February 4, 2011

Thoughts on "Doing Revolution"

Adam mentions in Occupied that it is not enough to just talk about revolution but to enact it. I find this concept interesting, but i don't think the acts of discussion and "talking" is mutually exclusive with political praxis. Rather thought and action are both symbiotic forms that play with each other, taking and borrowing from each other, to create spirals that we call critique. I think the school Occupation movements last year (UC, New School, etc.) are a great example of this, not only was thought necessary to shed light on and  organize dissent against the budget cuts and war profiting that galvanized the student movements but to spread this movement. The students did not just "make revolution" by occuping the buildings - it's of value to note one of the first things that the student coalitions did once the doors and halls were barricaded was "think". They produced manifestos, websites (included with how to guides), and theory relating to what they were doing. Their praxis was not only generated by thought but was a catalyst of an entire intellectual movement based on the ideas of what it means to occupy and challenge dominant power structures.

Thought is not only valuable to give context to movements but also to generate solidarity between movements. The literature and reports generated by the students that were part of the student movements all became a part of a resonance machine that spread occupation across California like a wildfire (irony not intended). Situating our thought on resistance is key to connecting our social action of creating counter-hegemonic ideologies (doing-thought) with not only the current social actions of others that are building barricades, beating back riot police, and planting urban gardens (doing-action) but future movements like those that are still festering under the surface (like Egypt a few weeks ago) of a pacified status-quo. This resonance between doing-thought and doing-action are both equally important actions of doing-revolution. Like a  Briggs-Raucher reaction the fluid mode of revolution is in constant oscillation between different poles of doing-thought and doing-action but it never stops being revolution.

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