The Text of a Talk Given at the Street University
1. On the subjective level, street activism begins with the understanding that it is impossible to go on living the same way. Something has to be changed. I don’t want talk now about the reasons this understanding arises, or whether this is good or bad. As the previous speaker argued, it could very well be the case that people don’t engage enough in personal asceticism. Perhaps. But what I want to talk about is the fact that this understanding arises and it is this that impels the individual to social action on the streets.
2. Street activism is just a means. We can talk about it only in the context of the concrete goals and tasks that any particular action sets itself. It is a pointless exercise to deduce the qualities of street activism per se and then argue over what actions fit this category.
3. All the current trends are mistaken. Of course, I don’t mean to say that social activism is unknowable. Moreover, I don’t mean to say that it’s impossible to take a clear stance on concrete issues. What I mean is that however clear and well-formed our theories and our stances are, it is only social practice that gives us answers to the questions that interest us. And we should be ready to question not only the correctness of our actions, but also the correctness of our initial premises.
1. Theoretical. It is in the course of social practice that we receive information about how society is structured and functions.
Struggle with the dominant discourse. Aside from the “I say” of power and capital, the official discourse also bears within it a wholly concrete ideology, ethics, and system of understanding how the world works. On the other hand, any claim that the content of this discourse can be discussed is a sham because the means of information are monopolized by the authorities and corporations.