my seditious heart
(2019) by Arundhati Roy
and that we must make it impossible for those in power to pretend that they do not know the costs/consequences of what they do
my contribution to our collective refusal to obediently fade away.. t
we will need algorithms that show us how to snatch the scepters from our slow, stupid, maddened kings..
end of imagination
‘these are not just nuclear tests, they are nationalism tests’.. we were repeatedly told
loneliness of chomsky
chomsky spoke about his memory of the day hiroshima was bombed. he was 16: ‘i remember that i literally couldn’t talk to anybody. there was nobody. i just walked off by myself. i was at a summer camp at the time, and i walked off into the woods and stayed alone for a couple of hours when i heard about it. i could never talk to anyone about it and never understood anyone’s reaction. i felt completely isolated’
peace is war
coming back to the tyranny of crisis reportage: one way to cut loose is to understand that for most people in the world, peace is war – a daily battle against hunger, thirst, and the violation of their dignity. wars are often the end result of a flawed peace, a putative peace. and it is the flaws, the systemic flaws in what is normally considered to be ‘peace’ that we ought to be writing a about. we have to- at least some of us have to – become peace correspondents instead of war correspondents. we have to lose our terror of the mundane. we have to use our skills and imagination and our art to re create the rhythms of the endless crisis of normality, and in doing so, expose the policies and processes that make ordinary things – food, water, shelter, and dignity – such a distant dream for ordinary people..t
crises polarize people. they hustle us into making uninformed choices: ‘you’re either w us or w the terrorists’.. ‘you’re either pro privatization or pro state’..’if you’re not good you’re evil’
the real crisis – the dispossession, the disempowerment, the daily violation of the democratic rights and the dignity of not thousands but millions of people, which has been set into motion not by accident but by deliberate design – does not fit into the predetermined format of crisis reporting..
so the unrelenting daily grind of injustice goes unreported, and the silent, unformatted battle spreads subcutaneously thru our society, ushering us toward a future that doesn’t bear thinking about..t
‘another world is not only possible, she’s on her way, maybe many of us won’t be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if i listen very carefully, i can hear her breathing‘
radical change will not be negotiated by govts; it can only be enforced by people..t
we need to reimagine civil disobedience… change will come.. it could be bloody, or it could be beautiful. it depends on us
public power in age of empire
ordinary people in the us have been manipulated into imagining they are a people under siege whose sole refuge and protector is their govt.. as a result, this, the most powerful nation in the world.. w its unmatchable arsenal of weapons, its history of having waged and sponsored endless wars, and of being the only nation in history to have actually used nuclear bombs – is peopled by a terrified citizenry, jumping at shadows,. a people bonded to the state not by social services, or public health care, or employment guarantees, but by fear..t
this synthetically manufactured fear is used to gain public sanction for further acts of aggression.. and so it goes, building into a spiral of self fulfilling hysteria..t
the us political system has been carefully crafted to ensure that no one who questions the natural goodness of the military-industrial-corporate structure will be allowed thru the portals of power..t
wow.. so true
radical change cannot and will not be negotiated by govts; it can only be enforced by people. by the public. a public who can link hands across national borders
so when we speak of public power in the age of empire, i hope it’s not presumptuous to assume that the only thing that is worth discussing seriously is the power of a dissenting public. a public that disagrees w the very concept of empire..
rather.. one that sees it all as irrelevant.. pays no mind/energy.. too busy spending days doing the thing they can’t not do.. ie: gershenfeld something else law; eudaimoniative surplus; undisturbed ecosystem
by resist i don’t mean only to express dissent but to effectively force change
there isn’t a country on god’s earth that is not caught in the crosshairs of the us cruise missile and the imf checkbook..
