Coming together. Speaking to each other.
a project of the Terms of Endearment Research Syndicate
* * *
“Nothing can be more depressing than to expose, naked to the light of thought, the hideous growth of argot. Indeed it is like a sort of repellent animal intended to dwell in darkness which has been dragged out of its cloaca. One seems to see a horned and living creature viciously struggling to be restored to the place where it belongs. One word is like a claw, another like a sightless and bleeding eye; and there are phrases which clutch like the pincers of a crab. And all of it is alive with the hideous vitality of things that have organized themselves amid disorganization.”
The parts of speech are an undeniable force within our lives. Substantive forms produce the texture of experience, while infinitive forms are the materials themselves. The essential character of the substantive is lost during the process of reification (i.e. capitalization). All substantive forms remain amenable within the lower case. We are engaged in the collective occupation of space, while noting the idiomatic tendency of shared life activity, and prefer to describe our situations with our own language; not with the language of capital. The state would prefer that we die — or at least become paralyzed — and therefore incapable of the commotion of our artifice. The austere use of common nouns, as opposed to their proper forms, is an anti-authoritarian act in service of the common, and in direct defiance of the spectacle. The destruction of capital, the state, and technics is dependent upon the accessibility of the substantive form.
Within a particular frame of reference all three non-finite verb forms become anarchist tools, however we are resolved to gerundial forms. We no longer struggle with the question of what “to become” because we are engaged in the process of becoming. We don’t need to discuss what it means “to fight back” because we are fighting back. Inviting the entirety of unmediated experience promotes participation in the action of our verbs, as with participle forms. To each other we are endearing friends and discerning accomplices, while simultaneously we are vitiating villains to the state and conniving thieves to capital. When we make the conscious choice to experiment freedom, we attempt to be everything and all at once. If it is to be discovered that freedom is a non-finite experience, then we must act towards it through non-finite verb forms.
No spoken language can be “written in stone”. As we experience daily interactions, we modify speech to reflect our experiences. This is a fundamental part of the project of autonomy. The lexicon of self-determination is infinitely expansive and non-proprietary. The technics of contemporary society are technics of control, surveillance, and compulsory social ineptitude. As language is converted to text, singularity is lost. A descriptive, rather than prescriptive, vernacular is required in the course of the emancipation of individual experience. Again, we are anti-authoritarians whom desire the use of descriptive language when discussing our situations. Semantics are entirely at the heart of this matter, as it is impossible to communicate amongst ourselves when we cannot make sense of each other.
When creating our lives together we are continually pushed towards neologism. Slang, idiom, and jargon come together with other informalities to establish an interwoven ecology of expression. As we introduce new senses of existing words, it becomes impossible for us to be understood in any meaningful way by the out-group; this is advantageous to those seeking anarchy as in-group/out-group dichotomies are the tension that will tear society apart. Disparate groups who do not understand each other are destined to become separate. We do not, can not, and will not ever understand the language of capital, the rule of law that the state imposes across us, or the behaviors of the culture of technics.
New dialects are altogether new languages in-of themselves, while sociolects are the body of language specific to a hermetic social grouping. The process of forming a sociolect is a gradual accumulation of unconscious effort. Cliques seeking self-liberation would do well to become cognizant of the recusancy of neologism and it’s application as an effective anarchist tool. Effort is not particularly required; the creation of unique phrases and usages manifests naturally as the argot of any genuine clique. Communalization of the syntactic enriches individual experience, and the ambition of autonomy inevitably edifies the syntactic (literally “together tactic”). Through reciprocation and experimentation the syntactic becomes a living thing and a potent example of the malleability of the conditions of everyday life when we appropriate the time and space to experiment.
Prescriptivists out themselves as authoritarians unwilling to accept the vernacular. The creation of a free society requires, at its inception, the common notion that first and foremost there are no rules. Agreements exemplified through speech allude to their own urgency as they wax and wane throughout the experience of each situation. The managers of conversation (i.e. cops) substantiate their own power through impersonal rigidity and must be forced out. Members of the out-group cannot understand the speech of the in-group. This is the essential exclusion that forms the out-group; a definitive out-group is necessary to the apposition of the in-group amongst all others.
