Dmytri Kleiner on Thu, 3 Nov 2011 01:33:29 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The False Defences of Utopian Thought.

On 02.11.2011 05:03, Angela Mitropoulos wrote:

And I'm always surprised to find the charge of utopianism being made in
the name of the idealised abstractions of representational politics.

Hi Angela, thanks for you comments, I read them with interest.

Just to be clear, I was not making any charge of utopianism. From what I have read, neither Bookchin nor Graeber deny class conflict, and I believe both would, like Marx, reject political views that do. My objective was only to gainsay common misrepresentations of the basis for the rejection of Utopianism.

Occupation and default are strategies that have not always been chosen,
but they are indeed the most effective strategies I can see.

Let us not forget that any occupations and default that exist currently are symbolic, it is public squares being symbolically occupied as a form of demonstration, we have not seen any tactical occupation of commercial or residential space, nor are we likely to on any large scale. And we haven't seen any organized default at all, and again, nor are we likely to on any large scale.

And they are the ones that should be supported. Parties, demands, etc are
a distraction.

Yet, demands exist, and they are big ones. Our class conditions prevent us from addressing those demands without undertaking a political struggle to make sure that our governments allow us to provide the support you suggest, rather than crush our ability to support anything.

Parties and demands are a distraction as much as the discussion of avoiding icebergs may be for those engaged in the pressing mater of the arrangement of chairs on the proverbial deck of the Titanic. As Graeber points out in a recent interview, you can't really distinguished between slaves and the modern worker. Slaves do not have everything they need to create a new society, they may only go as far as their chains allow. To go farther they need to break those chains, which means class conflict. We can't pretend that the fact that a few people have sufficient freedom and leisure to participate in a tent demo has shown that the chains are now broken for the masses. The vast majority do not and can not have such freedom and leisure.

"And, I might add, if Aristotle were around today, I very much doubt he would think that the distinction between renting yourself or members of your family out to work and selling yourself or members of your family to work was more than a legal nicety. Heâd probably conclude that most Americans were, for all intents and purposes, slaves." -- David Graeber

As mentioned earlier, the party form is not of our choosing, it is dictated by our existing form of governance, our only choice is to make our representation ourselves, or, to repeat my earlier characterization, to treat the plutocrats' parties as cruel gardians we direct tantrums against in hopes of placation.

Dmyri Kleiner
Venture Communist

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