Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Using “Anything” for Civil Disobedience in Texas is a Felony. Six Occupiers Charged.

In Texas, a “criminal instrument” is “anything” used in a crime that the Texas government says is a criminal instrument. The six protesters covered by an inflatable tent in Texas yesterday were charged with using a criminal instrument for the use of lockboxes. This is a state jail felony in Texas, meaning that the arrested occupiers could face up to two years in prison for nonviolent civil disobedience.

Lockboxes are a standard protest tactic popularized originally by the environmental movement. When engaging in the lockbox technique, protesters lock their arms inside of PVC pipe (or a tube made of other material), preventing the police from easily separating them. Protesters who engage in this tactic literally risk life and limb, as police will eventually be ordered to remove them. The only way to remove lockboxed protesters is to cut them apart. It’s not hard to imagine what would happen if a police saw met flesh underneath PVC tube.

Because of the “criminal instrument” law in texas, use of the lockbox technique is a felony. The use of tents for occupations could also be called “criminal instruments” under this law. Literally anything could be considered a criminal instrument under Texas law, because the law says that a criminal instrument is anything modified for “criminal” purposes, including civil disobedience.

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Visualizing Everything Facebook Knows about You

A couple of months ago, 24-year-old Austrian law student Max Schrems requested Facebook for all his personal data. The European arm of Facebook, based in Dublin, Ireland, was obliged to turn over this information, as they had to follow an European law that requires any entity to provide full access to data about an individual, should this individual personally request for it. Accordingly, Max received a CD containing about 1,222 pages (PDF files), including chats he had deleted more than a year ago, "pokes" dating back to 2008, invitations, and hundreds of other details.

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A colourful uprising in Damascus

One of the movement's first schemes was adding red dye to the waters of the city’s seven major fountains, making them flow scarlet, symbolising the blood of the estimated 5,000 people killed by security forces across the country.

One fountain sat directly in front of one of the headquarters of one of the most feared intelligence services.


"Imagine that: With all their perceived might, all their heavy weapons they use to kill protesters, the government forces stood helpless and confused in front of merely coloured water," said Salma, a 24-year-old activist.


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The Land I Love


An original protest song in honor of the 99%, members of occupy, working men and women, and those fighting for justice in the United States and everywhere. Home made and home recorded with no corporate support or funding whatsoever.

The Leaderless Revolution: A New Paradigm of Political Change


The political methods of the 20th century are, it appears, less and less effective for the world of the 21st.

The nature of globalization is without precedent: accelerating interconnectedness, with billions of people interacting constantly in a massive, dynamic, and barely comprehensible process.

Yet the assumption persists that the political processes and institutions designed in the 20th century, or earlier, remain appropriate and effective in this profoundly different state of affairs. In fact it appears that the ability of national governments and international authorities to manage the severe problems arising from this new dispensation are declining, despite their claims to the contrary.

Take climate change. The annual climate summit has just ended in Durban, after dozens of "preparatory" meetings and thousands of diplomatic discussions. Its output was a decision to agree a treaty in 2015 to introduce emissions limits in 2020. Oddly, many governments (and commentators) are claiming this as some kind of victory.

It is traditional to blame individual states (the US, China) for the failure to agree to more robust measures, and these do bear some responsibility. It is however also apparent that the process itself is the problem, and has been since its inception. The negotiation echoes traditional models of state-based interaction. Governments treat it as a bargaining process, where commitments to curb emissions have to be matched by other countries. The net result is that nothing is done.

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Police arrest OWS protesters at World Financial Center


Police arrested OWS protesters at a peaceful flash mob at World Financial Center and harass journalist who filmed the protest.

Mosaic theory, universal surveillance and unlimited recordkeeping #SpyFiles

With the SpyFiles release we have seen the universal surveillance state that we now live in. No longer are spying activities limited to ‘persons of interest’; we are all persons of interest. Technology has allowed State and corporate actors to implement mosaic theory on a scale never dreamt of by the spies of the Cold War. Whole countries’ communications are tracked and recorded, and the data is stored so that it can be mined for random mentions of key words which, when matched with perhaps an email, a tweet or a mobile phone call, will set off an alarm bell. Some people will say this is a sacrifice to our civil liberties that we must accept if we are to be safe. However the gradual acceptance of this scattergun approach to the collection of intelligence - about all citizens - has had other effects beyond breaches of our privacy and a gradual erosion of our civil liberties. Requests for access to government information under Freedom of Information laws are rejected not because of intrinsic sensitivities in the information but because it may form part of a jigsaw of evidence against someone at some unspecified point in the future. The same assertions based on mosaic theory are made in many jurisidictions in relation to the determination of access to archival records. So the end result is that not only are we subjected to universal, secretive and intrusive surveillance, but the data is matched with multiple other sources, kept forever, and we are not allowed access to it.

