Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Polish government declares war on TVN


The government accuses private TVN television’s news and current affairs programs of acting as a mouthpiece for ex-communists and the liberal opposition. And there are secret agents working for the broadcaster. And that TVN is part of the anti-government conspiracy...

Just when you thought you had seen it all, Poland manages to pull another weird looking rabbit out of the hat.

All hell went off today after right wing Gazeta Polska published an article claiming that Milan Sobitic, Program Secretary of TVN (and advisor on the program Teraz My which broadcast the Beger Tapes last Tuesday), collaborated with the Polish Secret Services from 1984 to 1993. His contact officer was Konstanty Malejczyk, who went on to head WSI (1994-96), the post-communist Secret Services which the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) are currently disbanding, in the relief that the organization is still, literally, a nest of communist spies.

At lunchtime a spokesman for PiS said, during a very bad tempered news conference (it was the journalists who were outraged) that TVN was indeed part of a campaign to bring down the government; its news coverage was not objective journalism; and that it was putting forward the views and interests of Civic Platform, the opposition party with a lead of 16 points in the polls since the program was aired a week ago.

Gazeta Polska’s article goes on to draw connections between TVN and the ex-communist SLD to prove that it is part of the ex-commie-liberal conspiracy.

For instance, the paper notes that Mariusz Walter, founder of TVN, was a journalist for state television in communist Poland from 1963 and was a member of the Party until 1983. In 1976, Jan Wejchert, Executive Chairman of the owning company, ITI group, one of the richest men in Poland, was the first Pole to open a business in East Germany.

Lots of connections between ex-president Alex Kwasniewski and TVN, between Kwasniewski and Wejchert and Kwasniewski and Walter. Gazeta Polska even suggests something sinister in the fact that his wife, Jolanta Kwasniewska is a regular guest on a health and beauty program on the TV cabal channel TVN Style.

And much more besides. TVN are outraged, saying that the claims are ‘absurd’. They say that Milan Sobitic, the man alleged to have been a secret services collaborator, first heard about what was in the program Teraz My when it went out live on air, last Tuesday night. Only five people knew about what was in the program (and that excluded Walter and Wejchert).

Shoot the messenger

This government’s record with the media has been a dreadful one, almost from the very start (see Reporters Without Borders). They alienated all the mainstream media by giving unique access to TV Trwam, part of the right wing nationalist Radio Maryja group. I commented at the time that if most of the media weren’t against PiS then, then they were for sure out to get them after that. And ‘get them’ TVN did on those now infamous tapes with Renata Beger and Adam Lipinski putting a price on the survival of the government.

PiS have felt entitled to try and control what is in the media, both print and electronic, public or private, in Poland and outside of it (particularly when it’s in Germany).

And now we have open war between a government and a popular and expanding TV station.

Surly it can’t get any worse than this? Can it...?

Update: The editor of Gazeta Polska, who was invited to this week’s Teraz My has failed to turn up. I wonder if he is getting nervous about the ‘material’ he says he has to prove the allegations?

More?
Polish television under attack by Poland's Government, Polish Outlook

56 comments:

steppx said...

funny how people become exactly what they accuse others of being (in this case those horrid commies.....no freedom of press, yada yada.....)....but actually reality is only a distraction from appearances in this entire bit of bad political theatre.

Michael Farris said...

I'm not sure if there's any evidence that the Kaczynskis ever really longed for freedom of the press. I think that was fairly low down the priority list of their branch of Solidarity.

Basically, AFAICT the Kaczynskis ideal version of Poland is pretty far from a modern civil society.
They envision a simple folk, with strong extended family ties who are pious and patriotic. Their version isn't government of laws but of men (benevolent authority figure/stern fatht) whose role is to council the children, reward them when behaving well (becikowe) and punish them when they misbehave (lustracja).
Again, AFAICT, the role of the press is to explain the government to the people.

StefanMichnik said...

Gentle, please be gentle and don't lie to your readers. They trust you Mr.Noisy:)

Jannovak57 said...

Poor Poland continues to suffer from a botched revolution in 1989, in a good revolution the old management is disposed of. Can’t say we Poles are ignorant of the industrial methods of getting rid of large numbers of people quickly. You would think our German and Russian tormentors would have left us with the technical know-how.

