Lefty Resource Library

Posting articles as I go

Tag: social change

Continuing segregation and implications for social change

How to social change? Often changing bits of the system, like laws, doesn’t actually change the culture, so are activist energies best put into changing the culture, or is working on individual aspects still helpful etc. This article makes it seem like desegregation in the US did absolutely nothing:

‘And so, sixty years after Brown, it is clear that the notion of segregation as a discrete phenomenon, an evil that could be flipped, like a switch, from on to off, by judicial edict, was deeply naïve. The intervening decades have shown, in large measure, the limits of what political efforts directed at desegregation alone could achieve, and the crumbling of both elements of “separate but equal” has left us at an ambivalent juncture. To the extent that desegregation becomes, once again, a pressing concern—and even that may be too grand a hope—it will have to involve the tax code, the minimum wage, and other efforts to redress income inequality. For the tragedy of this moment is not that black students still go to overwhelmingly black schools, long after segregation was banished by law, but that they do so for so many of the same reasons as in the days before Brown.’


A note on social change: violence and women’s suffrage

Women’s suffrage only happened after civil war:
‘As Mrs Pankhurst explained, “sympathy” had failed to win the right to vote and the tactics had to change. “It has come to a battle between the women and the government as to who shall yield first … either women are to be killed or women are to have the vote.”

‘Militant suffragists (tagged “Suffragettes”) turned to arson, thousands of windows were smashed, hundreds of Golf Club putting greens were ripped up, telephonic communications between London and Edinburgh cut and homemade incendiary devices dropped into public letter boxes destroying thousands of letters.

‘In court they refused to bow to the “laws of men”, many had to be carried in and one even threw a boot at the judge. They wanted political prisoner status, declined to enter pleas and rejected all requests to seek mercy. In prison they went on hunger strikes and initially were force fed.’


Zizek’s article on thatcher-style leadership for the left