The UK’s Decision to Extradite Assange Shows Why The US/UK’s Freedom Lectures Are a Farce

The Assange persecution is the greatest threat to Western press freedoms in years. It is also a shining monument to the fraud of American and British self-depictions.

Glenn Greenwald | June 17, 2022

People protest with t-shirts and easter eggs at Largo di Torre Argentina to demand Julian Assange’s freedom against extradition, on April 11, 2022 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

The eleven-year persecution of Julian Assange was extended and escalated on Friday morning. The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, approved the U.S.’s extradition request to send Julian Assange to Virginia to stand trial on eighteen felony charges under the 1917 Espionage Act and other statutes in connection with the 2010 publication by WikiLeaks of thousands of documents showing widespread corruption, deceit, and war crimes by American and British authorities along with their close dictatorial allies in the Middle East.

This decision is unsurprising — it has been obvious for years that the U.S. and UK are determined to destroy Assange as punishment for his journalism exposing their crimes — yet it nonetheless further highlights the utter sham of American and British sermons about freedom, democracy and a free press. Those performative self-glorifying spectacles are constantly deployed to justify these two countries’ interference in and attacks on other nations, and to allow their citizens to feel a sense of superiority about the nature of their governments. After all, if the U.S. and UK stand for freedom and against tyranny, who could possibly oppose their wars and interventions in the name of advancing such lofty goals and noble values?

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Return of the Dialectics of Nature: Marxian Ecology and the Struggle for Freedom as Necessity —A Discussion of the Deutscher Prize 2020

This session is a discussion of the Deutscher Prize Winning Book 2020 ‘The Return of the Dialectics of Nature: Marxian Ecology and the Struggle for Freedom as Necessity’ – John Bellamy Foster.

This is NOT the Deutscher Prize Lecture – it is a discussion of the prize winning book. The lecture can be accessed and downloaded at –

https://cldcnas.synology.me:9887/d/s/…

The Discussants are

John Bellamy Foster (University of Oregon, USA)

Helena Sheehan (Dublin City University, Ireland)

Stefano B. Longo (North Carolina State University, Lund University, Sweden)

Chair: Alfredo Saad Filho.

This session will also announce the 2021 Prize winner. The shortlist is:

Francesca Antonini – Caesarism and Bonapartism in Gramsci: Hegemony and the Crisis of Modernity (Brill)

Himani Bannerji – The Ideological Condition: Selected Essays on History, Race and Gender (Brill)

Maïa Pal – Jurisdictional Accumulation: An Early Modern History of Law, Empires, and Capital (Cambridge)

Panagiotis Sotiris – A Philosophy for Communism: Rethinking Althusser (Brill)

Ronald Grigor Suny – Stalin: Passage to Revolution (Princeton)

Ntina Tzouvala – Capitalism As Civilisation: A History of International Law (Cambridge)

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Spinoza and the Politics of Freedom

Dan Taylor

Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2021, 304 pp., £80 hb

ISBN 9781474478427

Reviewed by Timothy Deane-Freeman

Dan Taylor’s Spinoza and the Politics of Freedom subtly achieves apparently contradictory ends. On the one hand, this elegant and restrained monograph situates Spinoza, resisting a long-standing temptation to ‘make [him] one of us’ (254), by transposing his rigorously particular concepts neatly onto contemporary problems and vocabularies. This tendency, which has plagued Spinoza almost since his works were first published, has birthed multiple images of the seventeenth century Dutch rationalist, ranging from the ‘radically individualistic’ (119) libertarian we encounter in the work of Rice or Den Uyl, through to the collectivist thinker of the ‘multitude’ whose genealogy we might trace through Marx to Althusser, Matheron and Negri. And while this constellation of simulacra has proven immensely productive, it has also often served to obscure the actual social and political problems to which Spinoza’s thought was addressed – a problem Taylor’s work seeks to rectify.

