28 December 2010

The power of love is a curious thing

I have experience of fantasy & its power, on the inside & outside. A very small part of it is real, which gives the rest of the illusion/delusion its strength. The Orthodox might call this a strategy of The Great Deceiver, The Tempter, the Prince of Lies, and see fantasy being used as a device to hold us to this earth, and prevent us realising our destiny.
- Robert Fripp (source), emphasis added

Further to the discussion below: the religious might say that there ain't nothing that's completely foul and worthless through and through, because it wouldn't exist. All evil has a kernel of good, that's what gives it its power. And all cults have some real truth and goodness amidst all the bullshit and lies, else no-one would get involved in the first place. Fatso Hubbard was absolutely right that most people hold themselves down with subconscious commands, and Neo is absolutely right that most people live in a prison of their own imagination. But - physician, heal thyself. "Thou art that." The critic gives themselves away in their criticism - which might give you some insight into this Doloras, if you'll note that what she hates more than anything else is hypocrisy, people who say one thing and do another.

To whoever wrote this... thanks.

Robert Fripp suggests that music comes into the world despite, not because of, the personality of the musician. Reading back on the posts of this blog over the last two years, I am struck by how full of "dancing, nascent insight" (as one commenter put it) many of them are, how many of them accurately depict universal truths which go beyond psychology, mysticism and dialectical-material cultural analysis, and are actually funny and fun to read. And I'm shocked and appalled, because whoever wrote those posts certainly wasn't this Doloras. You see, this Doloras tends to be grouchy, negative and pessimistic. But the voice speaking through these posts is - while justifiably pissed off about a number of these things - also brave, wise, loving and generous. So it's certainly not my ordinary everyday personality.

Which is why I have to re-read this blog, because there's so much good advice here that I don't actually follow in my daily life. This Doloras is the person who gave up active political activity because she is incredibly thin-skinned and terrified of other people's reactions - when faced with an uncomfortable situation, she tends to either run away or get mean and aggressive. If she was half as brave as whoever it was who wrote the good bits of Chaos Marxism, why, she would have done much more good in the world than she already has. (Not that she hasn't done some good. But she hasn't nearly done as much as the writer of the good bits on this blog would be expected to have done.)

Well, at least this Doloras had enough brains to set up Chaos Marxism so something wiser, kinder and braver than her could speak through her. I hope it's helped someone out there. The adventure is ongoing, but I really would like more company, more feedback, more people who would confirm that the message of CM is as "real" as it seems to me. I have no wish to be a cult leader nor to wallow in a fantasy world of my own design. I aspire to live somewhere real, with kind and clean friends who share some basic assumptions but differ enough so we can have productive debates and discussions. But if no-one agrees... well, what the voice of this blog says is useful to this Doloras, at least. I could at least get used to the company of my own inner voice.

27 December 2010

And who are you? Are you all slaves?

Soundtrack for this post: "Slave Trade", Sigue Sigue Sputnik

We mentioned before that being negative and mean is a way of getting some kind of "juice" into your life if you can't get the good stuff. Similarly, narcissism works well. Let's face it, what better way to pack your life full of lulz and drama than to go around acting like you are the Chosen One and all others exist to serve your whims, or are enemies that need wiping out? Sure you'll be ridiculed and hated, and virtually nothing will actually concretely go right in your life, but at least you'll have a nice narrative frame to package that in. Your life, while unpleasant and pointless, will make sense.

Even better, some gormless losers will believe you. And why will they do that? Why do people end up in cults? The easiest answer is - that narcisstic delusions are more fun than stupid reality. I don't have a reference, but at least one person who followed L. Ron Hubbard around on his nautical adventures in the 60s - looking for gold he buried in the Mediterranean in a previous life, I shit you not - said precisely that. That it didn't matter whether it was actually factually true or not, but living in Ron's private reality was far lulzier than anything else they could think to do with their lives. Dude could always spin a yarn.

Problem is that cults are necessarily self-destructive, because narcissism is an addictive drug, and the sufferer requires more and more narcissistic supply. O'Brien in Nineteen Eighty-Four pointed out that the Party had to torture people, because how else could you be sure that you were really imposing your will on them? For this reason, cult leaders have to increasingly ramp up the levels of control and abjection of their followers. If they're doing your will, then you have to make your will more mean and intensive to test how much they really love you. Eventually you get to purple Flavor-Aid with cyanide in it (Jim Jones) - or declaring the entire executive staff of your organisation to be traitors and locking them up (Joe Stalin and David Miscavige).

===

This post is by way of being a bit of a purge and a confessional. I have a "cult leader's personality" - that is, I have suffered from a narcissist streak a mile wide. So I can tell you in plain fact that the belief that YOU ARE THE ONE, THE SON OF MAN, THE KING OF KINGS, THE SHEIKH OF ARABY etc., that you have a destiny and everyone else has to either serve you or get the hell out of your way is a good way to substitute for not actually having a life. I'm trying to get over that, though. To some degree, that disavowed belief sullied the early contributions to this blog. I really thought I was breaking through into a better reality and everything would be better if everyone would just listen to me. *sigh* For that reason, it's good for me to study people who got completely lost in that kind of no-ego ego-trip to remind myself of where that road leads.

But google "codex veritas neo" for an example of the syndrome in full flight (yes, I've mentioned this fellow before, but last time he came and whined at me so I'm not directly linking). For a similar cult based on fiction, check these guys (although I must admit that, unlike these guys, Neo has some very good insights in among the self-aggrandisation and paranoia... but then, the same could be said of Scientology). There's also a lady who goes by the name of Doctress Neutopia who you might be interested in.

Part of having a narcissistic tendency is being fascinated - and just about ready to fall for - other people who do as well. Because don't their private universes look exciting and fun? But examine the cult leaders well. Because none of them are happy. None of them are actually achieving their stated goals. Indeed, the unhappier they are the more delicious, creamy attention they get from their followers. We call this "the downward spiral".

06 December 2010

You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change.

(reposted from elsewhere)

I was recently privileged to read Iain Banks' Walking on Glass. One of the major characters is a paranoid schizophrenic fellow, who believes himself to be a superior being who fell captive in some metagalactic conflict and has been exiled on Earth as a punishment. You find out later that he might actually be right, but that's not the point here - the point is that his beliefs, while they give some structure to his reality, actually totally get in the way of being able to function properly on planet Earth. Basically, since he interprets everyone he comes across as either perpetrators of a giant conspiracy to keep him trapped on Earth, or witless dupes of that conspiracy, he can't have any friends or any honest communication, and his life is in a downward spiral (which of course proves that he's a superior being victimised by a conspiracy).

Which brings me to a criticism of that otherwise impeccable Gnostic-revolutionary film, The Matrix. The one thing that always "got" me about that movie was that the people who'd been awakened from the Matrix were licensed to kill as many normal humans as they saw fit (because they might turn into Hugo Weaving at any moment, and really death would be better than their illusory reality while living as batteries). It is said that the nafs (the self-perpetuating ego which has evolved as a defence mechanism to keep you alive and safe in this world but will try to ensure you don't change or grow) will tell you any lie in order to keep you trapped, and "YOU HAVE BEEN ENLIGHTENED, THEREFORE YOU HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN THE BLINKERED SHEEPLE, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO UNLEASH VIOLENCE ON THOSE WHO GET IN YOUR WAY" is a pretty effective trap.

In contrast, the legitimately enlightened are known for their kindness, forbearance and wicked sense of humour, although occasionally their kindness manifests in being extremely rude to people to wake them up - giving them what they need rather than what they want, in other words.

29 November 2010

Chaos Marxism is non-dualist

A brief look at our ontology:

1. CM is materialist. Matter led to biological life which led to awareness which led to consciousness which led to spirituality.

2. Spirit / God is a potential in humanity's relationship with itself, the rest of nature and the physical universe, rather than some pre-existing being. That, however, does not make it any less real. Anything which produces real effects in the material world is real, which means that if some conceptual entity in people's heads makes them do something, that entity is real and a force to be reckoned with. This is the sense in which "magick" works.

3. "The World-As-Is" does not refer to the physical world of quantum physics, rocks and bunny rabbits. It refers to what Gnostics call the kosmos - i.e. the system of language and social reality in which humans live and by which they make sense of the physical world. At the moment, the kosmos for a vast majority of the planet is a capitalist or state-capitalist one of wage labour and commodity production.

4. The individual ego is an integral part of the kosmos - the means by which you, as a biological Homo sapiens sapiens, interact with the kosmos. It has several different levels, which vaguely fit into the Freudian scheme of Superego/Ego/Id, or TA's Parent/Adult/Child. A crucial insight - and one of our main intellectual weapons against capitalist individualist/rationalist ideology - is that people very, very rarely act from the rational part of their being, and are generally driven by social pressure or unexamined psychological undercurrents (Parent or Child rather than Adult). In contrast, we use "Spirit" to mean those levels of the human personality which are not part of the kosmos, but come from an essential reality beneath that of language. (Nothing you can put into words is "essential reality".)

