07 October 2008

Sarah P. learned from the best

More from Wilhelm Reich, writing in the mid-30s:

Speeches in National Socialist meetings were indeed characterized by very clever manipulations of the emotions of the mass individuals and by strict avoidance of objective argumentation. Hitler, in MEIN KAMPF, emphasized repeatedly that the only correct mass-psychological technique was that of avoiding arguments and of keeping the "big final goal" before the masses.


Chaos Marxism gets very pissed off with idiots who argue that American Republicans or neo-cons are "fascists" (if they were fascists, Barack Obama would be shovelling shit in a concentration camp and you wouldn't have internet access, mate). However, the rules of reactionary electoral politics seem to be pretty consistent throughout the years.

It's Cloudbusting day

In many German meetings around 1930 revolutionaries, such as Otto Strasser, who were intelligent and honest though their thinking was somewhat nationalistic and mystical, would say to the Marxists: "You Marxists always point to the theories of Marx. Marx taught that theory is confirmed only in practice. But you always come up with explanations for the defeats of the Workers' International. Your Marxism has failed. The defeat in 1914 you explain with the 'defection of the Social Democrats,' that of 1918 with their politics of betrayal.' And now you have new 'explanations' for the fact that in the present world crisis the masses turn to the right instead of the left. But your explanations do not alter the fact of these defeats! Where, in the past eighty years, has there been any confirmation of the social revolution by practical action? Your basic error is that you deny or ridicule the mind which moves everything, instead of comprehending it." These were the arguments of many revolutionaries, and the Marxists had no answer to them. It became increasingly clear that their political mass propaganda did not reach anybody except those who already belonged to the left front, simply because this propaganda referred to nothing but the objective socio-economic processes (capitalist production, economic anarchy, etc.). The elaboration of material needs, of hunger alone, was not sufficient, for that was done by every political party, even the church. Thus, when the economic crisis was most acute, the mysticism of National Socialism defeated the economic theories of Socialism. It was evident that there was a wide gap in the propaganda and in the total conception of socialism, a gap which was responsible for its "political mistakes." It was a defect in the Marxist comprehension of political reality. True, the method of dialectic materialism had provided the means for correcting this defect, but they had not been utilized. In brief, Marxist politics had not included in its political practice the character structure of the masses and the social significance of mysticism.

If one followed and actually experienced the theory and practice of Marxism on the revolutionary left front between 1917 and 1933, one found that it was limited to the objective economic processes and to state politics. The so-called "subjective factor" in history, the ideology of the masses, its development and contradictions, were not even considered, let alone understood. The Marxists failed to apply their own method of dialectic materialism, to keep it alive, and to use it to comprehend every new social phenomenon.[...]

Like the works of many great thinkers, Marx's ideas were debased to empty slogans; they lost, in the hands of the Marxist politicians, their scientific revolutionary content. The politicians were so engrossed in everyday political struggles that they were unable to develop the principles of a live concept of social functioning as handed down by Marx and Engels. One has only to compare the books of, say, Sauerland, Salkind or Pieck with any of Marx or Engels to realize that functional methods turned into formulae, scientific research into rigid schemata. The "proletariat" of Marx's time had developed, in the meantime, into a gigantic industrial workers' class, the small tradespeople of the middle classes into masses of industrial and government employees. Scientific Marxism degenerated into "vulgar Marxism."



Emphasis added. Reich's Mass Psychology of Fascism is linked on the sidebar now. Start reading, and weep at how little has changed since 1933. Then take up Uncle Wilhelm's challenge and use dialectical materialism to understand culture, ideology, mysticism, and how we can all become as skilled as Karl Rove, for good rather than evil.

The connections are solidifying

From Skilluminati, via our new buddies at the PFLD:

The vast majority of voters in the United States are dangerously ignorant and easily manipulated.

Here’s the moral quandary: is it ethical to use deception in order to control these people? If you don’t do it, guess who will? Karl Rove. Rick “not about the issues” Davis. The same paid operatives who have been running the real power structure of the United States since John Rockefeller and Edward Bernays were alive.

Here’s the logistical problem: how can you and I compete against multi-million dollar budgets? The business of spectacles, like any other, is a business that runs on money. Those who have money shape the spectacle, and the rest of us are consigned to…well, meaningless critiques on obscure websites.

[...]

The dinosaurs of governments and corporations and media conglomerates and think tanks and universities — the old legitimate White Control System — will not let go quietly and politely. So I think every future mutunt has a common-sense obligation to learn how to disable and disarm them as effectively as possible.


Chaos Marxism humbly suggests that the question is not how to "control" the masses - if you think like that then you by Goddess are just another liberal elitist fapping off in a treehouse club. The question is how to give leadership to the masses - which means actually uniting with them, overcoming the personality tics which you evolved as a sign of your middle-class cultural-technician privileges and which render you incapable of actual two-way communication with ordinary people.

We humbly suggest our own program of "invoking a revolutionary Godform to embody the current of mass anger" as a framework for this - because mark my words, o ye American liberals and internet nerds, the masses really are pissed off and ready to kick ass, but anger can go in a reactionary as easily as a revolutionary direction, and this anger at the grassroots will be tapped and channelled by the Karl Roves and Sarah Palins of this world for pure grade-A evil, if you don't get in there and invoke a better Godform. (For those confused by the jargon: "current" refers to the content (momentum) of a mass movement, "Godform" refers to its form or its program (direction).)

As to the question of "how we compete with the big battalions"... well, our noble spirit-brothers in Iraq and Vietnam have showed us that the dialectic works, that guerilla warfare becomes more effective as one's enemies become more capital intensive. Basically put, blowing up a helicopter today costs your enemy a godzillion times more than killing 100 soldiers would have in WW2. Plus, it looks far worse on TV. How this relates to political conflict is left as an exercise to the reader, but the bigger they come, the harder they fall, and if you don't have the strength you're going to have to have the creativity and brains. You have YouTube and cheap publishing software, and a computer with broadband access, and the ability to go places and talk to people. Use them.

