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Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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The system of capitalist inequality reproduces itself through producing scarce and unattainable luxuries which the lower classes then attain to secure, but the moment they secure them they are new scarce, and unattainable luxuries that are being placed before them, too. So they have to stay on the treadmill. It's like the lottery, it's not a game you can win at. It's not a good use of your time to aspire to a life of opulence and wealth. And as we know from a million of scandal and true crime documentaries, these are mostly pretty miserable people. They are miserable to each other, they are miserable to their own. You know, Bill Gates, working twenty hours a day despite owning more money and resources than entire countries, that is, to me, just not a paradigm to be championed. This is just a guy who is working himself to death. So, again, to go back to this idea what a degrowth ethics looks like: here's the good thing about technology. Technology has advanced to a stage where human beings have to work a lot less to work safely and live comfortably, more than at any time in human history. And that is what we should use this technology for.

Interview with anthropologist Dominic Boyer on his Noema Magazine article Why We Have To Give Up On Endless Economic Growth.

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the thirst that is the drink.

Over twenty years ago, I started a project I’m still working on, documenting the life and work of an artist, Resh Shaprudhi, who used iconography around the god from the purana literature of what is now Hinduism, the god called Ganesh, or Ganapathi, or Vinayaka, or any number of other names, to explore the nature of oppression. Part of Resh Shaprudhi’s mythos is how and why Ganesh enters the events of the European genocide of WWII, often known as the Holocaust, and how through Ganesh’s intervention, the God of the Jews and the gods of the Hindus agree to bestow moksha upon the impoverished and oppressed. Moksha is the release of the soul from the cycle of metempsychosis, or reincarnation. It’s considered a good thing, to be released from that cycle.

If you’re not familiar with Ganesh, he’s the chunky god with the head of an elephant. He’s really easy to pick out of a crowd. A big part Resh Shaprudhi’s work involved syncretically assembling images, language, and symbols from Hinduism, Judaism, and the European genocide in World War II. So a lot of the art created by Shaprudhi involves Ganesh appearing in scenes of Nazi labor and death camps.

Coincidentally, about a decade-and-a-half after I started working on the Resh Shaprudhi project, an Australian play was touring the world called, “Ganesh Versus the Third Reich,” created by Back to Back theater company. The conceit was this: a theater company is in the process of putting together a stage play about Ganesh coming to Earth to recapture the swastika from the Nazis, who’d misappropriated it. I’m not sure if I was ever in a position to see this work. 2013, the year it toured, was also the year I was in India on the set of a movie, and after the shoot traveling through India, Thailand, and Laos.

Recently I decided to go back into the project, and encountered some clippings on the Back to Back play. I was barely familiar with the company’s esthetic, which is political, experimental, and purposely provocative. The theater company to which I claim membership, Theater Oobleck, boasted a similar esthetic back then. It may still, I don’t know. I know we considered art to be less interesting if it didn’t in some way transgress the everyday.

Back to Back is a company the majority of whose membership are disabled,... read more

Sep 20 2021