Why D10S was more than just a football player

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Diego Armando Maradona was an icon in many ways.

Of course, he was a footballer. Possibly the greatest of all time. Immortalized through his goals, his dribbles, his left foot and the 1986 World Cup.

But Maradona was more than that.


How a return to ‘normality’ is no longer on the cards.

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How many people have told you to remain positive and see 2020 as something of a turning point? That the lock-down really is a good thing. That we are the virus?

Well, how many? Numerous of my liberal friends have clutched this straw, pointing out how pollution has dropped and capitalism has finally slowed the f**k down, giving everyone some breathing space, allowing the planet to heal for a bit.

They’re right in a way. Many of us have dusted off our instincts, spent more time with our children, refrained from flying and using our cars, had some times for serious thinking, decided that our work-lives balances did not make sense before and we were seriously moving in the wrong direction. …


How the virus exposes the rot at the base.

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CoVid19 is rapidly changing the world we grew up in. In the West, millions are starting to realize that their realities are not insulated from existential threats, a truth that people in the Global South were forced to accept long ago. It is certain that the collapse we are witnessing is monumental and very real. Millions of people have literally seen their means of living evaporate, casting their futures in serious doubt. Others — the homeless, handicapped, elderly, refugees, in other words the more vulnerable — have been abandoned to die or miraculously survive, in spite of odds. Governments have ramped up repression and put in place mass surveillance —a development which could prove very hard to undo once the virus passes. …


How the rise of racism, violence and death are an ‘acceptable’ price to pay in the Europe’s delusional fight against migration.

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This article contains extracts from the author’s book DISPLACED. EUROPE AND THE GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS.

It has become commonplace to criticize Donald Trump and his delusional border wall. Indeed, what Trump is offering is not a solution to people’s fears about immigration, but a theatrical gesture — symbolic, sending a message of rejection, whilst hammering home the classic “us versus them” line.


Are we witnessing a revolution in American politics?

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So apparently socialism is back, embodied by Bernie, endorsed by Dr. Cornel West and millions of American youngsters, who have managed to pierce through the mountains of misinformation and deceit spouted by the bizarre phenomenon which is FOX ‘news’, for whom ‘socialism’ represents all that is evil and ‘un-American,’ a veil for their real agenda: to keep America divided along class and racial lines, whilst camouflaging and protecting the extreme wealth inequalities for which the US is famous worldwide.

As a European, I struggle to take it even slightly seriously — the openly ideological bias and contempt for ordinary people is almost surreal. How can an old, white and (surprise, surprise) conservative Australian billionaire (Murdoch) yield so much influence, selling poisonous, divisive hatred, whilst celebrating testosterone-driven capitalism — embodied by the cartoonish Charlatan-in-Chief, who possesses all the vices the network sells as virtues. …


Featuring confused elites and angry masses.

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Brexit-day — bloated emptiness presented as something real. The suggestion of Brexit has replaced the actual sentiment which produced it and the alienation felt by so many Brits has been hijacked by the personified privilege of frat-boy Boris, who would sell his own mother for a few minutes in the limelight and the Daily Mail, a sorry excuse for a newspaper, which sympathized with the Nazis in the 1930s and now glorifies Brexit as if it means self-determination for a long oppressed people.

The Trump impeachment trial has become a partisan spectacle, a playground spat where the surreal wears the cloak of normality. Who would have thought that war-monger John Bolton would ever have anything valuable to contribute to whatever? He has dared to challenge the bully-in-chief, confirming what really everybody already knows — the US president lacks the refinement to hide the crookedness which has always characterized the gangster-capitalism that produced him. Trump had no idea that blackmailing nations to damage your political opponents is outside the mainstream playbook — which doesn’t mean it never happened before. Trump just stands naked, unaware of personifying the onslaught of capitalist ethics upon the varnish of respectability that used to coat both international relations and domestic politics. Obama did that so well, didn’t he? How liberals loved him, even though he boosted surveillance programs and escalated drone terror worldwide. …


The onslaught of the Kurds is another phase in the dismantling of Syria.

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As Turkish troops advance into Syria, Kurdish forces have now called on the Assad government to intervene on their behalf in a desperate attempt to protect themselves from the ethnic cleansing which awaits.

The conflict in Syria has seen alliances shift and balances turn. All regional powers had invested in the conflict, with the Saudi-American-Israeli-Turkish axis hoping to topple the Assad regime, backing all sorts of questionable jihadi groups, spawning the horrors of ISIS (amongst others) and whipping up sectarian fears in attempts to extend their influence in Syria whilst weakening Assad.

On the other side was of course Assad himself — the brutal dictator — who responded to the rumblings of the Arab Spring and the revolution against his dictatorship by barrel-bombing civilian centres of unrest, divide and conquer tactics and the whipping up of sectarian divides that had long been a legacy of colonialism. Hezbollah and Iran fought alongside Assad, whilst the Russians seized the opportunity to tip the balance in favour of their long-time ally who had for so long provided the Russians with their access to the Mediterranean. …


Can the protest movement threaten the Chinese ruling class?

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We are witnessing some truly remarkable defiance in Hong Kong, where the authority of one of the world’s strongest superpowers is being challenged, tested and withstood. On the seventieth anniversary of China’s people’s revolution, the events in Hong Kong convey some very illuminating lessons for those of us who reap hope from defiance and for whom rebellion can be the only justified response to a world rife with inequality and barbarism. …


Is the current chaos the precursor to structural change?

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For those of us who relish politics it is great times to be alive. This is what it must have felt like to live through the 1920s and 30s — a pervasive feeling that we are living through existential crises, that the stakes are high, that it matters what happens next, not just for ourselves or our immediates, but for the planet, humanity and life itself.

What we see on the theatre stage is stranger than fiction. The tragi-comedy which has produced the Trump-Johnson axis looms large in direct opposition to the reality most people face. Many of us turn away in disgust, rejecting the orgy of greed and destruction our leaders are bent on promoting. Others have convinced themselves that they want this — a cut-throat survival of the fittest, where only the strong survive. Society is rejected as a snowflake’s utopia belonging to the realm of dangerous dreaming and reckless spending. …


Oil, dictatorship, terrorism and war.

Drone attacks expose the kingdom’s vulnerability and isolation.

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Whoever was responsible for the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities, they have made the kingdom very nervous and indeed, exposed their growing weaknesses. There is no doubt that the Saudis will struggle to maintain control over their somewhat fragile state, which is held together by a mixture of coercion and money, both of which could easily snap when put under enough pressure.

Saudi-Arabia has always been a fabricated kingdom, created by British imperialism and designed to be large, fragmented and weak. It’s ‘legitimacy’ was never derived from popular support, but from its functions as a puppet state, overseeing the world’s largest oil supplies and quashing any form of political dissent in the region, making sure that local people would never gain control over their own political destinies. …

About

Bram Wanrooij

Educator, author and knowledge seeker, committed to social change. Check out my book — DISPLACED — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43782238-displaced

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