Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the revolution

Many individuals seem to believe that the current systems of control are oppressive.

Most of these same individuals believe that if they were the sovereign that things would be better. That under their control the world would know true justice.
Others argue that if they had their way the current system of sovereign control would be eliminated. Not under their control, but under their guidance the world would know true justice.

What I mean to say is: OK, revolution whatever, now what?

It seems centralization of power or control over massive amounts of people leads to tyranny. But complete decentralization is not possible, theoretically anarchists cannot paint a picture of a post-sovereign world. Communists would abolish private property. This is a basic practical fact of how to achieve "communism". Anarchists would abolish sovereignty. Both these actions seem simple, but we cannot truly define private property or sovereignty. We cannot make concrete linkages between these metonyms and their physical representations in physical de facto reality. Even if such linkages were established they would be inter-subjective in nature and subject to drastic changes over time. Not simply because of the evolution of language. This would be a result of the constantly detourning meanings of powerful words. Every individual in this world occupies a tactical position, every meal you eat is a meal another person cannot eat. Rewarding yourself with altruistic chemical rushes if you pull the convulsing fly from the web out of pity only means you have effaced the spider's suffering from starvation. Think about the debate over our current inter-subjective construction of "terrorism". Every different political agenda has a different definition for this word "terrorism", even every agency in the US federal government has disparate definitions. To create a world free of private property or state sovereignty would only mean to create a world in which the meaning of these words has been effaced. The definition of these phrases can be stretched so far as to make it impossible to ever accomplish the tasks of Communism and Anarchism.

Private property can be construed to mean anything under the immediate dominion of a living human body. To wear clothes is to possess them, if only for a short time. So in application: the abolition of private property would mean a huge increase in state power. Essentially there are two tactical positions: the state and the individual. There may be intermediate entities, but for the most part they will fall on one side or another of the border. Organizations with any type of fiat or veto power over individual's lives and/or actions can be grouped with the state. Any organization that does not control human action through implicit or explicit force would fall on the side of the individual.

At the point where the individual does not possess private property, the other tactical positions outside of the ontology of "individual" will receive the private property. We cannot define pieces of reality out of existence with wordplay. At the point an entity controls whether or not you are clothed or housed they are controlling an overt amount of veto and/or fiat power over your actions: they are grouped with the state. The abolition of individual private property can be phrased in a different way: The complete ownership of all non-human matter by the state. When phrased in this way the teleological aspirations of Communism seem more like totalitarianism, than democracy.


And now I must backtrack. First of all my grouping of entities with the state relies on my own definition of sovereignty which is the exercise of veto or fiat power over individuals. If you pull a gun on someone and steal their shoes you had sovereignty over that individual. And you will say: thats not a state, its not recognized by the UN or some shit. Bullshit. Sovereignty resides in individual actions their perception of truth and responsibility. Just because your robbery can be prosecuted does not mean that the entity prosecuting you is not a fucking criminal!

State Sovereignty:

States are just criminals that got so big they couldn't prosecute each other for criminal action, this does not change the basic fact of sovereignty: it resides in the individual. Sovereignty is (re)produced every single second of every day in the words, thoughts, and actions of individuals. If we all decided that the situation in the city where the police have the guns and we are unarmed should be reversed, it would be. If one by one Nazis refused to pour the Zyklon B, there would have been no holocaust. Soldiers that decide to put down their weapons and even interact with eachother because they have holidays derived from the same proto-holidays: Sacea, Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc. have denied the preceding day's truth of sovereignty. But much like Sacea the spell of absurdity/revelry fades as every other individual who refused to go along with the new tactical position of the revelers assimilated them back in to the old paradigm. This definition relies a great deal on Foucault's definition of power as "mutual, indefinite blackmail" (in Power/Knowledge). The popular definition of a state or sovereign state is one that is recognized as a sovereign state by other sovereign state. How tautological a definition in the first place? It sounds like a rule the winners invented to make sure nobody steals the legitimacy that arrives with the title "state".

Operational definition:

The reason I point out and defend this definition is because I essentially pushed on the definition of words to make sure this argument went through. Without seeing the reasoning behind the "mutual, indefinite blackmail" it is sleight of hand to use my operational definition of sovereignty in order to deconstruct two emancipatory goals.

If I didn't provide valid reasoning for sovereignty as the exercise of veto and/or fiat power over other individuals, then I would be succumbing to the same trap that attempts to put in to praxis these emancipatory ideals fall into. I do not wish to complicate further the pallimpsest of inter-subjective definitions, I want to simplify. Our non-material world is already too complex. I believe that this complexity leads to what social psychology calls paralysis of choice. The idea is that if there are 20 different cereals to choose from it would take forever to choose without some heuristic: brand name or maybe price. Cereal is a terrible metaphor for every choice a human makes. When a human makes a decision they do not write it down and weigh it down, they do not have a long time to figure out the pros and cons. Most of the time a human accesses what they know quickly and using the mental heuristics they have established to come to a decision.

