The Olympics have developed into the world's premier sporting event. They are simultaneously a competitive exhibition and a grand display of cooperation that bring together global cultures on ski slopes, shooting ranges, swimming pools, and track ovals. Given their scale in the modern era, the Games are a useful window for better comprehending larger cultural, social, and historical processes, argues Jules Boykoff, an academic social scientist who played for the US Olympic soccer team.
In Activism and the Olympics, Boykoff provides a critical overview of the Olympic industry and its political opponents in the modern era. After presenting a brief history of Olympic activism, he turns his attention to on-the-ground activism through the lens of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Here we see how anti-Olympic activists deploy a range of approaches to challenge the Olympic machine, from direct action and the seizure of public space to humor-based and online tactics. Drawing on primary evidence from myriad personal interviews with activists, journalists, civil libertarians, and Olympics organizers, Boykoff angles in on the Games from numerous vantages and viewpoints.
Although modern Olympic authorities have strived—even through the Cold War era—to appear apolitical, Boykoff notes, the Games have always been the site of hotly contested political actions and competing interests. During the last thirty years, as the Olympics became an economic juggernaut, they also generated numerous reactions from groups that have sought to challenge the event’s triumphalism and pageantry. The 21st century has seen an increased level of activism across the world, from the Occupy Movement in the United States to the Arab Spring in the Middle East. What does this spike in dissent mean for Olympic activists as they prepare for future Games?
In After the Public Turn, author Frank Farmer argues that counterpublics and the people who make counterpublics—“citizen bricoleurs”—deserve a more prominent role in our scholarship and in our classrooms. Encouraging students to understand and consider resistant or oppositional discourse is a viable route toward mature participation as citizens in a democracy.
Farmer examines two very different kinds of publics, cultural and disciplinary, and discusses two counterpublics within those broad categories: zine discourses and certain academic discourses. By juxtaposing these two significantly different kinds of publics, Farmer suggests that each discursive world can be seen, in its own distinct way, as a counterpublic, an oppositional social formation that has a stake in widening or altering public life as we know it.
Drawing on major figures in rhetoric and cultural theory, Farmer builds his argument about composition teaching and its relation to the public sphere, leading to a more sophisticated understanding of public life and a deeper sense of what democratic citizenship means for our time.
In The Art of Moral Protest, James Jasper integrates diverse examples of protest—from nineteenth-century boycotts to recent movements—into a distinctive new understanding of how social movements work. Jasper highlights their creativity, not only in forging new morals but in adopting courses of action and inventing organizational forms.
"A provocative perspective on the cultural implications of political and social protest."—Library Journal
Since his death in 1950, George Orwell has been canonised as England's foremost political writer, and the standard-bearer of honesty and decency for the honourable 'Left'. In this controversial polemic, Scott Lucas argues that the exaltation of Orwell, far from upholding dissent against the State, has sought to quash such opposition. Indeed, Orwell has become the icon of those who, in the pose of the contrarian, try to silence public opposition to US and U K foreign policy in the 'War on Terror'.
Lucas's lively and readable critique of public intellectuals including Christopher Hitchens, Michael Walzer, David Aaronovitch, and Johann Hari – who have all invoked Orwellian honesty and decency to shut down dissent – will appeal to anyone disillusioned with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lucas contends that these leading journalists and commentators have used Orwell to justify their own political transition from radicals to upholders of the establishment. All of them play influential roles in supporting the UK and US governments' charge that opponents of war -- and those who question the motives behind American foreign policy and its implementation -- should be condemned as 'appeasers of mass murder'.
This controversial book shows how Orwell has been used since 9/11 to justify, in the guise of independent thought, the suppression of dissent. We must rescue ourselves from Orwell and from those who take on his guise so, as Lucas puts it, our ‘silencing is… vital to a "manufacture of consent" for the wars which are supposedly being fought in our name and for our good’.
Peasants in India hugging trees to protest logging, Brazilian feminists marching to impeach a president, Okinawan television comedians joke-starting ethnic activity. All are instances of social protest that exist in the charged territory between the cataclysmic upheaval of revolutionary war and the everyday acts of private resistance. Yet these movements "in between" resistance and revolution have remained invisible to scholars of politics, culture, and society. Leading scholars in anthropology, political science, history, sociology, and ethnomusicology examine dissent and direct action in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Colombia, India, Korea, Peru, and the United States and demonstrate the importance of looking beyond these poles of protest to the midways of mobilization.
