In the beginning is the scream. We Scream. When we write or when we read it is easy to forget that the beginning is not the word, but the scream. Faced with the mutilation of human lives by capitalism, a scream of horror, a scream of anguish, a scream of anger, a scream of refusal: No!
The starting point of theoretical reflection is opposition, negativity, struggle. It is from rage that thought is born, not from the pose of reason, not from the reasoned-sitting-back-and-reflecting-on-the-mysteries-of-experience that is the conventional image of the thinker.
We start from negation, from dissonance. The dissonance can take many shapes. An inarticulate mumble of discontent, tears of frustration, a scream of rage, a confident roar. An unease, a confusion, a longing, a critical vibration.
I forget where the above comes from Francis. A book by John Holloway I think – on changing the world without seizing power. Ambrose Beirce once described the imagination as ‘a warehouse of facts with poet and liar in joint ownership’ and we both might claim to be imaginative – though I grant you are the better poet. Holloway ended-up in the Zapatista protests in Mexico and Beirce wandered off into jungle. We have both looked uselessly to the bottom of the bottle in more than one way and wandered on; both perhaps selling chicken bones as sacred relics in strange teachings of survival.
I suspect you know how pompously religious my anti-religionism is and that I know this too. I was reminded today that the word sin is the same as the word debt in old language, and how much religious language asks for the forgiveness of sin. We are not the first in anger or depression at the recognition, even enlightenment that there is no need for the serfdom enforced by a few on the many. It could be worse mate – we could be Greek – said the Scot with a government going Scandinavian to the Irishman whose banks went Icelandic. The challenge is to turn the scream positive. We should write an American can do book together – “Chicken Broth For Other People’s Souls”. I suggest the fact we haven’t is a reason to be happy! All my love.