"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Dec 14, 2010

Without Consolation

How does power so often soften or defuse the impulse to rebel, to resist?

It consoles. It tolerates reforms, and reformers who work for reconciliation.

Used against insurrection, against the urge to resist, insidious consolation puts desire to rest. Indirect, conciliatory and soothing, commiseration deprives a person of the boundary between insult suffered and injustice felt; it  removes the border and negates the difference between the injury and experience of it, treating the wound as a personal obstacle to overcome, to leave behind, to set aside, to forget. It seals the insult, or the injury, in a sarcophagus of memory, insulating it against the present. When consoled - when we accept consolation - we submit to a demand to pretend we cannot remember. We agree, in the receipt of pity and consolation, to lay down our grievances.

A revolutionary, a rebel, a reformer whose goal looks like consolation may not believe he serves the powers which offend him, but he does. The grievance, the insult, the injury, the oppression - these we must hold, must shield against the desire to console, to receive consolation. Trust no "rebel" who places a high value on the making of amends, on consolation - he looks like a priest because he acts like a priest, a mediator of disputes, a prophet of peace and conciliation.

Consolation deadens because we must insist on our own error, our own agreement to injury, in order to overcome it. Receive the embrace of the seducing peddler of consolation, and you accept, in certain terms, the admission of defeat, of surrender.

Resist consolation. Live without it. Accept no reconciliation.

Without consolation - refusing all mercy - the revolutionary life...


Jim H. said...

I feel so much better having read this piece.

AlanSmithee said...

Fuckin-A, Jack! Keep it real, yo.

Jack Crow said...

A very smart man wants me to believe that I should get along with others because agreement is better than misunderstanding.

He's a moral man. A nice man. In another age, he'd have been a candidate for beatification.

He also trusts too much. He assumes that unreasonable people who are very willing to consume their own children's futures can be reasoned with, can be talked into an attitude of justice.

I think, in reply, that there are not enough pitchforks and that anyone who wants to make nice-nice with the sort of chaps who've already made the decision to rule - well, that sort of person can not be trusted.

Nice, moral, kind or not...

Richard said...

OT:thanks for stopping by over at American Leftist and posting some excellent, provocative comments, ones to which I replied

stop by if you are curious