08 December 2012

Choose Your Illusion

The radical therapist David Smail argues that Margaret Thatcher’s view that there’s no such thing as society, only individuals and their families, finds `an unacknowledged echo in almost all approaches to therapy’. Therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy combine a focus on early life (a kind of psychoanalysis-lite) with the self-help doctrine that individuals can become masters of their own destiny. Smail gives the immensely suggestive name magical voluntarism to the view that `with the expert help of your therapist or counsellor, you can change the world you are in the last analysis responsible for, so that it no longer cause you distress’. (source)

This is vital to the point of being a "missing link" in the Chaos Marxist argument. We are against magical voluntarism (related to "magical thinking" in the negative sense of the term) and for magick in the sense of "creating change in accordance with will" (or Intention, to use our preferred nomenclature). The latter encourages responsibility - the former encourages victim-blaming, a "just so" attitude to the status quo (the people in charge made the right wishes), and quietism on behalf of the oppressed (if you fail it's because you deserved it, you thought bad thoughts etc.)

Interesting that Buddhist meditation is vulgarly described as a mechanism of thought control, when the point is that one does quite the opposite - abdicates the attempt to control thought, but also prevents thought from controlling action.

The neoliberal abolition of the public sphere and its replacement with privatised exclusive fora - shopping malls, gated communities, internet forums where you can talk only with people who share your prejudices or fixed ideas - is in itself the abolition of scientific objectivity and its replacement with "buy your own insane delusionary reality on the Free Market place of Opiates of the Masses". We have watched with hilarity as the Republican Party in the US have crashed on the electoral rocks after making a collective decision over the last thirty years that "perception = reality". They really thought they could make themselves beat Obama by telling themselves over and over again that they were going to. It's not just a cynical lie they tell to control the people - this is what our ruling classes actually believe.

Of course, this is another argument for exogamy, in that You Can't Hide From Reality if you have any interest in affecting it, but I think OtL has covered that nicely in his recent radio show.