February 02, 2004



Joshua Clover comments on one of my previous posts re Landesman:

"If we're calling bullshit on America, let's not point too urgently at "above and beyond the law" -- profit-taking criminals seem to be a fairly consistent worldwide phenomenon. I think it's a lot more important how America sets the conditions for commercial sex trade inside and within its laws. They got burros and pimps everywhere. What lots of countries don't have is, basically, NAFTA and its variations. NAFTA has thousands of impacts, even if you just look specifically at labor conditions at the US/Mexican border. One of them is the horrific wave of murders of Mexican women in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua since NAFTA's onset. Another is a labor market that totally depends on paying workers in devalued currencies -- the exportation of immiseration that is America's great historical invention in "world systems." One effect of that is that the urge to find ways to make a buck rather than a peso for a work-unit skyrockets. This effectively guarantees an influx of unskilled and undocumented workers, who have no legal recourse once they cross the river. Combine this with a systemic sexism (on both sides of the border) which just plain cares less what happens to women, and it's boom times for the sex trade. This is just one example of ways that the *legal* organization of our country provides for such outrages. We should all worry about the villains we folks mostly never meet. But if we supported Bill Clinton, engineer of GATT/NAFTA, we shouldn't feel too proud of, say, thinking the current president is a dick. So (a) being on the side of the law has no moral authority here, and (b) changing lawmakers within current structures won't make a difference. Believing in the law, or the lawmakers offered us as choices, is a defensive delusion here; change won't happen at that level; we're complicit, among other ways, in every moment that we imagine sex slavery and rape culture can be dissolved without massive, deep shifts in social organization. It's gonna take a riot, and then another, and then..."

Posted by Sasha at February 2, 2004 08:36 PM | TrackBack