To The Creative Classes (second letter)

I’ve been trying to avoid another letter to you.  I don’t enjoy being so irritated.  We continue managing our own sublimation and it infuriates me.  Yes, I’m still half asleep as I type this, exhausted by frustration, imagining the possibilities of abject indifference, disengaging, dropping out, disappearing.  Yes, there will never be a flawless occupation of language and representation, and yes, one has to eat, but to say these things are the price one pays for a life in art, or that one can have a life in art despite them, is a lie.  There’s no absolution or erasure of personal responsibility in the production of public meaning.  To pretend otherwise perpetuates a reckless, cynical violence enforcing the status quo.  Each of us must choose how to be in the world, regardless of circumstances beyond our control (and yes, not choosing is also a choice).
A life in art needs the absence of an economics (by which I mean the production, consumption, transfer and control of wealth). Without the careful maintenance of this absence, such a life is separated out and incarcerated within the individual, replaced in the world by an economically prescribed automation.
Art is never superfluous to life.  Each is planted in the soil of the other (and so easily uprooted by capital).  Trust in the seed germinating underground (what you’ve always already been — even if and when this seems unknowable).  Don’t let constructions of value from above prevent it.   You didn’t ask for this to begin with.  How could you?  It doesn’t matter.  This has always been your life.  One must learn to be oneself and grow.
Creative existence has not been entirely replaced or enslaved by the phantasmagoria.  It returns to each of us in those fleeting, waking moments, when the false equivalencies of market logic are suspended, when our feelings are our own.  Celebrate curiosity and hard work, but only if they are somehow of these moments.  Everything else serves economics (intentionally or not).  Power and authority are phenomena rooted in this service and without them the kindness of our inherent potential emerges.  We’re no longer divided as we breach the surface of things.  We are rooted as we rise.
With this understanding in mind, your identity is oxymoronic.  A life in art requires a classless society, one without non-artists, a human world.  We need each other to be ourselves.
Disappearing isn’t an option, so I’ll write to you again of course.
jeremy