Copyright © 2011 by Harold Jaffe. All rights reserved.
May ’68 affiche posted by French university students.
The battle for equal rights is ongoing.
(What if it is never-ending?)
Another affiche posted by French students:
Nous Sommes Tous INDESIREABLES
Brother and sister to the clochard, colonized Mahgreb, West African Black.
When you question young Americans about involvement in the larger struggle, they say they are too young, inexperienced, know too little of the world.
They say they have their own bedeviled lives to look after.
The revolted / revolting French students of ’68, like students in Italy, Belgium, Germany, Tokyo, Mexico City, Canada, the US . . . didn’t question their inexperience, lack of cultivation.
They recognized that youth equals clear-sightedness — no property, no marriage partner, no compelled employment on which your family depends.
Youth is the fortunate lack of enforced complicity.
The Sixties Zeitgeist was on their side, validated their dreamspace, intuition, polymorphous perversity.
If dream were permitted to interface with the anti-dream of our post-millennium “waking” lives, as in the Sixties was drawn from Native American and other “primitive” cultures, the globe would be inhabitable.
We wake after seven or eight hours of sleep punctuated by graphic, concentrated, timeless passion and perception and are encouraged to repress all of it; proceed with our stressful, programmed, mostly passionless wake-a-day lives as if dream-narrative never existed.
I call dreams “timeless” because dreamtime narrative is vertical, a-chronological, as opposed to the manipulated, horizontal, time-induced stresses of our wake-a-day.
Vertical privileges ritual, continuity and permanence; no or little distinction made between past and present, between dream or vision and what passes for real time.
The horizontal, to which official culture is indentured, privileges chronology, change, self-aggrandizing “laws,” and the future.
Where the past is validated, it is a distorted morality play marked with nostalgia and sentimentality.
But wasn’t “dream” induced by the widespread drug ingestion of the Sixties?
“Induced” and confirmed.
Forget about demonizing “drugs.”
Peyote is a drug, and so is technology.
In our current culture where consciousness is fractured, where dream and the creative imagination are officially disempowered, an experience uniquely combining the sensual and spiritual, such as peyote is capable of providing, will not be respected, let alone incorporated.
If you are a numbers human you will say the Sixties Zeitgeist failed because the revolting students lost their battle.
If you are not addicted to numbers you may recognize that dissent is unremitting.
The “permanent revolution”: Trotsky.
Examine the brilliant ’68 affiches, art composed by “amateurs.”
Examine the ’80s Act Up / Gran Fury posters aimed at haters of homosexual males during the critical time of AIDS in the US.
The posters, composed rapidly, reinforce the continuity of dissent.
If most art “makes nothing happen,” crisis art is a different animal.
Culture change is superstructural.
Mainstream culture has appropriated aspects of the creative imagination for its own purposes.
Not unlike young non Native American Sixties kids wearing buckskin and braiding their hair.
The vital impulses of creative imagination and of dream, eloquently prefigured in psychedelic drugs, can be ripped off but not fundamentally contaminated.
The carnival of passions and compassion that characterized the period from say 1966 to 1972 is finite, but in a more crucial sense it represents, in Huxley’s phrase, a perennial philosophy.
It counters prescribed virtues of morality, calculation, sublimation, and materialism with passion, improvisation, affect, visionary intuition.
The dissenting impulse cannot always be identified.
The pulses that characterize perennial dissent are by definition opposed to official culture, hence are often latent and underground; but like certain desert seeds which remain fertile for decades awaiting the appropriate climactic conditions to germinate, dissent is, to one extent or another, accessible even when seemingly invisible.
What do the Quakers and Antinomians have to do with the IWW?
Thoreau and the Abolitionists with the Beats?
The so-called Naturalists at the turn of the 20th with the Radical Greens?
The revolutionary impulse now, 2011, is under wraps,
Distinct-seeming from its forbears.
Anxiety and fear propagated.
Severe retribution, black sites, torture.
Mainstream media shits in the lap of official culture.
We are informed that the apex of happiness is heterosexual monogamy, workaholism, technology, morality.
That the nadir of misery is harm to self / family / country.
In truth happiness and misery extend far beyond those imposed categories, including a heterodox passion on one side and compassion for the brown-skinned victims of war and neglect on the other.
Youthful online hackers are mostly unaffected by imposed categories.
Deterritorialized, their terrain is virtual and everywhere.
They are fearless or defiant — often both.
They scan but won’t read.
They don’t know Marx or the Frankfurt School.
They know and feel inequity.
They are anarchists who never heard of Bakunin.
They mock the ass-backwardness of official culture.
Machinery of patriotism.
Constriction of passion.
Scapegoating of Islam.
Greed without boundary.
Depletion of our planet.
The terrain on which these current revolutionaries wage battle is not “real.”
They move their fingers.
With “high” technology ubiquitous / unquestioned, is there a “real”?
Baudrillard put it this way: “It is forbidden to unplug yourself, not only in interactive social life, but also on your deathbed; it is forbidden to tear out the tubes, even if you want to. And this is not criminal because it is an attempt on your own life — who cares about that? — but because it is an attempt on the life of medicine, and of high technology, which must ensure their own salvation first. The network principle carries with it the absolute moral obligation to remain plugged in.”
Young revolutionaries post-Millennium do not read in pre-electronic ways.
They know how to fuck up a corporate wet dream.
Hack the Pentagon, World Bank, IMF. FBI, DEA, TSA, virtually every elite, toxic abbreviation you can name.
Expose institutionalized deceit, war-mongering for corporate avarice and the Imperium.
Among some young hackers, their unlawful exposure is a carnival without politics.
Unlike the Sixties, mostly without drugs.
How young are those hackers?
Who invented the Internet?
The Pentagon was the early tale.
Sow their patriotic miseries secretly.
Now it is claimed that apolitical academics invented it.
But for the ironies, who cares?
Tous Unis Camarades Jusqu’a La Victoire
Whenever that will come.
Wherever that will come.
And if it doesn’t come?
La Lutte Continue