There's always something to unpack = to really deal with SOME stuff would be too too too much, too divisive, too depressing = how much lighter we always feel when we finally unwind :) = the weight that has been suppressing us. :) = when we realize that its not that we are flawed :) = it's not hopeless = we just have problems with pinning down our problems = we confuse that with not having a plan = not knowing what to do.
But we keep at it.
Whats up with reform?
Thinking of why I feel reform is such a flat, frustratingly unambitious word...
Its because investing your time in "the system" is not any kind of investment out from your own pocket and into someone else's, its the identity, the self, that you keep believing in, thinking that's all you got, and there's nothing to be done about certain things (mostly certain powerful one-percent type things), that you know personally, or in theory.
And when those theories don't match up with what we experience, the reformist answer is to see this as an aberration of identity, just bad laws, bad politicians, bad corporations, etc. Fixed abstractions, not concrete people we know, can understand, can talk to. Politicians are actual people, and/or ideas we do in our head. Laws are concrete social relations, i.e, people, insofar as they exist only in our minds, and our minds exist only in our relationships (organic and inorganic).
Insofar as they are expressions of what we want to happen with each other, and what we don't want to happen with each other, law=people. Changing the laws, changing the people, it's all, and only, a matter of changing concrete social relations. It's all, and only, actual relationships experienced by people, and theorized over incessantly. It's people dude. :)
Reformism is a type of alienated individualism. Its like, I can have this identity of myself as alienated through virtue, and, thus, doomed by my will for positive change. I portray myself, to myself, as the person outside of the community, national or local, who is figuring out how to get people to do something. Convincing, swaying, persuading. It always comes down to who's deciding what our goals are, and how successful we are at creating cooperation.
It's always going to be right now, right now, and still, even right now...
Experience is where we are. We don't theorize to figure it out, we theorize to describe what we feel, what we do as our brains. It's the only reality we can confirm. It is what you see now, and it is economics, history, law, philosophy, and it is a hanging potted plant, seen if I look to my right, through a black net screen, and window, that slightly blur the sunlight, gleaming on a single extension, a green, soft-spiked dinosaur tale.
All of this is stuff we feel in our bodies, in our infinite interrelations and interactions. We feel it as bodies and perceive it in our head. Our blood is moving and sometimes we feel it, our brain is moving and part of that moving is knowing and feeling. That's what we are. There are no memories to keep. There's no storage for ideas, there's only some site of constant repetition of neuronal circuits, which, whatever abstractions of "willpower" we have, is us, is what we do. We don't retrieve memories, we connect neurons to neurons. That 'we' is what our neurons do too. We don't store up ideas, we separate our actions, some called memories, some called honesty. We don't unlock our unconsciousness, or suppress memories, we connect and disconnect our consciousness, our brain cells.
We feel and do Voices, Scenes, Imagination, Writing, Composing, Confessing, Charming-as part of our brain."Suppressing memories" is a form of neuronal separation. Racism is a form of neuronal separation. Sexism is too. As a masculine person, I have to place my own analysis, theories, over my actual experience of women. To make sure I know what's really up with them, I have to access what I know about their category. If that category is not based on the continued interaction I have with actual people, I don't know who anybody really is, cuz I gotta test everyone to see how their behavior is Masculine or Feminine. (My bros, we gotta get buff!).
The method of "memory suppression", for example, that I used as a child, was to think of something I wanted to forget, and then preventing it from connecting to memories, and from staying in contact with my direct consciousness. Like if I thought of some memory where I felt abandoned, rejected, or abused by someone, I would keep thinking it and then wait for it to connect with other thoughts, feelings, voices, etc, and then retrieve whatever I could from my memory, to focus on that instead, until I couldn't remember the first thing I was thinking of. In order to deny what we are seeing when we see people, we need to focus on categories, and start seeing feminine people, black people, instead of those people as they present themselves, reveal themselves, share themselves. And those are all these things that comprise another abstraction we treat as an external reality, a building, thing, or place, that thing we imagine as "society."
Pro-choice women, don't get knocked up or raped. Young Black Men, don't dress yourself into an early grave. And then there's normal people, who impregnate, rape, and kill.There is no blackness out there to throw Trayvon Martin into. He is just a dead human, not a symbol, but an actual instance of what people do, and the violence that people do to the young.
What we do with a case like this, is to try and not to be unjust, even if we get caught up in the signs of oppression, like making the murdered person into the aggressor, giving him half the blame. All that's left, for those of us still alive, is how we perceive Trayvon Martin, and what we will do or not do, say or not say, to stop this shit.
