[iDC] It Doesn't Just Get Better, This Is Political

Brian Holmes bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com
Sat Dec 11 17:21:22 UTC 2010

In terms of protest, check out Armin Medosh's excellent text on the 
student protests in London on December 9, important things are happening 


One major problem in the States is that we are not able to do protests 
like this anymore. Frankly, I don't have any doubt that more would be 
achieved by a good campus riot that overflows into the city than by any 
cultural or political thing I have been involved in the US these last 
years, but since it does not happen, the whole question becomes entirely 
different. The "taking your time" issue points more to a direction like 
the beatniks in the fifties, it's about discovering some position of 
autonomy from which to create dissent and desire. I agree with Micha, 
there is not much to be expected from official society. For me, "public 
institutions" is kind of a subjective fiction: I need to believe it 
could be possible, I need to have in my head and heart an image of 
something that could be egalitarian and better for everyone, and I don't 
believe anything public should just be given up, it should be defended: 
but the reality before our eyes suggests that there is no longer any 
operative concept of egalitarian public institutions, at least not among 
the overwhelming majority of those who manage the neoliberalized shells 
of what those institutions used to be.

The "Public School" in LA is exactly the kind of fiction I am talking 
about. Let's make more of them (a half-dozen "Public Schools" already 
exist), let's also support all the great people who still have niches in 
the universities and museums and municipal governments and so forth, and 
let's create the desire for a life that is not ruled by dollar figures 
or the conquest of personal powers. The breakdown of a corrupt society 
(because that's what's happening right now) is the source of a lot of 
problems and tragedies, but it's also a chance to invent something.

warmly, Brian

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