you could say that terrorism is the privatization of war. terrorists are the free marketers of war.. they are people who don’t believe that tee state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence
peace and corp liberation theology
i’m not an activist, not the leader of a mass movement, and i’m certainly not the ‘voice of the voiceless’
roy voiceless law – no such thing as voiceless
remember that if the struggle were to resort to violence, it will lose vision, beauty, and imagination.. most dangerous of all, it will marginalize and eventually victimize women.. and a political struggle that does not have women at the heart of it, above, it below it, and w/in it is no struggle at all
since the us is the richest and most powerful country in the world, in the genocide denial seedings it is the world’s number one. it continues to celebrate columbus day, the day columbus arrived in the americas, which marks the beginning of a holocaust that wiped out millions of native americans, about 90% of the original population. lord amherst, the man whose idea it was to distribute blankets infected w smallpox virus to indians, has a uni town in massachusetts, and a prestigious liberal arts college, named after him
in america’s 2nd holocaust, almost 30 million africans were kidnapped and sold into slavery. well near half of them died in transit.. but in 2001 the us delegation could still walk out of the world conference against racism in durban, refusing to acknowledge that slavery and the salve trade were crimes..
the us also refused to accept that the bombing of tokyo, hiroshima, nagasaki, dresden and hamburg – which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians – were crimes.. let alone acts of genocide..
the first step toward reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination – an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as communism.. an imagination that has an altogether diff understanding of what constitutes happiness/fulfillment.. t
speech to people’s uni
what you have achieved since sept 17 when the occupy movement began in the us, is to intro a new imagination, anew political language, into the heart of empire.. you have reintro’d the right to dream into a system that tried to turn everybody into zombies mesmerized into equating mindless consumerism w happiness/fulfillment..
all these wars from the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki to vietnam, korea, latin america, have claimed millions of lives – all of them fought to secure ‘the american way of life’
today we know that ‘the american way of life’ – the model the rest of the world is meant to aspire toward – has resulted in 400 people owning the wealth of half the population of the us.. it has meant 1000s of people being turned out of their homes and jobs while the us govt bailed out banks/corps – american international group (aig) alone was given 182 b..
the indian govt worship us econ policy. as a result of 20 yrs of free market econ.. today 100 of india’s richest own assets worth 1/4 of the country’s gdp while more than 80% liv eon less than 50 cents a day. 250 000 farmers driven into a spiral of death have committed suicide.. we call this progress and now think of ourselves as a superpower. like you, we are well qualified, we have nuclear bombs and obscene inequality..
the good news is that people have had enough and are not going to take it anymore.. the occupy movement has joined 1000s of other resistance movements all over the world in which the poorest of people are standing up and stopping the richest corps in their tracks.. few of us dreamed that we would see you, the people of the us, on our side, trying to do this in the heart of empire.. i don’t know how to communicate the enormity of what this means..
this struggle has reawakened our imagination.. somewhere along the way, capitalism reduced the idea of justice to mean just ‘human rights’ and the idea of dreaming of equality became blasphemous. we are not fighting to tinker w reforming a system that needs to be replaced..
capitalism: a ghost story
many yrs later, this idea has trickled down to the impoverished countryside of bangladesh when mohammed yunus and the grameen bank brought microcredit to starving peasants w disastrous consequences.. the poor of the subcontinent have always lived in debt, in the merciless grip of the local village usurer – the bania.. but microfinance has corporatized that, too. microfinance companies in india are responsible fo r 100s of suicides – 200 people in andhra pradesh in 2010 alone..
there’s a lot of money in poverty, and a few nobel prizes too
corruptions: rockefeller; friedman chicago boys; ngo’s; coke; world bank; ford; gates; lilly;.. lockheed
do we need weapons to fight wars? or do we need wars to create a market for weapons?
dr and the saint
democracy hasn’t eradicated caste. it has entrenched and modernized it. this is why it’s time to read ambedkar (and vs gandhi)
the trouble is that gandhi actually said everything and its opposite..
how can hinduism .. which pervades everything.. be renounced only because the practice of caste is sanctioned in its foundational texts, which most people have never read?
ambedkar’s point is – how can ti not be? how can such institutionalize injustice, even if it is divinely ordained, be acceptable to anyone..
gandhi believed ambedkar was throwing the baby out w the bathwater. ambedkar believed the baby and the bathwater were a single, fused organism..