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Fintan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 8304

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Mouseland: Movie with a Message Reply with quote

Check this out.

Its a political advert for the NDP in Saskatchewan....

....but the message is timeless!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqpFm7zAK90&mode=related&search=

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pauper



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Beautiful.

Bolshevick Laughing Laughing Laughing
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urbanspaceman



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 325
Location: London , UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How far we've fallen! From Tommy Douglas to his Grandson who now works 24 hours a day for the C.I.A.! Laughing

Perhaps this should go in the Thinking Zone section, but it's something that's been on my mind constantly since I've encountered your work, Fintan. Is there still hope that political institutions can serve the public interest in the future? Can we do without those institutions altogether? Is there any reason to expect and support a Tommy Douglas in the future or a Martin Luther who will try to attempt to change institutions from within?

I agree with your grassroots approach of using the internet to get at the truth and encourage critical thinking. But at the same time I don't think we can do entirely without some kind of political institution. I agree with you that Politics is Dead and that it's become little more than theatre, but I don't think all forms of government should be dumped altogether. Anarchy would be fine if it was a society made up of Fintan Dunnes, but we all know that the population at large is not all going to be as responsible, caring, and intelligent.

I guess I'm asking a Political Philosophy question. What will a healthy governace of the future look like? If we don't have a clue about that, we don't know what where we're going, and what to try and create.

Interested to hear people's thoughts on that...
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Nat



Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 840
Location: minime-rica

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

urbanspaceman wrote:
What will a healthy governace of the future look like?


it's a shame we need to vote for anyone at all, it is a shame that we 'need' leaders


Last edited by Nat on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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atlien



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

urbanspaceman,

You pose an interesting question. I'll start my answer by saying that I love Break For News. I've directed dozens of folks down here in Atlanta to the site and countless others by way of message boards. It's a good place for discussion and common sense deconstruction of the ongoing psychological war against the working population. However, we don't really get much into what is to be done.

I have a theory as to why we don't (and most sites similiar to BFN also do not) and I'll get to that in just a minute. First, I'll say that deconstructing the BS and understanding how the game works is important in building useful frameworks with which to think and analyze events happening right now, events of the past and things to come. This is important because anyone here knows that most people are in la-la land and really have no idea how the world works and thus no useful way of interpreting or understanding the things that happen and that are spoken everyday.

However, deconstructing and understanding without action is pointless. This leads to the problem. A problem that may be as big as is the problem of deconstructing and understanding. The problem of action is unlike the problem of thought in a very crucial way. The problem of thought is something that each individual must to a large degree work out her or himself. The inverse can be said of the problem of action. Action in the social sense, inherently, must be mostly social, collective, and not individual. That is if it is to be action that solves any social problem of significance. Having said that, let's take a look at who we are.

Some may not agree with this but I think most will. In America, what happens in the cities, moves things because that's where the highest concentrations of people and capital are. For our purpose of making social change we are focused on the people working against the capital. And let's assume that our organizing tool is the internet.

The ruling class is a small minority but they have many working class hangers-on who believe they will one day be a part of the ruling class and therefore don't want to work against it and will actively oppose others that try to do anything upsetting the ruling class status quo. In most of the major US cities, the people in the working class who have been shit on the most, the people who are most receptive to messages of truth, messages of change, the people who knew MLK and Kennedy and 9/11 were gov't jobs-those people are often non-whites who don't visit message boards like this.

Before anyone gets their panties twisted, I'm not saying there are no non-whites on this board or boards like it. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that if one were to do a poll you'd probably find that 80% plus of the folks here are white. And 80 is a conservative number (it's probably higher).

See, I believe that we are going to have to do more than just talk to get ourselves out of the mess that we are in. And if we are going to have to do more than talk, whatever it is that we end up doing, we are going to have to do it together. In some numbers. Realistically, we are going to have to have multi-ethnic coalitions to make change. And that is our biggest problem. Whatever the political philosophy is that takes shape, whatever the plan, there is a large sector of the population that is either not going to do anything or is going to actively oppose us. Those folks disproporationately self-identify as white. Those that are going to be down with doing something (those who have the least to lose in this system as it is and who have a better understanding of the nature of the beast because it's so closely linked to their everyday experience) are disproporationately non-white.

I have lived in CT, Washington state, Florida and now live in Atlanta, GA. Everywhere I've lived inside the US, I've reached this same conclusion. I've also seen and been involved in various groups that advocated change. Almost all of those groups rejected, in part if not wholesale, the thesis I jut put forth. Their groups were homogenous, mostly white, and they believed that the racial divide wasn't going to be the central problem. And thus, they formulated plans for organizing that didn't take it into account. All of their plans failed. All of them. Some failed more spectacularly than others but there were no even marginal successes, really.

