Rethinking Anarchism

Revolutionary Patience
May 4, 2009, 3:33 am
Filed under: Random Shit | Tags: , ,

I’ve been having a hard time of it lately. Part of the problem is that my job is slowly killing my body. I’m losing my hearing and I’m getting all kinds of aches and pains. The sacrifice is getting deeper.

I can deal with this. But the real problem is that an increasing number of my friends and comrades are quitting. Some have become piecards, others have had to make space for new demands on their time, and others have just plain burnt out. The result is the same. The pack is thinning. Those of us who remain have to shoulder more of the weight. But the workload isn’t the real problem. When you are part of a community of struggle, it’s much easier to feel that your sacrifice will be worth it. When those around you begin to doubt and fall away, we all become uncertain of our steps, and we falter.

Guy Debord said, “The conditions for revolution have long been ripe. They have begun to rot.” The objective factor is there, I’m certain of that. The subjective factor is lacking. We do not have the discipline, the confidence, the vision, to move the project forward.

There is only so much an individual can do. At a certain point, we have to accept that there is a limit to our ability to inspire others. There is a limit to how much people will let themselves be inspired.

Despair is one option. I could always throw up my hands in despair and try to go out to get my own slice of the pie. But I would feel miserable doing this. The other side of the coin would be what has been called revolutionary suicide, but this is equally a non-option.

The only real option is to realize the limitations of our selves and our time. We are very, very far from being able to build a revolutionary mass organization. People just aren’t up for it. The only way to not go insane is to have revolutionary patience. Help yourself, help your comrades develop the confidence to go forward together, eventually.

This is going to take a lot longer than I had hoped. And it’s going to be much lonelier, too.