Q: What to "Do"?

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el psy congroo
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Joined: 17-11-16
Mar 24 2017 17:35
Q: What to "Do"?

“What should we do then? What’s your proposal?” These are questions I always hear from people.

A lot of people get stuck in this mindset. It can be a dangerous one. Sometimes, our anger and frustration leads us to do things in ways that don’t make any sense from more sober perspectives. Sometimes our eagerness for action leads us to ignore theory.

It’s important to emphasize how broad of a question “what to do?” is. There are so many levels to what a person does. When someone wakes up in the morning, often times they might think, “What am I going do today?”…So the word has a kind of short-term definition.

And then there is also the long-term. For example, people often ask themselves or their friends, “What am I going to do with my life?” When asked in this way, the question has an existentialist character. Or perhaps nihilist.

Furthermore, the question of what to do can be applied to all nations and societies and even civilizations. The bourgeoisie probably has a more unified answer to the question as a class. But in general, people’s thoughts on “what to do?”are very diverse all around the world. This way of atomized, individualized political consciousness surely contributes to the current state of things. If it wasn’t for all the shit ideology, all the harmful ideology, this diversity of thought would be welcomed.

There’s also the question of what to do to survive. For billions and billions of people in the world today, this means selling their “labor power”. Because of the internal structure of the commodity economy, people are forced into playing this game basically from the minute they come into existence. We’re all commodities. We are human commodities. Basically like slaves. We’re taught beginning as early as primary school that will have to have a job or else, pretty much, you die. And this is basically true. Any individual who doesn’t play the game of capitalism and isn’t engaged in any kind of illicit or illegal behavior simply cannot find food for their mouths and shelter for the heads. We don’t really make conscious decisions to perpetuate the system every day, but due to the nature and structure of the system we end up perpetuating it anyways.

It’s often been pointed out, and rightly so, that so-called “personal solutions” simply cannot have any effect on consumer society. The biggest consumers and polluters on the planet by a factor of 100 are (of course) corporations and industry. Personal consumption, no matter how “ethical”, even when reduced to ascetic proportions and adopted by the masses of the population, cannot even take the smallest dent out of the capitalist machine.

So, it’s often pointed out shortly after that so-called “decisive action” is required to end capitalism. Although this phrase has little meaning outside of other contexts, I generally agree. I mean, of course “decisive action” is required to end capitalism. The question is what kind of decisive action? Okay well then people say, “it has to be collective.” This is also something I, duh, also agree with. Who wouldn’t? But as with the phrase “decisive action”, collective action is just as meaningless with no deeper context. These are mostly just terms we hide behind as we try to convert people to anarchism and communism. I mean just think of all the different ways that people act in collective ways that are also completely unconscious — you know, the whole “herd mentality”. Yes lots of things can be collective, lots of things can be decisive, but how close is this get us to our goals? The two most largely cited examples in history, Spanish and Russian revolutions and civil wars, were both very collective and very decisive and they still utterly failed to end capitalism, not just in the various regions of those countries, or those countries as a whole, much less the international bourgeoisie and commodity relations all across the planet.

So the question of “what to do” is so broad it’s almost mind-boggling.

What is decisive action? Is it non-reformist action? Is it violent action? Is it struggles that don’t “partially”address the problems of capitalism? Marx claimed that the biggest threat to communizing elements, which were at his time mostly actions of the industrial working class and in some places an enlightened peasantry, with the state. Plain and simple. He even intended to write a Capital sized work on the state but simply ran out of time his life.

Once again, I have to emphasize the commodity relations don’t arrive from “habits”. Commodity relations arise from the worker and poor peasants need to reproduce their means of subsistence by giving their labor to capitalists. If workers and poor peasants could find another means of reproducing their subsistence, wouldn’t this be revolutionary? The working class is of course the first non-exploiting class of any significant size and history, in order to achieve the classless society for which we aim it only makes sense of course that the proletariat will have to cease existing as a class as well. Is this class suicide? If so, can we commit class suicide on our own terms, when we are ready for the proletariat to die — only long after the deaths of the exploiting classes.

Often times the same people who will say to us that decisive and collective action is needed to stop capitalism will also argue that “withdrawals not an option”. I don’t understand why not. I mean what is a strike? Is a strike not a temporary withdrawal of a large amount of labor from capitalism? Sometimes it’s not even a large amount of labor. Yet people fetishize trading strikes like it’s only way to achieve communism. What if the working masses when on a permanent strike… Starting say… Tomorrow. Would we be closer to ending capitalism? How about a kind of “defeatism”of industry?