5. As materialists, we derive the "Should Be" from the "Is". The World-As-Should-Be is the kosmos as it could be if we made a conscious collective choice to act as if we were free, to maximise the ability of all to exercise their vital powers (which would mean, at the very least, a reorganisation of how we decide what stuff is made, and the very notion of "work for wages" as the fundament of the economy). The big issue is that most people are simply incapable of exercising "will" - i.e. to do something which is "right" even though it contradicts social or psychological taboos. This probably goes back to primitive ape days, when to go against the tribe pretty much meant being eaten by a leopard. But the essence of being human is: we are apes who have the capacity to not act like apes.

6. Therefore, Chaos Marxism promotes - on the rational, "Adult" level - a sophisticated dialectical materialist analysis of how human culture has evolved and where it might go from there, i.e. the best way to plan a map between World-As-Is and World-As-Should-Be. However, we realise that any scheme for changing the kosmos which works only on a rationalistic basis is doomed to self-destructive failure. The "human factor" means Parent and Child levels as well, and even beyond that, a "Spirit" level which is not part of the daily consciousness of the World-As-Is at all. (Schemes for changing the world based only on intellect are shown in the wonderful outcomes of neoliberalism and Stalinism in the 20th century.) One great thing about Lenin, as opposed to useless "Leninists", is that he understood the importance of will, of insurrection as an art, that in the heat of struggle resources are available to you that simply don't exist in normal everyday reality. This is an important psychological insight.

7. So-called "spiritual" groups which don't question the commodity/cash nexus are simply part of the problem. So are so-called "political" groups which are simply the same thing as the above "spiritual" groups only with secular rather than spiritual idols to which the individual is supposed to sacrifice themselves. In Chaos Marxism, the ego is limited and supposed to be prepared to sacrifice itself, but to the Spirit within, a zillion times more trustworthy than any Enlightened Leader. (There are such things as enlightened leaders, but they won't be the ones trying to get you to be cheap labour.)

8. Mindfulness/mind-calming techniques and other forms of "technology of ecstacy" are ways to access the Spirit. The more the Spirit is accessed, the less the ego's tyranny holds - the more that one proves to oneself by experiment that one is not simply a helpless pawn of subconscious or social impulses, the more "will" (see note 5 above) can be exercised. Therefore, real revolutionaries need a trustworthy psychologist and some kind of meditative practice if they want to avoid being wrapped up in the limits of the kosmos.

9. If political activism isn't making you a more loving, happy, creative person, you're doing it wrong. If your spiritual development isn't doing anything to actively spread loving-kindness in your space-time zone, you're doing it wrong.

10. Art is a means of communicating non-verbal, non-rational truths to a wider audience. As Trotsky says, it works by its own rules and should never be put to the service of expressing either political or religious agit-prop.

11. "God is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient and created the world" is true - if you translate it to mean "the Spirit level of your individual consciousness continually creates your own personal section of the kosmos, and is many times smarter, powerful and nicer than your day-to-day self". In that sense, if we were to get in touch with the Spirit, by the ego sacrificing itself, then we could all be "fully human and fully divine", co-creators of everyday reality instead of just actors in its drama.

12. The main problem with so many "magickians" is a lack of ambition. So many of them just seem to want to get the best deal they can for themselves out of the kosmos, which means descending to grubby stage tricks and dominance rituals to improve their market value, or "cred" within some tiny clique. Chaos Marxism, like the original Surrealists, aim at nothing less than the total transformation of everyday life.

Negativity is a buzz

Adrenaline/endorphins are a buzz. You can get that buzz from exercising your animal spirits (exercise, sex, good food, fighting, BDSM, deliberate exposure to danger). You can get it in a less stable sense from trendy chemical amusement; in a more stable sense from mindfulness/mind-calming practices, both which shut down the "Circuit III" babbling that runs around and around your head on a continuous loop for a little while. The thing about the healthier ways of getting the buzz is that they also put you into The Zone - i.e. enable a brief moment of unfiltered awareness, of just being and therefore being able to do according to the needs of the moment, not according to your automatic reflexes/"monkey mind".

On the other hand, a cheap and nasty way to get the buzz is to be negative about everything. Because if you live in a world full of mean and nasty people who are out to get you and everything's shitty and everyone's doing it wrong except for you and we're all doomed, then you get a nasty, low-grade boost of adrenaline. And it's easier than doing it the good way, which takes effort. Which is enough for many of us to develop an addiction to it. I know I have. Negativity is a habit-forming drug just like booze or smokes or white powders, and everyone is in danger of succumbing to it.

This is of course supremely applicable to politics. Addiction to conspiracy theory is one example of compulsive negativity. A brief tangent: by "conspiracy theory" I don't mean the belief that our rulers are lying to us, which isn't a theory, it's a pretty safe assumption. By "conspiracy theory" I mean a moralistic/idealistic discourse which puts the blame for the way the world is in the deliberate machinations of a hidden clique who made it all shitty like this on purpose. That's not politics, it's religion in the bad sense, because it's a good-evil narrative - the narrative that the only problem with the Machine of domination and oppression is that "lizard people" are in control of it. It also suggests that, in RAW's terms, "everything is under control" - control by the bad guys, but that's still more comforting than suggesting that the bad guys are not in control, that the more they try to exert control the worst it gets for them as for the rest of us, that things are getting worse because people make continuous choices to carry out the logic of the insane system because it's easier / it's of short-term benefit / it's what they've always done.

A materialistic explanation, which suggests that the system of generalised community production and capital accumulation itself creates incentives and externalities which inevitably create evil, conflict, waste, etc. not only avoids moralism, but also avoids determinism. I've always found ridiculous, for example, the idea that the Lizard People have a systematic programme to rape children to brainwash them into being mindless zombies. Just living in a capitalist system and being exposed to capitalist incentives does that already. It also encourages the kind of world in which we can tell ourselves that it's acceptable to rape children. The Machine doesn't require conscious evil as fuel - it feeds on its own waste products of alienation, reification and egotism.

Another way that politics becomes an addiction to negativity is simply the luxury of permanent opposition. Picking fights with The Man is a fun lifestyle, but it's not politics. Leisure activities are very rarely disruptive to the system. (Riot! the unbeatable high! tomorrow you're homeless, tonight it's a blast! - Dead Kennedys) The only sustainable disruption to the system is at the point of production. Smashing the windows of a Starbucks is just fucking up some other worker's day. Now organising a sit-down strike in your own workplace, that shows a little of what we need. It's also more difficult and places your precious self at risk.

A true revolutionary, like a true mystic, is motivated by great feelings of love, as Ché Guevara and the Sufis agree. Love which transcends the individual, that you are prepared to give up all the nice things that you have for your precious self (that you've found under the rocks and stones of the Fallen World-As-Is) as a sacrifice to the great Love for the World-As-Should Be. If you're motivated by negativity, you've drawn a line between yourself and the rest of the Universe which can only end in a selfish determination to screw the other guy and get what's yours, even though you might couch it in terms of communistic altruism.

27 October 2010

The important point...

... is that people are not monadic subjects. Your average human being consists of:

- a physical body;
- a consciousness (or awareness);
- various instinctual drives arising from the intersection of that body and consciousness;
- various subconscious "programmes" arising from the intersection of the instinctual drives and the Real World of Physical Laws and Other Humans;
- a rational mind;
- a self-image (created by the rational mind from on the basis of the subconscious processes - the purpose of this is to allow the individual to survive in the World-As-Is, and is the ego or at least what the individual thinks he or she is);
- and, in potential but only if worked on, a will capable of independent action, produced by the rational mind by the application of consciousness, which is capable of standing apart from all the above mental processes and making decisions based on principle.

Above that there's probably a Higher Self / True Will / Soul / God, accessible if all the above are working in co-operation, but about this it is not permissible to speak (because anything I could say would be asinine at best).

The essential crime of capitalism is that its ideology is based on the idea that the individual is nothing but a rational mind and instinctual drives (ignoring the deep interface between the two); and keeping the individual docile by deliberately trying to induce a gap between them. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, indeed.

The essential failure of leftist ideology is to believe that you can change this solely by an appeal to the rational mind. When rationality comes up against tasty treats offered to the animal brain, in all but those cases where an independent will has been developed, the rational mind loses every time.

Political radicalism must truly understand cultural theory, psychology, memetics, magick and mysticism if it has a chance of defeating the status quo this side of a total collapse of human civilisation. Because our enemies get it. They've turned it into an art, if not quite a science.

20 October 2010

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

There are two reasons anyone does anything, a good reason and the real reason; or, more precisely, a rationalisation and a subconscious motivation.

You can't stop unnecessary suffering unless you actually understand why you do things - i.e. what you really want, what your actual psychology and physiology needs but won't admit, and what prompted you to a course of action that led to suffering. The problem tends to be that if you don't get your subconscious needs met by your actions (and you almost certainly won't because the subconscious doesn't behave rationally), your subconscious will declare that the whole thing was a disaster and make you miserable. In contrast, if you admit to yourself what you were subconsciously trying to do, and that it was never going to work so no point beating yourself up over it, then you can actually rationally estimate the concrete advantages and the disadvantages of the action, and then try to turn the disadvantages to your advantage (even if the advantage is "now I know not to do that again").

In this way, you can minimise unnecessary suffering, to leave more time, space, energy and resources for necessary suffering. (Because, as the Buddha correctly said, life in this world is suffering, you might as well pick the most effective and useful form of suffering.) And part of that wisdom is learning that real fulfilment means acting in accordance with your own inner nature, and can't be found in any possession or symbolic capital. Aleister Crowley said "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law"; Karl Marx said that the essential nature of humanity was in labour (i.e. productive, creative work) rather than consumption.

