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Old 10-20-2005, 08:31 PM   #1
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Your Favorite Radical Thinkers!

Ok, so I realize this thread MIGHT be taken to welcome only liberals, but I know some die-hard Republicans who appreciate Marx's philosophy, etc. So no discrimination intended.

Who INSPIRES you to PUSH it? To change the status quo? To work for a radically different and better world (however you preceive that).

No, you may not answer Bono. Or Jesus. Mortals only, please.

My Radical Heroes
Dorothy Day(founder of the Catholic Workers Movement)
Mother Jones (awesome fighter for economic and social justice)
Elise Boulding (a peace scholar who loudly wondered by why our kids learn so much about war and so little about peace)
Maria Montessori (the Mother of Peace Education)
Johan Galtung (incredible peace scholar who helped advance the notion that violence can be cultural and structural, as well as physical)
Paolo Freire (author of Pedagody of the Oppressed and prominent philospher of liberation theology)
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:10 PM   #2
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F.A. Hayek, John Stuart Mill, Karl Popper, to some extent Ayn Rand but not so dogmatic, Milton Friedman etc.
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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Sherry Darling, can you recommend some reading by the people you've mentioned? You can PM me if you'd like.

I always find it a bit challenging, as a science geek to immerse myself into socio-political thinking as much as I would like to. But I do want to free my mind.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:31 PM   #4
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Mill? I'm a bit surpised to see him on your list A_W, he had some pretty scathing things to say about conservatives. I can see why Utilitarianism would appeal to libertarians though.

Like Sherry I admire many of the liberation theologians, especially Freire. Studying the works of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the great 20th-century Jewish mystic, ethicist and civil rights activist (he marched arm-in-arm with MLK at Selma) was a formative experience for me. On a more contemporary note, I'm often inspired by the writings of Cornel West, Reverend Jim Wallis and Rabbi Michael Lerner, three admirable men who together and separately have reached across religious and denominational boundaries to reclaim a space for progressive religious dialogue in America.

MLK's own writings are tremendously inspiring, yet surprisingly neglected. He was most definitely a thinker as well as an activist.

Jurgen Habermas, Thomas Merton, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman...a tip of the hat.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:34 PM   #5
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George Orwell.
Ray Bradbury.
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Old 10-21-2005, 02:09 AM   #6
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Germaine Greer. Even today, that line from The Female Eunuch is radical: whereby she writes that if a woman is disgusted at the thought of tasting her own menstrual blood then she is not fully emancipated

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Old 10-21-2005, 02:12 AM   #7
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Old 10-21-2005, 02:59 AM   #8
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foray--I believe what Sherry was looking for was figures who provided exemplary intellectual leadership, and whose life and works embody the most constructive and inspiring contributions a radical critique of politics and society has to offer. Not veiled attempts to discredit an entire movement by singling out the sensationalist, shock-value tripe peddled by its reigning monomaniacs and starfuckers.

Unless I completely misread your intentions, in which case, my apologies.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:05 AM   #9
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Yes you misread my intentions.

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Old 10-21-2005, 03:22 AM   #10
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Re: Your Favorite Radical Thinkers!

Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling

Paolo Freire (author of Pedagody of the Oppressed and prominent philospher of liberation theology)
Montessori, Freire..

I´ll add Augusto Boal, he worked with Freire, he did the "Theatre Of The Oppressed", a great person, lots of humor and energy, met him a year ago.

Marcus Garvey, one of my idols.

Ernesto Cardenal, the Nicaraguan priest.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Simon Bolivar.

Sandino. Salvador Allende.

Lots of musicians/ artists; Bob Marley, John Lennon,..

Osho, especially some of his earlier, not-too-radical writings.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray
Yes you misread my intentions.
I don't mean to be a pitbull about this, but could you perhaps explain then what your intentions were? Forgive me, but I find it difficult to believe you genuinely admire Germaine Greer.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:38 AM   #12
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I don't have to prove anything but I'll humour you. I posted the comment because it displayed what I personally thought was Greer's most radical moment. The thread's title says "radical thinkers" after all, and Greer is often thought of as a 60s figure so to today's readers she might not be considered radical or relevant anymore. Hence my explanation of how radical Greer can be, even today.

All the rest of her contributions to female empowerment and more recently her call for an Aborigines Australia go without saying, of course. I had the intelligent reader in mind.

I could add other things like how I've seen her lecture in person, her books and tv programmes and radio talks that I've followed, not to mention the pivotal role she played in making me the neo feminist I am today... but what I have just written ought to suffice.