The contributors are Nancy Abelmann, Sonia Alvarez, Arturo Escobar, Richard Fox, Faye Ginsburg, Ramachandra Guha, Ingrid Monson, Yoshinobu Ota, Orin Starn, and Nathan Stoltzfus.
In the wake of 9/11, many Americans have deplored the dangers to liberty posed by a growing surveillance state. In this book, Andrea Friedman moves beyond the standard security/liberty dichotomy, weaving together often forgotten episodes of early Cold War history to reveal how the obsession with national security enabled dissent and fostered new imaginings of democracy.
The stories told here capture a wide-ranging debate about the workings of the national security state and the meaning of American citizenship. Some of the participants in this debate—women like war bride Ellen Knauff and Pentagon employee Annie Lee Moss—were able to make their own experiences compelling examples of the threats posed by the national security regime. Others, such as Ruth Reynolds and Lolita Lebrón, who advocated an end to American empire in Puerto Rico, or the psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who sought to change the very definition of national security, were less successful. Together, however, they exposed the gap between democratic ideals and government policies.
Friedman traverses immigration law and loyalty boards, popular culture and theoretical treatises, U.S. court-rooms and Puerto Rican jails, to demonstrate how Cold War repression made visible in new ways the unevenness and limitations of American citizenship. Highlighting the ways that race and gender shaped critiques and defenses of the national security regime, she offers new insight into the contradictions of Cold War political culture.
Emphasizing the courage required and the cost of dissent before and throughout the Civil War, David B. Chesebrough identifies dissenters among the southern clergy, tells their stories, and discusses the issues that caused these Christians to split from the majority
After an opening chapter in which he provides an overview of the role of the southern clergy in the antebellum and war years, Chesebrough turns to the South’s efforts to present a united proslavery front from 1830 to 1861. Clergy who could not support the "peculiar institution" kept silent, moved to the North, or suffered various consequences for their nonconformity.
Chesebrough then deals with the war years (1861–1865), when opposition to secession and the war was regarded as much more serious than opposition to slavery had been. Some members of the clergy who formally supported and justified slavery could not support secession and war. This was a dangerous stance, sometimes carrying a death sentence.
The final chapter, "The Creative Minority" stresses the important societal role of dissenters, who, history shows, often perceive events more clearly than the majority.
The dissenters Chesebrough discusses include John H. Aughey, a Presbyterian evangelist from Mississippi who was imprisoned and sentenced to death for his opposition to secession; William G. Brownlow, a Methodist cleric and newspaper publisher who, though he later became governor of Tennessee, was imprisoned and forced to leave the state because of his opposition to secession and the Civil War; John Gregg Fee, the founder of Berea College in Kentucky, who was denounced by his family and forced to leave the state because of his abolitionist views; and Melinda Rankin, a Presbyterian missionary worker in Brownsville, Texas, who was dismissed from her teaching responsibilities because of alleged northern sympathies.
Dissent from the Homeland is a book about patriotism, justice, revenge, American history and symbology, art and terror, and pacifism. In this deliberately and urgently provocative collection, noted writers, philosophers, literary critics, and theologians speak out against the war on terrorism and the government of George W. Bush as a response to the events of September 11, 2001. Critiquing government policy, citizen apathy, and societal justifications following the attacks, these writers present a wide range of opinions on such issues as contemporary American foreign policy and displays of patriotism in the wake of the disaster.
Whether illuminating the narratives that have been used to legitimate the war on terror, reflecting on the power of American consumer culture to transform the attack sites into patriotic tourist attractions, or insisting that to be a Christian is to be a pacifist, these essays refuse easy answers. They consider why the Middle East harbors a deep-seated hatred for the United States. They argue that the U.S. drive to win the cold war made the nation more like its enemies, leading the government to support ruthless anti-Communist tyrants such as Mobutu, Suharto, and Pinochet. They urge Americans away from the pitfall of national self-righteousness toward an active peaceableness—an alert, informed, practiced state of being—deeply contrary to both passivity and war. Above all, the essays assembled in Dissent from the Homeland are a powerful entreaty for thought, analysis, and understanding. Originally published as a special issue of the journal South Atlantic Quarterly, Dissent from the Homeland has been expanded to include new essays as well as a new introduction and postscript.
