the supposedly allied Middle Class could not tolerate. But as long as the lower classes were still “in arms” they could not be removed from the situation. In the end Cromwell had to attack these organisations and disarm all who did not concur with his and the Middle Class’s idea of what the revolution was for..

The renowned New Model Army latterly became an instrument of repression, as evidenced most strongly in Ireland.

And as there, so long ago, so now in Libya, the lower classes in arms are the biggest threat not only to the ambitions of the Middle Class, but also to their supporters abroad such as the USA, the UK and France. Why else did these countries act as the rebels Air Force, and go well beyond their remit to safeguard civilians.

Now, you don’t have to study the TV news footage for long to realise that the bulk of the rebels are indeed the lower classes in arms.

So, what is considered priority number one, by both the middle Class rebels leaders and their friends in the West?

It is security!

By which they mean the disarming of the lower classes, before they take the situation too far..

Yet, it is these fighters in the main who have taken the brunt of the opposing professional soldiers, yet defeated them on the ground.

They have done their job, and must now be removed as a threat to the “required” following regime. Both the West and the Libyan Middle Classes want a Capitalist State, with parliamentary “Democracy”, where in spite of the veneer of rule by the people, it will as usual, be rule by the Capitalist Class. Libya is a rich country with only about 5 million inhabitants, yet it has 150 billion dollars salted away in the World’s Banks.

[I wonder who has been getting the interest on this over the last six months: it will be in billions of dollars itself]

And let us be absolutely clear the western capitalist powers will expect many privileges from their support of the Libyan Middle Class. They would like major and profitable access to Libyan Oil.

Cameron, Obama and Sarkosy took a risk in backing this revolution (it has not been done before: the usual response of such powers was to immediately send in armies of intervention to put the revolution down)

And of course, we must not forget about the Middle East at the end of the First World War, when the Arabs fighting for their Freedom from Turkey were betrayed (via T.E. Lawrence) and saddled with both British or French imperialism AND an amenable set of autocratic monarchs.

We should know what the West has in mind!

The major crisis of 2008 is still with them, and the very same problem remains. The vast borrowings against future profits have made even the USA, UK and France (not to mention many lesser states) mortgaged up to the eyes, and well beyond.

The investors are frightened to death . Will they lose their money?

What safe and lucrative havens are there left?

Now, all this being said, I must also ask the crucial question of the organisations of the Working Classes worldwide, “What are you doing to help?” What, indeed, are their policies?

Are there any revolutionaries left, or have they all succumbed to a measure of privilege themselves? Have the crumbs from the masters’ table been big enough for them to abandon their once loudly trumpeted internationalism?

For example, what should be their advice to the fighters in Libya?

How about:-

  1. Do not give up your arms. You may need then again!

  2. Set up your own local organisations – Committees or Soviets, to organise your areas, delivers its needs and protect your rights.

  3. Demand that the 150 billion dollars of wealth salted away in banks be given back (plus interest of course) to change the lives of all Libyans: it amounts effectively to $30,000 to each and every citizen in the country..

  4. They should also insist that there should be NO foreign workers at all. Native Libyans can work the Oil Wells , Transport and resources systems nationwide. And where they are not yet up to it, they should be educated, both for this and a better life overall.

I wonder if these will be suggested to these heroic revolutionaries? Any competent revolutionary must know that this “February” deserves its “October”

Jim Schofield August 2011 (a revolutionary Marxist for 52 years)

Blackberry Hacked

No Blackberry
Hackers fight back against online censorship and co-operation with the police by hacking Blackberry’s official blog. The hackers left this message:

“You Will _NOT_ assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment … if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerry Messengers you will regret it.”

A hacking group calling itself TeaMp0isoN took credit for the attack

More on this story here

Urban Exploration Live Jam

Practicing hard for their debut performance at  Bridgnorth Music and Arts festival the Urban Exploration Collective have recorded this live improvised set.

Sexism and the City

Mark Kermode declares class war and lays into the vacuous, materialistic world of Sex and the City 2… quite funny, political and kinda feminist. Fair enough. I didn’t know he had it in him!


