30 June 2009

I hate being right all the time.

I got in hot water for suggesting that - while of course the Iranian people's struggle for democracy deserves 100% support - the "Twitter Revolution" was in fact mainly middle-class Westerners jerking themselves off for TEH DEMOCRAZIES, combined with CIA/Mossad psyops. I think I've been proved right by the military coup in Honduras. No Twitter frenzy about that, except from the leftie usual suspects. Why? Because President Zelaya is a horrible leftist and ally of Hugo Chávez. Therefore, the Western mainstream media won't support him (and they make up arrant lies about what the non-binding referendum was supposed to be asking).

Therefore, there is no massive memetic push to drive the intarwebz into moralistic frenzy. The ensuing lack of anyone giving a damn about Honduras truly indicates how much the outpouring of showy grief over Iran was simply an artifact of a very sophisticated public relations campaign, by forces allied to the current global ruling class.

Hat tip in particular to BoRev, who points out that the protestors in Tegucigalpa are currently dodging bullets on the street, "which is like Twittering for poor people".

26 June 2009

I haven't trolled the Bobbies in FIVE WHOLE MINUTES

I heard of Janor Hypercleats "Church of Don" pamphlet a decade and a half ago, but finally someone has made an online version of the final answer to wankstains who think they're cool because they dig the Church of the SubGenius.

The Church of the SubGenius is cool. People who bask in its coolness aren't.

25 June 2009

Anon-tech just kicked in yo

Okay. You guys will remember that 4chan and associated intarwebz nerds declared war on the cult of Scientology at the beginning of last year. What you might not have heard since then: 4chan and similar fora have disowned Chanology, mainly on the grounds of it getting boring and respectable and about something other than the lulz, a phenomenon referred to in their usual tasteful manner as "moralfaggotry". However,
Chanology is still going (and scoring some hits), so therefore we must distinguish between "old Anonymous" (aka /b/tards, SomethingAwful goons, and other Chaotic Neutral intarwebz denizens) and "new Anonymous", which is pretty much a "chaotic good" hacktivism network.

Well, now "new Anonymous" has taken up the cause of the Iranian uprising. As mentioned below, we have been skeptical about the attempts of intarwebz denizens to climb on the barricades watered with the blood of real live Iranians to give themselves a moralistic hardon. (So perhaps CM disapproves of moralfaggotry as well.) However, this is serious business, as "new Anonymous" are clearly no longer a single-issue campaign, but an example of the self-organisation of intarwebz nerds, which yesterday's post suggested was the logical outcome of the digital revolution. More fundamentally - "new Anon"'s campaigns are being supported by The Pirate Bay.

A hundred years ago, Marxists and revolutionaries knew perfectly well what had to be done. Lenin said that the working class were spontaneously socialist and revolutionary (of course, he said this about five years after saying the precise opposite, which is why arguing from quotation is of limited value.) Therefore - the goal of Marxists and others with an actual ideology and a plan to change the world was to unite with these spontaneous radical forces - and attempt what Rosa Luxemberg called "the merging of workers and science". Learning and teaching, combining concrete experience with theoretical rigour, left brain plus right brain of a new collective class consciousness.

Well, intarwebz denizens are certainly not spontaneously socialist. But they certainly are spontaneously libertarian (much like the broader "information-processing classes" are spontaneously socially liberal), and they certainly do NOT tolerate anyone fucking around with their intarwebz. Remember, that's how Scientology got in the shit in the first place, trying to censor Tom Cruise spouting clam-speak on YouTube. And now the Islamic Republic of Iran have put their foot in it as well. It remains to be seen exactly how much use "Green Anon" is going to be. But - especially given the broader political implications of the involvement of the Pirate Bay, the first ever website to have a political wing - it behooves us to watch carefully and try to draw sensible conclusions.

Revolutionaries of the 21st century are going to have to take the self-organisation of internet nerds as seriously as the self-organisation of the working class, and let's start now. The question that can only be resolved in practice is: can the information-processing class in the Internet era be part of a revolutionary coalition that can change the world for a better, and if so, what possibilities are there for common cause and action with the industrial proletarians, the global slum-dwellers, the peasant masses, and other oppressed groups? Traditional Marxism suggests that the industrial workers will be the basis of a new world, but we're far beyond traditional Marxism now.

