05 August 2009

We get criticism

Thanks to Episkopos Cain for spreading the good word on the Principia Discordia forums. Here is a friendly fellow suggesting why he doesn't think CM is a goer.

Brief reactions:

1) Yes, of course the very title "Chaos Marxism" confuses, discombobulates, and puts off people who have prejudices about both those concepts. As Cain rightly points out, the poster goes to great lengths to critique Marxism in general rather than anything we discuss here. Good! That's what we need at this stage - a kind of "filter" to make sure we don't get popular for the wrong reasons. Perhaps if I hadn't used the word "Marxism" in the title, we'd be as popular as Tim Boucher by now, but the last thing we want is to become a fan club. As our new colleague Komakino rightly says, though, actual public outreach to the masses will probably have to use different words for mass traction.

2) The poster is a huge fan of intellectual property. CM suggests that, while of course artists and memetic engineers have a right to earn a crust by any means necessary, intellectual property is an outmoded relic of a 17th century concept of "authorship" which has virtually no meaning in the modern era, and worse, encourages the sins of egotism and commodity fetishism. If you have intellectual property, as with any other kind of capital, you suddenly have something to lose apart from your chains, which ties you to THE MACHINE and if you're not careful puts you on the wrong side of the barricades. This is why monks take a vow of poverty. What is worse, digital technology has already smashed huge holes in IP's actual practical feasibility, so it's going the way of the Zeppelin and gas streetlighting already. I'm deserting that particular sinking ship as soon as we can find a new sustainable social model to replace it.

3) The poster says:

I see an objective reality where a huge amount of illusion is both necessary and sufficient to get earth to a place where everyone is fed watered high on good drugs and content. I see the goal as a matter of tweaking the illusions so they produce more happiness and less misery, rather than to dispel illusions.

Oh dear. This guy sounds a lot like Neo.

People working to 'dispel illusions' are fighting for a world where everyone is clinically depressed.

Funny, this is probably the first time in my life I haven't been depressed.

It really makes me nervous when people who don't get this last point play with advanced concepts in transpersonal psychology, particularly with other people's psychology.

My ego is flattered by the idea that CM is not useless (as almost all other critics suggest) but dangerous. I fully encourage anyone who thinks this poster makes a good point to stick around to watch what happens when we all go nuts.