"...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

Nov 15, 2011

Mess

Disobedience is messy. It's disruptive. That's kind of the point. If engaged in a struggle against those who rule, and who profit from the obedience of the many, it makes no sense to behave. Disobedience is the willingness to be bad, according to the prevailing moral standards required of the ruled by the rulers. It is unruly.

Resistance is planned chaos. To resist a political and economic order, especially one which is hegemonic, is to commit to a mode of life and a set of choices designed to make life miserable for those who profit off that order.

Some people, by temperament or by the assumption of ruling class morality, are not suited to resistance. That is no judgment against them. It is not a stain on their characters. They are not weaker, inferior, less worthy of esteem or deficient in courage. But, perhaps, they should consider their own moral queasiness at the prospect of disruption, sabotage and the messiness of struggle as a sign. As a red flag. Maybe they are better suited to other tasks. Work which is no less important. Collectivity, especially stripped of the fantastic and the angelic, allows for human possibilities approaching the infinite. Isn't that the promise of it - that every person can be as fully human as desire can satisfy? Contending for a more human future will almost surely provide the opportunity for thousands upon thousands of roles and vocations which do not obligate actively disobedient resistance. And during any struggle, those who lack the mien appropriate to engaging in the chaos of conflict are not limited to the roles of spectator, cheerleader and apologist. Food must be grown, found, transported. Wounds healed. Fugitives hid. Children sheltered, cared for, taught. Strikers clothed. Families housed. The list is nearly endless.

Still, there's some value in wondering aloud at those who want a resistance, but refuse to participate in the mess it creates. At those who want to keep their hands clean of the dirt of actual struggle, while they organize into alternative leadership cabals, in order to claim the birthright of that resistance.

It's almost like they're already looking towards a future that looks identical to our today.

Like they want results without doing the work.

Like they want to, hmmm, appropriate the labor of others.

Nothing untoward could come of that...

*

UPDATE:

It's already messy.

 "Riot police deployed under cover of darkness at 1 am. No video cameras were allowed during the early hours of the raid. News teams were barred from the scene. Air space above Zuccotti park was shut down.

Above all, a well-prepared removal plan received shock-op back-up as the NYPD rolled out long range acoustic devices (LRADs) on the streets of NY. The device is capable of emitting a tone higher than normal human pain threshold and can permanently damage hearing.

Evidence of LRAD weaponry was captured with cell-phones during the raid against OWS protestors, early morning November 15. This is the first time during the Occupy Wall Street movement that police posed such an extreme threat and begs the question; how long before LRADs are unleashed on the people?"

Here, in part, is why:

Austerity is not "about the economy." It has nothing to with competition, job creation or fiscal solvency. It's not about efficiency. It's not about the commonweal. Austerity is about changing the function of the State back to an older, more versatile, more enduring stable form. Austerity is about preserving the State as a military-policing instrument, whilst shedding those functions which currently provide a buffer against the mastery of the class which controls the state. Where once the ruling class had to buffer the laboring class from the worst excesses of capitalist accumulation, in order to maintain a sufficiently stable and trained laboring population, this condition no longer obtains. The ruling class can, because of globalization and the "offshoring" of plant capacity to crippled and re-colonized "third world" nations, now return to a more traditional set of relations with labor and the growing lumpenproletariat.

The modern nation state [and the large metropolitan corporate fiefdoms which increasingly constitute its power centers and dominate its politics]..remains vital as a buffer against direct opposition to exploitation, absorbing the violence, outrage and justified anger of laborers and the dwindling classes of petty small holders. For an American example, see the Tea Party. Or liberal political advocacy organizations.

But, for the nation state to serve this function, and with any degree of efficiency, it must shed either its excess populations, its welfare capacity or some of both. In the US, we have a very successful prison industry, as well as the marginalization of foreign and "illegal" workers, to provide a species of population shedding, since institutionally alienated populations (poor blacks, immigrant Asians and Latinos), subject to the control of prisons or deportation, do not immediately threaten the state's field of operation. They instead provide a justification for it, and for the increasing police-militarization of social life. In Israel, see Palestinians. In France, the residents
des banlieuses. In Germany, Turks and other immigrants.

Returning to a theme first announced above, the dismantling of the welfare state must either proceed at an increasing pace, so that the state can return to direct management of populations through isolation and violence, thus safeguarding the accumulated assets of the ruling class, or it risks collapsing before those same ruling classes can properly corral subject and captive populations into new zones of control, buffer and instability...


...The ruling class - represented in this age by corporations, military hierarchies, academia and managerial service institutions - has already cast its lot against the Commons as shared public space. It has begun the revaluation of the state, and therefore of social relations, towards the preservation of economic and social advantage in the face of oil contraction, resource scarcity and rising population. Towards this end, deconstructive crisis hastens the project of redefining the Commons as a policed military space, and away from three centuries of construction and agitation for the Commons as commonweal and social amelioration."

7 comments:

Jack Crow said...

I posted this, and since have been getting hits from the usdoj.gov website. Odd.

the pied cow blog said...

Maybe they're trying to scare you by pinging your website.

At any rate, your point about making life miserable for people who profit from the existing order is a good one, and it looks like and enjoyable activity too.

Jack Crow said...

Probably true.

*

Too bad we live in a peculiar environment which, while not fully precluding more active efforts at laying the groundwork for a commune, makes sticking out in public a lonely undertaking.

Effing granite...

antonello said...

Austerity is not "about the economy." It has nothing to with competition, job creation or fiscal solvency. It's not about efficiency. It's not about the commonweal. Austerity is about changing the function of the State back to an older, more versatile, more enduring stable form. Austerity is about preserving the State as a military-policing instrument, whilst shedding those functions which currently provide a buffer against the mastery of the class which controls the state.

In view of the above, here's a poll today on Yahoo News:

What do you think?

Will austerity measures avert economic meltdown in Europe?

a) Europe will pull back from the brink

b) Too little, too late


Both answers take for granted that the austerity measures are sensible policy. The only difference is that one of them is optimistic, the other pessimistic about the attainment of these measures.

P.S. Predictably, the polling results show 70% for B and 30% for A. Among the Yahoo polls and comments crowd, one could hardly punish Europeans, or any other peoples, sadistically enough.

rob payne said...

allows for human possibilities approaching the infinite.

Exactly right, too often we fall into the trap that there are only dualities and very few people imagine what you just wrote. An excellent post.

Jack Crow said...

antonello,

Are those American responses to the European situation, or European ones, kindly?

rob,

I can't imagine all this suffering and struggle to end up with more of the same. Getting rid of wealth concentration, the bosses and the capitalist form of property isn't going to "cure" the human condition, or make us any nicer in the short term, but it's not unreasonable to think that freeing up lots of free time, enjoyment and the security of needs will lead to some interesting experiments in human living.

rob payne said...

Jack,

I'd like to see that happen as well.