The destruction of the environment alongside the obscene militarization of the State forces activists to reconsider tactics and priorities; otherwise we can only gawk at the slow gears of electoral politics that fail to halt humanity’s quick descent into oblivion.
When people view their civic participation through the exercise of voting, political identity becomes a slogan, a brand, a fashionable sort of garment that loudly announces the colors of one’s own tribe. But what if people viewed their civic participation as a form of immediate subjective experience? For example, on any given the day, the money you spend or earn has an exponentially greater political impact than all the votes you’ve ever cast.
I often reflect on the Occupy Movement, and I eagerly await its eventual resurgence. What I remember most fondly are the artists, the musicians, the poets, the occasional Jeremiad, the drum circles, the howlers, the impromptu choral groups. Art gives us a chance to envision new modes of being, which is precisely what the current political moment calls for. As an immediate experience in our life, we need to demand a creative revelation, daily. No longer need we view ourselves as passive non-violent resisters of power, but rather as creative producers with our own tools and our own forces for change. We need not ask for justice when we can exact it, and we need not to protest power when we can take it. The convergence of artistic creativity and Direct Action will write the next chapter in the history of revolutionary progress, but only if we find the courage to make the necessary sacrifices.
— Reid Hardaway is an author and a freelance journalist.
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