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[Xmca-l] Re: Don't do it

Sorry, Peg. I really just meant to stress my own befuddlement. I am sure
that these distinctions are clear to others somewhere (e.g., as Andy says,
they are probably pretty clear to people who die as a result of them).


On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 9:27 AM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net> wrote:

> Please, David, leave me out of your claims as  in your aside "and they
> usually end up (as Peg did not too long ago) simply intoning that equating
> the two is "wroooong" and that's it."
> I do more than intone and it is not an "ending up" and it is not simple.
> So, just leave me out of your claims.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
> mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David Kellogg
> Sent: Monday, March 13, 2017 5:50 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Don't do it
> ("Ulvi" is a beautiful Turkish name. I think it means "uplifted" or
> "enlightened", or something like that.)
> We just had a revolution in South Korea, but in (at least) three ways it
> was a rather disappointing one.
> Most obviously, it was a political revolution and not a social revolution.
> On March 10 (at eleven in the morning precisely!) the Constitutional Court
> upheld the December impeachment of President Park Geunhye for high crimes
> and misdemeanours (a phrase that will stir the blood of our American
> friends!) and removed her from power. But of course the underlying social
> conditions, which are pretty close to what Ulvi described, are pretty much
> the same. Ulvi says that a family of four in Istanbul has an income of,
> say, 750 dollars a month, of which about a third goes for rent. In South
> Korea the median income is about twice that, but housing is a great deal
> more--the figure Ulvi gives us is about a weekly rent in Seoul). Social
> polarization means that hardly anybody even has a median income--the
> richest fifth of the population make six times what the bottom fifth makes.
> Secondly, the Constitutional Court upheld all the wrong articles of
> impeachment. The President was removed for peddling influence on behalf of
> a friend of her youth, whose father, a religious charlatan who claimed to
> speak for the President's murdered mother, helped the young orphan through
> a more than usually privileged, but more than usually difficult, childhood.
> The actual influence peddling, in this instance, consisted mostly of
> taxing the rich to give to fake charities set up for the upcoming Olympics
> in Pyeongchang and for various other sporting events--not an ideal form of
> social redistribution, but much to be preferred to profits as usual, and
> very much less than male politicians in South Korea routinely get away
> with. In contrast, the articles on blacklisting leftist opponents
> (including at least two members of our Vygotsky group in Seoul) and her
> grotesque dereliction of duty during the Seweol disaster (about which I
> wrote on this list at the time) were set aside.
> Thirdly, it's really not over. There's going to be a presidential election
> in sixty days, and unless something changes very fast we will simply get
> Mun Jae-in, the candidate that Park defeated by judicious election rigging
> and having the National Security Agency flood the country with...you
> guessed it...slanderous tweets. I have had many friends, including devoted
> members of our Vygotsky group, try to explain to me, for example, the
> difference between Mun's health care plan and Park's, and they usually end
> up (as Peg did not too long ago) simply intoning that equating the two is
> "wroooong" and that's it. The party I voted for, which at the time was the
> third largest in South Korea and the only working class party in
> parliament, remains dissolved and its leaders remain jailed.
> But there WAS one thing in this revolution which I think was not at all
> disappointing. Nobody got killed. I know, there were two people who died on
> the last day, but it's not at all clear to me that they were killed: I
> don't mean to sound heartless, and I know that Seoul weather is pretty
> harsh at this time of year, but the president's supporters are
> mostly--well, of a certain age, the age that remembers her father fondly;
> on the one hand, they often not in the best of health and on the other they
> tend to be excitable (in America, Korean students call them the "gas tank
> grandpas", because they show up at demos with jerry cans of petrol and
> lighters).
> Actually, Tom, this bloodlessness was the point that really got obscured
