Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ran Prieur
This guy is definitely worth reading... I haven't been reading long enough to know completely where he's at but when he hits the target, he hits it...
Plus, he's doing that sort of global system analysis that I try to do, coming from the idea that everything is an analogy for everything else...

Interesting that he's found the same problem that I have:
namely, when you do that, you find yourself drifting into politics all the time, even though it's not what you really were planning to think about.

Now this is a very interesting factor to me. What it seems to tell me is that:
1. Most of the global human system has been infected by politics to some extent or another.
2. Most of the resistance, which of course creates counter-resistance, comes from political ideas.
3. The modern form of the civilization virus, the black iron prison, is the Church of State.
Though I am an anarchist of some sort, technically, what's more important to me than directly opposing the State (which doesn't really work, for reasons that Philip K Dick hinted at very succinctly) is to de-mythologize it.
To get people to see it as it is, and when I say that, by way of analogy, imagine what "the government" feels like to someone who is a government official.
Whose 9-5 crappy job is to be a high ranking government official.
Now, you might be able to argue on some Benthamite/Hobbsean utilitarian ground that we need a super-mafia to bully us into submission lest we fall into raw violent chaos.
But what needs to be understood is that it is a super-mafia. It is not a bunch of "public minded statesmen". Those don't exist.
There's no reason to believe that The State (and that includes all the "major corporations" at this point - I mean the fact that the propaganda engines call them "major corporations" says something in itself...) are any more sentimental than anyone else is, and plenty of reason to believe they are much less so. Now it is possible to be unsentimental, and also just and honest.
But no one could do what the State does, unless they were either utterly deluded and/or utterly corrupt. At the lower levels, the level of the rank and file soldiers/police/agents of course, they are mostly deluded. They also worship the idea of The State as a modern god.
This is what I am trying to take apart. People need to be able to mock The State, to see it as the ridiculous social fiction that it is. Yeah, some people do, but it's always presented as some sort of good natured patriotic wiseacre thing. But it's deeper than that.

If our civilization requires a massive lie in order to function, better that it not function.

One of the ironies of the whole thing is that "America" was fundamental in creating the modern Church of State. This is one reason why I distrust a lot of minarchists. Minarchism creates the myth of "good government" or "honest government" or even "government under control". But right from the very beginning, the US Gov't was in bed with bankers and slave-owners. They were bankers and slave owners!

Also very good is this right here: Solvitur Ambulando (roughly: we'll solve it as we go along)

One of the things that Ran picks up on, and so did RAW for that matter, is the importance of visible weirdness. Visible but not harmful weirdness opens people's minds on a level that the conditioned rationalism can't block out so easily. It goes straight to the core. Which is why it often creates a lot of resistance at first... so you have to sort of edge up to High Weirdness I think. Get people used to seeing minor weirdness at first, then keep amping it up.
People tend to treat political subjects as either boring and unimportant or ZOMG serious business. To some extent this is justified by the fact that the civilization virus is so ubiquitous that most political actions, taken in isolation, are very dangerous and/or unavoidable. This makes the job of the unravellers a bit more difficult. But we've managed to muddle through so far, against all odds, with a tremendous amount of centralized force and corrupt mythology arrayed against us. That's because reality is our ally, and a powerful ally it is, indeed.

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