Change

So where are the loopholes of the maze, and how can life on this planet be organized in such a way that humans can fully develop their possibilities?

In the following you will not find the ultimate answer to this question, but rather some suggestions for experimentation, which have not been followed seriously and systematically so far. You are invited to experiment and contribute other such possibilities.

The general idea of these suggestions is not to change "society" (and accordingly fall into regulation traps), but to change life at a very basic cultural level. Of course, a radically new culture will not emerge automatically; it will have to be created intentionally. This relies on the basic emancipatoric assumption:

Instead of being programmed externally, we can ourselves write the program which is driving us.

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Main ideas

Let us collect ideas for a new culture and for avoiding old patterns. The following is by no means complete.

A warning in advance: When you think from within the current culture, a radically new culture means the most acultural thing imaginable.

  • Don't believe in anything. Don't buy what you don't understand. Don't respect or create (invisible) authorities.
  • Keep learning and - more importantly - unlearning. Keep asking, grow doubt. Ask seemingly naive questions (which often concern fundamentals). Try to find rational answers for "naive" questions (which may be hard). Admit when you're lacking answers. Create an atmosphere where people having questions are neither overruled by nor ignoring those having answers, where knowledge does not imply power, but still there is a desire to doubt and learn.
  • Don't subscribe to any system of belief; don't become a member of any identity group, let alone a party (which admittedly sacrifices critical though in order to obtain power).
  • Don't try to legitimate your actions; this often means respecting an invisible authority. Make your friends understand why you did something by explaining your situation (and not abstracting it).
  • Keep all commercial interests completely separated from your efforts to escape.
  • Try to avoid money as far as possible when you try to escape.
  • Make material independence (including "production") part of your escape strategy.
  • Don't rely on assurances and services of the old system; do it yourself and do it together with your friends.
  • Build communities based on mutual trust, without "society" as fallback option.
  • Build decentralized infrastructure (e.g., collective crop production, wireless peering, ...).
  • Start from a coherent analysis of reality based on your own experiences.
  • From there explore different directions, but avoid the many, many traps and dead ends.
  • Within one or more communities find common directions.

Communication

  • Restart communication. Take time for each other. A new culture of communication means to communicate from person to person about real situations, not about simplified images (which are produced by media and people lacking time).
  • Don't be a medium. Lacking own experience, we unintendedly reproduce media narratives (and become media ourselves); let's go back to our own experiences (however unspectacular) and let's deal with the lack of them.
  • In every moment be aware of the destructive character of language. Let's try to motivate our peers in advancing changes in every moment.
  • Respect the 10 commandments!
  • Allow and value doubt. Develop the strength to resist those delivering a good rhetoric performance. Take time to analyze your speeches. Don't refer to anything that is "commonly known".
  • Learn language anew. Don't assume a common understanding of basic notions. Discuss their meaning in connection with your own experiences. Take time to learn other points of view.
  • Don't wait for "the public" (uninvolved people, media) to confirm that you have changed something. Judge it from what your peers say and what you think.
  • Refuse to propagate rumors. Ignore gossip, which is roughly all that is not related to your friends' direct experiences or natural laws.
  • Don't try to make yourself liked by telling spectacular news. Encourage others to tell you something that has observable effects in your lifes. Try to focus on the things that you can change, but always keep in mind the structure of the maze.
  • Stop monitoring politicial correctness like a trained dog (not to mention police).
  • Don't use common terms to describe your 'escape'(?) activities; language is the first step in assimilation; create a new language!
  • Don't tell others how they should think (naive politics).
  • Don't gossip. This will make "known" things even better known just like capitalism makes the rich even richer. - This is valuable production within a discourse system obeying capitalist rules.
  • Let's try to find common understandings, not just create agreements.
  • Let's stop talking about absent people. (It is ok to talk from absent people, i.e., repeat what they would say.)
  • Let's only consider true what we have understood, not what many people say.
  • Don't let others think for you. Think for yourself.
  • Let's stop expecting conformity from others.
  • Let's stop producing rumors. Don't believe. Ask twice. Require proofs. Check consistency. Truth is approached by talking less and thinking/doubting more.
  • Talking/Writing means producing misunderstandings. Let us therefore always refer to examples and common experiences, even if they seem trivial.
  • Let's continuously develop a glossary of terms used in our communities.

Glossary (TBD)

  • System
  • Reality
  • Discourse
  • Culture
  • Emancipation
  • Utopia
  • Idiot
  • Samizdat
  • Language

Interaction

  • Practise direct action: Act as if you were already free.
  • Practise direct interaction: Don't let your articulation be censored.
  • Refuse competitions and alienating incentives; if you still want to win, ask yourself why and talk to your peers about it.
  • Refuse representation; if you still want to create an image of yourself, ask yourself why and talk to your peers about it. Refuse in particular symbols; don't pay attention and don't produce them. Now that even industrial products promise revolution, you would only contribute to that lie.
  • Beware of "networking" within your local communities. Make non-exclusive direct communication a cornerstone of your communities.

Fully inhabiting is all that can be set against the paradigm of government.