The 5th Generational / "Invisible" Warfare of which Skilluminati speaks makes it sounds like they are working along similar lines to us on the subject of how to "evoke" radical Godforms in the real world. Will post more once I've done my research.

(The rest of the linked post is chock-full of goodness, too.)

World famous in the Gnostic Communion

This blog has officially been voted kick ass by a Gnostic bishop and R A Wilson fan in New York.

*blush*

These guys seem pretty cool too.

Can't stop the signal

Project Chanology's main meeting place is back and in action, for all your Xenu-baiting needs. On the subject of the Anonymous memetic complex, did you hear some channer hacked into Sarah Palin's Yahoo! account?

Also, take note of perhaps the first "mainstream" blog to actually understand what Anonymous is. I particularly liked this bit:

Millions of Internet users all over the world leave comments on myriad websites with nothing to publicly identify the sources of these comments other than the shared monicker “anonymous”. If the term is viewed as a name rather than a descriptor, “anonymous” might as well be “Bob”. What if millions of Internet denizens all posted anonymous comments on various Websites and, instead of “anonymous”, were identified by the sites as “Bob” when they didn’t specify names for themselves?


===

Seriously, folks, here's the penultimate secret of the Illuminati:

If you repeat it often enough, you will at least start to believe it. This is a mathematical fact.

I found this out the hard way after reading Encyclopedia Dramatica for too long and realising that the words "faggot" and "nigger" made me giggle instead of get angry. I'm not sure this is a good thing, but of course it can be easily remedied.

===

In lighter news, I hope you're all as amused by the accelerating collapse of neoliberal capitalism as I am. (The downside of course is that the masses aren't organised enough to provide a feasible alternative yet, but that's just something for you at home to work on, isn't it?) Just a reminder that that awful man Lenin predicted this all in 1916, beeyotches.

06 October 2008

I've got some bad news, Mr Spock

Jim Robertson, lider maximo of perhaps the ultimate crazed pseudo-Marxist cult the Spartacist League, has a saying which surprisingly has some truth to it: "Program generates theory". Generally "Marxists" prefer to believe that it's the other way around - that their plans of action are based on a scientific dialectical materialist analysis of the world. But it simply doesn't happen that way. The decision to act precedes the rationalisation of the act - and, friends and comrades, that applies to the decisions of individuals as well as organisations. Decisions to act can be absed on many other sources of knowledge - instinct, subconscious compulsion, primate territorial politics, intuitive insight, even mutterings from God / the Holy Guardian Angel / the Zeitgeist / whatever you call the little voice in your head which comes up with all the good ideas.

The purpose of rationality and logic is to work out why the decision to act did or didn't work, post-facto, and give suggestions for future options. "The owl of Minerva flies at twilight," said Hegel, meaning it's generally impossible to rationally work out what's going on until it's all over, and he was damn straight - all the decision-making forces above operate much much quicker than rationality or logic do. Also, you can make correct intuitive leaps based on incomplete information, a situation in which rationality doesn't work very well (which is why neoclassical economics is bullshit, parenthetically).

Interestingly enough, this suggests that the reason no activist organisation can operate by strict formal democracy / consensus is exactly the same as the reason that Vulcan society wouldn't really work - it takes too long and it's uncreative. "Paralysis by analysis" is a hard fact. "Leadership", we can tentatively suggest, embodies something of the irrational - rationality and logic can come out of a committee and in fact are probably best when they do, but intuition and creativity never do.

Now the place where Marxists keep coming up with this problem is discussing the Russian Revolution. If Lenin had fallen under that train at the Finland Station in April 1917, would the Congress of Soviets still have seized power six months later? Trotsky said "probably not". But aren't you just ending up at the "great man" theory of history there, something anathematic to Marxism? Another Marxist historian, whose name I forget, explained further: "The Revolution would probably not have happened without Lenin, but Lenin was made by the Bolshevik Party". I.e. - Lenin was only the leader in October 1917 because of his 20 years experience to that date acting up at the sharp end of underground revolutionary politics in Russia. And a lot of what happened after October 1917 also finds its roots in that fertile yet murky soil - reasonable people can disagree over whether, on balance, it was all worth it.

We certainly don't want to have any truck with any "great man" theories, which tend to end up at the nightmarish terminus of the fascist Führerprinzip - in which irrational leadership completely replaces rational analysis. That generally ends in fire, or a bullet to the brain in a bunker under a burning city. But Chaos Marxism can tentatively suggest:

  • A successful movement balances the irrational and the rational, the democratic and the autocracy of creativity, the collective and the individual.

  • Analysis is collective - leadership is individual. But the collective makes the individual who can give leadership, and the individuals make up the collective which makes the analysis.

  • The leader creates the followers as much as vice-versa. This probably goes back to our most essential primate nature, as in generally all an ape has to do is act like Troop Leader and he'll pick up some kind of troop. Everyone can "know" what needs to be done, but it really does take one brave soul to actually set out in that direction.

  • It is tempting to speculate that "natural leaders" are those individuals who embody most closely, in their background and individuality, the "current" of the movement which they find themselves leading. Which brings up the suggestion, based on the whole tradition of Western occultism, that an individual can hack their own personality in order to "invoke the Godform" of the movement.


Yes, what I am suggesting here is that Chaos Marxism is concretising itself as the magickal science of identifying the essential memetic "current" of the actually existing vanguard movement among the class... and of invoking that current in those individuals called to be leaders of that vanguard, and evoking that current in culture, agitation and propaganda to make it spread. (That's the "irrational" bit of it, anyway. The "rational" bit is still all about attempting to create a materialist science of memetics/culture/psychology/ideology.)

Chaos Marxism is based on science, as we keep saying, but mistaking "science" for hard-core logical skepticism is what Pope Bob called "Fundamentalist Materialism" (capitals in the original). Watson and Crick came up with the double helix structure of DNA in a vision, as did that fellow who intuited the structure of the carbon ring. The non-rational can be scientific, too - as long as in a mutually reinforcing dialectic with the rational/evidential/pragmatic.

