11 February 2011

Chaos Marxism Manifesto #2 - Electric Boogaloo

  1. There is only one physical reality, and only one real scientific understanding of why the world of human beings is the way it is.
  2. Almost all human beings live according to "consensus realities" - the totems of their particular tribe. (This is because we are social animals and have never been able to exist as isolated individuals.) They act as if these totems are real, and therefore they are real for them, even though in any objective sense they are fictional.
  3. Therefore, almost all of what humans collectively believe to be real - and act accordingly - is an illusion created by repetition. You are what you do; therefore, if you act in accordance with the tribal totems you help make them real, even though you might "intellectually" realise they're not.
  4. The ego - that is, the individual consciousness - is born to help the individual survive in consensus reality. Therefore it is irretrievably and mechanically tied to its particular tribal totems and cannot step outside them.
  5. Psychic disturbance comes from the ego squishing down the other parts of the psyche in response to its own survival objectives, including service to the tribal totems.
  6. Creativity does not come from the ego, but from some other part of the psyche outside consensus reality. We might as well say that creativity - and, in fact, everything that makes us "human" in the best sense, rather than robots or apes - comes from another, better world existing concurrently with that of consensus reality.
  7. Mental illness we can say comes from another, worse world existing concurrently with that of consensus reality.
  8. It is for this reason that even the more rigorously scientific, materialist analysis of human culture will be incomplete, because it cannot understand art, creativity, religion, madness etc. by its very nature.
  9. Those who really want to bring goodness into this world have to fuse science and spirituality, as Aleister Crowley said. "Science" in the sense of we have to understand on a physical, rational basis how humanity really works; "spirituality" because we have to accept that humans are not and can never be 100% rational, and indeed so much of what is truly glorious about our species-being works by non-rational rules.
  10. "New Atheism" is particularly pernicious because it seeks to demolish belief in "God" (i.e. a supra-human consciousness), but by default leaves all the totems of the currently dominant tribe (Consume Mass Quantities, Have A Good Time All Of The Time, We Are The Superior Culture And Deserve To Own The Planet And Tell Everyone Else What To Do) alone, because they're not "God" in the way that they understand it.
  11. Chaos Marxism says: God is the part of your own consciousness that comes from the better, creative universe. It existed prior to your ego and therefore it really did create your world. So have some respect.
  12. Our practice is to build, with actual concrete deeds, a new way of being, a new way of living together in this world, which will be sustainable, just. This will include: concrete ways of producing all those things we need to survive and thrive in a better way; practical loving-kindness towards all living beings; healthy ways to tap into the Better Reality and come back to Normal Reality safely (art, spirituality, etc); and political/cultural/memetic activism against the current world order in the service of the Great God Mammon who quite literally wants to eat the planet.
  13. The totems of the old tribe - of Western capitalist civilisation - are causing us to quite literally eat the planet and shit in our own nest. They can only be defeated by a combination of (a) rational debunking; (b) creating new totems for the new way of being. Humans cannot live without irrationality and totemic thought, at least right now.

09 February 2011

The death of individuality

By happily accepting a description of themselves as "THE HIVE" (or "hivemind"), the massed ranks of Anonymous show that capitalist normality's privileging of individuality as the highest good is a trap. Remember all those TV shows and stories in which the hero realises that being part of some movement that might change the world - or some old-fashioned "community" - is impinging on his precious individuality, and therefore he gives up and retires to private life, and that's a good thing? Remember how Billy Elliot's dreams of being a dancer (and thus getting all the privileges of the middle classes) lead to his father scabbing on a strike and wrecking the whole way of life of his community, and that's a good thing?

All this of course goes back to 1950's anti-communist sci-fi terror of the evil assimilating aliens who threaten the boundaries of our precious individuality, most recently reinvented as the Borg on Star Trek? Before Seven of Nine was "reverse-assimilated" back into being a (white middle class American) human individual, she yelled at Janeway "WE DO NOT WANT TO BE LIKE YOU". I agreed. I always wondered why my sympathies were always with the bad guys in those cartoons. They hate us because we don't need to be individuals.

06 February 2011

Even the BBC knows about the serious business

Twenty Reasons Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere. Note in particular points 11-14, talking about the class basis of the new worldwide movements.

A few points:

- Point 1 is mistaken. The "graduate with no future" has been an endemic feature of the Middle Eastern client states of the West for decades now. They were the same crowd who overthrew the Shah in '79.

- Point 3 is also mistaken. Truth and lies now move at the same speed. The speed of a narrative meme is not determined by its truth content, but by how much it makes sense given the pre-existent consciousness of those spreading it. "Teabagger" memes in the USA spread plenty fast. But I suppose the point is that sheer memetics have rendered traditional propaganda obsolete, although people like the Chinese Communist Party and the Republican-aligned think-tanks in the US are keeping up with the play.

- Point 4; I'm afraid "radical Islam" works as a meme just like we mentioned above and spreads the same way. In fact - and this vital - Al-Qaeda itself is a meme, rather than an organisation, which spreads via online videos, flash animation games, etc etc. What is becoming obsolete are vertical bureaucracies - as people have said elsewhere, the platonic form of capitalist domination is not the Pentagon or a Central Bank, but it's Wal-Mart, with its networked forms of surveillance and domination.

- Point 18: "young people believe the issues are no longer class and economics but simply power". Hah. We'll see how long that lasts once the econocataclysm starts to bite. And in some cases - the open-source movement - that is simply not true, as the true interconnectedness of power with economics and class ("class" in the sense of "who does the work and who rakes in the money?") becomes obvious.

- Complication (e) - this is vital stuff. The highest ranks of the media priesthood and the ruling class no longer speak the same language as ordinary street humans. This is a contradiction that needs to be heightened.