Agree or disagree with him, world systems theorist, Immanuel Wallerstein always has some stimulating, provocative things to say about a lot of things. In this interview he did in Latin America with Raul Zibechi of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy (CIP), Wallerstein talks about America Latina’s position within the multipolar world rising rapidly out of the ashes of US domination.
The question it raises for me is, “What is our role here in on the northern front?”
Whatever our work, I think it’s important for those of us in the belly of the ailing beast to read stuff like this as we analyze, dialogue and define our own roles. To remain within the increasingly infantile and infantilizing logic of citizenship, sovereignty and “illegality” has proven itself a very dangerous go-nowhere proposition. Like America Latina, we may well have a historic role- a barbarian’s role, if you will- vis a vis the decline of this empire, but don’t know it-yet. Thinking about the historical position and empire questions can only expand the prevailing politic that’s defined by the parameters of electoral politics or the borders of that isolationist, isolating nation-state box known as the TV (I mean how far can we go with the narcoleptic dualism of the “Are you for Hillary or Obama?” question?)
Quotes like this one about the relationship between social movements and political parties should resonate with those of us pondering how to relate to the Democrat-SEIU-big philanthropy-funded nonprofit complex that brought us the “immigration reform” debacle:
A head-on collision is a problem, as is not doing anything. In my opinion the movements should take a clear stance: support the better parties but without expecting that they will make fundamental changes. It is a defensive position, but it is a matter of trying to maintain autonomy.
Not sure I wholly embrace his social-democrat logic, but it does stir thinking outside that nasty nation-state box. Hope you enjoy the rest of the article.
Thanks to my friends Laura Carlsen and Katie Kohlsted at the CIS for the links to the Americas program.