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2: "You should be more careful what you write. You never know when a future employer might read it."

1: "When did we forget our dreams?"

2: "What?"

1: "The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I'm sitting here refreshing my inbox. We lived trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out ahead of us. We see the same things each day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us." | "And no, I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of some day easing my fit into a mold. It doesn't involve tempering my life to better fit someone's expectations. It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up."

 

1: "This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can."

1: "FUCK." | "THAT." | "SHIT."

 

Discussion 7 Comments

  • Irie Zen 22nd Nov 2018

  • Irie Zen 22nd Nov 2018

  • Dave Jones 22nd Nov 2018

    Don't be afraid to want what you truly desire. For those who dig the academic, jargon-laden scholasticism Bat grouses about, continue reading:
    Want What You Desire Dave Jones June 2017



    I want to start with excavations from the opaque, labyrinthine dream-world of the sub-conscious and myth, an interior of symbols and representation which can perhaps help us decipher our bizarre, dysfunctional present reality. The first is a quote from Jacques Lacan, a French psychoanalyst who explored the depths of the unconscious and implored: “Do not yield with regard to your desire”. His point, beyond the obvious call for resistance, is that we are not only dealing with the surface layer of things, the rational or conscious realm, but lurking below the surface is a complex libidinal economy of the forbidden and repressed. The shadow land. The other quote that helps to frame my argument is from part one of George Bernard Shaw’s visionary epic Back to Methuselah, titled In the Beginning: “Imagination is the beginning of creation”, the Serpent whispers to a distraught Eve in the Garden of Eden. “You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.”
    How then do imagination, desire and will play into the crisis that unites the climate movement today; that is, the steady destruction of the ecosystems upon which humans and many other species depend and the insufficient efforts to slow, much less stop and reverse this trend? Consider the unofficial motto of the environmental movement, going back to the first Earth Day in 1970: ‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good’. In other words, don’t reach too far, don’t think too grand, show maturity by tamping down expectations. Don’t threaten or get too confrontational. Measure your progress in small, gradual increments. And oh, by the way, don’t alienate possible donors with a critique too systemic or solutions too utopian. It is basically a rationalization for treating symptoms and ignoring the disease, insisting we place our trust in and work through the existing institutions of the regulatory state and the market. Try to collaborate with the powers that be. Compromise, compromise, always compromise. But at this critical juncture we have to ask ourselves as a movement: How has this been working out?
    Speaking to an Occupy Wall Street assembly in Zuccotti Park, social critic Slovoj Zizek, echoing Lacan, urged the crowd to not “be afraid to really want what you desire”. He was urging them to use that rare opportunity, that spontaneous and fragile uprising, to find the individual and collective courage to construct demands that could both challenge and “change everything”. What James Baldwin called “a certain daring.”
    Environmentalists are not alone in their timorous approach. No doubt other social and economic justice movements have also been afraid to want what they truly desire. But it is my contention that the environmental movement, broadly speaking, has been particularly susceptible to these prohibitions, has gone the furthest out of its way to embrace moderation, to avoid any “radical” language or suggestions of structural change. This “de-caffeinated” philosophy of avoiding ideological antagonism, of going along to get along, has facilitated the growth of numerous “green” advocacy organizations with both massive membership bases and foundation funders; what we might call the non-profit industrial complex. Their frantic fundraising pleas fill your mailbox each week. Convinced that economic growth and emissions can be “de-coupled” they promote a kinder, gentler capitalism, that is, what economist Samuel Brittan calls “capitalism with a human face”. Patting themselves on the back for legislative victories such as the Clean Water and Air Acts or the Endangered Species or Wilderness Acts, they looked away as polluting industries simply set up shop elsewhere around the globe. They feign shock and surprise as globalized, transnational capital finds places even more desperate for jobs, places where regulations and enforcement are more lax. Despite “landmark” legislation and “progressive” policy, the business of business continues apace.
    In her extraordinary book This Changes Everything: Climate vs Capitalism, author Naomi Klein devotes an entire chapter to a detailed examination of Big Green’s failed collaborative approach. At a historical moment crying out for courageous thinking, these groups instead embrace what she terms “magical thinking”. Having internalized the message that radical transformation is impossible, a fantasy, such notions are stuffed and hidden from sight. Repressed desire leads to a crisis of imagination and an inability to stretch the mind beyond imposed limitations. And so environmentalists define down what is possible and cling to a timid, exhausted strategy which only serves the status quo. The truly dangerous fantasy, that of unlimited but somehow “sustainable” growth, is perpetuated.
    Now many will argue -correctly- that such courageous thinking is also dangerous thinking. It is perfectly understandable that after two centuries of disillusionment, of betrayed ideals and corrupted visionaries, any notion of a grand historical project is viewed askance. Weighed by the conviction that, quoting Alain Badiou, “to want something better is to want something worse”, we accept the oft repeated sermon that all the big questions have been settled, that our technocratic, global “democratic capitalism” is the best possible way to order every society; that with on-line shopping and plasma screens we have reached the End of History. The mantra repeated continually throughout our media, our culture and our education system is that There Is No Alternative. That every other approach inevitably leads down the road to serfdom, to the nanny state and culture of dependency at best, to dictatorship, the gulag, and the killing fields at worst. We are encouraged to find an issue or an identity or a campaign and struggle away, fight tyranny on the weekends, if that’s how we wish to spend our precious leisure time. Go ahead and use the word revolution, but do it as a rhetorical, marketing ploy or campaign slogan.
    A perfect example of such banal, homogenized thinking was the Asia-Montana Energy Summit, an “expert conference” hosted by the University of Montana in April 2015. In panel after panel the stark, terrifying reality of climate science was simply disavowed and replaced by academic obfuscation around “balancing” carbon footprints and economic development, around “risks, challenges and opportunities”. In other words, lessons on how to look away, to avert our gaze and appear serious at the same time we stuff our desire deeper and deeper. Even at the university, the supposed bastion of free thought and open inquiry, the debate seems limited to how best arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. How to skillfully manage death by a thousand cuts.
    The questions then are through what mechanisms are these limitations constructed in the first place? How does this fear become so deeply embedded and internalized? And most important; can it be exposed and confronted and overcome? To some degree, we all desire acceptance, to fit in with a group, to belong to a tribe and be part of a larger whole. And this tribe, this whole, and each member’s subjectivity or identity, can be said to be constructed through what philosopher Michel Foucault described as “political rationality”. We become invested in certain orders of reason that give us membership and come to identify with them. It is through these orders of reason that what we can call “regimes of power-knowledge” are generated and operate. In other words, this rationality becomes a kind of self-replicating meme, a cultural norm which gives legitimacy to the way worlds are ordered, humans act and governments rule. This is what is known as their interpelletive power, a way in which if not always our consent, at least our acquiescence, is manufactured. Another often-used term for the way in which societies are ruled intensively, yet indirectly, without overt coercion, is ideological hegemony. In this sense, these “forms of reason”, these discourses and logics and narratives, become both dominant and invisible, like water to a fish. They are the ambient texture of our everyday lives and we are literally immersed in their logics. The best example of Foucault’s “normative order of reason”, the most powerful and pervasive in our world today, is economic rationality. Here the market- the All Knowing Invisible Hand- has successfully transformed itself into a governing, or political rationality. Any consideration of self-directed governance or democratic planning is almost universally condemned, by liberal and conservative alike, as the inescapable trapdoor into totalitarian rule. Welcome to neoliberalism.

