Jelena Savic

I am a fuckn artist!

Others are cheap or On Darwinian activist – academic species/en November 8, 2017

They usually think they work not in the name of God, but in the name of principles, while they apply survival techniques based on fierce competition, careful predatory behavior, scavenging, stealing food, killing sick and weak individuals, fighting for the better part of the corps, pissing in the corners, licking assess, but most of all, the crucial surviving mechanism- knowing when to submit, shut up, bound your head, drink some vine, eat that finger food and smile.

This all makes you an evolutionary successful individual, part of the pack, and stops you from being ostracized and dying alone in wilderness. This is what activism and academia mostly are. Principles are cheap, but the principle of survival.

 

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Log entry

November, 7

You need to evolve. There is this situation when you realize, you are a dying individual of a probably never existing kind. So your survival techniques are obsolete. You do not manage to determine properly what priorities are and which steps lead to success. You need to evolve or you die. You fall back into the social slumber from which you crawled. You need to change your ways. That is what you say to yourself when you realize that your ideas about how the world functions and should function are good for nothing.

On integrity

People talk about principles. They think about themselves as having principles, while they strikingly live in incoherence of their attitudes, and even bigger incoherence of their attitudes and their practice. Incoherence is a kind of a natural way, a spectrum, and it is simply the case, but it just strikes me now how much this is so, and how little it is bothering people. It just flashed in front of my eyes how the name of the game is something else, not really maximizing your integrity and coherence or following your principles, if it ever was, but something completely different.

 

On activism

Funny to say this with my 36 years, it just strikes me, in activism, as probably any place, it was never about principles, it is always about surviving, bare existence and domination. If there are some principles to follow, these are only principles you need to learn-how to survive. Surely, you learn how to use the story about the principles a bit better as an activist. So you can convince yourself that you have them, maybe also some other people, but in essence you do not really stick to them, you do not really have to, since anyway, nobody really cares. That is the fact of the matter, the important thing is for you to learn how to show subordination so that you end up on the social and power position from which you can speak whatever you like, for example that you have principles, but surely, there is no control mechanism there. So you need to realize and learn finally that principles are cheap. If you think and want to think any other way, worse for you.

Principles, we can say, ordinarily demand some normative other in you who will make you do things, and punish you in some way for not sticking to them. Now, when you manage to hold that superior social position, there is nobody who can count and who can do that either within, or out of your activist persona. The guardian within is somewhere sitting all mild after spa in some expensive hotel after a seminar, all lose, kind of tipsy, munching expensive fish and playing bridge. The ones outside sit, deeply frozen, weak of hunger and cold. That is just the way it goes. And there we have it-a principle-free, tipsy flouting activist agent.

In the classroom

Also, there is no internal super-ego so to say, neither poor people from mahala in university classrooms or seminars. The closer you get to these Roma from mahala, the harder it is to deal with this fact of activist/academic life, but that is your problem since you in that case anyway sit behind the glass mirror, and nobody really can hear you, and you do not reach them.

You do not impose on them, activists/academics any kind of principle. There is no demand of justice, of fairness, nothing. They can sit and discus about these issues with you sitting there, but on their own terms. They determine what they owe you, poor people, and to the world, what is a just world, are they about to call themselves just and fair, these activists, men and women. Of course they do call themselves so. If you disagree, who cares? You, or some uneducated and poor people are NOT REALLY THERE.  You all exist in the mist of expensive cigars. So activists of all orientations and colors can just comfortably sit there in hotels and offices and think good of themselves.

In the name of Lord and mahala

So, it is striking how almost never these people in whose name they do their God’s work sit with them, or are expected to sit with them, or are listening or expect to listen to them. Mostly they sit with themselves and listen to themselves. And they feel good. Once I was on a seminar about violence in mental institutions where they actually brought some women, former and current residents of mental institutions, and that was an exception, kind of weird, I mean kind of positive, but still awkward in a way.

“I do not work for anybody but myself”, they will never say, these activists/academics, some living like a business class, and most of them surely not with a recent experience of going to bed hungry. They usually think they work not in the name of God, but in the name of principles, while they apply survival techniques based on fierce competition, careful predatory behavior, scavenging, stealing food, killing sick and weak individuals, fighting for the better part of the corps, pissing in the corners, licking assess, but most of all, the crucial surviving mechanism- knowing when to submit, shut up, bound your head, drink some vine, eat that finger food and smile.

This all makes you an evolutionary successful individual, part of the pack, and stops you from being ostracized and dying alone in wilderness. This is what activism and academia mostly are. Principles are cheap, but the principle of survival.

The Joker

Do not get me wrong, principles are things which are inevitable, necessary component of this area, and they are used, many theories about justice and fairness are present, mostly tacitly, mostly taken for granted. It is like activists and some general public both have some questionable card in their hand on which it says -activist necessarily have some higher moral principles, maybe this is not a strong card these days, but it is there. And of course activists do ride on this. However, principles and values are here mostly used as a joker, useful tools, instrumentally. Principles do not exist by themselves in these populations. If there is some instrumental value of putting away this principle card in any form, which they evolved after a decade to spot with grate skill, the card is easily put down, with a sip of vine, and exchanged for another one.

Except that its dispositional character is not really taken as obligatory, this cheap principle card is not even embraced in its full doxastic way. Principles are not really studied, understood. And even in the part they are, the discrepancy with behavior is still striking. In general there is this evolving trend which leads to the dying of the idea of principles being something valuable per se and their normativity fades away melted down by secure income and career opportunities, well, naturally.

This weakening of the concept of principle and devaluing of normativity by the agents who are expected to deal and to follow them, suffer for them, more than the most of the individuals who do not really concern themselves beyond the point of necessity with the issues of justice and fairness, are just a resonance of some bigger processes about which I know little. The point is, I just caught myself necked in front of this realization, thinking, the time has changed and it is a final moment to evolve.

Your personal interest is the only thing that matters in activism/academia. No solidarity, no equality, no liberty, no justice, no feminism, no Roma activism, no nothing for which you should suffer, its all about what you can get and about your survival. It is widely accepted mainstream norm. Learn better how to survive from the herd.

That is the bottom line. Class reproduction is necessarily not a revolutionary act. As soon as you start adapting, the better are chances you will survive and not end up going hungry to bed. There is no other way. And nobody cares. That is the Darwinian world free of any principle attachments. You need to evolve or die. And nobody cares if you do. The only person who can help you is yourself, and nobody expects that anybody should really help anybody else but themselves. Others are cheap. And you are just another self serving sheep.  If they are united in something then it is in this herd policy, naturally, the power of numbers protects them. So if it turns out you are not one of them, if they do not kill you, they will run away. One way or another, you end up dead. So, there, evolve.