Insurrection and Utopia, Part 2: “You say you want a Revolution?” “Not exactly…”
“Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” Isn’t that what they say?
If the entire world, from human culture to technology, is the byproduct of the Ruling Ideology and is literally shaped and molded by it we must do nothing less then change everything; reform is not an option because the sheer act of of working “within the system” actually reinforces existing ideologies. That’s been the key to the whole thing: each generation fine tunes and updates the existing ideological experience, making it bearable and palatable to them and thus preserves it. It’s the reason identity politics and purely social revolutions are so eagerly supported. The people at the top don’t really care if the definition of marriage is broadened or restricted as long as we keep depending on them to do it, they don’t care if there’s a black or female president as long as we still keep electing presidents. But the moment we begin to dream or to live lives outside this mental space the jackboots come crashing down because the minute we do so we are, in effect, creating a new mental space for ourselves and others to live in. Don’t think so? It’s through this process that we ended up with the world we have today:
This is not an intended or natural element of human life; rather, it is an artificial arrangement constructed by those who wish to own the world. ‘One thing, however, is clear – Nature does not produce on the one side owners of money or commodities, and on the other men possessing nothing but their own labour-power,’ explains Marx. ‘This relation has no natural basis, neither is its social basis one that is common to all historical periods. It is clearly the result of a past historical development, the product of many economic revolutions, of the extinction of a whole series of older forms of social production.
This ideological battle ground is the key. It’s the reason they laughed at Occupy and than brutally broke it’s back, it’s the reason Food Not Bombs is more aggressively treated than Neo-Nazi rallies, it’s the reason why the authority of a police officer must never be questioned, it’s the reason homeless people are not allowed to build semi-permanent structures and must rely on socially stigmatized “aid.” We are confronting virtual structures, living symbols that power the entire artifice. Cue Comrade Zizek:
Money powers everything. Not having Money is bad. Obey what we deem to be Authority. Break these symbols and you break the spell we’ve all fallen under. Break the spell and you might start casting some yourself.
Because you see things like Capitalism, Hierarchy, these are things not just in the world but that live within our heads. They are ideas, constructs, “spooks” as the Anarchist philosopher Max Stirner referred to them. As long as we still have them there they’ll continue to exist out here, and if they exist out here they will mold and shape our thoughts and actions out there.
“Ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker consciously, indeed, but with a false consciousness. The real motives impelling him remain unknown to him, otherwise it would not be an ideological process at all. Hence he imagines false or apparent motives. Because it is a process of thought he derives both its form and its content from pure thought, either his own or that of his predecessors. He works with mere thought material which he accepts without examination as the product of thought, he does not investigate further for a more remote process independent of thought; indeed its origin seems obvious to him, because as all action is produced through the medium of thought it also appears to him to be ultimately based upon thought.”-Engels
How many times have you heard “this is as good as it gets?” Or “this is the only world possible?” Is this the same species that went from riding in horse drawn carriages to landing on the moon in the space of about 70 years? To imagine that we’ve hit some built-in wall in human development is insane. This, comrades, is the Spell of Ideology. Of course this is “as good as it gets” if the mental structures rattling around in your head confirm that it is indeed so. You will literally make that world, you will live it, because your mind is convinced that is what you, in the Nietzschean sense, Will to Create. We’re stuck bargaining for bits and pieces of the pie because we can’t fathom ever owning it all.
Joseph McMoneagle in his book “Mind Trek” talks about how before a Remote Viewing session the investigator would spend about an hour talking with the subject about various psychic and paranormal topics. The reason? It prepped the subjects mind into believing Remote Viewing was possible. If they thought it was quite real and possible they, as if by magic, were able to do it. Beginner’s usually had better luck than trained users because they lacked the mental data to disprove or doubt the whole experience.
The witches and wizards amongst you should have bells and whistles going off in your head.
We’re talking about people moving their consciousness outside of space and time to view events, places, and people, all through a tiny shift in ideology; in believing such a thing was not only possible but probable. If this recognition of probable possibilities can do THAT, what kind of world can we create with it?
