Your Politics Are Boring As Fuck

Discussion in 'Anarchy' started by Shane99X, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Shane99X

    Shane99X Senior Member

    I read this about a 2 weeks ago. It has had me questioning shit ever since....

    Your Politics Are Boring As Fuck
    by Nadia C.

    Face it, your politics are boring as fuck.
    You know it's true. Otherwise, why does everyone cringe when you say the word? Why has attendance at your anarcho-communist theory discussion group meetings fallen to an all—time low? Why has the oppressed proletariat not come to its senses and joined you in your fight for world liberation?

    Perhaps, after years of struggling to educate them about their victimhood, you have come to blame them for their condition. They must want to be ground under the heel of capitalist imperialism; otherwise, why do they show no interest in your political causes? Why haven't they joined you yet in chaining yourself to mahogany furniture, chanting slogans at carefully planned and orchestrated protests, and frequenting anarchist bookshops? Why haven't they sat down and learned all the terminology necessary for a genuine understanding of the complexities of Marxist economic theory?

    The truth is, your politics are boring to them because they really are irrelevant. They know that your antiquated styles of protest—your marches, hand held signs, and gatherings—are now powerless to effect real change because they have become such a predictable part of the status quo. They know that your post-Marxist jargon is off-putting because it really is a language of mere academic dispute, not a weapon capable of undermining systems of control. They know that your infighting, your splinter groups and endless quarrels over ephemeral theories can never effect any real change in the world they experience from day to day. They know that no matter who is in office, what laws are on the books, what "ism"s the intellectuals march under, the content of their lives will remain the same. They—we—know that our boredom is proof that these "politics" are not the key to any real transformation of life. For our lives are boring enough already!

    And you know it too. For how many of you is politics a responsibility? Something you engage in because you feel you should, when in your heart of hearts there are a million things you would rather be doing? Your volunteer work—is it your most favorite pastime, or do you do it out of a sense of obligation? Why do you think it is so hard to motivate others to volunteer as you do? Could it be that it is, above all, a feeling of guilt that drives you to fulfill your "duty" to be politically active? Perhaps you spice up your "work" by trying (consciously or not) to get in trouble with the authorities, to get arrested: not because it will practically serve your cause, but to make things more exciting, to recapture a little of the romance of turbulent times now long past. Have you ever felt that you were participating in a ritual, a long-established tradition of fringe protest, that really serves only to strengthen the position of the mainstream? Have you ever secretly longed to escape from the stagnation and boredom of your political "responsibilities"?

    It's no wonder that no one has joined you in your political endeavors. Perhaps you tell yourself that it's tough, thankless work, but somebody's got to do it. The answer is, well, NO.

    You actually do us all a real disservice with your tiresome, tedious politics. For in fact, there is nothing more important than politics. NOT the politics of American "democracy" and law, of who is elected state legislator to sign the same bills and perpetuate the same system. Not the politics of the "I got involved with the radical left because I enjoy quibbling over trivial details and writing rhetorically about an unreachable utopia" anarchist. Not the politics of any leader or ideology that demands that you make sacrifices for "the cause." But the politics of our everyday lives. When you separate politics from the immediate, everyday experiences of individual men and women, it becomes completely irrelevant. Indeed, it becomes the private domain of wealthy, comfortable intellectuals, who can trouble themselves with such dreary, theoretical things. When you involve yourself in politics out of a sense of obligation, and make political action into a dull responsibility rather than an exciting game that is worthwhile for its own sake, you scare away people whose lives are already far too dull for any more tedium. When you make politics into a lifeless thing, a joyless thing, a dreadful responsibility, it becomes just another weight upon people, rather than a means to lift weight from people. And thus you ruin the idea of politics for the people to whom it should be most important. For everyone has a stake in considering their lives, in asking themselves what they want out of life and how they can get it. But you make politics look to them like a miserable, self-referential, pointless middle class/bohemian game, a game with no relevance to the real lives they are living out.

