Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Arundhati Roy

On the global stage, beyond the jurisdiction of sovereign governments, international instruments of trade and finance oversee a complex system of multilateral laws and agreements that have entrenched a system of appropriation that puts colonialism to shame. This system allows the unrestricted entry and exit of massive amounts of speculative capital - hot money - into and out of third world countries, which then effectively dictates their economic policy...

...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.
TIDE? OR IVORY SNOW? Public Power in the Age of Empire.




Blogger Jon Husband said...

I remember attending a lecture at UBC about 6 or 7 years ago, given by Herman daley, an economist and author of the book "For The Common Good". He talked a bunch about how accounting and finance disregarded many of the social and environmental costs of harvesting resources and producing goods (which many people know a lot about), but it kep t niggling at me that it seemd as if he was missing or omitting a key point.

I finally screwed up the courage to make an assertion, disguised as a question, about my belief that at the heart of it all were the requirements of the capital markets ... for growth in revenues and earnings. To my surprise, he warmly agreed with me.

And so, it seems to me that more and more people are coming to a clear understanding that the system in which (under which ?) we currently live is guided by the politicians and lawmakers in ways so as to sustain that system for as long as possible.

There may be a second superpower, as Jim Moore has suggested, but it's not likely to be overly effective until "it" decides that it needs to become powerful and operate in the interest of its constituents ... which is what I infer from this excerpt from Ms. Roy's well laid out essay.

As far as mass resistance movements are concerned, the fact is that no amount of media coverage can make up for mass strength on the ground. There is no option, really, to old-fashioned, back-breaking political mobilization.

8/25/2004 9:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Jon, your comments as usual provoke a lot of thought. I wish there were time... I do think at some point we will have to begin parsing where our ability to speak ends and the ability to actually do something begins. Not that I have any idea how to do that...

8/26/2004 10:49 AM  
Blogger Kombinat! said...

Toms "parsing where our ability to speak ends and the ability to actually do something begins. Not that I have any idea how to do that..."

Yeah, 'how to do that', this is the qustion.

Communities used a right to "shame" somebody who pollutted communities space. One would cast a 'shame' on that person and community would require that person to act 'shameful' for the transgression against the community. Today it seems one would get sued for slander, defamation.

I don't know what to do next. What actions to take?

8/26/2004 11:22 AM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

Funny ... one of my first thoughts upon waking this morning, before seeing these comments, was:

"I wonder what it would be like in the USA if average working citizens across theland were to engage in a general strike, as has happened a couple of times in Venezuela, or from time to time in France. What would it take to stimulate such action, and what would it look like?"

I can't imagine it.

I have no idea why this was in my consciousness upon waking ... wish I knew.

8/26/2004 12:01 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

Apropos this comment thread and taking action, some other people seem to have had similar questions and are suggesting this

8/28/2004 7:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

I've long been fascinated with the tacit agreement to repress even a whisper of a general strike in the US. It is a measure of our values that such actions are outlawed here, but not in other countries.

The carnivalesque anticipations of New York's approaches to the RNC are a kind of laboratory for political action, theater, and courage. Guess we'll see.

8/28/2004 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Everyone Human, if any are left in this world.
i am a Pakistani, in perpetual conflict with all things Hindu, but i never thought that this arcane, anti muslim ethos can ever produce such human wisdom,in a Hindu. Arundhati Roy is one such being. If there can be one favourite Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Whatever Humanist, she transcends Angelic, Known and and unseen, I always had thought he to be overrated, but after reading "the Algebra of Infinite Justice" I am Won over, love to break bread with a Hindu, Now that is saying a Lot, Cheers, Waqar

8/14/2006 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi waqar. i m indian and a hindu. i believe its shameful that u believe in stereotyping n more so because that is one of the biggest problems that muslims themselves are facing. " i am a Pakistani, in perpetual conflict with all things Hindu, but i never thought that this arcane, anti muslim ethos can ever produce such human wisdom,in a Hindu." why would simple problems that muslims all over the world face not be understood by anyone, be it a hindu or a christian. tht u were ever drawn into believing political propaganda ("hindus r bad" in ur country and "muslims r evil" in my country) is sad but congratulations that now u can see beyond such political oversimplification of facts.

5/05/2008 4:45 AM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Thanks for your thoughts.

5/05/2008 9:34 AM  

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