Sunday, November 01, 2015

Socialism is a state of mind, neither madness, nor wisdom, nor irony

We should be finding ways to encourage people to think differently, away from the perceived comfort of relying on how the ways things have always been. We know that if we are to have any hope of making the transition to a different system of society people need to be able to genuinely understand the things that go on around them, but now in a different way to what they are used to.

"Cease to place your confidence in economic legislation, vice-crusades & uniform education - you are glossing over Reality.
Professional and commercial careers are opening up for you - Is that all you want?"
-Mina Loy, 1914

We need to help people understand that moving from capitalism to genuine socialism isn't a step back in time but that it is actual, real progress. People should be able to recognise the idea that a world organised through socialism is a world that is progressing beyond any moral, economic or lawful measure available today. If we achieve in helping others to change how they think, this is arguably a significant step in helping them to change what they think. For if, as a party, our aim is to get the Majority to want to have revolutionary social change then they will, after all, need to start acknowledging their own function within this system. They need to want to take the green pill rather than the blue, to want to know how far the rabbit-hole goes and to recognise that their fear can be extinguished.
How do we do this? How do we get people to want to begin to think differently with their minds outside of the confines of the anxiety driven, trauma inducing and needlessly competitive way of living? Most of us are all brought-up with the fear of doing the unacceptable, of being cast-out or of being isolated. If we don't work enough to get enough money to have enough things, or to go on as many holidays as our friends, we're slowly eroded into a dark corner of an even darker room where no-one wants to look. This is a place so marginalised that those who even dare skirt it-for whatever reason- are demonised as being dysfunctional, parasitic failures. This is a demonisation that can be exploited by different political, social and economic groups for a variety of ends, usually resulting in the promotion of the idea of the Other: alienating and dehumanising individuals and groups of people to bolster and promote a more privileged (perhaps a smaller) group to profit. Think slavery, think nationalism, think any type of hierarchy.

"Surrealism is the 'invisible ray' which will one day enable us to win out over our opponents."
-Andre Breton, 1924

How do people begin to accept that something else can be considered true or accept that their own assumptions could be in error? I'm not sure if there is the answer, but there's lots of opportunities. One of which is to provide a message that is clear and accessible to all. A message that can be easily recognised and digested by anyone with their intellect or their emotions. We're all born with a natural curiosity, an imagination and creativity that, for most, is gradually forgotten until we are finally too busy to care any more. But, what if those of us who have managed to keep these skills, or who have re-discovered them, are able to put them to use? We need to be different, to be creatively open.

Being a socialist we ask ourselves to successfully fail to conform and flow out of the mould that is given to us with expectation. We must show others how to do the same. To be revolutionary is to be like Andre Breton's "invisible ray". Wherever we look we see differently. We must transform appearances for others and reveal the full nature of our environment. Our minds work differently and they act with glee to an opportunity of showing another how the shadows dance. Others don't, they may see the wheels turning but they are stuck working beneath them, for if they admit to themselves the alternative they know they will come tumbling down. When we find others who use a similar ray to ours, we need to hold on to them and ask them to re-consider what they see when they're guided in a new direction.

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