12 October 2010

So we keep saying!

Instead of performing a rational cost-benefit analysis, we accept information which confirms our identity and values, and reject information that conflicts with them. We mould our thinking around our social identity, protecting it from serious challenge. Confronting people with inconvenient facts is likely only to harden their resistance to change.

- George Monbiot

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?

- Chaos Marxist Aphorisms II,43

11 October 2010

An apology

To date, this blog has pretty much been the equivalent of a person who's lived in the trackless desert her whole life, telling wayfarers: "Oh yeah, I totally know the way to the Silver City. Of course, I've never been there myself. But I've talked to people who know people who have! And based on that and on my own experience of the trackless desert, it shouldn't be too hard for us to put our heads together and draw a map..."

Yeah. The ego (including the intellect) is a booster rocket. You'll never get off the ground without it, but you'll never get into orbit with it.

10 October 2010

Arirang



Chaos Marxism aims to be a technology of ecstacy - or, more importantly, integration of ecstacy into the Real World of Horrible Jobs, of inner and outer worlds - which has always been the goal of mystical paths and dialectical materialist praxis. Capitalism generalises alienation, in which work is turned against the self; and, in the modern era, a "Chinese Wall" is erected between production and consumption, with the ideological apparatus of society actively encouraging a "split personality" (the dutiful worker always pushing for greater productivity suddenly transforms into a raging, impulse-buying party animal and sexual tyrannosaurus after 5 pm and on weekends).

In this sense, you could even make an argument that the Stalinist and fascist party-states had a slight edge, whereby officially promoted ecstatic states (generally in the form of leader worship, eg North Korean "mass games", or "compulsory social solidarity" events) were closely integrated into the daily grind of routine labour. "It's very chaste, but everyone has a good time," as James Church's Inspector O put it. Recent advances in the "creative workplace" in the capitalist countries are catching up, though - they're trying to integrate fun into work, but in such a way as to subordinate fun to work.

But Stalinist, fascist and capitalist technologies are simply safety valves - imposition of order leads to escalation of chaos, so there are clearly defined limits to "official ecstacy". When Saturnalia is over, the slaves go back to being slaves. So much "revolutionary" practice, unfortunately, fits into this remarkably well - political activism is something you do in your leisure time and lunch breaks, which is 100% compatible with the perpetuation of capitalist normality, as it's just another leisure activity. Assertion of workers' power and self-management on the job breaks the cycle, but of course that can't be done by isolated individuals - it needs social organisation, which capitalist normality does everything in its power to prevent.

So our problem is: how do we achieve ecstacy in a way in which something is disrupted in the system of the Black Iron Prison, rather than just letting off steam? Probably the answer lies in personality integration - that we should strive to become the same person on the job, in the sack, and communing with the Gods, rather than building barriers and compartments between experiences. They actually enforce something like this in Stalinist countries, but in the service of a closed, static, self-perpetuating social order - the people who talk about North Korea as "neo-feudal" are close to the mark, although I'd say it's much more like the Byzantine emperor+bureaucracy system than European feudalism, which if nothing else was radically decentralised.

Reactionary systems: workaday self and ecstatic self merged in a static loop.
Capitalism: workaday self divorced from ecstatic self.
Revolutionary systems: workaday self and ecstatic self merged in a dynamic loop.

18 September 2010

A chilling thought

Has anyone noticed that, these days, the fundamentalist Protestant churches market themselves as self-help, positive-thinking seminars? The local scary Elim crowd have big billboards by the side of the motorway saying "LIVE LIFE", complete with a white middle-class looking woman looking ecstatically fulfilled on a beach. You know, this kind of unnerves me because I always though that their message was "REPENT". But you tell people what they want to hear.

I was reminded of this, browsing in the Self-Help section of my favourite secondhand book store and seeing how many of the titles ("Be yourself! Allow yourself to succeed!" etc) were surplus from the library of some fundamentalist Protestant church or other. I knew already about the "prosperity gospel", but it kind of woke me up a bit to realise that these people are marketing The Lord And Saviour Jesus Christ as something that can motivate you to success in love and business. The Church of the SubGenius without the sense of humour. Or Scientology with all the really loopy personality cult stuff shaved off.

But of course, it will work. You go in there, you raise the Holy Spirit through pentecostalist measures, and of course that energy will be yours to use for whatever you think is important at the time. I must admit being unnerved that the sheikh of my local Sufi congregation also enthusiastically espouses "Think And Grow Rich" mantras. But if the technology is given to the middle classes, they will use it for middle-class purposes, no matter the flavour of the wrapping of the tasty treat of "raising the Spirit". All that energy goes into increasing one's acquiesence to the dogmas of the market economy. We need to do the opposite.

16 September 2010

I don't approve of charity.

Let me rephrase that. I 100% totally approve of donating your time, energy and labour. But donating money? The thing about money is that it's "made round to go round", and that it's totally fungible - which is the basis of the market economy - so whoever gets their hands on it can do whatever they like with it. The problem with giving money to an established charity is, to become an established anything in the World-As-Is, an organisation must do some kind of deal with The Prince Of This World (schmoozing big corporates and governments, etc). No matter its mission statements and "good works" on the ground, the larger the organisation, the more embedded it is in the very thing that the act of charity is supposed to be dissolving.

Of course, I'm not discounting the "metaphysical principle" that freely donating something which does have value to the individual is an act of selflessness which is good in itself - but as a consequentialist good, I would really recommend you get into volunteer labour. (And if you have more money than time and energy? Quit your job, schmuck.)

15 September 2010

Funny, had a feeling he was on his way

There are two struggles—inner-world struggle and outer-world struggle, but never can these two make contact, to make data for the third world. Not even God gives this possibility for contact between your inner- and outer-world struggles; not even your heredity. Only one thing—you must make intentional contact between outer-world struggle and inner-world struggle; only then can you make data for the Third World of Man, sometimes called World of the Soul.

Thank you, G (emphasis added). That serves as a mission statement for this blog better than anything I've written.

14 September 2010

I think Michael Lebowitz is a pretty cool guy.

eh upsets right-wing factions in the PSUV and doesn't afraid of anything:

The revolutionary intellectual must be subject to discipline by the revolutionary party, a party dedicated to building socialism for the 21st century. The revolutionary intellectual must take guidance from that revolutionary party.

However, before my statement generates a hailstorm of shoes thrown at me, let me make one thing quite clear. We need to distinguish clearly between the revolutionary party and the party of the moment. [...] the distinction that I am making is between the revolutionary party, the party of the socialist future, and the party of the moment. It is the former to which revolutionary intellectuals must be disciplined.

I concur, heartily. Note also, my libertarian or anarcho colleagues, that Prof. Lebowitz's vision of socialism is horizontal and "protagonistic", rather than a 20th century centralised Leviathan model. He doesn't say so, but I think it's implicit that that's what the "party of the socialist future" must look like as well.

I was privileged to meet Prof. Lebowitz at a conference last year. I think I had a brief disagreement with him on whether a healthy socialist country could be a one-party state (me: "no", him: "maybe"), but he's definitely one of the good guys. And I definitely agree with him that Venezuela is crucially important right now. (So, probably, is Nepal.)

Note that the form of organisation of a political party, which must be based on science and the observable fact, must be rigorously democratic; whereas a spiritual order must be top-down in that the students are learning from the example of the Master, rather than by experiment. In this, I think I resile from early CM statements that one organisation could be both things at once.

13 September 2010

And this is why we need to learn psychology.

In the absence of strong political movements on the left, the response [to the current crisis] in the United States in particular and in other advanced capitalist countries is likely to be one best analyzed by psychologists.

(source) The only thing I would add to this is it had better be psychologists like the young Wilhelm Reich.

10 September 2010

The macro/micro problem

This blog has been in semi-retirement for a while for the simple reason that I've been in semi-retirement... from politics. When practice dries up, so should the theory, if you're any kind of a materialist. The idea is that sometime in the New Year I will reassess whether I want to get back to the front line of the class struggle and the social justice movements, or whether I want to, for example, go join a Zen nunnery for a few years.

But seriously, if there's any aphorism that I think sums up the Chaos-Marxist approach, it's from the novel Crime Story by Maurice Gee - There's not two places with a bridge between, there's only one place.. And I'm pretty sure he meant by it exactly what I mean by this whole blog, this whole way of looking at the world. In bourgeois economics, the "macro/micro" problem refers to the fact that in the neo-classical model, and the neo-classical/Keynesian synthesis which is a slightly more sophisticated version of it, the microeconomic model (of how people behave) totally contradicts the macroeconomic model (how economies and global flows behave), even though they both work in their own particular "zones".

