Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Girls (a story of revolution) 26

read the beginning here


Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem

"We have just begun to think, that is the most remarkable fact of history. Our technology, our science, is nothing compared to the job ahead. To think our way out of where we've got ourselves. A failing system, a new one established.

"Our famous philosophers talked endlessly about the unconscious, being, appearance, negation, void. They constructed models relating the terms to each other. Each term had an "unconscious" aspect, that called upon multiple possible associations to give them meaning, but when they were used, the particular meaning was not settled upon. The multiple possibilities were there "unconsciously". Models constructed out of these elements could say or do anything. They successfully explained our world, successfully explained every world. They explained capitalism, communism, anarchism.

Models can be constructed with words that don't depend on unconscious meanings. Philosopher have been puzzled by the violence of Stalin against not only the Russian people, but also against his own party organization. He killed most of his subordinates. I want to explain this using a model that is testable. A model of ritual. Ritual is:
- a regularly repeated action
- that strips individuality
- performed in a group
- concluding with a sense of power
Individuality is "stripped" by our running away from what frightens us, running run towards the conclusion of the ritual. Safety is found in the repetition of these actions among your group. Power is the expectation you can go on repeating the same actions safely, that is, without obstacle. No unconscious meanings. Take now Stalin's killing of the people in his own party organization. It can't be explained by a theory of social classes in strife. It is explainable as ritual. If you are already murdering millions of people not your immediate subordinates, and you don't murder your immediate subordinates, what is your relation to them? They work for you. But you are a ritualist. When you stop practicing your ritual you are uneasy with the world. You're not prepared for what's outside. You work with your subordinates, but regular relation in a group is only a part of ritual, the action and resulting sense of power are absent. Why not just say he killed because he was a killer? He killed his own group because he was a killer who found his place in his group.

"Our lives have been similarly ritualistic. We've been told to please ourselves in any way we want, just don't pay attention to economic relations. We've been told to tolerate everyone, just don't do anything to remedy any economic injustice they may be subject to. Tolerance is "love" without individual content, hedonism is pleasure without individual choice of better and worse. A stripped individuality establishes the ritual of the everyday buying and selling economic life. You can't test "ideology" of "unconscious" connection between "tolerance" and "capitalism". We can we test our model of ritual, look for a falsification, the counter example in history or in present societies: regular repetitive action in a group without supporting stripped individuality. Can you think of an organization that was its own justification that was without ritual?

"While the American Forces protect us, we must act to reconstruct lost ritual with a new life, using the very same elements. We must act fast. The new, "anarchist" rules - no hire, no ownership without use - provide regularity. The harder task is replacing fear by love.

"We must fall in love with our new world, this new world we are making, we must be done with the old, unconscious thinking. We used to say, 'private property is theft', meaning it resulted in many people having no property at all. This led us to the idea of sharing, which had its own problems: do we share children, homes? We created solutions, but they held us back, and we were unconscious of them holding us back, satisfied as we were with their past success. We didn't know where the new ideas came from, how we created them. We just did it.

We don't have time for this any more! Falling in love is the proof that it is possible for us to learn consciously. Falling in love, piece by piece, experience by experience, we reorient our relation to the world, putting the world newly in relation also to the person we love. We do this effortlessly, because we want to do it, it is our nature to want to do it. When its done, the period of falling is done. But love doesn't end. No. Love begins! We've constructed out of all these effortless re-orientations a sense of home around the person we love, and we live in that sense of home. The sense of home is detachment from, being safe from everything outside, a mystical experience, nirvana. Falling in love is conscious learning. It gets us a home. We aren't unconscious of home, we know where it came from.

"It won't last. We'll find we don't know very much about the one we love, and have to search for the explanation, or the world will change, and we'll have to remake our home. We'll have to do what we'd done before effortlessly guided by desire, when we fell in love, but now have to do it experimentally, testing out each relation to the world. We'll act on what we know, trying to learn more, at all times consciously.

"Seeing the world in terms of ideology, capitalism, communism, or anarchism, we fell in love with ideas, made ourselves unconscious of personal experience. We betrayed ourselves.

"The world has changed. We need now to fall back in love with the people in our lives. And we will."

to be continued