Thursday, February 4, 2010

Howard Zinn (1922-2010) on American Empire: And What Gender is Empire?


The above video is from here: Howard Zinn (1922-2010) on American Empire


With Howard Zinn now gone, will Noam Chomsky adapt his perspectives on inhumanity and reckless force by state power to do three things at least:

1. Note what is misogynistically racist, and racistly, misogynistically heterosexist about things like colonialism, militarism, imperialism, and Empire, particularly with regard to women of color.
2. Note what specific or modified violence against women is required for each of these to occur.
3. Center the analysis on how such use of State and/or Corporate force impacts women of color globally, utlising methods of analysis created by or promoted by womanists and radical feminist women of all colors. "Traditionally" on the white het male Left, we rarely get a sense of how much patriarchal atrocity and men's war against women (named as such) are instrumental and instructive for all else that happens in the world, for how gendered being as patriarchal societies construct and enforce it informs and impacts the rest of what ought to be seen as primarily male violence (socially made, not produced from genes and hormones). Materials to be consulted and centralised might include Marimba Ani's book Yurugu, and Catharine A. MacKinnon's Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. I'm sure there are dozens more.

I very much value the work of Zinn and Chomsky, and I also find myself wondering why and how two great white Jewish men so ignored/continue to ignore the work of great white Jewish women and also women of color of all ethnicities. How does one look at war and militarism and not see gross masculinism? To what extent is the leader of any patriarchal nation a pimp? How does one conceive of Empire' expansion separate from exercises of patriarchal power? In what sense has Western imperialism not be a movement by and for white men to expand and deepen their position and status, centeralising their greedy needs and dangerous desires at the expense of everyone and everything else?

These are questions for Noam Chomsky to answer, as it is too late to ask them of Howard Zinn. And may he rest in peace for all the humanitarian work he did in his lifetime.

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