I'm a 26 year-old genderqueer boycreature from Vermont. This Tumblr is devoted to connecting with my trans peers worldwide and also sharing my experience from beyond/between the gender binary. This is an ode to embodiments of intentional androgyny, permanent liminality, genderf*ck, chaos magic, and the subversion of oft-uncontested heteronormativity. Stay tuned and watch me sing myself into being... :) In addition to gender-related stuff, there may occasionally be content relating to spirituality/the occult, gaming, ecology, sci-fi, psytrance and other magickal things.
Posts tagged politics
Thoughts after the Occupy LA March Today
Was at Occupy Los Angeles today, in solidarity.
I come home tonight with renewed my resolve to always try to walk the line between scholarship and activism. Unfortunately the system is configured to prevent exactly that. Fellow academics: Postmodern thought is a tool to be used very carefully, for as John Zerzan warns after the human subject is completely obliterated and designated as a product of history, “who or what is left to achieve a liberation, or is that just one more pipe dream?” No, it’s not a pipe dream.
Don’t let postmodern framework get out of hand. That’s what the corporate powers that fund university research are hoping will happen to the humanities — weakening them even more than they already have been. Rein it in. Yes, there are many truths, everything should be examined in context - but ecology is just as good a framework for that ethic.
Just don’t take it to the point where YOU are the “subject” that is destroyed.
Don’t let universities work for the corporate state — recognize that many of them already are and consciously make the choice to resist — don’t be afraid of living in this world and advocating for social change.
A POLITICS OF LOVE
Below, I will post an excerpt from Beyond Resistance: Everything. An interview with Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
I’ve been referring back to this amazing resource recently as I’ve been crafting many thoughts together in solidarity and relation to the Occupy [Wall Street] Movements. I want to share it because the central message is so relevant for us now, and it needs to be heard. It is essentially this: That True Love must be governed by respect, and there can be no love without respect. And respect needs to be the basis of politics. Relationships of mutual respect and enlightened feedback need to be the fundamental units of economic ecologies. There is simply no other way. I do not deny the reality of systemic decay, but I see that we very badly need to build resilience into systems and plan for decay so to use this process to feed back into the system in a positive way.
The corruption of capitalism and the lack of respect for people and the earth inherent in the politics of the corporate world has deeply disturbed me since I began learning about economics and especially agriculture as a teenager. My shock and sadness at the far-reaching effects of corporate power have been at the very root of why I’ve pursued the things I am most passionate about: pedagogy, the re-enchantment of our world and the respect for the sacred mystery, and small-scale/civic agriculture. These pursuits are all, to me, quite inter-related.
I don’t mean to appropriate the ideas of a group that is situated in a different place than the “99%”, has a completely different history and has faced very different opposing forces. I have so much respect for the indigenous Zapatista people. Their values and actions have inspired me for many years. But it has been recognized that our brothers and sisters the Zapatistas pioneered what could be called the first “post modern” revolution. As Marcos has said their word is their weapon, and so it is true with us, too. Just kow that religious mystics, too, who are their own kind of revolutionary, have been saying this since ancient times… that the word, the sign, holds divine power. But to understand this is not enough, we must apply that knowledge, we must do something, before it is done to us. We must tell our own story before we are commodified, turned into fiction, and sold, by someone else. All who are oppressed by globalization and the disenchantment of the world by the corporate monopoly on meaning and identity face similar issues now that our pioneering friends in Mexico faced in a very real, visceral way. The world is waking up to the realization that it is most of us who are the victims of the deranged dreams of the west, of celebrity culture, and neo-liberal capitalism.
Love: A Politics (From an interview with Subcomandante Marcos)
Many times you have said that this movement is the greatest lesson of love that these lands have ever seen. Another time, in Tijuana, you said that the EZ prefers to use the word “respect” instead of “love”. This concept, love or respect, how do you conceptualize it as a political concept, perhaps the most important political concept of our times, the concept that lacks nothing?
