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German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded on Thursday that the United States strike a "no-spying" agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year, saying alleged espionage against two of Washington's closest EU allies had to be stopped.¶ Speaking after talks with EU leaders that were dominated by allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency had accessed tens of thousands of French phone records and monitored Merkel's private mobile phone, the chancellor said she wanted action from President Barack Obama, not just apologetic words.¶ Germany and France would seek a "mutual understanding" with the United States on cooperation between their intelligence agencies, and other EU member states could eventually take part.¶ "That means a framework for cooperation between the relevant (intelligence) services.Germany and France have taken the initiative and other member states will join," she said.¶ In a statement issued after the first day of the summit, the EU's 28 leaders said they supported the Franco-German plan.¶ Merkel first raised the possibility of a "no-spying" agreement with Obama during a visit to Berlin in June this year, but nothing came of it. The latest revelations, part of the vast leaks made by former U.S. data analyst Edward Snowden, would appear to have renewed her determination for a pact.¶ The United States has a "no-spying" deal with Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, an alliance known as "Five Eyes" that was struck in the aftermath of World War Two.¶ But there has traditionally been a reluctance to make similar arrangements with other allies, despite the close relations that the United States and Germany now enjoy.¶ Merkel said an accord with Washington was long overdue, given the shared experiences the countries face.¶ "We are in Afghanistan together. Our soldiers experience life threatening situations. They sometimes die in the same battles," she said.¶ "The friendship and partnership between the European member states, includingGermany, and the United States is not a one-way street. We depend on it. But there are good reasons that the United States also needs friends in the world."¶ COLLECTIVE ANGER¶ As EU leaders arrived for the two-day summit there was near-universal condemnation of the alleged activities by the NSA, particularly the monitoring of Merkel's mobile phone, a sensitive issue for a woman who grew up in East Germany, living under the Stasi police force and its feared eavesdropping.¶ Some senior German officials, and the German president of the European Parliament, have called for talks between the EU and United States on a free-trade agreement, which began in July, to be suspended because of the spying allegations.¶ Merkel, whose country is one of the world's leading exporters and stands to gain from any trade deal with Washington, said that was not the right path to take, saying the best way forward was to rebuild trust.¶ The series of Snowden-based leaks over the past three months have left Washington at odds with a host of important allies, from Brazil to Saudi Arabia, and there are few signs that the revelations are going to dry up anytime soon.¶
O’Donnell and Baker ’13 [JOHN O'DONNELL AND LUKE BAKER, Reuters, Oct 24, 2013, Germany, France demand 'no-spy' agreement with U.S.]
Merkel demanded the U S strike a "no-spying" agreement with Berlin and Paris saying alleged espionage against EU allies had to be stopped the chancellor said she wanted action from Obama Germany and France would seek a "mutual understanding" with the United States on cooperation between their intelligence agencies, and other EU member states could eventually take part the EU's 28 leaders said they supported the Franco-German plan Merkel raised the with Obama but nothing came of it The United States has a "no-spying" deal with Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, an alliance known as "Five Eyes" there has traditionally been a reluctance to make similar arrangements with other allies Merkel said an accord with Washington was long overdue The friendship and partnership between the European member states, includingGermany, and the United States is not a one-way street. We depend on it the United States also needs friends in the w As EU leaders arrived for the two-day summit there was near-universal condemnation of the alleged activities by the NSA senior officials have called for talks between the EU and United States on a free-trade agreement to be suspended because of the spying allegations The series of Snowden-based leak have left Washington at odds with a host of important allies, from Brazil to Saudi Arabia, and there are few signs that the revelations are going to dry up anytime soon
Text: The United States should offer to accede to a “no-spying” agreement with France and Germany, modeled on the “Five Eyes” pact.
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Judge Leon last week questioned the effectiveness of the government's program, asserting that federal officials did not "cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack." Judge Pauley asserted the exact opposite: "The effectiveness of bulk telephony metadata collection cannot be seriously disputed."
Cohen ’13 [ANDREW COHEN, DEC 27, 2013, The Atlantic, Is the NSA's Spying Constitutional? It Depends Which Judge You Ask, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/12/is-the-nsas-spying-constitutional-it-depends-which-judge-you-ask/282672/]
Pauley asserted The effectiveness of bulk telephony metadata collection cannot be seriously disputed
Unique link- judicial deference specifically on surveillance is high- NSA is a core area and the Supreme Court is crucial to clarify
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Bulk Data Collection Negative - JDI 2015.html5
New York Times July 25th 2013 (POLITICS Roberts’s Picks Reshaping Secret Surveillance Court By Charlie Savage July 25th 2013, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/us/politics/robertss-picks-reshaping-secret-surveillance-court.html?pagewanted=all) The recent leaks about government spying programs have focused attention on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its role in deciding how intrusive the government can be in the name of national security. Less mentioned has been the person who has been quietly reshaping the secret court: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. In making assignments to the court, Chief Justice Roberts, more than his predecessors, has chosen judges with conservative and executive branch backgrounds that critics say make the court more likely to defer to government arguments that domestic spying programs are necessary. Ten of the court’s 11 judges — all assigned by Chief Justice Roberts — were appointed to the bench by Republican presidents; six once worked for the federal government. Since the chief justice began making assignments in 2005, 86 percent of his choices have been Republican appointees, and 50 percent have been former executive branch officials. Though the two previous chief justices, Warren E. Burger and William H. Rehnquist, were conservatives like Chief Justice Roberts, their assignments to the surveillance court were more ideologically diverse, according to an analysis by The New York Times of a list of every judge who has served on the court since it was established in 1978. According to the analysis, 66 percent of their selections were Republican appointees, and 39 percent once worked for the executive branch. “Viewing this data, people with responsibility for national security ought to be very concerned about the impression and appearance, if not the reality, of bias — for favoring the executive branch in its applications for warrants and other action,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat and one of several lawmakers who have sought to change the way the court’s judges are selected. Mr. Blumenthal, for example, has proposed that each of the chief judges of the 12 major appeals courts select a district judge for the surveillance court; the chief justice would still pick the review panel that hears rare appeals of the court’s decisions, but six other Supreme Court justices would have to sign off. Another bill, introduced by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, would give the president the power to nominate judges for the court, subject to Senate approval. Chief Justice Roberts, through a Supreme Court spokeswoman, declined to comment. The court’s complexion has changed at a time when its role has been expanding beyond what Congress envisioned when it established the court as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The idea then was that judges would review applications for wiretaps to make sure there was sufficient evidence that the F.B.I.’s target was a foreign terrorist or a spy. But, increasingly in recent years, the court has produced lengthy rulings interpreting the meaning of surveillance laws and constitutional rights based on procedures devised not for complex legal analysis but for up-or-down approvals of secret wiretap applications. The rulings are classified and based on theories submitted by the Justice Department without the participation of any lawyers offering contrary arguments or appealing a ruling if the government wins. The court “is becoming ever more important in American life as more and more surveillance comes under its review in this era of big data,” said Timothy Edgar, a civil liberties adviser for intelligence issues in both the Bush and Obama administrations. “If the court is seen as skewed or biased, politically or ideologically, it will lose credibility.” At a public meeting this month, Judge James Robertson, an appointee of President Bill Clinton who was assigned to the surveillance court in 2002 by Chief Justice Rehnquist and resigned from it in December 2005, offered an insider’s critique of how rapidly and recently the court’s role has changed. He said, for example, that during his time it was not engaged in developing a body of secret precedents interpreting what the law means. “In my experience, there weren’t any opinions,” he said. “You approved a warrant application or you didn’t — period.” The court began expanding its role when George W. Bush was president and its members were still assigned by Chief Justice Rehnquist, who died in 2005. Midway through the Bush administration, the executive branch sought and obtained the court’s legal blessing to continue secret surveillance programs that had originally circumvented the FISA process. The court’s power has also recently expanded in another way. In 2008, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act to allow the National Security Agency to keep conducting a form of the Bush administration’s program of surveillance without warrants on domestic soil so long as only foreigners abroad were targeted. It gave the court the power to create rules for the program, like how the government may use Americans’ communications after they are picked up. “That change, in my view, turned the FISA court into something like an administrative agency that makes rules for others to follow,” Judge Robertson said. “That’s not the bailiwick of judges. Judges don’t make policy.” For the most part, the surveillance court judges — who serve staggered seven-year terms and take turns coming to Washington for a week to handle its business — do not discuss their work, and their rulings are secret. But the documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor, have cast an unusual spotlight on them. The first of the documents disclosed by Mr. Snowden was a top-secret order to a Verizon subsidiary requiring it to turn over three months of calling records for all its customers. It was signed by Judge Roger Vinson, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan who had previously achieved prominence in 2011 when he tried to strike down the entirety of President Obama’s health care law. Chief Justice Roberts assigned Judge Vinson to the surveillance court in 2006, one of 12 Republican appointees, compared with 2 Democratic ones. While the positions taken by individual judges on the court are classified, academic studies have shown that judges appointed by Republicans since Reagan have been more likely than their colleagues to rule in favor of the government in non-FISA cases over people claiming civil liberties violations. Even more important, according to some critics of the court, is the court’s increasing proportion of judges who have a background in the executive branch. Senator Blumenthal, citing his own experience as a United States attorney and a state prosecutor, said judges who used to be executive branch lawyers were more likely to share a “get the bad guys” mind-set and defer to the Justice Department if executive branch officials told them that new surveillance powers were justified. Steven G. Bradbury, who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in the second term of the Bush administration, argued that it made sense to put judges who were executive branch veterans on the court because they were already familiar with the issues. And he challenged the claim that they would be more deferential. “When it comes to highly technical national security issues, I really think there is value in a judge being a former prosecutor or a former government lawyer who understands how the executive branch works,” he said, adding that such judges “will be familiar with the process and able to ask the tough questions and see where the weak points are.” Either way, an executive branch background is increasingly common for the court. When Judge Vinson’s term ended in May, for example, Chief Justice Roberts replaced him with Judge Michael W. Mosman, who was a federal prosecutor before becoming a judge. Other current judges include Raymond J. Dearie, a United States attorney; Reggie B. Walton, a prosecutor who also worked on drug and crime issues for the White House; and F. Dennis Saylor IV, chief of staff in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The only Democratic appointee, Judge Mary A. McLaughlin, was also a prosecutor. Stephen Vladeck, an American University law professor, said having executive branch veterans — including what he called “law-and-order Democrats” — on the court carried advantages because they brought experience with security issues. But the downside, he argued, is that they may also be unduly accommodating to government requests. “The further the court’s authority has expanded from where it was in 1978, the greater the need has been for independent-minded government skeptics on the court,” he said. Chief justices have considerable leeway in choosing judges — the only requirement is that they ensure geographic diversity. In practice, according to people familiar with the court, they have been assisted in evaluating whom to select by the director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. The counselor to the chief justice and the surveillance court’s presiding judge also sometimes play a role. Judges sometimes volunteer for consideration, while chief justices and their advisers sometimes come up with their own ideas. Generally, the people familiar with the court said, evaluations have been based on reputation, workload, willingness to undergo an intrusive background check, and experience in security issues. Judges have served an average of 15 years before being assigned to the surveillance court. Chief Justice Roberts has dealt with a small circle. His past two choices to direct the judiciary’s administrative office have been Republican-appointed judges, Thomas F. Hogan and John D. Bates, whom he also appointed to the surveillance court. Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who has filed a bill that would let Congressional leaders pick eight of the court’s members, said it was time for the court to have a more diverse membership. “They all seem to have some type of a pretty conservative bent,” he said. “I don’t think that is what the Congress envisioned when giving the chief justice that authority. Maybe they didn’t think about the ramifications of giving that much power to one person.”.
Rosenthal 6/12/15 (“Government's Secret Surveillance Court May Be About to Get a Little Less Secret The USA Freedom Act may foist some transparency on the notoriously opaque FISA court” Max J. Rosenthal a reporter at the Mother Jones DC bureau covering national security, surveillance Fri Jun. 12, 2015, https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=mother%20jones&es_th=1) When the USA Freedom Act was passed last week, it was hailed as the first major limit on NSA surveillance powers in decades. Less talked about was the law's mandate to open a secret intelligence court to unprecedented scrutiny. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, often known as the FISA court after the 1978 law that created it, rules on government requests for surveillance of foreigners. Its 11 federal judges, appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, consider the requests one at a time on a rotating basis. In closed proceedings, they have approved nearly every one of the surveillance orders that have come before the court, and their rulings are classified. Privacy advocates say those secret deliberations have created a black box that keeps the public from seeing both why the government makes key surveillance decisions and how it justifies them. But the new law passed by Congress last week may shed some new light on these matters. "The larger step that the USA Freedom Act accomplishes is that it is bringing those things out to the public," says Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy advocacy group. The new law mandates that FISA court rulings that create "novel and significant" changes to surveillance law be declassified—and it is up to the judges to determine if the cases reach that threshold—though only after review by the attorney general and the director of national intelligence. While FISA court rulings have been leaked and occasionally declassified, the new law marks the first time Congress has attempted to make the court's decisions available to the public. The law also requires the court to create an advisory panel of privacy experts, known as an amicus panel. When a judge considers what she considers a "novel or significant" cases, she will call on that panel to discuss civil liberties concerns the surveillance requests brings up. Judges can also use the panel in other cases as they see fit. The USA Freedom doesn't lay out how the amicus panel will work in detail. But privacy advocates say its mere existence will be an important step. "We know we will see the order and potentially that an amicus [a privacy panel member] is going to be there arguing against it. Those things are huge to us," Jaycox says. But while the USA Freedom Act calls for important FISA court rulings will be made public, there's no guarantee they will be. For one, final say on declassification still rests with the executive branch rather than the judges themselves. And while the judges' input on the cases will still be important—if not final—says Liza Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, they have already shown a "sort of reflexive deference" to the government. While FISA court rulings have been leaked and occasionally declassified, the new law marks the first time Congress has attempted to make the court's decisions available to the public. In fact, advocates say, judges have always had the powers outlined in the new law—to bring in consultants or recommend declassifying their opinions. "This is something the FISA court could have done all along," says Amie Stepanovich, the US policy manager for privacy advocacy group Access. "They always could have chosen to be more transparent in their proceedings." Privacy advocates hope that having these pre-existing powers now written into law means that judges will actually use them, but even that isn't for certain. "I think the transparency provisions are going to be effective for the judges who are inclined to support them and are going to be ineffective for the judges who aren't," says Steve Vladeck, a professor at American University's Washington College of Law. There are other procedural moves the government could use to limit what information is made public. The court could simply issue summaries of decisions that don't include their key parts, or the executive branch could heavily redact them. "In theory, the executive branch could comply with this part of the statute by redacting 99 percent—everything but one sentence, essentially—of an opinion," Goitein says. She admits that specific tactic is unlikely—it would be an obvious and public skirting of the law's intent—but stresses that even though the law makes important progress in disclosure, there are still many loopholes that could cut down on how much the public will get to see. "I think the history strongly suggests that the intelligence establishment will take every single little bit of rope it has," she says. "And then some."
The recent leaks about government spying programs have focused attention on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its role in deciding how intrusive the government can be in the name of national security In making assignments to the court, Chief Justice Roberts, more than his predecessors, has chosen judges with conservative and executive branch backgrounds that critics say make the court more likely to defer to government arguments that domestic spying programs are necessary Ten of the court’s 11 judges were appointed to the bench by Republican presidents; six once worked for the federal government Since the chief justice began making assignments in 2005, 86 percent of his choices have been Republican appointees, and 50 percent have been former executive branch officials their assignments to the surveillance court were more ideologically diverse, according to an analysis by The New York Times of a list of every judge who has served on the court since it was established in 1978. According to the analysis, 66 percent of their selections were Republican appointees, and 39 percent once worked for the executive branch. “Viewing this data, people with responsibility for national security ought to be very concerned about the impression and appearance, if not the reality, of bias — for favoring the executive branch in its applications for warrants and other action The court “is becoming ever more important in American life as more and more surveillance comes under its review in this era of big data,” said Timothy Edgar, a civil liberties adviser for intelligence issues in both the Bush and Obama administrations. “If the court is seen as skewed or biased, politically or ideologically, it will lose credibility.” Even more important, according to some critics of the court, is the court’s increasing proportion of judges who have a background in the executive branch. Senator Blumenthal, citing his own experience as a United States attorney and a state prosecutor, said judges who used to be executive branch lawyers were more likely to share a “get the bad guys” mind-set and defer to the Justice Department if executive branch officials told them that new surveillance powers were justified
Issues of national surveillance are a key issue for deference
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Posner 2007 (“Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts”, Eric A Posner, Oxford University Press, Pg. 1-2, 2007, https://www.law.upenn.edu/institutes/cerl/conferences/ethicsofsecrecy/papers/reading/PosnerVermeule.pdf) When national emergencies strike, the executive acts, Congress acquiesces, and courts defer. When emergencies decay, judges become bolder, and soul searching begins. In retrospect, many of the executive's actions will seem unjustified, and people will blame Congress for its acquiescence and courts for their deference. Congress responds by passing new laws that constrain the executive, and courts reassert themselves by supplying relief to anyone who is still subject to emergency measures that have not yet been halted. Normal times return, and professional opinion declares that the emergency policies were anomalous and will not recur, or at least should not recur. Then, another emergency strikes, and the cycle repeats itself. One can identify roughly six periods of emergency during American history, each with its own paradigmatic instance of alleged executive overreaching.1 The undeclared war with France at the end of the eighteenth century produced the Sedition Act, which permitted Federalist authorities to lock up Republican critics of the John Adams administration. The Civil War from 1861 to 1865 produced Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus and imposition of military rule, which included prosecutions of war critics. World War I and the Red Scare generated Espionage Act prosecutions of war critics and the harassment of immigrants and aliens.
New York Times July 25th 2013 (POLITICS Roberts’s Picks Reshaping Secret Surveillance Court By Charlie Savage July 25th 2013, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/us/politics/robertss-picks-reshaping-secret-surveillance-court.html?pagewanted=all) The recent leaks about government spying programs have focused attention on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its role in deciding how intrusive the government can be in the name of national security. Less mentioned has been the person who has been quietly reshaping the secret court: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. In making assignments to the court, Chief Justice Roberts, more than his predecessors, has chosen judges with conservative and executive branch backgrounds that critics say make the court more likely to defer to government arguments that domestic spying programs are necessary. Ten of the court’s 11 judges — all assigned by Chief Justice Roberts — were appointed to the bench by Republican presidents; six once worked for the federal government. Since the chief justice began making assignments in 2005, 86 percent of his choices have been Republican appointees, and 50 percent have been former executive branch officials. Though the two previous chief justices, Warren E. Burger and William H. Rehnquist, were conservatives like Chief Justice Roberts, their assignments to the surveillance court were more ideologically diverse, according to an analysis by The New York Times of a list of every judge who has served on the court since it was established in 1978. According to the analysis, 66 percent of their selections were Republican appointees, and 39 percent once worked for the executive branch. “Viewing this data, people with responsibility for national security ought to be very concerned about the impression and appearance, if not the reality, of bias — for favoring the executive branch in its applications for warrants and other action,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat and one of several lawmakers who have sought to change the way the court’s judges are selected. Mr. Blumenthal, for example, has proposed that each of the chief judges of the 12 major appeals courts select a district judge for the surveillance court; the chief justice would still pick the review panel that hears rare appeals of the court’s decisions, but six other Supreme Court justices would have to sign off. Another bill, introduced by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, would give the president the power to nominate judges for the court, subject to Senate approval. Chief Justice Roberts, through a Supreme Court spokeswoman, declined to comment. The court’s complexion has changed at a time when its role has been expanding beyond what Congress envisioned when it established the court as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The idea then was that judges would review applications for wiretaps to make sure there was sufficient evidence that the F.B.I.’s target was a foreign terrorist or a spy. But, increasingly in recent years, the court has produced lengthy rulings interpreting the meaning of surveillance laws and constitutional rights based on procedures devised not for complex legal analysis but for up-or-down approvals of secret wiretap applications. The rulings are classified and based on theories submitted by the Justice Department without the participation of any lawyers offering contrary arguments or appealing a ruling if the government wins. The court “is becoming ever more important in American life as more and more surveillance comes under its review in this era of big data,” said Timothy Edgar, a civil liberties adviser for intelligence issues in both the Bush and Obama administrations. “If the court is seen as skewed or biased, politically or ideologically, it will lose credibility.” At a public meeting this month, Judge James Robertson, an appointee of President Bill Clinton who was assigned to the surveillance court in 2002 by Chief Justice Rehnquist and resigned from it in December 2005, offered an insider’s critique of how rapidly and recently the court’s role has changed. He said, for example, that during his time it was not engaged in developing a body of secret precedents interpreting what the law means. “In my experience, there weren’t any opinions,” he said. “You approved a warrant application or you didn’t — period.” The court began expanding its role when George W. Bush was president and its members were still assigned by Chief Justice Rehnquist, who died in 2005. Midway through the Bush administration, the executive branch sought and obtained the court’s legal blessing to continue secret surveillance programs that had originally circumvented the FISA process. The court’s power has also recently expanded in another way. In 2008, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act to allow the National Security Agency to keep conducting a form of the Bush administration’s program of surveillance without warrants on domestic soil so long as only foreigners abroad were targeted. It gave the court the power to create rules for the program, like how the government may use Americans’ communications after they are picked up. “That change, in my view, turned the FISA court into something like an administrative agency that makes rules for others to follow,” Judge Robertson said. “That’s not the bailiwick of judges. Judges don’t make policy.” For the most part, the surveillance court judges — who serve staggered seven-year terms and take turns coming to Washington for a week to handle its business — do not discuss their work, and their rulings are secret. But the documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor, have cast an unusual spotlight on them. The first of the documents disclosed by Mr. Snowden was a top-secret order to a Verizon subsidiary requiring it to turn over three months of calling records for all its customers. It was signed by Judge Roger Vinson, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan who had previously achieved prominence in 2011 when he tried to strike down the entirety of President Obama’s health care law. Chief Justice Roberts assigned Judge Vinson to the surveillance court in 2006, one of 12 Republican appointees, compared with 2 Democratic ones. While the positions taken by individual judges on the court are classified, academic studies have shown that judges appointed by Republicans since Reagan have been more likely than their colleagues to rule in favor of the government in non-FISA cases over people claiming civil liberties violations. Even more important, according to some critics of the court, is the court’s increasing proportion of judges who have a background in the executive branch. Senator Blumenthal, citing his own experience as a United States attorney and a state prosecutor, said judges who used to be executive branch lawyers were more likely to share a “get the bad guys” mind-set and defer to the Justice Department if executive branch officials told them that new surveillance powers were justified. Steven G. Bradbury, who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in the second term of the Bush administration, argued that it made sense to put judges who were executive branch veterans on the court because they were already familiar with the issues. And he challenged the claim that they would be more deferential. “When it comes to highly technical national security issues, I really think there is value in a judge being a former prosecutor or a former government lawyer who understands how the executive branch works,” he said, adding that such judges “will be familiar with the process and able to ask the tough questions and see where the weak points are.” Either way, an executive branch background is increasingly common for the court. When Judge Vinson’s term ended in May, for example, Chief Justice Roberts replaced him with Judge Michael W. Mosman, who was a federal prosecutor before becoming a judge. Other current judges include Raymond J. Dearie, a United States attorney; Reggie B. Walton, a prosecutor who also worked on drug and crime issues for the White House; and F. Dennis Saylor IV, chief of staff in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The only Democratic appointee, Judge Mary A. McLaughlin, was also a prosecutor. Stephen Vladeck, an American University law professor, said having executive branch veterans — including what he called “law-and-order Democrats” — on the court carried advantages because they brought experience with security issues. But the downside, he argued, is that they may also be unduly accommodating to government requests. “The further the court’s authority has expanded from where it was in 1978, the greater the need has been for independent-minded government skeptics on the court,” he said. Chief justices have considerable leeway in choosing judges — the only requirement is that they ensure geographic diversity. In practice, according to people familiar with the court, they have been assisted in evaluating whom to select by the director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. The counselor to the chief justice and the surveillance court’s presiding judge also sometimes play a role. Judges sometimes volunteer for consideration, while chief justices and their advisers sometimes come up with their own ideas. Generally, the people familiar with the court said, evaluations have been based on reputation, workload, willingness to undergo an intrusive background check, and experience in security issues. Judges have served an average of 15 years before being assigned to the surveillance court. Chief Justice Roberts has dealt with a small circle. His past two choices to direct the judiciary’s administrative office have been Republican-appointed judges, Thomas F. Hogan and John D. Bates, whom he also appointed to the surveillance court. Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who has filed a bill that would let Congressional leaders pick eight of the court’s members, said it was time for the court to have a more diverse membership. “They all seem to have some type of a pretty conservative bent,” he said. “I don’t think that is what the Congress envisioned when giving the chief justice that authority. Maybe they didn’t think about the ramifications of giving that much power to one person.”.
When national emergencies strike, the executive acts, Congress acquiesces, and courts defer When emergencies decay, judges become bolder, and soul searching begins. In retrospect, many of the executive's actions will seem unjustified, and people will blame Congress for its acquiescence and courts for their deference. Congress responds by passing new laws that constrain the executive, and courts reassert themselves by supplying relief to anyone who is still subject to emergency measures that have not yet been halted One can identify roughly six periods of emergency during American history, each with its own paradigmatic instance of alleged executive overreaching
Chief Justice Roberts ensures issues of national surveillance are deferred to the executive branch
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Goitien April 17th 2015 (Appointing Democratic Judges to the FISA Court Won't Solve Its Structural Flaws Elizabeth (Liza) Goitein April 17, 2015, Brennan Center for Justice and New York Law, https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/appointing-democratic-judges-fisa-court-wont-solve-its-structural-flaws) Chief Justice Roberts recently named two new judges to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) — Judge James P. Jones from the Western District of Virginia and Judge Thomas B. Russell from the Western District of Kentucky. Roberts has now appointed three judges to the FISC since the Snowden revelations, and all three were originally nominated to the bench by a Democratic president (Clinton). This marks a stark departure from Roberts’ thirteen pre-Snowden appointments, eleven of whom were appointed by Republican presidents. The question naturally arises: does this change in composition herald a change in the FISC’s approach? Roberts’ track record of selecting Republican-appointed judges came under fire when Snowden’s disclosures trained a public lens on the FISC’s operations. Critics argued that conservative judges would be more likely to support government requests to conduct surveillance, and less solicitous of the civil liberties implications, than their progressive counterparts. Among the legislative proposals to reform NSA surveillance were measures to revamp the FISC, including changing the appointment process to guard against ideological bias. Ideological diversity is a good idea on any court. (Full disclosure: I don’t know enough about either Jones’ or Russell’s rulings to say whether their appointment will affect the court’s ideological balance, particularly since one of the FISC judges being replaced —Mary A. McLaughlin — is herself a Clinton appointee.) But as Steve Aftergood pointed out, there’s no evidence that the ideological makeup of the FISC has influenced its rulings. To the contrary: the FISC’s rate of approving government applications to conduct surveillance has always “hovered near 100%” (Aftergood’s words) — before and after Roberts’ streak of appointing conservatives. To be sure, there are applications and there are applications. A request to target a named individual based on a showing of probable cause (for communications content) or relevance (for business records) — which is what the FISC generally was reviewing in the pre-Roberts era — is very different from a request to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk on the ground that relevant records may be buried within them. The FISC judge who first endorsed this strained theory of “relevance” to justify the bulk collection of phone records in 2006 was appointed by a Republican president, as were eight of the other ten judges on the court at that time. On the other hand, that decision was based on a 2004 FISC order justifying the bulk collection of Internet metadata that was issued by a Clinton appointee. Why the bipartisan acquiescence to a legal theory that may charitably be described as far-fetched? Most judges, regardless of their ideology, are happy to defer to the executive branch in matters of national security, whether by declining to exercise jurisdiction at all or by refusing to probe factual claims. There’s a stark division of opinion on whether this is a good thing, but little dispute over the fact itself. Of course, there have always been exceptions — cases in which judges have refused to bow to executive claims of superior expertise and constitutional authority. Anecdotally, such pushback appears to have become more common among regular federal judges since the Snowden disclosures. It’s too soon, though, to say whether this phenomenon signals a broader change in judicial philosophy and, if so, whether it will last. In any case, there’s another reason why FISC judges, regardless of ideology, are likely to rule in the government’s favor. Because no opposing party is present, FISC judges who rule against government applications are not occupying the familiar role of a neutral adjudicator in a contest between adversaries. Instead, they have effectively become the government’s adversary — or, at least, they may create that perception. Especially in the national security context, few judges are eager to shoulder that role. Hence the iterative back-and-forth described by FISC judges and government officials, in which FISC staff work with Justice Department lawyers to craft an application that the FISC feels it can approve. The FISC is not a “rubber stamp,” as some have suggested, but it clearly sees its job as working in partnership with the executive branch to get to “yes.” Needless to say, that’s not the role courts are supposed to serve under our constitutional system of checks and balances. The pro-government rulings that result from these dynamics tend to perpetuate themselves. Once a FISC judge has approved a new program or a new type of surveillance, that ruling becomes the only direct precedent on which the other FISC judges may rely. There is no developed body of controlling case law, as there would be in regular federal courts, and no system to resolve differences through ascending levels of appeal. In such circumstances, the natural tendency to rely on the only available precedent would be difficult to overcome. Finally, even if all eleven FISC judges were determined to resolve any doubt or ambiguity against the government, the law that authorizes the most intrusive NSA surveillance ties their hands. Under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorizes programmatic surveillance of communications between foreign targets and US persons, the court is not allowed to probe the government’s certification of a foreign intelligence purpose, and it has no role in approving the selection of individual targets. Its only substantive job is to approve agency procedures for determining whether a target is “reasonably believed” to be a foreigner overseas, as well as agency procedures for “minimizing” the retention and dissemination of US person information. To be clear, less deferential rulings on these procedures would be a major step forward. After all, when the FISC approved the NSA’s 2011 minimization procedures, it approved “back door searches” — in which the government, having certified (as the law requires) that it has no interest in particular, known US persons, runs searches against the data it has collected using the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of particular, known US persons. A more searching judicial review also might balk at the provision of the NSA’stargeting procedures that equates the absence of any information about a person’s nationality or location with a “reasonable belief” that the person is a foreigner overseas. The fact remains that the legal framework is stacked against meaningful judicial review, relegating the FISC to the role of approving general procedures that leave a great deal of discretion to the executive branch rather than applying the law to the specific facts of a particular case. Indeed, the FISC’s role is watered down to the point that it’s not clear whether the court’s operations even square with the requirements of Article III. (That’s the subject of a report I wrote with Faiza Patel, which we’ve also discussed on this blog and on Lawfare.) In short, a pro-government tilt in FISC proceedings is almost inevitable in light of the deference courts show in national security matters, the lack of an opposing party or an established body of precedent, and the constraints of the governing statute. The political leanings of the court’s judges aren’t the cause of these problems, and adjusting them will not be the solution.
Posner 2007 (“Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts”, Eric A Posner, Oxford University Press, Pg. 1-2, 2007, https://www.law.upenn.edu/institutes/cerl/conferences/ethicsofsecrecy/papers/reading/PosnerVermeule.pdf) When national emergencies strike, the executive acts, Congress acquiesces, and courts defer. When emergencies decay, judges become bolder, and soul searching begins. In retrospect, many of the executive's actions will seem unjustified, and people will blame Congress for its acquiescence and courts for their deference. Congress responds by passing new laws that constrain the executive, and courts reassert themselves by supplying relief to anyone who is still subject to emergency measures that have not yet been halted. Normal times return, and professional opinion declares that the emergency policies were anomalous and will not recur, or at least should not recur. Then, another emergency strikes, and the cycle repeats itself. One can identify roughly six periods of emergency during American history, each with its own paradigmatic instance of alleged executive overreaching.1 The undeclared war with France at the end of the eighteenth century produced the Sedition Act, which permitted Federalist authorities to lock up Republican critics of the John Adams administration. The Civil War from 1861 to 1865 produced Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus and imposition of military rule, which included prosecutions of war critics. World War I and the Red Scare generated Espionage Act prosecutions of war critics and the harassment of immigrants and aliens.
Chief Justice Roberts recently named two new judges to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC This marks a stark departure from Roberts’ thirteen pre-Snowden appointments, eleven of whom were appointed by Republican presidents. The question naturally arises: does this change in composition herald a change in the FISC’s approach? The FISC is not a “rubber stamp,” as some have suggested, but it clearly sees its job as working in partnership with the executive branch to get to “yes.” Needless to say, that’s not the role courts are supposed to serve under our constitutional system of checks and balances. To be clear, less deferential rulings on these procedures would be a major step forward. After all, when the FISC approved the NSA’s 2011 minimization procedures, it approved “back door searches” — in which the government, having certified (as the law requires) that it has no interest in particular, known US persons, runs searches against the data it has collected using the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of particular, known US persons. The fact remains that the legal framework is stacked against meaningful judicial review, relegating the FISC to the role of approving general procedures that leave a great deal of discretion to the executive branch rather than applying the law to the specific facts of a particular case , a pro-government tilt in FISC proceedings is almost inevitable in light of the deference courts show in national security matters
Courts empirically defer instances of national security
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Bulk Data Collection Negative - JDI 2015.html5
(Spy data disclosures show anew that executive branch holds all the cards BY DAVID LIGHTMAN National political correspondent and veteran congressional reporter for McClatchy NewspapersMcClatchy Washington Bureau June 19, 2013, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/19/194377/spy-data-disclosures-show-anew.html#Intro) WASHINGTON — Disclosures about National Security Agency cyber-spying on millions of Americans vividly illustrates how the federal government’s check-and-balance system is out of balance. Despite periodic attempts to assert itself, the legislative branch over time has settled into a secondary role to the executive branch on questions of national security. The dominance of the executive branch in the nuclear age – when presidents claimed the need to act on a moment’s notice – continued into the age of terrorism with the claimed need for vast new spy powers handed over by Congress with the Patriot Act and renewed and extended ever since. Lawmakers offered little resistance to American intervention in Libya two years ago, or to the use of American troops in central Africa and Uganda. Nor was there much demand for changes in the use of drones aimed at suspected terrorists in foreign countries, even after the administration disclosed last month that four Americans had been killed by strikes abroad. Bowing to the president in the interest of protecting the nation has been commonplace for a century, ever since the U.S. became a major international player and had to react quickly to crises. “Presidents assumed power and got away with it,” said Stephen Hess, a presidential historian at Washington’s Brookings Institution who worked with four presidents. Some of Congress’ inability to act like a co-equal branch of government is rooted in the institution’s nature. The president can act quickly and speak with one voice. Congress, divided between two parties and two chambers and featuring political factions ranging across the spectrum, cannot. The executive branch has another built-in edge: The public routinely supports the president’s ability to act decisively in times of crisis. Even those who once urged more congressional advice and consent see events differently from inside the Oval Office. In 2006, for example, Denis McDonough urged a more active role for Congress, in a study for the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group. “Recent news headlines that the National Security Agency is collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans without the knowledge of key congressional committees underscores the need for Congress to serve as the American public’s watchdog in overseeing intelligence agencies,” the 2006 study said. “Congress today has been negligent, with profound implications for the safety and security of America.” Now White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama, McDonough argues that safeguards have been established so Congress has a stronger role. Indeed, members of Congress have had access to information about the spy programs. But few have shown up to read the material. “It’s the perfect example of Congress handing over power to the executive branch and failing to keep up with it,” said Jim Harper, a former congressional counsel and now director of information policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. Congress thought it had given itself nearly equal billing by passing the 1973 War Powers Resolution. Approved after years of political conflict over Vietnam, it aimed to place new restrictions on presidents’ military initiatives. But “every president has taken the position that it is an unconstitutional infringement by Congress on the president’s authority as commander in chief,” Richard Grimmett, a Congressional Research Service international specialist, said in a report. Courts have not directly addressed the issue. “The war powers act is routinely violated these days,” said Jim Manley, a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “In recent years Congress has tended to defer to the executive branch when it comes to national security-related issues.” This much is clear: Congress has adjusted its role in recent years so that “Congress does its best job at the front end and the back end,” said Gary Schmitt, co-director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies. The usual pattern is that as a crisis unfolds, lawmakers often raise serious questions. If something goes awry, they try to put curbs on presidential action, which usually take a long time to approve let alone implement. When President George W. Bush was considering invading Iraq in 2002, Democrats controlling the Senate held hearings on war and its aftermath. But when the Bush administration argued that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction – a claim later proven false – Congress gave Bush broad bipartisan authority to act against Iraq and any others threatening the United States. On the back end, though, Congress got assertive. As popular support dwindled, and the war turned ugly, lawmakers raised new questions and debated withdrawal deadlines. Just as the war demonstrated Congress’ limits, so has the NSA controversy. Congress has offered little apparent resistance, though it did build some safeguards into the system. A secret court must approve NSA data collection. Congressional intelligence committees routinely scrutinize the effort, as evidenced by the lack of surprise members expressed when news of the programs surfaced. So, says Schmitt, don’t think about Congress’ role anymore in terms of what an equal branch of government might do. Think of the reality. “Congress wrote the law, amended it and debated it,” Schmitt said. “They wanted an executive who could act decisively and in secret. It’s the kind of inevitable result of us being a world power.”
Goitien April 17th 2015 (Appointing Democratic Judges to the FISA Court Won't Solve Its Structural Flaws Elizabeth (Liza) Goitein April 17, 2015, Brennan Center for Justice and New York Law, https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/appointing-democratic-judges-fisa-court-wont-solve-its-structural-flaws) Chief Justice Roberts recently named two new judges to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) — Judge James P. Jones from the Western District of Virginia and Judge Thomas B. Russell from the Western District of Kentucky. Roberts has now appointed three judges to the FISC since the Snowden revelations, and all three were originally nominated to the bench by a Democratic president (Clinton). This marks a stark departure from Roberts’ thirteen pre-Snowden appointments, eleven of whom were appointed by Republican presidents. The question naturally arises: does this change in composition herald a change in the FISC’s approach? Roberts’ track record of selecting Republican-appointed judges came under fire when Snowden’s disclosures trained a public lens on the FISC’s operations. Critics argued that conservative judges would be more likely to support government requests to conduct surveillance, and less solicitous of the civil liberties implications, than their progressive counterparts. Among the legislative proposals to reform NSA surveillance were measures to revamp the FISC, including changing the appointment process to guard against ideological bias. Ideological diversity is a good idea on any court. (Full disclosure: I don’t know enough about either Jones’ or Russell’s rulings to say whether their appointment will affect the court’s ideological balance, particularly since one of the FISC judges being replaced —Mary A. McLaughlin — is herself a Clinton appointee.) But as Steve Aftergood pointed out, there’s no evidence that the ideological makeup of the FISC has influenced its rulings. To the contrary: the FISC’s rate of approving government applications to conduct surveillance has always “hovered near 100%” (Aftergood’s words) — before and after Roberts’ streak of appointing conservatives. To be sure, there are applications and there are applications. A request to target a named individual based on a showing of probable cause (for communications content) or relevance (for business records) — which is what the FISC generally was reviewing in the pre-Roberts era — is very different from a request to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk on the ground that relevant records may be buried within them. The FISC judge who first endorsed this strained theory of “relevance” to justify the bulk collection of phone records in 2006 was appointed by a Republican president, as were eight of the other ten judges on the court at that time. On the other hand, that decision was based on a 2004 FISC order justifying the bulk collection of Internet metadata that was issued by a Clinton appointee. Why the bipartisan acquiescence to a legal theory that may charitably be described as far-fetched? Most judges, regardless of their ideology, are happy to defer to the executive branch in matters of national security, whether by declining to exercise jurisdiction at all or by refusing to probe factual claims. There’s a stark division of opinion on whether this is a good thing, but little dispute over the fact itself. Of course, there have always been exceptions — cases in which judges have refused to bow to executive claims of superior expertise and constitutional authority. Anecdotally, such pushback appears to have become more common among regular federal judges since the Snowden disclosures. It’s too soon, though, to say whether this phenomenon signals a broader change in judicial philosophy and, if so, whether it will last. In any case, there’s another reason why FISC judges, regardless of ideology, are likely to rule in the government’s favor. Because no opposing party is present, FISC judges who rule against government applications are not occupying the familiar role of a neutral adjudicator in a contest between adversaries. Instead, they have effectively become the government’s adversary — or, at least, they may create that perception. Especially in the national security context, few judges are eager to shoulder that role. Hence the iterative back-and-forth described by FISC judges and government officials, in which FISC staff work with Justice Department lawyers to craft an application that the FISC feels it can approve. The FISC is not a “rubber stamp,” as some have suggested, but it clearly sees its job as working in partnership with the executive branch to get to “yes.” Needless to say, that’s not the role courts are supposed to serve under our constitutional system of checks and balances. The pro-government rulings that result from these dynamics tend to perpetuate themselves. Once a FISC judge has approved a new program or a new type of surveillance, that ruling becomes the only direct precedent on which the other FISC judges may rely. There is no developed body of controlling case law, as there would be in regular federal courts, and no system to resolve differences through ascending levels of appeal. In such circumstances, the natural tendency to rely on the only available precedent would be difficult to overcome. Finally, even if all eleven FISC judges were determined to resolve any doubt or ambiguity against the government, the law that authorizes the most intrusive NSA surveillance ties their hands. Under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorizes programmatic surveillance of communications between foreign targets and US persons, the court is not allowed to probe the government’s certification of a foreign intelligence purpose, and it has no role in approving the selection of individual targets. Its only substantive job is to approve agency procedures for determining whether a target is “reasonably believed” to be a foreigner overseas, as well as agency procedures for “minimizing” the retention and dissemination of US person information. To be clear, less deferential rulings on these procedures would be a major step forward. After all, when the FISC approved the NSA’s 2011 minimization procedures, it approved “back door searches” — in which the government, having certified (as the law requires) that it has no interest in particular, known US persons, runs searches against the data it has collected using the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of particular, known US persons. A more searching judicial review also might balk at the provision of the NSA’stargeting procedures that equates the absence of any information about a person’s nationality or location with a “reasonable belief” that the person is a foreigner overseas. The fact remains that the legal framework is stacked against meaningful judicial review, relegating the FISC to the role of approving general procedures that leave a great deal of discretion to the executive branch rather than applying the law to the specific facts of a particular case. Indeed, the FISC’s role is watered down to the point that it’s not clear whether the court’s operations even square with the requirements of Article III. (That’s the subject of a report I wrote with Faiza Patel, which we’ve also discussed on this blog and on Lawfare.) In short, a pro-government tilt in FISC proceedings is almost inevitable in light of the deference courts show in national security matters, the lack of an opposing party or an established body of precedent, and the constraints of the governing statute. The political leanings of the court’s judges aren’t the cause of these problems, and adjusting them will not be the solution.
Despite periodic attempts to assert itself, the legislative branch over time has settled into a secondary role to the executive branch on questions of national security. The dominance of the executive branch in the nuclear age – when presidents claimed the need to act on a moment’s notice – continued into the age of terrorism with the claimed need for vast new spy powers handed over by Congress with the Patriot Act and renewed and extended ever since. Bowing to the president in the interest of protecting the nation has been commonplace for a century, ever since the U.S. became a major international player and had to react quickly to crises. “Presidents assumed power and got away with it,” “It’s the perfect example of Congress handing over power to the executive branch and failing to keep up with it The war powers act is routinely violated these days, “In recent years Congress has tended to defer to the executive branch when it comes to national security-related issues.”
National Surveillance implicates deference to the Executive Branch
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As the country attacked on 9/11, the United States sprang into action¶ immediately with a twinned strategy of aggressive military action and new understandings of law. From launching wars abroad89 to developing novel¶ strategies for rendition, detention, and interrogation of suspected terrorists¶ outside the United States90 and curtailing civil liberties through widespread¶ surveillance programs at home,91 the Bush Administration, with the active¶ participation of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of¶ Justice, took a generous view of its own powers in wartime. The OLC¶ developed new legal understandings to underwrite the anti-terrorism¶ campaign.92¶ Some of the new legal understandings resulted from new law. Congress¶ quickly passed the Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF), giving¶ the President a green light to use “all necessary and appropriate force against¶ those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized,¶ committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11,¶ 2001.”93 Shortly thereafter, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act with¶ nearly unprecedented speed, broadening the definitions of terrorism offenses,¶ clamping down on financial support for terrorism, increasing domestic¶ surveillance capacities of the U.S. government, and adding a toxic mix of small¶ changes in U.S. law that allowed the government to operate secretly and to¶ commandeer private resources in the anti-terrorism campaign.94
Scheppele ‘9 [KIM LANE SCHEPPELE, “The New Judicial Deference,” Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and University Center for Human Values; Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University, 2009]
As the country attacked on 9/11, the United States sprang into action¶ immediately with a twinned strategy of aggressive military action and new understandings of law From launching wars abroad89 to developing novel¶ strategies for interrogation and widespread¶ surveillance programs at home the Bush Administration , took a generous view of its own powers in wartime Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act with¶ nearly unprecedented speed increasing domestic¶ surveillance capacities of the U.S. government and adding a toxic mix of small¶ changes in U.S. law that allowed the government to operate secretly and to¶ commandeer private resources in the anti-terrorism campaign
Surveillance is a fundamental security issue in the post-9/11 security environment- it’ll spill over
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New legislation to deal with the global problem of climate change may seem politically unrealistic given the current inhospitable environment in Congress, but there are reasons to think that the prospect of reaching an international agreement may be more viable now than it was in the past. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently called for world leaders to meet in anticipation of the 2015 international climate meeting in Paris and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently announced that humans are the dominant cause of global warming since the 1950s. Although climate change denial still exists in the U.S., the international community generally accepts the science. Interestingly, this could indicate that reaching an international agreement is easier than reaching a domestic agreement. Of course, Congressional action would still be necessary to ratify any treaty, but if the enumerated shortcomings of the Kyoto Protocol are addressed in the 2015 negotiations, domestic action may be facilitated, especially if the President stands behind the agreement.¶ But even if the legislature and the executive get behind an international climate change agreement, there is still the judiciary. The Supreme Court recently granted cert for Bond v. U.S., which challenges Congressional authority to enact a federal statute enforcing the Chemical Weapons Convention on the grounds that it intrudes on areas of police power reserved to the states. The Court found that Ms. Bond lacks standing to bring a claim that applying the chemical weapons treaty to her violated the Tenth Amendment, thus avoiding revisiting Missouri v. Holland. However, the Court did certify one question that may have implications for international climate change agreements: “Do the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority impose any constraints on the scope of Congress’ authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal statute, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is concededly unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations?”¶ Although Bond may not have a direct effect on international climate change negotiations, it could provide some guidance on how to frame the scope of the treaty and the government’s treaty obligations. If an international agreement is reached, the U.S. must promulgate implementing legislation that will pass not only the political process, but also judicial review — it is possible that climate change deniers will try to undermine any climate change agreement in court. Bond, along with EPA v. EME Homer City Generation,[1] will provide some insight into how the Court determines the scope of “traditional state prerogatives” and how such considerations play out in environmental regulation.¶ Meaningful climate change regulation is inevitable; the question is when it will come. Environmentalists must be aware of not only possible political solutions, but also potential fallout of judicial determinations. If an international deal is brokered, it would be counterproductive to provide domestic dissenters with any fodder to challenge it. Hopefully the Court will rule narrowly in Bond, and not make any pronouncements that would confuse settled federal authority to regulate interstate pollution. Even if it would be preposterous for domestic dissenters to challenge federal authority on such grounds, the commerce clause challenge to the Affordable Care Act — which many commentators dismissed as irrelevant — cautions against completely ignoring the possibility.
Borden 10-1 (Theresa, "A glboal solution to climate change: the possible impact of Bond v. United States," Harvard Environmental LAw Review, www3.law.harvard.edu/journals/elr/2013/10/01/bondvus/)
New legislation to deal with the global problem of climate change may seem politically unrealistic but there are reasons to think that the prospect of reaching an international agreement may be more viable now than it was in the past UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently called for world leaders to meet in anticipation of the 2015 international climate meeting in Paris and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently announced that humans are the dominant cause of global warming since the 1950s. the international community generally accepts the science Interestingly, this could indicate that reaching an international agreement is easier than reaching a domestic agreement , domestic action may be facilitated, especially if the President stands behind the agreement. Meaningful climate change regulation is inevitable the question is when it will come. Environmentalists must be aware of not only possible political solutions, but also potential fallout of judicial determinations. If an international deal is brokered, it would be counterproductive to provide domestic dissenters with any fodder to challenge it.
International climate agreement and domestic ratification inevitable – the only risk of derailment is judicially enforced climate action
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However, to say that cases like American Electric Power are justiciable just because plaintiffs allege a public nuisance begs the question: Why should such claims automatically be justiciable? It contravenes the purpose and articulation of the political question doctrine to suggest that nuisances are categorically justiciable because political questions have historically excluded torts between private parties and have focused instead on governmental issues like gerrymandering, foreign policy, and federal employment. n70 Again, Baker demanded "discriminating" case-by-case inquiries, rejecting "resolution by any semantic cataloguing." n71 Similarly, the fact that other public nuisance claims have not presented political questions in the past should not preclude such a finding in the climate context. n72 Indeed, the argument for nonjusticiability rests on the notion that climate suits are unique and therefore defy classification among tort precedent. n73∂ [*271] Extending the political question doctrine to a public nuisance allegation would surpass precedent in terms of claim-category application. Yet with respect to the theory behind the doctrine, such an extension is proper because cases like American Electric Power would push existing nuisance law to embrace a complex, qualitatively unique phenomenon that cannot be prudentially adjudicated. n74 The Supreme Court has never held that torts cannot present political questions, so prudential constitutional principles should similarly apply to them. This Note simply argues that the facts, claims, parties, and relief demanded in this particular mode of litigation should fall under the nonjusticiability umbrella, wherever its limits may lie. n75 The following analysis of Baker invokes the American Electric Power situation specifically for the sake of convenience, but the arguments therein should be read to apply to injunctive climate nuisance claims generally.∂ [Continues to Footnore]∂ n75. This Note does not purport to suggest exactly where the line ought to be drawn in applying the political question doctrine to tort claims. A consideration of the potential doctrinal "slippery slope" - where courts might improperly refuse to adjudicate claims solely on the basis of complexity - is beyond the scope of the present discussion.
Miller 10 (Mathew Edwin, JD – University of Michigan Law School, Associate – Latham & Watkins LLP, “The Right Issue, the Wrong Branch: Arguments against Adjudicating Climate Change Nuisance Claims,” Michigan Law Review, November, 109 Mich. L. Rev. 257, Lexis)
to say that cases are justiciable begs the question Why should such claims automatically be justiciable? It contravenes the purpose and articulation of the political question doctrine Baker demanded "discriminating" case-by-case inquiries Extending the political question doctrine would surpass precedent Yet with respect to the theory behind the doctrine such an extension is proper because cases would push existing nuisance law to embrace a complex, qualitatively unique phenomenon that cannot be prudentially adjudicated This does not suggest where the line ought to be drawn A consideration of the potential doctrinal "slippery slope" where courts improperly adjudicate claims
The plan makes war powers a justiciable issue – this case-specific exception causes a slippery slope that breaks the entire doctrine
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The second argument that underlies the Courts of Appeal’s holdings that climate change nuisance lawsuits present questions suitable for judicial resolution is one that seeks to minimize the importance of those lawsuits. Employing the same logic that led the Motor Fuel court astray, the Second Circuit emphasized that “[a] decision by a single federal court concerning a common law of nuisance cause of action, brought by domestic plaintiffs against domestic companies for domestic conduct, does not establish a national or international emissions policy.”43 In concluding that the plaintiffs’ modest ambitions insulate the claim from the political question doctrine, the court got it backwards. It is precisely courts’ inability to “establish a national or international emissions policy” that renders judicial relief such a conceptual and methodological mismatch with climate change, since it is litigation’s inability to grapple with climate change at a systemic level that deprives courts of “judicially manageable standards” for adjudicating climate change claims. The fact that courts are incapable, as a matter of due process, of binding anyone other than the litigants before them—even if judges were omniscient climate experts imbued with the wisdom required to trade off incommensurable values and interests—automatically makes them institutionally ill-suited to entertain lawsuits concerning problems this irreducibly global and interconnected in scope.
Tribe 10 (Laurence H., the Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard Law School; Joshua D. Branson, J.D., Harvard Law School and NDT Champion, Northwestern University; and Tristan L. Duncan, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., January 2010, “TOOHOTFORCOURTSTO HANDLE: FUEL TEMPERATURES, GLOBAL WARMING, AND THE POLITICAL QUESTION DOCTRINE,” http://www.wlf.org/Upload/legalstudies/workingpaper/012910Tribe_WP.pdf)
It is precisely courts’ inability to “establish a national or international emissions policy” that renders judicial relief such a conceptual and methodological mismatch with climate change since it is litigation’s inability to grapple with climate change at a systemic level that deprives courts of “judicially manageable standards” for adjudicating climate change claims The fact that courts are incapable, of binding anyone other than the litigants before them automatically makes them institutionally ill-suited to entertain lawsuits concerning problems this irreducibly global and interconnected in scope.
Erosion of the PQD crushes international coordination that’s necessary to solve climate change
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The district court decisions in Comer and American Electric Power demonstrate a misapplication of the political question doctrine.228 Since lower courts must hear cases properly before them, there may be issues that lower courts have dismissed under the political question doctrine where ―the Supreme Court has the luxury of simply denying review.‖229 Lower courts might use the doctrine to avoid deciding politically charged, cumbersome, and novel cases, such as the climate change nuisance cases. But, this would be less likely to occur if the purposes of the doctrine were enumerated by the Supreme Court and if the doctrine was narrowed in scope.230 This much-needed clarification would provide courts with guideposts upon which to apply the doctrine. Furthermore, by narrowing the doctrine, it would be clearly inapplicable to cases which previously may have been dismissed under the prudential formulations of the doctrine.
Jaffe 11(Jill Jaffe represents public utilities and agencies that provide public utility services in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission, including rate-setting and rulemaking proceedings, "The Political Question Doctrine: An Update in Response to Climate Change Case Law," Social Science Research Network, February 6, papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1756484)
228 Since lower courts must hear cases properly before them, there may be issues that lower courts have dismissed under the political question doctrine where ―the Supreme Court has the luxury of simply denying review.‖229 Lower courts might use the doctrine to avoid deciding politically charged, cumbersome, and novel cases, such as the climate change nuisance cases this would be less likely to occur if the purposes of the doctrine were enumerated by the Supreme Court and if the doctrine was narrowed in scope by narrowing the doctrine, it would be clearly inapplicable to cases which previously may have been dismissed under the prudential formulations of the doctrine.
Narrowing the PQD directly results in more successful climate change litigation cases
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In the wake of the government‘s failure to enact legislation, various private parties and states have initiated ―climate change nuisance‖ litigation for harms incurred due to climate change.5 In particular, the plaintiffs in Comer v. Murphy Oil USA filed suit against defendant energy production companies alleging that the defendants‘ emissions of greenhouse gases contributed to climate change and the intensity of hurricane Katrina.6 The plaintiffs in Comer sought monetary damages for their property loss caused by hurricane Katrina.7 In Connecticut v. American Electric Power, the plaintiffs filed suit against electric power corporations claiming that the defendants‘ greenhouse gas emissions were contributing to climate change, causing harm to the plaintiffs‘ natural ecology, residents, and property.8 The plaintiffs sought an injunction, which would place a cap on the defendants‘ greenhouse gas emissions.9 Unfortunately, these cases were dismissed at the district court level due to a flawed application of the political question doctrine.10¶ These cases exemplify the scholarly debate and discontent surrounding the current formulation of the political question doctrine, which was established in Baker v. Carr.11 Some scholars contend that the doctrine should be a prudential, or precautionary, tool that permits courts to dismiss a case when a judicial decision may impede on the province of the representative branches. Others scholars argue that the doctrine simply describes traditional Constitutional interpretation.12 Regardless of disagreement about the scope and application of the political question doctrine, scholars agree that as it stands, the doctrine is less useful in application than its lofty purpose—assuring that courts are subject to the constitutional requirement of separation of powers—suggests. Scholars also generally agree that contentious and politically charged disputes involving novel legal theories do not necessarily implicate the political question doctrine. However, due to the broad nature of the doctrine in its current form, it has been erroneously applied to politically charged, but judiciable, issues. This problem is illustrated by the district court decisions in both Comer and American Electric Power.13
Jaffe 11(Jill Jaffe represents public utilities and agencies that provide public utility services in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission, including rate-setting and rulemaking proceedings, "The Political Question Doctrine: An Update in Response to Climate Change Case Law," Social Science Research Network, February 6, papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1756484)
In the wake of the government‘s failure to enact legislation, various private parties and states have initiated litigation for harms incurred due to climate change these cases were dismissed at the district court level due to he political question doctrine.10 due to the broad nature of the doctrine in its current form it has been applied to politically charged, but judiciable, issues
Broad PQD application is key to preventing climate litigation
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At a deeper level, however, the two poles collapse into one. The reason emerges if one considers issues that courts are asked to address involving novel problems the Constitution’s framers, farsighted though they were, could not have anticipated with sufficient specificity to entrust their resolution to Congress or to the Executive in haec verba. A perfect exemplar of such problems is the nest of puzzles posed by human- induced climate change. When matters of that character are taken to court for resolution by judges, what marks them as “political” for purposes of the “political question doctrine” is not some problem-specific language but, rather, the demonstrable intractability of those matters to principled resolution through lawsuits. And one way to understand that intractability is to view it as itself marking the Constitution’s textual, albeit broadly couched, commitment of the questions presented to the processes we denominate “legislative” or “executive”—that is, to the pluralistic processes of legislation and treaty-making rather than to the principle-bound process of judicially resolving what Article III denominates “cases” and “controversies.” In other words, the judicial unmanageability of an issue serves as powerful evidence that the Constitution’s text reserves that issue, even if broadly and implicitly, to the political branches.5
Tribe 10 (Laurence H., the Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard Law School; Joshua D. Branson, J.D., Harvard Law School and NDT Champion, Northwestern University; and Tristan L. Duncan, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., January 2010, “TOOHOTFORCOURTSTO HANDLE: FUEL TEMPERATURES, GLOBAL WARMING, AND THE POLITICAL QUESTION DOCTRINE,” http://www.wlf.org/Upload/legalstudies/workingpaper/012910Tribe_WP.pdf)
The reason emerges if one considers issues that courts are asked to address involving novel problems the Constitution’s framers could not have anticipated with sufficient specificity to entrust their resolution to Congress or to the Executive in haec verba A perfect exemplar of such problems is the nest of puzzles posed by human- induced climate change. When matters of that character are taken to court for resolution by judges, what marks them as “political” for purposes of the “political question doctrine” is not some problem-specific language but, rather, the demonstrable intractability of those matters to principled resolution through lawsuit to the pluralistic processes of legislation and treaty-making rather than to the principle-bound process of judicially resolving what Article III denominates “cases” and “controversies.” In other words, the judicial unmanageability of an issue serves as powerful evidence that the Constitution’s text reserves that issue, even if broadly and implicitly, to the political branches.5
Climate change is a PQD issue
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There are two basic arguments for marriage equality. The first is that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional because it treats same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples; in other words, that the denial violates principles of equality. The second argument is that denying same-sex couples the right to marry infringes on their ability to make personal decisions about important parts of their lives; in other words, that the denial violates principles of liberty. Throughout the history of same-sex marriage litigation, both arguments have consistently been raised by proponents of same-sex marriage, but the courts have been erratic in choosing between them. Some lower courts have favored the equality framework and others have preferred the liberty analysis. Supreme Court rulings based on these arguments would have different implications. For instance, a strongly-worded opinion based on equality would affect other aspects of anti-discrimination law, making it harder for the government to justify treating LGBT people differently in public housing, schools, and government services.
David S. Cohen and Leonore Carpenter. "Five Things to Pay Attention to in Tuesday’s Gay Marriage Arguments at the Supreme Court." Slate, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 June 2015
There are two basic arguments for marriage equality. The first is that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional The second argument is that denying same-sex couples the right to marry infringes on their ability to make personal decisions about important parts of their lives; in other words, that the denial violates principles of liberty
Gay marriage was a test of the constitution not a PQD
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Through the nuanced approach discussed above, Congress can also emphasize reforms that are mindful of the fact that costs associated with implementing new regulations are borne directly by energy consumers, businesses that rely on affordable energy to survive and compete, and energy sector workers. As indicated, any isolated decision on GHG emissions will undoubtedly increase the costs of generating electricity,205 curtail energy output,206 and cause energy producers to relocate operations outside of the reach of the new “regulations.”207 Unlike courts, Congress can find ways to reach these goals without infringing on the primary benefits of inexpensive energy, which has been a driving force in America’s economic success and led to a major increase in people’s standard of living and life spans for more than a century and a half.208¶ As advocates for the poor and elderly have expressed over the past few years, limiting GHG emissions too much too quickly, whether through litigation, legislation, or regulation, would disproportionately impact their constituents.209 Already, American households earning between $10,000 and $30,000 are estimated to allocate twenty-three percent of their 2011 after-tax income to energy—a level more than twice the national average and a sixty-five percent increase over the past ten years.210 The Affordable Power Alliance,211 an umbrella organization of several advocacy groups, issued a report in 2010 showing that potentialEPA regulations on GHG emissions could cause gasoline and residential electricity prices to increase by fifty percent and industry electricity and natural gas prices to go up by seventy-five percent by 2030.212 EPA can consider these impacts during its notice and comment rulemaking, but courts cannot. Nor can courts consider the impact of their “regulations” on government assistance programs, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which would need to be increased significantly if home-heating oil prices had to incorporate costs allegedly related to global climate change.213¶ Should utilities not be able to generate sufficient electricity in compliance with a court order, the brown-outs in California from a decade ago can give a glimpse as to the impact an electricity shortage could have on communities.214 During the March 2001 eight hour rolling blackouts, the average electricity shutoff period was ninety minutes, which was projected to translate into twenty hours of outage per customer if the crisis were to continue over the summer.215 This projected impact included a $4.6 billion reduction in household income for Californians, a loss of nearly 136,000 jobs, and a $21.8 billion hit to the gross state output.216 Fortunately, that crisis was avoided, in part, by the ability of energy policymakers to make adjustments. Policymakers would likely be hamstrung, though, if the brown-outs—whether more or less drastic than those projected for the summer of 2001—were caused by judicially-imposed limits that companies had to meet or be subject to massive, additional liability.¶ Any such cost increases or energy shortages would have broad ripple effects. This is why GHG emissions have been a focal point of both national and international policymakers. If American businesses, from manufacturers to service companies, had to adjust to more expensive, less available energy, then they would be significantly disadvantaged. Already, the recent rise in energy costs has taken its toll on American companies’ ability to compete internationally. Thechemical industry, for example, was once dominated by American businesses. But, as the Commerce Department has found, energy cost increases “have eroded the U.S. chemicals industry’s competitive position,”217 with the United States’ trade balance for chemicals declining from $16.8 billion in net exports in 1997 to $218 million in net exports in 2006.218 “Chemical plants are closing in the United States, as companies move their facilities and dollars to countries where natural gas is cheaper, particularly to the Middle East where natural gas prices are a fraction of prices in the United States.”219 Metal, pulp, and paper industries have had similar experiences.220¶ Other sectors would be deeply affected, regardless of international competition. Consider the energy sectors themselves, as the natural gas industry alone employs over 600,000 workers directly and helps create an estimated three million other American jobs.221 The transportation industry would also be hit hard. Rising energy costs have been a significant factor in the recent challenges facing the airline industry; and for taxi cab and truck drivers whose incomes are modest, energy costs constitute a significant part of their expenses. Here, judicially-mandated reductions in GHGs could directly determine their economic viability.222
Schwartz et al 12 (Victor, Phil and Christopher, * Victor E. Schwartz is chairman of the Public Policy Group in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. He coauthors the most widely-used torts casebook in the United States, PROSSER, WADE & SCHWARTZ’S TORTS (12th ed. 2010). He has served on the Advisory Committees of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law (Third) Torts: Products Liability, Apportionment of Liability, General Principles, Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm projects. Mr. Schwartz received his B.A. summa cum laude from Boston University and his J.D. magna cum laude from Columbia University. ** Phil Goldberg is an attorney in the Public Policy Group in the Washington, D.C. office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. He has served as an aide to several Democratic members of Congress. Mr. Goldberg received his B.A. cum laude from Tufts University and his J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. *** Christopher E. Appel is an associate in the Public Policy Group in the Washington, D.C. office of Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. He received his B.S. from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, DOES THE JUDICIARY HAVE THE TOOLS FOR ¶ REGULATING GREENHOUSE GAS ¶ EMISSIONS?, Valparaiso Law Review, www.shb.com/attorneys/SchwartzVictor/RegulatingGHGEmissions.pdf)
Unlike courts, Congress can find ways to reach these goals without infringing on the primary benefits of inexpensive energy, which has been a driving force in America’s economic success Should utilities not be able to generate sufficient electricity in compliance with a court order, the brown-outs in California from a decade ago can give a glimpse as to the impact an electricity shortage could have on communities. Policymakers would likely be hamstrung, though, if the brown-outs—whether more or less drastic than those projected for the summer of 2001—were caused by judicially-imposed limits that companies had to meet or be subject to massive, additional liability.¶ Any such cost increases or energy shortages would have broad ripple effects . If American businesses, from manufacturers to service companies, had to adjust to more expensive, less available energy, then they would be significantly disadvantaged. Already, the recent rise in energy costs has taken its toll on American companies’ ability to compete internationally Thechemical industry energy cost increases “have eroded the U.S. chemicals industry’s competitive position,” Consider the energy sectors themselves, as the natural gas industry alone employs over 600,000 workers directly and helps create an estimated three million other American jobs.221 The transportation industry would also be hit hard Rising energy costs have been a significant factor in the recent challenges facing the airline industry judicially-mandated reductions in GHGs could directly determine their economic viability.222
Judicial climate action tanks the economy – also kills the chemical, transportation, and airline industries
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President Barack Obama, sharing a breakfast of beer and pretzels with Chancellor Angela Merkel, declared the US-German relationship as “one of the strongest alliances the world has ever known.”
Brown and Karnitschnig ’15 [CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN AND MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG, 6/7/15, Politico, Obama and Merkel make nice, http://www.politico.eu/article/obama-merkel-g7-alliance/]
Obama declared the US-German relationship as “one of the strongest alliances the world has ever known.”
Relations resilient- spying didn’t collapse them
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Facing the National Assembly, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls asked the United States to repair the damage that the tapping has caused. "The US must recognize not only the dangers such actions pose to our liberties, but also do everything, and quickly, to repair the damage it causes to the relations between allied countries and between France and the United States," Valls said Wednesday. "The reported spying creates a discomfort, because there is a breach of trust. But, it is absolutely important and vital for both countries to maintain their partnership, given that there are many sensitive issues such as Ukraine, operations in Iraq which remained unsolved," Ulysse Gosset, journalist specialized in foreign politics told news channel BFMTV. To Edwy Plenel, French political journalist and editor-in-chief of news website Mediapart, which reported WikiLeaks revelations, it is "a real problem of loyalty in international relations between allies". French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius summoned US ambassador Jane Hartley for an explanation on "Espionage Elysee" of WikiLeaks. Urging a strong answer to United States' spying on Paris, critics from the right and left wing parties called for retaliation. But, according to the ruling Socialists, a diplomatic spat is not in the air. "In the face of threats that we face and given the historic ties linking us, we have to keep a perspective. We're not going to break diplomatic ties," said Stephane Le Foll, the government's spokesman after a weekly cabinet meeting. Following the allegations of US spying on French interests, which had emerged for the second time in two years, Le Foll announced a senior French intelligence official would be dispatched to the United States "to verify this spying has finished." "Between allies, this is unacceptable and incomprehensible. France does not spy on its allies," he stressed. A statement from the US National Security Council said it was not targeting and would not target Hollande's communications, but did confirm that spying had taken place in the past. However, after a phone discussion between French president Francois Hollande and his American counterpart Barack Obama, Elysee seemed much calmer but hazy. "President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment to end the practices that were allowed to happen in the past and that were unacceptable among allies," said the statement of the Elysee, without clarifying France's reaction after the phone discussion. But "the French intelligence officials will travel soon to Washington to deepen the cooperation", according to the statement.
