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Theory

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One rainy day, we shut down the World Economic Forum.

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notice? theory with a capital T. Signifies it's important, that it supplants other understandings perhaps. But that's not the way i intend it. I'll talk about the plural,theories

Theories I like

(most of these peoplesī thought is organically connected to their politics, so i usually like their politics as well). Theorists/ thinkers:

Philosophers:

I'm interested in philosophy of mind. I like philosophers who grapple with the question "What is necessary for human thought to be possible?" In answer to this, Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason argued for the existence of innate Categories such as 'causality' that are "hard wired" to us from birth, allowing us to comprehend change.

Theorists who have great insight into the human condition are Richard J Bernstein, Donald Davidson and John Searle (analytic philosophy), Edmund Husserl, Claude Levi-Strauss (both phenomenologists), Carl Jung (personality theories), Erich Fromm, Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, Paul Ricoeur (Metaphor), George Lakoff (Metaphor- Ricoeur and Lakoff teach me that humans are basically metaphoric beings, who learn through comparison, analogy and conflation).

All of the above people have their greatest insights about the world within, even if, like Fromm, they talk of society. The theorists who have insight into the world without (the exterior world of interpersonal relationships, power relationships and social structures) include Marx, Hegel, Foucault (power), The Frankfurt School, Situationist Guy Debord, Educationalist Paulo Friere, Anthropologists Margaret Mead, Ghassan Hage; Human Geographers J-K Gibson- Graham, Saskia Sassen, David Harvey; Religious philosopher Karl Rahner, Liberation theologians Leonardo Boff, Helder Camara; Political theorist John Holloway, engaged spiritual activists Joanna Macy, Matthew Fox.

I believe that paradox is the basis of much of reality, and history progresses through the interaction of opposing forces and their resolution. This means that I am very interested in dialectical thought. (here are some explanations of dialectics: *dialectical materialism: marxists.org; *dialectical materialism: wikipedia; *dialectic: wikipedia; *Hegel: wikipedia

I am also interested in interdisciplinary thinking, particularly Systems Thinking. One of my heroes is Buckminster Fuller, a scientist whose humanistic vision of society insisted that justice was possible, and was a design puzzle for systems. He said "For the frst time in history, it is not true that it has to be you and me- it is now possible to provide enough for everybody". There are many spinoffs from his thinking, including Critical Path Analysis. Here is a website about whole systems, whilst here is the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

People who can explain contemporary issues well:

Barbara Ehrenreich, Clive Hamilton, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Arundhati Roy, Naomi Klein, Mae Wan-Ho, The Crimethink Collective, Hugh Mackay, George Monbiot, Immanuel Wallerstein, John Berger, Michael Albert.

Political figures:

Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero, Hugo Chavez, all the workers who took over their factories in Argentina.

Social Change Methodology gurus:

Fran Peavey, John Croft (Perth), Lyn Carson, Mahatma Gandhi, George Lakey, Bill Moyer, Cath Dwyer, Augusto Boal, The SNCC, Paulo Friere, The Highlander Folk School.

Australian speakers:

Pat O'Shane, Bob Brown, Amanda Tattersall, Frank Stilwell,

My favourite writer on Znet is Andrej Grubacic.

People who I don't like


(these are the people who I put down their books as soon as I try reading them, because I cannot stomach their approach -conceptually or creatively.


Freud, Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Descartes, Mill,

I don't like Judith Butler's Performative view of gender, rather, I believe that gender is something that you do not have agency over, whilst I agree it is on a continuum. I believe that ways of recognising gender are complex, and related to theories of phenomenology. The whole 'performative' theory I believe normalises and justifies the superficiality of our society- that everything is a 'performance' for an exterior other.

And of course, I do not like the apologists for extreme economic social Darwinism, a.k.a. neoliberalism, who include Hayek, the Chicago School of economists, Fukuyama, and assorted thinktanks and shockjocks too numerous to name who daily waste time and space on our media.

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