Monday, June 22, 2009


THINK THE WORLD OWES YOU A LIVING? You’re not far wrong. The bosses and politicians owe you for all the things they’ve taken from you: the intelligence and curiosity they bored out of you at school; the adventures you should have been having when you were stuck behind a desk or a counter, or standing on an assembly line or a dole queue; the food, housing and “free” time they made you sweat to pay for when they should already have been yours by right. Now they’re offering to give it all back to you – money, education, job security, housing, even a sense of purpose for your aimless life – but on one condition. Before you can get your hands on what’s rightfully yours, you have to be willing either to kill or to die for it. And now that they’ve wrecked the economy and destroyed the job market, they’re banking more than ever on working-class kids joining the army – so that they can keep making money from oil, gas and the global arms trade while you’re dodging their profitable bullets.

START THINKING, SOLDIER. Think about all the things you knew when you were a child, back before they started trying to make you stupid with the National Curriculum. That sense of magic and wonder – a whole world ruled not by violence or profit, but by the powers of play and imagination – it’s real. It’s infinitely more real than their lies about peace and security – as real as the love that claws at your heart – as those glimpses of elsewhere that come to you in your dreams – as that late-night yearning for something you can’t name but which you know MUST BE. It’s a reality which refuses to separate work from play, day from night, dreaming from knowing, sleeping from waking, necessity from desire… and it’s yours for the taking, if you can only find the courage to leave behind your timidity, conformism, pessimism and simple fear of ridicule.

DON’T GET US WRONG. It’s not that we’re against war. We were born in a war, and we’re fighting to win. It’s just that joining the British Army is not the way to win it. The ruling class want you in the army so that they can make a profit from your body, dead or alive. But that body of yours is a multiverse. It’s made of the same stuff as the all the suns of the galaxy – and it blazes just as fiercely, across light-years of desire. Don’t just fight with it, fight for it, because it’s more real than anything they can offer you.

So are you going to fight to live, or will you just make do with survival? Stay alienated from yourself, or face up to the reality of your own desires? Your dreams are an arsenal. Start dreaming, soldier.

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