Xinhua 6/25/15. "What's after WikiLeaks Revelations of NSA Spying on Paris?" CD. China Daily, 25 June 2015. Web. 26 June 2015. Xinhua is the official press of the People’s Republic of China(PRC)
French Minister Valls asked the U S to repair the damage that the tapping has caused. "The US must recognize dangers such actions pose and quickly, to repair the damage it causes to the relations between allied countries and between France and the United States The reported spying creates a discomfort But, it is absolutely important and vital for both countries to maintain their partnership, given that there are many sensitive issues which remained unsolved In the face of threats that we face and given the historic ties linking us, we have to keep a perspective. We're not going to break diplomatic ties Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment to end the practices that were allowed to happen in the past and that were unacceptable among allies But "the French intelligence officials will travel soon to Washington to deepen cooperation
EU-US relations resilant; no chance of breakdown
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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is fending off allegations that the German secret service helped the United States to spy on European partners and companies, nearly a year after Ms. Merkel expelled the top American spy in a rare display of anger over revelations of widespread United States intelligence operations in Germany. Over the past week, the German news media has reported that the country’s foreign intelligence agency, known by its German initials, B.N.D., gathered information on European companies at the behest of the United States National Security Agency for years, citing confidential documents and government experts. The aviation giant Airbus said Thursday that it had filed a legal complaint against unknown persons over acts of criminal espionage and was seeking information from the German government in the wake of the reports. On Monday, the newspaper Bild named the aviation company as a target of the American agency. Continue reading the main story RELATED COVERAGE Obama Acknowledges Damage From NSA Eavesdropping on MerkelFEB. 9, 2015 Obama Sends Aide to Soothe German AlliesJULY 22, 2014 In Rome in March, people waved at the motorcade as President Obama went to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican.A Survey Says: Eavesdropping Hasn’t Harmed Image of U.S.JULY 21, 2014 Germany Investigates Alleged NSA Merkel Phone TapJUNE 4, 2014 “We are aware that as a major player in this industry we are a target for intelligence activities. In this particular case there appears to be a reasonable suspicion of alleged industrial espionage,” Airbus said in an emailed statement. “We are alarmed by this.” Germans hold privacy in high regard, given their history of police states under the Nazis and, in the old East Germany, the Communist Party. In 2013, the country displayed a collective outrage over revelations that American intelligence agencies had been monitoring Ms. Merkel’s cellphone conversations and German telecommunications. The German news media have further said that the Merkel government knew of cooperation between the B.N.D. and the American spy services, but withheld that information from a parliamentary committee assigned to investigate the affair. The chancellor says her office, which oversees B.N.D. operations, has cooperated fully with the lawmakers’ inquiry, but one of her strongest allies, Thomas de Maizière, who was Ms. Merkel’s chief of staff from 2005 to 2009, is facing allegations that he lied to Parliament about cooperation with American intelligence agencies. “I strongly reject allegations the government did not tell the truth,” Steffen Seibert, Ms. Merkel’s spokesman said Wednesday. Mr. Maizière, now the interior minister, has consistently denied misleading Parliament.
Eddy 4/30 (Eddy, Melissa. "Germany Is Accused of Helping N.S.A. Spy on European Allies." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Apr. 2015. Web. 24 June 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/world/europe/germany-is-accused-of-helping-nsa-spy-on-european-allies.html) ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
the country’s foreign intelligence agency, known by its German initials, B.N.D., gathered information on European companies at the behest of the United States National Security Agency Germans hold privacy in high regard the country displayed a collective outrage over revelations that American intelligence agencies had been monitoring Ms. Merkel’s cellphone conversations and German telecommunications. The German news media have further said that the Merkel government knew of cooperation between the B.N.D. and the American spy services, but withheld that information
Germany spies with us – no fallout from NSA tapping German phones
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KRÜN, Germany — President Obama sought to smooth over tensions with a crucial ally, bonding on Sunday with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany over beer, sausages and their shared determination to confront Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, as he declared her a “great friend and partner” during a summit meeting of world leaders. Greeting Ms. Merkel with an embrace and kisses on both cheeks near Krün’s picturesque town square at the foot of the Alps, Mr. Obama emphasized the ties that connect Germans and Americans despite a troubled history. “The fact that all of us are here together today is proof that conflicts can end, and great progress is possible,” Mr. Obama told about 800 townspeople, many of whom were wearing traditional dress. “We stand together as inseparable allies, in Europe and around the world.” The meeting came at the start of the Group of 7 conference Ms. Merkel is hosting at a castle and luxury resort, where the leaders of seven major industrialized nations are meeting to discuss the global economy, climate change, terrorism and as Mr. Obama said, “standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine.” He and Ms. Merkel agreed that economic sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine should not be lifted until a cease-fire accord there had been fully carried out and Moscow respected Ukraine’s sovereignty. The White House intensified its criticism of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as Mr. Obama pressed for a firm commitment from Europe during the two-day gathering to preserve the sanctions, along with a broader statement of resolve to punish Russia for any further escalations in Ukraine. Russian-backed separatists have been clashing violently with Ukrainian forces and massing heavy weaponry near the border, prompting the White House to say that the cease-fire had been violated. The escalation apparently extended offshore on Sunday into the Sea of Azov, where a Ukrainian coast guard speedboat exploded after striking a mine near the port of Mariupol. With the European Union facing a vote this month on whether to continue the sanctions, Mr. Obama has made stiffening resolve on the issue an objective. “We think that there can be a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to this problem, but it’s going to require that Europe, the United States and the trans-Atlantic partnership, as well as the world, stay vigilant and stay focused on the importance of upholding the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Mr. Obama said during a meeting with the British prime minister, David Cameron. The meetings unfolded after a period of strain between Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel. Though the two have an unusually close rapport and strong working relationship, their bond has been tested by complicated intelligence ties that have proved to be a political vulnerability for the chancellor. Those strains did not prevent her from inviting Mr. Obama to tour a historic village here before the summit meeting opened, a carefully choreographed event showcasing their friendship. “Although it is true we sometimes have differences of opinion today from time to time,” Ms. Merkel said, “the United States of America is our friend, our partner and, indeed, an essential partner.” Ms. Merkel is facing harsh criticism here that she is doing the bidding of the National Security Agency, after allegations surfaced in April that Germany’s foreign intelligence service was monitoring European companies and perhaps individuals at the American intelligence agency’s behest. The uproar is not the first time spying has become a bone of contention between Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel. In 2013, documents released by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, suggested that the agency had tapped Ms. Merkel’s personal cellphone for a decade. That practice, once revealed, was halted by the president. And last summer, tensions grew when Ms. Merkel’s government expelled the C.I.A. station chief in Germany after Berlin said it found evidence of American spies recruiting at least one German official. The N.S.A. surveillance issues have “obviously cast a very dark shadow on their personal relationship,” said Julianne Smith, a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and now director of the Strategy and Statecraft Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. But there is little doubt that Mr. Obama, who tends to prioritize strategy and shared interests over personality in his relationships with world leaders, needs Ms. Merkel, and that she needs him. Ms. Merkel has been important in rallying Europe to stay united against Russia’s interference in Ukraine, even as the economic sanctions designed to pressure Mr. Putin have placed political strain on her and many of her counterparts. “The commitment required by our European partners to implement and maintain these sanctions is significant,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. “They have economies that are more integrated with Russia than the United States has, and so we recognize that many of the countries that we’re counting on to continue to enforce these sanctions are countries who do so at some sacrifice to their own economy.” The White House said Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel also discussed their shared support for a major trans-Atlantic trade deal; the prospect of teaming up to reach an agreement on climate change by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and countering the Sunni militant group the Islamic State. “These are the priorities in our relationship,” Mr. Earnest said. During Mr. Obama’s nearly 45-minute meeting with Ms. Merkel on Sunday, neither raised the issue of N.S.A. surveillance, Mr. Earnest said, while more than half of the session was taken up with talk of Russia and Ukraine. “They realize that they continue to share a common agenda on Russia, on a number of fronts,” Ms. Smith said. The president “continues to reach out to her,” she said, adding, “I think they still trust each other.” At the same time, a year after the seven world powers banded together to kick Russia out of their group, the White House seemed determined to use the gathering to portray Mr. Putin as an international pariah. “Russia has essentially thumbed their nose at the commitments that they made” in a cease-fire agreement with Ukraine, Mr. Earnest said, indicating that Moscow was supplying, leading, training and otherwise backing separatists in Ukraine. “Russia’s failure to live up to those commitments is what leads to their increasing isolation and the increasing costs being imposed on their economy.” Any disputes seemed remote on Sunday as Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel sampled local food and strolled through town greeting men wearing lederhosen and women in dirndls. The president halfheartedly asked Ms. Merkel if the meetings, which are being held at a resort nearby, could instead take place in the small alpine town’s center, over beer. “It was a very fine beer,” Mr. Obama said on his way out of the village. “I wish I was staying.”
Davis, New York Times, 6/7 Julie Hirschfield Davis, June 7th, 2015, “Over Beer, Obama and Merkel Mend Ties and Double Down on Russia” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/08/world/europe/on-sidelines-of-g-7-meeting-obama-and-merkel-strengthen-ties.html?_r=0 PJL~KKF
Obama sought to smooth over tensions bonding on Sunday with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany over their shared determination to confront Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, as he declared her a “great friend and partner” during a summit meeting of world leaders “The fact that all of us are here together today is proof that conflicts can end, and great progress is possible,” townspeople He and Ms. Merkel agreed that economic sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine should not be lifted until a cease-fire accord there had been fully carried out and Moscow respected Ukraine’s sovereignty. The meetings unfolded after a period of strain between Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel. Though the two have an unusually close rapport and strong working relationship, their bond has been tested by complicated intelligence ties that have proved to be a political vulnerability for the chancellor. Those strains did not prevent her from inviting Mr. Obama to tour a historic village here before the summit meeting opened showcasing their friendship. “Although it is true we sometimes have differences of opinion today from time to time,” Ms. Merkel said, “the United States of America is our friend, our partner and, indeed, an essential partner.” But there is little doubt that Obama needs Merkel, and she needs him.
non-UQ -- Merkel and US have made up, no more in-fighting – our ev postdates
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Germany's top public prosecutor closed a year-long investigation into the suspected tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone by U.S. spies, saying there was a lack of evidence that would stand up in court. Dropping its probe in a case that had caused strains between Germany and the United States, the prosecutor said it could not find evidence backing allegations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that Merkel's phone was bugged. "The accusations made would not stand up in court with the means available for criminal proceedings," the federal prosecutors office in Karlsruhe said in a statement. "The vague remarks from U.S. officials about U.S. intelligence surveillance of the chancellor's cell phone - i.e. 'not any more' - are insufficient evidence". Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert declined to comment on the prosecutor dropping the probe. "The federal prosecutor has made his decision," he said. "Such a decision should not be commented on by the government." Federal Prosecutor Harald Range had launched the probe last June, saying there was preliminary evidence to show U.S. intelligence had tapped the phone. But he said at the time there was not enough clarity to bring charges. "The document presented in public as proof of an actual tapping of the mobile phone is not an authentic surveillance order by the NSA," he said in December. "It does not come from the NSA database. There is no proof at the moment which could lead to charges that Chancellor Merkel's phone connection data was collected or her calls tapped." Range also said neither a reporter for German news magazine Der Spiegel who presented the document, nor Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency, nor Snowden had provided further details to his office.
World Bulletin 6/12 June 6th, 2015, “Germany drops US spying probe over G7 friendship” http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/160586/germany-drops-us-spying-probe-over-g7-friendship PJL~KKF
Germany's top public prosecutor closed a year-long investigation into the suspected tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone by U.S. spies, saying there was a lack of evidence Dropping its probe in a case that had caused strains between Germany and the United States, the prosecutor said it could not find evidence "The accusations made would not stand up in court with the means available for criminal proceedings," there was not enough clarity to bring charges. There is no proof which could lead to charges that Chancellor Merkel's phone connection data was collected or her calls tapped."
Non-UQ – Merkel has ended investigation against US NSA spying, forgiven Obama
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Other analysts argue that the purported U.S. surveillance operations remain a point of friction but∂ that tensions have proven manageable and do not pose a sustained threat to the overall∂ transatlantic relationship. Those holding this view contend that much of the outrage expressed by∂ European leaders has been for domestic public consumption. They also note that while senior∂ European officials may not have been familiar with the details of U.S. surveillance activities,∂ many were well aware that their own security services conduct various surveillance operations∂ and often work closely with U.S. intelligence services to help prevent terrorist attacks and other∂ serious crimes in Europe. In addition, especially given the potential threat posed by the Islamic∂ State and returning foreign fighters, officials indicate that cooperation between U.S. and∂ European intelligence and security services has continued uninterrupted despite any loss of trust∂ at the political level.
Mix 15 (Derek, 2-3, “The United States and Europe: Current Issues”, Congressional Research Service, https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS22163.pdf)
U.S. surveillance operations remain a point of friction but∂ that tensions have proven manageable and do not pose a sustained threat to the overall∂ transatlantic relationship. much of the outrage expressed by∂ European leaders has been for domestic public consumption while senior∂ European officials may not have been familiar with the details of U.S. surveillance activities,∂ many were well aware that their own security services conduct various surveillance operations∂ and often work closely with U.S. intelligence services to help prevent terrorist attacks and other∂ serious crimes in Europe. cooperation between U.S. and∂ European intelligence and security services has continued uninterrupted despite any loss of trust
U.S.-EU relations remain high- NSA spying had no affect
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The consensus is that the EU leadership’s countless meetings on the issue have actually made matters worse. This is partly because of the characters of those involved. The French president, Francois Hollande, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, don’t get along. Hollande is overwhelmed by his own internal problems, particularly the evidence of corruption and rule-breaking by members of his government. Merkel is disgusted by the way Hollande runs his affairs and can barely hold her temper when they meet. Hollande’s failure has stiffened Merkel’s resolve to stick to her formula of spending cuts and austerity, which, she insists, is the only way to eliminate the EU’s enormous deficits.∂ The result has been a breakdown in Franco-German friendship, accompanied by acrimony and mud-slinging. This is a very serious matter, for the Franco-German axis is the essential mechanism that allows the EU to work. Unless it functions smoothly the Union is bound, sooner or later, to dissolve.∂ There isn’t much chance of other members bringing the French and Germans together. Spain is crippled by its floundering economy. Italy has only recently managed to form a co alition ministry and is in no position to take its eyes off its own domestic woes. The smaller states, led by Greece, are bitterly anti-German and blame Merkel for all the sacrifices their previous profligacy is now forcing them to make.∂ The Germans themselves believe that if Germany were on its own and didn’t have to bail out bankrupt states like Ireland, Portugal and Greece the banking crisis would be history by now–a pretty universal view among business leaders. Disillusionment among disgruntled voters is seen in the emergence of new and often extreme political parties, which are invading the cozy consensus that has hitherto kept countries loyal to rule by Brussels. Hence, no British leader can afford to be seen as being in favor of the EU as a working system. The Liberal Democrats remain keen but are in real danger of being wiped out at the next elections. The Labour Party, in order to solve its own disagreements, is quite capable of turning on the EU. And the Conservatives are mortally threatened by the U.K. Independence Party, which is ferociously anti-EU.∂ U.S. policy ought to take note of the general air of hostility toward Brussels. Mr. Obama faces the prospect of Britain leaving the EU and of France, Germany, Italy and Spain all weakening their links. This will have little effect on American prosperity, but it is a return to realism that Washington should welcome, if quietly. The United States is a concept that works very well, even in bad times. But that’s no reason to think its structure can be superimposed with success on any other part of the world, particularly when times are terrible.
Johnson 13 (Paul, 6-23, “United Europe- bad idea?”, Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2013/06/05/united-europe-bad-idea/)
. The French president and the German chancellor don’t get along Hollande is overwhelmed by his own internal problems Merkel is disgusted by the way Hollande runs his affairs and can barely hold her temper when they meet The result has been a breakdown in Franco-German friendship, accompanied by acrimony and mud-slinging This is a very serious matter, for the Franco-German axis is the essential mechanism that allows the EU to work. Unless it functions smoothly the Union is bound, sooner or later, to dissolve There isn’t much chance of other members bringing the French and Germans together Spain is crippled Italy has only recently managed to form a co alition ministry and is in no position to take its eyes off its own domestic woes smaller states re bitterly anti-German Germans believe that if on its own and didn’t have to bail out bankrupt states like Ireland, Portugal and Greece the banking crisis would be history by now This will have little effect on American prosperity but it is a return to realism that Washington should welcome
EU collapse inevitable- Franco-German collapse proves
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It is clear that the euro crisis has had and will have huge implications for EU foreign policy. A lot depends on what happens in the next months – the solution to the Greek or Italian problems, the contours of a multi-speed Europe and how messy a solution or non-solution to the euro crisis will be. Things can get worse, or they can get better. But it is already possible to take a snapshot of the foreign policy implications of the Eurozone crisis. The picture contains a push to the background of all foreign policy issues, followed by fewer foreign policy resources and a coma for EU soft power, made worse by the fact that the EU understanding of power is so unhedged. ∂ 1) Less time for foreign policy ∂ When your house is burning, this is a bad time to be chatting or engaging neighbours. When political leaders and administrations are engaged full time in managing the economy – saving the euro, reducing public spending or stemming the tide of unemployment, foreign policy is pushed even more to the bottom of the list of priorities. Leaders simply have less time and desire to understand or strategise about how to react to foreign policy events – be it Putin’s return to the presidency, the latest turn in the political mess of Egypt, Tunisia or Ukraine. And foreign policy issues which sometimes need not just competent diplomatic management, but also high-level political drivers, is relegated to working level – where many issues cannot be solved. Foreign policy matters are then seen like issues that need to be put aside, postponed, thrown under the carpet and get out of the way until more urgent problems are solved.∂ 2) Less money ∂ Foreign policy is costly. Some money need to be spent on military resources and other – on assistance. Both of these types of spending buy the EU various degrees of influence, power and diplomatic weight.∂ The amount of EU spending for foreign policy is the result of a trade off between moral commitments (to help those in need of humanitarian assistance, post-colonial guilt), self-interest (stabilise countries, use political influence to promote economic interests, give aid to reduce emigration) and politicians’ accountability to voters. With a growing pie – politicians and decision-makers could get a decent balance between these various imperatives. But with a shrinking pie, a more egoistic narrow-mindedly voter oriented behaviour is likely to come to the forefront. This will restrain EU member states’ desire to spend money internationally. The increasing number of those affected by unemployment or salary cuts might suddenly become much less altruistic internationally and put increasing pressures on elites to spend money at home. At the end of the day foreign aid recipients don’t vote and a generously funded foreign policy is likely to be increasingly seen as something of a luxury.∂ All this is a huge problem for all great foreign policy powers, but especially for the EU, which in the absence of hard power has relied so much on economic power, conditionality and financial aid as its main foreign policy tools. On this the EU is like an investor with a shockingly undiversified portfolio of investments, to use Nick Witney’s parallel.∂ The EU takes a lot of pride in the fact that it is the biggest donor in the world. But even before the acute phase of the euro-crisis the political relevance of EU aid in the emerging world was undermined by alternative sources of funding for many of the emerging countries –from China,Russia, or their own burgeoning economies. Now the EU not only has to compete for political influence with other aid donors which is debilitating in itself, but might also face the need to reduce foreign policy funding. This is EU’s foreign policy double dip: the loss of relative influence compared to the other powers (due to their rise), supplemented now with loss of foreign policy resources not just in relative, but also absolute terms.∂ A side-effect of this problem also relates to market-access related conditionality. For decades the EU used access to the EU market as a carrot which is exchanged for all kinds of concessions – economic or political (such as the human rights conditionality in EU association agreements). But now, this tools might also become problematic on two accounts. First, the ‘carrot’ of EU’s stagnating market might become less attractive in relative terms (again not least by comparison with faster growing alternative markets). And second, the ‘carrot’ might be put out of sight for some external partners as a result of potential protectionist backlashes inside the EU.∂ While other powers, such as the US or Russia are also affected by the crisis, in financial dire straits they are still left with raw military power or assertive high-quality diplomacy. The EU has little hard power, fewer money, a half-baked External Action Service and a disparaged collection of divided national foreign ministries. This is roughly like the saying (from ‘don’t-remember-which-country’, but probably China) that ‘in a famine a fat man looses weight, and ∂ a thin man dies’.∂ 3) The euro-crisis of soft power∂ The third serious effect of the euro-crisis is on EU soft power, which is supposedly based on EU attractiveness as a prosperous, well-functioning model. I have argued before that ‘soft power’ has an element of free-riding to it. For the last twenty years the EU’s main foreign policy occupation has been teaching other how to live and making them want what the EU wants. This foreign policy model was reaching its limits already before the crisis as it was hitting the limits of cultural fascination with Europe which was much more valid in Central Europe in the 90s and the Balkans, than it is in the Middle East or much of the post-Soviet space (see ECFR report on the Limits of Enlargement-lite). But now this foreign policy model is evaporating. Few, if any foreign policy partners of the EU are likely to aspire to be like Europe. The fastest growing economies in Europe in 2010 were Turkey, Belarus and Moldova. Hardly a good advertisement for EU’s economic model.∂ Again, the crisis of ‘soft power’ is costlier for the EU than for other powers like the US, whose ‘soft power’ also had to suffer as a result of the crisis. The US at least retains hard power, whereas the EU had no hard power, and its ‘soft power’ is in a coma.
Popescu 11 (Nicu, Nicu Popescu, was senior research fellow at ECFR from 2007 to 2011, “how the Eurozone crisis affects EU power”, European Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_how_the_eurozone_crisis_affects_eu_power)
the euro crisis has had and will have huge implications for EU foreign policy Things can get worse the Eurozone crisis contains a push to the background of all foreign policy issues, followed by fewer foreign policy resources and a coma for EU soft power, made worse by the fact that the EU understanding of power is so unhedged. When political leaders and administrations are engaged full time in managing the economy – saving the euro, reducing public spending or stemming the tide of unemployment, foreign policy is pushed even more to the bottom of the list of priorities. Leaders simply have less time and desire to understand or strategise about how to react to foreign policy events The amount of EU spending for foreign policy is the result of a trade off between moral commitments self-interest and politicians’ accountability This will restrain EU member states’ desire to spend money internationally. The increasing number of those affected by unemployment or salary cuts might suddenly become much less altruistic internationally and put increasing pressures on elites to spend money at home. All this is a huge problem for the EU, which in the absence of hard power has relied so much on economic power, Now the EU not only has to compete for political influence with other aid donors which is debilitating in itself, but might also face the need to reduce foreign policy funding. This is EU’s foreign policy double dip: the loss of relative influence compared to the other powers supplemented now with loss of foreign policy resources not just in relative The EU has little hard power, fewer money, a half-baked External Action Service and a disparaged collection of divided national foreign ministries. foreign policy model is evaporating. Few, if any foreign policy partners of the EU are likely to aspire to be like Europe the EU had no hard power, and its ‘soft power’ is in a coma.
Eurozone crushes all other foreign policy issues- no other focus possible
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Rather than being the all-powerful behemoth frequently alluded to by its critics, the European Union is a fragile – indeed perhaps uniquely fragile – political system. It relies on the consent of member states without whose acquiescence decisions would neither be taken nor implemented. It remains one of the great miracles of modern day international politics that these states acquiesce in respecting and implementing decisions they may have opposed and which then take precedence over national legislation. The EU is not a normal federal system. Its central institutions are weak, whilst its constituent parts are sovereign nation states. It cannot act like the United States and call up the National Guard in the event that a member state refuses to implement European law. It rests on consensus.∂ 2. The flip side of this is that member states decisively shape what the EU can and cannot do. For all the talk of qualified majority voting, of member states being over-ridden either by their peers or by an all powerful and power hungry European Commission, the fact is that it is in no one’s interests to steamroll national governments. Even where majority voting is possible, member states prefer to seek consensus. And in the event that a national government signals that important domestic interests are at stake, a search is launched for compromise. The growing power within the EU system of the European Council – the forum within which Heads of State and Government meet to thrash out difficult decisions – bears eloquent testimony to the growing importance of national governments in EU decision making.∂ 3. Whilst member states act as a powerful check on the EU’s ability to trample over their interests, other factors militate against the Union over-reaching its authority. The most obvious of these is its limited democratic authority. The experiment of assuring democratic legitimacy via the European Parliament has failed, as voters either fail to vote or register their protests in ballots cast for insurgent parties. Member states remain the basis of democratic political accountability in Europe. As European decisions impact on more and more politically salient aspects of national political and particularly economic life, a sense of disempowerment serves to drive popular dissatisfaction with European integration. ∂ One would hope that the travails of recent years have hammered home the pertinence of the aphorism ‘integrate in haste, repent at leisure,’ but it is hard to have the requisite degree of faith in our political leaders. All of which, of course, confronts these same leaders with a significant dilemma. Whilst structurally limited, European integration remains profoundly necessary. Europe is a continent of small states with highly interdependent economies. Yet a neat solution to the paradox of stubbornly national politics coexisting with a pressing need for regional collaboration has yet to be discovered.∂ 4. Frustration at a perceived lack of control over decisions that profoundly and intimately impact on national political and economic life has played its part in stoking a surge in popular euroscepticism across the continent. So too, has the fact that European integration does not necessarily serve the interests of all its citizens. Eurosceptics and Europhiles alike make grand claims about the costs or benefits of EU membership. But these vary dramatically both between and within member states. It is not hard to understand growing resentment in southern Europe. Nor, however, is it the case that the impact of regional integration has been uniformly beneficial even in the north. Economists accept that trade liberalization may well have the effect of hastening de-industrialization. This spawns losers as well as winners. In this sense, European integration has accelerated and accentuated the impact of globalization, favouring some sections of society over others. To date, social provision at the EU has failed to compensate for this adequately. Perhaps it will do so in the future. But for the moment, there is nothing irrational about skepticism concerning the EU’s impact.∂ 5. Finally, the Union remains critically unable to address many of the most pressing challenges currently confronting it. Originally created to ensure that no European power would again wield hegemony over its partners, the EU remains lumbered with an institutional system designed to that end. We can debate later whether the EU has managed to ensure peace within Europe (it always seems to me that proponents of this view tend to overlook the role of the United States and, yes, Soviet Union in ensuring Europeans did not squabble too much amongst themselves). For now, its roots in a desire effectively to manage Europe’s internal problems severely hamper the Union’s ability to confront a world in which many of the most pressing challenges facing it are external. Whilst Russia uses military force to redraw European territorial borders in the east, the Middle East is in flames with, as a consequence, a wave of migrants seeking safety via desperately dangerous dashes across the Mediterranean. Simultaneously, the United States seeks to refocus its attentions on Asia, leaving Europeans to deal with problems in their own near abroad.∂
Menon 15 (Anand, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King's College London in the United Kingdom, “the five things that everyone should know about the European Union, http://www.socialeurope.eu/author/anand-menon/)
Rather than being the all-powerful behemoth frequently alluded to by its critics, the European Union is a fragile political system Its central institutions are weak, whilst its constituent parts are sovereign nation states. It cannot act like the United States and call up the National Guard in the event that a member state refuses to implement European law. Whilst structurally limited, European integration remains profoundly necessary. Europe is a continent of small states with highly interdependent economies. Yet a neat solution to the paradox of stubbornly national politics coexisting with a pressing need for regional collaboration has yet to be discovered the Union remains critically unable to address many of the most pressing challenges currently confronting it Originally created to ensure that no European power would again wield hegemony over its partners, the EU remains lumbered with an institutional system designed to that end. its roots in a desire effectively to manage Europe’s internal problems severely hamper the Union’s ability to confront a world in which many of the most pressing challenges facing it are external.
EU faces too many internal problems to combat global issues
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With the demise of the Soviet Union, there has been no check on NATO’s expansion. The organization serves as the military arm of the Western powers (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States). They called themselves the G7, until they welcomed Russia into what became the G8 in 1997, when under a pliant Boris Yeltsin it seemed to have been subordinated to the U.S. agenda. (Russia has since been a less reliable member of the group.) ∂ NATO and the G8 have used their political and military power to impose their social and economic vision on the planet. Their economic agenda (neoliberalism) has tilted the social wealth of the planet toward the global 1 percent and put the interests of finance above that of social needs. This is the reason why the Global Hunger Index of 2011 finds that every year 2 million children die of chronic malnutrition (that’s four children every minute). It is the reason why one-fourth of the world’s children do not get enough nutrients to grow properly, including to develop their intellectual capabilities.∂ This combination of ideological and military power has helped deliver social wealth into the hands of the global 1 percent, which now owns 40 percent of global assets. NATO’s guns and the G8’s political power has allowed the 1 percent to push for privatization of social resources and a general austerity for the world’s peoples.∂ It is thanks to the G8 and NATO that bankers are first in line for bailouts while the people are held at bay.∂ Genuine peace and justice cannot come to the world through the agenda put forward by the G8 and NATO. We demand an alternative world, a world founded on the principles of social justice and the social good.
Prashad 12 (Vijay, Chair of South Asian History and director of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn, 5-15, “why Nato is bad for the world”, The Progressive, http://www.progressive.org/why_nato_bad_for_world.html)
there has been no check on NATO’s expansion NATO used their political and military power to impose their social and economic vision on the planet. Their economic agenda has tilted the social wealth of the planet toward the global 1 percent and put the interests of finance above that of social needs This is why the Global Hunger Index of 2011 finds that every year 2 million children die of chronic malnutrition one-fourth of the world’s children do not get enough nutrients to grow properly, This combination of ideological and military power has helped deliver social wealth into the hands of the global 1 percent, which now owns 40 percent of global assets. NATO’s guns and political power has allowed the 1 percent to push for privatization of social resources and a general austerity for the world’s peoples. bankers are first in line for bailouts while the people are held at bay Genuine peace and justice cannot come to the world through the agenda put forward by NATO We demand a world founded on the principles of social justice and the social good.
NATO increases conflict and prevents peace
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Admittedly, Americans are constantly tempted to intervene to “fix” foreign problems. But the U.S. has no significant interests in the region. Why put Americans’ lives, prosperity, future, and very existence on the line for the irresponsible government of another nation, no matter how worthy its people might be? Washington’s first priority should be to protect the lives, freedoms, and territory of its own people. War should be a last resort, not just another policy choice. Georgians deserve Americans’ friendship, not America’s protection. With the end of the Cold War, the U.S. can go back to being a normal country with a defense policy based on defense. That means fewer military commitments, a smaller force structure, and lower military outlays. That means leaving rather than expanding NATO. Washington should again make peace America’s principal foreign policy objective.
Bandow 12 (Doug, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, a Senior Fellow in International Religious Persecution with the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. The author and editor of numerous books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire, The Politics of Plunder: Misgovernment in Washington, and Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics. I am a graduate of Florida State University and Stanford Law School, 8-13, “How Nato expansion makes America less safe”, Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2012/08/13/how-nato-expansion-makes-america-less-safe/3/)
Americans are constantly tempted to intervene to “fix” foreign problems the U.S. has no significant interests in the region. Why put Americans’ lives, prosperity, future, and very existence on the line for the irresponsible government of another nation Washington’s first priority should be to protect the lives, freedoms, and territory of its own people. War should be a last resort, not just another policy the U.S. can go back to being a normal country with a defense policy based on defense. That means leaving rather than expanding NATO.
NATO pulls U.S. into other countries’ affairs- makes problems worse
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Going forward, this means slower European growth (which must translate into even less influence, less defense spending, and a faster U.S. pivot to Asia) and further and even more serious strain on the U.K.-EU relationship, as the EU seeks to move into the citadel of national finance that has until now remained largely the province of the nation states. In short, the U.S. vision was that the EU would provide greater European security and prosperity. But as the drive for political unity has overtaken economic sanity, it has done the reverse.∂ Even without this pressure for deeper integration, the U.K.-EU relationship will never rest easy. The fundamental incompatibility between the EU’s supranational vision of European interests and Britain’s worldwide interests and political culture can to an extent be managed, but cannot be resolved. Nor is there an easy escape in a referendum on the U.K.’s membership of the EU. The outcomes of both the Alternative Vote and Scottish referendums imply that the U.K. has a bias in favor of the status quo, but it is one thing to vote for the status quo, and entirely another to rest content with it. For the U.K., apart from everything else, the EU will always symbolize not postwar renewal, as it plausibly does for Germany, but national decline, and that is simply never going to be popular.∂ The U.K. has often understood its role in the EU as being the bridge between the U.S. and the EU. But the lands at either end of the bridge are moving, and the U.K. will find that role steadily more challenging as the U.S. looks more to Asia—which, the vicissitudes of the Obama administration aside, it will do—and as the EU focuses on its own internal rescue project in ways that will be fundamentally unacceptable to the U.K. The idea that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership can replace the deep and broad structures of U.S.-European cooperation that were built during the Cold War, with NATO at their head, is a fantasy, and the idea th at the U.K. can lead the EU through TTIP is more fantastic still.∂ Precisely because the U.S. is so reliably friendly to the U.K., the fate of the special relationship today rests with the U.K. And the fundamental problem with the relationship is that, if it is to endure, the U.K. needs to have a domestic political culture that is expansive and optimistic—in other words, traditionally liberal, because it was liberalism that created the U.K.’s understanding of its world role. But the popular bias in favor of the status quo, the establishment’s horror at the prospect of exiting the EU, and the difficulties the U.K. faced in sustaining even the modest “austerity” of the last five years imply that the U.K.’s political culture is neither expansive nor optimistic. Simply put, the U.K. is losing its liberalism.
Bromund 15 (Ted, the Margaret Thatcher senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation , 6-7-15, “Addressing the future of the U.S.-U.K special relationship”, The Daily Signal, http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/07/assessing-the-future-of-the-us-uk-special-relationship/)
the U.S. vision was that the EU would provide greater European security and prosperity. But as the drive for political unity has overtaken economic sanity, it has done the reverse. . The fundamental incompatibility between the EU’s supranational vision of European interests and Britain’s worldwide interests and political culture can to an extent be managed, but cannot be resolved The U.K. has often understood its role in the EU as being the bridge between the U.S. and the EU. But the lands at either end of the bridge are moving, and the U.K. will find that role steadily more challenging as the U.S. looks more to Asia The idea that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership can replace the deep and broad structures of U.S.-European cooperation that were built during the Cold War, with NATO at their head, is a fantasy Precisely because the U.S. is so reliably friendly to the U.K., the fate of the special relationship today rests with the U.K.
Using NATO won’t prevent conflict
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First, our preoccupation with conflicts in the Middle East - and to a significant extent, our tensions with Russia in Eastern Europe and with China in East Asia - distract us from the most compelling crises that threaten the future of humanity. Climate change and environmental perils have to be dealt with now and demand an unprecedented level of international collective action.∂ That also holds for the resurgent danger of nuclear war.∂ Second, superpower military interventionism and far-flung acts of war have only intensified conflict, terror, and human suffering. There's no short-term solution - especially by force - to the deep-seated problems that cause chaos, violence, and misery through much of the world.∂ Third, while any hope of curbing violence and mitigating the most urgent problems depends on international cooperation, old and disastrous intrigues over spheres of influence dominate the behavior of the major powers. Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent, including through alliances and proxies like NATO, divides the world into "friend" and "foe" according to our perceived interests. That inevitably inflames aggressive imperial rivalries and overrides common interests in the 21st century.
Hallinan and Wofsy 6/24 (Conn and Leon, Conn Hallinan is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. A retired journalism professor, he previously was an editor of People's World when it was a West Coast publication, “toward a new foreign policy”, People’s World, http://www.peoplesworld.org/toward-a-new-foreign-policy/, June 24, 2015)
our preoccupation with conflicts in the Middle East distract us from the most compelling crises that threaten the future of humanity. Climate change and environmental perils have to be dealt with now and demand an unprecedented level of international collective action military interventionism and far-flung acts of war have only intensified conflict, terror, and human suffering. There's no short-term solution to the deep-seated problems that cause chaos, violence, and misery through much of the world.∂ old and disastrous intrigues over spheres of influence dominate the behavior of the major powers. Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent, including like NATO, divides the world into "friend" and "foe" That inevitably inflames aggressive imperial rivalries and overrides common interests in the 21st century.
NATO can’t solve Afghanistan- can only make it worse
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Multilateralism failed to manage global imbalances, I suggest, for two different∂ and deeply political reasons. First, the failure reflected a persistent unwillingness among∂ all major countries, not just China, to accept the political costs of adjustment and a∂ related shift to different models of economic growth. I argue below that China is indeed∂ an outlier among the G-4 (consisting of the US, EU, Japan, and China), but only because∂ it is relatively poor, unusually open, and has opted for exchange rate targeting rather than∂ inflation targeting. It does resist external policy constraint, but in this regard it is little∂ different to other major countries. Second, the failure reflected the complete inadequacy∂ of the existing multilateral policy surveillance framework inherited from the era of G-7∂ dominance to facilitate the negotiation of the necessary domestic and international∂ political bargains. In order for multilateralism to become more effective in the future, these flaws would need to be resolved, but it is difficult to see how major governments will accept the constraints on domestic policy choices that this would entail.
Walter 09 (Andrew, October 13, Dr Andrew Walter is Reader in International Relations at the London School of Economics, specializing in the political economy of international money and finance, “the mismanagement of global imbalances: why did multilateralism fail?”, Department of International Relations- London school of economics, http://personal.lse.ac.uk/wyattwal/images/mismanagement.pdf)
Multilateralism failed to manage global imbalances the failure reflected a persistent unwillingness among∂ all major countries to accept the political costs of adjustment and a∂ related shift to different models of economic growth the failure reflected the complete inadequacy∂ of the existing multilateral policy surveillance framework inherited from the era of G-7∂ dominance to facilitate the negotiation of the necessary domestic and international∂ political bargains it is difficult to see how major governments will accept the constraints on domestic policy choices that this would entail.
Surveillance is key to multilat- and multilat fails
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NATO only functions well when the United States firmly and unequivocally leads, with its full attention and commitment.∂ The fundamental problem with America’s “leading from behind” on security in Europe is that it all but guarantees Europe will remain adrift, cleaved by competing interests and preferences, in the face of the Russian threat. Germany’s leadership from the “Mitte”, and its insistence that the conflict in Ukraine must be contained without the added risk of offering military aid to Kiev, are the key centrifugal variables preventing the emergence of a more stable European consensus on Russia. We constantly hear assurances from Berlin that NATO remains the dominant regional force, and that Russia wouldn’t dare cross any significant red lines—and that in any case should a red line be crossed, Russia’s armies would be defeated in short order. Perhaps it would play out just like that if Vladimir Putin was foolhardy enough to brazenly roll tanks towards Riga or Tallinn one fine morning. But given all that we have seen in Ukraine, this is not the likely scenario for anything Russia might venture in the Baltics. (Yet then again, how many predicted in the first place that Putin would take Crimea, or that he would continue on to slice off a chunk of eastern Ukraine—all in one year?) And measuring NATO’s strength today in sheer numbers of forces available in Europe is not grounds for particular optimism either. On the military side of the ledger, there has been a steady decline of NATO’s European member-states’ military capabilities, with only the UK and to some extent France and Poland retaining some military muscle. As for the spending targets agreed to at the Wales NATO summit the situation is even more dire, with only the United States and France fulfilling their pledges on military budgets. According to a study just released by the European Leadership Network, although Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Netherlands and Romania will increase their military expenditure this year, they will not meet the 2% target. Poland just pledged to do so by 2016.∂ In fact, the military capabilities of several key NATO members today are but shadows of their Cold War selves, with Germany’s Bundeswehr ranking among the most severely degraded militaries in the alliance. All European NATO allies have significant deficiencies when it comes to lift, transport, logistics and most of all to sufficient numbers of trained soldiers to respond to emergencies. Add to this significantly reduced U.S. deployments in Europe and the alliance in fact lacks ready-made forces to respond quickly, despite the much advertised and discussed NATO rapid response force announced in Wales.∂ The modalities of the rapid response force debate are sobering: the several thousand NATO troops ready to be deployed in a potential crisis situation might be effective in a brewing crisis, but will quickly prove to be marginal at best in a rapidly escalating confrontation. Paradoxically, the same limited number of troops would have an incomparably greater deterrent value if permanently stationed at U.S. and NATO bases in countries along NATO’s northeastern flank—a proposition consistently blocked by Germany. But in any case, the prepositioning of equipment and supplies will not suffice unless deficiencies in air and missile defenses in countries along the periphery are addressed, and this will inevitably take time.∂ Unfortunately, there is a direct link between the lack of political will in Europe to respond to hard power emergencies and the stark decline in countries’ military capabilities and capacities. A number of smaller NATO members have degraded their militaries to the point where the routine training of personnel has become problematic. Some allied air forces today are so non-deployable that they are more reminiscent of glorified flight clubs, since they can only operate in their countries’ skies and not much beyond.∂ It is unacceptable that with the Russian threat looming ever larger in the east, NATO’s capabilities and military muscle rest on the United States, Canada, and to a much lesser extent the United Kingdom, France and Poland, with Germany both militarily marginal and politically obstructionist. And yet I suspect that unless the United States leads by example, both by articulating a new policy of permanent reinforcements and by increasing its deployments in Europe while at the same time demanding reciprocity from the largest European states, nothing∂ much will change. It is high time to return to the old principles of deterrence through permanent presence. And since the threat is being posed by a nuclear power, if NATO allies are serious about their treaty commitments, it is also time to revisit flexible response in the event of escalation for lessons that would apply in the new situation should the threat of a wider war indeed arise.∂ The point is not to debate whether Russia would defeat a fully mobilized and united NATO in an all-out military clash scenario—it would not. But Putin may decide to try to beat NATO by instead moving ahead with another Donetsk-type scenario, either in the Baltic States or elsewhere along the periphery: fomenting a crisis and stopping to test the allied response, gambling that this would expose the internal political fissures in NATO and ultimately paralyze its decision-making process. Politically NATO’s consensus remains fragile, especially when it comes to moving from verbal assurances to actual physical reinforcements of it northeastern flank. The consensus will not gel unless the Obama administration leads with a clear commitment to reestablish a larger and more strategically rational military footprint in Europe. The Cold War-era U.S. base infrastructure in Europe should be re-imagined, and both U.S. and European NATO member-states’ physical assets augmented with permanent U.S. and NATO bases in the most exposed countries, specifically the Baltic States, Poland and Romania.∂ Otherwise, if the U.S. adheres to its “lead from behind Germany formula” while the latter is stuck in the “Mitte,” NATO will continue to drift, and we will continue to lose precious time to refurbish the only institution with the means to bring combined Western power to bear in a crisis. And yes, that means also in war, should it come to that in Europe again.
Michta 15 (Andrew, professor of international studies at Rhodes College and an adjunct fellow at the center for strategic and international studies, “time for some straight talk on NATO”, the American interest, http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/03/01/time-for-some-straight-talk-on-nato/)
NATO only functions well when the United States firmly and unequivocally leads with its full attention and commitment. The fundamental problem with America’s “leading from behind” is that it all but guarantees Europe will remain adrift cleaved by competing interests and preferences And measuring NATO’s strength today in sheer numbers of forces available in Europe is not grounds for particular optimism either. there has been a steady decline of NATO’s European member-states’ military capabilities, with only the UK and to some extent France and Poland retaining some military muscle As for the spending targets agreed to at the Wales NATO summit the situation is even more dire, with only the United States and France fulfilling their pledges on military budgets unless the United States leads by example, both by articulating a new policy of permanent reinforcements and by increasing its deployments in Europe while at the same time demanding reciprocity from the largest European states, nothing∂ much will change. if the U.S. adheres to its “lead from behind Germany formula” while the latter is stuck in the “Mitte,” NATO will continue to drift, and we will continue to lose precious time to refurbish the only institution with the means to bring combined Western power to bear in a crisis. hat means also in war
EU irrelevant to NATO- only solves conflicts if U.S. alone takes the lead
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A similar phenomenon is occurring with ISIS, as CNN reports. Though ISIS has secured unprecedented gains in land, resources, and support over the past year, it now seems to be losing ground as its fear tactics and ferocious tenacity falter. Make no mistake, ISIS will still be a name people talk about for years to come. However, over the past few months, it has lost nearly a quarter of its territory in Iraq. A coalition of Kurdish fighters, Iraqi troops, and American air squads have relentlessly fought ISIS, pushing it back from key cities like Kobani. Even though Kobani’s victory came at a huge cost for the coalition forces, victories like Kobani seem to be slowly pushing back the monster that is ISIS. Furthermore, U.S. airstrikes have successfully destroyed crucial oil drilling stations in the territory of ISIS. This is crucial for the battle, because ISIS used to make an approximated $2 million every day from those oil fields and refineries. With the airstrikes, the oil exports and profits collected by ISIS have decreased by a whopping 90% in some areas, and by 70% on the whole.
BPR 15 (5-27, “ISIS is losing ground”, Bellarmine Political Review, http://bpr.bcp.org/?p=2780)
ISIS has secured unprecedented gains in land, resources, and support over the past year, it now seems to be losing ground as its fear tactics and ferocious tenacity falter , over the past few months, it has lost nearly a quarter of its territory in Iraq. A coalition of Kurdish fighters, Iraqi troops, and American air squads have relentlessly fought ISIS, pushing it back from key cities like Kobani victories like Kobani seem to be slowly pushing back the monster that is ISIS U.S. airstrikes have successfully destroyed crucial oil drilling stations in the territory of ISIS. This is crucial for the battle, because ISIS used to make an approximated $2 million every day from those oil fields and refineries. With the airstrikes, the oil exports and profits collected by ISIS have decreased by whopping 90% in some areas, and by 70% on the whole.
ISIS is losing territory- U.S. offensives working
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I am troubled by what the Paris terror attacks say about our country’s continuing failure to properly understand terrorist methodologies and formulate more effective counterterrorism responses. I’m particularly troubled by the sensationalistic U.S. media coverage of them.∂ If we continue to aggrandize the violent acts of a handful of marginalized individuals into existential threats to western civilization, our over-reactions will to continue sapping our resources while empowering extremists of all sorts.∂ Anyone following the events in Europe as they unfolded would have seen familiar tropes playing out in the media. The first is that terrorism in the West is primarily, if not exclusively, a Muslim problem. Many commentators viewed the three Paris terrorists as representative of an alienated European Muslim population vulnerable to the call of terrorism. But the selfless courage displayed by the Muslim police officer they killed and the Muslim deli employee who helped save Jewish customers were more authentic examples of a larger, law-abiding and peaceful French Muslim community. No one pondered what their actions said about the nature of Islam.∂ In fact, Muslims account for only a small percentage of the terrorism in Europe over the last several years. Most politically-motivated violence there is carried out by nationalist and sectarian groups, yet the government and the media don’t treat these threats the same. Anders Breivik killed 77 people in separate gun and bomb attacks in 2011, including many children. Many people in Europe share Breivik’s xenophobic, ultra-nationalist, anti-Muslim ideology, but we don’t hold them collectively responsible for his decision to employ violence to further those views. We don’t call for a war on his beliefs; we demand his criminal prosecution.∂ A similar phenomenon occurs here in the United States, where most media outlets covered the distant Paris attacks far more closely than domestic shooting sprees by white supremacist Fraizer Glenn Miller, or anti-government extremists like Curtis Wade Holley, Eric Frein, and Jerad Miller, who assassinated four police officers in separate instances last year.∂ The Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point documented 3,053 injuries and 670 fatalities in the United States from far right violence from 1990 to 2012. A 2014 University of Maryland survey indicates U.S. law enforcement now view Sovereign Citizens as the greatest terror threat they face. Yet the federal government effectively treats these acts of politically-motivated violence as hate crimes or lone attacks rather than terrorism. This may explain why an attempted firebombing at a Colorado NAACP office building the day before the Paris attacks received little media attention.∂ I spoke with New York University adjunct professor Arun Kundnani, author of “The Muslims are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror,” about the disparity between the way we treat different forms of political violence (we spoke before the Paris attacks):∂ The point of noting this disparity in reaction isn’t to say one ideology presents more or less of a threat. All terrorism is reprehensible. But thankfully, it’s also rare. Deaths attributable to terrorism here in the U.S. are a tiny fraction of the roughly 14,000 homicides committed each year, one-third of which go unsolved. Yet we devote far more resources to uncovering potential terrorists than to finding actual killers. The purpose of putting terrorist acts in context is to better understand how we might respond in a more effective manner.∂ The second prevalent theme in the early coverage of the Paris attacks was the tendency to exaggerate the capabilities of Muslim extremists. With very little information available — save a brief video showing the execution of a wounded police officer — many counterterrorism officials and policy makers didn’t hesitate to call it a “sophisticated” attack that represented a new and “more complex” threat. The FBI and DHS backed this description in a law enforcement bulletin, claiming the Paris attacks “demonstrated a greater degree of sophistication and advanced weapons handling than seen in previous coordinated small-arms attacks, such as the 2013 Westgate Mall attack” in Nairobi, Kenya. The Somali militant group al-Shabaab claimed credit for the armed assault on Westgate Mall, which killed sixty-seven people. Details regarding the attack and whether some perpetrators escaped are still mired in controversy.∂ The facts don’t support the hasty conclusion that the Paris attack was as sophisticated as originally claimed. While one or both of the Kouachi brothers may have travelled to Yemen and received some training from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, their attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices was almost derailed because they went to the wrong address. They had to ask a maintenance man for directions. They caught a lucky break by finding an employee outside the office who they forced to punch the code necessary to enter the building. After the shooting, they crashed their escape vehicle and left identification papers behind when they abandoned it.∂ Co-conspirator Amedy Coulibaly’s spree appeared even less organized, shooting a police officer, a street sweeper and a jogger before storming the kosher supermarket. The weapons Coulibaly and the Kouachi’s used weren’t financed or provided by organized terrorist groups, but purchased from a known criminal for less than 5,000 euros, which Coulibaly obtained through a fraudulent bank loan.∂ They did succeed at killing 17 people, which is tragic. But spree shooters here in the United States racked up similar death tolls, in some cases before graduating high school, or saddled with serious mental illnesses. It doesn’t take sophisticated training to pick up a gun and kill lots of unarmed people.∂ Presenting Muslim terrorists as lurking super-villains generates unwarranted public fear, which benefits governments and security officials who exploit it for their own benefit. I talked with Ben Friedman of the Cato Institute about Americans’ security demands, the politics of fear, and the difference between risk and vulnerability:∂ As Friedman has argued, accurate information about the nature and probability of threats, and the cost-effectiveness of various solutions could help correct the impulse toward the overwrought fear of remote threats like terrorism. In a perfect world, the intelligence community would provide that reliable threat information to the public, so overreaction could be avoided. We don’t live in that perfect world, as Friedman suggests, because the intelligence agencies are also incentivized to inflate threat assessments:∂ Threat inflation benefits intelligence officials by making it easier for them to obtain new resources and authorities. A perfect example is Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s 2014 threat assessment, in which he claimed the United States is “beset by more crises and threats” than any time in his 50-year career. He makes the same claim every year, but the idea that current threats compare to the possible global nuclear annihilation faced during the height of the Cold War is almost laughable. In fact the world is measurably safer.∂ Driving up public fear also dissuades demands for accountability for intelligence or operational failures. Indeed, as was the case in several recent terrorist events, the perpetrators of the Paris attack were well known to law enforcement and intelligence officials long before they acted. Two had only recently been released from prison after serving time for terrorism-related offenses. All three were under government surveillance, and were on the U.S. no-fly list. Yet instead of being called to the carpet to explain why the expanded intelligence authorities and aggressive counterterrorism measures adopted since 9/11 didn’t work, America’s European intelligence partners are demanding even greater powers.∂ Treating terrorism committed by Muslims as categorically different from other terrorism forfeits the ability to learn what responses are effective in other contexts. When a far right extremist like Tim McVeigh, Eric Rudolf or Frazier Glenn Miller commits mass murder, government officials and media commenters rarely suggest they were extremely sophisticated, even though these three Army veterans had far better military training than anything offered in Yemen. We treat these terrorists as the common criminals they are. We don’t fear their ideologies, which earn every bit of their unpopularity. We wrap up their co-conspirators using traditional law enforcement tools and we try them openly in criminal courts, where their weakness, cruelty and bankrupt ideas can be exposed for public opprobrium.∂ When current and former government officials go on television or through the halls of Congress to exaggerate the impact and meaning of terrorist attacks, whether here or abroad, they only encourage more violence. Telling every anti-social misfit and petty criminal that they can achieve notoriety and influence government policy by acting out violently with whatever tools are at hand isn’t an effective counterterrorism strategy.∂ The terrorists’ goal is to spread irrational fear and cause costly overreactions that divide society along the lines they choose. Our intelligence officials shouldn’t be helping them. There will always be those that use violence to make political points. Recognizing this is a sign of weakness rather than strength will help us build a stronger and more resilient society that fear could never defeat.
German 15 (Michael, Mike German is a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program. Previously he was policy counsel for national security and privacy for the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. A sixteen-year veteran of federal law enforcement, German served as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations, “Our Overreaction to Terrorist Attacks Like Paris Is Only Making Things Worse”, Defense One, http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2015/01/our-over-reaction-terrorist-attacks-paris-only-making-things-worse/103857/)
troubled by what the Paris terror attacks say about our country’s continuing failure to properly understand terrorist methodologies and formulate more effective counterterrorism responses If we continue to aggrandize the violent acts of a handful of marginalized individuals into existential threats to western civilization, our over-reactions will to continue sapping our resources while empowering extremists commentators viewed the three Paris terrorists as representative of an alienated European Muslim population vulnerable to the call of terrorism selfless courage displayed by the Muslim police officer they killed and the Muslim deli employee who helped save Jewish customers were more authentic examples of a larger, law-abiding and peaceful French Muslim community No one pondered what their actions said about the nature of Islam Muslims account for only a small percentage of the terrorism in Europe over the last several years. Most politically-motivated violence there is carried out by nationalist and sectarian groups, yet the government and the media don’t treat these threats the sam The Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point documented 3,053 injuries and 670 fatalities in the United States from far right violence from 1990 to 2012. A 2014 University of Maryland survey indicates U.S. law enforcement now view Sovereign Citizens as the greatest terror threat they face. the federal government effectively treats these acts of politically-motivated violence as hate crimes or lone attacks rather than terrorism Deaths attributable to terrorism here in the U.S. are a tiny fraction of the roughly 14,000 homicides committed each year, one-third of which go unsolved. Yet we devote far more resources to uncovering potential terrorists than to finding actual killers The purpose of putting terrorist acts in context is to better understand how we might respond in a more effective manner prevalent theme in the early coverage of the Paris attacks was the tendency to exaggerate the capabilities of Muslim extremists many counterterrorism officials and policy makers didn’t hesitate to call it a “sophisticated” attack that represented a new and “more complex” threat The FBI and DHS backed this description claiming the Paris attacks “demonstrated a greater degree of sophistication and advanced weapons handling than seen in previous coordinated small-arms attack The weapons sed weren’t financed or provided by organized terrorist groups, but purchased from a known criminal Presenting Muslim terrorists as lurking super-villains generates unwarranted public fear, which benefits governments and security officials who exploit it for their own benefit accurate information about the nature and probability of threats, and the cost-effectiveness of various solutions could help correct the impulse toward the overwrought fear of remote threats like terrorism. In a perfect world, the intelligence community would provide that reliable threat information to the public, so overreaction could be avoided. We don’t live in that perfect world intelligence agencies are also incentivized to inflate threat assessments the idea that current threats compare to the possible global nuclear annihilation faced during the height of the Cold War is laughable Driving up public fear also dissuades demands for accountability for intelligence or operational failures Treating terrorism committed by Muslims as categorically different from other terrorism forfeits the ability to learn what responses are effective in other contexts The terrorists’ goal is to spread irrational fear and cause costly overreactions that divide society along the lines they choose. Our intelligence officials shouldn’t be helping them. Recognizing this is a sign of weakness rather than strength will help us build a stronger and more resilient society that fear could never defeat.
Building up the threat of terrorism exploits and categorizes all Muslims and creates fear mongering that makes counter-terror efforts less effective
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The latest US narrative on Russia is straight from the plot of a Hollywood fantasy: US superheroes versus a Russian villain. Sadly for the Baltic States, they are being used by Uncle Sam as bait.∂ Here's a starter for ten question: Russia’s reunification with Crimea last year was prompted by which of the following… a.) a very particular set of historical circumstances, allied to the will of the overwhelming majority of the local population. b.) Vladimir Putin’s desire to launch a blitzkrieg military campaign, complete with goose-stepping Russian soldiers marching across Europe?∂ If you are not a raving-mad neocon or someone who has difficulties with reality, the correct answer is a. Crimea was Russian territory for centuries and had been transferred to Ukraine as part of an administrative re-alignment at a time when both states were part of the Soviet Union. The peninsula is as Russian as Cornwall is British or Texas is American. Furthermore, not even the most myopic anti-Russia activist questions the fact that most Crimean residents wished to join the Russian Federation.∂ Given what has happened in Ukraine since, it’s unlikely that many people in Simferopol or Yalta would change that stance. Certainly, Crimean integration into the Russia state has been far from straightforward. Western sanctions targeted at local denizens haven’t helped in that regard and neither has the lack of a physical connection with the Russian mainland.∂ However, the alternative would have been far worse. Ukraine is now a failed state. Its economy has been decimated, corruption is arguably even more rampant than before the Maidan coup and a civil war rages sporadically in the east. Compared to Ukraine, Crimea is Narnia. Then again, almost every place on the planet, outside of Africa, probably looks attractive to those desperate to flee from Ukraine.∂ According to elements in the Western media and the US propaganda machine, the original poser ought to be answered with option (b). Crimea’s ‘annexation’ was the first phase of an embryonic Russian plan to sweep across Europe, gobbling up lebensraum with gay abandon. Anybody who objects to this narrative is a “Kremlin troll,” or “Putin apologist.” If old Joseph McCarthy could return to earth for five minutes, he’d be doing cartwheels. Demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations have never been as fashionable as they are today. In fact, don’t be surprised if Vogue's Anna Wintour soon declares them as the trend for autumn-winter 2015.∂ Despite the relish with which lazy Western journalism and a highly-organized NATO "information campaign" lambasts “Putin’s Russia” as a warmongering ‘rogue’ state, the facts tell another tale. During the past 15 years, the Russian army has only entered the sovereign territory of two foreign states, with Crimea counting as one of those occasions.∂ In 2008, former President Medvedev sent his forces into Georgia in response to Tbilisi’s aggression against South Ossetia. After five days of fighting, Russian troops controlled much of Georgia’s territory. Nevertheless, within two months, the Kremlin had withdrawn all its soldiers. This scenario doesn’t sound very Hitler-esque.∂ At this time, Georgia was ruled by pro-Washington Mikhail Saakashvili, who subsequently abandoned his citizenship to obtain a Ukrainian passport. A move almost unheard of globally for a former head of state, for the precise reason that it's gravely insulting to his homeland. Saakashvili is now a wanted criminal suspect in Georgia. He remains a fugitive.∂ By contrast, since the turn of the century, the US has intervened in Yemen, Liberia, Haiti, Libya and Syria. In addition, ‘Uncle Sam’ has invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. A 2011 study suggests that 500,000 people have died as a result of the Iraq war. As it happens, according to the United Nations, George Bush and Tony Blair’s bloodthirsty campaign of violence was illegal under international law.∂ Despite the obvious fact that Washington’s military has been much busier than that of Russia so far this century, we rarely hear of “US belligerence” in the Western media. However, they are falling over themselves to decry “Russia aggression,” so much so that the phrase has become something of a catchphrase du jour.∂ According to American propaganda, this alleged Russian hostility is apparently focused on the goal of subjugating Eastern Europe. Indeed, Hillary Clinton, currently the bookmaker’s favorite to be the next US President, has already compared Putin to Hitler.∂ In order to sell the ‘Hollywood’ notion of Russia as global arch villain, the State Department needs to create targets for this imaginary Russian military jaunt around Europe. They’ve chosen the Baltic States - Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Three countries so harmless and innocuous that the only interaction most Westerners have with them is when their citizens migrate to find work. Which they do in huge numbers.∂ Unlike Crimea, which was of hugely significant strategic importance (hosting Russia’s largest Black Sea base for instance), there is nothing especially interesting about any of the Baltic countries. All remain poor, to varying degrees, with Estonia the most prosperous. Lithuania has lost 32 percent of its population since 1989 and Latvia, in particular, remains riddled with corruption.∂ The leaders of Latvia and Lithuania tend to use Russia as a bogeyman to distract attention from their own graft and ineptitude. Also, the attention currently lavished upon them from Washington and Brussels could bring with it some much needed investment capital. Vilnius’ opportunistic President Dalia Grybauskaitė, a former member of the Communist Party, is a master of anti-Kremlin rhetoric.∂ Estonia’s President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, is a very interesting character. An American, Ilves was once the head of the Estonia desk of Radio Free Europe, which was funded by the CIA in its early days. His Twitter account features a regularly updated stream of support for neocon positions and paranoia about a perceived ‘Russian threat.’∂ Let’s just imagine for a moment that Russia did invade one or all of the Baltic States. What would it do with this newly acquired territory? The Kremlin would be faced with an enraged local population and a very angry wider world. That is assuming that this imagined Russian assault didn’t trigger a full-scale nuclear conflict with NATO. In which case, as the mushroom cloud envelops your nearest city, you can assume that Putin’s ‘dastardly plan’ has failed.∂ Even if Brussels and Washington, and this is very unlikely, rolled over and accepted Russian dominion over the Baltic countries, what then? With the greatest respect to the locals, there is little more of economic worth than fields and forests. There is no oil, no gas and no hidden deposits of rare-earth minerals.∂ Some NATO propaganda claims that Putin’s government wishes to use the Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia as staging posts for a wider invasion of Europe. The main problem with this theory is that it’s insane; aside from that, Russia already has a Baltic exclave, Kaliningrad. Additionally, Western media frequently runs scare stories about Russian military drills in the region. These take place on Russian territory. Now, guess what? Almost every country in the world, even neutral Switzerland, conducts armed forces training from time to time on its own soil.∂ The reality is that the Western media is feeding readers, viewers and listeners a lazy narrative driven by the US State Department and NATO for reasons known only to themselves. But one assumes it comes from a desire to ratchet up military spending in Europe allied to anger over Russia's stance on Syria. Now, the neocons have decided that Russia is the new bugaboo.∂ Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin, in the mind of the western media, is the new Saddam/Bin Laden/Joker/Riddler or whatever comic book bad guy you may fancy. If it wasn't so tragically serious, it’d be funny. However, rather than bellicose laughter, there’s a danger that this particular farce could end in tears.
MacDonald 15 (Bryan, Irish writer and commentator focusing on Russia and its hinterlands and international geo-politics, 6-25, Despite NATO propaganda, Russia not planning to invade Baltic States, RT, http://rt.com/op-edge/269746-nato-russia-baltics-invasion/)
The latest US narrative on Russia is straight from the plot of a Hollywood fantasy: US superheroes versus a Russian villain. Sadly for the Baltic States, they are being used by Uncle Sam as bait Despite the relish with which lazy Western journalism and a highly-organized NATO "information campaign" lambasts “Putin’s Russia” as a warmongering ‘rogue’ state, the facts tell another tale. During the past 15 years, the Russian army has only entered the sovereign territory of two foreign states, with Crimea counting as one of those occasions.∂ In 2008, former President sent his forces into Georgia in response to Tbilisi’s aggression against South Ossetia. within two months, the Kremlin had withdrawn all its soldiers Russian hostility is apparently focused on the goal of subjugating Eastern Europe. In order to sell the ‘Hollywood’ notion of Russia as global arch villain, the State Department needs to create targets for this imaginary Russian military jaunt around Europe. They’ve chosen the Baltic States Three countries so harmless and innocuous Unlike Crimea, which was of hugely significant strategic importance there is nothing interesting about any of the Baltic countries. All remain poor the attention currently lavished upon them from Washington and Brussels could bring with it some much needed investment capital. there is little more of economic worth than fields and forests. There is no oil, no gas and no hidden deposits of rare-earth minerals.∂ Some NATO propaganda claims that Putin’s government wishes to use the Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia as staging posts for a wider invasion of Europe. The main problem with this theory is that it’s insane; aside from that, Russia already has a Baltic exclave Western media frequently runs scare stories about Russian military drills in the region. These take place on Russian territory Almost every country in the world, even neutral Switzerland, conducts armed forces training from time to time on its own soil.∂ The reality is that the Western media is feeding readers, viewers and listeners a lazy narrative driven by the US State Department and NATO for reasons known only to themselves.
The U.S. and NATO have created the Russian threat- Russia won’t invade the Baltic States
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Bulk Data Collection Negative - JDI 2015.html5
Over in Washington, supposedly the great innovator in “1984”-style surveillance, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., just spoke for 11 hours against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. A week earlier, the House overwhelmingly voted to limit the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection, which might force the agency to shut down, at least temporarily, its most controversial surveillance programs. And earlier this month, a federal appeals court unanimously declared much of the NSA’s work to be illegal.
Rampell ’15 [Catherine Rampell The Washington Post, May 24, 2015, Big Brother finds home in Europe, http://lacrossetribune.com/news/opinion/catherine-rampell-big-brother-finds-home-in-europe/article_ecd5c6c8-a886-5b88-ad05-55eb8b5e06c0.html]
Over in Washington, the House overwhelmingly voted to limit the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection
Empirically don’t model- FREEDOM Act proves
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Bulk Data Collection Negative - JDI 2015.html5
President Obama said Tuesday that preserving the nation’s credibility internationally requires reevaluating the U.S. stance on Mideast peace talks and that recent comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have severely hurt chances for progress.Obama said Netanyahu’s pledge on the eve of Israeli elections last week to oppose a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians made hope for progress “very dim.” Netanyahu later backed off the comment, but Obama appeared to remain unconvinced that the prime minister is serious about negotiating with the Palestinians. “What we can't do is pretend that there's a possibility of something that's not there,” Obama said during a news conference. “We can't continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen, at least in the next several years.... For the sake of our own credibility, we have to be able to be honest.”
Memoli 3/24 (Memoli, Michael. "Obama Says U.S. Credibility Requires Reevaluation of Mideast Stance." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-us-israel-spying-20150324-story.html>.) ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
preserving the nation’s credibility internationally requires reevaluating the U.S. stance on Mideast peace talks We can't continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen, at least in the next several years.... For the sake of our own credibility, we have to be able to be honest
Link is non-uq - Mideast policy is alt cause to credibility loss
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The administration did not disclose at the time how many foreign leaders would be removed from routine eavesdropping, but Mr. Obama said in a January 2014 speech on surveillance policy that he had put significant new curbs in place. “The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about an issue, I’ll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance,” Mr. Obama said in the speech. He added, “Given the understandable attention that this issue has received, I have made clear to the intelligence community that unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies.”
Rubin 6/24 (Rubin, Alissa. "France Denounces Revelations of Spying by N.S.A." The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 June 2015. Web. 24 June 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/world/europe/wikileaks-us-spying-france.html?_r=0>) ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
“The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about an issue, I’ll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance,” , I have made clear to the intelligence community that we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies.
SQ solves - Obama has vowed to not spy on allies
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The United States will continue to spy on foreign governments, President Barack Obama has said even as he assured Chancellor Angela Merkel that he would not allow the surveillance mechanism to harm their bilateral relations. Seen as the first step to win back trust of its allies, Mr. Obama defended the controversial spying programme as necessary to safeguard the security of America and its allies, including Germany. “Our intelligence agencies, like German intelligence agencies, and every intelligence agency out there, will continue to be interested in the government intentions of countries around the world. That’s not going to change,” Mr. Obama said. “There is no point in having intelligence agencies if you are restricted to the things which you can read in the New York Times or in the Spiegel,” he said in an interview to the German network ZDF. Seeking damage control in the wake of global public outrage over the widespread snooping revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, Mr. Obama announced on Friday restrictions on NSA’s intelligence gathering capabilities to put an end to the surveillance of “foreign leaders of friendly nations” but ruled out scrapping the controversial programme altogether. In that major policy speech, Mr. Obama had asked to balance between civil liberties of Americans and people across the globe and meeting the US security and intelligence needs. The speech aimed at allaying global public outrage over the widespread eavesdropping revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, which showed that US collected massive amounts of electronic data from communications of private individuals around the world, and has spied on foreign leaders including Ms. Merkel. The U.S. President, however said he would not allow the surveillance to harm his relationship of “friendship and trust” with Ms. Merkel. “I don’t need and I don’t want to harm that relationship by surveillance mechanism that has somehow impeded the kind of communication and trust we have,” Mr. Obama said. “As long as I am the president of the US, the chancellor and Germany will not have to worry about this,” Mr. Obama said. In a latest revelation reported by the Guardian newspaper and Britain’s Channel 4 News based on documents leaked by Mr. Snowden, NSA has collected and stored almost 200 million mobile text messages every day across the globe. However, Mr. Obama in a presidential decree has ordered that telephone and Internet surveillance will be carried out abroad only if US security threats are involved and to extend US rules on privacy protection to foreign citizens. He had also ordered restrictions on the use of the metadata — information on the telephone numbers, time and duration of calls — collected by the intelligence services.
