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I am no expert regarding global history. In fact, I am no expert in anything. But by basic observation and through marginal study I have become convinced of a very simple historical truth: human history (particularly modern history) is rife with stories of those in power and those bent on the preservation and/or rediscovery of idyllic social/political/religious fantasies who fail to exhibit meaningful concern and instead perpetuate an active disinterestedness toward a great majority of those in the midst of suffering and toward the systems that carry out such violence.

This disinterestedness of which I speak is not a dogma or a creed or a planned position. Rather, it is the consequence of failing to believe in the world, of failing to affirm life and difference. It’s causes are enigmatic and perhaps even unidentifiable. But its presence is real and powerful. It has an energy about it that carries it forward from generation to generation, stifling the creative impulse of those who stand in its way; often times crushing them. It is the spectral past that haunts every present moment; a present-past whose primary allegiance lies in another world, or another time, or another people.

However, the good news is that this disinterestedness is not a foundation that necessarily exists. Rather, it is an outcome of innumerable forces that have been at play for millennia. And as an outcome of forces, this means that it is not necessary to the existence of the cosmos. It could have been otherwise, and it can be confronted – as it has in the past. As far back as history records there have been those who have been carried by a spirit of dissatisfaction with those who are disinterested in this world. They have been attuned to the power of the oncoming wave of opposition and have ridden this swell into direct confrontation with disinterestedness. Such a historical legacy ought to give us great consolation; for we are not starting from scratch. We are merely those who must catch the oncoming wave. We must catch it and create the New from that which is inherited from those who went before us. And it seems that now, more than ever, the materials for true transformative social praxis dwell in our midst. We must simply recognize them, seize them, create with them, and use them. But how…

Of course, here I am, sitting in my comfy, cozy flat with every amenity that I could possibly need to flourish in (a) life. I am not from a ghetto. I have no roots in any barrio. I have not struggled in life for material comfort. What right have I to open my mouth? What knowledge can I share with those who would view me as nothing more than a spoiled, middle-class yuppie with a guilty conscience? Just because I’ve read some books by Marx, Dussel, Zinn, Chomsky; just because I’m a part of Amnesty International; just because I get emotional at hearing about social injustice… does that give me a platform to speak? Perhaps not. Perhaps my socio-historical identity precludes me from having “revolutionary capital.” But perhaps this is also my strength. Perhaps like the lives of Marx, Che, and Gandhi, experiencing the spoils of capitalist exploitation provides those of us in the slumbers of western decadence to first acknowledge our own participation in the expansive destruction of the world. And perhaps this reflexivity is a necessary step for a new generation of revolutionary thought…

There are those of us (on both sides: those who oppose such progressive iterations and those who desire to claim such a vision) who are betwixt between theory and pragmatics. I hope it’s not too terse to claim that each group’s concerns are caught up in their own inability (perhaps for some an unwillingness) to create a new vision. There is too much concern with how such a vision would come into effect. There is too much of a willingness to settle for the status quo. There is too little creativity in imagining a future that would be devoid of military struggle, political might, economic exploitation, class division, or societal fragmentation. Not that such concerns aren’t valid – they are. However, it seems that the first step is not to decipher such a future’s tenability. Rather, the first step is to make a commitment to its necessity. There are no rules for creating. There is no law that we must follow. Thus, such should not be obstacles preventing praxis. It’s not even necessary for their to be a singular collective vision prior to action. There simply needs to be a vision for creativity, a vision for progress, a vision for the New. And in the midst of creation, as we remain sensitive to the forces with which we are surrounded and with which we use to create, we refine, reassemble, and reformulate our vision(s) as we create, replacing each plank of the ship while we journey toward new horizons…

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