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Re: [Sartre] Our Situation -- Kathy's Political Statement

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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 1 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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