A war that has killed more than a million Iraqis was a "humanitarian intervention", the US army is a force for liberation, and the main threat to world peace is posed by Islam. These are the arguments of a host of liberal commentators, including such notable names as Christopher Hitchens, Kanan Makiya, Michael Ignatieff, Paul Berman, and Bernard-Henri Lévy.
In this critical intervention, Richard Seymour unearths the history of liberal justifications for empire, showing how savage policies of conquest—including genocide and slavery—have been retailed as charitable missions. From the Cold War to the War on Terror, Seymour argues that colonialist notions of "civilization" and "progress" still shape liberal pro-war discourse, concealing the same bloody realities.
In a new afterword, Seymour revisits the debates on liberal imperialism in the era of Obama and in the light of the Afghan and Iraqi debacles.
Aaron Swartz (1986–2013) was an American computer programmer, a writer, a political organizer, and an Internet hacktivist, devoted to a free and open internet. He was involved in the development of RSS, Creative Commons, web.py, and Reddit. When he tried to 'liberate' data from an academic website, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. In 2013, he tragically took his own life.
The Boy Who Could Change the World is a newly-published collection of his writings; the life’s work of one of the most original minds of our time. In tribute to Swartz, this book is available to download for FREE—for one day only! We’ve also included other ebooks such as Inventing the Future, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, and The Wikileaks Files.
Aaron Swartz read widely, posting annual lists of the books he enjoyed (and didn’t). Taken from The Boy Who Could Change the World, we bring you a hacktivist reading list – books that Swartz posted about from 2006-2011, presented here in his own words.
According to the philosopher Jacques Rancière, a number of so-called French ‘republican’ intellectuals have been opening the door to the Front National for some time now. In an interview with Éric Aeschimannm, Rancière shows how universalist values have been perverted to the benefit of xenophobic discourse.
The attacks on Paris last Friday, 13th November, have prompted a predictable response: bombs abroad and a further restriction of civil liberties at home, not to mention a ratcheting up of Islamophobia. Sebastian Budgen analyses the wisdom of this approach.
This is perhaps the moment to take a step back to review the brilliance of West's counterrorist strategy, which we can then admire in all its strategic and tactical coherence: