social-transformation

Where do people get the idea that Knock Out is a popular, socially well-adjusted mech? He has literally one friend. His idea of a party is street racing and running people off roads into ditches. His attempts to join groups are awkward and presumptuous. He goes to movies alone. He parries personal questions with wisecracks and keeps his emotional self closed tight as a fist. He sees nothing wrong with dropping off the map when it suits him. He’s aloof but touchy, confident but standoffish, helplessly competitive, adamant about his independence yet desperate for acceptance and respect. He’s an eccentric and an underdog, not a social butterfly.

There is a lot of conversation about ending mass incarceration, but almost all of it is focused on changing how we respond to non-violent and low-level crimes. The problem is that more than half of people in state prison are incarcerated for violent crimes, so we will only end mass incarceration if we deal with the question of violence.  

This Issue Time conversation will deal with the question of violence, and will discuss whether mass incarceration actually makes us safer and what else could make us safe instead.

ASK OUR PANELISTS A QUESTION!

Danielle Sered envisioned, launched, and directs Common Justice. She leads the project’s efforts, locally rooted in Brooklyn but national in scope, to develop and advance practical and groundbreaking solutions to violence that advance racial equity, meet the needs of those harmed, and do not rely on incarceration.

Fatimah Loren Muhammad is the Director of Equal Justice USA’s Trauma Advocacy Initiative, which, in its pilot stage hosts weekly, half-day collaborative workshops bringing over 250 members of the Newark Police Department together with African American community leaders and public health practitioners to discuss issues of race, trauma, violence, policing, and mass incarceration. She is a Senior Fellow at Humanity in Action and a recipient the Leeway Foundation 2010 Social Transformation Award. 

Ryan King is a senior fellow in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where he works on sentencing and corrections issues with a focus on mass incarceration. His objective is to produce high-quality empirical research on the impact of sentencing and corrections policies at the state and federal level; and to work with policymakers, practitioners, and community advocates to identify strategies that assist in the pursuit of a fair, effective, and rational criminal justice system.

Glenn E. Martin, is the President and Founder of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), an organization dedicated to cutting the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030.

Our panelists will begin answering your questions on Monday April 17th.

AP Literature Horoscopes

Aries: “his looks are my soul’s food”

Taurus: Lucetta, a likely lesbian

Gemini: an insignificant small bird trying to be significant

Cancer: a victim of Godfrey Gauntlet’s A1 chastisement

Leo: Mr. Pickle’s sword

Virgo: a beautiful woman unfortunately given the name Hetty

Libra: believes pugs are monkeys

Scorpio: will not share their air w anyone bc ppl lie when they say that music is universal 

Sagittarius: a nasty ass cord of maple decaying in the swamp woods that nonetheless is pretty thicc, considering it is a massive 4x4x8

Capricorn: an option for the third FRQ

Aquarius: desperately wishes that Babamukuru will take them away to transform their social standing

Pisces: is harassed by an insignificant small bird that thinks they want its feathers

@shixpe and I were talking about 12x05 “The one You’ve Been Waiting For”, which, God, terrible episode in my opinion, but not the point.

To the people that want to say there is no performance Dean and that Dean is straight and is exactly how he often overcompensates and acts….

Dean admits to performance Dean in the episode, so I am therefore confused.

Sublimation is the act in which socially unacceptable impulses are transformed into other, more acceptable, behaviors.

Sam: Dean its called sublimation.

Dean: Yeah. Yeah, it’s kinda my thing

And yet?? Like, it’s not even context and subtext, Dean admits to it. Has admitted to it multiple times that he puts on a facade. he literally confesses to it to a priest, then comes out and puts back on the mask, leaving the truth a kept secret. Heck, he admitted back in S5(?) to having tried on a girls satin panties and having kind of liked wearing them- his reasons why bar none, he did, with little persuasion, and admittedly liked them, but of course, would never indulge the impulse because he has a stereotype and toxic masculine expectation to mold himself to. Kind of like how often he checks out or even flirts with other men. Note, not saying there’s correlation between clothing options and sexuality, as this about his personality as well. He refuses to admit to liking things he thinks he shouldn’t, unless done in a way he feels safe with. Like Taylor Swift, like Dory, like dozens of other things from canon. The bravado immediately comes out. Because of this toxic mindset he has always felt he had to conform to, though he’s gotten better over the years, he still does it, some days worse than others.

[Sublimation] It’s kinda my thing.

