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Get Real | Tarence Ray
"What liberals like Paul Krugman still don’t understand about rural America"



"This question of why the rural working class often votes against its interests has been bugging liberals for a few decades now, and you can’t really blame them. Democrats still held a lot of sway in rural America for the first half of the twentieth century, but then things started to change. Neoliberal economics tore rural regions apart. Both jobs and people left in short order. Now these regions swing predominantly conservative, and liberals are left scratching their heads.

Today, rural America is largely viewed as politically and culturally “a world apart,” when in reality the picture is bleaker: conservatives simply maintain a stronger grasp on power in rural areas than liberals do. Liberals think that the majority of people in rural areas see this as a desirable state of affairs. Many of us don’t. It’s just that our voices have been erased by the overwhelming might of power and industry.

Krugman would do better to skip the psychoanalysis and examine the way power is actually constituted in rural America: to look at why and how ideology is formed, who does the forming, and what material interests are served by it. But he knows his audience, and he knows that they don’t really want to know the answers to those questions because that would mean they would have to actually believe in and fight for something. And they’re not going to do that. They’d rather be at brunch.

*****

As good Marxists, let’s state up front that the primary function of rural areas within the larger national economy is as a supply source of raw materials: food, oil, natural gas, coal, timber, and other resources. To keep these goods flowing out of rural areas —and profit flowing into capitalists’ pockets—freethinking dissent within the extractive regions must be squashed at all costs. Compare this with urban areas, where a greater productive capacity and larger middle classes can absorb and dilute a great deal of dissent. In rural areas, those impulses have to be stamped out before they can really take off; nothing less than the unchallenged flow of profit and resources is at stake. Conservatives understand this, and it’s why one of their foremost political strategies in rural areas is that of social control.

If you live in a rural community, extractive or not, you are likely confronted every day with an onslaught of images, dogmas, and various cultural reinforcements regarding your role within the national social structure. Perhaps the primary location for this “indoctrination” is the local school system. In many rural communities, it is well understood that while state power may be concentrated in the county courthouse, social power—the power to shape the ideological contours of the community, and therefore how it votes, prays, works, and obeys—is concentrated in the local school board."



"The only thing capable of breaking the conservative stranglehold on rural communities—and of breaking the power of their foot soldiers in the local school boards, chambers of commerce, and churches—is a nationwide political movement based in the actual interests of the working class: the service industry employees and care workers, the teachers and tenants. That’s because the right wing has their own institutions, programs, and forms of ideological preservation in rural areas. They have invested heavily in them for the last thirty years, and they will not stop until rural America is a useless ecological graveyard. Conservatives see their beliefs gradually losing support, and they have entered death cult mode. They want to squeeze as much profit and as many resources out of rural areas as possible, until we, too, have gone to the graveyard.

The result is a rapidly deteriorating economic landscape that stumps writers like Krugman. When he writes about the economic forces contributing to rural America’s decline “that nobody knows how to reverse,” the “nobody” he’s referring to is himself. Krugman’s liberalism, with its focus on slow incrementalism and social tinkering, has become incompatible with rural economies that are beholden to the whims of increasingly embattled industry. In the days when America’s economy was booming after World War II, when regulations meant to safeguard the financial interests of ordinary people didn’t necessarily threaten the immense wealth that was being produced throughout society, it was feasible that pro-business ideas could coexist with liberal doctrines like human rights and social welfare policies. But in the era of post-industrial capitalism, as wages decline, jobs are relocated, and the social safety net shrinks, it’s become impossible to square that contradiction.

So the best Krugman can offer is a kind of liberal realism: progressive values are simply incompatible with the minds of backwards yokels living out in the provinces, and we need to get real about that. This allows Krugman to erase all forms of rural radicalism: he doesn’t see us as powerless, silenced by the authoritarian regime of conservative social control, because he doesn’t see power at all.

