historical leaders

Why Teens Shouldn’t Run Revolutions

Hi guys. I’m going to piss off a lot of YA writers (and possibly readers) today, so hang onto your hats.

Mainly, if you’re in love with the idea of a high schooler with no strategic or combat experience heading up a revolution or war because they’re “so dedicated and determined,” don’t read this. Please, don’t. You’re not going to see anything you like. Go ahead and keep enjoying your guilty pleasure – that’s fine. I’m not going to own up to some of the guilty pleasures I love in fiction but don’t buy for a second in real life. That’s chill. Go for it, man.

But there are just things that I – and readers like me – are tired of seeing. If you’re sick of that trope, then keep reading. If you’re open to the idea of ditching that trope in your writing, then I really recommend reading.

This assessment/collection of tips on why teens shouldn’t run revolutions - and if you’re going to make them, how they CAN do it well - will include comparisons to history, other fiction (Unplugged), and Black Butler. Plus swearing and a range of incorrect capitalizations, because it’s fun.

On we go:

Keep reading

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Leaders of historically black colleges are hopeful after Trump’s HBCU executive order

  • On Tuesday, Trump signed an executive order that moved the initiative on HBCUs from the Department of Education to the White House but, according to the document, offered no additional funding for the schools, many of whom rely heavily on federal aid.
  • Trump reassured HBCU leaders in attendance that their concerns would be a priority for his administration.
  • “President Trump’s executive order issued today is a significant and a positive first step in what we hope to be a productive working relationship,” the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, an advocacy group representing dozens of HBCUs, said in a statement Tuesday after the order was signed. Read more (2/28/17 5:39 PM)
Women have played a prominent part in Celtic life, from the mother goddess and the pantheon of female deities down to a whole range of powerful historical female leaders, priestesses and Christian saints. Their role did not stop with the coming of Christianity but continued into medieval times among the insular Celts. […] a unique piece of ‘feminist’ literature emerges from 12th century Ireland in the form of the Banshenchas, a book on the genealogies of leading women. In fact, this could be claimed as the first European book about women in their own right.
—  from “The Celts” by Peter Berresford Ellis

The Shout Out #11

The eleventh issue of the Shout Out is a bumper edition! On it, you can find a list of creators and bloggers new to our Directories, as well as brand new community leaders and cultural ambassadors!

They’re always write!

We welcomed a pair of writers to the Creator Directory this week! One was @bubbleteahime, who you’ve hopefully already checked out after she debuted on this week’s Fanfiction Round-Up!

The other is @bzrava, who’s yet to appear on the FFRU, but why wait for that? Go ahead and check out their writing tag right now, and stay ahead of the trend!

World-renowned ask blog!

The cosplay ask blog with a roster of characters so huge we couldn’t fit it on our Creator Directory, @ask-a-nation joined us this week! If you have a burning question to ask a country, this blog is your best bet for an answer!

1 in 100 (million)!

We also said a hearty hello to @aph-ghoul, the newest edition to our list of 100% Hetalia blogs! If you want your Hetalia fix all in one neat blog, there’s the place to go! We’re sure it’s not actually haunted!

The leaders of leading!

We’ve had a few people join us as community leaders! These people can be contacted for help concerning their community, so here they are, and here’s what they represent:

If you’d like to become a leader, please read this post!

Ambassadors to amazingness!

We’ve had a lot of people sign up as ambassadors for their countries! It’s been fantastic meeting them all! If you need help with a country, see if someone represents it below:

If you’d like to become an ambassador, please read this post!

Birthday Reminders!

On the 15th of May, it’s the anniversary of the Hub’s launch! This blog will be turning a whole year old! Then, on the 17th, it’ll be Norway’s non-canon birthday! Don’t let our anniversary distract you, just make sure to prepare some amazing gifts for him!

Have something you want us to promote? Contact us off-anon!

anonymous asked:

i watched a few videos on the lgbt people in japan thing and something that was interesting was that a lot of japanese people said that being gay wasnt frowned upon until westeners came into the country. i believe they said many military leaders and historical figures in japan were known to have had relationships w the same gender so /shrug

me and my friend tchai were talking about this before actually. do yall remember the tale of genji?? thats a great story and yall should read it but it has the worlds first fuckboy in it and its the man himself, genji in the flesh. this man was rejected by a pretty girl so you know what my boy genji said?? he said “you werent even that pretty sike!!” and slept with her brother instead what a bisexual LEGEND

so really what im getting at is the first novel ever written was about a petty bisexual japanese boy and thats honestly the energy i wanna put out in 2017

-Oni

Honestly though it’s hilarious that like

The second you start looking at Transformers critically you realize that the point of the series is that “the only people that are ever good are the one who follow the Leader who has Divine Right to Rule”

Like this isn’t even an exxageration. What does Prime have in just about EVERY continuity, The Matrix of Leadership. What is it? The thing that chooses who the next Autobot Leader is, it’s a religious artificate said to be directly connected to Primus (Cybertronian GOD) and it (and by extension Primus) chooses the next Autobot leader.

Historically? This has been a bad idea. Seriously, anyone claiming leadership via Religious/Divine Right always leads to bad shit (See: Functionism in IDW for fiction)

Not to mention? No one sees anyone who ISN’T an Autobot as a person. Look at how they talk about those who are unaligned, they talk about them as if they’re lesser beings. They literally caged and chipped Decepticons because apperently they’re just animals now.

When you look at Transformers with a criticle eye, you really begin to realize just how much the Autobots hate anyone who isn’t them and hide behind how “well they must be in the right because their leader has the Maxtrix and the Maxtrix comes from God”.

TL;DR Autobots are founded on Divine Right to Lead where as Decepticons are people from the masses who organized themselves. Megatron in TFP and IDW got people to follow him willingly by talking about things, not by going “I’m a special mech that Primus himself said was special”

Understanding Rhysand (and Tamlin): A Post-ACOMAF Reconciliation of Rhys’s Actions Under the Mountain in a Culture of Defeat

In other words, the sequel post to my “Rhysand Defense Post.”

This post is in response to the lovely nonnie who left this message in my inbox. Beware, this is long (but honestly, who is surprised? Not me. And probably not the nonnie haha).

Here was the question: 

Hello, Nonnie!

Aw, yes, this does come up quite a bit, and it can be difficult to reconcile Rhys’s actions in ACOTAR with the version of him in ACOMAF.  I have actually made several posts regarding this if you’d like to check them out (though they were made before ACOMAF came out). The two that immediately come to mind are my “Rhysand Defense Post” and “The Difference between Tamlin and Rhysand: The Man on the Throne and the Man in the Arena - ACOTAR and ACOMAF Excerpt Analysis”

In essence, when examining Rhys’s treatment of Feyre in ACOTAR, I think it’s crucial to remember that Rhys was acting as a trapped leader stuck between a rock and a hard place; he was working within a culture of defeat and was trying to not only survive, but protect both Feyre and his people.  Both Tamlin and Rhys are faced with what to do once Amarantha takes over, and they respond very differently: Tamlin with inaction/paralysis, and Rhys with action. Both of these responses are legitimate and entirely realistic in terms of how war leaders have historically responded to war and defeat. (I actually took an entire course in college that focused on the culture of defeat in times of war, particularly focusing on the Franco-Prussian War, the American Civil War, WWI, and WWII–and trust me, it is amazing how people–and especially leaders–act during these times. It can be ugly, and oftentimes a leader’s choices are very limited in what they can do to help their people.)

