On Capitalist Realism and Acid Communism - 2017



like a reading of ideas I did I went down to Birmingham though they did a reading group of eight birthing a couple of months ago and so I went back and reread from toughness realism for the first time since it came out and it was feels great like really and so basically I'm just gonna sort of like riff off couple is realism and then sort of talked a little bit about how Marx ideas were changing because I think there's a soft there's three soft contexts for comfort is realism it was written in one context then it was sort received in a different context around 2010 and perhaps now we'll you know we're in a completely different context again right so one of the questions is you know well are we still in the world of couplers realism are these ideas still useful and so when we do that we're trying to think about how am i pursuing these ideas after so to start off with this is the cop the context in which wrote the book so it's published in 2009 but a lot the contents that are drawn from from blog posts that mark was doing from my 2005 onwards and like a lot of conversations were going on in that sort Theory blog circle that happened at that time the ax marks pretty explicitly in the book that was drawing on his experiences of teaching in further education it's pretty upfront of his struggle group mental distress etc and you know why related to education there's no surprise about the two main targets of the book what you cause Marcus Stalinism basically taught neoliberal managerialism that's our constant measuring preparing yourself to other people etc etc which we just slip through services because it's market Stalinism and the other thing given the main target is how to defeat the privatization of stress how to read malicious eyes mental health all distress that's like logical distress eccentric I mean the reason the book was really really struck home with people is there's been lots of books about neoliberalism it's one of the books that focus on like the impact on human beings of what you might call cybernetic neoliberalism impact on people's everyday experiences obviously mark being markeith you know he managed to some of those experiences up he also managed to to draw on theories on accelerate those experiences are there to clarify them so that's sort of like the context we can see the context he was writing it in in what he was writing about but that's also I think we can look at like there's some of the theoretical tools he was drawing on there also sort of of their time I think one of the I mean the name captured his realism it's not incidental you know it's a play on socialist realism one of the big influences at that time for Mark was slaughter of Dziedzic basically slaughters reject grows up and as his first work like theoretical work in Yugoslavia like in the dog days of of Stalinist actually existing socialism which doesn't actually exist anymore and the most useful part of pops which rejects stick out in the grantor in late 90s and into the early 2000s was this basically drawing some sort of comparisons between you know the sort of the regimes of regulation and governance in marketing in Stalinism actually existing socialism drunk a passage from that with nearly brought managerialism and this is like falling into their market Stalinism etcetera so there's loads of really great discussion about this often to ask trucks you get get trapped in China perform on a farm all of this measurement go anywhere you always perform before the bigger though just like this she's Jack McCain Ian thing and this idea that there's something we have to perform two-bit doesn't actually exist exciting he's gray I'm not gonna go into those ideas to metric like I think that part of what really really pre-stretch basically this this comparison between market Stalinism the existing styling is not a cylinder and it's a good point of attack for neoliberalism it's off brings out the difference between the stories that neoliberalism tells by itself and our actual experiences that we live every day they never match up to the stories they it tells about yourself and the toys it tells about yourself is about innovation creativity freedom in the book he sauce he makes this same artistry basis even mistakes to regard this market Stalin isn't your little Kevin governance as some deviation from the true spirit of capitalism on the contrary it would be better to say the essential that dimension of Stalinism was inhibited by his association with a social project like socialism I can only emerge in a late after this culture in which images a quiet honest force so he's saying you know the rule the soft forms of governance under Stalin ISM that was just a precursor they needed to break for socialism account that's only under self neoliberal capitalist we can come to his full horrendous potential so that's that's one of the klom dozen more the context although I'm drawing there from something like you know before the Berlin Wall 1990 globalization in such a right happened so we don't know but for mark I think with it I watched a video that he did when he revisited capsules realism and he was really explicit he said you know this realism is actually about new labor but a new labor project I was put a different slightly later context I think that's a that's an interesting one sir it's an interesting thing to think through there was like new labor was the epitome of for my own argument here which is I'm really interested in like different critical generations that form the Third Way new labor left was a political generation it was a political generation of the left even I had fairly right-wing politics I think political generators are formed by events I like the computers of really sudden rapid change which basically crystallize longer periods of change and you've depended how old you are how many resources you've got at that point you have a different experience of this event and that forms generational differences political generational differences the third way that was formed by by the fall of the berlin wall by the doubling of the labor force the global labor force in two years nearly 90s etc which massively and the illiberal of globalization was massively restricted the possibilities of the left and if you look at new that the