REFLECTION: Who is in Charge of The Future of The Internet?

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

I’m currently reading a paper entitled “Bottom of the Data Pyramid: Big Data and the Global South” (2016) by non-white / Indian female, Payal Arora, Associate Professor, Department of Media & Communication Faculty of History, Culture and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The paper is available (in PDF format) here.

On her blog, The 3L Mantra to live by! A mashup of Labor, Leisure & Learning, Arora describes herself as follows:

Payal Arora - About Me.jpg

Suffice to say, I was not too impressed with this rather auto-Orientalising self-description, nor with the following TED presentation she delivered:

Interested and discerning Counter-Racist / decolonial viewers are invited to consider:

  1. how she frames the relation between the non-white / non-Western ‘periphery’ and the white / Western ‘core’ of the modern/colonial world system of global White Supremacy (Racism) in terms of ‘the poor’ and ‘the rich’, i.e. in race-less / de-raced / un-raced economistic terms.
  2. how she assimilates peripheral / Oriental behaviours to (tacitly universalised) core / Occidental behaviours by first talking about the history of ‘leisure’ in a (19th Century) European / Western class-based context, and then projecting categories (leisure and labour) from the core to the periphery on the post-colonial (sic) basis that “they are like us”. Who is this us that this non-white female is associating herself (and other non-white people) with / assimilating herself (and other non-white) to?

While it might appear that such a move is intended to overcome a legacy of colonial ‘othering’ which sees ‘them’ as essentially different to ‘us’, it is important to appreciate that this is being attempted by appealing to Eurocentric / West-centric norms. In short, her project is one of (neo)liberal inclusion within (covertly racialised yet overtly race-less) capitalist logics.

I would suggest that Arora’s discourse is postcolonial rather than decolonial, being economistically-framed in terms of inclusive capitalism. She completely fails to understand the intrinsically racialised nature of capitalist logics of accumulation, something that the late black Marxist scholar Cedric Robinson discussed in detail, as have critical race and decolonial scholars more recently.

Ultimately, while Arora’s critique of Big Data / datafication is useful, it is limited, and as to the question ‘Who is in Charge of The Future of The Internet?’, does that question really need to be asked?

Peace

CONFERENCE: Heidegger in the Islamicate World

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Check this out:

HiTIW.JPG

Dr Syed Mustafa Ali (The Open University, UK) will be presenting a paper entitled “Heidegger and the Islamicate: Transversals and Reversals”.

Peace

AUDIO: Recalling The Caliphate – Book Launch #1

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

RTC

Yesterday evening I attended the first book launch of Salman Sayyid’s Recalling The Caliphate: Decolonization and World Order (London: Hurst & Co., 2014) which was hosted by the MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) in London (UK).

It was a constructive event and interested listeners can download an audio recording (MP3 format) of the proceedings from here.

Sayyid is one of very few (attempted) Muslim thinkers grappling with issues at the intersection of Islam, politics and philosophy from a critical / decolonial perspective (others include Amr G E Sabet and Ebrahim Moosa) and I consider his work relevant to the project of developing an Islamic Counter-Racism.

I very much look forward to engaging critically with this latest work from an Islamic Counter-Racist perspective in the near future and sharing my thoughts here and elsewhere.

Peace

BOOK: The Uniqueness of White Supremacy

Peace Be To You All.

TUOWC Cover

Here is a description of the above book as appearing on the publisher‘s website:

This extensively researched book argues that the development of a libertarian culture was an indispensable component of the rise of the West. The roots of the West’s superior intellectual and artistic creativity should be traced back tothe aristocratic warlike culture of Indo-European speakers. Among the many fascinating topics discussed are: the ascendancy of multicultural historians and the degradation of European history; China’s ecological endowments and imperial windfalls; military revolutions in Europe 1300-1800; the science and chivalry of Henry the Navigator; Judaism and its contribution to Western rationalism; the cultural richness of Max Weber versus the intellectual poverty of Pomeranz, Wong, Goldstone, Goody, and A.G. Frank; change without progress in the East; Hegel’s Phenomenology of the [Western] Spirit; Nietzsche and the education of the Homeric Greeks; Kojeve’s master-slave dialectic and the Western state of nature; Christian virtues and German aristocratic expansionism.

This book is of particular interest insofar as it attempts to mount a ‘Eurocentric’ critique of the work of allegedly ‘non-Eurocentric’ white historians such as John Hobson (The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization) and Jack Goody (The Theft of History).

Interested readers can download a copy (PDF format) of this work from here.

A review of the above work by white male Professor of Psychology at California State University–Long Beach, Kevin B Macdonald, is available here.

Peace

BOOK: From a Non-White Daughter

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

FAND Cover

Interested readers are invited to download a copy (PDF format) of this important work from here.

I strongly recommend readers to study the title essay, “From a Native Daughter”, as an example of how the system of White Supremacy (Racism) projects its own ‘Eurocentric’ categories of ‘ownership’, ‘feudalism’, ‘monarchy’, ‘progress’, ‘development’ etc. onto non-white / indigenous people in order to appropriate them and their resources.

Peace

BOOK: YURUGU by Marimba Ani

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

Yurugu - Cover

Interested readers are invited to download the above work (PDF format) from here.

Links to audio recordings (MP3 format) of C.O.W.S. (Context of White Supremacy) radio show sessions examining this work are here.

Peace

White Supremacy (Racism) and Imperialism

Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.

One persistent CON-fusion perpetuated by non-white people and white people is that the concepts of White Supremacy (Racism) and imperialism are either synonymous / interchangeable or at least essentially / intrinsically related; in short, it is claimed that White Supremacy (Racism) is necessarily imperialist in nature.

I consider this position demonstrably false / incorrect and in this regard should like to draw the attention of interested readers to the following essay by white males Martin Hall and John Hobson, Professor of Politics and International Relations at The University of Sheffield:

Liberal International theory: Eurocentric but not always Imperialist?

Interested viewers are also invited to check out the following talk given by Hobson on YouTube:

Thinking Inter-Culturally: From racist and Eurocentric Monologism to Inter-Civilizational Dialogism

Hobson’s attempt at delinking Eurocentrism from ‘racism’ is fundamentally problematic since he conceptualizes the latter in ‘scientific’ / biological / genetic terms, rather than with reference to a “shifting signifier” that has assumed various forms including religious, philosophical, scientific and cultural / civilizational. (On this point, I refer interested readers to an important essay by the late J M Blaut available here.) Furthermore, following the lead of Barnor Hesse, Walter Mignolo and others, there is a need to engage with Racism (White Supremacy) from a decolonial perspective which understands it as a “colonial matrix of power” that manifests in a variety of forms including ‘governmentality’. On this basis, it is false / incorrect to decouple Eurocentrism from Racism (White Supremacy).

Peace