Mitochondrial Vertigo

April 17, 2010

Threat of Half-Coup: The Spectre of Thai Factionism

Filed under: Thailand — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 11:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thailand mulls a ‘half coup’ by Shawn W Crispin at Asia times is an interesting in depth article on the possibility that the Thai army is splitting along Red and Yellow lines. Much of it requires the piecing together of shards of evidence found in the half-light left in the clash of last week, making it speculative and projective. Were there military Red Shirt operatives carrying out deadly hits upon the Thai army? It seems that much of Thai politics works in this way, the floating sensation that behind soft words or grand claims, or festive gatherings, there is a brute force with great financial backing that could be quite bloody.

Al Jazeera English has a related report.

What is difficult is the way the subterfuge trades upon itself. The threat of it operates with greater persistance and effect than acts alone (a few rifles fired, a few grenades tossed), yet as the image of possible civil war wedges itself within the political imagination “the few” are able to exercise power through the reference to the spectre, and ever real forces may threaten to fill the gap within the imagination itself, filling the imaginary space with hard power.  Each side using the spectre for themselves. Politics as poker game.

As Red Shirts have entrenched themselves within the narrower confines of the commercial district, literally choking commerce with farmers, almost provoking the possibility of a more bloody confrontation, one is never sure what cards each hand is holding.

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13 Comments »

  1. –> and perhaps many will even engage in self-determination and resist the corporate headhunters swarming Thailand as we speak.

    Comment by michael~ — April 19, 2010 @ 4:41 am | Reply

  2. And what would self-determination express itself as?

    Comment by kvond — April 19, 2010 @ 4:46 am | Reply

  3. That’s for the Thais to decide kvond. Expressivity can take of various forms and flows.

    Self-determination from my perspective entails the sufficient organization of overlapping systems (of everything from bodily-intentionality, sexuality, and reproduction to subsistence, discourse and media access).

    Let us hope that the Red Shirts will effect and affect the kind of changes that increase the potential and actuality of health and human flourishing for the largest number of people within Thailand. I’m not in a position to know if this is in fact what they are after, or will produce, but the hope is that such collective actions are, at the very least, participatory enough to increase Thai capacity for social justice. I support that.

    Comment by michael- — April 20, 2010 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  4. Hmmm. Self-determination is whatever the Thais decide (which makes good tautological sense), but then you seem to hope that “they” decide one thing or another. I’m sure that the Yellow Shirts are feeling that they are on the side an “increased capacity for social justice” as well (they too had a “social action” shutting down the Thai airport not long ago).

    Its just that I hesitate when I hear people say “I just want you to be free” when they mean “I just want you to be free to choose what I want you to choose”. (I’m not quite sure if this is what you are saying, but I get a bit of that.

    Why are corporate headhunters alien to self-determination?

    From my perspective, having just come from only a few months in Thailand, the Thai political situation is EXTREMELY complex, with a lot of corruption and hidden power on each side, not something that a Westerner can easily (or even possibily) ideologically parse.

    Comment by kvond — April 20, 2010 @ 10:07 pm | Reply

  5. YOU: Hmmm. Self-determination is whatever the Thais decide (which makes good tautological sense), but then you seem to hope that “they” decide one thing or another.

    ME: actually, it’s not tautological it’s literal. The actualization of the term self-determination is exactly what it means.

    And, to be honest, i could care less about what they ‘decide’. There will be multiple decisions on multiple levels, with varying effects. i’m more interested in the actual outcome of Thai social movements – whether, for example, if something “good” comes of them. And i mean “good” in both a Deleuzian sense, as that which expresses itself (in this case themselves) in such a way as to unfold its potentiality, and also in terms of whether such social happenings help produce mutually enhancing health patterns, expressions and structural changes (i.e., a higher degree of social regard, or more political participation by the marginal)

    YOU: I’m sure that the Yellow Shirts are feeling that they are on the side an “increased capacity for social justice” as well (they too had a “social action” shutting down the Thai airport not long ago).

    ME: and that is fine. Again, not too interested in how particular groupings of Thais perceive their place in the cosmos, but rather the kinds of behaviors and social relations any such beliefs, ideologies or frames of reference influence. I’m not pro-Red Shirt or anti-Yellow Shirt, I’m pro-social action, pro-democracy and pro-participation – when, and only when, it generates an increase in the mutual health and flourishing of Thai individuals, families, groups and regions.

