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Fwd: Sartre's The Imaginary

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  • Tommy Beavitt
    ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 4 , May 25, 2005
      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: "copenhagenbeachcat" <copenhagenbeachcat@...>
      > Date: 24 May 2005 16:30:27 BST
      > To: Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...>
      > Subject: Sartre's The Imaginary
      >
      > Hello,
      >
      > Are there any similarities to notice between Sartre's "The Imaginary"
      > and Husserl's work "Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerung"?
      >
      > Best regards,
      > Katja
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • h.ali sipahi
      Tommy Beavitt wrote: ... hello katja.. I AM SO SORRY.. I AM A JUST BUSY NOWADAYS... FOR TH#304;S REASON I CAN NOT COMMUN#304;CATE W#304;TH
      Message 2 of 4 , May 26, 2005
        Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...> wrote:


        Begin forwarded message:

        > From: "copenhagenbeachcat" <copenhagenbeachcat@...>
        > Date: 24 May 2005 16:30:27 BST
        > To: Tommy Beavitt <tommy@...>
        > Subject: Sartre's The Imaginary
        >
        > Hello,
        >
        > Are there any similarities to notice between Sartre's "The Imaginary"
        > and Husserl's work "Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerung"?
        >
        > Best regards,
        > Katja
        >
        >


        hello katja..

        I AM SO SORRY.. I AM A JUST BUSY NOWADAYS... FOR TH#304;S REASON I CAN NOT COMMUN#304;CATE W#304;TH MY ALL CHATFR#304;END... AND I HAVENT GOT ANY BOOK OF SARTRE THAT YOU ASKED ME..ONLY I HAVE GOT A FEW BOOKS OF SARTRE AND L#304;KE H#304;M....TAKE CARE... BYEEE FROM NORTH KURD#304;STAN ... AL#304;






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      • Kathy Kerrihard
        Our Situation We are each born into this world, and this world is not our making vis-à-vis ourselves as real beings, born and raised in certain historical
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 1, 2005
          Our Situation




          We are each born into this world, and this world is not our making vis-à-vis ourselves as real beings, born and raised in certain historical conditions. We find ourselves in a world, and in political/economic systems which are overwhelming in their scope, power, and historic inertia. We all feel ourselves to be individuals, yet we all participate in a kind of collective, social consciousness. What is this "collective consciousness?" Where is it? How does it manifest itself? Was it always in existence? If not, then how did it come to be? It seems to me there is, potentially at best, a kind of quasi-collective consciousness that exists as a kind of ideal projection. But really, what exists now, is not a "collective consciousness" but rather just its opposite -- an alienated projection of class interests, hierarchical power, antagonistic division, manipulation, commodification, and reification. What passes for "collective consciousness" is really nothing but the pseudo-collectivity of
          capitalist class power relations which define the world of accepted ideas, as well as, the modes of communication, and the goals and means of a social system whose basic relation is separation, not collectivization. In other words, the consciousness of the (pseudo) "collective" is disengaged from the "collective" and given an autonomous power over and above the disenfranchised and powerless mass of individuals, and rendered into the service of mass-hypnosis, commodity production and circulation, capital accumulation, and state power. In other words, what passes for "collective consciousness" becomes the ideology of a spectacle which appears to be simultaneously the totality of society, a part of society which stands superior to the rest of society, and the goal of society. All the power and creativity that is daily disengaged from all individuals, primarily through work and consumption, returns as a mysterious alien force which then rules over society, which becomes our "economy,"
          our "government," our "world," which becomes a "second nature" - and which appears without question, becomes the sun which never rests over modern passivity, becomes the laudatory monologue ever proclaiming its own glory, spiced-up with the fear and terror of ever-emerging crisis, breakdown, violence, threats, war, starvation, disease, ecological decay, and global catastrophe. This is the woeful map of our alienation, which has now become a global system. In a real sense, this human world is "created by ourselves" -- but created in conditions that none of us have chosen, and that none of us have any clear way of changing, and that none of us are being asked to change, and, in fact, this system is a class system, which means that it is presided over by people who suffer from the illusion that they benefit from this state-of-affairs, simply because they squeeze out monstrous wealth and power, and they use their resources, their mass-technologies of ideological projection and control,
          their seductive methods of commodity intensification, their police, their armies, their politicians, their bureaucrats - all to insure the security of their positions as top-dogs, as king-rats, as chief-cannibals over a reified and alienated world.

          So I ask you -- do you deserve this? Did you give your consent? Did you sign a contract? Can you "fix yourself" outside of fixing the social-historical context in which you were formed, in which you have to operate everyday, in which you are embedded? Where do you end and your social reality begin? How can you separate them? We live in a world of alienation in which what it means to be a human being, what it means to be a body, a mind, a self -- to a very real extent -- are products of socially determining factors that are out of our control, at least up till now. The question is: can we become conscious enough, can we become the CLASS OF CONSCIOUSNESS -- which means, can we create the ideas, the means, the modes of collective power, to turn the tables on our alienation and also on the entrenched class powers that think they benefit from it. Can we engage ourselves in a Copernican revolution in our social relations. Can we REVOLVE OUR CONSCIOUSNESS in such a way that brings into
          existence a world in which the statement "the collective consciousness is all of us, here and now" actually has a decisive meaning because the collective can bring its plans, hopes, imaginations, and desires into reality by way of real acts through the creation of real self-managed situations. Nothing less that the abolition of the economy, politics, the state, the spectacle -- and all the other separations between people and their social-historical reality - can free up humanity enough so that we can actually put ourselves in the driver's seat of our own self-evolution. To not come to grips with this problem, this question of our historical epoch, is to not address the problem of human subjectivity and its possibilities. In other words, to not come to grips with this problem is to succumb to alienation and its reifications. It is, as they say, to be doing nothing but pissing in the wind. And like alienation and its reification, the piss will come flying back in your face.





          ___________________





          Commodities




          "The commodity can be understood in its undistorted essence only when it becomes the universal category of society as a whole. Only in this context does the reification produced by commodity relations assume decisive importance both for the objective evolution of society and for the attitudes that people adopt toward it, as it subjugates their consciousness to the forms in which this reification finds _expression..."


          George Lukács, History and Class Consciousness



          ___________________




          "The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as "an immense accumulation of commodities," its unit being a single commodity. Our investigation must therefore begin with the analysis of a commodity.”

          "A commodity is, in the first place, an object outside us, a thing that by its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another. The nature of such wants, whether, for instance, they spring from the stomach or from fancy, makes no difference. Neither are we here concerned to know how the object satisfies these wants, whether directly as means of subsistence, or indirectly as means of production.”