While other countries have some vestige of class identification, that really does not exist in America. In the US, people self-identify by racial and ethnic groups. Until/unless we do something to break down these divides, we can forget serious sustainable change. And we can basically resign ourselves to having erected a virtual reality of online debating societies and think tanks with no connections to the outside real world to speak of.

I say all of this not to be a buzzkill but because I believe that Fintan and others that post here have solid analysis of problems and situations that have arisen continue to plague us. But if we are to do something, whatever political philosophical direction we move towards we must begin to discuss the racial ethnic divisions and what we are going to do about them. Otherwise, the active minority will always defeat the divided majority. And all the truths resting inside our heads won't change a thing.

ATLien
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urbanspaceman



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 325
Location: London , UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you're a buzzkill at all, ATLien, this is what more of us on the forum should start talking about. The analysis and discussion on BreakForNews is vital work, but this is a means to a further end: the creation of a new political world that truly reflects our most deeply felt human values.

The process of change will probably need to go something like this:

1) Cut through the labyrinth of deception we are living in so we can see reality and identify what the root problems are.
2) Imagine what the future of politics is.
3) Take action to create it.

Like you I'm desparate to take action, but jumping to step 3 too quickly before gaining clarity on steps 1 and 2 wouldn't work. It would be like holding a concert without learning the piano first. That's part of the frustration of political activism.

I'm probably coming at this from a different point of view than most. I'm an artist by profession, but in my heart I'm a philosopher who likes to keep his eye on the big picture and explore big problems from every angle. So I can appreciate that this is a highly interdisciplinary problem, a very complex one that won't be solved by looking at politics alone. You've already identified ATLien that there is both a individual and social dimension to this that has to change at the same time.

The problem of race you mentioned is just one of the hurdles of many. You are totally right that it's the white guys who are mainly discussing this stuff. The priviledged make it to the front lines first.

This is how I tend to think of it: Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who was famous for his hierarchy of needs which went like this: physical needs, safety needs, belonging needs, self-esteem needs, self-actualiztion, self-transcendence. When a lower need is satisfied you start yearning for a higher need. This is part of the puzzle of the racial divide. Us white folks still have automatic priviledge in this world, which means we can move up that ladder of needs a little more easily. This explains why white people are on the front lines of political activism, they have their lower needs taken care of, relatively speaking, and they have energy to focus on things like social injustice.

So multi-ethnic coalitions have to be conscious of this. You could have a bunch of white folks calling for social justice, while a bunch of black folks are thinking in more the basic terms of a job and food on the table. It's a very tricky and sensitive situation where the white folk have to admit they have the power and they are in a position to help people of color but at the same time they don't want to come across as "saviors" that people should be dependent on.

So how do you get the black working class turned on to global injustice issues, or even politics? They have to have some financial security and food on the table before they can even think and worry about such a thing.

I'm sure if you even did a poll of social networking sites on the net that it's mostly white people, so even then you run into problems about using the internet as a main tool. Either get the black working class on the net, or reach them in other ways.

Anyway, I agree with you that mobilizing the non-white working class would be a great asset. Would the only way be another MLK or Ghandi? Is there hope in using the net?
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Nat



Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 840
Location: minime-rica

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm pretty sure that there are examples of street music, that are calling for the same changes as 'we' are, and music is (seriously) a good place to start

example: pink floyd, 'us and them', 'welcome to the machine', mosdef 'new world water', these musical themes easily cross the racial 'barrier'

music has the power to normalise themes


Last edited by Nat on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:36 am; edited 3 times in total
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atlien



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad my message wasn't taken in the wrong way. I find that a lot of folks get upset if anything that could be construed negatively, is mentioned.

I agree with Matt that there are lots of folks, both white and non-white, wanting, hungry for change. However, unlike the civil rights era, besides healthcare, there doesn't seem to be a single issue that folks might be willing to coalesce around. I'm not to big on looking for a leader because the rulers will just discredit-character assassinate-or for real assassinate-any lone figurehead as they killed X, as they killed King.

Before I forget, the major problem with what I see happening on the net is that (in my opinion) the group with the best instincts for calling out/identifying ruling class tactics, non-whites is largely outside our online discussion. Not that a white guy or gal can't see through the lies. Obviously not saying that. There are sites like BFN and TakingAim that disprove that right away. But speaking in group terms, a lot of the talent and group leadership we might otherwise be taking advantage of, is outside of our conversations and our strategies.

