Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vijay Prashad: Multiculturism vs. Polyculturism.

An very interesting interview with a writer with a unique perspective:

Interview with Vijay Prashad

A few passages of interest from a Micronational Anarchist point of view:

Seminary Co-op: Does the concept of polyculturalism dilute appeals to "authenticity?" What are some of the dangers for the quest towards culturalauthenticity?

Vijay Prashad: Polyculturalism, taken seriously, obliterates authenticity. The pose of authenticity offers the ruling elites of a "race" to attain demographic power vis-à-vis other "races," to argue that they represent a group of people and because of "race" can speak for them. Authenticity allows race to top all other social fractures, and thereby give entrenched elites of color the power to be representative when all they are is compradors. Fanon's diatribe on the "pitfalls of national consciousness" is an early smash at the idea of authenticity. By the way, the argument about the authentic (whose content is often colonial ethnology) allows white supremacy to adjudge who is a real native, to say that the rebellious Asian, for example, is doing a disservice to Asian culture.

Seminary Co-op: Can polyculturalism resist the seemingly very popular appeals to [state] nationalism?

Vijay Prashad: We'll have to see, won't we? This is one tough fight, but my own sense is that there are too many folk who are fed up with bourgeois nationalism and want to assert a different kind of sovereignty, one that is against the depredations of multinational capitalism but not then tied to national cultural cruelty.

Prashad also talks about popular movements for economic trade and exchange between Africa and Asia which bypass the multinational corporate system-- the basis of a genuine global free market.

Some of the text is tiny, so you may have to use a magnifier utility.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Democratic Fuhrerprinzip.

A couple of articles, one by a Democrat and one by a Republican, about Barack Obama's campaign and how Democrats idolize and idealize their leaders more than do Republicans:

Jon Swift, Barack Obama's Achilles' Heel.

J.R. Dunn, Obama as Liberal Messiah.

While I find the charisma disparity between the parties rather interesting, I think, nonetheless, it is more a matter of show and style than actual degree of dictatorial power. After all, it's Republicans like George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger who admit openly to wanting to be dictators.

J. R. Dunn, therefore, misses the point when zie asserts, "People will invade their neighbors, slaughter minorities, and march themselves right off the historical cliff on behalf of a duce, führer, or caudillo. They generally won't for a chief executive."

Don't look now, Dunn, but they already have.

Returning to the candidate of the hour:

Barack Obama hopes to follow in the shoes of JFK and MLK -- both of whom got shot, which is not such a good sign. If he becomes President, Obama will be torn between the horns of a dilemma, striving desperately to represent both his minority and the nation as a whole. His Black supporters expect him to stand up for their rights and interests, while his White supporters seek, in the words of film critic David Ehrenstein, a "Magic Negro", a gifted Black man who will miraculously resolve race disputes by his mere presence, without threatening White interests (or. for that matter, the power elite's interests.)

In the Fuhrerprinzip, the leader is meant to obey the will of the people, like a sleepwalker or a sockpuppet. But how can a leader do the will of the people when the people have no single will?