Indecent as Fuck

The same people who are murdered slowly in the mechanized slaughterhouses of work are also arguing, singing, drinking, dancing, making love, holding the streets, picking up weapons and inventing a new poetry.

(Raoul Vaneigem)

A Call to Arms

It is time for the real Indecent Left to make itself known.  To reclaim the mantle back from its usurpers and wear it proudly.  To throw it back in the face of our so called betters, to rub it in their noses and laugh at their shrill outrage.

For we are the dreamers, the irresponsible, the warrior poets, the work shy, the Robin Hoods, the ungrateful poor, the lumpen, the ungovernable, the indecent.   And we will burn down your pretty palaces and dance between the flames.

Taking Indeceny Back

Those that the Decents claim are the Indecent Left are anything but.  The Cobweb Left are not Indecents and never shall they be so.  They have neither the joy, nor the idealism.  Much like their supposed Decent enemies, they are respectable and grey.  Their political activity is carefully planned in order not to startle the horses.  They would impose order on the glorious chaos of the working class.  They argue over their slice of the cake, while we occupy the bakery.  Their planned world is merely one of bigger cages and longer chains.  They have precisely nothing to do with us.

Decency is a Slow Death

Who wants to be decent anyway?  The Merriam -Webster  (I use an American dictionary to show off my  internationalist credentials and to  distance myself from tiresome kneejerk anti Americanism.  But mostly because it’s free) tells us that to be decent is “conforming to standards of propriety, good taste, or morality.  Could anything be worse?  Decents are Victorian moralists, who pride themselves on conformity.  They are the kind of people who, in a past era, would have covered up the legs of pianos because they thought they looked like cocks.  This is not something to aspire to.  I refuse to live to their standards, when my own are so much higher.

Utopia or Bust!

In  a world where mediocrity is the order of the day.  Where those who rule over every aspect of our lives are petty and spiteful.  Where they would rather see the poor starve then give away even a crust of bread.  In that world, my friends, utopian dreaming is the only answer.  Why would we want to fight for anything else?  Why would we build a new world that is like this one, only slightly less so?   Fighting for a dream and losing is more worthwhile than successfully fighting for a nightmare.  The journey is the destination.  And we are pragmatists, not realists.

Hedonism is not a Dirty Word

Pleasure is, in and of itself, a worthwhile and noble goal.  While hedonism needs to be tempered with utilitarianism (our goal is pleasure for all, not the elite few), the fight for pleasure is as important as the more worldly fights.  A new world which we do not enjoy is not a step forward.   And every worker has the soul of a poet.

Boring People is Not a Revolutionary Act

If we are boring, so will our revolution be.  And that is not something that anybody else will support and nor should they.  Think carefully.  If your only topic of conversation is politics, if politics is your only field of interest, if you are not capable of socialising with non politicos, then, frankly gentle reader, you’re a dullard.  Fun is a necessary weapon in our arsenal.  (This does not mean dressing up as fucking clowns.  Stop that.  Now).

This, incidentally, is why this blog is also likely to include posts on music, comics and why playing roleplaying games makes you cool and sexy.

Without Action, You’re Just Posing

And no, blogging is not action.  At best, it’s simply the free exchange of ideas.  But action is something that takes place offline, in the real world.  And without that, all your words are meaningless platitudes.  Theory should always spring from praxis, not vice versa.  However, do not fall into the trap of going to the opposite extreme and taking a silly kneejerk anti theory posture, despite being well versed in theory yourself.  (Yes, Comrade Bone, I’m looking at you).

They Can Have the History.  The Future is Ours

Spain, Russia, Paris?  All merely interesting subjects for an intellectual debate, no more, no less.  The past cannot be changed, the future and the present are all that really matter.  Historical situations can inspire, but they can’t  be transplanted.

Unless you manage to perfect time travel.  In which case, can you drop me off in the 1920’s?  I want to embarrass myself by trying to pull Dorothy Parker.

No Compromises.  No Ceasefires

Our enemies’ enemy is not our friend.  And no incorrect alliances will be tolerated, no matter how temporary.  Experience shows us how that one turns out.  So we will have no truck with reactionary bigots, whether the anti reactionary Western ruling class fucks beloved by the Decents or the reactionary nationalist fucks beloved by the anti imps.  We will support our friends to the full, but we will not prostitute our ideals in the name of practicality.

On Saint Jarvis of Cocker

Decents, stop trying to claim the Jarvis as your own.  You can’t have him.  He’s a New Labour hating, sweary pervert.  It’s even less convincing than Orwell.  We’ll happily give you Northern Uproar, but the Jarvis is ours.



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    • Perry
    • September 13th, 2010

    ”historical situations can inspire, but they can’t be transplanted”

    I am with you 100%

    But when we create the space for revolutionary acts, how do we keep those spaces open? I’m not trying to be a cunt (actually maybe a little bit [‘devil’s cunt’]), but how will our revolution differ from ’68 etc? I mean, Debord was the ultimate tragic figure (the city man obsessing like Rousseau in the country till he snuffed himself out – horrible, his late eighties commentary on the spectacle is hopeless, depressing even, a pattern repeated since the romantics), and when I read the ‘invisible committee’ and other things in that glorious tradition (and it is a glorious tradition, I would never take that away from it) I see the fetishisation of ‘action’ and nothing beyond that. It attracts teenagers, they like music and posturing…

    I don’t like posturing anymore. I’m tired and fed up.

