“The Coming Insurrection,” : To be or not to be?

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remind remind's picture
“The Coming Insurrection,” : To be or not to be?

Now...I don't remember any particular conversations around here about this book and the "Invisible Company" , and there are archives to search back to, so I thought a bit of banter was in order, seeings as how it has recently been surfacing in NY.

Is it dilettante pursuits de jour? Or an actual growing movement, of some type?

Quote:
They arrived at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square in small groups on Sunday afternoon, proceeding two and three at a time to the fourth floor, where they browsed among shelves holding books by authors like Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger.

By 5 o’clock a crowd of more than 100 had gathered. Their purpose: to celebrate the publication of an English translation of a book called “The Coming Insurrection,” which was written two years ago by an anonymous group of French authors who call themselves the Invisible Committee. More recently, the volume has been at the center of an unusual criminal investigation in France that has become something of a cause célèbre among leftists and civil libertarians.

The book, which predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture, was inspired by disruptive demonstrations that took place over the last few years in France and Greece.

Liberating Lipsticks and Lattes

 

Quote:
From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. “The future has no future” is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks. 

The sphere of political representation has come to a close. From left to right, it’s the same nothingness striking the pose of an emperor or a savior, the same sales assistants adjusting their discourse according to the findings of the latest surveys. Those who still vote seem to have no other intention than to desecrate the ballot box by voting as a pure act of protest. We’re beginning to suspect that it’s only against voting itself that people continue to vote. Nothing we’re being shown is adequate to the situation, not by far. In its very silence, the populace seems infinitely more mature than all these puppets bickering amongst themselves about how to govern it. The ramblings of any Belleville chibani contain more wisdom than all the declarations of our so-called leaders. The lid on the social kettle is shut triple-tight, and the pressure inside continues to build. From out of Argentina, the specter of Que Se Vayan Todos is beginning to seriously haunt the ruling class.

Link to the book

ennir

Thank you for both those links, the review of the Barnes & Noble event was great.  I am going to have to go back for a second read of the book.

remind remind's picture

Yes, it is an interesting read, and perhaps some will read it, and hear too.

The world is at the tipping point, me thinks, it will be outright global dictatorship by the Forbes 500 list,  and their lackey's, or revolution for freedom from their sociopathic supremist patriarchy. The shades of gray have diappeared.

Slumberjack

I'm willing to do my part by digging out another room in my survival bunker if anyone's interested.

remind remind's picture

A little soon for that, as I am sure Canadians will just roll over and shove their bellies in the air, waiting for an occasional rub from their masters, while hoping no one comes for them.

Slumberjack

Sorry, we don't do any of that sort of thing in my bunker.

remind remind's picture

So did you read any of their book or are you just here to deflect from it?

ennir

I am hoping we have more options than that, I am for peaceful solutions.

I am going to read it through a second time, just from my first reading I can see why it is considered alarming to some.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Interesting. I noted on one of the many Iran threads how simillar mainstream coverage of the 2005 revolt in France was to the kind of coverage we are seeing from Iranian authorities to the unrest there. Rioters, arsonists, terrorists and so forth. The comparison was dismissed of course, because the rioters themselves were to blame for the violence in the west, while in Iran, it was the regieme that was the cause, according to the same media sources.

remind remind's picture

Yes, I hear  you cue, and I am in fact hearing your words more every day.

How fast the global oil, energy, gas and mining concerns are gobbling up land and natural resources, here in BC, after the election, and now seeing their actions in Peru, Honduras, Gaza and Iran, one cannot IMV escape the reality, pretty much all options are gone, other than disrupting social order, or turning over for a belly rub that will never come.

mmphosis

Mayhaps now that Obama is president, Fox News is pushing the apocalyptic.

 

We're celebrating the recession by expanding.
– Paul Graham

 

The only people for me are the mad ones,
the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk,
mad to be saved, desirous of everything at
the same time, the ones who never yawn or
say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn,
burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles
exploding like spiders across the stars...
– Jack Kerouac

 

To be.  Insurrection is not to be.

 

The anarchists had a meeting, no one showed up.

