From Gulf to Gulf

Fri Sep 2 17:10:41 UTC 2005

Thanks, Celso, for informing us of the material conditions in our own country. I'm sure we all (and, as you say, "particularly the US scholars") now feel very englightened.

Galey Modan

----- Original Message -----
From: Celso Alvarez Cáccamo <lxalvarz at UDC.ES>
Date: Friday, September 2, 2005 11:46 am
Subject: From Gulf to Gulf

> (I apologize for cross-posting)
> Dear all,
> I have just listened in CNN International to four full, forceful 
> speeches 
> on the hurricane Katrina crisis by four USA Afro-American 
> representatives 
> talking to the Black Caucus. In my opinion, all the speakers 
> indirectly 
> brought to fore the deepest political crisis that the USA regime 
> and the 
> USA as a country have experienced in recent years, a much greater 
> crisis 
> than 9/11, which "united" the country in tragedy. In powerful and 
> transparent ways, class and race (poverty, slavery, and the empire 
> of the 
> market) in the USA have been linked, and sometimes nuanced with 
> elements of 
> a religious ideology (a representative quoting the Bible to his 
> "fellow 
> Christian" president Bush) that clearly parallel the convergence 
> of state, 
> politics and religion in so-called fundamentalist Muslim countries 
> that the 
> USA army is supposed to be fighting.
> In such a terrible situation as the one that thousands of people 
> are 
> experiencing now in the USA, I believe it is not time for refined 
> exercises 
> of discourse analysis (at least, I would be unable to do them) 
> that, for 
> the sake of academic "rigor" and self-complacency (which too often 
> are one 
> and the same issue) would obscure the fundamental issues at stake 
> in this 
> crisis. The simple issue is that the bodies and minds of poor 
> people always 
> DIE in greater quantities and SUFFER more than other economic 
> classes under 
> critical circumstances. If you have an opportunity, do search for 
> and 
> listen to these speeches, for example. I doubt that CNN will make 
> them 
> available on line.
> And to the international academic community (particularly the US 
> scholars) 
> I can only suggest, with all due respect and humbleness, to 
> consider anew 
> or review the role that the material bases of society, and 
> particularly 
> objects such as "class", "class relations", "poverty", or the 
> like, play in 
> the models (?) that inform (?) their respective forms of discourse 
> analyses.
> Please understand me: I am not trying to raise an unfruitful 
> "academic" 
> controversy in which I myself would not be able to defend my own, 
> unelaborated position, if I indeed have one. Simply put, realizing 
> that one 
> is alive to be able to continue to do academic work just because 
> one had 
> the MATERIAL means, for example, to flee from an upcoming disaster 
> (or to 
> survive an earthquake, or to escape bombings) is not a matter of 
> academic 
> controversies, but of ethics.
> Cordially,
> Celso Alvarez Cáccamo
> lxalvarz at

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