Category: CLASS COLLABORATION

Fact-checking the Tor Project’s government ties

YASHA LEVINE—For years, the Tor Project — along with other government-funded crypto tools like Signal — has been seen in almost religious terms by the privacy community as the only way to protect people from government spying online. The Electronic Frontier Foundation held up Tor as the digital equivalent of the First Amendment. The ACLU backed it. Fight for the Future, the hip Silicon Valley activist group, declared Tor to be “NSA-proof.” Edward Snowden held it up as an example of the kind of grassroots privacy technology that could defeat government surveillance online, and told his followers to use it. Prominent award-winning journalists from Wired, Vice, The Intercept, The Guardian and Rolling Stone — including Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Andy Greenberg — all helped pump up Tor’s mythical anti-state rebel status. Even Daniel Ellsberg, the legendary whistleblower, was convinced that Tor was vital to the future of democracy.

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The Lebanese style of democracy of no winners or losers

GHASSAN KADI—The irony here is that even though the outcome of the “War on Syria” was reflected in the outcome of the recent 6th of May 2018 Lebanese elections, and even though the Saudi cohorts in Lebanon have lost many seats and were considered to be “losers”, Lebanese President Aoun, who is pro-Syria, has appointed current Prime Minister, pro-Saudi, Hariri to form the new government. This is democracy Lebanese style. At its best, democracy can stink, especially Western Democracy that turns the whole freedom of choice into a charade of two parties dictating who they choose as leader.

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The death of reformism: Corbyn and the “broad left”

CHRIS MARSDEN—The Blairite think-tank, Prospect, proclaims, “Social democracy, the most influential force in European politics for decades, is dying.” They should know, because the party they dubbed “New Labour” was in the vanguard of the political shift to a nakedly pro-business, pro-privatisation, pro-austerity and pro-war agenda that has ended in electoral meltdown. The working class, particularly the younger generation, has abandoned the old parties in disgust at what they have done.

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Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party

PATRICK WALKER—My prediction is that the forces of political revolt will eventually coalesce, resulting in the real resistance movement an extremist Trump presidency should have awakened; whether they’ll do so in time to ward off nuclear or climate catastrophe is anybody’s guess. But the elements of real, fruitful revolt (not Democrats’ largely symbolic McResistance) are now in place, and my modest task here is simply to raise consciousness about the “dynamite” political potential of fusing those elements.

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