Where is the Impatience?
“In times of stagnation, whether it is out of lethargy or tyranny, life cannot come into existence. Living is unrest that is sparked by eccentric individuals. To live this life one has to take risks… Who wants to live, has to live dangerously.”
Actually it seems that lots of people have daily a load of time at hand. The everyday exploitation is limited to a bearable level and is only a side phenomenon. Yet also this unemployment – “free” or freely organized time – is therefore not less stressed or constrained; irrespective if one pursues social trends and duties or if one indulges in non-activity, be it through the consumption of goods, of media and entertainment, of small-talk or drugs etc.
Also a lot of people who actually “share the opinion” that everything should be “different”, are often in a state of permanent vegetation and lethargy which runs somewhere in between isolated self-care in an attempt to get on and cope, and some unreal, prefabricated behaviour that is confined to spending time in thought factories (universities), sport factories (fitness studios), fun factories (parties), experience factories (holidays) or rather all possible forms of work. The oppositional alternatives, those right in front of us, are from their starting point on just a staging, a “as if” activity, that pretends to change an aspect of society through a particular fake-activity and thus limits itself from the outset. The consumption of protest events, the adherence to certain countercultural labels and symbols, identities and offers, some charity work, a few donations and benefit concerts, a bit of alternative food and consumption behaviour. All in all is society shaped by the belief in that what seems possible and what “is impossible”, and breaking out of this paradigm seems also impossible.
This belief is a deeply scientific belief which explicitly denies a guiding hand and a almighty Lord and Creator, but then again declares what the natural laws of men are, its deepest instincts and thus what the necessary course of human history is. To understand and consequently obey these inherent laws of society is just rational – what can YOU achieve after all?
However, our inner will to live, fully and deeply live, our uniqueness and the wealth of our desires and capacities cannot be measured with the criterion of science. They are not superficial, quantifiable facts. The rationality of the material world opposes the logic of the gut, the own and individual will doesn’t recognize calculated reason. Our contemporary understanding of the meaning of life is substantially tied with the concept of time: when it is about what we want to be or do, we divide certain periods of life into certain areas and organise, invest and offer or manage our energy consequently. According to expectations we invest our time and capacities in this or that activity and thus results a life inside society and a status inside the social hierarchies. One beliefs in happiness through money, another in happiness through alcohol, one in happiness in the family, an other in happiness through sport or a higher meaning in social and political commitment… What keeps together all these life’s missions is the belief in time – one always exchanges time for something specific, harvests something – be it love, a high, prestige, muscles or just the hope in something… To see our life as a whole, as something that we can take in our hands to determine it ourselves, to be aware of and to here and now shape the endless extent and scope of our possibilities and to shape our ideas and relations without guidelines and benchmarks – to live and not manage our time – is something that seems strange, even impossible. Thinking inside of a time frame blocks us to live passionate – because it is dangerous, since we could risk something. And actually it is rather comfortable inside this social cage that has clipped our imagination and wings… and treats us with infinite playgrounds.
But freedom is not a pleasant platitude, not a Disneyland or a land of milk and honey. It is dangerous, because it confronts us with ourselves and the endless possibilities that we are willing and capable of giving form. Or to fight for. In the fight against society – against its rationality and its docile beliefs in the interchangeability and limitations of humans – the belief that we can individually look like, think and talk about, but that we are not capable of getting beyond life inside the social cage… and also not dare to. This belief in the necessity of the limitations of life and our individuality through collective, social unfreedom maintains itself through the belief in what humans are supposedly capable of, in what generally is impossible. This belief is mirrored in the step-by-step politics of those who always want to adapt their ideas to the masses, to find them where they supposedly are. One seeks consensus, portrays a good image and shows patience since actually the people are still not ready. One has to negotiate a bit, to educate a bit… But what are we actually waiting for? Do we want to break with this social cage, or do we want to politically negotiate and manoeuvre about it? Is this about a prison revolt or about more exercise time?
We only can talk about freedom in freedom. Only when we change the art of living we confront ourselves with life. Change starts in ourselves, in our surroundings, in everyday life. Something new arises from nothing. Only the rupture with the old makes place for what is possible, for what we can shape. In this nothing, this unknown, can our freedom and possibilities expand through others and grow beyond itself. Beyond the masses and their lethargy lies the confrontation with yourself, the break with habits, social devotion and calculation.
Enough of political tactics, enough of reasonable estimations of possibilities, enough of fear for the unknown. Why should we be afraid of “scaring the people”? Why should we be afraid to not “be understood”? I fear to squawk the same signs and words till exhaustion, to repeat the same, well-rehearsed rituals and empty phrases and to settle in the back of one’s mind for the social securities in our big playground… future planning, money, family, a long life, some “freedoms”… Why dare something, why jeopardize something, when it is so comfortable?
And where is the impatience? That savage, that urges us with fury to live?
And yes, the fight against this society is not a lonely fight, it is a social fight, but it starts with me.
“Logic may indeed be unshakeable, but it cannot withstand someone who is determined to live.” - Franz Kafka