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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think i'm beginning to understand much of the visceral emotional reaction—and the place it comes from, inside me—i have against the administration, against huge gas-guzzling SUV's, aggressive cowboy-mentality corporations and politicians, and the whole testosterone society in which i find myself: there's something just so goddamn white male about it !

everything in that vain, from the preponderance of emphasis on sports in school, to the dictates of "honor" and "pride" being prized over compassion in our politicians, revolt me to the core.

in truth, i hate everything the cowboy represents. and i hate everything "white male" that prizes it. (maybe i draw this hatred from a life of experience bitterly hating these things in myself and then avoiding them as much as i can.)

its the opposing property (whether it really existed or i simply perceived it) that i actually liked so much in the opposing presidential candidate, and which i was disheartened to find used against him: his propensity to consider issues in their full complexity and come to a decision, even reevaluating that decision when presented new information.

yet he's a flip-flopper ?

9:08 PM  
Blogger Hoyama said...

Glad you liked Stan's rant! I understand what you're saying - I think my own visceral reaction against it was because as a small, relatively weak person, I always felt intimidated by that whole macho routine as a kid - and then it pissed me off later when I realized how empty all that shit is, how meaningless physical dominance is in the real world we live in, yet it was always used to make me feel inferior - and I hated the shit I did to try to live up to that "cowboy" thing, that white male expectation.

And you're so right about that "honor" and "pride" crap - it's so counter-productive, and still used to twist boys into that mold. And to deride politicians who don't buy into it. When I started hating Kerry was when he started trying to talk tough and play that game, even tho he clearly didn't have his heart in it. He thought he had to do it to win - maybe so, but it alienated me.

Thanks for commenting!

4:25 PM  

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