Too much comfort and abstraction will kill you

I know this post is rather spontaneous, and I don’t plan on writing about the Gods and Radicals stuff for too long, or at least unless something major happens, but it seems that Rhyd Wildermuth’s article about anarchism just yesterday received a response on that very same website written by Christopher Scott Thompson, an anarchist and contributing author. The article, titled “We Are What We Always Were: A Response To “What Happened To Anarchism”“, is a sincere challenge to Wildermuth’s arguments against anarchist anti-fascism and I find that it put some real, heartfelt perspective to what Wildermuth strives to complain about, as well exposing his lies.

But, the article itself is not the main subject of this post, though the perspective it provides is a big part of what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is some reflections and perspective that was inspired by Thompson’s response.

Probably the most important point to consider from the article is about conflict, more specifically Thompson’s response to Rhyd’s points about the tactics used by anti-fascists. In response to Rhyd’s point about how it was ironic that anarchist websites got banned from Patreon and Facebook after Antifa groups “led the call” for far-right groups getting banned, Thompson argued, pretty convincingly, that even their own groups getting censored was, while bad for them, worth the risk to take out the far-right. His point was that a tactic in itself doesn’t become bad just because it can be turned against you, because the same applies for every tactic, in that there is no tactic that isn’t in some ways a double-edged sword. According to Thompson, everyone knew that this would happen, and accepted the risk on the grounds that it was worth taking the hit if it meant preventing harm being done. While I tend to be skeptical of deplatforming and definitely opposed to censorship on principle, when it comes to doxxing fascists who are about to do violence on others and bully others into committing suicide, it almost seems like there’s no reason to oppose that. I mean it’s just as Thompson says, which is more ethical? Is it more ethical to let fascists on 8chan “troll storm” Sophie Labelle into committing suicide because they didn’t like the fact that a trans person was creating comics that offended them, or is it more ethical to stop those fascists from doing that? If Thompson is right, the 8chan fascists seemed to stop harassing Sophie Labelle only after anti-fascists doxxed the people involved. I can’t help but think back to what happened to Near, the emulator developer who was bullied into suicide because they were trans and autistic, and wonder if perhaps the people at KiwiFarms might have backed off if they had the feeling that, perhaps, they would face the consequences of what they were doing? Would Near still be alive?

The perspective that Thompson offers is like a lightning bolt, it thrusts something important, but often forgotten, to the center of consciousness. From the perspective of Thompson, and the active, on-the-ground anti-fascist movement of which he is a part, it’s all about conflict, because theirs is a struggle in a real and visceral sense, one that is violent in nature in response to violence against the marginalized. For liberals, conservatives, vulgar libertarians (as opposed to radical, socialist ones), and apparently for people like Rhyd Wildermuth too, this is all just a conversation of ideas and opinions that can be hashed out intellectually. That’s in stark contrast to the anti-fascists fighting on the streets: for them, this is war.

Struggle, conflict, war, these are things that are lost to people who live in comfort and abstraction. Rhyd Wildermuth lives in the Ardennes, far away from anything happening in the United States that was once his home. Angie, his friend, is a middle class online socialite from London. Her friend, Aimee Terese is the rich daughter of a Lebanese capitalist living all the way in Australia, all the while doing nothing but incoherently rambling about the politics of a land whose people she has no real connection to. There’s all sorts of people who live, if not in comfort, then certainly in isolation from the struggle that persists at the center of the present. But if you live in relative security, comfort, alienation from struggle, it’s easy to think what you do about people who actually live in struggle and conflict, and make it their business to claw their way out rather than try to talk their way out of everything forever. And sometimes, just as is the case for the bourgeoisie, if you have comfort you’ll stoop to anything to protect it, even becoming a grotesque reactionary. I once met a guy who lived in the happiest country in the world and for him everything was about how to win debates and resolve the issues of “wokeness” to make socialism electable. The last time I saw him, he had fully embraced white nationalism. That’s what becomes of these people, because the truth is, if they’re not trying to hold on to their pre-existing biases, they have no skin in the game, and have no respect for those who do have skin in the game. Besides, all they like to do is get offended about everything and then complain about their rivals supposedly being like that. That is weakness.