Towards a New Utopia
“So the paradox is that it’s much easier to imagine the end of all life on Earth than a much more modest radical change in capitalism, which means that we should reinvent Utopia, but in what sense? There are two false meanings of Utopia. One is this old notion of imagining an ideal society, which we know will never be realized. The other is the capitalist Utopia in the sense of new perverse desires that you are not only allowed but even solicited to realize. The true Utopia is when the situation is so without issue, without a way to resolve it within the coordinates of the possible, that out of the pure urge of survival you have to invent a new space. Utopia is not kind of a free imagination. Utopia is a matter of innermost urgency. You are forced to imagine it as the only way out, and this is what we need today.” –Slajov Zizek
Let me give you an example of how this dreaming works. Driverless cars are being tested and developed. Uber’s costs are primarily paying the driver. No driver and the cost goes down immensely, so low in fact it will be cheaper to simply grab a self-driving car for a ride then actually owning one.
So we have two potential futures:
A) Rentable self-driving cars become the wave of the future, eliminating vehicle ownership. You cannot get anywhere without paying a fee for it, the companies can charge whatever they like, and the minute a big car crash happens they will decry person-driven cars as “dangerous” and lobby the State to ban them on major roads “for our safety,” thus creating a privately-owned technological monopoly. All transit becomes commercialized and a matter of transactions.
B) We create socially funded free transportation for all.
Both options are entirely possible, both sitting in that hazy realm of possibility so frequently added to and pulled from by the magically inclined. Which one will be born? The one that is summoned by the prevailing ideology. There are literally thousands of these questions answered everyday on the micro and macro level, questions we may not have even thought to ask; the world is created at each second, so too it’s future.
So we must begin to dream again, to evoke and invoke a world as yet unborn; we must remake our utopia. We must imagine and desire a world beyond capital and devoid of hierarchy, as impossible as it sounds, because by dreaming it we unconsciously strive towards it. And it’s been done successfully before. Let your forgotten history be recalled by the great Murray Bookchin:
The Paris Commune ran an entire city based on neighborhood councils with the communicative speed of horseback; Mahkno’s Ukraine created freely run Anarchist communes and schools, all without police, jails, or borders; areas of Anarchist Spain completely abolished money altogether, actually living “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” These are things we’ve been told time and time again were impossible, went against “human nature,” and yet there they stand, only being overcome when the literal weight of the world was put against them…because they knew, just as the Powers That Be do today, to admit them victory would call the entirety of “what’s possible” into question.
The Zapatistas and Rojava cantons are proving the power to dream, that the unconscious sorcerous summoning of new worlds is still as dangerous and effective as it once was.
Partisans of a World Not Yet Born
So we dream new worlds. Is that enough? You can burn candles all day to get a new job, you still have to actually looking. Is revolution the answer? Max Stirner didn’t think so.
The revolution aimed at new arrangements; insurrection leads us no longer to let ourselves be arranged, but to arrange ourselves, and sets no glittering hopes on ‘institutions’. It is not a fight against the established […] it is only a working forth of me out of the established.
What is “the revolution?” It’s a dream that has no legs to walk one, a fight we’re always going to have at sometime in the future. The dream betrays itself. By always seeing it as in the future we damn it to be so, it will also be some hazy future off in the distance, a utopia of a future conflict to possibly change things. Dangerous thinking lies here! We are dreaming of a future possibility, a mere chance to change things rather than changing them now. “Ho ho, just you wait. When the revolution comes around things are going to be different. Yessir. Now, how may I take your order?”
And if the chance does come around, what then? We inherit a world soaked in a conflicting ideology, a machine geared impossibly away from the kind of lives we seek to create. And since THE revolution has occurred we become immediate conservatives; there is no room for things to adapt, to change, to grow, because the “Event” in Zizek’s terms has already happened. We become the kings, queens, and keepers of the very thing we sought to destroy. The physical map may change but the mental co-ordinates are still the same. From Anarchopdia:
“Stirner recognises the importance of self-liberation and the way that authority often exists purely through its acceptance by the governed. As he argues, “… no thing is sacred of itself, but my declaring it sacred, by my declaration, my judgement, my bending the knee; in short, by my conscience.” [Ibid. p. 72] It is from this worship of what society deems “sacred” that individuals must liberate themselves in order to discover their true selves. And, significantly, part of this process of liberation involves the destruction of hierarchy. For Stirner, “Hierarchy is domination of thoughts, domination of mind!,” and this means that we are “kept down by those who are supported by thoughts” [Ibid., p. 74], i.e. by our own willingness to not question authority and the sources of that authority, such as private property and the state.”