new labor left now or you know the third way left you know they just cannot come to terms with the fact that they don't live in that ball so that's the context of book was written in it was received into it different contact it was different because there was another event there was the event of the 2007 2008 crisis that is the generational form in events of our time so he gets released he writes it gets published in 2009 so 2008 we saw the economic crisis but in order to form a political generation you need a movement to give it political form have a big break in people's experiences if 2008 but you need a political movement and so need 2011 where huge range of the high point was probably the student movement of 2010 right you could roll out over into the riots of 2011 etc but particularly the student movement of 2010 was the context in which toughness realism was received into and so it's interesting to think about not just the impact we can discuss all together the impact that they're capped is real anthem had on that student movement but it's also interesting to think about how what the impact of this growth of a new generation of the left hand on mark finally because I think you can stop C 2011 and perhaps you know event since then as the song cracks in Captains realism perhaps actually the jeremy corbyn 2016 is when you say yeah this is this is something where capitalist realism exists but it's attractive a wide open you can see beyond it basic so one of the things that mark start to change his mind about after captain's realism when she started to to really reassess become much more enthusiastic about the countercultures of the 60 70 s probably a tease but sixties and seventies were the ones that the mark mark was actually quite hostile to right he had us up like punk post-punk Sensibility which means that you should be hostile to their happiness if Jesus but then he start to read reassess that I'm really enthusiastic about it and it's an interesting it's interesting to think why that is itself makes sense to me why he became interested in I think it goes something like that is that for like twenty years all of those experiences of the counterculture of the sixties and seventies we're so they were hidden underneath this idea of there was an idea like this the general story told about the 1970s and if you cave but basically well there's only one story it's like the winter of discontent you guys went too far punks were no future we can't stand this anymore fuck Margaret Thatcher comes along and sort it all out I mean sometimes you may be a little bit more stuff at Thatcher but that's the stuff the narrative basically the counterculture it was a nice idea of it fell into like you know hippie selfishness and therefore automatic who's always going to end that's a story that's hard to maintain this is easy to maintain when when you think neoliberalism is that at the end of history when you don't think it's a historical period is a start and an end and it was a contingent event it may or may not have happened depending on how things went so now it's a really good time now that neoliberalism is obviously a historical period right which other beginning in an end was not necessarily inevitable right you can then go back and look at an earth all of these potentials in this counterculture which could have gone in you know huge amount of different ways which i think is why he's doing when he's thinking about acid as in communism etc exception so doing these stories I've got going back to the project when the products of marks all work like this a try to not take neoliberalism as it relates would basically to try to undermine the stories that neoliberalism tells about yourself new ones that we tell about ourselves in the opening essay have crafted its realism as a discussion of children of men children of men mark argues there he says look you know the premise of the story of the author what the book and in the film is that mankind becomes in for your child if you have any more babies look I start be read as a metaphor basically a metaphor for our time now he says the question of film poses is how long can a culture persist without the new what happens at the young are no longer capable of producing surprises this theme they start to then talk about as a reassessment of the counterculture as populist modernism of present-day society is one of stagnation cultural stagnation in lots of ways actually technological stagnation as well that becomes easy to see but we also have economic stagnation since the 2008 this is not the story that liberalism channels and by itself it tells us a story of innovation etc this is controversial Alexander mark makes in ghosts of my life which is about this second book he wrote and he does he says look you know we can prove that the culture has changed and become in some ways more stagnant it's not saying that there's no new music happening there is no new music a new culture doesn't come along build up to a wave which then becomes a fracture creates any ideas that that is what happened that was thousand thirteen years subcultural side that happened 1950 1963 1976 1989 psychedelia in 1963 other birth IVF 1976 house music 1989 he says that that that subculture some cultural cycle loses coherence in the said you can sort of prove that by doing a thought experiment says if you can take it takes somebody from 13 years ago time-traveling to now play the new music that's around now they would be fucking shocked all these shocked by how little is changed no there's not new music but it's new music following along enough to make especially for me because it sounds like a drunk old man things were better in my babe by I think it is important because we don't recognize what was lost what was lost Junior's cleared if he felt populism popular modernism let's play night in the moment what was lost was that the working class huge impact on defining and reducing its own culture in fact leading cultural production not just for itself but around the world popular modernism because it's because of this obsession with creating the new modernism drive to create the new involved evening breaks and ruptures played out normally associated with modernism is the way that avant-garde ideas and practices dr. who worked extended and recirculated through