    YOU: Its just that I hesitate when I hear people say “I just want you to be free” when they mean “I just want you to be free to choose what I want you to choose”. (I’m not quite sure if this is what you are saying, but I get a bit of that.

    ME: There might be a bit of that, if only because I think I know a little about the kinds of “freedom” that promote mutual health (nonzero sums) versus the kinds of “freedom” that decreases mutual forms of health and flourishing (produce zero sums). But in reality, I don’t want to suggest I know how that should play out in detail. I’m not Thai, and it’s their life and state. And, yes, I want every sentient being to be free to express it’s own deepest potentials as long it doesn’t arise from the undue hardship of others. Freedom and responsibility are two faces of the same coin.

    YOU: Why are corporate headhunters alien to self-determination?

    ME: Need I go into that? Really? Corporations are private interest entities that seek to exploit everything and anything in order to gain private profit. Start with that fact and then extrapolate from there…

    YOU: From my perspective, having just come from only a few months in Thailand, the Thai political situation is EXTREMELY complex, with a lot of corruption and hidden power on each side, not something that a Westerner can easily (or even possibily) ideologically parse.

    ME: I couldn’t agree more. Every social situation is “extremely complex”. And to truly “parse” them you need to live there and do enough research to even begin to tease out any detailed conclusions. But that doesn’t exclude one from having an opinion about something. And again, my only opinion is that large scale social action is a positive development for Thais or anyone…

    Comment by michael- — April 21, 2010 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  6. Okay, let me get this straight. You “couldn’t care less what Thais decide”, but they better not decide anything that involves corporations which are essentially exploitive (and we can “extrapolate from there” that therefore they are “bad”). Thais decisions = good. Thais pro-corporate decisions = bad.

    This is an odd thing to suggest considering that the Red Shirts were triggered to political action by the State’s siezure of about a billion dollars of illegal corporate gains by deposed prime minister Thaksin. Somehow all of that exploitive corporate wealth lead to the eruption of a moment of “self-determination”.

    Comment by kvond — April 21, 2010 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  7. YOU: Okay, let me get this straight. You “couldn’t care less what Thais decide”, but they better not decide anything that involves corporations which are essentially exploitive (and we can “extrapolate from there” that therefore they are “bad”). Thais decisions = good. Thais pro-corporate decisions = bad.

    ME: That is a very simplistic interpretation of what I was saying above, but, mostly to save time, i’ll agree. With one major caveat: i would never say something like “they better not…”, because that sounds like a threat, and who the hell am i to tell the Thais how to run their country. Also, i’m not so fundamentalist to think that “anything that involves corporations” is inherently destructive. I think corporations (at least private for-profit types) are inherently exploitative, true, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t play some role in a just society.

    Also, the binary of ‘good v. bad’ doesn’t sit well with me. That’s not how I think. My evaluative distinctions make use of relative continuums, such as ‘more or less adaptive’, or ‘more or less conducive to flourishing’, and the like. A truly engaging ethics takes place ‘beyond good and evil’.

    i will point out, however, that there is no contradiction whatsoever between 1) thinking Thai self-determination (i.e., the capacity for personal and political action and decision-making) is a positive thing, and 2) thinking that any particular decisions which fuse the Thai public sphere to corporate interests, powers, or logic is less positive. #1 is a judgment about the capacity of Thai collective decision-making (positive) IN GENERAL, and #2 is a judgment about specific decisions made IN PARTICULAR. That is to say, I support Thais having the capacity and opportunity to protest and take collective action (because i think it is a sign of real political and social engagement), but i do not support any decision that might allow corporations to rush in to take over governmental systems and local forms of community.

    It’s kinda (sorta) like when someone says, ‘I respect your right to your opinion but i don’t respect your opinion’.

    YOU: This is an odd thing to suggest considering that the Red Shirts were triggered to political action by the State’s siezure of about a billion dollars of illegal corporate gains by deposed prime minister Thaksin. Somehow all of that exploitive corporate wealth lead to the eruption of a moment of “self-determination”.

    ME: I already agreed with you that I don’t know enough about Thai politics to make any broad conclusions. i’m not sure what corner you are wanting to back me into? My main point to you was that i like to see people on the streets taking action – instead of, for example, staying home and watching American Idol on the big screen. Whatever the actual dynamics of the Red Shirt movement, at least they care enough to get out and take direct action.