05 October 2008

The medium gives us a massage

From what used to be my favourite Marxist blog (until the chief author's political party gave up on mass politics and ran for the bunker): yet another dynamic, cogent and irrefutable explanation of how Corporate Memetics works, sadly without any indication of what is to be done. (See Aphorismsm 2:143 below.)

Chaos Marxist Aphorisms - Volume II

    BASIC CONCEPTS

  1. Chaos Marxism is a practice meant to give an intellectual framework to the processes needed to become a revolutionary Magus.

  2. Like every healthy form of Magick, it self-destructs on completion - in other words, all these mental processes by which we learn to be leaders of the class struggle will hopefully self-destruct if we ever get into a classless society.

  3. "Marxism" is the combination of the theory of dialectical materialism and the practice of revolutionary socialism.

  4. Matter comes first. Then comes life. Then comes social consciousness. Then comes individual consciousness.

  5. Material and social reality determines consciousness. The only real way to improve one's psychic health is to clean out the psychic toxic waste dump which passes for the mass media and popular culture under capitalism.

  6. You don't have to believe in Marxism to be a Chaos Marxist. In fact, it's better that you don't.

  7. Properly understood, Marxism (as in the reality-tunnel elaborated by Karl Marx, not his dodgy "acolytes" and "followers") is a cure for all forms of dogmatism and regimentation.

  8. Human society and culture can be studied scientifically.

  9. Knowledge is power - to be able to control what's real you need a damn firm grasp of what is real and what is the "common sense" of your personal and social reality-tunnel. That's the basis of the scientific method.

  10. On all issues of the macrostructures of nature and the cosmos, Chaos Marxism is totally agnostic. All issues of contention should be appeals to scientific experiment - that is, if you do this, do predictable consequences ensue? That is our only yardstick for the usefulness or otherwise of particular reality models.

  11. "Science" pretty much means being able to create predictable, reproducible results. This is distinct from "religion" or "ideology", which pretty much means giving comforting justifications for what people had decided to do anyway.

  12. Chaos theory confirms dialectical materialism (classical Marxism) at the same time it consigns mechanical materialism (Newtownian physics and Stalinism) to the trash-can.

  13. Chaos Marxism is not "luddite" in the pejorative sense, or indeed puritan. We don't oppose the technology of provoking pleasure or pain via media, in fact, we think it's pretty damn neat, but only when under the control of mass, grassroots democracy - like governmental power itself.

  14. A Stalinist is someone who has turned Marxism into a dogma and used it as an excuse for acting just like the more ruthless variety of capitalist.

  15. Stages theories don't work.


  16. THE GOALS OF CHAOS MARXISM

  17. The Chaos Marxist practice is:
    a) to learn to distinguish objective reality (matter, physical energy, political economy, brute force and social practices) from subjective reality (the social myths which grow up around objective reality);
    b) to recognize the consciousness or personality of both herself and others as "interpellated" (derived from the biological individual's attempts to fit in with the prevailing social practices, rather than essential to the individual) and therefore as subjective rather than objective reality;
    c) to re-organise the individual consciousness to something which is more capable of being able to provoke change in objective reality, as a vanguard of a liberatory "current" of the oppressed and exploited. By recognizing that our "self" was constructed to fit in with capitalism, not to challenge it, we challenge ourselves to surpass the imposed boundaries of the self. In other traditions, I believe they call this "ego loss".

  18. The masses will awaken precisely at that point where they find a reality tunnel which enables them to make their lives physically, practically better.

  19. Only the conscious mass action of the huge worldwide majority will change anything. Not a secret elite of memetic superheroes. We can't make that happen by hiding and manipulating. Nor can we do that by clowning and phrasemongering, by going on demos just for the sake of going on demos - that's just another fake identity.

  20. The goal of Chaos Marxism is to use the insights into mass hypnosis and cultural theory which have been brought to a high level of pragmatic perfection by the management and marketing gurus, and turn them around to create techniques which can be used for mass-market from-below political activism, cultural illumination, and just plain lulz.

  21. Our aim is social revolution in the real sense, in the sense of the world turned upside down, of the corporate Kings kneeling as their kingdoms rise, like the French, American and Russian revolutions before.

  22. Chaos Marxism is about mass dehypnotisation, much like mass immunization. Remember that bit in Illuminatus! where our heroes covertly dose the unwashed masses with a drug that turns them from neophobes into neophiles? Yeah, sort of like that, on the cultural-political-psychological-magickal level.

  23. The aim is twofold: (a) to build unity between the workers in language and information, and the workers in physical production and services; (b) to learn the skills of the media priesthood to create our own "worker's symbolic universe" or "proletarian noosphere", independent from bourgeois culture (but not rejecting it - instead, building something better on its foundation).

  24. Chaos Marxists hold that holding a Belief-System based on Marxism enables the elaboration of plans for changing the rules of the social game - which is, we hold, the only way to enable enlightenment on a planetary scale. (We may be wrong.)

  25. Chaos Marxism calls for a firm commitment to what both Marx and Crowley would have recognized as science - dismissal of all myths, firm concentration on what forms of belief and systems of knowledge enable you to measurably and predictably cause changes in material and objective reality. Everything has to begin and end in the $2.99 material world (what the Maatians call "Level 10"), and if you're not doing that, you're not doing real magick, you're just astrally wanking.

  26. The task for organic intellectuals / cultural-political magi / revolutionary witches / whateverthehell can't just be coming up with the ideology needed for our side to win. We need to come up with an entire culture, and by extension, an entire identity - or at least a framework in which new and better identities of opposition can grow. If we don't do that, people have no choice but to continue to believe that they are who the TV, the teacher, the boss and the priest tell them they are. We don't just need our own academy - we need our own entertainment, we need our own mythology, until the day we break through and can just be human.


