Title: The New Abolition
Author: Julia Lehmann
Date: 19 May 2024
Source: https://effrenatum.noblogs.org/post/2024/05/19/the-new-abolition/
Notes: Effrenatum (From the Latin, ‘unbridled’), is an English language journal of iconoclast creativity and audacity coming from an anarchist perspective.

We all yearn for things to be easy. It is not intrinsically wrong to have this sense in us. But it is wrong on a scale that eludes perfect reason to play a part in instituting a particular kind of ease exclusively for those who are welcome in certain groups by the perceived traits of their body, their person or of their material wealth. Indeed, it is the bleakest sin most uplifted in the divided society that we presently inhabit; our affairs are marked by our bowed heads to all the owning class and their police, to all the simple universal truths we grew up with, oppressing and smothering our ability to grow as parcels of the cosmos. Our lives have not been at ease. Quite the contrary, for the simplest language to humanity has been force. Effective, effortless to some compared to compassion, mechanically persistent – with basic human drawbacks, and profound in the sense of it being the only result to come out of dissent waged for the most urgent needs of lifetimes.

The sin I write of is one which has extinguished without pause the beautiful lights of so many innocents. It is the sin that has corrupted and stolen the humanity from the very bones of those that steer the authority they represent. They were once infants, children whose souls and intellects were canvases to the forces around them. And now they are our oppressors rather than our fellows.

Perhaps most of us take the “easy path”, for weariness, for carelessness, for a need to be done and through with something. To some, it was simply “easy” to become an oppressor and get paid for it. It was simply “easy” to call the trans woman “a man”. It was simply “easy” to call the police on the black family enjoying a party. There are many avenues of an immediate, disposable ease that hands itself over to tension once again. There are only easy patches to complex problems and passionate undertakings to produce a profound, general ease.

We want to run away from the hard things, even when they are clearly important. We want them to vanish, get better. It never, ever gets better without intervention on the obvious pillars of error.

There must be a clear differentiation between a general ease and an exclusive ease. The sense of “ease” brought about in the white lynch mobs (of what some consider yesteryear) in the aftermath of their horrid doings is not the ease which the abolitionists preached of. There is an ease in privilege, and there is an ease in freedom. And freedom, for all its timely invocation and interpretation, has been said to be the watch-word for the intentions of all the allegedly “free” societies of the world. But like all mere words, they are prone to failing the reality of the matter. “Freedom for who?” A question is posed. “For All Men,” the ancient answer. “But who are All Men?

The centuries-old words and artifacts of a nation’s founding are the material that weaves a mythology, originating out of a formerly existent conundrum of contradictions and blunt truths at the heart of the real undertaking disguised by flags, founding documents and fanfare anthems. What better way to inaugurate the surrender of all one’s self than with color, with music, with parades, with cinematic showings of the Dear Leader? Who would feel pride in answering a call to the gray feudalism of yesteryear when one has the tricolors of the new republic before them?

But beneath that layer, penetrated by some years bound up in the mythology – seeing the contradictions, reading the obscured admissions – the young patriot, the young nationalist, the young fascist finds that he has turned on his entire family, on the whole of his species in favor of the dominant race of the nation, in favor of the condensed tribe that cannot even see all of him when he is speaking to them. He has pulled the ground out from under him, thinking the levitation of his zeal is enough to hold him. He thinks his master cares about him and all his complaints and betrayed passions; he thinks he cares about his starving family, his dying mother, his wayward children. But the Dear Leader only writhes in the nonsense of his own troubles, repeating slightly modified renditions of his decades-old shtick. The Dear Leader is for himself, and no one else.

Then he does not care altogether. He simply snaps, decides to kill people or march with swastikas in the streets. For fear, for confusion masquerading as certainty, for a sense of a noble embrace of the Good Movement. The movement for pride in being the majority. The movement for the glory of whiteness. The movement to enshrine all colonial and confederate history as the Amerikanische Kultur. The movement to firmly make borders real, deport or exterminate migrants, queer people, people of color and enslave all women to patriarchy. While this tension persists within the normalcy of the republic, the average person is expected to remain neutral, blind to everything insightful and firmly fixed on one’s job or the leisure needed to recover from it. Nothing more.

“All Men,” those accepted by the social majority into a society’s exclusive “humanity”, those not considered “deviants” of some sphere of caste, are allowed to pursue and develop themselves in accordance with the reproduction of the society. It is officially called “the pursuit of happiness”, and plays out as one’s own customized subservience to the state affording this tainted promise. Happiness may be said to be one’s right, but it is never secured by the conditions imposed by the society. It is never actually sustained by anything healthy originating from inside the walls. And any divergent need to be met is always “just too much” for the society or its legions to tolerate.

We each eventually come to such a stiff odds posed to us from the institutions, from the popular media, from prevailing attitudes, that to conceive of ourselves as part of this whole system of systems is no longer thinkable. The absurd repetitions and rinsing and repeating of historical crises engender such hopelessness and self-destruction, such resignation and loss of direction, that only one notion screams out: Abolition.

To abolish is not solely to make outlawed or undone by state decree or force of new authority, but to begin to live without or live in passive destruction of a concept that generates real-life suffering. To abolish is to create new conditions that go against a prevailing item of social and political consequence – or it is to abolish “conditions” altogether. But abolition cannot be done without direction, without knowing the focus of such determination. Abolition is informed by the many ills of its enemy and by the many passions of those yearning to be free. Abolition studies the behaviors of the enemy in order to subvert the regular functions of their society. Abolition knows that its intention is right because so very much is wrong.