    Also, i did some digging (and will post a follow-up to the short summary you commented on at my blog), and one thing that interested me was that numerous sources agree that the Red Shirts are, for the most part, comprised of rural and poor people seeking to gain more power and representation in the state apparatus. These people just happen to be putting all their support behind a lying crook. Thaksin at least promised them reform and state assistance.

    And what are the alternatives? It’s not as if any of the poor or marginalized could themselves rise to power as a state representative. Thai leadership in state public service, i’m learning, operates such that only the wealthy and well connected elite can ever hope to hold office. So the poor and rural threw their support behind Thaksin, a charismatic, well-connected elite who promised them things no other politician was in a place to deliver. Thaksin lamented with them, told them he would provide aid and talked fervently about bringing the entrenched rich elites down from on high. At the very least, he probably seemed the best choice among all the other social elites who don’t even offer them the rhetoric. So these people backed him, and continue to do so.

    Also, isn’t this partially how Obama rose to power in the U.S? Grassroots folk sucked in by the rhetoric and promises of a wealthy elite? Does his ‘leadership’ force us to call into question all those poor people and activist groups who supported him? Nope. Their experiences and struggles exist independently of Obama’s elitist regime. And it’s the same for the Red Shirts! Their experiences and struggles as poor, marginalized, rural people are independent of Thaksin, even as they are expressed through their support for him. In a way, Thaksin is their tool.

    And now, all the supposed facts about Thaksin’s douche-baggery cannot possibly stop his supporters, because after the coup everything said about him or done to him will only be perceived as propaganda and lies by those who oppose him. The very real struggles of many Red Shirt people must find expression, unfortunately even if it means backing a criminal.

    Comment by michael~ — April 22, 2010 @ 5:36 am | Reply

  8. This is the problem for me. When people judge the “good” (and I’m going to use that word because it is essential, good/bad dichotomies are the essence of judgement) of a political action because political action is a whole lot better than sitting at home watching American Idol, they are in a fantasy space. That is, these farmers, unlike you, are largely NOT faced with the question of whether they should sit at home and watch Simon or not. These people simply do not live the life you live.

    Indeed the Red Shirts in the streets (the people actually wearing red shirts) ARE the rural poor, but it is a Western fantasy that that is ALL that they represent, that they are only some form of pure democracy moving forward, some kind of spontaneous flowering of political action. Their co-habitation of Bangkok was extremely well planned and extremely well funded, and is likely backed with factions of the military itself. It is as much an expression of the “feudal” relationship the rural poor have to the “nai” (the village overlord leaders: the very leaders that much of Thaksin’s promised money to the poor went to) who sent them into Bangkok, and the billionaire corporate interests (Thaksin was a media mogol). Thaksin is not an accident that they just “happened to” support, his person is woven deeply into the movement, as are the personalities and powers of several other Thai figures. It simply is misinformed to idealized these “marginalized” folks as “well, at least they are not watching American Idol”. Given the complexity of the power in the situation, it is a joke (in my opinion) that Thaksin is read as their tool. He is a “tool” that acheived significant power and weath.

    As for the Red Shirts and their need for expression, yes. Indeed. But the Yellow Shirts have a need for expression as well. I don’t know why one group’s expression is “real struggles” and the other is not? The yellow shirts were closing down the airports not long ago, in very much the same “not watching American Idol” kind of political action. What did you think of them?

    My objection is that when elite, rich (yes, Western middle class folks are extremely weathy on the order of the world) people look at the tv and dream about “revolution” this is a Western fantasy, a fantasy come right out of he boredom of being an rich elite Westerner. The Thai situation (and actually I position myself right legitimately in the middle between both sides) is not a fantasy screen for a Western conception of “the people”, its not ideologically pure.

    Here is a dialogue taken from the Bangkok Post, had in a taxi in Bangkok. Isan is the region of the rural poor. Its not penetrating, but a slice of life, and pretty common to what I heard. “Me” is a Bangkok post columnist:

    Last Saturday, I had an interesting conversation with a lady taxi driver on the way from Lat Phrao to downtown.

