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Re: Armchair theorizing and scholarship on wsn
by Adam Starr
12 March 2002 19:02 UTC
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Hello WSN World,

I'm glad to see that you some of you are passionate to
defend your position in acadedmia. I knew as i sat
down at my computer today, i was about to be blasted.
The debate is refreshing, although I think some you
took my comments a little too personally and have
apparently been insulted by my suggestion that
academia is out of touch with the world. May I say
that your comments are a credit to World Systems
Theory. Perhaps you should also realize that your
responses may actually alter the debate of this forum
providing more focuss to the question at hand, "What
is World Systems Theory?"

As to reading reading: Wallertsein, Gunder Frank (whom
actually altered his life by working in Latin America
to pursue research), Leys, Gills, etc., I assure you
Dr. Smith, I am well versed. May I also suggest that
by insulting my intelligence, you have not placed
yourself on a higher standing than myself. I would
agree with you, Dr. Wallerstein is quite 'clever'

Perhaps I should clarify the point I was trying to
make yesterday and then you may decide whether or not
to blast away at me again:

1.) We have all come to this forum because we believe
that  to some degree there is a World System of
society that may be studied through out history.
Sociology, history, political science, economics and
geography may be placed under one umbrella if  our
assumptions of this system are correct.

2.) As Gunder Frank has pointed out (in numerous
books), that neo-liberalism has contributed to the
"development of underdevelopment" through out the
poorest nations of the world. The capitalist system
that we engage in today has its origins of some five
thousand years ago.

3.) The current international capitalist mode of
production is non-sustainable. There is undisputable
evidence of this provided by environmental agencies
and research centres through out the world. Even the
evironmental report created by NAFTA state this.

4.) Wallerstein himself acknowledges that there are
critics of World Systems Theory as it may be too broad
and extensive. How can one theory explain the history
of the world?

5.) As many of us are neo-Marxists, lest we forget
what brother Marx endured upon. It is not enough to
study society, but rather, change it.

Based on the above, may I suggest opening the door
between 'theory'  and 'world'. Never before in history
(and indeed in our life-times) has the call been so
great for an intelligent alternative to the
neo-liberal agenda. Obviously, activists on the
streets of Seattle, Quebec, and New York aren't doing
the trick.

I say, what is the point to all this theory if we
can't at least attempt to apply what we know. We have
the facts, we have the ideology, and I know we have
the brains. I say let us consider practical options
and policies such as a Marshall Plan for Africa
suggested several weeks ago or "Integral Ecology" as
coined by Ken Wilbur. Lets get off the armchair and
challenge our selves.

I joined this discussion group because I specifically
wanted to read the insights Gunder Frank and
Wallerstein. Do you not think these men have a
creative vision of the world; where they would like to
see humanity ascend to? If my comments continue to
upset some of you, then I guess I'm in the wrong
forum. Does anyone know where I should go? Perhaps Dr.
David Smith or Daniel Pineu might have a suggestion.

Adam T. Starr

Adam T. Starr
Undergraduate of Political Science, UVic
3009 Quadra Street, Victoria, British Columbia
V8T 4G2 Canada
(011) (250) 472-1223
adam@hornbyisland.com or reunitedhornby@yahoo.com

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