ETA: Holy Toledo Batman, the Pirate Party has a damned functioning international already. Serious business, as I said.

24 June 2009

A social revolution?

One of the basic ideas of Marxism is that all social relations, legal systems, property forms etc. originally evolve to encourage production and the satisfaction of human needs, but then turn into fetters on it, that only a social revolution of sorts can break. Anyone reading this no doubt knows that copyright, intellectual property and patents, which all evolved to encourage the production of (commodified) innovation, science, art and literature, are now used to prevent world-wide, zero cost dissemination of intellectual wealth.

Traditional Marxism looks to a future of the industrial workers seizing the factories and distributing their produce according to social need. While that seems further off than it did at the time Unca Karl talked about it, certainly a future of the infotech workers, writers, musicians, philosophers etc. seizing control of their fruits of their labour and distributing them according to social need looks like it's becoming a social fact. The only question remaining is - given that worldwide capitalism and the market economy aren't going to be overthrown any time soon - how can it be that the producers of cultural goods can continue to do so, and eat, given that the commodity model of production became instantly obsolete once broadband internet connections became common in households?

The big problem is that new "business models" which are evolving to ensure that publishing houses, universities and record companies (on whom I spit) can continue to make $$$, and screw the actual creative intellectual workers (who were actually screwed in the first place). But a retreat to the commodity model - don't put anything online, DRM, moral suasion trying to teach The Kids that torrents are just like holding up a liquor store!!! - won't work. Given that, it looks like Hugo Chávez and the Swedish Pirate Party should be teaming up to fight crime:

Chávez wants to end medicine patents
By Reuters | June 22, 2009
CARACAS - President Hugo Chávez has vowed to shake up the rules governing intellectual property rights on medicines and other products in Venezuela, the socialist’s latest move against the private sector.

“A song is intellectual property, but an invention or a scientific discovery should be knowledge for the world, especially medicine,’’ Chávez said late Saturday.

“That a laboratory does not allow us to make a medicine because they have the patent, no, no, no,’’ Chávez said.

Chávez, who has nationalized many Venezuela industries and is critical of the private sector, ordered his trade minister to analyze the patent rules in the OPEC nation.

“Patents have become a barrier to production, and we cannot allow them to be barriers to medicine, to life, to agriculture,’’ said the minister, Eduardo Saman, who previously headed Venezuela’s patent agency.

“We are revising all the doctrines and laws related to patents, which should be compatible with the international treaties that we have signed and respect and honor.’’

Chávez recently criticized Swedish packaging maker Tetra Pak, saying its patents on cartons were limiting production in Venezuela.
© Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


Intellectual work benefits us all, but can't actually be eaten. Given that, how can those sectors of the economy which do actually produce food, shelter, clothing etc., best be used to support those who make everyone's existence better in other ways? The commodity/copyright/patent model is crashing around our ears and can only be imposed with brute force, which means a minor social revolution is underway. But what will replace it? Or are we looking to a future where there will no longer be any professional musicians or writers? Will they all have to get day jobs? Is that a good thing?

23 June 2009

A word of warning...

...to anyone tempted to take this blog full of bright ideas too seriously:

When we live in the basement, it is probably impossible to conceive of what life might be like were we to live on the garden floor (American first floor, English ground floor).

On the garden floor, we might venture out through a patio door, over the threshold, and into the garden. But, whether within or without, we wouldn't be able to see over the well-established yew hedge into the countryside beyond the garden. So, as far as we know, from the perspective of a ground floor dweller, the extent of the world is the end of our garden.

[...]

From a cellar-dweller's point of view, were we to imaginatively project or extrapolate what the world could be like beyond our cellar, beyond our own direct experience, we might conclude that it is dark, damp, and that the earth is covered in concrete.

From a garden-floor dweller's point of view, were we to imaginatively project or extrapolate what the universebeyond our garden might be like, we would probably conclude that "it's like our garden, but bigger".

Until we move upstairs we don't / won't have a broad enough area of vision, seeing, or simply enough data, to be able to venture anything more than an underinformed & seriously compromised subjective projection / opinion.

