Is rebellion possible?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Problems:
All alterntaive movements become commodified.
American culture is geared towards pleasure, gratification, etc.
Rebellion is too heavily enamored of image and symbol.
Post-modern society means there is no hegemony to rebel against.
Most rebellion nowadays takes place in a more local context. In other words, people rebel against their parents, not society as a whole.
Old forms of rebellion are tired, and yet are reworked for lack of better ideas.
Taking responsibility for your own actions is much less glamorous then shouting in the streets, and some only choose the latter.

Sometimes it seems to me that austerity, self-denial, silence, reserve, anonymity, etc., are the only things left. But how does one fight with silence against tyrrany?

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 05:35 (sixteen years ago) link

commodification does not delete power
pleasure is not tyranny
image and symbol are essential to communication
a hegemony of unreal things is less likely to outthink than a hegemony of real people
parents are not symbolic
imagination is not a sin
more better glamour now

rah rah rah

mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 07:42 (sixteen years ago) link

I think that serious, culture- and nation-changing grassroots revolution is possible in the United States, and that it may yet come. It just won't be from the Left.

Colin Meeder (Mert), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 07:49 (sixteen years ago) link

Question is, is rebellion NECESSARY? I mean, what if you think everything's cool just how it is

dave q, Wednesday, 2 October 2002 09:41 (sixteen years ago) link

Mark was that meant to sound flippant or am I taking it too personally?

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 12:01 (sixteen years ago) link

some of the points are serious but i couldn't counter all of them w/o resorting to silliness or in one case agreeing w.you only stated in a way that pretends it's a disagreement

"rah rah rah" = me sending up myself for switching into daft slogan mode towards the end


mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 12:13 (sixteen years ago) link

ok then... in that case I should probably mock myself for being so insecure, but I am too sick to be creative.

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 12:24 (sixteen years ago) link

get well soon!! i wasn't being mean!!

mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 12:26 (sixteen years ago) link

I know, and thanks.

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 12:28 (sixteen years ago) link

Aaron maybe you could describe this tyranny?

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 17:08 (sixteen years ago) link

Or is the (apparent) impossibility of such a description part of the point? You've a nagging feeling that there's something in the fog out there, something solid that is throwing peanut-shells at you but when you try and shout at it or corral it your fingers clutch an already-diffused vaporish after-image?

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 17:12 (sixteen years ago) link

something like that... I guess I don;t even know what I am reacting against, because it is something deeper than political divisions. part of it is that so much of life is games, acting, etc. and we all know it, and we all know that others know it, and yet it all persists.
it just seems harder and harder to envision anything different than that which already exists. society, through media, is always reifying itself, entrenching its values, etc.
there just seems to be a lot of nihilism

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 17:21 (sixteen years ago) link

There's so much vacant chatter about revolution that the chatterers seem to have forgotten why we need one or what it will be about: meanwhile the vast majority of Americans, anyway, think they're getting along just fine, or are about to be getting along just fine, or are trying to get things going so that hopefully their children will get along just fine, and tend to very realistically think of revolution as this bad things where people with guns go around shooting things and taking people's stuff.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 17:41 (sixteen years ago) link

But it was Colin who said "revolution," and the question was "rebellion" -- which takes us to oh umm what are we meant to be rebelling against? And why again? It's always possible, you know, like I could start crusading against having to wear trousers all the time.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 17:43 (sixteen years ago) link

DOWN WITH PANTS

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 17:55 (sixteen years ago) link

to rebel against what you feel to be the facade of society etc you could always just go about being completely honest! i mean in face to face contact with people, saying exactly what you feel at the time instead of complying with the polite rules.*the emperors new clothes* type thing. this, of course, is only localised rebellion and on a very small personal scale. it can help though, to dispel the feelings of futility that press on your mind sometimes.
well, i find it does.

donna (donna), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 20:44 (sixteen years ago) link

donna you are OTM

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 20:48 (sixteen years ago) link

"DOWN WITH PANTS" would be a great t-shirt slogan (and campaign platform).

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 20:52 (sixteen years ago) link

GRR, Donna: I always hate it when people think they're somehow exposing the shackles that bind us by revealing that social constructions are, like, constructions -- some of us are plenty aware of that, and just happen to think they're perfectly reasonable and useful constructions.