    Depressed yet? Sorry, it might sound as if society is hopelessly colonized, that we all simply perform the roles dictated to us, that everyone has taken the blue pill, and at times we probably all feel that way. But were that true, if the cage were that inescapable and the boot-heel that heavy, there would be no radicals espousing revolution. There would be no such thing as the avant garde or jazz or the plethora of struggles and rebellions taking place all around the globe. The task then is to find the cracks and critically pry open those dominating narratives or rationalities, to begin asking just how they might prevent us from expressing what we truly desire. How that fear of subverting or de-stabilizing the established order is ingrained. And how such cruel and barbaric logics are given the sheen of legitimacy.
    Let’s begin at the beginning. Consider all the prohibitions on “ambitious desire”, a sin our Puritan heritage has bestowed on us Westerners and that twinge of guilt we can experience when we dream “too big”. Here we could go all the way back to the quote from Shaw, back to the Garden of Eden and to Augustine’s theory of the Fall of humankind. Human’s cannot be trusted to govern themselves, he reasoned, because our very nature- indeed all of Nature- has become corrupt resulting from Adam’s sin of desire. How then should we be governed? By the all-knowing Invisible Hand of the Market, say Hayek and Friedman and Reagan. Or by dictators, strongmen and successful tycoons, argue the Mussolini’s, Mugabe’s and Trumps. Religious law say the fundamentalists. Now consider your reaction to my use of the word utopian. We immediately think what?: head in the clouds, unrealistic, frivolous, right? Basically Hillary’s argument against Bernie. Instead, argue the Serious Ones, we need to be pragmatic, practical, understand the limits of what is doable. Shorten your reach, take tiny, incremental steps. All things in moderation. Stick with tradition, what has always been. Therein lies the mental cage. The invisible boot-heel. How “the good” in fact becomes the enemy of the better.
    It is precisely these imposed limits on imagination that Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum: “There Is No Alternative” espouses. Don’t even bother with testing boundaries, they cannot be breached. Don’t waste time thinking of new possibilities, they don’t exist. Even the yearning is taboo, and those trying to express it made to feel uncomfortable, naïve, and impolite in conversations. Even the imagination must be restricted and policed, if possible through self-censorship but if necessary, through institutionalized mechanisms like threats to tenure or career advancement, threats to our status or standing in our communities, and as a last resort, threats to our liberty and life. So called “non-ideological” technocratic management is our modern Siren Song, the dreamscape Herbert Marcus termed “ a comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic un-freedom”. Reduced to spectators, desire is re-directed into endless consumption on a 24/7 shopping channel. Whoever dies with the most toys wins. Shop till you drop, literally.
    Until eventually we reach the point where, as someone once said, it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is the end of capitalism.

