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Revolutionary and Pre-Figurative Politics

March 17, 2011

How do the two fit together?

This question’s been yelling itself in my face for the past couple of days. (Weeks?) Not only in theoretical terms, but in practical ways. Touched on by elders, peers, friends, strangers.

Roughly (and this is my own attempt, for which I’ll accept blame but not credit):

Some groups are great at building and exemplifying models of anti-oppressive ways of being. (Pre-figurative politics, as I understand it, means practicing now the kind of society you want to build in the future.) Enacting horizontal group dynamics, confronting white supremacist and racist behavior, challenging and transforming sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism, etc. in myriad ways, and continually developing sophisticated, intersectional analyses of these lived oppressions. Honoring and valuing healing; promoting literacy around dealing with trauma and mental wellness. Developing healthy sex-positive cultures grounded in consent. Practicing conscientious methods for dealing with intimate violence and abuse. Giving and receiving criticism with humility, generosity, bravery, and kindness. Doing very practical things like organizing childcare collectives, artmaking groups, and food distribution programs; infusing them with liberatory values. Transforming estranged relationship with our bodies, the earth, and nature. Theorizing these and more practices, and sharing them.

At the same time, some groups are great at developing people’s revolutionary class consciousness. Examining the material processes of history with an eye toward figuring out the best ways to intervene in those historical processes, and change things for the better. Get rid of classes altogether. Put an end to imperialism. Employ practice and theory, in current conditions, to avoid the pitfall of reformism and move militantly and decisively toward a world of “freely associating producers” — a world where violent compulsion is no longer ambient, as it is under capitalism and has been under all forms of class society (to stake a claim against what I learned about Foucault, in college). I’m impressed and inspired by groups that maintain a keen focus on this goal, and whose work reflects the urgency of building the class power necessary for exploited people to liberate themselves/ourselves from the yoke (and rod) of capital.

Now. Is there overlap between these ‘types’ of groups?

Yes.

A lot?

In the Bay Area? In the US?

IIIIIIII dunno. What do you think? What are you finding?

That’s all for now; more questions than answers.

g’night, friends.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. leorasf permalink
    March 17, 2011 6:34 pm

    I think they might be found in your heart, Kloncke.

    <3

  2. Cat permalink
    March 18, 2011 12:15 pm

    For you:

    http://www.otherworldsarepossible.org/

    It’s inspiring.

  3. April 24, 2011 11:23 pm

    Hi-
    I wonder about this stuff a lot. Just wanted to say thanks for writing this.

  4. April 29, 2011 2:43 pm

    Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi! I’m looking forward to digging into your writing, which looks beautiful. Militarism, rhizomes, theory. Mmm. :)

Trackbacks

  1. Constructive Critique: Responding to “Unifying Revolutionary Forces” Document | Advance the Struggle
  2. A Response to “Unifying Revolutionary Forces in the Coming Year”

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