In arguments, we either take the perspective of the common or the perspective of power. The managers, and those who covet their coercive authority, represent a non-group within human society because they are no longer humane. As the overseen, the manager’s positions are always external to our lived experiences, and therefore contradict our needs as singular human beings. Many people will not understand this until, faced with the frustration of their own inadequacies, they seek to become a force within society and begin to associate with (i.e. speak to) others. When arguing, it is preferential to argue for the sake of being difficult. Semantics are absolutely worth fighting over. As we suss out the particulars of our speech, we begin to actually understand one another, and through mutual understanding we begin to come together.
* * *
It’s not about saying yes or no
It’s not about stop or go
It’s more about what is within
And how you get there in your mental scene
And how you keep it as part of your truth
Never to stop while trying to choose
Some kinds of decisions, some kind of discord
While often you ‘re conscious about others’ reports
And do you believe and don’t you forget
How you conceived your thoughts of regret?
It’s not about being right or wrong
It’s not about being weak or strong
I do not want to confabulate society, because society is much too large to even begin to contemplate.
Firstly, I must declare that I am wholeheartedly opposed to the city. Everywhere there are illustrations of how urban living is not quite living at all — an unfortunate and harsh reality that exists for all too many humans. Giving examples of the miseries of the city is a condescension that most can do just fine without. Capitalism concentrates the population in urban areas in order to preserve itself and to become more efficient at the subjugation of its subjects. By either force or the threat of force, many dissimilar people are held within proximity to each other but remain mostly alienated from each other. This is due to a preference for non-group association and results in a crisis of identity.
The human condition is the condition of being oneself; the tendency to remain the same under varying conditions is the determinant of identity. Various associations are formulated within society for various reasons (e.g. work, school). Individuals whom remain passive in the search for others inevitably become dependent on non-group association. Many people stupidly believe that by affiliating with this non-group they become privileged to power within society. Members of the non-group are not delusional per se, but merely lack self-knowledge. The non-group is entirely composed of incorporeal beings who ebb away their lives in unfamiliar terrain, as strangers to each other and themselves.
Appeals to power go unnoticed, as the managers have countless ununique denizens to manage. The truth is, there is no truth in associations of myopic individuals within the imperialism of capital; identity is misconstrued by duress and proximity is not, in-of itself, a source of commonality. We are forced into proximity with each other because society is organized in a way that requires large groups of people to occupy relatively small areas in order to function, and not for any other reason. The problem is that people tend to identify with each other solely through their mutual subjection.
The ideology of capital (i.e. morality) is so pervasive within all segments of society that forging relationships with most people becomes undesirable. Competition, control, and coercion are not solely the tools of the non-group, every citizen is a cop in their own right, and eager to replicate the same institutions of government that preponderate their autonomy (i.e. snitch). Among the disempowered, there is a struggle for authority that is not confined to the workplace: every neighborhood, scene, and organization has it’s pseudo-managers. Close-knit cliques safeguard against external disposition by protecting one another from the force of management, while internal hierarchies are dissipated through instances of uninvitation.
“My life got no better, same damn ‘Lo sweater,
Times is rough and tough like leather,
Figured out I went the wrong route,
So I got with a sick ass clique and went all out.”
I do not want to altercate about strangers, because the only things we share in common are our mutual blank stares and the open wounds of interacting with a society that is beyond human-scale (i.e. beyond our “wildest dreams”).
The authenticity of human interaction is complicated by the increasing fragmentation of life’s daily activities. In the city, we become bitter towards everyone because the very fact of our congregation and confinement contradicts our needs as human beings. Having mostly nothing to say to the majority of people whom we run across is the consequence of seeing nothing of ourselves in them, probably because we see nothing in them at all. By-carving out space to attempt meaningful existence — a reappropriation of terrain — we negate relationships with strange-ers, that is, until they become familiar. Developing common sense is just as much a process of relearning to see as it is relearning to speak.