          "Every useful thing, as iron, paper, &c., may be looked at from the two points of view of quality and quantity. It is an assemblage of many properties, and may therefore be of use in various ways. To discover the various uses of things is the work of history. So also is the establishment of socially-recognized standards of measure for the quantities of these useful objects. The diversity of these measures has its origin partly in the diverse nature of the objects to be measured, partly in convention.”

          "The utility of a thing makes it a use-value. But this utility is not a thing of air. Being limited by the physical properties of the commodity, it has no existence apart from that commodity. A commodity, such as iron, corn, or a diamond, is therefore, so far as it is a material thing, a use-value, something useful. This property of a commodity is independent of the amount of labour required to appropriate its useful qualities. When treating of use-value, we always assume to be dealing with definite quantities, such as dozens of watches, yards of linen, or tons of iron. The use-values of commodities furnish the material for a special study, that of the commercial knowledge of commodities. Use-values become a reality only by use or consumption: they also constitute the substance of all wealth, whatever may be the social form of that wealth. In the form of society we are about to consider, they are, in addition, the material depositories of exchange-value.”

          "Exchange-value, at first sight, presents itself as a quantitative relation, as the proportion in which values in use of one sort are exchanged for those of another sort, a relation constantly changing with time and place. Hence exchange-value appears to be something accidental and purely relative, and consequently an intrinsic value, i.e., an exchange-value that is inseparably connected with, inherent in commodities, seems a contradiction in terms. Let us consider the matter a little more closely...."

          Karl Marx, Capital





          ___________________




          Well, well, well. What is going on here? Somehow, the use-value of commodities must become aligned with the exchange-value of commodities, or rather, the use-value (quality) must take the form of a quantity, that is, a price -- but that seems impossible -- as one side is the quality, form, usefulness etc. but the other side is pure abstraction, like a measurement on a number scale. So there must be some mediating factor, something embedded and yet distinct from the commodity that can mediate between its use-value and exchange-value. Could it be money? Money obviously mediates the act of exchange, and money is surely a form of measurement -- but a measurement of what? What is being measured? Supply and demand? Well supply is, again, a quantity, and demand is a quality, a feeling of want or desire. So supply and demand may be factored in, but they do not solve the problem, they still do not account for the bottom-line measurement that can mediate the VALUE of the commodities -- the
          relation of each commodity against all other commodities and the translation of this measurement into the material embodiment into a certain amount of money. So what is being measured? Do you know? Have you ever stopped and wondered? Isn't it funny -- we each of us engage in this behavior of commodity exchange countless times in our life, each and everyday, yet do we really understand what is going on? How can seventeen umbrellas be measured as equivalent to, oh say, 100 hits of LSD.... Well for now I'll leave it to you to come up with an answer.... But here is my point -- this system of commodity production and exchange is the basic mode of operation of capitalist society. It is "how things work." And it appears to us as totally natural, primarily because the system has produced a form of living, a culture, that has become all-encompassing. "All we see are things and their prices." Through the mode of commodity production there is a hidden secret, a sleight-of-hand, which when seen
          for what it is, can be exposed as the source of wealth/poverty, class antagonism, and the accumulation of CAPITAL. Through some process there is an accumulation of wealth in the hands of the owners of capital, despite the fact that it is the workers who do most of the work, who produce the commodities. And this process creates the relation of ALIENATION. This process creates a surplus that then stands opposed to the workers that produce it -- and its accumulation as capital becomes yet a more enlarged embodiment of wealth that the workers are then obliged to continue to work for, to sell themselves to, to exchange their daily lives, skills, time, and energies -- for a wage. They, themselves, become commodities that are sold for a price. Further, the accumulation of capital cannot just stand pat, the whole circuit of capital->commodity production-->commodity exchange--accumulation-->commodity production--commodity exchange--accumulation must successfully make it through each stage,
          must complete the circuit, or else there will be breakdown, crisis. Further, each capital, and the system of capitals as a whole, fights in the market for dominance and for an ever expanding market. There is an inherent expansionism in capitalism, and thus an inherent conflict between capitals and between national organizations of capital (as in national states). Actually there are many points of conflict -- because there are inherent contradictions in the functioning of this system. But the point here is that this system is a particular system, it is a game with its own rules, and its seizure of control of human society was a real historical process. Yes, commodity exchange of various kinds, and at various levels, existed before capitalism. But the evolution of capitalism and its form of surplus generation and ownership meant that the development of commodity relations became the DOMINATING organizing force of society, and this organizing force inherently must expand and control
          more and more and more territory, it must be able to render more "things," more resources, more people into the commodity form. It cannot stop this process without going into crisis -- it must break through all limits, all resistance, it must colonize life intensively and extensively. That is the world we live in, this is the dominating force that builds cities, creates technologies, stands behind imperialisms, creates the growing contradiction between wealth and poverty, creates tensions that can lead to war, renders everything it touches into a market relation, and comes up against its own external limit in biospheric degradation.





          ___________________




          "The development of productive forces is the unconscious history that has actually created and altered the living conditions of human groups — the conditions enabling them to survive and the expansion of those conditions. It has been the economic basis of all human undertakings. Within natural economies, the emergence of a commodity sector represented a surplus survival. Commodity production, which implies the exchange of varied products between independent producers, tended for a long time to retain its small-scale craft aspects, relegated as it was to a marginal economic role where its quantitative reality was still hidden. But whenever it encountered the social conditions of large-scale commerce and capital accumulation, it took total control of the economy. The entire economy then became what the commodity had already shown itself to be in the course of this conquest: a process of quantitative development. This constant expansion of economic power in the form of commodities
          transformed human labor itself into a commodity, into wage labor, and ultimately produced a level of abundance sufficient to solve the initial problem of survival — but only in such a way that the same problem is continually being regenerated at a higher level. Economic growth has liberated societies from the natural pressures that forced them into an immediate struggle for survival; but they have not yet been liberated from their liberator. The commodity’s independence has spread to the entire economy it now dominates. This economy has transformed the world, but it has merely transformed it into a world dominated by the economy. The pseudo-nature within which human labor has become alienated demands that such labor remain forever in its service; and since this demand is formulated by and answerable only to itself, it in fact ends up channeling all socially permitted projects and endeavors into its own reinforcement. The abundance of commodities — that is, the abundance of commodity
          relations — amounts to nothing more than an augmented survival."

          Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle





          ___________________




          I would add here that augmented survival is now obliged to show its underside, that is, the threat of terror, economic collapse, environmental destruction, and....

