Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

1

Words like ‘refugee’ (and even ‘migrant’) mislead. They reduce people to categories that suggest powerlessness. It is as if the person on the road in these caravans or on the boats in the Mediterranean Sea are to be pitied (if you are a person of sensitive disposition) or hated (if you are a person who has forgotten what it means to be human). But the people walking or on the boats are not without their own aspirations and energy, without their own sense of what they are doing and why they are doing it.

When they cross the unforgiving borders, they get to work: building homes, finding work, raising children [...]. They earn money and then turn around to send it to their families who are at home. Even in the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq (Jordan), there are money transfer agencies that take cash from Syrian refugees and send it to their relatives inside Syria. The lines outside these agencies around the world suggest the immense feeling of humanity that motivates the people who are displaced.

The World Bank calculates that displaced people sent a total of $613 billion in remittances to their home countries, most of them in the Global South. To put this into context, the total overseas development aid amounted to $142.6 billion. In other words, workers who live perilously – and there are 258 million of them – send four and a half times more money to their home countries than do the wealthy states of North America and Europe. Even more scandalous, monopoly money transfer firms such as Western Union and MoneyGram take a fee that amounts to between 7% and 10%. The total garnishment from these workers amounts to $30 billion per year.

[...]

  • Total annual overseas development aid: $142.6 billion.
  • Total annual remittances from displaced workers: $613 billion.
  • Total fees annually plundered by money transfer monopolies: $30 billion.
  • Total annual budget of UNHCR: $8 billion.

Capital and weapons slip past the border guards without care. People are held back by the borders. It is this immobility that acts as an economic knife into the gut of the worlds billions. The lack of free mobility of people facilitates lower (super-exploited) wages in some parts of the world as against others. Those who are able to cross borders, but have either no papers or have limited papers, are vulnerable to employers who super-exploit their vulnerability. In other words, on both sides of the border the displaced people have to struggle to get by with super-exploited wages and poor working conditions.

—p.1 You Only Run For the Border When You See the Whole City Running As Well by Vijay Prashad 2 days, 3 hours ago

Words like ‘refugee’ (and even ‘migrant’) mislead. They reduce people to categories that suggest powerlessness. It is as if the person on the road in these caravans or on the boats in the Mediterranean Sea are to be pitied (if you are a person of sensitive disposition) or hated (if you are a person who has forgotten what it means to be human). But the people walking or on the boats are not without their own aspirations and energy, without their own sense of what they are doing and why they are doing it.

When they cross the unforgiving borders, they get to work: building homes, finding work, raising children [...]. They earn money and then turn around to send it to their families who are at home. Even in the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq (Jordan), there are money transfer agencies that take cash from Syrian refugees and send it to their relatives inside Syria. The lines outside these agencies around the world suggest the immense feeling of humanity that motivates the people who are displaced.

The World Bank calculates that displaced people sent a total of $613 billion in remittances to their home countries, most of them in the Global South. To put this into context, the total overseas development aid amounted to $142.6 billion. In other words, workers who live perilously – and there are 258 million of them – send four and a half times more money to their home countries than do the wealthy states of North America and Europe. Even more scandalous, monopoly money transfer firms such as Western Union and MoneyGram take a fee that amounts to between 7% and 10%. The total garnishment from these workers amounts to $30 billion per year.

[...]

  • Total annual overseas development aid: $142.6 billion.
  • Total annual remittances from displaced workers: $613 billion.
  • Total fees annually plundered by money transfer monopolies: $30 billion.
  • Total annual budget of UNHCR: $8 billion.

Capital and weapons slip past the border guards without care. People are held back by the borders. It is this immobility that acts as an economic knife into the gut of the worlds billions. The lack of free mobility of people facilitates lower (super-exploited) wages in some parts of the world as against others. Those who are able to cross borders, but have either no papers or have limited papers, are vulnerable to employers who super-exploit their vulnerability. In other words, on both sides of the border the displaced people have to struggle to get by with super-exploited wages and poor working conditions.

—p.1 You Only Run For the Border When You See the Whole City Running As Well by Vijay Prashad 2 days, 3 hours ago
1

[...] It does not help that the United States, the dragon that whips its tail and breathes fire into these countries, at the same time advertises itself as a ‘land of opportunity’. US military force and capital has no borders; only people of limited means run into these borders. [...]

—p.1 You Only Run For the Border When You See the Whole City Running As Well by Vijay Prashad 2 days, 3 hours ago

[...] It does not help that the United States, the dragon that whips its tail and breathes fire into these countries, at the same time advertises itself as a ‘land of opportunity’. US military force and capital has no borders; only people of limited means run into these borders. [...]

