Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Join the 48 Laws for Freedom Community Project

Are you a socially conscious person who loves hip hop yet are concerned with its negative representation in the mainstream media?

Do you know the history of your community and like to break it down for others or are knowledgeable on current affairs and enjoy demystifying the politics of particular situation.

Consider yourself a social or political activist who believes that all struggles are connected?


If you've read my blog either here or at, I called out the hip hop industry's embrace of the book "The 48 Laws of Power" because it is essentially a how-to guide for domination and exploitation. It's time that those of who care about peace, justice and equality combine our intelligence to counteract this kind of thinking.

THE 48 LAWS FOR FREEDOM is a community project where together we will accomplish two things. The first is to deconstruct each of the 48 laws of power to bring its underlying oppressive philosophy to light by citing examples in history (or even in the present day) when it was used to oppress a group of people.

And because we often spend so much time criticizing what we're against and not enough time envisioning what we are for, the second objective is to devise The 48 Laws for Freedom. That is, we will come up with a principle for living for peace, justice and equality that counterracts the oppressive philosophy of each of the 48 Laws of Power.

When I conceived of this project, I was going to take it on myself, but I decided to ask you to join me. I thought making this a community initiative would make it richer and more empowering. There's a diversity of knowledge and experience among you, and I invite people of all races, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, class, national origin, etc. to participate. After all, I don't want the deconstruction of the 48 Laws of Power to just reflect my specific history, experience and knowledge as a heterosexual, Afro-Latina female of an urban, working-class upbringing, etc. I want examples from all liberation struggles and principles of living from all cultures.

So how is this going to work?

At least once per week on my blog here (as well as on MySpace for those of you who are members), I will post one of the supposed 48 Laws of Power along with the "judgment' (that's what author Robert Greene calls the brief explanation of the law in his book.)

Then you can post two kind of comments. First, post an example of how the law in question has been used to oppress a given community. Now I have some very brief examples in my initial blog, but I challenge you to strive to be as thorough as Robert Greene in his book. Rep your peeps! Break it down! Tell that untold (or mistold) story. I read your bulletins -- I know what you're capable of.

Or you can post a counter law for freedom. Instead of following the law of "power," what principle can we uphold in its stead? Again, it would be wonderful if you provided examples from liberation struggles to show the application of the law of freedom to show that, yes, people can triumph over oppression without always resorting to the same ideology that is used to dominate and exploit us.

When do we get started?

Now. As soon a I publish this p;ost, I will go back and post the first 48 Law of Power. And remember, this is not only a chance to share with others what you know about your people or cause. It's also an opportunity to learn about that of other and to see the parallels. So please don't just post and bounce. Read other people's comments. Give each other feedback. And most importantly, draw the connection and spread the word.

Like many of our freedom fighter ancestors had done, we have to start devoting as much time and energy in developing and documenting liberatory principles as we do deconstructing the ideas and actions of oppressors


Anonymous said...

i'm totally down.

Unknown said...

Great, Julien! I've posted two so far, and have received some interesting responses both her on Blogger and at my blog on MySpace ( Do weigh in whenever you're ready and able.