> in the linguistic discussion. It was Ulvi himself who introduced the idea
> that the arguments against revolution are usually imperatives, because they
> are so manifestly untrue when they are put to rent-paying working class
> families as declaratives. I don't see this as an irrelevance at all; quite
> the contrary. Mike then introduced a long quote from Dickens about how the
> psychological nature of people is immutable and fixed, and when placed in
> revolutionary conditions it will always act more or less the same:
> barbarously and bloodily.
> On the contrary! I think that the bloodlessness of the South Korean
> revolution is the rule, not the exception. When a tiny minority tries to
> cow the vast majority, they use terror, but when the vast majority at last
> turns on their tormentors and turns them out, violence is largely beside
> the point. Historically, the bloodshed of the French Revolution WASN'T
> mostly Parisian. Yes, there were thousands of executions in Paris, mostly
> because the bourgeoisie had little to offer the working masses except heads
> on pikes. But the real violence--a little less than half a million
> people--took place in the Vendee areas, south of Nantes and north of La
> Rochelle, where the religious wars happened under Henri III and Henri IV.
> It was ordinary peasants who did the dying on both sides. It happened
> precisely because Paris had little to offer these people besides
> rationalistic mumbo-jumbo nobody could really understand.
> As intellectuals, it's easy to feel irrelevant, and to want to make
> yourself more relevant by going down in the street and shouting. It
> alleviates some of the frustration we feel bystanding and handwringing and
> the guilt we feel as the "most dangerous" people that Ulvi spoke of. But I
> think that disasters like the Vendee happen precisely because although
> revolutionary workers do what they have to do, sometimes revolutionary
> intellectuals are too busy being revolutionary workers and not doing their
> real jobs. Part of that job is pointing out the real (that is, actual) role
> of violence in a revolutionary transformation. It is mostly potential and
> not real at all.
> As Shelley wrote after the terrible massacre at Peterloo:
> Little fear and less surprise
> Folded arms and steady eyes
> Look upon them as they slay
> Till their rage has died away
> Then....
> Rise like lions, after slumbers
> Shake your chains away like dew
> In unvanquishable numbers
> You are many. They are few.
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 4:33 AM, Tom Richardson <
> tom.richardson3@googlemail.com> wrote:
> > Sorry* Ulvi* - I've got it right this time.
> > Tom
> >
> > On 13 March 2017 at 17:25, Tom Richardson
> > <tom.richardson3@googlemail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi xmca-ers
> > > Looks to me like Ulci is on to a hiding to nowhere with his
> > > conviction that socialist revolution is a necessity.
> > > Strange to imply that *all *revolutions will *inevitably *result in
> > > social-human conditions worse that the overthrown ones, when the
> > > quoted French overturning of society was a bourgeois revolution.
> > > IMO Ulci adduces evidence that Turkish social conditions are at
> > > present intolerable.
> > > A literate debate about speech acts seems a strange displacement of
> > > her/his original anguished cry for changes that result in greater
> > > justice for oppressed populations.
> > > But then I believe that the current capitalist anarchy is
> > > unconditionally intolerable.
> > > [No strawpersons please - Stalinism was an brutally disastrously
> > > dysfunctional anti-social formation.]
> > >
> > > Cordialement
> > > Tom Richardson
> > > Middlesbrough UK
> > >
> > > On 8 March 2017 at 21:32, Ulvi İçil <ulvi.icil@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >> If I say
> > >>
> > >> don't do it, it is imperative.
> > >>
> > >> But if I say,
> > >>
> > >> It is not realistic and you do not need it.
> > >>
> > >> It is affirmative and even  though negative, it is again
> > >> affirmative, to demobilize you.
> > >>
> > >> What I mean is Revolution.
> > >>
> > >> Addressed to a married couple with two children.
> > >>
> > >> With 3 thousand Turkish liras in Istanbul in a  rented home of at
> > >> least
> > >> 1000 tl for rent.
> > >>
> > >> 1 usd = 4 Turkish liras
> > >>
> > >> Survival economics.
> > >>
> > >> Any prospect?
> > >>
> > >> No.
> > >>
> > >> That simple.
> > >>
> > >> What is socialist revolution?
> > >>
> > >> It is neither an intention nor a wish.
> > >>
> > >> It is simple necessity.
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> >