I refer in the following two passages to two kinds of politics that have nothing to do with the partisan variety discussed ad nauseam on TV. I submit these two varieties here in my tangential references to them and encourage readers to follow up on issues relating to "wider political fields" than the partisan variety.-Ron Price, Tasmania
There has been a colossal prestige granted by critical humanities and social-science scholars over the past several decades to the clusters of studies of voice and place, of cultures and sub-cultures, small groups and movements of all kinds. "Letting the Silenced Speak," "Telling The Story," or "Speaking for Themselves," on the one hand, and on the other of "Situated Knowledges," "the Politics of Location," or "Standpoint Epistemologies," has become, if not all the rage, certainly a popular academic sport. But my memoir is not of this ilk. There is nothing here that is systematic, comprehensive, worthy of the appelation, ethnographic or autoethnographic tomb. This is not an exercise, an opportunity, for a heretofore silenced group to enunciate, from its own location and according to its own agenda, its vision of itself and the world. This is not an authoritative view of the Baha'i community and its world... This is simply the writing of a man, a Canadian living in Australia, a retired teacher and a Baha'i. The writing is essentially anecdotal, impressionistic, personal, autobiographical.
In the wider society, right back to the start of my pioneering life in 1962, there had been major concerns about the family. David Cooper, for example, had insisted in his book The Death of the Family that human and especially women's oppression was grounded in the family. It is the family which "obscurely filters out most of our experience and then deprives our acts of any genuine and generous spontaneity." (1962, p.8). Cooper's central argument was that the family was crucial to the hegemony of any system. The family acts as an ideological conditioning device and provides "a highly controllable paradigmatic form for every social institution."(1962, pp.5-6). The year I left Canada and moved to Australia Cooper's book was published in the U.K., the same year that Kate Millett published Sexual Politics and identified the family as "a force frustrating revolutionary change."(1971, p.158) In 1963 Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique which discussed the malaise of women in the home a "problem that has no name."(1963, p.27) It should also be mentioned in this connection that Marx in the 19th century and Plato 2500 years ago proposed a society that did away with the family. The institution of the family has proved a conundrum to social philosophers for some time.