Raoul Sinier – Guilty Cloaks

Captivating, complex and genre-defying; Guilty Cloaks feels like the most genuine piece electronic music I’ve heard in a long time. This masterpiece is the fifth full length album by the multi-talented artist, illustrator, animator and musician Raoul Sinier, and it really is something to write home about.

Intense human emotion runs through the entire album – this has a great deal to do with Sinier’s subtle vocals (think Thom Yorke or Martin Grech) which form the focal point of many of the tracks, but it is much more than the vocals alone. The precise and imaginative composition of every track creates a mood which is fluctuating: unsettling at times, serene and brooding at others; even silly (take the lyric from Over The Table for example:  “If you are a monkey, jump from tree to tree. If you are a pork, jump on my fork.”)

Guilty Cloaks takes many unexpected twists and turns, creating an album full of excitement. She Is Lord pummels away with an Amon Tobin-esque grittiness; Green Lights is meandering and broody with sharp crisp beats offsetting Boards of Canada undertones; Winter Days balances a delicate piano riff with detailed glitched-out beats which takes it some way down the dark path of breakcore; Summer Days contains desolate and desperate lyrics – “Everyone is dead. Bright light, dark sunshine… Sunshine’s in my mind, and darkness lives on my skin”; Walk features Raoul’s distinctive voice over pounding rhythms and orchestral melodies, and is an epic end to a monumental album.

Winter Days:

She Is Lord:

A few weeks back I caught up with Raoul himself, and he spared me a few minutes to answer some of my questions:

You’re a painter, musician, animator, illustrator… Are you ever bored?

I’m easily bored, yes. You might think I’m into my music and my image all the time but I have huge gaps of emptiness and inactivity, especially with music, sometimes for months. But when I’m into it, I like to try a lot of different things, as long as I get some fun or good results.

Did you work in a different way or set out to achieve something different with this album?

No I always work in the same way, I don’t think too much about what I do and I let myself go with the flow. New directions always come out on their own. The only thing a bit different on this record (and this year’s EPs) is the singing. Over the years I have been more and more interested in adding vocals, but I had to work on that for a while (and still do).

“Guilty Cloaks” sounds very genuine and personal. It makes me think you set yourself no boundaries when it came to writing this album – did you have any rules?

I don’t have any rules. Again, I don’t really put thoughts into my music, I hate concept in art, I’m just looking for emotions. I think the key about this is that as an artist but also as a listener, I don’t pay attention to genres, it’s not relevant to me. For me, music goes from happy to sad, from slow to fast, from complex to minimal, and so on. I can find something that I love or hate in any given musical genre, because emotions in music are always the same, and that’s probably why I don’t enjoy some electronic music only based on technique and producers’ gimmicks. For me the composition is the real point of music, I work a lot on the sound itself, but it’s only to serve the composition.

To me it seems like a narrative – is Guilty Cloaks about anything as a whole, or is it just the individual songs that carry their own meaning?

To me it is a whole thing, like any album should be in my opinion. But of course every track has its own little story, obviously each of the songs with lyrics have something to say.

I don’t really know if the album says something precise. I guess it turns around ideas of self-conditioning – when people force themselves to think they are this or that. This is what I tried to express with the artwork, not in an obvious way because I don’t really care about having a “real” message of some sort. And the title “Guilty Cloaks” is a personal illustration of the idea of someone not happy with his life and blaming it on his disguise. Not happy with the core, blaming the shell.

Let’s talk about your art. I can tell Francis Bacon must be a huge influence on you, but who or what else influences you?

Francis Bacon is of course my biggest influence, maybe not biggest but most noticeable. But I’m influenced by anything, I could speak about artists like J-P Witkin for example, I love his work, but i’m really feeding on everything I see. Even stuff I find awful can trigger some ideas or mental images.

Estimating A Leg: 2009

Your paintings are dark and unsettling and yet beautiful – they also have a very strong narrative quality again, like Guilty Cloaks in fact, as if they are illustrations to an untold story…

I’m glad to hear that, sometimes people only see the dark side of my work, and of course it’s very dark, but it cannot be reduced to just that, it has a lot of weird humour, silliness, even poetry sometimes… I don’t really care about dark aesthetic if there is nothing beneath.

What I try to do is exactly what you said: set up untold stories, or pieces from something larger. I like to show a situation without any explanation, not because I want the viewer to understand an obscure meaning by himself or something… I just want to show something nice and unusual – almost like abstract art.