    Me: Sister, where are you from?
    Her: Isan.
    Me: Sister, what do you think of all this supposed class struggle business?
    Her: Struggle for what? None of this will end up changing the lives of the poor. What do the common, everyday people know about class struggle? Nothing.
    Me: Well sister, Thaksin did give the poor one million baht per village. Perhaps he’s a friend of the poor?
    Her: And everyone went out to buy cell phones, TVs and gamble the rest away. How did that alleviate the standard of living of the poor? He didn’t even give his own money. He used the people’s money to give to the people. And they loved him for it. All they know is, Thaksin gives us money, Abhisit doesn’t – and that’s that. That’s why Abhisit has been trying to give handouts to so many people since he became prime minister.
    Me: If there’s a general election, sister, do you think the Puea Thai party will win? Who will the Isan people vote for?
    Her: I don’t know who will win, but the people will vote for whoever the nai (bosses or masters in the provinces) tell them to.
    Me: But wait a second sister, if this is a class struggle, why would the people vote blindly as the nai commands? Shouldn’t they be struggling against the nai? Shouldn’t they protest against the nai in their provinces?
    Her: You think people want to get killed? Besides, it’s the nai who brought them to Bangkok to protest.

    That’s pretty much the status quo of feudal Thailand. The amataya (the nobility, or old establishment) get all the headlines, but it’s the nai who are instrumental in sustaining the feudal status quo. So whether it’s the amataya or the nai who end up lording it over this Kingdom, the ”double standards” in this country will remain. Not double standards of the law, mind you. The law is only words on paper, but it’s the interpretation and execution of the law which is reflective of society’s attitude, the attitude that has shaped modern Thailand.
    This has always been a nation divided. Stand on the balcony of your high-rise condominium and look at the slum down below. Look out the tinted window of your luxurious European car and see poverty in the streets. What’s more, to privileged Bangkokians, most of the rest of Thailand even speak in a dialect they can hardly understand _ it’s a nation divided.

    They look different. They act different. They talk different.
    Of course, there’s always the rich and the poor in any society, especially one that follows the capitalist democracy model, however well or however poorly. But it’s the culture of kowtowing, the nai and the prai (peasants) and the grossly disproportionate income distribution that make the ”double standards” of Thailand unacceptable, at least to someone like me who is in search of the elusive ideal of ”equality”. Back to the conversation with the taxi driver.

    Me: Sister, what do you think will change the lives of the poor for the better?
    Her: Education. Everybody knows that. Talk to everyone and they’ll say it’s the education. Even dumb people know that.
    Me: Well then sister, didn’t Thaksin give the rural schools free computers?
    Her: Many of the schools didn’t even have electricity, and he gave us computers? The kids don’t even have proper books, clothes. But Abhisit gave us free education.
    Me: But sister, free or not, it’s the same education we have been getting since forever. How would that change anything?
    Her: I don’t know. Do you? Does anyone?

    Comment by kvond — April 22, 2010 @ 6:09 am | Reply

  9. To add to the sense that Thaksin is a mere “tool” of the rural poor, we can say that the paramilitary splinter groups that launched grenades into the anti-protest protest are also mere tools of the rural poor:

    “As the protesters waved national flags to show their opposition to the red shirts and a House dissolution by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, three grenades fired from M79 launchers exploded near ‘the skytrain station at 8pm. One came down through the roof of the BTS Sala Daeng station. About 45 minutes later, another grenade landed near the Dusit Thani Hotel on Silom Road.

    People then fled for their lives.

    Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thauguban said late last night three people had been killed and 75 people injured, including many serious cases. The injured were sent to Bangkok Christian, BNH, Chulalongkorn and Lerdsin hospitals….

    …The explosions took place shortly after Arisman Pongruengrong, a UDD leader, told red shirt supporters gathered at Ratchaprasong intersection that a group of ”men in black” would be coming to help the UDD.”

    From the Bangkok Post: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/36462/bomb-terror-grips-silom

    I always read the Bangkok Post with a jaundiced eye, but I have real trouble with the notion that the Thai poor are pulling strings.

    Comment by kvond — April 22, 2010 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

  10. YOU: This is the problem for me. When people judge the “good” (and I’m going to use that word because it is essential, good/bad dichotomies are the essence of judgement) of a political action because political action is a whole lot better than sitting at home watching American Idol, they are in a fantasy space. That is, these farmers, unlike you, are largely NOT faced with the question of whether they should sit at home and watch Simon or not. These people simply do not live the life you live.

    ME: It was my unfortunate use of rhetoric here that caused you to miss the point. The mention of ‘American Idol’ was meant as a contrasting point and cheap jab at N.American culture and (un)politics rather than an assessment of the Thai situation per se. Sorry for that.

