Escape

Do you sometimes or frequently want to escape? How do you do it?

  • Are you using alcohol or other substances to temporarily replace reality with better imaginations?
  • Are you creating a social environment (of like-minded friends, or an imagined community) that allows you to live without interferences in a virtually real world?
  • Are you consuming dreams or meaningless illusions produced by culture industry?
  • Are you keeping away from humans and instead embracing nature?


If you are tired of escapism and feel a desire for fundamental and actual change, then read on.
 

Do you share some of these experiences?

  • Are you busy changing society, but with marginal effect, and nonetheless waiting essentially for better times?
  • Have you ceased struggling to change society and feel like if somebody had paused your life?
  • Do you feel like an alien or a very deep pressure to conform?
  • Have you found that your criticism was used by the system to stabilize itself?
  • Have you tried to do the right things, and in the end found yourself doing wrong things?
  • Are you (able to admit that you are) basically planless and don't see a way out?
  • Have you still not given up and want to learn and try new ways out of the misery?


Would you agree to the following assertions?

  • I cannot completely escape the system. My (material) existence currently depends on taking part to some degree in the totality of capitalism and state order.
  • I cannot lean back and declare the totality perfect. It isn't. Totality is a tendency, not inescapable.
  • I must be able to stand the contradiction between being part of the system and being part of utopia. If I try to be a fully accepted member of society and want to integrate utopia in my daily life, utopia melts away. And if I try to live fully according to utopian standards, I will become detached from reality.
  • This contradiction will exist in word and deed; i.e., in my life I will be doing something that I am struggling against in the very same life (but not at the same time, not in the same social context).
  • The diversity in the spectrum of oppositional groups emerges through gradual differences in what they declare acceptable and what not; they have given up rational criteria and make politics a matter of (e.g., more or less radical) taste.
  • I cannot delegate change. Not only others will have to change, but in the first place I myself: My traditions, my habits, my language, my (automatic/trained) thoughts.
  • I and my friends will have to cope with the fact that we are all doing the wrong things sometimes. If we try to hide this fundamental contradiction, or prefer to blame each other instead of learning from each other, then we can as well forget about change.
  • Real change will require me and my friends to develop a common language to be able to talk about where the line separating the old and the new world goes.