31 October 2006

First practical ideas

It is common belief that corporations function like the magical concept of an egregore - which is, I believe, a being created by magic with a will of its own. If you choose to take that literally, or just think of it as a good metaphor for the unstoppable logic of capitalist accumulation, it doesn't matter. (The metaphorical use goes all the way back to the Communist Manifesto itself, where Uncles Karl and Fred compare the modern capitalist to the Sorceror's Apprentice, who made Magical Mistake #1 - summoning what you can't banish.)

If we start from this point of view, and we accept what Tony Cliff said that to defeat an enemy you must become symmetrical to it - then we need some kind of "egregore" (or cultural metaphor for struggle) equally strong on our side. One problem is that the traditional collective nouns used by revolutionaries for the new being that will overthrow the old order - "the working class" or "the proletariat" - have had most of their power sucked out of them by seventy years of misuse by Stalinist filth. These will have to be replaced. (For those who don't come from my political tradition: Stalinism bears the same relation to legitimate revolutionary socialism that $cientology does to magic.)

Some of our comrades have already begun saying "the tribe of the workers" - mainly because that resonates the most strongly with the actual consciousness of the actual workers right now. This brings up one of our major obstacles. This new "thoughtform" - the new "culture of resistance" - is impossible to simply extrapolate from anything current. But we do know that its seeds lie - somewhere - in the cultures of resistance currently sprouting everywhere around the world. These seeds are the birth of consciousness. Anywhere where a worker or an oppressed person starts thinking and acting for themselves, in social solidarity, there lies one of these "seeds". And the more these ideas catch on among their peers - to put it another way, the more potent the spontaneously arising memes - the more likely that they will be vitally important for the future.

It is fundamental to the idea of magic that it works backwards as well as forward in time (a shoutout to the Paradox cultists out there). So, any magic which aims to manifest this thoughtform will have to work forward in time from actually existing struggles, trying to connect them with a process going backwards in time from when the New Culture already exists. It is one of our articles of faith that the seeds of the New Culture will come only out of active, collective struggle on both physical and conceptual levels against the Corporates and their thoughtforms.

Project 1 of the Chaos Marxism current is, therefore, expressed in political jargon: to envision and help build a new oppositional culture of workers' resistance. In magical jargon: to invoke and materialise an entity with the power to neutralise the corporate egregores. The first practical steps will must be involved in the actually existing struggles of the moment, seeking always to identify the "seeds of the New Culture" and to encourage them to flower. At the same time, magical work to reach into the future, and attempt to manifest the fully-evolved form of the New Culture - the form that will neutralise and supplant the corporate thoughtforms - right here, right now, in our memespace and our physical reality.

ETA: I forsee this as having two communications. Firstly, evoking the New Culture "backwards in time" through artwork and agitprop. Secondly, to invoke the personality of... the person who can "channel" the thoughtform into the present day, and make it manifest by connecting it with physical reality. Marxists say "Bolshevik cadre" - occultists say "adept" or "priest". As my mentor put it when I complained to him about my shyness - "I'm a hermit by nature myself. But I do the social thing because it's necessary for the work."

1 comment:

  1. For an example of an occult attempt to locate the revolution back in time you should check out The Cities of the Red Night Trilogy by William S. Burroughs.