There isn't much of a Left remaining in the United States. But what goes for the Left, the Democratic Party, are emblematic of all the problems I've been trying to touch on. The DP does a lot of organizing online nowadays, by way of MoveOn.org, Progressive Dems of America, Democracy For America and blogs/forums like DailyKos and DU.

These places are hte origin (often times) of the online echo chamber of DP or Progressive talking points.

The DP, however, is largely comprised of Af-Amers.

But Af-Amers have little to do with the any of the strategizing or messaging produced online by party movers and shakers. Thus when the rubber meets the road at election time, the DP black folks vote for the black candidate (if there is one) and the DP white folks vote for the white candidate and the Republican ends up winning. At the end of the day I hear white Dems wondering what happened when the racial split should make it obvious. Actually it is obvious, even to them, but admitting what the problem is would mean it might actually have to be tackled next time around.

And no one wants to do that.

But that's how it goes down on the electoral side of things (at least that's here in Atlanta, GA). There is no need for us to duplicate that failed dynamic within the 9/11 truth movement or any of the other causes and issues being addressed. We must find a way to increase our broadcasting range beyond the net. To work on issues offline so that the hiearchy is met and we can proceed to work on even more change.

The thing is this, we can't do this alone. We being the small online community of folks that is mostly white and middle class/upper middle class (again, I'm saying mostly). We need to change how we define our community to include the vast numbers of folks that agree and know what happened on 9/11, that understand (at least vaguely) that the ruling class New World Order isn't a good deal for us, the people, that can at least hear with a skeptical ear, the facts around Katrina and biological weapons being created for the general population and many other issues that are often dismissed as loony or whatever. We need to change who we look at as being on 'our team' because due to the existing social relations and socio-economic malaise, so much of our team doesn't have the resources to be online or if they are online, the free time to consume all of these discussion boards, essays and the like. We need to change the definition.

Once redefined, we must begin to normalize relations and work together to first confront the most basic challenges of our redefined community. Not that this is a simple task, but as we do this, we will see that confronting issues like 9/11, Katrina and the Carlyle thugs aren't nearly as daunting with double the numbers.

We must evolve....or we'll find ourselves pulling a baby boomer, handing these problems (times 2) to our sons and daughters. How uncool would that be?

ATLien
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Nat



Joined: 15 Sep 2006
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Location: minime-rica

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the big trouble is the better you're doing at making your point, for all the right reasons, the more likely you are to 'fail' to be successful

Last edited by Nat on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Fintan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
atlien: We need to change how we define our community to include the vast numbers of folks that agree and know what happened on 9/11, that understand (at least vaguely) that the ruling class New World Order isn't a good deal for us

Good points.

The racial divide on the net is one incredible phenomenon.
I'm still trying to get my head around the ghettoization of the
net into white and black interent arenas. Amazing. Why?

Quote:
Matt: music has the power to normalise themes

Now ain't that true. One way to break out of the boxes.

Quote:
urbanspaceman: 1) Cut through the labyrinth of deception we are living in so we can see reality and identify what the root problems are.
2) Imagine what the future of politics is.
3) Take action to create it.

That's a great summary. Nails it.

This social/political metamorphosis has it's own relentless momentum.

Anti-establishment sentiment is a strong undercurrent. They have made it
reactive against Bush --which lowers the political-intellectual tone & content.

But I think we are moving beyond that stage now.

Now a lot of people are gonna do some keen figuring out. Wink
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atlien



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
music has the power to normalise themes

Very true. And which is why they are so keen to killing artisists that have high crossover and mass appeal. Artists the ruling class fears it may not be able to always control. While profitable, they are certainly not worth the potential threat to power.

The power of music is as a message medium is also hamstrung by the same ethnic stratification we are discussing as an obstacle to movement politics.

The Beatles had broad appeal and thus were threatening. And they treated Lennon like a threat. When he started hanging with Hoffman and Rubin, they really took notice. When he started bringing Bobby Seale on tv with him, it became only a matter of time before Lennon had to go.

If Michael Jackson was more political he would have been killed long ago, being the only artists since the Beatles to have the kind of mass appeal that threatens the structure. Jackson being Af-Amer would have only amplified his threat index. Hendrix was a threat. The son of a runaway slave, Robeson was a threat. Tupac was a threat.

Music can be a vehicle and I think we need to use it more to activate and energize our team as well as to infect popular discourse with memes, to change the wind.
Quote:
I'm still trying to get my head around the ghettoization of the
net into white and black interent arenas. Amazing. Why?