The Hindu 1/19 ("U.S. Will Continue to Spy on Foreign Govts: Obama." The Hindu. 18 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 June 2015. <http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/us-will-continue-to-spy-on-foreign-govts-obama/article5592931.ece>.)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
Obama said as he assured Merkel that he would not allow surveillance to harm their bilateral relations Seen as the first step to win back trust of its allies Obama defended spying as necessary to safeguard the security of America and its allies, including Germany Our intelligence agencies will continue to be interested in the government intentions of countries around the world. Obama had asked to balance between civil liberties of Americans and people across the globe and meeting the US security and intelligence needs The President, however said he would not allow the surveillance to harm his relationship of “friendship and trust” and ordered that telephone and Internet surveillance will be carried out abroad only if US security threats are involved and to extend US rules on privacy protection to foreign citizens. He had also ordered restrictions on the use of the metadata collected by the intelligence services.
SQ restrictions and security needs solve foreign relations
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“The American government’s posture did change. The [U.S.] president made it clear in his last conversation with Rousseff in Panama that if he wanted to know something about Brazil or the president, he will call her and not use other means,” he said. “And we have to trust in the word of the head of state.” “She communicated that it was central that she couldn’t [again] be surprised by revelations that the U.S. is spying Brazil,” he added, noting that Obama may not have been able to apologize or make public promises due to internal political concerns. The Obama administration has been pushing a modest intelligence reform agenda in Washington. Earlier this month, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, which reversed some of the more invasive provisions of the 2001 Patriot Act. But experts on U.S.-Latin America relations note that the White House has not publicly mentioned anything about the NSA changing the way it deals with citizens of foreign countries. Nevertheless, many believe that the reconciliation with Brazil could provide an opportunity to work more productively with the region’s largest power.
Bevins 6/16 ("Why Did Brazil’s President Change Her Tune on Spying?" Foreign Policy Why Did Brazils President Change Her Tune on Spying Comments. Web. 24 June 2015. <http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/16/brazil-nsa-spying-surveillance-economy-dilma-rousseff-barack-obama/>)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
“The American government’s posture did change. The president made it clear that if he wanted to know something about Brazil or the president, he will call her and not use other means And we have to trust in the word of the head of state many believe that the reconciliation with Brazil could provide an opportunity to work more productively with the region’s largest power
Allies trust Obama and want to cooperate on privacy
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The strange thing is that “credibility” hawks’ warnings continue to be taken seriously when, as Friedman says, they haven’t ever been right. The fact that they’ve never been right should tell us that there is something inherently wrong with the concept they keep using. Considering how many times U.S. “credibility” has supposedly been shattered or ruined, it is remarkable how many dozens of eager would-be clients and long-standing allies still line up with Washington and fully expect the U.S. to protect them and/or do as they wish. Warning about “credibility” is a giveaway that the person issuing the warning has run out of persuasive arguments and has nothing else left. Friedman sums it up this way: A good rule of thumb for foreign policy is that if someone tells you our credibility depends doing something, it’s probably a bad idea. This true not only because “credibility” hawks are always invoking credibility in order to justify more aggressive policies in places of little or no importance to the U.S., but because the reliance on the “credibility” argument is confirmation that these policies can’t be defended on the merits. The arguments for deeper U.S. involvement in conflicts that are at best tangentially related to U.S. vital interests are not compelling ones, which is why the “credibility” argument is used so often in these debates. “You may not agree with doing X, but you don’t want to risk encouraging a North Korean invasion, do you?” At its core, the “credibility” argument is a sort of extortion: if you don’t agree to do what the hawks prefer in one place, your actual allies somewhere else are supposedly going to get hurt. This should alert us to the weakness of the policy arguments, but instead many Americans allow themselves to be tricked into letting “credibility” concerns overrule all of their objections.“Credibility” hawks also have the bad habit of exaggerating the significance of the commitment that the U.S. made in the past to pretend that the supposed “credibility” gap is far greater than it is. Consider the infamous “red line” over Syrian chemical weapons. It’s true that Obama shouldn’t have drawn this line, but he did so in such a vague, almost meaningless way that he had not really committed the U.S. to any particular course of action. It was Syria hawks that latched onto the “red line” and declared that it was a promise to intervene militarily. Similarly, the U.S. had made no commitments to defend Ukraine, but by pretending that the U.S. was ignoring its commitments in the Budapest memorandum “credibility” hawks insisted on taking a harder line in the crisis so that real American security commitments elsewhere wouldn’t be undermined. That’s how it often works: the “credibility” hawks insist on adding major new commitments that the U.S. never even contemplated having before, and then declare the entire alliance system and security of the planet at risk unless the rest of us agree with whatever reckless and unnecessary scheme they have devised. The “credibility” argument is nothing more than a scam, and we are the marks.
Larison 14 (Larison, Daniel. "The “Credibility” Scam." The American Conservative. 11 Aug. 2014. Web. 26 June 2015. <http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-credibility-scam/>.)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
“credibility” hawks’ haven’t ever been right Warning about “credibility” is a giveaway that the person issuing the warning has run out of persuasive arguments “credibility” hawks are always invoking credibility in order to justify more aggressive policies but because the reliance on the “credibility” argument is confirmation that these policies can’t be defended on the merits “Credibility” hawks exaggerat the significance of the commitment that the U.S. made in the past to pretend that the supposed “credibility” gap is far greater than it is the U.S. had made no commitments to defend Ukraine, but by pretending that the U.S. was ignoring its commitments in the Budapest memorandum “credibility” hawks insisted on taking a harder line in the crisis so that real American security commitments elsewhere wouldn’t be undermined. . The “credibility” argument is nothing more than a scam, and we are the marks.
Credibility is a false justification for interventionist policies
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I call this error the "credibility fetish." U.S. leaders have continued to believe that our security depends on convincing both allies and adversaries that we are steadfast, loyal, reliable, etc., and that our security guarantees are iron-clad. It is a formula that reinforces diplomatic rigidity, because it requires us to keep doing things to keep allies happy and issuing threats (or in some cases, taking actions) to convince foes that we are serious. And while it might have made some degree of sense during the Cold War, it is increasingly counterproductive today. Stolid constancy and loyalty to pre-existing alliance relationship are not the self-evident virtues they once were. We should not be surprised that erstwhile allies put their own interest ahead of ours and act accordingly. Where it is to our long-term advantage, we should do the same."What might this mean in practice? As I’ve noted repeatedly, it means beginning by recognizing that the United States is both very powerful and very secure, and that there’s hardly anything that could happen in the international system that would alter the global balance of power overnight. The balance is shifting, to be sure, but these adjustments will take place over the course of decades. Weaker states who would like U.S. protection need it a lot more than we need them, which means our "credibility" is more their problem than ours. Which in turn means that if other states want our help, they should be willing to do a lot to convince us to provide it.Instead of obsessing about our own "credibility," in short, and bending over backwards to convince the Japanese, South Koreans, Singaporeans, Afghans, Israelis, Saudis, and others that we will do whatever it takes to protect them, we ought to be asking them what they are going to do for themselves, and also for us. And instead of spending all our time trying to scare the bejeezus out of countries like Iran (which merely reinforces their interest in getting some sort of deterrent), we ought to be reminding them over and over that we have a lot to offer and are open to better relations, even if the clerical regime remains in power and maybe even if — horrors! — it retains possession of the full nuclear fuel cycle (under IAEA safeguards). If nothing else, adopting a less confrontational posture is bound to complicate their own calculations.This is not an argument for Bush-style unilateralism, or for a retreat to Fortress America. Rather, it is a call for greater imagination and flexibility in how we deal with friends and foes alike. I’m not saying that we should strive for zero credibility, of course; I’m merely saying that we’d be better off if other states understood that our credibility was more conditional. In other words, allies need to be reminded that our help is conditional on their compliance with our interests (at least to some degree) and adversaries should also be reminded that our opposition is equally conditional on what they do. In both cases we also need to recognize that we are rarely going to get other states to do everything we want. Above all, it is a call to recognize that our geopolitical position, military power, and underlying economic strength give us the luxury of being agile in precisely the way that Freeman depicts.
Walt 12 (Walt, Stephen. "Why Are U.S. Leaders so Obsessed with Credibility?" Foreign Policy Why Are US Leaders so Obsessed with Credibility Comments. 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 26 June 2015. <http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/09/11/why-are-u-s-leaders-so-obsessed-with-credibility/>.)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
U.S. leaders have continued to believe that our security depends on convincing both allies and adversaries that we are steadfast . And while it might have made some degree of sense during the Cold War, it is increasingly counterproductive today. the United States is both very powerful and very secure, and that there’s hardly anything that could happen in the international system that would alter the global balance of power overnight Weaker states who would like U.S. protection need it a lot more than we need them, which means our "credibility" is more their problem than ours. Instead of obsessing about our own "credibility," , we ought to be asking them what they are going to do for themselves, and also for us it is a call for greater imagination and flexibility in how we deal with friends and foes alike. I’m not saying that we should strive for zero credibility, we’d be better off if other states understood that our credibility was more conditional. In other words, allies need to be reminded that our help is conditional on their compliance with our interests (at least to some degree) and adversaries should also be reminded that our opposition is equally conditional on what they do.
Credibility is counterproductive and contingent on allies- not U.S. policy
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Both Obama and Merkel stressed the importance of working together. "There may be some areas where there are tactical disagreements. There may not be. But the broad principle that we have to stand up for ... the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty is one where we are completely unified," he said. Western leaders cannot stand idly by "and simply allow the borders of Europe to be redrawn at the barrel of a gun," Obama said. Merkel said the strong alliance between Europe and the United States would thrive despite any differences. Russia's incursions on Ukraine's borders, she said, are too dangerous for Europe to tolerate. "I can only say that if we give up on this principle of territorial integrity of countries, then we will not be able to maintain the peaceful order of Europe that we've been able to achieve," she said.
Yan et al. 15 (Yan, Holly, Catherine Schoichet, and Michael Pearson. "Obama, Merkel Pledge Alliance on Ukraine - CNN.com." CNN. Cable News Network, 9 Feb. 2015. Web. 27 June 2015. <http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/09/europe/ukraine-conflict/>.)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
Both Obama and Merkel stressed the importance of working together. "There may be some areas where there are tactical disagreements. There may not be. But the broad principle that we have to stand up for ... the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty is one where we are completely unified," he said. Merkel said the strong alliance between Europe and the United States would thrive despite any differences. Russia's incursions on Ukraine's borders, she said, are too dangerous for Europe to tolerate.
Despite spying scandals EU wants unified approach to Russia
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Merkel came to the White House Monday for talks with Obama on a wide range of issues. Topping their agenda are the fighting in Ukraine and the international coalition against the Islamic State group.
VOA News ("Obama, Merkel Opt for Diplomacy in Ukraine Crisis." VOA News. 9 Feb. 2015. Web. 27 June 2015. <http://www.voanews.com/content/german-chancellor-to-hold-talks-monday-with-obama-on-ukraine/2634472.html>.)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
Merkel came to the White House Monday for talks with Obama on a wide range of issues. Topping their agenda Ukraine
US and EU working to diplomatically deescalate Russia
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The United States and the European Union agreed on Wednesday to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia's behavior in Ukraine, including on the energy sector, and to make Europe less dependent on Russian gas. U.S. President Barack Obama said after a summit with top EU officials that Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated if he thought he could divide the West or count on its indifference over his annexation of Crimea. Leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial powers decided this week to hold off on sanctions targeting Moscow's economy unless Putin took further action to destabilize Ukraine or other former Soviet republics. "If Russia continues on its current course, however, the isolation will deepen, sanctions will increase and there will be more consequences for the Russian economy," Obama told a joint news conference with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. In the keynote address of his European trip, Obama later told an audience of 2,000 young people that the West would prevail if it remained united, not by military action but by the power of its values to attract ordinary Ukrainians. Russia would not be "dislodged from Crimea or deterred from further escalation by military force. But with time, so long as we remain united, the Russian people will recognize that they cannot achieve security, prosperity, and the status they seek through brute force," he said. In the speech in a Brussels concert hall, which resembled a point-by-point rebuttal of Putin's March 18 Kremlin speech announcing the annexation of Crimea, Obama voiced respect for a strong Russia but said "that does not mean that Russia can run roughshod over its neighbors". He also said NATO would step up its presence in new east European member states bordering on Russia and Ukraine to provide reassurance that the alliance's mutual defense guarantee would protect them. Russian forces in Crimea captured the last Ukrainian navy ship after firing warning shots and stun grenades, completing Moscow's takeover of military installations in the Black Sea peninsula. Kiev has ordered its forces to withdraw.
Mason&Kelly 14 (Mason, Jeff, and Lidia Kelly. "U.S., EU to Work Together on Tougher Russia Sanctions." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 27 Mar. 2014. Web. 27 June 2015. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA2P0VB20140327>.)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
The United States and the European Union agreed on Wednesday to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia's behavior in Ukraine, "If Russia continues on its current course, however, the isolation will deepen, sanctions will increase and there will be more consequences for the Russian economy," Russia would not be "dislodged from Crimea or deterred from further escalation by military force. But with time, so long as we remain united, the Russian people will recognize that they cannot achieve security, prosperity, and the status they seek through brute force," He also said NATO would step up its presence in new east European member states bordering on Russia and Ukraine to provide reassurance that the alliance's mutual defense guarantee would protect them.
U.S. and EU working together on Russia sanctions
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And despite their sometimes-rocky relationship, the chancellor even won a laugh from David Cameron as she strolled with him and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper before the hilltop summit. Today the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations focused mainly on the international security threat posed by ISIS, 'Russian aggression' in Ukraine and climate change. Speaking on the issue of Russia, Ms Merkel, who was recently voted the world's most powerful woman, said Europe 'could toughen the sanctions if the situation requires us to do so.' The leaders want Russia and Ukraine to comply with a February 12 ceasefire agreed in the Belarus capital Minsk that largely halted fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.Speaking in a press conference, President Obama added: 'As we've seen again in recent days, Russian forces continue to operate in eastern Ukraine, violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. 'Russia is in deep recession. So Russia's actions in Ukraine are hurting Russia and hurting the Russian people. And the G7 is making it clear that if necessary we stand ready to impose additional significant sanctions against Russia.'Speaking on the same matter, Mr Cameron said the world should remember that the Ukrainians are 'the victims, not the aggressors', adding: 'Existing sanctions must remain in place until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.' 
Crone 6/9 (Crone, Jack. "The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Merkel: Angela Looks like She's about to Burst into Song for Obama as World Leaders Celebrate G7 Deal." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 9 June 2015. Web. 28 June 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3115473/The-hills-alive-sound-Munich-Angela-Merkel-looks-like-s-burst-song-Obama-world-leaders-celebrate-G7-deal.html>.) ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
Today (G7) focused mainly on the international security threat posed by 'Russian aggression' in Ukraine Merkel , said Europe 'could toughen the sanctions if the situation requires us to do so.' The leaders want Russia and Ukraine to comply with a February 12 ceasefire Obama added the G7 is making it clear that if necessary we stand ready to impose additional significant sanctions against Russia.'
G7 nations focused on deescalating Russia through sanctions
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Spying on adversaries is common — as is spying on your allies. As Charles Kupchan, a professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and a senior fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations, told NPR's Audie Cornish last week: "Everybody spies on everybody, including friends on friends.” But there are some exceptions. Since World War II, the U.S. and Britain have shared sensitive intelligence. Three other countries belong to this so-called "five eyes" alliance: Australia, Canada and New Zealand. They probably don't spy on each other's leaders, but their citizens are fair game. "In fact," writes Max Boot in Commentary, "this intelligence sharing allows them to do an end-run around prohibitions on domestic surveillance: the Brits can spy on our citizens, we can spy on theirs, and then we can share the results." 2. Why are so many people angry? Two reasons: the scope of the spying and its scale. Foreign leaders likely knew the NSA was spying on citizens in their countries, but they are less tolerant of the fact that they were targets themselves. "What's very important about this particular scandal is that they see our collection as going beyond the pale," Tim Naftali, a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, tells NPR's Renee Montagne. "We have somehow crossed a boundary that they understood existed and where we've gone they don't accept anymore." But Boot has a different view. "Much of their anger is faked for public consumption," he writes. "The only outrage is that anyone is outraged." So much of this is going to be done in secret and one thing that we should expect — or should hope for — is that Congress will play a role and we will see a change in the leadership of the NSA — because a signal has to be sent abroad to our allies that we take seriously their concerns about the ambit of NSA collection." But Kupchan notes there will be "very little" damage even if the U.S. stops spying on its allies. "And that's because in the end of the day, friends do not mean harm to friends," he says. "The United States would have somewhat less information in its diplomatic quiver, but we could certainly live if there were to be an agreement with our friends to cut this out."
Calamur 13 (Calamur, Krishnadev. "4 Things To Know About Spying On Allies." NPR. NPR, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 June 2015. <http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/10/28/241384089/four-things-to-know-about-spying-on-allies>.) ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
Everybody spies on everybody, including friends on friends.” Foreign leaders likely knew the NSA was spying on citizens in their countries, but they are less tolerant of the fact that they were targets themselves. Much of their anger is faked for public consumption, there will be "very little" damage even if the U.S. stops spying on its allies. , friends do not mean harm to friends," he says. "The United States would have somewhat less information in its diplomatic quiver, but we could certainly live if there were to be an agreement with our friends to cut this out."
No loss of relations from spying - foreign leaders were aware of the spying
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On a closed session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a high-ranking Ukrainian official just shared the Ukrainian government's current view of its conflict with Russia: Fighting has resumed after a three-week ceasefire. The administration sees signs that Putin is escalating his forces, albeit in a limited way. The administration does not currently see Putin amassing force for a major invasion.. The official applauded support from China. The Ukrainian government believes time is working against Putin. The combination of economic sanctions, plunging oil prices, and the backlash against Putin's aggression is putting Putin in an increasingly isolated position. Putin is responding by escalating his forces. The Ukrainian government says it does not know what Putin wants. The administration believes that even Putin does not know what he wants. Putin's tone changes on every phone call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the official said. The last time Putin spoke with President Poroshenko was 11 days ago.
Blodget 1/21 (Blodget, Henry., editor-in-chief of Business Insider,. "UKRAINE OFFICIAL: Putin Is Escalating And Emotional - And Hasn't Spoken To President Poroshenko For 11 Days." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 21 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 June 2015. <http://www.businessinsider.com/ukraine-official-putin-is-escalating-the-conflict-2015-1#ixzz3e0BwNLJI>) ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
Fighting has resumed after a three-week ceasefire. Putin is escalating his forces economic sanctions and the backlash against Putin is putting Putin in an isolated position Putin is responding by escalating his forces administration believes that Putin does not know what he wants. Putin's tone changes on every phone call with Poroshenko
Russian escalation is inevitable, Putin reacts irrationally --Ukraine crisis proves
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WASHINGTON; AND MOSCOW — Knowing your enemy doesn't just win the war. Sometimes, it also can be critical to keeping the peace. Such was the case in 1983, during a massive NATO drill to test the alliance's capabilities to respond to a Soviet invasion of western Europe. Unknown to its planners, however, "Able Archer," which envisaged using nuclear weapons to halt the enemy advance, looked to Soviet eyes exactly the way Soviet intelligence had predicted a US nuclear "first strike" would unfold. Though many of the details of how war was averted remain undisclosed, experts on both sides say the world came to the very brink of nuclear Armageddon through a chain of preventable misunderstandings. It was one of several cold war close calls that convinced Moscow and Washington to step up military contacts and establish formal, as well as informal, channels of communication that might make all the difference in an emergency. Those old tales are taking on urgent new relevance as the crisis over Ukraine drives East-West tensions to levels unseen since the cold war. Military machines on both sides are engaged in nearly non-stop war games aimed at displaying their readiness to their jittery publics, and scary near-misses between warplanes are multiplying as Russia's Air Force tries to return to its Soviet-era pattern of global patrolling. All this is happening at a time when dialogue, even at the highest levels, is almost nonexistent. "Not just communications, but other mechanisms that used to exist are simply not working anymore," says Viktor Baranets, a former Russian defense ministry spokesman. "I don't want to sound alarmist, but judging by the rapid pace of events and growing aggressiveness on all sides, we may be moving toward disaster. It's like we're all priming a bomb, but no one knows when or how it will explode. Gradually, we are moving from cold to hot war." 'We should be having these conversations' The disconnect between the Russian and American militaries is in part a natural result of the end of the cold war. Most of the old coping mechanisms were scrapped after they became unnecessary 25 years ago. That has left fighter pilots and ship captains today without the experience of their cold war predecessors, who were steeled by regular encounters with the enemy. But as NATO and Russia broke off relations last year amid the escalating spat over Ukraine, communications at lower echelons virtually ended. Last month NATO announced that it would set up a cold war-style "hotline" with the General Staff in Moscow. But that came even as NATO kicked out dozens of Russians formerly stationed at its Brussels headquarters. Pentagon officials say the US decision, alongside NATO, to slash military relations with Russia was the right thing to do "in light of Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine." Virtually all bilateral engagements were shut down, including military exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits, and planning conferences. They say they continue to maintain "open lines of communication with Russia." But some experts worry that the hotline may prove far too little as tensions spiral, snap war drills become larger and more frequent on both sides, and genuine efforts to see the other guy's point of view dwindle. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno says the fall-off in communications is indeed of concern. "I’m a big believer in no matter how big your disagreements are, it’s important that you continue to have discussions," he says. "In my mind, when you’re not talking, relationships can deteriorate faster because you can misinterpret – you don’t quite understand exactly what’s being said, and you don’t have the opportunity to discuss the most difficult issues," he told defense reporters on May 28. "I believe we should be having these conversations, but we’re not." Nuclear troubles Strategic nuclear weapons are still subject to strict controls. Five years ago Russia and the US signed the New START treaty, which holds the two sides to defined numbers of warheads and delivery systems. The treaty has its own apparatus for mutual verification and consultation. But the late-cold-war treaty that banned all medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe is under new strains, with the US accusing Russia of violations and some Russian politicians openly calling for the accord to be scrapped altogether. Russia is also warning that it might deploy nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to its western enclave of Kaliningrad and the newly-annexed territory of Crimea, which could add a nuclear dimension to the standoff. In the worst case, there is still the "red phone" – not actually a phone, but a priority connection – between the White House and the Kremlin, established in the wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. But that's not enough to offset the shift in attitudes. "Relations are changing in the worst possible direction. We're in a propaganda war, and the realization has dawned that we are not friends," says Viktor Kremeniuk, a veteran Russian America-watcher and author of a new book, "Lessons from the Cold War." "If something should happen in an area not covered by a specific, preexisting agreement, it's not clear how it would be handled," he says. "Basically, the normal channels of diplomacy are all we've got now." Growing risk of accident An air-to-air encounter turned bad is one of the nightmares that plague officials on both sides. Pentagon officials point to an April 2014 incident, in which a Russian fighter plane buzzed a US reconnaissance aircraft and "put the lives of its crew in jeopardy." "During the cold war, it was routine anytime our reconnaissance aircraft was looking at them, or them at us, that we would be flying in formation in a very predictable way," says Christopher Harmer, a retired naval officer who served as former deputy director of future operations at the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. That tight formation flying helped keep miscalculations to a minimum, Mr. Harmer says. But the sort of "reckless" flying demonstrated by the Russian fighter jet represents a shift in tactics. There is little chance it was the act of a show-off pilot, he adds. "Russian pilots don’t do rogue." The US Navy complains of similar close and "provocative" Russian approaches toward its ships in the Black Sea, including an incident last week involving the guided missile destroyer USS Ross. Russian media accounts of the same event stress the defensive actions of Russian military forces in the face of US "aggressive" moves. Odierno says that he has endeavored to arrange meetings to discuss rules of engagement. "I’ve actually tried to meet to meet with my Russian counterpart on two separate occasions, and both times they’ve refused to do that in neutral settings. So it’s concerning," because the lack of communication "definitely increases the danger of miscalculations" between the two countries, he says. "It's depressing to find ourselves back in this situation. Trust is ebbing, tensions are spiking, there's the constant feeling that something could go badly wrong," says Andrei Baklitsky, an expert with the independent PIR Center in Moscow, a think tank specializing in nuclear security issues. "We need to work out a new set of rules. The way we've been doing things for the past 25 years isn't working in this new situation, so people really need to start talking."
Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor staff writer, 6/9 Anna Mulrine, June 6th, 2015, “NATO and Russia aren't talking to each other. Cold war lessons forgotten?” http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2015/0609/NATO-and-Russia-aren-t-talking-to-each-other.-Cold-war-lessons-forgotten-video PJL~KKF
Though many of the details of how war was averted remain undisclosed, experts on both sides say the world came to the very brink of nuclear Armageddon through a chain of preventable misunderstandings. "Not just communications, but other mechanisms that used to exist are simply not working anymore," says Viktor Baranets, a former Russian defense ministry spokesman. "I don't want to sound alarmist, but judging by the rapid pace of events and growing aggressiveness on all sides, we may be moving toward disaster. It's like we're all priming a bomb, but no one knows when or how it will explode. Gradually, we are moving from cold to hot war." The disconnect between the Russian and American militaries is in part a natural result of the end of the cold war But as NATO and Russia broke off relations last year amid the escalating spat over Ukraine, communications at lower echelons virtually ended. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno says "I’ve actually tried to meet to meet with my Russian counterpart on two separate occasions, and both times they’ve refused to do that in neutral settings
Russia and G7/NATO ALREADY aren’t working together – impx should have happened already
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THE pens were on the table in Minsk, Belarus’s capital, for the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine to sign a deal to end a year-long war fuelled by Russia and fought by its proxies. But on February 12th, after all-night talks, they were put away. “No good news,” said Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president. Instead there will be a ceasefire from February 15th. A tentative agreement has been reached to withdraw heavy weaponry. But Russia looks sure to be able to keep open its border with Ukraine and sustain the flow of arms and people. The siege of Debaltseve, a strategic transport hub held by Ukrainian forces, continues. Russia is holding military exercises on its side of the border. Crimea was not even mentioned. Meanwhile the IMF has said it will lend Ukraine $17.5 billion to prop up its economy. But Mr Putin seems to be relying on a familiar Russian tactic of exhausting his negotiating counterparts and taking two steps forward, one step back. He is counting on time and endurance to bring the collapse and division of Ukraine and a revision of the post-cold war world order. Nearly a quarter-century after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West faces a greater threat from the East than at any point during the cold war. Even during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, Soviet leaders were constrained by the Politburo and memories of the second world war. Now, according to Russia’s chief propagandist, Dmitry Kiselev, even a decision about the use of nuclear arms “will be taken personally by Mr Putin, who has the undoubted support of the Russian people”. Bluff or not, this reflects the Russian elite’s perception of the West as a threat to the very existence of the Russian state. In this view Russia did not start the war in Ukraine, but responded to Western aggression. The Maidan uprising and ousting of Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine’s president were engineered by American special services to move NATO closer to Russia’s borders. Once Mr Yanukovych had gone, American envoys offered Ukraine’s interim government $25 billion to place missile defences on the Russian border, in order to shift the balance of nuclear power towards America. Russia had no choice but to act. Even without Ukraine, Mr Putin has said, America would have found some other excuse to contain Russia. Ukraine, therefore, was not the cause of Russia’s conflict with the West, but its consequence. Mr Putin’s purpose is not to rebuild the Soviet empire—he knows this is impossible—but to protect Russia’s sovereignty. By this he means its values, the most important of which is a monopoly on state power. Behind Russia’s confrontation with the West lies a clash of ideas. On one side are human rights, an accountable bureaucracy and democratic elections; on the other an unconstrained state that can sacrifice its citizens’ interests to further its destiny or satisfy its rulers’ greed. Both under communism and before it, the Russian state acquired religious attributes. It is this sacred state which is under threat. Mr Putin sits at its apex. “No Putin—no Russia,” a deputy chief of staff said recently. His former KGB colleagues—the Committee of State Security—are its guardians, servants and priests, and entitled to its riches. Theirs is not a job, but an elite and hereditary calling. Expropriating a private firm’s assets to benefit a state firm is therefore not an act of corruption. When thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets demanding a Western-European way of life, the Kremlin saw this as a threat to its model of governance. Alexander Prokhanov, a nationalist writer who backs Russia’s war in Ukraine, compares European civilisation to a magnet attracting Ukraine and Russia. Destabilising Ukraine is not enough to counter that force: the magnet itself must be neutralised. Russia feels threatened not by any individual European state, but by the European Union and NATO, which it regards as expansionist. It sees them as “occupied” by America, which seeks to exploit Western values to gain influence over the rest of the world. America “wants to freeze the order established after the Soviet collapse and remain an absolute leader, thinking it can do whatever it likes, while others can do only what is in that leader’s interests,” Mr Putin said recently. “Maybe some want to live in a semi-occupied state, but we do not.” Russia has taken to arguing that it is not fighting Ukraine, but America in Ukraine. The Ukrainian army is just a foreign legion of NATO, and American soldiers are killing Russian proxies in the Donbas. Anti-Americanism is not only the reason for war and the main pillar of state power, but also an ideology that Russia is trying to export to Europe, as it once exported communism. Anti-Westernism has been dressed not in communist clothes, but in imperial and even clerical ones (see article). “We see how many Euro-Atlantic countries are in effect turning away from their roots, including their Christian values,” said Mr Putin in 2013. Russia, by contrast, “has always been a state civilisation held together by the Russian people, the Russian language, Russian culture and the Russian Orthodox church.” The Donbas rebels are fighting not only the Ukrainian army, but against a corrupt Western way of life in order to defend Russia’s distinct world view.
Economist 2/14/15 February 14, 2015, “Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is part of a broader, and more dangerous, confrontation with the West” http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21643220-russias-aggression-ukraine-part-broader-and-more-dangerous-confrontation PJL~KKF
Nearly a quarter-century after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West faces a greater threat from the East than at any point during the cold war. Now, according to Russia’s chief propagandist, Dmitry Kiselev, even a decision about the use of nuclear arms “will be taken personally by Mr Putin, who has the undoubted support of the Russian people”. Bluff or not, this reflects the Russian elite’s perception of the West as a threat to the very existence of the Russian state. In this view Russia did not start the war in Ukraine, but responded to Western aggression. Even without Ukraine, Mr Putin has said, America would have found some other excuse to contain Russia. Ukraine, therefore, was not the cause of Russia’s conflict with the West, but its consequence. Mr Putin’s purpose is not to rebuild the Soviet empire—he knows this is impossible—but to protect Russia’s sovereignty. By this he means its values, the most important of which is a monopoly on state power. Behind Russia’s confrontation with the West lies a clash of ideas. Russia has taken to arguing that it is not fighting Ukraine, but America in Ukraine. American soldiers are killing Russian proxies in the Donbas. Anti-Americanism is not only the reason for war and the main pillar of state power, but also an ideology that Russia is trying to export to Europe, as it once exported communism. The Donbas rebels are fighting not only the Ukrainian army, but against a corrupt Western way of life in order to defend Russia’s distinct world view.
Alt causes -- The key to stopping Russia is to solve the ideological clashes between Eastern and Western politics, or at least to pacify these concerns of misperception
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Moscow supports the Minsk peace agreements ratified in February in Ukraine, but blamed Kiev for stalling the truce efforts. "Russia is interested in and will strive to ensure the full and unconditional implementation of the Minsk Agreements," Putin told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday, according to Reuters. He called the deal between the two countries “right, just and feasible.” An uneasy ceasefire saw hostilities between warring factions in eastern Ukraine cool off for a few months, but a spate of fighting in recent weeks has thrown the peace accord into uncertainty. An unknown number of fighters were killed on Wednesday when clashes broke out between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebel forces in the Donetsk region. Putin blamed the fresh hostilities on Kiev, saying that separatist forces had fulfilled their promise of withdrawing heavy weapons from the fight. "It is time to begin implementing the Minsk Agreements," Putin reportedly told the paper. He called on Kiev to undertake constitutional reforms -- as part of the agreement -- that would allow the rebel breakaway regions in the country’s east to become autonomous, and implement municipal elections and amnesty. "The problem is that the current Kiev authorities don't even want to sit down to talks with them. And there is nothing we can do about it," he reportedly said. "Only our European and American partners can influence this situation." He also dismissed the worries of the European countries regarding Moscow as unfounded. "As for some countries' concerns about Russia's possible aggressive actions, I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO," he said, Radio Free Europe reported, citing Corriere della Sera. "I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people's fears with regard to Russia," he added. "Let me tell you something - there is no need to fear Russia." He called Kiev’s economic severance from the rebel territories a humanitarian crisis and urged the European Union to provide more financial relief to the region. "Since we are talking about what can or must be done, and by whom, I believe that the European Union could surely provide greater financial assistance to Ukraine," he reportedly said. Moscow has maintained that Kiev has instigated the conflict, and that there are no Russian troops, except private forces, fighting in the country. It has defended the right of the breakaway regions, including the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, to secede from Ukraine.
Tejas, 6/6/15 Aditya Tejas, International Business Times, June 6th, 2015, “Putin Blames Ukraine For Stalling Peace Deal, Says Russia Wants Peace” http://www.ibtimes.com/putin-blames-ukraine-stalling-peace-deal-says-russia-wants-peace-1955346 PJL~KKF
Putin supports the Minsk peace agreements ratified in February in Ukraine, but blamed Kiev for stalling the truce efforts. "Russia is interested in and will strive to ensure the full and unconditional implementation of the Minsk Agreements," He called the deal “right, just and feasible.” Putin blamed the fresh hostilities on Kiev, saying that separatist forces had fulfilled their promise of withdrawing heavy weapons from the fight. "It is time to begin implementing the Minsk Agreements," Putin reportedly told the paper. He called on Kiev to undertake constitutional reforms as part of the agreement "The problem is that the current Kiev authorities don't even want to sit down to talks with them. And there is nothing we can do about it," I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO," he said "Let me tell you something - there is no need to fear Russia." Moscow has maintained that Kiev has instigated the conflict, and that there are no Russian troops, except private forces, fighting in the country.
Russia is currently pursuing peace with Ukraine
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Six months ahead of a landmark U.N. climate summit in Paris, the Group of Seven of the world’s largest advanced economies, or G7, reaffirmed their commitment Monday to keeping the globe’s average temperature from rising past 2 degrees Celsius, widely seen as the benchmark for averting catastrophic global warming. The countries’ plans for cutting heat-trapping carbon emissions, released over the past year, come nowhere close to achieving that target. Yet in pledging to reduce greenhouse gases while also expanding their economies, world leaders once again signaled their view that environmental action and economic growth – once widely seen as inherently at odds – are now inextricably linked by the consequences of climate change. “Urgent and concrete action is needed to address climate change,” the G7 leaders said in a joint statement released Monday at the end of their two-day 2015 summit in Germany. There is “strong determination” to adopt an agreement, one “that is ambitious, robust, inclusive and reflects evolving circumstances.” . We continue to make progress toward a strong global climate agreement this year in Paris," Obama said in a press conference Monday in Germany. "All the G7 countries have now put forward our post-2020 targets for reducing carbon emissions, and we’ll continue to urge other significant emitters to do so as well." The G7 declaration did call for “binding rules” that would “enhance transparency and accountability” as nations work toward achieving their carbon-reduction targets.
Neuhauser, Alan. "We Continue to Make Progress toward a Strong Global Climate Agreement This Year in Paris," Obama Said in a Press Conference Monday in Germany. US News. U.S.News & World Report, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.
Six months ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Paris the G7, reaffirmed their commitment keeping the globe’s average temperature from rising past 2 degrees Celsius seen as the benchmark for averting catastrophic global warming world leaders once again signaled their view that environmental action and economic growth – once widely seen as inherently at odds – are now inextricably linked by the consequences of climate change. Urgent and concrete action is needed to address climate change,” the G7 leaders said in a joint statement There is “strong determination” to adopt an agreement, one “that is ambitious, robust, inclusive and reflects evolving circumstances We continue to make progress toward a strong global climate agreement this year in Paris Obama said All the G7 countries have now put forward our post-2020 targets for reducing carbon emissions, and we’ll continue to urge other significant emitters to do so The G7 declaration did call for “binding rules” that would “enhance transparency and accountability” as nations work toward achieving their carbon-reduction targets
Climate Agreement will happen, G7 proves
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Environmental groups and Democratic lawmakers, however, roundly welcomed the State Department's submission, known by negotiators as "Intended Nationally Determined Contributions." "The president has again demonstrated leadership in addressing the threat posed by climate change," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Today’s announcement confirms that the United States is doing its part to reduce dangerous carbon pollution, and this effort will continue to bring other countries along the path to a strong agreement in Paris.” Natural Resources Defense Council president Rhea Suh said she agreed, declaring the commitment "sends a powerful message to the world." A report published earlier this month by DBL Ventures, a venture capital firm that supports clean energy projects, found states that generate the greatest share of electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar experience lower energy prices than states with the smallest share of green power.
Neuhauser, Alan. "We Continue to Make Progress toward a Strong Global Climate Agreement This Year in Paris," Obama Said in a Press Conference Monday in Germany. US News. U.S.News & World Report, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.
The president has again demonstrated leadership in addressing the threat posed by climate change the United States is doing its part to reduce dangerous carbon pollution, and this effort will continue to bring other countries along the path to a strong agreement in Paris the commitment "sends a powerful message to the world
U.S. leadership makes climate agreement a for sure deal
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France will produce its own text for a global climate change agreement if countries taking part in UN negotiations fail to cut the current 90-page documentdown to size. The host of this year’s UN summit, where an emissions cutting pact between nearly 200 countries is set to be finalised, wants a shorter document by the end of the summer. “We have to get a simpler text by June or the latest by the end of August to work with it,” France’s top climate diplomat Laurence Tubiana told RTCC, speaking at the Carbon Expo event in Barcelona. “If this does not proceed from the normal process of course that will rely on the presidency of the COP in the summer to produce a new document. “We don’t want that so we will push and press for everyone to deliver a shorter text by the end of August – really defining what needs to be decided in Paris, what will be decided after and what are the core principles in the agreement.” Tubiana said France wants the main elements of the deal ready by October to ensure there were “no surprises” that could stymie the process. Laurence Tubiana talks about the need for a simpler text for climate negotiations. The last time the UN attempted to secure a global climate solution ended in farce just under six years ago at a summit in Copenhagen, with a small group of major emitters stitching together a hurried voluntary deal after negotiations over a huge set of proposals stalled. Advertisement Three sessions of negotiations have been allocated for envoys to slim down the text between now and December, with the first starting next month in Bonn. Decisions this UN forum need to be decided by consensus, meaning it only takes a small group of countries to block suggested additions to agreements. Tubiana admitted the demand for an early resolution to the negotiating text added a level of pressure on countries that could slow talks further, but insisted it was essential work sped up. “A logical result of this is countries are beginning to be tougher – because they don’t want to show their cards – and that’s what will happen at this summit, to show this is time to really agree on a compromise,” she said. “Nuances and positions are very diverse, so it’s difficult to align everybody, and there are strong views from different views, but I’m confident because countries want to agree in Paris.” Since UN climate talks started in 1991 greenhouse gas emissions have swelled to record levels. Scientists now say the world has under 30 years before dangerous levels of warming, causing droughts, floods and rising sea levels are guaranteed. France will ensure that plans to help countries adapt to future climate extremes are an integral part of any deal, Tubiana stressed, acknowledging that on current form emission cuts will not limit warming to the internationally agreed 2C above pre-industrial levels ceiling. The role of Paris will be to “accelerate” the trajectory of carbon reductions, she stressed, and also to allow the most climate vulnerable countries a chance to make their case for greater ambition
King, Ed. "France Ready to Step in If UN Climate Talks Fail, Say Top Diplomat." Guardian Environment Network. The Guardian, 28 May 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.
France will produce its own text for a global climate change agreement if countries taking part in UN negotiations fail We have to get a simpler text by June or the latest by the end of August to work with it If this does not proceed from the normal process of course that will rely on the presidency of the COP in the summer to produce a new document. “We don’t want that so we will push and press for everyone to deliver a shorter text by the end of August – really defining what needs to be decided in Paris, what will be decided after and what are the core principles in the agreement it was essential work sped up. “A logical result of this is countries are beginning to be tougher – because they don’t want to show their cards – and that’s what will happen at this summit, to show this is time to really agree on a compromise,” she said. “Nuances and positions are very diverse, so it’s difficult to align everybody, and there are strong views from different views, but I’m confident because countries want to agree in Paris The role of Paris will be to “accelerate” the trajectory of carbon reductions, she stressed, and also to allow the most climate vulnerable countries a chance to make their case for greater ambition
France won’t allow the climate talk to fail
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The latest round of UN climate talks have made slow progress on refining a negotiating text for the Paris summit in December, the focal point for efforts to agree curbs on greenhouse gas emissions in developed and developing countries. Despite two weeks of talks at an interim meeting in the German city of Bonn, most of the contradictory proposals that littered the previous 90-page document remain, meaning that the next few rounds of talks in August and October will have to shoulder the burden of distilling a negotiating text by December. France’s climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana said that the tough, painstaking work of refining the document could still deliver real benefits in time for Paris. “It’s like having a baby, sometimes you don’t know exactly when the baby will be born,” she told a press conference. Tubiana added: “Everyone is feeling the frustration, but we should not be frustrated or disappointed because these are really necessary conditions for Paris.” Familiar disputes blocked progress at the mainly technical meeting in Bonn, which was being held around 500km away from this week's G7 summit in Bavaria. G7 leaders announced a long-term, but non-binding, decarbonisation targetand increased insurance for countries most vulnerable to climate change. But in Bonn rich nations failed to give greater clarity on how rich economies will deploy US$100 billion of climate finance a year from 2020. Major rifts also remained on the legal basis of a future agreement, and the extent that large fast-developing economies such as China and India will be accountable for planned curbs on GHG emissions.
McGarrity, John. "UN Climate Talks Fail to Clear Obstacles to Paris Deal."UN Climate Talks Fail to Clear Obstacles to Paris Deal. China Dialogue, 11 June 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.
The latest round of UN climate talks have made slow progress the focal point for efforts to agree curbs on greenhouse gas emissions in developed and developing countries Despite weeks of talks he contradictory proposals remain, meaning that the next few rounds of talks in August and October will have to shoulder the burden of distilling a negotiating text Everyone is feeling the frustration rich nations failed to give greater clarity on how rich economies will deploy US$100 billion of climate finance a year from 2020. Major rifts also remained on the legal basis of a future agreement, and the extent that large fast-developing economies such as China and India will be accountable for planned curbs on GHG emissions.
Recent talks have shown climate talks fail in status quo
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But Der Spiegel reports that the IPCC is shying away from such claims and gives no concrete numbers for how many plant and animal species could be at risk if global temperatures increased. While the IPCC does say that the pace of global warming is making it hard for some species to adapt, the lack of basic data makes it impossible for there to be any hard evidence to back up this claim. Zoologists actually fear that the focus on global warming has drawn attention away from issues that actually cause extinctions, like destruction of natural habitats.? “Monoculture, over-fertilization or soil destruction destroy more species than several degrees temperature rise ever assets,” University of Rostock zoologist Ragnar Kinzelbach told Der Spiegel. The UN’s final climate report that will include its analysis on extinctions is set to be released in late March. Scientists and government representatives from around the world are meeting this week in Japan to hammer out a summary for policymakers on the UN’s key findings.
Bastasch 15, Michael. "IPCC Runs from Claims That Global Warming Will Cause Mass Extinctions." IPCC No Longer Claims That Global Warming Causes Mass Extinction. The DC, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 24 June 2015.
no concrete numbers for how many plant and animal species could be at risk if global temperatures increased the lack of basic data makes it impossible for there to be any hard evidence to back up this claim. Zoologists actually fear that the focus on global warming has drawn attention away from issues that actually cause extinctions, like destruction of natural habitats Monoculture, over-fertilization or soil destruction destroy more species than several degrees temperature rise ever
No evidence supports warming causes extinction
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Less dramatic changes are more likely. Abrupt transformations in climate would probably cause few deaths. Many scientists have remarked that climate change would increase the spread of disease, 74 and seasonal weather changes are associated with outbreaks of many diseases, including meningococcal meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa and rotavirus in the US. Moreover, stronger El Nino events have been linked to the prevalence of cholera in Bangladesh, the spread of Rift Valley fever in East Africa, and malaria incidences on the Indian subcontinent. However, while the spread of disease is influenced by the weather, the connection between global climate change and the spread of disease has not yet been established. 75 One point is clear: as Rees notes, "Not even the most drastic conceivable climate shifts could directly destroy all humanity." 76
Barrett 6 – Professor of International Policy @ Johns Hopkins Scott, Professor and Director of International Policy, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, 2006, “CATASTROPHE: The Problem of Averting Global Catastrophe,” Chicago Journal of International Law, Lexis
Abrupt transformations in climate would probably cause few deaths Many scientists have remarked that climate change would increase the spread of disease However, while the spread of disease is influenced by the weather, the connection between global climate change and the spread of disease has not yet been established One point is clear Not even the most drastic conceivable climate shifts could destroy all humanity
Warming doesn’t lead to extinction
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BOULDER—Even if all greenhouse gases had been stabilized in the year 2000, we would still be committed to a warmer Earth and greater sea level rise in the present century, according to a new study by a team of climate modelers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The findings are published in this week's issue of the journal Science. The modeling study quantifies the relative rates of sea level rise and global temperature increase that we are already committed to in the 21st century. Even if no more greenhouse gases were added to the atmosphere, globally averaged surface air temperatures would rise about a half degree Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit) and global sea levels would rise another 11 centimeters (4 inches) from thermal expansion alone by 2100. “Many people don’t realize we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise because of the greenhouse gases we have already put into the atmosphere,” says lead author Gerald Meehl. “Even if we stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, the climate will continue to warm, and there will be proportionately even more sea level rise. The longer we wait, the more climate change we are committed to in the future.”
Climate Change Inevitable in 21st Century - News Release." Climate Change Inevitable in 21st Century - News Release. UCAR, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, 17 Mar. 2005. Web. 24 June 2015.
Even if all greenhouse gases had been stabilized we would still be committed to a warmer Earth and greater sea level rise in the present century The study quantifies the relative rates of sea level rise and global temperature increase that we are already committed to in the 21st century. Even if no more greenhouse gases were added to the atmosphere, globally averaged surface air temperatures would rise about a half degree Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit) and global sea levels would rise another 11 centimeters (4 inches) from thermal expansion alone by 2100 Many people don’t realize we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise because of the greenhouse gases we have already put into the atmosphere Even if we stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, the climate will continue to warm
Impacts are inevitable, Temperature rises regardless
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U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a phone call with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday Washington's commitment to end spying practices deemed "unacceptable" by its allies. The presidents' conversation, announced by Hollande's office, came after transparency lobby group WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday that U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on the last three French presidents. The latest revelations of espionage among Western allies came after it emerged that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on Germany and that Germany's own BND intelligence agency had cooperated with the NSA to spy on officials and companies elsewhere in Europe. "President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment ... to end the practices that may have happened in the past and that are considered unacceptable among allies," the French president's office said. Hollande had earlier held an emergency meeting of his ministers and army commanders and the U.S. ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry. "France will not tolerate actions that threaten its security and the protection of its interests," an earlier statement from the president's office said, adding it was not the first time allegations of U.S. spying on French interests had surfaced. A senior French intelligence official will travel to the United States to discuss the matter and strengthen cooperation between the two countries, Hollande's office said. "We have to verify that this spying has finished," Stephane Le Foll, government spokesman, told reporters, adding that ministers had been told to be careful when speaking on their mobile phones.
Irish, John. "Obama Reassures France after "unacceptable" NSA Spying."Reuters US Edition. Reuters, 24 June 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.
Obama reaffirmed with his French counterpart on Washington's commitment to end spying practices The latest revelations of espionage among Western allies came after it emerged that the NSA) had spied President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment ... to end the practices that may have happened in the past and that are considered unacceptable among allies A senior French intelligence official will travel to the United States to discuss the matter and strengthen cooperation between the two countries
US working on relations in light of new leaks.
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Don't expect too much from the global climate-change accord that's expected to emerge from high-stakes international talks in Paris next year. A new MIT study concludes that even if negotiators reach a deal at the United Nations conference, it probably won't be enough to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. That's the level many scientists say would help stave off some of the most dangerous and disruptive effects of climate change. Here's the study's bottom line on what to expect from the so-called Conference of the Parties 21 in Paris: "Based on our expectations for the architecture of a COP-21 agreement, and our predictions about the national contributions likely to come forth under it, our analysis concludes that these international efforts will indeed bend the curve of global emissions. However, our results also show that these efforts will not put the globe on a path consistent with commonly stated long-term climate goals," states the paper by economics professor Henry Jacoby and Y-H Henry Chen, who both work with MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The 2°C ceiling has been highly optimistic for a while, as global greenhouse-gas emissions continue to soar. In a major report last year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change modeled the impact of a series of possible emissions trajectories. Runaway emissions growth could further boost temperatures, at the high end of the estimates, by up to 4.8 °C by 2100, the IPCC estimated.
Geman, Ben. "Why a Global-Warming Pact Won't Stop Global Warming." Www.nationaljournal.com. The National Journal, 7 Aug. 2014. Web. 26 June 2015
Don't expect too much from the global climate-change accord that's expected to emerge from high-stakes international talks in Paris next year. A new study concludes that even if negotiators reach a deal at the United Nations conference, it won't be enough to limit global temperature increases to the level scientists say would help stave off the most dangerous and disruptive effects of climate change Here's the bottom line on what to expect in Paris that these international efforts will indeed bend the curve of global emissions. However ur results also show that these efforts will not put the globe on a path consistent with long-term climate goals The 2°C ceiling has been highly optimistic Runaway emissions growth could further boost temperatures , by 4.8 °C
Even if talks succeed their impacts are still going to happen
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The U.N.'s Paris climate conference, designed to reach a plan for curbing global warming, may instead become the graveyard for its defining goal: to stop temperatures rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Achieving the 2C (3.6 Fahrenheit) target has been the driving force for climate negotiators and scientists, who say it is the limit beyond which the world will suffer ever worsening floods, droughts, storms and rising seas. But six months before world leaders convene in Paris, prospects are fading for a deal that would keep average temperatures below the ceiling. Greenhouse gas emissions have reached record highs in recent years. And proposed cuts in carbon emissions from 2020 and promises to deepen them in subsequent reviews - offered by governments wary of the economic cost of shifting from fossil fuels - are unlikely to be enough for the 2C goal. "Paris will be a funeral without a corpse," said David Victor, a professor of international relations at the University of California, San Diego, who predicts the 2C goal will slip away despite insistence by many governments that is still alive. "It's just not feasible," said Oliver Geden, of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. "Two degrees is a focal point for the climate debate but it doesn't seem to be a focal point for political action." But as officials meet in the German city of Bonn from June 1-11 to lay more groundwork for the Paris summit, the United Nations says 2C is still within reach. Christiana Figueres, the U.N.'s top climate change official, acknowledges that national plans for emissions curbs - the building blocks for the Paris accord - won't be enough for 2C.
Doyle, Alister, and Bruce Wallace. "U.N. Climate Deal in Paris May Be Graveyard for 2C Goal." Reuters.com. Reuters, 1 June 2015. Web. 26 June 2015
The U.N.'s Paris climate conference designed for curbing global warming, may instead become the graveyard for its goal to stop temperatures rising more than 2 degrees Celsius . But six months before world leaders convene in Paris, prospects are fading for a deal that would keep average temperatures below the ceiling. Greenhouse gas emissions have reached record highs in recent years. And proposed cuts in carbon emissions from 2020 and promises to deepen them in subsequent reviews - offered by governments wary of the economic cost of shifting from fossil fuels - are unlikely to be enough for the 2C goal Paris will be a funeral without a corpse who predicts the 2C goal will slip away despite that is still alive. "It's just not feasible the U.N.'s top climate change official, acknowledges that national plans for emissions curb won't be enough for 2C.
Paris won’t solve; 2 degree rise is inevitable
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Efforts spearheaded by the United Nations to reach a global deal to fight climate change are "inadequate", a French minister said on Monday in a sign of growing frustration before Paris hosts a major meeting later this year. Governments will try on Monday to streamline an 89-page draft text of a U.N. deal to fight climate change due to be agreed in the French capital in December, hoping to avoid the acrimony of the last failed attempt. "The U.N. negotiations are totally inadequate for the climate emergency we are facing," Environment Minister Segolene Royal said in an interview published in Le Monde. "In private everybody is saying it ... but the weight of the process means it is carrying on as if there was no problem." The 190-nation talks among delegates in the German city of Bonn from June 1-11 will try to narrow down vastly differing options, ranging from promises to slash greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 to vague pledges to curb rising emissions. "This gap between UN procedure and the climate emergency is starting to pose a real problem and exasperating the countries that are the biggest victims of climate change," she said. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is presiding December's talks, told Reuters on May 26 a deal in Paris was within reach, but that the hurdles remained and getting a consensus between 196 parties was very difficult. Royal, a senior French Socialist known for being outspoken, blamed negotiators for past failures. "Bonn must obey the political instructions of heads of state and governments. Otherwise, the negotiators, who have been there for 15 years, if not 20 years, will just continue going through the motions," she said
Irish, John. "U.N. Climate Efforts Not Good Enough: French Minister." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 01 June 2015. Web. 26 June 2015
Efforts spearheaded by the United Nations to reach a global deal to fight climate change are "inadequate", a French minister said in a sign of growing frustration before Paris The U.N. negotiations are totally inadequate for the climate emergency we are facing In private everybody is saying it ... but the weight of the process means it is carrying on as if there was no problem." This gap between UN procedure and the climate emergency is starting to pose a real problem and exasperating the countries that are the biggest victims of climate change,
UN talks fail regardless
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Summing up, we are making progress, but slowly and partially. Success in Paris is indispensable in view of the mounting evidence that the climate is deteriorating faster than expected, but the international community must avoid the temptation of declaring victory and departing the field. If successful, the conference will only help put mankind on a better track. Many more conferences and many more efforts will be needed to reach the goal of preserving the climate.
Pisani-Ferry 6/23(Jean Pisani-Ferry, 6-23-2015, [Jean Pisani-Ferry teaches at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and serves as commissioner-general for Policy Planning in Paris. He is a former director of Bruegel, the Brussels-based economic think tank] "Four Roadblocks to a Global Climate Agreement," No Publication, http://english.caixin.com/2015-06-23/100821714.html)
we are making progress, but slowly and partially the international community must avoid the temptation of declaring victory and departing the field the conference will only help put mankind on a better track. Many more conferences and many more efforts will be needed to reach the goal of preserving the climate.
Climate agreement is important, but not key—much more needs to be done afterward
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The parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, are meeting in Bonn, Germany, June 1 through June 11 to continue negotiating a new international climate agreement. They will reconvene in Paris in December to finalize it. A key aspect of the eventual agreement—which will apply to both developed and developing countries—will be a set of national targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With little time remaining to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, there is tremendous pressure on negotiators to usher in an era of effective international climate cooperation. Yet as the contours of the agreement come into focus, it is increasingly apparent that the emissions reduction targets—which will be nationally determined rather than internationally negotiated—will be collectively insufficient to curtail dangerous climate change. It also is becoming clear that the agreement will not legally require countries to meet the targets. Paradoxically, these results would not entail the failure of the agreement. An insufficient set of national targets is compatible with a successful overall outcome in Paris, and a nonbinding set of national targets may actually be necessary for it. An inadequate first wave of emissions reduction targets but a potentially effective climate regime Over the past year, world leaders have shown a new political will to address climate change. The United States, for example, announced an aggressive but achievable emissions reduction target—26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025—and is working to implement the Clean Power Plan, which will dramatically reduce emissions from the power sector. China, to take another example, committed to peak carbon emissions by around 2030 in a historic announcement this past November. There has been significant progress on climate finance as well, with 33 countries pledging more than $10 billion to the nascent Green Climate Fund, which will help developing countries adapt to climate change and transition to pathways of low-carbon growth. Despite these developments, which have provided momentum toward a strong agreement in Paris, it is anticipated that the national emissions reduction targets submitted to the UNFCCC this year will be collectively inadequate to deliver climate safety. The Paris agreement, however, can still be successful. This is because the parties have the opportunity to ensure that the national emissions reduction targets—which have end dates of 2025 or 2030—are only a first wave in a succession of increasingly ambitious national targets to rein in global warming. Time, of course, is dwindling. According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels—which is the U.N.-agreed target—would entail a 40 percent to 70 percent reduction in emissions from 2010 levels by midcentury and net-zero emissions by 2100. To facilitate a new climate regime that is effective, the Paris agreement should set frequent cycles for improving national targets. It also should establish frequent and thorough reviews of national progress. These are among the issues set for discussion in Bonn—and in the run-up to Paris—that will help determine the ultimate success of the final agreement. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who will preside over the Paris meeting, has referred to the agreement not as a destination but as a “springboard.” It is within the power of the parties to make it a springboard to adequate climate action, rather than one to the failure of the UNFCCC. A legally binding agreement, potentially with nonbinding national emissions reduction targets Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, has joined Foreign Minister Fabius in his effort to manage expectations of what the first wave of national targets can achieve. Despite this pragmatism, however, the European Union has been publicly idealistic on the issue of whether the national targets should be legally binding. It is generally held that the core agreement will be binding under international law, but the European Union maintains that the national targets should be legally binding as well. Although well intentioned, this is a potentially self-defeating position. An agreement with legally obligatory targets for emissions reductions could threaten the participation of some of the world’s major emitters. It also is possible that such an agreement would encourage conservative rather than ambitious targets. In the case of the United States, an agreement with legally binding targets would likely require the consent of a supermajority in the Senate, which is doubtful in the current political environment. Given this conspicuous legislative reality, there has been little need for other countries to publicly oppose legally binding targets as the Paris meeting approaches. Both India and China, however, have a record of resisting emissions reduction targets that are obligatory under international law.
Taraska 6/1(Gwynne Taraska, 6-1-2015,[Gwynne Taraska is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for American Progress, where she works on climate and energy policy.] "The Paradox of Paris: How a Successful Climate Agreement Could Have Inadequate and Nonobligatory Emissions Reduction Targets," name, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2015/06/03/114333/the-paradox-of-paris-how-a-successful-climate-agreement-could-have-inadequate-and-nonobligatory-emissions-reduction-targets/)
A key aspect of the eventual agreement will be a set of national targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions there is tremendous pressure on negotiators to usher in an era of effective international climate cooperation it is increasingly apparent that the emissions reduction targets will be collectively insufficient to curtail dangerous climate change Despite developments it is anticipated that the national emissions reduction targets submitted to the UNFCCC this year will be collectively inadequate to deliver climate safety the core agreement will be binding under international law In the case of the United States, an agreement with legally binding targets would likely require the consent of a supermajority in the Senate, which is doubtful in the current political environment India and China have a record of resisting emissions reduction targets that are obligatory under international law.
Climate agreement will fail for three reasons—national targets, the US senate, and countries resisting emissions reductions
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The past four years have seen successive annual U.N. conferences (Copenhagen in 2009, Cancun in 2010, Durban in 2011, and Doha in 2012) frantically trying to reach agreement among nearly 200 countries on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. In essence, these conferences have succeeded only in wresting vague pledges from developed countries to reduce emissions, contribute funds to help developing countries adapt to climate change, and meet again to try to negotiate a binding treaty by 2015. The problem is that the basic approach is unworkable. International negotiations have centered on placing the economic burden of addressing climate change on a few dozen developed countries while asking nothing from more than 150 developing countries. But the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly the developing world. Any approach to effectively address increasing emissions of greenhouse gases must capture emissions from developed and developing countries. This notion was the central feature of the 1997 Byrd–Hagel Resolution, which unanimously passed the Senate, establishing conditions for the U.S. becoming a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and remains the primary reason why the U.S. never ratified that treaty. But developing countries, primarily India and China, have made it quite clear that they have no appetite to slow economic growth or curb use of conventional fuels to control emissions. For this reason, Canada, Japan, and Russia refused to sign onto a new agreement committing them to emissions reductions unless major developing country emitters were also included. Until and unless this issue is resolved, the U.S. would be foolish to consider unilateral restrictions on the U.S. economy that, in the end, would be merely symbolic without significant effect on global emissions reductions.
Heritage Foundation 13(About The, 1-24-2013, "Climate Change: How the U.S. Should Lead," Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/climate-change-how-the-us-should-lead)
The past four years have seen successive annual U.N. conferences frantically trying to reach agreement among nearly 200 countries on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol these conferences have succeeded only in wresting vague pledges from developed countries to reduce emissions, contribute funds to help developing countries adapt to climate change, and meet again to try to negotiate a binding treaty by 2015. the basic approach is unworkable. International negotiations have centered on placing the economic burden of addressing climate change on a few dozen developed countries while asking nothing from more than 150 developing countries developing countries, primarily India and China, have made it quite clear that they have no appetite to slow economic growth or curb use of conventional fuels to control emissions
The approach countries take to solving climate change is fundamentally flawed
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The need, then, is to generate a technological revolution. The paper (named after the successful mission to the moon of the 1960s) argues that this will require rapid technological advances. Progress is happening, notably the collapse in the price of photovoltaic panels. But this is not enough. The sun provides 5,000 times more energy than humans demand from industrial sources. But we do not know how to exploit enough of it. Martin Wolf 1 Despite the evident need, publicly-funded research and development on renewable energy is under 2 per cent of all publicly-funded R&D. At just $6bn a year, worldwide, it is dwarfed by the $101bn spent on subsidies for renewable production and the amazing total of $550bn spent on subsidising fossil fuel production and consumption. This is a grotesque picture. Far more money needs to go to publicly funded research. The public sector has long played a vital role in funding scientific and technological breakthroughs. In this case, that role is particularly important, given the agreed goal of reducing emissions and the fact that the energy sector spends relatively little on R&D. The envisaged programme would have a single purpose: “To develop renewable energy supplies that are cheaper than those from fossil fuels.” The authors suggest that to do this, research should focus on electricity generation, storage and smart grids. The suggested programme would amount to $15bn a year, still a mere 0.02 per cent of world output. That is indeed a minimal amount, given the goal’s importance.
Wolf 6/23(Martin Wolf, 6-23-2015,[associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times.] "A moonshot to save a warming planet," Financial Times, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ffc2b8ae-166f-11e5-b07f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3e0DuHSaz)
The need, then, is to generate a technological revolution. . Progress is happening, notably the collapse in the price of photovoltaic panels. But this is not enough. The sun provides 5,000 times more energy than humans demand from industrial sources. But we do not know how to exploit enough of it. Far more money needs to go to publicly funded research. The public sector has long played a vital role in funding scientific and technological breakthroughs. In this case, that role is particularly important, given the agreed goal of reducing emissions and the fact that the energy sector spends relatively little on R&D. to do this, research should focus on electricity generation, storage and smart grids.
An agreed goal of reducing emissions is not enough—there has to be a tech revolution
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Nations have jointly promised to keep the global temperature rise below the 2C danger threshold. They are informing the UN how they will each cut their domestic emissions of greenhouse gases. But key countries are refusing to discuss whether the sum of these cuts will do the job. The EU, supported by African nations, wants to make countries face up to the fact that their collective cuts won't keep the climate within the 2C threshold. But China, India and Brazil are insisting that the national contributions should not be discussed at the UN until the main summit in Paris in December, by which time it will be too late for countries to negotiate any increase in ambition. 'Too slow' The Chinese chief negotiator, Su Wei, said talks about the procedure for a new UN climate regime were going so slowly there was no time to discuss whether the emissions cuts added up. "It has taken us 10 days here discussing procedural matters and we have made hardly any progress," he told the BBC. "We cannot add any more items to the agenda to be discussed before Paris." Delegates from around the world have been meeting in Bonn. Other nations blame China for orchestrating moves to slow progress in Bonn. Tasneep Essop from the World Wildlife Fund said the situation was "bizarre". "The aim of this process is to stabilise the climate, yet delegates are being prevented from even talking about it," he told the BBC. "We want a full science-based review of all the countries' intended contributions so the world's public can see whether politicians are keeping their promises. It is clear already that countries need to do more."
Harrabin 6/10(Roger Harrabin, 6-10-2015,[BBC environment analyst] "UN climate conference: Silence over emissions targets," BBC News, http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33089496)
Nations have jointly promised to keep the global temperature rise below the 2C danger threshold But key countries are refusing to discuss whether the sum of these cuts will do the job China, India and Brazil are insisting that the national contributions should not be discussed at the UN until the main summit in Paris in December, by which time it will be too late for countries to negotiate any increase in ambition. The Chinese chief negotiator, Su Wei, said talks about the procedure for a new UN climate regime were going so slowly there was no time to discuss whether the emissions cuts added up. "It has taken us 10 days here discussing procedural matters and we have made hardly any progress, The aim of this process is to stabilise the climate, yet delegates are being prevented from even talking about it,
Climate agreement moving too slow—there’s too much on the agenda
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In 1992, governments met in Rio de Janeiro and forged the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That agreement, still in force, bound governments to take action to avoid dangerous climate change, but did not specify what actions. Over the following five years, governments wrangled over what each should do, and what should be the role of developed countries versus poorer nations. Those years of argument produced, in 1997, the Kyoto protocol. That pact required worldwide cuts in emissions of about 5%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2012, and each developed country was allotted a target on emissions reductions. But developing countries, including China, South Korea, Mexico and other rapidly emerging economies, were given no targets and allowed to increase their emissions at will. Al Gore, then US vice president, signed up to the protocol, but it was quickly apparent that it would never be ratified by the US Congress. Legally, the protocol could not come into force until countries representing 55% of global emissions had ratified it. With the US – then the world’s biggest emitter – on the outside, that was not going to happen. So for most of the following decade, the Kyoto protocol remained in abeyance and global climate change negotiations ground to a near-halt. But in late 2004, Russia decided to pass the treaty – unexpectedly, and as part of a move to have its application for World Trade Organisation membership accepted by the European Union. That made up the weight needed, and the protocol finally came into force.
Harvey 6/2(Fiona Harvey, 6-2-2015,[Fiona Harvey is an award-winning environment journalist for the Guardian. Prior to this, she worked for the Financial Times for more than a decade. She has reported on every major environmental issue, from as far afield as the Arctic and the Amazon, and her wide range of interviewees include Ban Ki-moon, Tony Blair, Al Gore and Jeff Immelt] "Everything you need to know about the Paris climate summit and UN talks," Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/02/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-paris-climate-summit-and-un-talks)
In 1992, governments met in Rio de Janeiro and forged the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That agreement bound governments to take action to avoid dangerous climate change years of argument produced the Kyoto protocol. Al Gore, then US vice president, signed up to the protocol, but it was quickly apparent that it would never be ratified by the US Congress. So for most of the following decade, the Kyoto protocol remained in abeyance and global climate change negotiations ground to a near-halt.
The Kyoto Protocol proves that climate agreements do not work
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The difference between these two approaches is significant. When we conceptualize the international financial system as a network, we see that the U.S. has become more central since 2007, not less. Rather than shift from West-to-East, global financial actors have responded to crisis by reorganizing around American capital to a remarkable extent. This is partially due to proactive responses to the crisis by policymakers such as the Federal Reserve, but it is also the result of factors outside the U.S. Above all, American capital markets remain attractive because complex networks contain strong path dependencies, which reinforce the core position of prominent countries while keeping potential challengers in the periphery. That is to say, policymakers and market players were limited in the decisions they could take because of factors that had already been locked in. As a result, the structure of the global financial system keeps the U.S. at the core and will continue to do so unless the entire network is fragmented, as it was during the 1930s when Great Britain lost its dominance. Some who do see continuing U.S. financial resiliency contend that American power serves to the disadvantage of smaller countries. Indeed, they are correct that when a crisis occurs in the core – where the U.S. remains — the effects are felt throughout the system. But they miss the fact that American prominence also provides important stabilization mechanisms that can contain crises. To explain this, we need to look at what network scientists call “topology,” which refers to the organization of the components of a network, whether we are looking at a computer system or a financial system. Once we view the international financial system in this context, we see that it is robust when facing crises in peripheral countries, but fragile when facing crises occrring in the core. This explains why the U.S. subprime crisis destabilized the global economy, while upheavals such as the 1990s East Asian crisis did not. Even the euro zone crisis has remained localized, to this point. A network perspective also explains how policy interventions by the U.S. prevented the collapse of the global system, thus ensuring that U.S. centrality persists. Finally, a network model should make us more cautious about promoting policies meant to erode U.S. financial hegemony. In fact, American centrality contained crises in peripheral countries from spreading globally, and the U.S. government demonstrated both the capacity and the willingness to pursue monetary and fiscal policies to moderate crises emanating from its own banking system. Returning to a world in which the structure of global financial relationships devolves outside the U.S. would therefore reintroduce a type of systemic risk not seen since the 1930s.