Papal Bull

What's the insurrection about? I mean, if we're all going to roll on our bellies and take a pat, then what are we rolling over about? Some vague capitalist exploiter that can't quite be named? Some evil red threat that was never really there?

 

The insurrection will never happen because its leaders are lazy.

remind remind's picture

Yes, I doubt it too.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Papal Bull wrote:

What's the insurrection about? I mean, if we're all going to roll on our bellies and take a pat, then what are we rolling over about? Some vague capitalist exploiter that can't quite be named? Some evil red threat that was never really there?

 

The insurrection will never happen because its leaders are lazy.

Vague? People world over seem pretty unified in their antipathy for corporate rule. Resistance itself can be an object, since resistance stalls the process of subjugation. One does not consider the success of resistance of those in Hitler's concentration camps merely on the terms of whether or not they survived as the objective standard upon which their resistance had value.

NDPP
Cueball Cueball's picture

No one seemed to doubt the right of Iranians to take up arms against the state, distrupt social order, rally in mass, block traffic, throw stones, and attack police stations. Everyone seemed to think that was a just response to injustice.

Some have suggested that what we are seeing is a social movement that began in France, and moved to Greece, and now appeared in Iran. Just a thought.

ennir

If I understood the article then apathy may be part of the process of insurrection, the lack of will or energy to engage in a system that is so clearly a failure may lead to new solutions.

If we could find ways to share resources and be more self-sufficient, as in grow/raise more of our own food, we could extricate ourselves from having to work the 9 - 5 or 9 -9 or two or three jobs that are part-time. It seems to me a great failure on our part that we can't imagine another way to live, instead we are stuck in some kind of king/serf dynamic with delusions that we can all be kings.  LOL  Or queens.

 

remind remind's picture

"instead we are stuck in some kind of king/serf dynamic with delusions that we can all be kings.  LOL  Or queens."

Exactly,  instead of realizing no one should be, not even ourselves.

The myth of the king has feet of clay. ';)

Erik Redburn

The conditions for insurrection may be there in most parts of the world but the grounds for rebuilding anything better aren't.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

The ground is ripe for rebuilding. Are you saying we don't want the democracy that they dangle before us? That the technology to make it real isn't real itself?

Slumberjack

Not everyone who has a share or a part in the existing condition is a product of it.  Some are not what they are expected to be, but just exist because there is nothing else. 

I'll probably wind up reading the book a dozen or so more times.  Or perhaps not.  Some of the underlying themes and solutions are a little disturbing to say the least.  It leaves large swaths of humanity on the outside...to what end can only be imagined.  

The danger in this book lies not within the call to organize along the lines presented, but in laying the seeds for the rise of a Paul Pot figure to emerge from the ruins of western society, charasmatic, ruthless, where even newborns are plucked from their mothers to prevent the creation of family structures where individual desires might compete against the commune's desire to incubate collective behavior within the young, in order to perpetuate itself.  Wouldn't love eventually become a forbidden emotion where ones immediate needs could be found anywhere.  How would relationships even exist, and who would want to initiate one?

martin dufresne

I find it surprising that you could float out these rhetorical questions if you have read the book. It says precisely the opposite, deploring all that keeps us from truly intense relationships and sharing.

remind remind's picture

martin dufresne wrote:
I find it surprising that you could float out these rhetorical questions if you have read the book. It says precisely the opposite, deploring all that keeps us from truly intense relationships and sharing.

Agreed, and it seems weird tha 'jack, would float such misinformation.

Slumberjack

In such a construct, even the simple task of organizing an odd person rush to the outhouses would quickly degenerate into anarchy without the formulation of some sort of 'steering committee.'  Such gatherings have a funny way of morphing into an entity which sees its task as setting the agenda for others to follow, or else. 

What is weird but entirely predictable though, is when people chance upon a new religion and then turn outward towards any form of critique with suspicion and ridicule.  If any communal way forward, as outlined in the book, is comprised of people with similar mindsets as this, the chances of success are minimal at best.  Usually though, we see them defending their own patriarchal political interests in the meantime, or dear parties as the case were, regardless of their usefulness.

