photo by SG

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On (not) being watched

Surveillance is the assumption of our times. Every day, more and more things are viewed by state or corporate actors. We have lost all choice in the matter. I feel doubly effected by this. I know that the State has tapped my phone lines simply on account of who my roommates were at the time.

The initial fear of surveillance slowly gives way to gradual acceptance. These legitimizes the fear that the State wishes to instill by normalizing it. It is the sick logic of capital that we accept by accepting our pursuers. Activists should not simply roll over and allow surveillance to occur. Rather than assuming that the State knows everything about us, we should challenge its control over the content of our lives.

Behave in unorthodox or unexpected ways while engaging in non-illegal activity. Not in order to draw suspicion, but in order to throw off the scent of the authorities. If you do something which cannot be explained, you waste FBI time in trying to explain it. By littering your files with evidence which doesn't connect, you illustrate, if only to the Empire itself, that capitalism is not all controlling, that it has unexplainable gaps.

This also presents a challenge to the dictatorship of the so-called "everyday life". Acting outside of the few proscribed leisure activities that we have expands the horizons of anti-capitalist culture. To be able to honestly challenge the Empire, we must be able to hold up examples of how our society will be better. Finding fun outside of capital's boundaries is an important and difficult task.

This is one tiny facet of the total resistance that makes up anti-capitalist struggle. It is both internal and external. It is internal insofar as it refuses to accept the status quo and external insofar as it constitutes another tiny drain on the State's resources. If we are to be consistent in our refutation of bourgeois society, than a good place to start refuting it is the mechanization and boredom of acting as you are expected.

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