  27. THE ENEMY IS THE MARKET (or: the occultism of small businessmen)

  28. Fuck Ayn Rand - a starving man is not free, and neither is a woman up to her arse in muddy water because the Arctic just melted.

  29. It is increasingly impossible for an individual to maintain biological integrity (be able to feed oneselves and family) without playing the capitalist game. I don't care how "enlightened" you are - in 99% and growing of the world today, either you participate successfully in the market economy or you're subsidised by people who do so. In the latter case you're probably going to be in the position of "guru" or "court jester" - giving the succesful marketeers a Belief-System which justifies their own privilege. On your deathbed you will say "Oh, how I have wasted my life."

  30. What are the social characteristics of a successful small businessman? They are determined, comrades and friends, by what they need to do to survive - sell their goods successfully in a monopolistically competitive market.

  31. It's funny that the people who will advise you that all human reality is a chemically-induced illusion tend to take the question of $$$ extremely seriously... as if it were real.

  32. The wage labourer is only more obviously a slave to the boss - the small businessman is a slave to the almighty dollar and "market forces".

  33. Only Marxism continuously reminds you that your boss and your media and your government never, ever have your interests at heart.

  34. For small businessmen, collective action is ridiculous and counterproductive. Which is why the occultism of small businessmen lends itself to individualism, solipsism, fragmentation and powerless, with all the significance in the Real World of Horrible Jobs as a good hand-job. That's the "freedom" of the small businessman - freedom to be an isolated individual, playing your own preferred game in the little enclosure that you can buy with all that glorious money. Congratulations, you managed to paint the walls of your prison cell in psychedelic colours.

  35. The reality-tunnels of middle-class Westerners who can afford to patronise occult bookstores are not the measure of success, but the thousands of millions of people living in poverty and oppression on this planet, and the ecological sustainability of human civilisation itself.

  36. The middle-class radical mind can't conceive of a mass collective consciousness as anything other than threatening brain death. They say idiotic things like "without private property there is no private life" and never stop to realise that this is a simple tautology, while paradoxically at the same time start rambling on about the wonders of ego loss!

  37. It's funny that the middle-class radical's utopia is generally anarcho-capitalism, because that's possibly the only political system which is in itself an oxymoron.

  38. While some push polyarchy cynically as a stick to beat democratic reformists with in places like Venezuela, others (typically members of the ideological priesthood) seem to really believe in it, and think that fragmentation and dispersal, can destroy the centralised capitalist-state system of this world, rather than it being just what that system wants its enemies to do. That's right, workers and ordinary people worldwide will simply walk out of the corporate machine and join your organic yoghurt-knitting commune en masse. Right.

  39. By demanding a choice between 'thought' and 'action,' the various groups and individuals infected with swamp fever are promoting a false dichotomy. Clearly, the material unfolding of the class struggle leads the proletariat to self-consciousness, and therefore to a unity of theory and practice, something swamp inhabitants rail against precisely because they don't operate from a proletarian perspective.


  40. THE ENEMY IS LIFESTYLISM

  41. Kill sectarianism with fire.

  42. Identity politics = voluntary ghettoisation = the cultural logic of consumerism in late capitalism.

  43. A lifestyle is a commodity sold to you to keep you quiet.

  44. Most modern Western occultists seem to have given up the search for "what is real" and confined themselves to looking for a new and more fun religion. Well, to hell with that.

  45. Those who buy such an identity will not only buy the appropriate clothes, books, memorabilia etc to make sure no-one forgets their Special Unique identity for a moment. They will also hide in their little communes or staff common rooms or book circles or other voluntary ghettos, and never venture out to bother the real world again.

  46. What do you want - to change material reality or just give yourself a new identity, a new lifestyle, a new religion which says it's not a religion?

  47. Both New Age claptrap and mechanical materialism - both ideologies common among the corporate culture and the various subcultures which have sprung up as an "opiate" to it - are designed to render you powerless.

  48. Most Marxist and anarchist sects use ritualised and useless forms of "political activism" as attempts to shore up their self-image and give them acceptable social and leisure opportunities, rather than actually trying to change the world, i.e. change mass consciousness.)

  49. It's tempting to locate the social origin of cults in clever kids with a middle-class education who dream of their internal world of ideas being, not only accepted, but dominating others in the way that they feel that the existing ideas dominate them.

  50. Too many people who think they're socialists or revolutionaries or anarchists or whatever are too busy "arguing about dead Russians" (or Germans, or Spaniards, or Americans for that matter) to get out there and start spreading memes which will lead to mass illumination around a practical social-political project.

  51. The pretend-Marxist cults, although holding to materialism as a dogma, by that very act betray Marxism - any dogmas, any ideas which are untouchable and unamendable, and the associated belief that those who hold the "correct" ideas are the elite, are against anything that Marx or indeed Lenin would have recognized.

  52. It's not an antidote to apathy, it's a set of ideas which will make you feel justified in smug apathy, in working the system for whatever material privileges you can get, and then getting together with your cool buddies on evenings and weekends to be cowboys, anarchists, Zen archers, whatever.

  53. Certain vulgar "illuminates" will tell that that that's as may be for the common herd (i.e. the people who empty their garbage, not the people who write the books they like to read), but the true homo superior are those who have evolved past such conditioned responses. If you believe that, just say the word "Marxism" to 99% of the Cosmik Consciousness Warriors based in the USA and listen to the drearily predictable responses you'll get.

  54. Anyone who claims that they're so enlightened as to be "above politics" - who sneers at mere questions of who has to work for whom and who gets the rewards thereof, in favour of talk about spiritual, genetic or subatomic reality - clearly doesn't have to worry about their own biological survival in a capitalist economy and thus is speaking from a position of privilege.

  55. The three main dangers of modern occultism are immorality, drugs, and the bamboozling of silly women. Very little has changed, although of course silly men are equally ripe to get bamboozled up.

