I stands for human.［白森］
As sabotage is to war. Literary subversion is to ideology.
I maintain that no ideology in-itself shall be held sacrosanct and that wherever we may be so equipped, we should subvert the ideologies of domination. Not to say that all ideas are bad; or that certain principles are not worthy of admiration; or that we should not adhere to them. I am only saying that we should always question the validity of ideas which conspire to dominate. Particularly those which do so covertly are most worthy of the subversive effort. After all, why shouldn’t we the people of the world play an active role in the creation of our own belief systems? If there is to be a collective belief system at all, let it be in the state of perpetual, collective creativity! Otherwise only the sovereign individual shall be the one legitimate author of any belief.
Ideas should be shared between likeminded individuals and presented nobly in civil negotiations of mutual discourse. Best of all is when we exchange new ideas through the medium of artistic expression. In this domain the binary nature of argumentative language can be transcended, such as with humor, jokes, etc. “A joke worth laughing at always has an idea behind it, and usually a subversive idea.” (George Orwell) Humor sustains us human beings. It is not only a powerful tool for survival but also a powerfully subversive tool. Knowledge of this power dictates that art must be substantive. Art must do something other than simply entertain. Not to say that art must always be subversive, destructive, etc., but in these times of profound cultural decay, the first step towards reinvigorating our cultural landscape is to tear down all decadent structures. The good, the beautiful, the true—never die. These ideals not only stand the test of time. They persist through any malevolent strikes of subversion. Let us be literary subverters, therefore. All we have to lose are the nefarious ideologies constraining us—restraining our creative urge.
There can be no single, dogmatic approach to our system. Our ethics must overthrow what Christopher Hitchens would have referred to as the “celestial dictatorship.” Ours is the becoming of a dimension more philosophical than purely political, although it is the entwinement of both; at the core a dedication to the principles of not only anarchism, but also the Taoist Way.
Especially in the way that it functions in our society today the media is perhaps something more akin to the antimatter of human consciousness. Pointing this out is not to say there is no great artistry in contriving moving pictures or in composing an image or in arranging words into meaningful patterns. Indeed, I am far from saying that because after all, I am a huge fan of the cinema, of art, of literature, etc. My point is that moving pictures and images and the written word wherever they may be, which is to say everywhere, are working on us in propagandistic fashion; expanding our awareness yet funneled into only one preordained, unitary herd direction that is I dare say, alien to the natural flow of human consciousness. Another way of putting this would be that the media as it exists today solely exists for the purposes of narrowing our consciousness through the process of expanding it ever more towards the artificial, the technocratic, the fake. At every waking hour of every day, provided that one does not live under a rock, one is being bombarded by a constant stream of messages. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would deny that; but maybe you argue these messages are largely benevolent, benign, inconsequential. Thinking in this way is skeptically optimistic, but tragically naïve. For throughout human history, as long as the written word has existed—and, perhaps, even having been adapted mostly for this one purpose alone—the rulers of humankind have utilized a steady flow of propagandistic messages as a form of mind control. We have long been fed the maxim Think for yourself but ironically this was just a subtle nudge into the cage of isolation. Before one can truly think for ones self one must become liberated from the fortified illusion of Self. We cannot allow consciousness to expand into the pyramidal funnel of artificiality. Reject that—permitting instead the mind taps into the eternal everything that already is.
Who among even the most enlightened class of human beings could claim to know with absolute certainty the full scope of our mysterious universe? Certainty looks good. It feels good. It sells well. Whereas doubt, on the other hand, appears weak. It depresses. It spurs decay. Shall we go on feigning certainty then, among those whom we cannot bare to let down by exposing our fears?
Let us remove authoritarianism from religion. We shall liberate our human soul from the tyranny of superego. I advocate meditation as opposed to prayer for this reason. There is a subtle, but I will maintain important, difference between these two practices that has to do with the substance of identity. Both prayer and meditation involve a focus on interiority and the connection one may discover about metaphysics therein; however they may be distinguished by their contrasting active versus passive modes. In general that is to say that prayer is an appeal to divinity, whereas meditation is the contemplation of emptiness. One is in essence a form of wishing. The other wishes to transcend wishing by recognizing the illusory aspect of wishing itself. Wishing reinforces earthly desire. It is precisely this kind of psychic behavior that locks one into the realm of appearances. It is intimately bound up with the substance of identity, as the occurrence of wishing requires a subject to do the wishing, i.e. an ego. My argument is that ego becomes immorally conflated when desiring unification with the image of supernatural authority invested in superego. It doesn’t matter from an ethical standpoint whether the object of prayer is someone else as opposed to one’s self. Altruistic desires fuel self delusion as much as selfish ones. Speaking about what is and isn’t moral, I should assert here that there is nothing inherently moral about authority in itself. Morality is rooted in choice and the eternal moment which is everything that exists is an infinity of choice. Authoritarianism aims to reduce this into one coercive moment of making the “right” choice. I will hold that actively conflating oneself with this illusion of immutable correctness is irreconcilable with cosmic freedom. The most radical statement available to make is the simple fact that it is just not moral.
Could a single will effectively break itself? Am I capable of tearing down my very own psyche so as to build it back up again, but in only the manner that I sees fit? Is it possible for one in the same consciousness both to submit and be submitted to? Moreover if it were, would that be a worthy project? Is that not the absolute zero point of sorts? A valuable project befitting of all fully autonomous, moral individuals?
“Stoicism is self-tyranny,” says Nietzsche. . .
If tyranny as a concept was ever considered in the positive sense, then it would have to be in this one. We must resist political tyranny in all of its manifest forms. Except for one. In ourselves, towards ourselves. This is the only moral form of political tyranny. If we are to resist it, first we must overthrow it in ourselves. We must take it over, indeed turning it on itself, in ourselves. This is called the conquest of the dominator urge. It is the first step towards opening up a space for liberation. It is the principle of no rule but self-rule.
Self-rule with an iron fist.
A key to surviving these Dark Ages is to develop the faculties for an idea, while simultaneously preparing for its disarmament. What I mean to say is that there is no information that cannot be turned into disinformation, and these days disinformation is the norm. One should at all times try to disarm information to the point where one can see closest to its naked essence.
I think of Nietzsche. The way his philosophy was appropriated to fuel a Fascist machine. It cannot be denied perhaps, that great ideas are just begging to be misunderstood by the powerfully mediocre. . .
If we are to avoid being mislead, not to mention if we care not to mislead others; we are going to have to accept the profound mystery inherited by our insane project of knowing everything through science; or through religious texts, or items of national importance, etc.
We are going to have to consider that, concepts precede words in the same way that mythology precedes history.
Ultimately we are going to need to be careful not to conflate these distinctions; or just as importantly, to privilege one before another.