Instead we took a “Polish Path”, we took our criminals, traitors, murders and tortures and put them into the most senior levels of business, media and the civil service. By allowing them to take advantage of their positions during the transition period they seamless disappeared from public view. Today Polish society is plagued by a poisonous foreign organism, which prevents the healing process from taking hold.

Murmurs from the duck pond, notwithstanding that any western news media would have jumped at opportunity to catch some political sleaze on camera, the PiS counter attack was completely expected. It’s easy to find commies in Poland, almost a national resource.

But if there’s smoke could there be fire.

One look at the ownership of the station seems to show some very high level links to the old regime.

From Wikipedia:

“TVN is a major Polish commercial television network. It is available over the air and on satellite (on one of Eutelsat Hotbirds). The television was started in a current form in 1994 by Mariusz Walter - a former member of Polish communist party (PZPR) who had been working in Polish state controlled television during the communist regime in Poland.”

People working in the state controlled media of the old regime were usually trusted communists under close supervision and contact with the SB. Only the most reliable servants of Moscow were allowed near this media.

So are these allegations completely impossible?

sonia said...

I don't think you guys realize it, but the very fact that the government is at war with one of the largest TV stations is the proof positive that Poland is a true and real democracy.

That's how it should be.

I hope it stays that way.

Michael Farris said...

"Poor Poland continues to suffer from a botched revolution in 1989, in a good revolution the old management is disposed of."

So you wanted lots of blood? Seriously, the alternatives were:
a) letting some not very nice people off the hook in exchange for a soft landing.
b) large scale violence with lots (most probably) of innocent people killed along with the real SOB's and no guarantee of ultimate success.

Seriously, what would you have done differently? And just as important, how would you have accomplished it?

"Today Polish society is plagued by a poisonous foreign organism, which prevents the healing process from taking hold."

What would Poland look like, according to you, if the healing process 'took hold'?

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beatroot said...

Step”
funny how people become exactly what they accuse others of being (in this case those horrid commies

Four legs good, two legs better…

Michnik:
…don't lie to your readers…

If you are going to accuse me of lying then please have the decency and social manners to say what this great lie was. You do understand the meaning of the word ‘lie’, don’t you? It means a statement that is made to deliberately deceive. Is that what you mean?

Jan:
Today Polish society is plagued by a ‘poisonous foreign organism’, which prevents the healing process from taking hold.

Please, what is this poisonous foreign organism’?

One look at the ownership of the station seems to show some very high level links to the old regime.

If you are suggesting that the owners of TVN lay down some editorial line then you are mistaken. That is not how a TV station like TVN works. Do many Polish journalists think that PiS are prehistoric? Yes. But I think that is a class thing, not some organized conspiracy.

Sonia: the very fact that the government is at war with one of the largest TV stations is the proof positive that Poland is a true and real democracy.

I don’t know where you live but I can’t remember a western government accusing a TV station of being run by ex-secret services. This government does not understand free speech as you or I do.

ignacy said...

Maybe Jannovak57 is refering to the CIA /US Intelligence operations in naming a "poisonous foreign organism." Prolly not, but when the shoe fits....

Whatever political circuses are going on in Poland these days, they just don't compare to what's going on in the US with Bush-Foley-Hastert-Reynolds et. al. right now.

Whood've ever thought the Republican Party would ever implode so explosively? Shock and awe, dude! Whoo-hoo!

sonia said...

Beatroot,

I can’t remember a western government accusing a TV station of being run by ex-secret services...

... but I can remember two journalists going to war against the leader of the Free World and forcing his resignation... I don't recall what names Ben Bradlee was called by Nixon's White House, but I don't think they were particularly tender or affectionate...

beatroot said...

Ignacy Whatever political circuses are going on in Poland these days, they just don't compare to what's going on in the US with Bush-Foley-Hastert-Reynolds et. al. right now.

No, Ignacy, the two situations are not comparable. The Foley thing is no big deal – a drunken pervert politician is nothing unusual. Bush and Iraq – always was that way and the US is just waking up to what everyone else knew for ages.

