A critique of the current election spectacle from Unvereinbar.
Originally published by Unvereinbar.
They say our time for political involvement is now. We say the spectacle repeats a rotation and comes home to Dogville. They say voting is our civic duty. We say building power is more than placing faith in a politician. They say ignore what you want to beat what you don’t. And with that, the election has returned home. The four year ritual of being forced to believe more lies. The ultimate strategy of concession operating as a program of counterinsurgency. In the growing clatter of liberal and conservative loyalists, democracy’s vacuous duty rings out as nothing other than co-option and counterrevolution that places “harm reduction“ at the for front of our desire for something else. The state and its curators of misery point to their own failings, structurally and individually, and arrogantly attempt to affirm that only voting can solve the irreconcilable cracks that capitalism created. The lies they offer us, like platters stuffed full with unachievable proclamations, beg us to not look too deeply into what they are saying. Into the fact that what they say in the presidential race rarely comes to life in office. Our entire relationship to politicians is based upon us accepting their lies. What happens when we cannot stomach their decadent feast of deceit and disregard any longer? What happens when we desert the options and structures presented to us by this system?
They proclaim Biden will save us from something in which Trump cannot achieve in totality: the rise of a new neoliberal fascism in the United States. We say in part that it’s already here. To be clear, Trump cannot totalize life within this fascist hope because it is precisely our bodies and blockades who will prevent it. Our lives mean nothing if we do not fight for what we desire most; a new world to be in. This is the revolutionary engine of hope that materializes as action. A remainder exists in us that shapes and guides us towards a new future void of politicians. A combatant remainder that is impervious to totalization. Some have called this hold out the fragment linked by an irreconcilable multiplicity. We understand the arrogance this declaration takes but it needs to be said, voting is not a political act. It is the suspension of autonomy and agency by putting power, as a form of passive hope, into a political figure who knows nothing of you and gives zero fucks about you.
This long and endless summer, with its uprisings and wildfires, its hurricanes and heatwaves has taught us what it means to act in a way adequate to the situation. We have returned to the world, we have felt our power and it is terrifying. The courage of those first days in Minneapolis revealed a path forward beyond the ballot box, beyond quiet resignation behind screens and the endless scandal of the headlines. It revealed to us, collectively, that we are not passive machines.
They say we are fractured: that we can’t agree on anything, that our side is riddled with conflict, and that our ambitions exceed our abilities. We say the “we” they configure us within is orientated by the understanding of a common enemy. This ‘we’ operates as a multiplicity of autonomous and divergent fragments, as a decentralized archipelago of difference. The desired after of our current political ideologies cannot be truly realized until we take to the imminent work of destroying this ongoing machine of domination. This seems to be the position of the insurgent, gesturing insurrection as a way of life. This is the articulation of the remainder. It is the lessons we take from and that have been whispered to the wind by the histories of slave insurgencies, indigenous uprisings, and the refusal to be boxed into a capitalist language of domination.
The uprising is just the beginning. The pacifying elections cannot be the end. The programmed identities of capital’s social nightmare give us nothing other than our own conditioned limitations. Get rid of yourself as an identity to find ourselves as a collective form of the ungovernable. We are not speaking of the broken logic of martyrdom. We are speaking to the fundamental position that when we give ourselves to insurrection, we are the vehicles that insurrection takes. We want happy and vital lives. We imagine you do too. Lying, hiding, and placing our faith in politicians won’t bring this about. Biden and Trump will bring us nothing other than more misery and death. It is rather regrettable to admit, but the battle has already begun. The questions are: how is it to be done and what side are you on?
This November, remember what it felt like to act. The care, the intention, the intensity, the joy, the fear. The lingering depression, of waiting on incompetent politicians to right their wrongs, alone should tell you that your vote is nothing like an act. Vote, all the same, if you must. But understand blockading your city, redistributing food and the means to live, reappropriating infrastructure, learning to fight and treat wounds together, freely distributing looted goods, and de-activating the police, are more tangible and positioned gestures than any vote. Let us no longer mince words, we are enveloped in war. A Biden candidacy is not victory, neither option can give us the world we want. What one chooses to do with that fact is left up to them.
We love you & hope to see you in the battles to come.
– Unvereinbar, Fall 2020
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