I hate the indifferent. I believe living means taking sides. They who truly live cannot help but to be citizens and partisans. Indifference is apathy, parasitism, perversion, not life. That’s why I hate the indifferent.
Indifference is the burden of history. Indifference operates with great power on history. It operates passively, but it operates. It is fate; that which cannot be counted on; it is that which twists programs and ruins the best-conceived plans; it is the brute matter that chokes intelligence. That which happens, the evil that weighs upon all, happens because most of humanity renounces its own will, allows laws to be passed that only revolt can nullify, and leaves men that only mutiny can overthrow to achieve power. Thanks to indifference, few hands weave the fabric of collective life unsurveilled, and the masses ignore it because they are careless; then it seems like it is fate that runs over everything and everyone, it looks as if history is but an enormous natural phenomenon, an eruption, an earthquake of which everyone is a victim, those who consent as well as those who dissent, those who knew as well as those who didn’t, the active as well as the indifferent. Some whimper pitifully, others curse obscenely, but none, or very few, ask themselves: if I too had fulfilled my duty, if I had tried to impose my will, would this have happened?
This too is why I hate the indifferent: Their wailing as if eternally innocent is a nuisance to me. I hold every person liable to how they fulfilled the task life has given them and continues to give them every day, of what they have done, and especially what they have not done. And I feel I have the right to be unrelenting, not to squander my compassion, of not having to share my tears with them.
I am a partisan, I am alive, and in the conscience of those on my part I feel the pulse of the future city we are building. And in it, the social chain does not rest on a few, nothing that happens in it is a matter of luck, nor the product of fate, but the intelligent work of citizens. In it, nobody is looking out their window while the few sacrifice and drain themselves. I live, I am a partisan. That is why I hate those who don’t take sides, I hate the indifferent. Antonio Gramsci, February 11th 1917 (via qasaweh)
Mom (reading The Hartford Courant and drinking her coffee): “what the fuck is this?! The faces of the children from Newton painted on white roses! It’s so tacky. People think up the weirdest things.”
Me: “Didn’t you have a shrine to Grammy in the cottage that included her dentures?”
Mom: “That was different. It wasn’t public. And then we took down the shrine and buried her dentures in the yard.”
He is taking a course on Marxist ideology.
He says, “The only real solution is to smash the system and start again.”
His thumb is caressing the most bourgeois copy of the communist manifesto that I have ever seen,
He bought it at Barnes and Noble for twenty-nine U.S. American dollars and ninety-nine cents,
Its hard cover shows a dark man with a scarved face
Waving a gigantic red flag against a fictional smoky background.
The matte finish is fucking gorgeous.
He wants to be congratulated for paying Harvard sixty thousand dollars
To teach him that the system is unfair.
He pulls his iPhone from his imported Marino wool jacket, and leaves.
What people can’t possibly tell from the footage on TV
Is that the water cannon feels like getting whipped with a burning switch.
Where I come from, they fill it with sewer water and hope that they get you in the face with your mouth open
So that the hepatitis will keep you in bed for the next protest.
What you can’t tell from Harvard square,
Is that when the tear gas bursts from nowhere to everywhere all at once,
It scrapes your insides like barbed wire, sawing at your lungs.
Tear gas is such a benign term for it,
If you have never breathed it in you would think it was a nostalgic experience.
What you can’t learn at Barnes and Noble,
Is that when they rush you, survival is to run,
I am never as fast as when the police are chasing me.
I know what happens to women in the holding cells down there and yet…
We still do it.
I inherited my communist manifesto,
It has no cover—
Because my mother ripped it off when she hid it in the dust jacket of “Don Quixote”
The day before the soldiers destroyed her apartment,
Looking for subversive propaganda.
She burned the cover, could not bring herself to burn the pages,
Hoped to God the soldiers couldn’t read,
They never found it.
So she was not killed for it, but her body bore the scars of the torture chamber,
For wanting her children to have a better life than she did,
Don’t talk to me about revolution.
I know what the price of smashing the system really is, my people already tried that.
The price of uprise is paid in blood,
And not Harvard blood.
The blood that ran through the streets of Santiago,
The blood thrown alive from Argentine helicopters into the Atlantic.
It is easy to say “revolution” from the comfort of a New England library.
It is easy to offer flesh to the cause,
When it is not yours to give.