Perhaps we should ask the trans-humanists. Perhaps we should ask the techno-fetishists. Perhaps we should ask the fully automated yacht Communists. Perhaps we should ask the Bordigists. Because Science is the new God, and were all going to live forever.

Unless you’re fucking idiot, it’s pretty clear were going to have to reel back if not outright destroyed parts of this industrial monstrosity. I’m not a primitivist, I don’t advocate primitivism, but I do really like some of the actions of the early socialists like the Luddites. Again I’m not advocating form of neo-Ludditism. I’m just saying that man’s obsession with growth and conquering things and “the newer, the bigger, the better” should of course be rejected outrightly. We are not going to overcome our estrangement from nature and our alienation from ourselves, each other, and everything else without fundamentally redefining our relationships to consumption and production at all levels, from the personal to the global.

Capitalism is a non-option, a nuclear stalemate. The bourgeoisie dominates the board but nobody is really winning. As I highlighted before, personal solutions and ethical consumption will do nothing to stop the Leviathan. We need to start discussing rapidly what acting decisively to stop the industrial economy really means. Who is ignoring how we can help the planet? Point them out. Anarchism and communism have to be more creative than they are destructive endeavors. We have to better understand the relationships between individual power and our powers when we come together and collectivize. The bourgeoisie, and even some anarchists, seem to understand the usefulness of Malthusian venom. Too many mass death and mass killing is an option but it simply is not. We have to and up in a situation that’s better, humanity and the world and all the non-human animals can’t afford any more reprisals.

While people march around and complain and bicker about Trump, or advocate the bourgeois climate agreements, we desperately need to start building networks of revolutionary and collective cadres as soon as possible. The reason why there were massive revolutions at just the right time in Russia and in Spain, and even in Germany and other countries with less successful examples, was because people have been organizing and reading theory and politically conscious for a long time. We need to get to that level, in the United States, and Europe and everywhere. We need to start building mutual aid networks. Self-defense groups. As much as it pains me to say, now’s a better time than ever to learn how to shoot a rifle or defend yourself with a big stick. You can’t control when a violent volcano erupts, but you can do your best to prepare for it knowing you live at the base of the mountain.

How do we and capitalism? We have to destroy certain industries. The bourgeois media. Finance. Hydrocarbon. We have to safely shut down all the generation one and two nuclear reactors until better proposals, safer proposals, can be discussed. We have to kill psychology. But we also have to create new things, new infrastructure. We have to do with food production, housing, electricity and energy, water, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, transportation… All these industries must be paralyzed, commandeered, gutted, and rebuilt from the foundation. We need all Internet technology people and hackers on our side. We need doctors and nurses. We need collective farming space. We have to focus on sustainability, a low impact on nature and the world, we need better logistics and more intensive efforts everywhere. All this while facing the stark reality of avoiding being wiped out by police and military forces.

So that’s what’s on my mind about “what to do” right now.

(Written in March 2017. I no longer endorse some of the opinions offered here.)

potrokin
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Joined: 28-05-16
Jul 30 2017 07:41

Due to a couple of serious health problems I have, I am limited in what I can do. I can't afford to get myself in the situation where theres a chance of me being busted by the pigs and risk doing time in prison as I would likely be deprived of my much needed medications and medical equipment and stopping my medication is able to make me ill again with the condition I have. This has put me in a fragile situation both physically and psychologically. So, I just stick to disseminating the anarchist or libertarian socialist perspective (whether it's freesheets, magazines, leaflets or putting up stickers). I also have donated small amounts of money to various anarchist organizations and will continue to do so and I do what I can online to get the anarchist message out there. So, atleast I'm doing something and perhaps offering a different perspective on things and atleast showing people that there is anarchists out there and there is an alternative to capitalism.

el psy congroo
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Joined: 17-11-16
Jul 30 2017 12:38

Thanks for sharing your comments, potrokin, I appreciate the perspectives.

I know what it's like dealing with serious health issues. It's very brave and courageous how much you are still doing, even if you don't see it that way.

For me, the unstoppable drive in me for 'doing politics' has more to do with obsessions and compulsions than heroics. Perhaps I'm not alone in that.

The most important thing that one can do is make sure they're getting the most out of life. This stream-of-consciousness writing is nearly a half-year old today. The former is something I would emphasize more in many cases if I wrote this again today. Also, 'poor peasants'...haha. I suppose such thing no longer exists (and didn't when I wrote this originally, hah)! We're all just chunks of proletarian beef floating around, simmering in the stew of value relations.