The author, or writers spend an inordinate amount of effort in devising ways and means to confront the reactionary forces of the state, with it's endless supply of fodder that can be thrown against the gaps when and where they surface.  If WW1 showed anything, it demonstrated that it does not matter how many need to be sacrificed.  The only issue is where to find replacements.  Globalization has already provided the solution, if you run out, simply import more corporately indentured security from other regions. They seem to believe that winning the battle against drones, or even turning some of the drones, will eventually provide the conditions to establish the new existence.  The oligarchy would ultimately just nuke the problem if it became large enough, including all the drones currently engaged at their behest, cities and all, to contain or eliminate the cancerous growth.

They touched upon several instances about acquiring databases of names, local authorities, police, government leaders, etc.  None of these are irreplaceable, and what would come might very well be far worst that what was taken out.  In a state of emergency, the dire possibilities are endless.  They're starting at the wrong place imv, on the streets or squirreled away in hovels planning the next non-physical confrontation to achieve maximum disruption.  Even localized, or widespread as they hope it will become, the oligarchy will prepare for itself other means, or even diminished levels if need be, to continue its current way of life.  They'd obliterate everything else that doesn't serve them.  The solution is not to be found in beating ones head against the wall, but in bringing down those that create and maintain the walls.

remind remind's picture

' but in bringing down those that create and maintain the walls." seems to me the writers address this.

Slumberjack

Ultimately, the end result they hope for is that the entire population, or whatever is left of it, will simply no longer respond in any way to its masters.  The power bases that sustain the masters will then shrivel to nothing and disappear along with the owners.  The price to be paid towards such an approach is unimaginably high.  The French initially had the right idea during the revolution in making selected heads roll, but then it desended into an orgy of outright murder and revenge killings.  Purity of the prevailing thought unleashed through newly acquired powers against the impurities.

Erik Redburn

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

The ground is ripe for rebuilding. Are you saying we don't want the democracy that they dangle before us? That the technology to make it real isn't real itself?

 

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but no, I don't believe the grounds for rebuilding something better are there, even if the seeds of revolution are.  The technology maybe, the people -maybe some- but we -including myself- haven't done the ground work necessary.  The average North American remains ignorant of whats going down and why, and the left is still hopelessly divided and bound by our own inward looking habits.  And another generation down the road there won't be the resources to rebuild with, if we don't start doing the work that needs to be done now.  To be clear, its not entirely the fault of "the left" as weve all been effectively marginilized and dismissed; we just can't expect the average guy to do the heavy lifting for us let alone take the risks.  Protests are only a symptom of discontent, a useful one at times perhaps but not by themself a path to change.

Slumberjack

It isn't solely the fault of the left, they've never had a real chance in North America at least, to prove themselves on a large scale as incompetent lackeys like the rest of the entrenched interests.  Unfortunately, the signs are clear that little of substance would be achieved if their turn at the trough materialized in any meaningful way.  The authors point out that the left are false prophets, to be lumped in with all the other miscreants that control and destroy everything.  I can't say that there's anything to argue about on that account.

These 'invisible' people spurn alliances with the entire spectrum of political movement, seeking to supplant it all with a new form of non-hierarchal communism.  Even leftist groups that hold open their arms in solidarity with some of their causes are to be shown the finger of indifference, because they see such a gesture as just another attempt to control and orchestrate, not unlike what presently exists.

All the same, it's a fascinating read, and it did make Glenn Beck's eyes bulge out even further than normal.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I must say I found the link to 'Pacifism as Pathology' very interesting. I often feel as though I'm watching the fascists building the prison around me - cementing control of the media, military, police and politics.

...and I'm not doing much more than complaining here.

Slumberjack

The cement has cured long ago.  Don't vote for any of it for starters, that's something.  Help organize a don't vote campaign.  A lot can be done to spread the word with little monetary investment.  All those supposed values and ideas of the left that will never see the light of day from their official offices should those come into being, the environment, equitable distribution of industrial wealth, just society stuff, block out the lies,  Every house can become it's own commune of sorts, even if it's a commune of one initially.  Networking can help pass around ideas towards generating positive personal growth which can benefit those interested in the same perspectives, and away from the rush towards oblivion that prevails within all of the dominant institutions.  Stop playing the game that will never cease paying out to very few winners.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Quote:
The cement has cured long ago.  