    I am well aware that Thai life is unlike mine. My point, again, is that political action by individuals and/or collectives is ALWAYS preferable to passivity and non-action (which is itself still political). The Red Shirts, regardless of your cynicism of their supposed motivations and beliefs, are taking action and confronting ‘structural’ realities that would otherwise go unchallenged and that is commendable – and at least preferable to a numbed and confused N. American population.

    And, for the record, any thoughts or imaginings I have or you have are indeed fundamentally fantasies. All my beliefs are mental constructs. And all synthetic semantical formulations are imaginal. Saying that my beliefs come from a “fantasy space” is redundant.

    If what you mean to say is that my beliefs about Thai class cleavages are wrong (“fantasy”) and your beliefs are right (“non-fantasy”), then that’s a game you can play by yourself. I already admitted several times that I’m no expert on Thai society.

    Lastly, I think it is a fundamental mistake to assume that all possible judgments can only ever happen through binary oppositions. I though Nietzsche (among many others) refuted that already? Shakespeare wrote: “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” There is a whole scientific literature on what researchers call “post-formal reasoning”. I would suggest you check it out. Humans can achieve much more complex forms of reasoning and judgment than you assume.

    YOU: Indeed the Red Shirts in the streets (the people actually wearing red shirts) ARE the rural poor, but it is a Western fantasy that that is ALL that they represent, that they are only some form of pure democracy moving forward, some kind of spontaneous flowering of political action.

    ME: Who ever said anything about “pure democracy”? And I’m not too concerned what the Red Shirts represent to you, or to Yahweh, or whomever, because what they “represent” to me is people hitting the streets in the interest of fighting for what they believe (irrespective of what anyone assumes they believe). The bottom-line is that they DID take political action, not how “pure” or “spontaneous” it seems to outsiders.

    YOU: Their co-habitation of Bangkok was extremely well planned and extremely well funded, and is likely backed with factions of the military itself. It is as much an expression of the “feudal” relationship the rural poor have to the “nai” (the village overlord leaders: the very leaders that much of Thaksin’s promised money to the poor went to) who sent them into Bangkok, and the billionaire corporate interests (Thaksin was a media mogol).

    ME: So are you arguing that these poor rural people have no agency at all? They are mere puppets of the military, Thaksin or the ‘nai’ without choice and intentionality, and not at all in their own interests? That’s a bit extreme. This is a problem for me.

    YOU: Thaksin is not an accident that they just “happened to” support, his person is woven deeply into the movement, as are the personalities and powers of several other Thai figures.

    ME: I don’t think I ever implied that it was otherwise. But I’m pretty sure, given the actual political (and structural) options available to them, the rural poor did have some choice in whom they put their loyalties behind. Thais are not just dumb robots.

    YOU: Given the complexity of the power in the situation, it is a joke (in my opinion) that Thaksin is read as their tool. He is a “tool” that acheived significant power and weath.

    ME: I think you have a very limited (conventional) view of what power is. What I actually said was “In a way, Thaksin is their tool.” And the way in which I think Thaksin is a tool is in the sense that he gave many rural poor people (I am assuming) something to fight for, something to believe in and an opportunity to express themselves –to be part of the politico-social process. The ubiquity of powers is never simply hierarchical.

    YOU: As for the Red Shirts and their need for expression, yes. Indeed. But the Yellow Shirts have a need for expression as well. I don’t know why one group’s expression is “real struggles” and the other is not?

    ME: It all depends on the particular power differentials. And I don’t know enough about Thai society to know what those are. What were the Yellow Shirts fighting for?

    But I would say that if one group is fighting for survival and inclusion in policy decisions, and the other is fighting for (as a hypothetical example) lower gas prices or more flowers in town square, then the former is a more of a “real struggle” and the later less so.

    YOU: The yellow shirts were closing down the airports not long ago, in very much the same “not watching American Idol” kind of political action. What did you think of them?

    ME: Same as the Red Shirts: good to see people fighting for what they believe in and engaging in the socio-political milieu. Yeah Yellow-shirts!

    YOU: My objection is that when elite, rich (yes, Western middle class folks are extremely weathy on the order of the world) people look at the tv and dream about “revolution” this is a Western fantasy, a fantasy come right out of he boredom of being an rich elite Westerner.

