You Must Be Present To Win

“Radical politics is bodies in places.”

I’ve thought about this line a lot this week. It’s from a Rebecca Solnit essay that I cannot find anywhere online, but there’s a version of it here: http://pastebin.com/DThnfE8N

It’s focused mainly on the Bay Area and the ways that public space and dissent are threatened by Silicon Valley, but it has a lot of relevance for all of us this week.

Take a few minutes and read it. A good excerpt:

We think of democracy as an ethereal thing, an abstract one, an intellectual one, but bodies coexisting in space is the direct experience of democracy where civil society finds itself and its power. That power can be taken away by direct means — that’s what totalitarian regimes that ban gatherings and crack down on dissent do — but also by indirect ones, such as the design of auto-based, private-space suburbias, or the technologically driven retreat from the public sphere and from embodiment.

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