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Breaking out.

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yozzee
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Joined: 4-07-04
Dec 14 2004 23:23
Breaking out.

Continuing the Situationist theme, in his conclusion to 'Leaving the 20th Century' Chris Gray mentions the trap that most Lefty groups fall into when they start blaming the workers for not understanding. These groups, and he includes the Situationists, and I'd include some anarchists, think the people are too thick to understand what's happening to them. While the Situationists came up with an excellent analysis of modern capitalism and described the nightmare he felt they hit a brick wall because the workers already know what's happening.

Raising awareness isn't the problem, we all know we are living in a rat race and most of us given the chance would leave it behind if we could. The problem isn't that people don't know what's going on it's that people don't know what to do about it. It's like a form of mass paralysis.

So do you reckon there is an answer, a strategy to break out of this mass paralysis? Maybe it needs shock tactics or maybe something more subtle and individual. No right or wrong way, what do you reckon?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Joined: 23-01-04
Dec 16 2004 19:48

The Gray book has a few mighty cartoons, not great translations though (apparently).

I'd agree, people do know that the existence offered in capitalist society is largely monotonous, boring and saps all the life from you. People know life is shit and that theyre getting ass raped each day. Its just that groups keep turning up and saying this in more elaborate and stylish ways!

What do we do? Clearly we can only go foward, towards revolution, through experimenting with ideas and actions. I think that the change has to primarily take place in the workplace, the heart of the system. The old actions of strikes, sabotage and occupations are stiil, i believe, the most effective in this sense. However these are all primary actions that are supposed to lead to greater things. As for a catalyst i really dont know, what would ignite revolt? The problem is that the monotony and familiarity of work/exploitation creates the idea of formality, which leads to the notion that the system that exists now will exist forever, thats life, its just the way things are. Such a stance is clearly ridiculous but it is prevelant. We have to show the huge possibilities that are dormant within the capitalist system, the possible freedom of expression and freedom from restraints that could prevail if we were to do away with the capitalist system that orders all else. We need to occupy a factory or a printing press, or any industrial complex in order to really experiment with the ideas of free expression and providing materially for all, whilst simultaneously slashing the degree to which work dominates our average day. There needs to be an example, not as a system or idea to follw necessarily, just to prove that capitalist organisation isnt perpetual or invincible, that it is possible to go beyond it.

Wendal
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Joined: 4-11-04
Dec 16 2004 21:31

If it is clear that people nows what is going on then it is most important to show them that another world is possible.

Anarchoneilist
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Joined: 10-12-04
Dec 18 2004 18:11
yozzee wrote:

Raising awareness isn't the problem, we all know we are living in a rat race and most of us given the chance would leave it behind if we could. The problem isn't that people don't know what's going on it's that people don't know what to do about it. It's like a form of mass paralysis.

So do you reckon there is an answer, a strategy to break out of this mass paralysis? Maybe it needs shock tactics or maybe something more subtle and individual. No right or wrong way, what do you reckon?

I've recently come to the conclusion that crime (or most crime commited by the poor anyway,some people are just nasty as well as/instead of stupid) is the most common form of social protest.

People don't know what to do.They know they should be better off.They know,I hope, that people who earn 100x more can't possibly work 100x harder.I guess crime is the easiest thing for some people,unfortunately it gives Hate Mail readers even more reason to hate working class people (despite more crime being commited by the middle classes)

red n black star

Mystic
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Joined: 14-01-04
Dec 18 2004 19:44

There are different kinds of crime though - like robbing some poor granny at knifepoint compared to burgling some rich cunt in Chelsea. The prison system (prison guards etc), wealth gap, social segregation etc actually encourages crime to give the bosses an excuse for their big tough police force and closing down even more opportunites for poor kids. So yeah, while I'll always support criminals against the rich, crime is a two-edged weapon imo.

gangster
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Joined: 14-11-03
Dec 20 2004 19:30
Anarchoneilist wrote:
yozzee wrote:

Raising awareness isn't the problem, we all know we are living in a rat race and most of us given the chance would leave it behind if we could. The problem isn't that people don't know what's going on it's that people don't know what to do about it. It's like a form of mass paralysis.

So do you reckon there is an answer, a strategy to break out of this mass paralysis? Maybe it needs shock tactics or maybe something more subtle and individual. No right or wrong way, what do you reckon?

I've recently come to the conclusion that crime (or most crime commited by the poor anyway,some people are just nasty as well as/instead of stupid) is the most common form of social protest.

People don't know what to do.They know they should be better off.They know,I hope, that people who earn 100x more can't possibly work 100x harder.I guess crime is the easiest thing for some people,unfortunately it gives Hate Mail readers even more reason to hate working class people (despite more crime being commited by the middle classes)

red n black star

Yes, i certainly think you have a point. There's a book (Crime and Modernity) on this website by an eminent criminologist (and he's not the only one) that says so too;

http://www.bunker8.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk

JoeMaguire's picture
JoeMaguire
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Joined: 26-09-03
Dec 24 2004 11:20
Anarchoneilist wrote:
yozzee wrote:

People don't know what to do.They know they should be better off.They know,I hope, that people who earn 100x more can't possibly work 100x harder.I guess crime is the easiest thing for some people,unfortunately it gives Hate Mail readers even more reason to hate working class people (despite more crime being commited by the middle classes)

red n black star

To be fair even revolutionaries dont know what to do, so we shouldnt paint ourselves as knowing more, but commiting yourself to progressive resistance is a starting point...and from that hopefully something new can be made