"The body had to die,
so labor power could live"
Caliban and the Witch (141)
I am strongly influenced by Silvia Federici's "Caliban and the Witch." I read that book alongside Maryse Conde's "I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem." Conde's book is also really amazing, and Federici's historical and theoretical ideas give another layer of meaning to the depth that is already there. I hope to do a more detailed write up of these books sometime down the road.
In the meantime, I want to share a talk that Federici recently gave in Philadelphia, entitled, "Capitalism Destroys Us, Movements Heal Us." The organizer has kindly uploaded the audio recording. Check it out. It's super helpful. I especially like the distinction between "sacrifice" and "suffering." The Buddhist instincts in me really like her acknowledgement and acceptance of aspects of life as suffering.
It's making me think alot about the importance of organization in helping maintain sustainable political lives. The 10% we can offer to political work while also studying, working, caring for family, self care, is small when it is alone. In fact, it becomes a small droplet that gets lost in the midst of a gazillion other things. But when many people pool their 10%, 5% - s together, then our joint (small) forces become bigger and more meaningful political activities.
I have been to meetings where people spend the only 2 hours of the week they have to spare, nearly dozing off because the work is not engaging or meaningful. Being present at a political meeting does not mean we are growing and engaging meaningfully. We need to have organizations that channel the only 2 hours of spare time someone can offer, into meaningful, inspiring, challenging work that helps us grow. For that, we need structure and political content.
We need to build that! Or we won't win against the capitalist scum bags that overwhelm us! We need to build that, so we dont burn out! Also so we won't conflate all forms of "sustainability" with self care that takes us AWAY from political work. I believe it is possible to be sustainable and be engaged politically. I also do think there is need to take time away sometimes, but that cannot be the only way we conceptualize sustainability.