    To me this is a PR issue (as odious as that sounds). There is alot of rage – EDL etc. prove that. How can ‘the left’ put forward a vision of themselves that isn’t ‘nice’, that isn’t ‘moral’ and ‘boring’.

    I love this blog, I love Bobs blog (even bits of Ian Bones blog), but when is something happening in the real world that isn’t full of idiots (or nutters or teenagers)?

    An unanswerable question, probably. But I’m a cunt.

    Sorry.

  1. “I love this blog, I love Bobs blog (even bits of Ian Bones blog), but when is something happening in the real world that isn’t full of idiots (or nutters or teenagers)?”

    The problem is that the left is so factionalised, and, in my opinion, the teenagers you mention, as well as the protest movements, are no longer really interested in equality, but more interested in identity politics and the “speaking as a…..” paradigm – an individualist that is at its heart the opposite of equality, stressing the unique identities of distinct communities.

    Just a pet theory, but perhaps lots of those with the youthful exuberance that exemplify protest movements, being mostly middle class as they are, have a little too much attachment to their consumer comforts to be in any sense ‘revolutionary’.

    That was at least what I saw when at uni – being a ‘radical’ most often meant paying lip service to the rights of Muslims, Gays, Iranians, Congoans, whatever, while blithely going shopping after class, with a copy of Heat magazine rolled up under the arm, to buy the latest iphone; all the while remaining silent on any kind of traditionalist leftist issue such as higher taxes for the wealthy, which, as it happens, would have hit one’s own allowance.

    Revolution as play, as Martin Amis once said.

  2. I think the problem is more deep than that. At the moment, we have a working class that is demoralised, defeated and disenfranchised. And what you describe is a reflection of that, not the cause of it.

    There’s exceptions anyway. To my surprise, despite the fact they were originally setup as a protest against not being able to hold raves anymore, the crusties of Schnews are stlll going strong over a decade later. And still reporting some interesting stuff and supporting direct action.

    Part of that is probably the influence of the lashup between the anti CJA movement and the Liverpool dockers, at the time of the strike. Which may suggest something about the way out of this.

    I’m not convinced that class politics does lead to giving up consumer comforts to any great extent anyway, apart from for the very wealthy. That kind of asceticism isn’t something I put much stock in.

    • modernityblog
    • September 15th, 2010

    More, more, more!

    We need more posts like this, WS, keep turning them out!

    One post per day at least 🙂

    • criticalkabbalist
    • September 15th, 2010

    Like it. But do we always have to burn down the pretty palaces and dance in the flames? Sometimes I would be just as inclined to dance in the pretty palaces. Nothing human is alien to us. ‘We built this city’ (to quote from late period Jefferson Starship), palaces and all, let’s take it back.

    • Bob
    • September 16th, 2010

    New lay out looks much better imho. And also now is not the same as critical kabbalists!

    Thanks, Perry, for saying you love my blog (unless you meant a different Bob, to quote the Colourblind James Experience), and thanks kabbalist for introducing Jefferson Starship into the debate.

    But seriously,
    Part of that is probably the influence of the lashup between the anti CJA movement and the Liverpool dockers, at the time of the strike. Which may suggest something about the way out of this
    I think this is a really important point. That was a crucial moment, and we’d do well to recall it and try and think about it carefully. Around the same time, I think, I remember being at one of squatted social centres along the M11 route, and remember the train and tube drivers who would honk their support as they went past.

    • Bob
    • September 16th, 2010

    Got my e-mail wrong in that comment. Doing this again, Waterloo, in case you ever want to e-mail me!

    • modernityblog
    • September 16th, 2010

    Yeah the layout is much better, I hope that my readers pop over and take in the arguments 🙂

    PS: Bob, when are you going to migrate to WP?

    It is *automatic* (you create the name, then tell it where to import from, etc) and only take 10-20 mins to learn how to use the WP dashboard

    There are plenty of nice features (moderation, and send of comments by email, etc)

  3. I think this is a really important point. That was a crucial moment, and we’d do well to recall it and try and think about it carefully. Around the same time, I think, I remember being at one of squatted social centres along the M11 route, and remember the train and tube drivers who would honk their support as they went past.

    One of the most successful anti road camps (I think it was Pollock, but don’t quote me on that) had lots of support from locals, who used to hang out at the camp and then go home at the night.

    Also, in Newcastle, there were extremely close links between the Magnet strikers and the local anarchos/Earth Firsties.

    One thing I think this shows is that, contrary to the belief of some of the more ‘serious’ leftists, many working class people really don’t care about funny clothes and haircuts. As long as genuine solidarity is there.

    Anyway, back to furiously packing!

  4. Come on Waterlook Sunset! What’s the hold up?

  5. Only just got net access. Expect a new post over the next few days. Patience is apparently a virtue, innit?

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