It could even be taken as far as admitting on the sly to being in the closet, yet in a way he feels safe that Sam won’t understand. Y’know, as closeted LGBT people often do.

I haven’t really seen anyone discussing this particular canon. @mittensmorgul? You are a major advocate for the canon of performance Dean that people want to dispute.

It might at first seem attractive to say things like “Marxism can’t explain everything and although it is useful in its particular domain it’s not enough to explain the experiences of xyz, etc.”—but there’s a few things that people forget or don’t realize when they say that.

First, people mistake Marxism for a specific set of conclusions. When we realize that certain issues like racial or national oppression cannot be strictly analyzed through the lens of some pre-existing categories within the Marxist “canon,” we may be tempted to say that Marxism has reached its limit here. I must insist in contrast that, while i certainly feel many of the conclusions typically associated with Marxism are correct, all of these conclusions could actually be wrong and Marxism would still be “true” in the sense that it is most fundamentally a revolutionary way of approaching problems and enacting social change

Second, what is particularly insidious about the idea that Marxism “doesn’t apply” to this or that is the broader implication—which is quite consistent with postmodern theory in general—that different “domains” of life require us to use different approaches, different methodologies, different systems, etc. Wittgenstein, for example, was one of the people who most rigorously argued this, and he held that different domains of life were playing different “language games” which each had their own logic. One conclusion that follows from this is that no domain of social life is really poised to evaluate the validity of the others or appeal to universal truths. This can seem like a compelling line of reasoning, especially since it aligns with the dominant ideology of late capitalism. But it begins to fall apart when one realizes that, to even be able to distinguish where different domains of social life lie and what separates them requires a “global” logic by which you make the distinctions. Proponents of the notion that there can only be “local” theoretical and political systems tailored to the specific conditions of different “domains” do not at all escape appealing to universals; they simply leave the universal principles upon which they base their conclusion completely unsaid, which i feel is extremely dangerous. At least with the liberal humanists, although they simply assert universality from on-high and base their notion on the most vague of abstractions, you know what their assumptions are.

So the question is, what do you hold to be universal? Because without universality, the notion of specificity literally has no meaning.

What do i think? Well, i think Marxism as a theoretical and political practice does have boundaries, but it is able to evaluate where its own boundaries lie utilizing certain principles which are universal. To be precise materialist dialectics contain statements about the very nature of existence which are of necessity global. The fact that materialist dialectics are the product of a concrete practice—namely, taking the standpoint of proletariat in the realm of theory—does not jeopardize their universal “reach.” In fact, i would say that the proletariat, a force which occurs at the point where the various contradictions of society fuse, is particularly poised to access the universal.

Further, the boundaries of Marxism as assessed under the framework of materialist dialectics are larger than many people assume. Remember that Marx does not simply presuppose social class and then analyze society through that lens. Marxism is ultimately interested in the social formation as a whole and in particular in the transformation of that social whole. Marx arrives at the concept of social class as a result (not as the point of departure!) of the study of the social formation in its entirety (which is also why he really only began to concretely articulate the concept of class near the end of his life). So, Marxism is immediately relevant whenever we are talking about the revolutionary transformation of social life. And i am convinced that it remains the best tool for catalyzing revolutionary change there is. After all, it is not a coincidence that the most successful revolutionary movements around the globe have either been explicitly communist or have at least tried to appropriate certain elements of Marxism to suit their purposes.

Long story short, Marxism as a whole “package” may have limits, but they are broader than most people assume, and within Marxism there are universal principles, without which it is impossible to even distinguish what is specific. 

Capitalism has facilitated democracy, fascism, state socialism, theocracy, militarism, human rights, religious revivals; it processes and transforms all social organisation into its social organisation. Every political aspiration is compatible with its productive relativism. You propose the counter culture? Capitalism will commodify it, instigate it, reproduce it, and sell it. There is no outside of the loop.
—  anarchists must say what only anarchists can say, monsieur dupont
  • Main political compass test: We strive to be the most accurate two-axis political chart around! =)
  • Main political compass test: *has no questions related to unions, private property vs common property, or organizational class aspects over the means of production; frames every question within a capitalist overton window so that the politically-advantageous lie about the Left (that it merely supports redistribution and regulatory checks to corporate power, rather than a full social transformation that would render those things unnecessary) is held in place; biased in favor of social liberalism in such a way that most people taking the test end up in the libertarian left quadrant when in reality they'd be situated closer to the center or in the authoritarian right quadrant (as is the default ideology with regard to capitalist liberal democracy)*

anonymous asked:

I never said you said people can't enjoy KS. Never even hinted at it. What I find stupid, is the fact you actually believe fiction has a hold on people's minds. When Harry Potter came out no one thought they were wizard, no one attempted to do spells or find hogwarts. When The Hunger Games came out, nobody got in a ring to fight their friends to the death. Should I go on? Wanting 2 characters to have sex or be together doesn't mean you're making a fetish or a goal out of the relationship...

