Nihilism Strikes Back

This self-destructive dimension has nothing to do with the politics of the Middle East. It is even counterproductive as a strategy. Though Isis proclaims its mission to restore the caliphate, its nihilism makes it impossible to reach a political solution, engage in any form of negotiation, or achieve any stable society within recognised borders…

The systematic association with death is one of the keys to understanding today’s radicalisation: the nihilist dimension is central. What seduces and fascinates is the idea of pure revolt. Violence is not a means. It is an end in itself.

-From Who are the new jihadis?

I have already described extensively why nihilism isn’t my cup of tea precisely. However, new nihilist texts that have come out recently (aligned with the eco-extremist tendency) have appeared both on the regular Internet and Dark Net. Unlike most nihilist texts that I don’t care much for, they are violently oriented outward. On merely the basis of tactics, I have no objections to them. On the contrary, I thought an audio file of some of them was needed, so I produced one. Continue reading

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Law and Order anarchists

One of the reasons why I departed the Left has a justification in what Stalin said of the Pope. When asked when dividing up Europe after the Second World War if he should consider the position of the Vatican, it is said that Stalin quipped, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Substitute “the Pope” for “the Left” and you have the fundamental question as to why anyone should bother being a progressive leftist: “How many divisions does the Left have? How many divisions do anarchists have?” Well, as I’ve insinuated, there’s Rojava, so that’s one which is fighting in a ethno-religious quagmire that will likely end badly. How about in other places where anarchists and leftists talk a good game? Continue reading

Fragment

Contemporary people seem to think that the best way to get rid of influences of the past is merely to forget them. However, all that results from this is belief in vague concepts with little-understood origins. Here, I would like to posit the intimate tie between alchemy and politics. From Descartes to Hegel and beyond, the influence of the occult arts on society is more than evident. Isaac Newton was just as obsessed with alchemy as he was with physics. Alchemy is the transformation of ordinary metals into such precious metals as gold and silver, often through incantations or other symbolic rituals. The underlying idea behind it was transformation: going from something ordinary and unappealing to something extraordinary and desirable. This transformation captivated the ideas of modern thinkers, especially once the scientific discipline discarded alchemy as a means of actual physical transformation. How else could we interpret Hegel’s saying of reason being, “the rose in the cross of the present”?

So what radical politics in particular has become (not that many pay attention to it anymore) is the idea that a better and more desirable society can emerge from a billion points of banality. That is, that a mass of undisciplined and uneducated automatons could create utopia if only one adds some magic ingredient (ideology, politics, religion, etc.) As if human beings had multiple lives to live and those lives weren’t engrossed in making a living, keeping body and soul together, and perhaps catching snippets of entertainment now and again. As if life could be otherwise if only we will it so. There are those who could go on about the material or political reasons on why this can happen, but the fact that is hasn’t and shows no signs of occurring permits me to ignore their arguments.

What then is the only thing left to do but purge oneself of this sort of utopian thinking; to reject the human itself with all of its supposed obligations and constrictions? If banality is all that there is, does not the dream to escape it also become a banality? Do not the loftiest sentiments become the most puerile escapism, the most Herculean efforts merely the futile beating of air? Another (perhaps slightly more interesting) way to “pass the time”? And yet this banality traps even the well-intentioned in a vicious circle that destroys all within and outside of us that is worthy of any admiration and wonder. What then is left here but complete negation, a lack of concern for the hyper-civilized and their moral codes? An absolute disdain for even the most well-conceived Utopia or “liberated space”?

Once more, on being a nihilist parent

Of all of the criticism that I have received in the past few days, little of it merits a response other than what I already have stated. To be honest, I can foresee that, from here on out, all criticism will be met by copy-and-paste jobs from other texts to which we answered the same criticism. But one critic asked, “Don’t these people have families, etc.?” Well yes, we do. And to answer very briefly:

We didn’t get seven billion people on the planet by acting like ITS. We didn’t burn down forests because we wanted to carry out indiscriminate attacks, we didn’t slaughter the peoples who lived in them because we were nihilists. Oil spills don’t happen because people are psychopaths. “Feminicides” don’t cause smog. The extreme defense of Wild Nature doesn’t glue people to screens and make them blissfully unaware of all of the problems that are going on around them… The tactic of any dishonest critic is to project their own sins on the object of criticism. Eco-extremism didn’t destroy the planet. Solidarity did. Morality did. Cooperation did. Love did. Yes, love, that nice fuzzy feeling that supposedly will save us all. “All men are brothers plighted…” If only my heart expands to encompass the whole universe, I can save all of my brothers (and sisters and non-binary siblings, let’s be inclusive here.)

I love my children so I’ll fight for a better life… until repression happens, then I’ll stop and just do what I’m told. I’ll oppose capitalism so I can give my children a better future… but I have to put food on the table right now. Marx doesn’t pay my bills. I’ll oppose civilization that makes my children sick… but my children need medical care now so I won’t oppose it too much, maybe tomorrow… and on and on and on… A “better future” is a gamble: nothing ventured, nothing gained. And the chips one plays with are one’s children. And you realize why no one wants to play.