Here’s something important to take away, consider it a lesson in life: never allow your struggle to be reduced to an intellectual quandary. If you do, then you’ll spend too much time trying to figure out how to solve the quandary, but all that means in practice is creating a set of rationalisations to justify yourself to others in a way that you hope your enemies will be satisfied with. They won’t be satisfied, because they never are, because that was never the point for them. Their real goal has never been to achieve resolution through reason, but instead to dominate you, gaslight you, and create insurmountable obstacles for your goals that can only be overcome on their terms, and while you never win they sit comfortably knowing that their victory is forever assured. Meanwhile the war, if it hasn’t already been ceded through intellectual compromise, is still going on all around you and your friends are dying or being brutalized, and figuring out how to rationalize yourself intellectually has solved nothing.

What has the working class ever gained by arguing that they have the right to equitable and humane living conditions, instead of fighting for those very conditions? What would Stonewall have ever gotten for the LGBT community if not for the riots of 1969? People talk about the American Founding Fathers to use them as a stamp of authority on behalf of their own positions, often for conservative goals, but you would never be able to do that if they didn’t wage revolutionary war against the British crown. Why do trans people have to debate their existence and their rights and endure the suffering of marginalization while their enemies get all the social protection and every benefit of the doubt?

Never forget what Heraclitus said, “war is common, strife is justice, and all things happen according to strife and necessity”. Struggle is real, it animates the transformation of things and of society, because Nature consists of cyclical growth and change, and therefore transformation. Life strives, therefore it fights. Therefore, the world turns. Change, justice, power, emancipation, these grow out of the barrel of a gun or the clash of a blade, or the smash of a brick, or the light of a flame. That’s also the only reason capitalism exists: it won the battle of the brutal transformation of the social order – that is what Marxists call the dialectic of history, and, I assure you, I’m convinced lately that the implications of dialectical transformation contain a grain of brutality to them. It’s also the only reason that losers get to evangelize about the greatness of civilization and progress, because they live off the fat of historic victory, turning that victory into the law of the land, and are eager to avoid losing their place.

Remember the struggle that matters, matters to you, because that knowledge at least might as well be sacred. If you lose it, you lose yourself.

Life Is A Struggle by Gustav Klimt (1903)

The great twilight

In the process of refining my own creative universe, the concept of the “twilight of the gods”, in which all the deities and all the giants of the earth did battle with each other, and eventually destroy each other, resulting in the deaths of all but a few surviving deities (and the dragon Nidhoggr, who survives by feeding off of the corpses of the slain). Not entirely sure why it is referred to as a twilight, but I digress. I stumbled upon it, thinking of the state of my creative universe, the world in which my “altar ego” lives in and interacts with.

Illustration of the Norse myth of Ragnarok, the “twilight” or doom of the gods.

In this universe, deities and demons fight each other, deities fight monsters, humans fight monsters and demons, and more often the balance of power and the balance between energies is disturbed by humans seeking to tip the balance of light and dark powers in order to fulfill their own twisted ambitions, usually a desire for a “perfect world”, a deluded desire to “save the world”, or a desire to rule to the world. Sometimes demons or deities do the same, either because they have malign ambitions of their own, or because they are guided by cults and/or the negative desires of humans. And sometimes, humans still fight each other. The tension exerted by constant conflict would sustain the world/universe he lives in, it would sustain life, liberty, and, in a way, order (in the sense that the fighting preserves the delicate balance. And this tension would go on for all eternity, and since deities and demons never truly die, or if monsters keep coming back, old battles may return, or they may wage new battles. Perhaps that which has happened in this universe before might be destined to happen again, like an eternal return. If that’s not enough, then if hypothetically this tension were ever to end, then everything would freeze, stagnant, and decay, in an everlasting peace that brings only death by stagnation.

