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The Way to Revolt: Appropriating Knowledge

We must go beyond ourselves. Enlightenment is the exodus of the person from lack of come-of-age existence of his/her own making. Have the courage to use your own intelligence! (Kant) We have to find our way back to social community, morality, ethics and conscience. These goals must stand above capital, money and the political and social power structures.

By Miguel Martinez

[This article published 10/11/2011 is translated from the German on the Internet,  http://the-babyshambler.com/tag/aufklarung/.
A sign at an Occupy demonstration proclaimed: "Lost My Job, Found an Occupation."]

To overcome personal annoyance and certain processes of human reaction to an action must be understood. We must go beyond ourselves. Immanuel Kant marvelously described this development in his essay "What is Enlightenment?' Here is the introduction:

"Enlightenment is the exodus of the person from lack of come-of-age existence of his /her own making. Lack of come-of-age existence is the inability to use one's intelligence without the instruction of another. The cause of this lack of come-of-age existence of one's own making is not the lack of intelligence but the lack of resolution and courage to help oneself without the guidance of another. Sapere ande! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! This is the motto of the Enlightenment."

Kant described the listlessness of persons to leave passivity and actively and jointly form their life and environment and exert influence. We prefer letting others dictate how we lead our life. Opinions and lifestyles are subconsciously palmed off. We want to finally make an exodus from this ignorance or conscious silence in analyzing our situation and the problematic to denounce the abuses and actively change them.


A certain state of knowledge is necessary before the next plane of consciousness is reached. Several factors of listlessness that we appropriated over the years must be considered and overcome. Whether this happens consciously or unconsciously can be left undecided.


In the past news was only passed on mouth to mouth when there were no newspapers. Passing out n3ews took weeks and months, not only days. We all know the "silent post" game. Many things were falsely quoted to complement some absurd theories or ideas. Thus certain authorities could allow important news to be manipulated by certain "serfs." In many cases, the source of the news could not be verified. Consequently the simple citizens and farmers were completely handed over to the manipulation of information and knowledge. Most of the population was intentionally granted no education so they were easier to govern.


These times are smiled at condescendingly be cause communication is simpler today than ever. Perhaps I should say today's communication would be simpler if we could find the important contents and themes of a conversation in our lives if we would communicate and discuss more often. The civilization themes have become much more complex than they were. They need a long discussion and detailed information. The Asambleas (assemblies of the people) are a classic example how consensus processes occur. Whether Greece, Israel, Portugal, France or even in Germany (Berlin), the Asambleas simplify the speech of the movement. Discourse and disinhibit the presentation of complex facts in communication. Oral exchange is still faster than written communication in many areas. We must return to the social consensus that is not a political machinery contaminated by lobbyists.

We represent ourselves! A modern and transparent society in the 21st century defines itself that way!


The social network in Germany was torn apart willfully and wantonly over the years. This happened in reducing the so-called "supports" (unemployment benefits etc) and the misuse and slandering of words like "social" and "solidarity."

The so-called "New Social Market Initiative" is the best example of a verbal mutilation. In addition the social components of past "democracy" were undermined when we were told for years the social state was unaffordable. The escalating discrediting of unions and their collective wage agreements added up to considerable social dynamite. The works councils also completely burst the social-union foundation through their greed and craving for power. The younger generations don't know what to do with the words "generational contract," "social" and "solidarity" conduct. In an elbow-society, the citizen was changed/reeducated to be only fixated on his/her advantage and building their circle of personal power and consumption.

This contradicts human nature. We have to find ou9r way back to social community, morality, ethics and conscience. These orientation points must stand above capital, money and the political and economic power structure.


Accusation is not enough to change the present abuses. We must learn to understand and define what is displeasing. Look beyond the stage of the problem or existing principle/system that makes you its slave. All the global demonstrations have one great common denominator: social dissatisfaction, restriction of the life and freedom of the individual who wants to decide how to lead and organize his/her life. The worldwide protests are a glimmer of hope for the human conscience and for the sense of law and order. More and more citizens notice that the current system at the end makes more people losers than winners.

The conglomerate of politics, the world of banking and the dependence of financial transactions on local and global politics predominate. We can define what the problems are. Often the present system ends with the escalating exploitation of power by a few individuals (Machiavelli - the technique of power). To form the future differently, we must learn to understand our world.


1. Appropriating knowledge

2. Learning to understand backgrounds and discussing them

3. Learning from mistakes and working out alternative proposals.

In the long run, this does not happen within one's four walls. We have to link in social networks, on blogs, homepages, twitter and above all in local and real ways. Outgrow the slavery of your thoughts and dictation over your life! Be interlinked!

"The honest effort to find the truth establishes the worth of the person, not the truth that a person possesses or thinks he possesses. Searching for truth reflects one's ever growing perfection and expands powers, not its possession. Possession makes one quiet, sluggish and proud."
(Lessing, "On the Truth," 1777)

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