Mutual experiences (e.g. suffering) are always the basis for cooperation. Argument in favor of the non-group, made impersonal by it’s idealization, furthers the alienation of society that manifests through collective inability to be understood. Rather than be made into representatives for this characterless non-group, we choose to associate with, or support, particular factions, particular groups, or particular persons. By always taking the side of those within our in-group, we repudiate the representation of the social order that maintains capital, the state, and it’s technics.
The space I make for myself is for myself. Accordingly, others must be invited by me to occupy space in common with me, and must actively maintain their standing with me interpersonally, in order to stand with me physically.
Active commonality is the substance of our friendships; the forces that attract us to others when we seek to become a force. Active commonality becomes the project of maintaining ourselves socially, not for the recognition or demi-fame of trite appearances, but for the necessity of interpersonal relation that any survival beyond capitalism requires. Social networking offers only spectacularization; voyeurism can only produce a social knowledge of limited depth. Passive commonality is the end result of external forces applied to our bodies, the residue of ourselves — when we have emerged from the gauntlets we have been thrown down — treated as a substitute for genuine affection and consideration. Shared life activity and criticism produce fondness and understanding. Out of necessity, shared living actively becomes criminal for the work-avoidant, becoming threatening to the forces of management when it strengthens and spreads, and exists purely through associations of friendship and relations of sharing. The discussion of social relations, then, begins here at the level of friendships — friendship being the authentic basis for affinity.
We pursue active commonality as a means of collective survival. Truly, we have nothing to offer each other except the semblance of a better life, but that experience is burgeoned by the gifts of our association. Together, we enrich our standard of living, if not through our material appropriations, through our being together. And this is precisely why the “exclusivity” of our affiliation is so appealing to us; because for us to be together we must be apart from everyone else. Our in-group social interactions are only our own when they are not anyone else’s. We select close, exclusive associations as a model for collective activity. Our social goals are the destruction of capital, it’s state, it’s technics, and the creation of fulfilling lives together.
I don’t want to discuss the Movement because there is not any one particular movement to speak of, but rather particular movements each with their own efficacy and tendency to inspire or alienate.
Everyone within the radical milieu is subconsciously factionalist. Personality contrarieties, polyamory, and indirect communication incite interpersonal conflict (i.e. “drama”); factions are formed when discretionary conflicts between individuals cannot be resolved and are canonized by a particular clique. This is an inextricable aspect of social groupings. Along these lines, we are explicitly pro-factional — we embrace the distinctions and minute differences possible among various associations of individuals.
Cliques are exclusive groups that share common interests and patterns of behavior, and are formed when the opportunities for group interaction are numerous. We come together when we are together. Cliques are the compilations of remnant adolescent tendencies. In refusing to join the “adult” world of work and castigation, the in-group is a cabal — we are a criminal association insofar as we desire (i.e. understand) ourselves to be such. We get together to scheme and plot. Within appropriated-time and occupied space we become friends. A close association of people with both detailed knowledge and deep understanding of each other are a force of subversion within alienated society.
Human small-group dynamics are an impossible jumble of mistrust, misgivings, and misunderstandings. The essential nature of our relationships has been made awkward by the personifications we craft ourselves into each day in order to “get along” in this world. Character, individuality, and personality struggle to shine through our makeup as we act out the myriad roles that society forces us to play. There is nothing new about this realization: We are all acting. Daily life is performance art; we have so much experience yet we are terrible at our roles. We have our lines perfectly memorized but our delivery is often harsh and strained. At the end of every day our speech is burdened with misery, which is why we typically have so little to offer our friendships.
Learning to get along with others in person is obsolete when so many new relationships are just a point-and-click away. The technics of this century guarantee the privilege of completing life without ever meeting anyone; because we can chat to whomever, we no longer need to learn to speak. If we do not endeavor to find others, we are star-crossed to an endless cycle of social failure and self-consciousness. Affinity is the result of the process of discovery, and therefore requires effort. Temperament is as much a barrier to affection as it is a connective ligature. Interwoven by mutual concern for each other, we learn to appreciate the vulnerable character of those within our in-group, and begin to care for one another. Currently, society can only produce models of neglect as it’s most basic unit of social relation.