    What should be political? Whether we enjoy what we do to get food and shelter. Whether we feel like our daily interactions with our friends, neighbors, and coworkers are fulfilling. Whether we have the opportunity to live each day the way we desire to. And "politics" should consist not of merely discussing these questions, but of acting directly to improve our lives in the immediate present. Acting in a way that is itself entertaining, exciting, joyous—because political action that is tedious, tiresome, and oppressive can only perpetuate tedium, fatigue, and oppression in our lives. No more time should be wasted debating over issues that will be irrelevant when we must go to work again the next day. No more predictable ritual protests that the authorities know all too well how to deal with; no more boring ritual protests which will not sound like a thrilling way to spend a Saturday afternoon to potential volunteers—clearly, those won't get us anywhere. Never again shall we "sacrifice ourselves for the cause." For we ourselves, happiness in our own lives and the lives of our fellows, must be our cause!

    After we make politics relevant and exciting, the rest will follow. But from a dreary, merely theoretical and/or ritualized politics, nothing valuable can follow. This is not to say that we should show no interest in the welfare of humans, animals, or ecosystems that do not contact us directly in our day to day existence. But the foundation of our politics must be concrete: it must be immediate, it must be obvious to everyone why it is worth the effort, it must be fun in itself. How can we do positive things for others if we ourselves do not enjoy our own lives?

    To make this concrete for a moment: an afternoon of collecting food from businesses that would have thrown it away and serving it to hungry people and people who are tired of working to pay for food—that is good political action, but only if you enjoy it. If you do it with your friends, if you meet new friends while you're doing it, if you fall in love or trade funny stories or just feel proud to have helped a woman by easing her financial needs, that's good political action. On the other hand, if you spend the afternoon typing an angry letter to an obscure leftist tabloid objecting to a columnist's use of the term "anarcho-syndicalist," that's not going to accomplish shit, and you know it.

    Perhaps it is time for a new word for "politics," since you have made such a swear word out of the old one. For no one should be put off when we talk about acting together to improve our lives. And so we present to you our demands, which are non-negotiable, and must be met as soon as possible—because we're not going to live forever, are we?

    1. Make politics relevant to our everyday experience of life again. The farther away the object of our political concern, the less it will mean to us, the less real and pressing it will seem to us, and the more wearisome politics will be.

    2. All political activity must be joyous and exciting in itself. You cannot escape from dreariness with more dreariness.

    3. To accomplish those first two steps, entirely new political approaches and methods must be created. The old ones are outdated, outmoded. Perhaps they were NEVER any good, and that's why our world is the way it is now.

    4. Enjoy yourselves! There is never any excuse for being bored... or boring!

    Join us in making the "revolution" a game; a game played for the highest stakes of all, but a joyous, carefree game nonetheless!
     
  2. Dr Phibes

    Dr Phibes Banned

    Thats right - when you got nothing to lose but your chains - then you got nothing to lose - so why not play to win? The game is to outwit the opposition and suprise the people with the truth

    You cant fight fire with fire - thats why the revolution is more entertaining it captures the imagination

    I like this document - its got passion
     
  3. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    To make this concrete for a moment: an afternoon of collecting food from businesses that would have thrown it away and serving it to hungry people and people who are tired of working to pay for food—that is good political action, but only if you enjoy it. If you do it with your friends, if you meet new friends while you're doing it, if you fall in love or trade funny stories or just feel proud to have helped a woman by easing her financial needs, that's good political action. On the other hand, if you spend the afternoon typing an angry letter to an obscure leftist tabloid objecting to a columnist's use of the term "anarcho-syndicalist," that's not going to accomplish shit, and you know it.

    I do enjoy politics, I have made many friends because of it and funny enough we have actually traded many funny stories. I don’t know about you but that is what people do when they get together in any group. I’ve done it at political meetings and on marches and I do it here.

    I’ve also enjoyed writing to supermarkets to complain that they will not allow the distribution of the food they throw away. And writing to politicians about the law that says the food in a supermarkets bins (good food that is thrown away) is still their property and people can be prosecuted for ‘stealing’ it, especially when they cut the padlocks keeping them closed with bolt cutters.

    I don’t understand what the person is getting at, that we should enjoy politics, yes why not, I’m sure they enjoyed writing the piece and I’ve enjoyed reading it, that is not new or different its just the same politics as has gone before. I’ve been enjoying such political essays and the debate generated by them for over 30 years, and the thing is that some of those political ideas, essays and books were already hundreds of years old (Plato’s Republic is what nearly 2500 years old).

