(OPE-L) radical research & learning center

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sat Oct 11 2003 - 14:26:43 EDT

"Tranquil Central Mexico" ???

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: radical research & learning center
From: Cliff DuRand <cliffdurand@STARGATE.NET>
Date: Sat, October 11, 2003 1:55 pm



           * vacation

           * retirement

           * radical research & learning center

We have long dreamed of establishing a radical community somewhere in
Mexico.  We have looked for a beautiful, tranquil center for figuring
out collectively how to move beyond our racist, sexist, capitalist
"globalized" world to a better one.  Well, we've found a perfect spot
for it in San Miguel de Allende, three hours north of  Mexico City.
Cliff and Julie spent two months there this winter and now Bob and Betsy
have bought a house there - actually two houses connected by a lovely
garden courtyard. Cliff and Julie are building a house.  We invite you
to consider San Miguel as site for an exciting project -- establishment
of a radical research and learning center.  We hope you will want to
participate in it, starting with discussion of its mission.

San Miguel de Allende is a colonial hill town of around 70,000  --  of
which maybe 4,000 are norteamericanos  --  with cobbled streets,
multi-colored stucco houses, bell-ringing churches and traditional
markets full of fresh produce. At 6,400 ft its air is dry and
unpolluted, in the mid-70's in winter and low-80's in summer.  It has
many artists (mexicanos and norteamericanos), a substantial retired
community, great language and art schools, a rich cultural scene, and
protected historical status (no McDonalds).  It also has lots of
progressives  --  over 500 North Americans and Mexicans came to the Feb.
15 anti-war demo which was blessed by the PAN mayor, a new Peace Center
started up in January, and there is an active EZLN solidarity group. For
a writer's or artist's retreat, it's nearly ideal. We've met a lot of
older radicals there (some younger ones too). It's easy to make friends
and put down roots in San Miguel.  We plan to regularly spend 3-5 months
a year there.  For pictures check out http://insidersma.tripod.com and
for more detailed information go to http://www.infosma.com/

Come to San Miguel to vacation or for retirement.  Round trip air via
Leon or Queretaro airport is (+/-) Chicago $198, New York $439, Los
Angeles $299, plus $27 airport van (sample prices: www.enjoy-mexico.com
<http://www.enjoy-mexico.com> ).  Or to economize, try out Mexico's
excellent bus service by taking a firs class overnight bus from Laredo,

 Housing is plentiful and reasonably priced.  Doubles at the moderate
Hotel Quinta Loreto are $40 a night <hqloreto@terra.com.mx> which is
typical.  Furnished
apartments or houses go for $300 to $800 per mo., depending on proximity
to the center and number of bedrooms  -- proportionally more per week.
Two BR houses run $75,000-100,000 near the center (El Jardin), less as
you get a little farther from El Jardin.  You can walk almost
everywhere.  Living costs are very low: housing aside, a couple can live
for $800-$1500 per mo. or less!  For rental  ideas
<http://www.realestate-sma.com/>  <http://www.casasdesanmiguel.com>

 Besides trying to attract fellow radicals to vacation and even settle
in San
Miguel, we also invite you to join in discussing how to shape a
research/learning center  with leadership shared among both Mexican and
Northamerican RPAers.  Our thinking on this has been influenced by Ivan
Illich's Centro International de Documentation Cultural in Cuernavaca.
From 1966-76 Andre Gorz, Erich Frommand others were attracted to CIDOC
where one could study Spanish, teach and learn.  Visitors gave a lecture
and if there were takers, a course -- meanwhile attending others'
courses.  Illich's De-Schooling Society Ch. 3 is the theory that moved
CIDOC.  Cuernavaca has since grown into a big, noisy, costly and
polluted town.

What we envision in San Miguel is a radical center to discuss, research,
write on and teach about issues such as globalization and its real
alternatives, democracy and civil society, cooperatives, peace, etc.
--and the 'etc.' here is to be defined by those who join in this effort
to help meet the needs of the social movements of our time.  Millions
are in motion,   asserting the faith that  "Another world is possible."
We are extending this invitation to join the discussion to friends in
the Radical Philosophy Association as well as radical economists,
historians, sociologists, and scholars in other fields as well as
activists in anti-war, anti-racist, feminist, pacifist, social forum,
and other social movements.  We hope that this center can become a locus
of North-South (and South-South dialogue), involving thinkers and
activists from Latin America and North America, as well as Africa and

We ask you to endorse this project and welcome your ideas on its
mission.   By August 2004 we plan to host an inaugural
Alter-Globalization Workshop (see attachment).  One or another of us
expect to be in San Miguel from September 2003 to March 2004 and again
in the summer of 2004.  With the culture of fear that is permeating our
nation, you'll welcome the respite.


Cliff and Julie DuRand, Philosophy, Morgan State University (retired)

Bob Stone and Betsy Bowman, NYC bobstone@igc.org  ebowman@igc.org

Other endorsers:

Gabriel Vargas Lozano, Pres., Phil. Assoc. of Mexico

Mauricio Schoijet, UAM Xochimilco, Mexico schoijet@prodigy.net.mx

Ross Gandy, Philosophy & Sociology, UNAM, Mexico< rgandy@prodigy.net.mx>

Kathy Russell, Philosophy, SUNY Cortland  RussellK@cortland.edu

Petrus de Kock, Philosophy, South Africa  PetrusdeKock@cs.com

Fred Evans, Philosophy, Duquesne Univ.  evansf@duq.edu

Milton Fisk, Philosophy, Indiana Univ. (retired)  fiskm@indiana.edu

Jim Munro, Philosophy, Edinboro Univ. (retired)  jimmunro@stargate.net

Ofelia Schutte, Philosophy & Women's Studies, Univ.of South Florida

David Schweickart, Philosophy, Loyola Univ.-Chicago

Otto Begus, Philosophy, Morgan State University  obegus@morgan.edu

Miguel Limia, President, Cuban Social Science Council limia@citma.cu

Humberto Miranda, researcher, Cuban Institute of Philosophy

Emilio Duarte, head, Dept.of Philosophy & Political Theory, Univ. of
Havana eduharte@ffh.uh.cu

Rodney Peffer, Philosophy, Peace & Justice Studies, Univ.of San Diego

Gail Presbey, Philosophy gpresbey1@cs.com

Al Campbell, Economics, Univ. of Utah  al.campbell@mill.econ.utah.edu

Ann Ferguson, Philosophy & Women's Studies, Univ. of Massachussetts

Robert Birt, Philosophy, Morgan State Univ. visionarybirt@aol.com

Jualynne Dodson, Religious Studies, African American & African Studies,
Michigan State Univ.,  dodsonj2@msu.edu

Mario Saenz, Philosophy, LeMoyne College,  saenz@maple.lemoyne.edu

Tsenay Serequeberhan, Philosophy, Morgan State Univ.,  tsenays@aol.com

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