Contributors. Srinivas Aravamudan, Michael J. Baxter, Jean Baudrillard, Robert N. Bellah, Daniel Berrigan, Wendell Berry, Vincent J. Cornell, David James Duncan, Stanley Hauerwas, Fredric Jameson, Frank Lentricchia, Catherine Lutz, Jody McAuliffe, John Milbank, Peter Ochs, Donald E. Pease, Anne R. Slifkin, Rowan Williams, Susan Willis, Slavoj Zizek
Ernest Gruening is perhaps best known for his vehement fight against U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, where he set himself apart by casting one of two votes against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in 1964. However, as Robert Johnson shows in this political biography, it's Gruening's sixty-year public career in its entirety that provides an opportunity for historians to explore continuity and change in dissenting thought, on both domestic and international affairs, in twentieth-century America.
Gruening's outlook on domestic affairs took shape in the intellectual milieu of Progressive-era Boston, where he first devoted attention to foreign affairs in crusades against aggressive U.S. policies toward Haiti and Mexico. In the late 1920s, he was appointed editor of a reform newspaper in Portland, Maine, and moved from there to The Nation. By the early 1930s he had built a national reputation as an expert on Latin American affairs, prompting Franklin Roosevelt to appoint him chief U.S. policymaker for Puerto Rico. In 1939, Roosevelt named Gruening governor of Alaska, where for fourteen years he played a key role in the political development of the territory. In 1958 Alaskan voters elected him to the U.S. Senate, where he articulated a dissenting outlook in inter-American affairs, foreign aid policy, and the relationship between the federal government, the economy, and the issue of monopoly.
Throughout his life, Gruening struggled to reconcile his ideological perspective, which drew on dissenting ideas long embedded in American history, with a desire for political effectiveness.
An innovator in contemporary thought on economic and political development looks here at decline rather than growth. Albert O. Hirschman makes a basic distinction between alternative ways of reacting to deterioration in business firms and, in general, to dissatisfaction with organizations: one, “exit,” is for the member to quit the organization or for the customer to switch to the competing product, and the other, “voice,” is for members or customers to agitate and exert influence for change “from within.” The efficiency of the competitive mechanism, with its total reliance on exit, is questioned for certain important situations. As exit often undercuts voice while being unable to counteract decline, loyalty is seen in the function of retarding exit and of permitting voice to play its proper role.
The interplay of the three concepts turns out to illuminate a wide range of economic, social, and political phenomena. As the author states in the preface, “having found my own unifying way of looking at issues as diverse as competition and the two-party system, divorce and the American character, black power and the failure of ‘unhappy’ top officials to resign over Vietnam, I decided to let myself go a little.”
Sixteen original essays document the extent and variety of citizen resistance and struggle in the Appalachian region since 1960. The contributors-all organizers or activist intellectuals-describe how and why some of the dramatic Appalachian resistance efforts and strategies have arisen.
Contributors: Bill Allen, Mary K. Anglin, Fran Ansley, Alan Banks, Dwight Billings, Mary Beth Bingman, Sherry Cable, Guy and Candie Carawan, Richard A. Couto, Stephen William Foster, John M. Glen, Hal Hamilton, Bennett M. Judkins, Don Manning-Miller, Ellen Ryan, Jim Sessions, Joe Szakos, Karen Tice, Chris Weiss, and the editor.
A field guide to a nonfascist life at the end of the world as we know it
A Guerrilla Guide to Refusal is an unexpected approach to philosophy from a guerrilla-logic point of view. Harnessing critical theory to creatively reimagine counterinsurgency, guerrilla warfare, and interventions beyond the political mainstream, it takes us on a journey through anarchist infowar, queer outlaws, and black insurgency—through a subterranean network of communiques, military documents, contemporary art, political slogans, adversarial blogs, and captive media. In doing so, it provides powerful new insight into contemporary political movements that pose no demands, refuse labels, and offer no solutions.
Written to both inspire and provoke, A Guerrilla Guide to Refusal urges us to think through the refusal to participate in politics as usual. Author Andrew Culp demonstrates how evasion can combatively deny the existing order its power. Focusing on punk cinema, anarchist pamphlets, feminist art projects, hacker manifestos, and guerrilla manuals, he foregrounds invisibility as a novel force of disruption. He draws on concepts of criminality, fugitivity, and anonymity to bring a more nuanced understanding of how power makes things—and people—visible.