Keeping this in mind, we can see that Sarah doesn’t pull her punches in showing the sheer ugliness of war and–even more importantly–what comes after war. What happens when your people are defeated. What happens when a sadistic tyrant rules and displays her torture methods as a way to cow any potential rebels, to sew a culture of fear.

We see the ugliness of a culture of defeat, and how different people react. We see what happens to those who rebel (the High Lords who were killed); we see how conquered people are tormented and treated as animals (the hundreds of fae trapped in the caverns beneath the mountain to hunt each other in the dark); and we see the awful, terrible, horrendous choices that people in power must make.

Because they must make a choice, and there are no good choices.

You either act and hopefully begin a chain of events that could one day lead to your people’s freedom or you do nothing at all. When you do not act in the face of evil, you in turn perpetuate that evil. To not act is to be complicit in evil–and that is part of the reason why Feyre was so upset with Tamlin in ACOMAF when she speaks to the fact that he did not fight for her UtM. Because although he was trying to protect her by being stoic, he wasn’t really protecting her at all. She would have died, and he would have done nothing to stop it. (History doesn’t look kindly upon inaction in these situations–for example, think about how countries who were silent in the face of the Holocaust are viewed though they knew what was happening. Think about the countries who were not only silent, but did nothing as hundreds of thousands of their citizens were forcefully deported to their deaths. Think of the not-directly-affected countries who knew what was happening but did nothing–and yes, there were more that knew early on what was happening than we’d like to acknowledge. Silence–inaction–is truly its own choice, and Sarah is showing in ACOTAR that inaction is its own type of evil, really. We watch as the world goes to hell, thinking that by not acting at all we can at least protect our own people, protect ourselves–but then the wolf comes to your door and it’s too late to act. You have no allies, because everyone else has already been eaten, and in the end your people still die anyway, and all you can do is watch.

That is why Tamlin is so haunted after UtM. He had to watch as Feyre died. He could do nothing because his earlier inaction sealed his doom, and his people’s doom, and Feyre’s doom. This is also why his actions are so extreme in ACOMAF. He is trying to make up for how little he did UtM, but in doing so he smothers Feyre; he takes away her choices, her agency. Granted his power once more, he becomes the extreme protector. Tamlin can’t find a middle ground, but is bouncing between extremes. This is why he has his nightmares; why he is overbearing; why he focuses so much on what he can do to protect Feyre; why he watches in the night in beast form, ready to attack. He is haunted by his choice to not act, but now that he does act in ACOMAF, he goes too far.

Through Tamlin we see that not acting has its own horrors, its own traumas, its own hauntings.

Sarah shows us this: that inaction cannot save Prythian, just as it does not save people in real life. But she takes it one step further: she shows us the horror of what action brings as well.  Because although we would like to say that we should keep the moral high ground in times of war and defeat–that it is more important to do so then than at any other time–sometimes survival and the moral high ground can’t exist hand-in-hand. Leaders in war can have very limited options, and many times they try to choose what they believe is the lesser of two evils. They can’t always consult someone else; it is not always safe to do so. They play a dangerous game, and they try to save as many people as they can.

This is what Sarah shows us through Rhys’s character.

Rhys, whose actions are not savory and are very morally gray. Rhys who is neither the villain nor the hero in ACOTAR, but rather some complex character in between (which, let me tell you, is very realistic. No war commander or leader in history was a saint–they made choices that cost lives and agency and destruction. Such is the ugliness of war and defeat.). Rhys is a realistic war leader, even if the exact situation the fae are trapped in isn’t typical of a true war.

But Rhys is the man in the arena and he knows he is the only one standing between his people and destruction. Half of one of his courts is killed by Amarantha immediately upon her ascension, and time and again he is faced with hard choices that he must make–as he tells Feyre in ACOMAF–very quickly.  He sacrifices the majority of his remaining power to protect Velaris and his people, leaving him very little power to fend off Amarantha.  He sacrifices his body and his mental health by becoming his tormentor’s whore. He is raped and tortured and tormented to the point that the only thing keeping him going is the fact that he is the only one stopping Amarantha from finding his family and his people. He faces public ridicule and hatred; he must pretend that he enjoys his position by wearing the mask of an enemy (which is a tactic that past leaders and heroes have done. E.g., Oskar Schindler, who wore the uniform of a Nazi but saved hundreds of Jewish lives in WWII). But he tries to show mercy when he can (as with the summer fae, Tarquin’s friend who was staging a rebellion). He tries to keep going for 50 years, tries to lure Amarantha into making a fatal decision, tries to lure her into the woods where the Weaver waits. He has tried and tried and tried, and he is about to lose hope.

And then Feyre comes.

This girl, whom he has dreamed of for months, who has given him hope. The girl whom he suspects from their very first meeting is his mate. The girl whom he tries to protect from Amarantha’s claws by trying to scare her away–both by warning her to leave this place (the Spring Court) and by putting on a show that would convince Tamlin to let her go.  But then she shows up UtM anyway, and Rhys is horrified because she is almost certainly doomed. He is going to have to watch as this girl–the girl who might be his mate–will be killed in front of him and he can do nothing to stop it.

But then she proves that she is just as clever as he is, and she strike a bargain with Amarantha. And in that moment–this very important moment–we see the decision that Rhys makes: “I decided, then and there, that I was going to fight. And I would fight dirty, and kill and torture and manipulate, but I was going to fight. If there was a shot of freeing us from Amarantha, you were it.  I thought…I thought the Cauldron had been sending me these dreams to tell me that you would be the one to save us. Save my people.”

Rhys will do whatever it takes to save his people and Feyre, and it is this resolve that culminates in his actions UtM during Feyre’s trials. As I’ve discussed in my Defense Post, Rhys plays a role–he wears a mask–in order to arrange the chess pieces on the board in such a way that he can take out the queen–but he must do all of this without raising suspicion.  

As for his actions concerning Feyre and the dancing, Rhys believed that this was his best option he had in the situation–and in reality, we can see that it killed not only two birds with one stone, but really more like 7 or 8. Not only does this allow him to be near his mate, but it gets him a legitimate reason to both get Feyre out of her cell (where her isolation was wrecking her mind) and to show Amarantha that Feyre is suffering sufficiently to not be given any other torturous variations of her “chores.” The dancing also diverts people from entertaining the possibility that they could be working together against Amarantha. If Rhys is casting Feyre as his harlot, it reaffirms Amarantha’s idea that humans are nothing more than lowly trash–not a possible threat. At the same time, Rhys and Feyre’s relationship appears antagonistic at best. With his actions, Rhys is assuring that no one could possibly guess that they are, in fact, mates. If anyone had found out that bit of information, then everything would have fallen apart.

