7 thoughts for a new radicalism

It’s time to move radicalism beyond the old, deadening left-right spectrum. If you’re on the left, you’re not radical. You’re as trapped in the old spectrum as the right. Here are my thoughts for a new radicalism, one that I hope disregards all current allegiances.

  1. Favor every form of “cultural appropriation” in every direction. Carry the integrationist torch to an extreme that would appall today’s progressives and conservatives equally. Bust open the cultural lockboxes and play with each other’s stuff, continually wear the other’s shoes – black, white, female, male, every ethnicity and sexual orientation – incorporate, collaborate, and share a laugh when cultural cross-pollination becomes clumsy, as it often will. Distrust any form of liberalism or conservatism that says we need to respect walls of separation. Better to throw open all the doors and windows than to build barricades around your turf.
  2. Never dissuade artists from representing characters and events outside of their own demographic. When creatively identifying with people from other races, genders, etc., becomes the #1 cultural sin, we have pretty much lost everything the Civil Rights movement fought for. Celebrate each other in every direction. Never stay in your lane.
  3. Go with Obama on free speech: “I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect.” This doesn’t mean infinitely free. Harassment laws have a place. But be prepared to engage dissent, not stifle it. As genetic variation pushes the species forward biologically, multiple voices at the table push us forward socially and culturally. Try to find the good in those with whom you disagree.
  4. Recognize continuing inequalities, racial and otherwise, and join hands across demographic lines to fix them, without regard to whether the hand in yours is white, black, or other, and whether that means flaws to be noted or sins to be expiated. Just join hands and cherish each other. Just say no to those who would play the old shame and division game.
  5. Take care of the environment. This is not a partisan issue.
  6. Forget everything you learned about politics, especially if you went to college. Throw it off like the dead snakeskin it is. Start over by engaging your neighbors near and far with the only tools left after those preconceptions are tossed – heart and imagination.
  7. Remember our shared humanness. We are all on spaceship Earth together and will flourish or crash together.

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18 thoughts on “7 thoughts for a new radicalism

  1. I totally agree with you on most of this, but I have one reservation, which is that some forms of cultural appropriation are exploitative—i.e. they work to the benefit of the appropriator (usually in a more economically and politically powerful position than the appropriatee), and at the expense of appropriatee. I personally find it extremely hard to listen to a privileged, middle-class Englishman like Mick Jagger getting rich off singing Afro-American songs (probably recorded for a one-off fee without royalties) about how poor he is, for example… Another example might be the patenting of active ingredients in traditional medicines by Big Pharma. However, I’m with you on the central point: culture IS hybridity, fusion IS culture.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Terence. My thoughts are these. As far as others telling you what you must be “like” because of who you “are,” I’m with you 100%. If you don’t want to be integrated, well I guess you’re just not one of my “new radicals” 🙂 — which is fine, so long as you’re not in the business of impeding those of us who want to integrate 🙂

      Like

      • I’m not the biggest Mick Jagger fan but there is more than one side to this.

        John Lennon was accused of the same thing. What should Mick do? Give away all of his money that he earned and walk the street? Not only did he earn that money singing but he and other artists shined light on Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and a host of blues artists they covered… and they were forever grateful that artists like the Stones, Beatles, and Who drew renewed interest in them…and they were able to make a decent living after that…

        Before the British invasion, blues artists were largely unknown to the masses. Many of those songs still make money for their families…In the late seventies the Blues Brothers did the same thing to blues and soul…bringing a revived interest.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. 1. I completely agree with your concepts of open all the doors of human self-aggrandisement.
    The question is how will we overcome our egotistical tendencies, which demands the
    Recognition?

    2. The art world is completely corrupted by the competition for fame and newness. We will
    have to take the art education out of the culturally controlled universities for that to
    happen.

    3. Free Speech?
    Does this question still have relevance when information is in oversupply, the public forums are
    diminished and all kinds of secrecy acts are being imposed on the public arena? Speakers have
    retreated into the anonymity of the internet,
    becoming faceless, and of whatever kind of persuasion can say anything, as long a suitable
    platform is available (Trump?). There is no accountability and no demand to deal with the
    consequences.

    Set aside the dictatorships, those developed countries that still claim to be
    democratic but are in reality run predominantly by all-controlling cooperated
    systems.

    Critics can say what they like, acting under the illusion of having achieved
    freedom of expression because the system is beyond reproach and all-
    powerful.
    We are now free to criticise the puppets in government, but no one will attack
    the comfort lifestyle cooperate systems are suppling.

    Free speech has become a fine-tuning exercise of rhetoric, practised and left to those in the
    known. Technocratic terms of speech have become incomprehensive to the public, which finds
    its forum in the so-called free press.

    Public free speech has been reduced to a parody and is not taken seriously by
    those being addressed!

    4. I don’t want do be a pessimist, but my experience is, no one wants a racial
    different person living next to them, especially when they natives.

    5. See if we all can stop driving our own car and patronising public transport and
    forsake our obsession with private properties. Then we might get somewhere.

    6. In times where everyone is desperate to speak, we manage to drown our self’s
    out. We are overloaded with information, irrelevant opinions and the
    disappearing capacity to listen!

    7. I am one of those who do not engage with the concept of hope, if a situation
    has become unbearable, hope has not place in that equation, only from
    unconditional acceptance can strength and action arise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good food for thought, Michael. I’ll just pick at #4. I’m pretty open to anything, but I actually prefer someone from a different race or country next door. I’ve had black roommates, white roommates, gay roommates, roommates from Germany, India, Mexico – that’s one of the most rewarding things for me. I think most of my friends back home (US) would agree. Maybe it’s because I tend to surround myself with people who still have that childlike curiosity about the world. (I know everyone doesn’t feel the way I do, but those who prefer being limited to their own race simply don’t appear in my circle.) Anyway, as I said, good food for thought, though for me that particular generalization seems too sweeping. Others, of course might not share my somewhat optimistic view of things 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What I was referring to were those social housing estates here in my town, low classed people pushed to the fringes. I too shared houses with different racial goop and had my coloured relationships also, but they all belonged to the so-called educated middle classes. the point I was making results from the observations around me where race equals a class issue. unfortunately, it is ubiquitous.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m super on board with your eloquent appeal. I’m not a Stones zealot (prefer the Beatles) but Mick can sing whatever songs he damn well pleases. I liked the comment about how the Brits brought recognition and appreciation to the Blues pioneers. Good on ‘em. I’m always glad to see your visits to my little blog. Warm regards.

    Liked by 1 person

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