—p.1 You Only Run For the Border When You See the Whole City Running As Well by Vijay Prashad 2 days, 3 hours ago
1

[...] Each of these caravans comes with determination to flee places that the people think have failed them. It brings to mind the words of the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire,

no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well

—p.1 You Only Run For the Border When You See the Whole City Running As Well by Vijay Prashad 2 days, 3 hours ago

[...] Each of these caravans comes with determination to flee places that the people think have failed them. It brings to mind the words of the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire,

no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well

—p.1 You Only Run For the Border When You See the Whole City Running As Well by Vijay Prashad 2 days, 3 hours ago
1

You are part of the leadership of a popular movement that has just seized power in your country. Your commitment is not to bourgeois nationalism, but to socialism. You are from a country that had been under colonial rule and then neo-colonial subordination or else from a country that was not formally colonised but nonetheless experienced the full weight of imperialism. Your economy is in tatters, its raw materials drawn out of the country, its people reduced to labour on the global commodity chain gang. Your country has not been able to forge an independent foreign policy, nor a capacious social policy. A popular upsurge that began with an anti-IMF riot brings you to power. The window of possibility for your government has begun to close just as its opens.

What will you do?

The US ambassador – accompanied by a delegation of local representatives of monopoly capital firms and the local oligarchy – comes to see you and your comrades. This gaggle of important people flutter about, coming to ensure that your government will set aside its grand promises to the people and – after some mild transfer payment schemes to tackle the terrible poverty – will resume the status quo. After all, says the US ambassador, the status quo has been good for the country. The FDI flowed in, the IMF report of its staff visit has been productive, the GDP is high, the currency is relatively stable and the oligarchy – well, the oligarchy has been the pride of the nation. The ambassador wags a finger in your face – arms deals have to be signed, military agreements have to ratified. The boat is on an even keel, says the ambassador. No sense in rocking it.

You knew that this delegation would come to see you. Nothing they say or do surprises you. Countries like yours – countries of backwardness (takhalluf) – do not control their destiny. Colonial rule altered the structure of politics and economics as well as of society. Old notables had been side-lined or absorbed into the new world where they become merely representatives of forces that lived elsewhere. The new elites that emerged represented the interests of themselves certainly, but also of external forces – not their own populations who had been reduced to rubble by the plunder of colonial rule. Poverty came alongside illiteracy and disease. Backwardness was not the fault of your culture, but of this imperialist history. Your movement came out of the slums, where the bulk of your people live. They have spoken to you. They have given you their programme of action. They want you to act.

When your people won independence or overthrew your monarchy fifty years ago, the new elites seized power. They offered up your raw materials and your workers for rock bottom prices, as long as they got a cut of the profits. That is what they had won independence for – to increase their share of the theft. This large-scale bribe was then replicated down the class ladder as your country became a country of bribe-taking rather than social initiative. No development could come to your country, whose social advancement was blocked by structural obstacles such as the terms of trade for your primary products and your reliance upon finance from the old colonial powers. Your rich minerals and rich agricultural products find their prices fluctuate and remain low, while the prices of manufactured goods that you import from the imperialist powers increase. The gap between these two leaves your public exchequer in permanent debt. You borrow money from the banks of the imperialist countries and you use their currency for your international trade – both drawing you in to what you know is the imperialism of high finance. Underdevelopment is the only development that your country experiences.

Your group of revolutionaries had spent the decades under the clouds of IMF warfare studying the ‘unilateral adjustment’ thrust upon your country. You discover Samir Amin, who gives you that concept of unilateral adjustment. It means that the policy framework for any government of your country will be channelled by rules devised elsewhere, rules that benefit the old colonial powers and impoverish your own country. Even socialists are trapped by this unilateral adjustment. Structures such as unequal exchange and old-fashioned plunder vampirically diminish the wealth of your country. Your country was forced to adapt to the needs and interests of the old colonial powers. You can never be free.

This is the moment for you to test the theory of delinking – the concept you absorb from Samir Amin. To delink is not to break from the world and isolate oneself. Isolation is not possible. If you do break with the unilateral adjustment, you will either be overthrown in a coup or a military intervention in the name of saving civilians or you will be under sanctions and embargos for decades. You do not want to isolate yourself. You are an internationalist. To delink means to fight to set an alternative framework for your relations with the world, to force others to adjust to the needs and interests of the working-class and peasantry in your country and in other countries. Delinking, you read in Samir Amin, means to ‘modify the conditions of globalization’.

fucking hell, this is so good

the recommendations are:

  • capital controls
  • renegotiating extractive deals
  • un-peg currency from USD
  • more public services as real commons: free at the point of use, and decentralised
  • state-run banking sector
  • eco-friendly manufacturing
  • strengthening unions
  • promote dignity?
  • challenge ideology of ruling class (support critical education from below i guess)
  • dismantle monuments to oligarchy; replace with monuments to the people
—p.1 With Samir Amin By Our Side by Vijay Prashad 6 days ago

You are part of the leadership of a popular movement that has just seized power in your country. Your commitment is not to bourgeois nationalism, but to socialism. You are from a country that had been under colonial rule and then neo-colonial subordination or else from a country that was not formally colonised but nonetheless experienced the full weight of imperialism. Your economy is in tatters, its raw materials drawn out of the country, its people reduced to labour on the global commodity chain gang. Your country has not been able to forge an independent foreign policy, nor a capacious social policy. A popular upsurge that began with an anti-IMF riot brings you to power. The window of possibility for your government has begun to close just as its opens.

