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I consider this text a long form of the very basic radical assumption – the Masters’s tools will never dismantle the Master’s house’. That is, working within the bounds of any oppressive system, one can only do so much and the chance of affecting meaningful structural change approaches zero. The People Centred Human rights approach realizes this axiomatic truth and works to expand the notion of what is to be done instead of working inside the system.
“The people-centered framework proceeds from the assumption that the genesis of the assaults on human dignity that are at the core of human rights violations is located in the relationships of oppression. The PCHR framework does not pretend to be non-political. It is a political project in the service of the oppressed. It names the enemies of freedom: the Western white supremacist, colonial/capitalist patriarchy.
Therefore, the realization of authentic freedom and human dignity can only come about as a result of the radical alteration of the structures and relationships that determine and often deny human dignity. In other words, it is only through social revolution that human rights can be realized.
The demands for clean water; safe and accessible food; free quality education; healthcare and healthiness for all; housing; public transportation; wages and a socially productive job that allow for a dignified life; ending of mass incarceration; universal free child care; opposition to war and the control and eventual elimination of the police; self-determination; and respect for democracy in all aspects of life are some of the people-centered human rights that can only be realized through a bottom-up mass movement for building popular power.
By shifting the center of human rights struggle away from advocacy to struggle, Malcolm laid the foundation for a more relevant form of human rights struggle for people still caught in the tentacles of Euro-American colonial dominance. The PCHR approach that creates human rights from the bottom-up views human rights as an arena of struggle. Human rights does not emanate from legalistic texts negotiated by states—it comes from the aspirations of the people. Unlike the liberal conception of human rights that elevates some mystical notions of natural law (which is really bourgeois law) as the foundation of rights, the “people” in formation are the ethical foundation and source of PCHRs.”
We are not taught radical history/analysis for a reason. The elites make sure that education doesn’t arm the people with the tools to change society, and really why would they?
[Source: Ajamu Baraka writing on Counterpunch]
Trump level insanity dissected.
Secondary school, history class.
You cover a small amount of information on the suffragettes, and your teacher shows you a video of Emily Wilding Davison getting struck down by Anmer, the King’s horse.
Your teacher asks the class, “we’ll never know why she did this”
But you know
All the girls in your class know, and are quiet, compared to the boys, who laugh, and jeer, and throw around words like “crazy”, because they simply don’t understand.
But you do.
The teacher asks, “who would have been a suffragette back then?” And you put your hand up.
He asks why.
‘Because,’ you think, ‘because I know how it is to live a life being told by everyone that you are inferior. Being told that you can’t play with us because you’re a girl, and girls are silly.
Being told that being pretty is all that matters, and being told that girls can’t do this, and girls can’t do that, and you still get told that it’s a lot better than it was.
You know that thirty years ago, women were laughed at for wanting to be independent, laughed at for wanting a job, and that was only thirty years ago.
Yet you can still imagine the desperation these women felt when they were doing all they could to be heard, and the whole world was deaf to their cries.
You can understand why Emily Wilding Davison ducked under that barrier to carry out her task, whatever that may have been, and stood in the path of a charging horse with determination and love for her cause.
You can still imagine a time where no woman would have ever dreamed of being independent.
When the idea of a single woman was scandalous and she was shunned.
You can imagine the feeling in the air when Emmeline Pankhurst spoke to thousands of women and declared “no more!”
“No more suffering in silence. No more playing to the whims of entitled men who have been served the earth on a silver platter with the words ‘for men’ carved across the globe,”
“No more being the plaything of man, it is our time. We are strong, and we will show the whole world what womankind can do”
You know how it feels to be female.’
But you can’t say that
You can’t say any of that, because he’s a man, and he could never understand.
So you shrug, and say something that feels wrong on your tongue.
It feels like a lie, because it’s not what you want to say
But you can’t say that
Because he wouldn’t understand
The excerpt is from a great piece by Christopher Lasch writing in the short lived journal “Democracy”. Written in the 80’s, details the systemic problems facing US democracy. The situation described shows the roots of where we are now, and how (unfortunately) we have arrived here.
