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Re: [xmca] From NYTimes: Brazil?s Leftist Ruling Party, Born of Protests, Is Perplexed by Revolt

Hi Andy and Brecht, thank you I believe it will be very helpful. I'll
circulate it in Brazilian discussion list.

Mike and André Costa, Yeah! Surveillance is still a huge question mark for
Brazilians activists. Different from what happening in US (I think),
technical expertise about how internet works is not so distributed among
regular Brazilian citizen and the internet service is not good at all. For
instance, during a protest I took part in São Paulo downtown the
facebookwas "out of service". Many on streets took it as a technical
problem since
you have countless photos and videos uploading at same time. It is
difficult to know to what extent it was a deliberated block.

Anyway facebook seems to play an important role in the organization of
non-centralized movements. Yet I'm not keen on put all the burden on
internet (facebook, twitter, etc).


André Rodrigues


Did I hear my name?

   Here you can find a draft chapter for Andy's upcoming book on
Projects: http://www.academia.edu/3715686/Tahrir_a_Project_ion_of_Revolutionary_Change

   I[1]t deals with the dynamics of Tahrir as a revolutionary movement
and, among other things, the concept of revolution as a developmental
process with histories and potentialities, against both
optimist-maximalist and dismissive-minimalist "definitions".



Dr. Brecht De Smet
   Assistant Professor at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies
   Researcher at MENARG (Middle East and North Africa Research Group)
   Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
   Ghent University
   Universiteitsstraat 8 / 9000 Gent / Belgium
   Tel: +32496784370

Quoting Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>:

Andre, you should check out the work of Brecht de Smet, who has used the
Project approach to Activity Theory to study the Egyptian Revolution. He
uses Marx, Granmsci and Vygotsky as well as a great amount of "field work".


  André Machado Rodrigues wrote:  > Hi Mike and David,

   Maybe this piece written by Michalis adds more about Brazilian political
   mood in 2010.

   If dialectics deals with the born, development and death of the object.
   Perhaps I have the chance to trace it here. (???)

   I highlight a short part:

The evening comes. I am quite tired and want to retreat to the room
where I sleep,
but remain for a moment in a space that could be called the ?living room,?
where the whole family sits ? not on but in front of ? the sofa, so that
their backs are against the sofa and their legs stretched out in front

   of them. There is a football match, and everybody ? including the female
   family members and children ? watch with enthusiasm. I have never been a
   fan of watching TV, not movies, matches, soap operas, or game shows.
   However, the scene is quite interesting for my ethnography[...]

   At most of the Landless Workers? settlements where I was, no one spoke
   about the global economic crisis or Brazilian economic policies, open

questions about organic farming were very little discussed, and there were

   no reading groups to discuss newspaper articles, classic political

economical analyses, or reports by other organic producers elsewhere
in the world.
Somehow the interest was not there, and a feeling dominated that it

   was not necessary because a lot had already been achieved. People did not
   discuss their dependence on money and technologies that they could not
   produce on their own, or about the future of the movement. Even the
   settlement itself was organized so that public space was limited.

   BR, André

   Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 22:08:03 -0400
   From: David Preiss <daviddpreiss@gmail.com>
   Subject: Re: [xmca] From NYTimes: Brazil?s Leftist Ruling Party, Born
          of Protests, Is Perplexed by Revolt
   To: lchcmike@gmail.com
   Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
   Message-ID: <9E6B2090-D9B5-4998-AEB0-B60A1067D4DA@gmail.com
   Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=windows-1252

   Same things happening here as well: universities have evolved from being
   ivory tower institutions to become job training institutes without ever

being settled in their calling to become laboratories of critical thinking.

   One of the things that I find most conservative of the new generations is
   that many of their demands are quite sensitive to the demands of the job
   market however their nature. Prepare us for real jobs, give us the
   practical skills to succeed "out there".  What about intellectual
   discovery? I love the image of Charles Darwin boarding the Beagle
   expedition when he had the age of a contemporary young graduate student.
   And I usually tell my students to contrast their boring and safe learning
   experience with that of Darwin.

   On the other hand, if we look at the "grown ups" side, given the demands

that the faculty face these days, I assume that many professors -specially

   the younger ones- are not in a situation to make risky adventures on
   unchartered paths of thought and board their own Beagles. These days, the
   nature of the academic job at the university has to do more with the

industrial production of knowledge than with the free exploration of ideas.

   If an academic needs a good h-index to secure his or her post he or she

should not be waiting time in publishing papers that go to anything that is

   not the mainstream.