There is no blackness, no evil that can be thrown over anybody to deny that they are people. But people encourage people to try and throw that blanket of race on themselves, and on others, just as one is also, trying not to to do that. Abusers, and bullies cover themselves with abstractions that are not to be concretized, and they want you to cover the bruises and the suffering, and the horror, with the abstractions they give you. Anything to avoid the suffering their actions cause.
Zimmerman placed his own abstractions onto this kid, wanted him to conform to the role of suspect, potential thug, image from a ghetto movie. Because, getting down to the level of concrete experience, (all experience is experience, ideas are experience), means facing the fact that you're afraid of seventeen your old kids, because you haven't grown up enough to feel safe around Kids. That hurts to realize, and it hurts to think of how horrible it is to be that way.
How would you feel if you ever got to the point where you even came close to killing a seventeen year old walking down your block?
It wasn't race that killed Trayvon, and it wasn't race that made Zimmerman kill, it was the practice of Racism. The practice of separating experience from action, of covering experience with ideas, until you forget the experience you have with other people. The practice of Racism is the practice of focusing on abstractions, playing out scenes when they are not around. Not trusting when they try to act all innocent, cuz we know their category, we know what they really are. But then, that's why we need some good news.
But Zimmerman, like all of us, was trying to get safe, and trying to get free. He did that by making some people into abstract categories, with abstract enemies, and abstract victims. What resulted from his focus on those abstractions was concrete violence, and concrete law enforcement who wouldn't or who were stopped from arresting this guy and charging him with murder.
This led to more concrete humans stepping on concrete, in the millions to put a stop to the specific individuals who construct their concrete identities as rulers, and get us to go along with them taking billions from other people, and bombing, killing, killing, killing. And sustaining the system of good/bad, war/peace, top/bottom, through every trick they can come up with (aka Reverse Racism aka campaign strategies, Everybody 2012!).
This is the matter of our identities: we are constantly shaping, remaking and exchanging with each other. We are constantly altering our bodies, including every neuron in our brain. Even when we are alone in our rooms, typing on facebook, sick, stressing over missing class, we are still maintaining our identities, feeling the constant motion of our neurons (as thought, voices, relief, release, skin on skin) and making little interventions to choose to close off a thought, deny a feeling.
We manipulate our thoughts, but we lose contact to often with how our thoughts feel, we treat them as objects moving through space, than the feel of whichever areas in our brain are moving when we think. We constantly decide our actions according to many systems of symbolic value, values that we imagine to be in line or out of line with our identities, or personalities, or selves All the symbols we use to interpret each other are not who we are, but who we create.
but THE GOOD NEWS is We can begin to feel this process of real time social construction of identity. Social identity=social reality=psychology=biology=how are you feeling right now? What we learn from our different histories allows us to get to a point where we can start to unpack all the baggage of meaning, implication, law, sin, property, and the rest of our bullshit.
Unpacking the mess inside of us is something we've always been trying to do. We have all these ideas to explain things, and the last thing we're willing to admit, is that it's all about safety. We can get safe. Every time we've failed, it hasn't been freedom and community that failed, those are just abstractions. We've done things that had results we didn't like, so next time we act accordingly. We are aware of the need to unpack all the ideas we have about ourselves, and to unpack all the feelings we use to construct our identities.
And, instead of worrying about reform or revolution, giving up or going on, becoming down or selling out, etc., we can begin to step out of our roles and construct our own communities where we don't have to keep seeing every man as separated by masculinity, every women as all kinds of separated, mysterious, contradictory, refusing, or compliant.
We can see people as how we experience them and separate that from the ongoing thoughts and feelings which are our reactions to each other. We can construct each other's experiences by basing our construction of identity on our experience of each other, our experience of everything, not just our experience of fear based rules and willful passivity.
In practicing direct democracy, we begin to see our comrades and classmates, and co-workers, as the people they are, not always having to test them against the totalitarian abstractions of gender, class, race, and every other reason for dehumanizing each other. And that brings it's own sense of security, trust, and the feeling of safety. We empower each other to struggle, teach each other how to handle situations, how to listen, how to do things on our own, without legitimacy given from our symbolic betters.
If I can see anybody like I can see anybody else, than I don't have to hold on to abstractions about who my brothers in this struggle are, who my sisters in this struggle, what the right beliefs are, or who my friends are. We can start getting to know each other past all these labels. And be alone when we need to be alone, process when we need to process.
We are getting past all that baggage of history, that constant criticism, constant focus on abstractions, constant analysis rather than letting up, taking the brakes off, and breaking down the walls that close us in and keep us apart. May Day 2012!!!!!!!!