Radical media, politics and culture.

A new life in a new city

widing writes:

A new life in a new city

People – let’s face it. If we all acknowledged the possibilities of dying tomorrow, few of us would be satisfied by how we have lived and are living our life today. Is the “concealment of death” just one of those many things necessary for the continuation of western lifestyle? I believe so. In the end it’s all about priorities set in a system proclaiming “there will always be a tomorrow”.In obscuring the possibilities of a world free from constantly repeated sacrifice and struggle for survival (working in order to sustain our living etc) we find ourselves stranded in a hostile world of unrealised dreams, stress and aggressive attitudes. Isn’t this behaviour typical for us humans when placed in a constant state of “normality” occupied by competitive separation, straining duties, and spectacular entertainment?

In order to end this depressive carrousel we must first realise what we actually can accomplish together. One of those things is the decline and fall of work.

Everywhere in society, people are slowly perishing under the stress of forced labour. To what end? – Food, clothes, roof over our heads? Yes, it's the same old struggle for survival, alright, but isn’t it also the struggle to realise “realistic” dreams in the scarcity of those alternatives deemed “unrealistic” by people in power?

Credit salvation’s, vacations in some tourist Disneyland, fancy cars, brand-name clothing and other “exiting” commodities are all “realistic” solutions, but are they really signs of a successful life? Behind the hunt for the images and pre-prised solutions offered to us by spectacular society we find something else – the will to a life less ordinary – a will to live fully. When this drive is recognised and identified as vital for your well being you’re in for it. Why? You discover that your own dreams are incompatible with present conditions of life.

We live in a world where companies and businessmen presents us to images, signs and spectacles on which we –in lack of alternatives ”unrealistic” to the world of contemporary economy – project our own desires. And then the try to sell them to us.

Did you really believe them and thought that you would become successful and famous like those celebrities seen on TV? Or did they tell you that working your ass of in some office building for dollar was the right way? Don’t worry, you are not alone in being pissed of and the struggle is far from over yet.

By the use (and further development) of modern technology, wage-slavery could easily be abolished through the automation of a collective and clean industry. The function of such an industry could for starters be in providing for our essential human needs. For example: basic types of food, textile and machinery could be automatically produced and distributed for free. Eventual maintenance (necessary work) of such an industry could be a shared responsibility among those benefiting from its output.

One could argue that while this kind of industry starts of as a centralised phenomenon in giant underground industrial complexes, the aim of its industrial output should be the production a decentralised structure minimising the need for collective labour (the maintenance of the industry). In producing solar panels and other various technological gadgets specifically manufactured in the interest of increasing individual autonomy, people will eventually become less dependant on centralised structures, (delivering electricity, etc).

The consequence of such a revolution is the possibility of a ludic society, where a new type of human being Homo Ludens (the playing man) can flourish. Freed by automation from productive work, man is finally in a position to develop her creativity. It is clear that a ludic society can never be anything else than a classless society as leisure is depending on the social structures controlling automated production.

Today, there are no such industries, and the following statement remains true: our economy demands growth and cannot let you cease mass consuming or stop working without a fight! In Sweden more and more people stays home from work and the bureaucrats in power are getting worried. I on the other hand believe that this is a healthy way of protesting against the absurdity of our lived situation.
The only thing missing is people beginning to organise themselves against the paradigm of work.

Time to demand the ”impossible”. Acknowledge the possibilities of a world where play have abolished the need for work and the constant struggle for survival.

Part 2: The city as cultural playground

The cities of today are indeed cultural nexuses, and that would be great if not for the poverty of our ”Culture” reducing it to the stronghold of business, stress and power structures.

Where are those labyrinths of green glass where you can play? Or any places where you actually can meet other people without being constantly harassed by advertising or security guards? A unitary ludic urbanism, would indeed be an attractive alternative.

How could such a city look like then? First of all, it would probably not look anything like the cities of today as they are manifestations of contemporary ideology and ruled by an upper class (various ”experts” like political, architectural etc., and of course: people with much money determining what’s acceptable or not).

Instead, people would focus on playing – that is devote themselves to work they find satisfying. This could be creating and exploring new environments, interact with friends, etc.

One thing is for sure:

In a city of collective responsibility and equal power over the creation of suggestive elements, (for example – no experts deeming an work of art ”not being good enough” to be installed as a part of public space) there will be grand parties, a diverse and intriguing city-life of constant creation and people (inflamed by the carnival spirit) will not be as separated from one another as they are today.

We would likely see the formation of cells inhabiting ”autonomous zones” – residential and creative urban ”districts” where people sharing compatible desires and personalities creates ”their part” of the larger city.

The constant communication and creative intercourse between cells will of course result in new ones, and a likely scenario is that one person will be a ”member” of multiple autonomous communities.

A journey trough this utopian ”organic” city – constantly turning the perspectives of its inhabitants, would be a rewarding experience to say the least. The homes of each citizen could all be located in the city, but I believe that people also have a need for solitude.

The old Lettrist/Situationsit saying: ”everyone will be living in their own Cathedral” sounds perfect – at least if you are able to design this grand villa after your own liking and place it in a stimulating context.

In my case, I would have it somewhere in the peaceful countryside and surround by a large garden, filled with sculptures, trees, lilac bowers, fountains and at night-time lighted up by coloured lanterns.