Saturday, September 27, 2008

On Risk

Whence this ideal of entrepreneurship? Whence its mystique? The seducing quality of business is its riskiness. An entrepreneur who makes a risky investment is idealized like a fire fighter, a police officer and other action heroes. Risk is seductive. The naive adore it.

In capitalist societies, risk is taken for granted, but not questioned. But the fact that there is risk involved in business should clue us in that there is some fundamental controversy. Yet risk is so romanticized, so thoroughly tilled into the soil of our pioneer imaginary, that most of us do not question the reason for risk.

Why is business risky? Business is risky in capitalism because, directly or indirectly, it is an imposition, an injustice, or an exploitation. And exploitation is risky because, whether subtly or explicitly, it is built on the precarious submission, complacency, or ignorance of the exploited. The risk is of rebellion, upheaval and retaliation.

The risk, on the other hand, that is so often associated with resistance, often obscures the latent reality that resisting is the only dignified reaction to the risk inherent in exploitation, the risk taken by the exploiters at the expense of the exploited.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Alchemy of Struggle

for Anas Maloul

searching in the blood of martyrs for the light to free the land,
searching in the sky for the soil in our blood,
searching for the meaning of the blood in our soil,
searching for the meaning of the soil in our blood,
struggling for the light in our blood,
struggling for the light in our land,
searching in the sky for the earthblood of tomorrow,

in light, blood was born in the soil,
in light, soil will be born in the blood,
in blood, there is light to free the land,
in land there is blood that lights the darkness of our undefeated despair --

this is our impossible alchemy.
and soil
and blood
from infinite suffering,
invincible joy.