Tag Archives: Citizens

Artists role in Time of great danger

Artists are the voice of or for society. They are the ones who look at things, analyse the situations and try to warn the people around them.

At 1:00pm on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at Radio City Music Hall  the New York City’s School of Visual Arts had activist and icon Gloria Steinem spokeeaking urgently on the state of the union at the College’s 41st annual commencement exercises.

On Tuesday, beginning around noon, a sea of buoyant figures in swirling red gowns descended on Rockefeller Center in New York City. Slowly disappearing into Radio City Music Hall, the some 1,170 students were gathering for commencement and graduation from the School of Visual Arts. In the auditorium, their robes billowed out over the velvet-red seats; the resulting camouflage effect seemed symbolically appropriate as a nod to their shared experience at SVA, in a last, unifying moment before they dispersed to start the next chapter of their lives.

Students entering Radio City Music Hall. Photo Copyright © 2017Joseph Sinnott.

Kicking off the program was a speech by Allison R. Schaller, soon to be an alumna with a BFA in Photography and Video.

“As artists, we can think up anything. But it’s the creating, the doing that’s important,”

Schaller said.

“We know many of the world’s problems, and largely the actions we need to take, it’s acting on that knowledge that’s challenging. But luckily for us, we now have a leg up, as we are armed with an education. Find a cause you believe in, find something you are great at, find a passion and make it yours. And please do so with empathy for others.”

SVA President David Rhodes spoke about how citizens in a democracy have an obligation to parse out the truths in the deluge of information circulating in public discourse.

Steinem addressing the crowd. Photo Copyright © 2017Joseph Sinnott. Writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem when stepping up to the podium remembered that she grew up in Toledo,

” hoping, praying to be a Rockette.”

“I want to say to my 10-year-old self, I’m on the stage of Radio City Music Hall, and this is better!”

she declared to a cheering audience.

Addressing the students, Steinem implored them to realize their power as visual artists — namely, in their ability to appeal to sensations, even instincts, shared by all humans.

“To be universally understandable is to have the potential of bringing diverse people together, undivided by different languages or degree of education,”

she said.

The work that writers do, in contrast, takes shape internally, subject to the whims of consciousness, which are as fleeting as they are inscrutable, she implied.

“My joy in writing comes from having an idea and then from finally achieving it,”

she explained.

“But not so much from the tactical, visual and sensory processes in between.”

It was not lost on the room that Steinem’s calls for unity had uncommon urgency.

Women's March in Washington

Women’s March in Washington – worldwide protest on January 21, 2017, to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights.

“We are in a time of maximum change. On the one hand there is great danger, and I am not for a moment diminishing how great that danger is, and on the other hand, we are woke! I have never in my life seen so much organic, sustained, enthusiastic, inventive, created, and fan-f..cking-tastic activism as I did doing the March on Washington.”

I think we have come to a time where artists of all breed have to come out stronger again. It is perhaps not bad we can see a movement again like we had when we went on the barricades in 1968. Our egocentric capitalist society needs again some voices to bring awareness about climate change and our way to live.

Steinem looked back at the more recent march and said

Steinem raises a fist after being presented with a Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Glaser (left). Photo Copyright © 2017Joseph Sinnott.

Steinem raises a fist after being presented with a Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Glaser (left). Photo Copyright © 2017Joseph Sinnott.

“What we remember are the symbols, the hats! It’s a rebellion of the visual arts, the arts of the heart, the arts that are not limited by language, not limited by technology.  There’s so much to be learned if you go beyond your boundaries and now is the time we need to blast those boundaries.”

Steinem called the graduates

“the arts of the heart,”

and cautioned them that from her experience, revolutionaries have to proceed in a way that will renew a world they want to be a part of.

“If you want to have fun and laughter and sex and poetry and music at the end of the revolution,”

she said, beaming at the cheering graduates and their families,

“You have to have fun and laughter and sex and poetry and music on the way.”

