[-empyre-] Meta-

Michael Angelo Tata, PhD mtata at ipublishingllc.com
Wed Apr 22 12:27:14 EST 2009

I am reminded of Rorty: contingency and irony as a basis for solidarity.  Despite pomo-ism, have we transcended the meta-N, or is a meta-N of no meta-N a meta-N after all?  

Michael Angelo Tata, PhD  347.776.1931-USA


> Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 16:32:24 -0400
> From: davinheckman at gmail.com
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] A strange bit of luck
> I agree, it does tend to be a bit vaguely optimistic, but I don't know
> that there is necessarily anything wrong with broad metanarratives,
> particularly at a time when people on the bottom of the pile tend be
> isolated, and often opposed to each other. A broad narrative about
> "justice" or "working class solidarity" provides a pretext for talking
> about groups of people who share common interests. At some level, the
> idea that I could not coordinate a narrative with disparate
> populations, itself, becomes a metanarrative. And, a debilitating
> one.
> I do think that the capacity for people to bridge these pockets of
> humanity is powerful and explosive. NGOs are perfectly positioned to
> provide accounts provided academics, legislators, artists, and
> "everyday people" are willing to listen and help. (I know a lot of
> farmers and union workers who are very careful about buying fair trade
> goods. On the other hand, I know a lot of farmers and union workers
> who think fair trade is a bunch of liberal, socialist nonsense. So I
> think we really need narratives that can compete with the paranoid,
> even jingoistic, attitudes towards trade).
> A perfect example of success can be found in the recent successes that
> student activists have had in working with NGOs in Honduras against
> the anti-union practices of Russell Athletics.
> <http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/4367/pstudents_wont_sweat_it_p>
> It can't solve everything. But on a practical level, I believe that
> this type of solidarity is possible, and becomes more and more
> effective the more it is engaged in. If I can get together with
> somebody in Detroit and agree to use a particular currency in a
> particular business network, it is possible for me to work with
> someone in another country to have a positive impact on a particular
> transnational network... the only real difference is how the network
> is organized geographically.
> Peace!
> Davin
> On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 3:11 PM, Nicholas Ruiz III
> <editor at intertheory.org> wrote:
> >
> > Can't say I'm particularly moved by this.....'yes, we can'...was ascliché then as it is now, no?  The real question no one cares to answer in this regard is: yes, we can do what exactly?! For example, the local currency movement offers a specific answer to a particular problem...but the broad sweeping metanarratives of global emancipation read more like political speeches than anything else, it seems to me...
> >
> >
> > nick
> >
> >  Nicholas Ruiz III, Ph.D
> > Editor, Kritikos
> > http://intertheory.org
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----
> > From: davin heckman <davinheckman at gmail.com>
> > To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> > Sent: Monday, April 6, 2009 6:33:50 PM
> > Subject: [-empyre-] A strange bit of luck
> >
> > I was reading a book today and stumbled across a reference to Arjun
> > Appadurai's "Grassroots Globalization and the Research Imagination."
> > I found a copy from Appadurai's Globalization (Duke UP, 2001) and
> > started reading.
> >
> > First, I was kind of bummed and embarrassed that I hadn't read it
> > before.  But after getting over that, I was taken aback by the
> > relevance of this article to the discussions we are having here.
> > Everything from our crises of meaning, to the use of academic
> > language, challenges to neoliberalism, the academic research
> > marketplace, the problems with runaway financial institutions....  but
> > most importantly, Appadurai offers some constructive suggestions to
> > academics on how to facilitate "globalization from below."
> >
> > I won't break down Appadurai's argument here.  It is widely available
> > (I found a copy of the article online).  I expect that most here have
> > already read it.  It's much more readable than anything I could write.
> > It is worth the time if this is something you are interested in.  But
> > I will plunk down a giant quote, just to give you a sense of the scope
> > of his article:
> >
> > "Such an account [of globalization from above and below] would belong
> > to a broader effort to understand the variety of projects that fall
> > under the rubric of globalization, and it would also recognize that
> > the word globalization, and words like freedom, choice, and justice,
> > are not inevitably the property of the state-capital nexus. To take up
> > this sort of study involves, for the social sciences, a serious
> > commitment to the study of globalization from below, its institutions,
> > its horizons, and its vocabularies. For those more concerned with the
> > work of culture, it means stepping back from those obsessions and
> > abstractions that constitute our own professional practice to
> > seriously consider the problems of the global everyday. In this
> > exercise, the many existing forms of Marxist critique are a valuable
> > starting point, but they too must be willing to suspend their inner
> > certainty about understanding world histories in advance. In all these
> > instances, academics from the privileged institutions of the West (and
> > the North) must be prepared to reconsider, in the manner I have
> > pointed to, their conventions about world knowledge and about the
> > protocols of inquiry ("research") that they too often take for
> > granted."  (Appadurai 19)\
> >
> > Peace!
> > Davin
> > _______________________________________________
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> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >
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> >
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