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The Future of the Occupy Movement

The Occupy Movement, which has already been hugely successful in thrusting issues of inequality and corporate power into the public discourse, faces a critical juncture. As many of the larger encampments in New York, Oakland, Philadelphia and Los Angeles are shut down by the police, activists have been searching for the tactics to move beyond Occupation to Phase 2 of the movement. Some say that the movement now should evolve into the political arena, supporting policy ideas, running candidates for office, and putting pressure on politicians and corporations. Similarly, others argue that the next step is to develop a specific list of demands, which presumably could further policy initiatives and protests.

A different tactical response is to create what essentially would be a non-violent guerrilla movement in American cities. For example, Kalle Lasn, the Adbuster magazine publisher and originator of the Wall Street encampment idea, reportedly urged a new "swarming strategy of surprise attacks against business as usual." The Chicago occupiers have resolved to have an event a day throughout the winter, such as defending foreclosed homes, sit-ins, banner drops, building parks, providing supplies to the homeless, or guerrilla theater and art. In the same vein, longtime social movement scholar and activist Francis Fox Piven foresaw some time ago that the movement would develop new phases, utilizing "other forms of disruptive protests that are punchier than occupying a square," or "rolling occupations of public space."

This article suggests another alternative, one that focuses on creating sustainable alternative decentralized institutions that reflect in microcosm the egalitarian, democratic vision of society that the Occupy Movement has put forth. Such a strategy would be combined with a continual presence in the streets and parks around issues of injustice such as foreclosures.

While determining the tactics of the next phase is critical to keeping the movement alive over the next weeks and months, the broader strategic goal is that of developing a truly long-term movement to transform society — measured not in seasons, but years or even decades. That task is one of sustainability. How can the Occupy Movement (OWS) develop the organizational, cultural and institutional forms to sustain a long term movement, yet also maintain its dynamism, horizontalism, direct democracy, creativity, activism and transformative vision? No American social or political movement of the twentieth century has been able to do so.

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Global rebellion: The coming chaos?

As the crisis of global capitalism spirals out of control, the powers that be in the global system appear to be adrift and unable to propose viable solutions. From the slaughter of dozens of young protesters by the army in Egypt to the brutal repression of the Occupy movement in the United States, and the water cannons brandished by the militarised police in Chile against students and workers, states and ruling classes are unable to hold back the tide of worldwide popular rebellion and must resort to ever more generalised repression.

Simply put, the immense structural inequalities of the global political economy can no longer be contained through consensual mechanisms of social control. The ruling classes have lost legitimacy; we are witnessing a breakdown of ruling-class hegemony on a world scale.

To understand what is happening in this second decade of the new century we need to see the big picture in historic and structural context. Global elites had hoped and expected that the "Great Depression" that began with the mortgage crisis and the collapse of the global financial system in 2008 would be a cyclical downturn that could be resolved through state-sponsored bailouts and stimulus packages. But it has become clear that this is a structural crisis. Cyclical crises are on-going episodes in the capitalist system, occurring about once a decade and usually last 18 months to two years. There were world recessions in the early 1980s, the early 1990s, and the early 21st century.

Structural crises are deeper; their resolution requires a fundamental restructuring of the system. Earlier world structural crises of the 1890s, the 1930s and the 1970s were resolved through a reorganisation of the system that produced new models of capitalism. "Resolved" does not mean that the problems faced by a majority of humanity under capitalism were resolved but that the reorganisation of the capitalist system in each case overcame the constraints to a resumption of capital accumulation on a world scale. The crisis of the 1890s was resolved in the cores of world capitalism through the export of capital and a new round of imperialist expansion. The Great Depression of the 1930s was resolved through the turn to variants of social democracy in both the North and the South - welfare, populist, or developmentalist capitalism that involved redistribution, the creation of public sectors, and state regulation of the market.

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Hundreds Of Occupy Protesters Shutdown Port Of Long Beach Second Busiest Port In U.S.

Occupy shipwrecks ports on West Coast


Protesters staged occupations across the United States this morning as part of a coast-to-coast day of action aimed to shut down shipping ports all over the US. Starting in the early morning hours, demonstrators waged protests up and down the West Coast in one of the most wide-impact attacks on the one percent yet. Ali Winston, Ramon Galindo and Lucy Kafanov weigh in from California and DC to discuss the events of the day.