Danzman and Winecoff 13 (Sarah Bauerle Danzman and W. Kindred Winecoff, Why U.S. Financial Hegemony Will Endure, Symposium Magazine, an innovative digital publication that provides a central address for academics to talk with the broader public, and with each other across disciplines, October 7th, 2013)
we see that the U.S. has become more central since 2007, not less Rather than shift from West-to-East, global financial actors have responded to crisis by reorganizing around American capital to a remarkable extent. it is also the result of factors outside the U.S. , American capital markets remain attractive because complex networks contain strong path dependencies, which reinforce the core position of prominent countries while keeping potential challengers in the periphery. , the structure of the global financial system keeps the U.S. at the core and will continue to do so unless the entire network is fragmented, American prominence also provides important stabilization mechanisms that can contain crises the international financial system in this context is robust when facing crises in peripheral countries, but fragile when facing crises occrring in the core. This explains why the U.S. subprime crisis destabilized the global economy, while upheavals such as the 1990s East Asian crisis did not In fact, American centrality contained crises in peripheral countries from spreading globally, and the U.S. government demonstrated both the capacity and the willingness to pursue monetary and fiscal policies to moderate crises emanating from its own banking system.
The US will remain the financial hegemon because of interdependency – a fragmenting crisis is required to break that – internet freedom not key
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To date, there has been no comprehensive study of great power retrenchment and no study that defends retrenchment as a probable or practical policy. Using historical data on gross domestic product, we identify eighteen cases of "acute relative decline" since 1870. Acute relative decline happens when a great power loses an ordinal ranking in global share of economic production, and this shift endures for five or more years. A comparison of these periods yields the following findings: Retrenchment is the most common response to decline. Great powers suffering from acute decline, such as the United Kingdom, used retrenchment to shore up their fading power in eleven to fifteen of the eighteen cases that we studied (61–83 percent). The rate of decline is the most important factor for explaining and predicting the magnitude of retrenchment. The faster a state falls, the more drastic the retrenchment policy it is likely to employ. The rate of decline is also the most important factor for explaining and predicting the forms that retrenchment takes. The faster a state falls, the more likely it is to renounce risky commitments, increase reliance on other states, cut military spending, and avoid starting or escalating international disputes. In more detail, secondary findings include the following: Democracy does not appear to inhibit retrenchment. Declining states are approximately equally likely to retrench regardless of regime type. Wars are infrequent during ordinal transitions. War broke out close to the transition point in between one and four of the eighteen cases (6–22 percent). Retrenching states rebound with some regularity. Six of the fifteen retrenching states (40 percent) managed to recapture their former rank. No state that failed to retrench can boast similar results. Declining great powers cut their military personnel and budgets significantly faster than other great powers. Over a five-year period, the average nondeclining state increased military personnel 2.1 percent—as compared with a 0.8 percent decrease in declining states. Likewise, the average nondeclining state increased military spending 8.4 percent—compared with 2.2 percent among declining states. Swift declines cause greater alliance agreements. Over a five-year period, the average great power signs 1.75 new alliance agreements—great powers undergoing large declines sign an average of 3.6 such agreements. Declining great powers are less likely to enter or escalate disputes. Compared to average great powers, they are 26 percent less likely to initiate an interstate dispute, 25 percent less likely to be embroiled in a dispute, and markedly less likely to escalate those disputes to high levels. IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICYMAKERS From the analysis above, three main implications follow for U.S. policy. First, we are likely to see retrenchment in U.S. foreign policy. With a declining share of relative power, the United States is ripe to shift burdens to allies, cut military expenditures, and stay out of international disputes. This will not be without risks and costs, but retrenchment is likely to be peaceful and is preferable to nonretrenchment. In short, U.S. policymakers should resist calls to maintain a sizable overseas posture because they fear that a more moderate policy might harm U.S. prestige or credibility with American allies. A humble foreign policy and more modest overseas presence can be as (if not more) effective in restoring U.S. credibility and reassuring allies. Second, any potential U.S.-Sino power transition is likely to be easier on the United States than pessimists have advertised. If the United States acts like a typical retrenching state, the future looks promising. Several regional allies—foremost India and Japan—appear capable of assuming responsibilities formerly shouldered by the United States, and a forward defense is no longer as valuable as it once was. There remains ample room for cuts in U.S. defense spending. And as China grows it will find, as the United States did, that increased relative power brings with it widening divisions at home and fewer friends overseas. In brief, policymakers should reject arguments that a reduction in U.S. overseas deployments will embolden a hostile and expansionist China. Sizable forward deployments in Asia are just as likely to trap the United States in unnecessary clashes as they are to deter potential aggression. Third, the United States must reconsider when, where, and how it will use its more modest resources in the future. A sensible policy of retrenchment must be properly prepared for—policymakers should not hastily slash budgets and renounce commitments. A gradual and controlled policy of reprioritizing goals, renouncing commitments, and shifting burdens will bring greater returns than an improvised or imposed retreat. To this end, policymakers need to engage in a frank and serious debate about the purposes of U.S. overseas assets. Our position is that the primary role of the U.S. military should be to deter and fight conventional wars against potential great power adversaries, rather than engage in limited operations against insurgents and other nonstate threats. This suggests that U.S. deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan should be pared down; that the United States should resist calls to involve itself in internal conflicts or civil wars, such as those in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa; and that the Asia-Pacific region should have strategic priority over Europe and the greater Middle East. Regardless of whether one accepts these particular proposals, the United States must make tough choices about which regions and threats should have claim to increasingly scarce resources. CONCLUSION Retrenchment is probable and pragmatic. Great powers may not be prudent, but they tend to become so when their power ebbs. Regardless of regime type, declining states routinely renounce risky commitments, redistribute alliance burdens, pare back military outlays, and avoid ensnarement in and escalation of costly conflicts. Husbanding resources is simply sensible. In the competitive game of power politics, states must unsentimentally realign means with ends or be punished for their profligacy. Attempts to maintain policies advanced when U.S. relative power was greater are outdated, unfounded, and imprudent. Retrenchment policies—greater burden sharing with allies, less military spending, and less involvement in militarized disputes—hold the most promise for arresting and reversing decline
MacDonald and Parent 11 (Paul K. MacDonald, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Willians College and Joseph M. Parent, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Miami, "Resurrecting Retrenchment: The Grand Strategic Consequences of U.S. Decline," POLICY BRIEF, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, 5--, http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/macdonald-parent-may-2011-is-%20brief.pdf)
Retrenchment is the most common response to decline The faster a state falls, the more likely it is to renounce risky commitments, increase reliance on other states, cut military spending, and avoid starting or escalating international disputes Compared to average great powers, they are 26 percent less likely to initiate an interstate dispute, 25 percent less likely to be embroiled in a dispute, and markedly less likely to escalate those disputes to high levels we are likely to see retrenchment in U.S. foreign policy. the United States is ripe to shift burdens to allies, cut military expenditures, and stay out of international disputes. retrenchment is likely to be peaceful and is preferable to nonretrenchment. A humble foreign policy and more modest overseas presence can be as effective in restoring U.S. credibility and reassuring allies. Second, any potential U.S.-Sino power transition is likely to be easier Several regional allies—foremost India and Japan—appear capable of assuming Great powers may not be prudent, but they tend to become so when their power ebbs
Yes retrenchment – decline means no US intervention, Heg does not check
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Google employees told Reuters that the company has seen no significant impact on its business, and a person briefed on Microsoft's business in Europe likewise said that company has had no issues. At Amazon, which was not named in Snowden's documents but is seen as a likely victim because it is a top provider of cloud computing services, a spokeswoman said global demand "has never been greater." There are multiple theories for why the business impact of the Snowden leaks has been so minimal. One is that cloud customers have few good alternatives, since U.S. companies have most of the market and switching costs money. Perhaps more convincing, Amazon, Microsoft and some others offer data centers in Europe with encryption that prevents significant hurdles to snooping by anyone including the service providers themselves and the U.S. agencies. Encryption, however, comes with drawbacks, making using the cloud more cumbersome. On Thursday, Brazil's president called for laws that would require local data centers for the likes of Google and Facebook. But former senior Google engineer Bill Coughran, now a partner at Sequoia Capital, said that even in the worst-case scenario, those companies would simply spend extra to manage more Balkanized systems. Another possibility is that tech-buying companies elsewhere believe that their own governments have scanning procedures that are every bit as invasive as the American programs.
MENN 13 (Menn, Joseph. "How The NSA Revelations May Actually Be Helping The US Tech Industry." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 15 Sept. 2013. Web. 2 July 2015. <http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-nsa-revelations-may-actually-be-help-the-us-tech-industry-2013-9>.)ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
At Amazon a spokeswoman said global demand "has never been greater." There are multiple theories for why the business impact of the Snowden leaks has been so minimal. cloud customers have few good alternatives, since U.S. companies have most of the market and switching costs money Amazon, Microsoft and some others offer data centers in Europe with encryption that prevents significant hurdles to snooping by anyone including the service providers themselves and the U.S. agencies. Another possibility is that tech-buying companies elsewhere believe that their own governments have scanning procedures that are every bit as invasive as the American programs.
Snowden revelations prove –NSA spying has minimal impact on tech industry
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Zuckerberg played down the potential impact that fear of government surveillance might have on Internet.org’s mission — and indeed argued the reverse, saying that he thought it might make the goal easier because of a new spirit of collaboration in a post-Snowden tech world. “The NSA issues have industry working together better than ever before,” he said, adding: “Historically we’ve had issues working with some of our competitors aligning on policy issues that even help the whole industry – Internet policy issues – but now it’s such an important thing, because of how extreme some of the NSA revelations were, I do feel that a lot of the industry is a lot more aligned.” Zuckerberg did not name any names, in terms of who exactly used to be hostile to his overtures and is now less so, but one likely candidate here is (presumably) Google. In further comments on the NSA issue, Zuckerberg added that the agreement, secured from the U.S. government, for Facebook to be able to share “everything the government’s asking of us” — in terms of requests for user data — has also been “helpful” to dissipating people’s fears about the extent of government data-mining of Facebook.
Lomas 14 (Lomas, Natasha. "Zuckerberg: Snowden NSA Revelations Have Brought The Tech Industry Closer." TechCrunch. 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 2 July 2015. <http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/24/zuck-on-snowden/>.) ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ♥eve
Zuckerberg argued The NSA issues have industry working together better than ever before,” Historically we’ve had issues working with competitors aligning on policy issues that help the whole industry but now it’s such an important thing, because of how extreme some of the NSA revelations were, I do feel that a lot of the industry is a lot more aligned.
TURN - NSA spying unifies the tech industry
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Even if war is still seen as evil, the security community could be dissolved if severe conflicts of interest were to arise. Could the more peaceful world generate new interests that would bring the members of the community into sharp disputes? 45 A zero-sum sense of status would be one example, perhaps linked to a steep rise in nationalism. More likely would be a worsening of the current economic difficulties, which could itself produce greater nationalism, undermine democracy and bring back old-fashioned beggar-my-neighbor economic policies. While these dangers are real, it is hard to believe that the conflicts could be great enough to lead the members of the community to contemplate fighting each other. It is not so much that economic interdependence has proceeded to the point where it could not be reversed – states that were more internally interdependent than anything seen internationally have fought bloody civil wars. Rather it is that even if the more extreme versions of free trade and economic liberalism become discredited, it is hard to see how without building on a preexisting high level of political conflict leaders and mass opinion would come to believe that their countries could prosper by impoverishing or even attacking others. Is it possible that problems will not only become severe, but that people will entertain the thought that they have to be solved by war? While a pessimist could note that this argument does not appear as outlandish as it did before the financial crisis, an optimist could reply (correctly, in my view) that the very fact that we have seen such a sharp economic down-turn without anyone suggesting that force of arms is the solution shows that even if bad times bring about greater economic conflict, it will not make war thinkable.
Robert Jervis 11, Professor in the Department of Political Science and School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, December 2011, “Force in Our Times,” Survival, Vol. 25, No. 4, p. 403-425
a worsening of current economic difficulties, could produce greater nationalism, undermine democracy and bring back old-fashioned beggar-my-neighbor economic policies While these dangers are real it is hard to believe that the conflicts could be great enough to lead members of the community to contemplate fighting each other. It is not so much that economic interdependence could not be reversed Rather it is that even if the more extreme versions of free trade and economic liberalism become discredited it is hard to see how leaders and mass opinion would come to believe that their countries could prosper by impoverishing or attacking others While a pessimist could note that this argument does not appear as outlandish as it did before the financial crisis an optimist could reply (correctly that the very fact that we have seen such a sharp economic down-turn without anyone suggesting that force is the solution shows that even if bad times bring about greater economic conflict it will not make war thinkable.
Even massive economic decline has zero chance of war
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In the wake of our Snowden stories, a group of senators form both parties who had long been concerned with surveillance abuses began efforts to draft legislation that would impose real limits on the NSA’s powers. But these reformers, led by Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, ran into an immediate roadblock: counter efforts by the NSA’s defenders in the Senate to write legislation that would provide only the appearance of reform, while in fact retaining or even increasing the NSA’s powers. As Slate’s Dave Weigel reported in November: Critics of the NSA’s bulk data collection and surveillance programs have never been worried about congressional inaction. They’ve expected Congress to come up with something that looked like reform but actually codified and excused the practices being exposed and pilloried. That’s what’s always happened – every amendment or reauthorization to the 2001 USA Patriot Act has built more back doors than walls. “We will be up against a ‘business-as-usual brigade’ – made up of influential members of the government’s intelligence leaderships, their allies in think tanks [sic] and academia, retired government officials, and sympathetic legislators,” warned Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden last month. “Their endgame is ensuring that any surveillance reforms are only skin-deep…Privacy protections that don’t actually protect privacy are not worth the paper they’re printed on.” The “fake reform” faction was led by Dianna Feinstein, the very senator who is charged with exercising primary oversight over the NSA. Feinstein has long been a devoted loyalist of the US national security industry, from her vehement support for the war on Iraq to her steadfast backing of Bush-era NSA programs. (Her husband, meanwhile, has major stakes in various military contracts). Clearly, Feinstein was a natural choice to head a committee that claims to carry out oversight over the intelligence community but has for years performed the opposite function. Thus, for all the government’s denials, the NSA has no substantial constraints on whom it can spy on and how. Even when such constraints nominally exist – when American citizens are the surveillance target – the process has become largely hollow. The NSA is the definitive rogue agency: empowered to do whatever it wants with very little control, transparency, or accountability.
Glenn Greenwald, 2014, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State. p. 130-131, mm
reformers ran into an immediate roadblock counter efforts by the NSA’s defenders that would provide only the appearance of reform while in fact retaining or even increasing the NSA’s powers – every amendment or reauthorization has built more back doors than walls for all the government’s denials, the NSA has no substantial constraints on whom it can spy on and how Even when such constraints nominally exist the process has become largely hollow The NSA is the definitive rogue agency: empowered to do whatever it wants with very little control, transparency, or accountability
Reforms fail – the NSA is a rogue agency that can’t be constrained
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The Trump Administration has been quietly funding the Mexican government’s ongoing drug war, intensifying a conflict that claimed nearly 20,000 lives in 2017, a new record. Administration officials rarely speak about their involvement in the war, preferring to keep their role hidden. Their silence and the lack of media attention have allowed the Trump team to hide U.S. involvement without having to answer for the increase in violence. The Mexican government launched the drug war in December 2006, when it began deploying tens of thousands of military troops to confront drug cartels and drug traffickers. The military operations sparked a steady rise in drug-related violence, quickly transforming Mexico into one of the most violent countries in the world. Since the war began, more than 100,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence. In Washington, U.S. officials have been steadily supporting the war with the Mérida Initiative, a multi-billion dollar program that provides the Mexican military with equipment and training. Although the Obama Administration withheld $5 million in program aid in 2015 due to human rights violations by the Mexican military, it preserved the overall program, ensuring that the U.S. remained involved in the war. When the Trump Administration entered office, President Trump indicated that he wanted to increase U.S. involvement. During a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump called for a tougher approach. “You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with, and we are willing to help you with that big-league,” Trump said, according to a leaked transcript. After suggesting that the Mexican military has been “afraid” to go after the cartels, Trump argued that U.S. military forces should get more directly involved. At the time, many administration officials agreed they should do more to help the Mexican government confront the drug cartels. They began pressuring the Mexican government to intensify the military operations. During a meeting with Mexican officials in May 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson repeated some of Trump’s demands. “I told my Mexican counterparts it’s time to stop playing small ball, we’ve got to start playing large ball,” Tillerson later acknowledged before Congress. In 2017, Congress contributed to the effort by providing the Mexican government with another $130 million through the Mérida Initiative, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report.In addition, the Department of Defense increased military funding for the Mexican military, providing nearly $60 million in assistance for the drug war. “Despite DOD’s limited role in the Mérida Initiative, bilateral military cooperation has been increasing,” the report concluded. “Listen, I know how tough these guys are,” Trump said. “Our military will knock them out like you never thought of.” The U.S. military has been using much of the additional Department of Defense funding to provide more training for the Mexican military. In 2017, the U.S. military brought at least a thousand Mexican military forces to the United States for training. “We open our schoolhouses for them,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis explained in September. “We have lessons learned that we share with each other based on various operations.” Earlier this year, General Lori J. Robinson, commander of NORTHCOM, told a congressional committee that U.S. Marines “provided small-unit training to over 1,500 Mexican Marines to help prepare those troops for the fight against the cartels.” U.S. officials insist this approach is working. Although drug-related violence is now at peak levels, they say their programs are helping the Mexican government disrupt the cartels and provide security throughout the country.“ Our cooperation is making citizens on both sides of our border safer,” State Department official John Sullivan said in December 2017.partnership with Mexico has “paid significant dividends for both our nations’ security.” Others disagree. They say the U.S. military assistance is a major factor behind the increase in drug-related violence. And they have long called on the U.S. government to halt its military sales to the Mexican government. “The U.S. role in the militarization of Mexico’s drug war has exacerbated many of Mexico’s problems,” wrote Christy Thornton, a board member at the North American Congress on Latin America, in 2014. “It is time now to accept our responsibility for helping to reverse them.” Trump is clearly disinclined to take such advice, as he continues to rail against Mexico, condemning the country for the growing violence while insisting that the best solution is to build a wall. He recently tweeted, “They must stop the big drug and people flows or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!” At the same time that he is quietly helping the Mexican government intensify the drug war, Trump is working to ensure that the people who suffer unfairly from it will never be able to find refuge inthe United States.
Hunt 18 Edward Hunt writes about war and empire. He has a PhD in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, “Trump’s Hidden Hand in Mexico’ Drug War,” April 7, 2018, https://progressive.org/dispatches/trumps-hidden-hand-in-mexicos-drug-war/)
The Trump Administration has been quietly funding the Mexican government’s ongoing drug war, intensifying a conflict that claimed nearly 20,000 lives in 2017 Administration officials rarely speak about their involvement in the war, preferring to keep their role hidden. Their silence and the lack of media attention have allowed the Trump team to hide U.S. involvement without having to answer for the increase in violence. The military operations sparked a steady rise in drug-related violence, quickly transforming Mexico into one of the most violent countries in the world. Since the war began, more than 100,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence. In Washington, U.S. officials have been steadily supporting the war with the Mérida Initiative, a multi-billion dollar program that provides the Mexican military with equipment and training. Although the Obama Administration withheld $5 million in program aid in 2015 due to human rights violations by the Mexican military, it preserved the overall program, ensuring that the U.S. remained involved in the war. When the Trump Administration entered office, President Trump indicated that he wanted to increase U.S. involvement. After suggesting that the Mexican military has been “afraid” to go after the cartels, Trump argued that U.S. military forces should get more directly involved. many administration officials agreed they should do more to help the Mexican government confront the drug cartels. They began pressuring the Mexican government to intensify the military operations the Department of Defense increased military funding for the Mexican military, providing nearly $60 million in assistance for the drug war They say the U.S. military assistance is a major factor behind the increase in drug-related violence. And they have long called on the U.S. government to halt its military sales to the Mexican government. At the same time that he is quietly helping the Mexican government intensify the drug war, Trump is working to ensure that the people who suffer unfairly from it will never be able to find refuge inthe United States.
This file was produced by the following students from the 2019 rKs lab in conjunction with and under the instruction of Dr. Shanara Reid Brinkley.
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The border between the United States and Mexico is a heavily guarded panopticon of surveillance devices designed to control illegal Mexican immigration. Yet, it is evident in the failure to stop undocumented Mexicans from entering the United States, that even after billions of dollars have been poured into militarizing the border, people will stop at almost nothing to feed themselves and their families. Without an ounce of compassion, federal and state agents torture and sometimes gun down undocumented Mexicans as they attempt to enter the United States, and in some cases, they shoot first and investigate later. Murder is made acceptable under the guise of the federally funded war on drugs and war on terror. It is also evident, however, that the attempt to curb Mexican immigration, even with all the funding that has gone into the narco-terror border patrol industry, is merely a symbolic gesture. Only a third of the 2000-mile border dividing Mexico and the United States has an actual fence that obstructs passage. Mexicans endure a host of possible deadly scenarios while crossing the border into the United States in the hope of a better life, including being shot, physically abused and tortured, and even raped at the hands of coyotes who promise safe passage for exorbitant fees. Many also must endure dehydration in the dessert heat or dash perilously across the freeway between speeding cars, their families in tow. Interestingly, although the border patrol became part of the Department of Homeland Security, not one terrorist up to this point in time has been apprehended, nor has any terrorist activity been evidenced, at the U.S.-Mexican border. The militarization of the border patrol is a billion dollar hoax from which numerous national and transnational corporations hugely profit. Karlin (2013a) recounts how both government agencies and private corporations are introducing new surveillance equipment, weapons, and other products to enhance the effectiveness of the U.S. border agents at keeping terrorists out of the United States and winning a war on drugs that U.S. involvement has only intensified, particularly as suppliers of the guns used in this murderous rampage against predominantly Mexican people. Indeed Dawn Paley (2014) chronicles the functions of a drug war capitalism that strategically aims to terrorize the entire region of Latin America in both rural areas and cities in order to secure the capital interests of transnational corporate interests, especially those of extractive industries. Where squatters’ rights as well as the right to own property were once protected in Mexico, entire communities might be razed in a day as narco soldiers identify areas needing tighter control and then fiercely descend on them, armed with U.S. guns. Those who do not want to die either leave or pay for protection. According to McDougal, Shirk, Muggah, and Patterson (2013), the illegal trafficking of guns to Mexico suggests a conservative count of 253,000 guns on average that are taken across the border to Mexico each year, and increas- ingly, these include military-style semi-automatic weapons. We quote Parakilas (2013) in full: Of primary interest to drug traffickers are the so-called assault weapons. These rifles are effectively identical to the standard arms of infantry soldiers the world over, lacking only the provision for automatic or burst fire. Most modern assault weapons fire intermediate cartridges with effective ranges of 300 yards or more, and can be equipped with magazines holding between 30 and 100 rounds, allowing extended fire without reloading—a massive tactical advantage. Other favoured weapons for Mexican drug trafficking organizations include large-calibre sniper rifles and anti- materiel rifles, particularly the .50 caliber Barrett models, which are reputed capable of destroying a car’s engine block with a single shot from a mile away. Semi-automatic personal defense weapons (the civilian versions of submachine guns such as the Heckler and Koch UMP and FN P90) are also frequently recovered by Mexican security forces, along with a wide range of shotguns and semi-automatic pistols. The cost of acquiring such weapons are negligible for trafficking groups whose profits are estimated in the billions of dollars: variants of the AR-15 rifle (the civilian version of the U.S. military’s M-16) can be bought brand new for a little over $1000, pistols and shotguns for a few hundred dollars, and the hugely powerful Barrett M82 for about $10,000. Even factoring in the labor cost of the straw purchaser (an individual with a clean criminal record who legally purchases the weapons at an American firearms dealer), the cost of procuring ammunition and the cost of moving the weapons across the border, for traffickers the cost is still incredibly worth it. Combined with the benefits of being able to bulk-purchase weapons in brand-new condition, it is easy to see why buying American is so popular amongst Mexican drug trafficking groups. An exact estimate is difficult to come by, but the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) found in 2011 that 20,504 of 29,984 firearms (68%) recovered in Mexico from 2009-2010 were either manufactured in or imported into the United States before being moved into Mexico. (The Weapons of Choice, paras. 1-5) McDougal et al. (2013) suggest that revenues of legitimate gun sales in the United States would be significantly reduced without this Mexican market. Further corroborating this evidence is the fact that on average, there are more than three licensed gun dealers for every mile along the U.S.-Mexico border. Indeed, the most popular guns used among the drug cartels in Mexico are both manufactured and bought in the United States. It is virtually impossible for the Mexican citizenry to purchase guns in Mexico, and they have only one store that sells guns operated by the Defense Secretariat in Mexico City that serves the military. It bears emphasizing that Mexican citizens are strictly mon- itored in terms of gun ownership. Mexican gun laws pro- hibit the possession of weapons that can fire military-caliber ammunition. Legally, Mexican citizens are restricted to small-caliber handguns, hunting rifles, and shotguns. Although attempts to keep Mexican migrants out of the United States intensifies, little seems to be done to squelch the straw sales that create this iron river gun trade to Mexico. In a system in which capital accumulation takes priority, the Mexican people become merely collateral damage and expendable. We cite Parakilas (2013) again: The results of this trade are nothing less than horrific. While these arms may be marginally less effective than purpose-built military equipment on account of their lack of selective-fire capability, they are infinitely more dangerous than the small- calibre revolvers and bolt-action rifles available on Mexico’s civilian market. Semi-automatic weapons with high magazine capacity allow for much more indiscriminate fire, and the military-calibre ammunition fired by such weapons are more than capable of penetrating cover and causing casualties unseen or unintended by the shooter. These capabilities increase violence at both the high and low ends of the market: professional sicarios (hit men) become emboldened by their ability to take on police and military forces, while the many who are not are far more dangerous for both their targets and anyone else nearby. This is important because violence in Mexico is not simply an internecine war between drug traffickers. Targeted victims of the conflict have included police officers, journalist, peace activists, and migrant workers. The dead have also included civilians who were either misidentified or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In all of these cases, the scope and lethality of these attacks are vastly enhanced by easy access to military-grade small arms. (The Weapons of Choice, paras. 6, 7) Sting operations described as “Gunwalking” or “letting guns walk” were part of the tactics of the Arizona Field Office of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which ran some of these operations out of the Tucson and Phoenix area where the ATF purposely allowed licensed firearm dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers whom they hoped to track inside Mexico to cartel leaders. However, during Operation Fast and Furious, the largest of the “gunwalking” probes, the ATF monitored the sale of about 2,000 weapons and recovered only 710 of them. And many of the guns tracked by the ATF have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the U.S.- Mexican border and at scenes of mass murder inside Mexico. The war on drugs, spawned at the urging and financial backing of the United States has resulted in more than 50,000 mostly civilian deaths, more than 10,000 persons missing, and more than 180,000 people displaced from their homes. This tsunami of pain and destruction can be consid- ered a lucrative business for the United States because it provides the means for expanding military presence, train- ing, and other measures to enable the United States to keep vigilance over an often volatile political arena in Latin America and in this way ensure the “national interests” of the U.S. transnational corporations. That is, securing political stability and power in the hands of U.S. friendly govern- ments ensures open markets and flexible regulations for U.S. corporations. Furthermore, the war on drugs also aids in keeping a citizenry in fear and more willing to acquiesce to authority. Indeed, in some cases, U.S. government offi- cials have aligned themselves and even assisted the drug cartels when it has served the interests of the United States—defined in truth as the interests of the transnational capitalist class.
Monzo et al 17. Lilia D. Monzó, associate professor of education in the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University. Peter McLaren, distinguished professor of education in the, College of Educational Studies, at Chapman University; fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce (England); and professor emeritus of urban education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Arturo Rodriguez ,associate professor in the Department of Bilingual Education at Boise State University. “Deploying Guns to Expendable Communities,” Cultural Studies, Critical Methodlogies, Volume 17, Issue 2, 201, p. 91-100. CW: mentions of sexual violence) ipartman
The border between the United States and Mexico is a heavily guarded panopticon of surveillance devices designed to control illegal Mexican immigration. ithout an ounce of compassion federal and state agents un down undocumented Mexicans as they attempt to enter the United States, the attempt to curb Mexican immigration even with all the funding that has gone into the narco-terror border patrol industry is a symbolic gesture Mexicans endure possible deadly scenarios including being shot physically abused and tortured and government agencies and private corporations are introducing new surveillance equipment, weapons, and other products to enhance the effectiveness of the U.S. border agents at keeping terrorists out of the United States and winning a war on drugs that U.S. involvement has only intensified as suppliers of the guns used in this murderous rampage against predominantly Mexican people. drug war capitalism strategically aims to terrorize the entire region of Latin America in both rural areas and cities in order to secure the capital interests of transnational corporate interests, especially those of extractive industries. the illegal trafficking of guns to Mexico suggests a conservative count of 253,000 guns on average that are taken across the border to Mexico each year, and increas- ingly, these include military-style semi-automatic weapon assault weapons are effectively identical to the standard arms of infantry soldiers the world over . Most modern assault weapons fire intermediate cartridges with effective ranges of 300 yards or more Other favoured weapons for Mexican drug trafficking organizations include large-calibre sniper rifles and anti- materiel rifles, particularly the .50 caliber Barrett models, which are reputed capable of destroying a car’s engine block with a single shot from a mile away. Semi-automatic personal defense weapons are also frequently recovered Combined with the benefits of being able to bulk-purchase weapons in brand-new condition McDougal et al suggest revenues of legitimate gun sales in the United States would be significantly reduced without this Mexican market the most popular guns used among the drug cartels in Mexico are both manufactured and bought in the United States. It is virtually impossible for the Mexican citizenry to purchase guns in Mexico, and they have only one store that sells guns operated by the Defense Secretariat in Mexico City that serves the military. It bears emphasizing that Mexican citizens are strictly mon- itored in terms of gun ownership. Mexican gun laws pro- hibit the possession of weapons that can fire military-caliber ammunition. Legally, Mexican citizens are restricted to small-caliber handguns, hunting rifles, and shotguns. these arms are infinitely more dangerous than revolvers and rifles available on Mexico’s civilian market professional sicarios violence in Mexico is not simply an internecine war between drug traffickers Targeted victims of the conflict have included police officers, journalist, peace activists, and migrant workers. The dead have also included civilians who were either misidentified or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In all of these cases, the scope and lethality of these attacks are vastly enhanced by easy access to military-grade small arms. Sting operations described as “Gunwalking” or “letting guns walk” were part of the tactics of the Arizona Field Office of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives many of the guns tracked by the ATF have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the U.S.- Mexican border and at scenes of mass murder inside Mexico. The war on drugs spawned at the urging and financial backing of the United States has resulted in more than 50,000 mostly civilian deaths, more than 10,000 persons missing more than 180,000 people displaced from their homes This can be a lucrative business for the United States because it provides the means for expanding military presence, train- ing, and other measures to enable the United States to keep vigilance over an often volatile political arena in Latin America and in this way ensure the “national interests” of the U.S. transnational corporations. securing political stability and power in the hands of U.S. friendly govern- ments ensures open markets and flexible regulations for U.S. corporations. the war on drugs also aids in keeping a citizenry in fear and more willing to acquiesce to authority.
Imperialism in Mexico is not just a one-off investment in the sapping of military aid but the lifeforce of drug war capitalism – the supply of American arms aids in intensifying the stakes for both sides of the drug war. Under the cloak of “democracy”, the US exports racism, patriarchy, capitalism, and other antagonisms to the Global South in order to squash dissent and defends its international position as world’s superpower.
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Today we face a planetary crisis. Environmental, energy, food, financial, and social reproduction crises are disrupting the world-system (Ahmed 2010; McMichael 2011; Chase-Dunn 2013; Houtart 2010; Kallis, Martinez-Alier and Norgaard 2009; Foster, Clark, York 2010; Goodman and Salleh 2015; Peterson 2010; Rockstrom et.al. 2009, 2009b; Salleh 2012; Smith 2014; Steffen et.al. 2007). This planetary crisis, we argue, has been triggered by a globalizing mode of civilization that has become hegemonic.2 This mode of civilization is constituted and underpinned by anthropocentric, androcentric, hetero-patriarchal, Euro/Western-centric, modern/colonial and capitalist systems of power. Building on world-systems, decolonial, eco-feminist and posthuman theories, we contend that the “coloniality of power” (Quijano 1991; Grosfoguel 2009; Mignolo 2008; Lugones 2007; Maese-Cohen 2010; Dastile and Ndlovu-Gastheni 2013) has worked to globalize a civilization that exhausts the planet and exploits most of its people, thus unleashing a socioecological blowback that is turning this civilization into its own worst enemy. By “coloniality” we refer to the complex and multidimensional legacy of divisive, exploitative, stratifying and hierarchical forms of power (e.g., Eurocentric/Western-centric hegemony), forms of knowledge (e.g., technoscientific instrumental rationality), forms of (inter)subjectivity (e.g., possessive individualism), forms of human interrelations (e.g., racism, classism, heteropatriarchalism, etc.), and forms of human dominion over land and mastery of “nature” (e.g., anthropocentric property/dominion/sovereignty) that have become entrenched and continue to be reproduced throughout the world as an ongoing consequence of colonization. Coloniality thus entails that the hegemony of colonial forms persists to this day as a legacy that structurally constitutes modernity, even into supposedly “postcolonial” times. Coloniality is the underside of modernity: the historical and structural foundation that has enabled—e.g., through conquest, imperialism, slavery, resource extraction and Western dominance—the rise, hegemony, and globalization of a world-system dominated by modern civilization. This civilization has sought to globalize a political-economic model bent on endless accumulation, consumption and growth on a finite planet (Ahmed 2010; Foster, Clark, York 2010; Goodman and Salleh 2013; McMichael 2011; Steffen et.al. 2007; WPCCC 2010). Now in its “neoliberal” stage, this model reinforces a historically-ongoing coloniality of power premised on linear discourses of “progress,” “modernization,” “development,” and “evolution,” altogether constituting a hegemonic “standard of civilization.” Globalized through (neo)colonialism and (neo)imperialism, this “standard of civilization” has subjugated the global South under the North, and the rural under the urban, thereby stratifying the world into multiple overlapping hierarchies structured along core-periphery asymmetries. The globalization of this mode of civilization wouldn’t be possible without the coloniality of power which has assimilated semi-peripheral and peripheral elites into a Western-centric civilizational obsession with endless accumulation based on the “mastery of nature” (Plumwood 2002; Adelman 2015) and geared towards the aggressive pursuit of “high modernism”3 (Scott 1998)—and its “late modern(ist)” continuation. While settler-colonial elites have been instrumental to the expansion of hegemonic civilization, the colonial de-indigenization and cultural assimilation of Southern elites through centuries of Western domination has increasingly entrenched dominant worldviews and practices throughout the globe. Gonzalez notes; “[i]n the post-colonial period, Southern elites, deeply influenced by Eurocentric ideologies, subjugated their own indigenous and minority populations in order to “modernize” and “develop” them” (2015: 13). Most “postcolonial” elites haven’t broken with this coloniality of power (Dastile and Ndlovu-Gastheni 2013); instead, they often reproduce govern-mentalities aimed at “catching-up” with, emulating, imitating, “cloning” or conforming to hegemonic models enacted in the North’s metropolitan cores (Sheppard et.al. 2009; McMichael 2011; Grosfoguel 2009; Mignolo 2008). In seeking to emulate the North’s unsustainable “imperial mode of living” (Brand and Wissen 2012), many Southern elites have replicated the North’s “eco-destructive, consumerist-centric, over-financialized, [and] climate-frying maldevelopment model” (Bond 2012). This coloniality of power has often consumed the creativity, energy, and “resources” of (semi)peripheries in aspirational attempts to emulate and/or conform to hegemonic models by, for example, aggressively pursuing accelerated modernization, developmentalism, urbanization, industrialization, and massified commodity/consumerist cultures at almost any cost, human or ecological. Playing catch-up with the North inevitably requires the present-day rehearsal, in accelerated, compressed manner, of structurally violent practices that have underpinned the North’s “rise” to planetary dominance—like the transformation of nature (including humans) into exploitable “resources” (Apffel-Marglin 2011) and the systematic reliance on coercive statecraft, ecological imperialism, and (neo)colonialism. Comparable practices, now rehearsed in “updated” forms by elites/regimes of semi-peripheral “emerging economies,” seek to replicate expansive core-like metropolitan centers of accumulation, consumption, and growth, like the grossly unequal BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) megalopolises. To achieve this, emerging economies must resort to internal colonialism and “subimperialism” or “second degree imperialism” (Bond 2014) so as to compel into subservience their “own” peripheries as sources of exploitable natural and human “resources.” Yet in striving to emulate a patently unsustainable Northern “way of life” built on centuries of dispossession, emerging economies face two obstacles: First, the hegemonic barriers imposed by the dominant regime of accumulation controlled by the North which resists any challenges to its hegemony. Second, the planetary boundaries (Rockström et.al. 2009) imposed by the Earth’s finite carrying capacity which is already responding to breaches with destabilizing consequences (Foster, Clark, York 2010). Seduced by the coloniality of power, large “emerging economies”—like BRICS—are on a crash course against entrenched “old” Northern cores—as the latter try to preserve their unsustainable privileges at any cost. Brand and Wissen (2012) note: [G]eopolitical and geo-economic shifts will…increasingly be…ecological conflicts…[Facing] increasing competition for the earth’s resources and sinks, national and supranational state apparatuses seem…willing to support ‘their’ respective capitals…to strengthen their competitive position and…secure the resource base of their…economies…Thus, the hegemony of the imperial mode of living…, [spreading from]…the global North…to the South…explains…an imperialist rearticulation…in the context of multiple crises (555). Increasingly volatile tensions are resulting from the clash between the hegemonic system of accumulation and the planetary boundaries. Geopolitical/geoeconomic conflicts, and grabs and scrambles over “resources” strategic for “development(alism),” are proliferating globally. Such complications can often be traced to the hegemonization of an ecologically unsustainable, socially stratifying and politically volatile model of civilization bent on endless accumulation, consumption and growth on a finite planet. Ironically, the very success in globalizing this civilizational model through the coloniality of power may lead to its autophagous self-destruction through a planetary crisis. Overcoming this crisis requires not only a critique of modernity in its neoliberal capitalist guise, but a transformation beyond the systems of power underpinning the hegemonic civilization. In solidarity with movements for systemic change and drawing on decolonial dialogues we conclude with a blueprint for a just and sustainable transition inspired on indigenous, eco-feminist, and posthuman alternatives. Planetary Crisis: Five converging crises are triggering a planetary crisis of civilization: Ecological Rift. Modern civilization is causing an ecological rift with global biospheric lifecycles, breaching planetary boundaries and overshooting the Earth’s carrying capacity by exhausting and disrupting nature’s metabolic labor (Foster, Clark, York 2010; Ahmed 2010; Rockström, Steffen, Noone et.al. 2009; Salleh 2010). We are breaching four of nine planetary boundaries;4 further breaching seems inevitable as we continue to rely on this civilizational model. This anthropogenic eco-crisis is undermining the natural bases for human existence. The ecological rift derives from the anthropocentrism of the hegemonic civilization, aggravated by modernist drives for mastery of nature and capital accumulation, resulting in gross overconsumption of planetary biocapacity: “humanity…uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste… [I]t now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year” (World Footprint 2014). Most ecological degradation comes from overconsumption and waste driven by the lifestyle of metropolitan centers globally, and of “(over)developed” rich countries. McMichael (2011) notes: the richest countries have generated 42% of global environmental degradation while paying only 3% of resulting costs. Urban areas occupy around 2% of global land yet produce more than two thirds of CO2 emissions. If everybody in the world lived like the average US or Canadian resident, we would need between three and five Earths—if not more—to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature; if everybody lived like the average EU resident, we would need 2.5 to 3.5 Earths. Emergent economies seeking to rapidly catch up and emulate Northern lifestyles—like the BRICS—dramatically aggravate this. This “imperial mode of living” propagated from cores and now also semi-cores is socio-ecologically unsustainable and dangerous (Brand and Wissen 2012). Energy/Resource Depletion. Overconsumption is causing a crisis of energy scarcity and natural resource depletion of oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, essential minerals, and water (Ahmed 2010; Zittel et.al. 2013; Sheppard 2009; Evans 2010; “Water Facts and Figures” 2014). Peak-oil may have already occurred in 2005-2008 (Ahmed 2010); the Energy Working Group estimated overall conventional energy peak for 2015 (Zittel et.al. 2013). Mineral depletion is predicted to exhaust 26 of the 37 most important minerals by 2100 (Sheppard 2009). By 2025 the number of people living in absolute water scarcity is projected to rise 50%, with “two thirds of the world’s population…in water-stressed conditions” (Evans 2010). Food System Crisis: Between 2001-2008 global demand exceeded supply and the global stockpile of grain shrank by half (Cribb 2010). “[A]verage productivity growth rates [2.0% 1970-1990]…fell to 1.1% between 1990 and 2007 and are projected to continue to decline” (Evans 2010:3). Modern industrial agriculture and the consumption/waste patterns of global North and metropolitan lifestyles are exhausting soils and sinks globally. Industrial agriculture through land-use change, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is eroding soils, creating topsoil loss, and exhausting nature’s “metabolic labor” (Salleh 2010; McMichael 2011). Agro-industrial methods like monocropping and industrial economies of scale destroy biodiversity and carbon sinks, and degrade nutritional quality (Altieri 2009). Industrial aquaculture has fully exploited or overexploited most of the world’s fish stocks. The food system’s increasingly corporate consolidation multiplies social-environmental externalities through overexploitation of natural and human resources and gross maldistribution. The “globalized” methane-releasing “meatified” modern food system requires unnecessarily long transportation and is heavily dependent on dwindling fossil fuels, making it a major greenhouse gas emitter. All this is triggering a global food system crisis, profoundly impacting semi/peripheral regions (Ahmed 2010; McMichael 2011; Cribb 2010; Evans 2010.). However, further growth isn’t the answer. We already produce excess food—albeit of disappointing nutritional quality, yet much is wasted and distribution is so skewed that “providing the additional calories needed by the 13% of the world’s population facing hunger would require just 1% of the current global food supply” (Raworth 2012: 5). By shifting to agroecology, indigenous/small peasant methods, and permaculture, coupled with equitable, redistributive, communal and local economies we can produce more nutritious food, ensure fairer distribution, reduce waste, regenerate biodiversity, and fight climate change (Altieri 2009). Economic/Financial Crisis. The 2008 global economic/financial downturn resulted from contingent, recent-historical, and structural factors. While contingent factors like the housing market collapse and recent-historical factors like neoliberal deregulation of financial markets are crucial, we underline the long-term structural problems. Most importantly the growing disconnection between (a.) an increasingly financialized global economy, (b.) the “real” economy of human production, and (c.) the “real-real” economy of socio-ecological reproduction based on the Earth’s biocapacity to provide “ecological services” (Kallis, Martinez-Alier and Norgaard 2009). The increasingly financialized capitalist economy is grossly abstracted from the real economy of production based on human labor, and from the real-real economy of reproduction based on the socio-ecologically metabolic labor of communities and the planet. The second structural problem is the exploding global inequality coupled with persistent poverty; this notwithstanding the continuous (albeit slowing) growth of the global economy. Again, the issue isn’t that we need more growth, but that we have an increasing concentration of wealth tied to gross maldistribution and rampant waste (according to Credit Suisse, the top 8% of the world’s population concentrates almost 80% of global wealth). The global economic system is based on a faulty notion of endless accumulation propelled by increasingly financialized debt disconnected from its growing social and ecological debt (Ahmed 2010; Foster, Clark, York 2010; Peterson 2010; Kallis, Martinez-Alier and Norgaard 2009; Salleh 2010). Social Reproduction Crisis. This crisis results from the accelerated exploitation of productive and reproductive labor, leading to massive demographic displacements—so-called “migrations”—from rural to urban, and from peripheries to cores. Overconsumption in cores and now also semi-cores requires constantly increasing absorption of people—especially from semi-peripheries and peripheries—into a global system of production geared towards endless growth. For example, people displaced from their local land bases by the globalization and intensification of corporate and/or state mega-projects, industrial monocrops and resource extraction are often absorbed as cheap migrant labor moving towards the exploding slum-settlements of chaotically growing urbanized centers in emerging Southern economies or towards already established Northern centers of accumulation. There, they are incorporated as easily exploitable, often undocumented labor, crossing dangerous, sometimes lethal, and increasingly militarized Northern borders (e.g., the US-Mexico border, the EU’s Mediterranean) (Robinson and Santos 2014). Demographic displacements are aggravated by environmental/climate degradation, oppression and conflicts—many rooted in colonial/postcolonial/neocolonial histories and hegemonic/imperialist wars. Rural to urban and South to North displacements drain the human, cultural, and social-reproductive capabilities of traditional/rural/peasant/agricultural/fishing communities and Southern regions generally (Gasper and Truong 2014). The social reproduction crisis is gendered and racialized, primarily affecting women, peasants, indigenous communities, and people of color (Salleh 2010; Peterson 2010; McMichael 2011). The critical consequences are threefold: the brain drain, the proliferation of migrant/refugee labor, and the care drain. Racialized rural, peasant, indigenous and traditional communities are eroded by the massive transference or displacement of productive, reproductive, and intellectual labor to cities and to the North. Working-age people are being absorbed, often in violent, exploitative and oppressive conditions, into hyper-productive globalized economies of capital accumulation. Concomitantly, many children, elderly, and disabled are marginalized, left uncared for as socially-reproductive labor erodes. The care drain feeds the new genderization and feminization of labor in manufacturing, especially light assembly (e.g., maquiladoras, export-processing zones, sweatshops). Labor feminization draws from migrant female workers coming from rural communities. Communities of origin, deprived of working age females (and males), lose the reproductive labor needed to care for social needs like education, safety, health, child and elderly care, often becoming reliant on migrant remittances. The care drain also feeds the South to North export of female labor to cover for the scarcity of reproductive labor resulting from the absorption of Northern female labor into the “productive” labor force. Moreover, the growing global sex trade absorbs and exploits economically-marginalized women, especially from semi/peripheries. Add gendered—and racialized—labor exploitation in less visible realms like domestic work, care work, and agroindustry. The social reproduction crisis also embeds a health crisis stemming from acute inequality, environmental degradation, neoliberal erosion of public health infrastructures, and deteriorated access to food, water and resources. This health crisis, on the one hand creates the growth of noncommunicable “diseases of globalization” resulting from consumerist, commodity-based, sedentary and industrial lifestyles (e.g., diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, depression, etc.), while on the other hand it perpetuates in the “Third World” communicable diseases such as malaria and cholera, among many others. This health crisis interacts with other abovementioned crises to further complicate social reproduction and to trigger displacement (Harris and Seid 2004; Schreker 2012; McMichael, Barnett and McMichael 2012; Ottersen, Dasgupta, Blouin et.al. 2014; The Global Health Watch 2014). These crises are partly triggered and aggravated by neoliberalism, including its dismantling of social support networks and ecological protections globally since the 1980s, which set the stage for the globalization of corporate and financial capital at the expense of people and planet. Yet the roots of the planetary crisis are deeper. The planetary crisis, we contend, has resulted from the generalization of a hegemonic mode of civilization underpinned by the layered intersection of anthropocentric, androcentric, heterosexist, rationalist, Euro/Western-centric, modern/colonial, racialized, industrialist/developmentalist, capitalist, and ableist systems of power. These ten systems of power constitute the infrastructures of hegemonic civilization. Upon them, complex discursive and institutional apparatuses have been built and reproduced, asymmetrically shaping relations, practices, and cultures, often in structurally hierarchical, violent, oppressive, and exploitative ways. Such infrastructures buttress vitiated relations among humans and with non-humans, thereby producing, reproducing and accelerating the crises. These infrastructures must be critically and materially deconstructed to enable alternative worldviews, lifeways, organizational forms and practices to flourish. Drawing on decolonial, ecofeminist, posthumanist-ecological, and world-systems analysis we describe these infrastructures and how they feedback on each other:5
Helland and Lindgren 16 Leonardo E. Figueroa Helland, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Westminster College, M.A. Arizona State University, Ph.D. Arizona State University Westminster College, Tim Lindgren, Research Assistant at Westminster College, What Goes Around Comes Around: From The Coloniality of Power to the Crisis of Civilization, Journal of World-Systems Research, 2016, Vol 22 Issue 2, p. 431-438) ipartman
Today we face a planetary crisis. Environmental, energy, food, financial, and social reproduction crises are disrupting the world-system This planetary crisis has been triggered by a globalizing mode of civilization that has become hegemonic constituted and underpinned by anthropocentric, androcentric, hetero-patriarchal, Euro/Western-centric, modern/colonial and capitalist systems of power the “coloniality of power has worked to globalize a civilization that exhausts the planet and exploits most of its people thus unleashing a socioecological blowback that is turning this civilization into its own worst enemy complex and multidimensional legacy of divisive exploitative, stratifying and hierarchical forms of power knowledge forms of (inter)subjectivity human interrelations and forms of human dominion over land and mastery of “nature” entrenched and continue to be reproduced throughout the world as an ongoing consequence of colonization Coloniality is the underside of modernity the historical and structural foundation that has enabled through conquest, imperialism, slavery, resource extraction and Western dominance the rise, hegemony, and globalization of a world-system dominated by modern civilization civilization has sought to globalize a political-economic model bent on endless accumulation, consumption and growth on a finite planet premised on linear discourses of “progress,” “modernization,” “development,” and “evolution,” altogether constituting a hegemonic “standard of civilization.” Globalized through (neo)colonialism and (neo)imperialism, this “standard of civilization” has subjugated the global South under the North stratifying the world into multiple overlapping hierarchies structured along core-periphery asymmetries. The globalization of this mode of civilization wouldn’t be possible without the coloniality of power which has assimilated semi-peripheral and peripheral elites into a Western-centric civilizational obsession with endless accumulation based on the “mastery of nature” and geared towards the aggressive pursuit of “high modernism”3 Southern elites deeply influenced by Eurocentric ideologies subjugated their own indigenous and minority populations in order to “modernize” and “develop” them Seduced by the coloniality of power emerging economies are on a crash course against entrenched “old” Northern cores Facing increasing competition for the earth’s resources and sinks state apparatuses seem willing to support ‘their’ respective capitals and secure the resource base of their economies Thus the hegemony of the imperial mode of living explains an imperialist rearticulation Increasingly volatile tensions are resulting from the clash between the hegemonic system of accumulation and the planetary boundaries Geopolitical/geoeconomic conflicts grabs and scrambles over “resources” are proliferating globally complications can often be traced to the hegemonization of an ecologically unsustainable socially stratifying and politically volatile model of civilization Overcoming this crisis requires a transformation beyond the systems of power underpinning the hegemonic civilization In solidarity with movements for systemic change and drawing on decolonial dialogues inspired on indigenous, eco-feminist, and posthuman alternatives Modern civilization is causing an ecological rift with global biospheric lifecycles overshooting the Earth’s carrying capacity disrupting nature’s metabolic labor breaching four of nine planetary boundaries undermining the natural bases for human existence aggravated by modernist drives for mastery of nature and capital accumulation, resulting in gross overconsumption of planetary biocapacity: “humanity…uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste… [I]t now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year” Most ecological degradation comes from overconsumption and waste driven by the lifestyle of metropolitan centers globally, and of “(over)developed” rich countries. the richest countries have generated 42% of global environmental degradation while paying only 3% of resulting If everybody in the world lived like the average US or Canadian resident we would need between three and five Earths Emergent economies seeking to rapidly catch up and emulate Northern lifestyles dramatically aggravate this This “imperial mode of living” propagated from cores and now also semi-cores is socio-ecologically unsustainable and dangerous Overconsumption is causing a crisis of energy scarcity and depletion of oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, essential minerals, and water Peak-oil may have already occurred in 2005 the Energy Working Group estimated overall conventional energy peak for 2015 Mineral depletion is predicted to exhaust 26 of the 37 most important minerals By 2025 the number of people living in absolute water scarcity is projected to rise 50%, with two thirds of the world’s population in water-stressed conditions global demand exceeded supply and the global stockpile of grain shrank by half Agro-industrial methods like monocropping and industrial economies of scale destroy biodiversity and carbon sinks and degrade nutritional quality Industrial aquaculture has fully exploited or overexploited most of the world’s fish stocks The food system’s increasingly corporate consolidation multiplies social-environmental externalities through overexploitation of natural and human resources and gross maldistribution. The “globalized” modern food system requires unnecessarily long transportation and is heavily dependent on dwindling fossil fuels triggering a global food system crisis profoundly impacting semi/peripheral regions further growth isn’t the answer. We already produce excess food indigenous/small peasant methods, and permaculture, coupled with equitable redistributive communal and local economies can produce more nutritious food regenerate biodiversity and fight climate change economic downturn resulted from contingent and structural factors. Most importantly the growing disconnection between an increasingly financialized global economy the “real” economy of human production and the “real-real” economy based on the Earth’s biocapacity to provide “ecological services The increasingly financialized capitalist economy is grossly abstracted from the real economy the real-real economy of reproduction based on the socio-ecologically metabolic labor of communities and the planet. The second structural problem is the exploding global inequality coupled with persistent poverty notwithstanding the continuous growth of the global economy. , the issue isn’t that we need more growth, but that we have an increasing concentration of wealth tied to gross maldistribution and rampant waste the top 8% of the world’s population concentrates almost 80% of global wealth). The global economic system is based on a faulty notion of endless accumulation propelled by increasingly financialized debt disconnected from its growing social and ecological debt the accelerated exploitation of productive and reproductive labor leading to massive demographic displacements requires constantly increasing absorption of people from semi-peripheries and peripheries into a global system of production people displaced from their local land bases by the globalization and intensification of corporate and/or state mega-projects industrial monocrops and resource extraction are often absorbed as cheap migrant labor rooted in colonial/postcolonial/neocolonial histories and hegemonic/imperialist wars The social reproduction crisis is gendered and racialized Racialized rural, peasant, indigenous and traditional communities are eroded Working-age people are being absorbed in violent, exploitative and oppressive conditions The care drain feeds the new genderization and feminization of labor in manufacturing The social reproduction crisis also embeds a health crisis stemming from acute inequality, environmental degradation, neoliberal erosion of public health infrastructures and deteriorated access to food, water and resources creates the growth of noncommunicable “diseases of globalization” resulting from consumerist, commodity-based, sedentary and industrial lifestyles while it perpetuates in the “Third World” communicable diseases such as malaria and cholera, among many others The planetary crisis has resulted from the generalization of a hegemonic mode of civilization nderpinned by the layered intersection of systems of power These systems of power constitute the infrastructures of hegemonic civilization complex discursive and institutional apparatuses have been built and reproduced asymmetrically shaping relations often in structurally hierarchical violent, oppressive, and exploitative ways These infrastructures must be critically and materially deconstructed to enable alternative worldviews lifeways organizational forms and practices to flourish
The will of dominion over Mexico is supplanted by a logic of exportation of Western civilization to the global south. The fungibility-machine of neoliberal economics is forced down the throats of the third world, enforcing a rule of law maintained through slavery, conquest, and dominance. The emphasis on top-down solutions to the supposed crisis is the generative point of modern crisis – peak oil, economic instability, regional disputes, the displacement of ecologies and social configurations, and the metabolic rift of extinction arise from a logic of universality that valorizes the US as the locus of expertise. The only response to such is critical decolonization of American rule of law.
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Mexico Honduras - Wake 2019.html5
“They talk to me about progress, about ‘achievements,’ diseases cured, improved standards of living. I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.” -Aime Cesaire in Discourse on Colonialism. This thesis could have been called “Coloniality Matters,” or “Why Decoloniality in the 21st Century,” but those titles have already been taken in part or in full. What I have intended to signal here, though, is that coloniality still matters, and that decoloniality or decolonialities in the plural (as I will explain later), is a necessary and viable project. Building on the work of decolonial scholars such as Fanon, Quijano, Maldonado-Torres, and Mignolo, I find it is necessary to examine the violence of modernity and capitalist development through its historical rootedness in coloniality, or what Mignolo (2010) has termed the modern/ colonial order. I intend to demonstrate the inherent death facilitating processes of modern/ colonial development, which make evident the extraordinary and urgent need to break (delink) from the project of coloniality in all forms (materially, epistemically, and ontologically). Death is not symptom or consequence of coloniality but intrinsic and foundational to its nature. Sanctioned political dissent through channels accepted as appropriate means of expressing disagreement to these everyday and atrocities serve primarily to maintain and expand colonial authority, forced under the terms of negotiation set by the colonist. Modern/colonial (Mignolo, 2000) relations are historically compounded and codified into the law in a totalizing effect that facilitates death (extermination), dependency as inherent to their projects of development and expansion to which the acts of self-becoming and delinking are necessary to assert a thriving decolonial future. Further, given that the production of excess or redundant populations and death are integral to modern/ colonial development, I look toward political mechanisms of decoloniality that can hold colonization, whiteness, and capitalism accountable. I find the reasonable political desires of decoloniality, in accordance with Fanon (1955, 1967) and Maldonado-Torres (2007), will be taken and not granted, and will continuously mitigate the violence of coloniality as the two are antithetical projects where the existence of one denies the existence of the other. I intend to dispel the notions that turning to the histories of marginalized and colonized peoples represents a romanticized, or nostalgic return to the past, or that decolonization has already occurred. These are overwhelmingly the stories representing indigenous peoples, particularly in the United States, and the stories warning against dissent to modern/ colonial design. The telling of history is a process infused with the power assign value, name, and to know in order address current conditions with future “horizons of promise” (Quijano, 2002, p. 78). It is, therefore, a future oriented task tied to geopolitics and its perhaps less frequently discussed but parallel function, chronopolitics, or the politics of time. I explore these claims through analysis of development projects and discourse by integrating insights from Critical Race Theory, dialectical materialism, and dependency theory through a larger decolonial framework. This thesis is grounded in the assertion of anti-colonial political leader Amiclar Cabral’s (1979) speech emboldening the idea of theory as a weapon and specifically in his statement: For us the basis of national liberation, whatever the formulas adopted in international law, is the inalienable right of every people to have their own history; and the aim of national liberation is to regain this right usurped by imperialism, that is to free the process of development of the national productive forces. (Cabral, 1979, p. 130) Decoloniality recognizes the urgency and right to have a history that is not simply about rewriting textbooks, but looking toward histories to understand and alter present relations. While one might read Cabral’s statement as a dismissal of international law, I have chosen here to use it as an entry point for examining the law and the political mechanisms of a peoples right their own his/herstory. Cabral brings together two important contentions: an epistemological/ ontological concern for accessing one’s history, inextricably tied to a political project reconciling the material disparities resulting from imperial domination. Cabral views history and knowledge-of-self as linked directly to understandings of being, place, social order, political and economic relations. Law itself becomes a codification of memory, cyclically reified through its enforcement. Imperialism and colonization make normal and necessary the violence of war, imprisonment, removal, exploitation, and extractive relationships through racialized narratives rooted in white superiority. Remembering and misremembering is always already a political process and project. Today, nearly all materiality and wealth within a modernized industrial society can be traced to histories and present forms of slavery and colonization (Rodney, 1972). The lines of relation, however, are systematically obfuscated through a pathological, Lady Macbethian-style delusion of obsessive compulsive sanitization, to wash one’s hands clean from the marks of death that facilitate the usurpation of power. Colonial logics represent a concerted, historically compounded denial of humanity and possibility outside constructions of Western ontology and epistemology. These processes of 7 dehumanization have been referred to by Aime Cesaire’s (1995) as thingification, making bodies into object or animal to be used as productive tool for industry, and by Frantz Fanon as le damne (Fanon, 1961; Maldonado-Torres, 2007), those without capacity to give because everything has been taken away, and who represent a kinship with death and hell in itself. Death as a singular option or reality for oppressed peoples is not only in the physical sense such as genocide, state sanctioned murder of black and brown peoples, or the mass atrocities caused by the many consequences of global warming. Each of these urgent physical and material consequences are manifestations of a Western epistemology where Europe is the loci of enunciation defining what is inside and outside Man as Human (Mignolo, 2011, Wynter, 2003), and therefore what and how life exists. This recognition begs the question: If a society necessitates death in order to develop and progress, as is the situation of settler colonies and empires, what are the possibilities and rights to delink (Zhang, 2013; Mignolo, 2010)? Overview The first part will elaborate on the logics of coloniality as dependency, extermination and incorporation (operationalized throughout the following chapters) and the juridical and administrative mechanisms that rationalize and perpetuate modern/ colonial orders. Beyond the economic logics and fallacies of development, modern/colonial designs are perpetuated through fear, insecurity, and, at best, lack of imagination. Even when the colonial designs fail to be economically productive for the owning class, their ordering of knowledge, power and being continue to hold anything outside the imaginary of western modernity as outside humanity or reason and therefore positioned as either a threat or irrelevance to humanities future. 8 The second, third, and fourth chapters examine policy and legislation grounded in development discourse tied to land or territory in order to provide empirical evidence to the foundations of coloniality as an ongoing process of extermination, incorporation and dependency. Creating and securing private property is a historically and politically infused process that forms the nucleus of material colonial designs (Harris, 1993). Each example demonstrates the simultaneous reification of nation-state formations as ultimate sovereign authority and expansion of empireThe examples are organized as 1) Knowledge of development: STEM education from the space race to Race to the Top, 2) Modes of development: intellectual property law and the incorporation of indigeneity, 3) Sanctioned Dissent to modern/ colonial development: Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and the codification of race. Each of the chapters will examine the relations between whiteness, coloniality and decoloniality with the hope of envisaging a productive, actionable move toward decoloniality by demonstrating the incapacity for colonial thought and design to offer adequate blueprints to urgent global problems.
Lystrup 15. Lauren; University of California, Irvine, Doctor of Law (JD), 2015 – 2018. DePaul University Master's degree, Social and Cultural Foundations of Education, 2013 – 2015. University of California, Santa Cruz B.A. Feminist Studies, Education Minor, Law, Politics and Social Change, 2007 – 2011. "Decolonial Futures and the Law: Reflections on Mitigating Projects of Coloniality" (2015). http://via.library.depaul.edu/soe_etd/77~~) ipartman
They talk about progress, achievements,’ diseases cured, improved standards of living. I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.” Aime Cesaire in Discourse on Colonialism. coloniality still matters the inherent death facilitating processes of modern/ colonial development make evident the extraordinary and urgent need to break (delink) from the project of coloniality in all forms Death is not symptom or consequence of coloniality but intrinsic and foundational to its nature. Sanctioned political dissent through channels accepted as appropriate means of expressing disagreement to these everyday and atrocities serve primarily to maintain and expand colonial authority, forced under the terms of negotiation set by the colonist. Modern colonial relations are historically codified into the law in a totalizing effect that facilitates death (extermination), dependency as inherent to their projects of development and expansion to which the acts of self-becoming and delinking are necessary to assert a thriving decolonial future given that the production of excess or redundant populations and death are integral to modern/ colonial development political mechanisms of decoloniality hold colonization, whiteness, and capitalism accountable reasonable political desires of decoloniality will be taken and not granted and will continuously mitigate the violence of coloniality as the two are antithetical projects where the existence of one denies the existence of the other turning to the histories of colonized peoples represents a romanticized return to the past that decolonization has already occurred stories warning against dissent to modern/ colonial design. assign value, name, and to know in order address current conditions with future “horizons of promise” anti-colonial political leader Amiclar Cabral’s speech emboldening the idea of theory as a weapon the basis of national liberation whatever the formulas adopted in international law is the inalienable right of every people to have their own history; and the aim of national liberation is to regain this right usurped by imperialism, that is to free the process of development of the national productive forces Decoloniality recognizes the urgency and right to have a history that is not simply about rewriting textbooks, but looking toward histories to understand and alter present relations Law itself becomes a codification of memory, cyclically reified through its enforcement Imperialism and colonization make normal and necessary the violence of war, imprisonment, removal, exploitation, and extractive relationships through racialized narratives rooted in white superiority. Remembering and misremembering is always already a political process and project early all materiality and wealth within a modernized industrial society can be traced to histories and present forms of slavery and colonization The lines of relation are systematically obfuscated to wash one’s hands clean from the marks of death that facilitate the usurpation of power. Colonial logics represent a concerted denial of humanity and possibility outside constructions of Western ontology These processes of dehumanization have been referred to as thingification, making bodies into object or animal to be used as productive tool for industry, and by Frantz Fanon as le damne those without capacity to give because everything has been taken away, and who represent a kinship with death and hell in itself Death as a singular option or reality for oppressed peoples is not only in the physical sense such as genocide, state sanctioned murder of black and brown peoples, or the mass atrocities caused by the many consequences of global warming. Each of these urgent physical and material consequences are manifestations of a Western epistemology where Europe is the loci of enunciation defining what is inside and outside Man as Human If a society necessitates death in order to develop and progress, as is the situation of settler colonies and empires, what are the possibilities and rights to delink Beyond economic logics modern/colonial designs are perpetuated through fear insecurity and lack of imagination policy and legislation grounded in development provide empirical evidence to the foundations of coloniality as an ongoing process of extermination, incorporation and dependency Creating and securing private property is a historically and politically infused process that forms the nucleus of material colonial designs the hope of envisaging move toward decoloniality by demonstrating the incapacity for colonial thought to offer adequate blueprints to urgent global problems
Death is not a symptom or consequence of modernity, but rather its intrinsic and foundational nature. Bringing decolonial political dissent to the acceptable terms of negotiation is oxymoronic and only serves to expand the authority of the colonist. Coloniality is not merely a power relation but makes normal and necessary war, imprisonment, and exploitation. Reasonable political desires of decolonality will never be met.
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The Zapatista movement has garnered much attention in the past decade for their revolution against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and policies of globalization that sought to privatize and patent life, wipe out ingenious cultures and knowledge systems, and fix the Global South as a site of resource extraction. Walter Mignolo (2010) calls it the “Zapatista Theoretical Revolution,” signaling the shift in the geopolitical enunciation of knowledge as connected to autonomy, dignity, and self-determination, reinserting the land and human in totality in modernity, delinked from the State and colonial formations. The Zapatistas provide an example for the ways that delinking from the state at several levels, including land, security, agriculture and education, has been actualized. Recently, the Zapatista’s opened up a school, inviting people from across the globe to participate in a decolonial model of education creating economies de-linked from Western modernity/ coloniality. In August 2013 Escuelita Zapatista, the Little Zaptatista School held its first class session. Escuelita Zapatista’s curriculum is rooted in five fundamental lessons of the Zapatistas: 1) it is possible to defeat social counterinsurgency policies, 2) autonomy, 3) collective work, 4) creating new political culture, and 5) communities are double mirrors (reflections of themselves and of eachother) (Zibechi 2013). Importantly, these are lessons learned through reflection on the struggle of the Zapatista’s over the past decade for dignity and autonomy against Globalization and policies like NAFTA. Furthermore, they are lessons in the Zapatista’s struggle to create autonomous and self-sustaining communities de-linked from the capitalist economy through campesino culture and direct democracy over health and school. As a transnational pedagogical movement hosting over 1700 students and bringing together many languages, Escuelita Zapatista sought from the beginning to form “a climate of fellowship (hermanamiento) among a plurality of subjects” (Zibech, 2013). Escuelita Zapatista reflects movement towards new definitions of citizenship and agency shaped in resistance to neoliberal policies. Education in each aspect is directly related to political struggle that will transform illegitimate forms of power. The Zapatistas example is concerned with the privatization, patenting and capitalist control of both knowledge and life itself. The Zapatista movement, however, is grounded in creating autonomous self-sustained communities intentionally de-linked from Western modern/ colonial ideology. Decolonial pedagogy offers the framework for a process of education committed to a restoration of economies, ecology and ecosystems managed from the bottom-up that moves toward action of politicized agency. Importantly, it is place and context specific and while their strategies may be abstracted and appropriated, it is important to understand the context out of which they emerge, and find strategy that is locally responsive. Local, then, is not an end in itself, but its own strategic political formation that cannot be appropriated simply to the terms of purchasing local, but is about responding to local and specific contexts that are not particular, but are unique in their own historical formations with specific actors and interests. Delinking, literally speaking, is an act of breaking from a chain. Delinking from dependency is a process of removal from and disobedience towards modern/colonial logics. It calls for pluri-vistic knowledge productions (Mignolo 2007) where Eurocentric and Western discourse no longer dominates the educational and political paradigm, but where knowledge is produced from multiple sites occupying the colonial wound (Mignolo, 2000). Pluriversality is toward an ethical, political, and also philosophical end. Whereas the etymology of diversity signals primarily a distinction of difference, otherness, even oddness, pluriversality signals the existence of many social and political formations of knowledge opposed to monolithic forms of power. The language of pluriversality opens up the terms of diversity and reinserts the political to the forefront. Pluriversality brings the totalizing macronarrative of European political and ontological formations down to size. It is to see the one-ness and locality of a globally imposed design and to socially, politically and economically decolonize these designs by delinking from the logics that sustain them. Delinking proposes a radical shifting of the geo-politics and body politics of knowledge formation. While nothing can be located completely outside or removed from implications of Western imperial power relations, de-linking from the logics of western imperialism is a project that has been taken up in multiple spaces since the fifteenth century. It is true that colonial designs limit the capacity to materially delink. Imagine, for example, if I were to be sentenced to time in prison and I objected stating that I opt to delink from the colonial apparatus of prisons. Clearly, people are forced and coerced into engagement and participation with modern/colonial designs. Choosing the decolonial option, choosing to delink, is a process fraught with precariousness. Delinking does not always mean the immediate abolition of coloniality, but rather the reality of multiple worlds existing in one world, as the Zapatistas have popularized. Therefore, even as decoloniality exists or persist, it is made to constantly negotiate the encroachment of coloniality constantly expanding its limits. Although theoretically delinking and realizing a pluriversal global politic that is not driven by the colonial design opens up the possibilities for emancipation and therefore life, the material reality we must also remind ourselves of is that we live in one world that is not compartmentalized. Nuclear radiation from Fukushima’s reactor meltdowns took little time to reach the ocean life and shores of California. Led poising from the maquiladoras in Juarez, Mexico did not halt itself at the border so as not to infect the United States. Researches seeking non-GMO corn looked confidently to the markets of Oaxaca only to find that pesticides and GMO strands had already invaded in the native corn. What do delinking and self-becoming, for example, have to offer communities in Vietnam who continue to suffer the effects of Agent Orange? Delinking economically, politically, and epistemically is a quite viable project that we cannot disregard. However, it does not mean each places becomes concerned only with their hyper-local territory, with blinders on to the rest of the world. Again, the relational nature of being in a world with only artificial or imaginary borders ridicules the idea of containment and compartmentalization. The toxins of a colonial system need also be dealt with otherwise their seepage will only continue to bring about death.
