“Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?”

Qalandia, May 2014. The first responsibility is to one's immediate circle: the children that must be fed, the elderly parents that must be cared for, the spouse with whom there's a compact of mutual support. Important also are one's own body and its needs: food, clothing, shelter. Few of us are Simone Weil. Only later does the responsibility radiate outwards, to questions of the larger moral position of the job, and to the greater questions of human progress. From a position of subjection, theory has its limits. The Walmart worker who must drive twenty miles on cheap oil to a minimum wage job has a responsibility to consider the extreme forms of oppression inherent in the current Saudi setup, but what is that responsibility? The Palestinian worker who shows up for work in an Israeli munitions factory has a responsibility, a different one, but what is that responsibility? The traveler, keen to know more about the world and to bear witness to its conditions, wrecks that same world with air travel. What is the traveler's responsibility? (Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?) And yet, without a theory, the limits of subjection remain undefined. Rebellion is one of the available moves. #_thehive

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