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How many more people are there out their like this? This is a case where a “path to citizenship” is needed and deserved


T and R, mags! Thanks. 🙂

Don midwest
Don midwest

Bruno Latour, the French polymath, continues his decades of work to understand the modern frame that has allowed us to not respond to what he calls The New Climate regime. And he points out that it is the most important political actor today. Under its authority the nations of the world came to the agreement in COP21. The book reviewed below follows from his Gifford Lectures in which he argues that science, politics and religion have to be brought together to see what is going on. He is now on a 2 year project situated in Germany to bring together artists and others to represent the anthropocene so earthbounds can begin the diplomatic work to collectively respond to the earth.

Human-caused climate change reawakens an apocalyptic sensibility, altering everything we do, think, and feel, whether we acknowledge it or not. “We have become the people who could have acted thirty or forty years ago – and did nothing, or far too little.” Political cataclysms are as much part of this “new climate regime” as hurricanes and wildfires: after the US election, Latour described the “innovation” of Donald Trump as “a mad dash for maximum profit while abandoning the rest of the world to its fate.” Trump would be the first truly ecologically-oriented president, through pure negativity: “For the first time, climate change denial is determining all political decisions.”2

What would it take to shake us out of our denial, delusional hope, or numb passivity—all these ways in which “ecology is making us crazy”? We need new senses and new tools for thought, Latour contends. Not just more carefully verified observations and arguments, but “plays, exhibitions, art forms, poetry, and maybe also rituals” that can sensitize us to the feedback loops between our smallest actions and their consequences near and far.3 “Gaia” is one such conceptual experiment.



t&r, mags!


Figured I could cross-post this here, mags, since it was our discussion a while ago that made me look twice. 🙂 about how we need to raise all boats–don’t make anyone work in pesticide laden fields, pay a fair wage to immigrants and “natives” alike for work like child care, construction, cleaning, etc.

The Ties that Divide: How Bipartisan Identitarianism Works for the Boss and Against Citizen and Non-Citizen Workers
Bipartisan acceptance of skewed and dishonest terms of debate over immigration, trade, and labor dynamics lends itself to unbridgeable divides…

To acknowledge that undocumented and documented workers have a negative impact on the working conditions in the fields, killing-floors, and factories in which they are employed is to neither vilify nor scapegoat immigrants. To the contrary, for employers, the appeal of undocumented and documented workers respectively is little different from the foundations for slavery and Jim Crow. Undocumented workers are—much like slaves—workers without rights. Documented workers are—much like sharecroppers during the Jim Crow era—workers with titular rights that have been crafted via a “democratic process” that denies the workers themselves input. Consequently, the legal status of low-skilled documented workers in particular comes down to ensuring a ready supply of cheap, tractable labor. In other words, because documented workers are not covered by the same labor laws as American citizens, low-skilled documented workers—like black workers in the Jim Crow South—have no rights that matter.

So, while the refrain that immigrants “do the jobs that Americans don’t want” has served as the reflexive defense of documented and undocumented workers, this is a misleading claim. Immigrants aren’t doing jobs that Americans will not do. Undocumented and many documented laborers are, often enough, doing jobs that Americans are already doing, but refuse to do under the conditions that immigrant laborers are subjected to.

This reality is not a case for mass deportation. In fact, the obvious fix (even just from a logistical standpoint) for people who are already in the United States would be to fast track citizenship, since the extent to which undocumented and documented immigrants depress wages and working conditions in the lines of work in which they are employed is largely owed to the fact that they are not citizens—they are not covered by the same labor laws as the rest of us.

The absence of the reality that I describe above from liberal immigration discourse has helped to fuel two problems that we are living through right now.

First, Democratic reluctance to cop to the fact that undocumented and documented immigrant labor often depress the wages of American workers stokes the flames of resentment among some for whom lived experience—like those who work in residential construction—has left little doubt about non-citizen workers’ negative impact on wages and working conditions. Indeed, Democratic politicians would sooner accuse those Americans who are forced to compete with undocumented and documented labor of racism and xenophobia than to forthrightly state that the problem isn’t the immigrant workers, but it’s the employers who hire non-citizens to circumvent labor and safety laws. For some who are in the throes of an industry-specific race to the bottom, the Democratic reflex sounds callus, while President Trump’s racist, xenophobic, faux populist message sounds sympathetic. …