I've started thinking of this as a variant of Peaches Syndrome. Peaches Syndrome is what those people have who are obsessed with sex and assume everyone else is equally obsessed with sex but are just too repressed to say or do anything about it, so they try to shock or tittilate or grab attention with their brazen sexuality as if they're doing what you're too bound up in societal repression to do -- when in reality you're just not as obsessed with sex as they are.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 21:35 (sixteen years ago) link

haha no its not that at all nabisco its just a way of saying ah fuck it, that ( whatever it is ) is totally ridiculous, nothing really brazen about it. more just being open about what you really think and who gives a shit if anyone cares or notices, it just feels good and usually isnt a shocking thing at all.

donna (donna), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 22:35 (sixteen years ago) link

in fact, it is a very personal thing. i dont really care if other people know or notice the so-called shackles and like them or whatever, it is just satisfying to be real at times outside the boundaries.
it certainly isnt a matter of trying to prove anything or confront anyone or be obsessed. to me it is a matter of freeing myself on occasion, and being honest face to face does not necessarily mean being one of those pains who think they are enlightened and no one else is.

donna (donna), Wednesday, 2 October 2002 23:34 (sixteen years ago) link

"Peaches Syndrome"? I heard it was Satyriasis ;)

Will Burn, Thursday, 3 October 2002 00:42 (sixteen years ago) link

three years pass...
are we taking into account the fact that every successful rebellion was the final product of many failed rebellions?

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 00:23 (twelve years ago) link

i know i am

A Giant Mechanical Ant (The Giant Mechanical Ant), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 00:49 (twelve years ago) link

You can not go against nature because when you do go against nature that's part of nature, too.

Butt Dickass (Dick Butkus), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 01:26 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...
four years pass...

i've been worrying lately that by the time my daughter grows up there will be no mode of rebellion left that won't have been co-opted or made to seem ridiculous. which was already starting to be an issue when i was a teen but it seemed like art still had the capacity to shock or make some kind of small difference at least.

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 10 June 2013 17:36 (six years ago) link

She could take down the surveillance state.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 10 June 2013 17:38 (six years ago) link

There's always Jihadism

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Monday, 10 June 2013 17:40 (six years ago) link

i feel like even back in the '50s 'rebellious' stuff was often about how everything was so fake there was nothing left to rebel against (i.e. brando going 'whaddya got?')

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 10 June 2013 17:41 (six years ago) link

there is, and probably will be, a lot of room for rebellion when it comes to shunning technology, ie 2013 cool marlon brando "doesn't even have a facebook account"

iatee, Monday, 10 June 2013 17:46 (six years ago) link

cell phone? you can only reach him by fax

iatee, Monday, 10 June 2013 17:48 (six years ago) link

The idea that adolescent rebellion has somehow become meaningless or impossible just strikes me as strange. Just repeat after me:

"I hate my parents and/or society. They're all so (insert scornful adjective)."

There. It's a wrap.

Aimless, Monday, 10 June 2013 18:17 (six years ago) link

i've been worrying lately that by the time my daughter grows up there will be no mode of rebellion left that won't have been co-opted or made to seem ridiculous. which was already starting to be an issue when i was a teen but it seemed like art still had the capacity to shock or make some kind of small difference at least.

― congratulations (n/a), Monday, June 10, 2013 1:36 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the mere fact that you, as her parent, are "worried" she will have no mode for rebellion kind of hilariously illustrates how dead rebellion is.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Monday, 10 June 2013 18:33 (six years ago) link

i didn't really mean social rebellion (against parents/norms/etc), was thinking more about political rebellion - like what is she going to do when the government does something she thinks is wrong? what can she do that will make a difference or an impact? but i might be filtering this through my own feelings of inadequacy about not knowing what to do now about things the government does that i think are wrong

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 10 June 2013 19:39 (six years ago) link

i think this is a genuine/legit worry for our future. or rather our present. i'm tempted to say that popular pressure can make for small victories. but that isn't always true (i live in wisconsin FWIW, and all the protests have made nary a dent in the GOP's plan to turn the state into a fully privatized plutocracy) and small victories can seem like no victories at all when you take the full sweep of political change into view.

i think people assumed that n/a was referring to rebellion-as-lifestyle i.e. Punk© but he's not.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 10 June 2013 20:06 (six years ago) link

"like what is she going to do when the government does something she thinks is wrong?"

bitch about it on facebook. just as her ancestors did.

scott seward, Monday, 10 June 2013 20:08 (six years ago) link

work and act locally outside of official channels. teach your daughter to do the same.

scott seward, Monday, 10 June 2013 20:10 (six years ago) link

most effective "rebellions" against government occur when something severely impacts the lives of those who wind up protesting -- segregation, the draft, etc. "You peeked at our phone records" is just not a significant enough harm to get most people into the streets.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Monday, 10 June 2013 20:11 (six years ago) link

grow vegetables together. read her mezz mezzro's autobiography. teach her how to defend herself. then let her out into the wild.

scott seward, Monday, 10 June 2013 20:11 (six years ago) link

teach her how to fish too. always a good thing to know.

scott seward, Monday, 10 June 2013 20:13 (six years ago) link

most effective "rebellions" against government occur when something severely impacts the lives of those who wind up protesting -- segregation, the draft, etc. "You peeked at our phone records" is just not a significant enough harm to get most people into the streets.

also even effective rebellions didn't have immediate results

iatee, Monday, 10 June 2013 20:15 (six years ago) link

struggle is its own reward

(i actually think people really need to believe that in order to keep on. unfortunately it's very hard to believe that.)