You can argue - like you can for Marx's transformation problem - about whether this is a contradiction in the model or a contradiction in reality. (Since general relativity contradicts quantum mechanics, perhaps we should be used to "contradictions in reality" by now.) But radical politics has exactly the same macro-micro problem. Marxian economics and cultural theory, I feel, explains why the world is as it is very, very well. But it doesn't, and I don't think it can, behave why individual people behave as they do, or indeed give the individual guidance on how to live their life in the way the world is now. Various psychoanalytic and spiritual theories can do that - but because the question of "meaning" is a non-material one, they tend to contradict materialism. John Molyneux has come out and said that if you're a consistent Marxist, you have to be an atheist, period. Which only begs the question of whether, by throwing the bathwater out of God as a personal entity, you've also lost the baby of God as a component part of the human psyche essential to self-actualisation and good health. (Call it the Holy Guardian Angel, Circuit VII, the Jungian Self, whatever.)

It's always been my contention that this is the reason for the pathology of small radical groups - because the politics become a nauseating "communal dogma" when they're applied to the everyday lives of the political activists outside of political/industrial activism. Why, you might ask, should they be expected to? Because there's a "common sense" that being a Marxist / anarchist / deep green etc. is a lifestyle choice as well as a political strategy. We are all expected, really, to be sexually permissive atheists, who find meaning for their lives in "the struggle". This has not worked for me. And if it doesn't work for me, it won't work for other people, and perhaps this kind of Year Zero attitude to the warm and squishy parts of human existence is what has lead to the ghettoisation of social activism. If you insist that politics must become the driving force, the objet petit a of a political activist's life, then politics is exclusive to those who have that kind of monkish devotion.

The traditional way in which Marxists who're aware of this problem have tried to fill the gap is with Freudian psychology (Reich, Fromme, Marcuse etc.) The best that can be said for Chaos-Marxism is that I've tried something different.

14 August 2010

Narrative

A childish mind believes that the world acts like a story.

An adult mind knows better, and believes that stories are "just stories".

An enlightened mind knows that stories, narratives and myths don't describe how the world works, but precisely and accurately describe psychological processes - and therefore explain how people work.

The commies out there will have noted that this is a pretty neat Hegelian dialectic, with the last step being the negation of the negation (also in the sense that an enlightened being will have to have both adult and child minds operating in complementary fashion). The story world is a refraction of the Real World of Horrible Jobs. The menu is not just words on paper, even though you can't eat it; if you can use it properly, you can gain delicious things to eat.

07 August 2010

Why we are here...

... because mass media, and all the other ideological apparatuses of capitalist hegemony, deliberately induce bad mental health in the entire population - narcissism, anxiety disorders, Freudian projection and paranoia are the preferred implants of the day - to keep workers working, consumers spending, and the inevitable explosions of hatred and violence confined to what used to be called "the dark parts of town". The real problem is that revolutionary socialism doesn't have an answer to this - apparently your mental health problems are cured "in the struggle", but that is surely disproved by the incredible narcissistic feuding and tribalistic dominance rituals which cripple the actually existing radical left. Nondualist spirituality and Jungian psychology have answers, which work... for individuals who can be disciplined for long periods of time. The thing is that this planet doesn't really have that long.

27 July 2010

New aphorism

In my experience, this simple rule of thumb is invaluable in politics, psychology, and anywhere else which involves dialectical discourse:

Criticism always says more about the critic than the criticised.

(Ref: previous post on psychological projection.) If you read person Y saying "X sucks", then they may be right or they may be wrong, but what is 100% certain is that you can see clearly what person Y means by "sucks", and from there speculate about their inner life, or at least what life experiences might have led to them to adopt the reality tunnel where object X conforms to the category of "sucks".

24 July 2010

Well. Don't I feel stupid.

So it seems that - whereas I stand by all the analysis that's come onto this blog in almost four years, and some of it actually seems to come from Somewhere in my psyche much smarter than my regular self - especially this, it's pretty hard-core - it's a case of physician, heal thyself.

So tell me, who do you think I was really talking to when I kept yelling over and over again: "You are what you do! You're keeping yourself stuck in oppression, pointlessness and miser! You have to give up your favourite identity otherwise all your schemes and dreams will turn out useless! A revolution / enlightenment means unpredictability, the return of the repressed, all kinds of drama, and if you fear things getting out of control then you, sirmaam, are part of the problem!!!"

Go on. Take a wild guess. Humility is endless, and I'd much rather see all this done than hear about it.

22 July 2010

HOLY CRAP IT'S TRUE

God really is everywhere and in everything.

Okay, to be more precise: every meaning that I experience, every mental box into which I slot my sensory perceptions of the objective physical world, was created by a process in my psyche (logical or subconscious), and those processes form a unified-but-contradictory whole - the Higher Self of mysticism, Jung's Self-as-opposed-to-ego. Which means Fred Engels was right too about the Dialectics of Nature - if by "Nature" we mean our experiences of the real world, rather than that world's ontological reality. Actually, every school of philosophy or psychology worth a shit recognizes this one. Even that scoundrel and fraud Fatso Hubbard got the gist: "the thetan is mocking up the reactive mind", in his repulsive jargon.

(Parenthetically, I would agree with Jung that orthodox Christianity - with its all-nice-and-cuddly Christ balanced by his evil cousin with the horns and the pitchfork - is a psychological step back from Judaism (or Islam's) purely monotheistic deity who is responsible for everything good and bad that happens, or even the polytheistic nature gods.)

Now. How does one go about behaving as if this were true? Because when you're up to your ass in alligators it's hard to remember that your Higher Self created the swamp; even more so to believe that the swamp might be there for some good reason; and triply so to believe that it might be the right thing for this time/space junction that alligators should be surrounding your ass.

19 July 2010

Work is work is work

In every era of class society, there has been a mystique woven around certain kinds of work - the idea that only a Special Chosen Few can do it, and therefore they have the right to own slaves / dispose of serfs / order common gutter proles around. In ancient Egyptian times, it was reading and writing (actually, that was pretty much the case in mediaeval Europe as well). In the early capitalist era, it was abstract, scientific thought and the ability to make arguments - you might remember in particular there were all kinds of "scientific" (by the lights of the age) studies made proven that women just could not think abstractly very much before their brains overheated or their wombs shrivelled up or something.

The modern capitalist era, based on increasing automation of production and outsourcing of manual labour to countries outside the noosphere of "Western media culture", has swept this all aside, because it has to teach higher order thinking skills to the vast majority of the working class or else live with the consequences of a permanent unemployable underclass. (Actually, they do a bit of both). Now, the mystique of labour inheres in two kinds of work:

- leadership skills (i.e. the cult of the CEO, management voodoo, etc).
- creative work;

Both these kinds of work are presented as if they needed a certain genius not available to common gutter proles. The first category carries with it the ideology that "the ruling class deserve to be where they are"; the second category carries with it the ideology that "middle-class occupations deserve a certain status in our society". As explored before, since the creative classes now provide the mass indoctrination/hypnosis necessary to keep the proles accustomed to their lot, via the media, it is vital that the ruling class cut them a significant slice of the pie.

A real revolution would have to spread not only Lenin's idea that "every cook can and will govern", but that - for example - every garbageman is capable of artistic expression, creative thought, and even religious ectasy. (As to the latter, remember that in every country the mass-market forms of religion are employed to give the gutter proles a metaphysical "high" every Sunday or Friday or whatever, in return for making shyster-clerics rich. R. A. Wilson was right that there'll be hell to pay when the proles work out that everyone can do this for themselves.)

So: any revolutionary organisation where leadership and/or creative thinking are reserved to a minority is simply reproducing the norms of class society and needs a shakeup. This is easier said than done, of course.

15 July 2010

14 July 2010

Now I understand what you tried to say to me

A while back, I said the following:

Robert Fripp has said that "any act based on principle is a good one". Dr Javad Nurbaksh has said that hooking up with even an inferior, selfish, not-properly-enlightened Master is better than letting your ego continue to run rampant. I find it very difficult to accept these propositions, because they're very similar to L. Ron Hubbard's dictum that "you must let others control you before you can learn to control yourself", which is clearly a cynical command to induce people to sign themselves up as slaves.

My main counterexample to Fripp's quote above was: "what if the principle is 'no niggers'?" Well, thinking about it, we can disentangle racist violence from - theoretically - making a principled stand on a racist basis which actually causes you personal disadvantage. (Like: setting up a barber shop in Soweto and only catering to white people? Do that and I'll give you serious points for style.)

It's like, the Catholic Church has a principle: "only celibate men can do the magic trick which turns a wafer and some grape juice into the Living Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ". I think this principle leads the Church to be (at least in part) a force for repression and negativity in the world. But what is the alternative? Ordaining women because... why? Because that's what everyone else does? The whole point of the Church - any Church - is being something other than The Real World Of Horrible Jobs, and if the aims of religion coincide with the policy aims of the State and the price signals of the competitive market, then it is surely a complete waste of time and a con-job.

Only by making a stand on principle - even a reactionary one - can you pry open some space for a different reality. It might be a shittier reality than the mainstream one, but it at least proves that different realities are possible. (I personally think that any Catholics who really object to the Church's teachings on gender and sexuality should just walk and join the Anglicans or many of the independent or schismatic Catholic congregations. Hell, become a Gnostic, they've got all the bells and smells. Attempting to change Church doctrine because it conflicts with common sense or even basic human dignity is missing the whole point of what the Church is there for.)

First noble truth: pain don't hurt.

Pain is good. Pain is a sign that you're alive and awake and there's a clear direction in which you should go. If there were no pain, you'd probably just sit and drool, or at least lead a totally selfish existence, like a cat. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but it's not a lifestyle choice for everyone.

