Written in the 1970s. Updated Oct. 2014.
The purpose of the festival is to show the urgent need to shape alternatives now. Ways must be found because of the violent, acquisitive, alienated, industrial society which now poses a threat to survival. People have for centuries searched for equality and the right to and ability to determine their own development.
Individuals must accept responsibility for themselves. Personal happiness and equality, as much as a good society depend on self-realisation.
The most vital factor is the sense of true identity. This is lost because our identities are created by others – not by ourselves. The all-powerful externally created hegemony in this assumed-to-be free society, and its eternalised personal alienation, must be understood if self-realisation is to be achieved.
The starting point must be ‘will to be that self which one truly is’.
There must be equality and effective individual participation in government and in every other group activity if self-realisation is to be achieved.
ConFest will be concerned with the search for the true nature of man and woman.
For many centuries, belief that man is inherently bad has exercised tremendous influence. Because of this belief, individual needs are suppressed and the result is that personal helplessness, lack of independence, and the desire to be led are created.
From infancy on, people are re-trained to be self-denying, falsely modest, self-effacing, and mechanically obedient. They are taught to suppress or hide their natural feelings or energy.
Social ideology is governed by contradictory altruism, by guilt, and the inability to experience work and action as a pleasure. This results in tendencies towards violence. But is not the basic natural needs of people that have a destructive and hedonistic outcome – it is the result of the repression of basic natural need that is violent and destructive.
The internal social crisis of today that result from these contradictions means that we must shape the alternatives now. There is not just one alternative. The new society will be made up of the choices of multitudes of people – individuals and groups – who are determined to find a way out. No one can be excluded.
Sincerely Jim Cairns