Could you recommend a film for me to watch?

To keep on this conversation’s tone, I would say “Taxidermia”, just because I felt very close to this aesthetic when I saw it.

Finally, what are you up to next?

Well the only think really planned is the new video (to be released in September) this one is animated, with a post apocalyptic/run for your life theme… very harsh. I just finished the whole thing and I have plenty of time to polish it, I like to be ready early.

Concerning music I won’t do anything new for quite some time now – usually when I finish an album I don’t write new stuff for a while, a long while. Especially here with the album and the 2 EPs earlier this year (Cymbal Rush/Strange Teeth & Black Nails on Oeuvre and The Melting Man on Tigerbeat6). I let ideas build up and grow in my head, and one day, for no apparent reason I start again, and if it’s the right time, then I become very productive again. So, stay tuned…

Raoul Sinier’s Guilty Cloaks is out on Ad Noiseam now.
Raoul Sinier official website
Guilty Cloaks lyrics
Raoul Sinier’s art
Raoul Sinier on YouTube

Who are the real thieves?

Enjoy Capitalism

The uniform condemnation of these rampages through the Shopping Malls insisted that the youth involved were criminals. But why did it happen now?

For to ignore this last essential part of the question changes what is meant into a general characterisation of those involved to being always appropriate. “They are always bad!” You can’t do that! The current situation must have precipitated it, and caused some to go and get what they seemingly couldn’t have, and would never have!

For the Youth are an unusual section of Society to be dispossessed, but that’s what they are today. And even more than that, they are also excluded from access to such things even later, for they are also being deprived of a future too! They have taken away their access to skills that was always their right, and even the chance of an education by the Higher Education fees going through the roof. And even those who have managed to get through to what they thought would be an assured future, now find themselves unemployed. And all this while the boys at Eton can still go exploring in Arctic Svalbard, while others can holiday in the Canadian Rockies, and call for tax cuts for the rich.

When you cut off all possible progress, the ideas of the lumpen proletariat (the thieves and bullies) seem the only way out.

And remember, the legal thieves who normally get away with “taking away”, do it on a vastly more massive scale. Why has no-one called the PPI scheme (Payment Protection Insurance) exactly what it was – thieving – “You pay us to protect you when in financial difficulties (and then in the fine print) and we wont do it!”

Some of the Big Banks not only caused the catastrophe of 2008, and were bailed out by US, but within a couple of years they were pulling this new scam to get something for nothing – and one particular bank had to pay 1 billion pounds back in a single year.

Meanwhile large numbers of MPs were stealing by fiddling their parliamentary expenses. And at the same time the pensioner who had saved all his life to get an income from the interest on his savings was getting 0.5%, while inflation was romping along at 4.5 %. He was getting poorer by the day and the interest would not even cover his gas bills. And if he (as he is constantly urged) were to switch his savings to shares, in the present climate, he risks losing the LOT!

Come on! Don’t let these people tell YOU how to behave!

For those who run things steal, one way or another, as their modus operandi. When you are at work and make things – who thereafter owns them, sells them and makes a profit from them? Is it YOU – the maker? You know the answer!

Just listen to the politicians talking about the riots. Ed Milliband says the same as David Cameron, who says the same as the Police Chiefs. And while these kids are rampaging (yes, KIDS!), the elderly wealthy are pressing for water cannon and rubber bullets and even the bringing of the military onto the streets.

Come on! Turn the clock back to when we fought back: when Scargill has a hero.

Remember those who run the show are all TORIES – whatever they call themselves! They were in power in the 50s, the 70s and the 80s, and precipitated riots then too.

Do you subscribe to the Big Society, where you do things for nothing, and they continue to sit on top?

Do you remember Socialism? Or have they removed your politics too?

