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New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for the ‘John Clark’

Against Resilence

September 21, 2015 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, John Clark, Politics

The Katrina Disaster and the Politics of Disavowal

by John Clark

FORGETTING COMMEMORATION

A few weeks ago, New Orleans went through the ten-year commemoration of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.  In fact, there were several quite divergent modes of commemoration.  At one end of the nola_dc05spectrum there was the Tenth Annual Katrina March and Second-line, the most serious political event of the day, which sponsored speeches and performances at the site of the levee break in the devastated and still depopulated Lower Ninth Ward. It had a significant turnout, though certainly under a thousand participants.

At the other extreme was the Krewe of O.A.K, which practiced a kind of “commemorating by not commemorating” in its annual Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade and celebration. O.A.K. stands for “Outrageous and Kinky,” in addition to “Oak St.,” its starting point at the Maple Leaf Bar. The parade, noted for its wild costumes and zany ambience, attracted perhaps 10,000 to this Carrollton neighborhood event.  According to the Times-Picayune, the Krewe chose the theme “Tie Dye Me Up,” to evoke the famous “Summer of Love,” and “bring good vibes to this annual parade.” It added: “No mention of the ‘K’ word, please.” (more…)

The Impossible Community

June 10, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Guest Author, John Clark, Politics

An Interview with John Clark on Communitarian Anarchism

by Alyce Santoro

To social ecologists, environmental issues are, at their core, socio-economic issues. The same sense of separateness that justifies our exploitation and domination of one another makes possible similar acts of violence against nature. As long as we remain oblivious to underlying flaws in our collective logic (i.e., that it is reasonable to endlessly consume non-renewable resources on a finite planet; that peaceful, just societies can emerge out of competitive, hierarchical frameworks) any responses we could devise will be insufficient to significantly alter our current course. A social ecological approach to “saving the environment” would require balancing relationships between humans and other humans, and between humans and all other phenomena. It sounds like a tall order…and it is. In light of the obvious destructive effects of systems within which we are obliged to strive for quantity of goods for one over quality of life for all, we are now faced with two choices: pull off the impossible, or perish. (more…)

The Significance of OWS

October 28, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Economy, John Clark, Politics

Emancipate Yourselves from Mental Slavery…

by John Clark

When Occupy Wall St. burst unexpectedly on the scene a mere month ago, many (and especially many in the mainstream media) had no idea what to make of it, and treated it as an incoherent outburst. We need to consider why this phenomenon was so perplexing to some, while so inspiring to many others. We need to see that the Occupy Movement does have a deep significance. Yet, we also need to be careful not to attempt to pin down its meaning too rigidly at this early point in its development.

It is crucial to understand that “Occupy Wall St.” is a floating signifier. This means that although it may have a common core of meaning for many, it also means many different things to many different people. There is simply no way to pin down what it “really means.”  What it really means is everything it is, and everything it will become.  Its various meanings at this stage of its evolution sometimes overlap and sometimes conflict. (more…)

The Cost of Oil

April 20, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Ecology, John Clark

Life in Louisiana, and on Earth, Struggles to Survive

by John Clark

On this anniversary of the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, attention here in south Louisiana is focused on the consequences of that traumatic event. As the Deepwater Horizon disaster begins to recede into history, we have heard wildly divergent views of what its effects have been for our region.

On the one hand, we hear optimistic statements about the almost complete recovery of the Gulf. On the other, we hear troubling reports of what still lies beneath the surface, and of possible long-term ecological damage that can only be assessed after much careful scientific study. Meanwhile, tourist agencies and public officials urge us to relax, take a swim, and eat some seafood. (more…)

What Can We Do to Support Egypt?

February 07, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, John Clark, Politics

Address in Solidarity with the Popular Revolution

by John Clark

We have all been moved by the courageous actions of the Egyptian people in recent weeks. In response to their inspiring example, we might ask the following question: What effective steps can we take to support their struggle for liberation, and to support similar struggles throughout the world?

There is a very easy, and very bad, response to this question. Unfortunately, it is also the one that is most popular. This response is to express our great sympathy and admiration for their struggle, and then to go on acting as we have in the past. I propose that a more constructive response would be, first,  to become better educated about what has made their struggle necessary, and, next,  to begin to act in ways that that will make it, and similar struggles, more likely to succeed in the future. (more…)