Free access, free personal development, free association, free and equal respect. These are to be the common facets of the common society – or there will only be the chaotic depths of the authoritarian wilderness. Of persistent, stagnated hate put into motion by the state and the profiteers it serves, all at the expense of every person beneath them, until most of everyone on Earth has died for nothing truly special or even slightly significant.

We are pursuing abolition in the spirit of those who attacked the slavery of African descended peoples on this stolen land, we are pursuing abolition for total black, queer and working class liberation in our lifetimes, but are also aiming to abolish the extended suite of coercion that generated those struggles and innumerable other struggles before and since. We are abolishing the exclusive, violent permission to strangle people of their very existences. We are abolishing this to establish the common society, the capacity to live healthy lives.

The new abolitionist movement-to-be, the various associations united around freedom in all spheres codified in our species, is one of several understandings: (0) As well-read revolutionaries here in Appalachia have commonly said, “Don’t start no shit, and there won’t be any.” This cannot be overstated as the highest ethical principle. (1) The official brand of “freedom” touted by all the states on Earth has not been freedom, and is in truth a slightly permissive slavery. (2) All the official schools of opposition to this warped facade of freedom all have at least one lesson to take from. (3) All individuals have dignity, power, imagination, unique aspirations and – not simply self-direction or self-determination or autonomy, but self-definition.

Self-definition is the assertion arising from oneself – of oneself. It is the fact of an individual that only they can wholly know and confirm to be fact. Self-definition comes from all of a person’s surroundings and history that move their soul. It is the conscious recognition of a characteristic that is not separable from one’s essence; it is the naming of something one chooses to enable to help describe themselves. It is also the addition to reality altogether – because we determine reality. We are in charge of what is real and defined, and what is ethereal nonsense. The only “argument” against this is to say “No, actually, God predefined everything for us during Creation 6,000 years ago, and we have to obey his law and order.” No foolishness will trip us up.

Reality comes with no worded labels on the items within; we press those into service by our piecemeal adoptions, adaptations and deletions that occur over the decades and generations whether or not we are enthused about it. It is an underlying process that cannot be avoided but in isolation from other humans.

So-called “new concepts” such as gender identity and critique of racism and race itself are simply expressions reaching at the actual fundamental functions of our conceptions of self taken into interpersonal interactions. Every person has an articulation and descriptor for their gender or lack thereof; every person whose heart has not been sterilized has an emotional sense of injustice when it occurs; every person has a history and a belonging that deserves uplifting. (Speaking to “white” people, learn to abandon “white” and embrace your specific regional culture, such as “Irish”, “German”, “Dutch”, “French”, “English”, “Scandinavian”, etc. “White” people do have culture – but none of it is truly “white”.)

We do not possess any material in us that clearly states its place in the cosmos. Creation is not real. Even if it was, it would not have been carried out by an entity that white Christians identify with. These fools preach their white Jesus, the godlessness in the masses, the sins of their bodies – but uphold the one sin that assuredly damns them and the rest of us. Why should any assertion they make about women or people of color affect us any further?

It then becomes the duty to live well to atone for our lost fellows and their wasted hearts. It becomes the duty to resist the further harm they would impose.

We can see that, even in that wilderness attempting to absorb our radiance, there is always a living sample of that good society, of that good nature; kept in the hearts and minds and workings of all who nourish that goodness, it is regrown in the planters of our very being. Through our continued works, our ever ascending conscience, our tireless hearts, we blossom the flowers and light the incense of our promised society. Our society held together not by threat of deprivation, but by the invitation to exceed all self-perception, all collective affirmation. The society that is upheld by all the enthusiasm and character of those participating. The society that lets one go when needed, moving onto wider spaces. The society that exists – now – in the goodness, in the sincere intention of human kindness, and need only be planted.

The new abolitionist movement is the synthesis of all the audited strains of liberation from the last few centuries into a general force against all tyranny and all slavery. It is the movement of a society clearly founded on participation and equal access in all social regards. This abolitionist movement includes such malignant systems as capitalism and state socialism, race and its white supremacist order, patriarchy and kyriarchy, police and peace-police, gender roles and sex dichotomy in its list of enemies.

This abolitionist movement is aimed at undoing – at abolishing – the myriad stark ills of humankind that have shaped this reality into one of sorrow rather than joy. We do abolition in every way imaginable, through every capacity that one has. It is not militarism, nor is it pacifism; but it is forceful enough in whatever its application to do what needs to be done. These specifics are for those in their associations to work out.

We are abolitionists because we recognize what harms us; we recognize precisely who we each are and what we each want out of freedom. We know we are abolitionists in the knowing of our loved ones’ suffering. We know we are abolitionists in all the grand and minute contrast between us and all command for suffering.

In the common society, our selves are whole and in tact. We are defined not by the castes the previous society imposed, but by the passions, temperaments and inclinations that are natural to us. We hold our common society in our homes, in our gathering and worship spaces, in our families, in ourselves. When the whole of social and political life becomes imbued by its participants with ease and contentment, knowing that we step into this to directly decide the contents of our lives, a life worth sustaining can finally be ours – All Of Ours!

This abolitionist movement is in me as much as it is in you. It is the call for us to move our lives such that no other life may be stagnated or taken.