In this issue I'm trying to look at the opposition of living and surviving. Can we survive to live? How much compromise is involved in surviving today? What are the ways of surviving if we want to live?
To be allowed to survive, society has demanded that we give up our time to produce profit for a few. It demands that we follow its coded and channelled behaviour. In the end it is notour life we are living; we are just a reproduction of the worker, bored and alienated. We are given commodities that advertising tells us we will be satisfied by. We are given a small amount of controlled leisure time into which we are supposed to channel all our desire, and, expectedly, desire comes out all screwed up. The survival that society has given us offers no room for life.
If we try to live, however, society won't let us survive. Desire is made illegal. Living without work is made almost impossible. And from the beginning, our desire is overcoded with guilt and embarrassment.
This all brings up another dichotomy that the @narchist milieu is plagued with: between living after the revolution and not waiting for the revolution to live. Guy Debord said life is what we would have after the revolution, it didn't occur here. Vaneigem wrote The Revolution of Everyday Life, showing us how to live now. As Jean Barrot says, "Either one huddles in the crevices of bourgeois society, or one ceaselessly opposes it to a different life which is impotent because only the revolution can make it a reality." How can we pull these two tendencies together?
There are anarchists (of the desiring politics tendency) who attempt to live beyond the socially constructed boredom of everyday life within the present system. This is a rejection of the idea that we must wait until after the revolution to live. We can create ourselves here and now. The 'event' of revolution has always produced a new State that dominates the individual as before, only under a new organization. In place of revolution, these anarchists look to the process of continual insurrection. It is a matter of living your desires and when they run into the wall of society to fight and move on before you are destroyed. But is this coping with capitalism or destroying it?
In opposition to these insurrection anarchists, are the 'organization' anarchists, for lack of a better name. They believe that our present task is organizing a movement that will be ready to take advantage of the breakdown of capitalist hegemony.
This brings up many questions, central of which is the question of organization. Where do we put our effort? I have found some answers in Jacques Camatte's On Organization. He argues against organization as it mediates the action and energies of the oppressed. Groups stand between the individual and theory, which is the expression of existing class struggle. So groups realize the stabilization requirements of capital. Instead of an organization, he suggests building up personal correspondence with people on a similar theoretical level as oneself, a network instead of a political gang.
In addition to letters, personal contacts made through nomadism and festivals builds a mobile community of marginals, people living outside of our produce/consume society, that could temporarily free spaces as autonomous zones, such as nomadic encampments. These marginals could, in turn, proliferate beyond the control of capital.
Felix Guattari states in The Proliferation of Marginals, "It is impossible to trace a clear and definite boundary between the recuperable marginals and other types of marginalities on the way to truly 'molecular revolutions' ... What characterizes the 'molecular' here is the fact that the lines of flight merge with the objective lines of deterritorialization of the system and create an irreversible aspiration for new spaces of liberty." Capitalism frees some desire only to quickly recuperate the released productive energies. We must push every release of energy to the furthest possible point to counteract the repression of our desires. We must bring the possibilities of a wild ludic life in front of people and invite them to become active in the creation of their own lives. This movement should be multi-centred and polyvocal and allow the vectors of revolution to proliferate.
I believe nomadism is a present life that can also be a continual insurrection. When there is a mutation in the flow of desire, the mass-media can't recuperate it completely; something escapes, and this is the foundation of resistance. We find the cracks to flow through, trying to force them bigger and help others through before capitalism shuts them off.
Many questions remain: can the ownership of land or the maintaining of infoshops create true free spaces? How easily will they be recuperated? How much compromise is involved? If we don't build some free spaces, will we be able to survive long enough to challenge state power? And most importantly, how can we push our webwork further? How will we become the nomadic war machine that will destroy the capitalist system?