Brian Holmes on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 09:55:31 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> "Consume revolutionary media"

That was my other favorite slogan appearing on hand-written signs during
the weeks of protest after the death of George Floyd - protests that are
still ongoing and that constitute the largest-ever social movement in the
United States. If, as some have maintained, it takes full commitment from
only 3.5% of the population to effect basic change, then we're looking damn
good right now. But which change, in what direction?

For many weeks and still today, an outpouring of testimony, analysis and
profound philosophy has revealed the central role of racism in the
foundation of a structurally unjust capitalist system. Time and again, the
leading voices of this movement - not just a few "personalities," but
thousands of brilliant and dedicated people on the ground - have insisted
that the problems we face cannot be solved by police reform alone. The
problems stem from the very foundations of a social contract built on
colonialism and slavery. Overcoming such problems may begin with
introspection, self-critique and personal transformation, but it can hardly
stop there. Over and over again, the voices of the protest leaders have
said that we must concretely change society, its laws, its economic
functions, its moral and ethical norms, and above all, its current
hierarchy as manifested through the racially unequal distributions of goods
and bads. This requires a fundamental takedown and rebuilding of the
edifice of the state, and an end to the many ways in which its failings and
abuses are borne on the backs of the people. I reckon it's a global demand,
and not just a fever panic from the decayed and degraded United States.
Delivering George Floyd's eulogy, the Reverend Al Sharpton spoke not only
for African Americans, but for hundreds of millions, no, for billions of
people around the world, when he said; "The reason we could never be who we
wanted and dreamed to be is you kept your knee on our neck. We were smarter
than the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our
neck. We could run corporations and not hustle in the street, but you had
your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody
else could do, but we couldn’t get your knee off our neck."

Now, in the US and across the world, elites have felt the sting of truth in
remarks like these. They are erupting with promises and plans for change.
They see the writing on the wall: Not only is climate chaos a dead end for
everyone, but even in the shorter term, a social movement on this scale
signifies an upcoming tectonic shift in the balance of power in democratic
societies, and maybe in all societies. In the US, Nancy Pelosi who just two
years ago spoke so derisively of "the green dream or whatever they call
it," has now fallen all over herself to shepherd through Congress the most
ambitious industrial-transformation legislation ever seen since the 1930s.
At the (thankfully virtual) Davos business summit just two days ago, Klaus
Schwab unveiled his vision of a "Great Reset" for capitalism. Soon China
will be on this bandwagon. And it will not be just rhetorical. The world is
threatened to the core. A technopolitical paradigm shift is definitely on
its way. But there's no guarantees about how it will work out - and for

So here's my question. I feel isolated by potentially mortal diseases, and
I want to consume more revolutionary media. Where do I find the best plans
for system change coming from the left? The monuments of colonialism will
be taken down, all of them, I am confident of it. Large numbers of people
of color will enter the halls of representative democracy. There will be
serious pushback to the power of the police, the military and the white
supremacists - and that's for sure the most urgent thing. But how are we
going to replace the industrial-extractive order? How to integrate the
moral, ethical, technological, economic, legal, political and ecological
dimensions of system transformation? What are the scientific, philosophical
and spiritual principles that can help seven billion people coordinate
their efforts for one last chance - but a real chance - to tip the fate of
planet earth? Technopolitical change is worthless if it does not halt the
hierarchical injustice of the onrushing climate catastrophe.

This is a call for suggestions, for pointers, for tips, for help being
alive at a time when it's not so easy. What interests me first is the
revolutionary art, science, philosophy and cosmology of this fragile
present - the pure intensity of ideas, aspirations and dreams. And what
interests me in the same movement are the concrete applications of those
insights, the programs, the routines, the laws, the constitutions, the new
machines. Where do you see radical changes erupting? Who is expressing
those outbreaks in the most precise and passionate forms? What do we build
when the edifice falls? Where - and how, and with whom - can I consume more
revolutionary media?

thanks in advance for your heart and your ideas, Brian

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