At what point do we act out our ideas?

Hamilton, Lacino



At What Point Do We Act Out Our Ideas? By: Lacino Hamilton Been trying to find space to observe and reflect on the world and where I find myself in it. Trying to find a place for the careful working out of ideas. I do not want to form the habit of writing for the sake of being topical. The dialogue being developed is much to important for that. Besides, even reading and writing possess functional limits. There must be recourse to other disciplines, other means of challenging practices that do not reflect our best as humans. In that space I have been contemplating how to ask questions about the world we live in without using words. Instead, struggle (blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice) being the medium in which we actually query present-day contradictions. This does not mean that the pen and phonetics cannot be used to good advantage, because they can, and must. However, the need is not only for new (people centered) ideas, but means of struggle capable of putting enough pressure behind our new ideas so as to realize them in a concrete way. Ideas must overcome simply being an idea confined to our minds, journals, or if we get bored enough, arguments. For this, the mass of poor and oppressed people have to be involved in doing actual work. And, for this, the mass of poor and oppressed people have to transform themselves. Progress develops through the process of internal struggle. When enough people transform themselves, the world will transform with them. It is within the people themselves that transformation begins and equips them with confidence in themselves to remove the obstacles to people centered development. In the illustrious wisdom of the late, great, Frederick Douglas, "power concedes nothing without a struggle, never has and never will." The tools necessary for transformation are not to be found in libraries and other depositories of information that do not grapple with present-day contradictions in real time; or in collectives that are isolated from the people as a whole. The tools are located in resisting social institutions under which the people live, and the social priorities imposed by social institutions. Let me cite a simple illustration. One of the puzzling aspects of poor and oppressed people's scholastic endeavors has been the seeming indifference of schools to focus attention on immediate problems, as the people affected by them perceive them to be. Poor and oppressed people fell to take advantage of this contradiction by refusing to participate in and thereby legitimizing a system that does not even pretend to try to get crack out of the neighborhood, or stop the police from brutalizing and murdering us, or create alternatives to capitalism, or professionally organize street organizations (gangs), or to do away with prisons, and ultimately the state apparatus. Many of today's youth have refused to participate in a school system that does not confront the reality right in front of them. Expressed in part through their poor attendance, grades and dropping out. But instead of asking if they are right, it is automatically assumed that the current one size fits all educational model (that clearly is not meeting their needs) is right, immutable, and that the problem lies with todays youth and not the school system itself. An organized "dropping out" can sharpen (end ultimately resolve) educational contradictions in ways pens and phonetics never can. Not dropping out and leaving it at that, but dropping out of the current educational system and creating alternative educational systems. At what point do we begin to act out our ideas? Furthermore, people learn quickly in struggle; and the people are not stupid. Struggles that remove the power of the classes whose interests are in the status quo; struggles that change the social priorities, open the floodgates of alternatives, arousa the enthusiasm of large masses of the people, and change the production structure to produce what is needed for the advancement of people and not what brings the most profit to the property owners, are action oriented struggles. Actual work. No matter how articulate or elegant, we will never write our speak our problems away. If we are to clearly recognize the work to be done, and carry it out effectively, action, which makes the front, has to go beyond vigils and marches. Once struggle (the implementation of ideas) is actually introduced into the equation, contradictions assume new dimensions. At the moment, from whichever angle we theorize about contradictions produced by capitalist economics, politics and social policies we possess no active role in developing, we hit against the limits imposed by established institutions and priorities i.e., values protected by the ruling classes. These are the very ruling classes that are further insulated when we assume that we can replace them by enthusiastically participating in institutional practices that require the suspension and/or abandonment of people centered interests. Once again, for example, attending K-12 schools, or casting a ballot is of a greater benefit to the status quo than it will ever be to the people as a whole. Both systems legitimize current power relations and distribution of wealth and goods. I know that contradicts everything that most of us have been told or heard our entire lives. But does it make it right just because it is repeated over and over again? And I am not implying education is not important, but when do we simply initiate education models in sync with our sootaI/historical realities? Action oriented struggle indicates a faith in our social/historical realities to obtain a greater flexibility and a more effective use of our resources-- a redirection of society to meet the needs of the people rather than to foster the prosperity of the ruling classes. Necessarily contained in this struggle is, in addition, liberation from the psychological dependence on the culture of profit before people and competitive models of distribution of resources; alone with the development of self-confidence, self-reliance, and independence of thought and action. [End]

Author: Hamilton, Lacino

Author Location: No information

Date: October 23, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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