In any case, our tendency is one of separatism. All of our actions are the manifestation of cognitive choices that we make to do this or to do that. This is the assertion at the core of accountability. Ultimately, we fill our days with decisions about this or that activity, making each specific choice as it comes along. We have made the choice to not only separate ourselves from the larger social mass of society, but throughout our daily actions have ensured that we will be separated from the social sphere of the “radical milieu”, while still being attracted to it’s fringes. We have created a force of attraction that pulls us only closer to ourselves, while at the same time repelling most everyone else. Through refusal we have confused and disorganized the hierarchies of everyone whom we would typically experience affinity. Through an idiosyncratic manner of living we seek to make characteristic recuperation beyond predilection.
To some extent, we can appreciate that our conversations will likely never graduate beyond syllogism — but we only arrive at that appreciation when we are doing the talking.
Otherwise, why should we bother. We have already heard everything that there is to say, but we have never once heard ourselves. “Radical discourse” is a pet name for the intellectualized dissing of the other. Managers of ideas (i.e. theorists) fail to recognize that social critique is entertaining as “shit talking” but boring as just about everything else. Gossip has the inimitable ability to enchant whomever hears it, until it becomes politicized. Surely, far-flung interpersonal rumors, shit talking, and apolitical gossip reflect some truths about the world, if only through the social lens of particular imaginative people.
Once again, perspective plays a primary role in the actions that antecede liberation. Groups of individuals who would rather occupy themselves with the joy of their own company become an illicit “rat pack”. The state has not made space for joy within it’s “free society”; nor has the left within it’s “quest for freedom”. Every work-avoidant, layabout anti-authoritarian is decried for the crime of “free time”. The free time that we appropriate together for ourselves is the opportunity to develop affinity from trust and shared living activity. These are the grounds for limitless association.
Limitless association is not “without boundaries”, but instead without bounds. There is a threshold that is crossed when individuals stop holding back and allow themselves to be with others. Deference to convention is always a submission to authority. Managers use the force of capital (i.e. separation) to railroad us into submission to the programs of management. Mass society is derived from the acceptance of affiliations based on work and proximity (e.g. “work buddies” or neighbors). In a struggle against power, self-directed relationships inevitably break down; through individual appetence worthwhile relationships will preserve themselves wholly.
Each succeeding generation understands it’s own disaffection through the history that it creates. The preceding discovery to any successful (i.e. meaningful) action is that nothing is going to change. Life has meaning, but that fact is not something to be discussed, but verified through authentic experience.
Reaching the conclusion that consumer choices do not, will not, and cannot ever matter inevitably leads to the secondary conclusion that we, as individuals, do not, will not, and can not ever matter because within capitalism we are only consumers and nothing else. It is not that we are not anything, nor that we do not posses the potential to become many things, but that “we are nothing” as we are now because we lack the space to develop ourselves into anything.
Capitalism creates a scarcity of space out of an abundance of geography. The environment exists as a zone completely external to our selves. Propagandists have made the world outside of the city undesirable. This is reinforced by the cops who, through the force of restriction, have made the terrain outside of the city unattainable. Through miseducation, the pedagogues have made survival outside of the city impossible. Just as social confinement within the non-group is an unacceptable compromise of human social needs, anarchy is the terrene contest against physical confinement within empire.
Reality is only ever experienced from the perspective of the individual. All other perceptions of everyday life are works of fiction. All action, not just insurrectionary action, should take the perspective of the actor as it’s starting point. If individual perspective is subordinated to superintendence then individual needs are drained of their urgencies. Intellectualism is the desiccant that deprives clever tendencies the ability to sprout. New life is created from a clash of personality; new forms begin as disruptions of accepted modalities. And so continues the progression of each day, or rather the digression of authentic experience. Once we have seen- or heard-it-all, we have seen, and we have heard it all. Thus, life spent merely getting along is just a slower death spent in pain. We choose to live in full and then die when we are finished living.