The book’s unique format is that of a theoretical manual, comprising freestanding segments instead of blueprints. Poised to reach beyond the academy into activist circles, this potent theory-in-action intervention forces us to reconsider the terrain upon which our struggles against patriarchy, anti-Blackness, capitalism, and the state operate.
The double-sided nature of African nationalism—its capacity to inspire expressions of unity, and its tendency to narrow political debate—are explored by sixteen historians, focusing on the experience of Tanzania. The narrative of the nation of Tanzania, which was created by the anticolonial nationalist movement, expanded by the Union after the Zanzibar Revolution, and fused by the ideology of Ujamaa by Julius Nyerere, has shaped Tanzanian political discourse for decades, but has not obliterated the great wealth of political discourses and identities which exist within the nation.
Some left, some stayed. Each one found some aspect of their church’s history, doctrine, policies, or politics that they could not reconcile with their own personal ethics. Some felt burdened by the conflict, while others embraced it. A few were reticent, even apologetic about their disagreements. Others were barnstormers. Each possessed some quality that destined him or her to ride at the fringes rather than at the center.
Mormon Mavericks summarizes a few famous flashpoints in Mormon history; more importantly, it provides a telling study in human nature. Each contributor is an expert in his or her discipline, and all approach their topic with equal doses of sympathy and objectivity.
The following mavericks are featured in this collection of biographical essays:
Fawn McKay Brodie
Thomas Stuart Ferguson
Amasa Mason Lyman
Sterling M. McMurrin
John E. Page
Sarah M. Pratt D. Michael Quinn
T. B. H. Stenhouse
Samuel Woolley Taylor
Spy romances of Cold War counterespionage evoke scenes of heroic FBI and CIA agents dedicated to smashing communism and its subversive coterie of intellectual fellow travelers bent on painting the world red.
John Rodden cuts this tall tale down to its authentic pint size, refusing to indulge the public relations myth promoted by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. In Of G-Men and Eggheads, Rodden portrays federal agents’ hilarious obsession with monitoring that ever-present threat to national security, the American literary intellectual. Drawing on government dossiers and archives, Rodden focuses on the onetime members of a radical political sect of ex-Trotskyists (barely numbering a thousand at its height), the so-called New York intellectuals. He describes the nonsensical decades-long pursuit of this group of intellectuals, especially Lionel Trilling, Dwight Macdonald, and Irving Howe. The Keystone Cops style of numerous FBI agents is documented carefully in Rodden's meticulous case studies of how Hoover's men recruited informants to snoop on the "Commies," opened their personal mail, tracked their movements, and reported on their wives and friends.
In a rich and stimulating epilogue, Rodden shows how his Cold War research possesses thought-provoking implications for us today, in our post-9/11 era of debates about data collection, privacy invasion, personal dignity, and the use and abuse of government and corporate power.
This anthology of journalism history brings together essays on the early Black press, pioneer Jewish journalism, Spanish-language newspapers, Native American newspapers, woman suffrage, peace advocacy, and Chinese American and Mormon publications. It shows how marginal groups developed their own journalism to counter the prejudices and misconceptions of the white establishment press. The essays address the important questions of freedom of expression in religious matters as well as the domains of race and gender.
A critical study of the philosophy and political practice of the Czech dissident movement Charter 77. Aviezer Tucker examines how the political philosophy of Jan Patocka (1907–1977), founder of Charter 77, influenced the thinking and political leadership of Vaclav Havel as dissident and president.
Presents the first serious treatment of Havel as philosopher and Patocka as a political thinker. Through the Charter 77 dissident movement in Czechoslovakia, opponents of communism based their civil struggle for human rights on philosophic foundations, and members of the Charter 77 later led the Velvet Revolution. After Patocka’s self-sacrifice in 1977, Vaclav Havel emerged a strong philosophical and political force, and he continued to apply Patocka’s philosophy in order to understand the human condition under late communism and the meaning of dissidence. However, the political/philosophical orientation of the Charter 77 movement failed to provide President Havel with an adequate basis for comprehending and responding to the extraordinary political and economic problems of the postcommunist period.