We can have no change, no “revolution,” if the old order and old systems we seek to destroy are still acting as “spooks” in our heads. Any physical change in the balance of power must first be won in the world of ideas: a Jungian, Alchemical, inner-revolution. Freed from the “spooks” of capitalism and hierarchy the newly awakened individual recreates the world around her on the basis of a new ideology. Mahkno writes:
“The free man, on the other hand, has thrown away the trammels of the past together with its lies and brutality. He has buried the rotten corpse of slavery and the notion that the past is better. Man has already partially liberated himself from the fog of lies and brutality, which enslaved him from the day of his birth, from the worship of the bayonet, money, legality, and hypocritical science. While man frees himself from this insult he understands himself better, and once he has understood himself, the book of his life is opened to him. In it he immediately sees that his former life was nothing but loathsome slavery and that this framework of slavery has conspired to stifle all his innate good qualities. He sees that this life has turned him into a beast of burden, a slave for some or a master over others, or into a fool who tears down and tramples on all that is noble in man when ordered to do so. But when freedom awakes in man, it treads all artificialities into the dust and all that stands in the way of independent creativity. This is how man moves in his process of development…
“The man of protest, who has fully grasped his identity and who now sees with his eyes fully open, who now thirsts for freedom and totality, now creates groups of free men welded together by the ideal and by the action. Whoever comes into contact with these groups will cast off his status of lackey and will free himself from the idiot domination of others over him. Any ordinary man who comes from the plough, the factory, the bench of the university or from the bench of the academic will recognize the degradation of slavery. As man uncovers his true personality, he will throw away all artificial ideas, which go against the rights of his personality, the Master/Slave relationship of modern society. As soon as man brings to the fore the pure elements in his personality through which a new, free human community is born, he will become an anarchist and revolutionary. This is how the ideal of anarchism is assimilated and disseminated by men; the free man recognizes its deep truth, its clarity, and its purity, its message of freedom and creativity.”
So, putting it all together, what is it we must do?
We must be crafters and dreamers, builders and thinkers. We must learn to identify the prevailing ideology and how it infects and moves in us as well as others, even objects and concepts. Then me must break those bonds within that mental space; we must kill our Inner Fascist. And when we do that, and the symbols of Capitalism, State, and Hierarchy have been disenchanted we can begin to evoke our Utopia, our dreams into reality. We can engage in conversations and do things that challenge the prevailing ideas of what is possible; we can fight for and create liberated spaces where this world can begin to manifest.
There are ways to do this today. Here’s 42 of them. We can start our Insurrection now.
Rather than dogmatically hold on to one method or tactic or we should instead follow Stirner’s advice to “have no wish to become a slave to my maxims, but…rather subject them to my ongoing criticism” as the struggle continues to evolve. We have no idea how things might change or in what ways things might manifest, when situations might become more heated or more cool. Rosa Luxemborg stated there were no “perfect” or “objective” times for any historical condition, they only appear so when viewed as something in the past; that each “premature” attempt at the working people seizing power existed to further train the people as a whole, who could only reach the “mature conditions” necessary for widespread societal change by the very education gained in these earlier, “premature,” struggles. We must regain that old revolutionary patience, fighting for a world we may never get to see; but while we live, rather than simply “reacting” to things or trying to “fix” the world, we need to build our own.
Any action that moves towards a new way of thinking, by it’s sheer existence, forces others to have an interior conversation with themselves. This descent into Spookland causes long-held and prevailing ideas to be questioned or thrown away altogether. Ideology informs and molds reality. Change one and you change the other. Victor Serge in “Birth Of Our Power” described the situation in a conversation between his characters:
Rather than wait for a future conflict to bring the chance of change we must act and fight as if the world of our dreams is but a hair’s breadth away today.
Because if we do, one day we’ll wake up in it.
Dr. Bones is an 8 year practitioner of the Southern occult tradition known as Conjure, Rootwork, and Hoodoo. A skilled card reader and Spiritworker, Dr. Bones has undertaken all aspects of the work, both benevolent and malefic. Politically he holds the Anarchist line that “Individuality can only flourish where equality of access to the conditions of existence is the social reality. This equality of access is Communism.” He resides in the insane State of Florida with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.
He can be reached through facebook and at firstname.lastname@example.org