All posts by Tameka Careen

The enjoyment of singing justifies itself (if others enjoy the song, that is a bonus)

I think anarchists should give up the notion of trying to make a difference within society. I do not mean that I think the anarchist-identified do not make any difference within society or that they should necessarily give up doing the things that they do; what I mean is that I think anarchists should do what only anarchists can do. Anarchists must informally attack society, and without a plan for the future. Modernity is a systemization of control, an entanglement of automation, which is much too large to contemplate or exist within in any meaningful capacity. Individual freedom cannot exist alongside society, but is brought about by the process of challenging society’s mandates. By introducing ourselves as personalities — living individuals with needs that are absolutely opposed to the needs of capital and the state — we supplant the detachment and isolation imposed on us with meaningful relationships informed by individual character. The liberal statists offer us change, and the leftist tendencies of our milieu set about changing change. However, as activists inaugurate society’s reform, they mostly only reform themselves into models of the alienation they set out to challenge. The system is efficient at imposing its mechanical silhouette across the lived experience of its subjects. The point of entry into political discourse is the willing resolution of innate antagonisms against the existent, and a propensity for self-deprecation. Whereas politics is the recuperation of interpersonal relationships by the state, activism becomes the descent into the shallows of surrogate activities.

It is not that I think anarchists should give up activism, but that they should give up activist work — and that is only because I am set at odds with the institution of work. I see the distinction as a matter of both perception and motivation. I think people should do nice things for other people, and I think people should struggle to stifle repressive elements of the status quo; but at the same time, avoid the urge to fill up their time with “productivity” or the ubiquitous “getting shit done”. Giving up the aptness to sacrifice ourselves in service of abstractions calls pretty much every justification for control and domination into question.

Let us not talk about politics. Political conversation is uninteresting because it is a consideration of power that does not end with the determined conclusion to destroy power. Let us instead talk about each other. Let us instead talk about ourselves. Let us instead talk about how it is that we will live together and against this world. So then, what is to be the point of our conversations? To experience joy. To come together with others. To fulfill our needs as humans. To engage in total liberation. To destroy society.

It seems naive to hope that this world is ever going to be anything more than it is presently. Even as we grow physically, as our relationships with each other grow and develop, everything around us departs this life and turns to dust. Each day we collectively experience such a tremendous loss that thoughts of the future are much more akin to a terrible nightmare. Surely, anarchists are not the only ones that dream of freedom. Our style of living and our ideas about how to live intersect within our daily actions. In fact, friendship and the theory of friendship — which can be lived as the same thing — are the essential element of the impulse for limitless association. Too often, we forego dialogue and experiences that would help to explain the complexity of our relationships, and instead opt for alienated forms. Through actual conversation there is the spread of shared affinities — of mutual desire communicated through similar frustrations. We want to pursue radical discourse that does not conclude with the inception of played out projects or the formation of impersonal collectives.

Jean Weir says, “Anarchists are judged by other comrades according to what they say and do, and the coherence between these two factors, not through diatribes about their personal — real or invented — attributes as practiced by organizations that rely on charismatic leaders…”

By striving to become as unique as possible we directly subvert the irrelevance that we have inherited; when we meet with others on those terms we can form meaningful relationships that are in conflict with the present social order in every aspect. Deepened self-knowledge and the consideration of personal needs instigate conflict with the existent. Alienated forms form alienation, whereas diminutive forms encourage the experimentation of freedom and participation in liberation.

All we can really do is hang out with our friends, break stuff, open cages, lie to authority, cheat the system, steal everything, and talk shit about the people we do not like. Nothing is going to change about society.