popular culture it's a sort of model of your Maupassant like post-war era that takes more disease point of origin in Subway's what as in commodities and it is a soft an extension of that when it reaches conscious high point nose perhaps actually in this of 1990s the next thing I want to talk about is I said communism the better who's been waiting for and because that was different idea that markers are working on the new was working on a book called antacid communism when he died and it's intimately linked to this idea of reassessing the practicality of the sixties and seventies he actually saw two out of some experiments that plenty were doing around consciousness-raising groups proposed up for people for consciousness-raising groups you know with the idea of so I tried to recognize the commonalities of the problems that little edge related to structural causes something is like drastic and we were talking about about this and Mars not to take you know who's not to talk about well actually perhaps capitalist realism his consciousness deflation perhaps there's an active project of consciousness stimulation try to remove all of this expanding consciousness and when he talked about the soft consciousness raising that was going on in the nineteen seventies he had in mind feminists consciousness-raising groups your tardy mind the various forms in which class consciousness was raised but partly by by by culture party by militant activity etc but one of the interesting things leaps he then was about to say to talk about and psychedelia as consciousness-raising right and he had this idea that so acid and the effects of acid had this soft diffuse way at this effect of trying of showing that the world was malleable why it was plastic but there wasn't just one world right the world could be different in various ways and if ya think what a mind quite diffuse format it's not just people who taught acid I think – Gus it every day for two years it was it was also it was part of the culture so the Beatles took acid had been that sort of like experience informed their music and so in that way that it diffused out from away from just people who take a NASA to a part of this the counterculture became but the idea that the world is malleable and changeable diffuse for our society there's lots of there's lots of dangers in that and if you go back and look at the actual counterculture I've been reading around a little bit about around the effect that they've had in some ways acted as this incredible accelerant acid really accelerated left militancy really accelerated the idea that like change was gonna happen and it was gonna happen soon there this is book by lee and shane called acid dreams it's better than the title the title suggests actually and it looks a bit some history and if they look at this this group called The Weather Underground the one like they came out the student for Democratic Society they were published the SDS versus huge organization had hundred thousand members I think with the influential him and then he saw broke up at the various functions included new The Weather Underground and all the leaders of the Weather Underground we're doing a lot of ICT and they argue that like it it became there were a couple of problems of acid is that it forms a real real sort of bond between those who have turned on and taken out those who haven't straight world is a real division so it's really quite easy to see how lights have like the weather undergone who went on to do well they were on the verge of doing terrorist acts as in planted bombs to kill people I danced the bomb blew up they blew themselves there and I'll tell you people they've killed any but like Romanian no it was a very very careful not to kill anyone don't hear anyone from that point and so they've got you saying like look this this is part of the this acceleration and society into this organization [Laughter] what be the equivalent since then talking about ecstasy in the Rolexes you played in early nineteen nineties is quite different actually ecstasy you can stop see it as like the obliteration of antagonism there are lots of politics throughout of that rave culture partly to find someone to have a rave but the actual effect didn't lead to politics that lets her like you know let's all get high we all just get on something you know where as acid did lend itself to a sort very not to a politics of making real hard with hard division and I also think we could think about like social media as equipment passes they often feels like I've taken acid going on their Twitter these days but it acts as an accelerant right but it's also got real so it's really value but you can't just chuck it away you know but it's got real problems associated it a bit obviously as we all know it's got certain effects which do not lead to healthy culture if exception so I think it asks some sort of equivalent to now talk about a little bit about so that's what marks ideas would go in and in part because of the new context in which is ideas worth with received into math didn't live to see the general election and then whole site the whole boom Jeremy Corbyn thing what seems to be a shift in it towards the last amongst young kids I mean it was the whole general election campaign was just insane I mean their terrorist bombings Grenfell happens just afterwards no it's a real it's a real cycle if we did feel like one of those sort of events where like something's going on here I don't know everything was in effect you can only tell later or something exactly and I'm not clear where but it start to make me think of you know well it's not to make me think is this a new counter come will a new counterculture emerge are born black men is it possible for a new counter culture doing it right it's actually desirable for a counter culture to determine do we need one well yeah we do argument because I like social movements and the counter culture of something like the nineteen seventies with all this huge diffuse experiment with new ways of living right it's a work poetics pushing out what is possible it phases out ways to like new possibility but Electra politics has to face back to what is possible is possible doesn't mean that electoral politics can shift the bounds of possibility but and it operates in a different way to like a counter