So there you go. The reason I do what I do, why I’m like an eco-extremist booster or whatever, is the same reason that I am a parent, or has a lot to do with it. Because I will crawl over anyone and everything to give my kids what they need. I will tear to shreds whoever tries to hurt them. I won’t hesitate to give them whatever they need to prosper in the techno-industrial context. Now multiply me by 3.5 billion, and you see a little problem. Or rather, you see the world that we have now: full of healthy, vaccinated, well-fed human beings wrecking every last nook and cranny of the world and thinking about going into space so they can wreck that too… A society without a future filled with young people expecting a future: this can only end badly. A society where people love their children so much they will wreck the only world their children have to give it to them, not realizing they’re just committing suicide. We’re just dumb apes running on Stone Age software at the end of the day.

So yes, if the eco-extremists or any other sickos come near my kids, of course I would fight them to the death. But I am not proud of that. I am certainly not proud of it to the extent that I will stop doing any of this. Hyper-civilized society gave me a certain set of mental tools to work with, and all of these tell my that my well-being, as well as the well-being of those I love, is predicated on their eventual destruction, and the destruction of the only life worth living. So what am I to do? Lapse back into wishful thinking, think this is some sort of moral and not a physical problem? Double down on the values and morality that got us here in the first place? Or tell the truth? That’s a tough one. But I’ve always been stubborn, I suppose.

Hiking

Scenes from a double life

We just want it to be clear that no human being will feel safe in nature. We don’t believe in coyotes, wolves, beings, nor anything like that. But we are those who will not hesitate to take aim and fire on any human being who steps on the little semi-virgin nature that still exists. So from here on out we warn that no little event like those organized by the “Ghost Mountain,” visits to the “Bat Forest,” hikes, humanist events, and stupid “primitivist skills” training will be tolerated. No person is welcome in nature, it would be best if they just don’t bother coming and stay in their accursed cities.

-29th Communique of ITS / GITS

I want to live in the woods with predators. I don’t want to be the most dangerous animal in the woods when I go into them. I like knowing that there is a bigger predator out there, one that belongs and fits in a healthy ecosystem. I hate the idea of bucolic nature, tamed of all threats. That’s the Invader’s view, not mine.

-Rod Coronado, “The Resilience of the Wild: Talking and Stalking Wolves with Rod Coronado.” Black and Green Review no. 1. (Spring 2015), page 108

When I walk in the woods, I try to be aware as much as possible. But in the back of my mind, I know that I am in a safe space. In fact, I even tell my children at times that the place where I am most nervous with them is the suburban strip mall parking lot. This is the most unnatural place a human can conceive of, which is why waiting in it is probably the most anxiety-causing thing imaginable. However, the real problem is cars backing out, which is one of the more notable circumstances for car accidents. Children, being small, could easily be run over by a driver not paying attention to what’s behind them. Compared to the forest here, the most that they would encounter is a snake or stepping on an ant hill. If they are really lucky, they may encounter an alligator sunning itself by the side of a bayou or a pond. But alligators are usually shy and would flee into the water if someone encounters them. Continue reading

The thin blue line

Image result for blue line american flag

Scenes from a double life

A strange icon has emerged around here in the past year or so. Perhaps the trend to display it is much older than that, but its recent proliferation is notable at least from my perspective. It can be described as a blue line with black lines on the top and bottom of it, or an American flag in blue, black, and white color colors, with a blue line in the middle, or several variations of the same image. Sometimes it makes an appearance in a bumper sticker or in a sign that says, “Blue Lives Matter” or “God Bless All Police.” This is a play on the “Black Lives Matter” trope that has emerged among progressive sectors in the United States in the last few years; this against the supposed observation that police shoot black people with disproportionate frequency as compared to the rest of the population. Maybe this prevalence of the “blue line” is a direct reaction to that leftist political movement, perhaps it has emerged from the general societal malaise. Nevertheless, it has become more and more pronounced in the last few months. Continue reading

Of angels and cyborgs

An eco-extremist Good Friday sermon

In spite of my lack of desire to carry out indiscriminate violent action (due mainly to my circumstances), I have found eco-extremist rhetoric rather familiar on one level. That is because, when I write about eco-extremism and interpret it, I don’t feel I am doing politics or even philosophy. I feel like I am doing theology. I should explain: not theology in a typical Western Christian manner, but rather interpreting the human through the gaze of something greater than the human. The “greater” may indeed be an illusion of the inferior mortal human brain, and it is not necessarily a concession that there is a greater “consciousness” than our own. It is more the affirmation of the complete debasement of consciousness, the acceptance that human reason is an utter failure. As I have written previously, this was the reason for the lack of anthropocentric perspective among long dead peoples and nations; the idea that we must aspire to the power of the bear, the freedom of the eagle, the knowledge of the coyote, etc. The idea that the Inhuman dwarfs the human, that it limits it and triumphs over it through death and forgetfulness. Continue reading

A note on an inconvenient truth

“Flesh is replaceable”

One more time, on the grid.

