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Paz Y Sol, as a way of putting “sunshine and the open shop” behind us in Los Angeles forever, all the while keeping the Sun.
When Guy de Maupassant wrote Bel-Ami, he was delving into social climbers that were typical of the society of his day, and how they came to fill up government. Bel-Ami could not be found in social science because social science chose to overlook Bel-Ami, despite his importance. In the ranks of our ever important dissent in California we also have typical characters that Guy de Maupassant would enjoy writing about, characters with personalities as old as this republic. Like Bel-Ami, they are forgotten by social science
Edward Soja named “it” the “creative simulations of an edenic Los Angeles” in his book My Los Angeles. In the same book, he would go on to label it a “vast deception”. He was speaking about architecture and planning, but “it” can be a typical white male certain self-centered and yet “open to” body politic met at rallies, at socialist meetings, and other ground zeroes of dissent, claiming to have put white privilege behind. I identify it as the body politic of the self-centered Los Angeles middle and working white male, concerned with himself and no one else. It’s a self-centered culture wherein the person has the right things to say but does not pose the right actions that is much of white male masculinity in most of Los Angeles, and typical of LA’s fabric, which harkens back to the culture and impetus of Jacksonians once upon a rebellion. Why did the Jacksonians rebel? For the same reasons why many do in Los Angeles: to improve the common white man’s plight.
A rebel of a self-centered cause. Ask around. If only Honore de Balzac could be a non-conservative writer based in Los Angeles, committed to Paz y Sol for all. Such writing would produce character sketches and realist writing in general that could bring to the page the white male Angelinos today, west side Angelinos, downtown Angelinos, etc. This white male is a mainstay in both the cultural and political life of Los Angeles in a multitude ways. One of these ways is well known to many non-white and many female activists: as a self-centered white male, truly interested in signifying rebellion, and pursuing self-interest. This person might as well be the still celebrated Jacksonian of the past, and often holds many of the same anti-black and anti-indigenous sentiments in the end, despite rally and action attendance. Don’t let the skateboard and surfboard fool you: many fine essays have been written about them as libertarian activities. Freedom is the name of the game here not ethics or empathy, freedom and justice for the white man of less means.
I have always felt that there should some sort of popular history written linking mamy contemporary white males and the Jacksonian movement. Andrew Jackson’s place, and the Jacksonian movement’s place at large, is often forgotten by most political agents of the non-academic or non-politicalmagazinereading public, at the detriment of our political community’s imagination. The Jacksonian white male rebellion against the dark forces of agrarian and proto-industrialist white bourgeois exclusion seems to not only have been institutionalized in our society, in the sense that it is reproduced in every generation by some sort of dynamic learning system, but be a major force in our popular culture where this “dissenting” white male, without consenting to equity and equality for all, produced behavior that is not only accepted by fueled many industries such as the action sports ones and others that have laid down their roots, or should I say tracks, in Los Angeles, CA. It, however, does not aim to truly aid in building a just and pleasant society for all. Going beyond Jackson by first pointing to it in its present form, and promising not to tolerate it, especially in Los Angeles, seems to be a fundamental step in generation and re-generating a society that will be prosperous and just. This self centered person mostly does not address any issue that is not a personal issue, despite what the person says he will do.
For Sol y Paz, this must be dealt with head on. Jacksonian democracy is a democracy wherein the white male vernacular finds a place in the public sphere, and is widely considered as a legitimate mode of citizenship. Jacksonian democracy is one wherein a white male speaks up loudly, screaming “fuck the police” because of something that happened to him specifically. Jacksonian democracy is one wherein white males vote for Trump after having voted for Bernie Sanders. Jacksonian democracy is one wherein the white male individual put himself as the “commoner” before the collective. If only it could do this for all. It does not. Therein lies the issue with it and why it must be dealt with through truthful conversation: the polity we want shall be a multicultural polity where all are free.