The announcement in the 2014 Budget by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne of an institute for big data and algorithm research named after Alan Turing is outrageous. He did more than anybody else to defeat the Nazis and the possibility of world fascism forever, and his name is being associated with an institute which could (collaborating with PRISM used by the National Security Agency in the USA) actually bring about world fascism forever – with computers, mobile phones, CCTV cameras, etc., taking the role of human spies as used by the Nazis.
[For quite a lot of useful information on avoiding being spied upon/listened to, including via a mobile phone (cellphone) that is switched off (make sure you buy one with a removable battery, which are less common these days partly to boost phone companies’ profits, and remove it at important times), go to this entry on Washington’s Blog (quoting ABC News from 2006 and commenting on Edward Snowden’s revelations): The SINGLE Most Important Step to Protect Yourself from Government Spying.]
The idea is to gather huge amounts of information about us and try to use computer software (algorithms) to analyse it, in order to model organisations and individuals in the world, predict what we are going to do (particularly if it involves trying to change society) and interact in various ways to bring about some sort of police state so that socialist change is impossible. Algorithms would virtually remove the need for human intervention, so there wouldn’t be whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.
I am an artificial intelligence expert who was the main designer and sole implementer of an AI/simulation language called SDML, so know this in theory is possible (although my language did it on a small scale, some of the ideas and code could be used in a serious attempt to maintain capitalism or indeed conspire to ensure socialist change is brought about – perhaps the latter is the meaning of the dialectics.org website drawing on ideas described in the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, which I will review in the near future).
I was in the audience for the BBC TV programme The Big Questions (produced by the private company Mentorn Scotland), that has debates from a moral/religious viewpoint, often but not always on political issues, last Sunday in Salford for a pre-recorded special on the subject of “Is war ever just?”
It will be shown tomorrow (Sunday 26 January at 10am) – probably on BBC1 (possibly switched to BBC2). Nicky Campbell didn’t select me from the audience to make a point (or ask a question to the panel on the front row who dominated the show) but I’m writing this blog post to make some points I could have raised (and I will tweet links to this blog entry when the programme is aired).
My newly founded party, Left Unity (which I admitted to being a member of when asked by a woman who rang me before inviting me onto the show, perhaps influencing me not being picked to speak), has a position of opposition to glorification of war (throughout 2014 which is the 100th anniversary, i.e. centenary, of the start of what was then called “The Great War” and “The war to end all wars”, and is now known as “The First World War” or “World War I”).
Doesn’t Gove look a nasty piece of work?
The extremely annoying and incompetent Tory toff and ConDem Education Secretary Michael Gove has argued against teachers in school showing “Oh! What a Lovely War”, “The Monocled Mutineer” and “Blackadder Goes Forth” because they put across left-wing viewpoints, in an article in the Daily Mail. That “newspaper” (very right-wing rag) incidentally supported the fascist Blackshirts in Britain and the Nazis in Germany before the World War II – see my blog post Ed & Ralph Miliband v Daily Mail (who said “Hurrah for Blackshirts”) – David Cameron’s father Ian was a tax dodger!
There is a crying need for the divide-and-rule strategies of capitalist ruling classes across the world, aided and abetted by extreme right-wing forces – such as the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), British National Party (BNP) and English Defence League (EDL), as well as religious extremists who also have right-wing agendas (who objectively play into the hands of the very capitalist states they often claim to oppose if they carry out terrorist acts) – to be effectively opposed by left-wing arguments.
Some of the right-wing arguments are easy to oppose. Blaming immigrants for the current economic malaise is obviously nonsense, since the world economic crisis started with “sub-prime” mortgages in the USA. Instead of our ruling classes bailing out the banks, they should all have been nationalised, only compensating pension schemes, and turned into building societies – focusing on lending to individuals (mainly for mortgages) and small businesses, funded by deposits by individuals and small businesses. All big businesses should also have been nationalised, only compensating pension schemes, in a socialist transformation of society. [Arguing what should have been done is incidental, since capitalist governments obviously wouldn’t do it; such a socialist transformation of society (revolution) can only take place by a mass movement from below.]
The argument for “no borders” (i.e. no limits on immigration) is harder to make, especially considering the propaganda from the likes of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sun, reflecting the arguments not just made by UKIP and the BNP but mainstream capitalist parties. They whip up hatred towards asylum seekers (utterly heartless to try to inflict further suffering on those fleeing persecution elsewhere in the world) and other refugees (don’t those dying of hunger warrant our help if they can get here?), as well as people in poorer countries in the European Union (with UKIP targeting Romanians and Bulgarians as part of their argument to get the UK to leave the EU).
Let me put forward (what I think is) a convincing argument for “no borders”:
It wouldn’t be implemented until after a socialist revolution, so demanding that our racist ruling classes, kept in power mainly by their use of divide-and-rule implement it, is pointless. However, after such a revolution, we should welcome anybody who wants to come and experience life in a wonderful, vibrant, joyful socialist country, and many of them would go back to their own countries and spread the ideas of socialist revolution there.
After 3 years in prison (during his first year of incarceration the conditions Bradley was kept in amounted to torture and were condemned by the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez), WikiLeaks whistleblower finally comes to trial on Monday (3 June).
In any sane society, Bradley’s revelations about the misdeeds of the US military should make him a hero – and indeed, he is a hero to socialists and anti-war activists – but the US state wants to keep him incarcerated for the rest of his life (and some nasty pieces of work want him to face the death penalty).
There are a lot of people who believe in conspiracy theories, particularly that 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by the Bush administration. For those who don’t, or those who do and want to educate themselves and others, I strongly recommend watching the BBC Conspiracy Files TV programme on the Third Tower (WTC7), aired in July 2008 – either click here (or search YouTube for “BBC Conspiracy Files Third Tower” if that copy has been removed due to copyright issues).
The programme provided the following evidence of a conspiracy:
The third tower collapsed without a plane hitting it, supposedly due to fire. On no other occasion in history has a building with steel support collapsed due to fire (unless you count the twin towers that collapsed earlier that day with the planes hitting them starting fires before they collapsed, or a later Madrid fire that took hours and didn’t completely collapse).
There were other buildings between the twin towers and the Third Tower, which collapsed 8 hours later. Continue reading →