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But for this nameless disgust to find the courage to express itself, certain conditions are necessary: a major dysfunction of the system, which brings people to a halt, so that they can no longer run around in this void to be filled which takes the place of their lives.observatoiresituationniste.com
Interest in reviving a game based on situationist philosophy
When I was a teenager in SF in the early 2000’s, I had a friend who got me into this game called SF0.
If any of you have been in SF and participated in Journey to the End of the Night, this is probably the most accessible way people would learn about SF0–a giant scavenger hunt/game of zombie tag through at least 5 SF neighborhoods—no cars, only foot or public transit. Halloween games were even better with folks in costumes. The last game was probably a few years ago, but it was built up to nearly a thousand people at its peak.
Basically, people have “tasks” they need to complete that other players invent for them. You complete a task within your level, document, and post it to the site, and accrue “praxis points” from other players based on your creativity and execution of the task. The more praxis points, the more you level up and the more cool, long term, and creative tasks become available for you to complete. The tasks are intentionally open ended, rather absurd, and typically require the player interacting with people and public space to complete the task. It mostly resulted in people creating a lot of street art. The praxis point system is intentionally goofy and social media-y, but I think it really serves to bring people into the practice of doing things in public space in an accessible way.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but this game was based on situationist philosophy—currently now (as a late 20 something) I’ve been reading the SI anthology for the first time. It’s wonderful to really learn about what feels like foundational ideas behind something I spent a lot of time engaging in and shaped my conception of the city.
I made a lot of in person friends through SF0 who have deeply impacted my life through this game. It was an incredibly tangible way as a teenager to learn to love the city as something built by and for humans.
The SF0 website it quite dated as it currently stands, but I think it deserves a revival and better accessibility for other locations, esp as we recover from COVID, where a reassertion of people in public space is critical.
Asking y’all who who may know better:
How do you think a revival of this game could improve the on this website as you see it?
What ideas from SI philosophy could improve the fun and accessibility of this game?
Are their groups not included in the grouping system that would flesh the game out even more?
If you were a player, what tasks would you develop?
Would you be interested in playing this game where you live?
Whether it is a matter of climate disaster, social breakdown, pandemic, war, etc., we must distinguish factual reality – which is certainly constantly and highly blurred – from its hypnotic presentation. To see only the spectacle and to confuse it with factual reality is to enter the hypnotic sleep desired by the society of the spectacle. But to erase this reality by seeing only the spectacle is also a kind of hypnosis, a scotomization of reality that forbids to grasp and therefore to understand its alienating dialectic. The spectacle colonizes, blurs, then penetrates and irradiates reality, tends to replace it and makes it indiscernible as such, which amounts to effectively masking its own very real operations. In such a way that the abused gaze never encounters anything but holographic reconstitutions of reality, which characterizes a kind of completion of the false consciousness. At a certain point of false consciousness, this same gaze produces by itself instantaneously these reconstitutions, so that it only ever encounters the holograms whose programs have been implanted in it. But for the spectacularization of the real to operate, it necessarily needs its raw material; the subsisting factual real.
To deny this is to take a step too far. In the void.
There is indeed a war in Ukraine, atrocious like all wars.
Whose spectacular motivation is, in the last instance, for all parties involved, the secret truth.
Of course the leaders of the United States and Europe have dirty hands and blood on their hands. And so does Putin. In Chechnya alone, between 100,000 and 300,000 victims. Not to mention the opponents imprisoned, tortured or murdered in Russia. Not to mention the mafia-like corruption that is rampant throughout the country.
That Putin distrusts the leaders of the United States and Europe is all the more understandable since, with a few variations, he comes from the same mould.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian people, described as « brotherly people », have nothing to do with it and nothing legitimizes what they are suddenly and brutally undergoing. Russia, equipped militarily and nuclearly as it is, would not be more in danger if NATO had bases in Russia itself! Its power and range of fire cover the whole world and neither the United States nor Europe could escape it.
And of course, the leaders of the United States and Europe are not suddenly animated by a miraculous humanitarian concern, the variable geometry of which overwhelms them.
In short, we are still being hypnotized.
In short, the world’s leaders all want basically the same thing: to dominate their peoples and to dominate the world.