If I live in the cellar, and haven't visited upstairs, I will probably conclude that a garden (if I have somehow learnt of such a concept) is just like my basement floor, a stretch of concrete, but greener. The sun is like my spotlight, but much brighter (I hope not too much brighter, because it'll hurt my eyes). The wind is like a fan, but with a greater variation of speeds.

In my cellar, because I have spent a lot of time thinking about all manner of important things, I have some valuable opinions about gardening and how to improve the operating procedures of gardeners. After all, they've been too busy gardening to learn what I know, just by thinking.

Perhaps, in my basement, I have a cellar-dweller's computer. I log on to several gardening sites and know lots and lots of Latin names for plants. I may never have known the fragrance of a rose, but I know long names for several of them! Like, Rosa Gallica Officinalis & Rosa Dopus Pratticus.

But a gardener knows the fragrance of a rose, with eyes closed. This fragrance is impermanent, yet eternal. A nose knows a rose knows a rose.


(source) Once more I give my thanks to people who've gone "there" before and have helpful advice for those prone to dreaming that they're awake.

20 June 2009

Twitter, other people's revolutions, vigorous masturbation

Let us be clear. Chaos Marxism disapproves of the "Islamic Republic" regime in Iran, although we should point out that the Shi'ites in Iran are significantly less cruel and crazy than the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia. Although we have no sides in the quarrel between the unpleasant reactionary clown Ahmedinejad and the unctuous blood-on-his-hands-from-when-he-was-PM-in-the-80s neoliberal Moussavi, we are at the same time heartened by reports that working class forces are getting into the action in the current uprising in Tehran, and distressed by the many similarities to the CIA/NED-funded "colour revolutions" that have overthrown inconvenient regimes in Ukraine, Lebanon, Georgia etc. just to put an oppressor pleasing to the West in charge. The obvious slogan should be "Neither the Mullahs nor Imperialism, but International Socialism, Peace and Brotherhood", if you can fit that on a placard.

But that's not the point, since it's being well argued in many places elsewhere. What I want to point out is this article, puncturing the nonsense about there being a "Twitter revolution" in Iran. While there seems to be a real-life battle going on on the streets and workplaces of Iran, the whole Twitter thing seems to be overwhelmingly about:
- feeding disinformation helpful to the US and Israel to the people on the ground in Iran;
- giving plump Westerners the ability to fap themselves off by identifying with someone else's revolution. All that "TURN YR ICON GREEN 4 FREEDUMZ!!1!" nonsense - it's about as much actual use in the scheme of things as turning your icon black to support the NZ rugby teams. Sadly, it's much more destructive. The real goal of this construction of "pre-fab identities" by the marketing geniuses at the US State department is to reaffirm the collective identity of the middle-class voting and consuming public "the West" as "the good guys, supporters of freedom", which will be very useful next time our leaders want support to invade somewhere and kill brown folks.

So, the whole point of the Twitter revolution is to confuse and demoralise the actual martyrs on the ground in Iran, and the opinion-forming layers in the West, into identifying with the forces of world capitalism and imperialism. Let's hope they don't succeed. Actually, to hell with hoping, let's make sure they don't succeed. Bring up the points raised in this post every time someone brings up the events in Iran as if there were some kind of glorious morality parade, with "pro-Western" being used as a substitute for "good guys".

17 June 2009

...but first you've got to THROW IT

Your willpower, or intent, is like a boomerang. Project it the wrong way, and you will waste time and energy. Project it the right way, it will come back to you and you will have a gain in results for a net zero in expenditure. If you're losing energy, feeling run down or wasted, you should ask yourself whether you have any "open-ended" commitments, things that drag on forever with no clear way to end the cycle and get your boomerang back. Then, figure out how to put an end to them properly.

The turn to the mystical

Psychic nomad made a useful comment on the 1 Key / 9 Commitments post in that I seemed to be prioritising the Greater Work (the struggle against the false self / nafs / Ego) over the Lesser Work (the struggle against injustice and mass brainwashing in the real world), when really they should go together. He (please correct for gender if necessary) was right, in principle. However, as VI Lenin said, one has to bend the stick to the needs of the present moment. And this ties in with the face that my political mentor (who's obviously kind of enlightened in his own way, although a traditional Marxist and therefore a hard-core atheist) told me ages ago I needed to be "more humble and less sensitive".

