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Thu Jul 25, 2013, 09:18 PM

 

Escapism, reformism, and other coping strategies of capitalist existence [View all]

1. There is a paradox at the heart of this global power structure we live in, known as capitalism. It is the result of two contradictory truths.

2A. The first truth is that capitalism is destroying our planet... 2B. The second truth is that we are dependent upon capitalism for our immediate survival.

3A. Most of us would like to avoid facing this paradox... We accept the system’s offer of fantasy and mute our inherent knowledge of the deep wrongness that pervades the real world.

3B. Some braver souls among us face the first truth and so do whatever they can to avoid complicity with the machinery of death and destruction. They may adopt an ethical diet, curb their consumption, or even attempt to “live off the grid” (to the extent this is possible within a global power structure whose tentacles reach into every corner of the Earth). Taken to its extreme, this is the route of escapism. Its goal is moral purity, flight from guilt, the individual satisfaction of knowing you’re no longer part of the problem.

The failure of escapism is that avoiding responsibility for the problem also means avoiding responsibility for the solution. You can take comfort in your moral stance, but with or without your participation, capitalism rolls on, destroying billions of lives.

3C. A different set of folks are more concerned with the second half of the paradox – the fact that we are trapped in this system as bad as it is, and therefore the best we can do is to improve it or make it more fair. They may fight for policy changes through lobbying or even run for office. In its pure form, this is the route of reformism. The aim is to work “within the system,” influence the people in charge, and perhaps become one of them in time. The theory goes that once in a position of power, they would be able to steer the ship in a new direction.

The failure of reformism is that it requires the abandonment of our ideals for actually overthrowing the system or creating a world without capitalism. There’s nothing wrong with making life more livable within the system, but when we become ourselves part of the system, we betray ourselves and we have already lost.

4. By themselves, neither of these two poles, escape or reform, offers us any hope of abolishing capitalism and saving our world. Yet, no way forward can exist without both elements. Rather than fleeing this paradox, if we embrace the absurdity of our situation, we can harness the energy of the contradiction to create something new...

http://endofcapitalism.com/2013/06/13/the-paradox-of-capitalism-and-magnetic-revolutionary-strategy/

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Reply Escapism, reformism, and other coping strategies of capitalist existence [View all]
HiPointDem Jul 2013 OP
babylonsister Jul 2013 #1
HiPointDem Jul 2013 #2
leftstreet Jul 2013 #3
Egalitarian Thug Jul 2013 #4
HiPointDem Jul 2013 #5
Egalitarian Thug Jul 2013 #6
reformist2 Jul 2013 #7
PowerToThePeople Jul 2013 #8
PowerToThePeople Jul 2013 #9