Society is walls that cannot be broken
The antisocial madness is spreading within and beyond the walls of society.
This insanity is still our best bet. Let’s understand it very clearly… anarchy ain’t something to make a normal person out of you. Perhaps not even a “sane” person. And much less likely a social winner. You CAN WIN at anarchy but it’s hardly a social win.
If you choose anarchy, it’s pretty likely you may end up doing things that label you a misfit, a “whack”, a criminal, a terrorist, or just a really fucked up person. Not saying you ain’t fucked up indeed… just a different fucked up than the fucked-up-ness of your detractors! But it gets even worse when doing it as lone wolf.
While we understand that the social appeal to success or “fitting in” is pressuring heavily upon some of us, we can also comfort ourselves in knowing how this is all externally-originated dogma, from the comparison to others around to rooting for visions of prosperity or glamour. To live in the image of the perceived others is alienation of our own selves, giving it away as if our lives are not our own in the first place. Is this dogma all we know about how we should relate to others?
The trends, the bling-bling, the fancy… the intense, harsh, lukewarm conformity that are part of the urbanite’s culture are but the expression of the negation of the self, by its delusional assertion of an “ego” in a competitive world of consumerist relations. Who you are behind the curtain doesn’t matter when everything you “are” is spectacle. And anyways, nobody cares about what isn’t objected through predefined codes. Because you do not exist as a person but rather as a social actor, your true emotions or intentions are of no object.
Nobody cares about You.
(and Me obviously)
People care about what they’re collectively told to, because through the social theater of collectivities they find their characters. “Pick a role and shut up”, was meathead Dwayne «The Rock» Johnson’s tip to success in Hollywood. They care about what can make them succeed, gain power, capital for themselves and their herd. You are a good actor, not a good person; not because there aren’t any good intents or good deeds, but because persons are not allowed on stage. So goes the group gimmick in the capitalist world. By being a misfit in the parochial community, you may at best be given the persona of the village idiot, the witch or the traveling beggar, if those exist in the given social configuration/ideology of the herd.
But the facades we entertain in any given relation do not represent the entirety of ourselves… there’s always a secret garden, a skeleton in the closet, a transaction under the counter, and all this chatter outside of your range. Not merely an issue of devious selves; it is more that due to our personal experiences, we obviously tend to be larger, more complex than these roles. Or more simple, in some other people’s case. While there are simple persons with simple lives mostly deprived of contradictions or sidelines, it is undeniable that you never really who is that person with whom you’re involved into this or that project, go to bed with, share a ride with, etc.
Do they even know themselves, or have a whole view of their fragmented, territorialized existences? Do the activist, the artist, the student is even able to look at themselves without the abstraction of some grandiose depersonalized paradigm? We’re often too focused on being towards/for others, for learning about ourselves. The « be yourself » often heard in dating advice and job interview techniques is one absurd oxymoron. We set up a fake persona, then pretend to break up from it, by looking authentic. Doublethink or just hypocrisy?
So the walls act as the molds of society. The concrete molds, with their walls, shapes, divisions, gateways and conducts. Mostly unaccounted for, yet literally all over the place.
The modern city has moved beyond the archaic model of the walled city -enclaves made of a self-sustaining City-States under hyper-centralized rules- to an open city of walls. It has created conditions of living under a voluntary servitude, as trapped within or outside of walls that cannot be broken, because obviously these walls represent a central part of our everyday lives; in so, they hardly can ever be attacked, as they are holding lives inside. This is putting the anarchists in a problematic moral dilemma that over the last few years has evolved into the (valid) controversy on “indiscriminate violence”. The buildings are being occupied by people and domestic animals that unintentionally act as body shields in defense of lifeless buildings, poetically those same miserable buildings they’re working so hard to pay for living inside, every month, as a deeper level of exploitation.
These walls are real; they keep us from navigating anywhere we want across the urban landscape, blocking and rerouting our trajectories, undeniably controlling our movements; then they oppose those within these walls to those facing them in the streets. They direct the fluxes of traffic, and are a window to a world of confinement. They are made to be lovely, fancy, beautiful, yet even with their aesthetic quality -that grow along with wealth and social status- they are still walls. Within these walls our apartments, condos, offices, schools are confined within these walls where life is encapsulated, isolated, contained to a point where over-growths of living tend to be felt as adverse or threatening by the neighbors, for the primary reason that people rarely choose their neighbors out of knowing who they are, but only a (marketed) neighborhood. We are physical beings even if animated by our minds, but our minds also become shaped by these urban/suburban labyrinths to a point where it defines our way of seeing the world, makes us lose our « humanity », turning us into biological robots. It is no conspiracy against mankind, but society. The very society we reproduce and contribute to, just because supposedly there is no other, or better way.
A prison is a way to erase people from the social theater of “the outside world” while producing its own social theater of intense misery and oppression. In so, this is an even heavier pressure than precarity. Yet to me, being thrown into prison always felt like an extension of the world outside. It never did affect me emotionally; it was to me just a thicker, more concrete strata of society.
Why are we under a totalitarian rule… because society and its institutions (property, the Law, the family, etc) are amalgamated with “life” to a point where they are the same in the view of its loyal subjects. Call it a biopower, but that is only a nicer way to avoid talking about how it is also a totalizing power. Neoliberal democracy has achieved this process in these parts of the world. It has defeated history, and found a way to make any counter-current, or counterculture a productive organ insuring the prevalence of its order… Because all the gangs/crews/herds eventually find their conduct to power-accumulation, they become one of the State’s countless tentacles.
The de-domesticated ego, the de-institutionalized individual, is generally the way out after years, decades of social enslavement, but it is also the toughest answer to it. It is the process of unlearning, unlearning everything we were taught, to become ourselves again. Doing the unthinkable of becoming anew… Regaining youth and innocence through the vitality that arises deeply from within the self. Confronting what seeks to destroy us, the social patterns, the structures and instituting social madness is a liberating exercise which helps us tap into this inner vitality, for as long as it ain’t the product, in itself, of yet another herd gimmick. This won’t give you the power to go travel through walls, yet the nihilistic naivety will allow you to break free from those preconceived notions that are the result of these walls molding your minds during these years of enslavement. You/I were born as enslaved subjects, we grew up in these conditions, and grew up to see them as our natural, normal, even sane conditions of life in this universe. I want a world -that can be achieved in the here and now- where I (and others) are allowed to roam free and interact with the universe around without those absurd, psychopathological hindrances. While we are all ontologically and structurally distant -if not diverging away- from it, this reality, the reality of anarchy, is all around us in the non-artifical (natural) world. This is the natural world that gave us life as a gift, yet everyday we’re blowing it, ruining it with a bunch of schizo schemes. Just get on with it!
The title of this text was fatalistic on purpose just to provoke you. The walls, in a way, can be “broken”. Just not merely in a physical sense… unless you got some nukes at your disposal, or maybe if you come up with a way to take down the grid for an extended period of time. It is can be achieved, more likely, by subverting their purpose for exclusion and isolation, by opening them. May it be to develop or maintain communications with resisting prisoners, opening up your place in some significant way, or squatting*, or go roam free, as a nomadic being, if you still can. There was a very concrete meaning to the expression of “pushing the bars of the cage”. The cage is real, and it cannot be destroyed just overnight. All what is needed for our liberation out of it, is a little push…