25 November 2012
If theology can be described as "the understanding of the stories that really matter in a particular culture", then perhaps what Chaos Marxism is attempting is materialist theology. (God / The Other World exist to the extent that we behave as if they exist.) This goes beyond "literary criticism", "film studies" or "cultural studies" in that we want to examine how ideology is produced and reproduced at all levels of our society, what factors in society contribute to the acceptance and thriving of various memes/ideologemes... and thus how to create a countermovement to the current productive system through the unity of workers and art / psychology / practical spirituality (to supplement the unity of workers and science which Rosa Luxemburg defined as the purpose of a revolutionary party).
Perhaps what I really want is a discipline of ideology in the sense of psychology, sociology, etc. And memetics, then, becomes to ideology what genetics is to evolutionary biology.
16 November 2012
... or less crudely, The Tar-Baby Principle ("you are attached to what you attack"); or simply "criticism says more about the critic than the criticised". Case in point - the iron rule is that someone who angrily accuses someone else of a crime is quite obviously guilty of that precise thing and projecting, no matter whether the accusation is valid or not. Watch the Israeli Defence Force happily tweeting about how many civilians they've killed to make sure that civilians won't be killed. This is the Jungian "shadow effect" - what anyone hates and fears most is their own disavowed, repressed self.
Amazingly enough, the Sparts said something sensible once. When Stalin killed all those Polish offiers in the Katyn Forest, the Nazis went running to the Red Cross and anyone else who would listen yelling "OMG BARBARIC ATROCITY!" And they were right. But the crucial point is that this shows that the Nazis knew right from wrong, they knew perfectly well what a barbaric atrocity was, it was just all right when they did it themselves. I believe there is an acronym in American politics called IOKIYAR that you might want to google.
The IDF might want to check our Chanology archives to find out what happens when you piss off the internet.
13 November 2012
You can't hide from God because he's bigger than you, and you can't hide from kyriarchical class-society because it's inside you and me. A vital insight shared by Chaos Marxism and Materialist Esthetix (and all decent mystical/artistic currents) is that the ego itself is a material product of class society, and "you" are what you are because you grew up where you were with the genes from your biological parents.
Therefore, the fundamentalist commandment to "come ye out from among them" - to "shield" the True Believers from the wicked wicked world - is totally counterproductive. Liberal secularists seem to think that Catholic priests rape children because of their tradition of celibacy or because of their religion. Hardly. They rape children because they can get away with it, and that applies to non-religious organisations such as the Scouting movement, the BBC, and... you guessed it, small socialist groups, especially the kind which (for example) insist that their members all live together and maintain party discipline at, er, parties.
This is the natural outcome of tribalism - the idea that we have to "have the back" of Our Fellow In-Group Members, no matter what scumbucket behaviours they get up to. Are your tendency-mates in another country doing something really dumb? To say so in public makes YOU the bad guy. Has your comrade in your own country been doing something really nasty? The correct thing to do is to ignore the allegations as politically motivated lies and smear the accusers. (EDIT: until they're involved in a split or a faction fight which you're on the other side of. Then you trot out the blackmail material.)
I've said before that the only cure for this is exogamy - deliberately socialising and forming relationships with non-members of your particular Saved Sect - as a corrective to the fact that ten people in a room can talk themselves into anything. You can't live differently in this world - there is no such thing as an island of liberation in a sea of capitalism/wickedness. And I'm sorry to my Cuban solidarity friends, but "our enemies make us do it" is not an adequate excuse.
08 November 2012
But Obama really won, Maddow said. “And he really was born in Hawaii, and he really is legitimately President of the United States, again, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month, and the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy, and the polls were not screwed to oversample Democrats, and Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad, Nate Silver was doing math, and climate change is real, and rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes, and evolution is a thing, and benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us, and nobody is taking away anyone’s guns, and taxes have not gone up, and the deficit is dropping, actually, and saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, and the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps, and you UN election observers are not taking over Texas, and moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.”
(Yet before liberals, socialists or anyone to the left of Genghis Khan get too smug... before you pop someone else's own reality-tunnel, make sure your own isn't leading you in the wrong direction. There's some pretty impressive reality-denying going on on our side of the fence as well.)
01 November 2012
- The essence of being human is yearning for what is not; from this stems our ability to labour, i.e. to make images in our minds real things in the real world. To be satisfied with the World-As-Is (the Black Iron Prison), therefore, is to be no longer human; while to despairing of our ability to change the World-As-Is, to bring a little of the Palm Tree Garden into it (to accept alienation, in other words) is to be subhuman. As Rumi put it, "Seek pain* and unfulfilment!"
- As religion is the opiate of the masses, seeking to alter-is and not-is reality is the opiate of just about everyone. "Humankind cannot bear very much reality", as T. S. Eliot put it - the outcome of reification and alienation is (for both elites and subalterns) to escape into a wish-fulfilment, magical-thinking fantasy world. As some Satanist I once read said, "magical thinking is the antithesis of magick" - denying reality (science, etc) or pretending it doesn't exist never changed it. To quote the Church of the SubGenius once again (the real one, not the unfunny plagiarist Bob Dean's cheap knockoff): "You can believe you're not going to hell, but you must first face the truth that you are in hell now."
(* The Moorcock quote in the graphic is quite accurate: the question is whether "destroying yourself" is the goal or something to be avoided. CM would suggest that the answer lies in the definition of "self".)