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Old 10-21-2005, 03:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray
not to mention the pivotal role she played in making me the neo feminist I am today...
what is a neo feminist?
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Mill? I'm a bit surpised to see him on your list A_W, he had some pretty scathing things to say about conservatives. I can see why Utilitarianism would appeal to libertarians though.
I wasn't born right and I don't think theres much that makes me conservative per se

'On Liberty' was one of the most important documents in shaping my ideas, augmented of course with other later on.

Authors ~ take Robert Heinlein and Orson Scott Card.
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
what is a neo feminist?
As you know, feminism is like post-modernism in that it is impossible to define unless I write a book about it. So this will be a brief personal definition, as expected. Neo-feminism is another term for the Third Wave of feminism that is happening now. First Wave being the suffragette movement, and Second being the resurgence in the 60s and 70s. I choose to identify myself as a neo-feminist because it is a sort of shorthand for the Third Wave. I also separate myself from the Second wave because I feel that feminism today is a very different thing; it is as much about the struggle of bis, lesbians, gays, transsexuals and men as it is of women. The problems of the 60s are still with us, for eg. an art exhibition consisting of all male artists is the status quo yet one featuring all female artists is "a female show". Added to that, pay inequality, fewer female bosses, all that is still present. But neo feminism goes a step further in complicating who is the oppressor/oppressed and subject/object, thereby identifying itself less and less as a collective movement but more towards individual interpretation. Eg. women who enjoy being looked at as well as looking, the stripper who enjoys her job, the stay-at-home mom, the woman who is proud of her burqa etc. Another marked difference between the Second and Third waves is that it has branched out from the white middle class to encompass women in the third world, each with their own interpretation of feminism, and this is exciting to see.

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Old 10-21-2005, 05:55 AM   #16
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Can these different interperatations of feminism really be culturally relativistic excuses for misogyny?
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray
I had the intelligent reader in mind.
I find that unnecessary, but perhaps you feel I asked for it.

I have read Eunuch myself and was not surprised to see that you had also--I recognized Greer's turns of phrase in your comments about bras in the "Holland bans the burka" thread a few days back. And I am well aware of her anti-imperialist stances on Aboriginal rights, female genital mutilation and the like. However, as a South Asianist (I am a professor of political science and conduct research in India) I have also noticed that certain highly selective readings of Greer's work--glossing over her attacks on family, religion and monogamy, for instance, while embracing her reductionist portrayal of Western "femininity" standards as the keystone of patriarchy--have obtained some currency in certain anti-Western circles, much as Camille Paglia's antifeminist views have been selectively co-opted by certain men who would prefer not to consider Paglia's low opinion of heterosexual males.

I am also aware that as Greer got older and, frankly, less able to attract the multiple sexual partners she once bragged about having, she changed her tune on "sexual liberation" quite a bit and began linking her analysis of femininity-as-oppression to a gloomy and hostile view of male sexuality, pretty much draining her works of the hippie-anarchist playfulness that had once served to temper her painfully obvious anger and embitteredness. I actually had the impression she was pretty contemptuous of Third Wave feminism, too, what with her ridiculing of "girl power" and so forth. Anyway, call me merciless, but reading about her newfound asceticism (so to speak) only tempted me to rebukingly cite Malcolm X: the chickens always do come home to roost.

The above is all by way of contextualizing my own particular take on Greer, though--I don't mean to suggest it has anything to do with yours. Please feel free to correct my perceptions about the reasons for her appeal outside the Eurocentric world; it might help me keep some perspective and stay calm next time I get treated to a condescending misappropriation of Western femininity critique by someone who has just smugly dismissed Western sexual mores as promiscuous hedonism, and our manner of dress as based on titillation. It is partly because I have repeatedly had such experiences in my travels that I object to reflexive and uninformed characterizations of burka-wearing (for example) as "women's oppression".

My apologies for offending you, and my thanks for responding despite it.

~ Peace.
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:33 AM   #18
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Guy Debord

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Old 10-21-2005, 08:35 AM   #19
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Eugene Debs. He was a ground-breaker in American political philosophy, and absolutely fearless. He went to jail twice for his beliefs, but he never gave them up.
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Old 10-21-2005, 08:37 AM   #20
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If Jesus is a "radical thinker" then I'd say him. In some ways he was and still is "radical" sad as that might be to say.

Anyone who truly follows and adheres to what they think and believe regardless of personal consequences.
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