But the nature of the Polish government, and all the other parties, is completely unique. I have never seen anything like it in my life.

Sonia:
but I can remember two journalists going to war against the leader of the Free World and forcing his resignation...

If Nixon was the leader of the free world then what was he doing acting like a member of the mafia? And I see our hero journo has just published a very nasty book for the Bushies. His first two on the subject were very dull - but then again, he got good access for the first two. This time he didn't - consequently, we get a better book. Too much access can be bad for journos.

And anyway – this time it’s a government trying to shut down Poland’s first ever 24 hour news station because it broadcasts things it doesn’t like.

StefanMichnik said...

You wanted me to point your lies. Here we go:

"And anyway – this time it’s a government trying to shut down Poland’s first ever 24 hour news station because it broadcasts things it doesn’t like."

Lie - the government trying to shut downs TVN24 Mr. Gentle says.

The truth: one rightwing leaning weekly run a story showing that one of the key persons in the biggest TV station was a WSI agent. I haven't heard any government officials taking position in this debate.

To sum it up: I think that public media that are being financed with tax payers money should not be paying to liars, Mr Gentle.

ps. I remeber when I found this blog one year ago. You were getting excited with all this made up preelection polls and I was suggesting you not to listen to mainstream Polish media but rather make an effort and try to understand what is really going on around you. I even provided you with literature and some hints:).But you were lazy and now instead of becoming THE commentator and THE journalist, THE analyst who predicted the trends and the future you remain lying mr noise who destroys other people's pencils:). You have just missed it Gentle!:)

StefanMichnik said...

http://www.warsawvoice.pl/archiwum.phtml/193/

Michael Farris said...

"The truth: one rightwing leaning weekly run a story showing that one of the key persons in the biggest TV station was a WSI agent."

Stefan, they 'alleged' that he was a WSI agent, they haven't 'shown' anything besides the picture of some guy from Serbia (which brings questions of basic competence to the fore).

"I think that public media that are being financed with tax payers money should not be paying to liars, Mr Gentle."

Since when does TVN get taxpayer money?
And who gets to decide who's a liar? You?

StefanMichnik said...

TVN doesn't get taxpayers money but Radio Polonia does;)

beatroot said...

You wanted me to point your lies. Here we go:

"And anyway – this time it’s a government trying to shut down Poland’s first ever 24 hour news station because it broadcasts things it doesn’t like."


Firstly, the example you show is from a comment…not from the post. So where is the ‘lie’ – meaning intending to deceive in the post? Answer…

The consequence of the actions of the government may be very serious for TVN – though ‘attempting to close TVN down’ was slightly hyperbolic, it’s true. You are correct.

You were indeed correct about the inaccuracy of the opinion polls apart from one pollster, and I acknowledged that at the time. But that does not mean that the opinion polls were ‘biased’…which, again, is an intent to deceive.

And I find your repeated attempts to make personal remarks – and even give slight threats to me or any of my work (which you will find very balanced indeed) deeply pathetic.

So where is the lie in the post? And why are you such a coward to make personal remarks to me from the anonymous position of a ridiculous alias?

I used to have respect for you – you were interesting because you argued from another point of you. But now? Not.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ignacy said...

No, the gov't. debacles in the US and Poland are not all that comparable. But what's going on in the US is really, really BIG coz for the first time I can remember, the Republicans are devouring each other. And it's been many a moon since I've seen so many politrixians on TV sweatin' like Nixon.

jannovak57 said...

Michael Farris said: “So you wanted lots of blood?”

To answer your question, yes!

The PRL structures began taking hold of Poland in 1944 with the aid of the Red Army and NKVD. Now comes the body count problem as historians are not sure on the number, I have found a low of around 240,000 and a high of 1,500,000. This would represent the disappeared, executed and sent of to the Gulag never to be heard from again. Somewhere in the count are two of my uncle’s shot without trial in 1946.

So now what do we do, the oldest text in Poland on law is the bible, which authorizes “eye for an eye” justice. So lets say we take an average on the body count, that’s 870,000.