    What then might be an example of “stretching the mind” or of thinking “beyond imposed limitations”? Consider the language used by Berta Caceras, an indigenous activist who was struggling to re-write the Honduran constitution (after the coup supported by then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton). Denouncing what she called the three pillars of evil; patriarchy, racism and capitalism, she said “When the people who live on the land, and who work on the land, get to decide what happens on it, that is a complete transformation of the whole political-economic situation”.
    Compare that to the words of mainstream climate groups enthused that market forces are replacing coal with natural gas or that renewables are becoming more competitive. One speaks of the world she would truly desire, one where foundational property relations can be questioned, fully aware of its radical implications. The other speaks practical reforms which in no way threaten the basic structure of economic power, which in fact reinforce them. One wants a truly classless society while the other hopes to build a prosperous middle-class. Of course we should also understand that the consequences for the use of certain language is very real. Caceras is murdered by the project developers and their government lackeys while environmental groups get foundation grants and fill their coffers with donations. In other words, the language boundaries are enforced both through violence or its threat and internally through anxiety about loss of a seat at the table, of privilege or status.
    If we look out at the Kubuki-carnival “politics” of today, those fearlessly struggling for what they truly desire are actually found on the far right, even reactionary fringe. Here we find Trump’s advisor Steve Bannon calling for what he calls “economic nationalism” and the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Throughout Europe we see a resurgence of ethno-nationalist fervor. And way out to even THEIR right we see the Islamic State calling for a hybrid modern/ archaic Caliphate and governance through scripture. All these projects are hyper-nostalgic, morally corrupt and intellectually vapid. But I believe they resonate, much to everyone’s shock and surprise, because they are bold and transformative and want what they truly desire. In her book Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein explained how those promoting a utopian project of global neoliberalism boldly exploited crises, both manufactured and natural, to impose their vision on society. Time and again we see the Right unafraid to swing for the fences, to reach for that apple, to want exactly what they desire. Ms. Klein has a new book, coming out today in fact, titled No Is Not Enough, arguing that being in opposition, being the resistance while lacking a vision, only takes us so far. But I would argue Yes is also “not enough” if the vision won’t effect change at the root. If it doesn’t explode those “regimes of power-knowledge” and capitalist logics.
    In the context of the climate crisis and its devastating global impacts, I believe the solutions we first desire and imagine, then will, and finally create, must be equally audacious and to scale. The enormity of the violence and injustice being perpetrated in the pursuit of profit must be met with an equally overwhelming response of revolutionary, egalitarian demands and disobedience. We should abandon our post-modern aversion to confrontation, to antagonistic, adversarial relations and we should be wary of the language of consensus and stakeholders and public-private partnerships. As Wendy Brown warns, we must resist becoming “human capital” and stop selling our dignity and perhaps our very souls, to the highest bidder. Rather than contenting ourselves with “the fragile discourse of human rights”, we should demand what we really desire, what Arundhati Roy termed the “expansive, magnificent concept of justice.” Instead of wanting voting rights, we should demand what we desire; full participation in planning our futures. Instead of more help for poor people we should want what we desire; the end of poverty altogether. Instead of wanting equal opportunity, we should demand what we truly desire; equitable, morally based allocation of the social product. Instead of more sacrifice and more labor, we should demand what we truly desire; real emancipation, more leisure and life enrichment, more enchantment, more dignity and joy. Instead of a living wage, shared ownership of the means of production.
    Raymond Williams wrote: “A good community is always an exploration, for consciousness cannot precede creation, and there is no formula for unknown experience. A good community, a living culture, will, because of this, not only make room for but actively encourage all and any who can contribute to the advance in consciousness which is the common need…” This is the community we should want and desire. Although we often mouth the words Another World Is Possible, we must first carve out the space to begin to imagine it, to beat back the fear of wanting what we truly desire. Going back to Shaw’s Garden of Eden, we hear Adam and Eve “always asking why?” but the Serpent dreams things that never were and asks “why not?”. You have tried your hardest to Bring Your Own Brain to this symposium, but as you are learning, this might be the most difficult part of the struggle for a just, sustainable culture. You have to fight for your mind and fight hard. It is going to take a generation of warriors willing to show up, pay attention, speak the truth and not worry about the consequences. Who’s down?

