I began my second talk in Croatia by presenting the possibility that, instead of fighting for 'revolution,' the counter-culture might better and more effectively declare the "renaissance" begun. Revolutions always feel to me like circles. A renaissance, on the other hand, is a rebirth of old ideas in a new context. It is the very 'reframing' I'm talking about.
I'm thinking about a less aspirational, less narrative model for political and social change than the counterculture's more typically communist posture. Instead of looking forward to a day when justice will be won, we declare ourselves to be living in a just world right now - and that we are simply fighting for MORE justice.
My problem with 'movements' has always been the narrative style of their intended unfolding. They yearn forward towards salvation in the manner of utopians or fundamentalists. And then people do all sorts of nasty things in the name of that deferred future moment. People are actually taken OUT of their immediate experience as they put their heads down and do battle.
I don't think this works. It certainly hasn't, yet. I think we need a more fractal approach. We accept that we've won, and then start acting like it. On all fronts. We've won the war against the oil companies? Fine. Then we stop using oil, eh? We've won the war against genetic agriculture? Then we eat only truly organic foods. We have won the war against end-stage capitalism? Than we don't go to McDonalds, even when we are home from college on xmas break and our old high school friends will think we're nuts for not going in.
It is these tiny moments - these micro-moments - where the kinds of incremental change that topples regimes takes place. Micromoments where our friends get educated. We don't use the mass media; we use mouth-to-mouth media. "They" own the media, so we might as well own reality.
I think we have to be living in the "NOW" in order to effect any real change. No postponement of joy. Once you start, there's no stopping. You begin to see the unreality of money. You begin to see how "salvation" has been traded in for "retirement" as the new ultimate goal for which Americans suspend our lives and our ethics. (People work for companies they hate, and invest in corporations whose ethics they detest, in order to guarantee a good retirement.)
Meanwhile, what we can do seems much more scalable when we do it in the moment. I'm not saying poltical structures don't need to be changed - they do. But we may have to let new structures emerge from the myriad of new relationships that begin to spawn once people are acting and communicating in the present.
Rushkoff, May 24, 2002
"Art comes into being as play. Creation is led up to by each moment, every gesture of our lives: not by a sudden decision. It is the degree to which, little by little, we have raised ourselves, that brings us level with certain heights." - Ozenfant
van der Waals force
van der Waals force (vàn´
der wôlz´, wälz´) noun
A weak attractive force between atoms or nonpolar molecules caused by a temporary change in dipole moment arising from a brief shift of orbital electrons to one side of one atom or molecule, creating a similar shift in adjacent atoms or molecules.
[After Johannes Diderik van der Waals (1837-1923), Dutch physicist.]
(Old man sitting at a table.)
The quest is to be liberated from the negative, which is really our own will to nothingness. And once having said yes to the instant, the affirmation is contagious. It bursts into a chain of affirmations that knows no limit. To say yes to one instant is to say yes to all of existence.
- film _Waking Life_ directed by Richard Linklater