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Forum Post: How can we stop demonstrating and start living?

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 27, 2012, 1:01 a.m. EST by maryamethystpeacebot (1)
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Revolutionary rhetoric has ground into us a vague notion that to feel dissatisfied and opressed is a hallmark of higher awareness. We are then prompted to seek issues and entities which represent our enlightened burden - these in turn absolve us of the responsibility to critically consider the motion of opression and the possibility of freedom. Thus we are "opressed" by our student loans (not by our willing pursuit of a college education) and "discontended" by low wages (not that we have consented to work for a wage), 'dissatisfied' with a government which does not appear to represent our interests (not that we have accepted representation as a fact of reality and chosen our interests from a fabricated array). This can be extended from our relationship with specific institutions to the abstractions of 'state', 'society', 'capitalism', 'corporations' and so forth.

We then ask these remainders to grant us alleviation (more wages, more jobs, free college education, a voice in the government), as we remain unable to conceive of a world without these apparent facts looming before us. So far as our vision is limited to a world of what is, to contend with on establishedterms, we cannot imagine any radical transformation of the world we are always creating. As we continue to hold ourselves as servile, to be governed justly at best, to be treated fairly in our exchange, we cannot imagine freedom - we consider it a victory for liberty when we are merely granted easier and pleasanter conditions in which to subsist.

Perishing as we subsist, we will gladly trade our lives for higher wages (our vital surge of creativity - our power - exchanged for the power to purchase tokens of conferrence - from 'socially conscious' corporations, to express our individuality, to represent a lifestyle or aesthetic preference, to 'stand for' what we 'stand for', so we can be recognized by others according to an established structure, empty symbols of our belonging, futile tokens of dignity which do not obtain) - for ideological illusions (our work and thought exchanged for a role in the educated workforce, in the academic or 'creative sector', for a valuation upon our works which marks us as successful, capable and aware, to place ourselves in the service of ideas, causes, and progress, to be informed and up-to-date, to recognize each other by the concepts we have retained, to mediate and prescribe value to our communication and discovery, purpose and accomplishment) - for our slogans of persecution and equality (our selfhood exchanged for a spectre of individuality and unity). By trading ourselves in this way, we make ourselves into currency and demand the same from others. By reducing everything to its utility in a determined spectrum, everything is made too current to reveal its value as our choice.

The abstracted entities with which we strive are legitimized by our pleas and requests - it does not matter if these are spoken gently or harshly, if they represent a single greivance or a culture of discontent in myriad array. If such entities appear to grant us more rights and comforts, we will be held in further captivation-by-acceptance, a mere inverse of captivation-by-rejection. By this we create the conditions for a spectacle of benevolence which can yet be granted and withheld, which is displaced from our responsibility and ownership, and which depends upon lack. The empowerment we strive to reclaim is merely the remnants of ourselves; a freedom which has been and remains our own, but which has been mediated too many times to recognize. The surging thrall of activity which appears to lend us purpose by recruiting our energy to a higher cause will only leave us exhausted. A beautiful fantasy is by far the most potent, and this potency can work in two ways - will we then accept sugared tales and tokens of harmony and progress alongside resentful illusions of destruction - or seize the creative force of imagination for ourselves to bring forth worlds which laugh at every attempt to restrain them in idea or in fact? Let us reveal worlds of possibility which defy all second-hand illusion by their lived reality.

The insurrectionary moment is not one in which we demand more freedom and work out the means to obtain it from some outside source. It is one in which we seize awareness of the freedom which cannot be given us, as it is always and already vitally ours. From this moment we can we begin to recognize the upsurge of freedom, the revelation of our lives as free and finite beings: every structure is already, and has always been, available to us for spontaneous appropriation and radical transformation.

To dwell in protest is to dwell in a vaccum. We must stop demonstrating and start living.

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