Oaxaca, Tuesday 3 July 2007

      I really am thrilled to see the undreamed-of energy (at least by me) released among the group members by the mere ideas of doing something constructive instead of attacking each other personally because of differing ideological positions. I kept my activities of the past weeks (however long it was) largely to myself here because Nancy was very critical of me for focussing so much on Israel-Palestine and Jewish-Arab issues (she thought) instead of keeping fully involved, as she has been, on the fearsome and wonderful popular struggle right here. Science for the People, for her, was out in left field, so I didn't let on, until last night. And then at supper, with her ritual glass of cheap Mexican red wine, and me with a glass too, I told her of the group considering a delegation to Cuba and of its thinking of taking part in the AAAS annual meetings in Boston. We laughed a good deal at my falling into the role of tyrant (Man! Do they all hate Ulises here, el tirano, the hated, illegitimate, murderous governor) and then trying to give the basic anarchist lesson to the SftP group that it's not enough to appeal to the tyrant. You've got to do away with the hierarchical power structure. I think there are some of you who, as my dear friend James Herod always said about people whose political understanding differed from his, "don't have it quite right." So Nancy, who recently got herself a folding cane convenient for travelling, immediately announced her desire to go to Cuba. Who knows how it will all turn out, but right now it feels like SftP is on a roll. And it feels good. I just managed to post a new item to my website, and will take the luxury of including the start of it here.
All the best,
Bob McKinney and James Herod
The grace of ordinary common decency

2 July 2007

by G.S.  <[log in to unmask]>

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2007-07-02.htm

      Few people I know write with as straightforward, simple language as James Herod. I can read his essays without a dictionary at hand. And he just says exactly what he means, never circuitous fancy language – never trying to impress the reader with his subtlety or his learning. Of course sometimes I think his ideas are wrong, and so we’ve had our share of arguments. But among the living anarchists I know, no one else has had as much impact on my thinking and my life as James Herod. Late last year he sent me a memorial note he had written about Bob McKinney, a comrade of his who died. It says much about McKinney, a plumber by trade, and much about James Herod’s thoughts concerning the human qualities that we must not let be eroded by capitalist culture. These are the qualities that I think should bind us all together in a true global human community.

      In June 2007 Herod’s thinking about how to get rid of capitalist domination, ideas that inspired me since 1996, finally were published in his book, Getting Free: Creating an Association of Democratic Autonomous Neighborhoods.[1] It comes at a time of great social struggle in Latin America and elsewhere. The core ideas Herod proposes for transforming human society into a true civilization are, quite wonderfully, finding concrete realization right here in Oaxaca, where they are serving as an inspiration to people throughout Mexico and in other parts of the world to those people whose consciousness is not totally controlled by government and corporate media. This posting on my website is to give information about two exemplary human beings, neither one famous or celebrated, but truthfully the salt of the earth, our brothers.

Bob McKinney — In Memoriam
by James Herod
, 17 December 2006
      Yesterday I attended a memorial gathering for Bob McKinney. He died November 20, 2006, at the age of 75, from melanoma. His wife Carol . . .