“I am not a man, I am dynamite” Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Rather than being a quiver with a gold latten on which the king puts his ass, I would like to be a dynamite that blows up the palace along with myself, and I indeed would be whatever I wish, because what we are depends solely on us, and what we can be is related to our skills and objective conditions as much as our volitional choice. It is all a matter of comprehending the non-volitional parameters and making our choices based on that when we choose what we wish to be. Otherwise, frustration is inevitable.
Every situation we face is a compound of our volitional choices and objective conditions. Neither our volitional choices nor objective conditions are solely determinative.
Take two siblings who are members of the same family in the same country, the same city and the same household. Both of them are born and grow up under the main umbrella of the same objective conditions. In other words, the family, which is the primary factor influencing the formation of their personality, is the same, the ideological, religious, national, ethnic and linguistic main umbrella in the geography into which they were born is the same as well. Then how come one of the two siblings becomes a fascist and the other one a socialist when they reach maturity? Does going to different schools, meeting different people and through them being influenced by different ideologies alone meet the criteria for answering our question? Or is there something beyond? Let’s have a look:
Karl Marx says, “What determines the material conditions of people is not their consciousness, these material conditions determine their consciousness.”
Verily true, but incomplete. Objective reality certainly exists independently of human consciousness and these conditions are factors in determining individual consciousness, but socialist individual is an individual who can construct oneself by doing a revolution in his/her personality despite the surrounding objective reality. Otherwise, we would have to expect only capitalist individuals from a society clad with capitalist production relationships and capitalist superstructures. In other words, socialist individuals should not have existed in such a society.
What determines the “what” of an individual is a compound of objective conditions and his/her action preferences. This action practice determines the “what” of an individual at least as much as objective conditions do – maybe even more for an individual who is able to constuct oneself as a socialist individual. As socialist individual concerns oneself with transforming objective reality, socialist consciousness determines the material conditions in the context of this transformation. The changing material conditions contribute to the determination of the consciousness of other individuals. Put another way, objective and subjective reality are in mutual interaction. On the one hand, material conditions determine individual consciousness, but on the other hand, individual determines material conditions through jumps in his/her consciousness.
Some choose to be a quiver with a gold latten for their conformist self-interests, some on the other hand push aside all conformist self-interests for the sake of human dignity and honor and tries to demolish, at the cost of blowing oneself up, every power center that squeezes and exploits humans. He/she does it by his/her pen, syndical struggle, opposition pictures, challenging “local pressures” by walking in the street hand-in-hand with his/her same-sex lover, going to the mountains leaving behind the doctorate diploma, family and hometown in embarrassment, indulging in the deep layers of cities, insisting on sending his/her daughter to school alone in a town or age in which education of girls is vilified, nullifying proprietorship by saying “stand from between me and the sun”, and so on, as his/her abilities and opportunities permit, he/she just will it.
Quivers have a long and confortable lifespan, but at the end they decay and disappear, no one remembers them. However, every dynamite that is blown up to demolish palaces is recalled by someone. Even if a new palace is built and a new king ascends the throne, this action sets an example that triggers jumps in consciousness among some people, before the society and history.
Translated by Onur Dincer