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jerryking : self-determination   10

How Covenants Make Us - The New York Times
David Brooks APRIL 5, 2016

there are four big forces coursing through modern societies. Global migration is leading to demographic diversity. Economic globalization is creating wider opportunity but also inequality. The Internet is giving people more choices over what to buy and pay attention to. A culture of autonomy valorizes individual choice and self-determination.

All of these forces have liberated the individual, or at least well-educated individuals, but they have been bad for national cohesion and the social fabric. Income inequality challenges economic cohesion as the classes divide. Demographic diversity challenges cultural cohesion as different ethnic groups rub against one another. The emphasis on individual choice challenges community cohesion and settled social bonds.....Strong identities can come only when people are embedded in a rich social fabric. They can come only when we have defined social roles...You take away a rich social fabric and what you are left with is people who are uncertain about who they really are....how do we preserve individual freedom while strengthening social solidarity?

In her new book “Commonwealth and Covenant,” Marcia Pally of N.Y.U. and Fordham offers a clarifying concept. What we want, she suggests, is “separability amid situatedness.” We want to go off and create and explore and experiment with new ways of thinking and living. But we also want to be situated — embedded in loving families and enveloping communities, thriving within a healthy cultural infrastructure that provides us with values and goals.

Creating situatedness requires a different way of thinking. When we go out and do a deal, we make a contract. When we are situated within something it is because we have made a covenant. A contract protects interests, Pally notes, but a covenant protects relationships. A covenant exists between people who understand they are part of one another. It involves a vow to serve the relationship that is sealed by love: Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people....Tolerance, he said, means, “I’m going to stomach your right to be different, but if you disappear off the face of the earth I’m no worse off.” Patriotism, on the other hand, means “love of country, which necessitates love of each other, that we have to be a nation that aspires for love, which recognizes that you have worth and dignity and I need you. You are part of my whole, part of the promise of this country.”
David_Brooks  community  social_collaboration  social_integration  covenants  patriotism  books  Commonwealth  values  social_fabric  social_cohesion  social_contract  tolerance  autonomy  individual_choice  self-determination  college-educated  pay_attention 
april 2016 by jerryking
Susan Taylor Reflects on the Black Lives Matter Movement
January 06, 2015 | | Essence.com |Essay by Susan Taylor.

ask ourselves the hard questions: Are we doing what's needed to demonstrate that Black life matters? Are we caring well for the gift of our own children? Are we holding accountable our own national, community, fraternal, sororal and faith leaders, requiring that they set aside egos and work in operational unity to develop and deliver a Marshall Plan for our recovery from centuries of brutality and legislated disregard? What is our plan for creating Black-owned businesses in our neighborhoods, top-tier education, and quality housing and health care?
protests  protest_movements  self-help  self-improvement  African-Americans  introspection  self-reliance  self-determination  black-owned  digital_advocacy  hard_questions  Black_Lives_Matter  top-tier 
may 2015 by jerryking
If enough African-Guyanese return to their capitalist roots Guyana’s economic future will see improvement Georgetown, Guyana
JANUARY 8, 2010 |- Stabroek News | Michael Maxwell.

The question is whether the state or the individual/community bears primary responsibility for wealth creation with focus on the African-Guyanese populace. Unquestionably, both the state and the individual are responsible for facilitating the creation and pursuit of legitimate wealth. ...Orientation to wealth creation in the African-Guyanese community is presently stymied by several factors, most notably a poor personal saving rate, low investment rate, business risk aversion, low communal wealth generation endeavours and high public sector and service sector participation rate. ...A bigger problem for African-Guyanese capitalism and entrepreneurism is its lack of support from its own group. African-Guyanese businessmen and the community must lead the charge in educating African-Guyanese about the benefits of personal and commercial wealth generation......The greatest form of empowerment is economic empowerment, and dramatically so for a poor people in a poor nation. That is the true measure of freedom. Without a strong African-Guyanese capitalist class in Guyana alongside the Indian-Guyanese capitalist class the nation cannot achieve a decent path of economic progress. Wealth creation is not an alien concept to African-Guyanese who were the first independent producers in Guyana after slavery before becoming a mostly entrenched consumer and service providing class to the primary capitalists.
Afro-Guyanese  wealth_creation  capitalism  letters_to_the_editor  economic_development  Guyana  self-determination  self-discipline  self-employment  self-help  support_systems  generational_wealth  individual_initiative  economic_empowerment  risk-aversion  public_sector  distrust  disunity 
september 2014 by jerryking
The African Guyanese community has to find a way to develop strong financial independence
April 8, 2013 | Stabroek News | F. Skinner.

The African Guyanese community is in deep trouble. The community is always protesting, shot at and sometimes killed by police, with no improvement to their situation. Why is that? Their representatives in the TUC, the majority opposition and ACDA have somehow manoeuvred them into a box of irrelevance, with no obvious way out unless they are willing to recognize/accept that they are flawed in their approach and are willing/able to take the necessary steps to get out.
What is the way out? Find a strategy to develop financial relevance in the community. I can hear the exclamations, “Here Skinner go again!” Well, Skinner knows that people respect education backed with strong financial capabilities. People respect people with strong financial independence. That is not in the community, thus the disrespect and the impotence....There should be an organization in every city, every village, every little community, teaching financial management and wealth generation. Look for cooperative business ventures that can be carried out in the communities. Look at struggling communities like Ituni and Kwakwani. See how we can match them with investors or get them equipped to get bank loans. Regulate Africans lands so that Joint Ventures can be done easily.
entrepreneurship  history  Afro-Guyanese  Guyana  letters_to_the_editor  African_Guyanese_villages  wealth_creation  self-determination  self-employment  self-help  self-reliance  economic_clout  economic_nationalism  strategic_thinking  institutions  institution-building  generational_wealth 
april 2013 by jerryking
A Place Called Heaven_pgs. 82-83
1996 | Cecil Foster

