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.