I know for a fact that almost all my problems in this existence have been caused by trying to avoid or (as the Clams put it) "not-is" pain. You only make something go away by "as-is"ing it. This isn't instantaneous and requires patience, but the way out is the way through.

I'm currently in a process of re-evaluating and cutting loose my allegiances and commitments to everything in my life which isn't necessary for biological survival, because I'm trying to... well, some call it "find yourself". Others say "find God". Still others say "achieve Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel". Robert Anton Wilson would have said "activate Brain Circuit VII". It's surprising how much avoiding and trying not to feel pain makes this totally impossible.

The thing that really frustrating me is that I keep remembering The Truth... then forgetting it, going back to sleep, slipping into bad habits, backing away from the Dark Night of the Soul. Only if I feel the pain can that stop happening.

You might also be interested to note that - given all the ranting I do here about "addiction to identities" being what stops us bringing the Magickal Kingdom to life in the here-and-now - that I think I've identified the identity which anchors me in the filth. In one phrase: I am a weirdo whom everybody hates. It's not much of an identity, but it ... well, I wouldn't say it "works", but I'm still alive and still capable of effort, which you wouldn't have bet on a few years ago. Time to say goodbye.

12 July 2010

Always good to note...

... that someone is taking seriously the whole point of this blog - that materialist dialectics are not only not incompatible with some traditions of mysticism, but emininently complementary.

From a Marxist viewpoint, Buddha was an early materialist who touched on dialectics. Buddha would have been aware of the debate about the relationship of “absolute” to “relative” but not any dialectical resolution of that debate.

Whereas Hinduism embraced the absolute, the rebellious Buddha taught about the relative world, the real world. His teachings are anchored in everyday life and all living things.

(source) For an opposing viewpoint, see here. ETA: And more on the absolute and relative here...

18 June 2010

Chaos Marxism's satanic verses

Banned aphorisms, not for internal consumption. Written by my evil twin in the dead of night.

Virtually everyone in the world is either a deluded zombie working under remote control; or a sociopathic sadist glorying in the debasement and humiliation of others. A monster, or a willing or unwilling collaborator with monsters.

Small achievements count for nothing.

Success on the terms of this world is simultaneously an imperative; AND requires unacceptable compromises with the forces of evil.

Happiness = selling out, unacceptable compromises. If happiness is possible in this world, this means that this world is acceptable, which it clearly is not. Choosing to be happy means choosing to give up the fight and thus becoming a collaborator with those forces of evil.

15 June 2010

Oh, this is excellent.

I just found this blog, and serependitiously its author comments on one of our major themes:

The ego tries to remake the world according to its own self-perceptions. The ego will expect others to be friends with the same people we perceive as good and stay away from folks we see as bad. The ego will try to convince others of religious, political or other viewpoints. The arrogant ego will try to force others to be complimentary. The negative ego will see every bump in life's road as proof of their unworthiness.

Perhaps killing the ego is more along the lines of killing the desire to create 'proof' of personal perceptions. Perhaps it is closer to killing the need to force the world to fit within our parameters.

I know, for example, that my own ego - or nafs - is intent on being the greatest genius in the room, and spends its existence in bitter, ranting anger that the Real World of Horrible Jobs doesn't conform to its desires, bowing down to acknowledge its mistress.

Parable (after Idries Shah)

There was a certain potentate who had taken to stockpiling chemical weapons - mustard gas, sarin, you name it - in the cellars under his city.

This took up a lot of the city's budget, and in consequence the city was kind of run down and unattractive. Also, over time these chemical nasties had begun seeping into the water supply, causing all manner of health issues for the citizens.

All of this, thought the potentate, was worth it, in that now any enemy who tried to attack the city would get an extremely nasty surprise. For the potentate kept this stockpile secret - if anyone knew of his weapons cache, he thought, they would instantly retaliate with deadly, possibly nuclear force. So it didn't even have the deterrent effect that such WMDs often do.

All that the city's neighbours knew was that this city was run-down and dirty, and the people who lived there seemed suspicious and unwell. This, as you can imagine, did nothing for the tourist industry or for inwards investment, so things in general did not get better.

The potentate would wake up screaming in the night, occasionally, with terrible nightmares of his city being destroyed for lack of WMDs. Or because his neighbours found out about the WMDs. As he saw it, he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't change strategies.

The moral of the story is: You know where you stand in a hell hole.

11 June 2010

Things are not hopeless...

... but if anything is hopeless, it's the media priesthood's endless masturbating to its own coolness. An incredible exposé of the culture of addiction to crisis, not only all over the mass media but over the professional blogosphere.

Also of note, from the author of the above, including the following:

I renounce this statement: "The use of the term 'revolution' should not imply that this well be a class-based effort." What was I thinking? I was trying too hard to recruit the already existing members of the Media into the project. Venezuela has proved this original premise to be wrong: I now believe that only a class struggle can beat the Media. This is the most vital change in strategy and thinking since 1997. And it changes much about the project as it begins anew in the Summer of 2002.

A very good point too. April 13 2002 should be the final proof that - despite all the magick spells weaved by the media priesthood and the creative class, who think themselves not only enlightened but all-powerful - filthy, unwashed, uneducated cleaners, busdrivers, street vendors and stay-at-home mums are not only the only ones who can really change anything, but who indeed have any interest in doing so.

We educated specimens are so unbelievably addicted to our self-image as the enlightened élite that we become part of the problem. An unrecognized genius is still a genius; a fallen angel is still an angel. Anyone who really hopes to speak for the voice of The Masses has to stop thinking of themselves as anything but The Masses.

09 June 2010

I hate being right all the time.

And I thought I was the only one crazy enough to use the metaphor of the media priesthood:

The cultic aspects of corporate consumerism have been evident as far back as the Ford
Sociological Department, but recently there has been an shameless and enthusiastic commercial promotion of cultic psychology because “the smartest marketers have realized that it is possible for communities to be formed around brands” as Atkin argues in his 2004 marketing manifesto The Culting of Brands where he tells our future business leaders “You are a priest, not a brand manager.”

(Our culture MAY BE in trouble when we’ve lost the ability to create community out of relationships with other people, and instead respond primarily to commercial priests who gather us around their mass-produced sacred objects – in safely gated communities no doubt. (can anyone say “pass the Kool-Aid?”see “don’t drink the punch”)

(source) Elsewhere, the author says:

Though The Church of the SubGenius is rarely explicitly political nor aligned with a discernible single politics, it is in synch with a creative power that is alive and well in the global anti-capitalist movement, according to we are everywhere edited by Notes from Nowhere where a return to the invitingly joyful subversions possible in
embodiment and “Carnival” are replacing the dull outdated revolutionary paradigms of grim, sober service to a duplicate disciplinary cause – “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

If only I shared his optimism. The Church of the SubGenius put a banner on the top of their website in March 2003 saying "BOB" SUPPORTS THE COALITION TROOPS. I don't blame Stang for doing that - doing anything else would have alienated many dues-paying SubGenius Troo Warriors For Freedom, who - all joking aside - recognized the need to stop goofing around and support brave President Bush and his mission to kill thousands of Iraqis as an act of primitive primate dominance. But it shows exactly the limits of the One True Church - as those Discordian readers of this blog keep telling me, Discordianism isn't supposed to be a revolutionary party, and neither is SubG. SubG is supposed to be a means for Stang to make a living so he can promote mutant networking fulltime, and it's very good in that respect.

As for "grim sober service" - that's all that works. Churchill and Roosevelt didn't defeat Hitler and Tojo because they were the good guys, but because they could mobilise brute force better over the medium term. If you don't mobilise your forces, you lose. If you don't become symmetrical to an enemy, you can't defeat them. You can't win in this world except on the terms of the Prince Of This World. Gandhi and MLK were brutally assassinated, while Joe Stalin lived to a ripe old age. If you don't take on the Black Iron Prison in its own terms, it will tolerate you living in your little clubhouse and playing at being cowboys, anarchists and witches... as long as you are no real threat. I am increasingly convinced that being miserable is the only sign that you're actually making a change in the real world. It is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering, but you can choose your own suffering.

18 May 2010

No, not Disneyland

During my early adolescence - 13 to 15 - I started having what you might consider "mystical experiences". I can explain this no better than to say that the veil of reality would slip aside occasionally, and I would see - or thought I was - glimpses of another, better world, where everything really was all right. It was this kind of thing that led me to a short dalliance with a Baptist youth group, and a long one with neo-Paganism. More importantly, since they happened at about the same time I was discovering rock music and electronic pop, the Gates of Paradise have always been associated for me with certain artists (one particular artist who mentioned Gurdjieff and the Sufis quite a lot in her early work), and my career path as a musician was more or less settled. Is it also a coincidence that I first became politically active around this time?

It's often said that the "psychic centres", or whatever, kick in at around adolesence (something to do with hormones, I suppose) - which is why poltergeist activity is associated with teenagers. But to a large extent, these brief "openings" were more trouble than they were worth. The Gates of Paradise had closed by the time I was about 16, and I spent ten years blundering about in the dark wondering how the devil I was going to get back there. One might also say that it might have been better never to have a glimpse of the garden, if I was going to be satisfied with life in the basement. It was only after some major life changes that I began to experience anything like that again - about 2001, I think it must have been. Coincidence, that it was at this time that I became politically active again, and made the first steps towards a practical musical career?

