There’s something I thought about when contemplating the drunkenness that I sought after over the holidays. I don’t see myself as a “binge drinker” in the sense that I once had some vague idea about in my youth; in fact, for a lot of my early life, the main thing I had in common with Friedrich Nietzsche was never drinking alcohol. But in the years since I started drinking, this time in particular gives me a taste for the disinhibition of drunkenness. In fact, while I tend to avoid addictive behaviours, I do prefer that my drinking would have me reasonably disinhibited. But it’s from there that I reflected on the value of disinhibition in a much broader sense.

I would maintain that in life, and in politics, you should strive to disinhibit yourself to the extent possible. By which I mean, you should be able to cut off the fetters that prevent you from accessing the experience of life or cut off the options you would otherwise have to affect political change. A person lives, desires to keep living, and so works to avoid meeting danger and harm, and yet one never entirely approaches life in the safety of the normal limits of their sensorium. For this reason, people may push themselves beyond the limits of their “normal” state, their “everyday” consciousness, perhaps even if it means bringing themselves a little closer to death, so that they might access their own freedom or possibilities of action or being/becoming. There is perhaps a certain lack that is associated with a life that does not involve some extent of disinhibition, however small, because there is a sense that disinhibition, even if dangerous, brings some sense of completion to the fulfillment of individual life, by expanding it.

In the context of ancient pre-Christian religions, disinhibition was served not just as a way, but an important vehicle for the attainment of divine inspiration. The cult of Dionysus in Greece often centered around the liberation of consciousness through an intoxication that would invite the spirit of Dionysus to posssess his worshippers, and thereby experiencing ecstasy. Similarly ecstatic states of divine possession have been attributed to gods such as Pan, Hecate, Cybele, and Ares. In some other mystery cults, gods such as Sabazios were similarly worshipped in orgiastic festivals of drunkenness aimed at communing with the god to attain a blessed afterlife. In Scandinavia, religious disinhibition was part of the cult of the berserkers and the ulfhednar, the bear or wolf-pelted warriors whose battle frenzies were linked to the divine inspiration bestowed by the god Odin. In Egypt, disinhibition via drunkenness was sometimes observed as a way to re-enact the cycle of fertility and commune with the gods through the drunken worship of goddesses such as Hathor, Sekhmet, and Bast. In Vedic India, a substance called Soma was offered to the gods and then ritually consumed in order to become inebriated from it, which was believed to lead to a state of divine inspiration as well as magical powers and even immortality.

In politics, it’s obvious that everything depends on what you’re prepared to do in order to affect meaningful change, and it would seem that allowing your hands to be tied by the norms of those in power – that what we call “liberal-democratic rules” – does not allow you to do much. Our enemies certainly seem to have a certain sense of that, but we sometimes don’t. I’d wager that it’s usually only insurrectionary anarchists who have the idea that they must act without inhibition or decree. Many Marxists, of course, have an utterly confused stance on the matter: on the one hand, the Marxist-Leninist will assert that they will “make no excuses for the terror”, to justify basically any exercise of power, and then on the other hand repeatedly chastise other radicals for any broad commitment to political violence as a means of acheiving revolutionary aims outside of their sphere. Yet even they are all too aware of the need to assert themselves against the norms of the current system. Not only this, but all leftists, when discussing things as basic as anti-fascism or the labour movement, know the same thing, implicitly. Politics is basically a condition of social war, even if few political actors are actually conscious of this fact in their operations. To disinhibit yourself here means to shed the norms that stop you from acting in full knowledge of this reality.

In the Left Hand Path, disinhibition as transgression can be seen as part of the praxis of apotheosis, even if I can recall a few modern LHP practitioners who have insisted against intoxication. Whether involving intoxication or not, moral disinhibition is the name of the game, in that the bounds of custom and normativity are, as fetters, cut away in order to access knowledge, power, divinity, the truth of the world, really everything that the adept needs to progress on their path. In Satanism, this is in many ways the purpose of inversion: shattering the laws of “God” in devotion to the dark inner principle of the universe, from which endless liberty for the soul is to be derived.

So disinhibit yourself. Get weird with it. Cut down the spectre of morality in its many forms: authoritarian, democratic, conservative, progressive, essentialist, Christian, humanist, and all alike. If you need a New Year’s resolution, you can promise to set fire to the future. Or, if you need to be modest, you need only promise to go beyond yourself in what chances you have.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s