The essential reason for the shift of emphasis is the shift of emphasis on real life. It's a combination of two things:
- the actual political experiments I've been involved in have been, to use a Spinal Tapism, quite "selective" in their success;
- the realisation of what my mentor meant by humility; i.e. that so much of my political activism had not, in fact, been motivated by an intent to make it work. Rather, it had been motivated by Ego as we have been discussing it - the desire to be a "bad ass revolutionary" so that people would think I was cool and sexy, carrying with it the concomitant desire to never be wrong about anything, which led to avoiding criticism (and therefore accurate feedback) at all costs, which is obviously certain death to a political project which means actually talking to real people in the real world who don't share your assumptions and whom you can't control.

So I've negotiated a brief leave of absence (certainly not a resignation) from the Lesser Work to put serious effort into the Greater Work for a while. So this means that I need you the viewers at home to give more feedback on whatever you might have been doing in the actual real struggle against injustice. Me, I'll be sitting at home for a while, listening to my Ego screaming at me and waiting for it to be quiet for a little while.

12 June 2009

Ego: What It Is And What It Ain't

Well, if we are to speak of egos, then mine just got a boost with the first ever real comments-box debate on this blog. Doctor John Zoidberg speaks for me on this matter:

Click here to get avatars like this!

*ahem* Anyway, to address the subject of the controversy. In the little maze of words I have developed to express the idea-complex I call Chaos Marxism, "ego" is defined as that part of you which has developed with the express goal of survival in the Real World of Horrible Jobs. (See Aphorisms 2:123 and 2:132) Ego is the part of you which:
- can have relationships with other people.
- can acquire the goods and services necessary for survival and personal fulfilment.
- has opinions on politics, sport, music, the weather, other people, etc.

If anything I've said here could be taken to read that I advocate the annihilation or "amputation" of the ego, I've done something terribly wrong, because as you see above, the ego is bloody useful for many things. If you don't have an ego, then you have to be locked up for your own protection and people have to feed you pre-chewed mush so you don't hurt yourself with cutlery. And if you have a weak ego, you will be dependent on any weird identity, religion or other memetic device which will prop your ego up to be able to face the world. This is especially true under capitalism. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, ego is more necessary under capitalism than at any other time in history, because this is the time when the isolated individual is supposed to look after themselves independently of social networks.

However, a vital tenet of the CM approach - which doesn't appear to be in the Aphorisms yet, which probably means I need a third volume - is that since a successful ego is one which enables you to live well and comfortably in the world-as-is, it is not fit for the purpose of changing the world-as-is. This of course will explain why revolutionary parties are full of flakes and weirdos, i.e. people who haven't got that kind of well-rounded ego, so they're a bit outside the whole system. Like "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in They Live, if you're not the people the ads are speaking to, you can see the true horrror in what they're actually saying.

However, as said above, the weaker the ego, the more Ego Comes First. What this means in practice is putting the practical needs of the movement (changing the world) behind the needs of the ego (finding a niche where people like you and you can feel good about yourself). And so the party becomes a sect, a substitute religion, a lifestyle choice. So many people who escape the clutches of Big Brother just end up falling for the first Little Brother/Sister who tells them the lies that they want to hear (usually some variation on You Are The Chosen One). So the opposition to the system is recuperated, because the essential problem - the dominance of the Ego and its needs for an identity, for a place to call home, for attention - is still the same.

So what is the way out? Simply put - to have a strong Ego which is under control. This is the purpose of the Greater Work/Jihad which I outlined in "One Key and Nine Commitments". It requires the essential insight that YOU ARE NOT YOUR EGO. Your ego is a tool. It's something that you created for a purpose, and your job is not to look after its needs. Quite the opposite. What you really are - let's call it "True Self" until someone suggests a better term - has nothing to do with ego, which, as we've explained, is all about your physical and social survival and wellbeing, identity, and place in the world. "True Self" is... well, what really moves you, irrespective of all those social games.