Reacting against the bad way our society is moving should not limit us to have fun at the same time that we react against the wrong going. By our creative work we can give criticism and can show a reflection of how our world is evolving, treating its past and showing where it wants to go. We need more artists who hold the mirror in front of us, like Rabirius does, for example.

Reflection to awaken the people around us. By all the social media and advertisements they have been taken asleep. So many are not any more interested in the welfare of animals and plants and think

“It will not be so bad”

Many like the present president of the U.S.A. are not interested in bringing the truth and are more concerned about their own positioning and ‘shining’ in the world. Many are even prepared to walk over corpses if necessary to create a better position for themselves. Others are just happy when they have their gadgets and daily fun.

Today we also can see lots of people are looking for the communal fun, to feel the vibration of togetherness, having the idea they may be between like minded people. Lots of festivals are “in”. It reminds me of the time we had also the many festivals, Woodstock being our ‘greatest one’. Now the Belgian organisers of ‘Tomorrow Land‘ manage to create a magic world and incredible worldwide feeling of unity again. They claim

We believe in enjoying life to the fullest without having to compromise everything. We are responsible for the generation of tomorrow and respect each other and Mother Nature. Respect, Health, Nature, Responsibility and Innovation are the five circles of Love Tomorrow. The Heart is the inner circle, representing passion, love and respect.

We can only hope that those who go and visit such Fantasy World festival shall come to think further their than the entrance gates of their magic world and shall rally spread that love and respect.

Let us hope they may meet others from all over the world to keep contact with and to exchange ideas, but also to get a preparedness to react to our present world and how politicians are screwing the people where they are standing next to them.

In any case it has become high time for the artists to let their political and world views be shown in their work again to bring a ‘voice to think’ again.

1 Comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Cultural affairs, Headlines - News, Social affairs, World affairs

Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses

In modern times we also had times when people were oppressed and victims of totalitarian regimes. Even today many states did not learn from the past ans still try to seek to control all aspects of life.

By the years governments tried to have the adults running nicely in line. Sometimes they forgot the younger citizens but also at other times they tried to use them to get to know more about the parents or as a stick behind the door for the parents.

Some did not take in mind that it is crucial to form the next generation, to make sure that the parents guide their children the right way. Having children in their teen years off on the right track is a must to have stability in the later years.

THE ALLIED OFFENSIVE IN ROMANIA, HUNGARY AND C...

The Allied Offensive in Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia (August 1944 – May 1945). Borders of 1948 (after the 1947 Treaty of Paris), before the creation of GDR and FRG. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There have been times, and perhaps they are returning, that parents gave a lot of consideration to what kind of father or mother they wanted to be to their children. At certain times the parents also wanted to protect their offspring and did not let them hear too much of their political thinking. At all times parents thought about their children how to make it better for them and how they best could raise and unleash them on this world.

Many forms of and many books on bringing up children saw the day light. From one end, having severe discipline to letting everything free has been tried. Some found it also better to make their children dependant on them others did everything to get them independent.

Europe has seen countries where it had become custom to tell lies, to spy on others, and to use everything from the state as theirs. In the East of Europe people even got the disruptive and burdensome attitude that anyone who did not steal from the state was stealing from their own family, eventually became commonplace.

There were many aspects of a person’s day-to-day life that were not recognized during totalitarian times as directly caused by the failures of the state, but which certainly were failures of the state, and are failures that are easily repeated wherever a state sees it best to control an economy.

As writes in Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution: 25 Years Later:

Today, even in the most free-market Western countries, governments participate in massive economic intervention, as if they have learned none of the poignant lessons offered by Soviet-style controlled economies. Government intervention is praised in the West by those who do not have an understanding of markets and tend to confuse the concept of a free market with crony capitalism.

With medical care, pharmaceuticals, and education, for example, the West insists on hindering itself by undermining the market. In doing so, it almost certainly punishes the weakest members of society. Just as the central planners of Czechoslovakia in the last century claimed to act on behalf of “the people” while acting to their detriment, the social democrats of the West in this century follow in those footsteps.

