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(en) x-USSR, Sturdy and perpetual! (Avtonom* 10 years)

Date Wed, 13 Jul 2005 10:02:12 +0300


This year Avtonom turns 10 years old, and we have decided to
republish the following early article in 25th issue, because it
gives the mood of the early Samizdat zine of 4 pages, which was
distributed just few hundred copies in the Krasnodar region of Russia.
Sturdy and perpetual!
"The first stage of the economy's domination of social life
brought about an evident degradation of being into having -
human fulfillment was no longer equated with what one was,
but with what one possessed. The present stage, in which
social life has become completely dominated by the
accumulated productions of the economy, is bringing about a
general shift from having to appearing - all "having" must now
derive its immediate prestige and its ultimate purpose from
appearances. At the same time all individual reality has
become social, in the sense that it is shaped by social forces
and is directly dependent on them. Individual reality is allowed
to appear only if it is not actually real. When the real world is
transformed into mere images, mere images become real
beings - dynamic figments that provide the direct motivations
for a hypnotic behavior."

Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle

Gopniks and rockers, punks and nouveau rich, hip-hoppers
and boneheads, ragged hippies and fucked up yuppies, in
shortly the young generation - bankers, hookers, cops and
unemployed of the future. Who are they?

Choosing Pepsi and "Silver century" (first decades of 20th
century - translator) of Russian culture as his symbols,
generation claims originality. You ask - in order to unite
incompatible? So let us decode symbols of the "new youth".

First of all, Pepsi and silver century may be unified to a single
cultural whole only in the framework of the bourgeois
consumer civilization, where any phenomena of material and
spiritual life become products on demand. For example, in
some motley trendy journal, a full-page Pepsi add may follow a
page of poetry. But second is always just means for the first.
Poetry is drowned to a dark swill. Silver century is here just an
advertisement in the background, a marketing trick for
promoting trendy "spirituality", in a form convenient to
corporations. "High" culture, aesthetics and art are an
attracting wrapper of the product, which must be foisted to
consumer by any means. And nothing else!

The generation is frozen, no matter how busy and mobile it
seems from the surface. It lives in a world without
development, creativity, and breakthrough of the youth. A
country of snow queen, where generation just as small Kai,
that misses the rebellious youth full of "impossible"
alternatives, and lands on sound concrete of the old age, where
everything that exists is sturdy and perpetual! Real movement
is halted, and it is replaced by disorderly flashing of pictures.
The riot itself does not exist, just its idea - a good on demand.
And when only idea of an event is consumed, it may not
anymore be an event that is experienced in the reality. It
simply will not happen.

Puppet masters of the social processes, ruling elite, power of
the capital, all hidden from gullible eyes by a decorated curtain,
quilt of Maya sewed from the threads of the political rhetoric,
are real suppliers of the ideas that occupied heads of the "most
apolitical" generation. World in which youth lives is alien.
Hanging around in Arbat, clubs, bars and schoolyards - ghetto
of the youth.

His love affair with Pelevin and silver century is a ridiculous
one. One must live the century, breath its atmosphere. look
around. but generation is hurrying for the "real business".
Today this means taking what is, and becoming an
instrument, just another bolt in the mechanism of the system,
submission to ruling industry of the "culture". For these young
people silver century is like a bottle of Pepsi during a hot day,
that one just drank and ran further, in order not to loose.
because competition has already began, and poetical life is a
barrier to a competitive grip.

Generation of today lives in one-dimensional world, without
peaks and gorges - only a one endless, gloomy plain, decorated
with mosaic of pseudo-art for the masses, industry that
supplies vibes in necessary amounts.

Generation has not own ideas. It has nothing! The whole
generation does not exist. It is silent in the corners. A person,
who does not take effort to say aloud, will speak with the voice
of someone else.

Yes, youth of yesterday lived in a prison as well, but they were
aware of it. But today they covered prison walls with pictures of
rock stars, decorated their illusions with garlands, and
imagined that they are free. Generation does not want to look
under the cover that hides the truth. That only disturbs
creation and functioning of another, this time bourgeois
Babylon. If generation does not break out for something better,
beyond status quo, it will degenerate. Pepsi-generation lacks
character, attitude to say "NO!" when system wants to hear
"YES!".

This degeneration hurries to emerald city of McDonalds',
Mickey Mice, tampaxes and market relations. In shelves of
emerald supermarket one may find forged B.G. with silver
century as well. All these Pelevins, Borgeses, Tolkiens,
Nietzsches, rock and poetry are just comfortable toys, which
give orgasm in one minute, something like a kaleidoscope for
children that may be bought from any counter. And modern
"counter-culture" was already a long time ago converted to a
secular advertisement show, and is sold next to beer and
sausages. "You ate it and everything is again in order!".

Modern youth wants to be original by any price, but this
originality is superficial - in level of words and outlooks. "New
youth" did not figured out yet, that in real world such
"originality" is deeply banal, but youth understands that it
helps in reaching a prestigious step in the social ladder. If they
only opened their eyes, they would see a total lack of humanity
everywhere, nothing but a gangrene of the aspirations of the
bourgeois civilization.

"Not to seem, but to BE!" is not their motto, but of the
generation which will replace the current one. A generation
that will spit to the face of the current generation that froze
time chose Pepsi, castrated ones riotous youth and foraged
reality. New, fresh and furious world will invade with the
following generation, and destroy sand castles of
self-deception, plushy and glossy halls of the emerald city. And
time moves forward! Generation of today will look with fear
and stunned consternation, when sound concrete of
indifference is departs from under his feet.

These tough words are not dictated here with spite and envy of
an unlucky wretch, simply "if you do not bend, you never
straighten" (chairman Mao is an excellent dialectic;-) A totally
normal generation, that is,
NOTHING AT ALL. Let it live in its own word, where "a cat
that eats Whiskas is the best food for your dog". But we will
always demand impossible, getting closer to magnificent
moments of our revolution. It becomes more and more clear,
that authentic existence in a forged society may only be
reached fighting in the barricades, storming heavens in an
ecstasy of revolutionary direct action! Rebirth of artistic
aspirations and ideas is now possible only in moments of going
beyond the frames, during political, ethical and cultural
breakouts. As always-young old man J.P. Sartre loved to say,
every generation should have his Bastille.

So, what's up with us?! Generation is silent. process of
digestion is going on, and end of it will be marked with an
immense show.

Comrade Kabanos (Avtonom #3, 1995)
============================
* Ed. Note: Avtonom is a journal of an anarchist federation.

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