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Weekly Update: 22 May

We have a great lineup coming up next week, starting off with a guest post by Brian Johnson on “Revolutionary Spirits and Occult Strategies of Resistance.” We also have scheduled a review by Lorna Smithers and essays by Rhyd Wildermuth (on colonialism and decolonization), Dr. Bones (on the precariat), and Christopher Scott Thompson (on the history of anarchism).

Links and News

Last weekend wrapped up almost 2 dozen climate change protests held around the globe known as Break Free. The Wild Hunt has an article covering the involvement of two pagans in some of these events, Margaret Human and John Halstead. Halstead – one of Gods&Radicals’ writers – was one of about 40 people arrested during the protest in Whiting, Indiana, and also has a series of posts up at Patheos discussing his path to environmental activism.

A victory in the works since 1975: The Munduruku, one of Brazil’s largest indigenous groups, have achieved legal recognition of their traditional territory, which grants them the right to “free, prior, and informed consent before the government can use their land.” As a result, a mega-dam project that would have submerged their land has been halted.

Lastly, two articles on animism:

Quote for the Week

Here’s an interesting quote I found on Tumblr, from a book by Gastón  R. Gordillo: Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction:

Hollywood insists in presenting the image of a capitalist world in ruins as ominous and terrifying. But as Rebecca Solnit argues in A Paradise Built in Hell, the scholarship on disasters conclusively shows that it is the powerful who usually panic amid the rubble created by catastrophes. She shows that the Hobbesian Hollywood nightmare of hysterical masses panicking in wild stampedes and creating a war of “all against all” scenario is an elite fantasy. Most people are certainly shocked and disoriented at first but soon afterward generate forms of solidarity and cooperation and see the possibility of collective transformation and rebirth. In fact, the very fact that sites of power have been destroyed makes people less fearful of the powerful.

History is full of examples of fields of rubble that awakened emancipatory sentiments, even if this effervescence was eventually contained. After the burning of Moscow in 1812 by the Napoleonic armies, for instance, Tolstoy wrote that the rubble of the city opened “unique possibilities of moral regeneration”. In the case of Argentina, Healey shows that the rise to power of Perón in 1946 was inseparable from his role in the plans to reconstruct the city of San Juan, which had been reduced to rubble by an earthquake two years earlier. Perón turned the rubble of San Juan into a collective invitation to build a new, better, more inclusive Argentina. Henry Cobb noted in 1947 a similar enthusiasm for change amid the rubble of Warsaw, which made him realize, “in a strange way,” that “because of the destruction you could remake the world.” And this is at the core of the elite fear of rubble in moments of unrest: that the rubble, indeed, could be an invitation to remake the world differently

4 Comments »

  1. Construction of the new, often requires getting rid of the old. I am more likely to think that the old system will collapse on its own. The more it attempts to protect itself and remain the same, the greater chaos it created that undoes it. Most of its destruction is being done by the ruling class itself in its attempt to take over a greater share of the wealth. Unfortunately that destroys the very economy that creates the wealth and the ruling class cannot maintain an economy by themselves. All they can do is destroy the middle class, nearly done, and the rich below them, and that will lead to destroying the wealthy layer by layer. Sort of a case of a wealth civil war at the top.

    I have never understood why they are too stupid to understand it is their own destruction that they creating. Remember that most of the very wealthy have never learn learned how to create wealth, only how to gut it. Remember most of them inherited wealth. That is part of the reason for their ignorance. Even Bill Gates came from a already wealthy family.

    Now what we need to do is work on what we can do to rebuild,and what we want to build.

    Liked by 2 people

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