Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mis-enfranchisement: a dialogical poem by a native son of New Hampshire

(Settler's Green shopping plaza, North Conway, NH, at the base of the White Mountain National Forest)

My state has grown so quickly in the last few decades. We went from the richness of the lumber barons to the poverty of those who really were the state’s population in those preceding rapine years, and from there, well, to farming and then tourism and IT in the southern part of the state. The tourism is new enough, but the IT is very recent indeed, and however long the IT industry lasts, the tourism can last longer if we’re intelligent about it.
But now we’ve got all this money from the tourism in my generation and the next generation, wow, the amount of wealth they have comparatively, they’re really out there. And with all this money, we’ve got always in the top five of public school systems in the country.

It’s not that high.

It is. And these schools are so good that they train the kids for the world at large exceptionally well. If you’re smart, you can get a top-notch education in one of New Hampshire’s public schools and if not good enough than certainly enough in one of its excessively numerous private schools.

It’s always difficult to go home, you know when I visit the town where I grew up, I realize that I’ve got noone there who I know, they’re all graduated from out-of-state colleges. And your friends who are there aren’t your friends anymore. I guess it’s all out of the possession of power.

And when you’re raised and educated so well in a state whose main source of money has been applied so responsibly and charitably to the betterment of the society in the development of the institution of public schooling, that its industry has not been developed proportionally to accept the influx of talented young people into its work force, and so we have to leave. What are you going to do, if you graduate from an NH public school? Go to UNH? Which is really an amazing school, but that question seems like a legitimate one to all the people who state it—staying around at UNH appears as a failure to many.

It’s got a great honors program.

One of my friends is in the civil engineering program, and it’s a really amazing set she’s taking. [pause]
And we’ve really got nothing else to do, except work in IT. Only that there can only be so many people predisposed to being IT professionals.

So they could maybe be ski-lift operators or instructors?

Right, exactly. So what I’m saying is that we’ve got a perpetual diaspora of talent in our society. Picture like our ancestors in the beginning stages of capitalism, with free cities run by associations of leagues, generally. And from there to stronger mercantilisms and the formation of wealth centers, cities. Now the heirarchical structure would make it presupposable that the strongest members of a society, of a family, would go to where the opportunities were best. So the eldest or smartest son would go to the town to make his fortune. And the smartest would always be lured away to the cities by its promise, just power naturally wanting to consolidate itself and this facilitation of it in the free(er) transportation of goods and wealth generally.

You know, my house up in the country it’s some neighbors I see who are you think the talented are always lured away from the country to the profit of the city. [double entendre, unrecognized] It shows after five, ten generations of this.



So basically what you’re describing is a darwinian skimming off of the gene pool.


But what I – But what if it’s this, that [pause] it’s a defense mechanism, that since the ‘smartest’ are lured away to the cities from the countryside, then the actual ‘smartest’ one would be the one who, if we’re okay that humans evolutionarily require contact with other humans, like Marx’s species beings, then the smartest one is the one who finds a way to remain in the community, which is the one who appears to the powerful one who steals the poor community’s children, who is apparently stupid to the hegemonic in order that he might avoid them taking him from his community.

You’re promoting the slave mentality.

I think it’s just the opposite, beause I’ll allow that the slave mentality is an entirely real phenomenon, this is more counterposed against the hegemonic. I’m saying that the dominant has no conception at all of its subaltern. That the dominant did not ever completely form the subaltern because it is a history that insists on the pre-heirarchy stage, and the dominant have no access to this history because they are always themselves-plus-history, so while I do not defend any transcendental historical element, I say that the dominant’s attempts to understand what it controls and creates are always one step behind the subordinate’s. That even if one group ‘creates’ the history of another, it cannot decode the present.

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