I can speak directly to this point when it comes to the political arenas. Politics on what goes for the Left in America is, for the most part, split into white and black (increasingly there is Latino presence on the Left but not as mononlithic as the American black population). The American White Left (AWL) isn't nearly as radical the American Black Left (ABL). So the problem there is obvious in terms of political ideology and public policy. But the thing that really exacerbates the problem is the legacy of, and continued, racial oppression and power games that exist in the US which have created two major problems,

    Whites aren't affected so much by poor regressive public policy to insist on radical reform and thus balk at the reforms suggested by and reject the leadership of, those most affected, non-whites.
    Many whites that identify as Left aren't so far outside the hegemonic reach of white supremacist thought that they don't associate with feelings of superiority towards non-whites. Thus they have deep, and often unconscious, feelings of resistance towards the notion of accepting non-white leadership.


This last thing is, in part, responsible for the political demise of Cynthia McKinney. She emobodied, more than any other member of the Georgia congressional delegation, what progressive whites did and still do claim to stand for. She had a voting record of 100% on all of the things progressive whites said were important issues to them. But on election day, about half of identifying progressive whites in Georgia, voted for her opponent who was funded by the Right Wing. It might seem to debunk what I'm saying when one notes that her opponent was an Af-Amer as well but actually it emphasizes the point. Her opponent did what white elites desire black token politicians to do, stay quiet and do as told and don't bring up the fact that you're not white. On the other hand CM was unapologetic about her support of a Tupac Shakur community center for her constituents, investigations into COINTELPRO activity against the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and other activities that didn't hide her blackness.

Progressive whites will never say it outright because it puts to the lie to their supposed progressivism, but this display of blackness poses a problem for them.

Having taken the very long way around, this translates into the internet political schism for both of the reasons listed above. And for others. Most politically Left blogs and forums on the internet would sound radically different if they didn't censor, ban, intimidate with examples of banning, their more radical members, who are disproportionately non-whites.
Dailykos, DU, TalkingPointsMemo...you all know the rest, these places claim to be bastions of progressive thought but if one looks at places like Illegal Voices and Playahata, it's obvious that Kos, Democratic Underground are solidly middle of the road.

That is why the schism exists. So that the AWL can talk in a tight, homogenous circle, undisturbed by unpleasant realities about the real world offline, and more importantly, about their own political ideologies, positions and candidates. Arguments are difficult to win. Better to just avoid them altogether which equals a very segregated online political experience.

As any Marxist or scientist of any field worth a damn will say, in order to effectively change reality, you must understand its laws. Most white Americans, political or not, are in deep denial about how race/ethnicity has been made to dominate the social laws in the US. And not understanding the laws, they can't affect change to any significant degree and all the while they are flummoxed. Asking questions like why do working class folks vote for Bush And then following up with nonsensical theories about how Bush pretends to be religious when black Americans are more religious than white Americans and blacks don't vote Bush in any significant numbers.

Ignoring or downplaying the racial/ethnic component of the social laws of the US turns it all into nonsense that can't be made heads or tails of.

ATLien


Last edited by atlien on Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RedMahna



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 1512
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like the direction this took. i have not subjectively looked at this mentality of feeling the white bond quite so deeply. thank you for raising the issue.
thanks also for pushing the need for action. we all love to debate here. i would like to see where it can lead in as far as something offline.

sad that it seems like a death wish to give birth to a real movement. and though i once felt we would need a friggin' armed militia, i know that's plain stupid. well, for me, anyway. and no, i don't give a shit who's reading this. come and get my sorry ass. i'll even give you my location.

i believe money is the drawback to getting something started - lack of it. but, similarly, would cause the potential power problem if we had it in abundance to use for any movement. we are human and PMS (power/ money/ sex) is the dope.

i agree the arts is a great medium. but i think a lot of that has changed over the past 40 odd years, same as the scientific community which was strongly pro-humanities prior to the mid 20th century had changed. Or, I should say, was forced to change.

can we look at the functionality of some anarchy-based groups to find some tools to put into real-world use? i used to be a member of the 12-step fellowship of Alcoholics Annonymous. I don't go to meetings much anymore (tho I'm not drinking for my own good, not because I hate liquor or drinking people). I've belonged to them for over 18 years, in any case.

what i'm trying to say is this: something in the back of my socio-political brain had always suspected that this kind of operation in society would actually be useful. i mean the way they coordinate their society without real power.

does anyone think this can be a topic worthy of investigating for some substance in the organizing of a grass-roots politcal base?

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