In contrast, personal computing, telecom, the Internet, and burgeoning technologies are areas where technology has moved with such dramatic creativity that governments have been nearly incapable of restraining the markets.

Every year, the government-regulated industries become less efficient and more expensive while the market-regulated industries become ever more efficient and less expensive.

Because of the states wanting to regulate everything and always demanding more taxes and more sacrifice pay for more work, the citizens become more dissatisfied and disappoint with the system. You can call it no wonder that there has come such a distrust in the political system of the ex-communist countries as well as the capitalist countries. They have come from families which have felt the difficulties when the government took everything in their hands. There have been too many unpleasant attempts at using government and economics to control the people.

In Central Europe there is some scepticism toward any political and economic system.  Many look back at 1989 critically and wonder if the right decisions were made during the transitions.

Some even look at the time before that with rose-colored glasses and long for what was. Some prospered in the old system and miss it. While the old system promised comfort to some, it was not a system of individual freedom. {Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution: 25 Years Later}

The world could witness a dramatic meltdown of communist countries: Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia, while the Soviet regime, supportive of these systems since the end of the Second World War, sat by helplessly and watched. Leaders made vague statements about the need for peaceful transitions and elections, while the people on the ground completely ignored them.

English: Monument to the student manifestation...

Monument to the student manifestations of November 17th in Prague, repressed by the police, they led to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What can clearly be seen is that caused the uprising of the people was their frustration with the system. The core of the problem, it appears, relates to civil liberties and the very old-fashioned conviction that the country is ruled by a tyrant who must go. But years before the governing party was not looked at as a tyrant, though often it also wanted in previous time to be the sole ruler. the biggest problem, I think, is that the expectations where not filled in by the system and the system failed the people who had greats hope in change. Often people resisted favouritism and thought to find a system which would consider all people equal and finding it that all should share the common goods. But then they saw that it perhaps was even worse than in the system before and party members chose all the country’s elites based solely on personal loyalty to themselves.

In many cases it took a very long time before the citizens came to realize that they outnumber the government and that they when they unite can do much more than those few in government trying to rule them. This fundamental reality that the world too often forgets, is at the core of the relationship between any government and any people, in all times and all places. The people far outnumber the government, and for that reason — and even when the government is heavily armed — every government must depend on some degree of consent to continue its rule. If the whole of a people rise up and say no, the bureaucrats and even the police are powerless. This is the great secret of government that is mostly ignored until revolution day arrives.

When there is no transparency in the system there shall be no standing credibility for the citizens and they will loose interest and their belief in the governing establishment. then there are the misconceptions and people getting wrong ideas because there is no open and fair communication between governing persons, the state, and its inhabitants. when the citizens start feeling they are left out and that there is no account taken of them or that they are no part any more of the public and political debate, they shall rise up against the system.

When Doomthinking starts taking over than the state should come to see that there is a real problem. Often it is more a matter of not having a good relationship any more between the governing people and the members of the state who start feeling to be left in the cold by those who got their vote or who have taken the power without consult of what the people wanted.

rightly remarks:

The difficulty for the state comes when its will to power generates what Thomas Jefferson called “a long train of abuses” that create a burning desire within people to rise up and demand freedom. Because, after all, it is the right of a people — is it not? — to alter and abolish the form of government under which they are forced to live.

Parents do want to see their children able to live in a world where they can expand their dreams. They want so much more for their  children than a culture of entitlement and a single-minded obsession with self-esteem. When parents are getting terrified of not providing the perfect environment for their children’s future success, states should start worrying, because than the state comes at risk.

Good parents will strive to create an environment where their children are allowed the critical landmarks of growth that come from making mistakes and getting into danger every once in a while. As Victoria Dougherty writes:

The kind of danger that comes from being permitted to ride their bikes unsupervised or watch a horror movie or settle a dispute without adult intervention. We don’t always succeed. {On Making a Man}

Though her people, she finds to be

salty. Playful but intense, eccentric.We thrive on poetic double meanings, and can be as dark as we are passionate and sentimental. We believe in curses and we believe in that tiny, niggling feeling – the kind that prophecies are made of.  The soul’s equivalent of that barely detectable scratch in your throat just before a debilitating bout with the flu. {When Pigs Fly: Thoughts on Slavs, Santa, and eating the family pet}

She also tells when communism fell, the restitution process didn’t have much to offer to he old families.

