On The world: Imagine the Creator as a stand up comedian - and at once the world becomes explicable. - H.L. Mencken
Progress is the myth that assures us that full-speed-ahead is never wrong. Ecology is the discipline that teaches us that it is disaster. - Kirkpatrick Sale
Despite the madness of war, we lived for a world that would be different. For a better world to come when all this is over. And perhaps even our being here is a step towards that world. Do you really think that, without the hope that such a world is possible, that the rights of man will be restored again, we could stand the concentration camp even for one day? It is that very hope that makes people go without a murmur to the gas chambers, keeps them from risking a revolt, paralyses them into numb inactivity. It is hope that breaks down family ties, makes mothers renounce their children, or wives sell their bodies for bread, or husbands kill. It is hope that compels man to hold on to one more day of life, because that day may be the day of liberation. Ah, and not even the hope for a different, better world, but simply for life, a life of peace and rest. Never before in the history of mankind has hope been stronger than man, but never also has it done so much harm as it has in this war, in this concentration camp. We were never taught how to give up hope, and this is why today we perish in gas chambers. - Borowski [on Auschwitz]
Let us have compassion for those under chastisement. Alas, who are we ourselves? Who am I & who are you? Whence do we come & is it quite certain that we did nothing before we were born? This earth is not without some resemblance to a jail. Who knows but that man is a victim of divine justice? Look closely at life. It is so constituted that one senses punishment everywhere. — Victor Hugo
That's quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn't it?...What does it say to you?
"It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation forming a useless bleak straightjacket in a black absurd cosmos."
What are you doing Saturday night? "Committing suicide." What about Friday night? - Woody Allen
'To the clean are all things clean' — thus say the people. I, however, say unto you: To the swine all things become swinish! Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are also bowed down): 'The world itself is a filthy monster.' For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the backside — the backworldsmen! To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the world resembleth man, in that it hath a backside, — so much is true! There is in the world much filth: so much is true! But the world itself is not therefore a filthy monster! - Nietzsche
Human beings are not absurd, and the world is not absurd, but for humans to be in the world is absurd. Human beings, recognizing the limitations implied in being human in this world, cannot create another world which ignores the absurdity of this existence - but they can revolt - Albert Camus, paraphrased
The scientists have told us "Man has transcended the state of animal nature via civilization". Todays headlines show us what appears the more obvious: "Nay, 'Man' is the 'Beast'." But I say unto you, "Belief in the great beast, the filthy monster, the leviathon is not absurd; but the beast itself is absurd, as is he who alternately promotes the grand intelligence of the species." Did I say "absurd"? It's a Greek fuckin' tragedy! - fendersen
The world is meaningless, this provokes us to construct meaning. Our situation is absurd, this provokes us to commitment. - Frere Dupont
We must be fond of the world, even in order to change it - G. K. Chesterton
We must change the world, even in order to love it - P. J. Kaustic
On The Beat generation: I realized either I was crazy or the world was crazy; and I picked on the world. And of course I was right. - Jack Kerouac
We were a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters, suddenly rising and roaming America: serious, curious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere. It never meant 'juvenile delinquents.' 'Beat,' doesn't mean tired or bushed, so much as it means beato the Italian for beatific, to be in a state of beatitude, like Saint Francis: trying to love all life, trying to be utterly sincere with everyone, practicing endurance, kindness, cultivating joy of heart - the subterranean heroes who were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the derangement of the senses, talking strange, being poor and glad." - Jack Kerouac
Woe onto those who spit on the Beat Generation. The wind'll blow it back. - Jack Kerouac
By avoiding society you become separate from society and being separate from society is being "beat". - Gregory Corso
I meant "beaten". The world is against me.- Jack Kerouac
We were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, (to) "move". – Jack Kerouac
Beat?: The draft dodgers of commercial civilization - Ned Plotsky
The psychic outlaw . . . the rebel cell in our social body - Norman Mailer
My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast. - The not beat, but hip Miguel de Unamuno
If you can't say "fuck", you can't say "fuck the government?" - Lenny Bruce
"Disengaged" is how I come to possess everything and own nothing. I yearn to be a germ starting a plague, but that is folly. - Fnæran Wolfbane