In his discussion of Havel's presidency and the eventual corruption of the Velvet Revolution, Tucker demonstrates that the weaknesses in Charter 77 member's understanding of modernity, which did not matter while they were dissidents, seriously harmed their ability to function in a modern democratic system. Within this context, Tucker also examines Havel’s recent attempt to topple the democratic but corrupt government in 1997–1998. The Philosophy and Politics of Czech Dissidence from Patocka to Havel will be of interest to students of philosophy and politics, scholars and students of Slavic studies, and historians, as well as anyone fascinated by the nature of dissidence.
Since the cultural conflicts over the Vietnam War and civil rights protests, poets and poetry have consistently raised questions surrounding public address, social relations, friction between global policies and democratic institutions, and the interpretation of political events and ideas. In Poets Beyond the Barricade: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Dissent after 1960, Dale Smith makes meaningful links among rhetoric, literature, and cultural studies, illustrating how poetry and discussions of it shaped public consciousness from the socially volatile era of the 1960s to the War on Terror of today.
The book begins by inspecting the correspondence and poetry of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov, which embodies competing perspectives on the role of writers in the Vietnam War and in the peace movement. The work addresses the rational-critical mode of public discourse initiated by Jürgen Habermas and the relevance of rhetorical studies to literary practice. Smith also analyses letters and poetry by Charles Olson that appeared in a New England newspaper in the 1960sand drew attention to city management conflicts, land-use issues, and architectural preservation. Public identity and U.S. social practice are explored in the 1970s and ‘80s poetry of Lorenzo Thomas and Edward Dorn, whose poems articulate tensions between private and public life. The book concludes by examining more recent attempts by poets to influence public reflection on crucial events that led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By using digital media, public performance, and civic encounters mediated by texts, these poetic initiatives play a critical role in the formation of cultural identity today.
Between 1750 and 1840 ordinary British people abandoned such time-honored forms of protest as collective seizures of grain, the sacking of buildings, public humiliation, and physical abuse in favor of marches, petition drives, public meetings, and other sanctioned routines of social movement politics. The change created--perhaps for the first time anywhere--mass participation in national politics.
Charles Tilly is the first to address the depth and significance of the transmutations in popular collective action during this period. As he unravels the story of thousands of popular struggles and their consequences, he illuminates the dynamic relationships of an industrializing, capitalizing, proletarianizing economy; a war-making, growing, increasingly interventionist state; and an internal history of contention that spawned such political entrepreneurs as Francis Place and Henry Hunt. Tilly's research rests on a catalog of more than 8,000 "contentious gatherings" described in British periodicals, plus ample documentation from British archives and historical monographs.
The author elucidates four distinct phases in the transformation to mass political participation and identifies the forms and occasions for collective action that characterized and dominated each. He provides rich descriptions not only of a wide variety of popular protests but also of such influential figures as John Wilkes, Lord George Gordon, William Cobbett, and Daniel O'Connell. This engaging study presents a vivid picture of the British populace during a pivotal era.
Shrines to Living Men in the Ming Political Cosmos, the first book focusing on premortem shrines in any era of Chinese history, places the institution at the intersection of politics and religion. When a local official left his post, grateful subjects housed an image of him in a temple, requiting his grace: that was the ideal model. By Ming times, the “living shrine” was legal, old, and justified by readings of the classics.
Sarah Schneewind argues that the institution could invite and pressure officials to serve local interests; the policies that had earned a man commemoration were carved into stone beside the shrine. Since everyone recognized that elite men might honor living officials just to further their own careers, premortem shrine rhetoric stressed the role of commoners, who embraced the opportunity by initiating many living shrines. This legitimate, institutionalized political voice for commoners expands a scholarly understanding of “public opinion” in late imperial China, aligning it with the efficacy of deities to create a nascent political conception Schneewind calls the “minor Mandate of Heaven.” Her exploration of premortem shrine theory and practice illuminates Ming thought and politics, including the Donglin Party’s battle with eunuch dictator Wei Zhongxian and Gu Yanwu’s theories.
Those who think otherwise, though they may fail, deserve our attention, says H. Stuart Hughes. In Sophisticated Rebels, Hughes shows what happened to the revolutionary spirit after the 1968 suppressions in Prague and Paris: dissenters learned their lesson and began to pursue their goals in patient, realistic, limited fashion, eschewing violence and inflammatory ideological rhetoric. Yet theirs were the voices protesting what even conformists recognize as social evils; the manipulative routine of bureaucratic authority, public and private; the soullessness of life in the sprawling conurbations European cities have become; the deadening of sensibility that allows us to screen out from consciousness the possibility of nuclear war.