Complexity of knowledge => Paralysis of choice => stupidity

I believe that the paralysis of choice has led to a plague of stupidity in humanity. This pestilence is not tamped down, but exacerbated for profit. Use of cheap psychological tricks in marketing (and everything is marketed today) amounts to mind control as it seeks to usurp veto and/or fiat power from your own mind. Such marketing may be sub-narrative, this is not pseudo-science subliminal messaging. These are the reproductions of the dominant episteme through what is not said. One cannot help but read between the lines. These sub-narratives condition individuals to never think of certain questions. To question the wisdom of a presidential administration's justifications for a two front illegal war located in two countries that were not primarily responsible for 9/11 is never even thought of.
It is not that the question is taboo, but that the question just never forms in an individual's mind who has immersed themselves so fully in the dominant paradigm. As the complexity becomes more paralyzing the adaptive youth become less susceptible and the envelope gets pushed. This is the status quo. This scourge spreads as marketing gives us false heuristics and normalized sub-narratives. Marketing is imperialism of the brain. Not simply metaphorical like Kalle Lasn talks about, it is real. Your thoughts are real, not only are these thoughts physical chemicals being tossed around your skull, but they create the conditions for physical reality. One cannot write a word until one thinks of it, one cannot build an object without a plan in mind, the only thing that grants continuity to our perception of this reality is knowledge/memory. As technology allows for proliferation of the nodes of knowledge normalization, the further immersion of individuals in to the current paradigm is a foregone conclusion. As Hegel said:

"What is 'familiarly known' is not properly known, just for the reason that it is 'familiar'. When engaged in the process of knowing, it is the commonest form of self-deception, and a deception of other people as well, to assume something to be familiar, and give assent to it on that very account"

As technology changes our physical reality by making stimulus that comes from entities rather than individuals the norm it is easier to make these agendas in to "truth". Like Goebbels says:

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”.

Bounding the thoughts of your own mind, limiting what you see, the words you use, and the questions you ask. This is the the imperialism of the brain that is everywhere you look and listen. I do not know how to fight the modern contagion of stupidity, but its existence seems obvious at this point. People just gotta level up.

Back to Anarchism:

Although Anarchism has a valid aspiration and seemingly better thought behind it than other domination ideals. Liberalism/democratic peace theory is an ideal in which the world is conquered by liberal democracy. Libertarian theory is an ideal which would create a world in which all non-human matter will be owned by corporations. These involved domination.Communism required abolition of private property, which meant ceding of property to some non-individual entity. This would mean domination by a state or corporate entity. Anarchism seeks to overcome all these ideas by destruction of the state, to remove the tool of domination is to prevent domination.

Anarchism suffers from the same fault of all teleological ideals: Ends just provide a justification for immoral means.

Anarchism suffers from the same outcome of libertarian ideology and communism: where is the power displaced to? We see the power of private property displaced from individuals to entities in communism and libertarian ideology. Where is the power of sovereignty (de facto) and law (de jure) displaced to in anarchism? The power is displaced to individuals, in this fashion war is made a relic. But in our effort to erase war, we focused too much on the definition of war as a contest between state entities, by eliminating state entities we eliminate war. The praxis of such an ideal would mean that war between individuals would take the place of state war. We moved the borderlines of definitions in our heads, but there is still murder and injustice. The potential to kill another individual at will shall always reside within the human, nothing can remove this potential.

Any ideal to emancipate individuals from the tyranny of an oppressive power, has to become a more oppressive power in order to subordinate the original oppressive power. This is Hobbes' trap.

The most damaging turn to anarchist ideals in practice comes with the aftermath. In a world without state sovereignty nothing prevents tribes/nations from forming and engaging in war. So as soon as a revolution to destroy the apparatus of government has succeeded, 10 other governments will form in its place.

This is why I brought up my original question: ok, revolution whatever, now what?

We have not found a way out of Hobbes trap. Schmitt further entrenched us.

How do we overcome a great power without resorting to the use of a greater power? If there is no way to do so then sovereignty is inherently totalitarian and democracy is nothing but a dream for the future. As long as a head of state can proclaim their state of emergency which justifies their torture or disobedience of the Geneva conventions law on POWs; as long as the sovereign can proclaim themselves outside the law through this emergency, then law created by the people is an illusion.

The law of the people/representation/suffrage is a privilege that will only remain as long as the sovereign's whim allows it. Don't tell me that this is the fluke. There is no such thing as democracy in practice thus far. Until the exception/emergency/new norm falls outside the sovereign's power there will never be democracy.

Then the question is: where is the exception/emergency/new norm displaced to?

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