Object: ON WAR AS THE MIDWIFE OF REVOLUTION.
6 February 2010
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The study of typologies is considered by many social scientists as an exercise in metaphysics, by which they mean the application of categories of concepts, according to one system or another of classification which is submitted in order to explain phenomena. By consciously selecting types of behavior from these a priori constructs of classification and imposing these ideas as a grid upon a given event, it is believed that new understandings may be derived. For example, a system of "types of compliance" might be used to identify the means --physical, material, and/or symbolic-- by which institutions make subjects comply. Three "types of compliance" have been identified as : 1) coercive power, relying on the application or the threat of application of physical force; 2) remunerative power, based on control over material resources and rewards through the allocation of salaries, wages, etc., etc. . . ; and then there is a third type of compliance, 3) normative power, resting on the allocation and manipulation of symbolic rewards and deprivations. These three modes of compliance, typologists suggest, are associated with three kinds of involvement: alienated, calculative, and moral. Such categorical types are the standard ware of classic sociological thinking in the modern age.
The innovative German sociologist, Max Weber, offered a system to classify "social action". His four ideal types, with which he sought to differentiate human behavior were as follows:
While submitting his four ideal types of social action, Weber allowed for the possibility of "mixed types," thereby offering tools for understanding "messy reality" which did not always conform exactly to his a priori concepts.
Zweckrational, or instrumental action (which is akin to the neo-classical economic theory of "rational choice"), includes actors who weigh the relative efficiency of different available means to an end and sometimes to the ends themselves, always seeking to maximize their "benefits."
Wertrational, or value rationality, is the type of action where the relative effectiveness of the means to an end may be assessed, but the ends are accepted as given, like a "moral imperative.
Affective action is where behavior is governed by emotion.
And, finally, Traditional action is that type of activity which is governed by customary or habitual practice.
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from The Real News :
Date: 28 January 2010
Subject: Inside Israeli Land Grabs.
Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed the Israeli government's support of the settlement movement by planting a tree in each one of the three biggest settlement blocks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Despite the Israeli government's support, funding, and approval of settlers, they are often presented in the media as in conflict with the state and the army. In this report, The Real News' Lia Tarachansky looks at this claim through a recent lecture by Shir Hever, an economist with the Alternative Information Center. A perfect example of the methodology Hever describes can be seen in the settlement of Kedumim which lies adjacent to the Palestinian village of Kaft Qadum. The Real News spoke to the village council of the Palestinian village and the associate mayor of the settlement about how they've expanded and the impact this has had on their lives.
Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. Researching the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, some of his research topics include international aid to the Palestinians and Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of the economy of the Israeli occupation.
from Candace Falk :
Date: 30 January 2010
Subject: Remembering Howard Zinn -- a tribute from the Emma Goldman Papers.
Dear Friends of the Emma Goldman Papers,
The tribute to Howard Zinn which we sent out earlier this afternoon seems to have been garbled when it reached some of you. Though some people received it fine (and if you're one of them, you can ignore this!), there seems to have been a problem with the font for others. Our apologies -- we don't know what happened, but it wasn't meant as a joke! We'll try sending it again, hopefully with better results. If for some reason it still doesn't arrive in English, it may just be a question of changing the font. We'll also post it on our website as soon as possible and hope that you'll see it there.
Thanks for your patience! All the best.
Remembering Howard Zinn, honoring his life, and honored by his friendship
From Candace Falk, Emma Goldman Papers, University of California, Berkeley
Yesterday, I heard about Howard’s death. A silence and sadness and also a sense of absolute appreciation, respect, and love now permeates the air. He lived with a vision, integrity, creativity and an insatiable desire to reach out and expose the horrors sustained as well as the victories of the those who dared to speak out and inspire others to stand up to injustice, to remain vigilant about freedom.
He was kind, generous, funny, and offered support in any way he could. Once he told me that he’d written so many blurbs for books that if his comments were collected and bound, it might become a multi-volume series in itself.
