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Fire to the Ballot Boxes: Against Fantasies and Representation

Blog posts are the work of individual contributors, reflecting their thoughts, opinions and research.
Ballots and Ballot Boxes burn in Guerrero, Mexico, June 2015
Ballots and Ballot Boxes burn in Guerrero, Mexico, June 2015

by, Llud

From the newest edition of wreck, a local Vancouver anarchist publication.

I play to people’s fantasies. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.” - Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal”, 1987

Voting day is yet another symbolic day where people who lust for power, play on your fears and hopes. An expensive and captivating project that serves as little more than a conquest and distraction; kind of like the Olympics or any spectacular event where passive spectators are convinced that they are, in fact, vital participants. Democracy is a system of control by which the ruling class maintains its interests. Dictatorships are roughly the same thing although the control is generally more obvious, and widely understood.

It seems that with every passing election, that the call for a lesser evil becomes ever louder, and yet the evil that surrounds us is never any lesser. On this land stolen, and with these institutions founded on genocide, is it any wonder that things are the way they are?

The right wing of capitalism has an easy job when it comes to the packaging and delivery of peoples' darkest fantasies. They can offer the age old project of the white race, and set the conditions that will keep it's followers insecure. They can offer the well oiled machine, where all deviances and disputes are easily sorted out so that it can keep on running, as privileges and rewards trickle down to those who believe. They can offer the safe and watchful eye, who's oppressive glare is only blocked by the bleeding hearts so that the dangers persist, and it is justified once again.

But what can be offered by the left wing of capitalism? I see the same project more or less. It's welfare state, it's policing structure, it's abundant economy, all rest on the same principles: progress (a contradictory and even more absurd version than that of the right), white-supremacy (with more women and faces of colour in power, and with an acknowledgement of it so that it can continue to function with a caring side), domination (no more or less self managed), and never forget, a sound business plan. I could never get behind such an underhanded and disempowering response to this horrible world, and it's no surprise that many others don't either. It is all the more pathetic and hilarious how the left refuses to play the game of personal smear against the right, in their drive to play towards the fantasies of reason, civility and rationality.

Not that it's on the table anymore, but taking the social democratic fantasy to it's logical conclusion; do “we” use a nationalized resource extraction economy to fund social programs while the world burns in ecological catastrophe? Do “we” “bring the jobs back home” and reindustrialize the working class? And what of the rest of us in this fundamentally global economy? How will “we” respond to deepening economic and environmental catastrophe elsewhere? Nicer refugee-concentration camps and border stations? And what of the continued threat of reaction, back to that “greater evil”?

Is there much of a choice at all?

Must I choose between the benevolence of my right-wing construction boss, and the patronizing, self-righteous control of a left-wing NGO, state program, or union bureaucracy? Must I choose between the patriarchal “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” and the paternalistic “calm down and let us handle this”?

The only choice I see, is how long will “we” take this, and when are “we” gonna handle this problem ourselves.

...plus, there's no justice, it's just us!” - Guru (from Gangstarr), “Betrayal”, 1998

KKKanadians need to do away with politics, as much as they must do away with political politeness and being KKKanadian at all. They love to point their finger in shock at every new development south of the border. But for every Donald Trump or Dubya, Hurricane Katrina and Charleston South Carolina, I see a Ferguson and Baltimore ready to set alight. I see that many down south have done away with politeness in both bad and wonderful ways. I take inspiration in what people do, free of mediation, and that is the only glimmer of hope I can find. It is only by the unmediated, unrepresented self-organized action of people at the grassroots, that threatens the power-structure and wears away at society; that the right and left wings of capitalism have ever given any quarter, in any significant way. And they have only done so, so that they can take away again in the future, after things have calmed down.

I say all this with my future elderly self in mind, dying on the streets of pneumonia with no pension and a broken body from years of hard labour; or perhaps managed and mentally deteriorating in some home for the elderly, every rebellious action resisted by some well-intentioned lefty do-gooder, while my family are unable to relate to me, busy in their lives under this or that managed economy. I say this with the refugee in mind; fleeing whatever horrific circumstance, faced with a cold and blunt or caring dehumanization. I say this thinking about many of the indigenous people of these lands, who's self-respect and self-determination are consistently frustrated and impossible under the right or the left.

To those who say there will be no revolution tomorrow, I say, no shit! But I also say that as long as this is your perspective then the more impossible a revolution will ever be. As long as we make excuses not to practice our freedom, or practice the type of self-organization necessary for us to break down the walls between us, the less likely we will ever have a choice. As long as we place our fears and hopes in the ones above, the impossibility of dealing with them on our own will persist.

For our joy, our lives, our self-respect, and our imaginations!

Fire to the ballot boxes!

Death to the Bosses!

Devastation to the State! 

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