Saturday, July 15, 2017

Naomi Klein: Lovelessness as Policy

I am moved to share again and again from Naomi Klein's latest book, No Is Not Enough. And I weep as I write this passage. I also experience this fierce commitment to working to do my part on behalf of our children and grandchildren and all the children of all the species on this beautiful planet we share... This excerpt illuminates a glimpse into where we are at and what it will take to transform policies which cause catastrophic harm to life on Earth to ones which respect, nourish, and protect life. Each and every one of us are making choices, consciously or otherwise, related to whether or not we are in some way working together to win the world we all need. May we choose the deep courage, caring, and commitment to truth that is required to be in this world consciously today. May we all choose to be part of this Great Awakening which is struggling to heal and transform life on Earth. - Molly


From the Introduction of No Is Not Enough:
"This is one attempt to uncover how we got to this surreal political moment. It is also an attempt to predict how, under cover of shocks and crises, it could get a lot worse. And it’s a plan for how, if we keep our heads, we might just be able to flip the script and arrive at a radically better future.” 

Lovelessness as Policy

The author and intellectual Cornel West has said that "justice is what love looks like in public." I often think that neoliberalism is what lovelessness looks like as policy. It looks like generations of children, overwhelmingly Black and brown, raised amidst an uncaring landscape. It looks like the rat-infested schools of Detroit. It looks like water pipes leaking lead and poisoning young minds in Flint. It looks like foreclosed mortgages on homes on homes that were built to collapse. It looks like famished hospitals that look more like jails - and overstuffed jails that are humanity's best approximation of hell. It looks like trashing the beauty of the planet as if it had no value at all. It is, much like Trump himself, greed and carelessness incarnate.

While our global economic model is failing the vast majority of people on the planet, it is not failing all of us equally. The hatred that Trump and his team are helping to direct at the most vulnerable is not a separate project from their economic pillage on behalf of the ultra rich, their corporate coup - the former enables the latter. Trump's ugliness on race and gender serves a specific set of wildly profitable goals, as identity-based hatreds always have.

Fortunately, the fastest-growing grassroots political formations of our era - from the movement to end violence against women to the Movement for Black Lives, from workers calling for a living wage to Indigenous rights and climate justice movements - are rejecting a single-issue approach. They have embraced the "intersectionality" framework articulated by feminist and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. That means identifying how multiple issues - race, gender, income, sexuality, physical ability, immigration status, language - intersect and overlap within an individual's life experince, and also within structures of power.

The Trump administration does not choose between amping up law and order, attacking women's reproductive rights, escalating foreign conflicts, scapegoating immigrants, setting off a fossil fuel frenzy, and otherwise deregulating the economy in the interests of the super-rich. They are proceeding on all these fronts (and others) simultaneously, knowing them to be component parts of the singular project of "making America great again."

Which is why any opposition that is serious about taking on Trump, or other far-right forces like him around the  world, must embrace the task of telling a new history of how we ended up here, in this perilous moment. A history that compellingly shows the role played by the politics of division and separation. Racial divisions. Class divisions. Gender divisions. Citizenship divisions.

And a false division between humans and the natural world.

Only then will it become possible to truly come together to win the world we need.

- Naomi Klein
Excerpted from No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's
Shock Politics And Winning the World We Need 

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