Considering Resistance

From: user 1.
Sent on: Saturday, September 15, 2012 8:18 AM

To Thinkers Thinking About Coming Monday:

http://www.meetup.com/tampa-bay-thinkers/events/77709112/

Well our community went through some organized ‘resistance’ to the RNC in August and some things became very apparent. There were expectations that because of the growing rancor in our body politic in preparation for this election, we would have substantially more unrest this year compared with the same cycle in 2008. Contributing to this expectation was the buildup of a great many grassroots movements that were focused on unrest coming from the obvious inequality that is so evident as the billionaires and corporations exert very openly more and more influence and control of our political process that seem feckless to resist these efforts. Plus the politicians themselves are doing many feckless, inchoate things.

But we went through two what were to be rancorous political conventions where nothing much happened unless you looked much closer than the new media did. We need to talk about why.

Sadly this country is radically re-envisioning freedom of speech at the moment and the trends are de-evolving into less and less freedom as time goes by. So much time was spent by the powers that be at the political parties, the government agencies and the mainstream media to prepare for a cautionary civility, that nothing but the stupid ‘horserace’, the reality TV show this they wanted us to see, broke through. For the most part, resistance was mostly blocked from view almost entirely.

We must discuss the control mechanisms that are making it more difficult to resist and make a difference. The most important of these come from the excessive things done in the name of our ‘security’ after we were terrified by a singular terrorist action and the reconstruction of our enemy space by those wishing to exploit this and related events. It is so interesting that we have shown so much supplication to these efforts. I would point you to one very interesting event in locally last weekend. Obama did a campaign event here that was packed to the gills. The St Pete for Peace group showed up to protest the possibility of more neocon imbibed wars with Syria and Iran. The ‘liberals’ gave the Peace group huge grief, some of it very ugly.

When it comes to resistance, Obama is far from a friend, he doubling down on the hideous Patriot Act and exploiting this strategically to clamp down on protesters at both political conventions. And the ‘militarization’ of our police agencies is very frightening, particularly the vision from the Military Industrial Complex to have drones fly over us all constantly.

Well this should give our discussion some meatiness. But what about resistance in the rest of the world and Camus? One question I have is why free countries that have many more events of actual terrorism, albeit smaller than 911, have nothing like the strategies we see in the US to stifle problematic speech?

And I promised you a distillation from the Camus quote lines (with three in bold to focus on) and it is such below:

• There are means that cannot be excused. And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don't want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive. (p. 5)

• Nothing is given to men, and the little they can conquer is paid for with unjust deaths. But man's greatness lies elsewhere. It lies in his decision to be stronger than his condition. And if his condition is unjust, he has only one way of overcoming it, which is to be just himself. (p. 39)

• The world needs real dialogue, that falsehood is just as much the opposite of dialogue as is silence, and that the only possible dialogue is the kind between people who remain what they are and speak their minds. (p. 70)

• Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. (p. 73)

• Freedom is the concern of the oppressed, and her natural protectors have always come from among the oppressed. (p. 89)

• The freedom of each finds its limits in that of others; no one has a right to absolute freedom. The limit where freedom begins and ends, where its rights and duties come together, is called law, and the state itself must bow to the law. (p. 101)

• Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better, whereas enslavement is a certainty of the worst. (p. 103)

• It is better to suffer certain injustices than to commit them, even to win wars. (p. 114)

• I believe only in differences and not in uniformity. First of all, because differences are the roots without which the tree of liberty, the sap of creation and of civilization, dries up. (p. 136)

We will make an effort to connect this stuff back to our overriding topic.

Dale Friedley
Head the Dork


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