¨domestic polity¨



the reason why i pushed for a ¨house blog¨ last year is mainly to create a form of communicate among members of the ¨communal house¨ and ¨collective members and supporters of Food Not Bombs. And when i refer House, i meant ¨domestic polity blog¨ – why ? – i believe the main feature of capitalism is to separate public and private affairs. and domestic affair are part of private domain,

it is often not discuss, or even talked about as public issue; yet it is the most ¨primitive¨ political affair.

i used primitive not as a derogatory term but as the raw and basic form of polity – in this context. and i want to promote it (political primitivism/ domestic polity) as a valid political discourse and a valuable experience in radical polity building.

PONYO has been given as the label for this house, it is also known as FNBKL house or PJ house. the house was initially found on the basis that is it a space for the Food Not Bombs crew to operate their weekly affairs of gathering raw food into making and delivering cooked food to the people. The other would be that it becomes a ¨communal house¨/ ¨info-shop¨

– as in the house function as a space for people who could not express themselves elsewhere; a space open for people to organize themselves and a space that is free from any kind of oppressive prejudices. the idea was it becomes a hub for progressive, radical, and ultra socio-political organizing. (well that was my personal hopes and desire… apologies)

that is also function as a ¨collective house¨.

– house mates / volunteers / collective members are require to ¨participate¨ and ¨contribute¨ to the space. which involve maintenance such as cleaning, tidying, coming up with ideas for the space etc.

Politics in a House

my main premise is {there is politics under a roof which consist of a set of different individuals.}

Any household, as a family unit, peer/friends house-sharing, workers quadrant, and the different form of ¨collective/communal¨ living

involves politics…. i do not believe i need to elaborate on this…

politics in a Communal/Shared Space

i think as a ¨non-conformist¨; that it is easy overlooked the underlying effects of the capitalist and cultural socialization.

the two or more set of systems intertwined tightly like a matrix of assorted fabrics. it is hard to identify the source or cause of each norms and values. each strands are equally simple and complex.

like rushing against a flowing river, we are constantly challenged.

INTERLUDE TO RANDOMNESS

so i am anti

anti i

anti is what created i

and in the whole process of figuring out i

one can not deny what lurks in the dark conner

that i am still sexist, queerphobic, racist, agiest and the monster is still in me

the basis of fighting oppression is understanding it, and i believe we have to be open to accept that our tendencies are not exactly free of prejudice, oppression and ignorance.

same goes in a space, any space – people banded together to create something ¨out of the norm¨, we read, ponder, think and well aware of the ills and rots of society. and in the process of ¨alternative¨ we are not  free from prejudice, oppression and ignorance

living ¨alternatively¨ entails many aspect of life that is not usual, it means constant evaluation, of the self and of the group. often the little habits and behaviour one carries can be detrimental to others, and those actions could be remnants of a system we are trying to escape from. the ¨reality¨ for most us is that we are still closely link/part of the system. but it does not exclude the possibility for oneś own realization to overcome oppression in itś various forms.

the thing with domestic polity is

it is ¨uncomfortable¨ —

for many many many and i mean MANY decades and centuries.

the politics of reason and logic has been the dominant norm.

that is to say, the the political thought that only and only focuses on ¨reason¨ and (stupid personal vendettas). wait, let me elaborate here, what i am trying to say is the separation of the reason and emotions (and appetite) is vital to the understanding of how we operate best in any polity. (it is part of our upbringing.) the politics of reason has always been thought to be just and objective, and it is primarily thought by MAN. it is a kind of political thought that through the disengagement of personal emotions and beliefs, one can be objective and reasonable. it is through this thought that we are removed from the politics of emotions and personal well-fare.

and we know, or from what we have witness, representative politics does not even work on the basis of ¨reason¨ and or ¨objectivity¨. what happens is the promotion of political reason-ability hides and discards the different aspect of our daily political affairs. i am saying the politics of the individual, emotions, passion, self agenda, honesty, etc are simply non-existence.

