[Another manifesto. Can’t resist the urge I’m afraid. This one is based on Marinetti’s famous Futurist Manifesto of 1908-9 which glorified speed, violence, industrial technology, war and helped intellectually trail-blaze Mussolini’s fascism. The painting is, ironically, by futurist Giacomo Balla].
THE UnFUTURIST MANIFESTO
With face smeared in toxic gunk from the cars and factories, bruised, souls wrecked and decimated by wage labour, powerlessness and the total commodification of life, but undaunted, we declare our intentions to all living beings on Earth:
1. We intend to celebrate the love of relationship, the custom of interdependence, solidarity and mutual aid that still, despite capitalism, informs most people’s daily lives, AND the strength of daring, spontaneity and wisdom found in the wild
2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity, civil disobedience, non-violent revolt and patient attention to the filigree details of the present moment
3. Theory having until now often glorified insurrection, soldierly militancy and other macho antics, we wish to exalt the revolution of the slow, the wise, listening, the conflictual dialogue of give and take among peers with a wink and twinkle in their eyes
4. We declare that the splendour of the world cannot be enriched, that the human is also natural, that our technologies must be wise rather than smart, must be organically embedded in the great cycles, seasons and self-regulating limits of planetary wisdom
5. We will sing the praises of the countless invisible humans and non-humans that support and sustain the lives of all and we will sing them into visibility and participation
6. We say the poet and artist must today be a revolutionary of slowness, a seditious Trickster of dissonance and dissent to speed, self-marketing and busy fakeness, of ambiguity and paradox among the sirens of false harmony, distraction and bullshit sung by the old powers that be and the smart powers that want to be
7. We maintain there is no beauty and truth except in the radical non-action of struggle, a passionate, disinterested struggle for the transformation of transformation itself, for the courage to be, for autonomy and total democracy, i.e. self-management, in all social domains
8. We wish to throw this mind bomb into the busy cogs of the distraction machines: speed means to necessarily ignore, speed is ignorance, smart stupidity, a digital overwhelm and quantitative info tsunami that deadens feeling and suits the masters
9. We proclaim that to understand is to slow down, pay attention to qualities, relate, to connect the dots of information into meaning, and that this is analogue, an embodied qualitative process that cannot do without the free association of the six senses, triune brain and gut brain
10. Beyond bread and roses for all, we demand everyone’s right to the new subversive four S: slowness, solitude, silence, self-activity
11. We feel we are on the extreme cusp of the Eternal Now, as always, AND at an evolutionary bifurcation point or singularity: another flap of the invisible butterfly’s wings and we shall either enter a new Dark Age or else recover ourselves into wholeness, sanity, the common sense of the Commons and conscious interdependence, of freedom and self-organisation
12. We will glorify peace, the true utopian state of humanity, by making our means the same as our ends: non-violent dialogue, autonomy, self-management, mutual aid, solidarity, humour
13. We will end the commodification of life, wage labour, economic and political heteronomy and our own voluntary slavery; when we, not elites, finally call the shots, we will end hunger, war, all discrimination and ecocide, we will finally be free to listen to the silence of the stars
14. We will model the autonomy of our participatory society on nature: unity through the horizontal and decentralised self-organising of maximum diversity in free association
15. We will sing the great planetary web of interdependence, the soaring eagle and the slow snail, the invisible dark energy of bacteria that underpins forest, soil, ocean and makes up 90% of our own bodies, the billions of common men and women slaving away, caring, being helpful and decent to each other, wanting their children to be happy, sensing but not yet seeing the horizon of another possible world they themselves potentially are…
It is on this planet Earth that we proclaim this declaration informed by earth and fire, wind and water, and with which we today found UnFuturism, for we will free the planet of an un-future further ruled by commodification and botoxed bullshit, by the focus-grouped soundbite and obscene luxuries, by heteronomy and hunger, by total surveillance and war, by inequality, emptiness, despair and Fakebook.
Your objections? Enough! We know them.
Rather, think of this. You are a rational mystery. You are made of black holes and bacteria, supernovae and star stuff. All living beings on earth share a single-celled Last Common Ancestor and all humans derive from one woman living in Africa 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Only 10% of our cells are actually human, the rest are bacterial cells. We are super-organisms like the planet itself, and diversely One, in every sense, on every level.
Survival, the continuation of civilisation, now means seeing this. And acting on it, radically.
Be realistic, demand the impossible. One world or none.