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Thread: politics culture wars pt 300: bourgeois fervour vs proletarian indifference

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    Default politics culture wars pt 300: bourgeois fervour vs proletarian indifference

    Please lengthen your message to at least 1 characters.

    Go on then, let's do all the politics fighting here.

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    It seems to me what the right and the left both share is a disappointment of joe bloggs to seriously invest in politics. that's where both of their coterminous characters are revealed. also why there seems to be little reason to wallow in a miserabilist discourse for people like me and i guess luke who see politics as policy making as tribal conflict that needs to be overcome.

    Whereas tea thinks my indifference to brexit is entirely in bad faith when it is anything but the case.

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    I actually have some sympathy for political fervour. but it seems to be that kind of bad (as opposed to dark) mysticism that leaves you even more atomised and alienated. the unity to join in with what is perceived as a unity actually retrofits a conception of unity to the diversity of the unitary universal.

    I.E: rather than discovering the many particulars within the universal the particular is grafted onto the universal.

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    1984 of course quite good at this. there is no proletarian voice in there. only party bureaucrats. the proletariat is just flooded with bad porn. the message in 1984 is not to resist tyranny but to avoid politics altogether. this is why it is simultaneously a very accurate and equally harmful book. accurate in that a break with current political configurations is necessary, harmful in that orwell's past as a committed socialist means that the literature professors totally misread it, because they read it in terms of Orwell's conscious desires, not what was germinating in the society as a whole. rather than Stalinism Orwell's book was primarily concerned with anglo-american imperialism. therefore it should have, for all intents and purposes been called 1948.
    Last edited by thirdform; 01-05-2019 at 09:47 PM.

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    1984 wasn't a dystopia, much less a harbinger of a dystopia. it was just standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    It seems to me what the right and the left both share is a disappointment of joe bloggs to seriously invest in politics. that's where both of their coterminous characters are revealed. also why there seems to be little reason to wallow in a miserabilist discourse for people like me and i guess luke who see politics as policy making as tribal conflict that needs to be overcome.

    Whereas tea thinks my indifference to brexit is entirely in bad faith when it is anything but the case.
    Joe Bloggs's suspicions would be amply confirmed if he were to meet many activists. Sorry, that the best I can muster for now, proper exhausted.

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    I do think there's something profoundly useful in seeing it all as spectacle and refusing to actually get drawn in and aligning with a side. I do it partly for entertainment I have to admit. Tune in like Corrie, get my 3 minute hate on, have a few laughs while I eat a lonely sandwich at my desk. What difference does it actually make anyway, if I get involved and excited and post a few articles on social media? Sweet FA. More engaged activism no so much though.

    I think you could say with the profile of a lot of Brexit voters it is Joe Bloggs joining in the discussion and he ain't happy.

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    Joe Bloggs's suspicions would be amply confirmed if he were to meet many activists
    The man on the bus has met me and he thinks I'm a cunt
    Last edited by IdleRich; 01-05-2019 at 10:22 PM.

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    Man on the street it should be apparently - whatever

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    I do think there's something profoundly useful in seeing it all as spectacle and refusing to actually get drawn in and aligning with a side. I do it partly for entertainment I have to admit. Tune in like Corrie, get my 3 minute hate on, have a few laughs while I eat a lonely sandwich at my desk. What difference does it actually make anyway, if I get involved and excited and post a few articles on social media? Sweet FA. More engaged activism no so much though.

    I think you could say with the profile of a lot of Brexit voters it is Joe Bloggs joining in the discussion and he ain't happy.
    It's not that i don't take a side as such, it's that my side isn't there. But like, you can either be all class war organisation/class war federation about and embarrass yourselves, or just disengage until something greater materialises. on class war, thanks for eden for tipping me to this article - relevant excerpt below...

    This was the background for the emergence of Class War. As the autonomist wing of anarchism sharpened its attack on the Lett, more traditional wings of anarchism did not know what to do, They found that their ideological grip was being weakened over the influx of post-punk youth. Sometimes they joined in the fascist smears organised by the media and the left, sometimes they treated [us?] as irrelevant councilists. However faced with the increasing irrelevance of syndicalism particularly amongst unemployed youth who had no great desire to become industrial workers, they tried to go with the flow. But they always kept most of their ideological baggage even if it was kept for Sunday best. Class War however developed through a process of innovation — taking up Lucy Parsons’ slogans to hold the Rich personally responsible:

