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View Diary: An Occupy Proposal for a Global People's Collective University (26 comments)

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  •  zinn's people's history offends you? n/t (2+ / 0-)
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    annieli, Horace Boothroyd III

    Donate to Occupy Wall Street here:

    by BlueDragon on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:56:10 PM PST

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    •  I'm not offended. (1+ / 0-)
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      I'm speaking phenomenologically.  I can't possibly say for certain, but I'd say it's a good bet that if you were to make a list of every institution with the word "People's" in its title, very few of them would resemble the politics of Howard Zinn.

      If Republicans invented a language, "library" and "bonfire" would be the same word.

      by Troubadour on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 01:03:57 PM PST

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      •  but in fact we all speak phenomenologically /nt (1+ / 0-)
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        Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

        by annieli on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:19:30 PM PST

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      •  That's a fair point. (3+ / 0-)
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        Troubadour, annieli, DawnN

        Zinn had little use for any kind of elitist, Leninist organization, and "people's" in this country sometimes implied that since the New Left.

        "Collective" is a different case.  That word has been demonized by the Randians, just as they have sullied the word "libertarian" by claiming it.  I don't know how far you concede the Right's distortions of language.  I would prefer to use their attempted distortion's of meaning as an opportunity to fight/teach than give up on the word if it has intrinsic value.

        •  I concede nothing to the Right's perversions. (0+ / 0-)

          But I have to concede that in modern history, the term "collective" has a lot more blood on it than accolades.  Marxists and Randians both fall victim to the fact that their worldview is inherently negative and based entirely on rejection of some institution whose failings they fixate on.  

          They're basically shadowplays of each other - the one obsessed with some impossible (and existentially horrifying) nuclear ideal of the individual existing in a vacuum, and the other with an equally impossible and nightmarish fantasy of a seamless collective that suffocates everything beneath the level of the Whole.  Both can only realize their objectives through violence against that which they demonize.

          Humanism, liberalism, call it whatever you will, but what I think we stand for is an organic mutuality of individuals and interlocking group identities.  A complex concept, but totally unnecessary to try capturing in the title of any kind of institution associated with it.  

          For instance, the Founders could have chosen some overblown title for this country like "Most Excellent Democratic People's Free Republic of Constitutional Representative Governance and Miscellaneous Platitudes of America," but they knew better.  They knew that whatever they called it, if it was free and prosperous, then its name would come to mean freedom and prosperity; and that if it was bleak and tyrannical, loading its name up with every enlightened buzzword in the dictionary wouldn't help it.  

          The same is true with the name of any institution.  Calling it a "People's" this or that doesn't it make one iota more democratic, and calling it something less pretentious doesn't make it any less democratic.  But if it is called a "People's" this or that and falls short, it becomes a painful example of arrogant double-talk that harms the cause it was originally founded to serve because it makes the whole concept seem hypocritical.  Better to label things humbly and not muck around in propaganda.

          A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. --The First Law of Mentat

          by Troubadour on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 03:05:29 PM PST

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