I'm glad to be able to say that I'm not quite paranoid enough to agree with you on that yet.

...however, it's setting as I type.

Slumberjack

I guess it's fine to extrapolate a little from the perspective of the invisibles.  The thread is after all about possible outcomes that can't really be examined properly unless one assumes the mantra for awhile.  It's not like I want to become an invisible mercenary anytime soon, lets be clear.  At any rate, I'm not at all convinced that it can be done in the way they suggest. 

As far as non-participation goes, we talk incessantly about change while pinning our hopes on those who bear the promise, yet in the few examples on record where these supposed agents of change have locally presided, we see that the provided support merely serves to prop up the same rotting corpse.  Yes, everything requires concerted action, and you have to wonder about the stagnant numbers on the left, against the numbers of those who have utterly disengaged from the existing political processes.  Apparently, they seem to grasp that which the left refuses to acknowledge, and they know from the Left's actions, statements, inaction and non-statements the grim reality of being bereft of representation.  Fifteen million collective votes out of twenty three million registered voters, in a country comprised of over thirty million people.  Eight million people voted for none of the above by staying home in 2006. 

Of course, we could go on ad nauseum about the Right, but why waste valuable time on the zombies.  What point is there in assigning responsibility to the walking dead from the neck up, they hear nothing.  What remains for the disenfranchised to consider then is two alternatives, one a flat lined stiff of an organization afraid of its own shadows, virulently opposed to even formulating and announcing progressive values, and certainly disdainful of constructive criticism of its contradictions, or a variety of underground counter cultures where people are inexorably drawn towards out of abandonment.  I believe there is fault to be apportioned after all.  I also believe that the corpse should be mercifully buried so that a reincarnation can occur.  When the left finally ceases to present themselves as prospective guardians of the status quo, and through deeds unapologetically learns to take ownership of the solutions required to address the real issues, instead of leaving it to anonymous groups and individuals to pass the truth around amongst themselves, then something might come of it.  Frankly, I give the far fetched invisibles better odds for arriving there first.

Erik Redburn

I understand your point, Slumberjack, on how easy it is for the left to become diverted by others with less than radical or even progressive intentions, but I'm afriad I have to averr somewhat on this too.  Just giving "the finger" to others who we may not see as committed enough to equality has been overdone IMV too, even "liberals" now like to say why bother when the "whole system" is corrupt, all politicians are "the same" etc etc, but then do Nada to change any of it.  As if the statement is enough.   The old hippies liked to talk about "dropping out" but I don't think that's an option anymore with everything thats happening around us, while the old anarchist view that we can do anything without any rules laid down by the group ignores the fact that pretty much everything we all depend requires concerted action.  We don't even have the numbers anymore to build a more communal alternatives, at least nnot enough to counter everything else that'll just carry on if the left refuses to engage.  Maybe the answer is that the left can just see that taking part in mainstream politics is just another unpleasant necessity where we are now, while working to expand their own influence outward and drawing others to their own models and ideas.  I really can't see any other way, where we are now.    

 

And where we are now is highly unlikley to produce any living circumnstances even for any small alternative movements or hidden groups.  Anyone seen as "left" will be the first eliminated by the states in its dying throes anyhow.

Erik Redburn

I see your point, and I wouldn't argue against what you think is for the best.  I've never felt as alienated from the whole democratic process myself than now. 

But for me, to effectively turn our backs on what limited alternatives there still are in favour of other X factors, just gives the 'zombies' free reign over whats left of that rotting corpse -which includes most the rest of us-- while fighting to take the NDP and their public sector allies back to its more progressive reformist roots makes more sense.  Especially when so many rightwingers have worked so hard just to achieve this level of general public disinterest.   I don't see why this couldn't be done at the same time as turning our collective attention to other things we can do outside the existing sad state of democracy. 

We may not have the numbers or resources to rebuild society as small isolated cooperatives but using both strategies might draw others in as well, and help keep both sides of the equation in somewhat closer allignment.  Or at least drifting in somewhat the same direction.   Even protests for example, would be more effective with a government in power that at least has supporters who are or were part of them and therefore more likley to respond to some of demands.  Thats mostly what I'm getting at here. 