Robert Graves, professional poet and amateur theologian, suggested that the true test of poetry is whether it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. For "poetry" substitute whatever gets you metaphysically high. It might be BDSM play. It might be the first thirty seconds of "Squonk" by Genesis (1975) (fuckin' brilliant bass line). It might be petting your dog. WHATEVER. If you can find that source of "poetry" - the language of your soul - you have a way of looking after yourself irrespective of the ego. Look, even bloody Weight Watchers has figured this out - that so many people become fat because they are eating, not for their bodies' needs or even for pleasure, but to plug holes in a fragile ego, or at least to numb the pain. Anything that you do for its own sake, for the joy of being there and existing, is the voice of your True Self. Feed that as much as you can. Anything you do because it gives you some kind of identity or place in the world or plugs a psychic gap is feeding Ego. Put it on a diet. No, that does not mean starve it to death.

I do like the metaphor of the ego as a dog. I don't want to hurt the friendly dog, but he and I will be much, much happier if he learns to stop begging for food and humping my leg.

===

Also, Christopher mentioned in the comments:

that sort of dancing nascent insight on this blog that really does seem to come from a stream of consciousness singing about a great deal of interconnected ideas that haven't been systematically joined, and perhaps never will be.


Yeah, that's about right. Posts on this blog are as spontaneous as anything I ever do. I get a Burning Thought - oft-times during prayer or meditation - and rush to this blog to put it in vaguely presentable form before the buzz wears off, which really is a kind of verbal "dance". This is a problem for the medium-term project of putting this into a book. I write for publication as well, and that's a completely different style of writing, and I'm not sure how well it will translate.

Reprogramme self now, ask me how

A neuroscientist had a massive stroke which pretty much wrecked the entire verbal/cognitive part of her brain, and then over the course of the decade she put her entire personality back together from scratch. The best bit is how she did so while specifically not re-activating the bits she didn't like.

I've read the full interview, which isn't online anywhere I can see, but she does go on to say that this is basically mindfulness, "remembering yourself", realising that you are not identical with your ego, your personality, or whatever thoughts or images are running through your head, like all those Buddhists and Sufis and Gurdjieff fanboys and Robert Anton Wilson and now the CBT crowd have been talking about since Adam was a cowboy. Dig her full website.

I am always shocked and pleased when science confirms the insights of theory/philosophy/religion that stepping up to RAW's "sixth circuit" - metaprogramming, learning the difference between You and Your Ego and learning to get the latter to do what it's told - is not only possible but there are recognised and predictable ways to get there. In other news, Terry Pratchett is questioning his atheism because of some personal gnosis, although I'm sure the hardcore atheists will say something uncharitable about his illness.

I suppose where all our paths diverge is the question of what exactly is the real you under all that ego crap which can do the reprogramming. Mystics would say it's God his/her own self. Buddhists (I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong) would say it's the essential nothingness at the heart of everything. Gurdjieff called it a new type of Man. Perhaps a scientistic way of putting it would be pre-conscious neural circuits. Chaos Marxism says it's the seed of a new world.

10 June 2009

Atheism, egoism, capitalism

All three of above evolved at the same time, and contain the same socio-economic content - the revolt against feudal authority, of king, priest, and (crucially) the whole network of social obligations which is the very basis of feudalism. And this meant a revolt against horizontal obligations to the local community, as well as vertical obligations to one's lord on earth and Lord in heaven. From this point the basis of all social relationships becomes, as Ayn Rand put it, "men must trade value for value" - value here of course meaning exchange value, "use value" being dismissed as some kind of mediaeval fanciful notion, like phlogiston and the King's touch curing scrofula. The individual, the bourgeois subject is now the only real reality from which everything else is extrapolated.

(It's of course no coincidence that the one exception to this is the nuclear family - kind of the "dirty secret" of capitalism, as the unpaid labour of housewives and mothers in the marriage or de-facto-marriage relationship is probably the last remaining vestige of feudal traditions of fealty and fiefdom. And of course Ayn Rand had absolutely nothing to say about the raising of children, which is kind of a gaping flaw in the Objectivist worldview. But anyway...)

