American Dream wrote:That is utterly compatible with a Marxian analysis. Except for the part about an ectoplasm-meter, I think.
Yes. That's why Walter Benjamin was cast as the star of the hit TV series "My Favorite Marxian." Little known fact. I'm so full of useless trivia.
I've been thinking about how I arrived at my current unapologetically anti-authoritarian political perspective. I've decided that it hasn't been a progression, a development over time, as much as it has been a long process of testing a perspective I hit upon a long time ago. The perspective hasn't evolved too much, but my confidence in it has.
This makes me curious if others can remember their key formative political moments. Might make for an interesting thread.
My key moment wasn't a moment, and it wasn't actually "political." It was a band I had. A musical group, I mean. There were three of us. The dynamic was such that I was the natural leader of the group, but as leader I informally instituted a policy of 'no leaders.' I felt that the chemistry between the three of us was too good to stifle it with the usual hierarchical games that bands play. (I'm putting words to previously unarticulated feelings as best I can, here)
The no leader policy brought out the best in all three of us. The drummer didn't quite realize what was happening - he was a drummer, afterall! haha - but he could feel it instinctually. I remember him tentatively testing, and as he slowly realized that the usual boundaries and bs he'd had to deal with in other bands really weren't present with us, seeing the freedom unfold in him. It was a glorious thing. The bass player knew exactly what I was doing, and went with it. He was a rare individual.
The band wasn't a democracy, majority didn't rule. And it wasn't an authoritarian anarchism (may seem like a strange concept to some, but it is actually the basic anarchic form. Just picture a pyramid with no capstone) it was a very casual anarchism, if it was anarchism at all.
This extended to the musical dialogue. The communication between us crossed the supernatural border. I attribute this to the fact that none of us were driving the ship, we were listening, very, very carefully, to each other, and to something else
that was shaping the music, since none of us were, which I still can't quite explain or put my finger on.
This was not chaos, though, there was a high level of order requiring precision and dexterity. We experimented with lots of different time signatures, played in all kinds of modes, both traditional and custom. The bass player wrote intricate, difficult music, melodically and rhythmically, we learned that. Whatever we were working on that week in our own private practice sessions was the jumping off point for the next group music session.
We worked together intensely for about six months, before life got in the way. But the experience transformed me. I'd seen the liberating potential of the anti-authoritarian view, and I was hooked. I felt the incomparable rush and high of throwing away my alpha status like the trash it is. Most importantly, I saw how it changed the others, brought things out of them that they didn't even know were in there.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.