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.

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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.

5 comments:

  1. don't be depressed dude, refuse depression though by thought, you write ideas and you are with us,

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  2. Forget hate. Hate is the tool of the ruling class: hate your self, so they can sell you (false) promises of a better one; hate the foreign enemy du jour, so they can send you off to fight their wars; hate people of different races, so you will never be able to organize by class.

    And of course, in liberal democracies like the US or UK or Australia, hate the other faction of the ruling class so blindly that you don't notice the faction you identify with (the Democratic Party, Labour, etc) is sending you up the same creek...

    Hate is a useless, primitive emotion. It gets us nowhere.

    "At the risk of sounding ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by feelings of love." - Che Guevara

    Anger, on the other hand...anger we can work with (provided it is tempered by love). "Anger is a gift." - Zach De La Rocha

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  3. Oh Doloras you're right. The back biting and pointless sneering of the far left is something that needs to be put right back at them. Look at the left wing blogs they're all saying peace and love, and yet at the same they are ripping into people. This article by the SS of the group is typical... let's take the piss out of the bishops and Tony Blair but once you start taking the piss out of one of them they put on this 'anti-piss take/anti insult' act and shut up shop on you. Is it any wonder why the left has been so ineffectual? They need a shake up. All this protesting, all this hand ringing, sarcasm, anti -this, anti that, They're wasting energy. They take the piss but they don't have solutions. The government should do this , the government should do that. Wakey wakey, you're in the minority and the majority rule. You're so bloody impractical of what can actually happen. You're trying revolution from above when you need to start from a small base. Look, what happens to your protests? Nothing.

    There's a Tory government in power ready to cut expenditure. Why isn't there a massive campaign to demand that defence cuts are top priority? Now that's something that can get a mass appeal. But no, the movement get tangled up in all sorts of protests. It's like when everyone is babbling at the same time about all the injustices of the world so that nothing gets really heard. Stop all the protests. Concentrate on getting defence cuts... use your energy effectively. Second, start small communes of like minded individuals and build wealth. Use that wealth to create more communes. you need to find the right people and then the right property. Think about converting large properties. think about using your excess wealth to create more wealth. It'll be like a bottom pyramid scheme.

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  4. Nice sentiments, but building communes and hoping they multiply and take over the system has never, ever worked. You can't work outside the system - there is no "outside" to capitalism, unless you're living a self-sufficient life in the Amazon or Papua New Guinea. As I think I've said elsewhere, you can't defeat the Beast on anything other than the Beast's terms.

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  5. I'm not suggesting that you work outside the system. Communes have worked using the capitalist system. The Mormons started off as a commune. They are incredibly rich and have power behind the scenes. Many other 'cults' have also been very successful in accumulating wealth via business enterprises.


    The thing about groups is that they can obtain a large quantity of money that can be used to buy or start a small business. They have the members that can work for them very cheaply. They are also able to cut down on the cost of living... you don't need to buy ten televisions when one can do. In short they are much more effective than individuals when it comes to wealth accumulation.

    So my idea of a commune is a group of individuals whose aim it is to accumulate wealth. Then they use that wealth to set up/help other groups of like minded individuals. The commune doesn't become larger and larger. It stops at say 12 people and helps creates another commune. The other objectives of the commune is to reduce material consumption, to reduce work hours, and to promote the formation of other communes. There is no need to get tied up in the idea of what a 'commune' should be. To me its a group of like minded individuals attempting to promote their ideal.


    The mainstream left movement is going nowhere. If it carries on in the same vein nothing will change.

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