Thursday, October 11, 2007

Free tonight

I really don't have much to say at this moment other than to express my feelings of gratitude to my colleagues in Covenant Zone and to remind you that we meet every Thursday, 7-9pm, in the atrium of the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library, in front of Blenz Coffee, wearing blue scarves.

What do we do? We talk. We preserve the freedom of our language by simply talking in a context entirely divorced from any kind of institutionalized authority. We have no need or desire to defer to the technocracies of our time. And that is why I am so grateful to my colleagues: because they can and do talk freely, and generally responsibly, and week in and week out show a commitment to doing this and for no other reason than that doing it is both fun and necessary. They also write regularly on this blog and as you can see they are full of the linguistic freedom that is the sign of our shared humanity and ability to think for ourselves. The freedom of the group as a whole depends on individuals being able to love their own freedom as part of the group. We don't speak together as members of a disciplined political party, but only as conservative defenders of the culture of freedom.

Before one does anything in political life, whether it is calling on your own "covenant zone" colleagues to participate in some political action, like a demonstration or electoral campaign, you first should have some sense of a horizon towards which you are acting. You can only get that half-formed sense of new possibilities from free discussion. It is through our engagement in political actions (which are always as much about words as deeds) that we are trying to complete (for a while) the sign that our freedom to talk presupposes we will one day discover together.

Politics is the action, the deed, that takes place around shared linguistic signs whose meaning - e.g. the meaning of the words "the freedom of Canadian citizens to rule themselves" - we debate and negotiate. We don't talk about our freedom, as individuals, from society. We presuppose that we are the owners of our own society and government, that there must be such a thing as a shared covenant, good faith, before any conception of "minority" or individual rights can emerge. We talk and hope about the freedom of our Canadian society as a whole. We talk about how each of us must act as a guarantor for the others' freedom and how each nation must do this for other nations. That is why we wear blue scarves, as a sign of our sympathy with the Revolution Bleue in France (see links on our side bar).

Every reading, thinking, talking, free person needs to belong to a covenant zone. You are not really free unless you have one. We hope you can take our little blog as a sign that will be useful to you in modeling your own covenant zones. And if you are in our area and would like to join ours, the table is open for free discussion, every Thursday night, just outside the library.

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