    **

    And so we present to you our demands, which are non-negotiable, and must be met as soon as possible—because we're not going to live forever, are we?

    1. Make politics relevant to our everyday experience of life again. The farther away the object of our political concern, the less it will mean to us, the less real and pressing it will seem to us, and the more wearisome politics will be.

    2. All political activity must be joyous and exciting in itself. You cannot escape from dreariness with more dreariness.

    3. To accomplish those first two steps, entirely new political approaches and methods must be created. The old ones are outdated, outmoded. Perhaps they were NEVER any good, and that's why our world is the way it is now.

    4. Enjoy yourselves! There is never any excuse for being bored... or boring!

    Join us in making the "revolution" a game; a game played for the highest stakes of all, but a joyous, carefree game nonetheless!

    Is this the new non-authoritarian anarchy that imposes non-negotiable demands?

    1. Easier said than done
    2. To me politics is joyous and exciting and so is it for a lot of my leftie friends.
    3. So tell me what are these ‘new political approaches’?
    4. I do
    **

    Sorry Shane but this smacks to me like some corporate re-branding job, a big HO HAR about some old product that they want you to see as ‘new’ ‘vibrant’ and ‘real’.

    Long on hype, low on substance.

    Bring me something I can work with and I’ll really enjoy reading it.

     
  4. Dr Phibes

    Dr Phibes Banned

    Good isnt it? I have had many friends who I only see at demo's.
    Well theres nothing wrong with reading history but it teaches people to romanticise what has gone - there is no logic in the republic that has relevence to the modern era. Yes you can see some use in knowing that book - it is not a classic for no good reason. However there is nothing I find in The Republic to throw at the state - there is no value for an anarchist that is dealing with a computerised - atomic energy producing - space flight using - WMD dropping - world
    Its a history book of value to those who wish to know the value of Plato's world.
    If you want to read a first class history of anarchism - I suggest you read
    "Lipstick Traces" by Griel Marcus. It will show you where European anarchy is coming from - and by the sound and look of it - anarchy in the USA is going there as well, slowly
     
  5. m6m

    m6m Member

    I can sympathize with Nadia's frustrations, because they're the same frustrations that have been disillusioning us for generations.

    Nadia has a good point, but it's the same point made by many others; simply that:

    Social ideals must generate a functioning and more fulfilling social life to demonstrate and prove its value as a social alternative.

    Social ideals must add social value to one's social life, or the ideals will remain an unfulfilling bore.

    Yet in the end, Nadia could only provide the usual useless boring cliche's such as "new approaches and methods must be created".

    Nadia's failure to come up with any new approach or method, other than the same old 'collecting and serving food to the hungry' routine, illustrates her naivete' of our social reality.

    We're locked in a global prison of tiny parceled cages of private property all walled and fenced and where our movement is only allowed along little asphalt and concrete corridors.

    Corridors where you must be licensed, registered and insured.

    An over-crowded prison where cut-throat competition decides who gets a cell with a bunk and running water.

    Cells that are bought, sold, morgaged, leased, rented for half the living energy of your waking life.

    Try to create a viable alternative social environment under these circumstances, and you'll understand why, like the '60s, we've always failed.

    That's why those who attempt to opt out of The System usually end up on the periphery as squatters or homeless eating out of dumpsters, or escaping to a Rainbow Gathering for a couple of weeks before turning themselves back-in.

    Or like me, living on a little communal farm and pacing round and round like a caged tiger.
     
  6. Shane99X

    Shane99X Senior Member

    So, what's your solution?
     
  7. m6m

    m6m Member

    The solution is four-fold.

    One: Realize that the roots of our social problems are neither economic, religious nor political, but psycho-dynamic.

    Two: Expose the psycho-pathologies of hierarchical civilization and it's propertied patriarchy to our global collective conscious through a comprehensive psycho-analysis.

    Three: Realize that psycho-analysis, by opening our eyes, will only slow the global destructive impulses of our collective psychosis, and has been proven effective only as a short-lived temporary cure for deeply engrained behavioral patterns.

    Four: Realize that our only chance for mass survival in the 21st century is to stop cold the neurotic fears and insecurities that drives our mass psychotic behavioral patterns by using the psycho-active drug therepies now being developed by the science of neuro-cognitive psychology.