I was one of the lucky ones, not only to have received many blurbs, accolades, letters of support, but also to have known him since the 70s as a friend, political activist, and historian. We also shared an appreciation for the feisty complex anarchist Emma Goldman. We wrote back and forth, answered each other’s questions, and cheered each other on. Just a few months ago, we talked about finding a way to work together to bring her back to life in film, on the heels of his wonderful play and many talks that included her spirit which was also his.
To catch a glimpse of that friendship, no doubt one among many, many, many others, I share some excerpts of our e-mails over the yearsto bring back his voice, his love, his unique presence that will, one hopes, live onin the pathos of his absence:
A recent e-mail after our visit in Wellfleet:
I was happy to see you in Wellfleet, and to meet your friends, all of whom are very interesting. I could tell that Lois was much more than a sex counselor.
Unfortunaely I can't do dinner in Truro, but thank Lois for wanting me.
Let's stay in touch (wel, it's inevitable, isn't it!)
A much earlier e-mail after Howard received our volumes: Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years – Vol. 1 Made for America 1890-1901 and Vol. 2 Making Speech Free 1902-1909.
The two magnificent volumes came today, with your beautiful inscription. Thank you, thank yo u. You are the best.
Much love from me and Roz,
A sweet note trying to help the Emma Goldman Papers brainstorm about funding:
It's good to hear from you, even if it is to hear the not surprisng news about the needs of the E.G. Project. (By the way, I just got a phone call from someone in Montreal who tells me they are putting on a bi-lingual production of EMMA)
I've never been good at fundraising. Even knowing some people with a lot of money (Ben Affleck, Matt Damon for instance) I've never approached them for money, even for my own projects.
I only have one thought, which probably won't raise the big sums of money you need, but might help. I've been involved (with Anthony Arnove) in these various Read
ings from VOICES OF A PEOPLE'S HISTORY, in Los Angeles, Santa Fe, several times in New York. They are usually benefits for some good cause. And we will have one in Berkeley in November, for t he benefit of the Middle East Children's Alliance (they have the Berkeley Community Theater for November 9th, which seats about 3000 people and they expect to raise at least $30,000, probabkly more).What makes all of these events packed is that we have well-known actors and artists doing the reading. In L.A. in October we had Viggo Mortenson, Marisa Tomei, Kerry Washington, and others. At various times we've had James Earl Jones, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut, etc. So: what about a reading in N.Y., of selections from Emma's writing, lectures, letters? Men as well as women reading her stuff. Maybe other anarchist literature, as well (Sasha, Kropotkin, Tolstoy) We could probably get some well-known actors and artists (Susan Sarandon, Marisa Tomei, Grace Paley, Paul Robeson, Jr. Eve Ensler, Tony Kushner, etc. Charge up to $50 (why not, the price of a theater ticket?)for a place that holds 1000 and make $25-50,000. Anthony and I would make contact with the Readers.we know.
Just a thought.
An e-mail regarding the death of a great historian of anarchism--Paul Avrich:
Candace Falk wrote:
Hello again, Howard and Roz.
Sad news of Paul Avrich's death in the New York Times today. He was a very generous (and patient!) man who definitely paved the way for anyone who seriously studied anarchism... from the Kronstadt sailors onward. He was working on a biography of Alexander Berkman; . . . good that his other books, and good spirit lives on. xo here's to life.. that extends beyond itself. Candace
Yes, Candace, that was sad news. I met Paul years ago, once at the opening of the first production of EMMA in New York, which was attended bythe editor of the Frei Arbeiter Stimme, who told me proudly that he had once kissed Emma when she was in canada near the end of her life, and he was asked to translate her talk for the French speaking audience. He knew more about Anarchism than just about anyone.