  56. Subculturalism - the belief that you and your buddies (or people who share your reality tunnel) can survive comfortably on your own, abstracted from the social network of people you don't get on with - is the same thing. The irony is that capitalism (which sells you these elitist dreams of social fragmentation, to keep you docile) has created a single, networked global economy which means that everyone on the planet (more or less) is now interconnected, and has essentially made it impossible for you to "escape the planet of the apes".

  57. Letting the ideal be the enemy of the possible is a sure road to impotence - and as for the attitude that anything that ordinary people can do is ipso facto a useless waste of time, well, I don't think I need to even comment further.

  58. People who "believe" in Marxism are not Marxist or even political, they are religious dogmatists with all the emotional damage, political uselessness and inability to deal with life outside a small group that that entails.

  59. In internet-consumer culture, games and similar commodities substitute for unbearable reality. Chaos Marxism plays games as well, but as training for reality.

  60. The essential principle of a cult is an unchallengable ideology and an unchallengable leadership who "bear" or "preserve" the ideology.

  61. The basis of a cult: idealism + elitism + thoughtreform.

  62. Cults believe in the idea of "evil" - that ideas can be wrong in themselves - and generally lump oppositionists in that bracket. A defining feature of every cult is personal attacks against adversaries and internal critics.

  63. "Cult" is not an absolute term. But the more a group is idealist, elitist and obsessed with purifying its own dogma, the more "cultish" it is.

  64. A protest movement is NOT a community - when it becomes a "community", with its own "permanent" power structures and ethos, you're in the realms of small-group psychosis and you by Goddess should be looking to bust out.

  65. Those political or magickal groups which attempt to "insulate" their cadre from the Real World of Horrible Jobs, rather than preaching a deep involvement in them, are not only make sure their cadre will never become real leaders/Magi, but ensuring that they will just get wrapped up with another false personality, another, smaller world with the same (perhaps even nastier) games as the real world.


  66. CHAOS MARXISM IS MATERIALIST

  67. "Common sense" of modern society - including the crude and warped caricature of Marxism known as Stalinism - sees the material world and the world of ideas as distinct and independent. This is one of the reasons why hypocrisy and lies are such a defining feature of modern ruling classes. Some subsets of the infosphere, on the other hand, assert that material nature is subservient to the idealist, narrative or spiritual realms. Out of this comes all manner of religions, from Scientology to neoconservativism.

  68. The essence and the genius of the materialist dialectic is that at the same time it points out that all forms and concepts and words and labels are provisional and inessential; and insists on the primacy of our nature as higher primates seeking to survive on this small Spaceship Earth.

  69. All social structures are traceable back to human biological imperatives which in some cases predate our acquisition of consciousness, and the whole purpose of Chaos Marxist work is to create harmony between our essential animal nature and a technological civilisation which could enable us to transcend, rather than repress, that nature.

  70. Because humans are higher primates and therefore troop animals, socio-economics are fundamental to our ability to survive. As Marx pointed out long ago, the "Robinson Crusoe" story is simple nonsense. We are not cats, capable of surviving all on our own - how resources and labour are distributed within our primate troop networks is primary to our survival as "individuals".

  71. The socio-political-territorial-economic games of those higher primates called humans are predictable enough that, given proper scientific examination, the rules can be worked out. It is the contention of Marxism that the necessity of following those rules to survive overrides all considerations in the human consciousness, and thus nothing can fundamentally change on the planetary scale until those rules change at the macro-social level. We aim to work out strategies to do that and to promote them to a mass audience, which will be the only real testing ground.

  72. A real political party - or any social or cultural change organisation - values the test of practice - what people actually do - above all else.

  73. R. A. Wilson distinguished emic reality (what is really REALLY REALLY real under everything) and etic reality (what we can know through language), and pointed out that they don't really have much to do with each other. Chaos Marxism further subdivides the latter into social etic (or "consensus") reality, and personal etic reality, and furthermore insists that the closest we can get to emic reality is the need for biological survival of the primate which has these concepts. (We are of course agnostic on non-corporeal intelligence.)

  74. Since the ecological question came up in pressing fashion, the hard core "there is no significant objective reality" crowd seem to have shut up a bit. Nothing is designed to ensure your belief in gravity more than falling out of a plane.

  75. Marx said "Capital is a social relation" - R. A. Wilson would have said "Capitalism is a reality-tunnel". Same difference - capital and capitalism are not real, are constructs in a particular game. But inherent to this game is that the game must continually expand - to take in more and more players and resources.

  76. The revolutionary class is the only class with an interest in actually understanding how reality works. If our rulers allowed themselves to see outside their specially constructed reality tunnels, they'd probably go mad and/or kill themselves. Conversely, we need to see how things really work if we are to change the rules of the game.

  77. Much of reality is created collectively and can only be changed collectively.

  78. For those who want a new and better game to play, we need all the reality we can get.

  79. I still like Marx's original vision that socialism would mean a higher material quality of life for the vast majority.

  80. If you hold an idealist view of reality, you are ipso facto not entirely sane. Unless, of course, your ability to cause change in reality oustrips that of we materialists. Then we're the crazy ones. Go on. I dares ya.


  81. CHAOS MARXISM IS COLLECTIVIST

  82. Individual consciousness is not individual. Given the existence of a single globalised capitalist economy, Individualism - the belief that you can survive comfortably on your own, abstracted from any social network - is a lie, a Tar-Baby, something sold to you by the capitalist egregore to buy your allegiance.

  83. The individual is something which is a result of the world we live in, not a cause. Slightly more than an illusion, but not really fundamentally "emic"-real.

  84. Individual consciousness can be "in control" over small areas of matter, but can only affect social consciousness in proportion to common understanding and action with other social consciousnesses. Only widespread agreement within the social consciousness can be "at cause" over large areas and systems of matter.

  85. Wage-workers are the revolutionary class precisely because their mutual interests lie in co-operation rather than competition.

  86. The process of decision-making is less vital than ensuring the total freedom of each individual consciousness to have opinions different from the group ideas, and to have real opportunities to change the group's ideas.