“The centralization of power in the United States and the decline of popular participation in community life have become dramatically visible only in the
period since World War II. The roots of these conditions, however, go back to the formative period around the turn of the century. We have been living ever since then with the long-term consequences of the momentous changes inaugurated at that time.
The most important of these changes, of course, was the emergence of the corporation and the spread of the corporate form throughout
American industry. Often misunderstood as a shift from entrepreneurial to managerial control, the corporation emerged out of conflicts between capital
and labor for control of production. It institutionalized the basic division of labor that runs all through modern industrial society, the division between brainwork and handwork-between the design and the execution of production.
Under the banner of scientific management, capitalists expropriated the technical knowledge formerly exercised by workers and vested it in a new
managerial elite. The managers extended their power not at the expense of the owners of industry, who retained much of their influence and in any case tended to merge with the managerial group, but at the expense of the workers.
Nor did the eventual triumph of industrial unionism break this pattern of managerial control. By the 1930s, even the most militant unions had acquiesced in the division of labor between the planning and execution of work. Indeed the very success of the union movement was predicated on a strategic retreat from issues of worker control. Unionization, moreover, helped to stabilize and rationalize the labor market and to discipline the work force. It did not alter the arrangement whereby management controls the technology of production, the rhythm of work, and the location of plants (even when these decisions affect entire communities), leaving the worker with the task merely of carrying out orders.
Having ·organized mass production on the basis of the new division of labor-most fully realized in the assembly line-the leaders of American industry
next turned to the organization of a mass market. The mobilization of consumer demand, together with the recruitment of a labor force, required a far-reaching series of changes that amounted to a cultural revolution; The virtues of thrift, avoidance of debt, and postponement of gratification had to give way to new habits of installment buying and immediate gratification, new standards of comfort, a new sensitivity to changes in fashion. People had to be discouraged from providing for their own wants and resocialized as consumers. Industrialism by its very nature tends to discourage home production and to make people dependent on the market, but a vast effort of reeducation, starting in the 1920s, had to be undertaken before Americans accepted consumption as a way of life.
As Emma Rothschild has shown in her study of the automobile industry, Alfred Sloan’s innovations in marketing-the annual model change, constant upgrading of the product, efforts to associate it with social status, the deliberate inculcation of an insatiable appetite for change-constituted the necessary counterpart of Henry Ford’s innovations in production. Modern industry came to rest on the twin pillars of Fordism and Sloanism. Both tended to discourage initiative and self-reliance and to reduce work and consumption alike to an essentially passive activity. […]
When I read this section I was immediately drawn to the sections highlighted in purple. What I hear from conservative commentators and business commentators is that what it takes to succeed in society is to get out there and play the market, or innovate, or work hard and save money and improve yourself et cetera. Usually, along with their sprightly commentary on how bootstrapping oneself to greatness, is another piece on the evils of the nanny state and how those damn social programs (WELFARE *clutches chest* *dies*) are making people into lazy dependent sloths who do nothing but keep the productive people down.
Of course, like most capitalistic propaganda, it is utter shite. The message retains its ubiquity and longevity in our society only because of its constant repetition in the business press and media.
“The virtues of thrift, avoidance of debt, and postponement of gratification had to give way to new habits of installment buying and immediate gratification, new standards of comfort, a new sensitivity to changes in fashion.“
I quote this again because damn, if this isn’t an indictment of how capitalism has malformed our society, I’m not sure what is. This way of life we now live was a choice made by the elite classes, as to how society was to be run. Clearly, attributes like avoiding debt and postponement of gratification have no place in a modern civilized society (!).
Racking up debt, conspicuous consumption, becoming dependent on the market – didn’t just *happen* – they were orchestrated to feed the industrial elite’s needs and as always, at the expense of the working class.
So, the business class essentially builds/nurtures a culture of dependency – that is, actively discourages self production and self-reliance – and then has the temerity to bluster about Big Government creating a welfare state chock full of slothful, gormless, dependent people.
Create a society where dependency is rewarded, and then proceed to blame the people for becoming dependent. Fascinating stuff this capitalism is.
Yep, still waiting for the chorus of enraged ‘egalitarian’ voices to protest this (continuing) oversight.