Manifesto For The just-about-managing

Manifesto For The just-about-managing

The Manifesto for The Just-about-managing (2017, mixed media on paper)

The Manifesto for The just-about-managing is explicitly propaganda; it is propaganda for a kind of future that is worth living in for humankind. Surely this is not a disingenuous aim?

This is the final work I’ll finish before I begin studying a Masters part-time. Most of my most recent works have attempted to make my jaded idealism manifest itself, finding a way of expressing a conviction that the darkest of times can conversely be the times when the brightest of futures are galvanized. This is because over the past few years I’ve begun to feel that the only route possible except for oblivion borne of war and ecological collapse is one that harnesses the wealth of knowledge we have accumulated for a common purpose – no matter how long and painful that road is. It’s what I’ve been calling The Hope of The Nihilized.

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It’s hard to remind yourself of this when the nihilism finally demolishes your spirit when the day in hand has done you . The goal I’ve set myself for this MA is the goal I’ve realised everything has to lead to: to fight through pessimism and depressive solitary pleasure seeking borne from burnout, to ignore the demons of the spirit so to work more with others, and to use whatever tools I may have as part of a constructive collective project I can’t even see yet.

And to be honest it’s a big ask, and towards the completion of the work the negativity from the exhaustion of workaday anxieties has crept over my spirit, and I was propping up its completion with cans of cider, a story readers familiar with this blog will know too well.

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The Manifesto For The just-about-managing is the manifesto of depression. The sense you get when you turn on the news and text scrolls past you stoking fear of Other, whilst eclipsing Otherness – an ability to think beyond the norm. Its the sense you get when the sparks of political optimism in the spring of a new year disappear under the white noise of consumerist commands in the deadness of mid-seasons.

The Manifesto For The just-about-managing argues against all naive goodwill; promotes the pursuit of happiness only in loneliness. It screams at us to enjoy but yet creates a structure to cope with the scattered fallout of depressive-pleasure-seeking, or (as I prefer), dead-end pleasure-seeking.

It’s what makes you cynical of everything; cynical of climate change, cynical of good-will to others.

It is all that makes you reach for your drug of choice, because ‘there’s nowt you can do’.

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Yet, the drawing is an argument that a miserable status quo is becoming harder and harder to maintain. The toxicity of the manner in which we are pumped up like battery farm chickens on information isn’t just making us into the consumer addicts of the 20th century, but soundbite addicts, super-aware of just how disagreeable the status-quo of things is. We know too much to be content. We have seen too much for our well-being. We are becoming deeply unwell as the structures built to make reassuring sense of life dissolve. We don’t need another Hiroshima, because it is happening in our heads. The interior landscape is being forced to recompose itself, and its craving for a new horizon is being suppressed by the Manifesto For the Just-about-managing. But below the crust the earth is moving.

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The Manifesto For the Just -about-managing is being bombarded by more and more proof of its stupidity and folly. This piece of work is like no other I have made before, and I have used as many of the most telling quotes as I could find. Due to this, it is also like an essay, which means I have had to list my reference points. Which are below:

The Coming ’17, Franco (Bifo) Berardi

Art and Revolution, John Berger

The Soul and The Operator, Expressen, John Berger

Pascalian Revelations, Pierre Bourdieu

Culture Design Labs – Evolving the Future, Joe Brewer

The Look and Feel of 21st Century Science – Joe Brewer

Injustice, Danny Dorling

Humans are Most Atrocious When We Live under The Weight of Great Inequalities, Darling Dorling

Is Inequality Bad For The Environment?, Danny Dorling

Abandon Hope (Summer is Coming), Mark Fisher

Good For Nothing, Mark Fisher

What We are Fighting For, A Radical Collective Manifesto, Mark Fisher

Four Futures – Life after Capitalism, Peter Frase

We Already Grow Enough Food to Feed 10 Billion People – And Still Can’t End Hunger, Eric Holt Gimenez

The End of The American Experiment – Bad Words – Umar Haque

The Likely Cause of Addiction has been Discovered, and it’s not What You Think, Johann Hari

A Storm is Brewing in Paradise, Dalarna University lecture, Dougald Hine

David Graeber interview: ‘So many people spend their working lives doing jobs they think are unnecessary’, Stuart Jeffries

London, Patrick Keiller, BFI

This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs Climate Change, Naomi Klein

The Robots are Coming, John Lanchester

The Case For Despair is Made. Now Let’s Try To Get out The Mess We’re in, George Monbiot

Neoliberalism is Creating Loneliness, That’s What’s Wrenching Society apart, George Monbiot.

Sick of this market-driven world? You should be, George Monbiot

The Age of Loneliness is Killing us, George Monbiot

Philosophy and Human Values, lectures, Rick Roderick

Capital’s Hunger in Abundance, Andrew Smolksi

Island Story: Journeys Around Unfamiliar Britain, JD Taylor

Super-intelligence and eternal life: transhumanism’s faithful follow it blindly into a future for the elite, Alexander Thomas

We are all very anxious , We Are Plan C

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Do Better, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Inventing The Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek

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About John Ledger

A visual Artist, eternal meanderer and obsessive self-reflector by nature, who can’t help but try to interpret everything from within the tide of society. His works predominantly take the form of large scale ballpoint pen landscape drawings and map-making as social/psychological note-making. They are slowly-accumulating responses to crises inflicted upon the self in the perplexing, fearful, empty, and often personality-erasing human world.

2 responses to “Manifesto For The just-about-managing”

  1. pennyfrances says :

    Great stuff, John. Would love to see it in the flesh and have a read of the text as well – very inspiring.

  2. Lara/Trace says :

    Haunting and good!

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