          And so here we are -- floating in our tranquil pools of unhappiness -- surrounded by desolation and terror, "listening to the new told lies, with supreme visions of lonely tunes...."




          Well, so where are we? Why have I gone on and on about this? Because, dear friend, until you grasp these very fundamental relations, these very real developments, you will never get to the real basis of our history and our daily lives. In a sense we are victims, but only as long as we accept that role. Understanding the basic rules of political-economy can give insight into global capitalism in at least rudimentary sense (which, quite frankly is about all my pea-brain can handle.) But we are not victims, we are the creators of a world, but we create that world according to rules that are not of our conscious making. But we do inherent the results of history up to this point, for better and worse. Capitalism has revolutionized the world, and there are countless ways that we benefit from that system. But everything has its limits. The system is full of contradictions that lead it to crisis, and those crisis have nasty way of a becoming deeper and more profound. And a primary crisis is
          the colonization of daily life by capital, and the rendering of us all into being servants of its quantitative dictates. Thus as the system slides into crisis, it will take us with it. When capitalism falls, it will fall on you. Our schooldays’ civics lesson about voting and changing government is entertainingly sweet and naive, but also ultimately bland and banal -- because it misses everything that is important. We must begin to reference and expose the ways people actually live -- that is, how we work (and for who, and why) and how we survive, how we spend our time, and what purpose do our daily lives serve. We must engage realities of enforced hierarchy and its forms of domination, and the ways we alienate power to forces outside ourselves, as a matter of routine. We must come to grips with the effects this must have on our psychologies. We need to expose and subvert the mass need for authoritarian domination - and how this domination is made necessary by way of our own
          alienation, our own constant retreat from control of our own lives. Along with alienation comes dependency, we all depend on capitalism, no matter where it is taking us. Some people say (over and over and over) "well, four years from now we might be conscious enough to elect a better leader!" Not only does this viewpoint ignore the fact that our society is presided over by a small but extremely wealthy class of people who were never elected and whose decisions fundamentally affect the lives of millions, but also that these billionaire power-players also buy and sell politicians, and that legislation is not just written and passed in the interests of the corporate power bases -- but, in fact, the strategizers for the corporations are writing the legislation themselves and giving our "representatives" their marching orders.





          ___________________




          We can no longer accept the basic premises of hierarchy and bureaucratic power. Along with the overthrow of capitalism will come the abolition of authoritarian hierarchy.




          ___________________





          Consciousness/Spectacle



          So we began with the notion of "collective consciousness" -- but the term can be seen in two ways. (1) The ideological _expression of the pseudo collectivity -- forms of "false consciousness" that define, proscribe, dictate, and enforce behaviors and ways of thinking upon the mass of individuals. This notion points toward a kind of mass-mindedness that enforces a way of life. This "mass-mindedness" is a product and _expression of capitalist culture and it manifests in particular ways. In our society, one of the primary forms of the (pseudo-)collective consciousness takes the form of what has been called "the spectacle."




          "Understood in its totality, the spectacle is both the result and the goal of the dominant mode of production. It is not a mere decoration added to the real world. It is the very heart of this real society’s unreality. In all of its particular manifestations — news, propaganda, advertising, entertainment — the spectacle represents the dominant model of life. It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choices that have already been made in the sphere of production and in the consumption implied by that production. In both form and content the spectacle serves as a total justification of the conditions and goals of the existing system. The spectacle also represents the constant presence of this justification since it monopolizes the majority of the time spent outside the production process....”

          "The spectacle keeps people in a state of unconsciousness as they pass through practical changes in their conditions of existence. Like a factitious god, it engenders itself and makes its own rules. It reveals itself for what it is: an autonomously developing separate power, based on the increasing productivity resulting from an increasingly refined division of labor into parcelized gestures dictated by the independent movement of machines, and working for an ever-expanding market. In the course of this development, all community and all critical awareness have disintegrated; and the forces that were able to grow by separating from each other have not yet been reunited.”

          "The reigning economic system is a vicious circle of isolation. Its technologies are based on isolation, and they contribute to that same isolation. From automobiles to television, the goods that the spectacular system chooses to produce also serve it as weapons for constantly reinforcing the conditions that engender "lonely crowds." With ever-increasing concreteness the spectacle recreates its own presuppositions.”

          "Workers do not produce themselves, they produce a power independent of themselves. The success of this production, the abundance it generates, is experienced by the producers as an abundance of dispossession. As their alienated products accumulate, all time and space become foreign to them. The spectacle is the map of this new world, a map that is identical to the territory it represents. The forces that have escaped us display themselves to us in all their power.”

          "Though separated from what they produce, people nevertheless produce every detail of their world with ever-increasing power. They thus also find themselves increasingly separated from that world. The closer their life comes to being their own creation, the more they are excluded from that life."

          Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
          http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/debord/1.htm





          ___________________





          So, if you can understand what is being said, you can see that, yes, this society is produced, and reproduced, each day, by all of us -- but our production, our creation, the results of our life-energies, take on an independence from us, we alienate them via real social/productive relations into an independent power that then dominates our lives. That is how CAPITALISM operates -- that is what it IS -- the accumulation of capital by way of wage labor and commodity production and exchange and under the ownership of capitalist class interests. The State primarily exists as a management body which oversees the workings of the system. The culture becomes a pseudo-collectivity.

          The "collective consciousness" (ideology) is given the means of modern technologies and mass communications: it becomes a world view that has actually been materialized, a view of a world that has become objective. We are saturated by its ideologies.

          But I also assert that (2) "collective consciousness" can take on another form -- when it begins to be the _expression of our collective desires, and when we have the means to actually bring them into reality. There is a dialectic between the "individual" and the "social grouping." All human individuals are individuals vis-à-vis his/her society. The creation of individuals is a social process. So what it means to be an individual is also a product of society and history, and this develops in time. Yes, there may always be a tension between I and They, but They are also the means of my greater social realization. The dialectic, when freed from its current imprisonment, can be move toward a resonation of individuals, wherein we each begin to recognize our larger SOCIAL SELVES. This will be the return of the repressed, where all separations will be understood to be but moments in a greater dialectical unfolding....




          ___________________




          "Self-consciousness exists in itself and for itself only insofar as it exists in and for another self-consciousness; that is, it exists only by being recognized and acknowledged."

          Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit




          ___________________

          Revolution




          I advocate the abolition of the economy, politics, the State. What that would leave is humanity beginning to collectively, consciously, and directly begin the adventure of our own revolutionary self-management. What that would leave is humanity engaging in a world-historical act of self-transformation and experimentation. I cannot spell out what forms this would take, because I am just one individual with very limited capacities, although I do have my own primitively developed ideas. I am not advocating a utopia, that is, an ideal state, but rather an ongoing experiment whose forms would be evolving according to possibilities. Basically the idea is power without mediators, power exercised by the "base" of society, not disowned or projected or alienated into a class above ourselves -- direct democracy or some form of consensus in collective forms of self-management. Such forms have come into being for brief moments in history, but they were always localized, isolated, and eventually
          crushed By forces of reaction. Basically a simplistic outline would mean some kind of generalized movement amongst workers, artists, students, families, neighborhoods, emerging collectives, etc. The scenario would probably require some kind of society-wide crisis of a class-contentious nature -- that is, workers, etc. consciously struggling and organizing against the owners of capital and state bureaucrats. This leads to a series of strikes, and this leads to coordination and collectivization of the strike process -- and also to the rise of autonomy and consciousness amongst the strikers -- in other words, a "wildcat" consciousness outside of the control of trade union bureaucracies. Then comes the fun part: the strikes become generalized, we begin to shut down the economy -- but of course we can't just shut everything down -- we need things to survive: like food, medicine, communication, computers, energy, weapons, etc. etc. -- so rather than just staying "passively" on strike --
          we take matters into our own hands -- WE OCCUPY THE FACTORIES, THE OFFICES, THE STREETS, EVERYTHING. And we just don't passively occupy -- we restart production UNDER OWN CONTROL -- and we coordinate on a citywide, region-wise, even international basis. Obviously there is going to be a lot of chaos, struggle, debate, and of course the capitalists and their functionaries are not just going to stand by and watch their world evaporate, so it is going to be a real struggle, in all ways. The stakes will be raised to the limit because everything will be called into question. We will all begin to directly intervene into the making of our own history -- we will enter "historical space" by way of "seizing our time." Beware: "Those who make revolution only halfway merely dig their own graves."


          The crucial part, besides defending and extending the occupation movement, will discovering the methods of coordinating and making decisions that do not get out of the control of the people themselves -- so that any "representatives" that are needed to coordinate on a "higher" level are not really "representatives" -- but rather are delegates, immediately revocable, and whose function is to coordinate and carry our decisions already made. What would begin happening is a society-wide, ongoing, fluid, and evolving federation of assemblies and councils, making and carrying out plans, processes, and experiments. This movement would be based on "power without mediation," which is merely an attempt to express the idea of social revolution that does not immediately set-up a new form of authoritarian domination -- and the councils are form in which such direct decision-making could happen. And the assemblies/councils would seek ways to be democratically autonomous, and also coordinated and
          federated. The conception is not anti-organizational -- it is rather a search for a kind of organization that does not get out of control of the people themselves -- that is, it is a form of self-management. Obviously, any such conception should evolve as social conditions and technological possiblities evolve. But equally important is the understanding that such councils have not been merely an imposed form on radical movements in modern history, some kind of blueprint that is grafted onto a revolution --- but rather that they have been a form that the autonomous workers and their allies have themselves discovered at moments of revolutionary contestation.. So if there is an authentic revolution in our future, chances are, there will be some form of councilist experiments that emerge -- as this form seems to be an organic tendency. That is, general assemblies will emerge that exist to deliberate, debate, plan, and carry out specific goals. The awareness of this process, of what
          it means and what are its implications, is crucial -- if the revolution is to remain in the hands of the people themselves, rather than being abandoned to a newly emerging bureaucracy or authoritarian party. Such social forms of councils, or something like them, will be the pivotal points that secure and push the movement forward -- that is, they will be popular forums and centers of action, they will be the space for the emergence real direct democracy. and a place whose existence will be a counterforce the tendency to return to "normal" functioning of capitalism, that is, back to the false security of capitalist daily life and all that implies, which is: retreat back to deadly routine, passive producers of our own demise, witnesses to the defeat of our own world-historical adventure.


          We will abolish any need for the state, and will certainly abolish what is known, reified, and fetishized as "the economy" -- abolished as an entity separate from people and their desires. The system of commodity exchange and production will be replaced by production directly for human need. Capitalism with its need for class hierarchies and with its relentless need for expansion and commodification of the world -- will be superseded. This movement, this transcendence, will be the blossoming of humanity, a flowering of possibilities -- it will mean a fundamental revolution in the nature of human subjectivity in its social-historical dimension. For the first time, humanity will come to be directly and consciously engaged in its own development, precisely because alienated power will be transcended -- the "economy" - the state - politics -- as the class-based management system of capitalism -- will all be jettisoned.



          But of course, the question presents itself -- can humanity (that is the workers, the alienated, can we, ourselves) find and develop the capacities to launch ourselves onto such a trajectory -- can we attain "escape velocity" from the social conditions that now imprison us? I would assert that without such a movement, without some such solution as I have very tentatively outlined, not only will we remain trapped within our own reifications, like a corpse preserved in alcohol, but we will hopelessly and helplessly witness the ever-deepening crisis of global-capitalism, as well as, the intensification and irreversibility of biospheric damage, species mass-extinction, environmental poisoning, and thus the possible extinction of the human race itself. We are fast approaching a rendezvous with history. So the question remains -- will the emerging global crisis in all its modes of _expression and ramifications provoke humanity to look for the means to lift itself out of the crisis in a
          fundamental way? I say -- the global crisis begins in our own daily lives, so the problem is not only awesome in its extent and meaning, but calls into question what we do everyday -- how we alienate and disown our life-energies, creativities, and possibilities. This is the action of the subject/object dialectic of world history. We will learn to transcend who we "think we are," and redefine what we can become, in a new world of our own making.





          ___________________




          So where does that leave us???





          ___________________




          "The concept of class struggle constituted the first concrete, tactical marshaling of the shocks and injuries which men live individually; it was born in the whirlpool of suffering which the reduction of human relations to mechanisms of exploitation created everywhere in industrial societies. It issued from a will to transform the world and change life."

          Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life
          http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/34





          Kathy Kundalini




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        • Henry Gordon
          There is a great/revealing interview with Sartre in the New York Review of Books. It is called Sartre at 70 and is included in the August 5 or August 7, 1975
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 1, 2005
            There is a great/revealing interview with Sartre in the New York Review of
            Books. It is called Sartre at 70 and is included in the August 5 or August
            7, 1975 issue of the magazine. To find it google New York Review of books
            and then go to archive,. click on the year. He says in it, among other
            things, that his manuscripts of philosophy are written with so few words
            crossed out because he was just trying to say one simple thing with each
            sentence. That is the first time I ever heard Being and Nothingness
            described as simple!----- Original Message -----
            From: "Kathy Kerrihard" <kathykundalini@...>
            To: <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 4:24 PM
            Subject: [Sartre] Our Situation -- Kathy's Political Statement


            >
            >
            >
            > Our Situation
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > We are each born into this world, and this world is not our making
            vis-à-vis ourselves as real beings, born and raised in certain historical
            conditions. We find ourselves in a world, and in political/economic systems
            which are overwhelming in their scope, power, and historic inertia. We all
            feel ourselves to be individuals, yet we all participate in a kind of
            collective, social consciousness. What is this "collective consciousness?"
            Where is it? How does it manifest itself? Was it always in existence? If
            not, then how did it come to be? It seems to me there is, potentially at
            best, a kind of quasi-collective consciousness that exists as a kind of
            ideal projection. But really, what exists now, is not a "collective
            consciousness" but rather just its opposite -- an alienated projection of
            class interests, hierarchical power, antagonistic division, manipulation,
            commodification, and reification. What passes for "collective consciousness"
            is really nothing but the pseudo-collectivity of
            > capitalist class power relations which define the world of accepted
            ideas, as well as, the modes of communication, and the goals and means of a
            social system whose basic relation is separation, not collectivization. In
            other words, the consciousness of the (pseudo) "collective" is disengaged
            from the "collective" and given an autonomous power over and above the
            disenfranchised and powerless mass of individuals, and rendered into the
            service of mass-hypnosis, commodity production and circulation, capital
            accumulation, and state power. In other words, what passes for "collective
            consciousness" becomes the ideology of a spectacle which appears to be
            simultaneously the totality of society, a part of society which stands
            superior to the rest of society, and the goal of society. All the power and
            creativity that is daily disengaged from all individuals, primarily through
            work and consumption, returns as a mysterious alien force which then rules
            over society, which becomes our "economy,"
            > our "government," our "world," which becomes a "second nature" - and
            which appears without question, becomes the sun which never rests over
            modern passivity, becomes the laudatory monologue ever proclaiming its own
            glory, spiced-up with the fear and terror of ever-emerging crisis,
            breakdown, violence, threats, war, starvation, disease, ecological decay,
            and global catastrophe. This is the woeful map of our alienation, which has
            now become a global system. In a real sense, this human world is "created by
            ourselves" -- but created in conditions that none of us have chosen, and
            that none of us have any clear way of changing, and that none of us are
            being asked to change, and, in fact, this system is a class system, which
            means that it is presided over by people who suffer from the illusion that
            they benefit from this state-of-affairs, simply because they squeeze out
            monstrous wealth and power, and they use their resources, their
            mass-technologies of ideological projection and control,
            > their seductive methods of commodity intensification, their police, their
            armies, their politicians, their bureaucrats - all to insure the security of
            their positions as top-dogs, as king-rats, as chief-cannibals over a reified
            and alienated world.
            >
            > So I ask you -- do you deserve this? Did you give your consent? Did you
            sign a contract? Can you "fix yourself" outside of fixing the
            social-historical context in which you were formed, in which you have to
            operate everyday, in which you are embedded? Where do you end and your
            social reality begin? How can you separate them? We live in a world of
            alienation in which what it means to be a human being, what it means to be a
            body, a mind, a self -- to a very real extent -- are products of socially
            determining factors that are out of our control, at least up till now. The
            question is: can we become conscious enough, can we become the CLASS OF
            CONSCIOUSNESS -- which means, can we create the ideas, the means, the modes
            of collective power, to turn the tables on our alienation and also on the
            entrenched class powers that think they benefit from it. Can we engage
            ourselves in a Copernican revolution in our social relations. Can we REVOLVE
            OUR CONSCIOUSNESS in such a way that brings into
            > existence a world in which the statement "the collective consciousness is
            all of us, here and now" actually has a decisive meaning because the
            collective can bring its plans, hopes, imaginations, and desires into
            reality by way of real acts through the creation of real self-managed
            situations. Nothing less that the abolition of the economy, politics, the
            state, the spectacle -- and all the other separations between people and
            their social-historical reality - can free up humanity enough so that we can
            actually put ourselves in the driver's seat of our own self-evolution. To
            not come to grips with this problem, this question of our historical epoch,
            is to not address the problem of human subjectivity and its possibilities.
            In other words, to not come to grips with this problem is to succumb to
            alienation and its reifications. It is, as they say, to be doing nothing but
            pissing in the wind. And like alienation and its reification, the piss will
            come flying back in your face.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Commodities
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > "The commodity can be understood in its undistorted essence only when it
            becomes the universal category of society as a whole. Only in this context
            does the reification produced by commodity relations assume decisive
            importance both for the objective evolution of society and for the attitudes
            that people adopt toward it, as it subjugates their consciousness to the
            forms in which this reification finds _expression..."
            >
            >
            > George Lukács, History and Class Consciousness
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > "The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production
            prevails, presents itself as "an immense accumulation of commodities," its
            unit being a single commodity. Our investigation must therefore begin with
            the analysis of a commodity."
            >
            > "A commodity is, in the first place, an object outside us, a thing that by
            its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another. The nature of
            such wants, whether, for instance, they spring from the stomach or from
            fancy, makes no difference. Neither are we here concerned to know how the
            object satisfies these wants, whether directly as means of subsistence, or
            indirectly as means of production."
            >
            > "Every useful thing, as iron, paper, &c., may be looked at from the two
            points of view of quality and quantity. It is an assemblage of many
            properties, and may therefore be of use in various ways. To discover the
            various uses of things is the work of history. So also is the establishment
            of socially-recognized standards of measure for the quantities of these
            useful objects. The diversity of these measures has its origin partly in the
            diverse nature of the objects to be measured, partly in convention."
            >
            > "The utility of a thing makes it a use-value. But this utility is not a
            thing of air. Being limited by the physical properties of the commodity, it
            has no existence apart from that commodity. A commodity, such as iron, corn,
            or a diamond, is therefore, so far as it is a material thing, a use-value,
            something useful. This property of a commodity is independent of the amount
            of labour required to appropriate its useful qualities. When treating of
