The Cultural Front

The cultural front is not necessarily the flank of any movement. Can’t say it better than this:

In the words of Rickke Manazala, “culture is essential to sustaining our work.” Culture is not an adjunct, an add-on, something pigeon-holed and secondary. All throughout the USSF, from the puppets at the opening day march to the Indigenous drummers and singers at the final plenary, this truth was made manifest.

The leadership of the USSF understood that narrow “correct politics” or efficient organization alone do not do it. As Lillian Cotto Morales said, “we need to know one another as people so we can then talk politics and strategy.”

That’s from Ted Glick’s ZNet Commentary, “The U.S. Left Turns a Corner.”

Also of note:

“The left needs to start appealing to people’s hunger for hope and attraction to fantasy life. What’s more, Duncombe said, they have to let go of the belief—”naive at best, arrogant at worst”—that intellectual arguments should be enough to win people over, and that spectacle, as the Bush administration employs it, is something to which they shouldn’t have to resort, a tawdry means to an end.” – Stephen Duncombe 

An emphasis on culture also accords with Noam Chomsky’s point that: 

“Caricature is an art, and not an easy one.  But when well done, a very important one.  As for dealing with Orwell’s problem, I try to do it in the ways I know how to pursue; 1000s of pages by now.  No doubt there are other ways, maybe better ways.  But others will have to find what works for them.”

And what works for them, for us, must be in large part what works for others. We might ask ourselves what the cultural component of our work is, at any place and time, and what it needs to be.

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