As the Military-Police-State increases, now aided by the NSA and the voyeurism develops as a third eye in the head of the International Cyclops, the question of surrealist revolt should be called into question entirely. This is no longer the world of Wallace Fowlie or Franklin Rosemont, however we would like it to be. Things have gone slant and all over the place as in a curling match taking place on black ice. I am reminded during this time of H.G. Wells’ “Mind At The End of It’s Tether”. Not often read or even mentioned, the author insisted: “There is no way out or round or through,” noting the rise of technology and the impotence of man in matters of justice.
“in a country where the great majority of artists, writers and even self-styled “radicals” have always identified themselves with “liberal” (i.e., bourgeois) political traditions, or their pseudo-Marxist equivalents (social-democracy and the many variants of Stalinism), surrealists in the U.S. from the start were grounded in the theory and practice of working class self-emancipation. What Rosa Luxemburg called “the inner wretchedness of bourgeois liberalism, as well as its intimate connection with Reaction,” was obvious to us then, and seem so excruciatingly obvious now that it is hard to understand how anyone could possibly deny it. For us, surrealism was—and still is—the most thoroughgoing expression of individual revolt and social/cultural revolution.
We recognize capitalism—wage-slavery—as a global system, rotten to the core and utterly destructive to humankind and the planet. The countless and multiplying horrors perpetrated by this system (from homelessness and war to an out-of-control technology and the devastation of the natural world) can not be cured by piecemeal reforms, or even by large-scale reforms within the framework of capitalist exploitation. Nothing less than social revolution—a radical break with all stultifying and life-denying forms of social organization—can put an end to capitalism’s cataclysmic reign of violence, liberate the Earth and its inhabitants from oppression, and bring about a truly free society.
Clearly freedom and equality cannot be realized by a revolution hostile to poetry. As the myth of the “vanguard party” and other authoritarian illusions recede, new emancipatory models of revolution are emerging. Surrealism itself is an active factor here, helping to revolutionize the idea of revolution. What is needed is a revolution that is unafraid of poetry, a revolution determined from the very beginning to lessen the gap between poetry and “reality.”
Social revolution of course is only the beginning of the realization of the surrealist project. The Surrealist Movement remains “at the service of the revolution,” but it is important to recognize that, for us, revolution is also in the service of surrealism.”
In contemporary times this has a wistful beauty indeed. Very wistful.
If Surrealism to be a tool of revolution and also a revolt against reality (devoid of rune-like-credentials) and coincide in a way that affects the world, the entire idea of perpetual optimism in the face of what goes on in the planet must be done away with. The use of pessimism should be vitriolic and not restricted to black humor: it should spit in the face–and induce despair–in the lives of those who claim that this monstrous state of affairs is “all that works”. Coopted by the absolute miserabilists who celebrate their own despair in mediated voodoo boxes, we will take it and use it for own purposes.
The release of our manifesto, “Nouveau’s Midnight Sun: Transcriptions From Golgonooza and Beyond” was met with a bit of strife because of the OCCULT, BEATIFIC
Some are comfortable with the move from museums, and some are not. In any case, let the antinomies snake as plastic fireworks birth new ashen antibodies and smear the terrain of Cop Land.