13 September 2008

Addendum to the Aphorisms

(based on reading all three volumes of Cosmic Trigger, Crowley's Magick without Tears and Overcoming Low Self-Esteem Through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

  • Because humans are higher primates and therefore troop animals, socio-economics are fundamental to our ability to survive. As Marx pointed out long ago, the "Robinson Crusoe" story is simple nonsense. We are not cats, capable of surviving all on our own - how resources and labour are distributed within our primate troop networks is primary to our survival as "individuals".

  • Anyone who claims that they're so enlightened as to be "above politics" - who sneers at mere questions of who has to work for whom and who gets the rewards thereof, in favour of talk about spiritual, genetic or subatomic reality - clearly doesn't have to worry about their own biological survival in a capitalist economy and thus is speaking from a position of privilege.

  • Conversely, the Belief-Systems that will enable the changing of the rules of the social game - a revolution, in other words - will have to deal with issues of socio-political economy as fundamental to issues of personal enlightenment and/or planetary survival and/or the future of the human species. Individual enlightenment takes too long, and read the climate news to know that the clock is ticking here. We are splashing psychic liberation right across the planet - and we'd die to do it.

  • You don't have to believe in Marxism to be a Chaos Marxist. In fact, it's better that you don't. People who "believe" in Marxism are not Marxist or even political, they are religious dogmatists with all the emotional damage, political uselessness and inability to deal with life outside a small group that that entails.

  • Properly understood, Marxism (as in the reality-tunnel elaborated by Karl Marx, not his dodgy "acolytes" and "followers") is a cure for all forms of dogmatism and regimentation. The essence and the genius of the materialist dialectic is that at the same time it points out that all forms and concepts and words and labels are provisional and inessential; and insists on the primacy of our nature as higher primates seeking to survive on this small Spaceship Earth. Both New Age claptrap and mechanical materialism - both ideologies common among the corporate culture and the various subcultures which have sprung up as an "opiate" to it - are designed to render you powerless.

  • A Stalinist is someone who has turned Marxism into a dogma and used it as an excuse for acting just like the more ruthless variety of capitalist.

  • Some of the worst Stalinists are in fact Trotskyists. To put it another way - having a more correct abstract theory in no way insulates yourself from dogmatism and small-group psychosis.

  • Conversely, Chaos Marxists hold that holding a Belief-System based on Marxism enables the elaboration of plans for changing the rules of the social game - which is, we hold, the only way to enable enlightenment on a planetary scale. (We may be wrong.) Fuck Ayn Rand - a starving man is not free, and neither is a woman up to her arse in muddy water because the Arctic just melted.

  • Marx said "Capital is a social relation" - R. A. Wilson would have said "Capitalism is a reality-tunnel". Same difference - capital and capitalism are not real, are constructs in a particular game. But inherent to this game is that the game must continually expand - to take in more and more players and resources.

  • Thus, it is increasingly impossible for an individual to maintain biological integrity (be able to feed oneselves and family) without playing the capitalist game. I don't care how "enlightened" you are - in 99% and growing of the world today, either you participate successfully in the market economy or you're subsidised by people who do so. In the latter case you're probably going to be in the position of "guru" or "court jester" - giving the succesful marketeers a Belief-System which justifies their own privilege. On your deathbed you will say "Oh, how I have wasted my life."

  • Given the existence of a single globalised capitalist economy, Individualism - the belief that you can survive comfortably on your own, abstracted from any social network - is a lie, a Tar-Baby, something sold to you by the capitalist egregore to buy your allegiance. Subculturalism - the belief that you and your buddies (or people who share your reality tunnel) can survive comfortably on your own, abstracted from the social network of people you don't get on with - is the same thing. The irony is that capitalism (which sells you these elitist dreams of social fragmentation, to keep you docile) has created a single, networked global economy which means that everyone on the planet (more or less) is now interconnected, and has essentially made it impossible for you to "escape the planet of the apes".

  • Whether you like it or not, the unwashed, reality-TV watching, football-loving masses do the work which make it possible for you to eat. Unless you want a life of monastic poverty on a self-sufficient allotment, your only choices are to live off the proceeds of a system which requires that the vast majority of humanity be psychically and socially oppressed - or join with them on a mission of mutual enlightenment.

  • O ye Illuminated Ones, make ye a choice right now - are you going to hypnotise yourself into being happy living on a quickly collapsing toxic waste dump, or are you going to hypnotise yourself into waking everyone up so we can clean the dump up together? Are you going to visualise yourself levitating over the bars of the prison, or are you going to lead a prison riot, take the place over and then figure out how to get everyone out?

  • "Every politician knows how to induce hypnosis, and very damned few people on the whole planet know how to de-hypnotize themselves." - RAW. Chaos Marxism is about mass dehypnotisation, much like mass immunization. Remember that bit in Illuminatus! where our heroes covertly dose the unwashed masses with a drug that turns them from neophobes into neophiles? Yeah, sort of like that, on the cultural-political-psychological-magickal level.

  • You can, in fact, change others. It's called brainwashing and hypnotism. On the other hand, you can persuade others that changing themselves - via becoming part of a mass movement to change the world - is a good idea. But you have to get close enough to the unwashed reality-TV watching masses that you can actually learn what a realistic first step towards this might be.

A new compendium of CM Aphorisms will be posted here in a couple of weeks on the second anniversary of this blog.