culture thinking about whether a new counterculture can emerge it's really interesting to think about what why did it disappear I've read in a book by Alan will it's called beginning to see the light I was reading it because it's on maths acid communism syllabus and I'll be trying to work through those books it's really it's a great book but you got this you know she's a feminist in the nineteen seventies and Willis experimenting with like like we want to smash the family basically dissolve it like lots of people you know people really seriously trying to overcome these issues with the family at that point then she describes herself write an article in 1979 she says you know I thought I was I thought I was pioneering my way onto this new Peninsula basically then a lot of people are gonna follow me on we were playing in the new world this peninsula a lot of people gonna follow me onto that rising and I decide let me disappear and it's a long way back to you know the shore of the shore of the rest of society what caused a 1979 was a real pick some backlash against the counterculture and a backlash which we which gets figured by things like Margaret Thatcher Ronald Reagan a lot of their attraction at the time with none of that attraction was about the a liberal qualities they know nobody was all about nobody's attracted to the fucking privatization of British Rail or anything like that we were attracted by the idea that certain people were the left didn't look as though he could push on and change the worlds of what we were left it was people not behaving in the way they want etc so repression repression of the counterculture was a really big draw for that backlash and the war on drugs which was over started by Nixon inside absolutely clear that people who drew that at the war on drugs is to defeat the counterculture in a black power movement basically which they excuse for that they were interested in nothing else about drugs that's what it was for and of course we've seen the level of repression it comes back so I think you can see that the counterculture begins to fall away or begins to come into pressure through through repression and you know not wanting this experimentation in the soft breeze but it really you know it's there's a big recession in the UK from most of the 1980s when it gets really resolved in like 1988 and that's the point at which I think a lot of people who were on their islands in like you know the huge amount of supporting in London etc involved in all of you know perhaps they were a narco pants or whatever whatever at that point living a life and the devil basically which I did for a few years and was the aspiration of all right-thinking people at that what gets cut away by a whole series of things such as conditionalities on benefit but primarily of course again scare away by the rising house prices which eliminate well eliminate squatting but also eliminates the ability to I also increases the real drive to – drop it basically you can see everyone's getting like fucking free money every parent got ours but you're not gonna get any so like to sum up the summer I think one of the what will a kind of counterculture emerge now yet probably can do but the counterculture of like the sixties and the seventies in the eighties they've had a platoon underpinnings in the two underpinnings were partly on much very strong much stronger left cultural underpinnings were you know welfare state lot of spaces in cities except etc this stuff which is unlikely to come back in your media I think that's one of the one of the useful things of all when we look back is I see that right there are material underpinning the material underpinnings allowed this huge explosion of creativity of freedom us kids which is why I think we do need a counterculture in order to try to have some soft control over at an extended control over our lives etc but the real problem is you know and even if we get that every can you come to culture go and we managed to get to a nice virtuous circle where we can extend the amp material and opinions of that freedom is that and will people once again be prepared and I charge off on new experiments and what the dangers of thought the dangers of that are you look behind you and you're on an eiephant with a receding shoreline that's my conclusion I want a half it's about Weather Underground trying to do in your telling which agree with was like create a sharp distinction this is us this is them great kind of sharpen ISM kind of comes from like I know it's actually from feminist discuss about like actual emotional conversation you're talking about acid yeah that's that that's the question right they get forming groups that are able to understand each other emotionally in a way that they can't understand the wider society to trying to figure other ideas interacting in a world where that's been robbed I think the most interesting versions of that right now are like the tumbler basically it's actually giving us an outlet with a useful way of responding to very deep-seated and important criticisms of patriarchy within like Mandy by self in the early 90s yeah you go and rape but Mandy when you've got a culture oh really which the mama surrounds be there on the noise because in a way most people were like this result is unbelievable right and it was unbelievable from the position of cafeteria so if you are tough this really this resolved and yet young don't care about politics going so feel like that moment was obviously making that happening to some extent was reliant on an or a pre-existing counterculture seen a lifestyle like people like norm Z cuz like meet meet the Beatles real are relying on Abbey Road yeah not everyone had access to are we right now you can make beats on an iPhone domine ninh and so lot lots more people who make music get a platform young grime and hip-hop like Kendrick Lamar is arguably a 21st century bomb me so storm tell me and so that result which was unbelievable from the cactus really suspected was relying on tree like an existing count now culture within music which I think kind of in that way to mark saw that relationship is like between culture prove that you know the slow cancellations that future hadn't actually and that it could produce the it could produce the name and finally put a death yes can