When you define the ins and outs of “Life” as a series of oh wells and submission to opaque barriers — accomplished through static sets of shitwork, you guarantee yourself misery no matter what arrangement you’re in. Who actually wants to live like this? The challenge, therefore, is to transform all of our environments in ways that are truly, deeply compatible with our energy and desire for anything.
Bullshit is a layer of unpleasantness, inconvenience and urgency that encases most of our interactions. While this varies depending on what types of relationships are happening that create certain tasks, the idea remains that nothing should have to happen or even exist if it’s going to produce unpleasant labor or submission.
The only reason we presently entertain our own unique types of bullshit is because we are punished for pursuing power over our lives. Survival has taken importance over living, while the representations of “living” which appease our anxieties for a short time revolve around our specific bullshit. We conceive of ourselves in the world of bullshit, seeking to manage its details in different iterations of legitimate activity determined by the authority of the state and capital.
There have been different narratives of chiseling away at bullshit. The abolition of work, gender, the state, property rights and so on are well and good proposals to dissolve the sources of frustration instead of combating their mere symptoms. But they still seem to only be specific strikes against parts of the total bullshit that joins everything together. In the morbid storm of satisfying our various extortions, the glue that binds us to this life is fear, lost control and a false dignity in obedience.
The uncertainty bullshit produces is probably a sphere unto itself. Imagine every passing moment outside of bullshit given to you with the repetitive and existentially crippling reminder of some greater mass of tasks that is necessary for the baseless hope of being rid of them. Here is the surrender to faith or coping which is basically the silent consent of the governed. The promise of bullshit’s continued reign.
Paying off student loans with the exhausted hope of one day being free of them, only to careen into some other interchangeable scheduled task. Working overtime without insurance, sacrificing the week’s groceries for an X-ray. Having an assigned presentation with zero connection to the intimate knowledge of who one really is. Being neurologically domesticated to the Pavlovian inputs and outputs of daily life, wading in a sea of pointers and constants.
For me, it’s the uncertainty which flows through bullshit that makes every action so precarious, every imagination so cynical. Not knowing what will happen while anticipating the most random curve ball of obligation is the space in a prison of bullshit that we fill. If we could breathe life into ourselves outside of bullshit without ever coming back into it, we could enlarge the things we really care about until they devour every master and break every chain.
But the sources of bullshit will not go down without a fight, and no amount of reforming or self-managing them will bring us to the utopia of their “proper” use. There are interests at play that determine who is useful and who is in the way; whose needs stop where borders and property law start. The path to self-determination reveals itself in the forms of interconnection, mutual respect — freely interweaving uniques who come together around a shared interest in total liberation.
The abolition of bullshit is not a mere supplement to anarchy, nor is it interchangeable with it. Instead, I like to think of it as a straightforward and creative drive for the fullness of life achieved through direct confrontations with the gunk of social interaction that builds up and develops an aggressive glare, holding our attention and energy at gunpoint.
The understanding that we start every moment from ourselves is not only a perspective of action, but of life itself. Life as a continual flow that washes over all complication without a second thought. Bullshit is the sealant on this flow, enclosing our inclinations and projects in a mass of replaceable bodies for use until complete exhaustion.
All of the spectacles to come out of a bullshit world in a bullshit allowance of consumption is a discount for reentry at best, an underestimated expansion into untapped realms at worst. There is far more possibility in a world of associations on our own terms than with competitive market standards playing ping-pong with ecocidal resources.
The great quest against life is a challenging form of bullshit, because it resonates so closely with the entire point while betraying it. It assumes that we need to wrestle with an inherently violent life instead of targeting the distinct systems of domination and control which poisons the well of possibility. Rather than waiting on revolution, or trying to reform the unsustainable into more regulated catastrophes, we could totally ignite bullshit and walk away into the sun. For life, for dignity. For the very basic self-respect to break from all abusive bonds and refuse their world.