(On a related note, and as has been discussed on a related post, Rhys also uses this situation to stand up to his abuser. He presents Feyre before Amarantha and her court with a crown on her head, thereby showing his support for her and his belief that she will win. On a more subtle level, it shows his deeper belief that Feyre is his equal: she wears a crown imbued with the symbolism of his court and psychological healing. He does not see Feyre as someone lower than him, even though he pretends he does. To everyone else, the image of Feyre in a crown and the sheer dress is a mockery, but in reality it is a subversion of this exact idea. Feyre is mortal, and is looked down upon–seen as an animal–but just as in the First Trial, Rhys is betting on her. He plays to Amarantha’s tune even as he subverts it.)

Although this decision to have Feyre dance and drink is morally gray, Rhys used the wine as a kindness. It helps Feyre forget the ordeal, which I’m sure he didn’t want to put his mate through in the first place. At the same time, Feyre doesn’t have to maintain a front (which she would not be nearly as good at as Rhys in the current state she was in - she could have given them away). The wine sweeps her away, so it’s easier for her to dance and let go (which she comes to welcome). And Rhys, being protective of her, makes sure she stays with him the majority of the night (or within view). She dances with him or sits on his lap, and those swirls of ink both allow him to know that no one has touched her or taken advantage of her and lets her know the next day that she was safe. It also lets her know that Rhys never took advantage of her either.

Of course, there is also the question of why Rhys didn’t simply ask Feyre to take part in this plan; it would have affirmed her agency. Honestly, this is a great question, especially since we saw how much Rhys values Feyre’s agency in ACOMAF–and we see then that she could play the part quite well (see: the scene in the Court of Nightmares when Feyre plays the harlot).

While I think we can all agree that we would have preferred Feyre knowing Rhys’s plan from the beginning, in terms of plot, suspense, and character arcs this decision might have unhinged the story.  

Let’s take a look.

What were some of the main motivations that Rhys would have to keep Feyre out of the loop?

1) She’s human, and thus her mind is as easy to crack as an eggshell. It is very easy to invade a human mind as a daemati–Rhys explains how Feyre’s thoughts were practically screaming to him because of the lack of barriers around her mind. Unfortunately, Rhys is most likely not the only daemati UtM. If Feyre knew Rhys’s plan to overthrow Amarantha–especially in her vulnerable mental state–it would be a very simple matter for one of Amarantha’s spies or lackeys to find out that Amarantha’s whore isn’t quite as obedient as she thought. Take Rhys out of the equation and Feyre wouldn’t stand a chance–it would be game over for everyone. This in turn ties in with reason #2.

2) Rhys must maintain a front and not raise (even more) suspicion.  He has already raised suspicion multiple times: he made a bargain with Feyre, he stopped her chores, he healed her arm, he disobeyed Amarantha’s order to shatter the summer fae’s mind, and he bet on Feyre in the first task. On top of that, Rhys’s family sided with the humans in the war against Hybern.  Rhys has to tread very carefully with this plan, as everyone is watching him. Even Feyre notices how his actions can spur suspicion; she says as much in his room UtM during the lentils scene. So Rhys must make sure he wears his mask at all times. He can’t risk Feyre seeing beneath it, even when he visits her cell, because if she knows, then others can find out from her. Or someone can overhear, or Feyre could give them away through her reactions to him (he can’t know how good of an actor she really is; he barely knows her, so he must play it safe).

This is why Rhys must play the villain, despite the fact that he feels that bond with her, that he is falling in love with her and thinks she may be his mate.  Just as Tamlin chooses inaction to try to save her, Rhys chooses to wear the villain’s mask to protect her as she completes her challenges. He fights with her from the shadows; he is her ally and on a deeper level, she begins to realize that, even though she can only catch glimpses of his true intentions.

3) Rhys must act like a villain to keep suspicion away, but also to motivate Feyre. This is very important. Feyre acknowledges both in ACOTAR and ACOMAF that Rhys understands her psychologically; he knows what will motivate her.  In ACOMAF, he knows that riling her up by thinking about flirting or sex will make her react/get her mind off of her trauma, but in ACOTAR he knew flirting wouldn’t be enough/be the proper motivation (though he does use that tactic occasionally). Instead, he uses her other key motivator: anger. (In ACOMAF, before the Weaver scene, we have this line from Feyre, acknowledging this tactic: “Anger, this…flirtation, annoyance…He knew those were my crutches.”) It would be anger that she could harness–the only thing that could keep her fear and the rising insanity at bay. Her anger toward him empowered her; it focused her; it is what stopped her from shattering. He could not give her hope through a plan, so he gave her the other major emotion that can motivate a human through hard times: hatred. Between that and her love for Tamlin, Feyre is able to keep herself together. Thus, we can see that Rhys’s actions not only serve to divert suspicion and move the chess pieces on the board, but they also serve to focus Feyre during the months she’s sequestered away in the dark cells UtM, where night and day she can hear the screams of the tortured in that deep darkness.

It is only near the end, the night before the Third Task, that Rhys is able to start taking off that mask. He is able to talk to Feyre as himself, and she realizes that the glimpses she’s seen beyond that mask are real: that Rhys is lonely and tormented as well, and that he has been her ally all along.  Rhys acknowledges that Feyre could turn him in–end at all–but he was just raped by Amarantha after that kiss in the hallway and he needed someone to talk to. He’s been alone, dealt with this all alone for so long, and he just wants to be with his mate: to be without his mask with her for a few minutes.

This leads to 4) Rhys didn’t tell Feyre because he has been used to working alone. He could never rely on others to help him because if they were caught, he’d be compromised as well. For 50 years, he has had no one to confide in; he could not see his family or his friends, and the only people UtM were members from his dark court: the Court of Nightmares. (With the seeming exception of Feyre’s handmaidens, Nuala and Cerridwen.) Used to making decisions unilaterally and in secret, it is no wonder that Rhys is slow to reveal his plans to others, even to Feyre. Feyre is a human, a human that hates him and fears him for the most part; it would be suicide to let her know early on in the plan.

Importantly, we see that this learned behavior of his doesn’t go away immediately in ACOMAF. Because Rhys was used to making plans on his own for so long, there are several times in ACOMAF that he does things without talking to Feyre first (e.g. using Feyre as bait to lure in the Attor). Rightfully so, Feyre is furious with him and hands it to him. And afterwards, we see that he realizes he was wrong for doing what he did–that he deserved Feyre’s anger. He apologizes, and you know what? He learns and he stops doing it.  Unlike Tamlin, who apologizes to Feyre for taking away her agency but continues to do so, Rhys recognizes when he overstepped his boundaries and stops doing it.  He respects Feyre as his equal, and while he makes mistakes, he apologizes for them and tries to change his actions.

He apologizes for UtM as well (e.g., during a training scene: “I’m sorry I didn’t find a way to spare you from what happened Under the Mountain. […] From dying. From wanting to die.”), and tries to explain to Feyre why he did what he did. Some of his reasons are good, and some of them are not–though we can understand why those motivations were there. (For example, while some of what he did was to motivate Tamlin’s anger to strike out at Amarantha, Rhys also admits that it was partially to get back at him for killing Rhys’s mother and sister. Likewise, the kiss in the hallway had multiple motivations, including protecting Feyre from Amarantha [who would have had a bloody field day if she’d discovered Feyre’d been with Tamlin] and his jealousy that Tamlin was not only with Rhys’s (potential) mate, but had also not used that one opportunity to get Feyre out.)

