Activism and... pleasure

IssueJune 2013

I don't like it when things get ascetic. Enjoying ourselves has potential for liberating us. My general philosophy is: pleasure is a good thing. In our affinity group we have made a commitment to enjoying ourselves. We realised that a lot of our motivational energy comes from guilt. That got us thinking what other motivations we could discover. Enjoying ourselves is a vehicle that will be more exciting and appeal to other people.

There is a lot about pleasure that is to with class and gender. There is a process of training people to be frugal, of limiting their sense of entitlement in the world, of limiting certain classes of people to occupy smaller spaces. By demanding to take pleasure, we are taking more space.

You can’t have too much pleasure. I can’t describe one incident because one incident is not enough. The pleasures of mischief-making, sex, sharing food, friendship, pleasures of creativity. There can be audacity in pleasure. We need to learn to sift out things that seem to be pleasurable but are just commodified pleasures, and to recognise pleasures that are important and full of life, that sing and resonate in us.

My inspirations for radical pleasure-seeking are William Blake and Rumi. William was for freedom and liberation from prisons of all kinds. He paid a lot of attention to the way we police (or priest) our own desires. He is great inspiration for entering the garden of love.

I intend to tell soldiers to go away and to sit naked on the lawn, like Blake.

Topics: Activism
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