It has been quiet on venstresida.net for the last couple of weeks. One important reason for this is that I have been away on Attacs first European Summer University together with 7-800 Attacies from all over Europe (and a few from other countries as well).

In the coming time I will therefore be recapitulating a few of my experiences there. Hopefully also in the audiovisual form, as I have quite a bit of video which needs editing and publishing.

Simplified Language of Socialism

By Jack London and Arthur George

In Jack London's era of the early growth of the socialist movement, the English language also came under scrutiny. The lack of any standardized spelling was seen as irrational and old-fashioned. (And, i suppose, could also be seen as an unnecessary social barrier making the leap not only to literacy, but to mastering written English in a way that may earn respect, very difficult for many from the working classes with less time and resources to be spent on such activities). London and fellow socialist Arthur George, took a slightly different and humorous approach to the debate, and issued the following directive in march 1907.

From Appeal to Reason, 30 March 1907:

How I Became a Socialist

By Jack London

It is quite fair to say that I became a Socialist in a fashion somewhat similar to the way in which the Teutonic pagans became Christians -- it was hammered into me. Not only was I not looking for Socialism at the time of my conversion, but I was fighting it. I was very young and callow, did not know much of anything, and though I had never even heard of a school called "Individualism," I sang the paean of the strong with all my heart.

The Mathematics of a Dream (from The Iron Heel)

We will continue giving our readers some political and cultural reading during the summer by publishing a few classic texts by Jack London. As you know (or maby not) all Londons texts are in the public domain and can be reprinted by anyone free of charge. For collections of Londons works, check out http://www.jacklondons.net http://london.sonoma.edu/ and http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/l#a120. This time we bring an exerpt from the novel "The Iron Heel" where the hero gives a lecture in marxist economics to a group from the upper class. Enjoy.

What Life Means to Me

By Jack London (1905)

I was born in the working-class. Early I discovered enthusiasm, ambition, and ideals; and to satisfy these became the problem of my child-life. My environment was crude and rough and raw. I had no outlook, but an uplook rather. My place in society was at the bottom. Here life offered nothing but sordidness and wretchedness, both of the flesh and the spirit; for here flesh and spirit were alike starved and tormented.

Open Source Machine Prints Copies Of Itself

Dr Adrian Bowyer, a senior lecturer in engineering in the Faculty of Engineering & Design at the University of Bath, has created RepRap, an open source prototype machine that has succeeded in making a duplicate of itself - by printing its own parts and building a clone.


Ollie North

Without youtube todays children would learn nothing about our recent history :)

UPDATE: And when youtube is becoming a lapdog for corporate interests, Myspace comes to the rescue!

Solstad om Brand

Dag Solstad gjør ingenting tilfeldig. Nå er han ute med et lengre essay om Ibsens Brand (men det handler selvsagt også om mye mer) i forbindelse med Festspillene i Bergen.

Les essayet her:
(This link also contains an english-language version of Dag Solstads essay on Ibsens Brand)

Venstresida Videorull - The Take

Naomi Kleins The Take is the inspiring tale of the Argentinian workers who took control over their own factories when the owners fled the country in the wake of the economic crises in the early 2000's. This movie gives us a prime example of the fact that we really don't need the bosses to get the job done. Occupy. Resist. Produce.

Above you can view the english-language version of the film.

Attac in Lebanon on the current crisis

Attac Lebanon’s analysis of the current dramatic escalation of violence in the streets of Beirut

The violence in the streets of Beirut is the climax of verbal sniping and attacks that has been accumulated for the past 2 years even faster than the national debt. The source of these verbal volleys and the gun battles in the stress is found in all the sectarian leaders and politicians speaches, those same leaders who control the political and economic system of Lebanon.