Progress will come only through economic independence, the Chief Justice argues, because only then will Blacks be free of the control of other groups. Only then will they be beyond hoping that some politician will appoint one of them to some top job, even as chief justice. Blacks start having clout only when they take greater pride in their identity and work together, when they stop being distrustful of one another because they, too, might have bought into the negative stereotypes other groups have spread about Africans and descendants. “There is a complete absence of influence in matters that affect us as a community, as a people. An inability to lend a helping hand to brothers and sisters in need." the Chief Justice explains in the interview. Julius Isaac chooses his words carefully. pondering every question and occasionally pausing mid-sentence to reflect on what he is saying. "The last time l was in Toronto. l met a Jamaican fellow who told me that he owns a factory where he employs about 50 West Indians, and l thought that he is a unique individual. That is the sort of thing l am talking about: to have the ability to help and to influence the matters that affect our lives. We are at the mercy of other people in the community. You look around at the way in which the society is organized, and for want of a better word, you realize that it is organized on a tribal basis and that each tribe is vying for economic stability. ,I in order to ensure that matters that concern members of that tribe are disposed of in the most advantageous way. We are not able to do that. That is the nutshell of my thinking."
Part of the problem rests with society and the way it is organized. But Blacks must also take their share of the blame, he says. "We do not have the sharpened, acquisitive instinct. lf it is sharpened, it is in a very marginal way that affects a family or an individual. We haven't been able as a community in Canada to acquire significant pools of capital to put at the disposal of the community for its development. l think that is where the focus should be."
African_Canadians  capital_accumulation  capital_formation  distrust  disunity  economic_clout  economic_empowerment  economic_nationalism  ethnic_communities  judges  mindsets  producer_mindset  self-reliance  self-determination  strategic_thinking  tribes  trustworthiness 
january 2013 by jerryking
Kwanzaa, in Principle - WSJ.com
December 27, 2002 | WSJ | By MATTHEW HAMEL.

Kwanzaa was started in the late 1960s by Maulana (ne Ron) Karenga -- a California civil-rights activist and now a professor -- as a series of days for blacks to reflect on "The Seven Principles," which constitute a credo "by which Black people must live in order to begin to rescue and reconstruct our history and lives." The principles themselves are utility, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith, each of which goes by its name in Kiswahili, the major language of the East African country of Tanzania (e.g., umoja, ujima, ujamaa).
African-Americans  Tanzanian  Tanzania  failed_states  self-determination  Kiswahili  Kwanzaa 
april 2012 by jerryking
The Talent Society - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 20, 2012

The trend is pretty clear. Fifty years ago, America was groupy. People were more likely to be enmeshed in stable, dense and obligatory relationships. They were more defined by permanent social roles: mother, father, deacon. Today, individuals have more freedom. They move between more diverse, loosely structured and flexible networks of relationships.

People are less likely to be trapped in bad marriages and bad situations. They move from network to network, depending on their individual needs at the moment. At the same time, bonds are probably shallower and more tenuous.

We can all think of reasons for this transformation. Affluence: people have more money to live apart if they want to. Feminism: women have more power to define their own lives. The aging society: more widows and widowers live alone. The information revolution: the Internet and smartphones make it easier to construct far-flung, flexible networks. Skepticism: more people believe that marriage is not for them.

But if there is one theme that weaves through all the different causes, it is this: The maximization of talent. People want more space to develop their own individual talents. They want more flexibility to explore their own interests and develop their own identities, lifestyles and capacities. They are more impatient with situations that they find stifling.
quirky  JCK  talent  social_networking  solo  David_Brooks  self-determination  indivualized  self-actualization  individual_choice  autonomy 
february 2012 by jerryking
Wealth must be created on a personal level
January 25, 2010 | Stabroek News | by Michael Maxwell. "The
public sector of a poor nation where your next raise is determined by a
clueless government pandering to ethnic concerns is no place to be
hanging your hat for the future, despite your lionhearted service.

There must be a return of the innovative African Guyanese whose vision
of the future is bold enough to know that he has to recast himself into
finding the comfort and security of wealth in a nation where ethnic
economic marginalization rules. As one blogger aptly stated in response
to my January 8 letter, African Guyanese are always starting and
starting over in many of this nation’s economic endeavours. That is a
spirit-crushing struggle for any people. African Guyanese capitalism
does not necessarily have to be on a massive commercial scale, but it
should be sufficient to afford quality wealth and economic security. To
hell with political marginalization."

=====================================================
F. Skinner Iman Chin • 10 years ago
What you are seeing in Linden is not new. Africans have the ability to be innovative. After slavery we bought land, after the PNC's redeployment - square pegs in round holes debacle - where in many cases both husband and wife found themselves without a job, we started the trading business. Now here we go again.

But we must find a way to stop starting from scratch ever too often. That's the challenge - not innovation.
economic_development  Guyana  Afro-Guyanese  letters_to_the_editor  wealth_creation  self-determination  self-discipline  self-employment  self-help  public_sector  generational_wealth  marginalization  personal_economy  spirit-crushing  struggles  financial_security  soul-sapping  reinventing_the_wheel 
january 2010 by jerryking

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