There’s a reason that during political regimes, certain books are banned and why books are sorted by age categories for the content within it. Repeated exposure to a subject can lead to desensitization towards its subject matter. Though studies have not found that kids who play violent video games significantly demonstrate violent behavior, studies have shown that kids who play violent video games are less affected by violence in media. 

Constant exposure to fetishization of a social group, be it ethnicity or a same-sex relationship, without critical thinking on the reader’s part reduces the reader’s ability to recognize fetishization as a problem in reality as well due to internalized normalization of the content. There’s a reason why fetishization of Asian women (’yellow fever’ is such an ugly term) and desexualization of Asian men is so prevalent in the current, real world, and it’s all to do with the works of fiction and basically fictional accounts of the Western world about the Orient. 

If you’re going to make it easy for me and bring in the big works like Harry Potter, I don’t even have to pull out my psych book - I can just link you the studies. First of all, no one may have thought they were a wizard or attempt to do spells, but the number of kids who waited for their Hogwarts letter is more than you might think, and that’s only approaching the issue in the way you have narrowly defined it.

Fiction has social, transformative capabilities. Here’s a piece in the New York Times about how the themes present in Harry Potter has been influential to an entire generation. Here’s an article in the Scientific American about how the series instills empathy in children. Here’s the NPR’s on a study that claims reading Harry Potter leads to more positive social attitudes in children. Johns Hopkins University wrote a whole book on the subject. The Conversation also touches on this, and further, links to other studies on how fiction influences audience thinking.

Those are just the big-name publications I could link on Tumblr. The number of scholarly sources I can access through my university’s database is astronomical. Everyone wants to write their thesis on Harry Potter, I suppose, aha.

The Hunger Games has not been around for as long as Harry Potter nor comparably internationally successful, so there aren’t as many studies completed, but there is still this article from the Huffington Post with quotes from students remarking on real-world connections to the story and this Daily Dot piece on the series’ cultural impact. Oh, would you look at that. No one got in a ring to fight to the death, but there’s been an uptick in archery lessons for girls.

And to address your last point, no, wanting two characters to have sex or be in a relationship does not mean you are fetishizing them. It depends on why you want the characters to have sex or be in a relationship and how you portray it, and with Killing Stalking, it’s all too easy to get it wrong. 

If the primary reason you want the characters to have sex is because ‘it would be hot’, it’s fetishistic, and not just in the case of LGBT relationships. However, it is more damaging to LGBT people because proportionally, there are fewer LGBT sex scenes in media, so proportionally, there are fewer LGBT sex scenes done without a fetishistic gaze. If the primary reason you want the characters to be in a relationship is because you find it titillating, then it’s fetishistic, and it’s more damaging to LGBT people for the same reason: There are fewer LGBT relationships in mainstream media. 

Real-life lesbians have to deal with men who think they can butt in with a threesome, an idea popularized by pornographic fiction. Real-life gay men have to deal with gay-ship fangirls who tactlessly ask, “Which of you tops?” without realizing that asking about someone’s sex life might be intensely intrusive, thanks to yaoi culture. Bisexual and people with low sex-drive in general all have to deal with people who think that they can be the ‘exception’ and change their mind once they have sex, thanks to a lot of damaging fiction and ‘no means yes’ fiction written in the past.

Fiction can very much exert cultural and social influence, and trying to claim otherwise is a discredit to many great storytellers of the past and an offense to many aspiring storytellers of the future.