But we know that rural radicalism exists, and we know that the rural working class can exert a great deal of leverage on entrenched power structures. The statewide teacher strikes in predominantly rural West Virginia serve as the best recent example. Our power is growing. It may take some time and experimentation, but conservatives will not reign unchallenged in rural America for eternity. We’ve never stopped fighting back."
rural  us  paulkrugman  politics  economics  2019  power  taranceray  liberals  neoliberalism  capitalism  democrats  republicans  ideology  incrementalism  elitism  society  socialwelfare  welfare  radicalism  humanrights  work  labor  workingclass  class  teachers  tenants  coal  westvirginia  newmexico  oil  gas 
21 days ago by robertogreco
Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire
[Available on YouTube, for now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyncOYTZfHE ]

[See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_of_Empire:_A_History_of_Latinos_in_America ]

"The Untold Story of Latinos in America

“We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies 
are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.”
Juan González, Harvest of Empire

At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present Harvest of Empire, a feature-length documentary that reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González, Harvest of Empire takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.

From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the U.S. control of Puerto Rico, Cuba and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Harvest of Empire unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the U.S.

As Juan González says at the beginning of the film “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.”

Harvest of Empire provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. The film features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalists María Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, and poet Martín Espada."
film  documentary  us  history  immigration  latinamerica  puertorico  mexico  guatemala  honduras  juangonzález  cuba  nicaragua  elsalvador  rigobertamenchú  jessejackson  anthonyromero  junotdíaz  lorenzomeyer  maríahinojosa  geraldorivera  2011  martínespada  luisenrique  dominicanrepublic  latinos  imperialism  politics  policy  foreignpolicy  braceros  wwii  ww2  civilrights  race  racism  migration  communism  redscare  centralamerica  caribbean  colonialism  socialism  capitalism  fidelcastro  rafaeltrujillo  spanish-americanwar  inequality  exploitation  sugar  cotton  revolution  resistance  fulgenciobatista  dictatorships  oppression  deportation  texas  california  newmexico  arizona  mexican-americanwar  nevada  colorado  florida  nyc  óscarromero  harrytruman  democracy  jacoboárbenz  unitedfruitcompany  eisenhower  cia  intervention  maya  ethniccleansing  land  ownership  civilwar  iran-contraaffair  ronaldreagan  sandinistas  contras  war  bayofpigs  refugees  marielboatlift  1980  jimmycarter  language  spanish  español  miami  joaquínbalaguer  hectortruji 
july 2018 by robertogreco
A new U.S.-Mexico border? At the Venice Biennale, imagining a binational region called MEXUS
"As part of their research into watersheds, Cruz and Forman have created an inventory of public lands in Los Laureles that can serve multiple purposes — as green space, environmental education center and natural buffers to mitigate flows of waste. And they are working to see how they can create a mechanism to invest in those spaces so that they might be preserved.

“Instead of the investing in the wall,” says Cruz, “can we invest to get the poor settlement to regulate the flow of waste? Can we get the poor residents to take care of the rich estuary?’

The subjects are tricky, but in these types of projects, Zeiger says she sees plenty of optimism.

“In architecture, if we don’t allow ourselves to visualize a condition that is different than the current condition, then we really cut off how we will impact the future,” she says.

For Forman, that consists of fomenting a new type of border culture.

“Citizenship,” she says, “is not an identity card. It’s about coexisting and building a city together.”"
teddycruz  fonnaforman  carolinamianda  border  borders  us  california  mexico  sandiego  tijuana  texas  arizona  newmexico  2018  venicebiennale  architecture  citizenship  politicalequator  geography  geopolitics  mimizeiger  annlui  afrofuturism 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Maps | Kenneth D. Madsen
"U.S. Border Barriers

California .jpg .pdf
– Kelly San Diego waiver 8/2/17 .jpg .pdf
– Duke Calexico waiver 9/12/17 .jpg .pdf

Arizona .jpg .pdf

New Mexico & West Texas [coming soon]
– Nielsen Santa Teresa waiver 1/22/18 .jpg (map only) .pdf (w/ photos & waiver text) [updated 2/6/18]

Texas [coming soon]

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Waivers

Comparison of all eight legal waivers to-date .jpg .pdf [updated 2/8/18]

Note that mileage calculated from maps created prior to Dec. 2017 (i.e. CA & AZ maps above and summary handout below) over-estimate actual distances due to a projection error. Percentages are still largely correct, however. Corrected maps are forthcoming.

summary handout 8.5″ x 11″ .pdf"
kennethmadsen  borders  border  california  mexico  us  texas  arizona  newmexico  sandiego  calexico  geopolitics 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Relics of the Space Age - The New York Times
"Nearly three decades ago, Roland Miller, a photographer, received a phone call asking for help in disposing of photography chemicals from an old office building at Cape Canaveral in Florida. When he went there, he was enchanted by the hulking masses of abandoned launch pads. Mr. Miller persuaded NASA and the Air Force to let him take pictures.