    It's an 'ify thing', because psychotics will always resist and perhaps even out-law any possible cure that undermines their hierarchical status.

    Moreover, like all science, neuro-cognitive psychology can also be used by those with the most neurotic anal-retentive ambitions to increase our fears and insecurities, and thus solidify their anal-desires to control, own and aquire.

    As you can see it's very scary, and there are many pit-falls on the path to sanity, but if we don't do something, or if we just keep seeking economic, religious or political solutions, the masses of us won't survive for long.
     
  8. Dr Phibes

    Dr Phibes Banned

    which means what?
    some kind of society based on psychoanalysis?
    maybe you are wrong! maybe to end religion - the death of god
    will be the beginning of sanity
    I dont see how you could have a society based on psychoanalysis - wheres the economy in that?
     
  9. m6m

    m6m Member

    No No, its psycho-dynamics.

    The dynamic physics of energy flow within our neurological systems.

    Even though psycho-energy only represents six-percent of our total energy, it functions at the neurological control-panel that controls all of our energy.

    It's our psycho-dynamic which controls the character of our economic, religions and political life.

    Psycho-analysis merely analyses the dynamics of this most strategic of energy flows.

    Fail to analyse our psycho-dynamics and we'll just keep spinning our wheels.
     
  10. Shane99X

    Shane99X Senior Member

    How exactly do you analyse psycho-dynamics, and what would be the most practical way to get this sort of thing started in the first place?
     
  11. Dr Phibes

    Dr Phibes Banned

    How much psycho dynamics per loaf of bread do I need?
     
  12. m6m

    m6m Member

    I'll tell you what I think about that, but I'll share my thoughts with you over on your Anarchy and Human Nature thread.

    I don't know, I figure it's more appropriate over there.

    Psycho-dynamics isn't a quantity, it's a quality.

    But I can tell you this, no matter how you slice that loaf of bread, if a man has to yoke himself to a plow, or wake-up every day to be a cog in the organized routine of modern baking, then that loaf of bread is a manifestation of an extreamly unhealthy psycho-dynamic.
     
  13. spejemelujai

    spejemelujai Member

    This bread talk puts me in mind of "the conquest of bread" by Kapotkin, one of his main points is that it's all very well to have high minded ideals about revolution, but at the end of the day we've got to put the food on the table, deal with the practicalities.
    I've been really impressed by a local social centre, which has grown up in Manchester UK over the last few years. They started putting on parties and people's kitchens in squatted premises around town. Eventually found premises, set up cafe, bookshop, film nights, exhibitions, meetings, talks, a place to plan actions eat and hang out.
    Their landlord origionally dealt in porn, but due in part to their jibes, turned his business into a healthfood shop.
    If you pop in you may find a child's birthday party, or a meeting of 'asylum seekers' or refugees, planning how to resist deportation.
    It hasn't decended into tribalism as so many anarchist ventures do.
    The great thing is we don't have to agree on everything, we can co-operate in order to achieve shared goals.
     
  14. m6m

    m6m Member

    That's why I disagree with Nadia's frustrated complaints.

    We have to crawl before we can walk.

    This isn't the '60s anymore; I know, I was there.

    Then it was still possible to be alive to the spontaneous perfection of each moment.

    To be alive to the subjective experience of our own skins.

    To be alive to the hidden energy within nature that would lift our every step.

    This was a 24/7 experience that we breathed with every breath, and attracted millions who wanted to share the experience.

    We came close to reaching that critical cultural mass of no return, but the hierarchical realities of Kropotkin's bread culture possessed a momentum five-hundred generations in the making.

    That's the global social reality that Nadia needs to remember before she get's so frustrated.

    No it's not the '60s, and the best we can hope for today are little local sub-cultures like you've found in Manchester.

    It may not be enough to satisfy Nadia, but as far as I'm concerned what you've found there is all the more precious for being a diamond in the desert.
     
  15. Shane99X

    Shane99X Senior Member

    You assume it would take just as long in the undoing...

    A car going 70 miles an hour doesn't need 70 miles to slow to a stop.

    It just takes a brick wall.

    We can be that wall.
     
  16. Grim

    Grim Wandering Wonderer

    Anarchy only works when it's my kind of anarchy.
     
  17. Well then let it be your kind.
     

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