Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Our Situation -- Kathy's Political Statement

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 4 , Jun 1 4:24 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      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




      ---------------------------------
      Discover Yahoo!
      Get on-the-go sports scores, stock quotes, news & more. Check it out!

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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 2 of 4 , Jun 1 4:55 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        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
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Discover Yahoo!
        > Get on-the-go sports scores, stock quotes, news & more. Check it out!
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.