We Demand Order

The chaos surrounds us and is sedimented in our culture. The mob rules and we have seemingly no option but to work with them and for them. Our choices are so narrow that they support the very people that harm us. Most people don’t even notice anymore. Most people think that the thugs are a legitimate force to keep order, rather than the hired toughs of illegitimate rulers.

The chaos works beautifully by giving the illusion of order, efficiency and justice. So even though the rich are looting and beating and imprisoning us we look at the system and we respect their laws and their order. When we get a pathetic pay rise we thank them because they have the power to give us less. When they promote a gobshite and they become our boss we respect the decision, or at least enough to get on with life. When a prince gets married and then has a baby we thank God that the hierarchy will continue because it is permanent and therefore solid and it therefore represents history and by definition our future.

When the rulers invest so much energy and faith in a penal system partly based on scaring people into submission we (well some people, maybe many) rejoice in harsh sentences that set an example. They only set an example to us though. When capitalism creates something popular it has the capacity to change us. Our public spaces are transformed by the motor car and we spend ever more time in cities choking on the fumes and in the country sat in traffic. But it’s OK because there are firms that can be paid to cure us of whatever ills we have. The physical is only one side of this story. Melancholia is as big an industry as nostalgia, and wasn’t it better before? There was more order before.

And all the time we are taught that boundaries are good for us. The state is necessary and its borders must be protected from those people over there. The people over there look back at us suspiciously. They don’t just speak a different language; they may pose a threat to our way of life. They might destroy our order. Maybe they think the same of us. So we must prepare. By building one giant crucible with the ultimate weapon we can provide our protection. Our rulers tell us this. We hear it on the radio, we watch them on TV and we read it in our newspapers. The evidence is compelling. Or rather the evidence is compelling when it is repeated five thousand times and at least every fifteen minutes. We see it or read it twice a day for three months and we are hooked. We haven’t heard anyone come up with a viable alternative. After all, something has to be done. What would you do? Yes, what would you do if an imaginary threat came that put everything at risk. The answer can’t be nothing. Nothing can’t be the answer to something. You have to do something. Talk to them? You can’t negotiate with evil.

And then in plain sight when the system starts failing they blame us. They do more than blame; they attack us. Nothing can be afforded anymore. In order to achieve financial stability and growth we must understand how we got to this terrible stage. We elected the wrong people it seems. It doesn’t matter that we have perpetual minority rule. It doesn’t matter that nobody really has a mandate over us because the results were still counted and we got government. It was supposed to keep us away from boom and bust but it failed. So another one was elected and it told us that the previous one was shit and now we have this. We have a bonfire of services because they were the problem. We might as well use the books in the library to heat our homes now. We don’t need libraries and it’s getting cold. What good did knowledge do us eh? There’s proof right there that libraries aren’t needed.

Pavel Filonov, Formula of the Petrograd Proletariat, 1920-21
Pavel Filonov, Formula of the Petrograd Proletariat, 1920-21

And all the time we have to keep those borders protected. There are terrorists to fight and wars to win. The terrorists come from over there so we must bomb over there. But there are evil doers at home too. They don’t like us bombing over there so they bomb us here. So we need to get tough and have stricter sentences for people bombing over here. Or else we won’t be able to bomb people over there safely. And the people rejoice when Tripoli falls and the bloodshed ends until the next war. It doesn’t matter how many people were killed in our name. Nobody was counting. Our leaders rejoice that their leader was captured and murdered. They call it being brought to justice. He was a criminal. Before he died he was raped with a bayonet. This is never talked about. He was a criminal anyway, he didn’t cry over his victims so why would you care about him? Anyway, there’s no time to lose because another war is coming. What should be done about the new threat? Something will be done. Something has to be done.

Certain things cannot be talked about. The hierarchy has spent decades treating children as throwaway objects. They have killed and abused countless young people but it cannot be talked about. All the scandals of the state, when they are discussed, are treated separately as opposed to them being linked to the system. Abuses of power cannot be seen to be evidence against the system or against the need for hierarchy. This is order. This is how it works. This is Britain. When it fails, they just add another layer of hierarchy. It could be anywhere. How will they find a suitable judge to sort out each separate thing? Who sits above the hierarchy? God?

It is us. We are the only suitable people left. We were always the answer. At a time when the police can murder and execute unarmed civilians in plain sight of witnesses and get away with it; at a time when students are beaten up for demanding an end to debt-ridden education; at a time when workers are shackled by laws preventing them from turning the tables on the bosses, it is us that need to take responsibility.

We’re not dealing with conspiracy here; we’re dealing with systemic abuse, violence and oppression from the cradle to the grave. We’re right to be fucking livid. We are right to make a stand and it’s time we took direct action to change this world. To assume our time is coming is to assume that history won’t just carry on repeating itself. It is to assume that the hierarchy will one day fix things because nicer people will be in place, or that new layer of hierarchy will sort it all out because they’re paid more. We have to organise and agitate. We have to start dismantling the chaos around us in a search for true order.

Our version of order will not see us scrabbling to make ends meet. It will not see hired thugs dragging people from their homes so the buildings can be sold off to richer people. It will not see people forced out of work or pleading to the state for help. Their order can only be backed up with violence and force. They give orders to achieve order and yet it is chaos.

We will give the order to end it.

Jon Bigger