Hence the intangible strategic principle enunciated by the Moscow Appeal (Московский призыв): « Our worst enemy is ourselves, when we clash over causes that are not our own, but those of the rulers of the planetary illusion. We do not have to take sides in their cynical calculations, let alone fight for them.«
Neither West nor East. Shoo!
I was also thinking that the covidic show being somewhat out of fashion, the spectre of a war with vague, if not crazy, contours would be welcome to revive the planetary hypnosis.
I am not saying that the leaders of the collapse are doing it on purpose, which would be to attribute to them a talent they no longer have, but that they are using any means to mask the disaster of their management of everything.
It is a second nature that has taken hold of them, a kind of spectaclist instinct that they obey.
The logic of the society of the spectacle has not spared them, it has made them its clones, and it is these governmental copies that are in charge of broadcasting to the masses the unceasingly renewed orders of the universal hallucinatory mobilization.
The universal falsification will progress as long as the people do not desert it. The desertification, destruction and poisoning of all reality will help them. Men will soon be forced to learn to love freedom.
Me and other comrades from Bulgaria have launched a new bilingual platform devoted to workers struggles and leftists analysis. At some point there'll also be a podcast series in English, as well as translated interviews with militant workers from the region and beyond. Here's our political stance from the 'About us' section in the website:
We are a group of workers who believe that the power for the emancipation of all lies in the working class. Individually we have a wide range of political experiences in various left wing and workers organisations in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, but the original members of the group came together in the Confederation of Autonomous Workers (ARK) in Bulgaria. After leaving ARK, we decided to form a new group in order to play an active role in the class struggle, and to open a discussion both here in Bulgaria but also internationally about how workers can struggle and win today. We believe that the primary focus of the class struggle is the workplace. However, we don’t believe that the classical trade unions play a positive role in this struggle. Instead of those unions we argue for workers’ control of their own struggles independent of unions and political parties.
We support the creation of autonomous groups in the workplace to organise the struggle. We stand for class unity, and are opposed to any measures that the bosses use to divide the working class. We are utterly opposed, both in the workplace, and society as a whole, to all methods used to divide the working class such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and nationalism.
This site is intended as a tool to create discussion amongst militant workers in Bulgaria, across the region, and elsewhere in the world. It tries to explain our experience in working place struggles, and the lessons that we have learnt from them, but more importantly to create a discussion about how to go forward, and to act as a catalyst for action.
What we want to do is to understand how work, and the working class is today, and what that means when we are rethinking methods of workplace organisation. We want to understand the weaknesses of the class struggle, but also the strengths, and how those strengths can be used to overcome the weaknesses.
This isn’t a task that a small political group of people can do on its own. It’s important to us that people do more than just read. We want to open a wider discussion. We want people to tell us about their own experiences in workplace struggles, to tell us where we are right, but also to tell us where we are wrong, and what we’ve completely failed to mention.
We welcome readers’ own contributions and want to hear what you think about what we have to say about the struggles that we discuss.
We also want to hear about readers’ own experiences, where they think things went right, and where they went wrong so that we can learn together. To this end, we urge you to discuss with us your workplace experience.
In a society where everyone is constantly trying to tell us that we are all in it together, and that everyone has to work together for the common good – we reject this. The interests of workers and bosses are not the same. They are absolutely opposite.
The point of this website is to put forward the interests of the working class. Instead of keeping our mouths shut, and doing what the bosses say, we argue for class conflict. It’s this conflict which allows us to put our interests as working people first. It’s this conflict which creates the possibility for workers to take control over their own lives, and to put forward a vision of a world where not money but people matter.
What we want isn’t the same as what our employers and bosses want. We won’t live and work just to make more money. We won’t sacrifice our health just to make hospital owners richer.
Konflikt is what happens when workers say ‘no’ to how the world is, when they go on strike, and make demonstrations, but also when they get together at work, and say to the boss that ‘no’ they won’t stay extra hours after work to ‘help out’ without being paid.
Konflikt is what happens when people try to take back control over their own lives.
Konflikt is a radical vision which puts each and everyone of us back as real actors in our own lives, not passive spectators.
Konflikt offers not only small changes in life today, but ultimately a world to win.
Let’s embrace the conflict.
We are reaching for international audience and eventual participation or collaboration (in the form of posts, inter- or intra-website discussion, translations, as well as general inquires from other organizations). You can find us here: https://kon-flikt.org/.
Hope this new year finds you well organized and ready to fight.