    • Bat Chainpuller 23rd Nov 2018

      Jeez Dave, it really should have been a blog post. Why don't you just blog your blogs here as well as on your blog? I miss you!

      Reading the journal of Lewis and Clarke's travels up the Missouri at moment. Will let you know when they get to the land of dental floss! If I don't forget.

      Did you really have to do a Street and call Klein's book extraordinary? At least you didn't say important. Every book he reads is fucking important.

      Fear? It literally has ruled/s my fucking life Dave.there was all this guck around the edge of my Gibson 335 dot which perplexed a friend of mine. He asked one day when we were playing what the fuck it was. I looked down at it all (never wiped it down or cleaned it over thirty years!), then back up at my friend and calmly and confidently answered..."fear". My friend wet himself because he fucking understood!

      But I think you're right...but I say the whole fucking left is fearful. Fearful of collapsing the wave function and making a definitive decision. Street's right about continued sectarian bullshit and ego...everything is constantly disputed and debated by every fucking variant of Marxist and anarchist and whoever else, over and over without anyone ever coming to any real consensual solution but rather, just fucking badgering on and going home to their respective corners to perhaps resume the battle another day...and another...and another...just a constant bickering of sorts all over the top of what seems, among most of the revolutionary left, to be a consensus about how fucked up everything is and a kind of agreement why. That's where the title of Klein's book becomes meaningless. It has changed NOTHING.

      Fuck, nearly thirty years ago two dudes, with good hearts and minds, plenty of knowledge both Marxist and anarchist and economic, and of plenty radical left activist experience (in organising too funnily enough!!! Hey everybody, let's organise!) developed a coherent idea for a new economy based on a bunch of values that seem pretty good to me and that seems to be pretty close to some of those general and the vague notions of what is needed, that you moot above. Thirty fucking years ago!!!!

      And yet, here we ALL are today wondering what the fuck we are going to do because a who lot of people figure we do not need that kind of thing.

      All blueprints are bad.
      Parecon is a blueprint.
      Ergo, Parecon is bad (now that's FEAR).

      Who the fuck are they to tell ME that...arrogant fucks they are. It ain't about whether THEY think it not feasible, or bad, it's importance lies in the very FACT it EXISTS and is a SERIOUS vision...not some vague notion arising from some realisation that,

      “When the people who live on the land, and who work on the land, get to decide what happens on it, that is a complete transformation of the whole political-economic situation”.

      No it isn't, it's when those people along with billions of others with a stake in the issue, construct a coherent set of institutional structures that solidify that idea and foster a set of values that can maintain it and then try to come up with connected strategy to attain it. And that needs to be on both a local and global level, Earth System level.

      No one can just say anymore, nor should they, we need eco-socialism and leave it at that. leave it be for others to discover what that is because I can tell you first hand it's a mind fuck finding out. You enter the cold dark and very boring world of left intellectual crapola that just goes on and on for fucking ever leaving the layperson completely fucking exhausted and unable to make a confident decision about fucking anything...Oh, hang on, just wait, maybe if I just read this one last book...nup, that didn't do it...maybe one more...nup, nothing and the fucking author is too busy to get back to my email...ok, maybe one more...and then this essay at this site, and that blog and then that site...GET FUCKED THE FUCKING LOT OF YOU CUNTS. and actually, some of these people are cunts or cuntish.