I'm not dead-set against revolutionary changes, as they too can be brought about a number of more constructive ways, given the right conditions and times. 

Jacob Richter

Slumberjack: Non-violent resistance, organized civil disobedience, and so on are better paths to "revolution" than any form of protest.

 

What is proposed in "The Coming Insurrection" is yet another iteration of the failed "mass strike" strategy that traces its lineage from Bakunin to Sorel to Luxemburg and the whole ultra-left of the Second International. 

 

Quote:
These 'invisible' people spurn alliances with the entire spectrum of political movement

 

In turn, the "mass strike" strategy (entailing the insurrectionary general strike, politically muddled "direct action," and so forth) was an infantile reaction to what you've described: a coalitionist strategy.

 

The social-democratic/reformist notion of entering into governments as a majority, coalition majority, or coalition minority is in fact another "get rich quick scheme."  They do so merely implement reforms (meaningful or otherwise), and in so doing never pose the question of workers taking power through specific political measures known publicly beforehand:

1) Replacing the judiciary with sovereign commoner juries;

2) Public officials as we know them today to have standards of living comparable to the public at large ("average workers' wage");

3) Recallability of all officials;

4) Suppression of the public debt and expropriation of the entire banking system;

5) Full freedom of class-strugglist assembly and association, even for soldiers (addressing anti-employment backlashes, formal political disenfranchisement as a backlash, police infiltrators, etc.);

6) The right to bear arms extended so that people's militias can be formed with free training for weapons usage (even the reformist and revisionist Bernstein advocated this);

7) Shorter workweeks without loss of pay or benefits in order to facilitate public participation in politics;

8) Etc.

 

A more mature, patient, but most revolutionary strategy can be found in Revolutionary Strategy: Marxism and the Challenge of Left Unity by Mike Macnair.

Sven Sven's picture

Jacob Richter wrote:

2) Public officials as we know them today to have standards of living comparable to the public at large ("average workers' wage");

Yep.  Public officials are certainly overpaid today.  [IMG]http://i34.tinypic.com/11raq06.gif[/IMG]

 

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Jacob Richter

I was talking in a global context.  I am aware of MP pay levels (which are, methinks a tad bit too high, but not overbloated like Congressmen and Senator pay levels, or MP pay levels in the UK).  Go read up on the Paris Commune and agency theory.

Also, "average workers' wage" is a crude way to address the standard of living problem that puts politicians "out of touch" with the public at large.  It is certainly one measure to be used, but only one amongst others.

Sven Sven's picture

Jacob Richter wrote:

I was talking in a global context.  I am aware of MP pay levels (which are, methinks a tad bit too high, but not overbloated like Congressmen and Senator pay levels, or MP pay levels in the UK).  Go read up on the Paris Commune and agency theory.

The salary of a US Senator is an "overbloated" $174,000.  They have a home in their home state and a home in (very expensive) Washington DC.

So, what would happen if their salaries got cut substantially?  The only people who could then afford to be a Senator would be people who were already rich (which is largely, but not completely, the case already -- but cutting the salary amount would only exacerbate that problem).

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

martin dufresne

Poor, poor politicians... It's a wonder thay can afford the occasional plane trip to Argentina...

Slumberjack

Jacob Richter wrote:
  Slumberjack: Non-violent resistance, organized civil disobedience, and so on are better paths to "revolution" than any form of protest.  What is proposed in "The Coming Insurrection" is yet another iteration of the failed "mass strike" strategy that traces its lineage from Bakunin to Sorel to Luxemburg and the whole ultra-left of the Second International. 

Organization, structure, the desire to be led, and to lead, is the very thing that they see as having caused the destruction or impotence of those other movements.  Once you've identified yourself, organized, and appointed a spokesperson, you've already initiated the process whereby the initial values are up for barter.  Depending on the activities engaged in, it makes it all the more easier for the activities to be ameliorated by the state.  The movement which reveals itself can only survive if they comply with the conditions that permit their existence, through being bound to the stake of the dominant legalities, and through the gradual whittling away of whatever was initially stuck in the craw of the organization, while leaving the sub-cutaneous shard unattended.  Even mass strikes in the traditional sense requires a permit.