  87. Requiring unity in action is not cultish - requiring unity in thought is.

  88. A true collective consciousness (aka "culture") can only arise where every member of the culture gets to transmit as well as receive. A cult is closed - a culture is open. A cult is simply the prejudices and personality problems of a leadership group written large - a culture might be less of a "strike force", but it will be more flexible, more healthy, and more likely to perpetuate itself.

  89. Whether you like it or not, the unwashed, reality-TV watching, football-loving masses do the work which make it possible for you to eat. Unless you want a life of monastic poverty on a self-sufficient allotment, your only choices are to live off the proceeds of a system which requires that the vast majority of humanity be psychically and socially oppressed - or join with them on a mission of mutual enlightenment.

  90. Biological survival in all primate civilisations entails conforming to consensus, social reality in some sense. Starhawk's gym teacher said: "Reality is when you jump off a roof, you break your leg." Chaos Marxism adds: "... and also that, when you don't have an income and no-one feeds you, you starve and die."

  91. Seeking individual illumination in 21st century capitalism is like trying to live a healthy lifestyle living on a toxic waste dump which is sinking into the ground.

  92. Virtually every American heterodox thinker got wet and gooey when Stalinism fell over because "their side" had won in the Cold War. Fish can't really help feeling horny when the water temperature goes up.

  93. Crowley/Wilson modern occultism contains some hints towards how our goals might be accomplished, but it needs to be generalised from the individual to the social.

  94. Groups with no ideology will eventually be forced to adopt one under pressure. Groups with no leader will eventually be forced to adopt one under pressure.

  95. Every mass movement must have leadership otherwise nothing will ever happen. But the movement creates the leadership, not the other way around.

  96. Factions and faction-fighting will always exist. The question is how to deal with factions - the belief in the "self-regulating hivemind" is revealed as the utopian/anarchoid dreaming it always was.

  97. The middle-class radical can't conceive of a real collective, so their models of organisation are the "affinity group", the commune, the monastery... and, yes, eventually, the cult.

  98. The idea is that human individuality will become possible for the first time after capitalism.


  99. THE NECESSITY OF ACTION

  100. There is an "arms race" going on in current culture between the brainwashing / black magic skills of the ruling class and their ideological apparatus, and the objective despair, alienation and anger at the grassroots of society.

  101. The biggest failure of Marxists in particular and "the left" in general is that they have lost the ability at least since the 1930s to speak in language that ordinary working people can understand.

  102. The technologies of promoting "common sense" have leapt ahead since Gramsci's day, with the powers of mass-media marketing and psychology. We need to make that quantum leap ourselves, or keep talking to ourselves forever.

  103. If capitalism isn't stopped, we're going all the way towards a mediaeval-style Inquisition and the scholasticism and mental stasis that goes with it.

  104. You will never illuminate humanity as a whole until you shut down the dark satanic mills which befoul the infosphere, and that will only happen when the masses start taking up practical activities which act as a countervirus to corporate ideology, at the same time the people who power the mills of cultural pollution go on strike.

  105. The Belief-Systems that will enable the changing of the rules of the social game - a revolution, in other words - will have to deal with issues of socio-political economy as fundamental to issues of personal enlightenment and/or planetary survival and/or the future of the human species. Individual enlightenment takes too long, and read the climate news to know that the clock is ticking here.

  106. You can, in fact, change others. It's called brainwashing and hypnotism. On the other hand, you can persuade others that changing themselves - via becoming part of a mass movement to change the world - is a good idea. But you have to get close enough to the unwashed reality-TV watching masses that you can actually learn what a realistic first step towards this might be.


  107. THE PAINKILLER OF THE MASSES

  108. Consciousness and personality are performative rather than essential.

  109. In the modern era, in the countries rich in capital and information, the biggest and most effective weapon in the armoury of social reaction is persuading the oppressed to culturally identify with their oppressors, and to experience other oppressed groups as culturally alien, incomprehensible and threatening. This is most effectively done through mass media which encourages the masses to experience the world around them from the point of view of the ruling classes - or, more precisely, from the point of view of the cultural-professional middle classes who work for the ruling classes (analagous to how the priest in the middle ages worked in the interests of the local lord, while of course having their own identity and interests).

  110. The masses are asleep because it is a rational survival strategy, given their powerlessness in modern globalised capitalism, and given the vast resources of the powerful devoted to the means of mass hypnosis.

  111. Popular media culture is the unifying and justifying narrative of world imperialism today, just like Christianity was in the 19th century. The TVs are the churches of the 21st century in the "opiate of the masses" sense, and idiots who think that harrassing Muslims is somehow "progressive" should realise that they're facing the wrong enemy.

  112. Subcultures as lobster-traps for the inquiring mind existed long before the internet, it's just now it's far easy for weirdos to form cliques and for those cliques to become "target demographics".

  113. People who hang around on the internet are not the primary interest of Chaos Marxism, but they are a pretty good "petri dish", since they embody facets of the concrete global society "speeded up".


  114. CULTURAL REVOLUTION – A DO IT YOURSELF GUIDE

  115. Against this religious belief that somehow if we're good enough - "good" defined as adherence to the religious maxims dictated by our enemies - our enemies will simply be swept aside by good fairies, Chaos Marxism counterposes the idea that to defeat an enemy you must be symmetrical to it.

  116. And much like we need to learn from the industrial workers how best to make the revolution in the factories, we need to learn from the cyberworkers and the internet nerds how to build the revolution in the mediasphere.

  117. We haven't yet begun to plumb the depths of what the self-organisation of internet nerds is capable of. There must be cross-fertilisation with the "Traditional" workers' movement, expecially for those of us seeking to organise the cybertariat of the 21st century.

  118. "We are the tiny enlightened elite who are going to save the world, by hiding and doing our superhero stuff behind the scenes, by manipulating the structures of oppression rather than trying to throw them down." What, really, is the difference between this and getting a job in academia, advertising or the entertainment multinationals - i.e giving up altogether?