      Eco-socialism is meaningless. It means nothing without clear explication always attached. And not everyone is reading Kovel. Just as socialism is now meaningless unless someone can describe to someone else what they fucking mean by it. So when Ellen Meiksins Wood said that market socialism is basically an oxymoron because one cannot have markets and socialism together, one is still left holding onto a word that most laypersons know nothing about beyond voting for some party that once seemed to be attached to such a word, or thinking of North Korea, or some other worst possible version of what the west calls socialism because it serves some rhetorical and ideological purpose.

      No one is reading any of this shit, laypersons are NOT reading any of it, and no one within that area of the left that Mr Paul Street calls leading left intellectuals is doing bat shit to try and combat the fucking desert of ideas that is out there. And it is a desert, it only looks like shit is happening to the 23 people who visit marginal sites that carry information about practical work on the ground as Alperovitz calls it and coherent clear economic vision that some describe as more theoretical, like Parecon.

      Nup, the LEFT is still grappling in the dark, banging on about this and that, self emergence and self organisation as if improvising our collective way out is the answer. THAT REEKS/SMELLS of FEAR to me. And being an improviser is fucking fraught with danger.

      But very nice to see you drop back in Dave. Please stay a while? Blog some more.

      JUST ANOTHER RUPTURE AMID PARENTHESES (NOWHERE)




      Everything does seem to fail, doesn’t it. Things pop up then disappear. Some look promising but kind of go nowhere. Nowhere seems to be the destination of so many things. One could try to list them all but why bother. Where’s that gonna get us? Probably nowhere.

      Occupy this, start that, infiltrate those, radicalise them, confront that discourse, write about this, think through that, debate them, discuss this. This idea, that idea. Yep, on and on and on and on. Nowhere bound.


      “Structural change?”


      "Yes thanks.”

      “Any particular type sir? What about this amorphous nothing or maybe a couple of vague notions. A little bit of hope? What about our delicious utopian dream or…”

      “Or what if I have that really juicy looking well done idea here, that looks pretty darn nourishing”

      “Oh, I’m sorry sir, that vision’s not available at the moment. Caused some commotion it did. We’ve yet to remove it from the menu. We found most people just couldn’t digest it. It’s a little on the rich side. Perhaps sir would prefer this slightly under done maxim over here? A vague notion sir I know, but a rather popular one with our regular customers.”

      “Ok. That will have to do.”

      “Good then sir. And where are you off to tonight sir, if I may ask?”

      “Nowhere.”



  • Dave Jones 23rd Nov 2018

    Slogged through her, did you Bat? It's a paper I was honored to deliver at the Bring Your Own Brain Symposium organized by Big Sky High students. In the esteemed company of Richard Smith, Derrick Jensen, your boy George Monbiot, Kate Raworth, Henry Giroux,John Foran, Bill McKibben,(Richard and John spoke in person, the others skyped in).

    And guess what, we failed to ignite the revolution. But through those connections I am working with with great people in System Change Not Climate Change, some of whom are working through DSA to make climate a main focus ( I'm in the Ecosocialist Working Group as well) And still writing polemics and still meeting weekly with ZooZaps and trying to figure out how to accelerate the crisis.

    As for Naomi Klein, in a place where just saying the word capitalism was blasphemous, seeing her book on shelves on mainstreet was extraordinary and the film provoked a lot of discussion, critique, even much-needed confrontations with liberals of all stripes. But you are correct that nothing has changed in terms of power and her faith in "Blockadia" was misplaced. At the symposium we confronted McKibben on the 350 strategy and found him mired in contradiction. And Klein is on the Board of Directors.

    I have to go but I will get a blog going and post some more recent stuff I have been working on. Glad to find this little cell!

    • Bat Chainpuller 23rd Nov 2018

      Like you being round Dave...hardcore, like Jason Chap is, who I still chat to fairly regularly over coffee and food. You guys make me feel attached to the world of real change. I need that. ‘Cause I’m just a wanker talker bullshitter. That’s why places like this are important as Irie says. Pity more people don’t blurt their shit here...don’t see why it’s a problem to post twice or even three times if you are already posting once...then I don’t have to surf so much.

