Bioregional Secession

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Hey all, sorry for the lack of posts recently. Life, as you may know, can be obnoxiously real and demanding. before this gets real, I want to just throw it out there that I am definitely looking to have more contributors to this thing, so if you have articles worth sharing, poetry, short stories, videos, drawings or anything else, yours or others, definitely email me.

This comes from the Earth First Journal (original). This is a thought ive talked to a few people about recently. It seems sometimes like the system is failing under the weight of its own size, and we can certainly talk about the alienation between representatives and the represented, the gross corruption and politicizing and polarization and apathy that is rooted in the scale of our current system. People are unable to make decisions on issues that effect them in this country because the federal government, trying to represent 300 million people, has decided for them. The US Federal government inhibits democracy?

what do we do? secede.

“Yes, I said secession: the breaking up of large nations into smaller independent political entities that run their own affairs, have their own governments, operate their own economies and control their own environments on a bioregional scale. It’s a word that scares people even now, and most of the time it conjures up ideas of treason, illegality, racism or just plain futility.

But it really is as American as, well, the Declaration of Independence, which states that “it is the right of the people to alter or abolish [wrongful government], and to institute new government in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” As American as the war that followed from that—not a revolutionary war at all but a secessionist one, since the colonists had no intention of taking over the British government, only of separating from it to run their own governments as they saw fit. As American, in fact, as the separation of Maine from Massachusetts, Tennessee from North Carolina, and West Virginia from Virginia, all of which were done in an orderly and peaceful fashion.

There is a myriad of reasons to contemplate secession these days. On the one hand, it frees a territory from the incompetent, corrupt, militaristic and illegal government in Washington, DC, as well as the empire that Washington has created to spread its corporate owners around the world. At the same time, it provides a scale of decision-making that allows something close to true democracy (representation that truly reflects a constituency’s wishes); a scale of trade and commerce that allows full employment, healthy food, nontoxic material goods and a sound currency free of the volatile and perilous dollar; a scale of administration that replaces the bloated federal bureaucracy with smaller, more efficient and responsive operations; in short, a scale of human affairs at which—as the success of countless small nations has shown—people have control over the decisions that affect their lives and the institutions that serve and protect them.”

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The Sounds of Planet Earth 10/7/07

Last night’s show we talked a little bit about Blackwater USA.

Download the show here . Played a bunch of music too, including a brand new recording from the Greg Ward Project

Throw Away Your TV has some more good stuff on Blackwater too.

Blackwater has been in the news recently:

We played this video over the air, from the author of a recent book about Blackwater.

The question that comes up for me on this issue is, if there is unrest in this country in the future, if we all get fed up with the state of things and show our outrage in the streets, is it BlackWater Thugs that come out with their AK’s? These people have no allegiance to human rights, freedom of speech, or fair trial.

Furthermore, they have no interest in ending this war. They make billions of dollars from tax payers to stay over there. We can write our representatives, cast our ballots, protest in the streets, while this and many other companies grease the pockets of our representatives, fund campaigns, and have no reason to listen to public sentiment.

 As always, if you have ideas for what we should cover next week, email me or annie, greenmm@jmu.edu or cantreac@jmu.edu

 

 

 

 

Fun Meter

From an article called

The Horse Latitudes of Resistance

“It’s an interesting time for Americans who understand citizenship as an active personal responsibility. United States policy is as committed as it has ever been to visions of empire with all the trimmings. In addition to the imperial quagmire in Iraq and curtailment of civil liberties at home, we’re facing a climate crisis that’s inconvenient for corporate interests. But widespread public dissatisfaction is more evident in opinion polls than it is at the ballot box or on the street. Activists stage massive protests to an audience that seems not to extend much beyond the like-minded. And yet, communities like Asheville, North Carolina, are beehives of effective social action. What’s going on here?”

The article charts the course of activism in these heady times, and speaks a lot to the idea that some of the best direct, society changing action we can take is to create communal, human scale, profit last institutions in our communities that provide alternatives to the babylon beast. Worth checking out if you have got the time.

 arrest

Scholarly Activism

Mursipod

    The fact that anthropology has become more politically active and entered into other fields is undeniable. An article from the Anual Review of Anthropology called “The Anthropology of Public Policy: Shifting Terrains” by Okongwu and Mencher says that “anthropology as a field has contributed, and continues to contrubute, to social policy research, practice, and advocacy in the current international context.” To be clear, I do not argue that current works in anthro are blatantly expressing a political opinion, because objectivity still remains of utmost importance. What I’m arguing is that because an anthropologist will write objectively about a world with clear global linkages that often result in injustice for those with less power, the literature is, to put it in the most appropriate terms, CHOP CHOP CHOPIN. hah! (cant write on this wall without sayin it least once)

Anthropologists do the documenting as the world’s powerless population, largely the same population that used to be called primitive, is effected by today’s brand of globalization in different and constantly emerging ways. This is purely contemporary and easily located in many of the latest Anthropology Journals. Although it is true that anthropology throughout history did strive to better or enlighten its home society, it has never been so bold in ethnographic literature as it is contemporaneously.

Increasingly anthropologists have no choice but to tackle issues such as what it means to be a citizen of a developing country and how this changes an individual’s relationship to and outlook on the rest of the world. Frankly, this notion of the rest of the world has only recently become an immutable reality for indigenous and traditional cultures. Further issues such as third world poverty, often caused by overpopulation, government corruption and integration into a western economic system represent an urgent and ever-present backdrop to most any culture today. Although ethnographies written about cultures outside the developed west do not often contain statistics about development, it difficult to imagine that any ethnographer who is not aware that an overwhelming majority of the world’s population lives outside of the ‘developed’ world.