It is not enough to say that we desire Change because life is just a series of changes. Instead, we say that we desire life.
We can never be satisfied with anything. Hardly a thing can hold our attention for very long, because our minds have developed through technological whizzing from cyberactive destination to destination. History proceeds much too fast for us to appreciate, let alone participate, and at much too large of a scale. Hyperawareness of the inconsistencies of the needs of capitalism and all living things have been brought to light by all of the media that floods endlessly towards ourselves. We are attempting to circumnavigate in a sea of “content”. We are anarchists under sail, being overtaken by privateering Leftist and post-leftists sailing under the flag of what they mistakenly believe to be their own respective ideologies. Our ideas do not encompass the realm of ideology, because they have never been articulated in any comprehensible fashion. Rather, we make it our project to delight in our ideas as we act them out.
Leftists view individualism only in the pejorative sense because they desire to inhabit an idealized non-group. Confounded group associations (e.g. spoils fans, recreation buffs, groupies, nationalists) are the by-product of alienation; people do not even attempt to know themselves, let alone anyone else. Intimate self-knowledge enables the fulfillment of personal needs and the discovery of individual solutions to capitalism’s problems, without the deceptions of the non-group. The non-group is comprised of an increasingly impersonal web of work, production, and consumption that keeps society functioning and it’s subjects phlegmatic but alive (i.e. breathing).
The point isn’t that we are post-post-leftists, because that would be absurd, but simply that we are infinitely divisive and annoyed by everything that is offered to us; and all at once. There are those who make it their project to “negate everything”; yet we negate their activity with our own disinterest. In a sense, we are post-negation, because we form alliances based on the affirmation of mutual interests and the choices we make in everyday life.
Presently, we are struggling for a change of context so extreme that each successive day is not, and cannot, be a derivation of the previous; resulting in relationships that do not, and cannot, resemble anything of themselves under capitalism. Amidst this change, we would not, and could not, resemble anything of ourselves.
We know that we have never experienced such a change because when we examine our lives we see that we are still functionaries of power. Capitalism makes it impossible to survive in this world without commodity relations and monetary exchange. “Carving out space for ourselves” means figuring out how get along in this world without capitalism. It’s easy to find inspiration in the myriad of verboten and felonious behaviors that people discover in order to survive. To being either uplifted or perturbed by how friends (or strangers, or anyone really) live out each day!
“Life is real estate,
To the ones I hate,
Cops say you must refrain,
From squattin’, drinkin’, and hoppin’ trains”
* * *
The sentimental will make war on the architects.
An eye for an eye will make our masters blind.
They want to throw the whole world away,
only to then have us rebuild what have ruined.
All the right things are still just things.
There are emotional truths encoded in our behavior.
Our language has been trained,
but we haven’t realty changed our hearts.
Inside we experience tumult,
outside we display indifference.
Our potentials are wasted,
like every acorn that falls to cement.
* * *
We have identity because we are unique,
we have lived,
and we have suffered.
It is our expression that has been channelized and
diverted away from us.
We were brought here and forced to hide our faces.
Now we celebrate the disguising of ourselves among others.
I am the center of my own universe;
to that end I validate my own experience.
With my own body,
I struggle to make space for myself to stand.
In idleness we forget;
to relearn the steps we just keep walking.
“Within the present social order, time and space prevent experimentation of freedom because they suffocate the freedom to experiment.”
Making free time is the first project of insurrection. This is a project of creating self-directed time outside of the management of economy, market, or industry. This is why we must destroy society. In a society without masters all of our time is our own; to be used as we see fit. Capitalism, technics — any of the institutions of society — require that we make such a distinction. Thus, daily life is reduced to time spent in subservience to the system. We must enlarge our spaces for ourselves and secure new terrain for our projects to grow. This “carving out a space for ourselves” is the first precondition of the demise of the spectacle — everything comes from this. It is in this space that we discover ourselves and come together with each other.