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 10 June 2013 20:24 (six years ago) link

But it's much easier to believe that when you don't otherwise have a comfortable life at your fingertips.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 01:19 (six years ago) link

yes

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 01:22 (six years ago) link

hash (mmm) tag drunk talk :taking in account that the internet of now helps to create more links of all sorts between people( experiences, goods and services , feels etc) and young people nowadays are getting sort of away from politics and invest their lives into socially conscious businesses , non profit organizations etc maybe in a couple of decades will pop up a need for a kind of news service that informs us of what "we" do, and the ameliorations in other workplaces will rejoice us not because we have a "big heart" but because it makes our life more liveable.

Sébastien, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 01:36 (six years ago) link

Rebelling is easy: Drink a beer, smoke a cigarette, and listen to rock 'n' roll music.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 01:48 (six years ago) link

And/or get a tattoo.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 01:49 (six years ago) link

p sure mlle. n/a will find plenty of ways to try to stick an oar in history and if she feels like she can't do that "anymore" by buying clothes and records well no shit right? maybe we're talking about different things here.

the white queen and her caustic judgments (difficult listening hour), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 01:54 (six years ago) link

work and act locally outside of official channels. teach your daughter to do the same.

― scott seward, Monday, June 10, 2013 4:10 PM (5 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

nothing wrong with doing that if that`s your bag but i don`t think that counts as rebellion

flopson, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 01:59 (six years ago) link

For whom, in what way?

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:43 (six years ago) link

for people w/ underwater mortgages, many of whom are not the poorest americans, by taxpayers

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:45 (six years ago) link

incidentally geithner pushed for this

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:47 (six years ago) link

Because what are you going to do?

um, not put your money in a bank

temporarily embarassed millionaire (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:48 (six years ago) link

incidentally geithner pushed for this

― iatee, Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:47 PM (2 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, i recall that

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:50 (six years ago) link

so I mean 'should activists push for something even after the white house fully supports it and doesn't have the ability to change it'

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:51 (six years ago) link

cbo seems to suggest that principal reduction by FHFA would avoid enough defaults to make it worth the money

http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2013/05/06/report-principal-forgiveness-could-reduce-costs-for-taxpayers/

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:54 (six years ago) link

well it seems to me this is why demarco's head rolled and and mel watt saddled up

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:55 (six years ago) link

well the white house supports torture, trial-less executions, and endless war, should activists just support those things too

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:56 (six years ago) link

adam bruneau are you even literate

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:58 (six years ago) link

well it seems to me this is why demarco's head rolled and and mel watt saddled up

his head hasn't rolled...

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:02 (six years ago) link

while we're at it can we get some loan forgiveness for student debt plz?

Mordy , Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:03 (six years ago) link

lol

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:04 (six years ago) link

I mean dude he was loudly called out for a particular policy position and he is being replaced by a stalwart advocate for that same position who loudly criticized him. It's no nixonian massacre, but that's not real opaque to me

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:11 (six years ago) link

hey les do credit card debt too plz

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:12 (six years ago) link

only when the senate sez so absent a recess appointment

xp

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:14 (six years ago) link

this isn't even the first time obama attempted to replace him

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:15 (six years ago) link

Yeah, I remember the other dude from like late 10, right? But this is precisely the sort of opportunity where grassroots power building and pressure application can come into play. Building a movement that makes it politically untenable to continue to oppose the change. We haven't done it yet, and obviously the ballot box is part of the fight, but I think we're working in this direction in the national level and trying to make the appropriate connections from the local upward.

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:22 (six years ago) link

(I don't believe it's a contradiction that I'm defending black blocs and arguing for the confirmation of Boss FHFA 10 posts apart, but, lol.)

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:25 (six years ago) link

well the problem is that the pressure needs to be applied to senate republicans in safe seats

iatee, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:29 (six years ago) link

it's like i said, i don't think this is an easy problem to solve. but i don't think it's unsolvable--it just takes hard work that's worth doing.

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 19:15 (six years ago) link

or, you know, a goddamn recess appointment

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 19:15 (six years ago) link

ps smash all authority

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 19:18 (six years ago) link

heya hoos, have you read Graeber's The Democracy Project yet? I was reading the bookforum review of it last night (which also featured David Harvey's more neomarxist-influenced Rebel Cities) and it seemed well worth reading. i'll take my answer off the air.

