[...] Those in the western sector don't see our gains though our actions do end in deaths - the deaths of their people - but since they are not united and lives are not purchasable, they do not see the deaths as theirs. They buy new panes and clothing and attempt to ignore us. [...]
'I don't understand why anyone would want to stay in Gotham City. It's a stupid place with all these crazy motherfuckers walking around killing people and blowing shit up. Why don't they just leave?'
I laughed when he said it because I was too young to understand that Edwin was serious, that he was beginning to rework an idea our families had latched onto, fought for, years before, when they'd dragged Ghana-must-go bags onto the shores of this strange new land. You shouldn't stay somewhere that isn't working.
think about this in the context of "staying & fighting" vs the right to leave (as a refugee etc)
[...] The delusion and fantasy of the ruling classes kept pace with the wishful thinking of idealist. The edifice of established order practically tesselated cracks. And most of them were cosmetic, sure, but it only took one fatal line of distress. When the structure came down, it would come down in a hurry. History taught s much. It would come down fast and unexpectedly and later we would say, inevitably, looking back and seeking to restore our faith that behind history sat a governing narrative logic. First though people would need leaders, answers, and a program. They would need the idea of a future to strive into. So strange, wasn't it [...] that a world built on stuff, on the gross practically of the human body, in fact rested on a background webbing of ideas. Ethics, theories, ideals. On a vast immaterial buy-in, our collective faith in an order we never more than half-consciously espoused - its reality, inevitability, and justice. [...]
'[...] you're also describing, or supposing, a world in which people are more self-serving, narrow-minded, and fearful than I believe they are. And yes, you might say they've become this way, overworked and undereducated and cut off from the forms of association through which we find meaning and common cause. Or you might say the world has changed and new technologies have introduced new degrees of top-down control, distraction, or isolation -'
'Or that things are good enough? People don't want to jeopardize the life they have? Perfect is the enemy of the good, and so on.'
'And you'll find no shortage of people who agree with you,' Topel said. 'And not just conservatives and mainstream liberals, but class collaborationists. Labor leaders, unionists. The descendants of Debs - of Laski and Attlee in Britain ... But the question is for whom are things good enough? For how many? You assume that a revolutionary movement needs a disaffected bourgeois class. This isn't even a vanguardism Lenin or Trotsky subscribed to. Mao saw the peasantry as the revolutionary wellspring. Maybe history tells a different story so far, but recent history has also written a fairly bleak epilogue to the labour movement. To the whole collaborationist notion that leftist movements can work within democratic and capitalist systems to advance human rights, legal protections, and broadly shared wealth. What I see instead is that we keep drifting to the brink of catastrophe and pulling back. Drifting and pulling back. For many in this world, life is already one long catastrophe. And in this situation one of two things happens, I think. Either we drift too far one day and can't pull back. Or we come to see the insanity of this yo-yoing - which, let us be clear, is by no means natural or inevitable, but simply profitable. For a tiny minority. The misery we see everywhere we look is rooted not in scarcity, but in greed.'
like i said, kinda heavy-handed, but a good discussion
[...] The lineage of the control and ownership of land traced back invariably to violence. Behind possession of any sort: dispossession. Today's notion that wealth testified and attached to merit - to the quality of ideas and tenacity of labor - made an attractive but thin veneer on the true store of wealth accumulated in earlier dispossessions. It was this capital, after all, that invested in the good ideas and profited from the hard work of others. We held out hands to catch the crumbs falling from the master's table and called it meritocracy. [...]
[...] he hated the police. In a deep simple way he hated this embodied power arrayed against everything and everyone he cared for. They would unleash violence with impunity, as they always had. But he did not mistake the violence of a power structure, insinuating itself in the false consciousness of a working people, for the corruption of the individual. Those who wielded institutional violence were its victims too, maybe worse victims since it demanded that they sacrifice their humanity in its name. [...]
the first few sentences are trite but then it gets interesting
I got used to it, in a way, being this sack of skin full of problems, because having a body doesn't give you the right to have one that works correctly. Having a body doesn't seem to give you any rights at all.
Of course there was an anthology for the dead writers! And of course it was t o be edited by Baig! And of course none of us - only the fucking living breathing future of fucking Indian literature - were invited to contribute!
hahaha i love this
General education is basically an attempt to democratize what had been an elite mold. It’s a combination of Humboldt, with the whole idea of Bildung, and a little bit of Oxbridge, I think. There used to be the idea of an educated gentleman, who was able to confront a whole range of problems, from sewage in Calcutta to tribal warfare in Iraq on the basis of having thoroughly studied the classics. Now, we don’t do that kind of canonical education, and Sosc Core is of course much more critical than that. But the attempt to promote critical awareness flies in the face of vocational education. So it’s a critical attempt. I think it could be a profoundly democratic attempt.
One of the reasons why Black Skins, White Masks is very uncomfortable for a lot of students is that it’s in part a psychoanalytic approach to the experience of being Other. In postcolonial thought, by contrast, the Other is a reified category. It’s reverse Orientalism, where you’re not allowed to do a critical analysis of a Muslim society. With what’s going on now, people are totally helpless conceptually.
One of the reasons I think Fanon is so challenging, for many students, is because he argues that the system of racism creates certain kinds of selves that are not free from it, that it does not sit like a carapace on the black self, which is just waiting to burst the carapace and emerge. In some respects, aspects of The Wretched of the Earth are for me a theoretical regression and indissolubly linked with a valorization of violence as liberating. There is a kind of fairy tale that racist structures remain external to people, and that all you have to do is change the structure and everything will poof! Then there’s just you and me. There’s no damage done. It’s a form of positivism. And I think Black Skin, White Masks makes students uncomfortable because that isn’t what he does there.