Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lula, the Workers Party & the Corruption of Hope

This is gonna be a real short post because im kinda out of it following thanksgiving with the family. Ive also been staring at a computer screen for the past 5 hours trying to edit this upcoming (really good) article on UFPJ & The Anti-War Movement for the winter issue of Left Turn magazine. In between eatin mashed potatoes & turkey i came across a back issue of The Nation which had (suprisingly) quite a few good pieces in it. One that caught my eye was a well written article by Hilary Wainwright (Editor of Red Pepper Magazine) called: 'Corruption of Hope in Brazil' which is an overview of the Lula presidency in Brazil and his fall from grace amid corruption scandals... I guess the picture says it all.


jamie said...

turkey? a true revolution doesnt leave the earth and animals out of the equation.

Anonymous said...

fuck that, pass the meat.

lets free people first then we'll worry about animals.

Anonymous said...

yeah i mean doing animal liberation work is cool but honestly when it comes to put downs of other activists because they eat meat and stuff like that i think thats kind of counterp=-productive and starts to play into this whole 'more radical then thou' complex that we all know activists love to play with each other. The one effect i think that it primarily ends up having is just isolating yourself into more of a 'subsculture' then we already are to some extent. Also what it does is stuff like this where on a post on Brazil we end up talking about eating Turkey instead of engaging with the issues that were brought up in the article.

j. said...

its not about doing animal liberation work per se, its about having a more inclusive agenda and not just a humanist one. its not about being more 'radical than thou' as you say but pointing out a critical gap in your perspective.

also, your post brings up eating turkey. if you talk about eating turkey on a political blog, people who include turkeys, other animals...the earth in their perspective will call you on it.
just as im sure you bring things to people's attention if you see them display some lame classism or colonialism, this is brought to your attention. ultimately, it isnt liberation if its only humans included in your persepctive.
you seem to make the assumption that being vegetarian somehow makes you part of a subculture. i just see it as doing something that makes sense for the planet and myself.
its total liberation, not half assed liberation that only includes some people/species or issues.

j said...

" fuck that, pass the meat.lets free people first then we'll worry about animals."

case in point: what is wrong with single issue activists.

max said...

[This was a personal reply to Jamie via email, i figure its appropriate to post it here]

well thanks for the explanation, I hear what your saying... I dont agre with you that talking about eating turkey for thanksgiving is the same as calling someone a 'fag' or not incorporating a queer analysis into your organizing but I respect your opinion.

The place i went to for dinner was a house full of vegetarians (except for the grandmother) and that was the only non-vegatarian aspect of the whole meal. They get it from a local farmer who is a friend of the
family and they try to support even though they usually dont eat meat.

Its a longer coversation, something perhaps to dive into at another point but I dont believe people that eat meat need to be 'called out on their shit'. I do see meat eating especially in the western world as a problem, but primarily because of their massive over-consumption of meat eating as well as buying meat from horrbile corporations with a mass slaughter-house system. Having said that i dont find it ethically wrong to eat meat, and i at times find vegetarian 'activists' to be extremely condescending when it
comes to this whole discussion.

anyway perhaps we can agree to disagree on this one.


the burningman said...

The demand in some quarters that "animal rights" and diet be necessarily included in our big picture politics is a serious mistake. We're not Jains, and those who seek semi-religious moral absolutism around highly dubious issues like the "rights" of animals often have a moral outlook that precludes the possibility of broad change in favor or "personal integrity."

One other note: the whole culture of "calling people out" is a waste. This constant excavation into our "internalized" reactionary ideas is another religious exercise that I just can't stand. Sometimes I just want to "call people out" for being judgemental busybodies.

Nothing wrong with criticism and self-criticism, we need that -- but "calling people out" is, in my experience, an unprincipled way of exerting group hegemony based on language and "identity" more than actual behavior. It can be downright cannibalisitic.

I'm not saying we can't argue about language and personal behavior, or that ecological consciousness isn't a fundamental grounding of social change, but there is a connection between different means of regulating personal behavior and the tendency of activists to become passivists in a subculture.