Z S, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:17 (six years ago) link

The wealthy and powerful certainly spend plenty of time and money to identify every lever of power and every avenue of influence they can use to pursue their goals. There is no contradiction between occupying public parks and banks or marching in the streets, and filing briefs with the SEC or lobbying Congress for friendly appointments in federal bureaucracies, if any of these steps can get you closer to your goals.

Aimless, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:23 (six years ago) link

yep. it's always frustrating to see people arguing for one avenue over the other when they're both necessary for change. it seems like a common structure of a breakthrough on an issue is 1) tangible and growing public protests, 2) people with access to the current framework of the institution working on realistic alternative policies, and 3) a highly visible event or series of events - financial breakdown, a scandal, a disaster - that draws media and wider public attention to the issue.

Z S, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:37 (six years ago) link

There's no doubt in my mind that the big Bonus March on Washington DC during the Hoover administration was useful for pushing FDR into more radical actions when he took over in 1933.

Aimless, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:51 (six years ago) link

ZS I haven't read Graeber's new one yet, though I've read a few reviews & am considering it. Trying to finish working my way through Black Flame first.

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 20 June 2013 17:05 (six years ago) link

great article on Left Unity http://viewpointmag.com/2013/06/13/dead-generations-and-unknown-continents-reflections-on-left-unity/

flopson, Thursday, 20 June 2013 19:21 (six years ago) link

yeah thats really really good imo

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 20 June 2013 19:24 (six years ago) link

i have it but have not read it! i'm told it's good.

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 21 June 2013 16:11 (six years ago) link

Sounds interesting. Is there any evidence of a genuine uptick in people moving "off the grid"? There was a pretty big movement toward that kind of living in the 70s too.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 16:32 (six years ago) link

in general, people need to stop thinking about how hippies did things. cuz it seems like a rebuke or something. not you, hurting! just in general. like, people shouldn't try new approaches cuz people did something like that once and now look where we are.

scott seward, Friday, 21 June 2013 18:24 (six years ago) link

i don't really understand what that post is saying, scott.

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 21 June 2013 18:41 (six years ago) link

i just meant if you mention "living off the grid" a lot of people immediately tie it to 60s/70s/hippies/etc. and it doesn't have to be like that. or worse they tie it to militias/survivalists/cults. it doesn't have to be any of those things.

scott seward, Friday, 21 June 2013 19:19 (six years ago) link

Living off the grid does require a broad skill set that replaces being plugged into systems that are self-managing. Acquiring that skill set doesn't have to happen all at once, if you don't dive straight into the deep end, but instead select skills you are interested in, one at a time, and learn them as you go along. A lot of the failures among hippies and back-to-nature types in the 70s, when this was big, was a failure to recognize how much they didn't know before they committed to the project. It's more sensible to ramp your way up to it slowly and intentionally.

Aimless, Friday, 21 June 2013 20:04 (six years ago) link

I think that the "oh that's a 70s thing" comes largely from the widespread failure of most of the people who tried to live off the grid to stick with it.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:10 (six years ago) link

but yeah what aimless said

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:11 (six years ago) link

I think "true independence" is kind of a ridiculous fantasy, but that's probably something the marketing department came up with right?

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:14 (six years ago) link

has anyone read this?

wtf I am pretty sure I know that building

the Spanish Porky's (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:14 (six years ago) link

He edits the Web site Off-Grid.net in back of his RV, using a laptop plugged into a cigar lighter (and a wireless modem plugged into a laptop).

Ok, not gonna bother with this one.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:18 (six years ago) link

Also has an epigraph by "E.E. Schumacher" (smh)

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:19 (six years ago) link

off the grid = a car battery?

the Spanish Porky's (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:20 (six years ago) link

and wireless internet!

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:21 (six years ago) link

there's no grid dude, it's wireless

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 21 June 2013 21:21 (six years ago) link

lol

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Sunday, 23 June 2013 02:05 (six years ago) link

maybe he just means he pays his wireless bill in cash, or buys re-up cards for it at walmart

j., Sunday, 23 June 2013 05:52 (six years ago) link

six years pass...

Jul 4 70 I have become so obsessed lately with the hopelessness of any rebellion against authority that I can only assume that I have come to a sort of climacteric. I read the political page every day and am continually astounded by what I read.

— Richard Burton (@BurtonDiaries) July 4, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 21:45 (one week ago) link

I was around in July 1970 and old enough to see and appreciate exactly what Mr. Burton was reading. Yes, the political state of the USA especially, but much of Europe, was plenty astounding and equally dispiriting.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 23:01 (one week ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.