you speak up a bit changing and means of social reproduction that works receipt rise like interested in this question understanding where we are now in terms of these cycles of the counterculture events i I agree with yeah so I'd be interested retreated tonight um I wanted to address the questions you are asking about counterculture and counterculture and sense coming to an end and whether we need that now because I I'm I'm slightly more skeptical about the necessity of a counterculture now politically I think in a sense there are historical reasons why can't the counterculture doesn't exist anymore and the political lesson we need to draw is to understand that that the cycles that you mentioned the thirteen year cycles I mean the one that affected me and affected mark the most directly was the rave scene of the 90s especially you know things like jungle and the drum and bass scene and that that kind of that kind of formed a lot of my politics in in the 20s and I was quite astonished that a decade of literally month-on-month innovation literally the records getting faster and faster just kind of stopped and just whited out almost in the in the in the early 2000s and for me I think one of the things that's very um – that is the digitization of music and of art and culture in general which has the effect of actually just making everything instantly accessible you know when I was young yeah I read about bands like kin in the Melody Maker and if I was lucky I'd find someone old brother who often do be able to give me a vinyl ELP and I've listened to it you know now you can just look up anything and that that creates a whole load of new possibilities I'm not one of these kind of oh god kids these days it's great that they've got that but also the fact it's not difficult there's no friction anymore means that nothing has a counterculture in the old way can't for the moment something new happens everybody finds out about it including the man you know everybody finds out about it now the final point I'd make is I think the thing I was I was sitting there watching the election herself thinking fuck if only marking got to see this and got to see all these you know the smug in the what seating their books that and the role of a pop culture in in the Corbin phenomenon I think was very important but it's kind of interesting here because because because grime is not like you know well there's those people who do grime over there and those normies over here it is quite woven into the sort of things young people listen T and similarly the kind of the Oh Jeremy Corbyn chant was like you know football culture terrorist culture festival culture all wrapped up together in this there was an amazing little video of kids outside a nightclub in Newcastle chanting it you know theory in the morning on the on the Friday so I think that that the new a new politicized culture won't come as something that sets itself as an alternative to ignore me mainstream culture in the way that when I was a kid was was oh you didn't things and I think actually the the break down the fat of that binary is a good thing because it means that the UM the radicalizing impulses flow through the whole of the social body and aren't kind of you know marked off in alternative spaces and quarantined which leads to the Peninsular problem that we were discussing earlier but possibly you can't have that kind of mask and a culture movement anymore because of this kind of dilution a through technology but not necessarily that dilution is bad you can have the matte finish like radicalism like political music but it will never call this is that kind of mass counterculture movie it that before because of these theological vices people you said I also wanted to pick on the Corbin thing and just not feeling that at all I think we've even caps of Sheila's I'm a few months ago I think it's alive and well an actual sighting of the core brand represents a tragic alternative this notion that capitalism can now be socially just it can be ethical and that to me is capitalism that's very much part of this idea that there is an alternative so what we're gonna do is we're gonna grow our own veg but we're still gonna you don't pause the for about as broad or old age or not fucking I'd point because that's how it works and that says that's me being radical and that's not good enough and captors realism isn't is about the eradication of that and making those connections and Corbin for me culturally for Scottish people debate was the referendum hadn't had breakfast see we've been broken up that would have been a very interesting conversation season things like that so there's are also territorial air and they have cultural distinctions and meat this is important we have to remember that we're talking here too so I'm really interested in Marc's idea about like the privatization of anxiety and how that relates to counterculture and community and whether people think they can actually win and what winning means so when judy was talking about like her being interested in stories of like retreats I think that the privatization of anxiety is kind of one of those retreats where people effectively can't see a way out or don't have a can't see a commonality with others and so it becomes about taking care of the self and this kind of like internalized sort of way of looking at things but I'm also interested and I will give a comradely challenge to necks point about sort of how this relates to like communities of polyamory etc because I think a lot of the politics around some of these groups are actually a retreat as well it's a to me it's a lot of it is about we can't see how we can win and I think there's a conflation that we have to accept about whether what winning is in terms of counterculture now and previously because now sort of the socio-economic reality that people live through is so stark that the only way that you can realize yourself in a counterculture is to be able to live whereas think previously people could sign onto the dole etc but now you kind of had to you have to find some way of making ends meet so I think some of those communities I've actually said well we can't see how we can win those basic things so we have to kind of take care of this group of people and I do worry a little bit that some of the politics around