            use-value, we always assume to be dealing with definite quantities, such as
            dozens of watches, yards of linen, or tons of iron. The use-values of
            commodities furnish the material for a special study, that of the commercial
            knowledge of commodities. Use-values become a reality only by use or
            consumption: they also constitute the substance of all wealth, whatever may
            be the social form of that wealth. In the form of society we are about to
            consider, they are, in addition, the material depositories of
            exchange-value."
            >
            > "Exchange-value, at first sight, presents itself as a quantitative
            relation, as the proportion in which values in use of one sort are exchanged
            for those of another sort, a relation constantly changing with time and
            place. Hence exchange-value appears to be something accidental and purely
            relative, and consequently an intrinsic value, i.e., an exchange-value that
            is inseparably connected with, inherent in commodities, seems a
            contradiction in terms. Let us consider the matter a little more
            closely...."
            >
            > Karl Marx, Capital
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Well, well, well. What is going on here? Somehow, the use-value of
            commodities must become aligned with the exchange-value of commodities, or
            rather, the use-value (quality) must take the form of a quantity, that is, a
            price -- but that seems impossible -- as one side is the quality, form,
            usefulness etc. but the other side is pure abstraction, like a measurement
            on a number scale. So there must be some mediating factor, something
            embedded and yet distinct from the commodity that can mediate between its
            use-value and exchange-value. Could it be money? Money obviously mediates
            the act of exchange, and money is surely a form of measurement -- but a
            measurement of what? What is being measured? Supply and demand? Well supply
            is, again, a quantity, and demand is a quality, a feeling of want or desire.
            So supply and demand may be factored in, but they do not solve the problem,
            they still do not account for the bottom-line measurement that can mediate
            the VALUE of the commodities -- the
            > relation of each commodity against all other commodities and the
            translation of this measurement into the material embodiment into a certain
            amount of money. So what is being measured? Do you know? Have you ever
            stopped and wondered? Isn't it funny -- we each of us engage in this
            behavior of commodity exchange countless times in our life, each and
            everyday, yet do we really understand what is going on? How can seventeen
            umbrellas be measured as equivalent to, oh say, 100 hits of LSD.... Well for
            now I'll leave it to you to come up with an answer.... But here is my
            point -- this system of commodity production and exchange is the basic mode
            of operation of capitalist society. It is "how things work." And it appears
            to us as totally natural, primarily because the system has produced a form
            of living, a culture, that has become all-encompassing. "All we see are
            things and their prices." Through the mode of commodity production there is
            a hidden secret, a sleight-of-hand, which when seen
            > for what it is, can be exposed as the source of wealth/poverty, class
            antagonism, and the accumulation of CAPITAL. Through some process there is
            an accumulation of wealth in the hands of the owners of capital, despite the
            fact that it is the workers who do most of the work, who produce the
            commodities. And this process creates the relation of ALIENATION. This
            process creates a surplus that then stands opposed to the workers that
            produce it -- and its accumulation as capital becomes yet a more enlarged
            embodiment of wealth that the workers are then obliged to continue to work
            for, to sell themselves to, to exchange their daily lives, skills, time, and
            energies -- for a wage. They, themselves, become commodities that are sold
            for a price. Further, the accumulation of capital cannot just stand pat, the
            whole circuit of capital->commodity production-->commodity
            exchange--accumulation-->commodity production--commodity
            exchange--accumulation must successfully make it through each stage,
            > must complete the circuit, or else there will be breakdown, crisis.
            Further, each capital, and the system of capitals as a whole, fights in the
            market for dominance and for an ever expanding market. There is an inherent
            expansionism in capitalism, and thus an inherent conflict between capitals
            and between national organizations of capital (as in national states).
            Actually there are many points of conflict -- because there are inherent
            contradictions in the functioning of this system. But the point here is that
            this system is a particular system, it is a game with its own rules, and its
            seizure of control of human society was a real historical process. Yes,
            commodity exchange of various kinds, and at various levels, existed before
            capitalism. But the evolution of capitalism and its form of surplus
            generation and ownership meant that the development of commodity relations
            became the DOMINATING organizing force of society, and this organizing force
            inherently must expand and control
            > more and more and more territory, it must be able to render more
            "things," more resources, more people into the commodity form. It cannot
            stop this process without going into crisis -- it must break through all
            limits, all resistance, it must colonize life intensively and extensively.
            That is the world we live in, this is the dominating force that builds
            cities, creates technologies, stands behind imperialisms, creates the
            growing contradiction between wealth and poverty, creates tensions that can
            lead to war, renders everything it touches into a market relation, and comes
            up against its own external limit in biospheric degradation.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > "The development of productive forces is the unconscious history that has
            actually created and altered the living conditions of human groups - the
            conditions enabling them to survive and the expansion of those conditions.
            It has been the economic basis of all human undertakings. Within natural
            economies, the emergence of a commodity sector represented a surplus
            survival. Commodity production, which implies the exchange of varied
            products between independent producers, tended for a long time to retain its
            small-scale craft aspects, relegated as it was to a marginal economic role
            where its quantitative reality was still hidden. But whenever it encountered
            the social conditions of large-scale commerce and capital accumulation, it
            took total control of the economy. The entire economy then became what the
            commodity had already shown itself to be in the course of this conquest: a
            process of quantitative development. This constant expansion of economic
            power in the form of commodities
            > transformed human labor itself into a commodity, into wage labor, and
            ultimately produced a level of abundance sufficient to solve the initial
            problem of survival - but only in such a way that the same problem is
            continually being regenerated at a higher level. Economic growth has
            liberated societies from the natural pressures that forced them into an
            immediate struggle for survival; but they have not yet been liberated from
            their liberator. The commodity's independence has spread to the entire
            economy it now dominates. This economy has transformed the world, but it has
            merely transformed it into a world dominated by the economy. The
            pseudo-nature within which human labor has become alienated demands that
            such labor remain forever in its service; and since this demand is
            formulated by and answerable only to itself, it in fact ends up channeling
            all socially permitted projects and endeavors into its own reinforcement.
            The abundance of commodities - that is, the abundance of commodity
            > relations - amounts to nothing more than an augmented survival."
            >
            > Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > I would add here that augmented survival is now obliged to show its
            underside, that is, the threat of terror, economic collapse, environmental
            destruction, and....
            >
            > And so here we are -- floating in our tranquil pools of unhappiness --
            surrounded by desolation and terror, "listening to the new told lies, with
            supreme visions of lonely tunes...."
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Well, so where are we? Why have I gone on and on about this? Because, dear
            friend, until you grasp these very fundamental relations, these very real
            developments, you will never get to the real basis of our history and our
            daily lives. In a sense we are victims, but only as long as we accept that
            role. Understanding the basic rules of political-economy can give insight
