robin hoods

What is the difference between a generous outlaw (or groups of them) who does not proclaim any political or ideological position but nevertheless cares for the community of which he is a part and an subversive political group which does more or less the same thing for its community but also claims that its actions are informed by an ideology and political agenda? I raise this point after reading a New Yorker article on the Mexican La Familia gang. It's layered by the bloody hunt for the Jamaican Christopher Coke, whose name is amazingly apropos (he makes his money on cocaine, it seems) and who generously contributes to his utterly impoverished community, Kingston. But there is no shortage of such examples, and indeed, it's characteristic of Mafia-style gangs to generously spread the ill-gotten wealth. We see it in Afghanistan, Columbia (the Medellín cartel was famously generous, and for aught I know it still is), and so on. But with rare exception, most of these outlaw groups are apolitical and are not really interested in joining the structure of official political power. And this raises a rather interesting question: How do we evaluate the political moment of these pre/post political entities?

From my perspective, it comes down to legitimacy. We evaluate modern government upon standards of legitimation independent of their specific violence and which enables others to freely view, join, quit, participate, modify. And if these sound like a version of the freedoms which Foss grants, there is no coincidence at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


30/5/10 07:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

有空我一定會常來逛你的部落格!!!! ..............................

4/6/10 13:36  

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