RE: goals, agency, and interplay of forces

Date: Wed Mar 24 2004 - 11:46:16 PST

Thanks David,

I think I understand your concern about being in disciplinary social spaces
--disciplined by school, by media, by government policy etc, on the one
hand. And seeking 'a way out' by non-violent social and political actions
available to individuals and groups on the other.

Last night I was reading the introduction section of the book (Spaces of
Hope, 2000) by David Harvey, a spatial and political economic thinker. He
talks about his experience in teaching a class on 'reading Marx's Capital'
every year since 1971. he reflects on the changes in the discourses of the
right and left since then and, in short, he identifies two major ones:
'globalization' and 'the body' --the most macro and the most micro forces.
His themes somehow parallel your concerns too. The dominant disciplinary
forces 'out there' but abstract and our experiencing them with our bodies
and minds concretely, and then so what? he follows along searching a way
out and in some way he reminds me of the journey that bell hooks talks

I live in the San Francisco bay Area (close to Stanford) and commute 100
miles/day (close to Berkeley). on the freeway, in traffic jams when the cars
are stopped, I can see occasional weeds coming out of the concrete cracks.
How these plants are able to stay alive on one of the most hostile
environments--heat, crashing movements, and toxic wastes? Perhaps life must
be resilient to become life. I guess we can say their 'activity' is
motivated by their 'will to live' and they use tools and effort (labor) to
adapt and to survive in their hostile environment.

Sorry for digression,

iraj imam
The Center for Applied Local research

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