            into global capitalism in at least rudimentary sense (which, quite frankly
            is about all my pea-brain can handle.) But we are not victims, we are the
            creators of a world, but we create that world according to rules that are
            not of our conscious making. But we do inherent the results of history up to
            this point, for better and worse. Capitalism has revolutionized the world,
            and there are countless ways that we benefit from that system. But
            everything has its limits. The system is full of contradictions that lead it
            to crisis, and those crisis have nasty way of a becoming deeper and more
            profound. And a primary crisis is
            > the colonization of daily life by capital, and the rendering of us all
            into being servants of its quantitative dictates. Thus as the system slides
            into crisis, it will take us with it. When capitalism falls, it will fall on
            you. Our schooldays' civics lesson about voting and changing government is
            entertainingly sweet and naive, but also ultimately bland and banal --
            because it misses everything that is important. We must begin to reference
            and expose the ways people actually live -- that is, how we work (and for
            who, and why) and how we survive, how we spend our time, and what purpose do
            our daily lives serve. We must engage realities of enforced hierarchy and
            its forms of domination, and the ways we alienate power to forces outside
            ourselves, as a matter of routine. We must come to grips with the effects
            this must have on our psychologies. We need to expose and subvert the mass
            need for authoritarian domination - and how this domination is made
            necessary by way of our own
            > alienation, our own constant retreat from control of our own lives. Along
            with alienation comes dependency, we all depend on capitalism, no matter
            where it is taking us. Some people say (over and over and over) "well, four
            years from now we might be conscious enough to elect a better leader!" Not
            only does this viewpoint ignore the fact that our society is presided over
            by a small but extremely wealthy class of people who were never elected and
            whose decisions fundamentally affect the lives of millions, but also that
            these billionaire power-players also buy and sell politicians, and that
            legislation is not just written and passed in the interests of the corporate
            power bases -- but, in fact, the strategizers for the corporations are
            writing the legislation themselves and giving our "representatives" their
            marching orders.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > We can no longer accept the basic premises of hierarchy and bureaucratic
            power. Along with the overthrow of capitalism will come the abolition of
            authoritarian hierarchy.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Consciousness/Spectacle
            >
            >
            >
            > So we began with the notion of "collective consciousness" -- but the term
            can be seen in two ways. (1) The ideological _expression of the pseudo
            collectivity -- forms of "false consciousness" that define, proscribe,
            dictate, and enforce behaviors and ways of thinking upon the mass of
            individuals. This notion points toward a kind of mass-mindedness that
            enforces a way of life. This "mass-mindedness" is a product and _expression
            of capitalist culture and it manifests in particular ways. In our society,
            one of the primary forms of the (pseudo-)collective consciousness takes the
            form of what has been called "the spectacle."
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > "Understood in its totality, the spectacle is both the result and the goal
            of the dominant mode of production. It is not a mere decoration added to the
            real world. It is the very heart of this real society's unreality. In all of
            its particular manifestations - news, propaganda, advertising,
            entertainment - the spectacle represents the dominant model of life. It is
            the omnipresent affirmation of the choices that have already been made in
            the sphere of production and in the consumption implied by that production.
            In both form and content the spectacle serves as a total justification of
            the conditions and goals of the existing system. The spectacle also
            represents the constant presence of this justification since it monopolizes
            the majority of the time spent outside the production process...."
            >
            > "The spectacle keeps people in a state of unconsciousness as they pass
            through practical changes in their conditions of existence. Like a
            factitious god, it engenders itself and makes its own rules. It reveals
            itself for what it is: an autonomously developing separate power, based on
            the increasing productivity resulting from an increasingly refined division
            of labor into parcelized gestures dictated by the independent movement of
            machines, and working for an ever-expanding market. In the course of this
            development, all community and all critical awareness have disintegrated;
            and the forces that were able to grow by separating from each other have not
            yet been reunited."
            >
            > "The reigning economic system is a vicious circle of isolation. Its
            technologies are based on isolation, and they contribute to that same
            isolation. From automobiles to television, the goods that the spectacular
            system chooses to produce also serve it as weapons for constantly
            reinforcing the conditions that engender "lonely crowds." With
            ever-increasing concreteness the spectacle recreates its own
            presuppositions."
            >
            > "Workers do not produce themselves, they produce a power independent of
            themselves. The success of this production, the abundance it generates, is
            experienced by the producers as an abundance of dispossession. As their
            alienated products accumulate, all time and space become foreign to them.
            The spectacle is the map of this new world, a map that is identical to the
            territory it represents. The forces that have escaped us display themselves
            to us in all their power."
            >
            > "Though separated from what they produce, people nevertheless produce
            every detail of their world with ever-increasing power. They thus also find
            themselves increasingly separated from that world. The closer their life
            comes to being their own creation, the more they are excluded from that
            life."
            >
            > Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
            > http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/debord/1.htm
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > So, if you can understand what is being said, you can see that, yes, this
            society is produced, and reproduced, each day, by all of us -- but our
            production, our creation, the results of our life-energies, take on an
            independence from us, we alienate them via real social/productive relations
            into an independent power that then dominates our lives. That is how
            CAPITALISM operates -- that is what it IS -- the accumulation of capital by
            way of wage labor and commodity production and exchange and under the
            ownership of capitalist class interests. The State primarily exists as a
            management body which oversees the workings of the system. The culture
            becomes a pseudo-collectivity.
            >
            > The "collective consciousness" (ideology) is given the means of modern
            technologies and mass communications: it becomes a world view that has
            actually been materialized, a view of a world that has become objective. We
            are saturated by its ideologies.
            >
            > But I also assert that (2) "collective consciousness" can take on another
            form -- when it begins to be the _expression of our collective desires, and
            when we have the means to actually bring them into reality. There is a
            dialectic between the "individual" and the "social grouping." All human
            individuals are individuals vis-à-vis his/her society. The creation of
            individuals is a social process. So what it means to be an individual is
            also a product of society and history, and this develops in time. Yes, there
            may always be a tension between I and They, but They are also the means of
            my greater social realization. The dialectic, when freed from its current
            imprisonment, can be move toward a resonation of individuals, wherein we
            each begin to recognize our larger SOCIAL SELVES. This will be the return of
            the repressed, where all separations will be understood to be but moments in
            a greater dialectical unfolding....
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > "Self-consciousness exists in itself and for itself only insofar as it
            exists in and for another self-consciousness; that is, it exists only by
            being recognized and acknowledged."
            >
            > Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            > Revolution
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > I advocate the abolition of the economy, politics, the State. What that
            would leave is humanity beginning to collectively, consciously, and directly
