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+5 votes
Is the totality—or whatever word we want to use for what we're fighting—everywhere all the time? Is there anywhere to escape to? Are there cracks to be widened? Can we know?
by (280 points)

4 Answers

0 votes
no, we're doomed. camatte me bro!
by (670 points)
+3 votes
first let me say that i don't think those things are the same, so putting them all together is overloading the question. if you are saying that they are all aspects to the same thing (which i guess is fair), then i think you're flattening the meaning of each of them (except maybe the totality, which i think is supposed to be everything *bad*, unlike the others).

that aside, any question about the possibility of an Outside is one i like, if only because my response (i will not call it an answer) makes my head hurt.

i think that both "yes" and "no" are correct at the same time. and not just by changing perspective (which is usually what i'm referring to when i say two - or more - opposites are true at the same time). i think to get at this any more i would have to get all Emile up in this, and start questioning what outside/inside even mean - the analogy of space may not be the most helpful one in this case...
but that's as far as i get. at around that point i start think that trying to talk about this is more trouble than it's worth. we have to act like there is an outside possible, even if we can't reach it, and we have to be humble enough to know that we are not usually (if ever) in that Outside Space.

aggressive humility is our friend. :)
by (53.1k points)
Thanks! and noted.
I suppose my motivation for dumping all those words together was an attempt to get answers from a variety of different perspectives (instead of preemptively filtering them with my word choice). For instance, someone who prefers to use the word Capital might be less inclined to see an outside, whereas Civilization is a word perhaps used by people more friendly to the idea of pores, cracks, degrees, and so on.

I feel interested in the possibility of (to wear the mask of the egoist for a second) an ego that is complex enough to resist complete determination by any totality. Perhaps this gives one the possibility to detect and expand those elements of the ego that are 'ungovernable,' 'wild,' or something. Maybe this is included in what someone can mean by 'outside?'
i have read the most around people discussing if there is an outside of capitalism - with a strong argument that because we *are* capitalism (ie we all live, breathe, recreate capitalism all the time), that there can be no outside of it. certainly similar arguments could be made for the other concepts you list. so i'm not sure what "strength" would mean in that context. "strength" makes it sound (to me) like one just has to hold on to something really hard, but if there is no *something* (ie no something outside) in the first place, then what is there to hold on to? talking about strength in that way seems to be referring to a human nature, or an essential being inside us... which is a level of mysticism that i am uncomfortable with, although it is not really refutable (woo hoo! we get to believe whatever we want!)...
+1 vote
I believe in god as a pure conceptual outside to capitalism.  But the best answer on here is the camatte pun
by (8.0k points)
edited by
+1 vote
1. Yes. The outside to that stuff is your sneaky attack plans, nature (or, if you prefer, "community of freedoms" ala Fredy Perlman) and other people who don't want to do that stuff (totality, capital, etc) either.

2. No. It is in every asshole who enforces the rules of Society. Also it is the shit that has been physically made (buildings, cars, ships, furniture).

3. Yes. You can follow your desires and escape the city to nature, just don't get caught by the cops. Alternatively you can squat in the city and start riots or fires, just don't handle money unless it's stolen and attack as frequently as possible.

4. Yes. We can intensify situations ("cracks") to insurrection, during which we decimate all the physical places people can do capitalism.

5. Yes. GREECE!
by (200 points)