Thursday, May 24, 2012

Springsteen grasps the essence of Benedict Anderson's 'imagined communities'

The chorus of Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own," goes:

Wherever this flag's flown 
We take care of our own

This is about as succinct a summary of Anderson's notion of "imagined communities" as you can get. Of course, Springsteen's song is critical of our government's abysmal failure to take care of our own in New Orleans, in the wake of Katrina. But he's not critical of the essential notion of USA nationalism, based on what Anderson calls "horizontal comradeship," which, for Springsteen, has democratic and emancipatory. Rather, he's critical of failures, especially at the moment Katrina, to fulfill such noble and moral ideals.

The full lyrics of the song are here.

And here's the vid:

Monday, May 21, 2012

NATO, G-8, Global Hunger

From an op-ed by Vijay Prasad, writing in the Denver Post (May 20, 2012):

NATO and the G8 have used their political and military power to impose their social and economic vision on the planet. Their economic agenda (neoliberalism) has tilted the social wealth of the planet toward the global 1 percent and put the interests of finance above that of social needs. This is the reason the Global Hunger Index of 2011 finds that every year 2 million children die of chronic malnutrition (that's four children every minute). It is the reason one-fourth of the world's children do not get enough nutrients to grow properly, including to develop their intellectual capabilities.