Also, the info at the bottom of the article answered my question about the author, which was, "So, in the end does he work as a craftsman or as a white collar guy?"
I skimmed the article and my take is this.
It’s all ABOUT the COLECTIVE, SURFACY approach.
There is NO INDIVIDUAL ACCOUTNABILITY or KNOWLEDGE.
Here’s why I say that:
Yes, it’s 1995 vintage Obama!
He is doing NOW what he did THEN.
Academia LOVES this approach - collective - all show and NOT SUBSTANCE.
Excerpts from the oBominations 1995 interview:
What Makes Obama Run?
Lawyer, teacher, philanthropist, and author Barack Obama doesn’t need another career. But he’s entering politics to get back to his true passion—community organization.
By Hank De Zutter
December 8, 1995
Obama doesn’t need another career. As a civil rights lawyer, teacher, philanthropist, and author, he already has no trouble working 12-hour days. He says he is drawn to politics, despite its superficialities, as a means to advance his real passion and calling: community organization.
While no political opposition to Obama has arisen yet, many have expressed doubts about the practicality of his ambitions. Obama himself says he’s not certain that his experimental plunge into electoral politics can produce the kind of community empowerment and economic change he’s after.
“Three major doubts have been raised,” he said. The first is whether in today’s political environment—with its emphasis on media and money—a grass-roots movement can even be created. Will people still answer the call of participatory politics?
“Second,” Obama said, “many believe that the country is too racially polarized to build the kind of multiracial coalitions necessary to bring about massive economic change.
“Third, is it possible for those of us working through the Democratic Party to figure out ways to use the political process to create jobs for our communities?”
Obama is the product of a brief early-60s college romance and short-lived marriage between a black African exchange student and a white liberal Kansan who met at the University of Hawaii. His critical boyhood years—from two to ten—were spent neither in white nor black America but in the teeming streets and jungle outskirts of Djakarta. Obama’s boyhood experiences in Indonesia—where his mother took him when she married another foreign exchange student—propelled him toward a worldview well beyond his mother’s liberalism.
“The poverty, the corruption, the constant scramble for security . . . remained all around me and bred a relentless skepticism. My mother’s confidence in needlepoint virtues depended on a faith I didn’t possess. . . . In a land where fatalism remained a necessary tool for enduring hard-ship . . . she was a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for New Deal, Peace Corps, position-paper liberalism.”
(Obama naturaly RELATES to THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES - not Europe or the U.S.)
Obama’s politics were tinged with nihilism during his undergraduate years at Occidental College outside Los Angeles. There he played it cool and detached, and began to confuse partying and getting high with rebellion. After he and his buddies joked about the Mexican cleaning woman’s forlorn reaction to the mess they’d created at a party, Obama was jolted back to reality by the criticism of a fellow black student, a young Chicago woman. “You think that’s funny?” she told him. “That could have been my grandmother, you know. She had to clean up behind people for most of her life.” Obama later transferred to Columbia University, where he was shocked by the casual tolerance of whites and blacks alike for the wide disparity between New York City’s opulence and ghetto poverty. He graduated from Columbia with a double major in English literature and political science, and a determination to “organize black folks. At the grass roots.” He wrote scores of letters looking for the right job, and almost a year later got an offer to come to Chicago. He gave up a job as a financial writer with an international consulting firm and became a $1,000-a-month community organizer.
“What I liked about Barack immediately is that he brought a certain level of sophistication and intelligence to community work,” Owens says. “He had a reasonable, focused approach that I hadn’t seen much of. A lot of organizers you meet these days are these self-anointed leaders with this strange, way-out approach and unrealistic, eccentric way of pursuing things from the very beginning. Not Barack. He’s not about calling attention to himself. He’s concerned with the work. It’s as if it’s his mission in life, his calling, to work for social justice.
(YES, “social justice”.)
Here’s his KEY POINT:
“In America,” Obama says, “we have this strong bias toward individual action. You know, we idolize the John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing. But individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient. We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations.”
(Obama SHUNS and DESPISES the INDIVIDUAL EFFORT. For Obama is it ALL about the COLLETIVE EFFORT to achieve “SOCIAL JUSTICE” through GOVERNMENT ACTION.)
“Now an agenda for getting our fair share is vital. But to work, it can’t see voters or communities as consumers, as mere recipients or beneficiaries of this change. It’s time for politicians and other leaders to take the next step and to see voters, residents, or citizens as producers of this change. The thrust of our organizing must be on how to make them productive, how to make them employable, how to build our human capital, how to create businesses, institutions, banks, safe public spaces—the whole agenda of creating productive communities. That is where our future lies.
“The right wing talks about this but they keep appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out. Instead of investing in our neighborhoods, that’s what has always happened. Our goal must be to help people get a sense of building something larger.
“The political debate is now so skewed, so limited, so distorted,” said Obama. “People are hungry for community; they miss it. They are hungry for change.
The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it’s always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.
Matthew B. Crawford is currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia and a contributing editor of The New Atlantis.
That's funny! And sad. I would gladly trade my job for skilled manual labor, especially outdoors, if I could make as much money reliably. And if I were a few years younger.
But what it is going to come to is that less people will be able to make/repair. The Mexicans pouring over the border with any skills (machining, carpentry, electrical, car repair, etc.) will be have people to work for.
On the other hand, more people seem to be into home repair/remodeling/renovation thanks to all the house flipping/repair shows on satellite/cable TV.
Great article... bump.
Book comes out in May of 2009. I just checked it on Amazon.
You can satisfy yourself and not participate in a system that wants to take your soul.
bump for later
bump for later