If there is any aspect of anti-civilization thought that needs to be questioned, it is its Neo-Luddism. Not because technology is somehow a good, but more because those who have recourse to blaming technology for everything use it as a scapegoat, or as an excuse to be intellectually lazy. Here is the reason that they need Karl Marx. From Capital:

As against this, the commodity-form, and the value-relation of the products of labour within which it appears, have absolutely no connection with the physical nature of the commodity and the material relations arising out of this. It is nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assumes here, for them, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order, therefore, to find an analogy we must take flight into the misty realm of religion. There the products of the human brain appear as autonomous figures endowed with a life of their own, which enter into relations both with each other and with the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands. I call this the fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labour as soon as they are produced as commodities, and is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities.

“The grid” here is the embodiment of the social relations of humans manifested in things. The social relationship is primary: the domestication and the social cohesion. The actual material existence is secondary. Yes, perhaps given enough of a destructive impulse, perhaps the grid once attacked “stays down.” But let us note that massive infrastructure was destroyed during the Second World War, with entire cities being leveled, power lines cut, railroads stopped, etc. etc. but that didn’t deter anyone from re-building. Indeed, such destruction led to things being re-built bigger and better. It also led to three decades of prosperity that birthed the Space Race and the Computer Revolution. Even before then, the Black Death that killed a third of Europe led to the foundation of capitalist modernity according to many historians.

In other words, disaster may not be antithetical to civilization, but at its very heart. Yes, maybe we are approaching catastrophic levels wherein civilization will no longer be possible. Then again, even if civilization was reduced to drastically smaller cities underground or in climate controlled environments, you haven’t destroyed techno-industrial civilization: all it is doing is re-grouping.

If you believe in a dogma wherein human nature is inherently good and salvageable, then of course you are going to blame non-human things (i.e. machines) for corrupting it, while desperately looking past their true (man-made) nature and functionality. If, on the other hand, you appreciate that they are merely physical manifestations of social relations that are a lot more difficult to destroy, you are in a much tougher position, but at least you are being honest with yourself. The former approach is the ideological foundation of anarchism: humans would be just fine if only the State, Capital, Technology etc. would leave them alone. The latter approach, the more realistic one in my opinion, sees that technology and the modern human are intertwined with each other almost to the point of being con-substantial. If technology exists it is because modern humans will it to exist, they love it, and value it with their whole lives. You may dispute this sincere affinity all you like, but here appearances don’t lie.

More thoughts on liberation

Scenes from a double life

On an extremely rare Sunday morning free, I decided to revive the custom of my youth of walking to church for early morning Mass. At this point, at least in personal things, I am a creature of habit. In order to get through life, I find rituals assuring. Just as some have alleged with the Greeks and Romans, I do not believe in the validity of these civic and religious rituals: belief is an odd thing anyway, but I wrote about that topic years ago and I would rather not rehash it.

Even though the suburban church is only a short walk from my house, I was still fashionably late. I arrived during the sermon just as the priest started talking about hell. This was surprising as I can count on one hand the times I have heard a normal Catholic priest preach about hell. In the narthex of the church was a poster of the smiling seniors of the parish who will graduate high school in a couple of months: the bright and promising scions of the local affluent class. I had passed coming in the latest model trucks and sports cars, and the church itself, while my family doesn’t usually attend there, is at least to my aesthetic liking (i.e. quite old fashioned). In other words, these people have money, and I probably can be considered to have money too, just not as much.

But here was the priest, dressed in rose vestments for Laetare Sunday, going on about hell. He also moved into themes of rote prayer and corporal works of mercy, etc. Very traditional, probably in the style of old fashioned priests, though the rituals and other accouterments have noticeably changed.  Continue reading

Thoughts on morality

When researching the Creek War for my article in Atassa, a curious thing I encountered was the attitude that the Indians had towards black slaves. For the Creeks and Seminoles, a slave was not free by virtue of slavery being an immoral institution and thus illegitimate. A slave was no longer a slave once he decided to stop being a slave and run away. One of the issues that the whites had with these Indians was how they would harbor escaped slaves, and this was a major point of contention in the Second Seminole War. But this was not due to the “enlightened” attitude of the Indians. They were not above taking blacks as slaves themselves, or keeping them in bondage. The point was that the “freedom” and “dignity” imparted to all human beings by Enlightenment thinking was not a given for the uncivilized mind. It had to be “earned” or “seized” from those who would take it from them.

I have left behind the idea of noble sentiments, those transient feelings that merely wishing for nice things makes me a good person. I have seen to many instances wherein people believed in mercy only to commit atrocities, or committed atrocities as an act of mercy. It is best just to try to empty yourself of those sentiments: whatever happens will happen. Death comes soon enough, weariness brings forgetfulness, long-suffering numbness. The only victory comes in being still here and still standing. Continue reading