As I’ve discussed in my other analyses, all of this culminates in the final battle with Amarantha, where we see that Rhysand is not the enemy, but the friend. (Not Rhysand, but Rhys.) And this is yet another reason why Rhys’s characterization and decisions over the course of ACOTAR are so important: because it sets up this wonderful reveal–the unmasking. This is where the heart of this tale–Beauty and the Beast–truly comes into play.

Because it is not only Tamlin who wears the mask, but also Rhys. We are not only supposed to look beyond the mask of our obvious romantic interest/beast; we are also supposed to apply that lesson to our complex villain/anti-hero figure as well–because he is the true beast.  While Tamlin’s unmasking and character evolution in ACOMAF reveals that the beauty Feyre expects behind the mask hides a corruption/trauma-induced abusive characteristics beneath (which in turn provides a brilliant depiction of how abusive relationships develop: i.e., the person sees the abuser in a romantic light at first, until they slowly realize how much power has been taken from them), Rhys’s unmasking shows the compassionate man beneath the villain’s mask.  Told in Feyre’s 1st person narrative, we see Tamlin and Rhys through her point of view, and as she slowly realizes the truths behind their characters–as she strips away those masks–we do as well. Those realizations are meant to be slow; they are meant to encourage us to truly look at the world around us and to not make those snap judgments, because character motivations may be much more complex than we realize.

If Rhys had revealed his plans to Feyre early on, we would not have had a story that truly played with the idea of masks: masked faces, masked intentions, masked personalities, masked truths. The story would not be about this slow evolution of understanding that Feyre (and we) undergo, but rather a less-complex story about a heroic love interest helping Feyre defeat Amarantha. We would’ve lost several layers of meaning, including the entire dialogue about war leaders operating within a culture of defeat where every option is a bad option. (It’s much like an awful game of “would you rather.”) By keeping Rhys’s intentions hidden for most of the story, by telling it from Feyre’s 1st person pov, and by seeing the terrible choices he must make, we are asked to read this story more maturely and use the themes and lens of Beauty and the Beast to analyze these characters.

Using this lens, we can see that the characters in ACOTAR and ACOMAF are not black and white villains and heroes. They are complex characters–and this includes both Rhysand and Tamlin–with complex motivations that are entirely human, realistic, and–importantly–understandable. Whether it is Rhys’s actions in ACOTAR or Tamlin’s now in ACOMAF, we can see where these characters are coming from, and while we may not approve of those actions, we cannot deny that their characterizations and decisions shed light on the human condition: both during war and afterwards–but especially afterwards.  Whether under the rule of a tyrant or during the aftermath of freedom, facing the trauma of one’s choices and the effects of psychological, physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse is never easy. We see how these experiences and traumas force/enable characters to grow and change–sometimes for the better, but not always.

So no, Rhys’s actions UtM–and Tamlin’s actions more recently in ACOMAF–are not always pretty, nor are they always right.  But to address Nonnie’s initial question more succinctly, I believe that Rhys’s actions in ACOTAR were meant to help as many people as he could. I believe his intentions were good, that his choices were not great, and that if we look closely at his potential options, he chose the best option he could in his circumstances and tried to mitigate the negative effects of those choices.  He took away Clare Beddor’s pain, he gave Feyre wine, and he killed the summer fae rather than shatter his mind; he stopped Feyre’s chores and gave her an alternative that put her less at risk while keeping her with him–which was the safest place she could be; he gave reason for Feyre to hate him: to focus her, to save her (despite the fact that his mate might hate him forever).  He gave her music–hope–when she had nothing else. He fought for her at every turn, before UtM, during it, and afterwards. He never gave up on her, even when she was ready to give up on herself. He gave her choices when he could, and he regrets when he couldn’t.  He was willing to let his mate go, to let her choose another male, because that’s what he believed she wanted. Rhys isn’t selfish. All he wants is for Feyre to be happy; to be able to make her own choices; to be able to be the strongest, happiest version of herself.  So yes, while Rhys isn’t perfect, he tries his best with what he’s given–and he is deeply sorry for the pain he wasn’t able to spare Feyre (or others) UtM.

Such is the cost of action; such is the cost of being a leader.

For Rhys is a leader, which means that no matter his actions, they will affect others. He is the leader that acts; he is the man in the arena, and it is easy to label his actions as not good enough, to label him as an abuser or a villain (which I don’t see him as). It is harder to try to understand him, but that is what Sarah and literature as a whole encourage us to do: to understand the other and see how his or her story relates to ours–and to the human condition more generally. Rhys’s and Feyre’s and Tamlin’s stories (and the other characters’ stories in ACOTAR/ACOMAF, honestly) brilliantly speak to humanity and its variations, and this (in many, many words) is how I feel about Rhys’s depiction and character arc in ACOTAR, especially in relation to the new information we have in ACOMAF.  

hermdoggydog  asked:

What would a deck of playing cards in Westeros look like, if/when such a thing develops? Like what suits, what ranks (7 suits with 7 ranks to honor the Seven, perhaps)? Would there be regional variations?

If playing cards ever get introduced to Westeros, I expect they’ll come from Essos, probably Yi Ti, the way playing cards originated from China in our world. (Via Persia, India, Egypt, Southern Europe, and so on.) As such, I wouldn’t expect the Faith of the Seven to be a strong influence on the number of suits or ranks, any more than the Trinity was an influence in Europe.* And for that matter, 7 is a lucky number in our world,** but that doesn’t seem to have affected card suits at all.*** Also, since religious leaders have historically frowned on gambling, I would expect a game using the images of the Seven to be considered blasphemy,**** so… yeah, that’s not going to happen.

* Actually, I can’t find anything that says why 4 suits are the most common, other than that’s how it originated in China. There’s a few Indian variations with all kinds of numbers of suits, including 12 for the 12 signs of the zodiac, and 10 for the 10 avatars of Vishnu, but still the most common number of suits is 4.

** Unlike in the Discworld, where 8 is a prominent number, and Cripple Mister Onion has 8 suits.

*** 7 being lucky has affected dice games though. And they do play dice in Westeros. Also tiles, which is probably dominoes.

**** Seriously, can you imagine how the medieval Catholic Church would react to a game with cards of God, Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit? ugh ugh ugh. (Note that tarot cards used for divination, and the pagan imagery of the major arcana, etc, are not medieval; they weren’t developed until the late 18th century.)

Anyway, if you want a properly worldbuilt playing card game in Westeros, with regional variations, I’d ask @warsofasoiaf, that sounds right up his alley. Though since you are asking me… hmm, I’d go with a bicolor 4 x 14 + 2 deck. Red and black, for the Targaryens. The Italian suits (cups, coins, clubs, swords) as that sounds properly medieval. 10 ranking cards (1-10), 4 court cards (knight, queen, king, dragon). And two fools, red and black.

