Saturday, December 15, 2007

On Electoral Politics

It seems to me that there are only two "strategies" for voting that make any sense, and one of them is only an action out of despair.
The first is "always dis-elect" - that is, always vote against the incumbent (and whomever he may support, it may take some thinking to figure this out). As long as the incumbent supports using a monopoly of violence against non-violent people, vote against him, no matter what else he believes. Once politicians are forced into a de-facto one term limit, they'll get the message. This is the politics of despair though. It's essentially saying "we know we can't stop you but we can put a limit to your excesses".

The other is "worse is better". This actually has a chance to do some good. Vote for, and support the worst possible candidate in terms of freedom and justice (and do so openly on the basis of "worse is better", so no one gets the wrong idea). We aren't far from the brink of collapse, and honestly, to use a recent example, the only reason why Ron Paul has the support he does, is because things are so fucked right now. When people see an extreme, concrete example of what their ideology leads to, they will revise their ideology. This is because most people, as ethically destroyed as they are by the propaganda engines of our society, still retain a measure of self interest and pragmatism. Their self interest may be idiotic, which is why "worse is better"... they will only respond to extreme stimuli at this point.
Pay the bill quickly, despite the pain involved.

Some thoughts on suicide

If someone is suffering so much that they really want to kill themselves, and you pressure them to stay alive, you are essentially advocating their torture. You want to keep them alive and suffering for your own agenda.

Now, if you intend to aid and relieve their suffering, that's a different story. But most people who try to stop other people from killing themselves have no intention to do anything serious to change the other person's life. (or you would have done it before it got that far)
The ethical freedom to take your own life is the root of all other freedom, it is the ultimate act of self-ownership.

Saying "oh it's not that bad" (or something of that sort) is a horrible thing to say.
It shows your own inconsideration of the other person's subjectivity. Their situation might not seem too bad to you, but you have no ethical right to superimpose your values on their condition. It's oppressive and disgusting.

If society had a more evenhanded attitude toward suicide, the power structure as we know it would fall. People would be killing themselves a lot more often than most of us suspect.
I believe this is why most of the "moral" arguments and emotional sentiments against suicide exist. In order to torture and subdue people that are unhappy with the situation to the point where it is intolerable to them. This aids the power structure by creating a vast number of people who are surviving (and thus feeding the system) even though society at large has failed them.

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.