WHoa

    It is not surprising that contemporary ethnographies contain information about international politics and history. Realistically, it is difficult to imagine how they could avoid it. Factors such as the fall of the Soviet Union and the politics of the two main powers during the cold war have had undeniable effects on the lives of people in Cuba today, just as the will of the worlds most powerful and wealthy transnational agricultural corporations effects the lives of farmers and lifestyles of non-farmers around the world. These are not details one can simply leave out if he or she wishes to properly analyze a situation, especially if the subjects of the ethnography feel the effect of globalization, as more and more do.

    This influx of anthropologists into other scholarly disciplines has made the clash between anthropology and many other fields bolder.

    It seems that in many areas of international relations there is still a belief in the unilinear evolution model. Although groups or people with power have not blatantly said this, there is a clear acceptance by a majority of governments of the modern world that the western way is the most desirable and advanced way to organize a people. The term ‘newly industrialized economy’ is one great of pride for its proprietors. This is because the economists and politicians from industrialized economies who created the term have endowed it with great prestige. Countries given the title “Newly Industrialized” have for all intents and purposes been given assurance by the worlds leading powers that they are on the right track; the trajectory of success. They have been given whats called the flame of life by the gods, and we are saying let it go! for the end is inferno! Even in the instance of a problem as worldwide as climate change, resolutions like Kyoto leave ‘underdeveloped’ countries free from emissions regulations because it is widely acknowledged that industry, as invented in England’s industrial revolution, is necessary to achieve a desirable existence. Even the word ‘underdeveloped’ seems to send a message of inadequacy.

The reason this sort of western ethnocentric validation system appears so often in world politics is that the evolutionary social theory is still quite alive in the western collective consciousness. Just as anthropology once espoused the belief that cultures far and wide were destined by natural law to become civilizations with workings akin to those in prominent western countries of the day, much of politics and in part economics today urge similar models. Many political systems, a good example being the current government of the United States, have made it their mantra. This concept of unilineal evolution is now an abandoned artifact in contemporary anthropology similar to phrenology in psychology. Though respected western anthropologists have boldly abandoned these ideas, their aura appears in many other areas of modern thought. This clash results in anthropological ethnography assuming something of a war footing against the disciplines with which it disagrees. Though anthropology has always been multidisciplinary, the difference is that today it can serve to expand other disciplines instead of mainly vise versa.

CONCLUSION
Contemporary anthropologists no longer have the luxury of studying cultures that know little or nothing about he western world they represent. The clichéd subject has gone from seeing the anthropologist as a mysterious man with a typewriter and note pad to being a symbol of the western consumerism that has overtaken the world leaving deep and controversial consequences in the lives of all.

Furthermore, anthropology is also becoming more and more political, because in its contemporary form, anthropological consensus inherently disagrees with that of politics. Similar relationships can be found to varying degrees between anthropology and other modern disciplines. For dealing with issues such as patriotism, polity, history, technology, and globalization, a new generation of Activist Anthropologists are born. They have not only moved beyond belief in the unilineal model of evolution or in the relevance word primitive; they have also begun to breach the gap that separates them from other islanded disciplines. Since this gap is filled with modern myths, anthropologists and other social scientists are starting by bringing the truth; the end is to bring the hegemons down!

with love
njm

THe Sounds of PLanet Earth

                                                9-30-07 – Grab the podcast here

If you have ideas for what we should play or talk about next time, send me or Annie an email – green.marley@gmail.com or cantreac@jmu.edu . Some of the Artists you heard on the show include:

Tandava (British Columbians playing Hindi Music), Sonic Liberation Front, Eric Lindell, Toots and the Maytals, Fred Buscaglione, Gondwana, Freakbass, Stephen Kent, Grupo Naidy, CLara Moreno, Oliver Mtukudzi, Corey Harris, Trees on Fire.

:One Zine Scene:

This has got some Zines in the front and a good example of DIY band publication at the end. woo

We discussed Do It Yourself culture tonight. We found it was far too broad of a topic, and that we might have to revisit it in the future. Here are some Wikipedia pages for you to get a brief feel for what the broad idea of DIY is all about:

DIY Ethic 

DIY Culture

WE also spent a good deal of time talking bout DIY Zines. Annie is way into the cool world of Zines check it out:

www.iprc.org which is a portland based free resource center and library for independent publications

www.northwestzineworks.com is a good place to just search for zines and read reviews

SOME ZINES I LIKE

www.venuszine.com a feminist/music/ type zine for women with a large emphasis on DIY culture and women. lots of reviews of cool stuff women are doing themselves. Has reviews for other zines too! Their website leads to other cool DIY type sites.

www.foundmagazine.com its relies on readers for its material. readers send in interesting photos, notes, or other odd things they find.

www.therelayproject.com  a really cool audio zine.

www.smellingtrees.com has lots of zine reviews for zines that don’t have websites….check out “community bike cart design” “plug” basically the how-to section is cool and the fiction section. hell they all are cool.

***this list could go on and on. just search around this is a good base though.

ZINE LIBRARIES-these are good resources if you want to find out  more about different types of zines and their culture

Seattle Zine Archive & Publishing Project
www.hugohouse.org

Aboveground Zine Library in New Orleans www.abovegroundzinelibrary.com

Barnard Zine Library
www.barnard.edu/library/zines

Chicago Underground Library
www.underground-library.org

Denver Zine Library
www.denverzinelibrary.org

Papercut Zine Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts www.baamboston.org/papercut

Zine World
www.undergroundpress.org

***ALSO the Rocktown Info Shop on Elizabeth Street in Harrisonburg (and other infoshops or freespaces) has a section of zines in their library that you can borrow that range in topics.***