As for variations, regional ones might replace the 1 with the local paramount sigil (wolf, rose, lion, etc). But I can actually see historical variations being more popular – green and black during the Dance; the red and black dragons being used to indicate allegiance circa the Blackfyre Rebellions (Bloodraven has the game banned when he’s Hand, of course); yellow and black with stags instead of dragons post-Robert’s Rebellion.

Hope you like!

youtube

This clip (along with the singing scenes in Hyangjumok) shows better than anything I can say why it’s so important to the message of the show that Gil Dong and the Ikhwari are the protagonists, but not the heroes, and it’s important that they AREN’T the heroes.  It isn’t about Gil Dong saving Joseon or about Gil Dong deciding that the only answer to their problems is a new king, it’s about the people saving themselves from a corrupt and abusive king.  The historical leaders of the coup are there, doing their thing, but they’re powerless without the populace.  The “people” are the heroes of the story, they just needed a push in the right direction to get going.  Gil Dong’s role is to give that push, not to do it for them.

lol in my hometown they’re taking down all these monuments that commemorate the civil war (more specifically the confederate “heroes” of the civil war) and all these white people are basically saying its historical revisionism and that we’re trying to “erase” it from history (which is laughable but i wont get into that now) but i just saw someone say “so should we take down the statue of andrew jackson in jackson square and rename it for someone else, since he had slaves and killed so many native americans? what historical figure would even replace him? every great historical figure from the early years of this city was involved in something unsavory like that” and im literally just sitting here waiting for him to continue his train of thought, which should bring him to the realization that from the very beginning this country was founded on racism, slavery and genocide, and the fact that you can’t find a prominent historical leader who wasn’t involved in any of that proves that racial violence is fundamental to the very existence of this nation as we know it…. :~)

anonymous asked:

Wicca problem: how disrespectful some schools of thought are towards pre-existing goddesses (and only goddesses - reason #54886658 Wicca has never seemed feminist to me). A lot of leaders both historical and present just pretty much slam them all together, appropriating the hell out of everything, erasing their history, and turn them into an empty heteronormative sex object and pregnancy metaphor and basically nothing else. Ex: what they've done to Hecate makes me so mad.

Valid!!! I personally believe the Goddess, Godden, and God are “new” deities revealing themselves vis UPG and SPG. Soft polytheism tends to go to extremes, taking connections between deities and deciding those deities are the same. I’ll get an essay up about different formulations of wiccan theology before the summer is up. Thanks for your input.

Hellenic Polytheism 105: Patron Deities

What is a Patron Deity in Hellenism?

In Hellenism a patron deity is one who holds domain over a specific area, career, or group of people. 

That typically means that They have a special interest in that specific group of people as defined by the domain, and may offer protection and guidance to them. They’re also the default go-to deity for petitions involving that domain.

Rather than being an indicator of a particularly close relationship with a deity, or an indicator that you devote an extra amount of time and effort to Their worship, the word patron is used in Hellenism to indicate that a deity holds domain over an area of your life. You may still have a particularly close relationship with a patron, but that’s not the immediate implication.

Keep reading

You have the same name as a historic leader. One day you find yourself in the distant past armed only with the knowledge of your 21st century life. It occurs to you that you must rise to power and fulfill your legacy in the history books.

A Call for a New Black Protest Movement

Those Anarchists who are Black like myself recognize there has to be a whole new social movement, which is democratic, on the grassroots level and is self-activated. It will be a movement independent of the major political parties, the State and the government. It must be a movement that, although it seeks to expropriate government money for projects that benefit the people, does not recognize any progressive role for the government in the lives of the people. The government will not free us, and is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. In fact only the Black masses themselves can wage the Black freedom struggle, not a government bureaucracy (like the U.S. Justice Department), reformist civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson, or a revolutionary vanguard party on their behalf.

Of course, at a certain historical moment, a protest leader can play a tremendous revolutionary role as a spokesperson for the people’s feelings, or even produce correct strategy and theory for a certain period, (Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, and Martin Luther King, Jr. come to mind), and a “vanguard party” may win mass support and acceptance among the people for a time (e.g., the Black Panther Party of the 1960s), but it is the Black masses themselves who will make the revolution, and, once set spontaneously in motion, know exactly what they want.

Though leaders may be motivated by good or bad, even they will act as a brake on the struggle, especially if they lose touch with the freedom aspirations of the Black masses. Leaders can only really serve a legitimate purpose as an advisor and catalyst to the movement, and should be subject to immediate recall if they act contrary to the people’s wishes. In that kind of limited role they are not leaders at all — they are community organizers.

The dependence of the Black movement on leaders and leadership (especially the Black bourgeoisie) has led us into a political dead end. We are expected to wait and suffer quietly until the next messianic leader asserts himself, as if he or she were “divinely missioned” (as some have claimed to be). What is even more harmful is that many Black people have adopted a slavish psychology of “obeying and serving our leaders,” without considering what they themselves are capable of doing. Thus, rather than trying to analyze the current situation and carrying on Brother Malcolm X’s work in the community, they prefer to bemoan the brutal facts, for year after year, of how he was taken away from us. Some mistakenly refer to this as a leadership vacuum.” The fact is there has not been much movement in the Black revolutionary movement since his assassination and the virtual destruction of groups like the Black Panther Party. We have been stagnated by middle class reformism and misunderstanding.

We need to come up with new ideas and revolutionary formations in how to fight our enemies. We need a new mass protest movement. It is up to the Black masses to build it, not leaders or political parties. They cannot save us. We can only save ourselves.

What form will this movement take?

If there was one thing learned by anarchist revolutionary organizers in the 1960s, you don’t organize a mass movement or a social revolution just by creating one central organization such as a vanguard political party or a labor union. Even though Anarchists believe in revolutionary organization, it is a means to an end, instead of the ends itself. In other words, the Anarchist groups are not formed with the intention of being permanent organizations to seize power after a revolutionary struggle. But rather to be groups which act as a catalyst to revolutionary struggles, and which try to take the people’s rebellions, like the 1992 Los Angeles revolt, to a higher level of resistance.

Two features of a new mass movement must be the intention of creating dual power institutions to challenge the state, along with the ability to have a grassroots autonomist movement that can take advantage of a pre-revolutionary situation to go all the way.

Dual power means that you organize a number of collectives and communes in cities and town all over North America, which are, in fact, liberated zones, outside of the control of the government. Autonomy means that the movement must be truly independent and a free association of all those united around common goals, rather than membership as the result of some oath or other pressure.

So how would Anarchists intervene in the revolutionary process in Black neighborhoods? Well, obviously North American or “white” Anarchists cannot go into Black communities and just proselytize, but they certainly should work with any non-white Anarchists and help them work in communities of color. (I do think that the example of the New Jersey Anarchist Federation and its loose alliance with the Black Panther movement in that state is an example of how we must start.) And we are definitely not talking about a situation where Black organizers go into the neighborhood and win people to Anarchism so that they can then be controlled by whites and some party. This is how the Communist Party and other Marxist groups operate, but it cannot be how Anarchists work. We spread Anarchists beliefs not to “take over” people, but to let them know how they can better organize themselves to fight tyranny and obtain freedom. ‘We want to work with them as fellow human beings and allies, who have their own experiences, agendas, and needs. The idea is to get as many movements of people fighting the state as possible, since that is what brings the day of freedom for us all a little closer.