i am confident to state in general that most domestic polity involves a simple hierarchical structure – parents to children.

but not everyone lives in a family unit – regardless, lets say most structure is ¨dynamically hierarchical¨ (topic for next blog entry)

and these structures are truly part of our upbringing.

i can not deny that i am brought up as a male, that i was expected to behave in a certain way, that my father is the leader, ¨foreign affair minister¨ and ¨financial provider¨ of the house, my mother the ¨domestic minister and matriarch¨ and carer of the children. somehow, i´ve grown up as a ¨lazy dirty male” despite the harsh and constant efforts when i was a child from the matriarch. on one hand, i have grown up despising the standard of politic, hierarchy, racism, tidiness, cleanliness, and mannerism imposed by the house, that i have become against such authority, such ideology, and demand my own self impose liberty and standard. on the other hand, i have perpetuated sexism and hierarchy in the house. allowing the roles of a mother to carry on yet not carrying out the duties of a son.

i know i can not change the standards of this particular household, i have a feeling my mother is sick and tired of being boss around, so she bosses the domestic worker, and her children. and that her particular standard is formulated through her own standards and marriage of her partner.  and that is how the polity in this house works.

sometimes we come to terms with what is ¨family¨ and try to create what we want else where, we chose our battle. to some extend, we are not changing what is now, but for what shall be. it is a social experiment, a socio-political model we are dwelling on, something new and fragile.

i remember i was once called a ¨fucking boy¨ — in this context, it is about the sipping sexism in domestic affair. she was referring to our share house and it was a ¨communal house¨ for peers and political activist/ student politicians.

it was about my lack of pro-activeness for the house, and being a fucking boy. and she was sick of the of her ¨female conditions¨

, her upbringing to solve domestic affairs, to clean up the mess other people has left behind. she was also tired to ¨educate¨ boys about the issue. the whole ordeal was pretty dramatic and i was hurt by it, but i agree with her points, and that make me realize my lack of proactive-ness is part of my upbringing as a boy and my contribution to sexism/ chauvinism. it was valid because her analysis was valid as an individual oppression and as a female living in a patriarchal world. and we meant to live together.

and not everyone would feel the same, or have the same realization. and i think this is the part that make this discourse ¨messy¨….

but as a housemate and friend and also someone who wants to challenge my own upbringing, i thought it was my duty to work things through, and as a ¨boy¨; a privileged male.

so for a while i went accord to her idea to make the space a better place, we formed different means of communication, weekly to forth week house meetings, different forms of rosters… groceries shopping, toilet papers, cat food, bills, rents, parties etc.

the idea was trying to create a gender-equal, work-equal, equal contribution and participation to the function of the house. and for my part i had to try to work beyond what she requested, i had to evaluate my male position without having her to tell me.

eventually some aspect of the ¨structures¨ and functions of the share house fell apart and it was mainly due to personality and personal conflicts. we were all somehow facing a tough emotional year. and something more ¨organic¨ was formed……..

i guess whether the different approaches, methods, succeed or fail, the most important aspect of any organizing was ¨communication¨ / ¨connecting¨ from there we learn something more precious than some political campaign victory…. or the growth of an organization……

and from the beginning, we all agreed that communicating on personal well-being or affair is essential.

the first thing we tried to communicate is how we were going as an individuals, about our own personal lives, states and affairs. from that misunderstanding on certain things/functions in the house can be avoided. and i was very reluctant as first, but i tried hard to make it work, to make the communal house work.

basically it was from the emotional to technicality

feelings first, technical last.

and it is extremely difficult

i believe it involves some sort of ¨intimate relationship¨ building among people, it cannot operate on a superficial level, or in an alienated condition. this is exactly what the capitalist machine wants – to make people desolated, dissociated, removed and alienated. to work with friends as equals, personal, and cooperatively requires much more effort compare to an impersonal job description and a supervisor behind your back.

to me,

understand domestic polity is essential to fighting against this machine and creating an alternative that is healthy and sustainable.

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