23 April 2012

The "held-down-7" model

Chaos Marxism declares that the goal of revolutionary politics is to reconcile the material and the ideological/cultural/spiritual; this world and the next. It distinguishes itself from "false liberation" ideologies, which tend to combine mechanical materialism and the most rank superstitious idealism, and never the twain shall meet.

Stalinism was the Platonic model (heh) of this. "Mechanical materialism" - a hard belief in "management by statistics", in belief of overproduction of tractor factories and Sputniks as the road to social progress - went hand in hand with "voluntarist idealism" - the idea that you could achieve the objectively insane production quotas with enough revolutionary will, and anyone who didn't have that kind of will was a traitor subject to police action. Amazingly enough, this is precisely how the Church of Scientology works, as its schismatics argue. Hubbard theorised the spirit as an immortal being which wasn't bound by the laws of matter/energy/space/time, and simultaneously the mind as a mechanical computer in which every problem boiled down to a "stuck key". Of course, the mind/body/spirit is an internally contradictory complex living system with emergent properties. All words that weren't in common usage in the 1950s, but Uncle Joe and Foul Ole Ron thought they were the ultimate authorities on everything.

Modern consumer capitalism has at least the benefit that it competes against itself so superstition and inefficiency tend to be self-limiting in the field of production, although actively encouraged in the field of consumption. But we still have the "management by stats" - the worship of economic growth, the commodification of everything and the race to the bottom in workers' rights and conditions - at the same time it preaches The Secret, the Prosperity Gospel, and all the other lies that those bad things are happening to ungoodthinkful people. Please note that whenever a Newspeak word is appropriate, things must be really bad.


In personal news, once again actual practice has forced me to backtrack against some of my own "mechanically materialist" formulations in the realm of psychology. Seriously, I used to believe that my ideal scene was to transform myself into some cross between a Dianetic Clear and Mr Spock - never having anger, fear or other misemotion ever again. The works of Brad Warner have done great things in convincing me that this is an insane fantasy, that the truly enlightened continue to have human problems and human emotions until the day of their death. Enlightenment lies, as far as I can see, in being emotional or rational in accordance with what IS, rather than mental image pictures, "shoulds", ideological measuring sticks, etc. You can pick the woman up as long as you put her down again.