If We Do Not Burn

Francis of Assisi. Son of a merchant family, he sold most of his father’s assets in order to rebuild a chapel. His apparently pagan language, radical poverty, and anti-authoritarian tendencies presented a heretical threat to the Catholic Church until officially recognized and assimilated into Catholic doctrine. The political crisis he caused, and the ensuing mitigation of this threat, follows a similar pattern to the assimilative and re-inscriptive acts of Capital to revolutionary threats.


The Pope published his encyclical on the environment.  Reactions (including by Gods&Radicals writer Sean Donahue) here. We’ll have a review soon.

Daesh (also known as “Islamic State”), the reactionary movement who’s threatened the revolutionary cantons of Rojava and the polytheist Yezidis, is destroying ancient temples, museums, and other ‘Pagan’ artifacts.  Remarkably similar to the Protestant iconoclasm of the Puritans in Britain, the attempt to cleanse a Pagan past in order to create a pure present is familiar and very worrying.

There’s something you can do.  In a similar stream of the collective magic workings of Warriors Call or Extinction Symbol and Liberation Magic, the Polytheistic Day of Protest is a great idea with powerful potential. (whether you identify as Polytheist or otherwise). Check it out.


Means of Production/Means of Reproduction

The Means of Production describes the way in which humans create products, services, and other useful things which are socially exchanged.  Anything that a human does which is a socially-exchanged artifact (including intangible ‘services’) are acts of Production, and the process by which these things are created or performed is the “Means of Production).

Access to the Means of Production are limited in Capitalist markets.  Most people are born without wealth, and thus have no access to these means, which are mostly owned by Capitalists (factories, businesses, shops, etc.).

Means of Reproduction is an expansion of this concept.  “Reproduction” in this case refers to everything which creates and sustains a human life and its meaning, from basis necessities (eating, sleeping) to social and intangible acts like recreation, friendships, and sexual pro-creation.

Waged labor limits the time available for the Means of Reproduction, some of which is recuperated by purchase of other’s labor.  For instance, restaurants, particularly fast-food, only became common as workers had less time to cook for themselves and thus needed to purchase their Reproduction from others.

Thus, without access of the Means of Production, the Means of Reproduction becomes a site of Capitalization, thus partially explaining the Capitalist market of bit-work and renting called “the Sharing Economy.”


If I do not burn
If you do not burn
If we do not burn
How will darkness come to light?

– Nazim Hikmet

3 thoughts on “If We Do Not Burn

  1. I have seen a slightly different translation of those lines, with the final one being “How shall the shadows become light?” I used it as the refrain in a psalm-like litany on spiritual fire that I used to do on Marguerite Porete Day (June 1st). Still very powerful and inspiring lines, in my opinion, no matter what translation is used. Excellent stuff! 😉


  2. So much crazy stuff going on… Pope Francis’ Encyclical for me indicates a positive shift, yet there’s the horror of more and more terrorism and now this iconoclasm. Good to see polytheists uniting against it.


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