that is kind of like well if there's a moment of like a tipping point I want to know that everyone is going to hold hands and kind of jump together and I think there's a little bit of politics around like some of those communities which becomes about taking care of a small group because of kind of anxiety as a way of not just taking care of the self so it's like one step out but it's not it's not reaching out to people on a kind of very basic level so that's not to dislike polyamory communities in any way but to say it's interesting what the psychology of it is and I think there is a contrast between the looking in and looking and how that kind of relates hope got about half an hour left although we're not gonna get checked out the room yeah I mean interesting what a lot of combos be saying Jamboree in dialogue good responses to Mark's work and I think you got up something to say about counterculture and I was to the little bit adjudicated just that you're saying about I don't think that you know the the 60 the a saccade to the sixties was more or less political than the rave culture and an ecstasy in the early nineties I think it is because it's not one driver than the other visit the times of making the thing in the thing shapes of times and then you've got you know both culture was deep people it's a core thing and it did really it did change a lot of consciousness and I think that's what Mark's point is is about how can the culture changes consciousness which then can lead to political action or maybe not and in terms of like what's happening now I think it's you know I'm sorry to say this to people work that grime is not a youth culture but you know in a real sense of how what in the tide of the time period that youth culture moves on you know so solid crude that dropped 21 seconds in 2001 right you know you're talking about is the grime ice are old they're old men right in these boats in terms of and what you what you have seen in terms of the change of things is a change in Turkish grime was the last bit of that hardcore continuum it you can see its roots in garrard you can see its roots in Jungle you can you can see where it's coming from what and then I totally agree with mark it was a very young creative time he says that the 2000s were like since the 50s we hadn't had such a lack of creativity in terms of music but what you have got changing is a rapid increase in individualization of alienation of lack of political that you know moment for the left and so on so so what happens with counterculture like people saying is it's not even a counterculture that might and then sometimes and it's not even very and it's very individualized and not collective but it's almost rude that it's false that it comes something new will come like right now like what kids are listening to in London anyways is drill UK drill all something called trap right and it's extremely individualistic it's extremely capitalist is hyper materialist it's all about smoking Bayer weed and shanking Bayer mans and that's what it's about but through and it's an it's drug of choice is coding it's an escape drug it's about like numbing the pain right so but through that extreme individualism is anything return to community ironically because you start getting people with a certain themselves as individuals in defiance of social norms and then you find a lot of people are certain themselves individuals in spite its social norms and I think there is a sense in which that extremely liberalism will eat itself well potentially could if used in the right way and I think that will basically what Sanders is going to be like a drill star who does drill so I'm clearly not English there isn't one subcode one of the things that shits me about there is an a subculture in each period like the search for a singular cultural moment that can fuck it and say this is it's a proper shit like actually like I'm a nerd I come from nerd culture I'm a proud fucking nerd sorry but like for me 2000 AD or the creative explosion in comic books through the response to that was pure genius like actually a that can the early 2000s it wasn't a barren wasteland like I was in a zine scene in Australia where like like hundreds of people come together in exchange you know crafted volumes of poetry or texts or whatever by hand or swap tapes that some of the music I heard the tape culture like I was in a radio show where basically took two studios and loop them together and turned everything into an instrument and then I could have the only people listen to us with Baker's we're awake at 3:00 a.m. but the idea that there's one subculture how is in it at least a dozen subcultures simultaneously I had goth friends had people going to industrial music I total I was Dungeons & Dragons nerds or hang with like I had like mad scenes everywhere like my so now is one of the best times for science fiction that's ever existed it's like insane hey I think the idea that there's one thing going on that we need to look to I think it politically and culturally dangerous like has to be pluralism all the time different tempos different speeds different spaces like I think to look for one thing and in the return of it is to is to look for a savior it might not be a feat at Corbin save you but it's a cultural Savior and some sort of moment they'll transform everything and everyone in like if we're talking about multiple cultures were talking at multiple events and we can't talk about queer polyamory which I agree is is like one of us for guns sort of spaces we have we can't talk about that without talking about HIV that's the event that he decimated a generation and if it took men like advanced image of an organization it's what this against one as a weatherman it's like every there are so many scenes and we're standing in one right now then I think we need to shatter like a acid or something a shadows perspective let's not look for one thing open to the range yes I guess this can into the island things quite interesting right because I think we want to be there's something really to be said for the fact we don't have counter cultures forming in the same way but instead I think what we might have is the possibility of certain like mass counter cultures generate themselves really rapidly and so the only cultural thing I know max means