Occupy Protesters Set Up Barricade To Shutdown Port Of Seattle


http://MOXNews.com

An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports

We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.

We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma, New York and New Jersey to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the five of us we have 11children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 46 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.

We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.

Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?

We love being behind the wheel. We are proud of the work we do to keep America’s economy moving. But we feel humiliated when we receive paychecks that suggest we work part time at a fast-food counter. Especially when we work an average of 60 or more hours a week, away from our families.

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Occupy Houston protestors being handled in private


HPD brings in portable cover to deal with protestors, who were laying in the street, in private setting. Live news coverage. Each of those laying in the street were brought out one by one with hands ziptied.

How Scotland Joined Great Britain

Neoconservatives Planned Regime Change Throughout the Middle East and North Africa 20 Years Ago

I’ve repeatedly documented that the Neocons planned regime change in Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria and a host of other countries right after 9/11if not before.

And that Obama is implementing these same plans – just with a “kindler, gentler” face.

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Ten Arizona sheriffs call for Holder to step down over "Fast and Furious"


"In law enforcement, this is unacceptable..." The Sheriffs are demanding that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reveal the truth behind the scandal, and believe that those responsible should be criminally accountable for allowing 2,000 guns to be purchased on U.S. Soil and turned over to the Mexican drug cartels. The operation code named Fast & Furious was to develop information on loose weapons sales so that the Obama Administration could make the case to restrict the sale of weapons and reduce the strength of the guarantees put forth by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ... the Right for citizens to bear (own) arms. Sadly, a Federal agent was gunned down and killed with a known Fast & Furious assault weapon. Ten Arizona Sheriffs (elected as Democrats and Republicans) held a news conference this week stating that they feel Attorney General Eric Holder should step down or be fired because they, the Sheriffs, no longer have confidence in the DOJ with Holder as its leader. Read more: http://technorati.com/politics/article/the-fast-furious-presidency-here-durin...

Police to test laser that 'blinds rioters'

The technology, developed by a former Royal Marine commando, temporarily impairs the vision of anyone who looks towards the source.

It has impressed a division of the Home Office which is testing a new range of devices because of the growing number of violent situations facing the police.

The developer, British-based Photonic Security Systems, hopes to offer the device to shipping companies to deter pirates. Similar devices have been used by ISAF troops in Afghanistan to protect convoys from insurgents.

The laser, resembling a rifle and known as an SMU 100, can dazzle and incapacitate targets up to 500m away with a wall of light up to three metres squared. It costs £25,000 and has an infrared scope to spot looters in poor visibility.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT "OCCUPY THE PLANET"


THIS REALLY PUTS IT INTO PERSPECTIVE

Occupy and Class Struggle on the Waterfront

The last two major pivot-points in US class struggle were the 30s and the 70s/80s. Workers gained the upper hand in the 30s, Capital gained it back completely in the 80s. Both of these pivots came out of upsurges that transcended existing class struggle in the workplace, that were rooted in historic economic, political and social crises. In the 30s, social unionism, community solidarity and agitation from the unemployed forced Capital’s hand into making concessions to stave off more radical potentials. In the 1970s and 80s foreign competition, technological change and the beginnings of globalization gave Capital the upper hand, leading to deindustrialization and steadily declining real wages and union density.

These two pivot points took place during major economic crises and were driven by forces that were bigger than the unions and the bosses in any one place, whether a generalized workers’ struggle much more threatening than the unions alone, or the forces of technology and competition in the global market. The Occupy movement is building a socialized class struggle similar to the 30s, but even more threatening to those in power. The movement is trying to build a generalized opposition to the 1% that also seeks the abolition of white supremacy and patriarchy – not just on the job, but in communities and in the home. This is a major threat to the existing order and is being responded to as such – federally coordinated police attacks, media smear campaigns, and attempts to drive a wedge between unions and the movement. Our enemies will do what they need to do. But so will we.

The 1% has never had a problem understanding their best interests, organizing themselves, having influence over politics, or acting in the collective interests of their class. Their strength has been our weakness, and our subsequent weakness has reinforced their strength. The 99% is trying to create itself as a viable force, directly confronting the 1%, to take back what is rightfully ours – the wealth we create and the control over our lives and our children’s future – while fighting alongside people around the world struggling to do the same. The 99% needs to overcome its own divisions, internal hierarchies, and lack of action, transforming ourselves in the process.