What will you do?

The US ambassador – accompanied by a delegation of local representatives of monopoly capital firms and the local oligarchy – comes to see you and your comrades. This gaggle of important people flutter about, coming to ensure that your government will set aside its grand promises to the people and – after some mild transfer payment schemes to tackle the terrible poverty – will resume the status quo. After all, says the US ambassador, the status quo has been good for the country. The FDI flowed in, the IMF report of its staff visit has been productive, the GDP is high, the currency is relatively stable and the oligarchy – well, the oligarchy has been the pride of the nation. The ambassador wags a finger in your face – arms deals have to be signed, military agreements have to ratified. The boat is on an even keel, says the ambassador. No sense in rocking it.

You knew that this delegation would come to see you. Nothing they say or do surprises you. Countries like yours – countries of backwardness (takhalluf) – do not control their destiny. Colonial rule altered the structure of politics and economics as well as of society. Old notables had been side-lined or absorbed into the new world where they become merely representatives of forces that lived elsewhere. The new elites that emerged represented the interests of themselves certainly, but also of external forces – not their own populations who had been reduced to rubble by the plunder of colonial rule. Poverty came alongside illiteracy and disease. Backwardness was not the fault of your culture, but of this imperialist history. Your movement came out of the slums, where the bulk of your people live. They have spoken to you. They have given you their programme of action. They want you to act.

When your people won independence or overthrew your monarchy fifty years ago, the new elites seized power. They offered up your raw materials and your workers for rock bottom prices, as long as they got a cut of the profits. That is what they had won independence for – to increase their share of the theft. This large-scale bribe was then replicated down the class ladder as your country became a country of bribe-taking rather than social initiative. No development could come to your country, whose social advancement was blocked by structural obstacles such as the terms of trade for your primary products and your reliance upon finance from the old colonial powers. Your rich minerals and rich agricultural products find their prices fluctuate and remain low, while the prices of manufactured goods that you import from the imperialist powers increase. The gap between these two leaves your public exchequer in permanent debt. You borrow money from the banks of the imperialist countries and you use their currency for your international trade – both drawing you in to what you know is the imperialism of high finance. Underdevelopment is the only development that your country experiences.

Your group of revolutionaries had spent the decades under the clouds of IMF warfare studying the ‘unilateral adjustment’ thrust upon your country. You discover Samir Amin, who gives you that concept of unilateral adjustment. It means that the policy framework for any government of your country will be channelled by rules devised elsewhere, rules that benefit the old colonial powers and impoverish your own country. Even socialists are trapped by this unilateral adjustment. Structures such as unequal exchange and old-fashioned plunder vampirically diminish the wealth of your country. Your country was forced to adapt to the needs and interests of the old colonial powers. You can never be free.

This is the moment for you to test the theory of delinking – the concept you absorb from Samir Amin. To delink is not to break from the world and isolate oneself. Isolation is not possible. If you do break with the unilateral adjustment, you will either be overthrown in a coup or a military intervention in the name of saving civilians or you will be under sanctions and embargos for decades. You do not want to isolate yourself. You are an internationalist. To delink means to fight to set an alternative framework for your relations with the world, to force others to adjust to the needs and interests of the working-class and peasantry in your country and in other countries. Delinking, you read in Samir Amin, means to ‘modify the conditions of globalization’.

fucking hell, this is so good

the recommendations are:

  • capital controls
  • renegotiating extractive deals
  • un-peg currency from USD
  • more public services as real commons: free at the point of use, and decentralised
  • state-run banking sector
  • eco-friendly manufacturing
  • strengthening unions
  • promote dignity?
  • challenge ideology of ruling class (support critical education from below i guess)
  • dismantle monuments to oligarchy; replace with monuments to the people
—p.1 With Samir Amin By Our Side by Vijay Prashad 6 days ago
1

[...] The ugliness of the neo-fascists emboldens violence against ordinary people but protects the wealth of the oligarchy. This is the Violence of Fools. Vigilance by sensitive people is essential. None of this is normal. To see it as such is a defeat. We live in an age of the abnormal, an age of monsters, an age of the strongmen, the devastation of humanity, the ache of decent people.

—p.1 With Samir Amin By Our Side by Vijay Prashad 6 days ago

[...] The ugliness of the neo-fascists emboldens violence against ordinary people but protects the wealth of the oligarchy. This is the Violence of Fools. Vigilance by sensitive people is essential. None of this is normal. To see it as such is a defeat. We live in an age of the abnormal, an age of monsters, an age of the strongmen, the devastation of humanity, the ache of decent people.

—p.1 With Samir Amin By Our Side by Vijay Prashad 6 days ago