So, we all stop working and drop out of school. Exploring what the various types of welfare and social services have to offer in the way of free food, housing, cash, etc. ensures that we will be scorned by those who do work, the guilt-ridden and those suffering the paralysis of their privilege. The oft misunderstood goal here would be to increase the amount of free time one has, without decreasing personal resources. Sharing means that everyone has more of everything, while at the same time chipping away at the predominate capitalist morality; “Every man for himself.” Every “self-sufficient” pseudo-revolutionary fears this.
And then there is crime. For many, theft can become a fairly stable and liberatory source of income, just as much as it can become an addictive, hollow, materialistic subculture. One strategy to avoid the negative psychological potential of theft could be the forming of crime syndicates (i.e. gangs) that look after each other while shoplifting and committing other crimes, and help circulate goods throughout a “black market”; all the while keeping each others consumptive habits in check. Those whose who are particularly clever or lucky will invent scams, which can be shared for collective benefit.
Fraud, stealing from workplaces, reneged credit, trust funds, counterfeiting, robbery — there are endless creative solutions to the problems of needing money to survive under capitalism. Everyone who is reading this understands what it takes to become a “low-life” or cheat, but the real challenge is to discover a method to exist against this world and alongside our counterparts. By sharing our life activity, we align ourselves with our friends and against every one else.
These ideas are nothing new, just redundancy of the same counter-cultural lifestylism offered by each generation’s version of youth culture. Once again, the point here is to create free time. This new “free time” becomes a means for personal growth — which is in turn a very necessary-part of collective growth — or it becomes a dead end as a self-perpetuating lifestyle of work avoidance for the sake of the avoidance of work. As any lifestyle is committed to memory, it begins to miss the point of it’s own definition: truly living produces more of the living. The rote of every day life is a apparition of monotony when “everyday’s the same” and authentic living has given up it’s ghost.
These days, it is all too easy to forget the importance of face-to-face interaction. Many do not ever take the time to truly experience anyone else without the constant distractions inherent in all alienated social relations. Our collective inability to communicate in any meaningful way is typified by our constant streams of text. The only conceivable way to experience unmediated reciprocation is by coming together in the same physical spaces. For this to be possible we must overcome isolation through physically being together.
And from genuine connection comes affinity, an intimate knowledge of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. Affinity comes together with trust and time to form friendship. Friendship is the basis of all shared living activity and entirely misunderstood by everyone. True friendship is antagonistic toward capital, technics, and the state in that it directly conflicts with the self-centered individualism and isolation that is inherent in the institutions of control. With the inevitable and eventual breaking up of society that all anarchists desire, friendship will begin to be valued, and individuals will relearn how to be reliant upon each other in a way that alienated society does not allow.
And for some people, life will become a series of projects.
“Like any straight edge kid from any era, we also felt we were better than the rest of the normal kids in town. We had that swagger that unless you’ve lived as a seventeen-year-old straight edge kid, you don’t really understand.”
As has been said, the making of time and space for our projects, our freedom, and ourselves is the basis for our action. The search for others is a terrible Odyssey, but there is not another more satisfying accomplishment than the finding of others. Once found, they become treasures, truly jewels, which we will inevitably spoil and abuse; misusing because we only know models of misuse. In the absence of trust, we are alone. In the absence of empathy, we are again, alone. In the absence of communication, we are isolated. In the absence of criticism, we are inflated, taking up more than our own space. Here, we see the misguided lumbering of the self-righteous, seeking victims to “cut-down-to-size.” The ability to best attack one another is hardly the basis for the making of worthwhile associations.
Our failed projects are just magnifications of our own individual shortcomings.
Our theories can reflect our lifestyles. We can “talk our walk”. As we trudge throughout life searching for friendship, we can encourage limitless association. We can relearn to speak in new forms — our own — but we will no longer be understood by the institutions that seek to control us. That’s fine, we hate them. “We will eradicate.”
“It first manifested itself when people stopped running and “went for a run.” Then, rather than napping, people “grabbed a nap.” Biting became “having a bite.” In time, people stopped thinking and instead simply “had a thought” — which, being singular, meant dullness and low creativity.”
Towards limitless association and our own diminutive forms!