Anchor for this item posted by Bernard Tremblay at Thursday, April 04, 2002; Thursday, April 04, 2002

"When what is said is not what is meant, what is done is not what needs to be done, and what needs to be done is left undone."
*Having read Bhutan's consitution as well as a whole stack of internal government documents, including the exhaustive two part report "Bhutan 2020: Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and Happiness" from Planning Commission, Royal Goverment of Bhutan, I couldn't help feeling torn, since I knew that upwards of 100,000 residents of Bhutan had been made refugees because their roots were Nepali (and yes, I do know that they were responsible for some aweful deforestation ... such is the consequence of abject poverty ... but still.) So I was glad to find the topic treated by Tom Atlee's co-intelligence group: "The "Underdeveloped" Happiness Kingdom"
*Imagining myself talking to the folks with whom I've spent the past two years working against the neo-liberal agenda, I can see myself saying a number of things starting with this:
If I didn't care about you as a group and as individuals, I'd just go ahead and say my piece. Caring about you, and having a sense of knowing and trusting you, I could say my piece with some good sense of how my words would be received, how they would be heard, what they would mean for you. And the fact is I do care about you, as a group and as individuals. But I don't have a sense of knowing you, and I no longer trust you. Based on my experience, recent and over the past two years, I realize that my sense of knowing you was wrong. And on that experience, I see that whatever sense I had of how my words would be received and what they would mean to you is likewise false. In the end, whatever trust I had was unfounded. I may not have been betrayed, but I was definitely mistaken.
I can imagine saying that and then falling silent. Or even of simply standing up and leaving. Because, simply put, not only would I not be inclined to talk, but I would be disinclined to listen, anticipating that whatever I heard would be said with out of a sense of utility, of instrumentality, with no actual regard to veracity, facticity, or truth. I am quite convinced that whatever I would hear would be, brute, manipulative, intended to either evade or mislead. And the situation is not so right as to allow me the space for a response to such mendacity and guile.
If I imagine myself talking, I can't imagine myself talking to what comes from caring about others, about valuing others' perspective, of entering into collaborative participation, for one simple reason: that ship has sailed. People have shown themselves, and I do mean by their actions, to be deaf to the meaning of such talk, though they seem adept enough with the vernacular and terminology, with the conceptual. So all of that leaves one thing clearly in mind to be said, and I can imagine talking something like this:
I would guess that most people here would respond to talk about coming up with a complete analysis of the situation as being too theoretical, removed from practice. The simple truth of it is that this is the view of mechanical materialists, the sort of attitude that results in economism. Because, so far as I can tell, a proper assessment that is accurate, and precise, and comprehensive is necessarily dialectical. That is, if an individual can arrive at such an analysis, free from personality politics and partiality and compulsive expedience, then appropriate tactics will necessarily arise. I can't see how a really thorough statement of a problematic situation can come into being without there being a set of potential solutions implicit. It's in that context that the consequences of activity can be used to correct the theoretical basis that lead to the activity in the first place, and only in that context. When the real theoretical basis for activity are mis-stated, or not stated at all, obscured by some eloquent group-think babble, then that basis can not be mapped against the end results of the process ... when the process is mystified so, necessarily, is the product. My argument for class-consciousness is that the whole is necessarily meaningful to each individual, according to their experience rather than with reference to some received wisdom or set of "group norms".
I discharge my responsibility as a citizen by reacting with disgust at the sight of oppression. I contribute to the historical project by responding intelligently in that situation.