Posts Tagged ‘Alinsky’

Financial Fools Day

April 1, 2009

Today the TILMA agreement comes into effect. If you’ve never hear of it, that makes two of us. But there’s a campaign underway to get the information out. Tonight at SFU Harbour Centre, the Council of Canadians organized a panel discussion. The panel was a diverse group of interests, that hold in common our social well being. Here are some notes and links. (There is another meeting Wednesday April 22 7pm at the VPL Downtown to discuss the harmful effects of privatization. “What You Should Know Before You Vote On May 12” (no link yet))

These agreements are about corporate access to resources and restructuring economies to facilitate profiteering.

The Panelists:

Caelie Frampton (BC Stop TILMA Coalition) -From NAFTA to TILMA: Re-examine trade agreements.

Proma Tagore (No One Is Illegal) – Bilateral Trade Agreements: Canada displacing communities in the Global South.

Kyla (SFU Students against corporate education) – Reduction in public funding, privatization of education

Colleen Fuller (PharmaWatch and the BC Health Coalition) – Neo-liberal agreements, corporate lawsuits and the healthcare system.

Gord Hill (Olympic Resistance Network and No2010.com) – Looking back to Seattle 1999 and forward to Vancouver 2010.

How does neoliberalism affect our lives?

Caelie Frampton (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) Why are we seeing agreements? The Bilateral agreements (Canada and Colombia, Canada and the EU, etc.) are a response to collapsed talks at WTO level. There has been an increase in trade agreements. The government in power has a deregulatory agenda. TILMA (Trade Investment Labour Mobility Agreement) is an agreement on Internal trade. It’s main thrust is “No obstacles to investment” and it sets up a “Private Courts Systems” to deal with disputes. This agreement threatens to block any social and political alternatives to capitalism. It was signed and passed behind closed doors. Why doesn’t the government want any public consciousness? In the past anti-trade agreement activists have talked about saving Canada. What? Save a colonial and imperialist nation?

Proma (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) – No one is illegal – “The people may or may not use the word, but they live globalization.” – Trade Agreements are form of Colonial and Capitalist Expansion – Free flow of capital – white settler state – 1994 NAFTA Implemented – displaced farmers from Mexico move north into low paying work. – Immigrant detention industry is the fastest growing industry on the west coast – Global racism – directly and actively – states role in perpetuating global racism – “Israel’s values are Canada’s values” Paul Martin

Kyla (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) – SFU Student – shaping social, who has access good jobs, power is moved from accessible institutions to private business models – offer degrees – labour market preparation

Colleen (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) Pharmawatch NA is becoming increasingly integrated – Insurance is a NA industry – BC government undermined access to health care – People are fighting to maintain health care. Health care and education – link HC to housing, social assistance, disability, – fight to expand not simply defend. Develop allies across the spectrum of society.

Gord Hill (is not at all responsible for these notes!!!) organizing against the 2010 Olympics Antiglobalization protest time line – 1989 – state communism collapses, the triumph of a straight global capitalist system. 1994 Zapatistas develop language of neo-liberalism and anti-capitalism – re-inspired social movements – 1999 Seattle – convergence of social movements, mass mobilizations “Resistance within the belly of the beast” – anti-globalization anti-capitalist – Trade agreement impacts are so widespread workers – poor – even middle class – 2001- the movement gains momentum – Quebec Security fence taken down – movement reinvigorated. – War on terror – chilled social movement – climate of fear – movement set back – 2007 re-emergence of strong movement – militant campaign against G8 – Scares the ruling class. They don’t even want to see people taking action!! – Unemployed , crisis, – (there is a contradiction here.) – Public Direct Action No 2010 Olympics. There has been an increase in homelessness in Vancouver since the Olympic bid was won – Sea to sky highway is having detrimental environmental effects – fight social and environmental impacts of Olympics/Capitalism. The resistance is promoting an anti-capitalist ideology. Why? Capitalists don’t care about people. Thousand of people involved – Alternative media helped build the movement – civil disobedience – show respect for diversity – there’s no one correct way to do things – anti-colonial aspect housing homeless – movements are diverse – Will show the impacts.