Lystrup 15. Lauren, University of California, Irvine, Doctor of Law (JD), 2015 – 2018. DePaul University Master's degree, Social and Cultural Foundations of Education, 2013 – 2015. University of California, Santa Cruz B.A. Feminist Studies, Education Minor, Law, Politics and Social Change, 2007 – 2011. "Decolonial Futures and the Law: Reflections on Mitigating Projects of Coloniality" (2015). http://via.library.depaul.edu/soe_etd/77) ipartman
The Zapatista movement garnered attention in the past decade for their revolution against NAFTA and policies of globalization that sought to privatize and patent life, wipe out ingenious cultures and knowledge systems, and fix the Global South as a site of resource extraction the “Zapatista Theoretical Revolution,” signaling the shift in the geopolitical enunciation of knowledge as connected to autonomy, dignity, and self-determination, reinserting the land and human in totality in modernity, delinked from the State and colonial formations The Zapatistas provide an example for the ways that delinking from the state at several levels, including land, security, agriculture and education the Zapatista’s opened up a school Escuelita Zapatista’s curriculum is rooted in five fundamental lessons of the Zapatistas it is possible to defeat social counterinsurgency policies autonomy collective work creating new political culture and communities are double mirrors (reflections of themselves and of eachother) these are lessons learned through reflection on the struggle of the Zapatista’s over the past decade for dignity and autonomy against Globalization and policies like NAFTA Escuelita Zapatista sought from the beginning to form “a climate of fellowship (hermanamiento) among a plurality of subjects” reflects movement towards new definitions of citizenship and agency shaped in resistance to neoliberal policie The Zapatista movement is grounded in creating autonomous self-sustained communities intentionally de-linked from Western modern/ colonial ideology Decolonial pedagogy offers the framework for a process of education committed to a restoration of economies, ecology and ecosystems managed from the bottom-up that moves toward action of politicized agency it is place and context specific and while their strategies may be abstracted and appropriated Local is not an end in itself but is about responding to local and specific contexts that are not particular, but are unique in their own historical formations with specific actors and interests. Delinking Delinking from dependency is a process of removal from and disobedience towards modern/colonial logics It calls for pluri-vistic knowledge productions where Eurocentric and Western discourse no longer dominates the educational and political paradigm where knowledge is produced from multiple sites occupying the colonial wound Pluriversality is toward an ethical, political, and also philosophical end. pluriversality signals the existence of many social and political formations of knowledge opposed to monolithic forms of power Delinking proposes a radical shifting of the geo-politics and body politics of knowledge formation While nothing can be located completely outside Western imperial power relations choosing to delink is the reality of multiple worlds existing in one world, even as decoloniality exists or persist, it is made to constantly negotiate the encroachment of coloniality constantly expanding its limits. delinking and realizing a pluriversal global politic opens up the possibilities for emancipation and therefore life Delinking does not mean each places becomes concerned only with their hyper-local territory, with blinders on to the rest of the world. the relational nature of being in a world with only artificial or imaginary borders ridicules the idea of containment and compartmentalization. The toxins of a colonial system need also be dealt with otherwise their seepage will only continue to bring about death.
Plan: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its Foreign Military Arm Sales and Direct Commercial Sales to Mexico to decolonize Mexico.
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Another Path Is Possible! Abundant Futures Manifesto If anything, the Anthropocene is a spark that will light a fire in our imaginaries. This is a time to think big, to dream. We dream about abundant futures. In what follows, we offer this dream in the form of a manifesto, a declaration of strategies to create the conditions for supporting diverse forms of life and ways of living. Decolonizing frameworks, politics, and ethics guide our thinking about the conditions needed to generate abundance. Although “the desired outcomes of decolonization are diverse and located at multiple sites in multiple forms” (Sium, Desai, and Ritskes 2012, 2), our decolonizing sensibility builds from scholarship and movements in settler societies that are premised on Indigenous self-determination. In this context, we draw particular attention to the ways Nature is steeped in colonial patterns of power and knowledge. Nature, we argue, must be confronted as an artifact of empire, although not “as dead matter or remnants of a defunct regime” that can be ignored (Stoler 2008, 196). Rather, as Stoler (2008, 195) notes, imperial ruins have a political life; they “impinge on the allocation of space, resources, and on the contours of material life” in the present. Discerning how the residues of Nature are reactivated in contemporary conservation politics in ways that continue to dispossess is crucial to the practice of decolonizing. The violence of settler colonialism is ongoing (Wolfe 2006) as “land is remade into property and human relationships to land are restricted to the relationship of the owner to his property” (Tuck and Yang 2012, 5). Anishinaabeg scholar and activist Leanne Simpson beautifully articulates this transformation of land and bodies (cited in Klein 2013): Extraction and assimilation go together. Colonialism and capitalism are based on extracting and assimilating. My land is seen as a resource. My relatives in the plant and animal worlds are seen as resources. My culture and knowledge is a resource. My body is a resource and my children are a resource because they are the potential to grow, maintain, and uphold the extraction–assimilation system. The act of extraction removes all of the relationships that give whatever is being extracted meaning. Extracting is taking. Actually, extracting is stealing—it is taking without consent, without thought, care or even knowledge of the impacts that extraction has on the other living things in that environment. That's always been a part of colonialism and conquest. Colonialism has always extracted the indigenous. As Simpson suggests, colonial extraction also implies attempts to erase distinct ways of bringing worlds into being. Transforming these conditions requires political struggle grounded in decolonizing. Inspired by Simpson and others, we now turn to three concrete political strategies necessary to create conditions for generating abundance rather than postnatural conservation. These strategies are informed by transformative efforts already occurring around the globe. Strategy 1: Reckoning with Colonial-Capitalist Ruination Like postnatural conservationists, we do not support a conservation oriented around the colonial myth of a pristine past. Yet the tendency to relentlessly focus on the future is not the answer. When considering how to intervene responsibly and ethically, an ongoing and active reckoning with the past is crucial. We can look to the past not to provide an Edenic benchmark but to understand the discursive material infrastructure we have inherited: How did we arrive where we are today, to a world of social asymmetries and ecological impoverishment? Galeano (1973) and Davis (2002) contend that we arrived at contemporary “underdevelopment” through colonialism and imperial capitalist development. Violence was central to these processes. “Millions died,” Davis (2002, 11) writes, “not outside the ‘modern world system,’ but in the very process of being forcibly incorporated into its economic and political structures.” The Capitalocene, Haraway's (2014) counterconcept to the Anthropocene, specifically foregrounds capitalist modes of political economy (and their attachment to fossil fuels) as drivers of impoverished ecologies. To recall this violence is neither nostalgic nor anachronistic but central to understanding that any intervention today is unavoidably linked to processes of imperial ruination. Equally, we need to pay attention to histories of nonhuman abundance and the violences that led to their diminishment. MacKinnon (2013) sees the past as a measure of possibility for what “may be again.” For MacKinnon, this is not a call for “some romantic return to a pre-human Eden.” Rather, he posits, “A story of loss is not always and only a lament; it can also be a measure of possibility. What once was may be again.” For MacKinnon, this means taking past abundance as a marker for what might be; looking back shows us what rich socioecological worlds looked like (as in Denevan 2001; Raffles 2002; Mann 2005). “Our systems are designed to promote more life,” says Leanne Simpson about her Anishinaabeg community (cited in Klein 2013). Working with the Anishinaabeg concept of mino bimaadiziwin, variously translated as “the good life” and “continuous rebirth,” Simpson identifies an alternative to worlds that are enacted through utilitarianism and extraction. “The purpose of life,” she says, “is this continuous rebirth, it's to promote more life. In Anishinaabeg society, our economic systems, our education systems, our systems of governance, and our political systems were designed with that basic tenet at their core.” The concept of promoting life differs considerably from a core aspect of sustainability and earth systems science, which focuses on figuring out the limits to development or the extent to which ecosystems may be degraded before ecological function is impaired or beyond repair. As Simpson says, her community considers “how much you can give up to promote more life” (cited in Klein 2013; also Simpson 2011). We ally ourselves with such strategies to produce abundance. For Tewolde Egziabher (2002), the tireless Ethiopian advocate for farmers’ rights and agricultural diversity, supporting conditions to create and sustain biological diversity involves refusing capitalist processes of enclosure over land, waters, and living things, including patents on life. We ally with Via Campesina (2008) and its more than 200,000 members throughout the globe in defending the “collective rights of peasant farmers to access land” from those who appropriate land “for profit.” Peasant farmers affiliated with Via Campesina fight relentlessly against the status quo, against the World Trade Organization and other trade agreements that privilege corporate actors, against the governments who facilitate land grabs, and against corporate enclosures. In so doing, they are creating institutions and alliances that go far beyond national borders, including the World Social Forum, farmer–farmer exchanges, and seed-saving networks. Strategy 2: Acting Pluriversally Recognizing entanglement is not enough to undo colonial formations such as Nature. Hence, we ally with others fostering the capacity to act in pluriversal instead of universal ways (Blaser, de la Cadena, and Escobar 2014). The universe is enacted through the ontological assumption of reality or nature as singular, with different cultures offering distinct conceptions of this reality (Blaser 2013). This approach equates ontology with mental maps or culture and leaves intact the assumption that differing perspectives on the world can be understood through and reduced to Eurocentric categories. Building on Indigenous thought as well as some science studies scholarship, Blaser (2009, 2013) frames ontology in terms of practices and performances of worlding—of being, doing, and knowing; reality “is done and enacted rather than observed” (Mol 1999, 77). Worlding practices bring worlds into being; different stories enact different worlds that may be coemergent, partially connected, or in conflict. Blaser (2013, 552) proposes the pluriverse as a “heuristic proposition,” a commitment to enacting ontological multiplicity, to shift us away from continuously performing the universe. If different stories perform different yet interconnected worlds, then worlding practices can be evaluated in terms of their effects; some worldings might be wrong in the sense that “they enact worlds (edifices) in which or with which we do not want to live, or that do not let us live—or lets some live and not others” (Blaser, de la Cadena, and Escobar 2014). Creating abundant futures, we believe, means supporting already existing worlding practices that enact worlds different from those produced by European imperialism and settler colonialism. We ally ourselves with Idle No More, a Canada-wide Indigenous movement sparked by federal efforts in 2012 to enact legislative changes that weaken Indigenous sovereignty and environmental regulations. Started by four women, the movement spread like wildfire, drawing national attention to ongoing Indigenous struggles, sparking, revitalizing, and supporting decolonizing efforts in a multitude of communities. Activists and authors Simpson (cited in Klein 2013) and Glen Coulthard (2013) articulate the movement's role in supporting a “resurgence of Indigenous political thought” in relation to governance models and “Indigenous political-economic alternatives.” We respond to Idle No More's invitation “to join in a peaceful revolution, to honour Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water” (Idle No More n.d.). Enacting abundance means different ways of building relationships across vast differences, best described as solidarity or collective movement in support of conditions that enable differently situated people and other-than-humans to realize abundance, to build a world of many worlds. In thinking about how to move collectively, we take inspiration from the concept of walking with put forth in the Zapatista movement's Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona (Zapatista Army of National Liberation 2005). In this framing of solidarity, walking with implies engaging in activism wherever one lives in support of a common struggle against neoliberalism and for democracy, liberty, and justice. As such, solidarity supports autonomous forms of worlding. Strategy 3: Recognizing Animal Autonomy Recognizing multispecies entanglement is not a license to intensify human control over other-than-human life. Abundant futures include nonhuman animals, not as resources or banks of natural capital that service humans but as beings with their own familial, social, and ecological networks, their own lookouts, agendas, and needs. An abundant future is one in which other-than-humans have wild lives and live as “uncolonized others” (Plumwood 1993). We follow Cronon, likely the most widely cited troubler of wilderness, who actually argues for retaining the idea of wildness. As Cronon (1995, 89) writes, “Honoring the wild” is a matter of “learning to remember and acknowledge the autonomy of the other.” Whereas wilderness refers to an impossible pure Nature, wildness refers to the autonomy, otherness, and sentience of animals (Plumwood 1993; Collard 2014). By autonomy we mean the fullest expression of animal life, including capacity for movement, for social and familial association, and for work and play. These capacities have been profoundly diminished with the confinement, control, and managerialism that have come to characterize humans’ relationships with the wider world in humanist colonial and capitalist regimes. In particular, animals’ spatial and bodily enclosure (in public zoos and aquariums, laboratories, and factory farms) impedes their autonomy and abundance. Of course, an autonomous life is never a discrete life. Whether enclosed or not, animals are always inescapably part of socionatural networks (as are we). So what is the difference between these networks? The wild one offers—within limits—openness, possibility, a degree of choice, and self-determination. The enclosed one is controlled, cramped, contained, and enclosed. But neither do wildness or animal autonomy mean no human intervention; in a world that has always been far too entangled to permit “stepping outside,” wildness and autonomy are relational. We are not advocating a return to conservation's old misanthropy but an orientation in which wildness is understood relationally, not as the absence of humans but as interrelations within which animals have autonomy. The degree to which an animal is wild thus has little to do with its proximities to humans and everything to do with the conditions of living, such as spatial (can the animal come and go), subjective (can the animal express itself), energetic (can the animal work for itself), and social (can the animal form social networks). These are conditions of possibility, of potential, not forced states of being. We ally ourselves with the few conservationists who make the well-being of individual animals a priority (Paquet and Darimont 2010) and with efforts such as the recent campaign by Zoocheck and other Toronto and international organizations that led to the transfer of three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a wildlife sanctuary in California. Part of a wider movement to end elephant captivity, the release of these three elephants is a sign of growing recognition of the effects of captivity on such social creatures. Orienting toward abundant futures requires walking with multiple forms of resistance to colonial and capitalist logics and practices of extraction and assimilation. Decolonization is our guide in this process. A profoundly unsettling process, decolonization “sets out to change the order of the world,” as Fanon (1963, 36) suggested fifty years ago. As the organizations, movements, and people discussed here show, unsettlings are already taking place, pluriversally. Although never perfect, they are our best chance for abundant socioecological futures.
Collard 15. Rosemary-Claire Collard, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment (Concordia University, Montreal), Jessica Dempsey, Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, & Juanita Sundberg, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, “A Manifesto for Abundant Futures,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Volume 105, Issue 2, 2015, p. 322-330) ipartman
the Anthropocene is a spark that will light a fire in our imaginaries This is a time to think big, to dream We dream about abundant futures Decolonizing frameworks guide our thinking about the conditions needed to generate abundance. Although “the desired outcomes of decolonization are diverse and located at multiple sites in multiple forms” our decolonizing sensibility builds from scholarship and movements in settler societies that are premised on Indigenous self-determination Nature must be confronted as an artifact of empire imperial ruins have a political life; they “impinge on the allocation of space, resources, and on the contours of material life” in the present The violence of settler colonialism is ongoing as “land is remade into property and human relationships to land are restricted to the relationship of the owner to his property” Extraction and assimilation go together. Colonialism and capitalism are based on extracting and assimilating. My land is seen as a resource My relatives in the plant and animal worlds are seen as resources. My culture and knowledge is a resource. My body is a resource and my children are a resource because they are the potential to grow, maintain, and uphold the extraction–assimilation system Extracting is taking stealing taking without consent, without thought, care or even knowledge of the impacts that extraction has on the other living things in that environment Colonialism has always extracted the indigenous. colonial extraction attempts to erase distinct ways of bringing worlds into being. Transforming these conditions requires political struggle grounded in decolonizing. we now turn to concrete political strategies necessary to create conditions for generating abundance informed by transformative efforts already occurring around the globe we do not support a conservation oriented around the colonial myth of a pristine past The Capitalocene specifically foregrounds capitalist modes of political economy as drivers of impoverished ecologies To recall this violence is neither nostalgic nor anachronistic but central to understanding that any intervention today is unavoidably linked to processes of imperial ruination , we need to pay attention to histories of nonhuman abundance and the violences that led to their diminishment A story of loss is not always and only a lament; it can also be a measure of possibility. What once was may be again.” Working with the Anishinaabeg concept of continuous rebirth Simpson identifies an alternative to worlds that are enacted through utilitarianism and extraction. “The purpose of life,” is this continuous rebirth it's to promote more life We ally ourselves with such strategies to produce abundance. For Tewolde Egziabher the tireless Ethiopian advocate for farmers’ rights and agricultural diversity, supporting conditions to create and sustain biological diversity refusing capitalist processes of enclosure over land We ally with Via Campesina and its 200,000 members throughout defending the “collective rights of peasant farmers to access land” from Peasant farmers fight relentlessly against land grabs, and corporate enclosures. are creating institutions and alliances that go far beyond national borders, Recognizing entanglement is not enough to undo colonial formations such as Nature. we ally with others fostering the capacity to act in pluriversal instead of universal ways Building on Indigenous thought as well as some science studies scholarship, Worlding practices bring worlds into being; different stories enact different worlds that may be coemergent, partially connected, or in conflict . Creating abundant futures means supporting already existing worlding practices that enact worlds different from those produced by European imperialism and settler colonialism We ally ourselves with Idle No More a Canada-wide Indigenous movement sparked by efforts to enact legislative changes that weaken Indigenous sovereignty and environmental regulations the movement spread like wildfire, sparking, revitalizing, and supporting decolonizing efforts in a multitude of communities we take inspiration from the concept of walking with put forth in the Zapatista movement's Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona In this framing of solidarity, walking with implies engaging in activism wherever one lives in support of a common struggle against neoliberalism and for democracy, liberty, and justice. solidarity supports autonomous forms of worlding Recognizing multispecies entanglement is not a license to intensify human control Abundant futures include nonhuman animals as beings with their own familial, social, and ecological networks, their own lookouts, agendas, and needs in which other-than-humans have wild lives and live as “uncolonized others Whereas wilderness refers to an impossible pure Nature wildness refers to the autonomy, otherness, and sentience of animals These capacities have been profoundly diminished with the confinement, control, and managerialism that have come to characterize humans’ relationships with the wider world in humanist colonial and capitalist regimes Of course, an autonomous life is never a discrete life. The wild one offers openness possibility The enclosed one is controlled, cramped, and enclosed But neither do wildness or animal autonomy mean no human intervention; in a world that has always been far too entangled to permit “stepping outside,” wildness and autonomy are relational. We are not advocating a return to conservation's old misanthropy but an orientation in which wildness is understood relationally Orienting toward abundant futures requires walking with multiple forms of resistance to colonial and capitalist logics and practices of extraction and assimilation. Decolonization is our guide in this process decolonization “sets out to change the order of the world,” unsettlings are already taking place, pluriversally. they are our best chance for abundant socioecological futures.
What would Mexico look like without the omnipresent shadow of US imperialism? Responding to such an impossible proposition requires us to take up the possibility of an abundant future: a framework for decolonizing transformation grounded in and understood by the pluriverses of grassroots indigenous struggles from Mexico to Ethiopia to Bolivia. The prospect of an abundant future is a dirty one, one that confronts wildness in order to remember the autonomy of Others – this changes the question in the debate to subjective decolonization that works to break down settler power dynamics.
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I’d like to present an alternative to conventional identity politics, one that requires that we understand the way that capitalism itself has grown out of a very particular kind of identity politics — white supremacy — aimed at securing “special benefits” for one group of people. It is not sufficient to speak only of identities of race, class, and gender. I believe we must also speak of identities in relation to domination. To what extent does any one of us identify with the forces of domination and participate in relations that reinforce that domination and the exploitation that goes with it? In what ways and to what extent are we wedded to our own upward mobility, financial security, good reputation, and ability to “win friends and influence people” in positions of power? Or conversely, do we identify (not wish to identify or pretend to identify but actually identify by putting our lives on the line) with efforts to reverse patterns of domination, empower people on the margins (even when we are not on the margins ourselves), and seek healthy, sustainable relations? When we consider our identities in relation to domination, we realize the manifold ways in which we have structured our lives and desires in support of the very economic and social system that is dominating us. To shake free of this cycle, we need to embrace a radical break from business as usual. We need to commit revolutionary suicide. By this I mean not the killing of our bodies but the destruction of our attachments to security, status, wealth, and power. These attachments prevent us from becoming spiritually and politically alive. They prevent us from changing the violent structure of the society in which we live. Revolutionary suicide means living out our commitments, even when that means risking death. When Huey Percy Newton, the cofounder of the Black Panther Party, called us to “revolutionary suicide,” it appears that he was making the same appeal as Jesus of Nazareth, who admonished, “Those who seek to save their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives for the sake of [the planet] will save them.” Essentially, both movement founders are saying the same thing. Salvation is not an individual matter. It entails saving, delivering, rescuing an entire civilization. This cannot be just another day at the bargain counter. The salvation of an entire planet requires a total risk of everything — of you, of me, of unyielding people everywhere, for all time. This is what revolutionary suicide is. The cost of revolutionary change is people’s willingness to pay with their own lives. This is what Rachel Corrie knew when she, determined to prevent a Palestinian home in Rafah from being demolished, refused to move and was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. This is what Daniel Ellsberg knew when he made public the Pentagon Papers. It’s what Oscar Schindler knew when he rescued over 1,100 Jews from Nazi concentration camps, what subversive Hutus knew when they risked their lives to rescue Tutsis in the Rwandan genocide. This call may sound extreme at first, but an unflinching look at the structure of our society reveals why nothing less is enough. Before returning to the question of revolutionary suicide and what it might mean in each of our lives, let’s look at what we’re up against. The latest and arguably the most effective in a 5,000-year series of human methodologies for dominating others and the planet, global capitalism binds the majority of the earth’s population in poverty, substitutes consumption for humanity and the love of life, and fosters wanton depletion of the earth’s resources while stuffing the wallets and stock portfolios of a very few people at the top of the system, while at the same time creating and propagating fantasies about upward mobility among the rest of us and distributing paltry but desperately needed benefits that inspire our loyalty to the very system that is brutalizing us. It’s a situation expressed succinctly by Morpheus in The Matrix: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you are inside and look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters — the very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, they will fight to protect it. Global capitalism has enabled the United States to become the largest and most powerful empire ever created. The secret of its success is economic imperialism without national expansion. The American capitalist empire is basically a feudal one. Nations are the vassals of America. They keep their populations in line, tithe resources, and keep their markets open to the United States. The price to the United States of international aid (itself a farce), a large military budget, and occasional conflict is more than offset by not having to actively suppress and manage the population of each country. Further, the United States benefits from the conflict between the poor and elite within each country, regional conflicts that keep countries from focusing solely on the United States, and American nationalism that reduces internal conflict within its home base. Its interwoven tensions make it almost impossible to effectively resist. No policy, program, charity, or reform effort will seriously alleviate the oppression perpetrated by global capitalism. We can ease pain and help individuals, but we will not change the basic distribution of wealth, status, or power unless we address the economic system that frames our lives. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, capitalism abhors the equitable distribution of wealth. As new groups of people gain more skills and degrees, they end up merely exchanging places with the people above them as they rise up the economic ladder. Even if they produce wealth as they do so, the law of concentration dictates that the middle class is then further squeezed, ensuring that the net population of poor people is the same if not greater. Unfortunately, conservatives are correct that the only way of increasing the lot of the poor in the United States within the current system is to produce growth by further exploiting the poor in other countries — exactly the trajectory we are now on. While the rich get richer faster, the poor in America have some chance of sharing the crumbs. Those of us who are concerned with justice on a global scale should clearly understand that an increase in social programs — albeit necessary as “aspirin practices” to remediate day-to-day suffering — will never achieve the goals of social justice, no matter how well funded those programs are. Individuals can change their position, and the quality of life for those at the bottom may be slightly improved, but justice will remain elusive. Only a change in the economic structure will accomplish justice. For those of us concerned with global justice, confronting global capitalism is central. To understand what will be required of us in that confrontation, we must first take an unsentimental look at the “state” of affairs. Capitalism Is Protected by the State Throughout history, the U.S. government has served as an immune system for capitalism, one that not only protects it from outside threats (worker uprisings, for example, or Communism), but from internal ones as well. In fact, one of the government’s primary jobs is to protect capitalism from its own excesses. In order for the proper balance to be established, capitalism must first be defined as an integral aspect of the nation, which has been the case for the United States since its founding. All patriotic fairy tales aside, the United States was founded to serve the economic interests of wealthy European and European-descended landowners. The Revolutionary War was organized and financed because wealthy business and plantation owners were tired of being taxed. We are led to believe that the real issue was “taxation without representation,” but are we to believe that they would have enjoyed taxation with representation? At the core, the organizers and financiers of the American Revolution felt that their nation should help them accrue wealth. The nation should serve the wealthy, not vice versa. The fact that women, slaves, and poor people had no voting rights was not a historical oversight. The entire purpose of the new nation was to protect the property rights of wealthy, white men. However, because the United States was a struggling, fledgling nation, national identification was not with the ruling or owning class, but with the worker turned entrepreneur. This is vital: the United States tapped into the true passion of the worker by developing and glorifying the concept of the entrepreneur. Even Marx waxed rhapsodic regarding the heroic nature of the individual struggling to cast off the determination of feudal classes through the gathering of wealth. The United States has understood for centuries that this identification is crucial to its success. This “identity” as an entrepreneurial nation has remained intact through substantial internal transformation and the repositioning of America in the global power struggle. It is, perhaps, the magic ingredient that has allowed capitalism to survive the weaknesses Marx saw at its core. The lure of becoming an entrepreneur, and the endless anecdotal evidence that suggests that anyone (at least in America) can rise from “rags to riches,” have provided the primary safeguard against capitalism’s destruction through worker rebellion. It is true that some European and East Asian immigrant men (and hence their families) were generally able to increase their economic standing over three generations. However, this success was economically possible because of the oppression of women, blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, and others. It was also funded by the exploitation of people in other countries whose stolen labor and resources were used to offset the rising cost of labor in the United States. However, there are times, especially when there is an economic downturn, that the fable of opportunity becomes less comforting. At these times more people begin to notice the extreme concentration of wealth and “the disappearance of the middle class.” It is important to note that the disparities have always been present, even though the extreme wealth of the United States still allows many Americans to purchase considerable comfort. The fact is that this country has the largest percentage of poverty of any industrialized, Western nation. When a critical percentage of the bottom 90 percent begins to become truly discontented, an interesting transition occurs. The government, which during times of growth is seen as a bureaucratic parasite inhibiting the potential and freedom of the individual, now becomes the protector. The government must send a message that the economic system is just fine (early 2008), but that evildoers have been at work. Sometimes Americans are told that the problems result from certain politicians and businesses that have been taking advantage of the freedom offered by capitalism. Other times we’re told that the problem lies with those who have sought to lead the nation away from capitalism. Then the government promotes itself as a “safety net” for those who have “fallen through the cracks” of the system. Programs are established to help the unfortunate. Of course, this is not about bad luck or fortune. The poor are both a required element and a natural byproduct of capitalism. The programs do not have the power or resources required to truly lift people out of poverty and only cause the system to seem benign and resentment to be directed at those who are exploited. All of this goes to show that the United States has effectively established capitalism as essential to the nation’s identity. The United States has repeatedly proved its willingness to protect capitalism above all other things. In exchange for this defense from internal and external enemies, capitalism supposedly tolerates the “restrictions” that government puts in place to guard capitalism from itself — to guard capitalism against monopolies, extreme economic cycles, and exploitation. The Complicity of Civic Institutions We have seen how government and law have been made to serve the perpetuation of global capitalism, and we have also noted how the state — the organizations of the military, the police, and the criminal justice system — will discipline our bodies through force and coercion if we challenge capitalism too directly. But equally powerful are the fortresses of civil society that sit next to the state: all of the religious, legal, educational, and cultural institutions that discipline our minds and emotions and mediate supremacist hegemonies through socialization and consent. One of the most dangerous and intractable challenges posed by a hegemonic society is that hegemony is mediated and reinforced through the material practices of everyday life. Often people are not consciously aware that their consent is being manufactured and that they are being socialized to accept, legitimate, indeed, prop up their own oppression. This is the process of institutionalizing “common sense” so that people take the status quo for granted and assume that it is vital to the maintenance of economic and political “stability.” Take, for example, religion, one of the powerful fortresses of civil society. There is an equivocal nature to religion: it can either mediate hegemony as an opiate or counter hegemony as a revolutionary force. Throughout history we see religion serving imperial hegemony (church support for California’s Proposition 8) and working against it (the Civil Rights Movement). Sadly, the contemporary American church — part of the religious industrial complex and a vassal of the American empire — overwhelmingly serves the interests of the state, which in turn serves the wealthy. My criticism of “the church” does not mean to imply that there are no revolutionary acts of resistance by individual churches, church members, or church leaders. In fact, I am writing as a Christian pastor. Christianity is my home, and because I love the best that this tradition has to offer, I feel compelled to plumb the ruins, identifying and rooting out the distortions that impede the life-giving potential of the gospel. It is important to interrogate the American church as a whole as one of the ideological state apparatuses. The Co-opted American Church In reality, the American church, since its inception, has been feeding on the toxic waste of the American nation-state. Walter Brueggemann, in Mandate to Difference, describes our society as consumerist (“more” equals “safer and happier”), therapeutic (the goal is to live a pain-free, stress-free, undisturbed life of convenience), militaristic (we must protect our entitled advantage and unsustainable lifestyle with force), and technological (visionary alternatives are screened out and eliminated as impractical in favor of small technocratic fixes to the existing systems). The American church, by and large, offers no substantive critique of these assumptions. Inured to the reality of global corporate empire-building and its parasitical processes, it simply has no reason to revolt. Instead, the church, like the consumer-capitalist culture shot all through it, is fixated on “good marketing strategies” and “unlimited growth.” As such, the church cannot foster the Gospel of revolutionary, death-defying self-annihilation in the service of love but can only propagate a glut of Christian material (whether books, plays, movies, or sermons) by entrepreneurial preachers and entertainers, the net effect of which is to keep people at a safe remove from the radically transformative experience of the Gospel. “Christian material” is designed not to trouble and agitate but to reassure. Consequently, our “religion” cannot possibly fulfill its original function of disturbing the peace. The American church cannot bear the truth that, having been utterly co-opted by the economic empire, we now spend much of our time lost in fanciful forms of piety. Week after week, we sit unconscious, consuming sermons that, like dentists’ needles, anesthetize us, lulling us into a pain-suppressing sleep before they defang us, rendering us docile and innocuous. Without teeth, the church, infantilized, is ever ready for its pacifier. Pacifiers come in all shapes and sizes — they don’t ever touch the root of our anguished hunger, but they do at least plug our holes. As it turns out, for generations, the people selling the church and the people consuming it have really been in the same boat. We continue to embrace things that we do not really respect, believe, or love in order to continue buying things that we do not really want or need. If we were dealing only with expensive houses, cars, and clothing, the situation would not be so grave. The trouble is that serious things are bought — war and repression as “peace,” self-interest as “generosity,” greed as “opportunity,” brutality as “national interest,” and exploitation as “the free market” — with the same essential lack of consciousness. The entire culture is consumed in lies, and the Christian church, having fully absorbed this culture, serves to prop up this whole Barnum & Bailey charade. The church has not defected from this systematic men-dacity but has instead helped to foster it. The other institutions of civil society — education, media, law, etc. — serve in similar ways to support the existing exploitative system and manufacture our consent to our own exploitation and oppression. White Supremacy and the Limitations of Identity Politics Also mediated through the institutions of civil society is a deeply embedded assumption of the superiority of white people to people of color, an assumption that both shapes and is continually reinforced by our institutions. White supremacy is the handmaiden of capitalism, serving to fuel, justify, and strengthen it at every turn. It is not by any means a coincidence that the poorest places, both in this country and around the world, are populated primarily by people of color. Some of the most radical criticisms of global capitalism and its hegemonic hold on an increasing proportion of the world’s population have arisen from those most impacted by its effects—indigenous peoples, New World Africans, and queer people of color, many of whom have no illusions that the glittering promises of capitalism will ever deliver for them. So long as these criticisms remain on the margins and do not gain popular credence beyond communities of people who lack the wealth and power to translate them into action, capitalism does not need to worry about them. When these groups begin to organize around the criticisms, however, those criticisms must be domesticated. They must be labeled “special interests” or “identity politics” and must then be subjected to the pressure to find technocratic, “practical” solutions to problems far too deeply embedded in daily life under white supremacist capitalism to be solvable in that way. Campaigns thus come to focus on concrete “rights and privileges,” an attempt to gain something, to acquire something — some consolation prize — from the existing system. Under capitalism, identity politics becomes an effort to move from the margin to the center and so cannot have the goal of dismantling the locations of margin and center. The aim of identity politics is mostly to gain from the dominant culture some sort of recognition of oppressed peoples’ humanity and rights. Identity politics thus appears to accept the dominant culture as the standard, and it wants in. In order to understand why identity politics cannot maintain a radical position vis-à-vis capitalism, we must reckon with the ways in which identity groups have been created by and for the establishment and perpetuation of privileges for a group that is declared to be normative — in our context, wealthy European-descended men. Black identity emerged from the defensive posture that was forced on New World Africans by the hegemonic structure of white supremacy in the American context. (Note: I focus here on the creation of black identity, since I am a black woman, but similar dynamics have played out in the formation of other oppressed and demeaned identity groups.) Thus, black identity is primarily constituted through and organized around the construction of “race” or “blackness” in relation to “whiteness.” It has always been positioned within the socio-discursive field of the dominant culture, which determines, at least in part, both black people’s identity and the ways in which white people maximize the hegemonic mechanisms of white supremacy to support and defend the overall production and maintenance of the status quo. The racialization of human populations (by white men) permits the annihilation of chosen group identities; the degradation of human beings on the basis of arbitrarily identified traits such as skin color, hair texture, and the size and shape of certain features; and the consequent weakening of potential resistance among groups that might otherwise be aligned in opposition to the dominant group. For example, Africans were kidnapped to America with a rich array of cultural difference. Africans had no concept of blackness; there was simply no such thing. Whiteness sought to actively destroy the native cultures of enslaved people, seeing these cultures as a potential power source for discord and resistance. It sought to replace these ethnicities with a uniform “black” slave culture that was based on dependence. Thus the first construction of whiteness was a blackness that was tied to the degradation of African cultures and bodies. When we speak about the limitations of identity politics, therefore, it is important to understand that black identity was framed within the socio-discursive field of white domination; black identity was constructed in the first instance under severely restrictive and repressive conditions. How White Supremacy Rationalizes Economic Exploitation Because blackness was manufactured in the service of white supremacy — the creation and maintenance of power, wealth, and privilege for white people — it is frustrating when white men dismiss identity politics without first interrogating the most successful and destructive identity politics ever practiced (white male supremacy) from which they continue to benefit whether they care to or not, and whether or not they care to admit it. White supremacy has been and continues to be essential to justifying economic exploitation, providing a rationalization for the seizure of both land (e.g., the colonization of the United States and removal of native peoples) and labor (e.g., slavery). To talk about resisting the hegemonic structural injustice produced by capitalism without talking about our differing relationships to capitalism — in essence decontextualizing and depoliticizing the creation, maintenance, and intractability of capitalism — is to ignore the fact that capitalism, from start to finish, serves the interest of wealthy white men and their beneficiaries (families). Although a few “exceptional” individuals of color may manage to gain some limited access to the spoils of capitalism (conditional upon their willingness to remain silent about white supremacy and to accept the tenets of global capitalism), no one has a greater interest in preserving capitalism inviolate than wealthy white men, many of whom represent the American government and work with other wealthy white men in corporations to ensure that capitalism rules. Thus, we cannot talk about identity politics without talking about the identities of wealthy white men whose identity politics has throughout history consisted in “class warfare.” We must talk about whiteness as the vehicle of capitalism, and yet everything in the culture seeks to keep whiteness invisible, shrouded in a veil of secrecy so that the spoils of white supremacy can continue to be enjoyed by white people, and mostly by wealthy white men. The racialization of human populations (by white men with recourse to the “science” of race put forth in 1684 by Francois Bernier as a means of classifying human bodies) is the power play that permits the dehumanization of social groups, the annihilation of group identity, and the consequent depoliticization of group oppression. Group identity becomes “political” in a visible way (as opposed to the invisible politics of white supremacy) when the social space that culture creates is violated. The pervasive, persistent, intractable racism that black people suffer in America solidifies a primary group identity based in a shared sense of collective assault. Black people’s bodies, wherever they go, are constantly signifying; white supremacy begins with the degradation of the African body, which is marked out as different and disgusting and thus subject to economic and political oppression as well as violence and every form of molestation, whereas white bodies are the unmarked marker, the stand-in for normalcy and rightness. In this cauldron of suffering is black identity politics born. It gains its power by connecting oppressed groups to a tradition of struggle, faith, and hope in resisting just this structure of totalizing oppression. White Male Identity Politics It is not just inadequate but offensive, given the success of white male identity politics in amassing wealth, power, and status for wealthy white men, to say that identity politics doesn’t matter or isn’t effective: white identity politics has been the most effective means in history of ruling the world and has done so by attempting to sever people of color from their histories of struggle, faith, and hope. It is not true that all we need to do is turn away from identity politics and prioritize the struggle against capitalism, nor is it true that if we address the economic system, racism will no longer be a problem — both sentiments heard more frequently since the 2008 economic crash, when many ordinary white men and women who had invested (materially and/or psychologically) in capitalism found that it didn’t work out. Their disillusionment is real and important — they have been duped — but the con artist is not just capitalism but also its secret, invisible conjoined twin, whiteness. Together, these two literally rule the world. Although there is almost no support for those who wish to acknowledge it, white people, too, have been destroyed by “whiteness” — the unmarked marker — which has enabled vastly diverse European and European-descended people to trade their cultures (the social space that creates positive group identity based on uniqueness from other groups) for power and privilege. Much of the discontent among white people over the last five years comes from the ways in which whiteness has only delivered its promised wealth and power to the elite. The majority of white people find themselves without much access and also, now, without the enlivening cultures that might have sustained them in its absence. Many of them then blame their suffering not on the faulty notion of whiteness — a fiction invented to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few wealthy landowners — but on a broken economic system, or worse, on “racial minorities” who have managed to eke out some tiny fraction of the American pie through “identity politics” or “special interests.” When so maligned, people of color rightly point out that it is white group identity that makes white people as a group believe they are entitled to more than they are getting. “White people,” they might say, “step into a world that they already own by virtue of the ways their bodies (do not) signify, and your primary complaint, white man, is that some white people have a greater portion of the world than you do.” And then these groups, for pointing out the unspeakable truth of white supremacy, are accused of practicing “identity politics.” It is misguided in the extreme. We Are Not Individually Salvageable White supremacy in all its forms, including the Left’s tendency to want to dismiss identity politics in favor of the work of dismantling capitalism, works against any ability to build principled coalitions to alleviate suffering, much less to confront global capitalism. It is true that identity politics as it is currently practiced under capitalism cannot help us dismantle capitalism. Not only has it too bought into achieving benefits from the existing system, but it also assumes that separate identity groups can achieve liberation from oppression in silos. Salvation does not consist merely in saving more than 40 million Americans who are black, more than 8 million Americans who are self-avowedly gay or lesbian, groups of children, those who are differently abled, immigrants, and those who are illiterate or poor. It consists in saving an entire civilization. Particularly in America, we love this language of oppressor and oppressed. Yet, what Americans through history have failed to grasp is that although constructs of race, class, gender, the body, and sexuality have been oppressive to people of color, the impoverished, women, and queer folks, when any group participates in the dehumanization of “others,” that group destroys its own humanity. I have grown tired of people saying, “What can we do for you — you poor, you blacks, you women, you gays and lesbians?” There is nothing you can do for me. There is nothing you can do for us; it must be done for you! It must be done for the salvation of an entire civilization, of an entire planet. And that — saving an entire planet — is going to require all of us, working together and risking everything — you, me, everything that we have worked for — and continuing to do that forever. Transforming our Relation to Domination Capitalism is ubiquitous and hegemonic: it uses the middle class and the poor to bolster its capacity to accumulate and generate wealth through parasitic growth processes, co-optation, and manipulation. For this reason, I believe that no frontal assault can effectively dismantle the capitalist system. Therefore, it is futile to mount a resistance to 5,000 years of organizing human societies on models of domination by means of identity politics (equal rights for people of color, equal rights for women, equal rights for working people, equal rights for gays and lesbians, and justice for this one and that one). The problem is that no number of “rights” takes us outside the imperial framework. We can call formal equality progress if we want to, but substantive equality is more difficult when we are still in the same structure of domination that by its very nature demands that people be pitted against each other for survival on one side and for power on the other. And ultimately we create and recreate a self-fulfilling prophecy of ever more devastating individualism, greed, and violence. As such, it is necessary to speak of identities of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and nationality; we must understand that we are not starting from a level playing field. We do not all have the same relationship to capitalism. And we cannot begin to understand, much less undermine, the workings of global capitalism without also recognizing its often-overlooked conjoined twin, kyriarchy (the set of interconnected social systems built around domination), which is replicated continually in our organizing efforts and which can only ever undermine them. We Americans of goodwill are very cruelly trapped between what we say we would like to be (free, loving, generous, and peaceful), and what we refuse to say we actually are (parasites, dominators, supremacists, consumers of more than our share of every kind of resource). And we cannot possibly become what we would like to be until we are willing to articulate who and where we are. However, it is not sufficient to articulate our identities through the categories of race, class, and gender. We must also discuss the extent to which we identify with the forces of domination and participate in relations that maintain their power. Interculturalism I call this radical process interculturalism, a relational practice that, in my experience, leads to principled coalitions across various power-laden lines. Interculturalism means that we move beyond multiculturalism. Multiculturalism as it is generally implemented both accepts whiteness as the standard and affirms whiteness by mimicking inclusion, while truly forcing sameness. Within most forms of multi-culturalism, only bite-sized elements of culture are presented. They are ripped from their political, philosophical, and historical contexts to be easily consumed. This inability to root culture in real circumstances or to discuss injustice in a meaningful way reinforces the lie that “everything is just fine.” It makes white people feel that the dismembered parts of the cultures that they are allowed to consume — these culture McNuggets — are complete, wholesome, and normal. In effect, multiculturalism merely places cultures side by side without seriously interrogating the obstacles (power and dominance) that prevent authentic community. Interculturalism demands that we interrogate cultures of power and privilege that work against our common life, while simultaneously working to overcome internalized forms of oppression. In other words, interculturalism requires that people on the upper sides and undersides of history interrogate our own cultural identities and lay down whatever cultural forms inhibit our full aliveness. Through deep, full-on, honest engagement with each other across traditional divides, we seek transformation into something new. We engage a gestational process that involves being born again and growing up again in a way that sheds the ignorance, defensiveness, self-congratulation, elitism, and paternalism that are evidenced in so much “social justice” and “diversity” work. At a group level, this means that we have to transition from civil rights agitation per se through identity politics (campaigns for marriage equality, racial justice, equal rights for women, recognition of people with disabilities) to a revolutionary cause demanding nothing less than a comprehensive restructuring of American life — everything from its institutions and laws to its basic economic system. We have to be a threat to the establishment by producing a generation of intrepid revolutionaries relentlessly committed to modeling a way of life that begins to pull capitalism apart, brings about revolutionary change, and makes revolution go viral. Impractical Solutions I want to make clear from the outset that I do not have a practical solution to the horrors of global capitalism because there is no such solution. Practical solutions would seek to avoid posing a threat to the current system, to preserve our lives, as we know them, and to ensure our temporal success. So, my reflections and suggestions are not practical. On the other hand, a prophetic, radical, indeed feral life of resistance that leads to liberation presupposes both sacrifice and suffering. Neither stability nor success, as they are defined in the society, can be part of our criteria for a revolutionary “religious” or ethical life. We are in a nosedive toward death, and to interrupt the death throes, we must of necessity buy out of the collective death systems of our culture. We cannot even contemplate real resistance without a commitment to extricating ourselves from these death systems, because these systems, by definition, are killing us physically and mentally and decimating the planet. Even if we continue to exist, our revolutionary inclinations are dissipated and our commitments thwarted, and we become catatonic zombie consumers joining in lockstep obedience to the existing death march. Although many Americans criticize capitalist systems and bemoan their negative effects, we do not often focus on the degree to which our own lives as we have known them rely upon these systems. To the degree that we want to maintain our lives intact, we are going to balk at any course of action that truly threatens the status quo, because a confrontation with a system so entrenched is going to cost us our lives, either our physical lives or our reputation as “being someone” in the world. This means that any revolt against capitalism will need to be inextricably linked to a unifying (not unanimous) set of spiritual beliefs and practices that give us the resilience to withstand the death-dealing assault of the imperial powers and all their sustaining institutions and ideologies. Revolutionary Suicide I call this set of spiritual beliefs and practices “revolutionary suicide.” This is resistance with meaning: creation and action emerging out of the struggle for life. It is not the supplication of protest, the futile hope for a better day, the search for love and self in the faces of children, the self-indulgent staking out of a political position, or the reckless descent into disorder. It is self-determination with integrity. It is the assertion of life without apology. It is the creation that is disturbing by its nature. It is the willingness to defend what we love — life itself — with our lives. Mikhail Bakunin, in his Revolutionary Catechism, reminds us that “the first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that [she] is a doomed [woman].” Until a revolutionary understands this, she does not grasp the essential meaning of her life. Once a revolutionary has reckoned with the fact that she is a dead person, she can get on with the business of asking who she is going to be now and how she will live out her new life. In effect, this recognition, acceptance, and engagement of death enables us collectively to move away from personal suicide — the taking of our own lives in reaction to social, political, and economic conditions that leech the meaning from life, devastate relationships, and lead us to despair. We move away from apathy, fear, despair, and inertia, and we move away from their resultant practices of addiction, consumption, violence, greed, and self-murder to revolutionary suicide. When we have truly reckoned with the cost of being fully alive — deciding to love life no matter what — and we are willing to pay that cost, then and only then can we, intrepid and relentless, refuse to be props for the systems of exploitation, refuse to live extravagantly on the backs of poor people everywhere, refuse to be employed by death-dealing institutions, refuse to be “good insurance risks,” refuse to be saddled with credit worthiness that enables us to accumulate debt that fuels an economic death system, and refuse to pay war taxes. Then we will refuse a living death, even if this means being killed by the forces we are opposing because we deem it better to oppose deathly forces than to endure them. And then, even if we must die, in Alice Walker’s words, we will be “qualified to live among [our] dead.”
Pinkard 13. 2013, Lynice Pinkard, “Revolutionary Suicide: Risking Everything to Transform Society and Live Fully”, Tikkun 2013 Volume 28, Number 4: 31-41, http://tikkun.dukejournals.org/content/28/4/31.full
To what extent does any one of us identify with the forces of domination and participate in relations that reinforce that domination and the exploitation that goes with it do we identify by putting our lives on the line with efforts to reverse patterns of domination, empower people on the margins (even when we are not on the margins ourselves), and seek healthy, sustainable relations When we consider our identities in relation to domination we realize the manifold ways in which we have structured our lives and desires in support of the very economic and social system that is dominating us To shake free of this cycle we need to embrace a radical break from business as usual. We need to commit revolutionary suicide. By this I mean not the killing of our bodies but the destruction of our attachments to security, status, wealth, and power. These attachments prevent us from becoming spiritually and politically alive. They prevent us from changing the violent structure of the society in which we live. Revolutionary suicide means living out our commitments, even when that means risking death “Those who seek to save their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives for the sake of [the planet] will save them Salvation is not an individual matter. It entails saving, delivering, rescuing an entire civilization The salvation of an entire planet requires a total risk of everything of you, of me, of unyielding people everywhere, for all time The cost of revolutionary change is people’s willingness to pay with their own lives This is what Rachel Corrie knew when she, determined to prevent a Palestinian home in Rafah from being demolished, refused to move and was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. This is what Daniel Ellsberg knew when he made public the Pentagon Papers. It’s what Oscar Schindler knew when he rescued over 1,100 Jews from Nazi concentration camps, what subversive Hutus knew when they risked their lives to rescue Tutsis in the Rwandan genocide This call may sound extreme at first, but an unflinching look at the structure of our society reveals why nothing less is enough global capitalism binds the majority of the earth’s population in poverty, substitutes consumption for humanity and fosters wanton depletion of the earth’s resources while stuffing the wallets and stock portfolios of a very few people at the top of the system while at the same time creating and propagating fantasies about upward mobility among the rest of us capitalism has enabled the United States to become the largest and most powerful empire ever created. The secret of its success is economic imperialism without national expansion Nations are the vassals of America. They keep their populations in line, tithe resources, and keep their markets open to the United States The price to the United States of international aid a large military budget, and occasional conflict is more than offset by not having to actively suppress and manage the population of each country. we will not change the basic distribution of wealth, status, or power unless we address the economic system that frames our lives. Only a change in the economic structure will accomplish justice equally powerful are the fortresses of civil society that sit next to the state One of the most dangerous and intractable challenges posed by a hegemonic society is that hegemony is mediated and reinforced through the material practices of everyday life Often people are not consciously aware that their consent is being manufactured and that they are being socialized to accept, legitimate, indeed, prop up their own oppression the process of institutionalizing “common sense” so that people take the status quo for granted and assume that it is vital to the maintenance of economic and political “stability.” Brueggemann describes our society as consumerist (“more” equals “safer and happier”), therapeutic (the goal is to live a pain-free, stress-free, undisturbed life of convenience), militaristic (we must protect our entitled advantage and unsustainable lifestyle with force), and technological (visionary alternatives are screened out and eliminated as impractical in favor of small technocratic fixes to the existing systems). the consumer-capitalist culture is fixated on “good marketing strategies” and “unlimited growth.” As such, cannot foster revolutionary, death-defying self-annihilation in the service of love We continue to embrace things that we do not really respect, believe, or love in order to continue buying things that we do not really want or need. If we were dealing only with expensive houses, cars, and clothing, the situation would not be so grave. The trouble is that serious things are bought — war and repression as “peace,” self-interest as “generosity,” greed as “opportunity,” brutality as “national interest,” and exploitation as “the free market” — with the same essential lack of consciousness White supremacy is the handmaiden of capitalism, serving to fuel, justify, and strengthen it at every turn. It is not by any means a coincidence that the poorest places, both in this country and around the world, are populated primarily by people of color. Practical solutions would seek to avoid posing a threat to the current system, to preserve our lives, as we know them, and to ensure our temporal success. my reflections and suggestions are not practical a prophetic, radical, indeed feral life of resistance that leads to liberation presupposes both sacrifice and suffering. Neither stability nor success, as they are defined in the society, can be part of our criteria for a revolutionary or ethical life. We are in a nosedive toward death, and to interrupt the death throes, we must of necessity buy out of the collective death systems of our culture. We cannot even contemplate real resistance without a commitment to extricating ourselves from these death systems, because these systems are killing us physically and mentally and decimating the planet. Even if we continue to exist, our revolutionary inclinations are dissipated and our commitments thwarted, and we become catatonic zombie consumers joining in lockstep obedience to the existing death march Although many Americans criticize capitalist systems and bemoan their negative effects, we do not often focus on the degree to which our own lives as we have known them rely upon these systems. To the degree that we want to maintain our lives intact, we are going to balk at any course of action that truly threatens the status quo, because a confrontation with a system so entrenched is going to cost us our lives any revolt against capitalism will need to be inextricably linked to a unifying set of beliefs and practices that give us the resilience to withstand the death-dealing assault of the imperial powers and all their sustaining institutions and ideologies. I call this set of spiritual beliefs and practices “revolutionary suicide.” This is resistance with meaning: creation and action emerging out of the struggle for life. It is not the supplication of protest, the futile hope for a better day, the search for love and self in the faces of children, the self-indulgent staking out of a political position, or the reckless descent into disorder It is self-determination with integrity. It is the assertion of life without apology. It is the creation that is disturbing by its nature It is the willingness to defend what we love — life itself — with our lives. the first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that [she] i doomed a revolutionary understands this, she does not grasp the essential meaning of her life Once a revolutionary has reckoned with the fact that she is a dead person, she can get on with the business of asking who she is going to be now and how she will live out her new life. this recognition, acceptance, and engagement of death enables us collectively to move away from personal suicide the taking of our own lives in reaction to social, political, and economic conditions that leech the meaning from life, devastate relationships, and lead us to despair. We move away from apathy, fear, despair, and inertia, and we move away from their resultant practices of addiction, consumption, violence, greed, and self-murder to revolutionary suicide When we have truly reckoned with the cost of being fully alive and we are willing to pay that cost, then and only then can we, intrepid and relentless, refuse to be props for the systems of exploitation, refuse to live extravagantly on the backs of poor people everywhere, refuse to be employed by death-dealing institutions, refuse to be “good insurance risks,” refuse to be saddled with credit worthiness that enables us to accumulate debt that fuels an economic death system, and refuse to pay war taxes. Then we will refuse a living death, even if this means being killed by the forces we are opposing because we deem it better to oppose deathly forces than to endure them. even if we must die, in Alice Walker’s words, we will be “qualified to live among [our] dead
Only being willing to risk total extinction for an ethic of revolutionary suicide can create a life that’s worth living, prevent the inevitable destruction of our society, and mobilize us as subjects towards revolutionary change. Because the violence of consumer society is structured around distancing ourselves from sacrifice you should factor in your own subject position when assessing impacts and overcompensate in favor of preventing violence against the third world.
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According to Franz Hinkelammert, the West has repeatedly been under the illusion that it should try to save humanity by destroying part of it. This is a salvific and sacrificial destruction, committed in the name of the need to radically materialize all the possibilities opened up by a given social and political reality over which it is supposed to have total power. This is how it was in colonialism, with the genocide of indigenous peoples, and the African slaves. This is how it was in the period of imperialist struggles, which caused millions of deaths in two world wars and many other colonial wars. This is how it was in Stalinism, with the Gulag and in Nazism, with the holocaust. And now today, this is how it is in neoliberalism, with the collective sacrifice of the periphery and even the semiperiphery of the world system. With the war against Iraq, it is fitting to ask whether what is in progress is a new genocidal and sacrificial illusion, and what its scope might be. It is above all appropriate to ask if the new illusion will not herald the radicalization and the ultimate perversion of the western illusion: destroying all of humanity in the illusion of saving it. Sacrificial genocide arises from a totalitarian illusion that is manifested in the belief that there are no alternatives to the present-day reality and that the problems and difficulties confronting it arise from failing to take its logic of development to its ultimate consequences. If there is unemployment, hunger and death in the Third World, this is not the result of market failures; instead, it is the outcome of the market laws not having been fully applied. If there is terrorism, this is not due to the violence of the conditions that generate it; it is due, rather, to the fact that total violence has not been employed to physically eradicate all terrorists and potential terrorists. This political logic is based on the supposition of total power and knowledge, and on the radical rejection of alternatives; it is ultra-conservative in that it aims to infinitely reproduce the status quo. Inherent to it is the notion of the end of history. During the last hundred years, the West has experienced three versions of this logic, and, therefore, seen three versions of the end of history: Stalinism, with its logic of insuperable efficiency of the plan; Nazism, with its logic of racial superiority; and neoliberalism, with its logic of insuperable efficiency of the market. The first two periods involved the destruction of democracy. The last one trivializes democracy, disarming it in the face of social actors sufficiently powerful to be able to privatize the State and international institutions in their favour. I have described this situation as a combination of political democracy and social fascism. One current manifestation of this combination resides in the fact that intensely strong public opinion, worldwide, against the war is found to be incapable of halting the war machine set in motion by supposedly democratic rulers. At all these moments, a death drive, a catastrophic heroism, predominates, the idea of a looming collective suicide, only preventable by the massive destruction of the other. Paradoxically, the broader the definition of the other and the efficacy of its destruction, the more likely collective suicide becomes. In its sacrificial genocide version, neoliberalism is a mixture of market radicalization, neoconservatism and Christian fundamentalism. Its death drive takes a number of forms, from the idea of "discardable populations", referring to citizens of the Third World not capable of being exploited as workers and consumers, to the concept of "collateral damage", to refer to the deaths, as a result of war, of thousands of innocent civilians. The last, catastrophic heroism, is quite clear on two facts: according to reliable calculations by the Non-Governmental Organization MEDACT, in London, between 48 and 260 thousand civilians will die during the war and in the three months after (this is without there being civil war or a nuclear attack); the war will cost 100 billion dollars, enough to pay the health costs of the world's poorest countries for four years. Is it possible to fight this death drive? We must bear in mind that, historically, sacrificial destruction has always been linked to the economic pillage of natural resources and the labor force, to the imperial design of radically changing the terms of economic, social, political and cultural exchanges in the face of falling efficiency rates postulated by the maximalist logic of the totalitarian illusion in operation. It is as though hegemonic powers, both when they are on the rise and when they are in decline, repeatedly go through times of primitive accumulation, legitimizing the most shameful violence in the name of futures where, by definition, there is no room for what must be destroyed. In today's version, the period of primitive accumulation consists of combining neoliberal economic globalization with the globalization of war. The machine of democracy and liberty turns into a machine of horror and destruction.
Santos 3. 2003, Boaventura de Souza Santos is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Coimbra, “Collective Suicide?”, Bad Subjects, Issue # 63 ,http://www.ces.fe.uc.pt/opiniao/bss/072en.php
According to Hinkelammert the West has been under the illusion that it should try to save humanity by destroying part of it. This is a salvific and sacrificial destruction, committed in the name of the need to radically materialize all the possibilities opened up by a given social and political reality over which it is supposed to have total power. This is how it was in colonialism, with the genocide of indigenous peoples, and the African slaves. This is how it was in the period of imperialist struggles, which caused millions of deaths in two world wars and many other colonial wars. This is how it was in Stalinism, with the Gulag and in Nazism, with the holocaust this is how it is in neoliberalism, with the collective sacrifice of the periphery and even the semiperiphery of the world system. It is above all appropriate to ask if the new illusion will not herald the radicalization and the ultimate perversion of the western illusion destroying all of humanity in the illusion of saving it. Sacrificial genocide arises from a totalitarian illusion that is manifested in the belief that there are no alternatives to the present-day reality and that the problems and difficulties confronting it arise from failing to take its logic of development to its ultimate consequences. If there is unemployment, hunger and death in the Third World, this is not the result of market failures it is the outcome of the market laws not having been fully applied. If there is terrorism this is not due to the violence of the conditions that generate it; it is due, rather, to the fact that total violence has not been employed to physically eradicate all terrorists and potential terrorists. This political logic is based on the supposition of total power and knowledge and on the radical rejection of alternatives it is ultra-conservative in that it aims to infinitely reproduce the status quo. the West has experienced three versions of this logic Stalinism Nazism and neoliberalism At all these moments a death drive, a catastrophic heroism predominates, the idea of a looming collective suicide, only preventable by the massive destruction of the other. the broader the definition of the other and the efficacy of its destruction, the more likely collective suicide becomes. In its sacrificial genocide version, neoliberalism is a mixture of market radicalization, neoconservatism and Christian fundamentalism. Its death drive takes a number of forms, from the idea of "discardable populations" referring to citizens of the Third World not capable of being exploited as workers and consumers, to the concept of "collateral damage", to refer to the deaths, as a result of war, of thousands of innocent civilians Is it possible to fight this death drive? sacrificial destruction has always been linked to the economic pillage of natural resources and the labor force, to the imperial design of radically changing the terms of economic, social, political and cultural exchanges in the face of falling efficiency rates postulated by the maximalist logic of the totalitarian illusion in operation. is as though hegemonic powers both when they are on the rise and when they are in decline, repeatedly go through times of primitive accumulation, legitimizing the most shameful violence in the name of futures where there is no room for what must be destroyed period of primitive accumulation consists of combining neoliberal economic globalization with the globalization of war. The machine of democracy and liberty turns into a machine of horror and destruction.
Your ballot should refuse to validate a moralizing politics of sacrifice that makes the extinction of all life inevitable.
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Mexico Honduras - Wake 2019.html5
The original U.S. discourse on Mexico dates back to the 1800s, when Mexicans were depicted as an “uncivilized species—dirty, unkempt, immoral, diseased, lazy, unambitious and despised for being peons” (Gonzalez, 2004: 8). This discourse set the stage for the creation of what Gonzalez calls a “culture of empire,” in which the United States made a concerted effort to dominate Mexico economically and subordinate it to U.S. corporate interests (2004: 6). This narrative depicted the country as a huge social problem and its people as inferior to Americans, and it continues to dominate U.S. understandings of Mexico. Sometimes this is done with the help of Mexican politicians themselves, as in President Felipe Calderón’s extension of the hegemonic discourse of the “war on drugs.” The problem with this contemporary representation is that it oversimplifies the country’s complex political dynamics and obscures what is really going on. Mexico is suffering much more from extreme economic inequality, caused in large part by U.S. economic imperialism and capital extraction (the North American Free Trade Agreement, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank), than from drug-related violence. The great migration that has occurred since 1994 has been the result of a decimated economy. While some people may leave Mexico out of fear of violence, the vast majority of the millions of emigrants have left because of the necessity to feed their families. The discourse about drug-related violence detracts from the recognition of this fact. Media coverage of drug-related violence and other negative reporting about Mexico have steadily increased over the past 10–15 years and skyrocketed in the recent past. The Los Angeles Times, for example, has dedicated a web site to the series “Mexico Under Siege: The Drug War at Our Doorstep.” It has reported, among other things, that President Calderón deployed 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police to 18 states (Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2010) and that there were 10,031 deaths from drug-related violence between January 1, 2007, and June 5, 2009 (Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2012). (One may question the reliability of these figures, given that on February 3, 2010, the paper had reported 9,903 such deaths since January 2007 and that on August 18 of that year it had reported a total of 28,228.) As far back as 1997, M. Delal Baer (1997: 138), the director of the Mexico Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, suggested that “skewed coverage is just another example of how the U.S. media, average Americans, and their representatives in Congress increasingly subscribe to a tabloid view of Mexico.” He asserted that “drug and corruption stories have increased every year in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, leaping from 338 in 1991, to 515 in 1996, and 538 during the first eight months of 1997 alone” (138). This was 16 years ago; one can only imagine what the numbers are today as the drug problem in Mexico is depicted more and more as a U.S. national security problem. The U.S. State Department sent out travel warnings in 2009, 2010, and 2011 to all U.S. universities regarding spring-break travel to Mexico, cautioning them about the increase in crime and spreading fear about Mexico (Gomez, 2010). The same was done with the outbreak of H1N1, originally referred to as the “swine flu.” Within days of the outbreak Mexico was under pressure from the world community and especially the United States to close down schools and heavily populated areas in order to avert the spread of the flu. The association of a disease named after swine with Mexico reinforced the “dirty,” “unkempt,” and “uncivilized” representations that Gonzalez discusses. Lost on the majority of the U.S. media and, consequently, on average Americans, however, was the fact that the outbreak originated in a town where the Smithfield Corporation, an American company with massive hog-raising operations known to improperly handle its waste, had a factory farm (Morales, 2009). The CDCP (2010) reported that only around 11,000 people died of the H1N1 virus between April through December of 2009, in comparison with the average of 36,000 people dying in the United States each year of the “regular” seasonal flu. If the H1N1 flu was such an epidemic, why was no one reporting on the deaths from the regular seasonal flu in the United States, which were clearly more numerous? A large portion of the U.S. Department of State web page on Mexico is dedicated to warning Americans about such crime, safety, security, and health issues (U.S. Department of State, 2011). It currently advises citizens to delay unnecessary travel to Mexico because of the drug war. One may expect this type of warning from an agency concerned with its citizens’ welfare, but it is disturbing when the negative narrative becomes “common knowledge” and is included in government military strategic reports. In 2008 the U.S. Department of Defense published a report entitled The Joint Operation Environment offering perspectives “on future trends, shocks, contexts, and implications for future joint force commanders and other leaders and professionals in the national security field.” Part 3, Section C, of the report, entitled “Weak and Failing States,” describes the “usual suspects” in this category—in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Discussing the concept of “rapid collapse,” it asserts that while, “for the most part, weak and failing states represent chronic, long-term problems that allow for management over sustained periods, the collapse of a state usually comes as a surprise, has a rapid onset, and poses acute problems.” It goes on to suggest that “two large and important states bear consideration for rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.” The discussion of Mexico is as follows (U.S. Department of Defense, 2008: 35): "The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone." Among the many things that make this statement problematic is its simplification of Mexico’s political dynamics. First, it assumes that politicians, the police, and the judiciary are separate from and therefore adversaries of criminal gangs and drug cartels. Jorge Chabat (2002), a Mexican expert on drug trafficking and national security, challenges this assumption, arguing that the drug cartels buy off politicians and are imbedded in political structures and institutions. While the Mexican state has sought to clean up its politics and provide more transparency, historically the political elite and government technocrats have used their positions of power to increase their wealth, turning a blind eye to illicit operations. The Department of Defense statement is noteworthy because it goes on to lay the groundwork for potential military intervention in the event that Mexico descends into chaos. The problem here, of course, is who gets to define “chaos.” The Drug Enforcement Administration is already preparing for such an event, maintaining a presence in Mexico (see Toro, 1999). Representing Mexico as a potential “failing state” in the midst of violent anarchy provides the U.S. justification for continued economic paternalism. The U.S. media and government have become extremely effective in representing a strange and threatening foreign culture for the American audience and thus manufacturing consent as it is considered necessary for action in Mexico, whether it be further neoliberal economic development or military intervention. It is therefore not surprising to see the rise in negative reporting parallel the time line of increased U.S. capital penetration into Mexico in the mid-1990s.