If it were up to me, my preference would be one shot to the back of the head at close range that way it’s close and personal. Also this was the method employed by the communists at Katyn.

So Michal please feel free to suggest an alternative method.

I of course do not expect an answer on the above question however ever ponder this, exactly how many have been prosecuted to date for this death toll?

The actions of those that participated in the Round Table talks leaves a historic legacy that devalues Polish lives.

Michael Farris said...

"The actions of those that participated in the Round Table talks leaves a historic legacy that devalues Polish lives."

What happened to your uncles was a horrible crime. But I seriously doubt if those personally responsible had anything to do with the round table talks. On what basis would you have established guilt, membership in the party? not actively resisting the government? watching '4 tankmen and a dog'?

You do realize there was no way whatsoever to kill just the guilty in 1989, lots of innocent people would have gotten killed in the crossfire. How many innocent lives would you have been willing to sacrifice for your dream of revenge?

zagloba said...

Then again, maybe the scandals in the US and Poland are comparable. Consider this newspaper report:

"In an interview, Hastert said he had no thoughts of resigning, and he blamed ABC News and Democratic operatives for the mushrooming scandal that threatens his tenure as speaker and Republicans' hold on power in the House."

Also, aren't most Poles, being Catholic, more attuned to the New Testament in which some guy God talks about forgiving enemies, showing mercy, and all that? And didn't that same guy God specifically overturn that old Old Testament admonition?

jannovak57 said...

Michael Farris said:

“But I seriously doubt if those personally responsible had anything to do with the round table talks.”

Yes they did, more than one senior leader of the Communist party sitting at the table was a direct participants in planning and ordering violence against unarmed civilians from 1970 onwards.

Your theory doesn’t hold water; the hierarchy of the Nazis party were still liable for the actions of their apparatus. Using your argument the Nuremberg Trials would not have been held because the Nazis party’s senior leaders didn’t personally kill anyone.

The former leader of Serbia was put on trial, no ones accused him of actual going to Bosnia and killing anyone likewise Rwanda.

Everyone who joined the communist party was aware of the crimes and the party’s ideology that made the use of violence against the Polish population a matter of policy in maintaining control of the country.

Therefore collective guilt exists.

Michael Farris said...

"Therefore collective guilt exists."

Does this mean you'd want to kill party members families too?

beatroot said...

Zagloba: Politicians always blame the media for everything. But in essence the US story is about an individual’s conduct and maybe a cover up by someone higher up.

In Poland this is about an alleged group of people who have carved up the country up in their own interests post 1989……this has lessons (or not) about the best way to bring a country out of a dictatorship…it’s about methods of reporting (was planting a camera (with one of the politician’s consent) ethical? ….it’s about the freedom of the press in a post-communist society….and much more.

Big issues which are relevant to many places at many times.

The US thing is yet a another personality driven scandal in the absence of any real politics to talk about – which is unbelievable in a country with a foreign policy like the one its got.

Oh…and I heard Foley is drying out in rehab and has promised to change his naughty ways and turn over a new page in his life.

:-o

ignacy said...

I think the very obvious cover-up is much more entertaining (the personal stuff is tragic) and will have a much greater impact upon US politics than you may realize, BR. There's an intense battle for congress going on and this, I think, will really hurt the Republicans who seemed pretty damn invincible for the past halfadozen years.

For the Daily Show's coverage:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wVpY2tRaDZI

beatroot said...

Daily Show is good.

But Ignacy: OK, big battle for Congress from the mighty Republican and Democrat parties. But, in the end, so what? The US will be pretty much the same whatever.

But in Poland, there is a huge struggle going on about two very different visions for the way forward. It's intense and nothing like western politics. That's why it is so interesting.

ignacy said...

I don't subscribe to the view that there is little difference between the two major parties in the US.

Not only will things in the US change, but things in the world will change with a change in which party controls the federal government. Maybe not as much change as you or I would like but the difference would be more than slightly discernable.

I don't think what goes on in the world will change nearly as much depending on the outcome if either the Tusks or Ducks are in power.

Sodom I Gomorrah said...

