Saturday, March 10, 2012

The present situation in the movement

Was reading the fifth letter to friends by SILO, one of the greatest thinkers and am recreating some excerpts from the same adapting to the present status of our movement

Their banners were waving as the echoes of their glorious calls to struggle rolled across the scene. And upon seeing this I thought of just how much good will, risk, tragedy, and striving, all moved by heartfelt convictions, had been lost along a road leading to the absurd negation of any possibilities of transformation.


Thus, today it is imperative to redeem human courage, inspiring people’s ideals in a new and possible direction.

1. The Most Important Issue: To Know If One Wants to Live, and in What Conditions

Today, millions of people struggle simply to subsist, not knowing whether tomorrow they will be able to surmount hunger, disease, and neglect. Their needs are so dire that whatever they undertake to escape their problems only further complicates their lives. Are they to do nothing then, and remain in a state that is really only one of postponed suicide? Are they to attempt desperate measures? What sort of activity, what risk, what prospect are they prepared to face? What are those, who for economic, societal, or simply personal reasons find themselves in extreme situations, supposed to do? Always, the most important question is to know if one wants to live, and to decide in what conditions to do so.

2. Human Liberty: Source of All Meaning

Today questioning whether their present circumstances can form a way of life in the future. Even those who prefer not to think about their situation, or who turn this responsibility over to others, are still choosing a way of life.

3. Intention: Orientor of Action

We are born into conditions that we have not chosen. We will have to choose among conditions, among needs, and we will do so according to our intention and the vision of life that we propose for ourselves.

4. What Should We Do with Our Lives?

We exist in a particular society and in relationship with other people, and our destinies are interwoven with their destinies. If we believe that at present everything is fine,then we need only forge ahead. If, on the contrary, we think that we live in a violent, unjust society that is filled with inequity and assailed by unremitting crises related to the dizzying changes in the world, then we will reflect at once on the need for profound personal and social transformations.

And the worst of it is that by our inaction we open the door to even greater inequity and injustice. Forms of discrimination and abuse long thought overcome are resurfacing with greater virulence than ever. The option they are following with increasing single-mindedness is to focus only on their own lives, ignoring the difficulties of others and everything that is taking place in the social context around them.

We prefer to focus on the superficial game of the powerful elites, the famous, the formers of opinion. We object to the actions of the mass media controlled by economic interests, instead of dedicating ourselves to exercising influence in the smaller media and taking advantage of the many openings for social communication.


Basically, all of this happens to us because we believe we are defeated and that we have no other recourse than to nurse our growing bitterness in silence. And we call this defeat "dedicating ourselves to our own lives." Meanwhile, "our own lives" accumulate contradictions as we lose touch with the meaning of and any capacity to choose the conditions in which we want to live. And of course our previous disappointments keep us from acting as protagonists in this process of transformation.

5. Moral Consciousness and Short-Term Interests

In our rush to escape we will sacrifice every value and all meaning, because our sole focus has become our own immediate benefit.
To avoid such difficulties, we shun any commitment that could draw us toward extreme situations, but of course events themselves will necessarily put us in positions that we have not chosen. The choice between unifying actions – those with meaning – or contradictory actions dictated by immediacy, is inescapable in every situation in which the direction of life is at issue.

6. Sacrificing One’s Objectives for Circumstantial Success: Some Habitual Errors

Ridiculous Machiavellian schemes, personality clashes placed above mutually agreed upon goals, and authoritarian behavior of every stripe fill volumes of history books, as well as our personal memories.

7. The Kingdom of the Secondary

Present circumstances are such that accusers of every stripe and description adopt a prosecutorial tone and demand explanations from us, acting as though it is we who must prove our innocence to them. What is noteworthy is that their basic tactic lies in exalting all that is secondary, and as a consequence obscuring the primary questions.

Some journalist or opinion maker will make everything somehow suspicious, or demanding that we "take a stand" on today’s many burning questions of all sorts. Of course, they are never lacking for some clumsy accusation, to which it is assumed we must respond, and in superficially setting the context they bandy about words charged with double meanings as they manipulate contradictory images.

What is important to remember is that those who choose to locate themselves in a faction opposed to us have every right to have us explain to them why they are in no condition to judge us and why we, on the other hand, are fully justified in judging them. They need to realize that it is they who must defend their position against our objections

A great many progressive people are taken in by this trap, failing to understand very clearly just how their receiving this abundance of apparent "news" in practice leaves them more bewildered than accurately informed.
While the previous commentaries on these expressions of the kingdom of the secondary do not really contribute anything new, it is nonetheless worthwhile from time to time to alert those naive activists who, in trying to communicate their ideas, have yet to realize just how strange is this kingdom of the secondary in which they have been interned."

3 comments:

Surendranath pokle said...

Dear Mayank,
went through the article.Took sometime to absorb.In India there are three parties.One the rulers,two thinkers,fighters or antagonists whatever you call them,the third are silent sufferers millions of them.Unfortunately the battle is carried by the second group on their shoulders.This group is small & fragile because millions for whom they fight simply will not support them not because they do not want to but because they fail to understand the connectivity of this fight to their lives.It is only when this second group who are just comfortable in life,connect with the millions with their mind & body the desired revolutionary changes will happen.Thanks for the article.

Anonymous said...

@SURENDERNATH:
Dear Surendra, what I believe the main reason for this inability of common people to relate with the thinker is that there is too much disconnect between the thinkers themselves. They are not focusing on real issue but wasting their energy in a lot of senseless issue without even trying to find the real reason behind that issue. Here I am speaking largely about the failure of IAC, they are trending away from Corruption which is the main issue and focusing on a lot more irrelevant issues.

Anonymous said...

I agree. IAC has lost all the momentum. They have become a closed group, that does not allow capable people to join it. Any intelligent person is pushed out. They are strategy-less, and have become no different than any other political party trying to gain mileage of various situations.