What we said was that the problem of love is a problem of respect. That love understood as possession, property, is not what we think is love. That fundamentally a relationship, of whatever kind, not just in a couple but between people who relate to each other, has to be based in respect. If not, sooner or later it becomes a kind of domination or destruction. I say that without condemning any of the healthy perversions like sadomasochism and all that, which are also ways to relate. [Laughing]
The problem of respect is toward the Other. We say that when we as Zapatistas say we love this land, it is that we respect it. And we look for the best for it, not according to our criteria but according to what we understand from [the land] itself. Because it’s not the same to say “I love you and I want what’s best for you but according to what I think is best for you, and I don’t give a shit what you think.” That’s not respect. We say that this has to be according to what each person thinks. And this is the reading that one does, where one commits errors or finds truths. In this case, that is the reading that the Zapatista indigenous peoples make of the land. That is respect. It [the land] says,
“The best thing for me is that you protect me, you care for me; they are trying to destroy me, etc.” We say, we must
Whatever political relationship that is not based in respect is a manipulation. Well-intentioned or bad-intentioned,
it doesn’t matter, because it is a manipulation. If you don’t respect the thinking of the other, of their word, if
you don’t speak to them clearly, then you don’t respect them and you are manipulating them. There was a compañera
who was asking, “Okay, all this about peaceful struggle that the Zapatistas are saying, that’s a strategy right? I mean
really you are thinking in terms of armed struggle, right? I mean, because with the army and all!” And I told her, “Do
you believe that we are going to be dishonest with people, telling them that it is a peaceful struggle and to sign on up
but really we’re preparing an armed struggle?” Of course not! We would say so, publicly. We would say, “Compañeros,
we’re going to say this is a peaceful fight, but really it’s going to be armed struggle.” [Not to tell them] would be to
disrespect them, to manipulate them. And we can’t construct a political relationship like that. Or we could, but that’s
not the relationship that we want; we want something else, a new relationship. If you’re going to do something, good
or bad or whatever, you have to say so clearly. And the people who are with you, who support you, or who are your
compañeros, in that they don’t just support you but you mutually support each other in a project, they have to know
that you spoke straight. Now if it turns out badly, that’s something else, but they have to know you didn’t fool them,
that you didn’t manipulate them. And to do that you have to respect them, and to respect them you need to know
We can’t construct a relationship of respect with the Chicano movement, or with the Mexicans on the other
side, or with the migrant movement, or with the movement of people of color, or with the movement of all the identities
that are going to arise—I’m thinking, for example, of the communities of Asian origin that already have their
own logic in the American Union—if we don’t know them. And we say that this is not about making an introduction,
about exchanging cards. It’s about creating the space where we can introduce ourselves and get to know each other.
Where we can do this thing of, ‘I am, I am here, and these are my problems. I’m telling you so that you know me, not
so that you help me or have pity on me or admire me or learn from me.’ Not with this enthusiasm for dependency.
But rather, “Look at me, this is my face.” And then if you like it or not, well, that is very much your problem.
That’s why we said, starting there, we can construct respect or we can construct a relationship of domination.
There are people who come to see, to figure out what this is about, and who say, “Here, good, here they’re doing
something with political purchase.” Or, “Here, no.” So their interest is where there is political purchase, where they
can reap some benefit. And where they can’t, then no. But if there is a relationship of respect, then it’s not that way.
So the knowing each other follows respecting each other. That is what has to be constructed.
And this is what we say is a demonstration of love: respect. This, along with subjectivity, is something difficult
to construct in these times. That is, in capitalism, it is difficult to construct a relationship of respect, even between two
individuals, and that much more difficult in collectivity, in society, or in a nation. What respect can you say the North
American government has for its people? At the hour that it turns out that, “Oh, guess what, the weapons we were
searching for in Iraq, well they didn’t really exist. And we knew they didn’t exist but we needed something to tell you
in order to be able to attack.” And what respect does CNN or the other major North American media companies have
when they tell the people, “We fooled you; the images that we showed of Iraq aren’t of Iraq. Or there were more but
we only used these.” And what respect does the teacher have for the student, the student for his/her classmate, neighbor
for neighbor, and so on, if there is nothing in this society telling you it’s possible to create a relationship based in
respect? And we say that is the only solid relationship it is possible to create—that which is based in respect. And that
is what we want to do, and what we are learning to do. And we make mistakes. Sometimes we make mistakes in saying,
“I am thinking you are saying this,” and you aren’t saying that. Take land for example, or the example of indigenous
peoples, of student groups, or of the young people who we saw on the journey, of landless peasants, of the poor, or
the migrants, the women, etc. We say that what we agree upon, even when we are hearing wrong or understanding
wrong, is that we need a space to listen to each other.