Let's hear it for Jannovak57, eh? It's not often someone has the balls to come out and say "hell yes, Jesus was a wimp; gimme some of that old testament stuff. An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth." Makes those forgive and forget types look like the namby pamby nancy boys they really are. Drown the world in blood. It doesn't matter whose, as long as my uncles can... can, what? They're dead now. Killing Jaruzelski won't bring them back.

jannovak57 said...

Michael Farris said: “Does this mean you'd want to kill party members families too?”

I’m not sure on that point; do feel there could be a genetic link associated with that ideology?

Sadomized said: “Killing Jaruzelski won't bring them back.”

Of course not!

This is like having a debate with people arguing against the need for Pest Control.

beatroot said...

Jan: do feel there could be a genetic link associated with that ideology?

Look, if the ex-commies hold the reins of Polish capitalism – as we are told by the ukladists – then they are the ones with the objective interest of defending Polish capitalism. So the ‘ideology’ is dead anyway. It won’t come back.

I don’t understand this bit about the bible at all.

Ignacy – what will change when Hilary Clinton is in the Whitehouse. She is more hawkish on foreign policy than Bush is. Democracts and Repubs are the SAME DIFFERENCE. Politics, for all intents and purposes, is dead in the west. Has been for a couple of decades.

ignacy said...

When will Hillary be in the White House? Visiting, I presume?

Bush et al wan us ta believe dat politix iz ded 'n dat politrix rulz. Y u wan uz ta believe da same, BR mon?

Politix is not dead in the west but the bad guys keep winning becoz we r drugged by bullshit.

beatroot said...

Ignacy - can ya give us examples of politix bein alive an well an kickin in the US? Me no see it man, all I see is dem dudes takin about who is the better manager. That ain't politixs, geezer, THAT'S bullshit.

ignacy the geezer said...

Nawhl lissin heuh ya yung whippersnapper. . .

I think there are a lot of nooks and crannies in the US where politix is alive and growing. The religious left, in my mind, has always been a vital force. And istm that things were actually picking up right before 9/11 with Seattle and the all the a.16 and such demos. democracynow.org is a tremendously bolstering sign of life. And now for the first time since Edgar R. Murrow in the 1950s, we have Keith Olberman kicking Bush's butt on MSNBC. Tie that in with the popularity of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I'm actually more optimistic than I have been in years.

Look, if the Dems get control of congress, there will be all sorts of forces unleashed that have laid around dormant for too many years. There will be a chance for change which is a whole lot better than no chance under the current scheme of things. Folks will be emboldened and start asking questions again and demanding real answers. Even with Hillary, who I despise on so many levels, at least there will be a chance for national health care. Anything is better than Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, et. al. I think folks like Alexander Cockburn who are content with Bush coz he's a dummy who will prompt the fall of the American Empire are delusional arrogant nasty fools. And let the f--er go live in Cuba and eat minnows to his heart's content if he loves Fidel so much.

Finally, what is so alive and novel and promising about politics in Poland or the rest of Eastern Europe? We'll see what happens at the demos tomorrow. My guess is it will be small groups of hacks and boors yelling at each other. I hope not. What kind of choice is there between Civic Platform and Law and Justice? Where are the alternatives? Where's the life? Istm things are only going downhill over there. I see no reason for optimism - Cheese and Crackers, Giertych, the friggin Education Minister, is calling for a boycott of BBC? WTF?

beatroot said...

I am not saying that the situation here is all that healthy, it’s something Poles just hale to go through. And there are two big divisions about the way Poland should look, post 1989. We have one based on ‘solidarnosc’ – this, in the absence of real ideological alternatives, tends to be inward looking, nationalistic, conservative, with the church/nation forming the bonds. On other hand we have one based on individualism, market orientated…these people want Poland to be a bit like the UK really.

At root this is class and regional, urban/rural, eastern Poland/western Poland politics. But there are two very distinct ‘models’ that they are mutually exclusive.

The US: you mention democracynow etc but how they fundamentally different from Bush and mainstream democrats? I don’t see fundamental ideological division there. It’s more about those damn ‘identity politics’.

Both except the market as the only way to run an economy, there has been a collapse of left/right...foreign policy very similar....

In short, no poloitics. The world has changed in the last 20 years.

ignacy the geezer said...

