Prelude (edited)

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

Advertisements

A Prelude to Escape

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

The Feminist Critique of Microfinance

Dear V, It was a pleasure presenting with you on Saturday night.

My research experience with microfinance comes mostly from a feminist perspective, in particular, feminist academic work that critically considers how “empowerment” rhetoric shapes global development.

The crux of the argument is that global governance now operates primarily according to “inclusion,” “participation,” and “empowerment.” However, it is not “no strings attached” inclusion, participation, and empowerment, but actually has a tight set of rules, all set up to extend the current global imbalances. For instance, look at how international debt relief under the Millennium Development Goals regime is just another way to expand Structural Adjustment Programs, while allowing nations like the US to look like saints. [AC: “Neoliberal Corn Laws“, if you will] Continue reading “The Feminist Critique of Microfinance”

Emotional Politics, or “Solidarity Not Charity: Radical Responses to Poverty”

presented on April 14, 2012, as part of a joint Occupy/Justice Action Ministries panel discussion on poverty entitled “The Poor Can No Longer Afford the Rich.” [for my previous pieces of public scholarship i/r/t Occupy, look to Nightmares and Ghost Stories]

In our modern world, poverty is not natural, but the result of institutions that are set up to benefit a few at the expense of the many. Relief efforts are currently failing because they do not address the root causes of poverty. These causes are not mystical or hard to identify, as the most important ones are global property law, international debt, unfair trade, top-down privatization programs, corporate tax shelters, the those problems are social and political. Furthermore, there is a history to these problems, and poverty will not be addressed until this history is reversed.

Continue reading “Emotional Politics, or “Solidarity Not Charity: Radical Responses to Poverty””

Insinuation

Neither the politics of persuasion nor a presentation of facts. (The forms of rhetoric used by republikans and demokrats, respectively.) Rather, we propose insinuation as our form of political communication. Insinuation does not build the party, it spreads like a virus that mutates as it interacts with every new host. It brings about revolutions, yet not a revolution patterned after the swift seizure of the state, but a path that follows the strange drift of aesthetic revolutions — sometimes sudden, and at other times, a slow drift.

By persuasion we mean the art of bringing someone to your side. In our world, the lines in the sand disappeared long ago. There are friends, enemies, allies, and foes inside every one of us. Some paranoiacs try to draw lines for the rest of us to follow, but the result is always the same: infighting descends and people start striking too close to home. Persuaders are Southern Gentlemen still fighting for the Glory of the South, or soldiers forgotten in the Pacific.

Alternately, with the presentation of facts we mean the naive believe that the truth sets you free. We curse the worn motto ‘speak truth to power.’ For, the question is not why truth works but why illusion is so effective. Cynically, we think that truth-speakers desire being right over being effective. Some of us may have been know-it-alls as kids, but now we are more pleased with winning than living in a world of sour grapes.

Next installment: Nuts and bolts of insinuation.
Additional resources? Down the Rabbit-Hole, Alice!

Luc Wander – Occupy the Futurepast

To the Communes: Tunisia to New York City; Egypt to Oakland,

I know, it’s a bit absurd, but *pop music has prefigured the rise of Occupy Wallstreet*, according to a dialogue entitled “Don’t Stop Beliebing”.1 Raided their songlist, cooked up a mix. Take it for a spin.

<3, Luc

Continue reading “Luc Wander – Occupy the Futurepast”