10/27/08

political musings


chris and i just re-watched the 2004 documentary The Take. it tells the story of the factory takeover movement in argentina. (factories that were shut down by "the bosses" because of the massive amount of debts they racked up due, in part, to the salaries and excesses of those in charge. the workers took them over and kept them running, illegally, because they depended on their jobs and felt that these factories belonged to the people). it's a great film that has sparked lots of thought in me. we first saw it a few years ago at a christian anarchy conference and were troubled, as people with pacifist leanings, by the idea of violence (against law enforcement) and coercion. yet i was still deeply drawn in by people doing it themselves - not waiting for their city, state or national officials to do something but caring for each other, sharing power, and producing on their own terms. this time around watching the film sparked some new thoughts in me. i still find so much truth, hope and love (all of those!) in their stories and want to keep learning more about this movement. but i wondered if taking over factories, even for fair wages, was still playing the game of those in charge. producing things to be shipped somewhere else, like growing corn, none of which will be eaten by anyone within 300 miles of it, instead of creating things to be used locally. made by us for us. and yes, without large numbers of employees and a few bosses. i know these questions are easy for me to ask on my couch (on my laptop no less!), but i wonder about it in my own life too.

i wonder about it in this election. it's an election that has pulled me in and kept me interested and yet, i have to ask: am i playing the game of a system i struggle to find hope in? am i looking for a savior inside the united states of america? ok, so i know it's more nuanced than that and i also know i do hope that one of these men wins out over the other. but i want to remember that "our dreams don't fit on your ballots", as they say in latin america. and as a christian my dreams are so full and so alive they make a ballot seem like not much more than a piece of paper.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

i love you!!! grammajo

~Beth D. said...

Cass, I am with you about your words on being a christian. I have my opinions about the election, sure, but my TRUE HOPE: Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your words.

bottomland said...

Great post, Cassie. I feel very morally conflicted about how much to even get involved in the political system as a Christian. We are attending a Mennonite church now and many Mennonites don't vote at all. For me, I wanted to vote because I felt that the two options were really different, and would have different outcomes for the poorest of the poor. But I know that no political system is going to bring about the justice that the poor and vulnerable really need, and OUR true job is to be the church.