  • Propertarian: The founding fathers were willing to start a revolution over unjust taxation =) my heroes =) revolution is my jam =)
  • Socialist: Cool, here's more revolutionary potential in industrial unionism, community self-defense for marginalized groups, antifa, militant protests, strikes, etc. -- ya know, actions that will transform social relations for the better in the long run. That's revolution.
  • Propertarian: Wait no =/ not like that =\

anonymous asked:

Do you think social media affects mental health positively at all? (because most people, me included, think it does the opposite)

Absolutely. Here are some examples:

People with cystic fibrosis (CF) are highly prone to illness and are discouraged from interacting with each other. Although they can develop social support networks with non-CFers, they are unable to be around other CFers – the very folks who understand their illness best. Social media has created a platform with which people with CF can meet and develop friendships and support communities. For more information about how social media has radically transformed the lives of people with CF here’s an interview: http://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com/2014/09/cystic-fibrosis.html

Where do most people turn when they are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by life? Social media. It can be a GREAT place to vent, seek comic relief (such LOLcats), and feedback from people you care about. It can also be a place where a hobby or interest becomes a community of support. A friend of mine destresses by photoshopping photographs of Donald Trump and his ties [https://twitter.com/TrumpsTies]. He created a Twitter account where he’d post the photos of Trump and his long ties. His side project was picked up by Yahoo news and now he has thousands of people cheering him on.  

[A]lthough we need norms in order to live, and to live well, and to know in what direction to transform our social world, we are also constrained by norms in ways that sometimes do violence to us and which, for reasons of social justice, we must oppose.
—  Judith Butler, Undoing Gender (206)

‘Black Panther’ Climbs to Top of Social Media Chart With First Trailer

Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” dominated social media buzz last week in the wake of its first trailer with 466,000 new conversations, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service.

The trailer for the film debuted during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 9, as the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers faced off. The footage offered the first look at such big stars as Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan, as well as Chadwick Boseman, who plays the titular Black Panther.

Boseman, who debuted the character in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” plays T’Challa, the king of a fictional, technologically advanced African nation. “Black Panther” opens Feb. 16.

Sony’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” generated nearly 88,000 new conversations last week as the studio released extended clips on June 6-8, and revealed Zendaya’s role as Mary Jane Watson on June 9.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” has produced a total of 1.95 million new conversations. The tentpole opens on July 7.

Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3” generated 45,000 new conversations last week in the wake of releasing a final trailer on June 9. The movie, which has generated a total of 423,000 conversations on social media, opens Friday.

Paramount’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” saw 21,000 new conversations as the studio released character posters on June 5 and an international trailer on June 8. The fifth Transformers film, starring Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins, opens June 21.

Disney-Lucasfilms’ “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” produced 13,000 new conversations after the June 6 announcement of its early U.K. release date on June 6, and alleged plot details leaked on June 7. The tentpole, which opens Dec. 15, has already generated 1.87 million new conversations.

Il paraît que tu ne vas pas très bien.
Tu ne t'entends pas au mieux avec la Raison, ta proche lointaine. Elle s'absente quand tu fais des bêtises, elle surgit quand les bêtises sont faites. Tu te demandes à quoi elle sert. Quand elle te raisonne, il est trop tard. Ta raison ne veut ni ton bonheur ni ton malheur, sache-le. Son souci, c'est de domestiquer tes excès. Mais comme c'est une petite raison, elle y renonce très vite. C'est trop de fatigue pour elle, si fragile. Et puis, soyons clairs : tes excès, tu ne les aimes pas domestiqués. Je comprends ta méfiance envers ta raison.

Des raisons, il y en a de toutes sortes. Il en est d'utiles, d'efficaces. Il en est aussi de suspectes. J'en connais même qui participent ou participèrent à des entreprises totalitaires. Il existe une raison froidement criminelle, l'histoire récente nous en fournit la preuve. Enfin, dans ce monde hypermatérialiste, dominé par l'argent, la raison a perdu son âme. Elle est devenue une mécanique, une machine sophistiquée, experte en mercantilisme, en exploits de vénalité. Elle marchandise tout ce qu'elle touche, elle transforme tout en chose, même la vie, même les corps. Elle ne sait plus que rationaliser, rationaliser à outrance, mobilisée par le profit ou le pouvoir. Le but de la rationalisation, ce n'est jamais l'épanouissement de l'être, mais le triomphe de l'avoir.

