To call a McJob a fact-as in “facing the facts of life” -to call the Debt a fact-as in “facing the facts of the economy” -to call a career at Price Waterhouse a fact-as in “it’s a fact that you have to get on in life to get the things you want” -is actually the most grotesque distortion of the facts. These processes are as artifical as the malls & offices in which they take place.
We live in a fiction, an arbitrary structure imposed on the actual. The goal of radicalism in any generation should be to expose that structure & its constraints. That’s why it was a good thing to break into Millbank yesterday.
Everyone can see that the life offered by our society is less a life than permission to plod along the same old tramlines until you die, while states & corporates commodify everything worthwhile & measure it back to you as an earnable privilege. Everyone can see that if you get on your high horse about this you will be passed off as a mindless criminal.
Never Let Me Go: Ishiguro’s point is that we are already clones, educated to stay calm while they cut pieces off us. That’s why everyone is so angry: because their anger, as ever, is constantly taken away from them just at the point when anger is all they have.
Anger… and voices. And networks to to carry those voices.
They spent their childhoods working hard and doing what they were told with the promise that one day, far in the future, if they wished very hard and followed their star, their dreams might come true. They spent their young lives being polite and articulate whilst the government lied and lied and lied to them again. They are not prepared to be polite and articulate anymore. They just want to scream until something changes. Perhaps that’s what it takes to be heard.
It is my hope that, once we realise that screaming doesn’t work (and it won’t work, beyond the momentary catharsis it brings), we’ll try turning our backs and building the world we want for ourselves. The nation-state is dying, and the only alternative to being smothered by its decaying corpse is to step out from under it; being ignored is the one thing it can’t fight with truncheons and cameras.