Bicycle Diaries: Bike friendly? Part II

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Bike friendly? Part II

rollier than thou
Passions that are forced to remain faraway are generally malevolent. The contemporary spectator appears to perpetually watch for the fleeting occasion to make his opinion known on a great variety of things he knows nothing about, but in every case he only expresses his dominant emotions: omniform envy, ambition without means and pretension without illusion.

Because these are the traits that massively express a system of production that cannot dream of making consumers more successfully than it makes merchandise. This desperate mediocrity regularly hastens to say anything at all with authority, so as to resemble the authorities, who also say anything at all. This mediocrity systematically forgets the obvious, dogmatizes from the rumors that it has itself invented and blindly talks nonsense about its own falsifications.
The late Guy Debord, leader of The Situationists, would come down hard on the wackier wing of the biker community today. He would see it as a subculture that, devoid of all theoretical and practical coherency, is unified only by its aesthetic: tight pants, black tattered clothes, matted hair, body odor. In this fashion, our young radical learns the first thing about neo-anarchism: the need to replace genuine radicalism with a revolutionary lifestyle.

Much else flows from this: dumpster-diving as an end in itself, veganism – a simple dietary choice – at once becomes revolutionary, and the desire for radical activity translates into meaningless black bloc participation (the caricature of revolutionary action in an obviously non-revolutionary situation; a purely spectacular semblance of opposition and a lingering legacy from The Weathermen and other such pitiful groups).

Aside from vague catch-phrases about autonomy, community, and anti-authoritarianism, the neo-anarchist never develops any clear idea of what the end goal really is, and because of this confusion about the end, this individual naturally develops a distorted set of means. In other words, because these anarchists do not understand the actual nature of the revolution and what it seeks to accomplish, the tactics that are ultimately adopted cannot help being non-revolutionary.

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Blogger iconoclaSSt said...

Someone's been reading up, ha.

Nice post. Well put.

Funny, on a semi-related note, I was just thinking about all the protests that go on nowadays here in the states--topics ranging from global warming to human rights to the Iraq invasion, all laudable, to be sure--and how people line up to get approval and a permit from the very beast against which they are ultimately protesting. With the heads up that comes with a permit, the beast is able to make sure the protest is ineffectual, sanitizing the situation and controlling and prescribing the outcome. Traffic is rerouted so that motorists are neither inconvenienced nor aware of the issue-du-mois, counter protests are arranged, limits are set, and it all takes place within a predetermined milieu.

If such protests truly represent a threat to power, would power authorize them and grant approval? I think not.

All protests should be guerrilla protests, clandestine, unannounced, underground up till the minute of execution, but, of course, that takes real balls and a helluva commitment, things in short supply lately, and it's no mystery why.

Alas, there will be no May 1968 for America...

22/10/07 08:55  
Blogger Da' Square Wheelman, said...

Indeed %) I've been a big fan of The Situationists for quite some time. You can see some of my early posts on them when I was trying to get my head around Critical Mass here.

I agree that we won't be seeing homegrown soixantes-huitiemes any time soon. But I think it has more to do with the character of French culture and the era than a lack of American will. Also, it's only a little less than 2 decades since the end of Communism and the Cold War. We, at least on the Left, are still wandering about in the dark.

22/10/07 13:57  

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