      Yeah I slogged but there wasn’t much gobbledygook apart from a few citations of gobbledygookers including Noam’s charlatan mate Lacan!

      No, you didn’t spark the revolution, but I’m sure much was done. It’s just that very few know about it.

      System Change Not Climate Change is great. I get updates and emails. Richard Smith asked me to join after I contacted him about an essay he wrote. Not that a I can do much from down here! He writes often about the need for a planned economy...albeit not totally planned...but I cannot understand how or why that must be the case. But Richard never mentions the one economy already in existence that is participatory planned...Parecon...not even as an example to alert others of its existence and merit, to publicise it, to put it out there, to make it more known. Why? Because he is not an economist and doesn’t wish to be so presumptuous as to know what that economy would be, something like that. Or perhaps he just doesn’t wish to be associated with something that could bring him grief. Sully his reputation (unlikely). Force him to provide argument as to why he supports such nonsense on stilts. I find it ridiculous. But then, I ain’t no smart guy. But Parecon still needs to be supported by the small esteemed group of left leading intellectuals of the radical community, because it is THERE, not ignored because they don’t like it or it’s a possibility only for the future but not now. Out of solidarity.

      But that would be hard considering George has already consigned Parecon to the dustbin of history, way back when, when he dismissed it as unworkable, as easily corruptible, in debate with Albert himself. In a really arrogant and actually, to be more harsh, ignorant way, I might add. But again, I ain’t got his smarts man, not even close, nor his amenable manner (see how he deals with Noam in that infamous email exchange...much like Sam “No, I Do know Lots Of Stuff” Harris) . And now it’s Raworth for him. I shrug my shoulders at Raworth. But what would I know, she’s a smart economist unlike myself but as are Hahnel and Albert. But it’s interesting that the vague ideas, not definitive and many nothing really new, proffered in her book are worthy of support and a planned economy, like Parecon, that Richard Smith always suggests we need, remains unmentioned. Unmentionable, like the evil villain in those a Harry Potter books.

      It is not that I think Raworth's ideas or all those of others of a somewhat anti-Parecon persuasion are not worthy of attention...they are, man I read about them constantly, it’s just that Parecon in fact does much of what they do not...offer up a coherent and complete type of planned economy based on a set of values and further, brings into awareness discussion about stuff that all these other ideas rarely bring up...like how do people get remunerated, what is the nature of the remuneration in the sense of humans gaining access to the social pie in a fair and equitable way and beyond the local or regional , how do we deal with workplace hierarchy (rarely discussed), global allocation that does not deal inefficiently with global resources (which markets are...inefficient), and class etc..

      Most of these people would be aware of the urgency for change, but most of what they advocate seems in fact a slow burn without any real clear end goal...more improvisatory hope for self emergence from self organisation as Michel Bauwens sees it. (Or, more dangerously, that shit will grow out of changing material circumstances as they appear, as crises emerge, as Clive Hamilton told me personally). A kind of hope that the ideas the Next System Project pushes, the Cleveland model, the Preston model, Catalonia, the Chiapas, Kerala, Rojava, and no doubt many other smaller and lesser known initiatives around the world, will take off...soon...soonish....hopefully soonish...and then there's the Green New Deals.

      And funnily enough, when Alperovitz is questioned on global warming, ecological catastrophe, he acknowledges that the capitalist system must be changed, that averting such catastrophe is dependent on that, yet even he, in 2018 knows not what that will be, as a total global encompassing system which it must be, he’s just sowing the foundational ground. Yet right there, under his nose is at least one idea of a planned economy that goes beyond the half arsed, or impossible to understand steady state models or those market socialists and others who still think it’s ok for those on the floor to be paid three times less than those doing the thinking/creative/entrepreneurial work...yes steady state and market socialist models AND basic incomes, along with romantic, yet important, ideas of this "new phenomenon" called commoning, get more attention than creative imaginative coherent clear models developed by economists and left activists of fifty years experience...no let’s ignore them, it's over the top. “Ok, we’ll acknowledge it exists, publish a couple of small essays but then never speak of it again. Is that ok?”