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Anti-capitalist activists clash with police at US ports

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators, confronted by police in riot gear,
marched on several West Coast ports on Monday seeking to disrupt cargo
traffic and re-energize their protest movement.

By trying to hamper port operations from California to Alaska, organizers hoped to call attention to US economic inequalities, high unemployment and a financial system they complain is unfairly tilted toward the wealthy.

In Oakland, roughly 1,000 protesters chanting, "Whose ports? Our ports!" gathered at a transit station before dawn, then paraded through the streets to the city's cargo port and split into groups to try blocking the three main entrances.

Tractor-trailers en route into the facility, the nation's fourth busiest container port by volume, were backed up and idle at one entrance where protesters formed a picket line in front of police.

Two longshoremen who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity outside the gate said they would refuse to cross picket lines to get to their jobs and assumed others would follow suit.

A smaller group of demonstrators, 250 to 300, rallied at a terminal facility in the Port of Long Beach, where they scuffled in the rain with helmeted police officers who shoved t hem with batons in an effort to keep the entryway clear.

At least one protester was taken away in handcuffs after the skirmish, and demonstrators later left the area to block traffic along a main thoroughfare through the port. But as rains grew heavier and police converged in force threatening arrests, protesters began to disperse on their own.

In Portland, Oregon, motorcycle police confronted some 200 demonstrators who tried to disrupt traffic outside a terminal there. Officers later stood aside and let protesters march to the terminal entrance. But the gate was closed with a sign posted saying the terminal was shut down for security reasons.

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Turmeric Curcumin - Natural Cancer-Fighting Spice Reduces Tumors by 81%


Used in the ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine, curcumin is a naturally powerful anticancer compound that has been found to decrease brain tumor size in animals by 81 percent in more than 9 studies. A derivative of turmeric, curcumin is the pigment responsible for turmeric's yellow-orange color. Each 100 grams of turmeric contains around 3 to 5 grams of curcumin, though turmeric is a also very powerful on its own. New studies are shedding light on curcumin, and illuminating its numerous benefits on cancer and other diseases.

Researchers experimenting with curcumin in the treatment of a fatal brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBMs) published their groundbreaking findings in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in July.Adding scientific basis to previous findings surrounding the positive effects of curcumin, they showed that the compound dramatically decreased brain tumors in 9 out of the 11 studies examined by 81 percent. Furthermore, there was no evidence of toxicity, whereas chemotherapy and other cancer treatments often result in extreme side effects that are sometimes worse than the actual disease. Curcumin is not only effective against brain cancer, however.

'I'm sorry... but I've got no idea where your money's gone': Jon Corzine apologises to MF Global clients with $1.2bn still missing

Jon Corzine has admitted he has no idea where $1.2billion of missing customer’s money has gone since his brokerage firm collapsed.

The former chief of MF Global has apologised to customers, employees and investors, saying ‘their plight weighs on my mind every hour’.


But politicians and regulators have slammed the former New Jersey governor’s firm for operating as if the recession never happened.


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Australia: Ignoring Genocide and Effecting Censorship

The Age newspaper of Melbourne is arguably Australia's most "liberal" newspaper. However, as described below, even after the horrendous Christmas Island (Australia) refugee disaster (50 refugees killed in a storm- and cliff-wrecked boat) The Age and Australian mainstream media in general still censor the Awful Truth about 20 million Muslim refugees that anti-Asian Apartheid Australia has helped the US generate.

The Age newspaper (part of the Australian Fairfax media empire) is certainly more ethical and progressive than the Australian taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC, Australia' equivalent of the UK BBC) but that is not saying much – the ABC, like the BBC, has an anti-science and anti-truth position of "balance" in reportage between genocide-ignoring, right-wing, neocon Labor (Labor in the UK) and the genocide-ignoring extreme right wing, neocon Liberal-National Party Coalition (Conservatives in the UK).


The Age has an On-line version that has a National Times section that includes op-ed articles by in-house journalists, politicians, and other commentators. It invites reader comments on these articles. However, The Age variously censors informed, credentialled, scientist comments about man-made climate change (see: Mainstream Media Censorship 'The Age' censors informed); informed, authoritative comments about WikiLeaks and the censoring of US Alliance genocides in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan (see: Mainstream Media Censorship 'The Age'), and, as set out below, sensible, informed, authoritative comments about the Australian and US Alliance generation and persecution of 20 million Muslim refugees (see: Mainstream Media Censorship The Age Censors).


