"Direct and unintended product"
Susan and the Situationists

Susan Crane returned from the peace corps in 1968. The savagery and deceit of the U.S. government in Vietnam made it impossible for her to return to normal life. She could not simply become a teacher or some other cog in the system. Instead , she joined a radical communal group that had formed during the Columbia University occupations of spring, 1968. It was not a typical leftist group. Its members did not worship Che or Ho Chi-ming. Instead there was a strong interest in self government and "direct democracy," an anarchist tendency similar to the Yipees, which challenged the leftist ideologies of the time.

Susan and her friends set out to, non-violently, bring the war home.

Harvard University, March, 1969

Business as usual was not an option. Above, Susan and members of her communal group disrupt classes at Harvard.

 

 

In the cosmopolitan circles of New York City, Susan and her friends came into contact with some European radicals who called themselves "situationists." The situationists were eloquent spokesmen for a a sophisticated and comprehensive theory that showed the historical roots of the revolutionary movement. At the same time, it spoke clearly to the desires of the individual and introduced an upbeat, innovative methodology, the aim of which was to liberate the individual in the process of liberating society. It provided a kind of road map for Susan and her communal group.

The following quote is a n example of the objective, historical side of the situationist theory. In the not too distant future there will be other situationist material on the individual or "subjective" side of the theory.

"The eminently revolutionary role of the bourgeoisie consists in having introduced the economy into history in a decisive and irreversible way. As the faithful master of this economy, the bourgeoisie has since its appearance been the real (though sometimes unconscious) master of "universal history." For the first time universal history ceased to be some metaphysical fantasy or some act of the World Spirit and became a material reality as concrete as the trivial existence of each individual. Since the emergence of commodity production, nothing in the world has escaped the implacable development of this neo-Fate, the invisible economic rationality: the logic of the commodity. Totalitarian and imperialist in essence, it demands the entire planet as its terrain and the whole of humanity as its servants. Wherever the commodity is present there are only slaves.

"To the bourgeoisie's oppressive coherence in keeping humanity in prehistory, the revolutionary movement, the direct and unintended product of bourgeois capitalist domination has for more than a century counterposed the project of a liberatory coherence that is the work of each and everyone, the free, conscious intervention in the creation of history: the real abolition of all class divisions and the suppression of the economy.

For the rest of this text, "Concerning Revolution in Underdeveloped Countries"
by Mustapha Khayati, click
here.


To communicate with Susan Crane via e-mail click here: disarmnow@jonahhouse.org

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