Il faut chercher longtemps, de nos jours, pour localiser dans la raison sa vertu émancipatrice et libératrice des origines. Les Lumières, c'est fini, bien fini. Tes excès, tes violences sont peut-être une forme de révolte inconsciente, désespérée, contre l'emprise grandissante des techniques, dont la rationalisation est le moteur, le moteur de la déshumanisation en cours. Mais il n'est pas sûr que cette révolte en soit une. Il te faudrait un bon irrationnel pour qu'elle le soit. Un irrationnel exempt de crédulité et d'idolâtrie, un guerrier qui t'ouvrirait les yeux sur ta vérité de corps, sur son potentiel de créativité. Pour l'instant, tu es un corps qui s'abandonne aux mensonges et aux conditionnements du monde extérieur. Tu es convulsif sans être réellement subversif. Il te manque, pour ça, une plus grande conscience de ce que tu es, de ce que tu vaux. Ce n'est pas de raison que tu as besoin, mais de conscience. Une conscience aiguë, implacable. Cela se conquiert, cela s'obtient, cela s'étend et s'approfondit, crois-moi. Quand tu auras gagné cette conscience - et tu la gagneras, je n'en doute pas - alors commencera ta libération, ce qui signifie que de plus en plus tu te sentiras en accord avec toi-même, avec ton gisement identitaire. Jusqu'ici, quoi que tu dises, tu as surtout été un corps prisonnier, prisonnier de son impuissance à créer de la pensée, là où la raison n'y arrive pas. Une pensée qui dépasse ses fonctions de corps.

Tu as des problèmes aussi avec tes émotions. Les meilleures, tu t'en méfies. En général, tu les vis comme des intruses, des gêneuses. Tu penses qu'elles ne te ressemblent pas, que ce sont des accidents. Tu essaies de les oublier. Ce n'est pas pour toi, les effusions, les élans du cour, ils nuisent à ton image de « dur ». Tu as tort, pourtant, de ne pas donner parfois leur chance à tes émotions. Elles veulent te dire quelque chose, en rapport non avec ton image, mais avec, derrière cette image que tu t'es fabriquée, un des visages de ton authenticité. Certes, elles ne sont pas toutes intéressantes, tes émotions. Certaines sont trompeuses, d'autres moins, ou pas du tout, qui méritent ne fût-ce qu'une interrogation. C'est aller un peu vite en besogne que de les tenir pour négligeables : un flou intempestif, un moment de faiblesse dans ton univers moteur, prompt à la bagarre. Tu n'est pas un bloc, tu l'as démontré. Je crois que tu devrais aimer davantage tes fissures, elles ont leur importance dans la connaissance de soi, j'en sais quelque chose. Elles ont des secrets à te livrer sur ta complexité de corps, sur l'ampleur obscure de son registre. Tu es un corps qui aspire, à ton insu, à vivre son abondance et sa diversité. Tu sembles vouloir ne pas t'en rendre compte. Tu t'appauvris à ne pas prendre la mesure du foisonnement de tous tes possibles. Il n'est pas trop tard pour que tu acquières ce savoir-là, qui fait partie des plus forts savoirs. Tu es un corps qui se ferme à l'aventure de l'être, au lieu de s'y ouvrir, sans répit. Tu devrais t'infliger quelques secousses salutaires, de celles qui te donneraient le goût de l'inconnu, de l'imprévisible. Réduit à sa seule violence, le corps n'est pas une aventure ni pour lui-même, ni pour l'esprit. Il n'a que des habitudes, il n'a pas d'imagination.

Restent tes instincts. J'aimerais pouvoir dire : « heureusement restent tes instincts ». Ils prennent une grande place dans ta vie, ils dominent ta raison, tes émotions, parfois à les en écraser. Ils sont puissants. Parce qu'ils le sont, ils te fascinent. Tu voudrais bien ne croire qu'en eux, qu'en leur violence, les suivre jusqu'au bout, entre autres quand ils te mettent en situation d'exploser. Tu n'as pas idée d'où ils viennent, ni où ils t'emmènent, mais peu importe, te dis-tu, puisque « j'en tire un sentiment de force ». Ce sentiment a beau se révéler éphémère, artificiel, « à la mode », tu préfères ignorer qu'il dévoile ta fragilité. Lorsque tu ne fais qu'obéir à ces instincts, tu penses être dans le vrai. C'est une illusion de penser ça : tu obéis aveuglément à des instincts aveugles. Et tu en souffres plus que tu n'en jouis. En les laissant t'exciter, te surexciter, par exemple dans la colère ou la révolte, tu en espères un soulagement, un assouvissement, une « libération ».
C'est tout le contraire qui se passe. Tes instincts te poussent dans une impasse. Ils se déchaînent pour rien, ou pour peu de chose. Les instincts aveugles sont des mal-déchaînés, des mal-désenchaînants, aussi longtemps que tu ne sais pas les charger d'un sens , d'une visibilité. Ils s'inscrivent dans ta non-aventure. Tu joues avec des forces qui te demeurent obstinément inconnues, que tu t'obstines à manipuler comme telles, alors que tu as les moyens et l'intelligence de les connaître, pour peu que tu en prennes la peine. Même tes instincts les plus destructeurs, ce sont des énergies vitales qu'il est dans tes cordes de sortir de leur cécité, de leur « analphabétisme ». Je sais de quoi je parle.