and what we had in the ROTC election like a few of us ran this like stupid little projects for juniors shitposting social stuff which was basically a mean page that just like barely uncritically just backed orbiting slag off everyone else and what we had access to immediately was in the month for the election we had a reach of thirty million people so at some point in the first month before the election thirty million people saw the stupid little fucking pictures made on like the laptops of twenty friends and that like I don't know what effect it had I have no idea how you measure that but that strikes me as a potential that comes out of social media that is kind of like quite remarkable and it builds on a common sub common subjectivity which has kind of got like this elements about their old what people used to talk about graduate that the future no this kind of like no future is on board like driving down conditions it combines like anger though I mean there are lots of young drive artists Oh Tracy noblets there are a lot of like young people in that as well and also like certain escapism around drugs which I think mostly comes from like sesh culture like the humans are the sketch that I don't think I just love means but that happened without we didn't have a record shop or we didn't have certain like clothing code or whatever it was literally just like one platform then you could get 30 million people looking at left his content right that strikes me is there's a possibility throw a mask on to culture that wasn't historically there it's kind of like nested cultures it means it's definitely that's actually quite totally different means does not look at meas at all like we communicate so much through me but I think humor and irony and irony in like a bad way sometimes to distance yourself it's like oh it's all good because it's like culture I think you want to add it I'm thinking that there was the reception of and how it's Kim a part of that moment of emergence of zero books as a so I wish me alongside of you know powerful and how they fit together and how that was well of trying to take certain kinds of let's say emerging net culture and then have a different mode of publishing and interest in directing the citizen it was the folks what was it like a big weighty book so it was like I said begin between you might say vector Jeff generational thing that it was like the echo of like ninety cyberculture truck coming back and saying what could we do with this so if you look at we start at zero call people who like for outright war work in the mid nineties right so mark and Matteo and tarik and so how these things echo and sort of build upon themselves as they sort of get reiterated yeah I think like there's sometimes a tendency to kind of overemphasize basically in this discussion I think it's possible to kind of overemphasize like the influence of like sort of like cultural movements on the like political thing and I think this can like dangerously kind of like reproduce some of the sort of like right wing ideas that are used to basically like dismiss like you know like so for example like you know if you read in like The Times or whatever the young people don't really like like Jeremy Corbyn it's just cool to like in and they're not really making a kind of like actual political choice and I think like just as an example of this I mean I think if you take acid basically I think it's like so yes you have like The Weather Underground doing lots of acid and other smaller groups who used to take shit loads of acid and then go and smash up like rich areas in New York but you also have you know like you've got a free mind instead and like you know like Timothy Leary and all these sort of people who were like not at all political basically that was probably like the mainstream and if you look at how people you go to some sort of festival vile or something and listen to how people talk with it taking acid now I think it's really like totally apolitical for me and who had not very much about like consciousness expanding or anything like that so I think yeah yeah like the The Weather Underground were political I think because of the political experience they went through and maybe acid had something to do with that and the same thing I think you should more draw like why young people are political today it's more important to like point to like you know the material factors the like total loss of belief that like capitalism the inability of capitalism to provide people's material needs rather than saying like oh it's all the memes and the like you know the kids are just down with what school or whatever but what I've also found in terms of mental illness is that and then also the capitalist real isms that I feel very are inside so many people that a lot of people can't do asset nowadays or really fucking shouldn't and also strangely I've so when talking about mental illness and then also talk about mark I'd also don't encourage like further responsibilities ations of like how fucking surprising and also how bad everyone obviously felt at the beginning of this year um but everybody looks like fucking take care of each other and check up on each other and we leak in their signifiers and signs that we can see around this stuff sometimes so that we should just like just say hello every once in a while and check in with people because it's super super super fun coughs I just wanted to say that everyone knows it of course yeah I'm gonna kind of bring like for me the people like levy and all that stuff that we're kind of excluding all of that side of the kind sixties counterculture the best thing about the sixties for me or all of those kind of like opening up moments is that's there like what you were saying about like multiple cultures it's a kind of need like that messy like this are all all of those bits about kind of this society is trying to kind of like sanitize out of us like and and I think what you said about kind of like all of those points in the past that enabled that were a certain amount of a certain amount of security you were able to take that risk of opening a because you had like there was something some form of culture or some form of kind of framework that unable to where it is now I think that all those islands we are kind of like taking our wrist