There needs to be some sort of revolutionary organization for Anarchists to work on the local level, so we will call these local groups Black Resistance Committees. Each one of these Committees will be Black working class social revolutionary collectives in the community to fight for Black rights and freedom as part of the Social revolution The Committees would have no leader or “party boss,” and would be without any type of hierarchy structure, it would also be anti-authority. They exist to do revolutionary work, and thus are not debating societies or a club to elect Black politicians to office. They are revolutionary political formations, which will be linked with other such groups all over North America and other parts of the world in a larger movement called a federation. A federation is needed or coordinate the actions of such groups, to let others know what is happening in each area, and to set down widespread strategy and tactics. (We will call this one, for wont of a better name, the “African Revolutionary Federation,” or it can be part of a multicultural federation). A federation of the sort I am talking about is a mass membership organization which will be democratic and made up of all kinds of smaller groups and individuals. But this is not a government or representative system I am talking about; there would be no permanent positions of power, and even the facilitators of internal programs would be subject to immediate recall or have a regular rotation of duties. When a federation is no longer needed, it can be disbanded Try that with a Communist party or one of the major Capitalist parties in North America!

Revolutionary strategy and tactics

If we are to build a new Black revolutionary protest movement we must ask ourselves how we can hurt this Capitalist system, and how have we hurt it in the past when we have led social movements against some aspect of our oppression. Boycotts, mass demonstrations, rent strikes, picketing, work strikes, sit-ins, and other such protests have been used by the Black movement at different times in its history, along with armed self-defense and open rebellion. Put simply, what we need to do is take our struggle to an new and higher level: we need to take these tried and true tactics, (which have been used primarily on the local level up to this point), an utilize them on a national level and then couple them with as yet untried tactics, for a strategic attack on the major Capitalist corporations and governmental apparatus. We shall discuss a few of them:

A Black Tax Boycott

Black people should refuse to pay any taxes to the racist government, including federal income, estate and sates taxes, while being subjected to exploitation and brutality. The rich and their corporations pay virtually no taxes; it is the poor and workers who bear the brunt of taxation. Yet they receive nothing in return. There are still huge unemployment levels in the Black community, the unemployment and welfare benefits are paltry; the schools am dilapidated; public housing is a disgrace, while rents by absentee landlord properties are exorbitant — all these conditions and more are supposedly corrected by government taxation of income, goods, and services. Wrong! It goes to the Pentagon, defense contractors, and greedy consultants, who like vultures prey on business with the government.

The Black Liberation movement should establish a mass tax resistance movement to lead a Black tax boycott as a means of protest and also as a method to create a fund to finance black community projects and organizations. Why should we continue to voluntarily support our own slavery? A Black tax boycott is just another means of struggle that the Black movement should examine and adopt, which is similar to the peace movement’s “war tax resistance.” Blacks should be exempted from all taxation on personal property, income taxes, stocks and bonds (the latter of which would be a new type of community development issuance). Tax the Rich!

A National Rent Strike and Urban Squatting

Hand-in-glove with a tax boycott should be a refusal to pay rent for dilapidated housing. These rent boycotts have been used to great effect to fight back against rent gouging by landlords. At one time they were so effective in Harlem (NY) that they caused the creation of rent control legislation, preventing evictions, unjustified price increases, and requiring reasonable upkeep by the owners and the property management company. A mass movement could bring a rent strike to areas (such as in the. Southeast and Southwest where poor people are being ripped of by the greedy landlords, but are not familiar with such tactics. Unfair laws now on the books, so-called Landlord-Tenant (where the only “right” the tenants have is to pay the rent or be evicted) should also be liberalized or overturned entirely. These laws only help slumlords stay in business, and keep exploiting the poor and working class They account for mass evictions, which in turn account for homelessness. We should fight to rollback rents, prevent mass evictions, and house the poor and the homeless in decent affordable places.

Besides the refusal to pay the slumlords and exploitative banks and property management companies, there should be a campaign of “urban squatting” to just take over the housing, and have the tenants run it democratically as a housing collective. Then that money which would have gone toward rent could now go into repairing the dwelling of tenants. The homeless, poor persons needing affordable housing, and others who badly need housing should just take over any abandoned housing owned by an absentee landlord or even a bearded-up city housing project. Squatting is an especially good tactic in these times of serious housing shortages and arson-for-insurance by the slumlords. We should throw the bums out and just take over! Of course we will probably have to fight the cops and crooked landlords who will try to use strong-armed tactics, but we can do that too! We can win significant victories if we organize a nationwide series of rent strikes, and build an independent tenants movement that will self-manage all the facilities, not on behalf of the government (with the tricky “Kemp plan”), but on behalf of themselves!

A Boycott of American Business

It was proven that one of the strangest weapons of the Civil rights movement was a Black consumer boycott of a community’s merchants and public services. Merchants and other businessmen, of course, are the “leading citizens” of any community, and the local ruling class and boss of the government. In the 1960s when Blacks refused to trade with merchants as long as they allowed racial discrimination, their loss of revenue drove them to make concessions, and mediate the struggle, even hold the cops and the Klan at bay. What is true at the local level is certainly true at the national level. The major corporations and elite families run the country; the government is its mere tool. Blacks spend over $350 billion a year in this Capitalist economy as consumes, and could just as easily wage economic warfare against the corporate structure with a well planned boycott to win political concessions. For instance, a corporation like General Motors is heavily dependent upon Black consumes, which means that it is very vulnerable to a boycott, if one were organized and supported widely. If Blacks would refuse to buy GM cars, it would result in significant losses for the corporation, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Something like this could even bring a company to its knees. Yet the revolutionary wing of the Black movement has yet to use boycotts, calling it “reformism” and outdated.

But far from being an outdated tactic that we should abandon, boycotts have become even more effective in the last few years. In 1988, the Black and progressive movement in the United States hit on another tactic, boycotting the tourist industries of whole cities and states which engaged in discrimination. This reflected on the one hand how many cities have gone from smokestack industries since the 1960s to tourism as their major source of revenue, and on the other hand, a recognition by the movement that economic warfare was a potent weapon against discriminatory governments. The 1990–1993 Black Boycott against the Miami Florida tourism industry and the current Gay rights boycott against the State of Colorado (started in 1992) have been both successful and have gotten worldwide attention to the problems in their communities. In fact, boycotts have been expanded to cover everything from California grapes, beer (Coors), a certain brand of Jeans, all products made in the country of South Africa, a certain meat industry, and many things in between. Boycotts are more popular today than they ever have been.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the potential revolutionary power of a national Black boycott of America’s major corporations, which is why he established “Operation Breadbasket” shortly before an assassin killed him. This organization, with offices in Chicago was designed to be the conduit for the funds that the corporations were going to be forced to pour money into for a national Black community development project for poor communities. And although he was assassinated before this could happen, we must continue his work in this matter. All over the country Black Boycott offices should be opened! We should build it into a mass movement, involving all sectors of our people. We should demonstrate, picket, and sit-in at meetings and offices of target corporations all over the country We must take it to their very doorstep and stop their looting of the Black community.

