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If we refuse systemic/structural analysis, we can fall to scapegoating, blaming the weak, immigrants, disabled and the unemployed. Problems are often personalized. The terrorist, child molestor and speculator become the focus, the path of least resistance (cf. Robert Kurz on www.mbtranslations.com). Migrants are routinely represented as threats, not enrichment in individual, intellectual and institutional racism (cf. Christoph Butterwegge, "Migration and the Mass Media").
In envisioning our future, non-governmental organizations like indymedia bring life to a dry weary land resigned to its contradictions. As self-righteousness is the grand delusion (cf. Eberhard Jungel), tunnel vision or short-term fixation seem to be the path of self-destgruction. If competition is made a universal panacea, countries fall into mass unemployment. If profit is worshiped and corporations have rights but not responsibilities, we fall into a new feudalism with exploding inequality.
An old shipbuilding barracks near the Presidio in SF became a thriving agglomerate of progressive organizations (like Greenpeace) and art studios. The community centers in Vancouver Canada with game rooms, libraries, computer rooms, gym, theater, and lunch and dinner for $1.50 provide a safe non-commercialized oasis. They make the mosaic real and show how public space can cushion and revitalize. In happier times before the Reagan onslaught, the Carnegie Community Center (that celebrated its 100th anniversary last year) was bursting with activity, counseling and classes.
May we mend our own pockets, renounce our self-immunization techniques and put the horse in front of the cart. If we can abandon myopia, jingoism, ethnocentrism and vulgar materialism, we can build the new amid the old!