            begin the adventure of our own revolutionary self-management. What that
            would leave is humanity engaging in a world-historical act of
            self-transformation and experimentation. I cannot spell out what forms this
            would take, because I am just one individual with very limited capacities,
            although I do have my own primitively developed ideas. I am not advocating a
            utopia, that is, an ideal state, but rather an ongoing experiment whose
            forms would be evolving according to possibilities. Basically the idea is
            power without mediators, power exercised by the "base" of society, not
            disowned or projected or alienated into a class above ourselves -- direct
            democracy or some form of consensus in collective forms of self-management.
            Such forms have come into being for brief moments in history, but they were
            always localized, isolated, and eventually
            > crushed By forces of reaction. Basically a simplistic outline would mean
            some kind of generalized movement amongst workers, artists, students,
            families, neighborhoods, emerging collectives, etc. The scenario would
            probably require some kind of society-wide crisis of a class-contentious
            nature -- that is, workers, etc. consciously struggling and organizing
            against the owners of capital and state bureaucrats. This leads to a series
            of strikes, and this leads to coordination and collectivization of the
            strike process -- and also to the rise of autonomy and consciousness amongst
            the strikers -- in other words, a "wildcat" consciousness outside of the
            control of trade union bureaucracies. Then comes the fun part: the strikes
            become generalized, we begin to shut down the economy -- but of course we
            can't just shut everything down -- we need things to survive: like food,
            medicine, communication, computers, energy, weapons, etc. etc. -- so rather
            than just staying "passively" on strike --
            > we take matters into our own hands -- WE OCCUPY THE FACTORIES, THE
            OFFICES, THE STREETS, EVERYTHING. And we just don't passively occupy -- we
            restart production UNDER OWN CONTROL -- and we coordinate on a citywide,
            region-wise, even international basis. Obviously there is going to be a lot
            of chaos, struggle, debate, and of course the capitalists and their
            functionaries are not just going to stand by and watch their world
            evaporate, so it is going to be a real struggle, in all ways. The stakes
            will be raised to the limit because everything will be called into question.
            We will all begin to directly intervene into the making of our own
            history -- we will enter "historical space" by way of "seizing our time."
            Beware: "Those who make revolution only halfway merely dig their own
            graves."
            >
            >
            > The crucial part, besides defending and extending the occupation movement,
            will discovering the methods of coordinating and making decisions that do
            not get out of the control of the people themselves -- so that any
            "representatives" that are needed to coordinate on a "higher" level are not
            really "representatives" -- but rather are delegates, immediately revocable,
            and whose function is to coordinate and carry our decisions already made.
            What would begin happening is a society-wide, ongoing, fluid, and evolving
            federation of assemblies and councils, making and carrying out plans,
            processes, and experiments. This movement would be based on "power without
            mediation," which is merely an attempt to express the idea of social
            revolution that does not immediately set-up a new form of authoritarian
            domination -- and the councils are form in which such direct decision-making
            could happen. And the assemblies/councils would seek ways to be
            democratically autonomous, and also coordinated and
            > federated. The conception is not anti-organizational -- it is rather a
            search for a kind of organization that does not get out of control of the
            people themselves -- that is, it is a form of self-management. Obviously,
            any such conception should evolve as social conditions and technological
            possiblities evolve. But equally important is the understanding that such
            councils have not been merely an imposed form on radical movements in modern
            history, some kind of blueprint that is grafted onto a revolution --- but
            rather that they have been a form that the autonomous workers and their
            allies have themselves discovered at moments of revolutionary contestation..
            So if there is an authentic revolution in our future, chances are, there
            will be some form of councilist experiments that emerge -- as this form
            seems to be an organic tendency. That is, general assemblies will emerge
            that exist to deliberate, debate, plan, and carry out specific goals. The
            awareness of this process, of what
            > it means and what are its implications, is crucial -- if the revolution
            is to remain in the hands of the people themselves, rather than being
            abandoned to a newly emerging bureaucracy or authoritarian party. Such
            social forms of councils, or something like them, will be the pivotal points
            that secure and push the movement forward -- that is, they will be popular
            forums and centers of action, they will be the space for the emergence real
            direct democracy. and a place whose existence will be a counterforce the
            tendency to return to "normal" functioning of capitalism, that is, back to
            the false security of capitalist daily life and all that implies, which is:
            retreat back to deadly routine, passive producers of our own demise,
            witnesses to the defeat of our own world-historical adventure.
            >
            >
            > We will abolish any need for the state, and will certainly abolish what
            is known, reified, and fetishized as "the economy" -- abolished as an entity
            separate from people and their desires. The system of commodity exchange and
            production will be replaced by production directly for human need.
            Capitalism with its need for class hierarchies and with its relentless need
            for expansion and commodification of the world -- will be superseded. This
            movement, this transcendence, will be the blossoming of humanity, a
            flowering of possibilities -- it will mean a fundamental revolution in the
            nature of human subjectivity in its social-historical dimension. For the
            first time, humanity will come to be directly and consciously engaged in its
            own development, precisely because alienated power will be transcended --
            the "economy" - the state - politics -- as the class-based management system
            of capitalism -- will all be jettisoned.
            >
            >
            >
            > But of course, the question presents itself -- can humanity (that is the
            workers, the alienated, can we, ourselves) find and develop the capacities
            to launch ourselves onto such a trajectory -- can we attain "escape
            velocity" from the social conditions that now imprison us? I would assert
            that without such a movement, without some such solution as I have very
            tentatively outlined, not only will we remain trapped within our own
            reifications, like a corpse preserved in alcohol, but we will hopelessly and
            helplessly witness the ever-deepening crisis of global-capitalism, as well
            as, the intensification and irreversibility of biospheric damage, species
            mass-extinction, environmental poisoning, and thus the possible extinction
            of the human race itself. We are fast approaching a rendezvous with history.
            So the question remains -- will the emerging global crisis in all its modes
            of _expression and ramifications provoke humanity to look for the means to
            lift itself out of the crisis in a
            > fundamental way? I say -- the global crisis begins in our own daily
            lives, so the problem is not only awesome in its extent and meaning, but
            calls into question what we do everyday -- how we alienate and disown our
            life-energies, creativities, and possibilities. This is the action of the
            subject/object dialectic of world history. We will learn to transcend who we
            "think we are," and redefine what we can become, in a new world of our own
            making.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > So where does that leave us???
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ___________________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > "The concept of class struggle constituted the first concrete, tactical
            marshaling of the shocks and injuries which men live individually; it was
            born in the whirlpool of suffering which the reduction of human relations to
            mechanisms of exploitation created everywhere in industrial societies. It
            issued from a will to transform the world and change life."
            >
            > Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life
            > http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/34
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Kathy Kundalini
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ---------------------------------
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