Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dull Pencils

Academia is disgusting. Yet so many of you keep flirting with it; seduced by the daughters and sons of the rich that speak in a language that most cannot understand. It's not just the dress of hipsters that you want to ape now, but the way in which that which is obscure and hard to comprehend suddenly becomes cool. The Agamben zine or the Baudrillard quote becomes so cool, because who the fuck knows what they are saying, or if what they are saying has any relevance to anything in our lives. It's great suddenly our ideas come in an American Apparel package, but when anyone actually stops to hear what we have to say, we might as well be giving someone a copy of a Amebix or Nausea record, smiling as we say, "This is anarchy." We have about the same chance. What is important to so many of the insurrectionaries now, is that their ideas (or the ideas that they think they enjoy) are difficult, unpopular, academic, hard to grasp, and therefore cool. Our theory has become that band that only 5 people like, but it is so sick because only 5 people like it. Pathetic. What gives theory power is that it is an idea that lots of people can understand and then be moved to act. If theory cannot be made to be understandable, then what good is it?

It's funny, because so many were so ready to throw themselves at the machine and occupy the universities in order to subvert it's role in the reproduction of class society, yet those same radicals take as gospel the works of so many professors and academics. We are backwards. We have problems talking to people, yet pride ourselves in writing and reading shit few people can understand. We defend this position by stating that we are seeking to 'understand capital,' yet all we are doing is consuming the works of academics; consuming their 'philosophy.' This has been done for hundreds of years. We are not closer to anything, and find new reasons not to act, yet more to read and think about. We are too poor to attend the schools of the professors that we read yet want to be them so badly. This class envy. Pathetic.

Never Trust an Academic

If you remember, we tried to tell you that a term paper was not creation, it was work. Alienated labor animated for the sake of capital. Yet, so many accept the works of academics at face value. Academics must write, they must produce. They have to denounce and create new theories. They have to give lectures, write books, publish papers. Anything ever written by one must have that in mind. They created this with the hope of making money and getting it done under deadlines. They wrote this hoping to cut corners and get in finished in order to go home and see their families or get fucked up. Take it with a grain of salt.

If one ever chooses to go to a strip club, I would hope that if the person you are watching dance smiles seducively at you, you will never believe that they are trying to flirt with you. Yet, we accept so much of the works of academics as neutral. When an academic sits down to write, they are not writing to put weapons in the hands of the working class. They seek to further the reproduction of whatever field of study they are in. So much of what we hate about identity politics comes out of this. The breaking apart of class society instead of looking at the totality. The looking down at the working class instead of theory and praxis coming out of it's day to day struggles, desires, and experiences. As the fire and resistance we have created has been beaten, killed, and recuperated out of us, these middle class devils have attempted to speak for us instead. Does it really matter if it is empire, the spectacle, capital, the desert, totally-being whoever gives a fuck? If academia has given us a new way of looking at the world, it hasn't given us any sort of tools that would help us do anything to change it.

And, now you can't speak without making reference to things which mean nothing to anyone but your five friends who happen to be friends with those other five people. You left of scene of bikes and bad food, only to find a clique of big words and earth tones. Have you forgotten it was always not the style that was important but the substance? That intentions were what mattered. And that if you didn't have a good reason for acting in your class interests, you probably had no hope of telling others that they should do the same.

Put Down the Book and Learn to Speak

I went to a noise demo recently outside of a prison. Later, I went to a building that homeless people were sleeping outside of because the city was arresting them on the street for sleeping outside and being homeless. I walked up with a fiend and a young person said, "At last the anarchists have come!" Alas, we replied, we were not from there, and we lived hours away. We were only visiting. Our theory is as impotent as our action. We love to act and pat ourselves on the back for acting, but the importance of action is only that it creates new relationships and betters our material conditions. No one gives a fuck if we act, only if it is effective and changes things.

And so, we march on a prison and make noise outside of it, passing out flyers to working class people telling them how fucked up it is that homeless people are getting arrested. Then, a block away, homeless people get arrested and no anarchists are even there to share a bagel. It is the same logic that allows us to put so much effort into publishing and printing texts and theory that have no chance of reaching out to anyone other than a small clique. In fact, their exclusiveness ensures that that clique is maintained and made stronger. That as some drop out of that clique, the exact same amount will fill their roles. Once we proclaimed that we were leaving the subculture, now we revel in it once again, but with all new window dressings.

Have we forgotten the idea that what is truly subversive is the coming together of those that feel the exploitation and alienation of class society? Those that link up based upon shared material conditions and a desire for emancipation? That one of our roles is the breaking down the divisions that exist between our class and the destruction of those that seek to divert our struggle into politics? Have we?

The academics that so many have a massive hard-on for now have sought to talk in a language that they understand: that of the academia. We smile when we learn that they then decided to move to some small ass town and buy a grocery store; as if this is something strange for middle class people to do. But, we aren't in France. And most of us don't go to nice schools. Most of us aren't going to move to some small towns, nor are we going to be able to buy a grocery store. No, most of us have jobs, pay rent, and will do so for a long time. Our roles as anarchists now is the same as it always have been, to BE proletarians. To act on our class interests and link up with others who can and do feel the same.

Nothing in anarchism has changed in the last two years. But if you are frustrated as I am, and don't want to be working class anymore, then we can begin to leave the world of academia behind. We can begin to develop our own theories. We can seek to reach out to people who are not "political."