Welcome to Flood Media’s link roundup! Each week, we bring you fresh Flood-approved content from around the web, covering current events, debates, and hot takes.
On Sunday, the national prison strike in the US came to an end, on the anniversary of the 1971 uprising at Attica prison in upstate New York. The Guardian’s piece on the strike is a good place to start if you haven’t read much about it so far (media coverage in Australia has been, I’ve noticed, lacking). The inmates have ten demands, ranging from proper wages for work done in prisons to the reinstatement of voting rights for former and current inmates. The response from prisons has been predictably monstrous: Eddie, an inmate in South Carolina, told the Guardian that all prisoners have been "in our cells literally 24/7. They turn back our mail, threaten anyone found to be associated with the strike with solitary, and they’ve painted windows in our cells black so we have no idea whether it’s night or day.” Having a normal one! But these tactics seem to have failed to repress the prisoners’ energy and resolve: future mobilisations, focusing specifically on voting rights, are already being planned.
Here at Flood Media we take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date on Zapatista goings-on. As such, please find here the latest Zapatista text, in three parts:
These are transcriptions of speeches given at the Zapatistas’ recent Sixth Commission at the Gathering of Support Networks for the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG) and provide a rich, in-depth look at the Zapatista analysis of capitalism, colonialism, and struggle. They’re also witty and engaging. Here’s Subcomandante Galeano on the recent Mexican elections: “In this country also known as the “Mexican Republic,” the recent national elections managed to hide reality… for a moment: economic crisis, social decomposition (with its long train of femicides), and the consolidation (despite supposed “mortal blows” to narco-trafficking) of parallel States (or those interwoven with the Nation-State) of so-called “organized crime” … But as enthusiasm over the election results wanes, reality rears its head once again, saying, “Here I am, you forgot my vote… and my scythe.”
In an extract from her new book, Gabrielle Chan charts the disconnect between the Australian political class and the general public, particularly those in rural areas. She identifies a rural ‘neglected class’, comprised of those who “service the farms, look after the very young and the very old, keep the schools going, keep the hospitals running, do the council work (in the streets as opposed to sitting as councillors), stock the supermarket shelves. The neglected class are the very foundation of country towns, and you don’t hear about them from most rural MPs. The neglected class feel they have no sway over governments or politicians, and they feel inadequately represented by the media. They have no lobby group wholly representing them.” For more on the crisis of representation in Australian politics, we recommend, as always, The Piping Shrike.
In the US, Democrat Elizabeth Warren has just introduced what can only be described as a very modest bill to give workers a minority of seats on corporate boards, require companies to consider all stakeholders rather than just shareholders, and require every corporation with revenue over $1 billion to be federally chartered on corporate citizenship. (If that didn’t make you crack a smile, wait till you hear the name of the bill: the Accountable Capitalism Act. Yep!!!) Of course, it’s still sending conservatives apoplectic with rage - and helpfully, Current Affairs has put together a roundup of some of the best reactions, which illuminate the way both Republicans and Democrats think about capitalism and socialism.
Finally, a small plug for, er, myself. The recent respect-fest surrounding John McCain’s death - as well as Shorten’s frankly sycophantic comments about how much Turnbull used the word ‘love’ - made me feel so ill that I wrote an article for Overland about the political class’s obsession with respectability, and how it flattens and silences the fundamental role of conflict within politics. “Increasingly, the dream of centrist and centre-left liberals seems to be a future where all political differences are resolved, or simply held without conflict, in glorious bipartisanship. But this is a fatal misunderstanding of politics, which exists to further certain interests at the expense of others. ‘Between equal rights,’ wrote Marx, albeit in a slightly different context, ‘force decides.’”
And now for something completely different: I knew I could not let this link roundup pass without mentioning the phenomena known as 'hot couch', which some have called "this generation's madeleine dipped in tea". So in an effort to find a good link, I googled 'hot couch' at work. I will not go into any further detail here, only say that I do not advise you to do this. Just listen to the original and have your mind blown by Hot Couch Mythology.
Until next week!