Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Stan on The Shootist

Stan Goff, my hero, is freaking eloquent on the Cheney shooting incident! Carries it far beyond the typical analysis into a whole send-up of the silly machismo that gets people elected in this pseudo-democracy. Read it! at: The Shootist....

...and his comment re: mass movements and what we need to do is also right on the mark:

Mass movements that struggle against existing power relations cannot remain mass movements unless they connect with the sensibilities of the masses themselves. Good leadership in mass movements connects initially with people’s affective, not merely cogntive realities, then develop that connection into a deeper understanding — developed in the process of struggles that teach people who their real enemies are (like the ruling CLASS, and not merely one inidivudual expression of it). Backward tendencies (like racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, heterosexism, et al) are isolated and corrected by good leadership, and those with advanced understanding of their struggles self-select as political cadres. But the mass movement must still connect with the masses, and one place that connection must happen to make opposition effective is through delegitimation of actually-existing power-holders. We have to say, that emperor has no clothes.

Gender is a particular interest of mine, because I think we have ignored it at our peril and loss.

Moments like this are opportunities to use ridicule as a method of unmasking gender — which is a legitimator for ruling circles.

Yes, if we expect to have social/political/change, we need to listen to Stan and others with his savvy, and we need to educate people in this direction, much like the Civil Rights Movement educated its people in non-violent direct action before hitting the streets. Forty-six years since the Greensboro Four, and we haven't done much to use what that movement teaches us about successful mass movements. The "de-legitimation of power holders" was what the Movement did so well in the South.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Times video

The NYTimes article on Bolivia (see previous post) also has a great, 8 min. video on Bolivian coca production. Several good, on-location scenes with real cocalero allowed to speak on camera. Also some good commentary from Bolivian officials. Despite their problems, the Times does a good job on many subjects. (Note: you'll probably have to register to view this, but it's free.)

The Times on Bolivia and coca

The NY Times has a good article on Bolivia, Evo and coca today! Fair and level, for the most part, the article even includes this great little paragraph:

Stripping the small, shiny leaves from a branch, Pasquale Quispe, 53, owner of a 7.4-acre farm, explained that she and other peasants saw coca in almost spiritual terms. "Coca is our daily bread, what gives us work, what gives us our livelihood," she said. "In other countries, they say coca is drugs, but we don't use drugs. It's the gringos who use drugs."