Australia has participated in all post-1950 US Asian wars, catastrophes that have been associated with violent deaths and non-violent avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation totaling 23 million, the breakdown being 1 million (Korea), 13 million (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos), 4.4 million (Iraq, 1950-2010) and 4.9 million (Afghanistan) (see my book "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950": Global Avoidable Mortality , "Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide: Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide, Palestinian Holocaust, Palestinian Genocide: Palestinian Genocide ; Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide: Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide; Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide: Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide).


Indeed US lackey, anti-Asian, Apartheid Australia evidently wants involvement in more US Asian wars. WikiLeaks has revealed that former Labor Opposition leader and present Labor Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, had promised Australian troops for a US war with China and that former Australian Labor PM Kevin Rudd suggested US use of force against China to Hillary Clinton (see article by former conservative Australian PM Malcolm Fraser entitled "Slavish devotion to the US a foreign policy folly for Australia", The Age On-line, National Times, 14 December 2010: Slavish devotion to the US a foreign policy folly for Australia).


Australia has been involved in about 22 genocidal atrocities in its short but bloody 222 year history (see " Australia 's secret genocide history": Australia's Secret Genocide History). The ongoing genocides in which it is complicit include those noted above and the Global avoidable mortality holocaust: Global Avoidable Mortality, Climate Holocaust, Climate Genocide: Climate Genocide and Aboriginal Holocaust, Aboriginal Genocide: Aboriginal Genocide.


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Occupy This: Is It Comeback Time for Herbert Marcuse?

Kellner also shares a pungent observation by historian and activist H. Stuart Hughes: how "deliciously incongruous" it was "that at the end of the 1940s, with an official purge of real or suspected leftists in full swing, the State Department's leading authority on Central Europe should have been a revolutionary socialist who hated the cold war and all its works." Although Marcuse's presence helped the postwar rebuilding of Germany to include progressive political elements, Marcuse also criticized the return to power in Germany of officials with National Socialist ties. He saw the developing cold war as a case of two systems—Soviet Communism and advanced Western capitalism—moving toward tightened control of their societies, if not equal totalitarianism.

In the early 1950s, Marcuse took research posts at the Russian institutes of Columbia and Harvard before teaching philosophy from 1954 to 1965 at Brandeis University. Those years produced his three most important books: Eros and Civilization (1955), Soviet Marxism (1958), and One-Dimensional Man. From 1965 to 1970, Marcuse taught at the University of California at San Diego, where he became famous as the intellectual mentor of the student protest movement. Unlike his Frankfurt School colleagues Adorno and Horkheimer, Marcuse enthusiastically supported student protests. His later works An Essay on Liberation (1969) and The Aesthetic Dimension (1978) cemented that commitment. By the time of his death in Starnberg, Germany, in 1979, he ranked as a major international philosopher, a status that fewer would accord him today.

Marcuse's "one-dimensional society" amounted to an epithet for advanced capitalist society, which Marcuse, like the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci, saw as bamboozling (that is, exercising "hegemony" over) workers of every stripe. It did so through a consumer system that met basic needs and provided a false sense of democratic participation as inequalities in wealth and income grew. In that society, Marcuse detected, in the words of Marcuse scholar Charles Reitz, "alienation in the midst of affluence, repression through gratification, and the overstimulation and paralysis of mind." Even in so-called individualistic America, according to Marcuse, individuals lost their critical intelligence amid the avalanche of products and diversions, becoming inauthentic conformists.

Marcuse's ugly and unwieldy term "repressive desublimation" captured a real phenomenon: the erotic identification of consumers with commodities they purchase. Marcuse would not have been fazed by Americans camping out all night to grab the latest gizmos on Black Friday, only to regard them every few minutes with loving adoration once reserved for children. Marcuse noted, in One-Dimensional Man, an earlier version of the phenomenon: "People recognize themselves in their commodities. They find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment."

In light of such behavior, Marcuse abandoned the old Marxist notion that workers would be the vanguard of anticapitalist revolution. Instead, he vaunted the role of students and discriminated-against minorities such as African-Americans. Combined with Marcuse's embrace, in his revisionist, Freudian Eros and Civilization, of liberationist sexuality, the expansion of the play impulse, and the ability of art to build resistance to a highly administered, repressive capitalism—Marcuse believed that beauty leads to freedom—the philosophical package positioned him as an effective guru to 60s radical youth already throwing off antiquated sexual mores. As Richard Wolin aptly put it in Heidegger's Children (2001), Marcuse thought philosophy's "primary aim was the defetishization of false consciousness." His benchmark of social progress remained the "emancipatory ends of Marxism—putting an end to the degradation of the working class at the hands of a commodity-producing society."

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