The revolutionary location

A question of some import to a radical theory of living well is the revolutionary location. Where are we revolutionary? How to live well is always in deliberation, but here I’m wondering about where to live well. Does location condition life?

Location is conceptual as well as physical.

This discussion isn’t coming out of nowhere. Where are we revolutionary, and where are we blowing so much smoke? Here again is a kind of trap. I view a lot of global political criticism as a kind of megalomania. It’s not that this criticism is wrong, or unnecessary, and in concert with local efforts may be justified, it’s that this criticism is delusional. The trap I’m about to fall into is pessimism. How many words were types in opposition to the most recent invasion of Afghanistan and Kuwait? How many bodies marched demonstrations to stop the action? How ineffective was this effort?

Now I’m against war and colonizing resource rich lands. But criticism on this level is not radical. It’s delusional. It’s delusional in the sense that the active relationships that make up the world validate the war and colonization. Denunciation of the war on the level of language and thought, and momentary denunciation at that, to return to, or never leave your job, your abode, your private property, your consumption of the resources extracted through war and colonization. Of course quitting your job, giving away your tools, home, and walking the earth like Jesus while radical is not living well.

But it is in the local sphere where we can act. We can work our entire lives in vain to make just our schools more democratic, but we can make our homes more democratic tomorrow morning. We can scream and shout, paint sign, write brilliant articles and organize against the racism in our government’s border policy, and the borders will remained closed, but we can open our relationships tonight.

The trap I’m falling into is the either/or. But I’m advocating living well, living radically. We are not without examples. Nowtopia covers a few. Without making the changes where the changes can actually be made, calling for massive, superstructural change is like talking to God.

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