Je suis un corps instinctif qui, à ton âge, avait les mêmes instincts que ton corps. Il lui ressemblait. Aujourd'hui, je suis un corps toujours instinctif qui s'adresse au tien dans la langue des instincts éclairés. Toute ma vie a basculé dès l'instant où mes instincts se sont mis à parler, à prendre la parole. Voilà comment c'est arrivé. Ils sont allés au-devant des livres, et les livres leur ont appris à lire, leur ont communiqué le goût de lire, puis, plus tard, la nécessité, pour eux, de prendre la parole, de parler plus fort que la petite raison ou que les émotions fluctuantes. L'un de mes instincts, du moins, a rencontré non pas Dieu, mais la toute-puissance charnelle et révélatrice du langage. La puissance du langage est entrée dans ma chair, dans mes instincts, non pour les apprivoiser, les domestiquer, mais pour les nommer, les éclairer, les affecter d'un sens, en projetant leurs folles énergies dans la conscience, pour en faire des instincts avisés, et déjà créateurs. Les mots m'ont fait quitter, progressivement, l'empire de ténèbres et de chaos, qui me constituait comme corps aveuglément instinctif, tournant en rond dans son opacité.

Tu es un corps qui désire aimer, être aimé, être libre, créer, produire du savoir, faire voir la vie autrement à ton esprit, doter ton esprit d'un regard différent, intense, curieux en même temps que novateur, sur les choses de cette vie, sur les hommes, les femmes qui t'entourent, seraient-ils ceux dont tu penses, avec hargne, qu'ils ne te comprennent pas, qu'ils t'empêchent de vivre.

Jusqu'à présent, le corps que tu es s'est conduit comme une mécanique se soumettant à la machine sociale, ta violence est une mécanique, elle est liberticide, à l'instar de la machine sociale, calibrée pour transformer le vivant en objet de consommation.

Tu es un corps dont les désirs sont presque uniquement des mécaniques s'ajustant aux désirs ou aux tentations de consommer qu'excite dans les masses et dans les individus la machine à broyer tout désir de souveraineté, l'instinct de ce désir. Tu devrais casser cette partie-là de ta mécanique, ou la tordre, lui rendre sa souplesse, son mouvement charnel, en quête de sa créativité naturelle , de ses dispositions à fonder une culture dans le corps, avec la matière organique du corps, une culture de la libération de ce corps. Mais rien de cet ordre ne se peut faire sans la puissance du langage.
Tu devrais au moins essayer d'attirer en toi les mots les plus puissants de cette puissance, ou te porter vers eux. Ils existent. Il faudrait que tu te mettes dans la tête qu'ils n'existent que pour toi, qu'ils t'attendent, ou que tu les attends. Ils possèdent un formidable secret de mieux-être, de mieux-vivre. Si un jour tu te les incorpores, telles des incarnations dans ta chair, alors tu pourras être fier de ta violence, ce ne sera plus une fureur stérile, carcérale, elle fructifiera en oeuvres importantes, qui étonneront ton esprit, et l'esprit de ceux dont le corps n'est qu'une mécanique, et non une culture, voire une civilisation, dépassant cette mécanique.

—  Moreau Marcel

anonymous asked:

Do you have anything I can read about the "active struggle to increase workers’ control over society and revolutionise the relations of production" in China under Mao?

As we are not a blog that focuses on reading communist literature or literature on the history of communism, we feel it is not adequate to answer this question with a simple reading list. However, the question of how there was an active struggle to increase workers control and revolutionize the relations of production is a pressing one, and deserves a thorough response.

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) was a massive upheaval in social, economic, and political life in the People’s Republic. It was in this context that China saw a massive shift from the economic policies both capitalist states and the USSR (both in its socialist and capitalist periods).

In the factories, workers and local revolutionary committees maintained a strict political line and focused on the welfare of workers in their workplace. In Charles Bettelheim’s work, The Cultural Revolution and Industrial Organization in China, textile workers interviewed on the changing of relations remarked on the welfare of workers achieved in the GPCR:

“We pay particular attention to working conditions and are guided in this by the Chinese Communist Party. We are concerned with the welfare of the workers and the preservation of human initiative. In the old society things were very different. The capitalists did not care about such matters. […] There are two additional fifteen minute breaks for physical exercises designed to prevent work-related disabilities. These are at the same time military exercises, for we must all be prepared in case of an imperialist invasion.