“Robots of Brixton” by Kibwe Tavares

Amazing anime depicting the future for the downtrodden area of Brixton, London. This truly is a masterpiece and something which people should really try to take a message from. “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” – Karl Marx

Kibwe Tavares – Direction, animation, modeling, lighting, texturingetc…
David Hoffman – Photographer Brixton riots​
Mourad Bennacer – Sound Designer​
DJ Hiatus “The Great Insurrection”

Anger for Doomed Youth

London Riots 2011

On April 11th 2010, Nick Clegg predicted in interview that if the Tories were brought to power, there would be rioting on the streets of London, to great derision by Cameron and the media. It was, of course, a transparent attempt to win votes. I wonder, however, if that moment went through his mind yesterday as he was confronted by the citizens of Hackney, desperate for answers as their homes and shops burnt. ‘Is this how England is going to be now, after the cuts?’ asked one man. ‘No, I don’t think so,’ was his weak, soft-voiced retort. The folk on the ground know it; even shopkeepers whose reactionary views are only to be expected have been heard to suggest it is the disenfranchisement of our youth that is behind this wanton destruction of property. This depth of thought seems to end, however, when the situation is interpreted by the media and those in power. Like the desperate children they so fear, the right only call for retribution, for an end to a situation they despise, without dissecting the reasons why it has escalated to this point.

Capitalism is in crisis. The evidence is all around us. Famine kills thousands while we reinforce hospital beds to deal with the obesity crisis. Oil wars rape the middle-east. Revolution and repression reign in Syria, Egypt and Lybia. There is so much international upheaval that following global politics is a full-time job. Governments around the world are cutting services because of deficits caused by greed. The poor are being made to pay for the mistakes of the super rich and unemployment is sky-high. In the UK, youth centres, sure-start centres, are closed down. Schemes offering books for disadvantaged children and subsidising food for young mothers are slashed. Many communities are in dire straights. Police morale is at an all-time low after too many cuts and too much corruption. The markets slump again in what is now being coined a double-dip recession and teenagers take to the streets in the worst riots for a generation. It all begs the question: what the fuck is going on?

The right-leaning media appears to offer few answers. Talks of ‘pure criminality’ (whatever that is) and swift ‘justice for the perpetrators’ wear thin. Can we really be so short-sighted as to think these kids just appear, evil, intent on destruction? How can we so universally, so ruthlessly condemn children who are behaving in the exact way society has trained them to behave? They value what we trained them to value: wealth, power and materialism – they are children of capitalism. Our society created this underclass, and kept them quiet with material aspiration… now there is no hope for material aspiration, this is the only place they have to go…

This is not Egypt, this is not Sudan. Our poor are not starving, our prisons (at least the ones based in the UK) are not places of torture and systematic abuse. During the Arab Spring, many of us were discussing exactly why such an uprising was impossible in this country. We cited our advantageous economic condition, the relative comfort and high living standards of our poor, stating that it would take much more then a little economic hardship to push the British over the edge. In hindsight, I think we neglected to address the potency of extreme inequality in this equation. As the gap widens, and the capitalist machine continues to push excess as an indicator of success, such anger is inevitable. Universal hardship unites us, but when we scrape together pennies for a loaf of bread, and pass six audis on the way to the shop, hatred and hopelessness begin to take hold. In their hopelessness, why should these children care about the repercussions of their looting and arson?

These riots have not been a grass roots rebellion, and they have been universally condemned from both left and right, but since when was vandalism labeled violence? Why are we only outraged now they are destroying property and not each other, in their quest for unattainable material possessions? It is this right-wing division of “us and them” which causes these sorts of problems in the first place. Continuing with this attitude towards our country’s disadvantaged youth will only help perpetuate this division. Reaction provokes reaction and the powers that be seem unwilling to address the bigger picture only talking in terms of short-term solutions. If these kids believe they are not part of society it is because they aren’t. Not the blasting of water-cannon nor the shooting of rubber bullets will solve that problem. Let us not forget, it was a shooting at a stop and search incident which provided a catalyst for these events in the first place.

In our gang culture it is viewed that there is an on-going war with the police, and these kids must feel they have had their first decisive victory in that war. In a battle for London’s streets last night, it is laughable to conceive that the police did anything other than lose.

Floatfly & Micolagist

Urban Exploration Live Debut

The whole collective have been busy preparing a monster setup of modular synths, drum machines, laptops, tape echoes, stomp boxes and miles of cable for their live debut as a performing group, at this year’s Bridgnorth Music and Arts Festival.

They will also be curating a whole day of experimental electronica and whole night of banging techno at the festival:

More information on the festival

Here is sneak preview from one of their early practices…