Che Bob takes on the Taliban
I have returned from that other from that other front of socialist resistance to the New World Order, Canada (more troutsky humor). Victoria Island is a truly beautiful outpost,rivers ,lakes, ocean ,fish. Speaking of which, four hours of prospecting on a stream I had never seen before yielded two nice steelhead on the fly (Sarp's Seducer). I cannot describe the overall joy in feeling that tug again.
Of course, it rains like a bastard up there in March, so I also found time to finish Spectrum, from right to left in the world of ideas by Perry Anderson. Perry edits The New Left Review and I respect his analysis a great deal and he is quite adept at explaining difficult concepts to people with little background ( such as myself) I have been totally remiss in educating myself on historiography of conservative thought, Anderson explores Oakschott, Strauss, Hayeck and Schmitt. Then some critical analysis of the centre, such as Rawls, Habermas and Bobbio, and then over to the Left. I still havent got around to my own review of Age of Extremes by Hobsbawm but Andersons own work probably makes any attempt of mine redundant, he saw much of what I saw and much, much more.
Now then. My comrade Che Bob has had an interesting run in with the local Taliban here in the Bitterroot Valley, as I knew he surely must eventually. He is attempting to educate children, which is not only frowned upon but punishable and though he has bravely survived the first round, I have dealt with these people before and they are far more persistant than they are reasonable. The confrantation centers on the pledge of allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, but of course it goes much deeper, way into culture ,politics and religion. The Taliban sees education, as does most of Western society, as a way to create an energetic workforce and weak citizens, proud to conform, ready to produce and consume and not ask to many difficult questions. Che, on the other hand, has this heretical belief that education is about opening children to the possibilities of the life of the mind and if he avoids being burned at the stake, it will be quite a feat. Free thinking, critical adults are rare and the forces which produce them varied and indeterminate still, after decades of theory and research. When dealing with young, unformed minds the issues expand in complexity and controversy. More on this later.