Over 400 people attended 3 different meetings in Vienna and Linz organised to
launch the German edition of Reason in Revolt in Austria between December
12 and 14. Alan Woods spoke at these meetings and huge interest was shown by
those attending. Now several discussion groups have been set up around the book
in different universities and schools, and the campaign around the book is to
continue next year.
The first volume of Reason in Revolt has, by all accounts, been well
received in the USA. In general, the Anglo Saxon world has been highly resistant to broad
philosophical generalizations and to Marxism in particular. Yet without such
philosophical generalizations it is impossible to acquire a rational
understanding of the world in which we live.
From the fourth to the twelfth of April, shortly after returning from an
outstanding congress of the Pakistan Marxists, Alan Woods was in Austria on a
speaking tour, organised by the Austrian Marxist newspaper, Der Funke ("The
Spark"). The tour, which was partly taken up by anti-war meetings and
partly to present the German language edition of Reason in Revolt, was a great
On Sunday April 27, the British Channel 4 broadcast a documentary which
went into detail into "how far drug companies are prepared
to go to get their drugs approved and get the prices they want". Basing
itself on four different cases, the program made a very powerful case
for its main conclusion: "if the Big-Pharma powers remain unchecked
more people will be dying for drugs."
Since last summer we have seen a widespread debate about the pros and
the cons of GM products. There are people for and against GM products from all
the different political shades. The bourgeois papers have been very keen on
giving voice to different people in the debate. What is missing, however, is a
class point of view. No one poses the question from the point of view of
ordinary working people.
On December 23, 2003 the US government officially acknowledged the outbreak of
BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in a herd of cattle in the state of
Washington.This is officially the first case of mad cow in the US, but is in
reality the second case of an outbreak in the integrated Canadian and US cattle
industry. The farming and cattle crisis is at root a reflection of the
crisis of capitalism worldwide and a result of "globalization".
Even those who accept the theory of evolution frequently draw reactionary conclusions from the evidence provided by science. In Darwin’s day, natural selection was presented as a justification of capitalism and its dog-eat-dog morality. The fact that such ideas have no basis in what he actually wrote is conveniently ignored. A recent BBC documentary attempts something similar in trying to establish that the violence of human males is genetically determined and can be proved by looking at the behaviour of chimpanzees. Alan Woods explains why this theory is flawed.
Yesterday, US authorities issued a court order to Rackspace, a web
hosting provider, to physically remove Global Indymedia servers in the
US and UK. The agency requesting the seizure was the FBI. This has
affected approximately 20 Indymedia sites around the world. This
seizure of Indymedia’s hardware is a direct attack on civil liberties,
the right to free speech, and a not-so-subtle attempt at internet
The discovery of the remains of an unknown pre-historic human on a little island near Indonesia shook up the scientific community a few weeks ago. This has been considered the most important event in palaeoanthropology in decades. However, the discovery is accompanied by the usual prejudices that dominate a significant part of the scientific community. Espe Espigares looks at what really distinguishes humans from the apes.
A recent Horizon programme on Channel Four asked the question “What Really Killed the Dinosaurs?” For a hundred and forty million years, the dinosaurs were dominant. Then, all of a sudden they all disappeared. Something must have killed them off. What was it?