A Black General Strike

Because of the role they play in production, Black workers are potentially the most powerful sector of the Black community in the struggle for Black freedom. The vast majority of the Black community is working class people. Barring the disproportionate numbers of unemployed, about 11 million Black men and women are today part of the work force of the United States. About 5–6 million of these are in basic industry, such as steel and metal fabrication, retail trades, food production and processing, meatpacking, the automobile industry, railroading, medical service and communications. Blacks number l/3 to l/2 of the basic blue-collar workers, and 1/3 of clerical laborers. Black labor is therefore very important to the Capitalist economy.

Because of this vulnerability to job actions by Black workers, who are some of the most militant workers on the job, they could take a leading role in a protest campaign against racism and class oppression If they are properly organized they would be a class vanguard within our movement since they are at the point of production. Black workers could lead a nationwide General Strike at their place of work as a protest against racial discrimination in jobs and housing, the inordinately high levels of Black unemployment brutal working conditions, and to further the demands of the Black movement generally. This general strike is a Socialist strike, not just a strike for higher wages and over general working conditions; it is revolutionary in politics using other means. This general strike can take the form of industrial sabotage, factory occupations or sit-ins, work slowdowns, wildcats, and other work stoppages as a protest to gain concessions on the local and national level and restructure the workplace and win the 4-hour day for North American labor. The strike would not only involve workers on the job, but also Black community and progressive groups to give support with picket line duty, leafleting and publishing strike support newsletters, demonstrations at company offices and work sites, along with other activities.

It will take some serious community and workplace organizing to bring a general strike off. In workplaces all over the country, Black workers should organize General Strike Committees at the workplaces, and Black Strike Support Committees to carry on the strike work inside the Black community itself. Because such a strike would be especially hard-fought and vicious, Black workers should organize Worker’s Defense Committees to defend workers fired or black listed by the bosses for their industrial organizing work. This defense committee would publicize a victimized worker’s case and rally support from other workers and the community. The defense committee would also establish, a Labor strike and defense fund and also start food cooperative to financially and material support such victimized workers and their families while carrying on the strike.

Although there will definitely be an attempt to involve women and white workers; where they are willing to cooperate, the strike would be under Black leadership because only Black workers can effectively raise those issues which most effect them. White workers have to support the democratic rights of Blacks and other nationally oppressed laborers, instead of just white rights campaigns” on so-called “common economic issues,” led by the North American left. In addition to progressive North American individuals or union caucuses, the labor union locals themselves should be recruited, but they are not the force to lead this struggle, although their help can be indispensable in a particular campaign. It takes major organizing to make them break free of their racist and conservative nature. So although we want and need the support of our fellow workers of other nationalities and genders, it is ridiculous and condescending to just tell Black workers to sit around and wait for a “white workers vanguard” to decide it wants to fight. We will educate our fellow workers to the issues and why they should fight white supremacy at our side, but we will not defer our struggle for anyone! We must organize the general strike for black freedom!

The Commune: Community Control of the Black Community

“How do we raise a new revolutionary consciousness against a system programmed against our old methods? We must use a new approach and revolutionize the Black Central City Commune, and slowly provide the people with the incentive to fight by allowing them to create programs, which will meet all their social, political, and economic, needs. We must fill the vacuums left by the established order… In return, we must teach them the benefits of our revolutionary ideals. We must build a subsistence economy, and a sociopolitical infrastructure so that we can become an example for all revolutionary people.”

— George Jackson, in his book ‘BE’

The idea behind a mass commune is to create a dual power structure as a counter to the government, under conditions, which exist now. In fact, Anarchists believe the first step toward self-determination and the Social revolution is Black control of the Black community. This means that Black people must form and unify their own organizations of struggle, take control of the existing Black communities and all the institutions within them, and conduct a consistent fight to overcome every form of economic, political and cultural servitude, and any system of racial and class inequality which is the product of this racist Capitalist society.

The realization of this aim means that we can build inner-city Communes, which will be centers of Black counter-power and social revolutionary culture against the white political power structures in the principal cities of the United States. Once they assume hegemony, such communes would be an actual alternative to the State and serve as a force to revolutionize African people — and by extension — large segments of American society, which could not possibly remain immune to this process. It would serve as a living revolutionary example to North American progressives and other oppressed nationalities.

There is tremendous fighting power in the Black community, but it is not organized in a structured revolutionary way to effectively struggle and take what is due. The white Capitalist ruling class recognizes this, which is why it pushes the fraud of “Black Capitalism” and Black politicians and other such “responsible leaders. These fakes and sellout artists lead us to the dead-end road of voting and praying for that which we must really be wilting to fight for. The Anarchists recognize the Commune as the primary organ of the new society, and as an alternative to the old society. But the Anarchists also recognize that Capitalism will not give up without a fight; it will be necessarily to economically and politically cripple Capitalist America. One thing for sure we should not continue to passively allow this system to exploit and oppress us.

The commune is a staging ground for Black revolutionary struggle. For instance, Black people should refuse to pay taxes to the racist government, should boycott the Capitalist corporations, should lead a Black General Strike all over the country, and should engage in an insurrection to drive the police out and win a liberated zone. This would be a powerful method to obtain submission to the demands of the movement, and weaken the power of the state. We can even force the government to make money available for community development as a concession; instead of as a payoff to buy-out the struggle as happened in the 1960s and thereafter. If we put a gun to a banker’s head and said “Yore know you’ve got the money, now give it up,” he would have to surrender. Now the question is: if we did the same thing to the government, using direct action means with an insurrectionary mass movement, would these would both be acts of expropriation? Or is it just to pacify the community why they gave us the money? One thing for sure, we definitely need the money, and however we compel it from the government, is of less important than the fact that we forced them to give it up to the people’s forces at all. We would then use that money to rebuild our communities, maintain our organizations, and care for the needs of our people. It could be a major concession, a victory.

But we have also got to realize that Africans in America are not simply oppressed by force of arms, but that part of the moral authority of the state comes from the mind of the oppressed that consent to the right to be governed. As long as Black people believe that some moral or political authority of the white government has legitimacy in their lives, that they owe a duty to this nation as citizens, or even that they are responsible for their own oppression, then they cannot effectively fight back. They must free their minds of the ideas of American patriotism and begin to see themselves as a new people. This can only be accomplished under dual power, where the patriotism of the people for the state is replaced with love and support for the new Black commune. We do that by making the Commune a real thing in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people.

We should establish community councils to make policy decisions and administer the affairs of the Black community. These councils would be democratic neighborhood assemblies composed of representative elected by Black workers in various community institutions — factories, hospitals schools — as well as delegates elected on a block basis. We must reject Black Mayors and other politicians, or government bureaucrats, as a substitute for community power. We must therefore have community control of all the institutions of the Black community, instead of just letting the State decide what is good for us. Not just jobs and housing, but also full control over schools, hospitals, welfare cents, libraries, etc., must turned over to that community, because only the residents of a community have a true understanding of its needs and desires.

