27 November 2011

The Disaffections of Daily Life: Pathways to Activation Within and Without the Machine

Disaffection and activation are intertwined in a multiplicity of ways. They are not necessarily related in a linear, cause and effect type of relationship. Sometimes, a person can become disaffected from a way of thinking or acting, and this disaffection can lead to forms of activation. Other times, becoming activated for a particular cause or issue can lead to disaffection from the opposing ways of thinking and acting. Throughout one's life, disaffections and activations come and go, overlapping each other, adding and subtracting understandings of life experiences. Disaffection without activation can lead to nihilism, and activation without disaffection can lead to co-optation or extremism. In whatever ways we understand their dynamics, disaffection and activation seem to be interdependent. In this essay, I want to reflect on the overlapping relationships between disaffection and activation, and emphasize how daily life experiences provide opportunities for both, by placing these reflections in the context of living in what might be the declining stages of an era marked by hegemony of the megamachine.