Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Quote of the day 10/09/07



We are molded as much by the histories we stifle as by the myths we create to exalt ourselves. Those who ignore the truth about their past are condemned to replicate, over and over, their crimes. The devastation in Iraq is the legacy of lessons unlearned, from the genocide of Native Americans, to slavery, to the Mexican war, to the invasion of Cuba and the Philippines, to Vietnam.

America's brutal cycle of imperial invasion and occupation is as enduring as the cultivated illusion of its goodness. And the first step toward breaking this cycle and exposing this illusion is facing our history and ourselves.


The Great Forgetting by Eunice Wong

h/t to Nezua

4 comments:

  1. "America's brutal cycle of imperial invasion and occupation is as enduring as the cultivated illusion of its goodness. And the first step toward breaking this cycle and exposing this illusion is facing our history and ourselves."

    Thinking about the personal, when does one "face" one's history? NL - you have mentioned your experience as a family therapist - when does a family seek to explore their history? When things are going "well" or as anticipated? When in crisis?

    I wonder if an exploration and facing of history can be mandated by law. If so, would it have much deep effect? I am thinking of the difference between court ordered counseling and voluntary counseling.

    As horrible and frightening the current events, there ARE changes happening. My community is becoming more diverse - perhaps the result of economic and social pressures causing people to leave the cities. Real people meeting, nodding acquaintances, chatting, sharing...why, it could lead to friendships - even courtships and marriage! "Those people" become "my people."

    My hidden optimist emerges!

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  2. Hi Tampopo, hi NL,

    "Those who ignore the truth about their past are condemned to replicate, over and over, their crimes. The devastation in Iraq is the legacy of lessons unlearned"

    I think that those who hold the real power in this country, not just now but through the bulk of it's history, are fully aware of what the crimes of the past are, and are not simply ignoring unlearned lessons or ignoring the truth. They know what the truth is and that truth is that in order for empires, fledgling and mature, to succeed the weak must be trampled and stolen from as a matter of course. As a matter as simple as having a good business plan. It's all part of what feeds this beast and it's not happening despite unlearned lessons or ignored truths, it's happening, and will continue to happen precisely because it's with full intent. Iraqis, Indigenous Americans, mexicans, they're just so much coal to be shoveled into the imperial American engine. I also think that to say these crimes are ignored and overlooked or forgotten or unlearned is to imply that there is a potential there to right a wrong, or many wrongs. I see little in the American system and how it operates that is redeemable. It either must continue as it has...or it must collapse. And collapse it will, eventually.

    On a side note, October 9th is my Dad's birthday. I miss him.

    Take care

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  3. Super and tampopo - as they say in Texas - hey ya'll!! Welcome to these parts.

    tampopo, your comment made me think of a book I never read, but was popular among some family therapists back when I was still "practicing." The title is The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious. Its all about people's resistance to change because at least the current situation is known. You never know what the outcome of change might be. I haven't thought about it in a long time, but it might have some interesting implications for our current political situation. I guess the lesson is what AA has been saying for a long time - in order for change to happen, you have to hit bottom. I'm afraid that is where we might be headed; as super says...for a kind of collapse. That's not to say there aren't good things happening. I see it every day on a small scale. But I'm convinced our "empire" is in its final days. And we have no idea what the change will bring.

    Super, great points about those in power and their awareness/intents.

    Rest in peace, super's dad. I know he's so proud of you!!

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  4. Dear super - how very good to cross your path! Ah, I sympathize with your missing your Dad. And NL posted about missing her friend. To you both I offer my most favorite quote, though I understand neither of you is a "God believer," you both have such wonderful imaginations that perhaps you might find some comfort, as I do, in the following:

    "Mayhaps a funeral among men is a wedding feast among the angels." (Kahlil Gibran)

    My imaginings of the "feast" are ever expanding with personal loved ones and loved ones of friends. Super, I imagine your Dad with his motorcycle, maybe even giving NL's friend a ride - he smiles as she laughs with the wind blowing her hair...

    As to what you have written about the nature of empire and conquest, I tend to agree. I found it interesting that the president has lineage to the aristocracy of England. But such ongoing legacies are not just Euro-United States. The woman who is head of the Chinese (Taiwanese?) port-running corporation is part of a family that has members also in powerful positions in a variety of Chinese organizations, both communist and non-communist.

    The only other thing I would add would be to your list: "Iraqis, Indigenous Americans, mexicans, they're just so much coal to be shoveled into the imperial American engine." - please consider that ALL workers, regardless of color are fodder. Though it is certainly much, MUCH easier (or it was) to transition from "laborer" to "white-collar" (and it was not always that "easy") everyone not of the "aristocracy" is dispensible.

    One of the nearby major employers is looking to offshore work - just good business, you know?

    As always, appreciate your thoughts.

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