Discussing compensation levels among politicians is part of the dance around symptoms.  More is never enough, as the bar is always adjusted higher in order to regain footing on the supply and demand mouse wheel, which creates the conditions for briefcase toting lobbyists to apply their craft.  Supplemental income and patronage handsomely fills the void between fiscal cycles of self-generated percentage increases, which are always far in excess of the crumbs that fall off the table for everyone else.  Basically it's a useless endeavour to try and analyze it to the extent of believing that a solution exists within such a structure.

Sven Sven's picture

martin dufresne wrote:

Poor, poor politicians... It's a wonder thay can afford the occasional plane trip to Argentina...

Well, as you probably know, I'm not a big fan of politicians and bureaucrats generally.  So, I really don't give a hoot about them personally.  Rather, I'm looking at this practically: Unless it is desirable for only rich people to run for Senate, then Sentators need to be paid more than "the average working wage".

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Snert Snert's picture

I've always been interested in the similarities between "the revolution" and "the rapture".  In both cases:

  • Do they give the downtrodden something to hope for?  Yes!
  • Will the faithful be rewarded?  Yes!
  • Will the wicked be punished?  Yes!
  • Will the rivers run red with the blood of the [sinners | Capitalists]?  Definitely!  Very red!
  • What will follow?  Paradise, man, paradise!
  • Are they both right around the corner?  For sure!!
  • OK, really, are they going to happen anytime soon?  Probably no.

Slumberjack

So said the Russians, French, Americans, and the Cubans.

remind remind's picture

Snert wrote:
I've always been interested in the similarities between "the revolution" and "the rapture".  In both cases:

  • Do they give the downtrodden something to hope for?  Yes!
  • Will the faithful be rewarded?  Yes!
  • Will the wicked be punished?  Yes!
  • Will the rivers run red with the blood of the [sinners | Capitalists]?  Definitely!  Very red!
  • What will follow?  Paradise, man, paradise!
  • Are they both right around the corner?  For sure!!
  • OK, really, are they going to happen anytime soon?  Probably no.
 
  • Do they give the downtrodden something to hope for?  No, not in the case of "the rapture" people's beliefs, first of all as rich white Christians are hardly down trodden, though they do like to pay the victim lots. secondly, they do not want the down troden inhabiting the world with them, only the rich have the right to exist.
  • Will the faithful be rewarded?  No, not in the case of the revolutionary peoples, as most do not ascribe to "faith" and the only reward seen is equality for all.
  • Will the wicked be punished?  No, not in the case of the revolutionary peoples, unless the rich believe that their being stripped of the ability to exploit others is punishment.
  • Will the rivers run red with the blood of the [sinners | Capitalists]?  No, not in the case of social revolutionaries, it would seem only the religious are blood thirsty punishers.
  • What will follow?  On the part of social reformers day to life, I never met one who believes life will be paradise, unlike the religious who appear to believe they will sit around with God smiling serenely and do apparently nothing.
  • Are they both right around the corner?  Only in the case of the rapture peoples who think it is 2012, social reformers know that things are built and that building takes time.
  • OK, really, are they going to happen anytime soon?  Probably no. Perhaps you should be speaking to the rapture peoples, as social justice reformers, like yourself, understand things take time.

RosaL

Snert wrote:

I've always been interested in the similarities between "the revolution" and "the rapture".  In both cases 

 

There's a tradition of apocalyptic literature in Judaism and Christianity. The "rapture", on the other hand, was invented by a 19th century Englishman. The historical connections between apocalyptic and revolutionary socialism have long been noted. Are you implying that such relationships and similarities somehow devalue or refute revolutionary socialism? Karl Marx didn't think they did! 

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Are you implying that such relationships and similarities somehow devalue or refute revolutionary socialism?

 

I just think that both have a lot of people waiting and hoping and expecting and talking about an event that's probably never going to come.

 

Quote:
Karl Marx didn't think they did! 

