Lauren Stokes on Zamenhof, nationalism, & Raŭmismo

Lauren Stokes has a couple of entries on Zamenhof in her blog BesondersWeg.

Esperanto as Political Commitment? (April 19, 2010)

On Finvenkismo vs. Raŭmismo as sociopolitical strategies for the Esperanto movement. Since English appears to be unbeatable, should we then turn to Raŭmismo as an alternative perspective? Stokes says:

Instead of aggressively propagating the language, Raŭmists want to cultivate it, to “enjoy and apply Esperanto as it effectively is now, independent of its original goals.” They believe that the Esperanto community has developed to the point where it is a unique culture worthy of preservation in its own right, and hope “to show the world that we can also say something – something culturally original and internationally valuable.”

The manifesto also includes a passage stating “that the search of own own identity makes us conceive Esperantism as if it were belonging to a self-created disapora language minority.” Some more extreme Raŭmists take this diaspora minority business very seriously; in recent years a group called Esperanta Civito has even begun arguing that Esperantists should have their own state-like representation in world affairs.
She goes on to say:
Many Esperantists today are all about minority language rights, which is cool, because minority language rights are often a good thing, but it still seems to me that the rhetoric around minority language rights accepts the logic of the linguistic nation and of national identification at face value and thus retreats from the radical critique of nationalism offered by Zamenhof and early Esperanto.

Early Esperanto was an attempt to think outside of the linguistic-cultural-national logic entirely by promoting a self-conscious universalism which actually became a form of anti-nationalism.
She concludes:
So I can’t imagine Zamenhof ever wanted Esperantists to think of themselves as a diaspora linguistic minority, and I can’t imagine that he would be completely on board with the present idea that Esperanto should seek to preserve other languages.
You'll have to read the rest to fill in the blanks. But note that she also references this important book:

Guardians of the Nation: Activists on the Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria by Pieter M. Judson.

She also offers a YouTube video of an Esperanto rendition of the Beach Boys hit "Do You Wanna Dance?"

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Zamenhof and Me (February 17, 2010)

Resumeto pri Zamenhof, precipe pri liaj socipolitikaj ideoj. / Summary of Zamenhof's trajectory with emphasis on his sociopolitical ideas.

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