Where do you expend your energies? was re: Voting. Air your views...
uls at msn.com
Tue Aug 13 18:32:05 MDT 1996
> "Mr "Ang" (short for "angst"?) has me not only endorsing Democratic Party
candidates, but serving as Clinton's chief electoral agent on the Marxism
list, as well"
> That's Ms. Ang to you. Ang is my name, short for Angie. Actually, I
don't have to re-read your posts to see that you are against your party's line
in this instance. It's continuing to support a party with such a line, that I
fail to understand. How misguided does a party have to be before you
consider expending your energies elsewhere?
What conclusions have you drawn from your criticism of the CPUSA? Where do you
point your energies?
Back to me:
Nick, I won't ignore this direct question, however distasteful providing an
answer might be. Since I had the nerve to criticize how someone else
chooses to expend their energies, it would be dishonest for me to ignore it.
The quick answer is I don't and the long answer that will follow is just the
rambling justifications of someone wrestling with their conscience. I don't
think it's a relevant message for the Marxist list unless you read it as a
"case study of a worker who doesn't get involved". I think I've given
everybody fair warning to just delete this message now.
Now, in my leisure time, I expend my energies simply on just educating
myself and sharing what I've learned with others that I come into contact
with. Because I live in the U.S., and not some war-torn country, I have the
luxury of choosing a cause (for lack of a better word) to expend my energies
on, rather than one being thrust upon me. No one group or activity has yet
overcome my inertia or laziness or selfishness. What kind of group or
activity would spark me into action, if in fact I'm being truthful to myself
that the lack of same causes my inertia? Not one that focuses solely on
clear-cut, easy to understand battles (yes, support political prisoners or
support striking workers, etc.) Despite the worthiness of such endeavors,
what would really spark my activity, I think, would be groups or activities
involved in the following two areas:
The first is focusing on where the ravages of Capitalism, Imperialism and
Colonialism are the most severe. Asking where now is there the most death,
and then suffering, in the world, as all lives are equally worthy, so why
I want to focus on such immediate concerns? My guess is that in the last 5
years, the most death and suffering in any one area has been in
Rwanda/Burundi. I asked on this list if anyone could suggest any readings
on this ongoing tragedy and received not one response. Surely Marxists
endeavor to analyze the concrete circumstances everywhere, not just
where it's easiest to get a handle on the connections between Capitalism
and misery and death. Not, where are they fighting the capitalists already,
where is the revolution most likely to occur first, let's go there and support
them, etc. Of course, my intention is not to in any way criticize this,
everyone chooses their own priorities and works where they think they can
be most effective. I just think that the powers that be are too strong to win
in any particular Country, that to ignite the imagination of all the workers,
all the people, we have to break down the barrier of nationalism and seek
to expend energies where they are most immediately needed based on
a sort of death/misery index, since we're our brothers' keepers. To me,
this is honesty. To me, this approach would provide the credibility that
the left as a whole lacks. Which leads me to the second item I consider
to be a priority, the media.
Imagine, if worldwide, the top news stories involved discussions of the
places where the most deaths were occurring, and then the most misery.
And each day there were reports speculating honestly on all the possible
causes and solutions (instead of like in the U.S., where in the mainstream
media you get saturation coverage over an unbelievably long period of time on
2 deaths/O.J. Simpson or 300 or so deaths/plane crash over Long Island). If
the media served humanity, that's what it would be. But, of course, it
nor is it intended to do so. Information is just another commodity in this
old capitalist marketplace. Working for a people's voice, spreading true
information, seems to me to be a pre-condition of any revolutionary change
and should be at the forefront of any struggle for it to be effective. And by
I don't mean putting out an alternative rag or periodical or such (for how
circulation can you ever really hope for) but challenging the hegemony of the
media's control and its very structures. Since the U.S. is responsible for
much of the world's current misery, I would say the best place to begin is
with challenging the notion that we have any real free speech in this Country,
which even most radicals believe exists. (I've already posted my thoughts
on this issue on this list more than once, so no need to give me your
So, anybody know of a group that is already focusing their energies on my
2 pet peeves?
For the sake of completion of this "case study", I'll quickly add that I spent
6 years of my life training for a job that I consider to be "fighting for
justice within the system". I then abandoned the job. You know that
doctor's oath that goes something like "at least do no harm"? Well, working
within the system, which is set up intentionally so that you can't do an
effective job (there's only so many hours in a day to complete your
necessary tasks, etc.) made me feel that not only was my work ineffective,
I was doing actual doing harm, legitimizing the system, giving the false
impression that there are people who can offer effective help. So, I decided
instead to get just a regular job that pays the bills without giving away any
special skills I might possess to the "enemy". By the way, a party that
actually endorses a vote for Clinton, to me, is doing harm, which is how
this thread got started in the first place.
Nick, if you've gotten this far, lay off the open ended questions, will ya?
No more true confessions. I've already gotten way too personal for an
insecure medium like electronic mail. Now, how much do I owe you for my
first and last visit to a psychiatric couch?
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