 

I suppose he wouldn't. Mind you, he did astutely note that "religion is the opium of the masses", what with their promises of better times to come for those that hold the faith. Could he never have imagined that could include those who continue to wait for the revolution?

RosaL

Snert wrote:

I suppose he wouldn't. Mind you, he did astutely note that "religion is the opium of the masses", what with their promises of better times to come for those that hold the faith. Could he never have imagined that could include those who continue to wait for the revolution?

 

1) the point of the "opium of the masses" critique was that religion reconciles people to their present misery. Are you arguing that "hope for the revolution" reconciles people to their misery? What should they be doing instead: working harder? voting 'correctly'? investing?

2) You don't "wait for the revolution", you make it! 

3) It's a fairly bizarre critique Wink

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Are you arguing that "hope for the revolution" reconciles people to their misery?

 

In a sense, I suppose, though really I just think it gives people a false hope. I don't think people become "OK" with their misery now, in anticipation of paradise later, but I think a lot of people end up focused on some kind of specific and pure event that will make everything better.

 

And for what it's worth, I hope for change too, but I guess I'm more inclined to see it coming by way of evolution than by revolution, and I doubt I'll live to see it played out to a state of perfection.

 

Quote:
It's a fairly bizarre critique

 

Just an observation, really.

Slumberjack

Persistently it seems, in the absence of clues to rub together, or through inability to internalize the least bit of concern, a yearning among people for even the slightest realization of justice becomes mockingly reduced to a delusional search for utopia, the pre-occupation of quixotic dupes.  Its but one of the standard means employed to disregard the peasantry while confining them to existing conditions, by creating and populating the fallacy, because after all, irrationality doesn't require the courtesy of being listened to, only to be medicated and if need be, restrained.

Equality itself becomes a fantastic odyssey, and while amusing to observe for some, it is no less of a distant hope for others.  The equality that comes with the stark realization that if it isn't good for me, then it isn't ideal for others and I should do something about it.  If it poisons or harms me, then why would I wish it upon others.  Even that miniscule of an objective is treated with derision by those that amuse themselves at the expense and to the detriment of others.

NDPP

Forget shorter showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/08

"Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance.."

Jacob Richter

Slumberjack wrote:

Jacob Richter wrote:
  Slumberjack: Non-violent resistance, organized civil disobedience, and so on are better paths to "revolution" than any form of protest.  What is proposed in "The Coming Insurrection" is yet another iteration of the failed "mass strike" strategy that traces its lineage from Bakunin to Sorel to Luxemburg and the whole ultra-left of the Second International. 

Organization, structure, the desire to be led, and to lead, is the very thing that they see as having caused the destruction or impotence of those other movements.  Once you've identified yourself, organized, and appointed a spokesperson, you've already initiated the process whereby the initial values are up for barter.  Depending on the activities engaged in, it makes it all the more easier for the activities to be ameliorated by the state.  The movement which reveals itself can only survive if they comply with the conditions that permit their existence, through being bound to the stake of the dominant legalities, and through the gradual whittling away of whatever was initially stuck in the craw of the organization, while leaving the sub-cutaneous shard unattended.  Even mass strikes in the traditional sense requires a permit.

Discussing compensation levels among politicians is part of the dance around symptoms.  More is never enough, as the bar is always adjusted higher in order to regain footing on the supply and demand mouse wheel, which creates the conditions for briefcase toting lobbyists to apply their craft.  Supplemental income and patronage handsomely fills the void between fiscal cycles of self-generated percentage increases, which are always far in excess of the crumbs that fall off the table for everyone else.  Basically it's a useless endeavour to try and analyze it to the extent of believing that a solution exists within such a structure.

In response to your last sentence (and briefly): isn't that the point of political and social revolutions?

Re. your first paragraph: Spontaneism is actually a form of utopianism (literally: "going nowhere").  Despite Snert's politics, spontaneism on the left is indeed the apocalyptic notion that the masses will rise up in the end times, so there's no need to organize today.  Sorry, but I don't agree with the authors' quasi-Luxemburgist ****.  There's no real link between the structured organization of the pre-war SPD (Lenin's party model, in fact) and its vote for war credits.

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