All doctors attached to the infirmary are required to make daily rounds of the shops. This reduces the need for a worker to consult a doctor elsewhere. […] There is no charge for consultation and medication. […] Of course, we do not claim that we have done enough to improve working conditions. We must make even greater efforts, for there are always new problems to be solved.”

Other factories in China operated on similar platforms, as well as paying wages regularly above the cost of living, providing special assistance to workers in extraordinary working conditions, and providing more assistance to working women and mothers. Many of the larger factories offered educational facilities for workers, teaching technical skills, engineering, and more. During the GPCR, workers struggled to replace the individualist idea of “professional advancement” with serving the people- using these more advanced skills and new responsibilities to be useful and for the benefit of the collective and the whole people.

Most industrial workplaces in China were attempting to “learn from Daqing,” a petroleum complex that, following the end of Soviet aid as a result of the Sino-Soviet split, necessitated massive effort of workers and administrators working together, not just to earn more money, but to expand China’s resources and provide for the revolution and the people. Daqing was upheld as a model to follow for the PRC because it ended the country’s reliance on foreign oil and maintained a proletarian political line.

In Daqing and other factories, problems were discussed collectively, and daily, and so solutions were formulated outside of a purely technical outlook. In the USSR and capitalist countries, factories had "economics in command”- meaning production was seen as primary, along with monetary incentives, specialists, profit, etc. The top-down method of Soviet leadership in the economy was abandoned as workers made a serious effort to include political cadre in production and themselves in management. Before the GPCR, the division between workers and management was stark, similar to the USSR. Management was appointed by central administration and the factory party committee, which focused almost entirely on production and technology without much (if any) conversation with the workers. The GPCR flipped this model, and put “politics in command.” Factory committees were completely dissolved and replaced with mass organizations such as management teams and revolutionary committees, with the revisionist line of management eliminated as the workers and masses rose up under the leadership of the Communist Party. Piece wage systems were abolished, individual and group bonuses were increasingly eliminated, and production teams took over much of the work of management. Some factories implemented yearly production goals after lengthy, factory-wide discussion, and production teams even deliberated on their own wages based on experience, skill, and attitude. Furthermore wages were set on a system that averaged wage differentials to 1:3. Management, political cadre, members of the revolutionary committees, and administrators all participated in production as the GPCR went on. “Triple combinations” of workers, administrators, and technicians were formed to solve technical problems and make innovations. Factory workers began focusing on the needs of the country as a whole, instead of just their workplace.

Political study of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and other socialist thinkers was also common in factories, in order that workers would be more able to investigate and forge solutions to both economic and political issues.

When the Deng Xiaoping clique within the Party gained power, these achievements were all reversed, washed away and replaced with the all-too-familiar system where all authority was placed into the hands of factory managers.

This ask is already quite long, and we have really only touched on industrial production- but these achievements were deeply felt in the rural regions of China as well. During the GPCR, peasants in the countryside (who still made up 80% of the population) formed independent mass organizations in the People’s Communes, and directly confronted the bureaucratic methods of work by leadership and Party cadre. Production team leaders were elected and subject to recall. Village revolutionary committees were formed and exercised day-to-day leadership in villages and on Communes, similar to urban revolutionary committees did in city neighborhoods. Peasants began painting, writing, performing, and became involved with politics, and the expansion of education and healthcare brought immediate benefits to people who had never had access to it before. The rural Communes were advised to “learn from Dazhai,” which was a brigade of a Commune in Shanxi Province. Dazhai transformed its hills into fertile land, struggled against capitalist mentality in agriculture, and constructed new housing and community projects in villages. In the late 1970s, again with the rise of the Deng clique, the Communes were broken up, land was distributed to individual peasant households, and privatization brought an end to the collective healthcare system and “barefoot doctor” initiative.

The key achievement both in industry and agriculture towards revolutionizing social relations was in putting politics in command. By putting politics in command, the PRC was able to transform enterprises into interrelated political units, dramatically changing the relationship between workers and managers, between city and countryside, and further advancing the class struggle and demonstrating, especially considering the reversal of these achievements, that a proletarian political line is essential to the development of socialism and of communist transformation. 