Discussion: solidify our movements so that regardless of government (and corporate rule) we can be a force. Taxpayers and parents – holding government accountable. Converge on the Olympics – want to see more people there after the Olympics – bringing people together for after the olympics all these cmovements came together for one big coalition Save the CBC Unionized workers – Appeal to the mainstream – take advantage of this crisis. Socialism for the rich is fundamentally unjust – Lou BC Health Coalition – on behalf of patients? What? right to challenge, right to a need (health care)– legal strategies? – rethink how we organize – how are we organizing? – Saul Alinsky – Do something good – tactics – sport medicine for-profit clinics will be legacy of Olympics – housing – oppose the olympics – So was a different time the 50s – door to door – Current media is better for seniors and writing letters – language translation for cross-cultural coalition building – talk to people for organization – old school union union style: small, workspace, simultaneous organizing – The government plans to use the Olympics to promote their economic plan – indigenous issues, education, race, sexism, work, all together – Olympics a springboard for continuing to organize. – AND FINALLY – STV Win and we won’t have a majority government ever again!

He Loves His Mother!!!

March 11, 2009

Bill Mayer — He loves his mother!! I thought I’d start with that. Religulous, a film by the same people who made Borat, and Borat, too, was purposefully offensive, and it, too, was funny, but it never, not for a second took itself seriously. Borat brought us into some very serious territory. There was the blatantly misogynous college boys scene, and the dangerous war of terror scene, maybe it was the moustache, but the nausea producing, in a culturally discomforting sense, scenarios made us witnesses.  Borat, himself, was nearly invisible. Religulous does something different, and I didn’t like it. The scenes where Maher analyses what we just saw are all gawd-awful. He interviews some fairly stupid people, but Maher’s arrogance, which may have held up, especially with the cuts to clips from Superbad and Scarface, those were hilarious, his arrogance may have held up, but when he was on camera by himself, the weakness of those scenes reframed his arrogance as simply mean. Sure, he loves his mother, but he’s a mean mental weakling himself, bullying other intellectually challenged, differently intelligent people. There’s the difference, Borat’s misogynists exposed themselves and an oppressive cultural undercurrent, while Maher victimized the people he put on film.

The science is in. Consciousness is a chemical energy. Our perceptions are bodily. Chemical and bodily changes affect consciousness and perception. Philosophically I work from the premise that existence precedes essence. Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche and Sartre, if generally understood would make it easier to argue that we should educate and properly house and nourish everyone. What I’m saying here is that there is no God of Abraham, there are no angels, spirits, demons, heaven or hell, at least outside our language systems. Our language systems exist physically in our bodies, in this sense these things exist, they are within us and communicable. Maher had an opportunity to produce in incredibly informative film. He came close with the Andrew Newberg, MD (University of Pennsylvania research neuroscientist) interview. Newberg discusses the process of imaging people’s brains as they pray, meditate or speak in tongues, but no conclusive statement is made. He also brought in the consciousness changing properties of drugs, but again the neurophysiology that could reveal the chemical and physical contingency of consciousness was not explored.

Maher is content to promote doubt, but there is certainty that consciousness is chemical reactions within organic physical structures. We don’t know how exactly it works, but there is certainty that material is at work. These ideas can also be communicated, but Maher didn’t do the research. And understanding consciousness, the bodily manifestation of these belief, may have softened his, persecution, of these believers. Really what was he doing? In his interviews with Muslims, he was told twice that it was politics and not religion, that the motivation behind terrorists and extremists, but he didn’t accept it. He even made “fun” of the interviewee by writing a text message implying he was a terrorist. Later he analyses these scenes saying that they don’t want to admit to outsiders that there are problems with the religion. Doubt in this sense is not a tool for understanding, it is an analgesic for stupidity. What were the political motivations of the religious George W. Bush and what were the political motivations of the differently religious Osama Bin Laden? Maher is content to doubt everything and everyone.

