19 November 2008

Towards a post-influence society

I already called out the Randroids last month, but just to repeat the lesson - humans are not entirely rational beings. Perhaps not even predominately rational, and that's got not as much to do with emotion as it has with:

1. Humans are troop animals, and have a truckload of instinctual decision-making rules which mainly consist of going along with what the other primates around us are doing. This has been selected for over millions of year in which, for the majority of the time, submitting to the Alpha Male, sticking close to the others when under threat, etc, have been good ideas.

2. There's far too much information. Rational decision-making takes up vital organic-CPU time that we really just don't have, particularly in late-capitalist info-overload death culture.

Factor 1 above isn't going to change in any significant way, absent some major genetic engineering. One of the bad things about modern capitalism is that, by smashing traditional social and familial ties, it has wrecked a lot of the good things about traditional community, but left all those primate urges to fit in with your troop intact. Which is of course because those in charge of us can exploit those to work, consume, kill who they want us to kill, etc.

The "small-business occultist" tendency claim that through their DIY parapsychology you can override those urges, become a "real individual" for the first time in your life, "become something more than what heredity and environment have programmed you for". And what then? Write this down, folks - real individuals have little survival value, precisely because they don't have the correct instincts to get on in primate society. We generally call those people "basement-dwelling nerds". Capitalism has simultaneously implanted the ideology that "the individual" is not only a real but the only real thing - and made the world so complex that you need social skills to get on in it. It's absolutely true - the reason the world has less place for the glorious weirdos of the past (Einstein, for example). It's also theorised that that's one of the reasons that we've begun noticing that things like Asperger's Syndrome exist.

Is so much of this "Prometheus Rising" etc stuff nothing more than deliberately induced quasi-autism? If the New Man spends the rest of his life wishing to live on a space station confined only to people who like to listen to Beethoven while stoned, is that an improvement on being an ape? What have all these brilliant meta-programmers really accomplished - apart from becoming moderately successful authors with an adoring fanbase, and feeling good about themselves? Is that the limit of your ambition?

The goal of Chaos Marxism - and now we may state this openly - is to learn and use the arts and sciences of producing social compliance so we may transcend them as a society. It would be too easy to become what Uncle Al would call a Black Brother (note, not /b/rother) and learn all those skills just to rise to the top of the pile. But if we want the world changed, rational thinking and agency have to be splashed all around the globe. Can we use the arts of politics and salesmanship to create a movement that will change the world to one where politics and salesmanship are obsolete? Do we have to the courage to really create a revolutionary praxis that will wipe itself out of existence on completion?

This is also why anarchism just doesn't cut it. You abolish the State, but how are you going to abolish authority altogether when we're all troop animals? You think that Stanley Milgram's experiments wouldn't have worked in an anarchist society? If not, you haven't seen the same anarchist movements I have, where it's all too easy to see who the Alpha Males and Alpha Females are, where conformity extends far past political thought to the kind of clothes you wear and the kind of music you listen to. Not that that's a bad lifestyle choice, sure beats being a fundamentalist Mormon, but lifestyle choices are not politics and won't change anything.

As for Factor 2 above, that's not going to be fixed by anything less than drastically reducing the amount we all have to work to maintain a good standard of living, so we have time and energy to process things properly. Which should be Demand Numero Uno of any serious revolutionary movement.

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This latest hiatus brought to you by, once again, sinking a lot of energy into a failed experiment. Never mind.