Here is an example of how it would work: we would elect a community council to supervise all schools in the Black community. We would encourage parents, students, teachers, and the community at large to work cooperatively in every phase of school administration, rather than have an authority figure like a principal and his/her uncaring bureaucratic administration run things as are done at present. The whole Black community will have to engage in a militant struggle to take over the public schools and turn them into centers of Black culture and learning. We cannot continue to depend on the racist or Black puppet school boards to do this for us.

The local council would then be federated, or joined together, on a local level to create a citywide group of councils who would run affairs in that community. The councils and other neighborhoods collectives organized for a variety of reasons would make a mass commune. This commune would be in turn federated at the regional and national level the aim being to create a national federation of Black communes, which would meet periodically in one or a number of mass assembly meetings. This federation would be composed of elected or appointed delegates representing their local commune or council Such a national federal of communes would allow community councils from all over North America to work out common policies and speak with one voice on all matters affecting their communities or regions. It would thus have far more power than any single community council could However, to prevent this national federation from bureaucratic usurpation of power by political factions or opportunistic leaders, elections should be held regularly and delegates would be subject to recall at any time for misconduct, so that they remain under the control of the local communities they represent.

The Black community councils are really a type of grassroots movement made up of all the social formations of our people, the block and neighborhood committees, Labor, student and youth groups, (even the church, to a limited degree), social activist groups, and others to unite the various protest actions around a common program of struggle for this period. The campaigns for this period must utilize the tactics of direct mass action, as it is very important that the people themselves must realize a sense of their organized power. These grassroots associations will provide to the usually mass spontaneous actions, a form of organization whose social base is of the Black working class, instead of the usual Black middle class mis-leadership.

The Anarchists recognize these community councils as being a form of direct democracy, instead of the type of phony American “democracy,” which is really nothing but control by politicians and businessmen. The councils are especially important because they provide embryonic self-rule and the beginnings of an alternative to the Capitalist economic system and its government. It is a way to undermine the government and make it an irrelevant dinosaur, because its services are no longer needed.

The Commune is also a Black revolutionary counterculture. It is the embryo of the new Black revolutionary society in the body of the old sick, dying one. It is the new lifestyle in microcosm, which contains the new Black social values and the new communal organizations, and institutions, which will become the sociopolitical infrastructure of the free society.

Our objective is to teach new Black social values of unity and struggle against the negative effects of white Capitalist society and culture. To do that we must build the Commune into a Black Consciousness movement to build race pride and respect, race and social awareness and to struggle against the Capitalist slave masters. This Black communalism would be both a repository of Black culture and ideology. We need to change both our lives and our lifestyles, in order to deal with the many interpersonal contradictions that exist in our community. We could examine the Black family, Black male/female relationships, the mental health of the Black community, relations between the community and the white establishment and among Black people themselves. We would hold Black consciousness raising sessions in schools, community centers, prisons and in Black communities all over North America — which would teach Black history and culture, new liberating social ideas and values to children and adults, as well as counseling and therapy techniques to resolve family and marital problems, all the while giving a Black revolutionary perspective to the issues of the day. Our people must be made to see that the self-hatred, disunity, distrust, internecine violence and oppressive social conditions among Black people are the result of the legacy of African slavery and the present day effects of Capitalism. Finally the main objective of Black revolutionary culture is to agitate and organize Black people to struggle for their freedom.

As Steve Biko, the murdered South African revolutionary, has been quoted as saying:

“The call for Black consciousness is the most positive call to come from ally group in the Black world for a long time. It is more than just a reactionary rejection of whites by Blacks… At the heart of this kind of thinking is the realization by Black that the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed Once the latter has been so effectively manipulated and controlled try the oppressor as to make the oppressed believe that he is a liability to the white man, then there is nothing the oppressed can do that will really scare the powerful masters… The philosophy of Black consciousness, therefore expresses group pride and the determination by Blacks to rise up and attain the envisaged self.”

By the “envisaged self,” Biko refers to the Black self, a liberated psyche. It is that which we want to rescue with such a Black consciousness movement here in America. We need to counter Black self-hatred and the frivolous “party mentality. We also want to end the social degradation of our community, and rid it of drug addiction, prostitution, Black-on-Black crime, and other social evils that destroys the moral fiber of the Black community. Drugs and prostitution are mainly controlled by organized crime, and protected by the police, who accept bribes and gifts from gangsters. These negative social values, the so-called “dog-eat-dog” philosophy of the Capitalist system teaches people to be individualists of the worst sort. Willing to commit any kind of crime against each other, and to take advantage of each other. This oppressive culture is what we are fighting. As long as it exists, it will be hard to unify the people around a revolutionary political program.

X-MEN GOLD #4 REVIEW

Written By: Marc Guggenheim
Artists: R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: @marvelentertainment
NCBD: 5/17/17
Review by: Anthony Mullins (from Cleveland!)

Fan favorite Remy LeBeau (Gambit) opens the issue, getting caught while on a job to steal something from Nanostorm, Inc. While Kitty, Nightcrawler, & Prestige battle with D-list super-criminals The Serpent Society, Storm & Logan rendezvous with Detective Mahoney to discuss a potential mutant murderer. The X-Men’s “resident physician” discovers something intriguing while examining the previously captured “mystery demon”. The granddaughter of a historically anti-mutant leader reveals new technology and a plan to make money. A new breed of the X-Men’s most classic foe(s) is born.

With an artist switch up, #4 sets a slightly different visual tone than it’s previous issues - a little less gritty with a little more “pop”. This is a huge positive for the issue in a sense that it helps you sit in it’s pocket a little bit more comfortably. The battle with The Serpent Society would’ve been awesome to see more of; another notable super villain(s) taken down with ease. However, I’m really enjoying the goal Guggenheim seems to be making of clarifying this team as being definitive superheroes, as opposed to the slightly meeker & threatened roles the X-Men have been forced in to recently. Morale has shifted ever so slightly, and it’s time for the X-Men to regain their glory! As of recent years, Gambit has appeared very sparingly in short-lived cameos - mostly outside of X-Men titles - so it was really thrilling to get a more fleshed out Remy in a more integral story role. Between this & Magma’s scene (along with Rockside & Armor previously), i’m definitely beginning to feel captivated by wondering what the promise of the ResurrXion line will bring, as this story develops. Lastly, the inclusion of the name “Trask” alone can send chills down your spine, but to then end on the note of an evolved form of Sentinel? ResurrXion is hitting full force, and this proves it. The Gold team faces the most notable & classic form of mutant opposition, and with more and more pieces of a much larger puzzle forming, the nostalgia and tension is setting in for what should be a really fun ride!

Overall:
This issue only suffers from the same thing that helps it thrive. Change doesn’t have to be bad, and a change in creative team seems to be hitting X-Men Gold right when the title could benefit from it the most. If you’ve read since issue #1, it can be a bit of an adjustment, but one that promises to be worth making. With a slight shift from introduction to development, I continue to remain most loyal to Gold out of all of the recent ResurrXion titles. Hoping Gambit and Magma both stick around!

8/10