A lot gets said about speaking truth to power, and that’s an important way to spend a day. But where did we learn to talk? Easy to misidentify Force as Power – meaning indiscriminate capacity to effect change (the former), from the discriminating capacity to effect change. Free market capitalism can, under the direction of appetite, be indiscriminate; everything may be sold, all labor universally available and its surplus value as pick-able as wild chicory; mercy is particular so there is no mercy in force; there is “fairness,” which often devolves to a tool for liberating value from those who produce it.
I am aware how antique this language is, but colors of different kinds are antique and are still themselves. Nonetheless I know that wealth may be set to good purpose and when it is, it is discrete – it chooses; it applies itself with focus. When the arts beg for money, when victims beg for justice (memory as power), it is as if the petitioners will not be until created by authority. When the source of our power is not in creation but in that which is uncreated: our presence, our identity (universal and particular/discrete), which existed before the indications of the temporarily stable.
Speaking truth is power, then. Since all stability is temporary, it isn’t the truth that’s powerful, it’s speaking it (gerund). And if conversations with funders are disorienting, like a bar is disorienting to an alcoholic, then – build your life outside the bars. You can do business there if that’s where your parents are waiting for you to deliver their cigarettes, e.g., but you life, your private, prior power is outside that conversation.
The force in stability asks us to justify ourselves in terms of stability; stability is only our addiction, it isn’t our person.
How speaking truth may be useful to paying rent or promoting coexistence (since truth is particular; is in opposition to falsehood, and then is difficult in circumstances where falsehood wants to and needs to coexist with truth)… But I’m much more sure how wealth is unsustainable, except through a very general and persistent application of merciless force.