[A-List] Civil Society - Progressive or Reactionary
mstainsby at resist.ca
Wed Jan 25 14:11:53 MST 2006
Aside from the heat being generated, Henry is closer to the mark than
Patrick, in my opinion. I think of Oxfam, an organization that was part
of the emergence of the NGO wing of the "anti-globalization" movement.
What they *fought actively* to do was to get nation-states to find ways
around neo-liberal programs and to institute "training" programs, often
to live *outside* of the economic structures of imperialism;; training
the best and brightest to avoid the direct challenge of capitalism,
instead to try and make the governing structures implement such things
as protections for "fair trade" coffee plantations. And who could be
gainst fair trade? The problem is, however, these means support the
status quo and humanize them.
All of the various analyses of the NGO crowd have generally hampered the
movement, and in the first world, that role has been nearly always
criminal, in that it allows for do-gooderism among the progressives, to
make imperialism behave nicer, and leave us as a giant lobby group, not
a movement trying to bring down the political structures that give rise
to these inequities in the first place. In other words, the NGO's by
their very nature protect the privilege they are ostensibly challegning.
Henry C.K. Liu wrote:
> Yes, I am known for my pedestrian mind because I avoid academic
> post-modern deconstruction of plain talk. Yes, delivering "public goods"
> is something that we mental pedestrians aim for because they are things
> that common people can recognized and measure, such as the availability
> of safe food and water, decent shelter, free health care, education,
> freedom of movement , etc, instead of high principles of "decommodify
> society and nature", aiming at "democracy's global-scale deficits" and
> staging "seminal revolts against injustice".
In the contradiction lies the hope
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