To Rebel Against Necessity and More

12 October 2020 — Edward Curtin

“Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world, which operates on the basis of necessity. The laws of necessity are as unexceptional as the laws of gravitation. The human faculty of compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural. To forget oneself, however briefly, to identify with a stranger to the point of fully recognizing her or him, is to defy necessity, and in this defiance, even if small and quiet and even if measuring only 60cm. x 50cm., there is a power that cannot be measured by the limits of the natural order. It is not a means and it has no end. The Ancients knew this.”

– John Berger, “A Man with Tousled Hair,” from The Shape of a Pocket Continue reading

Bullets Are Not the Seeds of Life: The Forty-Second Newsletter (2020)

15 October 2020 — Tricontinental

Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq Sudan Procession the Zar 2015 1Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq (Sudan), Procession (the Zār), 2015

Dear friends,

Greetings from the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On 9 October 2020, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. In the citation for the award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee pointed to the ‘link between hunger and armed conflict’, noting that ‘war and conflict can cause food insecurity and hunger, just as hunger and food insecurity can cause latent conflicts to flare up and trigger the use of violence’. The demand for zero hunger requires ‘an end to war and armed conflict’, said the Nobel Committee. Continue reading