      I hope theses little get togethers grow into huge ones and those with the gift of the gab, and not the gobbledygook, those with good brains, talented and worthy genetic endowment that make for good speakers and debaters, get the message across because the layperson knows nothing. They merely know of renewables, getting rid of coal, keeping their jobs or having work, riding bikes, growing chickens and food in their back yards and the bee crisis. And that’s only some of them. As far as economies go its markets all the way dude, and private property, just regulate it dude. They know nothing of planned economies, steady state economies, doughnut economies, market socialist economies, or even green new deals and Climate Mobilisation Victory Plans or transitions. Nothing. And when you tell them this stuff, in 2018 (Bakunin agitated constantly, was sentenced to Siberia and had to escape Russia, loved Marx’s analysis of capitalism but questioned his prescription and was right, and then he died...he’d be a little pissed by the state of play in 2018 I reckon!) their eyes glaze over and they shift as quickly as possible to complaining about Jordan Peterson or some such wannabe prophet I have never heard of or some current member of parliament or political “crisis”. Or they say shit like...you should do a blog James. For fuck sake.

      Yeah, joining groups, meeting regularly, being active, getting arrested, organising....after working six days a week, for so long, and trying the joining thing with IOPS, and now having gained an extra day off...a whole weekend...I prefer to sit by myself in some cafe, with the shite I read and stare into space every now and then, with some hope to making some music when a I can, when I have the energy. And only when that energy aligns with a creative spurt (a spurt rather than a surge). Creativity that has been pummeled out of me over decades of rote bullshit work I am supposed to be grateful for. I still have little confidence in my abilities and my understanding of things. I do not really believe people are cunts by the way, particularly those on the political port side, although there are some in the world, usually on the other side, who would wear the label well. There is just this constant nagging in my head that says the Left, if there is one, needs to make a huge shift in its approach. It cannot just keep doing what it’s doing, saying what it’s saying which seems pretty much the same thing it has been doing for a long time now. Let’s organise cannot be small meetings or get togethers anymore. Coffee shops and hangouts. It has to be huge, big and impactful. Like the shit high profile musos can do because it works for huge record companies, and appendaged peripheral businesses, who will sell more units as a result. I don’t know how that can be done but it needs to be for the word organise to be meaningful. Otherwise it’s just folks doing stuff that makes them feel better about themselves and will change very little. In this sense Klein was right...the state of play now changes everything in the way the left should do stuff.

      I mean a point...if Albert wants to make a movie called The Next Revolution, surely, in solidarity, in support, no matter how insane the idea or even poor the screenplay may be, why the fuck doesn’t the film making audio visual creative left jump at the opportunity and fucking make the thing? Why does not the left media, Counterpunch, New Left Project, Jacobin, In These Times and every other Left website and writer and leading intellectual you can think of embrace and support it? I can see Street saying, "Michael Albert, in his important screen play The Next Revolution says...". Or maybe I can't see that! Why doesn’t Michael Moore throw his arms around Albert and say, yes, we will make this, TOGETHER? Why doesn’t Monbiot put a call out for help to do so? Or Klein jump on it and embrace the idea? Why don’t others tell everyone about it with generous support? Huh? Why?

      Maybe they are. Perhaps it’s too early to say they aren’t and I’m jumping the gun. But somehow, considering the complete ignoring generally of Albert’s extraordinary, important and valuable book called Practical Utopia, which the NSP, who I asked to publicise it, ignored, who supported Raworth’s Doughnut Economics, I doubt it.

      I sent out a message to Joe Rogan to interview Albert because Rogan (and I only know of him recently because people send me stuff...I may have seen him before but wouldn’t know, can't remember) reaches far more people than the left and it would be a tiny hiccup in that horrible intellectual dark web that gets far more notice and attention. He probably will not get back to me nor take up the suggestion...but then why should he...I’m just some anonymous dick from down under chundering bullshit and chewing on my own self delusion. I want Russel Brand to interview Albert but you can’t get hold of him. You see, he’s far too busy, and important, yet Noam, pushing 90, still answers my inane emails about linguistics, philosophy and shit I am reading, like sometimes within, hours. Albert responds to pretty much everything if you ask.

      Then again, maybe everything is happening and all going well. DSA, NSP, Corbyn, Sanders, Green New Deals, Commoning etc..Maybe things are moving and gathering momentum and its all just a matter of time...but how much time...and its time everyone says we are running out of.

      And yes, the world still has good things in it, great stuff and other stuff and we all need to laugh and smile but then...are our grand kids going to get what WE deserve?

  • Alex of... 25th Nov 2018

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”