As a wise mystic said, when you're up to your ass in alligators it's difficult to remember that you went in to drain the swamp, and I've been up to my ass in alligators much of my life, due to Harrowing Childhood issues which I won't bore you with. My Daily Self - or nafs - endlessly replays the terrible things that happened to me in my childhood and adolescence, trying to give the story a better ending this time. This Doloras is almost pathologically determined not to live in the here-and-now, where actions have consequences and what's done can't be undone. But if I can't do that, I won't be ready the next time the Gates of Paradise open.

I like the idea that "nothing is ever forgotten", that I never lost anything in growing up, that the Magickal Kingdom is here and now always hiding behind every molecule if you know what to look for, that I had to grow up and suffer to learn how to integrate that world with this one of Horrible Jobs. That the magick becomes real when I get my music right; that if I "remember myself" I can finally cease my eternal battle with imaginary things; and that by acting in the name of solidarity and compassion in this $2.99 material world - through socialist activism, spiritual psychology and radical cultural-materialist praxis - I can be part of a current which will change the world to one where people are less lost and afraid and hurt and cold and angry and mean. And then I forget it again, and that's how I get lost and depressed.

"We shall not cease from exploration / And at the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know it for the first time" - T S Eliot.

13 May 2010

Typical left-wing hate-trips

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been depressed.

Those in the know will recognize the subject line of this post as coming from Illuminatus! Now, I thought it was unfair when I read it, because we all know that both the libertarian and the fascistic Right can get some pretty impressive hate-trips on. But the question is: exactly how far does hate and anger get us, politically speaking? (I am inspired to write this by watching all the British Liberal Democrat communities being filled with angry ragequitting posts.)

Anger and hate are, simply, like fire. Fire is very very good for clearing out what needs to be destroyed. But if you don't build something in its place, then what are you doing? Just opening the space for someone with a clearer vision to take advantage of your good work.

Now, I have no tolerance for "lesser evilism", "the left-wing of the possible", all that sell-out nonsense - the political equivalent of "if I can't be a rockstar or a cowboy, I'll be a damn fine junior ad exec". It was kind of lame watching apparent leftists meekly troop in behind Al Gore in 2000, and even lamer watching them do the same for Gordon Brown in the last month or so. (Disclaimer: I was kind of hoping for a hung parliament because it would be funny to watch, and I think I was proved right.) I don't care how much hatred you have for Tories (or how justified it is), you can't fight a negative with a negative, and giving your energy to the acceptable face of the enemy is self-defeating.

But if that's the downfall of the liberal left, I'm no more in favour of the accepted consensus on the radical left - to build forces around nothing more than opposition to "whatever those bourgeois pig-dogs are proposing this week". Of course implacable opposition, rioting, etc are fun and all. But what does it accomplish, if not tempered with a positive? An organisation or movement which is all NO and no YES isn't a political organisation. It's an excuse for having a good time, for letting off steam... no threat to the existing order at all. Easily recuperated. Scenes in Greece are uncomfortably similar to those in Tonga in late 2006, and that didn't end well.

This is why you need a political programme, rather than just a huge list of "Fight Back! Against! No! Overthrow!" - or a "put a clothespeg on your nose and vote Labor/(Social or Liberal) Democrat". But not just any programme - a transitional programme which can be enacted in the here and now, under the current rules of the game, and at the same time undermines the very rules of the game.

(Psychologically, it should barely need explaining that indulging the purely negative parts of the psyche is not healthy. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, revolutionaries - just like Sufis or radical Christians - are motivated by great feelings of love, which is the ultimate positive in the psychic level. We need to get over the feeling of being addicted to "the struggle" - of not actually wanting the Revolution, or the immanentization of the Eschaton, because fighting The Man is a fun lifestyle and we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves if we had whatever we wanted.)

If we as political radicals, gnostics/mystics/magickians and whatever are in it to actually change the rules of the game - rather than just win the game by whatever means necessary - then the question of the deep interaction of means and ends comes to mind, which means what Robert Anton Wilson meant by "bisociation" or T. S. Eliot meant by "the timeless intersecting with time". In our political practice we have to bring the Revolution / Eschaton into active existence in the Real World of Horrible Jobs. That doesn't mean pretending you can live in a different world here and now - but opening a door to that different world while still living in the here and now.

===

The ongoing mission of this blog is to find a form of words in which the Greater Jihad of struggle over the Ego can be expressed in exactly the same terms as the Lesser Jihad over ignorance, injustice and oppression in the material world.

16 April 2010

It seems like ages since I quoted Mad Larry

... there's a difference between "left-wing" and "liberal". To be a liberal means to believe that tolerance is good and global warming is bad, but also to believe that you can save the world simply by not using the word "poof". S/he may have good intentions, but doesn't seem to appreciate that all the things s/he considers to be civilised - democracy, universal suffrage, the right to exist without having the shit kicked out of you for having long hair or skin that's a bit on the dark side - were achieved through the effort of rather more pro-active people, who fought and occasionally died in order to create a less appalling version of humanity. To be a liberal means to shield yourself from the full horror of your society, to have a veneer of civic responsibility while still approving of a system that's wholly founded on exploitation.

And this is why political activism is still necessary - because what freedoms the vast majority have were only ever won by active rebellion. I fear that an increasing proportion of liberals - among which I count most of the people who read blogs like this - are all for a global system of slave-labour and oppression, as long as they're part of the 15% privileged slaves who live in fancy cages with internet access and don't get physically whipped.

14 April 2010

Oh.

In a dream last night, I suddenly understood what is meant by the saying "The Kingdom of God is within you". For our atheist readers: a better reality is right here, right now, wherever and whenever you are only waiting for you to realise and pay attention to it. Sadly, the last part is so very difficult - the elevator is waiting to take you to the penthouse for a visit, but it doesn't come all the way to the basement, and if you have lived all your life in the basement and you don't even realise that there's a way out, you'll find it difficult to get there.

The civilisation we live in is determined to keep all of us in the basement, because at least in that way we're predictable. This is a civilisation which prioritises the collection of imaginary "points" in a trading system (aka $$$) over all else. Some would tell you that power and oppression of a tiny elite are the reason for the warped system, but money is more powerful than any elite whims. Military force, oppression and control tactics are in the service of money in an advanced capitalist economy, not the other way around.

This is why magic and narrative thinking are so important in the modern era, because we are already in a trans-personal era. This is what conspiracy theorists don't get - "anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools", because it assumes that money itself doesn't have a will of its own, that its evil doings must be traced to an evil group of people, i.e. tha j00s. Of course people and how they live their lives are the final, fundamental reality. But if people act as if they are forced to by some evil idol, then the evil idol is a real thing that can't be banished just by pointing out that it doesn't exist. Things that don't exist often have more power than things that do.

Our social system is deeply devoted to a hideous idol / egregore / false God / master meme, which unlike previous Gods doesn't demand blood and grovelling, it just demands that you devote every single part of your life to its needs.

11 April 2010

Gets you jumping like a real live wire

"[T]his revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew."
- Marx, The German Ideology

"So, you see, the whole key to liberation is magic. Anarchism remains tied to politics, and remains a form of death like all other politics, until it breaks free from the defined 'reality' of a capitalist society and creates its own reality....Reality is thermoplastic, not thermosetting you know: I mean you can reprogram it much more than people realize."
- Wilson and Shea, Illuminatus!

"[P]ractitioners of the shock doctrine tend to seek a blank slate on which to create their ideal free market economies, which inevitably requires a usually violent destruction of the existing economic order."
- Wikipedia on Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine

"[A]ssuming daily life provides us with sufficient opportunities for appropriate & necessary learning, daily life does not provide the conditions for us to amplify & intensify educative arising-incidents, enabling us to better refine who & what we are. This refining only takes place intentionally and, usually, in carefully-designed environments. [...]
But, even were enough educative-opportunities to accidentally occur, ordinary life does not provide suitable environments for amplifying & intensifying our process, necessary & sufficient to cook us to the required degree. Different traditions & ways refer to this cooking & refining in various ways, one of which is transformation, whatever we may understand by that."
- Robert Fripp, diary of 2009/7/21.

You know something's true when not only do people keep saying it over and over again, but the ruling class manage to use it for their own effort. Simply put: when people's realities and identities are put under pressure, the impossible becomes possible. Real change only happens in transformative "leaps", which only happen under great strain and stress, or at least under artifically-induced "crucible" environments. I know, this is terrifying, heartless and illiberal. It also happens to be true.

ETA: But never let us forget the distinction that Sufis make between a state and a station. Robert Fripp's metaphor is: it is possible to take the elevator from the ground floor to the penthouse; but you probably can't afford the rent to live there. Making a change is one thing, making that change permanent is another thing altogether. My feeling is that shock and trauma and other "initiatory" experiences play a part in turning a state into a station.

09 April 2010

Come on the beach with the nouveau-riche!