Of course battle isn’t all that my alter ego (or myself as that character) would do in this world, in fact if I was in that setting I’d be getting to do whatever I want which can include an array of things other than fighting. In that sense, if this universe can be considered the place I am united with after this life (not in a merging with God sense), then that’s still basically a lot like the Norse heaven-realm Valhalla, where those who died in battle were rewarded with entry into a realm of constant battle and constant pleasure, but the difference would be that you wouldn’t have to die in battle to get to this world, unless battle means something different (like struggles of the soul).

“Walhall” by Emil Doepler. This is the best image I could find because no depiction of Valhalla I’ve found shows any fighting going on.

Getting back to a concept within a creative universe, The Great Twilight can’t be the only possible name for this state of affairs. The Great Tension is one viable, albeit dry, name for it, but in the meantime I’ll keep thinking on it.

You might be wondering I would want to live in such a world where conflict is a constant? Because at least, it is mine. And there would be a lot more liberty than in our world, and the evils of our world would have no real power, and humans would certainly be different, truly free. If anything, the conflict or tension that often pervades the world I imagine would be the only real trade-off for a world where liberty and virtue are unabated.

Make love AND war (Why I don’t support Peace One Day)

My brother has been very angry about his time in college lately, particularly regarding something called the Welsh Baccalaureate. He tells me me that the college he is attending had made him sit through a 32-minute film titled The Day After Peace (which was made in 2008), which chronicles the self-endowed quest of one Jeremy Gilley to create a day of non-violence, which ended with what my brother described as a bastardized version of the song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics (the actual song isn’t even about peace to begin with; it’s actually about looking for fulfillment).

I’m not saying a day of non-violence is inherently bad, but not only does it feel redundant because most people know not to be too violent on a regular basis. Is that not non-violence? Also, I feel we should question the motives of this Jeremy Gilley. Is he really such a saintly person, or just an attention-seeker like one Jason Russell. It’s like how people try to get everyone united under a banner. Said people are both attention-craving and hungry for influence others. Even if this Jeremy Gilley isn’t just another attention-hungry twit and he really does believe in world peace, he’s a fool, and everyone supporting his campaign is either desperately dragging flower power out of its grave again or just mindlessly going with the crowd like so many people supporting popular ideas and causes.

And let me tell you about my brother’s college before I criticize the cause. After having to watch that short movie and having to do some pointless group activities, the lesson ended with him and his class being assigned homework that involves the following tasks:

  1. Going to the Thunderclap website and supporting a Peace One Day campaign.
  2. Writing a short speech on how you want to make peace with someone.
  3. Doing some research on an anti-war artist, with personal commentary.

I’m sorry am I missing something here? Because that whole assignment has the exact hallmarks of a fucking social/political agenda rather than education. How stupid do you have to be to not see that making something sign up to support something as homework is pure bullshit? It has nothing to do with educating people, and everything to do with indoctrinating people, or playing to sentimentality that people do not question the legitimacy of. The second task is stupid too. It’s a completely moronic task that assumes you feel animosity towards someone let alone have plans to reconcile with said someone. Don’t get me wrong, my brother and I probably do have animosity towards someone, but we don’t care about reconciling with said person (at least in this moment in time), and we certainly would not feel comfortable telling a Welsh Baccalaureate teacher, or any teacher for that matter. The third task, I gotta say, is the only homework task that even qualifies as homework. If the homework assigned by Welsh Baccalaureate was just writing about some anti-war artist, then it would be fine, at the least it would an actual assignment. But no. My brother’s class gets being made to support Peace One Day as fucking homework. I don’t care what people would say, you shouldn’t make anyone support anything if they don’t want to, and you shouldn’t make it homework. This is hardly any different from fascism, or school for that matter. And if I were in his situation, I’d be pissed off too, and I wouldn’t be shy of expressing it either even if it means losing some potential friends.

