flexibeast.space - gemlog - 2023-03-08

Unfuck you and unfuck your unfucking ‘manifesto’

A spectre is haunting the left: the spectre of ‘manifestos’.

Do we really need another ‘manifesto’? Particularly if, as is likely, it's pretentious and totalising and unable to survive contact with the enemy, i.e. the real world?

The world is a complex mess. Specific aspects of the world are a complex mess. There usually aren't straightforward solutions.

If you're dogmatically pushing a specific Understanding and a specific Solution, you're actually part of the problem. It's not all basically reducible to biology, but nor is it all basically reducible to social constructs.

There are the underlying issues and problems themselves, then there are the additional issues and problems created by those who don't merely think or promote a certain belief, but are 100% certain that they have access to The Truth in its final form. It doesn't take much study of history to show where this attitude has led again and again and again, regardless of the particular politics or (non-)spirituality of those involved.

Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.

— Cardinal Richelieu

The world doesn't need more arrogant ‘declarations’ of The Problems And Their Solutions / one-size-fits-all ‘analyses’ and ‘fixes’.

What is needed at a meta level is more people willing to have:

• a mental model of the world;

• a working analysis of its issues; and

• possible approaches to addressing those issues,

_combined_ with a willingness to modify or discard aspects of any of this when it doesn't reflect the diversity of people's historical and contemporary lived experiences. And a very concrete way to learn about the diversity of people's contemporary lived experiences is to get out there, literally and/or metaphorically, and provide concrete support to marginalised individuals, and to groups trying to create change or “do things differently”. And that will require listening at least as much as speaking: there are excellent resources, based on hard-won experiences, about things to consider when collectively organising for change (e.g. [a]).

Get over yourself. Show some humility. Unfuck you and unfuck your unfucking ‘manifesto’.

🏷 sociology,politics


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[a] “Anarchic Agreements: A Field Guide to Collective Organizing”