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FREEDOM AND COVID-19 IN UK

UK Government to Propose Digital “Freedom Pass” that Allows Heavily-Tested Citizens Out in Public Life

Cindy Harper

Reclaim The Net | November 22, 2020

The UK government plans to provide the rather dystopian-sounding digital “freedom passes” to people who test negative for COVID twice in a week. The plan is an attempt to “allow” people a shot at a “normal life” before a vaccine becomes available.Read More »

INDIA

Rise for Building India and for Freedom

A Call from PCC CPI(ML)

Subhash Deb

Frontier | September 04, 2020

There is a deep concern among the policymakers on the drastic fall of GDP growth rate. The concern is legitimate so long as it is viewed as the availability of resources for developmental work by the state. But so far, GDP has been an indicator of capitalist development for accumulation of capital in the hands of few private owners of means of production and corporate giant to increase inequality in the society, more pronouncedly in the neo-liberal phase of global capitalism. India is no exception in emphasising the GDP growth rate from this perspective.

In this context, the fall of GDP growth rate is not always bad provided the Government plans to support the domestic economy ensuring social welfare, workers rights, domestic productive investments, and expansion of domestic market by curtailing unproductive expenditure and corporate-bailout packages. But unfortunately, the present Government in power is pursuing an economic policy that links the Indian market to the US imperialist interest and supports the corporate owners, especially the Adanis and Ambanis. This policy which is detrimental to the interest of the Indian people vis-à-vis nation deepens the crisis further. Thus, this policy finds the power-that-be in the terrain of authoritarian state and compels the state to apply coercive measures, state-repression through curtailment of working class and human rights. This is the domestic ramification of Government’s present policy persuasions.Read More »

The American Gulag

by John W. Whitehead

Dissident Voice | August 29, 2019

The exile of prisoners to a distant place, where they can ‘pay their debt to society,’ make themselves useful, and not contaminate others with their ideas or their criminal acts, is a practice as old as civilization itself. The rulers of ancient Rome and Greece sent their dissidents off to distant colonies. Socrates chose death over the torment of exile from Athens. The poet Ovid was exiled to a fetid port on the Black Sea.”

— Anne Applebaum, Gulag: A History, 2003

This is how freedom dies.

This is how you condition a populace to life as prisoners in a police state: by brainwashing them into believing they are free so that they will march in lockstep with the state and be incapable of recognizing the prison walls that surround them.Read More »

Freedom: Tales from Real Life

A Journal of People report

All love freedom. However, freedom faces hurdles within a reality. Freedom is not only an idea, a concept or a feeling. In real life, it has many dimensions, and the dimensions are real.

The following reports say something about freedom:

A Freed Person, But …

A Yahoo Lifestyle report – “Cyntoia Brown freed from prison after 15 years — here’s what obstacles she may face re-entering society” – by Paulina Cachero tells about Cyntoia Brown, a sex-trafficking survivor initially sentenced to life in prison for killing her abuser.Read More »

Evo Morales: ‘US is Greatest Threat to Freedom, Democracy’

teleSUR | April 14, 2018

Bolivia

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales during the opening session of the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, April 14, 2018. | Photo: Reuters
“The biggest threat against freedom, against democracy, against Mother Earth and against multilateralism is the United States,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said.

Bolivia‘s President Evo Morales has warned that the United States is the greatest threat to democracy, and that Latin America mustn’t serve its agenda, following the attacks waged by the United States, France and the United Kingdom against Syria.

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What Cuba can teach America about freedom

by T.D. Harper-Shipman PhD

Pambazuka NewsSeptember 14, 2017

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Spain: Breaking up is hard to do

by CONN HALLINAN

Spain: Breaking up is hard to do

A protest organized by the National Assembly for Catalonia, to support the call for referendum on independence in Barcelona, June 11. Spain’s government has promised to not allow the scheduled Oct. 1 vote on grounds that it is unconstitutional since it is matter that would affect all Spaniards. | Emilio Morenatti / AP

When the Catalans go to the polls Oct. 1, much more than independence for Spain’s restive province will be at stake. In many ways the vote will be a sounding board for Spain’s future, but it is also a test of whether the European Union—divided between north and south, east and west—can long endure.

In some ways, the referendum on Catalan independence is a very Spanish affair, with grievances that run all the way back to Catalonia’s loss of independence in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). But the Catalans lost more than their political freedom when the combined French and Spanish army took Barcelona; they lost much of their language and culture, particularly during the long and brutal dictatorship of Francisco Franco from 1939 to 1975.Read More »