The traditional Marxist attitude to occult movements is that they're petty-bourgeois self-delusion, desperately searching for individual solutions to the accelerating collapse of individualist subjectivity brought on by the inexorable growth of corporate capitalism (and the forces of commodification and reification that go along with it). I, being young and impulsive, demurred, believing that perhaps art, cultural studies and psychology might be a missing link between the social liberation promised by Marxist revolutionary practice, and the personal liberation sought by the occultists and psychonauts.

This attitude is a little difficult to keep up, however, when I realise that so many of the authors of the mystical texts I've dug over the last few years make their living by being very efficient servants of the "corporate egregore" - the Globalised Free Market. One is a copywriter, whose website brags of (to put it in occultist terms) his efficient use of verbal and graphic "spells" to garner more attention and financial energy for the biggest, most bloated, most dehumanized corporate entities on the planet. Another is a "creative coach" - someone who will teach you how to get yourself noticed by corporate scumbags, and how to get them to make you an offer of big buck$$$ on your immortal soul. Another is... oh, hang on, this guy's website is not nearly as offensive as I remember it being, so forget I mentioned him (and read Join My Cult!, it's funny.)

But is that all it is? Is that their True Will? Is the end point of consciousness warrioring to be able to peddle your metaphorical ass to corporate pimps for the biggest $$$? And then do what with those $$$? Engage in leisure pursuits to build up your market-based ego, of course, because then how else will you get more $$$? Money, as conceived in the capitalist marketplace, is an addictive drug, and is getting a sustainable supply the best we can hope for?

The Sufis teach that the nafs (aka ego, aka "false self") is the trickiest little bugger, and will continually disguise itself as something else (God, the Greater Good, ascended Space Brothers, the Muse) in order to continue your slavery and addiction to it. Actually - connect the two paragraphs above. The individual ego is very, very much like money, in that (a) neither of them have any objective reality; (b) the capitalist system is defined by its elevation of both to the fundamental principle of life.

Karl Marx defined the glorious future day of communism as that day when "the condition for the free development of all is the free development of each"; or, to put it another way, when there is no more contradiction between the personal, the social, and the global. Is it just coincidence that this is how Aleister Crowley described the consequences of every man and woman following their True Will?

I'm going to spend, er, the next year and a day (how's about that?) attempting to cut meaningless bullshit out of my life so I have more time and energy to dismantle my ego and find my True Will. I gamble that this will go along 100% with being a more effective political activist, cultural theorist/propagandist, and artist. If this proves not to be true, it proves that Chaos Marxism is pretty useless and you should ignore it. Stick around.

ETA: ...what was I doing a year ago? Oh, that's the time when I first discovered the Islamic/Sufi traditions... and started talking big about writing a CM book. Huh. Every time I think I've got it All Sorted Out and I can start preaching to the masses, it's drawn to my attention that my personal practice doesn't really back up the Big Ideas I'm peddling. Perhaps there's an important lesson in that.

The mysteries of the organism

This perception is 100% in accord with my own experience:

I'd like to look at a model of Reich's which I find has much explanatory power. He broke out character down into three "layers". The first of these is a "social" layer, a veneer of good behaviour and politeness with which we interact in the social world. If we see this layer as partially a product of armouring and learnt restraint, we can see that underneath it might lie a second layer — of frustration, anti-social impulses, rage and so on. Where Reich really showed his insight was that he posited another layer beneath this, a part of us which is open, loving and vulnerable. Reich argued that this "core" is naturally decent and moral. It is the suppression and suffocation of this layer, through the events of our birth and childhood that produces armouring. I only have to think about which emotions I have easiest "access" to, to see the validity of these ideas - real openness and tenderness seem much more affecting and come from a much more guarded place.

The rest of the article is well worth reading, keeping in mind at all times that Wilhelm Reich was a revolutionary socialist until the Stalinized Comintern hung him out to dry.

===

The central conceit of this blog is that revolutionary politics, psychology, occultism, cultural studies and artistic endeavour are all going to fail as long as they are isolated from each other. But I fear I may have ignored Rule One of the mystical mindset - as above, so below - in that I have elevated abstract theorising on these issues above actual practice in my daily life. (Which in itself violates one of CM's basic ground rules, viz. you are what you do - or as Karl Marx himself put it, "it's not sensible to evaluate someone based on their self-opinion".)

There will never be enough books for me to read or articles to write to create a Silver Bullet Theory, and it has been a species of intellectual arrogance for me to believe that it could be - and also a species of intellectual cowardice to decide that "nothing could be done" to test the theories in the here and now. (Which is of course precisely what I castigate the sectarian Marxists and anarchists for, opening me to the charge of hypocrisy.)

30 March 2010

The middle of the middle

The essence of any thought-reform process is:

1) break down the existing identity of the subject. "Identity" is defined here as "the list of things that the subject feels that they have to do, or like doing, and will become anxious if prevented from doing."
2) replace that list with one you made up.

I've noticed this before with Marxist political groups. They will go into great detail explaining that CBT won't make you happy, drugs won't make you happy, TV or sports or beating up black people won't make you happy, because capitalism is a stinking memetic shitpile which makes everyone unhappy as the basis of its existence. True, that.

But they leave unspoken what the next step of the process is. The next step is, you should join the Marxist group and learn to identify your own happiness with political activism. This isn't necessarily a problem - this is how all groups which actually have life-changing effects (eg Weight Watchers) work. And heavens knows we need political activists, and Leninists and Platformists agree that having them properly organised is a necessity.

But the problem is that, in small groups which aren't properly democratic (which is virtually all of them in the advanced Western countries), "political activism" means "conformity with the goals and priorities of the self-perpetuating leadership and the group culture it promotes". Simply put: "You must give up your ego! So we can replace it with one we prepared earlier!"

So beware - be very aware - of any guru, political, spiritual or psychological, who's telling you "what you're doing isn't going to make you happy", but who isn't going into detail about what they recommend you do instead. Chances are it will be "giving me money", or "selling the ridiculous, badly-produced paper we edit on street corners", or "working for pennies on our agricultural plantation until the day we tell you to drink the Flavor-Aid", or something similar.

Robert Fripp has said that "any act based on principle is a good one". Dr Javad Nurbaksh has said that hooking up with even an inferior, selfish, not-properly-enlightened Master is better than letting your ego continue to run rampant. I find it very difficult to accept these propositions, because they're very similar to L. Ron Hubbard's dictum that "you must let others control you before you can learn to control yourself", which is clearly a cynical command to induce people to sign themselves up as slaves.

But I am having great trouble figuring out what the alternative might be.

18 March 2010

Beyond belief and non-belief

Alan Moore claims to have met John Constantine in real life. Twice. The question, as I'm sure most of you who've been following will understand, is not whether this "really" happened or not. The question is, what rules does Alan Moore's personal reality follow in which things like this can happen? And are they rules that might be profitably adopted by others? How does it differ from the world in which bread and wine transform into the living presence of the Son of God, or the world in which a Koori headman can point a bone at someone and they die right then and there? (Apologies if I've got the details of the last one confused.)

My political mentor suggests that the job of revolutionaries is to be "organisers of optimism". I take this to refer to Gramsci's "optimism of the will", as opposed to "pessimism of the intellect". In other words - "we're probably all screwed, but if we do something it just might work". Million-to-one chance, and all that.

Chaos Marxism rejects solipsism. It is simply not true that every individual has their own hermetically sealed personal reality, mainly since individuals do not exist on the level of biological evolution or class struggle, the first and second most important defining factors in human existence. But given the material substrate of the above, there can be many different kinds of social, cultural, subcultural and personal "etic realities" (i.e. realities based on ideologies, abstractions, cultural images and other automatic parts of consciousness). Some of us never emerge from the world-as-it-seems that we are taught by our parents, our schools and our TV shows. Others reject that reality and substitute their own, based on consumer goods or possibly weird things we read.

In Chaos Marxism, we want to create a reality where the possibility of large-scale, technologically advanced civilisation based on ties of solidarity rather that wage labour and commodity exchange is possible. Our analysis of material reality says that it's objectively possible; but as long as the idea seems a ridiculous utopia or dystopia to the vast majority of humanity, it's never going to actually happen. And we will not be satisfied with play-acting "living in a better world" (the domain of lifestylers or cults) because that is what the Black Iron Prison allows everyone anyway - to live in their own little world as long as they don't cause problems.

If Hugo Weaving and the machine intelligences said that if you sat down and shut up, you could have your own little section of the Matrix just as you liked it, would you take the bait? Be honest, now. That would be much easier, and much more fun.

Myself, I'm going to experiment with living in an alternate reality where people are naturally kind and willing to listen, rather than hostile and mean. It might just work.

15 February 2010

P.S.

Welcome to the rebirth of Anonymous as a libertarian political project. It will be interesting to see whether Freeweb undergoes the same kind of process of development as Chanology did. One of the problems with Chanology is that it merged with the existing anti-Clam protest movement, who were (let's face it) mainly ex-Clams and therefore kind of nuts. This protest, on the other hand, has at least the potential to become a REAL mass movement. And, since an unfiltered intarwebz is clearly in the self-interest of the toiling pixel-stained techno-wretches of the world (as the downfall of the poison dwarf David Mi$cavige would not be), the accusations of "moralfaggotry" (aka liberal altruism) are not going to be as damaging to this iteration of the meme. Stay tuned.

11 February 2010

In "self-organization of nerds" news...