If you believe in "God", as traditionally defined, it is impossible to argue that humans do not have some kind of obligation to God. Of course, the first step away from traditional religion was not atheism as we know it, but the Deism of Thomas Jefferson and the French Jacobins - that there is a fundamental order to the Universe, called God for convenience, but that "God made Nature and then Nature made everything else" (to quote Zora Neale Hurston), and therefore no feudal-style relation of vassalage applied for humanity, and we can do what we like. After a hundred years or so, science had advanced enough that "Science" replaced "Nature's God" in the radical bourgeois imagination, and thus atheism replaced deism.

But, you may argue, wasn't the 19th century famous for the most saccharine forms of official religious piety? Well, of course it was, and that was the retreat from radical liberal ideology - because radical liberal ideology couldn't justify slavery or imperialism. But religion could - if you replaced the divine right of kings with the divine right of Western Civilisation, and the ruling class which embodied Western Civilisation. It's also very handy for keeping the plebs in line, in the traditional "opium of the masses" sense - as long as we remember that the ruling class were high on exactly the same opium, which kept the essential contradiction between professed values and actual actions suppressed.

Religion was the opiate of the masses because the bourgeoisie had no direct way to influence the peasantry, the poor or the nascent working class. The local priest or minister or preacher was the main channel through which ruling class ideology filtered to the masses. In the Catholic countries, of course, there was a long drawn-out struggle against the Church hierarchy, with its hung-over feudalist values - which, crucially, involved not only the absolute authority of the Pope, but those pesky feudal mutual social obligations, which is where that whole tradition of Catholic Centre / Christian Democratic politics comes from (and, in the Anglophone countries, the phenomenon of One Nation Toryism / Red Toryism). So "social conservatism" competed for the hearts and minds of the masses with bourgeois liberalism, and in many countries it was a pretty good struggle for a hundred years or so.

That's all over now, because the mass media and mass psychology evolved, and now the forces of bourgeois liberalism have an "in" to the home of virtually every worker, peasant and poor person in the world. Now there is simply no need for God to keep the proles in line, because "Western Civilisation", "Democracy", "Freedom" and "Liberty" have become substitute Gods impressed firmly into the mass psyche. Bourgeois conservatism - in the sense of a single organic "body politic", and obligations for the wealthy to protect as well as discipline the underlings - is dead. Everyone believes in the idol Free Trade now. And in the absence of an actual mass working class movement (i.e. in most of the world at the moment), the competition to bourgeois liberalism comes from one of two middle-class ideologies - social liberalism (the ideology of the Hollywood actors, tenured academics and computer programmers, which has more or less taken the place formerly held by Catholic Centrism and social-conservatism), and reactionary mass movements up to and including actual fascism.

None of these have any real need for God in their memetic arsenal. Reaction in the United States usually drapes itself in the Cross, and in Saudi Arabia in the name of the Prophet, but (for example) in the Netherlands you've got reactionary secularism/atheism, which declares Muslims the new homo sacer who cannot be tolerated because they don't tolerate the same groups the idol Western Civilisation declares should be tolerated. (Save a gay, beat a towelhead.)

To sum up: the new oppressive ideologies all worship "Western Civilisation" - and his mighty servants "Democracy", "Free Markets", "Individual Choice" and/or "The Nation" - as their central idols - with or without the traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic God propped up beside them. The social liberals embrace atheism because the bourgeois liberals and reactionaries use religion as a weapon of social control. But then the bourgeois liberals and reactionaries declare themselves opposed to the religion of the Dark Scary Others. So all three main ideological forces support attacks on the religion of Those Guys Over There. And so the "centre-left" of modern capitalism becomes complicit in the imperial project - just as they did 70 years ago, when the French Communist Party argued for colonialism as a boon and gift to benighted savages.

Face facts, militant atheists. So many of you believe in idols which have taken more blood and human suffering than all the Gods ever invented - of which "Western Civilisation" and "Capitalist Accumulation" are the worst. So either be a consistent skeptic - "question everything", as Karl Marx and Aleister Crowley agree - or admit you've just declared a new religion.

The ideologies of our enemies have this in common - a belief in the idol "Western Civilisation" as the strongest god in the actually existing world (whether or not they believe in the Christian God as well); that the current levels of relative economic prosperity are proof of the divine favour of this bloodthirsty idol; and that the bonds of common humanity only extend to other believers in this idol. In this sense, what the memetic complex really can't handle is people who "don't share our values", i.e. worship some other god or idol - even the Christian God, in a way which does not identify the supreme being with "Western Civilisation".