    ME: I don’t even own a T.V. I get my info from mostly independent media. Just a tip, it will always be a barrier to communication and understanding when you assume you know who your audience is. You don’t know me or where I get my information. You assume.

    And not only am I not a bored, but I have been involved in direct political actions and resistance struggles for over a decade. I know the taste of tear gas. Do you? And for those of us out here actually risking our asses, revolution is not a “dream” at all – it is a GOAL to be achieved.

    YOU: The Thai situation (and actually I position myself right legitimately in the middle between both sides) is not a fantasy screen for a Western conception of “the people”, its not ideologically pure.

    ME: Ok. Now that that is clear.

    YOU: Here is a dialogue taken from the Bangkok Post…

    ME: Interesting, but only one person’s perspective.

    YOU: That’s pretty much the status quo of feudal Thailand.

    ME: Don’t you mean quasi-feudal or neo-feudal? From what I have been reading the social organization is even much more complex than what you describe. What about the role of Buddhism, and/or deep sub-ethnic and kinship linkages, or the various systems of patronage that have come into being only with the incursions of corporate institutions? Complexity abounds, and, again, Thailand is not my area of specialty.

    YOU: The amataya (the nobility, or old establishment) get all the headlines, but it’s the nai who are instrumental in sustaining the feudal status quo. So whether it’s the amataya or the nai who end up lording it over this Kingdom, the ”double standards” in this country will remain. Not double standards of the law, mind you. The law is only words on paper, but it’s the interpretation and execution of the law which is reflective of society’s attitude, the attitude that has shaped modern Thailand. This has always been a nation divided. Stand on the balcony of your high-rise condominium and look at the slum down below. Look out the tinted window of your luxurious European car and see poverty in the streets. What’s more, to privileged Bangkokians, most of the rest of Thailand even speak in a dialect they can hardly understand – it’s a nation divided.

    They look different. They act different. They talk different.

    Of course, there’s always the rich and the poor in any society, especially one that follows the capitalist democracy model, however well or however poorly. But it’s the culture of kowtowing, the nai and the prai (peasants) and the grossly disproportionate income distribution that make the ”double standards” of Thailand unacceptable, at least to someone like me who is in search of the elusive ideal of ”equality”.

    ME: Very cool analysis. And I will defer to your knowledge and experience here. It all sounds fascinating. At least we’re on the same page in terms of wanting equality. A more equal Thai society is indeed ideal.

    Comment by michael~ — April 23, 2010 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  11. Michael: “All my beliefs are mental constructs. And all synthetic semantical formulations are imaginal. Saying that my beliefs come from a “fantasy space” is redundant.”

    Kvond: Well, it guess it boils down to this. Your’s is a fantasy space that involves (apparently) little familiarity with the historical facts and themes of Thai society, and expresses itself as fundamentally “Yeah political action!” (if it yells “Yeah, dead people!” after the Silom grenades, I don’t know), and I have a fantasy space that involves a bit more familiarity with the aforementioned, and expresses itself as “Political action in cultures/histories very different than ours need to be weighed carefully before we yell ‘Hurrah!'(no doubt based upon my very “conventional” notion of power, who would guess that I’ve read endless philosophical tracts on the notion of power?)” Now which of these fantasy spaces is to be preferred, I’ll let others decide for themselves. Cheers though, thanks for the discussion.

    Comment by kvond — April 23, 2010 @ 9:26 pm | Reply

  12. YOU: Now which of these fanasy spaces is to be preferred…

    ME: Preference for fantasy spaces depends on the task at hand. If the task was simply to say, “yeah political action” for its own sake, and not to take up the role of authority and provide a deep analysis of the situation, then either of our perspectives would suffice.

    If, on the other hand one of us were to take up the role of authority and giver of truth then, no doubt, your obviously more informed and cautious approach would be desirable.

    But, because at least one of us lives in a culture where people are numbed into passivity and ignorance, seeing people in the streets fighting for their beliefs will remain a cause for celebration.

    and cheers to you as well ~ I look forward to following your blog…

    Comment by michael~ — April 23, 2010 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

    • Well, I suppose your task was to applaud political action for its own sake, disregarding its context or consequences, and my task was to critique the urge to applaud political action in a way that disregards its context or consquences.

      I find the former dangerous, but I can appreciate that you do not.

      Comment by kvond — April 23, 2010 @ 10:18 pm | Reply


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