  119. Every taboo needs its relaxation. Every cultural construct needs a "joker in the pack", someone who is going to break all the rules for the hell of it.

  120. The idea that some taboos can never, ever be relaxed is born out of the hubris of the cultural-administrator class that they can control everyone's thoughts all the time. If it worked, it would lead to totalitarianism, aka cultural stasis, the "Ghost Point". Thankfully it doesn't work.

  121. To imagine that social revolution is conceivable... without revolutionary outbursts by a section of the petty bourgeoisie WITH ALL ITS PREJUDICES [italics in original], without a movement of the politically non-conscious proletarian and semi-proletarian masses against oppression ... --to imagine all this is to REPUDIATE SOCIAL REVOLUTION.

  122. Your only possible usefulness is as being the yeast that makes the bread rise, and please note that the yeast gets no special privileges or leadership roles for this.

  123. An actual revolutionary vanguard can't afford to have secrets or hidden agendas.

  124. A "leaderless group" in fact means "a group where leadership is secret or not acknowledged".

  125. You don't need a formal leader to be a cult. All you need is sufficient peer pressure to "maintain the consensus".

  126. Make yourself relevant. Don't lecture, but learn as well as teach. You are only worth anything in your self-proclaimed leadership if you can actually win the trust and confidence of the masses - you don't earn it by being "orthodox", by spouting the right memes. Memes are in fact irrelevant except insofar as they directly influence action.

  127. The player who has the best, most unobstructed view of the field of play is the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper, of course, has only a very limited ability to affect the actual course of the game, and has to rely on his ability to yell his insights as loud as possible to the rest of the team. So it is for the organic intellectual or Mage in the modern era.

  128. Small groups can't do shit except to the extent that they influence large groups.

  129. The mass demonstration is the only actual real political/memetic activism that your average working stiff has any chance to get involved with. It's not as useful as the mass strike, but it's something rather than nothing.


  130. HACK YOUR OWN PERSONALITY

  131. You are what you are - I am sorry to say - because of how your personality evolved to enable you to survive under capitalism. (And if it failed to do so, I'm glad to see that they allow you to read my blog in the mental hospital or prison.)

  132. Lose your ego - your image of "yourself" and where "you" fit into your social setting, and your obsession with defending it - and you can become one with a current or force which can actually shape material reality.

  133. Sanity = a correct perception of where an individual or group has power and where they do not. Happiness = perception of relative power. Unhappiness = perception of relative powerlessness.

  134. Some crazy people are happy as hell, but we don't want to be crazy because it would mean total powerlessness.

  135. "Self-help" therapy usually embodies pre-existing social norms that the individual is finally and totally responsible for their personal reality, which I see as oppressive and an ideological tool of those who hold power

  136. Institutional psychology, on the other hand, seems to embody the idea that "sanity" means adapting smoothly to existing reality rather than an increased ability to affect it in accordance with desire - also an ideological tool of that which holds power.

  137. If you accept that personal change is far more important than political change, and also accept that some people have achieved Superhumanity in their own life time, then surely your rule from that point onwards it to shut up and listen. And donate. And sell the paper.

  138. The prejudices which underly our own treasured place in the world are the hardest to see through, even if you think you've progressed mostly past Cosmic Schmuckhood -

  139. You'd better either think of some way of getting past your monadic, bourgeois, individualist identity - or just give up and find a good drug/religion/sports team to follow.

  140. This side of the revolution, the successful revolutionary will have to learn to simulate a personality which operates on the basis of "common sense" in order to survive, while also developing a personality which operates on the basis of "good sense" in order to be effective in the struggle. "Good sense" will get you fired - "common sense" will ensure that you never actually change anything - so best to be able to pick "horses for courses".

  141. Even after ego loss, there is much chopping of wood, carrying of water and posting on blogs.

  142. Is martyrdom all bad, anyway? Jesus was nailed up, yes, Ché was pumped full of bullets and displayed, but they are now bad-ass memes of various levels of immortality, and you won't be if you stay in hiding.

  143. Being a vessel for the Chaos Marxist Current does not mean that the demands of holding down a job, having friends, looking after your physical needs and communicating with people who're not part of your crusade will go away. Forget this, and you my friend are lost in the Abyss and need to be saved.

  144. An effective Chaos Marxist must be willing to ditch even their most cherished personality if it becomes counterproductive - and this includes the personality of "member of the revolutionary party / Magickal Order that will save the world". You may have to destroy everything you love in order to do what is necessary.

  145. You have to have the right kind of boundaries between yourself and the mass movement, once you're in there. No boundaries and you might as well not exist. Firm, steel-hard boundaries and you'll be incapable of actually leading - your comrades will distrust you at best and hate you at worst.


  146. THE WORLD AS IS

  147. The novelty in the current epoch of history is that the egregore of capitalism (generalised commodity production and wage labour) now dominates the majority of all human experience, and its sphere of domination inexorably expands in the absence of successful class struggle.

  148. Capitalism head-fixing technology smashes all previous forms of family and social life, and incorporates and commodifies any new social movements which do not base themselves on a clearly defined anti-capitalist political praxis.

  149. Superstition, fanatical religion, fanatical religion disguised as politics, mind-control cults and cargo cults flourish in an era of social defeat.

  150. In virtually every advanced capitalist country in the world today the ruling class thinks of itself as junior partners of the Yankee capitalist class.

  151. As actual capitalist production shifts out of the advanced First World, and the local economies are bound up increasingly with administration, media production and servicing the consumption needs of the elite... virtually all "First World" countries will be controlled by rentiers, living off the profits of their investments in China, India, wherever.

  152. When media commentators talk about the underclass, they are not necessarily talking about an objective economic differentiation (since in many cases the physical-labour workers are better off financially than those in call centres and the like). They are talking about the gap between those fluent in the language, verbal and symbolic, of the oppressor classes, and those who aren't.

  153. Virtually any "radical cultural product" in this day and age is generally spot on about the problem, but falls down on the solutions.

