The Ministry of Truth

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The Ministry of Truth

You are the convincing voice of hypnotic propaganda, the as-truth-given announcements of our Western, free-liberal, façade-democratic, soft fascist regimes…
The daily sedative message launched to billions of human receivers, numbed, deprived of sense, sensitivity and sensation, incapable of own original meanings and therefore soulless and brainless…
… Human antennas then transformed into aggressors, into war-minded organisms with an orgasm for bombing

I don’t trust you, I don’t believe you, you don’t convince me
I don’t allow you to tell me WHO’S MY ENEMY
The enemy of the Ministry of Truth is not my enemy
for my enemy exists in your hypnotic propaganda
but I never met it, I never fought against it, I don’t even know its face
Don’t dare to come and break my peace
Governments, kings&queens, corporations, media&propaganda, privatized sectors…
These are my daily trouble, my fight for surviving, my trying-to-seduce-me enemy…

As a pacifist I decide my daily battle. Don’t spend my taxpayer’s money dropping bombs in the Orient, don’t attempt to buy my conscience for the approval of armies sent to the South. You are my enemy, Ministry of Truth. I have no enemies in the Orient and in the South, or anywhere else. My enemy is my friend

The Ministry of Truth, Minitrue in Newspeak, was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, three hundred meters into the air. From where we stood it was possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Gramsci’s New Year

“I hate New Year’s Eve. I want each morning to be a New Year’s Eve for me”.

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This writes the Italian philosopher and founder of the Italian Communist Party Antonio Gramsci in a short article in 1916.

Some of us are still digesting the abundant meals offered by our consumerist system and by the subconscious will to keep up appearances and traditions and all of a sudden we are already confronted with the arrival of 2015.

Dividing time is a fictitious convention, we should be aware of it. It’s a handy way of categorizing, but we shouldn’t be seduced by expectations, good proposals, hopes and wishes to be activated, somehow satisfied, from January the 1st. Every day is a new start, the beginning of a new eve. No need to wait for New Year’s Eve. This is the good news. Forget about traditions, tacit assumptions and unarticulated presuppositions.

In the spirit of Gramsci we can build socialism every day. This is the meaning we can give to every new morning when we wake up.

So now it comes: what is socialism today? In the times of Gramsci it meant, among other things, dignity for the workers, for the proletarians and for humanity. It meant emancipation and dealing with class inequality. It meant a new society. Today it still means pretty much the same. Today we have to speak of communism as the search of a (lost) community, absolutely not virtual, of individuals tired of individualism, tired of being put in cages. Community is a place where solidarity is a normal way of living: not only to help who is in need, but also to create the circumstances for people not to be in need any more, at least materially speaking. But for going there we need to give up economical and mental neoliberalism. We need a strong view of what’s behind if we want to move further to Gramsci’s New Year.

Piazza del Popolo (I Will Stay-Human)

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Ζαγρεύς: The unexamined life is not worth living, Plato says on line 38A of the Apology. How do you examine yourself? What happens when you interrogate yourself? What happens when you begin to call into question your tacit assumptions and unarticulated presuppositions and begin then to become a different kind of person? See, we can define philosophy in terms of we’re beings toward death, we’re featherless, two-legged, linguistically conscious creatures born between urine and feces whose bodies will one day be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms. That’s us, beings toward death. At the same time, we have desire, because we are organisms in space and time, so it’s desire in the face of death. And then of course, structurally and institutionally, you’ve got domination… You have an elite accountable to every day’s people. Critical disposition of wrestling with desire in the face of death.

Ἑκάτη: The absolute contingency of meaning. That’s what we should accept. The search for meaning is immediate gratification. It’s to make junk though like junk food. Because it’s much easier to live life and know: “well, this you shouldn’t do, that you should do” because someone said so. If we are not anxious, if we’re ok with things, if we are not trying to explore or figure anything out… So anxiety is the mood ‘par excellence’ of ethnicity, I think. And then you have Power. Power doesn’t give a shit, it expresses no anxiety. Precisely where there is no meaning you have to do a lot of work and you have to be mega-ethical. If you feel that you’ve acquitted yourself honourably, then you’re not so ethical. If you have a good conscience, then you’re kind of worthless. Like, if you think, oh, I gave this homeless person five bucks, I’m great! Then you’re irresponsible. The responsible being is one who thinks they’ve never been responsible enough, they’ve never taken care enough of “the other”. The responsible being doesn’t seek the applause. The other is so in excess of anything you can understand or grasp or reduce. This, in itself, creates an ethical relatedness. A relation without relation. Because you can’t presume to know or grasp the other. The minute you think you know the other, you’re ready to kill them. You think, oh, they’re doing this or this, they’re the axis of evil. Let’s drop some bombs. But, if don’t know, if you don’t understand this alterity, you can’t violate it with your sense of understanding, then you have to let it live, in a sense. And, a lot of people, I think, forget that, they think, well, you know, I’m not harming anyone if I go and spend a thousand dollars on a new suit but, in fact, given the opportunities that we have to help and given the way that the world is, I think quite often you’re actually failing to benefit someone, which you could be doing. And I think we have moral obligations to help just as we have moral obligations not to harm.

Astaroth

SONY DSCOnce upon a time there was a devil. His name is Astaroth. He lived underground in a dark, smoky corner of hell working hard every day to receive and to judge the damned souls of mortals who just dies on the earth above. His judgement was the law for the dead: “Go to the bottom of hell!” “Burn there for eternity!” Thousands, millions of souls every day, year after year, century after century, form the beginning till the end of times. Lately Astaroth had to deal with a corrupt man, with an intellectual-chic girl and with a fame-craving poet chanting his verses to the political elite financing him. He had even to judge a poor truck driver dead in a huge road accident and sent to him in hell by mistake. That was too much! Enough! Astaroth had enough of it! He got diabolically angry, his rage and fury exploded and he went on strike. He didn’t want to judge anybody anymore, he didn’t feel like deciding for a soul’s eternal destiny anymore. Justice and judgements are connected to “the absolute contingency of meaning” and this was enough for Astaroth to rethink his role of judge, his role of being. And now it comes: Astaroth decided to put an end to his career as a devil. He just wanted to be a special kind of being: a Human Being. And like a human being he wanted to sit quietly  in the countryside and to enjoy being a man. And there we can still find him, in summer, at dusk, listening to the crickets…

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You can find the tale of Astaroth in the homonymous theatre play of the Italian writer Stefano Benni. A group of actors performed this play in Amsterdam several years ago. From Astaroth comes AstaroTheatro, still with the same central idea: to privilege “to be Human” and to think and rethink ourselves, to interrogate ourselves and the word.

AstaroTheatro has a critical disposition: “ How do you examine yourself, what happens when you begin to call into question your tacit assumptions and unarticulated presuppositions and begin then to become a different kind of person?”

AstaroTheatro is and want to be a independent, non-maistream open platform for theatre, arts, movies, cultures, events, discussions, activism. A place where to meet for real and to share. Theatre & Activism > Omnia Sunt Communia