Chaos Marxism does not share the values of Western Civilisation. We hold to the values of the next era of humanity, an era of internationalism, of unity in diversity, of both science and religion as liberators of the human spirit and not oppressors. We do not use the rights of women or queers as a stick to beat the religious with, and certainly not vice versa. We recognize that the choice is not between Jesus or Allah or "Science" - it is between the forces of empire, violence, compulsive accumulation and accelerating global destruction on one hand, and the forces of a new network of social responsibility between all humanity and the ecosystem we are part of on the other hand. We don't care what you believe, only what you do. A Jehovah's Witness or New Guinean animist who fights for justice is worth ten atheists who just eat chips and watch TV.

We reject all idols, or at least realise that no God or abstract concept can help you or harm you - except in that it is useful for you to invoke in yourself your real identity as a human being living on planet Earth, and bring to heel the ego which has evolved to make you a docile servant of "Western Civilisation". And as Marxists, we have faith (i.e. hope backed with evidence) that those who work in the bowels of the system have both the motive and means to overthrow that system, and build a new one based on solidarity, on individuality finding its true self in the bonds of community, on the overthrow of the almighty Ego.

09 June 2009

Vill! I mean, Will!

The mystics say: every time you fail to complete a cycle of action or fulfill a commitment or an intent, a part of your will dies, and part of you dies with it. That can clearly be expanded to political action, in that a real political force is like a shark, or a bicycle - if it's not moving, it's going to fall down. Every time there is a political question in your reach, and you don't intervene in some way, with the effect of striking up a conversation or otherwise getting ideas across to one person, your organisation dies a little - or worse, starts the process of zombification. A zombie group is what we call a "sect".

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that a real Movement or Current - political, artistic, cultural, religious - as a collective consciousness obeys quite similar rules of development to an individual consciousness, and so the various disciplines for controlling the ego (the "Greater Work") shade over nicely into building "the party" or other force for collective action (the "Lesser Work"). And it's also becoming increasingly obvious that you can't really learn this from a book (or a blog for that matter, *ahem*), you have to learn by the personal experience of doing. Which is why, once again, we call for your reports on how you have attempted to put CM ideas into practice in your area and time zone.

===

Open thread for comments on what the European Parliament elections mean from the viewpoint of those interested in CM ideas. I'll start: we see once again that the far right can only get a mass audience when the far left is pathetic. The fash get totally pushed out in Germany or France. But the left don't defend the Islamic community in the Netherlands, and we get Geert Wilders; and the left can't get over themselves to build a united party in Britain, and we get Nick glass-eye closeted-homo Griffin.

01 June 2009

It's as simple as that.

When you boil it all down, all magick is, really, is finding something nice to distract your ego with, while your subconscious and/or transpersonal Self does the real work. Which presupposes, of course, knowing that your ego is not your real self, but a "program" or "structure" developed to enable you to survive in the world as you have experienced it to date.

===

I promised a while ago to start posting reports of my own personal work, to give readers an idea of what this might fee like in practice. And finally, I get around to it:

I have been doing some hard and serious work lately, which has been quite painful. To summarise: my own ego is very, very much bound up with the idea that I have to impress the hell out of people. (I am a wannabe guru, politician and academic, in other words - but careful readers will have worked that out already.) But that presupposes a view of the world in which other human beings are divided into (a) docile puppets of my ego; (b) threats. And then I wonder why I have problems with actual human relationships.

So I think I've finally managed to get across to my ego that peace and fulfilment are not to be found that way, because other people are fundamentally not mine to control. But I don't yet have the clear connection with the broader Current of which I have been speaking on this blog - the world-changing, world-invigorating, current that you can call God, or Revolution, or Ourselves In The Future - to find an alternate means of psychic sustenance yet. So I've been sleeping and crying a lot.

Much more prayer/meditation is called for. I am currently backing off from most of my external commitments - both to make this possible, and because quite simply I have been engaging in politics and art for improper, egotistical motives, rather than letting myself be available as an instrument for the higher realities. No wonder my concrete success has been limited.