like you said it's fucking it'll be date looked much more dangerous psychically satin satin and all of that you know like how where you are when you take these things to open up or what and and like I still think we're living and at that moment those 50s or 60s it were deathly still it's not and also even even things like how do we as doctors possess the organizational structures of the NHS and I I mean I think mark was sober but he was somebody's really interested in consciousness raising do you see in that as like not just groups of friends on that no it's kind of funny for me learning about the acid communist projects one thing that I always thought I had in common with Mark was that we both shared a disdain for hippies and for peace and love and all that sort of 60s counterculture like I'm still not convinced by it I mean I didn't find it interest in how you said you talked about acid here as being a drug that's not just about kind of like the plasticity of things which I do know and turn lead into this how my comments on this hair and acid as being kind of a drug this about like as in is kind of like straight for everything and then I was thinking about what Tim said about politics of care and stuff and I was thinking what would kind of a communist movement was like an acid communist movement that could be about and I think that that's really a key one of the things that capsules prism nothing produces and took new thing but now you said about like the idea that you know we can't we we can't win produces is that there's a relationship to communism which ends up being I'm differ on it or like nihilistic or arrogant smug a nautic as Mark would say and the thing capsules realism where he talks about like a crack in the veil and I think the one crack in the veil can be like developing this idea of like politics of care but we can't ignore that know was the end of his life mark ends up you know embroiled in like a really horrible and toxic left culture zone that too much but I do think that think they can politics of care should be important and that's one way of defining our communism against the kind of artists sardonic nihilistic not serious communism I was actually deciding to thank him hardly know anyone here kind of like I've never done that's it I'd love to do acid with everyone good after you did the pairing open that crack in the veil and forming communism which is a productive hour communism will be about looking after each other and care and it's not that we can vanish capsules away I think one of my skepticism towards acid we do that kind of a dropping out like ignoring what's going on because I'm always been kind like to be right on ways like stimulants cuz you've got just focus up so like mark and I disagreed on politics a lot sorry music a lot more politics big live rock music which is a progressive and he's wrong but and one thing we could agree on with them the jam band from the late seventies early eighties and there's this line that starts the beginning of some town called malice such a very famous song but like it guess it found out by all going to people that we missed projecting really profound any sense I'm we've been to stop dreaming of the quiet life because it's one we'll never know and quit running for that runaway bus the rosy days a few and stop apologizing for the things you've never done because life is cruel and time is short and it's up to us to change this town called malice and tickly when we live in what feels sometimes like quite a malicious left culture I think it is up to us to change it and I think that would be [Applause] [Laughter] you know tens of the effects of different kinds of drugs in general that's something that people experience whatever their I think it's really interesting facilitation not any other drugs like they change your consciousness in in yes I mean I know it's an order to be able to write up please sorry sorry something about those 13 year cycles and the counterculture theme is that the holiday that it does completely privilege this one art for music music I'm not sure and I don't think that necessarily all corrected exist when the first of those cycles came around like you know means I mentioned I think about computer games which have also like one thing exists as most those cycles happened it's a debate changed and measurably but I think and yeah the idea was one overriding culture as mechanism of exploration of what the world could be different because if we do actually win and we therefore change the material relations and the social Asians between us and their incessant eights alterations of consciousness which is why I find the idea of acid communism interesting because it's an idea of thinking well what ones of what alterations of consciousness are we gonna need because that isn't all it's an alteration of things and I think mark was really right that culture is where you look at how people are probing that and developing can't you see something I think is really interesting about interior and this is a community that is a community or became the certain kind of privilege because everybody here has been able to choose it and come to out safe and I can Emily really where people are stuck together and I'm here because in my organization my feet lead from the it come in so they don't have that privilege so their community is it has solidarity but it's Cana ugly and you know I've been jumped in my Walker area by the young team for three weeks and I ran I guess what shocked me and I have to go back so it's ugly and poverty and a class is racist and it's sexist and it's misogynist and it's audible but the Solidarity in the egg was kid in that too so it's also about those kind of communities that we have to you have to a low end because we have to make a challenge to those ideas are Cleveland there's some things it's really uh plain less CUNY is lovely this whole face just beautiful everyone said nice and what's wrong yeah but walking about a scheme it's not like that and but these are people you know these aren't isn't just an abstract idea these people live real lives and they have everyday acts of solidarity in here but it maybe doesn't fit that kind of share model but it's still really really just be made to be mindful of laws




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