Invisible committee

Autonomy

Here are a few suggestions to gain independence from regulatory influences:

  • Let us try to become independent of political discourse (Mathew effect) and become idiots. Idiots cannot be easily controlled by communication and they do not want to exert influence on unknown others. Idiots reveal a radically incomprehensible strangeness, which does not depict its radicalness.
  • Let us try to communicate the coherent alternative meaning of our actions. All we do is not per se suited for escaping; the meaning of actions in society depends on the perspective associated with them.
  • Ban virtuality.
  • Let us discouple from media discourse. Let us avoid repeating what we hear in the media and talking about politics or other things which we cannot change. Let us get rid of the illusion that mere talking about something without any option to act will have any effect.
  • Let us make symbols irrelevant. Traditionally people were gathering behind flags which had a uniting effect and at the same time deprived them of independent thought. When we try to defend symbols, we are subjecting ourselves to discourse regulation and are beneath the trap of restricting our actions to mere communication.
  • Let us not participate in discourse production for the masses. Changes becomes manifest in reality. Let us avoid the spectacle, however tempting it may be. Let us cut the feedback and stop feeding the system with information.
  • Let's avoid participating in surveys, being tracked, surveilled, counted, controlled.
  • Let's talk about our real situations, about what we can change and not just about what we are subject to. Don't sugarcoat the misery. Don't produce representations. Authenticity first of all means being able to talk about anxieties, desires, faults. Automatic behaviours learned in the old culture will continue to control us, until we learn to talk about them. Don't say (or think) "I am ..."; don't put yourself in a box. Allow yourself to be crazy, deliberately crazy.


Regulation has many desirable effects. We™ have to replace regulation with conscious communication, so that we™ can control our lifes instead of being controlled:
  • Market economy promises to deliver what the consumers want. Information is basically encoded into numbers which are known as price and market is an information transport mechanism. In a community based economy without money we can be more effective in producing what is wanted by us.
  • Let us create uncontrollable networks of autonomous units ("we™").
  • Let us try to put up reliable production in collectives specializing on their likings.
  • Let us try to build a robust network connecting these collectives without using any form of money (value abstraction).

Everybody always used to say it is not possible. And then someone came who didn't know that and just did it.

Unknown source

Experimentation

  • Let's avoid lottery and playing games of chance. Let's stop conceptualizing the world as fateful; let's take it for real and replace hopes with actions for change.
  • Freedom is more than the absence of control. Let's take the freedom to find it out. Life means lust for change.

Actions of this magnitude cannot be consummated without the existence of a dense network of relationships between persons—re-lationships that are also forms of organization. The problem is that we are unwilling to consider that in everyday life the relationships between neighbors, between friends, between comrades, or between family, are as important as those of the union, the party, or even the state itself. (...) Established relationships, codified through formal agreements, are often more important in Western culture than those loyalties woven by informal ties.

Raul Zibechi, cited in: Invisible committee, "To our friends"

Perhaps there is no longer a "society" to destroy or persuade. Perhaps that fiction which was born at the end of the 17th century and which occupied so many revolutionaries and rulers for two centuries has breathed its last without our realizing it. [...] At bottom, "society" only denotes the projected shadow of the successive modes of government. It was the whole set of subjects of the absolutist state in the age of the Leviathan, then that of economic actors in the liberal state. From the viewpoint of the welfare state, it was man himself, with his rights, needs, and labor power, who constituted the basic element of society. What is perverse about the idea of "society" is that it has always helped government to naturalize the product of its activity, its operations, its techniques. It was constructed as what essentially preexisted it.

Invisible committee

We are faced with this difficulty: how does one construct a force that is not an organization? [...] Every life, let alone every shared life, secretes ways of being, of speaking, of producing, of loving, of fighting, regularities therefore, customs, a language — forms. The thing is, we have learned not to see forms in what is alive. For us, a form is a statue, a structure, or a skeleton, and never a being that moves, eats, dances, sings, and riots. Real forms are immanent in life and can only be apprehended in motion. [...] And yet, recognizing the forms that life spontaneously engenders does not mean that we can rely on some kind of spontaneity to maintain those forms and foster their growth, to bring about the necessary metamorphoses. On the contrary, that requires a constant attention and discipline. Not the reactive, cybernetic, punctual attention that is shared by activists and the management vanguard, who only swear by networks, fluidity, feedback, and horizontality, who manage everything without understanding anything, from the outside. Not the external, vaguely military discipline of the old organizations spawned by the workers’ movement, which have almost all become appendices of the state, it should be said. The attention and the discipline we have in mind is directed towards our power, towards its condition, and its increase. They watch for signs of anything encroaching on it, and figure out what makes it grow.

Invisible committee

Organization & community

  • Let's build strong relations to other people. Relations need to be cultivated. This is a continuous process; a singular event will ususally have not much impact. The strength of relations lies in 1) knowing the other person 2) trusting her/him, not in symbolic  likeness (vegan lifestyle etc.), but in mutual understanding.
  • Organizing does not mean creating a public representation, it means reliable cooperation (between individuals, between individuals and groups and between groups). Let us build reliable groups ("organize"), which are able to do what they promised, even if individuals fail (e.g., due to sickness). Let us build up redundancies allocating surrogates and time slots. let us try to reserve spare time for the community.
  • Communities explore their paths independently.
  • Communities create connections with each other for mutual support.

Questions

How can we think out of the box without re-creating it by thinking about it?

Why do the political activists not understand that protesting is what they are expected to do?

If they could know better, why are so many leftists joining political groups which reduce their personality (instead of widening them)? - The answer is old: They are searching for company. It is good to know that there are others having similar thoughts.

Next steps

What can we do beyond collecting ideas for a new culture?

We can work out details:

  • Develop a langugage course.

Further reading

Here is a collection of material.

Other resources:

We are currently these people collecting ideas for a radically new culture.