Restitution, for those of you who might be scratching your heads, is a lot like it sounds. It’s a process by which the Czech government returned properties stolen by the communists to their original owners. {A Little Something to Get the Holiday Season Started}

In the past several people found that their country had betrayed them and now again the danger is looming that people will feel the same way. In the past they saw a country filled with a people weak and corrupt, and run by a government to be bankrupt in every possible sense of the word.

What is most important is, is to know when people their hopes are shattered they shall fall down in a deep well trying to do everything not to drown. Parents even in bad times tried to give their kids a shade of light in the darkness. They want their kids to believe that from the depth of the valleys, in the deserts of despair, there is hope

… as there is the unquenchable oasis, the immense breadth and depth of the human spirit… always.

Let us be careful that we always shall be able to give hope to this but also to the following generations.

“Hope is the anchor of the soul.”“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success; but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.”– Vaclav Havel (former President of Czechoslovakia and playwright)

+

Additional reading:

  1. Capitalism
  2. Doomthinking or a real problem for Europe
  3. Transparency is the key to credibility for the EU
  4. Citizens to be put at the heart of the public debate
  5. Citizen University and the difference between Citizenship and Activism
  6. Migrants to the West #2
  7. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  8. Poignant Imagine
  9. Private: Faith Over Fear
  10. Left behind for economical emigration
  11. This Week Twenty-Five Years Ago: The Velvet Revolution Succeeds, December 1989
  12. Many present American citizens do not want to recognise their Land of hope and glory
  13. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall

++

Extra reading:

  1. Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution: 25 Years Later
  2. A People’s Uprising Against the Empire
  3. The Limits of Globalization
  4. Ceausescu’s Rumania: Stalinism with an Iron Fist
  5. Report from Romania: Ceausescu’s Legacies
  6. History Carnival #140
  7. Prelude to Bandung: The Interwar Origins of Anti-Colonialism
  8. Culture Makes All The Difference: Reclaiming the Culture of Economics

+++

  • Czechs Mark 25th Anniversary of Communism’s Fall (voanews.com)
    Monday’s celebrations included protests against the country’s current political leadership under President Milos Zeman, whom some believe to be overly pro-Russian.
  • Are Czechs giving up on moral responsibility? (triblive.com)

    Havel emphasized the importance of morality in politics and economics and said that we should base our actions on “responsibility to something higher than my family, country, my firm, my success.”

    That sense of moral responsibility for others led Havel, until his death in 2011, to be one of the world’s leading advocates for human rights. He believed that people such as himself, who had experienced Communist totalitarianism firsthand, had a special responsibility to warn the affluent West about the dangers of appeasement. And he felt that a “politics where economic interests are put above basic political values are not only immoral, they are suicidal.” In his last years, he applied this thinking especially to Russia and China.

  • Revolutions of 1989: how the old regime was torn down (socialistworker.co.uk)
    “All that is solid melts into air,” wrote Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto of 1848. Their description of seemingly indestructible societies falling apart was particularly apt in 1989.A revolutionary process began that year which destroyed the world order in Europe. The Eastern Bloc countries fell first, and shortly after came the Soviet Union that had controlled them since the end of the Second World War.As millions took to the streets, regimes which described themselves as “socialist” stood exposed as brutal dictatorships.

    In October, East Germany’s rulers were celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding. The ruling SED was among the most hardline Stalinist parties. It thought its repressive state apparatus would forever protect it.

    But discontent was brewing. Groups of radicals who had previously huddled isolated in churches now found that first hundreds, then thousands, were ready to answer their call. A similar spirit gripped workers in country after country.