Pjatvchet

Music tells us things — social things, psychological things, physical things about how we feel and perceive our bodies — in a way that other art forms can’t. It’s sometimes in the words, but just as often the content comes from a combination of sounds, rhythms, and vocal textures that communicate, as has been said by others, in ways that bypass the reasoning centers of the brain and go straight to our emotions. Music, and I’m not even talking about the lyrics here, tells us how other people view the world — people we have never met, sometimes people who are no longer alive — and it tells it in a non-descriptive way. Music embodies the way those people think and feel: we enter into new worlds — their worlds — and though our perception of those worlds might not be 100 accurate, encountering them can be completely transformative.
—  David Byrne, How Music Works, 2012
The Archaic Revival

We have gone sick by following a path of untrammelled rationalism, male dominance, attention to the visible surface of things, practicality, bottom-line-ism. We have gone very, very sick. And the body politic, like any body, when it feels itself to be sick, it begins to produce antibodies, or strategies for overcoming the condition of dis-ease. And the 20th century is an enormous effort at self-healing. Phenomena as diverse as surrealism, body piercing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, jazz, experimental dance, rave culture, tattooing, the list is endless. What do all these things have in common? They represent various styles of rejection of linear values. The society is trying to cure itself by an archaic revival, by a reversion to archaic values. So when I see people manifesting sexual ambiguity, or scarifying themselves, or showing a lot of flesh, or dancing to syncopated music, or getting loaded, or violating ordinary canons of sexual behaviour, I applaud all of this; because it’s an impulse to return to what is felt by the body – what is authentic, what is archaic – and when you tease apart these archaic impulses, at the very centre of all these impulses is the desire to return to a world of magical empowerment of feeling.
And at the centre of that impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That’s what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment – these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise. And our culture has killed that, taken it away from us, made us consumers of shoddy products and shoddier ideals. We have to get away from that; and the way to get away from it is by a return to the authentic experience of the body – and that means sexually empowering ourselves, and it means getting loaded, exploring the mind as a tool for personal and social transformation.
The hour is late; the clock is ticking; we will be judged very harshly if we fumble the ball. We are the inheritors of millions and millions of years of successfully lived lives and successful adaptations to changing conditions in the natural world. Now the challenge passes to us, the living, that the yet-to-be-born may have a place to put their feet and a sky to walk under; and that’s what the psychedelic experience is about, is caring for, empowering, and building a future that honours the past, honours the planet and honours the power of the human imagination. There is nothing as powerful, as capable of transforming itself and the planet, as the human imagination. Let’s not sell it straight. Let’s not whore ourselves to nitwit ideologies. Let’s not give our control over to the least among us. Rather, you know, claim your place in the sun and go forward into the light. The tools are there; the path is known; you simply have to turn your back on a culture that has gone sterile and dead, and get with the programme of a living world and a re-empowerment of the imagination. Thank you very, very much.-Terrence Mckenna


(Y)our voices are important to be heard. We should recognize social difference as an important means to building consensus, as essential to it. We should recognize consensus need not ever be based upon unity of or in voice. That is, unity of or in action can develop after a decision to cooperate with people at this time with whom we’d ordinarily and otherwise disagree. We already do this all the time. For example, then, the demand that internet discourse should illustrate a unity in voice(s) in order to represent unity in action(s) is always going to be problematic as internet discourse for many of our comrades is the only venue for their voices to be conducted into public. They are otherwise exiled to liminal margins of participation for various reasons that don’t represent their desire to more actively participate in social transformation in which they are entirely invested for reasons of survival, health, and/or happiness. We should prioritize producing a public sphere in which all voices are perceptible over representing our struggle as singular.

Progressive social change is not merely about changing policies, but about changing hearts and minds. Genuine and lasting change requires a paradigm shift, a transformation of the mentality that propped up the old order. We must knock out the foundations of oppression and cultivate the values that form the foundation of justice, values such as compassion, integrity, and reciprocity. And to challenge injustice everywhere, we must practice justice everywhere: on streets, in the courtroom—and on our plates.
—  Melanie Joy
Nous ne voulons pas le changement social pour le changement social.
Nous voulons une transformation radicale de la société parce que nous voulons une société autonome faite par des individus autonomes ; et que la société capitaliste contemporaine
est une société dominée par une oligarchie (économique, politique, étatique, culturelle) qui condamne à la passivité les citoyens,
qui n'ont que des libertés négatives ou défensives.
C'est ce que j'appelle le projet d'autonomie individuelle et sociale.
—  Cornélius Castoriadis sur la passivité politique mortifère causée par le Régime