This month’s Just Be Cause starts off, quite frankly, like an undergraduate posting to a Japan-related forum hoping to get the regulars to do his homework for him. I’ll just look at a couple of points, although there is lots more no doubt my readers will wish to look at.
the top-down approach: the egg before the chicken
Recently, his articles have been relatively free from tortured metaphors and cliches, so it’s nice to see the return of a or two.
Moreover, many of the great grassroots successes in history got lucky. Mahatma Gandhi’s grass-roots achievement of Indian independence was aided by the fact that the grip of the British Empire had been weakened by two world wars. Nelson Mandela was lucky not to meet the same fate as Steve Biko, and to see a more liberal South African government in his lifetime.
“Lucky” seems a quite out of place word to describe these two great men’s life works; “fortunate” is slightly less poor, but I’d say that, for example, Dr Arudou was fortunate (from his own point of view) to be turned away from a sento, as that gave him the hook to hang his career on.
However, this leaves me to ponder that since he mentioned the luck of these greats, does he reckon it is just ill fortune that he does not have his seat in the pantheon of human rights activists? If only there had been a passing TV camera when he dressed up as Tama chan!