  • Václav Havel’s Blueprint for Operating in a Dangerous World: By Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic **** (ruthfullyyours.com)
    Havel, who died in December 2011, was a modest man. He might have gotten a laugh out of such a pompous event. When bidding farewell as president in February 2003, he had this to say: “It all happened so suddenly that I did not even have time to properly consider whether or not I was up to the task.” And yet he oversaw epochal events both at home and abroad and in many ways he was an active participant.No sooner was he sworn in on Dec. 29, 1989, than President Havel had his foreign-policy mettle tested as he coped with the far-reaching repercussions of the Iron Curtain coming down. The former Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe were mired in domestic political and economic woes. They also found themselves in a geopolitical void as the Soviet Union fragmented, and simmering ethnic tensions in the Balkans cast another shadow over the future.Havel was acutely aware of the ills and wrongs of the world. While to some he may have seemed a naive idealist, he was convinced that noble ideals should guide his country’s foreign policy to help it stay on a righteous path.
  • Klaus in EU Parliament: 25 years after the fall of communism (motls.blogspot.com)
    Some readers may find 100 minutes to listen to a talk by Czech ex-president Václav Klaus in the EU Parliament that he gave yesterday:
    +
    Klaus would explain why the communism felt – it had totally discredited itself and there were no real supporters anywhere anymore. He would think that socialism would never return. But he was wrong. Here we have the European socialism.The ex-president recommends the EU to be dissolved just like communism was stopped.While I am not hysterically afraid of such a scenario, I am still uncertain whether this is the right way to proceed, whether it would bring greater benefits than costs. What do you think? Richard Sulík of Slovakia has also attended (and spoke!) – and he’s even less certain about the dissolution’s being a good idea than I am.
  • Ukrainian textbooks to remove “Great Patriotic War” designation for WWII (euromaidanpress.com)
    New textbooks in Ukraine will replace the Soviet term “Great Patriotic War” with the phrase Second World War, which is used worldwide, said Education Minister Serhiy Kvit, November 26, before a Cabinet meeting.Kvit said he supports the position of the Institute of National Memory to restore the phrase Second World War as a replacement for the term Great Patriotic War, which was reintroduced in Ukraine during the Yanukovych government
  • China media: Premier Li’s Russia visit (bbc.co.uk)
    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is in Russia on a three-day visit, will meet President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.Both countries signed at least 40 agreements in energy, aviation, space, high-speed railways, tourism, and finance, reports say.Several papers have criticised Western media outlets for “badmouthing” the Russia-China relationship.

    Showing strong support for Moscow, the overseas edition of the People’s Daily observes that the US has “doubts or even enmity” towards China and Russia because it feels the two countries are “seeking to change the world order”.

    “The US is the main architect and main beneficiary of the post-war world order. The world order that it is defending is different from what many countries, including China, are hoping to see. However, China is not suggesting tearing down the existing order, it just wants reforms,” says the article.

    The paper adds that the “US still sees China as the biggest potential challenger to the existing world order”.

  • Silesia: a borderland in Central Europe (britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk)
    Silesia is a region now located mainly in Poland with small strips in the Czech Republic and Germany. Historically the province has been divided into the north-western Lower Silesia and the south-eastern Upper Silesia with the two biggest cities Wrocław (Breslau) on the Oder and Katowice respectively.  In the early Middle Ages Silesia was populated by various Slav tribes and was part of Great Moravia and Bohemia.
  • The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall (mostlyeconomics.wordpress.com)
    There are certain narratives which are never questioned. One such narrative is rise of free market thinking in the last 30 years or so. Now, this itself was not new as before great depression we had similar thinking.

11 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Educational affairs, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Social affairs

Freely & fairly

Many countries may call themselves “Democratic” but do not want to listen to the voice of their inhabitants. In a democracy the majority of the citizens should be able to see what they would like to see happening, coming true.

 

advocatemmmohan aksharaalu

Democracy

sustains where the ruler

never expects thankfulness from the people

Where the ruler never feels kingship over the people

Where the people live freely & fairly without any fears & favors 

                                                                              ……………..advocatemmmohan

View original post

2 Comments

Filed under Political affairs, Quotations or Citations, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs