I heard Vivian Westwood say on the radio that rebellion was no longer possible in our [post-industrial] society. She used the example of how the punk scene had been assimilated into the system. In doing so, punk gave the system more energy: rather than destroying it, it made it stronger. Her rather disappointing solution was to work from within the system.

It seems to me that all social and political movements, including communism, are now part of the show. In their act of challenging the system they in fact strengthen it. All dissent is (to use a Situationist term) recuperated into the system; the system neutralises it then sells it back to us. To be crass, the revolution will be televised as yet another reality TV show.

One response is to stop playing; to cease to comply with the rules of the game. For me it meant turning my back on the whole spectacle and quietly walking away. But did I?

Advertisements