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The source for experts, spokespersons. Tools for publicity, media relations.
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#ConnexionsDailyQuote “The fundamental job of the imagination in ordinary life, then, is to produce, out of the society we have to live in, a vision of the society we want to live in.” - Northrop Frye
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Seeds of Fire, July 26

July 26-29, 1830: Unhappy with the results of the recent election, French King Charles X dissolves Parliament. In response, Paris workers head to the barricades, while soldiers refuse to put down the insurrection. Three days later, the King is forced to abdicate. He is replaced by Louis Phillippe, who is seen as more liberal.

July 26, 1877: Battle of the Viaduct in Chicago. Federal troops, recently returned from a massacre of Indians in the west, backed by militia and police, attack striking furniture workers. They kill at least 30, and leave more than 100 seriously injured.

July 26, 1893: Birth of George Grosz (1893-1959), German artist and radical.

July 26, 1953: Cuban rebels led by 26-year-old Fidel Castro attack the Moncada Barracks in Santiago and the barracks in Bayamo.

Seeds of Fire: A People’s History - compiled by Ulli Diemer for Connexions

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#ConnexionsDailyBook Karl Marx. By Karl Korsch

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#ConnexionsDailyQuote “A brutal tyrant crosses the line from admirable friend to ‘villain’ and ‘scum’ when he commits the crime of independence. One common mistake is to go beyond robbing the poor -- which is just fine -- and to start interfering with the privileged, eliciting opposition from business leaders.” - Noam Chomsky
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Seeds of Fire, July 25

July 25, 1849: The Willich Corps, a revolutionary militia who have been fighting along with other revolutionary forces against Prussian troops in the Palatinate, escape across the Rhine into Switzerland after being defeated by the Prussian army. One of the last to make the crossing is Friedrich Engels, co-author of the Communist Manifesto.

July 25, 1898: The United States invades and occupies Puerto Rico, saying they are ‘liberating’ the island. More than a century later, they continue to occupy it.

July 25, 1905: Birth of Grace MacInnis (1905-1991), Canadian politician, social democrat, and feminist; elected as an MLA and an MP representing the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the New Democratic Party (NDP).

July 25 – August 2, 1909: Tragic Week (la Setmana Tràgica in Catalan, la Semana Trágica in Spanish): bloody confrontations between the Spanish army and the working classes of Barcelona and other cities of Catalonia.

Seeds of Fire: A People’s History - compiled by Ulli Diemer for Connexions
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#ConnexionsDailyBook The World Without Us. By Alan Weisman
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News Release - Connexions Other Voices - Secrecy and Power

July 22, 2017

Secrecy and Power; The July 22 issue of Other Voices, the Connexions newsletter, is now out. It sptolights the relationship of secrecy and power.

It is one of the essential attributes of power that it insists on secrecy. Or, more precisely, those who wield power over others routinely claim that the details of what they do, and why they do it, are far too sensitive to be revealed to the public. The decisions they take, the discussions they have, the information they consider, the lobbyists who influenced them: all this must remain behind closed doors. Terrible (though unspecified) calamities would result if their jealously guarded secrets were to be revealed.

Self-serving as this view may be, it contains an important germ of truth. It is a defining characteristic of almost all bodies that wield power - governments, public agencies, courts, police, corporations - that they view the people they ostensibly serve as the enemy. If the public finds out that they are seen as the enemy, the interests of the power-holders could indeed be harmed. Having their secrets exposed to the public is seen as an existential threat, and is met with fury: witness, for example, the extraordinary vindictiveness which the American state directs at whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange.

It is on the level of national security that the cult of secrecy is most apparent and most pathological. It is also on this plane that the distinction between secrecy and privacy is clearest.

Privacy is something that belongs to individuals. It is the right to go about one’s business without being spied on by the state or corporate entities. Governments and corporations hate the idea of privacy, and do everything they can to deny anyone, anywhere, the right to privacy. They suck up information, all kinds of information, anything and everything, and trade it like a commodity.

Secrecy, on the other hand, is a weapon used by the state and other wielders of power against the public they ostensibly serve. Whereas everything that every member of the public does must be subject to surveillance by those in power, everything important done by those in power must remain a secret.

The same attitudes are prevalent wherever power is wielded. Far-reaching international agreements, such as the so-called “free trade” deals, are always negotiated in secret. Pesticides and other chemicals are routinely approved on the basis of ‘evidence’ which can’t be revealed because it is a trade secret. On those rare occasions where corporations are successfully sued by those they have harmed, the actual settlement is concealed behind a court-imposed non-disclosure clause, so that others can’t take advantage of the precedent. International financial agreements have been carefully crafted to allow the wealthy to move and hide their money to avoid paying taxes. Trials of those accused of crimes against the state are held in secret; sometimes those taken into custody are held in secret prisons without even the benefit of a trial.

One of the paradoxes of the cult of secrecy, as it pertains to national security, is that very often it doesn’t work. Security agencies, with their thousands of employees and their billions of intercepted communications and storehouses full of secrets, routinely fail to foresee events which journalists and ordinary observers on the ground see, analyze, and understand without access to any secret information.

But then, it would be naive to think that the goals those in power claim to be pursuing are their real goals. Wars are profitable. Trade deals are profitable. Toxic chemicals are profitable. Keeping the real enemy -- the people – from interfering is essential. And therefore, so is secrecy.

If you don’t receive Other Volices by email, you can see it online at http://www.connexions.org/Media/CXNL-2017-07-22.htm

For more information contact:
Ulli Diemer
Connexions
Website: www.connexions.org/Media/CXNL-2017-07-22.htm

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