Later, he traveled the country to photograph other relics like the catacomb-like passages, above, of the stands that held the Saturn 5 engines during test firings at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The photographs have now been collected in a book, “Abandoned in Place,” published this month by the University of New Mexico Press.

“It’s really the only way for a lot of people to see this stuff,” Mr. Miller said."
kennethchang  spaceexploration  spaceage  ruins  2016  photography  spacearchaeology  us  florida  virginia  houston  texas  capecanaveral  newmexico  whitesands 
march 2016 by robertogreco
BORDERLAND : NPR
"We Took A 2,428-Mile Road Trip Along The Mexico Border: Here's What We Saw"



"For now the party was bound for a Border Patrol station, though it was held up while agents awaited the arrival of a child’s car seat. That seat represented the ironies we found along the whole length of the border: how a child could make a perilous journey, possibly thousands of miles, finally to be held up for want of safety equipment. How the Border Patrol would carefully watch the safety of children before sending them back to some desperate situation."

[See also: Special Series: Borderland: Dispatches from the US-Mexico Boundary:
http://www.npr.org/series/291397809/borderland-dispatches-from-the-u-s-mexico-boundary ]
mexico  npr  journalism  storytelling  us  border  borders  photography  california  sandiego  tijuana  texas  newmexico  arizona  ethiopia  migration  immigration  immigrants  politics  geopolitics  food  culture  families  language  anthropology  law  tostilocos  spanish  español  english  spanglish 
april 2014 by robertogreco
The world's first city for robots | Green Futures Magazine
"A technology firm is building a metropolis in the New Mexico desert, replete with schools, parks and an airport, to test out future technologies in the absence of people.

A science project of unprecedented scale begins this month in the New Mexico desert, as a technology firm breaks ground for a model metropolis. Washington-based Pegasus Global Holdings will build a town replete with schools, parks and an airport.

But the intended residents are not people, but robots."
2012  robotcity  newmexico  robots  cities 
august 2012 by robertogreco
BBC News - In Steinbeck's footsteps: America's middle-class underclass
"In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck describes the harrowing journey of the Joad family - migrant workers forced to leave their home during the Great Depression - a story still relevant to those facing the realities of America's current economic crisis."<br />
<br />
"With the south-west in the grip of its worst drought for 60 years, old-timers here are beginning to talk about the Dust Bowl years, years Steinbeck chronicled in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book of migration, poverty and social injustice.<br />
<br />
I decided to retrace the route Steinbeck's fictional family took from Oklahoma City to Bakersfield, just north of Los Angeles. I hired a boaty old Mercury and put my foot down."
immigration  recession  unemployment  economy  johnsteinbeck  grapesofwrath  greatdepression  greatrecession  economics  2011  tentcities  poverty  oklahoma  newmexico  arizona  california  migration 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Print - Walking the Border - Esquire
"There is only one way to understand the 1,933-mile line that divides our country from Mexico. Start at the beach and walk east until you hit the Gulf."
mexico  immigration  us  borders  sandiego  california  arizona  newmexico  walking  lukedittrich  maps  geography  migration  texas  photography  2011 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Abo Elementary School - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The former Abo Elementary School, located in Artesia, New Mexico, United States, has been identified by One Nation Underground (ISBN 0-8147-7522-5) as the first (and most likely only) public school constructed entirely underground and equipped to function as a fallout shelter. The school, completed in 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, had a concrete slab roof which doubled as the school's playground. It contained a large storage facility with room for emergency rations and supplies for 2000 people in the event of nuclear warfare or other catastrophe. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 and is located at 1802 W Centre Ave."
newmexico  coldwar  schools  schooldesign  history  education  aboelementary  underground 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Coudal Partners - Breakfast Serial: Laboratory Conditions
"Scouting for props and locations for our current film project, 72° led us to Los Alamos, New Mexico. We found a lot more there than we bargained for."
film  losalamos  technology  coudal  video  documentary  newmexico  science  research 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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