Carlos 14 Alfredo, Q. A. Shaw McKean Jr. Fellow at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine “Mexico “Under Siege”: Drug Cartels or U.S. Imperialism?,” March 2014, Latin American Perspectives, 41(2): 43-59) ipartman
The original U.S. discourse on Mexico dates back to the 1800s when Mexicans were depicted as an “uncivilized species This discourse set the stage for the creation of a “culture of empire,” in which the United States made a concerted effort to dominate Mexico economically and subordinate it to U.S. corporate interests Sometimes this is done with the help of Mexican politicians as in Calderón’s extension of the discourse of the “war on drugs.” Mexico is suffering much more from extreme economic inequality caused by U.S. economic imperialism and capital extraction the N A F T A , the I M F , the World Bank than from drug-related violence While some people may leave Mexico out of fear of violence the vast majority of the millions of emigrants left because of the necessity to feed their families. The discourse about drug-related violence detracts from the recognition of this fact skewed coverage is just another example of how the U.S. media , and their representatives in Congress increasingly subscribe to a tabloid view of Mexico drug and corruption stories have increased every year The D o D statement is noteworthy because it goes on to lay the groundwork for potential military intervention in the event that Mexico descends into chaos The problem here is who gets to define “chaos.” The D E A is already preparing for such an event maintaining a presence in Mexico Representing Mexico as a potential “failing state” in the midst of violent anarchy provides the U.S. justification for continued economic paternalism The U.S. media and government have become effective in manufacturing consent necessary for action in Mexico whether neoliberal development or military intervention
Securitized representations of Mexican cartels like <<insert cartels they talk about>> and instability are covers for violent US military and economic colonialism
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The subtle but profound ways in which the media influence and manipulate public opinion are well known (Parenti, 1982). In this regard, Leo R. Chavez (2001) suggests that media images not only reflect the national mood, but also play a powerful role in shaping national discourse. At the same time, media images influence the creation of social identities (Coutin and Chock, 1996) and public policy design, as well as social, economic, and political relations. The present work utilizes the concept of "media spectacle" to explain the current state of U.S.-Mexico border relations in the times of Mexico's drug war. The basic notion of media spectacle is taken from Douglas Kellner's work, and builds on French theorist Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle (1967). Kellner defines media spectacle as a series of "phenomena of media culture that embody contemporary society's basic values, serve to initiate individuals into its way of life, and dramatize its controversies and struggles, as well as its modes of conflict resolution" (2003a: 2). According to Kellner, "the mainstream corporate media today in the United States process events, news, and information in the form of media spectacle," that is, by "technologically mediated events, in which media forms like broadcasting, print media, or the Internet process events in a spectacular form" (2008: 1). Kellner recognizes that "the corporate media [in the U.S.] has been exploiting fear for decades in their excessive presentation of murder and violence and dramatization of a wide range of threats from foreign enemies and within everyday life" (2003b: 91). This tendency has intensified since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The perception of the existence of a continuing terrorist threat after these events, and the incorporation of this idea into U.S. American public discourse -and as a staple for mass media, both as news and entertainment- have created a media spectacle and stirred up significant levels of fear among the U.S. population. Nowadays, in the United States, the idea of a terrorist strike from the south has combined with the unprecedented levels of drug violence in Mexico and the perception that this violence could soon spill across the U.S.-Mexico border. This mix has become what Kellner (2008) conceives as a media spectacle. And this media spectacle is fed by exaggerated -and frequently inaccurate- statements about the situation in Mexico. In this context, the phrases utilized by some journalists, politicians, and analysts, and presented by U.S. mass media cause fear among the population; and some of the relevant concerns are sometimes unfounded. A good example is this recent statement made by George W. Grayson, a professor of government at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia: "The Zetas are trying to recruit [migrants] to become part of the Zetas organization and if they resist or if they look cross-eyed on the Zetas' commander, they are likely to wind up in a grave" (Brownsville Herald, 2011: paragraph 18). Grayson's assertion is exaggerated and inaccurate. He suggests, without providing enough evidence or background information, that migrants are being kidnapped throughout the country To say that the kidnappings and mass assassination of migrants are being perpetrated only by the Zetas is an oversimplification of the problem; other groups are also involved, and control different areas of the country. Moreover, the claim that this phenomenon is occurring nationwide is misguided. The problem is indeed serious, but more information needs to be provided to make an accurate assessment of the situation. When talking about the Zetas, we need more analysis and fewer exaggerated assertions that quickly become part of the media spectacle. It does not seem useful, for example, to refer to the Zetas as Grayson does, that is, as a "bloodthirsty sadistic organization" that serves the "lowest rungs of hell" (Brownsville Herald, 2011: paragraph 19). Instead, we would need to further explain the Zetas' practices, motivations, and origins, as well as their impact on the current situation of extreme drug violence in Mexico. The problem of drug violence and insecurity in Mexico has reached alarming levels; however, the Mexican government's strategy to fight this does not seem to be working. That Mexico is becoming a "failed state," or that certain states -such as Tamaulipas- are "falling into anarchy" is a common theme reiterated in respectable periodicals. According to Nicholas Casey and José de Córdoba of the Wall Street Journal, for example, "Some parts of Mexico are caught in the grip of violence so profound that government seems almost beside the point" (2010: paragraph 6). This is particularly true in the northern cities of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; Torreón, Coahuila; Ciudad Mier and San Fernando, Tamaulipas; and even Monterrey, the capital city of the rich state of Nuevo León. The case of Tamaulipas, and especially of its border region with Texas, is emblematic. The assassination of 72 migrants in the municipality of San Fernando in August 2010 and the discovery of more than 200 bodies buried in the same area in April 2011 demonstrate, according to Melissa del Bosque of the Texas Observer, "how little control the federal government exerts over Tamaulipas."According to Del Bosque, "The cartels have now moved beyond drug violence to murdering . . . civilians, and the government seems incapable of stopping it" (2011b: paragraph 11). These unprecedented levels of violence in Mexico and the incapacity of Mexican authorities to control the situation notwithstanding, we are not so sure of the breadth and depth of the serious threats of violence that the United States claim, and the media and some politicians in this country have alleged. The argument here does not have to do with the consequences of this critical problem for Mexico. What matters in this case are the negative effects that the Mexican drug war and related violence could have on the United States. Recently, for example, two retired army generals, Barry R. McCaffrey and Robert H. Scales, produced a report titled "Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment," which concluded thatthe Texas side of the border had become a "war zone" as a result of the drug problem in Mexico (2011). So-called "spillover violence" is an important concern for U.S. citizens. But so far, it has been negligible, as the vast majority of drug-related violence has stayed on the Mexican side of the border. The best example of this is the contrast between Ciudad Juárez, Mexico's most dangerous city, and its sister city just across the border, El Paso. There is indeed some evidence of drug-related shootings, kidnappings, and even assassinations in some U.S. cities and towns, especially in those located in the border area. But these events are quiteinfrequent, and their impact has been very limited. As of today, spillover violence is still hardly noticeable. In this regard, Professor Tony Payan, comments, "We have the occasional incident; it is a very tiny fraction compared to what is going on the other side of the border" (Ybarra, 2011: paragraph 23). Nonetheless, U.S. Americans are still concerned about the phenomenon —one that barely exists. Concern about this almost non-existent situation is driven by the alarming and exaggerated statements made by some U.S. officials who present a spectacular view of how drug violence in Mexico is allegedly spiraling out of control and is an imminent threat to U.S. national security. Some top-level U.S. government officials like Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have suggested the presence of a "narco-insurgency" in Mexico. In September 2010, Clinton stated that the use of car bombs made Mexico's drug violence seem like the violence suffered by Colombia 20 years ago. "Drug violence in Mexico bears the mark of an insurgency," Clinton concluded (Stevenson, 2010: paragraph 1).
Correa-Cabrerac 12 Guadalupe, Professor-researcher and director of the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Brownsville.“The Spectacle of Drug Violence: American Public Discourse, Media, and Border Enforcement in the Texas-Tamaulipas Border Region During Drug-War Times,” http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?pid=S1870-35502012000200007&script=sci_arttext)
the media influence and manipulate public opinion media images play a powerful role in shaping national discourse the mainstream corporate media today in the United States process events, news, and information in the form of media spectacle by technologically mediated events the corporate media in the U.S. has been exploiting fear for decades in their excessive presentation of murder and violence and dramatization of a wide range of threats from foreign enemies This tendency has intensified since September 11 The perception of the existence of a continuing terrorist threat and the incorporation of this idea into U.S. American public discourse have created a media spectacle the idea of a terrorist strike from the south has combined with the unprecedented levels of drug violence in Mexico and the perception that this violence could soon spill across the U.S.-Mexico border this media spectacle is fed by exaggerated -and inaccurate statements about the situation in Mexico To say kidnappings and mass assassination of migrants are being perpetrated only by the Zetas is an oversimplification of the problem the claim that this phenomenon is occurring nationwide is misguided When talking about the Zetas, we need more analysis and fewer exaggerated assertions that quickly become part of the media spectacle we would need to further explain the Zetas' practices, motivations, and origins, as well as their impact on the current situation of drug violence in Mexico That Mexico is becoming a "failed state," is a common theme reiterated in periodicals The argument does not have to do with the consequences of this critical problem for Mexico. What matters are the negative effects the Mexican drug war could have on the United States spillover violence is an important concern for U.S. citizens But it has been negligible U.S. Americans are still concerned about the phenomenon one that barely exists Concern about this almost non-existent situation is driven by the alarming and exaggerated statements made by .S. officials who present a spectacular view of how drug violence in Mexico is spiraling out of control and is an imminent threat to U.S. national security
Zetas scenario is a link – be skeptical of their spectacular impacts that exaggerate the Zeta threat based on US interests
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Is there drug violence in Mexico? Yes, but this does not make Mexico a “failing state.” While people are victims of drug violence in Mexico, in the United States they are also victims of drug, gang, or random violence and more recently of mass shootings. Both countries experience senseless violence that stems from complex societal and political dynamics that cannot be easily simplified. It is essential that the dominant narrative be deconstructed in order to see why such narratives are perpetuated to begin with, which in the case of Mexico brings us back to continued economic domination. Implications of the Dominant Discourse The importance of the drug-related violence story lies in its masking the nature of U.S. involvement in Mexico’s social and economic problems. It perpetuates a relationship of imperialism between the United States and Mexico that manifests itself in NAFTA, International Monetary Fund and World Bank lending policies, and direct intervention in Mexico’s “sovereign” internal politics disguised as economic development and military assistance to help bring order to Mexico. Mexican politicians have bought the story and have been willing collaborators with economic development to “help” Mexico. Former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and his Institutional Revolutionary Party vigorously pursued NAFTA as a mechanism for injecting foreign capital into Mexico’s ailing economy (Castañeda, 1993). Jaime Serra, a former secretary of trade, and J. Enrique Espinoza, an economist formerly on the council of economic advisers to the president of Mexico, have fervently proclaimed NAFTA a resounding success (Serra and Espinoza, 2002a), pointing to increased foreign direct investment as evidence. However, free trade has led only to the enrichment of a few monopolistic corporations in the United States while the economic situation of Mexico’s people deteriorates (Robledo, 2006). Gilbert Gonzalez and Raul Fernandez (2003: 54) argue that “NAFTA is just one of the most recent examples of U.S. domination over Mexico and how it continues to misdevelop and tear apart the socioeconomic integrity of that society.” They describe NAFTA as having two purposes: to “guarantee a free hand to U.S. enterprises willing and able to invest in Mexico to take advantage of that country’s cheaper wages” and to “deny in various forms and degrees to other economic powers the advantage of operations in and exporting from Mexico.” In effect this means continuing Mexico’s long history as a U.S. economic colony, providing cheap labor, raw materials, and manufactures for consumption in the United States while restricting Mexico’s access to the U.S. market. NAFTA called for the privatization of state companies and the flexibilization of the labor market through “restrictions on wage increases, curtailment of vacations and sick-leave time, extensions of workweek, and increased management powers” (Gonzalez and Fernandez, 2003: 55). This process was supposed to lead to an opening for investment, economic growth, and access to diversified export markets for Mexico. The effects of NAFTA on Mexico have, however, been overwhelmingly negative. While foreign direct investment has increased from US$3.5 billion to about US$13 billion annually, as Serra and Espinoza point out, this does not necessarily translate into growth for the Mexican economy. This is in part because money invested in Mexico comes mainly in the form of loans that have to be repaid, often with high interest, and is invested with the aim of extracting capital rather than allowing it to circulate within the Mexican economy—a concept known to economists as the multiplier effect, also considered a major factor for growth. So while foreign direct investment has in fact increased, it is not an accurate measure of the impacts of NAFTA on the Mexican economy because it does not automatically translate into Mexican economic growth. Mexico has the largest trade deficit in Latin America, a mediocre annual growth rate of 1.1 percent of its gross domestic product, and inflation of 15 percent from 1994 to 2003, placing it sixteenth out of thirty-two countries in Latin America in annual growth (Arroyo-Picard, 2005). Since the passage of NAFTA, Mexico has averaged 10 percent inflation annually while having a growth rate of 0.76 percent from 1994 to 2013 (Trading Economics, 2013a; 2013b). As far as opening its markets is concerned, Mexico remains the least diversified exporter in Latin America, with 89 percent of its exports going to the United States (Arroyo-Picard, 2005). NAFTA has largely led to deindustrialization. Of Mexico’s 1,100 capital-goods plants, 396 have closed down, while 17,000 enterprises of all kinds went bankrupt shortly after the crisis (Gonzalez and Fernandez, 2003: 57). The impact of NAFTA on Mexican agriculture has been greater because agricultural production was once the foundation of Mexico’s national development. State investment in agriculture was reduced by 95.5 percent and credit made available to the rural sector by 64.4 percent (Quintana, 2004: 251). Disinvestment in Mexican agriculture has meant that agricultural enterprises are unable to compete with subsidized U.S. commodities. The United States maintains domestic subsidies that allow it to export corn at 30 percent below the cost of production, wheat at 40 percent below, and cotton at 57 percent below—a practice known as “asymmetrical trading” and “dumping” and deemed illegal in world commerce (Fernandez and Whitesell, 2008). Serra and Espinoza (2002b) suggest that this is a nonissue because of NAFTA’s tariff-rate quota system, which charges tariffs for exceeding the import quotas. However, Cavanaugh and Anderson (2002) point out that under NAFTA the tariffs were mandated to be phased out in 2008, and even while they were intact the Mexican government declined to collect them. The outcome has been the disappearance of profitability for Mexican national agricultural producers. Five years after NAFTA, corn had lost 64 percent of its value and beans lost 46 percent while at the same time prices of staple consumer goods rose 257 percent (Quintana, 2004: 256). Despite these figures the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR, 2006) points to the growth of Mexican agricultural exports to the United States by US$5.6 billion during the past 12 years as proof of the success of NAFTA. However, producers continue to abandon agricultural endeavors en masse, vacating 1.6 million previously cultivated hectares (3.95 million acres) in the first eight years of NAFTA (Quintana, 2004: 256). Peter Goodman (2007) tells the story of Ruben Rivera, "who sat on a bench in a forlorn plaza, rather than working on his seven-acre farm. He used to grow tomatoes and onions, hiring 150 workers to help at harvest. Now he doesn’t even bother to plant. He can buy onions in the supermarket more cheaply than he can grow them. A crop of tomatoes yields less than the taxes. He lives off the $800 sent home monthly by his three sons, who run a yard work business in Macon, Ga." Stories like this have become all too common. As Quintana (2004: 256) puts it, “One of the historically great agricultural civilizations of the world [now places] its food supplies in foreign hands.” Mexico now imports 95 percent of its edible oils, 40 percent of its beef, pork, and other meat products, 30 percent of its corn, and 50 percent of its rice. NAFTA has resulted in the “complete inability of the Mexican nation to produce the food required to feed its own people” (Gonzalez and Fernandez, 2003: 57). In the end, “free trade” has made Mexico a completely open market for U.S. products while U.S. producers are guarded against Mexico’s products by subsidies and tariffs. NAFTA was never meant as a development policy for Mexico or a policy to help cure its social ills. It was a policy of U.S. economic expansion for the purpose of deepening U.S. hegemony while allowing the continued extraction of capital. It was promoted by huge U.S. multinational corporations as benevolent economic development to allow them to integrate themselves into the Mexican market without having to deal with that country’s requirements and legislative issues. Mark Weisbrot (2004) of the Center of Economic Policy Research in Washington suggests that, had Mexico’s economy "grown at the same pace from 1980 to the present as it did in the period from 1960 to 1980, today it would have the same standard of living as Spain. . . . To have 25 years of this rotten economic performance, you’d have to conclude something is wrong. . . . It is hard to make the case that Mexico’s aggregate economic performance would have been even worse without NAFTA." Not only has NAFTA not accomplished the growth propulsion its supporters promised in Mexico but it has had devastating social costs for Mexican society. Poverty in rural areas has risen significantly from 37 percent in 1992 to 52.4 percent in 2002, with 86.2 percent of rural inhabitants living in poverty (Quintana, 2004: 257). NAFTA has left nearly half of Mexico’s 106 million people, 51 percent of the total population in 2010, living in poverty, causing the mass displacement of workers and forced migration (Dickerson, 2006; World Bank, 2013). Since 1994 an average of 600 peasants a day (at least 1.78 million people) have migrated from rural areas, many to northern cities along the U.S.-Mexican border and others into the United States (Quintana, 2004: 258). Migration means family disintegration and the destruction of the social fabric of Mexico. Many of these jobless displaced workers will try their luck at crossing a militarized border into the United States. Peter Goodman (2007), interviewing Luz Maria Vazquez, a tomato picker from Jalisco, reports that six of her brothers and sisters are in the United States, most of them without papers. More than 11 million Mexicans (a conservative estimate) now live in the United States without documents, and 7 million of them immigrated after NAFTA, between 1994 and 2005 (Passel, 2006).4 Clearly the politics in Mexico are much more complex than the drug story in the United States makes them out to be. Conclusion The dominant discourse about Mexico in the United States has a long history and has affected the way Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and Chicanos are viewed and treated. While much has changed since the 1800s, the current discourse about Mexico serves the same basic purpose. The United States legitimizes its expansionist economic foreign policy in terms of the burden of civilizing, uplifting, and promoting development in less developed countries, beginning with its neighbor to the south (Gonzalez, 2004: 185). It employs a foreign policy that advances its imperialist interests. U.S. government and media agencies generate a representation of Mexico that has provided avenues for very specific courses of action. Promoting a discourse of a “chaotic,” “unruly,” “failing state” has provided justification for direct U.S. military intervention, especially along the border, now potentially with armed drones (O’Reilly, 2013), and legitimized the penetration of U.S. capital interests in Mexico at the expense of Mexico’s own economy and, more important, its people. Even at its most basic level, we can only call this imperialism. While Mexico has an ineffective justice system, government corruption, and crime and drug-related violence, these are problems that most modern nation-states also face. In fact, the United States is itself heavily implicated in the drug trade, holding by far the largest stocks of cocaine in the world and being Mexico’s primary market (INCB, 2008). It is also the largest supplier of arms not just to Mexico but to all of Latin America (Chomsky, 2012). Latin American countries are working together toward the decriminalization of drugs, which has produced very promising results in Portugal, while, in stark contrast, ”the coercive procedures of the 40-year U.S. drug war have had virtually no effect . . . while creating havoc through the continent” (Chomsky, 2012). But the conversation doesn’t revolve around what the United States can do to clean up its own act; it is about “othering” Mexico. The United States has had a tremendous impact on Mexico’s internal dynamics regarding migration, unemployment, poverty, and crime. Its economic imperialism has contributed to the weakness of Mexico’s economy and as a result its internal politics. NAFTA has stunted Mexican economic growth and led to the mass displacement of workers, forcing them into job markets that they would not have considered had they had access to jobs with dignity. For many it has led to migration to the United States, while for others it has meant lives of crime and violence. But no one discusses this, and it gets no media coverage because the focus is not on the failed U.S.-imposed neoliberal economy but on drug-related violence. This is done purposefully, since the story does specific work and is perpetuated because it benefits U.S. economic interests and works as a mechanism of justification for continued U.S. imperialism. For the most part, the concerns that the vast majority of people experience the vast majority of the time on a daily basis are not about these drug-violence outrages. Instead they are economic—how they will pay their bills and clothe, shelter, and feed their families. Even in the conversation about immigration reform, no one discusses the fundamental right that people have to live and grow in the place they consider home. No one discusses that people choose to migrate only when they have no other options. U.S. imperialism has led to people’s having no other option. Representing Mexico as a “failing state” allows the United States to evade responsibility for creating many of these problems in Mexico while also providing a powerful story to convince American citizens and Mexican politicians that U.S. economic intervention in Mexico is necessary. The irony of it all is that NAFTA continues to be justified through a narrative of a chaotic and violent Mexico needing economic programs of development to solve its social problems, when in fact it is the penetration of U.S. capital that has caused many of those problems. The meta-narrative helps to perpetuate an asymmetrical power relationship between Mexico and the United States. The dominant discourse provides the veil for this “imperial encounter” to become a mission of salvation rather than of economic conquest. In the end, the way Mexico is represented in the United States has little to do with its actual internal political or social dynamics, instead it is a means to expand and maintain U.S. imperialism in Mexico. Over the past 150 years, one thing that has stayed the same is Mexico’s position as an economic colony of the United States, a place to go for cheap labor, raw materials, and cheap manufactures for consumption at home. Focusing on drugs and violence obscures this. While Mexico does have serious issues of drug-related crime, this crime is not the most severe of Mexico’s problems. Those problems are poverty and unemployment and the country’s inability, for the first time in its history, to feed its own people. Mexico is indeed “under siege”—not by drug lords but by U.S. economic interests—and this has had disastrous social costs for the Mexican people. This is not, however, the discourse we engage in. That discourse is purposefully absent.
Carlos 14 Alfredo, Q. A. Shaw McKean Jr. Fellow at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine “Mexico “Under Siege”: Drug Cartels or U.S. Imperialism?,” March 2014, Latin American Perspectives, 41(2): 43-59) ipartman
Is there drug violence in Mexico? Yes, but this does not make Mexico a “failing state.” It is essential that the dominant narrative be deconstructed in order to see why such narratives are perpetuated to begin with which in the case of Mexico brings us back to continued economic domination. The importance of the drug-related violence story lies in its masking U.S. involvement in Mexico’s social and economic problems It perpetuates a relationship of imperialism that manifests itself in NAFTA, I M F and World Bank lending policies and direct intervention in Mexico’s “sovereign” internal politics disguised as economic development and military assistance free trade has led only to the enrichment of a few monopolistic corporations in the United States while the economic situation of Mexico’s people deteriorates this means continuing Mexico’s long history as a U.S. economic colony, providing cheap labor, raw materials, and manufactures for consumption in the United States while restricting Mexico’s access to the U.S. market money invested in Mexico comes mainly in the form of loans that have to be repaid with high interest, and is invested with the aim of extracting capital rather than allowing it to circulate within the Mexican economy while foreign direct investment has in fact increased, it is not an accurate measure because it does not automatically translate into Mexican economic growth Mexico has the largest trade deficit in Latin America The U S maintains domestic subsidies that allow it to export corn at 30 percent below cost of production a practice known as “asymmetrical trading” and “dumping” and deemed illegal in world commerce this is a nonissue because of NAFTA’s tariff-rate quota system “free trade” has made Mexico a completely open market for U.S. products while U.S. producers are guarded against Mexico’s products by subsidies and tariffs Poverty in rural areas has risen significantly with 86.2 percent of rural inhabitants living in poverty NAFTA has left nearly half of Mexico’s 106 million people living in poverty causing the mass displacement of workers and forced migration Many of these jobless displaced workers will try their luck at crossing a militarized border into the United States Clearly the politics in Mexico are much more complex than the drug story makes them out to be Promoting a discourse of a “chaotic,” “unruly,” “failing state” has provided justification for direct U.S. military intervention, especially along the border, now potentially with armed drones (O’Reilly, 2013), and legitimized the penetration of U.S. capital interests in Mexico at the expense of Mexico’s own economy Even at its most basic level, we can only call this imperialism While Mexico has an ineffective justice system, government corruption, and crime and drug-related violence, these are problems that most modern nation-states also face the U S is itself heavily implicated in the drug trade holding by far the largest stocks of cocaine in the world and being Mexico’s primary market The United States has had a tremendous impact on Mexico’s internal dynamics economic imperialism has contributed to weakness of Mexico’s economy and its internal politics no one discusses this because the focus is not on failed U.S.-imposed neoliberal economy but drug-related violence the concerns that the vast majority of people experience the vast majority of the time on a daily basis are not about these drug-violence outrages Representing Mexico as a “failing state” allows the United States to evade responsibility for creating these problems in Mexico while also providing a powerful story to convince American citizens and Mexican politicians that U.S. economic intervention in Mexico is necessary NAFTA continues to be justified through a narrative of a chaotic and violent Mexico needing economic programs of development to solve its social problems when U.S. capital has caused those problems The meta-narrative helps to perpetuate an asymmetrical power relationship between Mexico and the United States. The dominant discourse provides the veil for this “imperial encounter” to become a mission of salvation rather than of economic conquest the way Mexico is represented has little to do with its actual political dynamics While Mexico does have serious issues of drug-related crime this crime is not the most severe of Mexico’s problems Mexico is indeed “under siege” not by drug lords but by U.S. economic interests
Mexican instability discourse is a neoliberal ruse – differentiating US drug violence from Mexico is not neutral but continues a legacy of economic imperialism that is a larger internal link to violence
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I agree with their assessments, but would also add that what we see here, as we can with the many other examples of these forms of identity appropriation, is that the work of settler memory is fundamental to the reproduction and legitimation of settler colonial assemblage through a relationship to the past that is not about forgetting. It is a powerful form of national remembering. In the contemporary era, I would include politics itself as among the facets of existence that settler colonialism colonizes. That is, settler colonial assemblage defines and seeks to bound that which is legitimately subject for debate and contestation as it concerns the distribution and role of power, identity, interest and institutions. Before one can even ask the question of settler colonial violence, dispossession, and appropriation, the question may be rendered moot, outside the bounds of legitimate, or realistic, politics. In this light, my suggestion here is that the response to such appropriations as that of Geronimo's name should not be to ask the White House for an apology, and thus concede the status of this statist institution. Instead, the association should be embraced, in one key respect. To embrace the association is not to stand in alliance with Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaeda at all or the US military, but rather to re-assert the fact that Geronimo was, indeed, an enemy of American statism and settler colonialism. It is to maintain the political posture of friend versus enemy, and to render as important and necessary the status and actions of what political theorist Joel Olson called the zealot or fanatic as an important political category that holds out the possibility for more radical transformation of the political order.27 It is to say that the use of Geronimo's name is not simply the sign of an absence of respect or sensitivity for Indigenous people, but is more evidence of the active presence of settler colonial assemblage in the specific form of US liberal colonialism. In sum, in critiquing the problem with the Codename Geronimo case, we should seek to avoid either reproducing a politics of recognition and multicultural discourse or diagnosing it as a sign of collective amnesia, as if only people knew all the ‘facts’ of history things would be fine, or better. Rather, in this regard, LaDuke and Harjo get it right I believe in emphasizing the persistent posture of American warfare against Indigenous people. While this is a difficult framework to ponder, it is the appropriate one for a decolonizing, unsettling politics which insists on drawing clear lines for and against settler colonialism. In this sense, the unsettling response here is to put settler memory front and center as an active contemporary practice, in which Geronimo's name is utilized by the US military because the invocation of his legend habitually calls forth – possibly unlike any single figure in US-Indigenous history – the appropriative violence of settler colonial conquest that fundamentally shapes, as an active verb in the twenty-first century, the political development and status of American liberal colonialism.
Bruyneel 15. Kevin, professor of history @ Babson College ‘Codename Geronimo: settler memory and the production of American statism,’ Settler Colonial Studies, Special Issue on Globalizing Unsettlement) ipartman
the work of settler memory is fundamental to the reproduction and legitimation of settler colonial assemblage through a relationship to the past that is not about forgetting. It is a powerful form of national remembering. settler colonialism defines and seeks to bound that which is legitimately subject for debate and contestation as it concerns the distribution and role of power, identity, interest and institutions. Before one can even ask the question of settler colonial dispossession the question may be rendered moot, outside the bounds of legitimate realistic, politics the response should not be to concede the status of institution. Instead to re-assert It is to maintain the political posture of friend versus enemy possibility for more radical transformation of the political order. emphasizing the persistent posture of American warfare against Indigenous people this is a difficult framework to ponder it is the appropriate one for a decolonizing, unsettling politics which insists on drawing clear lines for and against settler colonialism. unsettling response here is to put settler memory front and center as an active contemporary practice, in which the US military habitually calls forth the appropriative violence of settler colonial conquest that fundamentally shapes liberal colonialism.
Argumentation is not neutral but pre-committed to systems of American memory. Settler colonial assemblages define and set the terms for what may be “legitimately” subject for contestation by granting primacy to settler institutions and state-forms – the impact is the death-making regime of liberal colonialism.
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The first step in exploring the potential of William Connolly's reluctant theory of deliberative democracy is to come to terms with the reasons why he thinks extant accounts of communicative politics are insufficient. Intellectualism, Connolly argues, is the grand failing of deliberative democracy. In accusing deliberative democracy of intellectualism, he is not issuing a by-now familiar criticism of deliberative rationalism. To say that deliberative democracy is guilty of intellectualism is not to say that it is blind to questions of power, or identity, or difference—or at least it's not only to say this—but rather that deliberative models of democracy are working with a faulty conception of thinking. They have been captured by what Gilles Deleuze calls “the image of thought”—the idea that thinking is an autonomous, linguistically mediated process of mind that is oriented toward coherence and truth (1994, 129–67). Deliberative thinking takes place at one relatively transparent register where our reasons for action can be compared, reasoned about, and revised through the force of the better argument. This image of thought is intellectualist because it fails to see how thought is a layered process of neural, perceptual, and embodied activity not reducible to conceptual ratiocination alone. “Attempts to give priority to the highest and conceptually most sophisticated brain nodules in thinking and judgment,” Connolly argues, “may encourage those invested in these theories to underestimate the importance of body image, unconscious motor memory, and thought-imbued affect” (2002, 10). Against the intellectualist image of thought, Connolly argues that thinking is distributed across multiple registers that make possible “visceral modes of appraisal” (1999, 27). It is these deep, intensive, and reactive visceral modes of thinking and judgment that the deliberative image of thinking overlooks. Disgust, for example, is a visceral response that makes your stomach turn. It seems to well up inside you without your willing it. The values and beliefs of others can sometimes stimulate this kind of feeling, say, if they present you with a defense of cloning, or euthanasia, or gay marriage, as the case may be. You can't always put your finger on what it is that strikes you as so disgusting and morally contaminating about such proposals, but sometimes you just feel that they are plain wrong. We're unable to provide defensible reasons for our responses. Sometimes things just rub us the wrong way. Connolly's point is that visceral and embodied responses like disgust, shame, and hatred come to play a role in political decision making—as they evidently do in political deliberations about matters such as cloning, euthanasia, and gay marriage—and that a deliberative approach is poorly equipped to deal with them. Deliberative democrats either require that these sorts of affective feelings are purged from the public sphere as unfortunate distortions of real communication, or they suggest that they can be subject to deliberation and argument just as any other sort of belief, interest, or prejudice can be. Connolly thinks that both of these approaches are bound to fail. Visceral reactions are not conceptually sophisticated thoughts and as such are not amenable to deliberation, argumentation, or verbal persuasion. The exchange of validity claims alone is not enough to stop your stomach from churning when you think about the right to die. Deliberative democrats need to learn “how much more there is to thinking than argument” and to begin experimenting with alternative forms of political engagement (1999, 149). Because political judgment is so often carried out at the level of this visceral or virtual register, deliberation cannot provide a privileged or efficacious form of participation, justification, or transformation. To corroborate these claims about the multiple registers of thinking, Connolly turns to recent findings in neuroscience that suggest a more intimate relationship between reason, the emotions, and the body than the intellectualist account assumes. Like some other political theorists, Connolly hopes that a closer engagement with neurology and cognitive science will provide grounds for a more adequate account of subjectivity, reason, and ethics.3 The kind of thinking that intellectualists privilege—sophisticated, conceptual, reflective, deliberative, and linguistically mediated thought—pertains to the activity of the largest part of the brain, the cerebral cortex. It is through the rich and complex layers of neural activity in the cortex that we can perform intricate activities like planning, speaking, reasoning, and arguing. What recent findings in neuroscience suggest, however, is that cortical activity is not autonomous and is in fact in some ways subservient to the parts of the brain that control emotions, memory, and affect.4 In particular, the cortex responds to information from the limbic system, the small curved part of the brain below the cortex that controls emotion and fine motor movement. Made up of the basal ganglia, the hippocampus, and the amygdala, the limbic system enables the fast, intensive, and reactive action of affects. The jolt of fear that makes one's hair stand on end or the disgust that we feel in the pit of our stomachs is the work of the part of the limbic system called the amygdala. The sort of reactions governed by this system are an evolutionary necessity for a species that needs to appraise and respond to dangerous situations quickly and effectively without much cognitive expenditure. The decision to jump out of the way of a speeding car needs to happen in a split second. It is not the sort of situation that allows you to deliberate about the relative merits of your different options before acting. But this is not to say that the limbic system is entirely thoughtless. It is not concerned with sophisticated, conceptual, and deliberative thinking, but its actions certainly are symbolically mediated or “thought imbued” in some sense (the expression is Connolly's). These intense affective responses are not entirely biologically determined but instead take a fair deal of cultural learning. The limbic system in a sense learns or records cultural standards of what is dangerous and what is disgusting and then habituates them as automated response.5 Between the cortex and limbic system there is a “feedback loop” of mutual influence through which these fast, affective, “proto-thoughts” of the limbic system shape the slow, reflective thinking of the cortex (2002). The existence of these intensive, instinctive elements moving below the register of reflective judgment means that human reason is not pure and autonomous but rather is shaped in a complex way at the neural level by the influence of the emotions and affects.6 David Hume, it would seem, was right to say that reason is in fact the slave of the passions. And what this means for politics is that the emotions and affects that shape and guide thinking are themselves deeply influenced by values and opinions that we may or may not actually want to endorse. Racist, sexist, homophobic, and other ideological sentiments may lodge themselves deeply into this “body-brain-culture network” (2002). Where this is the case, valid and sound argumentation is at a loss to dislodge them and the force of the better argument may be powerless to persuade us to respect, tolerate, or trust each other in the ways that democratic cooperation require. Connolly explains: Culturally preorganized charges shape perception and judgment in ways that exceed the picture of the world supported by the models of calculative reason, intersubjective culture, and deliberative democracy. They show us how linguistically complex brain regions respond not only to events in the world but also, proprioceptively, to cultural habits, skills, memory traces, and affects mixed into our muscles, skin, gut, and cruder brain regions. (2002, 36) This all culminates in a critique of deliberative models of democracy: the inability of practical reason to influence these potentially dangerous or hateful “culturally preorganized charges” points to its undoing. VISCERAL POLITICS Before analyzing the merits of Connolly's critique of deliberative democracy I want to first situate his charge of intellectualism within its political context. At its heart, Connolly's objection to the deliberative turn in democratic theory boil down to his belief that too much focus on the terms of justification and legitimation ignores the everyday sensibilities expressed and reproduced in the actions of citizens. These sensibilities are not identical to doctrinal beliefs or articulate reasons; or, as he prefers to put it in his most recent book, spirituality is not identical with doctrinal creed (2008). Rather, the sensibility that determines how it is that we hold our beliefs or “creed” is unreflectively informs this visceral register of judgment and thinking. Where these sensibilities have been cultivated to promote respect, responsiveness, and generosity a pluralistic liberalism can thrive. The political problem, however, is that in contemporary America this noble ethos is largely absent. Instead Connolly argues that this visceral register has become a vehicle for a “stingy” sensibility animated by resentment, fear, and a desire for revenge (1999, 7). The deep roots of existential resentment in an increasingly disempowered American working class today provide the spiritual common ground for the an emerging coalition of competing neoconservative and neoliberal elites who share a punitive and vengeful ethic while disagreeing on matters of doctrine. The resulting theological-corporate-media apparatus Connolly calls “the evangelical-capitalist resonance machine” wreaks havoc on American democracy today as it proceeds to undermine the terms of liberal pluralism and roll back the hard-won achievements of the liberal democratic struggles of the last hundred years (2008, 39–68). Democratic theory's idea of deliberation seems poorly equipped to confront this threat. Connolly's contention is that the failing of the left in America today is due in no small part to its resistance to accepting the role of the visceral register in politics. Instead, it is still caught up in a potentially antiquated search for some better argument that would bring reason and truth together to serve the ends of justice. The American right, however, has been a much better student of the visceral elements of thinking and has crafted an array of strategies that seek to manipulate it to punitive ends. Among working-class Americans who have suffered unemployment with the collapse of the industrial economy, cultural alienation from a powerfully secular and liberal cultural elite, and social fragmentation from the increasing speed, ethnic pluralism, and diversity of a globalizing world, there exists a reserve of resentment to be tapped. Neoliberals and neoconservatives on the American right have overcome their traditional antagonism to draw on this resentment and channel it into a shared spirituality of revenge that vilifies foreigners, immigrants, nonwhites, women, queers, liberals, and secularists.7 Crucial to the success of this resonance machine has been its most powerful echo chamber: the media. Savvy exploitation of new media technologies enable conditions of mass persuasion through which the sentiments of resentment are validated, entering “the thought-imbued feelings of viewers before being subjected to critical scrutiny” (2008, 55), and channeled to political ends. Twenty-four-hour news shows, aggressive and partisan pundits, and the constant fluctuation of terror alerts all combine to excite, code, and steer visceral fear and anxiety. The result is the proliferation of “ugly dispositions” that the powerful media machinery of the right “can foment and amplify, installing them in habitual patterns of perception, identity, interest, and judgments of entitlement” (2008, 53). Micropolitics as the manipulation of embodied, intensive affects along the visceral register of thinking is a familiar tactic in the repertoire of commercial capitalism and the state. Marketers and advertisers have long drawn on findings in psychology, neurobiology, and related fields to manufacture the desires their commodities satisfy. Branding is only the most recent affective technique of assuring consumer loyalty in a long history of unconscious and unwilled consumption. Marketers now talk about “low-involvement advertising” that bypasses the higher-level cognitive functions of viewers to appeal to nonconscious mental processing. Similarly, the manipulation of intensive reactions and affect has been crucial in sus-taining consent for America's open-ended “war on terror.” The color-coded terror alert system in place to warn Americans of the likelihood of terrorist attacks functions as a perceptual marker by which public fear and anxiety are calibrated. The aggressive rhetorical tactics, facial gestures, and vocal timbre of conservative media pundits like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh as well as the explosive graphics, and fast cutting techniques of twenty-four-hour news channels all have the effect of expressing the spinelessness of the “liberals” they browbeat.8 And the list goes on. Techniques of affective persuasion that function through “sub-discursive modes of communication” are ubiquitous and powerful in the modern world (2008, 66). The challenge of confronting them today, Connolly wagers, means learning to play their game. The left is done arguing. It's time to learn how “fight fire with fire” (2006, 74).
Livingston 12 Alex, prof of govt @ Cornell. Avoiding Deliberative Democracy? Micropolitics, Manipulation, and the Public Sphere, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Vol. 45, No. 3 (2012), pp. 269-294, Project MUSE)
extant accounts of communicative politics are insufficient Intellectualism is the grand failing of deliberative democracy To say that deliberative democracy is guilty of intellectualism is not to say that it is blind to questions of power, or identity, or difference but rather that deliberative models of democracy are working with a faulty conception of thinking They have been captured by the image of thought the idea that thinking is an autonomous, linguistically mediated process of mind that is oriented toward coherence and truth Deliberative thinking takes place at one relatively transparent register where our reasons for action can be compared, reasoned about, and revised through the force of the better argument. This image of thought fails to see how thought is a layered process of neural, perceptual, and embodied activity not reducible to conceptual ratiocination alone Attempts to give priority to the highest and conceptually most sophisticated brain nodules in thinking and judgment,” may encourage those invested in these theories to underestimate the importance of body image, unconscious motor memory, and thought-imbued affect thinking is distributed across multiple registers that make possible “visceral modes of appraisal It is these deep, intensive, and reactive visceral modes of thinking and judgment that the deliberative image of thinking overlooks Disgust is a visceral response that makes your stomach turn. It seems to well up inside you without your willing it The values and beliefs of others can sometimes stimulate this kind of feeling, We're unable to provide defensible reasons for our responses visceral and embodied responses like disgust, shame, and hatred come to play a role in political decision making and that a deliberative approach is poorly equipped to deal with them. Deliberative democrats either require that these sorts of affective feelings are purged from the public sphere as unfortunate distortions of real communication or they suggest that they can be subject to deliberation and argument just as any other sort of belief, interest, or prejudice can be. both of these approaches are bound to fail. Visceral reactions are not conceptually sophisticated thoughts and as such are not amenable to deliberation, argumentation, or verbal persuasion Deliberative democrats need to learn “how much more there is to thinking than argument” and to begin experimenting with alternative forms of political engagement Because political judgment is so often carried out at the level of this visceral or virtual register, deliberation cannot provide a privileged or efficacious form of participation, justification, or transformation recent findings in neuroscience that suggest a more intimate relationship between reason, the emotions, and the body than the intellectualist account assumes a closer engagement with neurology and cognitive science will provide grounds for a more adequate account of subjectivity, reason, and ethics The kind of thinking that intellectualists privilege—sophisticated, conceptual, reflective, deliberative, and linguistically mediated thought—pertains to the activity of the largest part of the brain, the cerebral cortex It is through the rich and complex layers of neural activity in the cortex that we can perform intricate activities like planning, speaking, reasoning, and arguing. cortical activity is not autonomous and is in fact in some ways subservient to the parts of the brain that control emotions, memory, and affect. the cortex responds to information from the limbic system the limbic system enables the fast, intensive, and reactive action of affects. this is not to say that the limbic system is entirely thoughtless. It is not concerned with sophisticated, conceptual, and deliberative thinking, but its actions certainly are symbolically mediated or “thought imbued” in some sense These intense affective responses are not entirely biologically determined but instead take a fair deal of cultural learning. The limbic system in a sense learns or records cultural standards of what is dangerous and what is disgusting and then habituates them as automated response human reason is not pure and autonomous but rather is shaped in a complex way at the neural level by the influence of the emotions and affects what this means for politics is that the emotions and affects that shape and guide thinking are themselves deeply influenced by values and opinions that we may or may not actually want to endorse valid and sound argumentation is at a loss to dislodge them and the force of the better argument may be powerless to persuade us to respect, tolerate, or trust each other in the ways that democratic cooperation require. Culturally preorganized charges shape perception and judgment in ways that exceed the picture of the world supported by the models of calculative reason, intersubjective culture, and deliberative democracy. the inability of practical reason to influence these potentially dangerous or hateful “culturally preorganized charges” points to its undoing Connolly's objection to the deliberative turn in democratic theory boil down to his belief that too much focus on the terms of justification and legitimation ignores the everyday sensibilities expressed and reproduced in the actions of citizens the sensibility that determines how it is that we hold our beliefs or “creed” is unreflectively informs this visceral register of judgment and thinking the failing of the left in America today is due in no small part to its resistance to accepting the role of the visceral register in it is still caught up in a potentially antiquated search for some better argument that would bring reason and truth together to serve the ends of justice Neoliberals and neoconservatives on the American right have overcome their traditional antagonism to draw on this resentment and channel it into a shared spirituality of revenge that vilifies foreigners, immigrants, nonwhites, women, queers, liberals, and secularists Twenty-four-hour news shows, aggressive and partisan pundits, and the constant fluctuation of terror alerts all combine to excite, code, and steer visceral fear and anxiety. Marketers and advertisers have long drawn on findings in psychology, neurobiology, and related fields to manufacture the desires their commodities satisfy the manipulation of intensive reactions and affect has been crucial in sus-taining consent for America's open-ended “war on terror.” Techniques of affective persuasion that function through “sub-discursive modes of communication” are ubiquitous and powerful in the modern world (2008, 66). T
Their model of debate presumes that rationalist communication can provide us with proximate truths. This ignores that how we come to think and act is formed primarily by affective associations that are instantiated through discursive repetitions. It’s not through logical reason that settlers attach themselves to emotional communities associated with belonging, nor is it through rational dialogue that the settler state recruits and incorporates new subjects. Only a focus on disrupting the affective formations that constellate how we think and act can solve. Neuroscience proves.
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In the discussions of colonized existence, mimesis has likewise played a significant role in theorists’ attempts to configure a breathing space for those who have been subjected to injustice. In the contexts in which cross-cultural encounters entail the imposition and enforcement of one group’s (typically, Westerners’) superiority over another (typically, the “natives” of African, Asian, American, Australian, and New Zealand cultures), mimesis is a routine rite of initiation: those from the so-called “inferior” group, the colonized or semi-colonized, are bound to want to imitate their “superior” aggressors as part of their strategy for social survival and advancement. Under these circumstances, the question is how agency can be assessed: must agency be understood to lie only with the so-called original (the “superior” group, the one being imitated), or can it also be understood to reside in the act of imitation—in those who imitate? What kind of agency? As I have discussed in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, various levels of mimesis traverse this kind of situation. I will concentrate on two here. A first level, probably the most obvious, is a direct legacy of Western imperialism and colonialism of the past few hundred years—the mimesis with the white man as the original. The logistics involved are time-proven: the white colonizer, his language, and his culture stand as the model against which the colonized is judged; the colonized must try her best to become like her master even when knowing full well that her efforts at emulation will be deemed less than satisfactory. As I have noted, the values involved—“superior” and “inferior”—are hierarchically determined and tend to work in one direction only: the “original,” so to speak, exists as the authentic standard by which the imitator is judged but not vice versa. The colonized subject, condemned to a permanent inferiority complex, must nonetheless try, in vain, to become that from which she has been excluded in an a priori manner. Try as she may, she will always remain a poor copy; yet even as she continues to be debased, she has no choice but to continue to mimic. At a second level, as theorists no longer feel comfortable dismissing the colonized as merely inadequate, mimesis takes on a more complex set of connotations. As exemplified by the work of scholars such as Homi Bhabha, who follow the rationale of Frantz Fanon’s impassioned arguments about black subjectivity in works such as The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks, one important feature of the colonized’s subjectivity that was previously ignored—the ambivalent, contradictory emotions embedded in her identitarian plight—now assumes center stage. As Fanon writes, for the person of color (in his case, the black man) “there is only one destiny. And that is white.” With insight and foresight, he also suggests that “only a psychological interpretation of the black problem can lay bare the anomalies of affect that are responsible for the structure of the complex” (Black Skin, White Masks, 10). Fanon’s critical contributions to the dissection of colonized subjectivity are summarized by Bhabha in this manner: in Fanon’s work, Bhabha tells us, “The ambivalent identification of the racist world … turns on the idea of man as his alienated image; not Self and Other but the otherness of the Self inscribed in the perverse palimpsest of colonial identity” (Location of Culture 40, 44). In psychological terms, what Bhabha, taking the lead from Fanon, introduces to the colonial scenario is desire (and its irrational, often unconscious, modes of working). As in the case of Irigaray’s endeavor to reclaim femininity for women, desire in this instance serves as the very grounds on which to reappraise the value of dominated subjecthood. Instead of being written off as the inferior partner in an asymmetrical historical encounter with the West, the colonized is now understood, with much more suppleness and sympathy, in terms of a desire to be white that exists concurrently with the shame and resentment accompanying the inferior position to which she has been socially, culturally, and racially consigned. Between the (positive) condition of wanting to imitate the white man and the (negative) condition of self-loathing and self-abatement, lies what may be seen as an entire range of epistemic and representational possibilities, possibilities that infinitely enrich the theorization of postcolonial subjectivities. Whereas at the first level of mimesis, relations between the colonizer and the colonized remain immobilized in a static hierarchy, the introduction of desire transforms the entire question of mimesis into a fluid, because vacillating, structure, in which the entangled feelings of wanting at once to imitate the colonizer and to eliminate him become the basis for a new kind of analysis, with the tormented psychic interiority of the colonized as its center. Much like Irigaray’s mimicry, the colonized’s desire here makes way for a flexible, because mobile, framework for imagining alterity from within subordination. By focusing on the colonized person as an indeterminate, internally divided subject, a subject that is not self-identical, Bhabha and the critics influenced by him thus enable what may be called a poststructuralist redemption of colonial victimhood that is thoroughly humanistic in implications: it is the failure, the incompleteness or incomplete-ability of the mimetic attempt (a point on which the second level of mimesis in fact concurs with the first) that makes the nonwhite subject theoretically interesting—indeed salvageable (one might say, in the aftermath of colonial sacrifice). Consciously or unbeknownst to herself, and oscillating between black and white, the subjectivity of the colonized is now dispersed, pluralized and multiplied across the many possible circuits of desire. No longer rigidly polarized/dichotomized against each other, black and white can now be considered as mutually constituted and mutually constituting. The question remains as to how this liberalist rendering of victimhood can ultimately distinguish itself from the productivity of colonial power. In both cases, it would seem, it is the ambivalences, the contradictions, and the fissures, always already inherent to the act of articulation, that are considered to contain the potential for opening things up, so to speak. How to draw the line in between? Or—to push Bhabha’s reasoning to its limit—is that not so important? Link or the aff? Concomitant with the issue of mimesis in these gendered and racial scenarios of violence, then, reemerges in a different guise exactly the problematic of sacrifice at which Agamben has directed his skepticism. Recast in sacrificial terms, the paradigm shift that poststructuralist feminist and postcolonial criticism has brought about is none other than a suspension, and thus a revaluation, of the substantiality and non-negotiability of victimhood through behavioral and psychic buoyancy—playful mimicry and fluctuating desire—so that, even if it seems degrading and humiliating (involving the sacrificing of one’s autonomy and dignity), the very act of imitating one’s victimizer may yet be an aperture to a different kind of future. Mimesis amounts in these cases to a creative repackaging and repurposing of the givens of dominated existence for survival—in a situation that is not about to improve any time soon. On balance, much as this survival kit of mimetic tricks (with mimesis either as subversive performativity or as ambivalent desiring) has been greatly influential in contemporary cultural criticism, as a coping mechanism it still by and large leaves in place the inequities of the situation—one that remains governed by man or the white man as the original, with the important proviso that the playful imitation by women or the not-quite-right imitation by colonized subjects is now deemed, at least by some, to be equally deserving of critical attention. Insofar as it is a coping mechanism, moreover, mimesis seems to have retained the quality of a secondary phenomenon whose raison d’être is derived from something external to itself. Although what is at issue is no longer so-called art’s imitation of life, the fact that mimetic behavior and psychology are construed as a response, a reaction to fraught ideological conditions suggests that mimesis continues to be accorded a subaltern and instrumentalist status. Obviously, this conclusion is not very satisfying.
Chow 12. Rey, Professor and Director of the Program in Literature at Duke, “Sacrifice Mimesis, and the Theorizing of Victimhood (A Speculative Essay).”
In the discussions of colonized existence, mimesis has likewise played a significant role in theorists’ attempts to configure a breathing space for those who have been subjected to injustice. cross-cultural encounters entail the imposition and enforcement of one group’s (typically, Westerners’) superiority over another (typically, the “natives” of African, Asian, American, Australian, and New Zealand cultures), mimesis is a routine rite of initiation: those from the so-called “inferior” group, the colonized or semi-colonized, are bound to want to imitate their “superior” aggressors as part of their strategy for social survival and advancement. Under these circumstances, the question is how agency can be assessed: must agency be understood to lie only with the so-called original the “superior” group, the one being imitated), or can it also be understood to reside in the act of imitation—in those who imitate? What kind of agency? various levels of mimesis traverse this kind of situation. a direct legacy of Western imperialism and colonialism of the past few hundred years—the mimesis with the white man as the original. The logistics involved are time-proven: the white colonizer, his language, and his culture stand as the model against which the colonized is judged; the colonized must try her best to become like her master even when knowing full well that her efforts at emulation will be deemed less than satisfactory the values involved—“superior” and “inferior”—are hierarchically determined and tend to work in one direction only: the “original,” so to speak, exists as the authentic standard by which the imitator is judged but not vice versa. The colonized subject, condemned to a permanent inferiority complex, must nonetheless try, in vain, to become that from which she has been excluded in an a priori manner. Try as she may, she will always remain a poor copy; yet even as she continues to be debased, she has no choice but to continue to mimic. as theorists no longer feel comfortable dismissing the colonized as merely inadequate, mimesis on a more complex set of connotations As Fanon writes, for the person of color (in his case, the black man) “there is only one destiny. And that is white.” The ambivalent identification of the racist world … turns on the idea of man as his alienated image; not Self and Other but the otherness of the Self inscribed in the perverse palimpsest of colonial identity” desire in this instance serves as the very grounds on which to reappraise the value of dominated subjecthood Instead of being written off as the inferior partner in an asymmetrical historical encounter with the West, the colonized is now understood, with much more suppleness and sympathy, in terms of a desire to be white that exists concurrently with the shame and resentment accompanying the inferior position to which she has been socially, culturally, and racially consigned Whereas at the first level of mimesis, relations between the colonizer and the colonized remain immobilized in a static hierarchy, the introduction of desire transforms the entire question of mimesis into a fluid, because vacillating, structure, in which the entangled feelings of wanting at once to imitate the colonizer and to eliminate him become the basis for a new kind of analysis, with the tormented psychic interiority of the colonized as its center. By focusing on the colonized person as an indeterminate, internally divided subject, a subject that is not self-identical critics enable what may be called a poststructuralist redemption of colonial victimhood that is thoroughly humanistic in implications The question remains as to how this liberalist rendering of victimhood can ultimately distinguish itself from the productivity of colonial power much as this survival kit of mimetic tricks has been greatly influential in contemporary cultural criticism, as a coping mechanism it still by and large leaves in place the inequities of the situation—one that remains governed by man or the white man as the original, with the important proviso that the playful imitation by women or the not-quite-right imitation by colonized subjects is now deemed, at least by some, to be equally deserving of critical attention Insofar as it is a coping mechanism, moreover, mimesis seems to have retained the quality of a secondary phenomenon whose raison d’être is derived from something external to itself. mimesis continues to be accorded a subaltern and instrumentalist status.
Mimesis DA: Even in retreat, the colonized must always try to become like the master. The suppleness of colonization adds another insidious dimension to this mimetic dynamic—the colonized is tolerated as shameful and resentful, but only insofar as they feelings are repressed, leaving behind the structural inequity of the situation, tormenting the colonized subject at the very center.
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In this study Indigenous knowledge is treated as an integral aspect of the ontological theory held by Indigenous people. Knowing is relational and participatory. Through participation, Indigenous students come to understand knowledge as a means of strengthening ecological balance. Indigenous knowledge is gained from a way of living and being in the world; learning is understood as participation, and it is in this forum that human beings influence the manifestation of the physical reality. Indigenous epistemology is explored through engaging and participating in a process that is a reflection of Indigenous ways of building knowledge (Ermine 1995: 104-106). Recurring negative feedback in the relationships with the external knowledge systems brought to bear on Indigenous Nations and peoples, (relationships which have not always effectively addressed many of their special needs, languages, learning styles and cultures), have resulted in extensive marginalization of their knowledge systems. This has, in turn, contributed to the marginalization of cultural integrity. Some examples of this marginalization are identified in chapter three. 1.5 COMPLIMENTARY DIVERSITY AND CREATIVE INTERCONNECTIVITY The study, using the Cree as an example, as in M. Battiste and J. Barman (1995: vii-xx), R. Barnhardt and O. Kawagley (1999: 1-13), W. Ermine (2004: 1-5), C. Odora-Hoppers (2002: iii-285), H.K. Trask (1999: 1-255), L. Tuhiwai Smith (1999: 1-208) and others argues that there is a need for enhancing efforts at identifying and fostering a functional complimentarity leading to creative interconnectivity - between the Indigenous knowledge systems rooted in the Indigenous First Nations and Metis cultures that inhabit Saskatchewan – and the modern versions of formal Western knowledge systems originally intended to serve the educational needs of all Saskatchewan communities. While these complex knowledge systems are functionally interdependent, they are currently often largely disconnected. In considering the cross-cultural knowledge systems in Saskatchewan, this study reviews observations made by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (FSI), the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB), the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), R. Devrome (1991: 1- 165), C. Odora-Hoppers (2002: iii-285), M. Battiste & J. Barman (1995: v-328), W. Ermine (2004: 1-5) and others. It points out that attempts at ‘bridging’ between cultures often suffered, and continues to suffer, from a colonial ‘one-way bridge’ perception that assumes that change is required only in respect of Indigenous people. In Chapter two, the study refers to G. Esteva and M. Suri Prakash (1998: v-147) who describe multicultural education as an oxymoron. Often when attempting to include Indigenous content within Western knowledge systems curricula in Canada, educators have ignored the fact that such content is only meaningful within an Indigenous context and process (V. Deloria and D.R. Wildcat 2001: 79-84). The fact that in Saskatchewan and in the rest of Canada the natural and social sciences, the humanities and fine arts have all been presented and evaluated primarily from Western perspectives, content, context and process is identified in this study as a shortcoming. It limits the education provided to First Nations and Métis in Saskatchewan by restricting its holistic quality. This has been true from elementary through tertiary levels in Saskatchewan and Canadian educational institutions. Despite differences in degree and intensity, it remains true whether Federal, Provincial, First Nations' or Metis’ governance exercise educational jurisdiction. Similar to the observations made by OdoraHoppers (2002: vii-22) with respect to Indigenous education in Africa, education for all Indigenous Nations and people has not been attained. In fact, education for all has collapsed into ‘schooling for all’ – ‘the blind leading the blind for several decades!’ (Odora-Hoppers 2002: vii-22). As Odora-Hoppers observes with reference to Africa, this study, in referring to Saskatchewan and Canada, asserts that Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) represent a national heritage and a national resource. Odora-Hoppers also states (2002: 2-4) that its subjugation and its continuing marginalization challenge us both individually and collectively at moral, ethical, pragmatical and philosophical levels. She continues (2002: 4-8) that at institutional levels, practises, philosophies and methodologies are still non-inclusive and embarrassingly Western-focused and Eurocentric. She argues (2002: 8-20) that these impact on the definition of what constitutes appropriate knowledge and especially what constitutes science. This study agrees with Odora-Hoppers, that in Saskatchewan and Canada, as in Africa and other Indigenous settings globally, IKS impels within us the need to undertake systematic reviews and the transformation of curricula in a manner that can bring to bear fulfillment of the core values embedded in the Canadian Constitution. The study also argues that adding Indigenous content to the Western contexts and processes, while continuing to ignore the need for Indigenous context and processes, cannot constitute innovative improvement. Consistent with the observations of Odora-Hoppers in Africa, IKS carries with it an indictment and a call to action to confront attitudes, choices, preferences and nomenclature in everything that Indigenous persons do as they strive to maintain indigeneity in a world in which there should be room around the banquet table for all (Odora-Hoppers 2002: 11-12). In his paper, ‘Ethical Space – Transforming Relations,’ Ermine (2004: 3-4) observes that the ‘ethical space’ or the place of convergence of two societies with two worldviews can represent a location from which a meaningful dialogue can take place. This dialogue between communities can move them towards the negotiation of a new research order. Such an order can ethically engage different knowledge systems. (Ermine 2004: 2). Socio-economic indicators identifying serious shortcomings in Indigenous educational results constitute a credible cry for forging an enhanced, innovative process for Indigenous tertiary education in Saskatchewan. <Cont> Ermine’s paper points out that Poole (1972: 3-7) earlier suggested the idea of ‘ethical space’ in seeing that an ‘ethical space’ is formed when two different kinds of space created by different worldviews intersect each other. Ermine’s paper conceives this intersection taking shape when the Western world meets the Indigenous mind. He finds this intersection, where the two worlds meet, an interesting and significant location for theorizing appropriate research and development solutions. He says that the confluence of Indigenous and Western worlds and the encounter between two worldviews can theoretically represent a space of flux where nothing is yet formed or understood. Ermine’s paper continues that in abstract terms, the encounter of cultures at a space where no definitive rules exist to guide an interaction can appropriately represent an opportunity for understanding and the place for negotiation of intercultural activity. He points out that this will entail the examination of structures and systems in attempts to remove all vestiges of colonial and imperial forms of knowledge production in any research and development that contemplates crossing cultural borders. He concludes that the ‘ethical space’ or place of convergence of two societies with two worldviews can also represent a location from which meaningful dialogue between communities can take place, enabling a new research and development order that ethically engages different knowledge systems. He observes that these are knowledge systems embedded in communities characterised by distinct and different political, historical, linguistic, cultural, social and economic realities (Ermine 2004: 2). According to Ermine, this space exists where there is refuge from the undercurrents that divide nations. For Indigenous peoples, the heart of destructive undercurrents exists in recurring viewpoints that portray only the Western narrative as the model of society. He refers to the story of the west as an embedded consciousness that transcends generations and institutions. (Ermine 2004: 2-3) Western knowledge has constructed its own Indigenous Nations’ image and through Western society and its schools, that has influenced the self-image of younger Indigenous citizens, Ermine says. Western knowledge’s story of the Canadian West is what Saskatchewan Indigenous children are getting. The danger is that there is a mono-cultural point of view about how humans are supposed to be, and this does not create an optimal condition, he says. This is not God-given but indoctrinated into people. They were not born with unethical behaviour; the system constructed it (Ermine 2004: 3). Ermine’s paper says that although there have been many good attempts by sincere people trying to build bridges, these undercurrents are powerful and keep washing away good intentions. He continues that when we have had breaches and ruptures in the past, it is because we have failed to look at the area in between our two worlds. It is in this ‘ethical space’ that we can understand one another's knowledge systems (Ermine 2004: 3). Ermine (2004: 4) refers to the grand institution of Western learning as a place where students become entrapped in one worldview. He says that the West needs to detach from this worldview to see what it is doing by presenting a mono-cultural monopoly. He presents the Western and Indigenous knowledge systems as alternate forces such as natural versus artificial contexts, oral tradition versus written tradition, holistic versus a physical worldview and asks us to imagine the possibilities if society could learn from both (Ermine 2004: 3-4). Earlier, Ermine (2004: 1) had also identified a persistent form of divergence, an alienating tension, at times bordering on animosity, that tarnishes and hangs like a dark cloud over the precarious relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Western world. He states that misunderstanding and division had its genesis long ago and that ensuing relations has not alleviated the condition to any perceptible degree of comfort on either side (Ermine 2004: 4). Ermine sees the schism as ‘continually reminding us of the anguished legacy of the Indigenous/West confluence festering in a convoluted entanglement between the two worlds.’ This is characterised by failure to arrive at a mutual and amiable meeting of minds (Ermine 2004: 4). Ermine’s paper observes that this misunderstanding has very often resulted in violence and the urge to dominate or change the others’ existence to a more discernable form, more easily predictable, or fitted into modes of thought more familiar, more palatable. This is a global phenomenon, wherever worldviews/cultures have collided. The cultural tensions looming over the Indigenous/West relations, in their historical dimension, are particularly magnified on the contested ground of knowledge production and validation, in particular in its flagship enterprise of research (Ermine 2004: 4). Again using Roger Poole (1972: 140-152) as a major reference, Ermine states that his own intent for ‘ethical space’ is to describe a space between the Indigenous and Western worlds; the separation betwixt cultures and worldviews. The space opens up by creating contrast, by purposefully dislocating and isolating two disparate knowledge systems and cultures as represented by the Indigenous and Western worlds. In turn, the space unifies the schism of understanding that contributes to the tension riddled enterprise of cross cultural research, development and other forms of interaction involving the two entities. Misunderstanding occurs because the encounter of two solitudes features disparate worldviews each formed and guided by distinct histories, languages, knowledge traditions, cultures, values, interests, and social, economic, and political realities. These differences are under the radar of most cross-cultural interaction Ermine 2004: 3). 1.8.2 Complementary diversity The researcher’s initial interest was encouraged and his motivation for this study enhanced by work done by Godfrey and Monica Wilson (1945: 100-101), who, from observations on social change in Central Africa, pointed out that: social activities involve both broad uniformities and detailed diversities of culture. Neither uniformity nor diversity itself can provide any positive inducement to human beings to enter into or remain in relations with one another. It is complementary diversities of culture within broad uniformities that alone can give rise to social activities . . . They further point out (1945: 100-101) that complementary diversity is the positive content of relations – people trade neither when their products are identical nor when the things they value are totally different, but when their products are different, yet valued by both. So also in the intellectual and emotional aspects it is the difference within a wider uniformity which makes men communicate with one another. A high degree of specialisation and variety is thus the basis for a large number of relations, i.e., for largeness of scale. Recognising that though diminished discredited and often, if taken seriously at all by Academia, selected portions of Indigenous knowledge systems are seen by this study as simply co-opted and modified to suit the goals of the Academy. However, among the Elders in many Indigenous communities, much Indigenous knowledge, ways of knowing and worldview remains intact and in practise. The study argues that there is a growing need to appreciate the contributions that Indigenous knowledge can make to contemporary understanding in areas such as environmental enhancement, resource and wildlife management, meteorology, biology and medicine, as well as in basic human behaviour and educational practises. Wangoola (2000: 273), in describing the African multiversity, says that it differs from a university insofar as it recognises that the existence of alternative knowledges is important to human knowledge as a whole. Yet another important reason identified for establishing an African Multiversity, is that the problems facing humankind today cannot be resolved by either modern scientific knowledge alone, or by Indigenous knowledge alone. More durable solutions will be found in a new synergy between Indigenous knowledges and modern scientific knowledge. The need for a new synergy between these two is highlighted by the current acceptance that the problems we face today are such that none of the public sector (government), the private sector (business), and civil society alone has comprehensive and durable solutions. It is through imaginative collaboration among these three sectors that societies will be able to conceptualize and organize sustainable solutions.
Hammersmith 7 (Jerome, PhD in Education from U South Africa CONVERGING INDIGENOUS AND WESTERN KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS: IMPLICATIONS FOR TERTIARY EDUCATION, http://iportal.usask.ca/docs/Hammersmith/Hammersmith.pdf) ipartman
In this study Indigenous knowledge is treated as an integral aspect of the ontological theory held by Indigenous people. Knowing is relational and participatory. Through participation, Indigenous students come to understand knowledge as a means of strengthening ecological balance. Indigenous knowledge is gained from a way of living and being in the world; learning is understood as participation, and it is in this forum that human beings influence the manifestation of the physical reality. Indigenous epistemology is explored through engaging and participating in a process that is a reflection of Indigenous ways of building knowledge Recurring negative feedback in the relationships with the external knowledge systems brought to bear on Indigenous Nations and peoples, (relationships which have not always effectively addressed many of their special needs, languages, learning styles and cultures), have resulted in extensive marginalization of their knowledge systems. This has, in turn, contributed to the marginalization of cultural integrity. In considering the cross-cultural knowledge systems in Saskatchewan, this study reviews observations made by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (FSI), the National Indian Brotherhood (NIB), the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), R . It points out that attempts at ‘bridging’ between cultures often suffered, and continues to suffer, from a colonial ‘one-way bridge’ perception that assumes that change is required only in respect of Indigenous people. Often when attempting to include Indigenous content within Western knowledge systems curricula in Canada, educators have ignored the fact that such content is only meaningful within an Indigenous context and process the humanities and fine arts have all been presented and evaluated primarily from Western perspectives Ermine’s paper points out that Poole (1972: 3-7) earlier suggested the idea of ‘ethical space’ in seeing that an ‘ethical space’ is formed when two different kinds of space created by different worldviews intersect each other. Ermine’s paper conceives this intersection taking shape when the Western world meets the Indigenous mind. He finds this intersection, where the two worlds meet, an interesting and significant location for theorizing appropriate research and development solutions. He says that the confluence of Indigenous and Western worlds and the encounter between two worldviews can theoretically represent a space of flux where nothing is yet formed or understood. the encounter of cultures at a space where no definitive rules exist to guide an interaction can appropriately represent an opportunity for understanding and the place for negotiation of intercultural activity. He points out that this will entail the examination of structures and systems in attempts to remove all vestiges of colonial and imperial forms of knowledge production in any research and development that contemplates crossing cultural borders. He concludes that the ‘ethical space’ or place of convergence of two societies with two worldviews can also represent a location from which meaningful dialogue between communities can take place, enabling a new research and development order that ethically engages different knowledge systems. He observes that these are knowledge systems embedded in communities characterised by distinct and different political, historical, linguistic, cultural, social and economic realities Ermine’s paper says that although there have been many good attempts by sincere people trying to build bridges, these undercurrents are powerful and keep washing away good intentions. He continues that when we have had breaches and ruptures in the past, it is because we have failed to look at the area in between our two worlds. It is in this ‘ethical space’ that we can understand one another's knowledge systems Ermine’s paper observes that this misunderstanding has very often resulted in violence and the urge to dominate or change the others’ existence to a more discernable form, more easily predictable, or fitted into modes of thought more familiar, more palatable. This is a global phenomenon, wherever worldviews/cultures have collided. The cultural tensions looming over the Indigenous/West relations, in their historical dimension, are particularly magnified on the contested ground of knowledge production and validation, in particular in its flagship enterprise of research More durable solutions will be found in a new synergy between Indigenous knowledges and modern scientific knowledge. The need for a new synergy between these two is highlighted by the current acceptance that the problems we face today are such that none of the public sector (government), the private sector (business), and civil society alone has comprehensive and durable solutions. It is through imaginative collaboration among these three sectors that societies will be able to conceptualize and organize sustainable solutions.