An e-mail exchange after Howard sent a note letting me know that there was a Chaired professorship named for Emma Goldman, and I let him know about an art installation at a UC Davis construction site announcing an Emma Goldman Institute for Anarchist Studies:
Candace Falk wrote:
Hi Howard.. dear... ah, I didn't know about an Emma Goldman Professorship... what a wonderful development.. wish there was one for me these days when our project is struggling even more than usual..and yet our work is getting better and better. hopefully in the big picture of history that matters.. it will make a difference. thanks so much for keeping me in your orbit. How are you?? I'm in New York .. spoke at NYU.. and marvelling at 'the old country'.. xo from the big apple.. Candace (p.s. I'll forward another great Emma thing to you..an art installation at UC Davis at a construction site.. a sign announcing an Emma Goldman Institute for Anarchist Studies.. a total spoof that looked absolutely authentic. I'll try to find it on my e-mail attachments.. you'll find it fun too. But knowing that there is a U of Wisconsin real thing.. is quite remarkable! )
That's a wonderful spoof! Will you still be in N.Y. on Sunday?. I'm doing something that evening at 7 PM at the Cooper Union with Dr.Gino Strada, author of GREEN PARROTS: DIARY OF A WAR SURGEON. He and I have become friends these past few years. He has operated on war victims all over the world for the last fifteen years, and now he and I are working on a project for the abolition of war. Easy, no? Utopian, of course, but we think the time is right to raise the issue not just of this war or that war, but all war, and we're assembling a bunch of internationally known writers to put together a little volume centered on that theme, which Einstein expressed back in 1932, when he said "War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished."
Anyway, love to you and yours,
An e-mail announcing an Opera based on his play “Emma” donated to the Emma Goldman Papers, and a newsy updateabout his time with Roz, and also cheering on my son Jesse who was in the throes of applying to college (p.s. as an aside, when Jesse was about 2 or 3 and we visited Howard at his BU office, he climbed on the bookshelf and started to throw Howard’s books on the floor, at which point Howard suggested that we take him on a stroll, in his stroller, and walked the BU campus grounds for hours):
Elaine Fine will be thrilled to hear that you want here opera for the archives. She has a distinguished record as a composer and has been working hard on EMMA.
All those things you were doing were more important than answering e-mails. E-mails get in the way of life! Last summer when we were in beautiful Wellfleet, with the bay at our feet I promised Roz (because we have a computer there) that I would not open the computer until after sunset. It turned out to be a wonderful idea, even if it meant staying up late responding to everything.
Jesse sounds terrific. Truth is, even when I was teaching at B.U. I had no influence on admissions (except for graduate students applying to our department because then it's the department that makes the decisions instead of the Admissions office). I don't doubt he'll be accepted. If he ends up at B.U. I'll meet him and give him some tips on good courses to take in political science.
Emma news? Did I tell you that in September they put on a wonderful production of EMMA in Woodstock? The young woman who played Emma was superb, and the man who played Johann Most was sensational (he is Frank Serpico, the one-time cop, now actor -- maybe you remember Al Pacino playing him in SERPICO).
Other EMMA productions (can't remember if I told you about them):
This past August, in St. Paul, ran several weeks, was seen by 500 people.
Past November, in Monterey Bay, seen by about 1000 people.
This month, in Chicago,a group called "In the Works" will put it on.
The play has been translated into French, Spanish, Korean, and and an Arabic translation is being done now in Syria.
Thanks so much for the great holiday card of Emma's words -- so right for this moment!
And yes, we all loved Howard and were grateful that he stayed well enough in heart, mind, and body -- recounting history and making history and remaining our favorite voice of the people's history.
Respectfully shared--Candace Falk
from Edward Herman :
Date: 6 February 2010
Subject: Romania: U.S. Expands Missile Shield Into Black Sea.
One of a stream of articles by Rick Rozoff showing that U.S. "defense" is strictly offense and threatening others, and that Obama is continuing Bush's global projection of power without letup (Rozoff's indispensable web site is StopNato).
from Fred Lonidier :
Date: 27 January 2010
Subject: Billionaires for Fee Hikes!
January 27, 2010 from 1pm to 4pm - UCSD - We met in front of Giesel, then began marching down Library Walk, through Price Center, and elsewhere on the UCSD campus.
See photos below :
Students, educators and staff joining together to fight cuts to public education