Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Getting Horizontal


If you have not already read or heard of a newer book called Horizontalism by Marina Sitrin, RUN—DO NOT WALK—TO FIND IT.

This amazing collection of voices emerging from the nearly-impossible-to-describe Argentine reality is revolutionary. This book works ontologically to discuss all variety of issues including power structures, language, participatory politics and economics, among other important social issues.

Even now, as I try to recapitulate this book’s assessments I am denied access. The point is Argentines are recreating, reinventing and defying reification. I have even had a discussion with an American who recently returned from his stay there that spanned several years. The voices and testimony provided in this book have even eluded him despite his sincerest intentions and seemingly open mind.

If the voices Sitrin collected from across Argentina continue to exist there, it would seem there is ample reason to have hope that a complete reworking of civilizations is possible. Entire communities are asking deeply critical and existential questions about the nature of our old and out-dated ways of thinking.

“Hope,” however, is not to be confused with utopia. What is being discussed, discovered and practiced is sticky, messy and painful. However, presuppositions about the untenable contradictions of capitalism have put many of these Argentines on the doorstep of deciding to permit the dissolution of humanity or create a whole new civilization. At the same time, these horizontal processes and movements are equally suspicious of all of history’s revolutions. They seem determined, in many cases, to avoid co-optation by leftist politics as well. As the voices in the book continually resound, they are seeking new paths for organizing their societies.

In college, getting “horizontal” had an all too banal meaning. That too is being reworked in my mind.

3 comments:

GraemeAnfinson said...

I have that book, but have yet to crack it open. AK press has a nice "friends of AK press" program. You pay 20 bucks a month and they send you everything they put out. I have got 4 dvds, 2 cds and well over 10 books.

troutsky said...

Im impressed graeme, we need to start a radical library here using that source.As for challenging such basic structures, it's like the artist who comes along every generation and defies all the old conventions.First he-she suffers abuse, then they try to co-opt and diffuse ,then the constructs become new norms!Onward through the fog!

blackstone said...

Sounds like a good book. might pick it up! and imma check out that friends of ak press program