CounterVortex needs your support! This is the first time we have asked our readers for money in a year, and three of you have responded for a total of $55—just over one-tenth of the way to our modest goal of $500. We think we have more than three readers. And $500 is just a quarter of our annual operating costs. Last year, we were able to raise $500, and we are depending on you again. As most of the American left succumbs to abject glorification of reactionary dictators, we think it is more vital than ever to keep alive an intransigently dissident voice that still has fundamental anti-fascist principles intact—CounterVortex. If you don't think the pro-dictatorship position has become hegemonic on the "left," the latest example comes from the holiday statement just issued by Veterans for Peace (sic!), hailing the genocidal regime of Bashar Assad as the "secular, multi-religious Syrian state." Somebody needs to forthrightly repudiate this repugnant jive, and that responsibility falls to us. We are also the only website on the American left that provides ongoing, serious coverage of under-reported or downright forgotten wars in places like Chechnya, Mali, the Philippines and Colombia. Please give what you can to sustain our efforts.
CounterVortex will be on hiatus through mid-December, as your editor Bill Weinberg will be traveling in Italy, networking with squatters and migrant rights activists. He may post some material from the road. But we will resume regular updates to the Daily Report and our weekly headline e-mails upon his return. This, of course, is contingent upon Verizon actually making net access available—sporadic outages have considerably slowed our work over the past two weeks. Help CounterVortex win its fight against Verizon, and make them provide the services they are required to supply under New York state law. For further details, listen to our latest podcast. Your continued support is more urgent than ever. Please give what you can to sustain our efforts. No donation is too small. (Hell, five bucks is a cup of coffee in New York City. It's also about 5% of our annual operating costs. Every little bit helps.)
CountertVortex editor and main contributor Bill Weinberg (that would be me) is currently without phone service, and only intermittent Internet access, due to a Verizon equipment failure. The last Verizon chat-jockey I spoke with said "it is a major cable issue and will need some time to be solved." That basically means they aren't going to fix it. I use DSL and a land-line—going through the old copper wires that Verizon is trying to phase out. And as ExtremeTech reported back in 2016: "For the past few years, there have been persistent reports from across the country that Verizon was forcing end-users to switch away from copper networks by deliberately tearing out infrastructure, firing repair crews, forcing customers to wait months for repair, and then claiming to Congress that its fiber conversion is driven by demand. In reality, that demand is being manufactured."
CounterVortex editor and chief blogger Bill Weinberg will host a panel at the Anarchist Bookfair in New York City June 9 on "Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution." Also speaking will be writer Amina A. of Syria Solidarity NYC and Shiyam Galyon from Books Not Bombs. Eclipsed from the headlines by ruthless armed actors, the secular, progressive civil opposition that started the Syrian Revolution in 2011 continues to exist. In some areas of Syria, it is the real power on the ground, in self-governing municipalities run on an anarchist-influenced model of council-based popular democracy. In opposing imperialist designs on Syria (US and Russian alike), our first responsibility is to build vigorous solidarity with this civil opposition.
CounterVortex editor and chief blogger Bill Weinberg will speak at the Left Forum in New York City on June 2, at the panel "Has 'the Left' Accommodated Trump (and Putin)? A Debate." Tens of millions of Americans and people around the world have regarded Trump and Trumpism as exceptional threats that must be resisted tooth-and-nail. But some voices on the "left" have argued that anti-Trumpism is itself a problem, that concerns about Trumpism are a distraction from struggles against neoliberalism and imperialism, and/or that the left should reach out to Trump's anti-establishment and populist base. Who are the deluded ones here?
The group Syria Solidarity New York City will feature a screening of the VICE/HBO film Assad's Syria, a documentary depicting life under brutal dictatorship and war conditions. Followed by a discussion with Malek Rasamny, a journalist and film-maker with experience on the ground in Syria. We will examine the causes of the refugee crisis, and what we as part of the world community can do to help. April 27, 6:30 PM at Word Up Community Book Shop, 2113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.), Washington Heights, New York City.
In Episode Six of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg reads and discusses selections from CS Lewis' classic work The Abolition of Man, and explores its relevance in light of the contemporary dilemmas posed by biotech and artificial intelligence. Conservative Christian moralist Lewis paradoxically developed a quasi-anarchist critique of technological society, with ideas closely mirroring those of his contemporary George Orwell—despite the fact that the two were on opposite sides of the political divide. But Lewis went beyond even Orwell's dark vision in foreseeing an actual end to humanity itself, as it has been understood for millennia, and its replacement by a conditioned post-humanity stripped of all dignity and reason. Recent technological "advances" have made this possible more literally and completely than Lewis could have imagined. Listen on SoundCloud, and support our podcast via Patreon.
Protests against austerity and the lords of capital are erupting simultaneously in Iran, Tunisia, Sudan, Morocco, China, Peru, Honduras, Argentina and Ecuador, recalling the international protest wave of 2011. Such moments open windows of utopian possibility, but those windows inevitably seem to close as protest movements are manipulated by Great Power intrigues or derailed into ethnic or sectarian scapegoating. What can we do to keep the revolutionary flame alive, build solidarity across borders, and resist the exploitation and diversion of protest movements? Bill Weinberg explores this question on Episode 1 of the long-awaited CounterVortex podcast. You can listen on SoundCloud.