hope in common
adding page for this sept 7 2019 article – hope in common by david graeber
Exceptionally good piece by @DavidGraeber on the apparatus that manufactures social hopelessness and the people’s forgetfulness that they have repeatedly vanquished it. Flimsy indeed is a system that must always subdue imagination to continue. https://t.co/PD0YW9zbS7
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/impermanen_/status/1176881442787184640
We seem to have reached an impasse. Capitalism as we know it appears to be coming apart. But as financial institutions stagger and crumble, there is no obvious alternative.
Is it normal for human beings to be unable to imagine what a better world would even be like?
no.. but it is normal for whales in sea world
Hopelessness isn’t natural. It needs to be produced..t
If we really want to understand this situation, we have to begin by understanding that the last thirty years have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus for the creation and maintenance of hopelessness, a kind of giant machine that is designed, first and foremost, to destroy any sense of possible alternative futures.
This apparatus exists to shred and pulverize the human imagination, to destroy any possibility of envisioning alternative futures.
imagining curiosity over decision making
As a result, the only thing left to imagine is more and more money, and debt spirals entirely out of control. What is debt, after all, but imaginary money whose value can only be realized in the future: future profits, the proceeds of the exploitation of workers not yet born.
Freedom has become the right to share in the proceeds of one’s own permanent enslavement..t
The effect however is clearly temporary. If the story of the global justice movement tells us anything it’s that the moment there appears to be any sense of an opening, the imagination will immediately spring forth. This is what effectively happened in the late ‘90s when it looked, for a moment, like we might be moving toward a world at peace.
again.. we have no idea what legit imagination would do.. just imagination from whales in sea world
In the US, for the last fifty years, whenever there seems to be any possibility of peace breaking out, the same thing happens: the emergence of a radical social movement dedicated to principles of direct action and participatory democracy, aiming to revolutionize the very meaning of political life. In the late ‘50s it was the civil rights movement; in the late ‘70s, the anti-nuclear movement. This time it happened on a planetary scale, and challenged capitalism head-on. These movements tend to be *extraordinarily effective.
*perhaps at waking us.. but like you said above.. w no legit alt.. so we go back under
The movement is then forced to transform itself into an anti-war movement; which, pretty much invariably, is far less democratically organized. So the civil rights movement was followed by Vietnam, the anti-nuclear movement by proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the global justice movement, by the “War on Terror.”
We are clearly at the verge of another mass resurgence of the popular imagination.
But in fact communism really just means any situation where people act according to the principle of “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs” — which is the way pretty much everyone always act if they are working together to get something done.
huge key we keep missing: something they are both curious about that day.. not something someone else wants them to get done (ie: work)
have\need ness.. in an undisturbed ecosystem..‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows
This is also the reason whole cities or countries revert to some form of rough-and-ready communism in the wake of natural disasters, or economic collapse (one might say, in those circumstances, markets and hierarchical chains of command are luxuries they can’t afford.) The more creativity is required, the more people have to improvise at a given task, the more egalitarian the resulting form of communism is likely to be: ..It’s only when work becomes standardized and boring — as on production lines — that it becomes possible to impose more authoritarian, even fascistic forms of communism.
begs we focus on augmenting interconnectedness
Communism then is already here. The question is how to further democratize it. Capitalism, in turn, is just one possible way of managing communism — ..Clearly we need to be thinking about a better one: preferably, one that does not quite so systematically set us all at each others’ throats.
All this makes it much easier to understand why capitalists are willing to pour such extraordinary resources into the machinery of hopelessness. Capitalism is not just a poor system for managing communism: it has a notorious tendency to periodically come spinning apart. Each time it does, those who profit from it have to convince everyone — and most of all the technical people, the doctors and teachers and surveyors and insurance claims adjustors — that there is really no choice but to dutifully paste it all back together again, in something like the original form. This despite the fact that most of those who will end up doing the work of rebuilding the system don’t even like it very much, and all have at least the vague suspicion, rooted in their own innumerable experiences of everyday communism, that it really ought to be possible to create a system at least a little less stupid and unfair.
already in us
“Economies of solidarity” exist on every continent, in at least eighty different countries. We are at the point where we can begin to perceive the outlines of how these can knit together on a global level, creating new forms of planetary commons to create a genuine insurgent civilization.
Visible alternatives shatter the sense of inevitability, that the system must, necessarily, be patched together in the same form — this is why it became such an imperative of global governance to stamp them out, or, when that’s not possible, to ensure that no one knows about them. To become aware of it allows us to see everything we are already doing in a new light. To realize we’re all already communists when working on a common projects, all already anarchists when we solve problems without recourse to lawyers or police, all revolutionaries when we make something genuinely new.
For at least five thousand years, popular movements have tended to center on struggles over debt — this was true long before capitalism even existed. There is a reason for this. Debt is the most efficient means ever created to take relations that are fundamentally based on violence and violent inequality and to make them seem right and moral to everyone concerned. When the trick no longer works, everything explodes. As it is now. Clearly, debt has shown itself to be the point of greatest weakness of the system,
A debt after all is only that: a promise, and the present world abounds with promises that have not been kept. .. All of this has come crashing down. What remains is what we are able to promise one another. Directly. Without the mediation of economic and political bureaucracies. The revolution begins by asking: what sort of promises do free men and women make to one another, and how, by making them, do we begin to make another world?
yeah.. i don’t know if truly free men and women would make promises.. am thinking.. perhaps promises poison freedom..
Bean (@SomersetBean) tweeted at 10:03 AM on Wed, Sep 25, 2019:
Freedom has become the right to share in the proceeds of one’s own permanent enslavement.
But we are clearly at the verge of another mass resurgence of the popular imagination.
Another great read from @davidgraeber: https://t.co/FgmJkDJsPp