No ideological division between Amy Goodman at Democracy Now and the Bushitas? Foreign policy very similar? I must really be getting old coz now I'm delusional.

Please watch one news broadcast or whatever at www.democracynow.org

Or even just Amy's recent appearance on the Colbert Report. It's hyperlinked on the democracynow.org website.

beatroot said...

Actually my answer to that would similar to the one I have given to ‘sex pistol’ in the post about the protests at the weekend,

Being for or against the war in Iraq is not an ideological difference as the criticisms by Goodman and co are not ideological – they concentrate on how politicians ‘lie’ all the time (hardly a revelation’. I notice too that there is nothing on the democracy now site that says that they are against capitalism (something that is impossible now with the collapse of politics as we used to now it)..

Basically, Goodman and Bush exist in the same ideological universe - they both play the politics of fear in their different ways and are feeding from the same trough.

beatroot said...

And Ignacy - I am a similar age to you and we are not 'getting old' we are just 'well-seasoned'...

ignacy the geezer said...

BR, are you echoing the old tired arguments dating back to the 1950s about "the end of ideology"? (Daniel Bell et. al.)

Both Goodman and Bush practice a politics of fear and feed from the same trough??? I'd say Goodman and most folks challenging Bush have good reason to be fearful. And certainly, Amy Goodman is not enriching herself.

So who / what is properly *ideological*?

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beatroot said...

I don’t think you can compare what I am saying with ‘convergence’ or ‘end of ideology’…that was in deep Cold War 1950s. This is post-cold war when there is really no alternative to liberal capitalism. Just look at the left. It’s turned into a conservative, quite authoritarian, fearful of social progress amorphous thing, and you have conservatives that can’t defend the family, church (even Bush and Blair think that kids should be ‘exposed to many different faiths. Blah..…) even idea of ‘the nation’ anymore….

Conservatives have won the economic war, the cultural left won the culture war, and the centre has won the political war.

All the political categories have collapsed. May western politics rest in peace.

ignacy the geezer said...

So datz Beatrootism, heh?

You getting this stuff from a book or books? One or two citations, please. Seriously.

Dzieks.

beatroot said...

Maybe something by Frank Furedi – British/Hungarian sociologist

http://www.frankfuredi.com/articles/politicsfearbristow-20050915.shtml

iggy da geez said...

Well, BR, this finally gives me an idea of where you are coming from...

I will make a point of trying to read the Politics of Fear book. It does look interesting.

From the article, my sense is that he exagerates to create a seemingly new analyis. I really don't think the left, whatever that is, fears societal change. Certain kinds of technological change, some lefties oppose and some don't. But social change in terms of redistribution of wealth and power is still at the top of most lefties' sensibilities, at least I hope so.

Also, I'm at a loss of the direction Furedi wants to go in that sense. I sense too much of a hope in technology as savior in his analysis. But I spoze I'm "pop"-ifying him based only on my reading of the one article and without reading any other criticism of his work.

You might want to look at some Ivan Illich as a countervalence of sorts to what, my guess is, Furedi is getting at.

beatroot said...

social change in terms of redistribution of wealth and power is still at the top of most lefties' sensibilities, at least I hope so.

Then I think you must be disappointed in the left that is around today. Redistribution of wealth? That’s old hat, geezer. Look at New Labour in Britain. Social mobility has actually got worse under them. The gap between rich and poor has widened. No social democratic party in Europe is arguing for ‘welfare capitalism’ anymore. That ‘New Deal’ ‘Welfare State’ thing is dead.

Socialism used to have a base in the labour movement and its institutions. They have now gone. We don’t have class politics anymore, we have ‘identity politics’. And there lies a bed of nails.

I will give you an example of de-politicization. The monarchy used to be a very important institution in Britain. No more. People think they are a joke. So, with the decline of monarchy you would think there would be a rise in republicanism….but not. There is no real republican movement in UK. There is just…nothing.

beatroot said...

