Say You Want A Revolution

movementFrom Rebel News

For a movement to have integrity, everyone must be true to themselves, yet for that to come about, it needs solidarity of purpose. This is a dilemma. We need one another for critique, for diversity, for sustainability. We need each other to build the myth of a movement.

Without an alignment of collective and mutual best interest, a movement cannot survive. It will collapse in on itself before it attains any sort of critical mass. This seeming paradox is part of what keeps many creative individuals disenfranchised, biting at each other’s ankles. They’re arguing about the wrong things, and focusing their energy and attention in the wrong place. Movements only occur when people learn to work together towards common goals, to hell with the labels.

Living movements require no closed manifestos, no party lines, no armbands, tattoos or uniforms. What is needed is space to meet up and share ideas and collaborate, a means of making the relevancy of our work evident outside the insular and seemingly elitist circles that form around such groups and the ability to eat and pay rent without completely shilling the underlying premise; space, resources, an understanding of mutual benefit, and a determination that goes far beyond any benefit that aesthetic posturing could possibly provide. Invisible structures and histories condition our behavior, and we ought to be mindful of that.

Last but not least, movements require time, and colossal dedication. The question worth asking is not what we can imagine, but what we can realize. As in many times in the past, there is a strong and demonstrable need for creative movements and cultural revolutions that the mainstream culture may neither recognize, understand, nor support. All these facts do not mean that you should not, or can not, bring it about. Supposing this is a course that speaks to you as it does to me, barring bad luck and the “acts of God,” the only real barrier is in ourselves in the forms of egotism, laziness, isolation, a lack of vision, planning, lack of collective resources, or making the wrong compromise.

We have no need for a movement so long as it is for the sake of fashion, so long as we hobble ourselves or one another or use elitism or ideological disagreements as excuses that keep us from getting something done. Nor do we have any use for these things if they are anything but a means to an end which realize the common and manifest goals of its members. It isn’t about whether a story has been told a hundred times, it’s about how you tell it, and how you live it. Cultural revolution isn’t going to be found in a common manner of dress, speech, or ideology. If it is found at all, it will come in the chance meeting of equals in the Wasteland, and the work they do to water the desert until it flowers.

It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a Pagan, a Christian, or a Muslim, a plumber, an artist, or an information architect. That is, so long as we can mutually find the fulcrum point of a common ground, and a common good, to lift us all up with. If, on the other hand, we signal our identities the same but can find no such leverage, we’d probably be better off going our own ways. We can have our ideological arguments over tea; there is no ideology in my mind which trumps someone being a genuine, open-minded, passionate person, and no party line agreement can provide reparations if they’re not.

When any counter culture gets big enough, it gets co-opted by a “Major.” If there is any value in a counterculture it is in a core ideology which cannot be replicated, cannot be sold. It is the trappings and mystique that get marketed and sold. So if you have it in you, and shooting from the hip is getting old: make a shtick. Make it huge and mythic. Sell out without “selling out.”

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