... trolls now have their own code of honour. Also worth noting is:

I've come to realize that without some artistic fagmastering all these free speech projects will die on the vine (as they should). I could probably write a Consensus TLDR post about this (by this meaning how you should harblecake such an enterprise) the likes of which r3x's code of trollshido / vibe / insane cocksuckery would be jealous.

(source, referring to this). "Harblecaking" means "exercising leadership in a mass movement", as applied to internet activism, with special reference to this. So the above poster is the troll equivalent of Lenin, or perhaps a Platformist.

08 February 2010

Free love and irresponsible sex

Marxism teaches us how to change the world, not how to live our lives. If you try to adopt Marxism as a way of life, then that's what it becomes - a lifestyle option rather than politics, and you end up in a sect or a cult indistinguishable from any other small, cranky, incestuous social circle. And I use the word "incestuous" advisedly. The sexcapades of small Marxist or anarchist social circles are legendary.

You do hear about otherwise upstanding socialist groups which have an internal culture based on primitive chimp-like sexual hierarchy, where rank has its privileges, and one of those privileges is sexual access to the desirable gender(s). On a lower level, you get small-group drama like you get in any community who tends to look to itself for its romantic partners. I really think that socialists should bring back the ancestral tribal tradition of (cultural or totemic) exogamy - or, to put it in modern language, don't screw the crew.

And the really dodgy thing is when people make apparent appeals to political principles - such as the critique of the nuclear family - to justify treating their comrades, friends and lovers with disrespect. There is a difference between free love (which socialists have been historically for, and with good reason) and irresponsible sex (which is what I think so many of us actually practice). Two-facedness and using other people are not socialist virtues. I do hear that Fripp's Guitar Craft tradition has actual community guidelines for how to sex one another responsibly while on their courses, although apparently the advice for those who're just beginning the recommended practice is "keep it in your pants". Good advice.

Robert Anton Wilson was wrong, the freedom to fuck is not the keystone to all other freedoms - in fact, that very idea (that the only real freedom is the freedom of private leisure-time activity) is at the basis of bourgeois individualism. I value my freedom to fuck or not to fuck, but I value my right to my own labour and my right to democratic participation equally as high.

01 February 2010

The song remains the same

In 2010, war was beginning:

Mr Gore was talking sense and Mr Bush nonsense - but Mr Bush won the debate. With statistics, the voters just hear a patronising policy wonk, and switch off.

For Mr Westen, stories always trump statistics, which means the politician with the best stories is going to win: "One of the fallacies that politicians often have on the Left is that things are obvious, when they are not obvious.
[...]
Thomas Frank, the author of the best-selling book What's The Matter with Kansas, is an even more exasperated Democrat and he goes further than Mr Westen.

He believes that the voters' preference for emotional engagement over reasonable argument has allowed the Republican Party to blind them to their own real interests.

The Republicans have learnt how to stoke up resentment against the patronising liberal elite, all those do-gooders who assume they know what poor people ought to be thinking.

Right-wing politics has become a vehicle for channelling this popular anger against intellectual snobs. The result is that many of America's poorest citizens have a deep emotional attachment to a party that serves the interests of its richest.

Thomas Frank thinks that voters have become blinded to their real interests

Thomas Frank says that whatever disadvantaged Americans think they are voting for, they get something quite different:

"You vote to strike a blow against elitism and you receive a social order in which wealth is more concentrated than ever before in our life times, workers have been stripped of power, and CEOs are rewarded in a manner that is beyond imagining.

"It's like a French Revolution in reverse in which the workers come pouring down the street screaming more power to the aristocracy."

Actually... no. In 1933, war was beginning:

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.

The liberal middle-class media priesthood will never get this, because their actual political programme is based on rational technocracy - and the fact that the opposition are a bunch of lunatics - but their livelihood as a class depends on keeping people afraid, docile, hostile and hypersexualized via the entertainment/propaganda apparatus. The culture they create is one of narcissism and infantilised wish fulfilment, so why are they amazed that the masses don't suddenly start thinking rationally when it comes to election time?

We need, as Wilhelm Reich put it, to understand culture, sex and mysticism to build a revolutionary movement that will work - or as some songwriter put it, understand what "roses" means in the phrase "bread and roses". Sadly, the Marxist blogosphere, made up as it is of disaffected members of the media priesthood, is making precisely the same rationalistic mistakes as left-liberals always have when faced with reactionary mysticism. (Even though those of them who are actual members of Marxist sectlets make up for this with mystical appeals to the all-powerful father figures of The Party and heresy hunts when faced with opposition... You see, the repressed always returns.)

Marxism gives us the intellectual tools to change the world, but doesn't tell us how to live our lives and be human here and now in the Black Iron Prison of Capitalist Jobs and Shitty TV Programmes, except for a very vague ethic of solidarity. The most rationalistic and skeptical of Marxists will therefore have to fill in the gaps with either unexamined crap from their cultural background, or barely-examined crap they picked up from the media, or some kind of small group / cult programming. If you don't take proper care of the irrational parts of your brain, the rational part will be sabotage. Chaos Marxism aims at a revolutionary approach to the whole human personality, and its interrelations with society, nature, and whatever might lie beyond or beneath or above.

26 January 2010

Quick thoughts before my brain melts

The "noosphere" (sphere of consciousness and culture) was conceived by Teilhard de Chardin as being the third layer of Earth, on top of the biosphere and the geosphere (living things and rocks, basically). But any good Marxist can tell that there's something missing there - the ergosphere, defined as the interaction of consciousness with living matter and rocks, without which the noosphere can't exist. ("Ergo" being Greek for "work" - you could also call it the "econosphere", but that's prone to get confusing.) To put it another way - what you do is who you are, or, your self-concept (or the collective self-concept we call "culture") is based on your interactions with real things including other people, not disembodied and floating in the air.

Humanity's evolution from the apes was fundamentally the result of the creation of the ergosphere - the invention of "work", as defined as "turning an idea in your brain into something existing in the real world". As Marx and Engels noted, this is what makes a crudely hand-chipped stone knife so much more different and interesting than a spider's web or a honeycomb, both of which are far more complex and beautiful. And that's how humans became the dominant species of the planet.

The central fact of capitalist life is alienation, being defined as the separation between your work and your life. Instead of using your brain to change the world, you spend most of your waking hours using your brain and muscles to create commodities (mass-produced interchangable things which can be sold in a market), for which someone else gives you $$$ which you can use to exchange for other commodities. Commodities fill the gap left by the lack of real human interaction - you watch TV or play computer games rather than going out and meeting people, and if you do that, odds on you have to pay for the privilege. But it's much worse now than in Marx's time, because not only material wealth has been commodified, but immaterial wealth, aka culture. Commodities have replaced actual life experience, what makes us human. I hear that in New York you can pay to go to a "cuddle party" these days.

There are nasty, gloating articles by marketing gurus which suggest that capitalism is all-powerful and eternal because it can now commodify any rebellion and make a profit from it, so it is now impossible to go outside the system. But there is one and only one way to go outside the system - workers' self-management, the end of alienation, a return to the primitive joy of the cavedweller chipping his mammoth-hunting spear, only in a collective with shiny modern technology. In other words - not by buying things, but by doing things for their use-value rather than exchange value.

Capitalism can tolerate any amount of propaganda, scatology, pornography, or memetic subversion as long as it's commodified, as long as someone's making money off it (see meditations on Avatar in the previous post). What it can't tolerate is threats to private property, the wage-labour system, and commodity production itself, put into action rather than just talked about. The hidden message of capitalist democracy is "say what you like as long as you do what you're told".

But the big problem is here - how can we survive when the enemy holds the means of production? How can you fight an enemy on whom you rely for your supplies? A new culture can only come about through a new socio-economy, which has to grow within the skin of the old, which is desperately hostile to it. But to do this, we have to live our truth - actually put into practice these ideas as much as possible in the Real World of Horrible Jobs. Being a good and docile worker, and then in your time off being a rabble-rouser and an anarchist, is a fun lifestyle but is not politics or magick.

Modern Western protest politics is built on precisely this kind of work/play opposition - it's far more fun and easy (even tolerated) to march for Palestine or Iraq or the polar bears on the weekend before clocking in at 8:30 on Monday at your widget-shifting job at Amalgamated Bastards. One example of transforming your everyday working life will do more to transform you and the world than all the marches, demos, teach-ins, punk gigs or radical film screenings in the world, because it will be real and not virtual. Similarly, hiving off and starting a commune or a "Transition Town" or similar is avoiding the question of what to do about the Corporate Megabeast, not finding a solution. Robert Fripp suggests that change in the Real World can only come as a result of working within the market without adopting the values of the marketplace. You can argue whether Fripp's got it right or not, but the slogan is a good one.

False choices: (a) do your job and be a rebel in your own time; (b) avoid the struggle by decamping to a safe space that only exists as long as you are no threat. The correct choice: (c) deconstruct capitalism by turning its own rules against it. Perhaps getting them to pay you to make propaganda against them - like Michael Moore or the first person to make a Che Guevara T-shirt - is a good start. Certainly it's doing something, however tiny, on a planetary level, rather than nothing, and one of the sure signs of narcissistic politics is believing that tiny incremental changes in the noosphere are of no importance and if we can't have RRREVOLUTION we won't bother.