We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"No More Heroes": Jordan Flaherty’s New Book Excavates the Deep Roots of the White Savior Industrial Complex

Click here to access article by Wendy Elisheva Somerson from Bitch Media

It appears that the author of the book, Flaherty, writes that frequently people involved in "humanitarian" efforts are identified as heroes, but in reality they frequently end up supporting a system that oppresses working people, particularly those who can't function well in a capitalist society--the very people that they are described as helping. 
Born into privilege and most often white, today’s progressive saviors believe in their inherent superiority and refuse to listen to the people they are supposedly serving. Crucially, they lack imagination and structural analysis and therefore often end up strengthening the systems that they claim to be working against. While our capitalist culture insists that individual heroes instigate societal change, change happens through the hard work of people in grassroots movements, such as the Movement for Black Lives, the Arab Spring, and the Occupy movement. Flaherty’s point isn’t that saviors are bad people, but that our capitalist system supports and rewards saviorism, which we can help uproot by supporting movements led by the people most impacted by the issues being addressed.
This phenomenon of "saviorism" is frequently used by Empire agents in foreign affairs to justify aggressive policies against other nations, and they express these actions as "humanitarian".