THE VENTRILOQUISTS HAVE NO VOICE…
We set out our opposition to the rise of authoritarian populism around the globe, this being but the latest garb with which the Spectacle – the rotten mess of a so-called civilisation – seeks to clothe itself. To be sure, a cast of thuggish idiots and clowns – but, despite their at times wholly unintentional umour, nonetheless dangerous ones against which humour and satire, however amusing, are simply an inadequate response – which includes, for example, Trump, the U.S. “Alt-Right” fascists, Soldiers of Odin and Kellie Leitch in Canada, Farage and swivel-eyed Brexiteers in the UK, Le Pen, Wilders, Erdoğan, Duterte, Putin, Rob Ford, Shinzō Abe, Golden Dawn in Greece, the AfD in Germany, religion and its fundamentalisms of all hues, and all the other reactionary charlatans, fakers of all stripes and direct heirs of the fascist tradition. Together they are the noxious and poisonous fumes of a miserablist, capitalist system and bourgeois ideology and culture which has had its day but refuses to die.
The current period is characterised by increasing inequality of wealth, power and aspiration, where war, misogyny, racism, attacks on ‘the other’ and a cavalier approach to the environment are the order of the day. Where there is little to choose between ‘fake news’ on the one hand and the daily terrorism of the global media itself (and its incarnations online), a vehicle by which the emotions of the masses are manipulated and played upon by the new populist authoritarians, the end result of which is whether “pro” or “against”, we still get caught up in their rat race .
Around the globe we have witnessed the incompetence of much of the Left at channelling a genuine disenchantment in the working class, the danger of concessions to rightist discourse, the derailing of capitalism and liberal-democracy into a new form of authoritarian capitalism that no longer needs to buffer itself with progressive values, and the self-destructive tendencies of the “carbon liberation front” (e.g. fossil fuel chasers) and other environmental impacts.
Just as dangerous as the new (actually, not so ‘new’) right, are those false friends of labour and mealy mouthed liberals who refute the ‘excesses’ of the new authoritarian populists but who, when push comes to shove (and, let it be said, not much of a shove at that!), take the side of a rapacious Capital and an ever more desperate capitalism committed to over-turning the advances and limited reforms won in struggle by previous generations. It goes without saying, of course, that we have no illusions about return to a “golden age” of liberal or social democratic mediocrity. What we demand is absolute and radical divergence from the past and current morass of miserabilist regimes.
Those of us who place ourselves behind the banner of Surrealism, of REVOLT, FREEDOM, LOVE, POETRY & DESIRE, remain intransigent internationalists, standing alongside all those who RESIST the tide of miserablism. We stand outside the false contradiction between liberal and conservative alternatives to a capitalist present. We call for Surrealists to abandon integration in the Spectacle, careerism, collaboration with increasingly compromised regimes and to seek alternatives in observation, experimentation, play and the “surrealist streets”.
Set off on the road of REVOLT – this rotten civilisation maybe dying, but if we don’t hit it, it won’t fall down!
Jason Abdelhadi (Chimaera Surrealist Group [Ottawa]), Gale Ahrens, Dunja Apostolov (Chimaera Surrealist Group [Ottawa]), Daphnée Azoulay, Jay Blackwood, Jean Bonnin and Banana Meinhoff, Maria Brothers, Miguel de Carvalho, Eugenio Castro (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Casi Cline, Steven Cline, Dominick Coppi, Miguel Corrales, Andrés Devesa (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Angel Dionne, Pascale Dubé, Guy Ducornet, Vicente Gutiérrez Escudero (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Javier Gálvez (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Beth Garon, Paul Garon, Audrey Girard (Chimaera Surrealist Group [Ottawa]), Christian Girard, Guy Girard, Josse de Haan, Janice Hathaway, Dale Michael Houstman, Karl Howeth, Stuart Inman, Joseph Jablonski, Bruno Jacobs (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Alex Januario, Philip Kane, Lorna Kirin, Stephen Kirin, Laura Lake (Chimaera Surrealist Group [Ottawa]), Megan Leach, Patrick Lepetit, Rik Lina, Michael Löwy, Lurdes Martínez (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Paul McRandle, David Nadeau, Noé Ortega (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Hans Plomp, John Richardson, Jesús García Rodríguez (Surrealist Group in Madrid), José Manuel Rojo (Surrealist Group in Madrid), Penelope Rosemont, Patrick Sampler, Pieter Schermer, Arthur Spota, Dan Stanciu, Wijnand Steemers, Thomas D Typaldos, Laurens Vancrevel, Michael Vandelaar, Allan Viliu, Her de Vries, Richard Walter, John Welson, Craig Wilson, Bill Wolak and Ángel Zapata (Surrealist Group in Madrid), April – May 2017