Their “inclusion” offense is a one-way colonial bridge that co-opts indigenous knowledge in the name of standardization
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The annihilation of space through revolutions in time must be understood, then, not only in terms of the “leap” of capital into finance, but also in relation to the intensification of forms of imperial violence. I’m not going to expand on the economics of this further here. In fact, my main point is straightforwardly political, and has to do with the ways in which the Middle East broadly, but Palestine in particular have come to bear a very particular weight in the globalization of finance capital and the securing of dollar hegemony through military means. As I indicated above, there is, simply put, a deepening of settler colonial dynamics as a key component of global finance capital. As Adam Hanieh explains, “During the 1950s, Israel’s main external support had come from Britain and France.”75 1967 and then 1973 changed this decisively, as the US became the main backer of the Israeli state’s settler colonial project of dispossession and “economic subjugation.”76 “The key element to U.S. control” in the Middle East – and this means not only the ability to produce lockdowns, but also the ability to produce profit-rendering chaos – is, as Hanieh has argued, the “embrace of Israel, which, with its origins as a settler-colonial state, was organically tied to external support for its continued viability” (Capitalism and Class, 213). This is hardly an exhaustive review of the current dynamics of global finance and settler colonialism, but the point I wish to make is simply that there are multiple foundational ways in which financialization and settler colonialism are tied together.77 The linkage that I hope to have made clear is this: the relationship between settler-forms and financialization describes a kind of primitive accumulation for the present. In much the same way that, for Marx, finance represents a crucial “lever” of primitive accumulation, I think we could say that finance and settler colonialism together constitute the levers of the present form of primitive accumulation. I say “primitive accumulation,” rather than simply “capital accumulation,” as a way of marking – along with Harvey, Luxemburg, and indeed Deleuze and Guattari–not only the ongoing violent character of capital’s self-perpetuation, but the kinds of transitions internal to the capitalist mode of production (in this case from an industrial capitalist system to one in which finance is predominant), and the narrative forms that accompany those transitions as well.78 Following Marx, then, we might attempt a dual focus: on not only the specific forms of dispossession particular to primitive accumulation, but the origin narratives that mask those dispossessions.79 c) Spatio-Temporality and Settler Colonialism Before we close this section, I want to make note of the ways in which primitive accumulation has received a fair amount of attention within the Humanities following David Harvey’s update to Rosa Luxemburg in the articulation of capital accumulation as grounded in processes of “accumulation by dispossession.” There has been some debate within settler colonial studies about this updating of the concept of primitive accumulation. Glen Coulthard has recently urged a focus on the spatial logic of dispossession inherent in primitive accumulation, against what he argues is the traditional understanding of primitive accumulation as the putting into place of a temporal logic: the wage-form, with its exploitation of the worker’s time.80 I want to think here about Coulthard’s intervention into political-economic accounts that occlude the spatial dynamics of settler dispossessions, and consider this work in relation to Brenna Bhandar’s recent investigations of the temporality of settler colonialism.81 For Bhandar, settler colonialism puts into place a property-logic that is significantly different from feudal use-based conceptions of land. In some contrast to pre-capitalist formations, settler colonialism constitutes the leading edge of capitalist forms of speculative possession. If at one point, property ownership was demonstrated in use (alternately, “occupation”), capitalist expropriation depends on “expectation of use.” Or, speculation: ““Whereas possession and use once justified ownership, the commoditization of land witnessed a shift in the conceptual underpinnings of ownership itself. While Locke had reconceived of land ownership, as based not on hereditary titles and inheritance (birthright), but on labor, Jeremy Bentham emphasizes expectation and security as the key justifications for private property ownership. In the work of Bentham, we see an abstract notion of ownership not based on physical possession, occupation, or even use, but the concept of ownership as a relation, based on an expectation of being able to use the property as one wishes. Primary to the property relation is law, which secures the property relation, or guards and protects the expectation.”82 Speculation – the expectation of use – requires the imposition of terrus nullius, or what Bhandar describes as a “wasteland rationale”: the legal codification of land as unpopulated to justify the speculative possession that ensues. The force of Bhandar’s argument here is to show that forms of speculative possession legitimate not only settler expropriations, but the property form more broadly. The dynamics of speculation are not confined to either financialization or the settler-form. Neither are the specifics of capitalist possession simply a bureaucratic carapace. Rather, they put in motion a range of affects (e.g., of expectation) that are inextricable from the property-form and from racialization more broadly. This feeling of expectation “comes to be materialized, or … to have an actual life, in how we are constituted as subjects” (12). “Possession … as a feeling … become[s] the sine qua non of ownership” (12). “Emergent forms of property ownership,” Bhandar argues, along with the affective effects of property, “were constituted with racial ontologies of settler and native, master and slave. This is as evident in the burgeoning realm of finance capital and its relationship to the slave trade as it is with regard to transformations in how the ownership of land is conceptualized in the colonial settler context.” Ontology itself, then, has a history. Its history is in many ways crystallized in the legal forms that remain with us still, and in the affective, economic, and political dimensions of racialization and settler colonialism. Put another way: “the relationship between being and having, or ontology and property ownership animates modern theories of citizenship and law” (3). Ontology cannot be thought outside of the spatial dispossessions to which Coulthard draws our attention. Nor can it be thought outside of the temporal character that Bhandar demonstrates as encoded in property relations. Bhandar and Coulthard together direct us toward an understanding of Marx’s annihilation of space by time as a racialized, spatial, settler expropriation that simultaneously deploys – indeed, weaponizes – temporality as a form of speculation. This spatio-temporal type of dispossession sets into place the property form and racial ontologies at once. It is at the heart of the “ontological illusions” that course through our social world, and it is at the heart, as well, of the forms of primitive accumulation that set in place the state-form and the ascriptions of citizenship. Thinking alongside Bhandar and Coulthard, we see more clearly now the ways in which “so-called primitive accumulation” – the narrative logics and conceptual forms that accompany transitional phases of capitalism – take the form of an origin-brink figuration: the removing, or wrenching of temporality from spatiality and from history.83 This figural annihilation of space by time, this origin narrative – one that gets reiterated in the ontological turn – brings together the temporal accelerations of financialization with the speculative settler-forms and speculation as a form of possession and racialized self-possession that together mark a contemporary moment of primitive accumulation. In closing this section, I want to return to the question of wasteland rationale to make a somewhat speculative suggestion of my own: that we understand the discourse of molecularization as a kind of abstract dispossession – or making-waste of the body – that is the condition of a fantasized speculative self-possession. In both Thacker and Preciado’s citations throughout, that is to say, we see a two-fold movement: the assertion of the body as the new ground of resource extraction and laying-waste of capitalism; and a speculative re-possession of that body (the hailing of the molecular as the future of political agency) on the condition of that body’s dispossession. What I have described as the ancestral future-casting of molecular agency, in other words, follows the abstract logic of the property form Bhandar lays out: when the social, historical contexts are elided from of our understanding of what embodiment is – of what molecules “are” or appear to be – then those molecules become the occasion for an anticipation, an affect of possession and agency that recalls the abstractions (and, indeed, the racial ontologies) at the heart of the property-form.84
Rosenberg 14. Jordana, Associate Professor of English, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, “The Molecularization of Sexuality: On Some Primitivisms of the Present,” Theory & Event, Volume 17, Issue 2, 2014) ipartman
The annihilation of space through revolutions in time must be understood not only in terms of the “leap” of capital into finance but also in relation to the intensification of forms of imperial violence my main point is political Israel’s main external support had come from Britain and France , as the US became the main backer of the Israeli state’s settler colonial project of dispossession and “economic subjugation The key element to U.S. control” in the Middle East is, the “embrace of Israel, which, with its origins as a settler-colonial state, was organically tied to external support for its continued viability there are multiple foundational ways in which financialization and settler colonialism are tied together finance and settler colonialism together constitute the levers of the present form of primitive accumulation I say “primitive accumulation,” rather than simply “capital accumulation as a way of marking not only the ongoing violent character of capital’s self-perpetuation but the kinds of transitions internal to the capitalist mode of production and the narrative forms that accompany those transitions as well settler colonialism puts into place a property-logic that is significantly different from feudal use-based conceptions of land settler colonialism constitutes the leading edge of capitalist forms of speculative possession. If at one point, property ownership was demonstrated in use capitalist expropriation depends on “expectation of use.” Whereas possession and use once justified ownership, the commoditization of land witnessed a shift in the conceptual underpinnings of ownership itself Speculation requires the imposition of terrus nullius a “wasteland rationale”: the legal codification of land as unpopulated to justify the speculative possession that ensues The dynamics of speculation are not confined This feeling of expectation “comes to be materialized, or … to have an actual life, in how we are constituted as subjects Emergent forms of property ownership along with the affective effects of property, “were constituted with racial ontologies of settler and native, master and slave. This is as evident in the burgeoning realm of finance capital and its relationship to the slave trade as it is with regard to transformations in how the ownership of land is conceptualized in the colonial settler context Ontology itself has a history Its history is crystallized in the legal forms that remain with us still and in the affective, economic, and political dimensions of racialization and settler colonialism the relationship between being and having, or ontology and property ownership animates modern theories of citizenship and law Ontology cannot be thought outside of the spatial dispossessions Nor can it be thought outside of the temporal character that Bhandar demonstrates as encoded in property relations Bhandar and Coulthard together direct us toward an understanding of Marx’s annihilation of space by time as a racialized, spatial, settler expropriation that simultaneously deploys indeed, weaponizes – temporality as a form of speculation This spatio-temporal type of dispossession sets into place the property form and racial ontologies at once It is at the heart of the “ontological illusions” that course through our social world and at the heart of the forms of primitive accumulation that set in place the state-form and the ascriptions of citizenship so-called primitive accumulation take the form of an origin-brink figuration the removing, or wrenching of temporality from spatiality and from history This figural annihilation of space by time, this origin narrative – one that gets reiterated in the ontological turn brings together the temporal accelerations of financialization with the speculative settler-forms and speculation as a form of possession and racialized self-possession that together mark a contemporary moment of primitive accumulation that we understand the discourse of molecularization as a kind of abstract dispossession that is the condition of a fantasized speculative self-possession we see a two-fold movement: the assertion of the body as the new ground of resource extraction and laying-waste of capitalism; and a speculative re-possession of that body on the condition of that body’s dispossession those molecules affect of possession and agency that recalls the abstractions and racial ontologies at the heart of the property-form
We control proximate cause – the contemporary transition from feudal capitalism to neoliberal financial capital to its late stage successor is found thru primitive accumulation made possible by coloniality – colonialism grounds the epistemology of possession that makes privatization of property possible. The alt alone fails because their origin story produces settler colonial AND capitalist violence by attempting to flatten out space as empty without reference to temporal chronology – this is the operation of capital in the present tense.
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Zapatismo’s Marxism lies in its anticapitalist and anticolonial stance. Marcos reminds us of numerous tricontinental, anticolonial figures, but the fact that he speaks Spanish has unfortunately limited most comparative horizons to Jose´ Maria´tegui, Che Guevara, the Sandinistas, or Liberation Theology. There certainly are commonalities. For example, zapatismo shares liberation theology’s structural sin and a desire for ‘another possible world’ through a contextualized redefinition of democracy that no longer, as liberationist Ivan Petrella writes, ‘smacks of realism’ and serves as a North American ‘apologetic function of separating the understanding of democracy from the foundation of poverty, marginalization, and exclusion upon which it rests. (Petrella 2004, 46) But zapatismo breaks from the Cold War resistance and decolonization movements that were often totalizing in their means and ends, and that tended toward romantic atavism in their approach to the indigenous question. Even as yet another national liberation movement, zapatismo is disinterested in the official-ness that comes with nationalism and the nation-state. ‘I shit on all revolutionary vanguards of this planet’, Marcos responded to ETA (Basque separatists) and to comparisons with Che. ‘In the world we want, many worlds fit’, goes the Fourth Declaration. ‘The nation which we are building is one where all communities and languages fit, where all steps may walk’ (CCRI-CG 1996). The structure of Mexican nationalism became a source of encoding and decoding, but since ‘divisions between countries only serve to create the crime of ‘smuggling’ and to justify wars’, Durito declares, the end result is something other than the cultural nationalisms of the modern world (Marcos 1995d, 119). Zapatismo, like tricontinentalism, extends Marxist thought to the dilemmas of race, ethnicity, and culture. ‘Everything is in order’, Aime Ce´saire criticized the racial exploitation built into French republicanism. Don Durito quips: ‘And Hernan Corte´s lived happily ever after. And that’s the end – except this story’s not over’ (Marcos 2005, 141). Implicit in decolonization has been a critique of imperialist capitalism’s commodification of body and labor, but also of local culture and racial identities. In response, decolonization called for the formation of a Fanonian tabula rasa, 3 a ‘new man’ in Cuba, individual action in the Christian Base Communities of Liberation Theology, ‘a new society that we must create . . . rich with all the productive power of modern times, warm with all the fraternity of olden days’ (Ce´saire 2000 [1955], 52). When the Zapatistas argue that capitalism turns everything into merchandise, they sound remarkably similar to Ce´saire, who argued that colonialism equals thingification. Consider how easily zapatismo’s criticisms of both racial and class antagonisms so easily collapse into each other, and Frantz Fanon’s tautology comes to mind: ‘you are rich because you are white, you are white because you are rich’ (Fanon 1961, 40). Or, you are poor because you are Indian, and you are Indian because you are poor. Consider, in turn, Mexico’s tourism industry, which actively promotes and sells both pottery and poverty masqueraded as Indian authenticity. Tourism as colonialism is built into the natural beauty of a landscape with which the natives are one. This is the discourse of naturaleza. In resource-rich and poverty-stricken Chiapas, lo indio continues to be described as a natural resource inextricably tied to the rest of the land used so inefficiently, so nonusufructuary. The unanticipated Indianization of zapatismo recalls Gandhi’s insistence on the re-Indianization of India, accompanied by a politics of nonviolence. But ‘what does it mean ‘‘to think as an Indian’’? What is it in this day and age ‘‘to be an Indian’’?’ Carlos Monsivaı´s asks (Monsivaı´s 2001, 131). It has implied backwardness, but it is only 90 degrees to get from backward to bottom. An early essay by Marcos, ‘The long journey from despair to hope’ divides Mexican society into four classes. In Lower Mexico, for example, ‘the manor house on the Porfirian hacienda has been replaced by the inner office of the bank. This is how modern times have penetrated rural Mexico.’ Beneath Lower Mexico, at a level barely visible, is the Basement: To get there one must descend through history and ascend through the indexes of marginalization. Basement Mexico came first. When Mexico was not yet Mexico, when it was all just beginning, the now-Basement Mexico existed, it lived. Basement Mexico is ‘indigenous’ because Columbus thought, 502 years ago, that the land where he had arrived was India . . . Basement Mexico is indigenous . . . However, for the rest of the country, it does not count, it does not produce, sell, or buy – that is, it does not exist. (Marcos 1994, 652) In other words, Mexico was awakened by both its ‘past’ and its poverty, which came to the forefront with the Zapatista uprising. The interrelationship is clear between the historical weight of oblivion and the ethnic and economic indexes of the struggle. ‘How long does it take to become a Zapatista?’ asked one of Marcos’ characters. ‘Sometimes it takes more than 500 years’ (Marcos and Taibo 2006, 27). As an extension of tricontinentalism, zapatismo is both anticapital and anticolonial. It is critical of the usurpation of local resources, including labor, and its simultaneous affects on local culture. It implies the concurrent commodification of labor and of cultural and racial identity. Capitalism, the Zapatistas say, ‘makes merchandise of people, of nature, of culture, of history, of conscience’ (CCRI-CG 2005). In turn, they posit a counternarrative of culture and civilization based on nonviolence, economic and cultural autonomy, the right to construct their own narratives and produce their own material culture. Perhaps most importantly, despite the media effect on the Indianization of zapatismo, the Zapatistas do not go in for exoticism.
Bahon ’09 - (Josh Bahn (2009) Marxism in a snail shell: Making history in Chiapas, Rethinking History, 13:4, 541-560, DOI: 10.1080/13642520903293136)//Kian
Zapatismo’s Marxism lies in its anticapitalist and anticolonial stance zapatismo shares liberation theology’s structural sin and a desire for ‘another possible world’ through a contextualized redefinition of democracy that no longer smacks of realism’ and serves as a North American ‘apologetic function of separating the understanding of democracy from the foundation of poverty, marginalization, and exclusion upon which it rests. zapatismo breaks from the Cold War resistance and decolonization movements that were often totalizing in their means and ends, and that tended toward romantic atavism in their approach to the indigenous question. zapatismo is disinterested in the official-ness that comes with nationalism and the nation-state ‘The nation which we are building is one where all communities and languages fit, where all steps may walk’ Zapatismo, like tricontinentalism extends Marxist thought to the dilemmas of race, ethnicity, and culture Implicit in decolonization has been a critique of imperialist capitalism’s commodification of body and labor, but also of local culture and racial identities. zapatismo’s criticisms of both racial and class antagonisms so easily collapse into each other, and Frantz Fanon’s tautology comes to mind: ‘you are rich because you are white, you are white because you are rich’ (Fanon 1961, 40). Or, you are poor because you are Indian, and you are Indian because you are poor. Consider, in turn, Mexico’s tourism industry, which actively promotes and sells both pottery and poverty masqueraded as Indian authenticity. Tourism as colonialism is built into the natural beauty of a landscape with which the natives are one. . The unanticipated Indianization of zapatismo recalls Gandhi’s insistence on the re-Indianization of India, accompanied by a politics of nonviolence. But ‘what does it mean ‘‘to think as an Indian’’? What is it in this day and age ‘‘to be an Indian’’? To get there one must descend through history and ascend through the indexes of marginalization zapatismo is both anticapital and anticolonial. It is critical of the usurpation of local resources, including labor, and its simultaneous affects on local culture It implies the concurrent commodification of labor and of cultural and racial identity. Capitalism, the Zapatistas say, ‘makes merchandise of people, of nature, of culture, of history, of conscience’ In turn, they posit a counternarrative of culture and civilization based on nonviolence, economic and cultural autonomy, the right to construct their own narratives and produce their own material culture. Perhaps most importantly, despite the media effect on the Indianization of zapatismo, the Zapatistas do not go in for exoticism.
Zapatista movements are both anticapital and anticolonial and break away from the romantic activism of previous movements.
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The Zapatista war against oblivion is waged first against their own national bourgeoisie, and second against the global bourgeoisie that seeks to make the world in its own image. Their struggle is not only against the state politics and ‘free trade’ agreements, but against the historical economy of humanist cynicism that gave rise to ‘modernity’ in its Eurocentric terms. At the heart of this matter is the nature–culture binary, arguably the most farreaching epistemological underpinning of modern European thought. This humanist paradigm speaks of the land and the ‘Indian’ in the same breath, as natural resource, prehistoric and uncultivated. The coupling of science and progress has provided the basis for political and imperial ‘discovery’ and subjugation of the socalled ‘state of nature’. This has been a metanarrative sustained in form since the Conquest, legitimized through a historical philosophy of linear progress. This is where zapatismo’s criticism of national and global politics combines most thoroughly, and we can situate the recentness of the NAFTA within the long history of humanist thinking in its various recycled forms – from enlightenment and modernization through development, globalization and neoliberalism. Self-fulfilling historicism has supplied colonial and national powers with the ability to naturalize a particular relationship between state and nation, history and culture. Mexican national politics has merely extended this logic to its own, and its Other, people. Marcos describes this absence of morality in state politics, ‘Power is exerted in order to defend society from itself!’ (Marcos 1995c, 258). It is a scientism disguised as a natural, objective, and scientific political economy. Neoliberalism relies on this metanarrative. It defines, Marcos writes, the Fourth World War, a term that challenges the periodizing of time in neoliberal terms: ‘Strange modernity, this, which progresses by going backwards. The twilight years of the twentieth century bear more of a resemblance to the previous centuries of barbarism than to the rational futures described in science fiction novels’ (Marcos 1997). The United States leads the way both by military force and by the command of financial institutions and global telecommunications, which control, build and destroy in its ‘war for the conquest of territory’ and new markets opened up by the demise of the evil empire and it socialist camps. The son (neoliberalism) now devours the father (national capital), undermining capitalism’s tenets of individuality and freedom that thrived during the Cold War: ‘In the new world order there is neither democracy nor freedom, neither equality nor fraternity. The planetary stage is transformed into a new battlefield in which chaos reigns’. The bourgeois totality is extended as military-industrialism – the appearance of a distinct public and private – is spread globally. It was likely little surprise to the EZLN when, in January 1995, Chase Manhattan adviser Riordan Roett offered a ‘no brainer’ solution to this most recent ‘Indian question’, encouraging the Mexican government to quickly squash the Zapatistas for the sake of investor confidence (Roett 1995). A federal counterinsurgency mission was executed two days after Roett’s pre-emptive memo. Neoliberalism produces de- and re-territorialization, ‘on the one hand, destruction and depopulation, and, on the other, the reconstruction and reorganization of regions and nations’, (Marcos 1997). The Sixth Declaration states: ‘since capitalism has all the money, it buys everything . . . but it also wants to adapt everything, to make it over again, but in its own way, a way which benefits capitalism and which doesn’t allow anything to get in its way’ (CCRI-CG 2005). But this is breeding ‘pockets of resistance’ worldwide. The Cold War’s neat distinctions between first, second, and third worlds has collapsed: instead, indigenous uprisings, tsunamis, and hurricanes remind the ‘free world’ that the third world has always existed within the first. A struggle against neoliberalism is a struggle for humanity, and the Zapatistas intend to align themselves with other such pockets of resistance globally. Neoliberalism flows from the global capitalist class into the local, whereas the leftist ‘pockets of resistance’ flow from local roots against the right’s totalizing discourse. If neoliberalism seeks to fashion the world in a bourgeois image, the crux of zapatismo is to offer a mirror reflection of that image. It takes a true idealist to confront such a politically, geographically, and historically daunting scenario. Marcos has done so with political audacity and a sense of humor, playing the modern Don Quixote, idealistic and comical, but only self-consciously so. Cervantes’ novel, he states, ‘is the best book out there on political theory’. He has even said of his upbringing, ‘All these things were there. We went out into the world in the same way that we went out into literature . . . We didn’t look out at the world through a news-wire but through a novel, an essay or a poem’ (Marcos 2001, 78). Or, as Don Quixote says to his squire: I want you to turn a kindly eye upon the play and in consequence upon those who represent and compose it, for they are all productive of much good to the state, placing before us at every step a mirror in which we may see vividly portrayed the action of human life. Nothing, in fact, portrays us as we are and as we would be than the play and the players. (Cervantes 1957, 694) Marcos’ ‘enchanted’ politics has materialized in a knight-errant of his own, Don Durito (little hard one), a tiny beetle who takes on neoliberalism, ‘the chaotic theory of economic chaos, the stupid exultation of social stupidity and the catastrophic political management of catastrophe’ (Marcos 1995b, 108). As the squire, Marcos responds to Durito much like Sancho Panza responds to Don Quixote’s metaphorical mirror: Yes master, for some of your wisdom must stick to me just as land that is of itself barren and dry will eventually, by dint of dunging and tilling come to yield a goodly crop . . . your worship’s talk has been the dung that has fallen upon the barren soil of my poor wit and that the time during which I have served you and enjoyed your company has been the tillage. (Cervantes 1957, 694) Marcos’ idealism is evident in the Kafka-esque beetle, who explicates neoliberalism’s irrationality, rides a tortoise named Pegasus and roams Mexico in search of wrongs to right – wrongs wrought by the ‘junior politicians’ who return from the north to Mexico in order to save the country ‘without knowing its history and annexing it to the tail of the fast train of brutality and human imbecility’ (Marcos 1995b, 108). A writer as well, Durito also ‘insists on hauling his tiny piano on top of what is already his tiny desk, to show me that the small holds up the large, in history and in nature’ (Marcos 1995c, 254). Of course, the whole superstructure – the argument, the desk, and the piano – poetically crumbles on top of Durito. Or, as the EZLN declared to the people of Mexico: ‘They heap upon us the weight of laws we did not make, and those who did make them are the first to violate them’ (CCRI-CG 1994a, 639). In each of these excerpts, Durito, Marcos, and the EZLN describe the effects not only of history, but a philosophy of history, that has naturalized ‘the chaotic theory of economic chaos’. Marginalization comes at the hands ‘efficiency’ and the ‘laws of nature’, materialized as the weight of civilization and its cultural baggage. As the small uphold the large in history and nature, that doctrine of efficiency has relied on a historical metanarrative that is linear in history and in nature. This quixotic politics is a deliberate parody of neoliberals’ claim to nature. Despite that its economism is taken as scripture, neoliberalism is not only unrealistic, but also irrational and chaotic. The most quixotic form of zapatismo is its audacity to challenge the very idea of nature on which neoliberalism rests. Neoliberals hide behind the ‘ideology of no ideology’, which in turn disguises a global clientelism that passes for order and democracy (Marcos 1995c). This veneer, a Machiavellian mathematical efficiency and balance of special interests, materializes in varying degrees of hegemonic and police forces; that is, despite the ‘reality’ of neoliberalism, it is constituted not by nature, but by force. The EZLN has in itself acted as a mirror. Confronting at once militarily, only to voluntary dissolve itself, their army is a parody of this ‘ritual of chaos’ that is state politics. It is an army that does not fight, rejecting the ‘political masturbation’ of revolutionary vanguardism and populism: What we have to relate is the paradox that we are. Why a revolutionary army is not aiming to seize power, why an army doesn’t fight if that’s its job. All the paradoxes we faced: the way we grew and became strong in a community so far removed from the established culture (Marcos 2001, 70, 79). Neither politicians nor investors could tolerate this parody, this simulacrum of state violence; this intolerability has caused them perpetually to bait the EZLN into mutual acts of violence through military assaults and ongoing low intensity warfare. Furthermore, this intolerability has given way to the lack of distinction between EZLN and Zapatista, whereby the latter are guilty by association – a theme all too common in the dirty wars of twentieth-century Latin America. ‘Our word is our weapon’ underscores not only Zapatista nonviolence, but also that there is no such thing as being outside of ideology, which gives shape to political economy. Neither the right nor left has a greater claim to morality or reality, nor has either of them offered structural solutions to the chaos they produce. The Zapatistas have withstood a particular vulnerability in confronting the naturalism of neoliberal princes and sorcerers. It is not the content of the quixotic that is comical, but the form of chivalry that is to be taken seriously. This has been the Zapatistas’ basis for dialogue, as a hinge between points – between the traditional right and the traditional left – and as a mirror that reflects the absurdities of state politics.
Bahon ’09 - (Josh Bahn (2009) Marxism in a snail shell: Making history in Chiapas, Rethinking History, 13:4, 541-560, DOI: 10.1080/13642520903293136)//Kian
The Zapatista war against oblivion is waged first against their own national bourgeoisie, and second against the global bourgeoisie that seeks to make the world in its own image. Their struggle is not only against the state politics and ‘free trade’ agreements, but against the historical economy of humanist cynicism that gave rise to ‘modernity’ in its Eurocentric terms. At the heart of this matter is the nature–culture binary, arguably the most farreaching epistemological underpinning of modern European thought. This humanist paradigm speaks of the land and the ‘Indian’ in the same breath, as natural resource, prehistoric and uncultivated. The coupling of science and progress has provided the basis for political and imperial ‘discovery’ and subjugation of the socalled ‘state of nature’. This has been a metanarrative sustained in form since the Conquest, legitimized through a historical philosophy of linear progress. This is where zapatismo’s criticism of national and global politics combines most thoroughly, and we can situate the recentness of the NAFTA within the long history of humanist thinking in its various recycled forms – from enlightenment and modernization through development, globalization and neoliberalism. Neoliberalism relies on this metanarrative The United States leads the way both by military force and by the command of financial institutions and global telecommunications, which control, build and destroy in its ‘war for the conquest of territory’ and new markets opened up by the demise of the evil empire and it socialist camps ‘In the new world order there is neither democracy nor freedom, neither equality nor fraternity. The planetary stage is transformed into a new battlefield in which chaos reigns’. The bourgeois totality is extended as military-industrialism – the appearance of a distinct public and private – is spread globally. Neoliberalism produces de- and re-territorialization, ‘on the one hand, destruction and depopulation, and, on the other, the reconstruction and reorganization of regions and nations’ instead, indigenous uprisings, tsunamis, and hurricanes remind the ‘free world’ that the third world has always existed within the first. A struggle against neoliberalism is a struggle for humanity, and the Zapatistas intend to align themselves with other such pockets of resistance globally. Neoliberalism flows from the global capitalist class into the local, whereas the leftist ‘pockets of resistance’ flow from local roots against the right’s totalizing discourse. If neoliberalism seeks to fashion the world in a bourgeois image, the crux of zapatismo is to offer a mirror reflection of that image. It takes a true idealist to confront such a politically, geographically, and historically daunting scenario. Marcos has done so with political audacity and a sense of humor, playing the modern Don Quixote, idealistic and comical, but only self-consciously so. Marcos’ ‘enchanted’ politics has materialized in a knight-errant of his own, Don Durito (little hard one), a tiny beetle who takes on neoliberalism, ‘the chaotic theory of economic chaos, the stupid exultation of social stupidity and the catastrophic political management of catastrophe’ Marcos’ idealism is evident in the Kafka-esque beetle, who explicates neoliberalism’s irrationality, rides a tortoise named Pegasus and roams Mexico in search of wrongs to right – wrongs wrought by the ‘junior politicians’ who return from the north to Mexico in order to save the country ‘without knowing its history and annexing it to the tail of the fast train of brutality and human imbecility’ as the EZLN declared to the people of Mexico: ‘They heap upon us the weight of laws we did not make, and those who did make them are the first to violate them’ In each of these excerpts, Durito, Marcos, and the EZLN describe the effects not only of history, but a philosophy of history, that has naturalized ‘the chaotic theory of economic chaos’. Marginalization comes at the hands ‘efficiency’ and the ‘laws of nature’, materialized as the weight of civilization and its cultural baggage. As the small uphold the large in history and nature, that doctrine of efficiency has relied on a historical metanarrative that is linear in history and in nature. This quixotic politics is a deliberate parody of neoliberals’ claim to nature. Despite that its economism is taken as scripture, neoliberalism is not only unrealistic, but also irrational and chaotic. The most quixotic form of zapatismo is its audacity to challenge the very idea of nature on which neoliberalism rests. The EZLN has in itself acted as a mirror. Confronting at once militarily, only to voluntary dissolve itself, their army is a parody of this ‘ritual of chaos’ that is state politics. It is an army that does not fight, rejecting the ‘political masturbation’ of revolutionary vanguardism and populism: What we have to relate is the paradox that we are. Why a revolutionary army is not aiming to seize power, why an army doesn’t fight if that’s its job. All the paradoxes we faced: the way we grew and became strong in a community so far removed from the established culture Neither politicians nor investors could tolerate this parody this intolerability has given way to the lack of distinction between EZLN and Zapatista, whereby the latter are guilty by association – a theme all too common in the dirty wars of twentieth-century Latin America. ‘Our word is our weapon’ underscores not only Zapatista nonviolence, but also that there is no such thing as being outside of ideology, which gives shape to political economy. The Zapatistas have withstood a particular vulnerability in confronting the naturalism of neoliberal princes and sorcerers. It is not the content of the quixotic that is comical, but the form of chivalry that is to be taken seriously. This has been the Zapatistas’ basis for dialogue, as a hinge between points – between the traditional right and the traditional left – and as a mirror that reflects the absurdities of state politics.
Perm do both: the Zapatista war is one against the global bourgeoisie through a criticism of the metanarrative of the nature-culture binary that neoliberalism relies on, it is a mirror reflection of the ideal bourgeois image – pointing out its irrational and chaotic nature.
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274
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1,668
44
957
0.026
0.574
Mexico Honduras - Wake 2019.html5
This paper presents the problem of the mediation between modernity and coloniality; and it explores the usefulness of the question of time to address this mediation. How can we think the simulation of modernity together with the oblivion of coloniality?¶ The text brings the critique of time to the centre of the modernity/ coloniality debate. It shows that chronology, chronological narratives are at the heart of the modern/ colonial systems of oppression; and that the movements of resistance against 'hegemonic globalization' are not only questioning the material structures of oppression, but also the universality of the modern idea of time. It is an invitation to think about the politics of time that are at play in modernity/ coloniality.¶ Here, the modernity/ coloniality tandem is seen as the institution of a politics of time that is geared towards the production of specific economic and political practices oriented to sever the oppressed from their past, their memory. The ensuing temporal discrimination makes invisible all that does not belong to modern temporality. Under this light, it is possible to see how the practices of resistance to the modernity/ coloniality project embody a different politics of time, one that rescues memory as a site of struggle, one that involves the possibility of inhabiting and rescuing the past. These practices of resistance are thus seen as fights against temporal discrimination: fights against invisibility.¶ By addressing the imposition of modern time we can better understand the widespread injustice and violence of modernity/ coloniality. Furthermore, the question of time can help us to bridge the gap between the simulacra of modernity and the oblivion of coloniality.¶ This paper responds to the need of bringing the critique of time to the centre of the modernity/ coloniality debate. It shows that chronology, chronological narratives are at the heart of the modern/ colonial systems of oppression; and that the movements of resistance against 'hegemonic globalization' are not only questioning the material structures of oppression, but also the universality of the modern idea of time. In other words, this paper is an invitation to think about the politics of time that are at play in the struggles against oppression.¶ 1.2 Here, the modernity/ coloniality tandem is seen as the institution of a politics of time that is not only geared towards the control of historical narratives (Chakrabarty, Fanon, Mignolo), but also towards the production of specific economic and political practices oriented to sever the oppressed from their past, their memory. It is a politics that promotes modern temporality as a strategy of domination. It imposes the universal claim that the present is the only site of the real, while dismissing the past as archaic. The past is represented as a fixed entity with only documentary value. This analysis will show that the imposition of modern time is coeval to the widespread injustice and violence of modernity/ coloniality. The question of time is used to address the open question of the mediation between the illusion of modernity and the oblivion of coloniality. This text exemplifies how the practices of resistance to the modernity/ coloniality project embody a different politics of time, one that rescues memory as a site of struggle, one that involves the possibility of inhabiting and rescuing the past.¶ 1.3 In an effort to break with the grammars of argumentation that reproduce the modern notion of time, the text moves in a fragmented way. It presents a series of quotations in order to illuminate rather than explain. This method aims to open images of thought instead of building up a single line of argumentation.¶ Oblivion, invisibility and the politics of time¶ 2.1 'We are without face, without word, without voice'[1]. A Zapatista said that this is the reason for wearing the balaclava. The Zapatista balaclava has turned oblivion into a sign of rebellion. Their fight can be seen as a fight for visibility. With these words we want to enquire how oblivion has been a constitutive part of modernity's politics of time.¶ 2.2 The forms of oppression that characterize modernity or more precisely, modernity/ coloniality cannot be sufficiently understood only through its material process without taking into account oblivion, invisibility. Modern systems of domination are not just about material exploitation; they are also about a politics of time that produces the other by rendering it invisible, relegating the other to oblivion. There is an intimate connection between oblivion and invisibility. The destruction of memory, as a result of the modern politics of time produces invisibility. In turn, invisibility is tantamount to de-politicization. In this context it is possible to say that the struggles for social justice are struggles for visibility. The oppressed can succeed in their fight against invisibility by bringing the claims for justice into the light of the public, and thus becoming political[2].¶ 2.3 The use of the term 'visibility' signals the close relation that there is between the material means of oppression and epistemic discrimination, violence. I propose to approach the modernity/ coloniality compound and its social production of oblivion[3] through the question of time. Through the critique of modern time we see how modernity and hence coloniality means the imposition of a time that dismisses the past, turns the future into the teleology of progress and holds the present to be the only site of the real. Under the light of the critique of time, the modernity/coloniality compound shows its double face. On the one hand we have the hegemony over visibility in the spectacle of modernity, the phantasmagoria of modernity, and on the other, we have coloniality's strategies of invisibility, which impose oblivion and silence and erase the past as a site of experience. The condition of possibility of these strategies over the visible, the monopoly of the sense of the real, is grounded on the modern notion of time and constitutes under this perspective the politics of time of the modernity/ coloniality compound.¶ Modernity, coloniality and the question of their mediation¶ 2.4 The growing literature around the modernity/ coloniality research agenda[4] teaches us that we cannot speak of modernity without speaking of coloniality. We cannot see the ideas of progress, modernization, universality, and the like, without thinking of exploitation, violence, and segregation. The scholars of the modernity/ coloniality research program have made large efforts to re-write the history of modernity so that modernity is only seen in and through its relation with coloniality. 'The "discovery" of America and the genocide of Indians and African slaves are the very foundations of "modernity' more so than the French and Industrial Revolutions. Better yet, they constitute the darker and hidden face of modernity, 'coloniality'' (Mignolo, 2005, p. xiii).¶ 2.5 There is still a large effort that is needed to solve the theoretical problem that emerges from the hiatus that separates the narratives of modernity from those of the postcolonial perspective. In other words, there is a need to elucidate the mediation between the 'progress of modernity' and the 'violence of coloniality'.¶ 2.6 Coloniality is not a derivative or an unintended side effect of modernity, it is coeval and thus constitutive of modernity. Coloniality is referred to as the dark-side, the under-side of modernity. We then can speak of the modernity/ coloniality tandem to address the current social problems. 'Imperial globality has its underside in what could be called � global coloniality, meaning by this the heightened marginalisation and suppression of the knowledge and culture of subaltern groups' (Escobar, 2004, p. 207).¶ 2.7 Let us stop for a moment and look at how the modernity/ coloniality tandem appears in two illustrations of Mexico City published in the 1930 edition of the National Geographic in an article called North America's Oldest Metropolis.¶ 'A tattered old Indian came shuffling up to sell me a tiny terra-cota mask. � "Who made it?" I asked. ' La Gente Olvidada' (The Forgotten People)" (Simpich, 1930, p. 81). ¶ 2.8 Further down the reporter presents us with another image:¶ 'On billboards, in street cars, in news papers, and on theatre curtains the well-known illustrations for American made toothpaste, typewriters, motor cars, and toilet soaps give gaudy welcome to visiting Yankees, and bring that sense of security which comes from contact with familiar things in far places' (Simpich, 1930, p. 83). ¶ 2.9 For us the coupling of these images signals the same pressing question, namely that of the mediation between modernity and coloniality. How can we mediate between the 'forgotten people' and the 'billboards' full with 'American' brands? How can we make sense of the invisibility of the people and the visibility of the commodity? Is this not an essential question that arises in the midst of the modernity/ coloniality tandem?¶ 2.10 Is it not that the phantasmagoria of modernity, unveiled by critical thinkers such as Walter Benjamin (1999), Guy Debord (1994), Jean Baudrillard (1983) among others, is part and parcel of the economy of oblivion that hides the 'colonial wound', that assures the continued silencing of oppression[5]?¶ 2.11 If from the perspective of the critique of time, modernity is seen as the age that is geared towards an unattainable future, we could venture to say that coloniality signals the movement of the rejection of the past as a site of experience.¶ 2.12 A useful mediation between modernity and coloniality can be found in the notion of a modern politics of times that expresses itself in a threefold hegemony: a) the rejection of the past, b) the future-oriented mentality and c) the objectivity of the present. a) Coloniality comes to view as a set of practices and technologies of oblivion, of temporal discrimination that have contributed to making 'the other' invisible. b) Modernity is seen as a race towards an unattainable future, the race of the 'phantasmagoria of modernity'. c) The objectivity of modernity affirms the history of western metaphysics, the ontology of presence, it affirms the present as the only site of the real.¶ The critique of time¶ 2.13 The critique of modern time shows that modernity is the time that rejects the past, affirms the present as the site of the real, and construes the future in the semblance of a teleology. Core ideas of modernity, such as progress, history, universality, individuality they all correspond to this conception of time.¶ 2.14 In modernity, the present is affirmed as the site of the real, it is the site of objectivity, it designates the space of power. Michel de Certeau (1988) shows how modern domination is exercised through appropriating and defining its 'proper place', thus the enterprises of discovery, of map making, the scriptural economy of science, the modern city can all be read as strategies to define and appropriate space. Modernity can hence be characterized as the age that designates space as reality, and space is the site of power. What is important for our analysis is to realize that in modernity space coincides with presence, it is the expression of the present. The present and presence come together in the modern notion of time to constitute the site of the real[6].¶ 2.15 Benjamin's thinking of the 'empty present' of modernity helps us bring further this reflection as it shows that the affirmation of the present as the site of the real cannot be separated from the cult of the new and the illusion of the commodity. Modernity, Benjamin says, is the time haunted by its phantasmagorias. The modern objectivity of the present is wedded with the simulation of the future. The modern hegemony over visibility is a hegemony over the illusions of an objective present and a utopian future.¶ 2.16 On the other hand, coloniality comes to light, as the movement of oblivion, of the rejection of the past. It is the expression of a time that praises the present as the site of the real and the future as the horizon of expectation and the ultimate source of meaning. This notion of the future corresponds to the one-dimensional mind and its rational utopias. The violence of modernity and coloniality has constantly been justified in the name of these rational utopias. The chronology of historical necessity underlies the ideologies from right and left that flourished in the twentieth century and that systematically suppress the other, fostering the devaluation of political alternatives, and of alternative narratives. 'Historical determinism has been a costly and bloodstained fantasy' [7](Paz, 1991, p. 28).¶ Practices of oblivion and temporal discrimination¶ 2.17 It is precisely because the suffering belongs to the past that it is rejected as non-objective, non-valuable. The suffering of the oppressed is erased. Memory is historicized, the age of museums is the age of institutions that have reduced the past into a proper place, the past has been confined / objectified within the grips of history as institution, as a discipline. The past is confined to the objectivity of the present. History ceases to be a relation to the past, to acquire the semblance of a museum. 'From the beginning of the sixteenth century onward, the histories and languages of Indian communities "become historical" at the point where they lost their own history' (Mignolo, 2005, p. 26). The making of the past into an object of knowledge, 'the proper place' of history as a discipline, means negation of the past as an open realm of experience. This corresponds to the temporal hierarchy imposed by the modern notion of time and the hegemonic notion of history. '[F]or nineteenth-century intellectuals, statesmen, and politicians, "modernity" was cast in terms of civilization and progress' (Mignolo, 2005, p. 70). And '[t]he present was described as modern and civilized; the past as traditional and barbarian' (Mignolo, 2005). The terms barbarian and then primitive, traditional, backward become key words in the vocabulary of discrimination and the production of otherness. Societies were placed 'in an imaginary chronological line going from nature to culture, from barbarism to civilization following a progressive destination toward some point of arrival' (Mignolo, 2005). Modern Europe was established as the present, the past was the other (Mignolo, 2005). This type of temporal discrimination is clearly shown in the Zapatistas' claims. 'We are not your past, but your contemporaries' this is what a group of Zapatista women said to a group of European feminists that came to help them 'liberate'[8] themselves. The analysis of Walter Mignolo shows how modernity/ coloniality came with the instauration of temporal discrimination. 'By the eighteenth century, when "time" came into the picture and the colonial difference was redefined, "barbarians" were translated into "primitives" and located in time rather than in space. "Primitives" were in the lower scale of a chronological order driving toward "civilization"' (Mignolo, 2005, pXX).¶ 2.18 Next to the reduction of the past by the 'scriptural machine' (de Certeau 1988) of the historian and the social scientist, and the forms of temporal discrimination prevailing in modern narratives, there have been other practices, politics of time, oriented to sever the past from the realm of experience, strategies of erasure. Enormous resources and political capital have been invested in the destruction of the links with the past. In the Mexican Codex of Tlaxcala there is an image of Franciscan monks burning the cloths, the manuscripts, burning the gods (Figure 1). This pictorial example is just a token of the endless history of a politics of time oriented towards the destruction of memory.¶ 2.19 In 1894 during the attack of the Dutch in Indonesia, 'When the colonial soldiers conquered the Lombok kingdom a lot of cultural artefacts were ransacked .... when soldiers need[ed] something to warm-up their bodies .... a shelf of "old" books from [the] king's library [were] burnt' (Subangun, 2008, p. 2) .... During the British colony in India the colonial rulers organized bonfires to burn the traditional cloths[9]. In 1614 The Archbishop of Lima ordered the burning of the quenas and all other musical instrument from the indigenous people. ... In 1562 Fray Diego de Landa burnt all the Maya books, burning eight centuries of knowledge. In 1888 in Rio de Janeiro, the emperor Pedro II burnt the documents narrating three hundred Years of slavery in Brazil (Galeano, 2009, pp. 76-77)[10].¶ 2.20 "Colonialism is not simply content to impose its rule upon the present and the future of a dominated country. � By a kind of perverse logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures and destroys it" (Fanon in Mignolo, 2005, p. 84)[11]. These practices distinguish coloniality by a politics of time, driven to erasure. The objects, the instruments, the written knowledge were systematically turned into ashes. This shows an economy of destruction that is not reducible to be a side effect or a necessity of economic exploitation. What distinguishes these acts of destruction of the past from pre-modern acts of cultural destruction is that these acts came together with the imposition of modern temporality.¶ Memory as resistance¶ 2.21 However the memory of suffering cannot be burnt down, it cannot be totally erased by these practices. This highlights the value of the oral tradition as a strategy of resistance in many rebellious movements. The suffering of the past remains. '[N]othing that has ever happened should be regarded as lost to history' (Benjamin, 2003, p. 390).¶ 2.22 The consciousness of the suffering of the previous generations is the source of strength for a politics of time of liberation. The liberation from the modern politics of time is a fight for 'a memory that looks for the future against western oblivion'[12]. The rescue of memory is not a conservative move, the possibility to experience the past is not essentialist, but rebellious. 'I am sorry, I object the term "nostalgia". Nostalgia is the waltdisneyization of the past. It is very different from the memory that doesn't idealize nor disguise' (Pacheco, 2009)[13]. The Mexican poet's warning shows that we should not turn memory into a utopia; if we turn memory into utopia it is not memory anymore. Memory is the past as a site of experience it is a rebellion against the future oriented reason of modernity, against the reason that idealizes and disguises. Memory stands up against the rational utopias that have brought oblivion and violence.¶ 2.23 As Walter Benjamin says the strength of rebellion, the spirit of sacrifice is nourished 'by the image of enslaved ancestors rather than by the ideal of liberated grandchildren' (Benjamin, 2003, p. 394).¶ 2.24 The coming into visibility of the movements of resistance speaks of their capacity to break with the continuity of the processes of oppression, a continuity where chronology is synonymous of oblivion. They break away from the modern �empty time� that has been imposed upon them. 'The Mexican revolution of 1910, says Octavio Paz, was a popular upheaval that brought to light what was hidden. That is why it is not just a revolution but a revelation' (Paz, 1991, p. 54)[14]. The event clashes with the linear history of modernity and brings to visibility what was up until then marginalized out of the light of the public. Orfeo 'goes to rescue, not to conquer: he has to receive, not to posses' (Mujica, 2004, p. 25)[15].¶ 2.25 The postcolonial critique of modern time, seeks to transform our relation to time. The critical thinker of time does not want to conquer time, but rather she seeks to rescue, to salvage our relation to time, to the past, to memory, to history; she must receive, not possess. The manner of appropriation of the historian is replaced by a more humble reception, by listening, by experiencing time. We can then realize that the linear history of modernity, its universal chronology is continually being called into question by a history based on difference, where the present is constantly interspersed by the past. 'The silences and absences of history are speaking their presence' (Mignolo, 2005, p. 157).¶ Conclusion¶ 3.1 Let us note that the critique of time, by recognizing the violence of the simulation of modernity next to the violence of oblivion, is able to thematize the problem of those that are in the abyss, in-between the paradigms of the subaltern subject and the modern subject. By revealing the connection between modernity and coloniality, the critique of time brings to light all those who live in modernity's spaces of exclusion, no longer with an indigenous language, name or identity, those who live in the lost 'cities of modernity' and which remain largely unseen by the literature that presents modernity/coloniality as an unmediated dichotomy.¶ 3.2 So far we know that modernity cannot be thought without coloniality, that the spread of the ideas of progress and universality cannot be sundered from the spread of marginality and violence. Let this text serve as an initial provocation to explore the hiatus that divides modernity and coloniality by raising the question of their mediation. How can we think a modernity of simulacra that holds hegemony over the visible next to a coloniality of violence, oblivion and invisibility? How can we think together simulation and oblivion? Our proposal is to explore this mediation through the question of time, by taking seriously the politics of time that are at play next to the economic and political systems of exploitation. We suggest, for instance, looking at the illusion of the future in the practices of commodity consumption, at the notion of the present as being the site of the real in the institutional practices of power over places and knowledges and at the oblivion of the past in the practices of destruction of memory. Simulation and oblivion can be thought together when we see the politics of time that is at play in modernity/ coloniality.
Vasquez 9 Rolando Vázquez is assistant professor of Sociology at the Roosevelt Academy of the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. He teaches Latin American ideas. His research circles around the critique of the modern notion of time and its relevance for both de-colonial thinking and an extended critique of modernity. Vázquez, Rolando. "Modernity coloniality and visibility: the politics of time." http://www.socresonline.org.uk/14/4/7.html Sociological Research Online 14.4 (2009): 7. ipartman
How can we think the simulation of modernity together with the oblivion of coloniality? chronology, chronological narratives are at the heart of the modern/ colonial systems of oppression; and that the movements of resistance against 'hegemonic globalization' are not only questioning the material structures of oppression, but also the universality of the modern idea of time. the modernity/ coloniality tandem is of a politics of time geared towards of specific economic and political practices oriented to sever the oppressed from their past, their memory. temporal discrimination makes invisible all that does not belong to modern temporality resistance to coloniality embody a different politics of time, that rescues memory as a site of struggle inhabiting and rescuing the past These practices of resistance are fights against temporal discrimination: fights against invisibility. By addressing modern time we can better understand the violence of modernity/ coloniality bringing the critique of time to the centre of the coloniality debate. chronology, chronological narratives are at the heart of oppression; movements of resistance against 'hegemonic globalization' are questioning the universality of time. modernity/ coloniality imposes the universal claim that the present is the only site of the real, while dismissing the past as archaic The past is a fixed entity with only documentary value the imposition of modern time is coeval to the injustice and violence of modernity/ coloniality oblivion has been a constitutive part of modernity's politics of time. The forms of oppression that characterize coloniality cannot be sufficiently understood without taking into account oblivion a politics of time that produces the other by rendering it invisible The destruction of memory, produces invisibility invisibility is tantamount to de-politicization 'visibility' signals the close relation between material oppression and epistemic discrimination, violence oloniality dismisses the past, turns the future into the teleology of progress and holds the present to be the only site of the real. coloniality's strategies of invisibility erase the past as a site of experience The condition of possibility of these strategies over the visible, the monopoly of the sense of the real, is grounded on the modern notion of time 'The "discovery" of America and the genocide of Indians and African slaves are the very foundations of "modernity' they constitute the darker face of modernity, 'coloniality'' Coloniality is not a derivative , it is constitutive of modernity the under-side the phantasmagoria of modernity of a modern politics of times that expresses itself in a threefold hegemony rejection of the past future-oriented mentality and the objectivity of the present temporal discrimination contributed to making 'the other' invisible. Modernity is seen as a race towards an unattainable future The objectivity of modernity affirms the history of western metaphysics, the present as the only site of the real modernity is the time that rejects the past and construes the future in a teleology. Core modernity progress, universality, all correspond to this conception of time. the present it designates the space of power. modern domination is exercised through defining its 'proper place', Modernity can hence be characterized as the age that designates space as reality space coincides with presence the present The present and presence come together to constitute the site of the real the affirmation of the present cannot be separated from the cult of the new and the illusion of the commodity The objectivity of the present is wedded with the simulation of the future. a hegemony over the illusions of an objective present and a utopian future.¶ coloniality comes to light, as the rejection of the past. It time that praises the present as the site of the real and the future as the horizon The violence of modernity has constantly been justified in the name of these rational utopias. The chronology of historical necessity underlies the ideologies from right and left systematically suppress the other fostering the devaluation of political alternatives a costly and bloodstained fantasy' because the suffering belongs to the past it is rejected as non-objective The suffering of the oppressed is erased. Memory is historicized the age of museums confined / objectified History ceases to be a relation to the past, negation of the past as an open realm of experience the temporal hierarchy imposed by modern of time and hegemonic history barbarian and , backward become key words in the vocabulary of discrimination Societies were placed 'in an imaginary chronological line coloniality came with the instauration of temporal discrimination. 'By politics of time, sever the past strategies of erasure Franciscan monks burning the manuscripts, burning the gods the endless history of a politics of time oriented towards the destruction of memory Colonialism turns to the past of the oppressed people, and destroys i This shows an economy of destruction that is not reducible to economic exploitation However the memory of suffering cannot be burnt down, The consciousness of the suffering of the previous generations is the source of strength for a politics of time of liberation The liberation from the modern politics of time is a fight for 'a memory we should not turn memory into a utopia Memory is a rebellion against the future oriented reason of modernity Memory stands up against the rational utopias that have brought oblivion and violence the spirit of sacrifice is nourished 'by the image of enslaved ancestors rather than by the ideal of liberated grandchildren' movements of resistance to break with the chronology synonymous of oblivion from the modern �empty time� The critical thinker of time seeks to to salvage our relation to time, to the past the linear history of modernity is called into question by a history based on difference the critique of time recognizing the violence of the simulation of modernity next to the violence of oblivion, is able to thematize those in the abyss the critique of time brings to light all those who live in modernity's spaces of exclusion, the ideas of progress and universality cannot be sundered from the spread of marginality and violence by taking seriously the politics of time next to systems of exploitation. looking at the illusion of the future at the present as being the site of the real in the institutional practices of powe in the destruction of memory. Simulation and oblivion can be thought together when we see the politics of time
We control the root cause debate – Economic exploitation occurs because of an affective investment in rational utopias. Neoliberalism always operates through a politics of chronology oriented towards civility and erasure of the past.
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And it is this issue of survival that is central to the class consciousness Ortiz fosters, that is, a class consciousness that comprehends the historical processes of genocide as inherent in and necessary to capitalist [End Page 179] development and also as persistent and expanding to more populations in our contemporary global and domestic economies precisely because, to reiterate Ortiz's urgent point, the priority of capitalism is not survival but the production of profit. As he writes, "The Southwestern U.S. is caught in the throes of economic ventures and political manipulation which are ultimately destructive if the U.S. government and the multinational corporations do not have people and the land and their continuance as their foremost concern" (360). It is at this moment in the narrative where Ortiz speaks to the need to imagine alternative modes of resistance other than simply seeking higher wages or higher standards of living, neither of which addresses the responsible use of resources, human and material, to ensure quality of life and survival. What Ortiz emphasizes in particular is that this issue of survival--which encompasses issues of water rights and land use--while it has been a guiding concern of Native American politics and resistance, is not or should not be a uniquely Native American political concern. When he asserts that "it is survival that is at stake and it is the quality of life that is at stake," he is quick to insist also that [i]t is the survival of not only the Aacqumeh hanoh or the Dineh or other Southwestern native peoples, but it is all people of this nation. If the survival and quality of life of Indian peoples is not assured, then no one else's life is, because those same economic, social, and political forces which destroy them will surely destroy others. It is not only a matter of preserving and protecting Indian lands as some kind of natural wilderness or cultural parks; rather it is a matter of how those lands can be productive in terms which are Indian people's to make, instead of Indian people being forced to serve a U.S. national interest which has never adequately served them. Those lands can be productive to serve humanity, just like the oral tradition of the Aacqumeh says, and the people can be productive and serve the land so that it is not wasted and destroyed. (360) This rich passage raises many points for discussion in terms of how Ortiz constructs class consciousness and how this text and his writing as a whole relate to and redefine the contours and politics of the proletarian [End Page 180] literary genre. Ortiz here is asserting the privileged historical, economic, and social position, as well as the privileged perspective of the Native American in the historical development and contemporary society of U.S. capitalism. Just as Lukacs in History and Class Consciousness argues that "the superiority of the proletariat must lie exclusively in its ability to see society from the center, as a coherent whole" (69), Ortiz effectively suggests that Native Americans occupy a "more central" position in society from which to comprehend it as a coherent whole. However, while Lukacs argues that "the self-understanding of the proletariat is [. . .] simultaneously the objective understanding of the nature of society" and that "when the proletariat furthers its own class-aims it simultaneously achieves the conscious realization of the--objective--aims of society, aims which would inevitably remain abstract possibilities and objective frontiers but for this conscious intervention" (149), Ortiz represents Native Americans' self-understanding as yielding a more accurate and insightful vision of the trajectory of social history because they are most immediately threatened and affected by the historical development of capitalism. First in line for genocide, they are first to understand through experience the operations and aims of our current course of historical development. Thus they occupy the most advantageous position from which both to achieve a full consciousness of U.S. capitalism and to intervene consciously in redirecting historical development. Consequently, Ortiz means to bring the exigency of survival to the forefront of political and class consciousness, suggesting that while Native Americans are most urgently conscious of the task of survival, it needs to be a larger working-class issue; it needs to be the premise of the class struggle itself to prioritize survival by making lands "productive to serve humanity." However, Ortiz warns that such a goal "will take real decisions and actions and concrete understanding by the poor and workers of this nation" (360). The above passage also highlights the importance of understanding Native Americans as a dynamic part of the U.S. proletariat and of U.S. labor history. In the text as a whole, Ortiz worries about the "preservation" of Native American culture in museums and state parks that tend to hypostatize Native Americans as relics of history rather than as historical and contemporary participants in U.S. society and economy. The worry is that Native Americans will be isolated in "natural wilderness or [End Page 181] cultural parks" (360) and thus relegated to the margins instead of recognized as the center of social change and class consciousness that Ortiz believes they need to be. The other sectors of the working class need to understand the genocide and exploitation of Native Americans if they are going to understand comprehensively the operations of U.S. capitalism, the path of their genuine self-interest within that system, and the fate that awaits them if they do no act to redirect the course of history by learning from and following the lead of Native Americans. It is here that Ortiz makes his most passionate plea, one worth quoting at length: They will have to see that the present exploitation of coal at Black Mesa Mine in Arizona does not serve the Hopi and Navajo whose homeland it is. They will have to understand that the political and economic forces which have caused Hopi and Navajo people to be in conflict with each other and within their own nations are the same forces which steal the human fabric of their own communities and lives. They will have to be willing to identify capitalism for what it is, that it is destructive and uncompassionate and deceptive. They will have to be willing to do so or they will never understand why the Four Corners power plants in northwestern New Mexico continue to spew poisons into the air, destroying plant, animal, and human life in the area. They will have to be willing to face and challenge the corporations at their armed bank buildings, their stock brokers, and their drilling, mining, milling, refining and processing operations. If they don't do that, they will not understand what Aacqu and her sister Pueblos in the Southwest are fighting for when they seek time and time again to bring attention to their struggle for land, water, and human rights. The American poor and workers and white middle class, who are probably the most ignorant of all U.S. citizens, must understand how they, like Indian people, are forced to serve a national interest, controlled by capitalist vested interests in collusion with U.S. policy makers, which does not serve them. Only when this understanding is attained and decisions are reached and actions taken to overcome economic and political oppression imposed on us all will there be no longer a national sacrifice area in the Southwest. Only then will there [End Page 182] be no more unnecessary sacrifices of our people and land. (360-61) In this catalog of what the American poor and working class need to see, understand, and do--much of which entails facing and comprehending the particular exploitation and colonized status of Native Americans--Ortiz is suggesting that Native American class consciousness and political self-interests are not only identical to those of the non-Native American working class and poor but that, even more so, they are definitive of class consciousness and working-class political interests. If they do not understand the Native American situation, they will not understand "the same forces which steal the human fabric of their own American communities and lives." This same recognition is equally crucial in the literary critical sphere when we attempt to map the coordinates of a genre of proletarian literature as such a genre becomes the cultural representation and mouthpiece of the U.S. working class and its interests. To marginalize Native American literature or categorize it wholly apart from and exclusive of proletarian literature re-enacts the same gesture of making invisible the Native American working class, of isolating it from the scene of wage labor. Moreover, what is also rendered invisible by obscuring the historical experience of Native Americans, their working-class experience, and their narrative of survival and class struggle, is the historical memory of an unalienated relationship with the land. We have already seen Ortiz represent precolonial moments in which the Aacqu's lives were described as ones of material well being and spiritual integrity. While his narrative of colonization represents their growing dependence on wage labor and their general dependence under capitalism because of the diminution of their access to natural resources caused in part by their dispossession and in part by industrial capitalism's destruction of those resources, Ortiz also highlights that what remains through oral history is a memory of an actual culture or way of life characterized not by alienation but by integrity with nature, oneself, and others. Ortiz writes, I don't know when it was that the grass was as high as a man's waist. I never knew that. All my life, the grass had been sparse and brittle. All my life, the winters have been cold and windy [End Page 183] and the summers hot and mostly rainless. But the people talk about those good years when they could cope with life on their own terms. The winters were always cold and the summers hot, but they could cope with them because there was a system of life which spelled out exactly how to deal with the realities they knew. The people had developed a system of knowledge which made it possible for them to work at solutions. And they had the capabilities of developing further knowledge to deal with new realities. There was probably not anything they could not deal properly and adequately with until the Mericano came. (349) The phenomenon Ortiz describes here is the general deskilling of the human, of the alienation that capitalism inflicts in its will to dominate. Here Ortiz depicts again, it is worth reiterating, the way capitalism curtails rather than enhances productive efficiency as he represents how the colonizing process hobbled the people, made them dependent rather than self-sufficient, and robbed them of their creative abilities and skills. But what is perhaps most striking about the narrative is that Ortiz represents an actual useable past that is not simply a utopian invention but rather a viable historical model. The importance of Ortiz's identification of this historical actuality is that it challenges those critics who see Marxism's ideal of a culture of disalienation, in which each person realizes her species being, as not only unattainable but also as never having been attained, as historically fantastic. Take, for example, Stephen Greenblatt's criticism of a passage from The Political Unconscious in which Fredric Jameson speaks to the process whereby capitalism diminishes the unalienated individual subject in its production of the fragmented bourgeois individual. Greenblatt writes, The whole passage has the resonance of an allegory of the fall of man: once we were whole, agile, integrated; we were individual subjects but not individuals, we had no psychology distinct from the shared life of the society; politic and poetry were one. Then capitalism arose and shattered this luminous, benign totality. The myth echoes throughout Jameson's book, though by the close it has been eschatologically reoriented so that the totality lies not in a past revealed to have always [End Page 184] already fallen but in the classless future. A philosophical claim that appeals to an absent empirical event. (3) While Greenblatt no doubt has a point--it is certainly difficult to attribute alienation solely to the onset of capitalism, as though somehow feudal and slave economies featured whole and happy individual subjects--his own sense of the past is equally distorted, at least in light of Ortiz's narrative. Nonetheless, Greenblatt's criticism is one commonly hauled out to attempt to undermine the legitimacy of Marxist theories of human nature and liberation. Thus, Ortiz's identification of this historical moment of integration, as opposed to alienation, serves not only to challenge the cynical bourgeois critics of Marxism but, perhaps even more importantly, to give the Marxist tradition a model of possibility on which to build and imagine a postcapitalist culture. To distance or isolate Native Americans from the U.S. working class and their literature from the larger proletarian tradition is to impoverish and, really, to disempower the U.S. working class by cutting it off from this model of possibility that ought to inform class struggle. Indeed, as Ortiz strenuously argues throughout the piece, it is the condition of alienation from ourselves, nature, and other people that most seriously needs to be addressed, as alienation is the premise of exploitation and the destructive features of capitalism; Native Americans possess most vividly the collective memory of unalienated life, as opposed to most elements of the U.S. working class whose memory is confined to a capitalist world and an experience of wage labor, which might explain why so much energy in labor struggles focuses on wages rather than focusing more concertedly on alienation and on the use of resources. Native Americans are best positioned to assess the experience of alienation under capitalism, Ortiz suggests, because they have not just an imagination but also an historical knowledge of a different mode of production, culture, and way of life, as we see in the following passage in which Ortiz discusses the experiences of Laguna and Navajo miners working for the Kerr-McGee mines in New Mexico: The Navajo men who went into the underground mines did not have much choice except to work there, just like the Laguna miners who find themselves as surface labor and semi-skilled [End Page 185] workers. The Kerr-McGee miners who had stayed for any length of time underground breathing the dust laden with radon gas would find themselves cancerous. The Laguna miners would find themselves questioning how much real value the mining operation had when their land was overturned into a gray pit miles and miles in breadth. They would ask if the wages they earned, causing wage income dependency, and the royalties received by the Kawaikah people were worth it when Mericano values beset their children and would threaten the heritage they had struggled to keep for so long. (356) The Laguna miners are able to measure their value system and the social relationships it entails against that of capitalism and its destructive, even murderous, effects on the land and the people. Once again, Ortiz counterpoints two modes of conceptualizing value, embodied in one culture that prioritizes quality of life and in another quantitatively oriented culture committed to accumulating monetary wealth at the expense of life. The importance here, though, is that the Native American working class already possesses the value system for as well as the memory and imagination of a postcapitalist culture that the non-Native American U.S. working class needs to recognize as a valuable and crucial attribute of its tradition of resistance to capital and its aspirations of social transformation. Similarly, Ortiz also speaks of the memory of the Peublo Revolt of 1680 in which enslaved Africans, native Americans, and descendants of the Chicano people fought back against Spanish colonialism. This example of multiracial organizing and resistance is highlighted as a central element of the collective memory of empowerment and change. It is just such models of revolt that the U.S. working class needs as part of its historical and class consciousness, which it needs to be attached to and not dissociated from. But yet when critics narrowly periodize and restrictively define the category of proletarian literature, it is just such dissociation and erasure that takes place. In developing a Marxist cultural tradition on the Left that is capable of directing and imagining full liberation, we must construct a proper proletarian literature genre which maps comprehensively the body of texts that are expressions of class struggle and which mediates the sociological and the cultural in a way that allows us to draw on the whole rich collective tradition of working class struggle [End Page 186] against racial patriarchal capitalism. Understanding Native American literature as proletarian begins this process of political and literary reorganization. Both Silko and Ortiz offer rethinkings of Marxism and class struggle that position Native Americans as pivotal actants and Native American culture and history as a rich reservoir of models for imagining change as well as postcapitalist culture and economy. Both culturally and politically, the Left needs to revivify its cultural imaginary and not dissociate by virtue of its exclusive cultural and political categories from political and cultural traditions that offer meaningful cross-fertilization. Indeed, just as Marx said the educators must be educated, so the Left must be educated by other left Marxist traditions it might not have even recognized as such. As Ward Churchill admonishes, when you think about Native American political concerns over such issues as land and water rights, The great mass of non-Indians in North America really have much to gain, and almost nothing to lose, from the success of native people in struggles to reclaim the land which is rightfully ours. The tangible diminishment of U.S. material power which is integral to our victories in this sphere stands to pave the way for realization of most other agendas--from anti-imperialism to environmentalism, from African-American liberation to feminism, from gay rights to the ending of class privilege--pursued by progressives on this continent. Conversely, succeeding with any or even all these other agendas would still represent an inherently oppressive situation if their realization is contingent upon an ongoing occupation of Native North America without the consent of Indian people. Any North American revolution which failed to free indigenous territory from non-Indian domination would simply be a continuation of colonialism in another form. (88) Indeed, just as Marx theorizes that the working class is the lynchpin of liberation because in order to liberate itself it must do away with class altogether, we can take Churchill here, as well as Silko and Ortiz, to be in some sense saying that for the non-Indian U.S. working class to liberate itself, Native Americans must be liberated. Put another way, the working class cannot liberate only part of itself, so it must identify and understand [End Page 187] itself fully in order to liberate itself fully. Mapping this understanding via the space of a proletarian literary genre is a place to begin.