Hughes takes up in turn the innovations in dissidence during a reactionary age: the foreign workers, especially Moslems, who flooded the more prosperous countries of Europe in the 1970s, creating a large underclass; the advocates of local cultural autonomy, such as the Welsh and Bretons; the independent-minded theologians Hans Küng and Edward Schillebeeckx and Leonardo Boff arrayed against Pope John Paul II, who was himself rebelling against a dilution of Catholic theology; Poland’s Solidarity and with it the longing for reunification of a sundered continent; the frustration of Soviet dissent, from the hope of Khrushchev’s “thaw” to the sufferings of Sakharov; the collapse of Eurocommunism and the falterings of democratic socialism; and the slow advance of the German Greens toward a society on a human scale. Although European dissent, with the exception of the Greens, has failed to shake the hold of conservative rule, Hughes believes the subject matter of dissent—notably the protest against the nuclear menace—has lost none of its timeliness for the century ahead, and the dissenters themselves face the future with both stoicism and hope.
Serving as markers throughout the route are brief analyses of the relevance of novelists and social critics, among them Milan Kundera, Adam Michnik, Yuri Trifonov, Roy Medvedev, and Jürgen Habermas.
Subaltern studies, the study of non-elite or underrepresented people, have revolutionized the writing of Middle Eastern history. Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean represents the next step in this transformation. The book explores the lives of eleven nonconformists who became agents of political and social change, actively organizing new forms of resistance—against either colonial European regimes or the traditional societies in which they lived—that disrupted the status quo, in some cases, with dramatic results. These case studies highlight cross-border connections in the Mediterranean world, exploring how these channels were navigated.
Chapters in the book examine the lives of subversives and mavericks, such as Tawhida ben Shaykh, the first Arab woman to receive a medical degree; Mokhtar al-Ayari, a radical Tunisian labor leader; Nazli Hanem, Kmar Bayya, and Khiriya bin Ayyad, three aristocractic women who resisted the patriarchal structures of their societies by organizing and participating in intellectual salons for men and women and advocating social reform; Qaid Najim al-Akhsassi, an ex-slave and military officer, who fought against French and Spanish colonial expansion; and Boubeker al-Ghandjawi, a nearly illiterate trader who succeeded, though his diverse connections, in establishing important relations between the Moroccan sultan and the representative of the British government. Although based on individual and local perspectives, Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean reveals new and unrecognized trans-local connections across the Muslim world, illuminating our understanding of these societies beyond narrow elite circles.
The Thaw Generation offers an insider's look at the Soviet dissident movement--the intellectuals who, during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras, dared to challenge an oppressive system and demand the rights guaranteed by the Soviet constitution. Fired from their jobs, hunted by the KGB, “tried,” and imprisoned, Alexeyeva and other activists including Andrei Sakharov, Yuri Orlov, Yuli Daniel, and Andrei Sinyavsky, through their dedication and their personal and professional sacrifices, focused international attention on the issue of human rights in the USSR.
People have argued since time immemorial. Disagreement is a part of life, of human experience. But we now live in times when any form of protest in India is marked as anti-Indian and met with arguments that the very concept of dissent was imported into India from the West. As Romila Thapar explores in her timely historical essay, however, dissent has a long history in the subcontinent, even if its forms have evolved through the centuries.
In Voices of Dissent: AnEssay, Thapar looks at the articulation of nonviolent dissent and relates it to various pivotal moments throughout India’s history. Beginning with Vedic times, she takes us from the second to the first millennium BCE, to the emergence of groups that were jointly called the Shramanas—the Jainas, Buddhists, and Ajivikas. Going forward in time, she also explores the views of the Bhakti sants and others of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and brings us to a major moment of dissent that helped to establish a free and democratic India: Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha. Then Thapar places in context the recent peaceful protests against India’s new, controversial citizenship law, maintaining that dissent in our time must be opposed to injustice and supportive of democratic rights so that society may change for the better.
Written by one of India’s best-known public intellectuals, Voices of Dissent will be essential reading not for anyone interested in India’s fascinating history, but also the direction in which the nation is headed.
