Saturday, March 22, 2014
" 'What are we all still living for? We're damned! If I fell ill now, there isn't a soul would bother about me.' An all-pervading fear crept over me. 'I don't want to die, I don't want to die!' At a complete loss, I put my head in my hands. 'The pinnacle of creation!' - It was my despair speaking. - 'Two legs, tubes of bone, bear my whole world, a world of pain and delusion. The worst part is the body.' The fear of death sent a shudder through me. 'What lies in store for my body? All its thousand organs, into what cunning instruments of torture will they be transformed? Oh, if I could only stop thinking, but that functions automatically. There are no certainties that are not countered by uncertainties! It's an endless labyrinth, and I'm damned! My belly is filled with ordure and disgust, and whenever I do manage to feel something passionately I immediately lose my nerve. There is just one thing I do know: however much I wriggle and squirm, minute by minute I am coming closer to the inevitable, closer to death, and there is nothing I can do about it. I haven't even the courage to kill myself. Lasting unhappiness is my destiny.' I sighed." - Alfred Kubin, The Other Side
Tommy Frank(s) and Herr Reed:
You said to reverse all this, it requires a “vibrant labor movement.” How on earth is that going to happen? Actually I’ve made this point to progressives and they don’t understand. They’re like, “What’s so special about labor?” They don’t particularly like labor. Culturally, it’s not them. They don’t really get it.
They like their workers when they’re brown and really abject and getting the shit beaten out of them but they don’t like them when they try to work through institutions to build power for themselves as a class. That’s one way to put it.
These are people on the left that I’m talking about.
That’s who I’m talking about too. That’s exactly who I’m talking about. It’s a few things. One of them is the cult of the most oppressed that I mentioned a while back. And as my dad used to say, “If oppression conferred heightened political consciousness there would be a People’s Republic of Mississippi.”And the fact is all that oppression confers is oppression really. [...]
There’s a conflation of the moral imperative and the strategic imperative. In fact, it’s not even conflation, it’s substitution of moral imperative for a strategic imperative.
So what do you mean? We choose the one that our heart goes out to and imagine that they are the ones who have the answer?
Exactly. In a way, from an organizing standpoint, that often means that you’re stacking the deck against yourself or picking, choosing, to focus on the populations that have the least in the way of resources, the least in the way of institutional capacity.
Friday, March 21, 2014
"I'm as convinced as anyone that we can change the society to make it better, and my beef, actually, is with the tendency to imagine that things aren't as bad as they are, that we don't need to do the things that we need to do, that there's some magical intervention that's just across the horizon that will come and take care of all of our problems for us. [...] That's what I think is expressive of a real despair. When you think about it, that's kind of what religion is, right? You can't face the depth or the height of the challenge that confronts us, so you retreat to a fantasy world. And that's what I want to challenge, at least insofar as I'm talking to the left, or I'm trying to talk to the left." - Adolph Reed, Jr.