In Saul D. Alinsky‘s Rules for Radicals he spends an entire chapter “of ends and means” explaining how political interests are clothed in religious morality. “The Haves,” he writes, “develop their own morality to justify their means of repression and all other means employed to maintain the status quo.” What’s interesting is that Obama was schooled in the Alinsky tradition. Maher’s film is now an historical document. But Alinsky also taught respect for the beliefs and values of the Have-nots and spoke against arrogance. Politically, in the political system, I’m with Sven. This call for compassion, and understanding, when dealing with religious consciousnesses, is not a form of self protection, it comes from an understanding, limited sure, that our bodies and consciousness are totally intertwined, and a massive change, in our society, especially forced from the outside, well, it’s abuse.

And one last thing about embodied knowledge, especially the kind of knowledge that defines a persons existence. This is from wikipedia:

In Carl Jung‘s psychology, metanoia indicates a spontaneous attempt of the psyche to heal itself of unbearable conflict by melting down and then being reborn in a more adaptive form. Jung believed that psychotic episodes in particular could be understood as existential crises which were sometimes attempts at self-reparation. Jung’s concept of metanoia influenced R. D. Laing and the therapeutic community movement which aimed, ideally, to support people whilst they broke down and went through spontaneous healing, rather than thwarting such efforts at self-repair by strengthening their existing character defences and thereby maintaining the underlying conflict.

With this in mind, really, what the fuck was Maher doing? He loves his mother, but he’s still an ignorant fuck. Had he actually broken through the defences of these people he was attacking, he would have precipitated a moment of realization in which everything previously known is wrong, leading possibly to a physical and mental breakdown. In one scene Maher’s mother reminds him of how upset he was when he discovered Santa Claus wasn’t real. The equation of a childhood fantasy game, with god consciousness or a bodily awareness of god, is ridiculous in itself. In my utopian thoughts after the consciousness of our interconnectivity is widespread, when we are concerned with the care of each other, the issue of religion will have faded away, but until then we need to work toward our own understanding.

Ramblings of a possible lunatic

October 16, 2007

This just might be my last post to this blog. As an experiment Bread & Sanity [an earlier blog] has come to an end, or become redundant, recently I’ve been focusing on writing and reading on education, so I’ve been posting, when I do here (dead link). Recently I’ve also been reading a lot more than I’m writing, which doesn’t give any clue to the amount of time I’ve spent reading, because I’ve written nothing.

There is some writing on education on this blog, which will be moved, but much of the other writing will be moved as well. With labels finding my notes won’t be a problem, and I’m also not worried about any kind of focus. Education is always just one system/concept in a very large world system/concept. With focus you lose perspective.

Yes, notes. I’m also using a blog as a collection of notes, or a collector of notes, obviously both private and public. Who am I writing to right now, you as much as myself, and more myself, as existing and hoping to make some use of these notes in the future.

Why theory? In a note on Dewey I wrote a little about perfect theory, or perfecting theory maybe learning theory, or evolving theory, but perfect is what I’m after. Does this idea fly in the academy? Perfect has been critiqued and found suspect. Now anyone who considered the project is considered ignorant of accepted wisdom. So again, Why Theory? Always non-perfectable, always partially inapplicable, so why? I’m not suggesting that there is a perfect theory, but that I should work toward one. The concept of perfect theory is playful, light-hearted. Saul Alinsky begins his Rules for Radicals with an over the shoulder nod to the very first radical, Lucifer. Power rejects all challengers, and with this understanding the meaning of rejection becomes a problem. If a theory has been rejected it can be a powerful theory for change as easily as the ravings of a lunatic. The problem is that if your ideas aren’t rejected by power, they’re useless, and if they are there’s a very good chance they’re still useless.