By the way, I know Ivan Illich…de-schooling society..doctors are bad for your health...etc…? I would disagree. He was part of that JD Lang (?) thing in the sixties, seventies…kind of anarchism (they all ended up with the Foucaultians…who didn’t on the left?) Furedi would say that you do need an established body of knowledge based on science, but not a plurality of ‘knowledges’. Authority is good, if it is the right authority. You are a religious person, I would have thought you agree with that.

Anonymous said...

"JD Lang (?) thing in the sixties, seventies"????
I was trying to decide if you were dumb or dumber.
I've decded, you're dumbest.

ignacy the geezer said...

JD Lang (?) doesn't ring a bell with me.

I'm not at all clear on the connection between Illich and the Foucault folk.

Illich was more a modern day medievalist, methinks, and he was a priest for quite awhile. Also istm you are caricaturing his premises. That's not to say I don't think his ideas to be extreme, even though I think there's a lot of value and validity to his work as well.

Knowledge based on science alone? Science can only inform us of so much. Very little actually, I'd say. So if authority is to be based on knowledge derived solely from science, that steers pretty far away from any kind of religion.

ignacy the geezer said...

BTW, it should be obvious that I am very disappointed in much of the left, both the far left and the wishy-washy opportunistic left exemplified by the Blairs and Clintons of the world. For the most part, I think the religious left is all that left of the left, at least insofar as the left has any remaining value. Journalistically and Roman Catholically (how's that for a new word?) speaking, that means The Tablet in the UK and Commonweal in the US.

And this *there is nothing* stuff sounds like some kind of embryonic post-modernistic nihilism. Is *nie ma nadzieja* next? Please say it hasn't gotten that far!

beatroot said...

I meant RD Lang…check him out here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.D._Laing

I love it when these little ‘anonymous’ morons come along and abuse people…Anonymous - try and be constructive. Maybe try and formulate a political argument! Add to the debate! Or go away and play with your rubber bricks…

Both Faucault and Illich thought that modern day science, medicine and other professions like law control us. Check out Foucault’s Madness and Civilization. Science is not something that liberates us but imprisons us…etc blah…So you can see the link between Illich and the post moderns, for whom science is just another type like …magic.

I am an atheist but at religious people believe that there is ONE truth and that that truth exists outside of themselves. The typical is all about me me me…that’s why, as educators, we have to present everything to people as being ‘accessible’ ‘relevant’ ‘inclusive’ and all those other words that make me baff…

ig da geez said...

RD lAing. Yes, I've known people who recrawled out of their mothers' wombs, mostly who should have stayed put. More whacked. and scarey, still were the primal public screamers.

But the intersection with Illich seems tenuous to me. Same vis-a-vis Foucault. I've never seen any Illich commentary on Foucault or vice-versa. Maybe it's out there. I just haven't seen it.

beatroot said...

Foucault and Illich? Well, I am not the only one who has connected the two...

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=foucault+illich

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ig da geez said...

While they both critique modernity, my guess is that Foucault does it within some kinda framework very different from Illich's perspective which is predicated upon pre-modern, maybe even ageless, premises.

Interesting introduction to a brand new book in that Illich Foucault google search, though:

Balm for Gilead
Meditations on Spirituality and the Healing Arts
Daniel P. Sulmasy, O.F.M., M.D.

http://press.georgetown.edu/pdfs/1589010957_Intro.pdf#search=%22illich%20foucault%22

Ah, but you, BR, no doubt think that religion and perhaps spirituality as well is tantamount to magic....

Say, are you the chap in that Citizens Platform demo photo you posted who looks a bit like Harry Potter? Sorry, couldn't resist...

beatroot said...

I promise, none of those guys are me – though one is, apparently, a Polish socialist – a rare breed. Marloes, a Dutch woman, took that photo – I know her (via this blog) but I wasn’t even there when it was taken. And I don’t wear glasses – but I should.

You are right about different methodology of Illich and Fouc. I did my masters thesis on Foucault. My thesis was called: ‘A critique of Foucault’s critique of Fraud’s Repressive Hypothesis’.

I wake up at night screaming with embarrassment at how up its own arse it was, even now.

Anonymous said...

PrivateCams

Amateur Telefon Sex

Amateur Privat Girls

Anonymous said...

tramadol online tramadol 617 - tramadol 50mg buy