    “Now is the time for every dirty lousy tramp to arm himself with a revolver or a knife and lie in wait outside the palaces of the rich and shoot or stab them to death as they come out.”
    This was rhetorical and no rich people were assassinated.
    This first phase of Class War reached a crunch in the crisis of autumn 1985. First oil there was a riot in Handsworth, Birmingham. When Douglas Hurd, the current Home secretary visited the area next day he was attacked and had to scurry away. A week later Brixton erupted in riots after the police had bust into a Black woman's house and shot her in the back (she has not walked since). Class War produced its next issue with a Black man carrying a petrol bomb with the slogan "The Working Class Strikes Back". This was a challenge to identity politics echoed by the Tory election poster in 1987 picturing a Black Person — 'Labour say he's Black, We say he's British'. The paper appeared on News at Ten. The media were ready to set Class War up, with the Guardian publishing lies that Class War was sat up by former leading NF-ers. Plans to organise a march in Brixton the next weekend were sabotaged by the Left. The state was scared that a new wave of riots would spread the country as in 1981.
    Then a week later still, the cops barged their way into another Black family’s house and pushed a woman to the ground. She died, The Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham became the scene of one of the most important uprisings. Guns were used on the police, and a police officer was stabbed to death. This created an ideological necessity for the police. Their day to day operations are based on maintaining a myth of police invulnerability. In the sixties when Harry Roberts killed to policemen a national hunt was mounted tor him with his face spread over the front of the newspapers for several weeks. He was eventually cornered camping in a wood. Here again the police had to reassert themselves with a campaign of terror on Broadwater Farm which exceeded anything they did against the miners during the previous miners’ strike.
    The police stole people's clothes ('for analysis') and prevented Giro cheques reaching those on benefit. Children were kidnapped and kept incommunicado, their parents not knowing where they were. The truth was that despite the rhetoric Class War could not deal with the new state offensive.
    What is remarkable is that Ireland has shown a maturity of class struggle despite loyalism and republicanism. E.g. during the seamen's strike Belfast seamen occupied the ferries and were only removed when cops with machine guns turned up.
    Republicanism is as 'revolutionary' as social democracy was in Europe during the forties when it organised underground armed cells to fight the Nazis/German occupation forces - i.e. not revolutionary at all. A willingness to use violence is a poor guide to political soundness. In Britain an illusion has been fostered of an effete middle-class preventing a 'virile' working class from expressing itself. From this the question of violence has been tied to the assertion of masculinity. This is of course bollocks as regards revolutionary strategy. O.K., organisations like the British National Party offer white working class male youth the opportunity to 'be real men' and this is symptomatic of the sell-contempt which this society induces in working class boys. But whether such youth are manipulated to defending 'their' country, or defending their 'class', neither is revolutionary.
    The speeches from chair however reflected a shift from sociology to business studies. There was less talk about getting across to those alleged 'ordinary people', and more about 'product'. For a moment lulled into sleep by the dull melody of the speaker’s voice I drifted into a reverie—I was at a quality circle meeting with some low grade manager giving us a pep talk about how we must work harder. The illusion was shattered by a burst of applause and as I regained consciousness it was the exceedingly long beard of the man across the room which reminded me of where I was…
    http://libcom.org/library/review-rev...sh-road-anarch

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    Activists tend to fetishise things that many people take for granted I think - small acts of solidarity, bits of community volunteering, discussions about the issues of the day.

    I think people are very good at triangulating between the amount of "free" time and energy they have, what needs to happen and the likelihood of getting involved with an activity producing anything useful (whether that be a political outcome or a warm feeling of a job well done).

    So they are rightly suspicious of people who seem to have a shitload of opportunity to "do politics".

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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    Whereas tea thinks my indifference to brexit is entirely in bad faith when it is anything but the case.
    Well from your hostility to "Remainers" (go fellate Kier Starmer, etc. etc.) I'd got the impression you weren't indifferent at all, but firmly pro-Brexit.

    If you couldn't give a toss one way or another then that's a different proposition.
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    Someone in my bloggsish office advanced the opinion yesterday the all of the boys who weren't into football at school turned out to be weirdos. Everyone agreed, while I grimaced.

    It's pretty much like that with people who are into politics. They're weirdos. (So thinks joebloggs.)

    The hostility even vegetarians arouse in people is indicative here. Not sure if it's an English thing, specifically, but people here hate anyone 'getting on their high horse'.

    It's interesting how once-radical beliefs slowly go through some sort of filtration system and become acceptable and ultimately matters of undebatable fact by joebloggs (although many of these are 'officially' sanctioned while plenty of 'un-PC' jokes go on, the return of the repressed).

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    Mind you, I don't suppose either I or my colleagues are proletarians. We're the comfortable bourgoisie, and why should we be interested in politics? Everything's working out alright for us. (Ecological catastrophe swims in and out of consciosuness, but we assume someone will do something about that eventually.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Someone in my bloggsish office advanced the opinion yesterday the all of the boys who weren't into football at school turned out to be weirdos. Everyone agreed, while I grimaced.

    It's pretty much like that with people who are into politics. They're weirdos. (So thinks joebloggs.)

    The hostility even vegetarians arouse in people is indicative here. Not sure if it's an English thing, specifically, but people here hate anyone 'getting on their high horse'.

    It's interesting how once-radical beliefs slowly go through some sort of filtration system and become acceptable and ultimately matters of undebatable fact by joebloggs (although many of these are 'officially' sanctioned while plenty of 'un-PC' jokes go on, the return of the repressed).
    Well I was never into football and look what happened to me...

    For most people what it boils down to is "is this person OK or are they a wanker". If all you do is lecture people that they shouldn't eat meat or call people chavs then they will draw their own conclusions.

    But if, for example you are a vegetarian and all that but are also the union rep or someone who helps out with a food bank or something people will be remarkably forgiving. "I mean he is a pain in the arse but he did stand up in that staff meeting and have a go, so fair play really".

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