   Meanwhile, we are in a situation where the words "innovation" &
   "globalization" have such societal valued attached that many universities
   will become technological factories. Specially, with the universities
   worldwide confronting many financial challenges which can be sorted out

with university entrepreneurship. The humanities are feeling the stress of

   this evolving dynamic and the social sciences are becoming everyday less
   "social" whatever that words means. That this is happening in a context
   where the human species is facing quite dramatic ecological and societal
   crisis makes the situation quite problematic.

   On Jun 20, 2013, at 9:11 PM, mike cole wrote:

Many thoughts on your summary of the situation from where you live and



    Here my most vivid impression after a year of teaching a "theory and

practice" course with more or less the same students..... a whole academic

   year. It was a

great experience, but there is a huge gap between student expectations

   and faculty

concerns. The students are terrified of the future. They see a long haul

   from barista to barrister, or whatever their aims are.

They have learned, "mastered" in Jim Wertsch's sense, the melange of

   theories that faculty use to analyse various forms of communication,
   broadly construed. The faculty is in fashion these days in the range of
   fields it draws upon. A lot of critical


    They want jobs. Event planning, marketing, pr, advertising....... you

know, the kind of stuff a university SHOULD be teaching.("Why, look at San

   Diego State down the road! They do a much better job of preparing us for
   our futures than you do.")

As professionals when it came down to actually planning the real event

these students were, by and large, pros. And what didn't know, they had the

   good sense to learn during this class: web skills, filming and editing

skills, blogging skills, all of which, they knew or believed they new, were

   actually instrumental to shining at THE EVENT.

But linking events of the sort that people go to a lot of trouble of

   planning, to any general principles of communication? Naw, that's not
   possible! Makes for interesting teaching. I learned a lot. A syllabus on
   "eventology" has been put together by

the class to present to the faculty.

So what? I cannot save them from their futures. I can try to prepare them


their futures, but they know a lot more about it than I do? Or a lot


The value of democracy? From what I see around me, democracy rides on the

back of either a full stomach, or at least the promise of a fuller stomach. But
if it comes down to one-person-vs one vote on the one hand, and a full

   enough stomach on the other. people seem to be able to stomach some very
   difficult forms of life.

The solution? Quien sabe?

    On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 5:53 PM, David Preiss <daviddpreiss@gmail.com>


Chile has been experiencing the same level of unrest for several years.

   Interestingly the focus of protests here is on the inequalities of our
   educational system, which express the ominous inequalities of Chilean
   society. The "student movement" has thus galvanized a broad demand for
   social justice, although some of their demands may have consequences that

would not necessarily foster social justice if applied as requested without

   adding other structural reforms. The more contentious issue is whether
   university education should be free for all. As the universities here
   recruit most of their students among the socio-ecomomically advantaged,

free public education at the university level will give more money to those

   that have more resources. In a country where the majority of poor kids
   don't have access to a good pre-school education many people think we
   should address preschool education first.

My main concern is how this social unrest can be channeled in a way that

   strengthens democracy. So far, our politicians have been incapable to

provide an adequate interpretation to what is going on. And to the
lack of communication
between politicians and the public we can add that there is a

   generational struggle going on between the generations that were educated

in a recovered democracy and the older ones that had to go through the ugly

   business of reconquering it by means of negotiation and not violence.
   Unfortunately, many of the protests have provided the occasion to violent
   clashes between protesters and the police as we are seeing in Turkey and
   Brazil. And students have adopted strategies that some people may share,
   and some others not: e.g., occupying schools, universities, stopping
   classes, and so. On the other hand, some student leaders are not
   necessarily "dialogical" (neither is the government). So, we have been in
   an impasse for almost half decade.

There is a lot at stake here. Not only whether people would pay or not

according to their means for a public funded university education but also the
way disagreements are and will be solved within Chilean democracy. Are our
institutions solid enough to provide a good solution to civil unrest or would
the country enter a stage of increasing polarization that would take

   the issue to a different arena where those with more power will end up
   imposing their views?

On Jun 20, 2013, at 4:04 PM, mike cole wrote:

Here is what a leading American newspaper is telling its readers about
     Brazil today, for those outside of Brazil who have not been following

Brazil?s Leftist Ruling Party, Born of Protests, Is Perplexed by



The governing Workers Party is watching with dismay as Brazil?s largest

      city braces for a new round of demonstrations on Thursday.
        Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser:




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André Machado Rodrigues
University of São Paulo
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