Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vladimir Ulyanov

I used to check Lenin's Tomb regularly, but somehow lost the habit, much to my regret. A friend sent me his latest posts, on-the-ground coverage of the student protests in the UK , reminding us of what kind of function blogging journalism can accomplish.

His claim that the UK protests were primarily spontaneous and organized through social media underlines my longstanding view that these forms of digital networks are the organizing tool of our time. But the fact that most of these technologies are corporate-driven and server-based is an Achilles heel. If Mark Zuckerberg, or Mr Tweet, or Eric Schmidt, or Langley decide that enough is enough, and the networks go dark, what's the alternative?

If anyone knows of a peer-to-peer social networking system, let me know.

Scrolling down further at Lenin's Tomb, some Irish analysis:

This breakdown of Fianna Fail's support hasn't yet benefited the Left in a big way, but it can do so. Labour is the main centre-left opposition party, and has made serious gains in the polls as a result of Fianna Fail's difficulties, rising to 27%, an increase of 10% since last year. The radical left has previously demonstrated its ability to make surprising break-throughs, and is probably represented in the 8% support that 'independents' get. The Greens are worried about their own position, and they're right to be worried. They gambled on collusion with the government's austerity measures, justifying every betrayal on similar grounds to those offered by the Liberals - because we're in government, we can implement some of the beneficial policies that we want to see. But they now know they face the wrath of the voters and are trying to limit the damage. They certainly have no ability to channel any protest, as they've made themselves the objects of protest: they garner a miserable 3% in the polls. As yet, it still looks like the right-wing Fine Gael will be the main beneficiary of the protest vote, with 33% support.

I wasn't aware that the Green Party there had signed up for austerity. Such an idiotic position could only come out of the political stupor induced by years and years of fake prosperity and stability induced by the credit bubble. (and not just in Ireland).

And I see that there is a re-release of that masterpiece of cinematography, the Conformist, just in time.

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