"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Feb 15, 2012


A person believes: I will do this, I will not do that. I have my limits, I have my needs, but I am also the things I must do, or won't do; I will accomplish and I will avoid.

We believe these assertions, a faith common to our humanity. We are certain, and sure, that what makes the mirror of self in our memory unique is nothing short of a devotion to this faith in the obedience of the future to our flesh-wracked now. We devote ourselves to a future we insist will obey.

A person promises a meaning to life, and recalls that promise to fickle memory: this is how I will live my life. This is the story they will tell of me. This is the path, and I am who I am by sticking to it. You are who you are because I see you near to it.

We tell ourselves how will we live our lives. We tell each other. How much of our culture is the telling and retelling? More than we expect.

These tales are mostly lies. Our beliefs are, when examined, a catalog of self-deceptions.

I am an anarchist because I have evidence of the truth of these lies.


Unknown said...

”How much of our culture is the telling and retelling?”

Beautifully said, Jack. The telling and the retelling is how we create the world as we think it is. It’s a constant ongoing process that begins the day we are born and keeps our reality firmly entrenched in our minds. From the day we are born the people who surround us describe the world to us and we in turn do the same once it has been established in our perception. The world is fluid yet for the most part we see it as static. People laughed at the neocon who claimed we make our own reality yet he was exactly correct in this matter. We do make our own reality through the telling and retelling. But it’s like you said, almost everything we believe is delusion or a lie. So your last point is an excellent one for if we are all delusional than nobody is in any position to tell us how we should be and act, how we should live our lives.

Cüneyt said...

The anarchist must also reject the rule of common wisdom, ideology, and culture. All those "truths," all that linguistic programming, in other words, is part of a system of control.

I like the post, Jack.

Jack Crow said...

rob, cuneyt -

I think the process is inescapable, because we are mammals, born useless, and with little in the way of native capacity to survive as alleged independent actors.

Typing only for myself, I arrived at an anarchist position not because I think there's a cure, or an escape - but because there isn't one.

This is an old dispute, and I don't fall on the side of abstention-as-liberation, but the break is one of the better ways to get perspective.

What Rob referred to as "static," I like to call (with no little vanity, natch) "crystallization." An examination of most of the world's ideologies, I believe, reveals an attempt to achieve that perfect crystal form of behavior, and society - at least in the head.

Five by Five said...

"Typing only for myself, I arrived at an anarchist position not because I think there's a cure, or an escape - but because there isn't one."

I must admit struggling with this idea: I want there to be something more than that, but I don't believe there is.

Obviously there is no rational way to impose some personal vision of humanity on every other individual (not for lack of trying over the centuries). Even the lack of perfect autonomy is itself part of the reality we are working with - I still think it possible to push against the tide in trying to make a more peaceful, less-destructive society.

As far as the nature of living things in the physical universe and there being "more" than what we perceive...well that may be a separate discussion.

gamefaced said...

nothing is and that is all.

Jack Crow said...


I'm not suggesting it's an easy conclusion (or a hard, noble, ennobling one, for that matter). I'm not even sure the premise makes for a conclusion at all. More like, an observation which bears out over long durations.

Where it gets clearer, I think, is in coming to the realization that the "perfect" is a good place to lose sight of both freedom (which is personal) and liberty (which is, broadly, social).

The old idea of stasis, was of stagnation because of constant strife, civil conflict and tension. Now stasis carries the meaning of stillness, inactivity and even a kind of heat death.

I think a good way of understanding the urge towards final states, perfection and idealized social harmony is to see them as death instincts, embodying both kinds of stasis, masquerading as the will to survive.


I think the dust in my eyes, got there from sweeping a warehouse floor today, really and truly is something. Because it damn well hurts my eyes.

gamefaced said...

i keep my eyes closed. all the time. look ma no dust.
i also live in a vacuum.

Jack Crow said...

If we're waxing physicistical, gamefaced, there's an argument for "nothing is," as in, it's all built up on the top of the actively illusory and kinetic irrationality of well-behaved imaginary particles.

But, when it comes to the macro-level of dust and hunger and people with guns, there's a whole lot of stuff that just is.

gamefaced said...

i'm familiar. i'm not pushing that particular flavor.
i enjoyed this post and nothing is and that is all was the thought in my head as i typed.

i'm mostly an annoying combination of nihilist and nonsensical(so i've been told). counting the number of times i've referenced myself in this response will also display my narcissistic leanings.
sorry but not really, it's nothing really.

Jack Crow said...

I wasn't annoyed, gamefaced. And I'm cool with nihilism and, a self-deprecatory* narcissism. It's the narcissism of the gun fetishists, academics and soldier-lovers that scares me. A rational fear, I think.

* - humility is another kind of narcissism, anyhoo.