  154. 90% of what passes for "social science" under capitalism (and an increasing percentage of physical science) is on an intellectual par with astrology or mediaeval Scholasticism, in that it primarily consists of "Just So" stories about why whatever happens in the World-As-Is is As It Should Be.

  155. "Polyarchy" is simply the system of organisation natural to capitalism - hundreds of different and competing systems of power, all dictatorial within their own little fields, but engaging in anarchic and destructive competition with each other.

  156. Democracy, as we would understand it, is certainly dictatorship - seen from their point of view, since they recognize the authority of only the government which deflects and makes harmless actual democracy, and actively attempts to fragment and atomise human consciousness.

  157. To survive as a "stand-up guru" full-time you have to enter a Small Businessman's Reality Tunnel, from which of course Marxist ideas look like inhuman blasphemy

  158. The small businessman is an endangered species tending towards extinction.

  159. There's no profit in space. To have the kind of money that you'd need to put into Space Migration etc., you'd have to be in the kind of reality tunnel where such fantasies would seem pointless and laughable.

  160. Cult methods of organisation are nothing more than boiled-down and spiced-up versions of accepted behaviour-control and thought-reform methods used commonly against children and "deviants" in late capitalist society. Nothing that Scientology or the Moonies or the Sparts do is really dissimilar in kind from what ordinary mums and dads, schoolteachers, psychiatric nurses and prison guards are encouraged to do every day - only in degree, and in target.

  161. Capitalism head-fixing technology smashes all previous forms of family and social life, and incorporates and commodifies any new social movements which do not base themselves on a clearly defined anti-capitalist political praxis.Corporate Memetics have worked out the basic rules of "predictable human behaviour" and use them daily to keep the poor shuffling proles working like dogs 8 hours or more a day and consuming like Hungry Hungry Hippos for the remainder of their waking hours.

  162. Constant competition for the advertising dollar has had the same effect as constant competittion for market scare - the means of production of memes are becoming ever more efficient, and yet their equivalent of the "rate of profit" (the rate of effectiveness?)tends to ever diminish.

  163. The media priesthood have perfected memetics to the point where they can actually bypass the rational brain altogether and provoke, literally and directly, "gut reactions" (or groin reactions, for that matter). HOLY SHIT if we do not learn to do this ourselves and socialise the means of production and distribution of media signals (exchange will not mean anything in a post-itellectual property era), they may well perfect the means to control us with pleasure rather than pain and the species will be doomed.

  164. The bone-level anger and hatred, evoked in working people by the grimness of life as disposable labour in 21st century capitalism, expresses itself in a continuous "slow motion" riot. Working people take it out on themselves and occasionally random members of the bourgeoisie, in the shape of violence, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and property damage. Our rulers attempt to channel this continually welling hatred into mindless patriotism, hatred of religious, political or ethnic outsiders, and compulsion to buy whatever commodities will engender the illusion of being a valued part of a community for about ten minutes.

  165. The cultural technician class (99% of the people you'll see writing blogs or websites, in other words) overwhelmingly make their living by using memetic tools to spread someone else's toxic ideology. It's precisely because of that that your bus driver is far, FAR more likely to make an effective revolutionary memetician and political activist than the cool guy you met on the internet who reads all the same cool books as you do.

  166. RAW suggested that primate social reality was mainly based on simian territorial/dominance games. Chaos Marxism thinks that's a bit simplistic. For the last 200 years, the laws of market forces have taken more and more of a primary role, and we think that the cash nexus works on a different logic than primate dominance rules - which is why capitalism is much more progressive than any previous socio-economic system, and also much more destructive.


  167. DON'T CONFUSE THE LEVELS

  168. Many of the great leaders of history got there by trial and error without the benefit of "system". In a sense, this is just a way of explaining to my people - over-educated young Westerners in the internet age - what is necessary.

  169. Just because you're Illuminated doesn't mean you're right about anything in particular.

  170. "Sane" doesn't mean "good".

  171. You can only be a vanguard if (a) you are actually, demonstrably out in front, (b) you've got a large number of people following you.

  172. Some of the worst Stalinists are in fact Trotskyists. To put it another way - having a more correct abstract theory in no way insulates yourself from dogmatism and small-group psychosis.

  173. The masculine pronoun is used for poetic effect. Women are just as bad.

  174. Whether Marxists should have their own party, and how it should be organised, depend on the concrete conditions in which they face themselves. To say that we should always organise as "toy Bolsheviks" is like saying that all Thelemites must get together a hierarchically structured Order like the OTO or the A.A. Mistaking the map for the territory in a big way.

  175. Just because people follow some weird and offensive memes doesn't mean they're not potent allies.


  176. THE FUTURE

  177. Che Guevara said "if you are a revolutionary, make a revolution." Similarly: if you are a Renaissance man, start a Renaissance.

  178. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  179. O ye Illuminated Ones, make ye a choice right now - are you going to hypnotise yourself into being happy living on a quickly collapsing toxic waste dump, or are you going to hypnotise yourself into waking everyone up so we can clean the dump up together? Are you going to visualise yourself levitating over the bars of the prison, or are you going to lead a prison riot, take the place over and then figure out how to get everyone out?

  180. Pick the world you want to create - a world of isolation and solipsism, or a world of shared, collectively-created reality? Chaos Marxism opts for the latter.

  181. We are splashing psychic liberation right across the planet - and we'd die to do it.

  182. A revolution will mean the people who don't have to lie to make their living taking over

  183. To lead you have to learn as well as teach.

  184. I'm not sure whether I'm thrilled or terrified by the idea that the central secret of consciousness is "I did it for the lulz".

01 October 2008

Apologies

Due to drama and panic on this side on the computer, the promised Second Anniversary of Chaos Marxism gift - Aphorisms, vol. 2 - has been postponed. This weekend, if you're lucky.

I wonder if any of you readers remember the unborn goddess meme I discussed back in the early days of this blog? I've been having some more thoughts about that, but I'll want to conduct some practical experiments before I get back to you.