In this extraordinary tale of union democracy, Dana L. Cloud engages union reformers at Boeing in Wichita and Seattle to reveal how ordinary workers attempted to take command of their futures by chipping away at the cozy partnership between union leadership and corporate management. Taking readers into the central dilemma of having to fight an institution while simultaneously using it as a bastion of basic self-defense, We Are the Union offers a sophisticated exploration of the structural opportunities and balance of forces at play in modern unions told through a highly relevant case study.
Focusing on the 1995 strike at Boeing, Cloud renders a multi-layered account of the battles between company and the union and within the union led by Unionists for Democratic Change and two other dissident groups. She gives voice to the company's claims of the hardships of competitiveness and the entrenched union leaders' calls for concessions in the name of job security, alongside the democratic union reformers' fight for a rank-and-file upsurge against both the company and the union leaders.
We Are the Union is grounded in on-site research and interviews and focuses on the efforts by Unionists for Democratic Change to reform unions from within. Incorporating theory and methods from the fields of organizational communication as well as labor studies, Cloud methodically uncovers and analyzes the goals, strategies, and dilemmas of the dissidents who, while wanting to uphold the ideas and ideals of the union, took up the gauntlet to make it more responsive to workers and less conciliatory toward management, especially in times of economic stress or crisis. Cloud calls for a revival of militant unionism as a response to union leaders' embracing of management and training programs that put workers in the same camp as management, arguing that reform groups should look to the emergence of powerful industrial unions in the United States for guidance on revolutionizing existing institutions and building new ones that truly accommodate workers' needs.
Drawing from communication studies, labor history, and oral history and including a chapter co-written with Boeing worker Keith Thomas, We Are the Union contextualizes what happened at Boeing as an exemplar of agency that speaks both to the past and the future.
Why Societies Need Dissent
Cass R. Sunstein Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress JC328.3.S93 2003 | Dewey Decimal 303.484
In this timely book, Cass R. Sunstein shows that organizations and nations are far more likely to prosper if they welcome dissent and promote openness. Attacking "political correctness" in all forms, Sunstein demonstrates that corporations, legislatures, even presidents are likely to blunder if they do not cultivate a culture of candor and disclosure. He shows that unjustified extremism, including violence and terrorism, often results from failure to tolerate dissenting views. The tragedy is that blunders and cruelties could be avoided if people spoke out.
Sunstein casts new light on freedom of speech, showing that a free society not only forbids censorship but also provides public spaces for dissenters to expose widely held myths and pervasive injustices. He provides evidence about the effects of conformity and dissent on the federal courts. The evidence shows not only that Republican appointees vote differently from Democratic appointees but also that both Republican and Democratic judges are likely to go to extremes if unchecked by opposing views. Understanding the need for dissent illuminates countless social debates, including those over affirmative action in higher education, because diversity is indispensable to learning.
Dissenters are often portrayed as selfish and disloyal, but Sunstein shows that those who reject pressures imposed by others perform valuable social functions, often at their own expense. This is true for dissenters in boardrooms, churches, unions, and academia. It is true for dissenters in the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. And it is true during times of war and peace.
Worlds of Dissent analyzes the myths of Central European resistance popularized by Western journalists and historians, and replaces them with a picture of the struggle against state repression as the dissidents themselves understood, debated, and lived it. In the late 1970s, when Czech intellectuals, writers, and artists drafted Charter 77 and called on their government to respect human rights, they hesitated to name themselves "dissidents." Their personal and political experiences-diverse, uncertain, nameless-have been obscured by victory narratives that portray them as larger-than-life heroes who defeated Communism in Czechoslovakia.
Jonathan Bolton draws on diaries, letters, personal essays, and other first-person texts to analyze Czech dissent less as a political philosophy than as an everyday experience. Bolton considers not only Václav Havel but also a range of men and women writers who have received less attention in the West-including Ludvík Vaculík, whose 1980 diary The Czech Dream Book is a compelling portrait of dissident life.
Bolton recovers the stories that dissidents told about themselves, and brings their dilemmas and decisions to life for contemporary readers. Dissidents often debated, and even doubted, their own influence as they confronted incommensurable choices and the messiness of real life. Portraying dissent as a human, imperfect phenomenon, Bolton frees the dissidents from the suffocating confines of moral absolutes. Worlds of Dissent offers a rare opportunity to understand the texture of dissent in a closed society.