When Things Become Undone

In Obama’s wake dreams have become dystopias, liberating initiatives left in disrepair and new forms of subjugation and unfreedom loosened on the world. Like Carter before him, Obama was a reaction to the loathsome excesses of the Right; neither were creations of movements with deep social roots. And once again in defeat and dread we await the Right to forcibly herd us away from our desires. However, much greater perils await if one allows unhappiness to push the world away, seeking comfort in unity and rest and in the paralyzed division between what is possible and impossible. Despair is the only way out. Despair negates unhappiness with its restless passion—a messy mix of love, rage, fear, disgust, grief and shame—unmooring self-defeating illusion and making the unknown intimate. When things come undone, despair hastens us towards newly revealed horizons and into the realm of militant practices and projects where we find the footing to reassemble a broken world.

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