Now back to the cause itself. Seriously. When was the last time you actively sought out to support something like Peace One Day, that runs only on popular sentiment? I’ll bet it was that you were led on to supporting it and didn’t question anything at all, or you were just going with the crowd most likely not actually believing in anything. In general, things like the whole world peace thing is nothing more than undead baby boomer philosophy. Flower power died in the 1970’s, killed by the dark realities of this world. Hell, I could actually say flower power died in the middle of the 1960’s when peace and love didn’t go according to plan. Back then you see, there was not only government crackdown, but also riots, and even prejudice-fueled killing (especially during that fateful Rolling Stones concert). Flower power is finished. Flower power was always finished, it was and still is shallow and meaningless if you think about it. It almost always seems to die not too far from when it begins, and even if it had genuine meaning and inspiration, in the end it could not survive the interests of the corporations who spread it as meaningless slogan. It only survives because the baby boomers preserve it and the masses mindlessly follow it without any thought at all.

The reality most people may refuse to accept is that war and conflict always find a way to rear their heads in this world. They have always found a way to happen in this world and there’s fuck all that can change it save for the death of the universe (which for all we know would start all over again and then the entire cycle would repeat). The way I see it, peace always gives way to war, and war always gives to peace. Come to think of it, peace and war pretty much happen at the same time. Even if we rule out war specifically, we still have aggression, competition, and hate in all of us. We can control these things, yes, but we will never completely be rid of it. And people will always disagree with each other, which sooner or later would always lead to conflict. The only alternative is some authoritarian utopia where you don’t have free will to disagree or be angry at anything. That’s the only way you can have a world of absolute peace. And let me appeal to your common sense for a moment: would you want to live in a world like that? And I’m not saying we shouldn’t have peace, love, or harmony at all. I think we can have peace, love, or harmony, but we should enjoy the peace we can have in this world instead of following some stupid naive idea that has always been left for dead.

One last thing. The mere fact that corporations like Lynx spread this irritates me, but it’s pretty unsurprising. They’re just appealing to the masses who don’t think.

So this September 21st, don’t follow the crowd. Don’t support another useless sentimental campaign. Enjoy the personal peace you have or already can have. Don’t crave a world where peace is all you will ever know.

No peace until tyranny is destroyed

The situation in Syria is still going on, even though the majority of people don’t remember it. Hell, the new pope is busy trying to tell everyone to end the conflict peacefully. And some say the situation is going to get worse this year.

Personally, I think we should be helping the rebels overthrow the tyrant Bashar al-Assad. Not by invading Syria, but by supplying weapons to the rebels to help them win against Assad. Further more, I think Western countries should stop propping dictators like Assad, if they really value freedom.

Forget about all this talk about peace and breaking up conflict. There’s a dictator out there. A man who used sarin on his own people and continues his oppression, and trying to look like a darling on top of that (he’s even on Instagram apparently). There should be no peace until the tyranny is destroyed.

Peace is an overrated goal

When I say peace, I don’t really mean peace. I mean mostly the buzzword that gets thrown around by the masses, and to the societal goal of peace on Earth. To often all we hear about the values of society is “world peace” or “peace on Earth”. It’s all just a slogan, a sham, that no one ever thinks about. People just go along with the idea without realizing what it means.

True peace on Earth would be dull, boring, and lifeless. In the real world, you don’t even need the presence of brutal war to illustrate the reality of conflict. Even if there aren’t any bona fide wars involving blood and weapons, there are countless other arenas in which conflict or battle of some kind will always continue to be waged. There will always be conflicts of culture and ideas, tests of character, personality, and integrity, struggles of ideals and ideas, and other forms of strife and conflict, or at least disagreement. And besides, life on its own is a struggle not just for survival, but for your own interests and will.

But you see, a world without this disagreement and conflict is also a world that is as lifeless as the surface of the moon. And a world of “world peace” would have to be a world where there are no disagreements and no conflict. Such a world can never be, for there is always disagreement, different wills that are often bound to clash swords, and the energy for conflict, and any attempts at trying to create a world of peace will invariably lead to the silencing or undermining of dissenters and the removal of free will.

If you want peace, don’t like that world peace buzzword. Look for personal peace or calm, space to unwind and relax, which you can find in daily life anyway. Hell, a bit of inner peace might not be so bad if it floats your boat. But for shit’s sake, don’t fall for the whole world peace thing. World peace is at best just a cheap, meaningless buzzword passed around by the ignorant masses, and at worst a great lie whose pursuit will lead to oppression and the damnation of free will.