Bifo on Imagination

We continue to use old forms of action but we will have to begin to imagine new forms that are capable of actually struggling against financial dictatorship. In my opinion, the first task – which we have begun to experience over the last year – is the reactivation of the social body that I have already described. But as I have said, this will not be enough. We will also have to begin to learn to create new forms of autonomy from financial control and so on. For instance, in Italy we have been talking increasingly of “insolvency.” Of course, insolvency means the inability to pay a debt but we don’t think of it strictly in monetary terms. There is also a symbolic debt that is always implied in power relationships. Imagination might mean the ability to create the possibility of insolvency – to create the right to be insolvent, the right not to pay a debt – at a semiotic and a symbolic level. We need to imagine forms of social relationships that escape monetary exchange or invent new forms of exchange, like time banks, new forms of currency, community currency and so on. Do you see what I am trying to say? The process of imagination begins with the reactivation of the social body but next this body has to create new levels of social interaction. Escaping financial dictatorship, in other words, means imagining new forms of social exchange. I don’t know what form emancipation will take in the coming years. I can only propose this little methodological starting point from what we already know.

Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “Reactivating the Social in Insurrectionary Times” interview

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