From "The Fall is Inevitable" in "Studies in Transgressive Political and Aesthetic Action"
Dylan Klein
August 1991

"Why is there a need for protests?" is one of the fundamental questions that continually confuses the non-protesting element of our society. The idea that people could be oblivious to the ethical and moral injustices our culture has carried out is devastating. History is a nightmare from which we can never wake, but in conducting analysis of that dream, we can purge past horrors from future events.

To do that requires transgressive political, spiritual, and cultural action, because those who have brought us to this grave state in the atmosphere of this country still wield power. That power is too insignificant to disobey their immoral commandments without fear of punishment. In order to do it, civil disobedience is necessary.

In the political realm, civil disobedience has a rich history. From civil rights sit-ins to psychedelic be-ins, protests against unlawful laws have continually pushed the boundaries by breaking them, going so far as to risk imprisonment. But in the artistic community, are these boundaries being pushed far enough?

No. And why aren't they? Because of complacency in the heart of citizens and the madness of those in power. Although the expansion of media creates a wealth of information readily accessible in libraries, too many reject this information because it is painful to take in. Even in the artistic community, this is true. Artists are such excellent constructors that they should pause to deconstruct political, ethical, and aesthetic systems we have been inundated with since birth to make them appear ideal.

Historically, most artists have been the kind to reflect society, but some have been brave enough to voice the necessity of change, a shift of our behaviors and attitudes to the point that society has adjusted based on their terms. Art at one point considered detestable by the bourgeois society of that time now hangs proudly in galleries. And that art pushed the terms of human perception. Artists are mutants, and what they see and envision is seen as a degradation of society when it is truly progressive. Even with a history claiming Henry David Thoreau and Tristan Tzara, contemporary artists seem too apathetic about loudly voicing criticism of our social milieu.

This is why a push towards violation of convention is necessary. Paint elaborate murals of the aristocracy with each flaw glistening off your haunted canvas, so when people one day see the graveyard of your work, they will feel your spirit and embrace change. Join the architects of idealism who bulldoze and unsafe building and use the pieces for societal reconstruction. Create a room with a sound landscape in which there is no war. Photograph those in power putting on makeup for their next act; their set is our world.

Social theorists and artists continually bicker about who is right in fights concerning esoterica rather than focusing on the major sociopolitical problems we face globally. This grave error means that those who care about these problems are faced with only muffled voices from academicians striving to make themselves relevant. Not only scathing essays have to be produced, but there is a need to have decisive political action taken by progressive theorists to bring about the changes they're trying to make.

This action can take many forms. Due to the stature of most of the issues raised by members of the academic community, civil disobedience is one of the only possible methods of societal reform. The state of the current "rule of law" is absurd, particularly when the draconian nature of these laws are carefully examined and broken down. The only means by which to protest such unfathomable injustices of the geopolitical environment today is by systematically breaking these laws.

If theorists and artists are unable to bring themselves to commit these illegal arts -- which is all too likely -- they are doomed to subservience in a system which is not moral or logical. In this case, they can discuss their work with political officials who too often bring an attitude of indifference or hatred to these kind of debates. Occasionally, this kind of action can at least raise awareness of the necessity of shifting our goal to a more perfect physical and spiritual world.

After coming to the realization, the ultimate realization that we all exist somehow in a chaotic universe, how could those in power deem it a reality that humans should be killed ruthlessly, by any means necessary? How could a handful of nations hoard the world's supply storage while hundreds of millions starve? Collaboratively, artists must brainstorm the best method of showcasing these horrors to be spit upon until the day that a full portrait of our world can be viewed with a feeling of reveling, not reckoning.