Gaza, 50 Years Ago, as Today: It is the conditions that have become our Masters.

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…the process (capitalism, colonization… ) is itself as much actant as process. It’s not as though the former creates and realizes the latter, so much as the other way around. It is the conditions that have become our masters

Some thoughts on the Ken Knabb piece linked below–which is the best damn thing I’ve read on the current horrors in Gaza… even though (or maybe because) it was written 55 years ago. I think we make a mistake naming the State that has made itself the instrument of colonization, as though the former were the actant and the later a kind of verb–what the actant does, when the process (capitalism, colonization… ) is itself as much actant as process. It’s not as though the former creates and realizes the latter, so much as the other way around: it is the conditions that have become our masters, and to break from their control it’s not sufficient to name the primary instruments that are the means of of their mastery. We don’t need to create or posit an enemy, to demonize this group or that State, to recognize the horror of what they do, the injustice of the consequences is enough. If we are locked into a mental state where we must have victims and executioners, and assume that distinguishing the one from the other amounts to understanding the conditionis that create the injustice, we will never be free. To be–in Camus’ phrase, neither victims nor executioners, we cannot invest our whole identity with either–our only hope lies is forging solidarity with that which is neither. This is the root of the failure of cycles of vengeance and retribution. This is not a MORAL failure, but a failure of vision, a failure of creative imagination… of making real a world–forging actual relationships that know no borders, that disavow the distinctions which perpetuate the conditions of injustice and violence, seeking out those, individuals and collectives, with whom we can lay the foundations of a new reality.

The Ken Knabb piece linked here i

To be–in Camus’ phrase, neither victims nor executioners, we cannot invest our whole identity with either–our only hope lies is forging solidarity with that which is neither. This is the root of the failure of cycles of vengeance and retribution. This is not a moral failure, but a failure of vision, a failure of creative imagination… of making real a world–forging actual relationships that know no borders, that disavow the distinctions which perpetuate the conditions of injustice and violence, seeking out those, individuals and collectives, with whom we can lay the foundations of a new reality.

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