Libretti 1 (Tim, professor of English and Women's Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Ph.D from the University of Michigan MFS Modern Fiction Studies, Volume 47, Number 1, Spring 2001, pp. 164-189, The Johns Hopkins University Press)
And it is this issue of survival that is central to the class consciousness Ortiz fosters, that is, a class consciousness that comprehends the historical processes of genocide as inherent in and necessary to capitalist development and also as persistent and expanding to more populations in our contemporary global and domestic economies precisely because, to reiterate Ortiz's urgent point, the priority of capitalism is not survival but the production of profit. ). It is at this moment in the narrative where Ortiz speaks to the need to imagine alternative modes of resistance other than simply seeking higher wages or higher standards of living, neither of which addresses the responsible use of resources, human and material, to ensure quality of life and survival. What Ortiz emphasizes in particular is that this issue of survival--which encompasses issues of water rights and land use--while it has been a guiding concern of Native American politics and resistance, is not or should not be a uniquely Native American political concern. When he asserts that "it is survival that is at stake and it is the quality of life that is at stake," he is quick to insist also that [i]t is the survival of not only the Aacqumeh hanoh or the Dineh or other Southwestern native peoples, but it is all people of this nation If the survival and quality of life of Indian peoples is not assured, then no one else's life is, because those same economic, social, and political forces which destroy them will surely destroy others. It is not only a matter of preserving and protecting Indian lands as some kind of natural wilderness or cultural parks; rather it is a matter of how those lands can be productive in terms which are Indian people's to make, instead of Indian people being forced to serve a U.S. national interest which has never adequately served them. Just as Lukacs in History and Class Consciousness argues that "the superiority of the proletariat must lie exclusively in its ability to see society from the center, as a coherent whole" Ortiz effectively suggests that Native Americans occupy a "more central" position in society from which to comprehend it as a coherent whole. Ortiz represents Native Americans' self-understanding as yielding a more accurate and insightful vision of the trajectory of social history because they are most immediately threatened and affected by the historical development of capitalism. First in line for genocide, they are first to understand through experience the operations and aims of our current course of historical development. Thus they occupy the most advantageous position from which both to achieve a full consciousness of U.S. capitalism and to intervene consciously in redirecting historical development. Consequently, Ortiz means to bring the exigency of survival to the forefront of political and class consciousness, suggesting that while Native Americans are most urgently conscious of the task of survival, it needs to be a larger working-class issue; it needs to be the premise of the class struggle itself to prioritize survival by making lands "productive to serve humanity." However, Ortiz warns that such a goal "will take real decisions and actions and concrete understanding by the poor and workers of this nation" The other sectors of the working class need to understand the genocide and exploitation of Native Americans if they are going to understand comprehensively the operations of U.S. capitalism, the path of their genuine self-interest within that system, and the fate that awaits them if they do no act to redirect the course of history by learning from and following the lead of Native Americans. It is here that Ortiz makes his most passionate plea, one worth quoting at length: They will have to see that the present exploitation of coal at Black Mesa Mine in Arizona does not serve the Hopi and Navajo whose homeland it is. They will have to be willing to identify capitalism for what it is, that it is destructive and uncompassionate and deceptive. They will have to be willing to do so or they will never understand why the Four Corners power plants in northwestern New Mexico continue to spew poisons into the air, destroying plant, animal, and human life in the area. They will have to be willing to face and challenge the corporations at their armed bank buildings, their stock brokers, and their drilling, mining, milling, refining and processing operations. If they don't do that, they will not understand what Aacqu and her sister Pueblos in the Southwest are fighting for when they seek time and time again to bring attention to their struggle for land, water, and human rights. The American poor and workers and white middle class, who are probably the most ignorant of all U.S. citizens, must understand how they, like Indian people, are forced to serve a national interest, controlled by capitalist vested interests in collusion with U.S. policy makers, which does not serve them. . If they do not understand the Native American situation, they will not understand "the same forces which steal the human fabric of their own American communities and lives." This same recognition is equally crucial in the literary critical sphere when we attempt to map the coordinates of a genre of proletarian literature as such a genre becomes the cultural representation and mouthpiece of the U.S. working class and its interests. To marginalize Native American literature or categorize it wholly apart from and exclusive of proletarian literature re-enacts the same gesture of making invisible the Native American working class, of isolating it from the scene of wage labor. Moreover, what is also rendered invisible by obscuring the historical experience of Native Americans, their working-class experience, and their narrative of survival and class struggle, is the historical memory of an unalienated relationship with the land. The importance of Ortiz's identification of this historical actuality is that it challenges those critics who see Marxism's ideal of a culture of disalienation, in which each person realizes her species being, as not only unattainable but also as never having been attained, as historically fantastic. Thus, Ortiz's identification of this historical moment of integration, as opposed to alienation, serves not only to challenge the cynical bourgeois critics of Marxism but, perhaps even more importantly, to give the Marxist tradition a model of possibility on which to build and imagine a postcapitalist culture. To distance or isolate Native Americans from the U.S. working class and their literature from the larger proletarian tradition is to impoverish and, really, to disempower the U.S. working class by cutting it off from this model of possibility that ought to inform class struggle. Native Americans are best positioned to assess the experience of alienation under capitalism, Ortiz suggests, because they have not just an imagination but also an historical knowledge of a different mode of production, culture, and way of life, as we see in the following passage in which Ortiz discusses the experiences of Laguna and Navajo miners working for the Kerr-McGee mines in New Mexico: The Navajo men who went into the underground mines did not have much choice except to work there, just like the Laguna miners who find themselves as surface labor and semi-skilled [End Page 185] workers. The Kerr-McGee miners who had stayed for any length of time underground breathing the dust laden with radon gas would find themselves cancerous. The Laguna miners would find themselves questioning how much real value the mining operation had when their land was overturned into a gray pit miles and miles in breadth. They would ask if the wages they earned, causing wage income dependency, and the royalties received by the Kawaikah people were worth it when Mericano values beset their children and would threaten the heritage they had struggled to keep for so long. The importance here, though, is that the Native American working class already possesses the value system for as well as the memory and imagination of a postcapitalist culture that the non-Native American U.S. working class needs to recognize as a valuable and crucial attribute of its tradition of resistance to capital and its aspirations of social transformation. Similarly, Ortiz also speaks of the memory of the Peublo Revolt of 1680 in which enslaved Africans, native Americans, and descendants of the Chicano people fought back against Spanish colonialism. This example of multiracial organizing and resistance is highlighted as a central element of the collective memory of empowerment and change. It is just such models of revolt that the U.S. working class needs as part of its historical and class consciousness, which it needs to be attached to and not dissociated from. But yet when critics narrowly periodize and restrictively define the category of proletarian literature, it is just such dissociation and erasure that takes place. In developing a Marxist cultural tradition on the Left that is capable of directing and imagining full liberation, we must construct a proper proletarian literature genre which maps comprehensively the body of texts that are expressions of class struggle and which mediates the sociological and the cultural in a way that allows us to draw on the whole rich collective tradition of working class struggle against racial patriarchal capitalism. Both culturally and politically, the Left needs to revivify its cultural imaginary and not dissociate by virtue of its exclusive cultural and political categories from political and cultural traditions that offer meaningful cross-fertilization. I Any North American revolution which failed to free indigenous territory from non-Indian domination would simply be a continuation of colonialism in another form. (88) Indeed, just as Marx theorizes that the working class is the lynchpin of liberation because in order to liberate itself it must do away with class altogether, we can take Churchill here, as well as Silko and Ortiz, to be in some sense saying that for the non-Indian U.S. working class to liberate itself, Native Americans must be liberated. Put another way, the working class cannot liberate only part of itself, so it must identify and understand itself fully in order to liberate itself fully.
Alienation DA—The working class cannot liberate only part of itself—the left must reinvent its political ideology to achieve a true class consciousness. The abject position of the Native is the most advantageous from which to garner complete comprehension of capitalist exploitation. We must not fall into the same trap of a system which only serves itself—isolating indigeneity in the process. This means that only the permutation can resolve capitalism.
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69
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Several Native American contributors to this volume present various arguments in support of this charge. One of the most prominent indictments concerns the Marxist theory of the stages of historical development of society. Churchill and Dora-Lee Larson contend that Marx and Engels and subsequent generations of Marxists have erred in believing that all peoples and cultures must inevitably undergo capitalist development and all the violence and oppression associated with it.3 Churchill and Larson write, “No culture other than Europe has ever undergone the progression of material development experienced in Europe … to presume that nonEuropean cultures would inevitably have followed a trajectory from primitive to precapitalist to capitalist is sublimely speculative.”4 In their view, because Marxism views production and industrialization “as the measure by which all human advancement can be calculated,” only Europe can “lay claim to ultimate leadership in terms of ultimate progress and development” and “establishing the intellectual basis of planetary thought.”5 For Churchill and Larson, “Terms such as ‘primitive,’ ‘precapitalist,’ ‘underdeveloped,’ etc. … are racist and arrogant terms, unsupported by fact.”6 Churchill and Larson reject what they see as the assumption in Marxism that “In essence, Europe must be the ideal against which all people and all things are measured, the source of all ‘valid’ and ‘advanced’ inspiration.”7 Other Native American contributors echo Churchill and Larson’s view that Marxism’s failure to learn from the experience and knowledge of non-European cultures renders it yet another European intellectual import, another species of “faith, not science,” another kind of Messianic religion much like Christianity, with a “dangerous” universalism and a wanton disregard for non-European peoples, including Native Americans.8 Black Elk argues that Native American society is much more democratic and humane than contemporary industrial society, and he raises the important question: who is primitive, and who is advanced?9 Black Elk also claims that Marxists are just like Christians or other Europeans, who simply want to use Native Americans as “fodder material” for another European power group.10 Deloria submits that Marxism cannot adequately explain human personality, especially in the context of widely different social and historical contexts. He insists that Native Americans are not alienated from nature, as Marxists suggest all individuals in contemporary society are, and he suggests that Native Americans and other tribal peoples are the sole example of true humanism because they best understand the essential attributes of human beings.11 Another central criticism of Marxism by several Native American contributors centers on the question of industrialization. A close reading reveals some differences on this question among these writers, but most of their essays suggest that it may be industrialization itself—not the socio-economic system we call capitalism—which is at the root of the crises facing not only Native Americans but the population as a whole. In her “Preface,” Winona LaDuke suggests that the “highly rich and diversified” indigenous societies were “natural in the sense that they functioned in accord with, literally as a part of, nature and the natural environs.”12 She submits that indigenous people’s relationship to the land embodied a natural norm, and that European colonization and industrialization brought about “a new economic order…forged on the land, not with the land.”13 For LaDuke, “The developing technological society became ever more divorced from nature, ever more ‘synthetic.’”14 And for LaDuke, priority in emancipatory theory and practice must be afforded to the question of ‘what must be done’ in overcoming the synthetic by returning it to the natural.”15 Deloria has a rather different view on this issue. Deloria has his own strong criticisms of Marxism, but he writes, “In this paper I do not wish to debate the effects of industrialization. It seems to me that the Marxist analysis is superior at this point to the hopeless defense which Christianity seems to offer on behalf of various forms of capitalism and to the Indian refusal to take seriously the presence of industrial society on the planet.”16 In contrast, Russell Means and other Native Americans explore the extent of the devastation of the land and the natural environment wrought by industrialization and submit that it is modern machine-based production itself that must be overcome in order to protect and live in harmony with nature.17 Churchill and Larson argue that “Industry—the European production process” is “without doubt the most energy consumptive process ever conceived by the human mind and produces the most waste energy as well as waste materials.”18 Means contends that contemporary industrial society inevitably leads to the primacy of gaining material wealth and consumption of goods among the general population.19 In Means’ view, people in industrial societies have become “despiritualized” by industrialization and its European philosophical advocates to the point that “There is no satisfaction (for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a lake or a people in being.”20 Several Native American writers argue that Marxism offers no solutions to the problem of industrialization. Deloria contends that for Marxists as well as for capitalists, nature is to be struggled against, and overcome, for the sake of production and consumption.21 Black Elk suggests that Marxists have the same view of progress and development as capitalists—more industrialization.22 Churchill and Larson criticize the Revolutionary Communist Party’s contribution to this volume for upholding the “theme of the ultimate sanctity of industrialization as the advanced form of human social of organization” and the ethic of “maximum production and industrial efficiency,” which Churchill and Larson consider “ultimately the destructive element of humanity.”23 The extraordinary and tragic human costs of early Soviet industrialization are viewed as evidence that the “dangerous” logic of production and efficiency is found in both capitalist and socialist societies.24 Moreover, Means suggests that the experience of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries confirms that Marxists would continue to mine and use uranium until it runs out, and have no better regard for the earth than the capitalists do.25 Black Elk submits that history has confirmed the existence of centralization, rationalization, and alienation not only in capitalist societies, but in socialist societies as well. Hence, the underlying problem must be industrialization.26 Means argues, I do not believe that capitalism itself is really responsible for the situation in which we [Native Americans] have been declared a national sacrifice. No, it is the European tradition; European culture itself is responsible. Marxism is just the latest continuation of this tradition, not a solution to it.27
Smith 5 David Michael Smith, College of the Mainland “Marxism and Native Americans Revisited” http://www.se.edu/nas/files/2013/03/Proceedings-2005-Smith.pdf
Churchill and Dora-Lee Larson contend that Marx and Engels and subsequent generations of Marxists have erred in believing that all peoples and cultures must inevitably undergo capitalist development and all the violence and oppression associated with it No culture other than Europe has ever undergone the progression of material development experienced in Europe … to presume that nonEuropean cultures would inevitably have followed a trajectory from primitive to precapitalist to capitalist is sublimely speculative “Terms such as ‘primitive,’ ‘precapitalist,’ ‘underdeveloped,’ etc. … are racist and arrogant terms, unsupported by fact.”6 Churchill and Larson reject what they see as the assumption in Marxism that “In essence, Europe must be the ideal against which all people and all things are measured, the source of all ‘valid’ and ‘advanced’ inspiration. Marxism’s failure to learn from the experience and knowledge of non-European cultures renders it yet another European intellectual import, another species of “faith, not science,” another kind of Messianic religion much like Christianity, with a “dangerous” universalism and a wanton disregard for non-European peoples, including Native Americans who is primitive, and who is advanced? Another central criticism of Marxism by several Native American contributors centers on the question of industrialization. that European colonization and industrialization brought about “a new economic order…forged on the land, not with the land.”13 For LaDuke, “The developing technological society became ever more divorced from nature, ever more ‘synthetic.’ Russell Means and other Native Americans explore the extent of the devastation of the land and the natural environment wrought by industrialization and submit that it is modern machine-based production itself that must be overcome in order to protect and live in harmony with nature. Several Native American writers argue that Marxism offers no solutions to the problem of industrialization. Deloria contends that for Marxists as well as for capitalists, nature is to be struggled against, and overcome, for the sake of production and consumption.21 Black Elk suggests that Marxists have the same view of progress and development as capitalists—more industrialization. I do not believe that capitalism itself is really responsible for the situation in which we [Native Americans] have been declared a national sacrifice. No, it is the European tradition; European culture itself is responsible. Marxism is just the latest continuation of this tradition, not a solution to it
Western development DA—Communism is a Eurocentric construction that was made as an answer to the problems of Europe. There’s no warrant as to why or how materialist progression would apply outside of colonial society, and their universal application of such only devolves into a new manifestation of eurocentrism.
7,068
313
2,586
1,056
48
380
0.045
0.36
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I should be clear about something here, because there seems to be some confusion about it. When I speak of Europeans or mental Europeans, I’m not allowing for false distinctions. I’m not saying that on the one hand there are the by-products of a few thousand years of genocidal, reactionary, European intellectual development which is bad; and on the other hand there is some new revolutionary intellectual development which is good. I’m referring here to the so-called theories of Marxism and anarchism and “leftism” in general. I don’t believe these theories can be separated from the rest of the of the European intellectual tradition. It’s really just the same old song. The process began much earlier. Newton, for example, “revolutionized” physics and the so-called natural sciences by reducing the physical universe to a linear mathematical equation. Descartes did the same thing with culture. John Locke did it with politics, and Adam Smith did it with economics. Each one of these “thinkers” took a piece of the spirituality of human existence and converted it into code, an abstraction. They picked up where Christianity ended: they “secularized” Christian religion, as the “scholars” like to say–and in doing so they made Europe more able and ready to act as an expansionist culture. Each of these intellectual revolutions served to abstract the European mentality even further, to remove the wonderful complexity and spirituality from the universe and replace it with a logical sequence: one, two, three. Answer! This is what has come to be termed “efficiency” in the European mind. Whatever is mechanical is perfect; whatever seems to work at the moment–that is, proves the mechanical model to be the right one–is considered correct, even when it is clearly untrue. This is why “truth” changes so fast in the European mind; the answers which result from such a process are only stopgaps, only temporary, and must be continuously discarded in favor of new stopgaps which support the mechanical models and keep them (the models) alive. Hegel and Marx were heirs to the thinking of Newton, Descartes, Locke and Smith. Hegel finished the process of secularizing theology–and that is put in his own terms–he secularized the religious thinking through which Europe understood the universe. Then Marx put Hegel’s philosophy in terms of “materialism,” which is to say that Marx despiritualized Hegel’s work altogether. Again, this is in Marx’ own terms. And this is now seen as the future revolutionary potential of Europe. Europeans may see this as revolutionary, but American Indians see it simply as still more of that same old European conflict between being and gaining. The intellectual roots of a new Marxist form of European imperialism lie in Marx’–and his followers’–links to the tradition of Newton, Hegel and the others. Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to gain. Material gain is an indicator of false status among traditional people, while it is “proof that the system works” to Europeans. Clearly, there are two completely opposing views at issue here, and Marxism is very far over to the other side from the American Indian view. But let’s look at a major implication of this; it is not merely an intellectual debate. The European materialist tradition of despiritualizing the universe is very similar to the mental process which goes into dehumanizing another person. And who seems most expert at dehumanizing other people? And why? Soldiers who have seen a lot of combat learn to do this to the enemy before going back into combat. Murderers do it before going out to commit murder. Nazi SS guards did it to concentration camp inmates. Cops do it. Corporation leaders do it to the workers they send into uranium mines and steel mills. Politicians do it to everyone in sight. And what the process has in common for each group doing the dehumanizing is that it makes it all right to kill and otherwise destroy other people. One of the Christian commandments says, “Thou shalt not kill,” at least not humans, so the trick is to mentally convert the victims into nonhumans. Then you can proclaim violation of your own commandment as a virtue. In terms of the despiritualization of the universe, the mental process works so that it becomes virtuous to destroy the planet. Terms like progress and development are used as cover words here, the way victory and freedom are used to justify butchery in the dehumanization process. For example, a real-estate speculator may refer to “developing” a parcel of ground by opening a gravel quarry; development here means total, permanent destruction, with the earth itself removed. But European logic has gained a few tons of gravel with which more land can be “developed” through the construction of road beds. Ultimately, the whole universe is open–in the European view–to this sort of insanity. Most important here, perhaps, is the fact that Europeans feel no sense of loss in all this. After all, their philosophers have despiritualized reality, so there is no satisfaction (for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a lake or a people in being. No, satisfaction is measured in terms of gaining material. So the mountain becomes gravel, and the lake becomes coolant for a factory, and the people are rounded up for processing through the indoctrination mills Europeans like to call schools. But each new piece of that “progress” ups the ante out in the real world. Take fuel for the industrial machine as an example. Little more than two centuries ago, nearly everyone used wood–a replenishable, natural item–as fuel for the very human needs of cooking and staying warm. Along came the Industrial Revolution and coal became the dominant fuel, as production became the social imperative for Europe. Pollution began to become a problem in the cities, and the earth was ripped open to provide coal whereas wood had always simply been gathered or harvested at no great expense to the environment. Later, oil became the major fuel, as the technology of production was perfected through a series of scientific “revolutions.” Pollution increased dramatically, and nobody yet knows what the environmental costs of pumping all that oil out of the ground will really be in the long run. Now there’s an “energy crisis,” and uranium is becoming the dominant fuel. Capitalists, at least, can be relied upon to develop uranium as fuel only at the rate which they can show a good profit. That’s their ethic, and maybe they will buy some time. Marxists, on the other hand, can be relied upon to develop uranium fuel as rapidly as possible simply because it’s the most “efficient” production fuel available. That’s their ethic, and I fail to see where it’s preferable. Like I said, Marxism is right smack in the middle of European tradition. It’s the same old song. There’s a rule of thumb which can be applied here. You cannot judge the real nature of a European revolutionary doctrine on the basis of the changes it proposes to make within the European power structure and society. You can only judge it by the effects it will have on non-European peoples. This is because every revolution in European history has served to reinforce Europe’s tendencies and abilities to export destruction to other peoples, other cultures and the environment itself. I defy anyone to point out an example where this is not true. So now we, as American Indian people, are asked to believe that a “new” European revolutionary doctrine such as Marxism will reverse the negative effects of European history on us. European power relations are to be adjusted once again, and that’s supposed to make things better for all of us. But what does this really mean? Right now, today, we who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation are living in what white society has designated a “National Sacrifice Area.” What this means is that we have a lot of uranium deposits here, and white culture (not us) needs this uranium as energy production material. The cheapest, most efficient way for industry to extract and deal with the processing of this uranium is to dump the waste by-products right here at the digging sites. Right here where we live. This waste is radioactive and will make the entire region uninhabitable forever. This is considered by the industry, and by the white society that created this industry, to be an “acceptable” price to pay for energy resource development. Along the way they also plan to drain the water table under this part of South Dakota as part of the industrial process, so the region becomes doubly uninhabitable. The same sort of thing is happening down in the land of the Navajo and Hopi, up in the land of the Northern Cheyenne and Crow, and elsewhere. Thirty percent of the coal in the West and half of the uranium deposits in the United States have been found to lie under reservation land, so there is no way this can be called a minor issue. We are resisting being turned into a National Sacrifice Area. We are resisting being turned into a national sacrifice people. The costs of this industrial process are not acceptable to us. It is genocide to dig uranium here and drain the water table–no more, no less. Now let’s suppose that in our resistance to extermination we begin to seek allies (we have). Let’s suppose further that we were to take revolutionary Marxism at its word: that it intends nothing less than the complete overthrow of the European capitalists order which has presented this threat to our very existence. This would seem to be a natural alliance for American Indian people to enter into. After all, as the Marxists say, it is the capitalists who set us up to be a national sacrifice. This is true as far as it goes. But, as I’ve tried to point out, this “truth” is very deceptive. Revolutionary Marxism is committed to even further perpetuation and perfection of the very industrial process which is destroying us all. It offers only to “redistribute” the results–the money, maybe–of this industrialization to a wider section of the population. It offers to take wealth from the capitalists and pass it around; but in order to do so, Marxism must maintain the industrial system. Once again, the power relations within European society will have to be altered, but once again the effects upon American Indian peoples here and non-Europeans elsewhere will remain the same. This is much the same as when power was redistributed from the church to private business during the so-called bourgeois revolution. European society changed a bit, at least superficially, but its conduct toward non-Europeans continued as before. You can see what the American Revolution of 1776 did for American Indians. It’s the same old song. Revolutionary Marxism, like industrial society in other forms, seeks to “rationalize” all people in relation to industry–maximum industry, maximum production. It is a doctrine that despises the American Indian spiritual tradition, our cultures, our lifeways. Marx himself called us “precapitalists” and “primitive.” Precapitalist simply means that, in his view, we would eventually discover capitalism and become capitalists; we have always been economically retarded [[[ignorant]]] in Marxist terms. The only manner in which American Indian people could participate in a Marxist revolution would be to join the industrial system, to become factory workers, or “proletarians,” as Marx called them. The man was very clear about the fact that his revolution could only occur through the struggle of the proletariat, that the existence of a massive industrial system is a precondition of a successful Marxist society. I think there’s a problem with language here. Christians, capitalists, Marxists. All of them have been revolutionary in their own minds, but none of them really means revolution. What they really mean is continuation. They do what they do in order that European culture can continue to exist and develop according to its needs. Like germs, European culture goes through occasional convulsions, even divisions within itself, in order to go on living and growing. This isn’t a revolution we’re talking about, but a means to continue what already exists. An amoeba is still an amoeba after it reproduces. But maybe comparing European culture to an amoeba isn’t really fair to the amoeba. Maybe cancer cells are a more accurate comparison because European culture has historically destroyed everything around it; and it will eventually destroy itself. So, in order for us to really join forces with Marxism, we American Indians would have to accept the national sacrifice of our homeland; we would have to commit cultural suicide and become industrialized and Europeanized. At this point, I’ve got to stop and ask myself whether I’m being too harsh. Marxism has something of a history. Does this history bear out my observations? I look to the process of industrialization in the Soviet Union since 1920 and I see that these Marxists have done what it took the English Industrial Revolution 300 years to do; and the Marxists did it in 60 years. I see that the territory of the USSR used to contain a number of tribal peoples and that they have been crushed to make way for the factories. The Soviets refer to this as “the National Question,” the question of whether the tribal peoples had the right to exist as peoples; and they decided the tribal peoples were an acceptable sacrifice to the industrial needs. I look to China and I see the same thing. I look to Vietnam and I see Marxists imposing an industrial order and rooting out the indigenous tribal mountain people. I hear the leading Soviet scientist saying that when uranium is exhausted, then alternatives will be found. I see the Vietnamese taking over a nuclear power plant abandoned by the U.S. military. Have they dismantled and destroyed it? No, they are using it. I see China exploding nuclear bombs, developing uranium reactors, and preparing a space program in order to colonize and exploit the planets the same as the Europeans colonized and exploited this hemisphere. It’s the same old song, but maybe with a faster tempo this time. The statement of the Soviet scientist is very interesting. Does he know what this alternative energy source will be? No, he simply has faith. Science will find a way. I hear revolutionary Marxists saying that the destruction of the environment, pollution, and radiation will all be controlled. And I see them act upon their words. Do they know how these things will be controlled? No, they simply have faith. Science will find a way. Industrialization is fine and necessary. How do they know this? Faith. Science will find a way. Faith of this sort has always been known in Europe as religion. Science has become the new European religion for both capitalists and Marxists; they are truly inseparable; they are part and parcel of the same culture. So, in both theory and practice, Marxism demands that non-European peoples give up their values, their traditions, their cultural existence altogether. We will all be industrialized science addicts in a Marxist society. I do not believe that capitalism itself is really responsible for the situation in which American Indians have been declared a national sacrifice. No, it is the European tradition; European culture itself is responsible. Marxism is just the latest continuation of this tradition, not a solution to it. To ally with Marxism is to ally with the very same forces that declare us an acceptable cost.
Means 80—was a leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM) of the 1960s and 70s, and remains one of the most outspoken Native Americans in the U.S. (Russell, Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”, http://endofcapitalism.com/2010/10/17/revolution-and-american-indians-marxism-is-as-alien-to-my-culture-as-capitalism/#more-1730)**We don’t endorse ableist language**
I’m referring here to the so-called theories of Marxism and anarchism and “leftism” in general. I don’t believe these theories can be separated from the rest of the of the European intellectual tradition. It’s really just the same old song. The process began much earlier. Newton, for example, “revolutionized” physics and the so-called natural sciences by reducing the physical universe to a linear mathematical equation. an abstraction Each of these intellectual revolutions served to abstract the European mentality even further, to remove the wonderful complexity and spirituality from the universe and replace it with a logical sequence: one, two, three. Answer! This is what has come to be termed “efficiency” in the European mind. Whatever is mechanical is perfect; whatever seems to work at the moment–that is, proves the mechanical model to be the right one–is considered correct, even when it is clearly untrue. This is why “truth” changes so fast in the European mind; the answers which result from such a process are only stopgaps, only temporary, and must be continuously discarded in favor of new stopgaps which support the mechanical models and keep them (the models) alive. Hegel and Marx were heirs to the thinking of Newton, Descartes, Locke and Smith. Hegel finished the process of secularizing theology–and that is put in his own terms–he secularized the religious thinking through which Europe understood the universe. Then Marx put Hegel’s philosophy in terms of “materialism,” which is to say that Marx despiritualized Hegel’s work altogether Europeans may see this as revolutionary, but American Indians see it simply as still more of that same old European conflict between being and gaining. The intellectual roots of a new Marxist form of European imperialism lie in Marx’–and his followers’–links to the tradition of Newton, Hegel and the others. Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to gain. Material gain is an indicator of false status among traditional people, while it is “proof that the system works” to Europeans. Clearly, there are two completely opposing views at issue here, and Marxism is very far over to the other side from the American Indian view. Terms like progress and development are used as cover words here, the way victory and freedom are used to justify butchery in the dehumanization process. For example, a real-estate speculator may refer to “developing” a parcel of ground by opening a gravel quarry; development here means total, permanent destruction, with the earth itself removed. But European logic has gained a few tons of gravel with which more land can be “developed” through the construction of road beds. Ultimately, the whole universe is open–in the European view–to this sort of insanity. Most important here, perhaps, is the fact that Europeans feel no sense of loss in all this. After all, their philosophers have despiritualized reality, so there is no satisfaction (for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a lake or a people in being. No, satisfaction is measured in terms of gaining material. Little more than two centuries ago, nearly everyone used wood–a replenishable, natural item–as fuel for the very human needs of cooking and staying warm. Along came the Industrial Revolution and coal became the dominant fuel, as production became the social imperative for Europe. Pollution began to become a problem in the cities, and the earth was ripped open to provide coal whereas wood had always simply been gathered or harvested at no great expense to the environment. Later, oil became the major fuel, as the technology of production was perfected through a series of scientific “revolutions.” Pollution increased dramatically, and nobody yet knows what the environmental costs of pumping all that oil out of the ground will really be in the long run. Now there’s an “energy crisis,” and uranium is becoming the dominant fuel. Capitalists, at least, can be relied upon to develop uranium as fuel only at the rate which they can show a good profit. That’s their ethic, and maybe they will buy some time. Marxists, on the other hand, can be relied upon to develop uranium fuel as rapidly as possible simply because it’s the most “efficient” production fuel available. That’s their ethic, and I fail to see where it’s preferable. Like I said, Marxism is right smack in the middle of European tradition. It’s the same old song. There’s a rule of thumb which can be applied here. You cannot judge the real nature of a European revolutionary doctrine on the basis of the changes it proposes to make within the European power structure and society. You can only judge it by the effects it will have on non-European peoples. This is because every revolution in European history has served to reinforce Europe’s tendencies and abilities to export destruction to other peoples, other cultures and the environment itself. So now we, as American Indian people, are asked to believe that a “new” European revolutionary doctrine such as Marxism will reverse the negative effects of European history on us. European power relations are to be adjusted once again, and that’s supposed to make things better for all of us. The costs of this industrial process are not acceptable to us. It is genocide to dig uranium here and drain the water table–no more, no less. Now let’s suppose that in our resistance to extermination we begin to seek allies (we have). Let’s suppose further that we were to take revolutionary Marxism at its word: that it intends nothing less than the complete overthrow of the European capitalists order which has presented this threat to our very existence. This would seem to be a natural alliance for American Indian people to enter into. After all, as the Marxists say, it is the capitalists who set us up to be a national sacrifice. Revolutionary Marxism is committed to even further perpetuation and perfection of the very industrial process which is destroying us all. It offers only to “redistribute” the results–the money, maybe–of this industrialization to a wider section of the population. It offers to take wealth from the capitalists and pass it around; but in order to do so, Marxism must maintain the industrial system. Once again, the power relations within European society will have to be altered, but once again the effects upon American Indian peoples here and non-Europeans elsewhere will remain the same. Revolutionary Marxism, like industrial society in other forms, seeks to “rationalize” all people in relation to industry–maximum industry, maximum production. It is a doctrine that despises the American Indian spiritual tradition, our cultures, our lifeways. Marx himself called us “precapitalists” and “primitive.” Precapitalist simply means that, in his view, we would eventually discover capitalism and become capitalists; we have always been economically retarded [[[ignorant]]] in Marxist terms. The only manner in which American Indian people could participate in a Marxist revolution would be to join the industrial system, to become factory workers, or “proletarians This isn’t a revolution we’re talking about, but a means to continue what already exists. So, in order for us to really join forces with Marxism, we American Indians would have to accept the national sacrifice of our homeland; we would have to commit cultural suicide and become industrialized and Europeanized. So, in both theory and practice, Marxism demands that non-European peoples give up their values, their traditions, their cultural existence altogether. We will all be industrialized science addicts in a Marxist society. I do not believe that capitalism itself is really responsible for the situation in which American Indians have been declared a national sacrifice. No, it is the European tradition; European culture itself is responsible. Marxism is just the latest continuation of this tradition, not a solution to it. To ally with Marxism is to ally with the very same forces that declare us an acceptable cost.
Materialism DA—Moves away from capitalism are part and parcel of Eurocentric dehumanization. Indigenous people are assimilated into industry in the name of ‘efficiency.’ Leftist movements remained trapped within western modes of quantification which further justify ideological purging and settlers.
15,706
300
8,245
2,612
39
1,334
0.015
0.511
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Another way to think about refusal is to consider using strategies of social science research to further expose the complicity of social science disciplines and research in the project of settler colonialism. There is much need to employ social science to turn back upon itself as settler colonial knowledge, as opposed to universal, liberal, or neutral knowledge without horizon. This form of refusal might include bringing attention to the mechanisms of knowledge legitimation, like the Good Labkeeping Seal of Approval (discussed under Axiom III); contesting appropriation, like the collection of pain narratives; and publicly renouncing the diminishing of Indigenous or local narratives with blood narratives in the name of science, such as in the Havasupai case discussed under Axiom II.¶ As long as the objects of research are presumably damaged communities in need of intervention, the metanarrative of social science research remains unchallenged: which is that research at worst is simply an expansion of common knowledge (and therefore harmless), and that research at best is problem solving (and therefore beneficial). This metanarrative justifies a host of interventions into communities, and treats communities as frontiers to civilize, regardless of the specific conclusions of individual research projects. Consider, for example, well- intended research on achievement gaps that fuels NCLB and testing; the documentation of youth violence that provides the rationales for gang injunctions and the expansion of the prison industrial complex; the documentation of diabetes as justification for unauthorized genomic studies and the expansion of anti- Indigenous theories. Instead, by making the settler colonial metanarrative the object of social science research, researchers may bring to a halt or at least slow down the machinery that allows knowledge to facilitate interdictions on Indigenous and Black life. Thus, this form of refusal might also involve tracking the relationships between social science research and expansions of state and corporate violence against communities. Social science researchers might design their work to call attention to or interrogate power, rather than allowing their work to serve as yet another advertisement for power. Further, this form of refusal might aim to leverage the resources of the academy to expand the representational territories fought for by communities working to thwart settler colonialism.¶ We close this chapter with much left unsaid. This is both because there is so much to say, and also because, as we have noted, all refusal is particular. Refusal understands the wisdom in a story, as well as the wisdom in not passing that story on. Refusal in research makes way for other r-words—for resistance, reclaiming, recovery, reciprocity, repatriation, regeneration. Though understandings of refusal are still emergent, though so much is still coming into view, we want to consolidate a summary of take-away points for our readers. A parting gift, of sorts, as each of us takes our leave to map our next steps as researchers, as com- munity members, within and without academe. We think of this list as a tear-away sheet, something to cut out and carry in your pocket, sew into a prayer flag, or paste into your field notebooks.¶ x Refusal can be a generative stance for humanized researchers.¶ x Refusal is not just a “no.”¶ x Refusal must be situated in a critical understanding of settler colonialism and its regimes of representation (i.e., the disappearance of Indigenous people, the enslavability and murderability of Black people, the right to make interdictions on Othered lives).¶ x Refusal makes space for desire and other representational territories, such as making the spectator the spectacle, and turning settler colonial knowledge back on itself.¶ x Refusal is multidimensional, in dynamic relationship between communities who refuse, the researched who refuse, and the researcher who refuses—or who do not.¶ x Social science knowledge is settler colonial knowledge. It also refuses (refuses the agency, personhood, and theories of the researched), and it also set limits (limits the epistemologies of the colonized/colonizable/to-be-colonized) and hides its own refusals and limits in order to appear limitless.¶ x Thus, refusal makes visible the processes of settler colonial knowledge. Refusal, by its very existence and exercise, sets limits on settler colonial knowledge.¶ x Similarly, refusal denudes power (and power-knowledge) without becoming an advertisement for power.¶ x Refusal problematizes hidden or implicit theories of change.¶ x Most efficacious might be the refusal by the researcher, how she determines the limits on what she can ask or what she will write. This refusal might take the form of: turning off the tape recorder; not disclosing what was on the tape even if it was recorded; hearing a story and choosing to listen and learn from it rather than report it; resisting the draw to traffic theories that cast communities as in need of salvation.
Tuck & Yang 14 E. & K., prof of native american studies @ suny & prof of ethnic studies @ cal, R-words: Refusing research, p 241-243
Another way to think about refusal is using strategies of social science research to further expose the complicity of social science research in settler colonialism. There is much need to employ social science to turn back upon itself This form of refusal might include contesting pain narratives As long as the objects of research are presumably damaged communities the metanarrative remains unchallenged: which is that research at worst is simply harmless and at best is problem solving (and therefore beneficial). This metanarrative treats communities as frontiers to civilize, regardless of the specific conclusions of individual projects. Instead, by making the settler colonial metanarrative the object of research, researchers may bring to a halt or at least slow down the machinery that allows knowledge to facilitate interdictions on Indigenous and Black life. Thus, refusal might involve tracking the relationships between social science research and expansions of state and corporate violence against communities. Social science researchers might design their work to call attention to power, rather than allowing their work to serve as yet another advertisement for power. refusal might expand representational territories to thwart settler colonialism.¶ Refusal understands the wisdom in a story, as well as the wisdom in not passing that story on. Refusal makes way for resistance, recovery, repatriation, regeneration. Though understandings of refusal are still emergent, we want to consolidate a summary for our readers. Refusal can be a generative stance Refusal is not just a “no.”¶ Refusal must be situated in a critical understanding of settler colonialism and its regimes of representation (i.e., the disappearance of Indigenous people, the enslavability and murderability of Black people, the right to make interdictions on Othered lives).¶ Refusal makes space for desire and other representational territories, such as making the spectator the spectacle, and turning settler colonial knowledge back on itself.¶ Refusal is multidimensional refusal makes visible the processes of settler colonial knowledge. refusal denudes power (and power-knowledge) without becoming an advertisement for power.¶
Their own authors vote AFF and concede that their K is non-UQ – the academy is always a site of circulation of settler colonial knowledge claims, but exposing counterhegemonic politics and settler investments in clearing is a critical to turn the academy’s finger back on itself. Revisibilization is not a move away from decolonization but opens up new representational territories upon which the potential of decolonization will take place
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Facing assertive indigenous presences within settler colonial spaces, settlers must answer the legitimate charge that their daily life – in all its banality – is predicated upon the privileges produced by ongoing genocide. The jarring nature of such charges offers an irreconcilable challenge to settlers qua settlers. 64 Should these charges become impossible to ignore, they threaten to explode the imago of settler colonialism, which had hitherto operated within the settler psyche in a relatively smooth and benign manner. This explosion is potentiated by the revelation of even a portion of the violence that is required to make settler life possible. If, for example, settlers are forced to see ‘their’ beach as a site of murder and ongoing colonization, it becomes more difficult to sustain it within the imaginary as a site of frivolity. 65 As Brown writes, in the ‘loss of horizons, order, and identity’ the subject experiences a sense of enormous vulnerability. 66 Threatened with this ‘loss of containment’, the settler subject embarks down the road to psychosis. 67 Thus, to parlay Brown’s thesis to the settler colonial context, the uncontrollable rage that indigenous presences induce within the settler is not evidence of the strength of settlers, but rather of a subject lashing out on the brink of its own dissolution. This panic – this rabid and insatiable anger – is always already at the core of the settler as a subject. As Lorenzo Veracini observes, the settler necessarily remains in a disposition of aggression ‘even after indigenous alterities have ceased to be threatening’. 68 This disposition results from the precarity inherent in the maintenance of settler colonialism’s imago, wherein any and all indigenous presences threaten subjective dissolution of the settler as such. Trapped in a Gordian Knot, the very thing that provides a balm to the settler subject – further development and entrenchment of the settler colonial imago – is also what panics the subject when it is inevitably contravened. 69 We might think of this as a process of hardening that leaves the imago brittle and more susceptible to break- age. Their desire to produce a firm imago means that settlers are also always already in a psychically defensive position – that is, the settler’s offensive position on occupied land is sustained through a defensive posture. For while settlers desire the total erasure of indi- genous populations, the attendant desire to disappear their own identity as settlers necessitates the suppression of both desires, if the subject’s reliance on settler colonial power structure is to be psychically naturalized. Settlers’ reactions to indigenous peoples fit, almost universally, with the two ego defense responses that Sigmund Freud observed. The first of these defenses is to attempt a complete conversion of the suppressed desire into a new idea. In settler colonial contexts, this requires averting attention from the violence of dispossession; as such, settlers often suggest that they aim to create a ‘city on the hill’. 70 Freud noted that the conversion defense mechanism does suppress the anxiety-inducing desire, but it also leads to ‘periodic hysterical outbursts’. Such is the case when settlers’ utopic visions are forced to confront the reality that the gentile community they imagine is founded in and perpetuates irredeemable suffering. A second type of defense is to channel the original desire’s energy into an obsession or a phobia. The effects of this defense are seen in the preoccupation that settler colonialism has with purity of blood or of community. 71 As we have already seen, this obsession at once solidifies the power of the settler state, thereby naturalizing the settler and simultaneously perpetuating the processes of erasing indigenous peoples. Psychic defenses are intended to secure the subject from pain, and whether that pain originates inside or outside the psyche is inconsequential. Because of the threat that indigeneity presents to the phantasmatic wholeness of settler colonialism, settlers must always remain suspended in a state of arrested development between these defensive positions. Despite any pretensions to the contrary, the settler is necessarily a parochial subject who continuously coils, reacts, disavows, and lashes out, when confronted with his dependency on indigenous peoples and their territory. This psychic precarity exists at the core of the settler subject because of the unending fear of its own dissolution, should indigenous sovereignty be recognized. 72 Goeman writes as an explicit challenge to other indigenous peoples, but this holds true to settler-allies as well, that decolonization must include an analysis of the dominant ‘self-disciplining colonial subject’. 73 However, as this discussion of subjective precarity demonstrates, the degree of to which these disciplinary or phenomenological processes are complete should not be overstated. For settler-allies must also examine and cultivate the ways in which settler subjects fail to be totally disciplined. Evidence of this incompletion is apparent in the subject’s arrested state of development. Discovering the instability at the core of the settler subject, indeed of all subjects, is the central conceit of psychoanalysis. This exception of at least partial failure to fully subjectivize the settler is also what sets my account apart from Rifkin’s. His phenomenology falls into the trap that Jacqueline Rose observes within many sociological accounts of the subject: that of assuming a successful internalization of norms. From the psychoanalytical perspective, the ‘unconscious constantly reveals the “failure”’ of internalization. 74 As we have seen, within settler subjects this can be expressed as an irrational anxiety that expresses itself whenever a settler is confronted with the facts regarding their colonizing status. Under conditions of total subjectification, such charges ought to be unintelligible to the settler. Thus, the process of subject formation is always in slippage and never totalized as others might suggest. 75 Because of this precarity, the settler subject is prone to violence and lashing out; but the subject in slippage also provides an avenue by which the process of settler colonialism can be subverted – creating cracks in a phantasmatic wholeness which can be opened wider. Breakages of this sort offer an opportunity to pursue what Paulette Regan calls a ‘restorying’ of settler colonial history and culture, to decanter settler mythologies built upon and within the dispossession of indigenous peoples. 76 The cultivation of these cracks is a necessary part of decolonizing work, as it continues to panic and thus to destabilize settler subjects. Resistance to settler colonialism does not occur only in highly visible moments like the famous conflict at Kanesatake and Kahnawake, 77 it also occurs in reiterative and disruptive practices, presences, and speech acts. Goeman correctly observes that the ‘repetitive practices of everyday life’ are what give settler spaces their meaning, as they provide a degree of naturalness to the settler imago and its psychic investments. 78 As such, to disrupt the ease of these repetitions is at once to striate radically the otherwise smooth spaces of settler colonialism and also to disrupt the easy (re)production of the settler subject. Goeman calls these subversive acts the ‘micro-politics of resistance’, which historically took the form of ‘moving fences, not cooperating with census enumerators, sometimes disrupting survey parties’ amongst other process. 79 These acts panic the subject that is disciplined as a product of settler colonial power, by forcing encounters with the sovereign indigenous peoples that were imagined to be gone. This reveals to the settler, if only fleetingly, the violence that founds and sustains the settler colonial relationship. While such practices may not overthrow the settler colonial system, they do subvert its logics by insistently drawing attention to the ongoing presence of indigenous peoples who refuse erasure. Today, we can draw similar inspiration from the variety of tactics used in movements like Idle No More. From flash mobs in major malls, to round dances that block city streets, and even projects to rename Toronto locations, Idle No More is engaged in a series of micro-political projects across Turtle Island. 80 The micro-politics of the movement strengthen indigenous subjects and their spatialities, while leaving an indelible imprint in the settler psyche. Predictably, rage and resentment were provoked in some settlers; 81 however, Idle No More also drew thousands of settler-allies into the streets and renewed conversations about the necessity of nation-to-nation relationships. With settler colonial spaces disrupted and a relationship of domination made impossible to ignore, in the tradition of centuries of indigenous resistance, Idle No More put the settler subject into serious flux once more. Conclusion Settler colonialism has been distinguished from colonialism proper by what Wolfe calls its ‘logic of elimination’, which requires the erasure of indigenous peoples from the colonized territory. This is accomplished through a variety of mechanisms that range from outright violence to policies of gradual elimination. Ultimately, settler colonialism is perpetuated through a double move: to erase indigenous peoples and then to disappear settlers by naturalizing the violence inherent their existence in colonized territory. This is accomplished through the production of spatialities bereft of indigeneity. Out of this spatial logic, an imago of settler society is produced that binds settlers both psychically and socially to each other and to the colonized spaces. The continual (re)production of a settler colonial imago is necessary to secure the psychic horizons of the settler subject; it is also inextricably bound up with an insatiable need to constantly renew the erasure of indigenous peoples. Thus, in order to secure its continued survival as a subject, the settler must always strive to maintain the conditions of settler colonialism. Total erasure of indigeneity is the grotesque desire of the settler that must be constantly disrupted. Where indigenous peoples have persisted as an insurgent presence in the settler imago, they are always already threatening this disruption of the settler subject at its very core. For while the affirmation of indigeneity can induce panic, and subsequently rage, in the settler, it also opens a crack within the imago – that is, within the settler subject itself – through which an ethic of decolonization can emerge. While it seems that settler colonialism is propelled by a tightly circuitous movement of subject formation, projection, and (re)formation, the presence of indigenous peoples in ongoing and sovereign relationship with the land serves as a powerful blockage of to the smoothness of this process.
Henderson 15 (Phil, Doctoral Student at the University of Victoria “Imagoed communities: the psychosocial space of settler colonialism” Settler Colonial Studies DOI: 10.1080/2201473X.2015.1092194, pp. 10-14) ipartman
settlers must answer the legitimate charge that their daily life – in all its banality – is predicated upon the privileges produced by ongoing genocide. The jarring nature of such charges offers an irreconcilable challenge to settlers qua settlers. Should these charges become impossible to ignore, they threaten to explode the imago of settler colonialism, which had hitherto operated within the settler psyche in a relatively smooth and benign manner. This explosion is potentiated by the revelation of even a portion of the violence that is required to make settler life possible. If settlers are forced to see ‘their’ beach as a site of murder and ongoing colonization, it becomes more difficult to sustain it within the imaginary as a site of frivolity. panic is always already at the core of the settler as a subject. the settler necessarily remains in a disposition of aggression ‘even after indigenous alterities have ceased to be threatening’. This disposition results from the precarity inherent in the maintenance of settler colonialism’s imago, wherein any and all indigenous presences threaten subjective dissolution of the settler as such. Settlers’ reactions to indigenous peoples fit with two ego defense responses The first of these defenses is to attempt a complete conversion of the suppressed desire into a new idea. In settler colonial contexts, this requires averting attention from the violence of dispossession; as such, settlers often suggest that they aim to create a ‘city on the hill’. Such is the case when settlers’ utopic visions are forced to confront the reality that the gentile community they imagine is founded in and perpetuates irredeemable suffering. A second type of defense is to channel the original desire’s energy into an obsession or a phobia. The effects of this defense are seen in the preoccupation that settler colonialism has with purity of community. this obsession solidifies the power of the settler state naturalizing the settler and simultaneously perpetuating the processes of erasing indigenous peoples. Because of the threat that indigeneity presents to the phantasmatic wholeness of settler colonialism, settlers must always remain suspended in a state of arrested development between these defensive positions. the settler is necessarily a parochial subject who continuously coils, reacts, disavows, and lashes out Goeman writes as an explicit challenge to other indigenous peoples, but this holds true to settler-allies as well, that decolonization must include an analysis of the dominant ‘self-disciplining colonial subject’. settler-allies must also examine and cultivate the ways in which settler subjects fail to be totally disciplined. Discovering the instability at the core of the settler subject, indeed of all subjects, is the central conceit of psychoanalysis. Because of this precarity the subject in slippage also provides an avenue by which the process of settler colonialism can be subverted – creating cracks in a phantasmatic wholeness which can be opened wider. The cultivation of these cracks is a necessary part of decolonizing work, as it continues to panic and thus to destabilize settler subjects. the ‘repetitive practices of everyday life’ are what give settler spaces their meaning, as they provide a degree of naturalness to the settler imago and its psychic investments. As such, to disrupt the ease of these repetitions is at once to striate radically the otherwise smooth spaces of settler colonialism and also to disrupt the easy (re)production of the settler subject. Settler colonialism has been distinguished from colonialism proper by its ‘logic of elimination’ This is accomplished through a variety of mechanisms that range from outright violence to policies of gradual elimination. settler colonialism is perpetuated through a double move: to erase indigenous peoples and then to disappear settlers by naturalizing the violence inherent their existence in colonized territory. Out of this spatial logic, an imago of settler society is produced that binds settlers both psychically and socially to each other and to the colonized spaces. The continual (re)production of a settler colonial imago is necessary to secure the psychic horizons of the settler subject; Total erasure of indigeneity is the grotesque desire of the settler that must be constantly disrupted. indigeneity opens a crack within the imago within the settler subject itself – through which an ethic of decolonization can emerge. settler colonialism is propelled by a tightly circuitous movement of subject formation, projection, and (re)formation
Speech acts work to destabilize settler colonialism.
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This triadic model is echoed in Spillers’ text “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” As Spillers plots the unfolding of an economy of signification in which the captive emerges through a series of mutilations, Spillers also focuses on the time-space of the “socio-political order of the New World.”26 This socio-political “order with its human sequence written in blood, represents for its African and indigenous peoples a scene of actual mutilation, dismemberment, and exile.”27 The human and its “sequence” or repetition and arrangement for its continuance is a mode of being that requires genocide, mutilation, displacement and the negation of Black and Indigenous peoples and their ways of living. Conquest is constituted by a violence formidable enough to encompass both slavery and Native genocide as it writes and extends itself as the human-conquistador across Wynter’s and Spillers’ Atlantic. While Spillers does not explicitly take on Native genocide in this essay, a reparative read could view this text as a possible point of departure for thinking about Blackness and Indigeneity non human, ethnic bodies—and “flesh”—in relationship to the human’s process of self-actualization. Black and Native flesh is certainly a space of engagment in the work of Frank Wilderson. In Red, White and Black, Wilderson reworks and alters Spillers’ conceptualization of flesh in order to elaborate upon the way the making of the human requires the unmaking of Black and Native bodies as non-human matter. Wilderson’s non traditional deployment of Spiller’s “body” and “flesh,” engenders the human with a body. Conversely, the non-human (Slave and Savage) is fleshly matter that exists outside of the realm of the body and thus humanity. Under the ontological universe of political economy, the Native is rendered non human “flesh.” The Black/Slave is rendered non human flesh under both “political” and “libidinal” economies. Though Wilderson does not identify Black and Native bodies as ontological equivalents, Native (the Savage’s) and Black (the Black’s) grammars of suffering do share the urgent concerns of the flesh. Wilderson sets forth the conditions of possibility that result in the making of Black and Native flesh. The Middle Passage turns, for example Ashanti spatial and temporal capacity into spatial and temporal incapacity—a body into flesh. This process begins as early as the 1200s for the Slave. By the 1530s, modernity is more self-conscious of its coordinates, and Whiteness begins its ontological consolidation and negative knowledge of itself by turning (part of) the Aztec body, for example into Indian flesh. In this moment the White body completes itself and proceeds to lay the groundwork for the intra-Settler ensemble of questions foundational to its ethical dilemmas (i.e., Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis). In the final analysis, Settler ontology is guaranteed by way of negative knowledge of what it is not rather than by way of its positive claims of what it is.28 In exploring the diacritics at work in the making of the human, Wilderson momentarily identifies a moment of interlocution in which the discourse of conquest serves as passage for Black and Native grammars. When speaking in terms of the flesh, a space of possible dialogue emerges under rare conditions in which Wilderson argues that the “genocidal modality of the ‘Savage’ grammar of suffering articulate[s] itself quite well within the two modalities of the ‘Slave’s’ grammar of suffering, accumulation and fungibility.”29 For Wilderson, both of these grammars find it difficult to assume narrative form within the lexicon made available by humanism and the contemporary polemics of the white left. It is virtually impossible for the Native or the Black to speak through these registers of intelligibility that are predicated on their very death.
King 16 Tiffany Lethabo King is currently an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. “New World Grammars: The ‘Unthought’ Black Discourse of Conquest.” Theory & Event 19, no 4 [2016]
This socio-political “order with its human sequence written in blood, represents for African and indigenous peoples a scene of mutilation, dismemberment, and exile The human and its repetition for its continuance is a mode of being that requires genocide, mutilation, displacement and the negation of Black and Indigenous peoples Conquest is constituted by a violence formidable enough to encompass slavery and Native genocide as it extends itself as the human-conquistador across Atlantic Black and Native flesh is engagment in the work of Frank Wilderson Wilderson reworks and alters Spillers’ conceptualization of flesh to elaborate on the way the human requires the unmaking of Black and Native bodies as non-human Wilderson’s deployment of body” and “flesh engenders the human with a body the non-human is fleshly matter that exists outside of the body and humanity Under the political economy, the Native is rendered non human The Slave is rendered non human under both “political” and “libidinal” economies the Savage’s and the Black’s grammars of suffering do share the urgent concerns of the flesh The Middle Passage turns spatial and temporal capacity into incapacity—a body into flesh Whiteness begins its ontological consolidation and negative knowledge of itself by turning the Aztec body, for example into Indian flesh In this moment the White body completes itself Settler ontology is guaranteed by way of negative knowledge of what it is not rather than by way positive claims of what it is Wilderson identifies a moment of interlocution in which the discourse of conquest serves as passage for Black and Native grammars a space of dialogue emerges in which Wilderson argues the “genocidal modality of the ‘Savage’ grammar articulate[s] itself well within the two modalities of the ‘Slave’s’ grammar of suffering accumulation and fungibility For Wilderson both of these grammars find it difficult to assume narrative form within the lexicon made available by humanism It is impossible for the Native or the Black to speak through registers of intelligibility that are predicated on their death.
Perm do both – [coloniality] does not displace the afterlife of slavery, but a theorization of afropessimism through the ontology of conquest constituted by guns overcomes residual links – even if they win uniqueness, it’s an affirmative argument for refusing attenuation to the world of the human.
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Scholars in the fields of critical ethnic, Black, and Native studies who welcome the charge of decolonization and abolition in the corporate university often labor to push back against and expose the limitations of the “epistemic turns” or “epistemic revolutions of Europe” that Sylvia Wynter so deftly tracks in her voluminous body of work. Scholars committed to the politics of Black abolitionist work and Native decolonization must often assume postures of suspicion—“misanthropy”—and sometimes must outright refuse Western thought’s arrogant universalist assumptions, commonsense tautologies, and professed reforms to the category of the human; due to these ways, they often experience a great deal of hostility and violence. When decolonial and Black abolitionist thought has to contend with Western or European continental theory, specifically its critical theories of progressive (liberal) social change, one often encounters an epistemic crisis or what scholar Frank Wilderson refers to as an antagonism.1 {1. Frank Wilderson III, Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2010). Wilderson defines the experience of the suffering of Black people as one of accumulation and fungibility and a part of the experience of Indigenous people—in the context of political economy—of one of genocide. These two experiences are antagonisms that are irreconcilable without the collapse of civil society as we know it. Black fungibility and Native genocide are unlike and therefore not reducible to the kinds of conditional conflicts that white people (settlers) experience through exploitation (i.e., of the wage worker) and the suffering that ensues.} Forced to wrestle with antagonisms that often require Native/Indigenous and Black death, the scholar committed to decolonization and abolition in the university seminar space often has to refuse necropolitical epistemological systems, which structure white liberal humanist ways of thinking and imagining the world. This kind of labor and violent confrontation in the classroom on a repeated basis can transform one’s educational and professional experience into one rife with stress, anxiety, and unease.More specifically, I have watched graduate students of color experience this kind of stress, anxiety, and unease as they confront the pressure to “take up” more contemporary impulses within Western “critical theory” to move “beyond the human” or toward the posthuman. One task of this article is to attend to the ways that Black and Indigenous academics, as well as Black and Native studies scholars, are expected to perform a commitment to a Deleuzian brand of posthumanist and nonrepresentational theory as proof that they are critical and postmodern scholars and disciplinary formations. Lately, I have heard questions posed to Black and Native scholars and activists who theorize the work of movements like Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and other work addressing Black and Indigenous death to explain what relationship this (survival- based) work has to “identity,” “the subject,” or “the human.” More specifically, the questions are posed as ones that assume that these movements reify one or all of the above categories. Additionally, the inquiries are accompanied by an expectation that the person(s) and the movements will disavow all claims to identity, subjecthood, and the desire for humanity.
King 17 Tiffany Lethabo King, Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State, PhD in American Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park, Spring 2017, “Humans Involved: Lurking in the Lines of Posthumanist Flight,” Critical Ethnic Studies Volume 3 Number 1, Footnote 1 and 7 included in curly braces
Scholars in the fields of critical ethnic, Black, and Native studies who welcome the charge of decolonization often labor to push back against and expose the limitations of the “epistemic turns” or “epistemic revolutions of Europe Scholars committed to the politics of Black abolitionist work and Native decolonization must often assume postures of suspicion must outright refuse Western thought’s arrogant universalist assumptions tautologies, and professed reforms to the category of the human they often experience a great deal of hostility and violence When decolonial and Black abolitionist thought has to contend with Western or European continental theory, specifically its critical theories of progressive (liberal) social change, one often encounters an epistemic crisis or what scholar Frank Wilderson refers to as an antagonism Wilderson defines the experience of the suffering of Black people as one of accumulation and fungibility and a part of the experience of Indigenous people—in the context of political economy—of one of genocide These experiences are antagonisms that are irreconcilable without the collapse of civil society as we know it Black fungibility and Native genocide are unlike and therefore not reducible to the kinds of conditional conflicts that white people experience through exploitation (i.e., of the wage worker) and the suffering that ensues students of color experience this kind of stress, anxiety, and unease as they confront the pressure to “take up” more contemporary impulses within Western “critical theory” move “beyond the human” or toward the posthuman. task of this article is to attend to the ways that Black and Indigenous academics, as well as Black and Native studies scholars, are expected to perform a commitment to a Deleuzian brand of posthumanist and nonrepresentational theory as proof that they are critical and postmodern scholars and disciplinary formations I have heard questions posed to Black and Native scholars and activists who theorize the work of movements like Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and other work addressing Black and Indigenous death to explain what relationship this work has to “identity,” “the subject,” or “the human.” the questions are posed as ones that assume that these movements reify one or all of the above categories. the inquiries are accompanied by an expectation that the person(s) and the movements will disavow all claims to identity, subjecthood, and the desire for humanity.
It solves the alt – an ethics of abundance is a hermeneutics of suspicion that refuses to disavow black and native feminist antagonisms. No consolidation for western thought.
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Affect studies draws on psychoanalytic treatments of the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real, with wholeness and lack, with memory, displacement, and haunting, to frame trauma in ways that produce “multiple subjectivities and multiple modernities expressed in new forms of history, often presented at first in autobiographical experimental writings by diasporic subjects” (Clough, 2007, p. 6). While these writings productively interrogate conditions of knowability, representation, and memory, in the absence of a framework that foregrounds geography and the relationship between experiences of trauma and the land, they have no necessary relationship to decolonization. Dian Million (Tanana Athabascan) defines trauma as “suppos[ing] a violence that overwhelms, wounding individual (and collective) psyche, sometimes suspending access to memory” (Million, 2013, p. 2). Her definition resonates with and draw upon the work in affect studies, but Million leverages Indigenous accounts of trauma to “explode the measured ‘objective’ accounts of Canadian (and US) colonial histories” (Million, 2013, p. 31). For Million (2013), Indigenous women’s narratives are productively understood as felt knowledges that expose a “limit and boundary where white academia designated them incomprehensible,” which is inextricably linked to “the self-determination Indigenous peoples” as they “affectively work out . . . painful political, social, and personal conundrums with the state” (p. 2). So even as affect studies provides a point of entry for powerfully interrogating the conditions of trauma that resonate with Indigenous experiences as subjects of assimilation and objects of genocide and ongoing dispossession (as Million analyzes) and can be powerfully leveraged to expose processes of dispossession (in Greyser’s work), the field of affect studies remains wedded to an ungrounded, unbounded universal subject. Such land- and Indigenous-centered frameworks invite culture critics to examine how social, material, and rhetorical practices are shaped through settlement and the formation of the White subject as a settler subject. And in doing so would also entail an attention to the uneven distribution of affects and affective processes—the very constitution of some subjects as always-already affecting, while “others” are slotted as “affectable.” In her concept of ethnographic entrapment, Denise Ferreira Da Silva’s (2007) articulation of the construction of the human as formed through a form of self-determination mobilized through the Western subject’s power over and distinction from “affectable others.” Building on Ferreira Da Silva’s work, Andrea Smith (2010) argues this quality of affectability is a condition of self-determination, settlement, and racialization as the “Western subject differentiates itself from conditions of ‘affectability’ by separating from affectable others” (p. 42). Similar to cultural studies treatments of the production of Whiteness and racial difference, the racialized subject awaits humanity through a movement toward universality, yet distinct is Ferreira Da Silva and Smith’s attention to self-determination as defined by the capacity to “affect” and not be affected by others. This “humanizing” project is grounded in the notion of the sovereign subject as structured by the privatization of land that, in turn, define landed subjects through the erasure of the land theft through which the sovereignty of the settler subject is experienced, organized, and imagined. Mark Rifkin (2012) argues that Although U.S. Indian policy formally circulates the topos of self-determination, portraying the federal government as engaging with tribes’ lived sense of landedness and representations of themselves, it continues to foreclose forms of indigeneity, as a residual geopolitics predicated on principles other than those of the liberal state and as the collective memory of an ongoing history of violence. (Locations 109-110) Reading Ferreira da Silva in conversation with Rifkin underscores the structures of settler colonialism through which the sovereign subject is imagined: through his or her ability to move, affect, displace, or remove first nations people and through the ongoing erasure of various “forms of indigeneity” that belie the myth of manifest destiny.
Tuck and Rowe 16. Eve, engages Indigenous theorizations of settler colonialism and Black theorizations of antiblackness in order to learn more about what decolonization wil require from all of us. She is a co-founder of the Land Relationships Super Collective with her frequent collaborator K. Wayne Yang. Her website is evetuck.com. Aimee Carrillo, professor of Communication Studies and co-director of the Civil Discourse and Social Change Initiative at California State University, Northridge. Her books include Power Lines: On the Subject of Feminist Alliances (Duke University Press, 2008), Answer the Call: Virtual Migration in Indian Call Centers (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), and Carrillo Rowe is currently working on a book entitled Queer Xicana: Performance, Affect, and the Sacred. “Settler Colonialism and Cultural Studies: Ongoing Settlement, Cultural Production, and Resistance.”
psychoanalytic writings interrogate conditions of knowability, representation, and memory in the absence of a framework that foregrounds geography and the relationship between experiences of trauma and the land, they have no necessary relationship to decolonization. trauma as “ overwhelms, wounding individual (and collective) psyche, sometimes suspending access to memory resonates with and draw upon the work in affect studies, but Million leverages Indigenous accounts of trauma to “explode the measured ‘objective’ accounts of colonial histories Indigenous women’s narratives are productively understood as felt knowledges that expose a “limit and boundary where white academia designated them incomprehensible which is inextricably linked to “the self-determination Indigenous peoples” as they “affectively work out . . . painful political, social, and personal conundrums with the state even as affect studies provides a point of entry for powerfully interrogating the conditions of trauma that resonate with Indigenous experiences as subjects of assimilation and objects of genocide and ongoing dispossession and can be powerfully leveraged to expose processes of dispossession the field of affect studies remains wedded to an ungrounded, unbounded universal subject land- and Indigenous-centered frameworks invite culture critics to examine practices shaped through settlement and the formation of the White subject as a settler subject. in doing so would also entail an attention to the uneven distribution of affects and affective processes—the very constitution of some subjects as always-already affecting, while “others” are slotted as “affectable.” ethnographic entrapment, the human as formed through a form of self-determination mobilized through the Western subject’s power over and distinction from “affectable others.” this quality of affectability is a condition of self-determination, settlement, and racialization as the “Western subject differentiates itself from conditions of ‘affectability’ by separating from affectable others the racialized subject awaits humanity through a movement toward universality distinct is self-determination as defined by the capacity to “affect” and not be affected by others grounded in the notion of the sovereign subject as structured by the privatization of land that, in turn, define landed subjects through the erasure of the land theft through which the sovereignty of the settler subject is experienced, organized, and imagined Although U.S. Indian policy formally circulates the topos of self-determination, portraying the federal government as engaging with tribes’ lived sense of landedness and representations of themselves, it continues to foreclose forms of indigeneity, as a residual geopolitics predicated on principles other than those of the liberal state and as the collective memory of an ongoing history of violence
Their theory is wedded to an ungrounded, unbounded universal subject – the land is the critical mediating question
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Mexico Honduras - Wake 2019.html5
Poststructuralist traditions that attempt to transcend identity actually function as a ruse of subjectlessness. In fact, queer subjectlessness and nonrepresentational rhizomes are an expression of a posthumanism that resuscitates normative subjects through the death of Black and Indigenous peoples. Continental theory has not typically had the stomach for sustaining an investigation of the kind of unspeakable violence that enabled the Marxist worker, queer, and affective subjectless discourses (one can only strive for subjectlessness if you possess it) to exist. The erasure of the (white) body-as-subject-as-ontology has been more effective in covering the bloody trail of white/human-self-actualization than it has been at successfully offering a way around and beyond the entrapments of liberal humanism. According to Amber Jamilla Musser, even in its postidentitarian and subjectless modes, continental theories’ transgressive moves (affective, sensational, masochistic) tend to reinstantiate the white male (sometimes queer) subject that it hopes to overcome.44 While not throwing away affect theory in Sensational Flesh, Musser scrutinizes white queer theory’s moves toward subjectless, futurelessnes, and masochism as gestures that actually recover and reify a subject (often white male gay) as they seek to annihilate the subject.
King 17 |Tiffany Lethabo King, Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State, PhD in American Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park, Spring 2017, “Humans Involved: Lurking in the Lines of Posthumanist Flight,” Critical Ethnic Studies Volume 3 Number 1|KZaidi
Poststructuralist traditions that attempt to transcend identity actually function as a ruse of subjectlessness. queer subjectlessness and nonrepresentational rhizomes are an expression of a posthumanism that resuscitates normative subjects through the death of Black and Indigenous peoples theory has not typically had the stomach for sustaining an investigation of the kind of unspeakable violence that enabled the Marxist worker, queer, and affective subjectless discourses to exist The erasure of the (white) body-as-subject-as-ontology has been more effective in covering the bloody trail of white/human-self-actualization than it has been at successfully offering a way around and beyond the entrapments of liberal humanism even in its postidentitarian and subjectless modes, continental theories’ transgressive moves affective, sensational, masochistic tend to reinstantiate the white male subject that it hopes to overcome Musser scrutinizes white queer theory’s moves toward subjectless, futurelessnes, and masochism as gestures that actually recover and reify a subject as they seek to annihilate the subject.
The 1AC’s call to move beyond the subject is a form of humanist masochism which produces a ruse of subjectlessness – this conceals the desire for white human ascendency which undergirds their transgression of the human, morphing their project into a philic desire to inhabit the bodies of Black and Indigenous people fixed as abject – it’s not a question of the human or the subject but the scaffolding of antiblack settler-colonial positionality that produces gratuitous deathmaking
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Mexico Honduras - Wake 2019.html5

DebateSum

Corresponding code repo for the upcoming paper at ARGMIN 2020: "DebateSum: A large-scale argument mining and summarization dataset"

Arxiv pre-print available here: https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.07251

Check out the presentation date and time here: https://argmining2020.i3s.unice.fr/node/9

Full paper as presented by the ACL is here: https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/2020.argmining-1.1/

Video of presentation at COLING 2020: https://underline.io/lecture/6461-debatesum-a-large-scale-argument-mining-and-summarization-dataset

The dataset is distributed as csv files.

A search engine over DebateSum (as well as some additional evidence not included in DebateSum) is available as debate.cards. It's very good quality and allows for the evidence to be viewed in the format that debaters use.