On Civilization: Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities - Mark Twain
Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams - Mary Ellen Kelly
We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. - Carl Sagan
The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking that we have done so far, has created problems we cannot solve at the level of thinking at which we created them. - Albert Einstein
Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in its essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs. - Heidegger, 1949
On Decision and Reaction: If you come to a fork in the road, take it. - Yogi Berra
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. His response was a question: "Where do you want to go?" "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter." - Lewis Carroll
An action prompted by the life-instinct proves that it is a right action by the amount of joy that goes with it. - Nietzsche
The truth lies in a man's dreams...perhaps in this unhappy world of ours a worse madness is better than a foolish sanity." - Cervantes, 16th century
"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. - Edgar Allan Poe
Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed - Ancient Chinese proverb
Above all, we must understand that in leaving the toxic ways of the present we are healing ourselves, our places, and our planet. We must rebel not as a last act of desperation but as a first act of creation. - Sam Smith
Instead of the machine being a giant to which the man is the pygmy, we must at last reverse the proportions until man is a giant to whom the machine is the toy. - G K Chesterton
On Life: I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. - Woody Allen
Center yourself in the Tao and evil will have no power. Not that it isn't there, but you'll be able to step out of its way. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself. - Lao Tze
Forget good and evil. Life is, then it gets interesting. - Pamela Dufús
Life is the hyphen between the two numbers engraved into the headstone. - preacher at grandma's funeral
A strong visual image was cast endless upon my breast,
By the smell of countless maggots swimming in orgy of rotting flesh.
This brought me to a sound I no more wish to hear,
Than their gentle fingers probing within my dying ear.
And as I scream they chant, like tightened piano string:
"Oh please, oh please, not again, not again".
- A. Runion Pollison, The Immortal Corpse
A strong visual image was cast endless upon my breast,
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. - Jack London
Do You Believe In Life Before Death? - auntie dave
On Tyranny: Why not? "Alas! 'tis because I am poor and an orphan; because I have no more means and people are not esteemed save in reason of the aid and benefits one imagines may be had of them." - de Sade's Justine
There is no doubt that the tyrant is never loved, and loves nobody. Friendship is a sacred word, it is a holy thing, and it exists only between good people, it is kindled by mutual esteem. It is sustained not so much by favors as by a good life. What gives you confidence you can rely on a friend is the knowledge you have his integrity: the guarantors of that are his natural virtue, his trustworthiness and his constancy. Where there is cruelty, treachery and injustice there can be no friendship. Evil men are not companions of one another, they are conspirators. They have no mutual affection, but a mutual fear: they are not friends, but accomplices. - Boétie, 1548
Abstraction, mechanistic thinking and cold blooded logic lay at the root of the terrorist mentality, not as is commonly thought, emotionalism. They have accustomed themselves to living with concepts, no longer with men. Gustav Landauer
"Virtue," "duty," "good for its own sake," goodness grounded upon impersonality or a notion of universal validity -- these are all chimeras, and in them one finds only an expression of the decay, the last collapse of life, the Chinese spirit of Königsberg. Quite the contrary is demanded by the most profound laws of self-preservation and of growth: to wit, that every man find his own virtue, his own categorical imperative.[...] Nothing works a more complete and penetrating disaster than every "impersonal" duty, every sacrifice before the Moloch of abstraction. -- To think that no one has thought of Kant's categorical imperative as dangerous to life!...The theological instinct alone took it under protection! -- An action prompted by the life-instinct proves that it is a right action by the amount of joy that goes with it: and yet that Nihilist, with his bowels of Christian dogmatism, regarded joy as an objection . . . What destroys a man more quickly than to work, think and feel without inner necessity, without any deep personal desire, without joy -- as a mere automaton of duty? - Nietzsche
On Democracy: As the famous poet, A. Runnion Polisson, once said in his epic poem On Maple Street - An ode to Rod Serling:
And Jesus said to passersby, "Let's abolish ruling!"
The king's men they got worried, "What shall we do, oh boss?
Grey Man looked at Lizard Man, his brother in a way,
Lizard looked at Grey Man, and blinked his lidless eye,
"Stop! I'm getting hungry!", so eloquently said Grey
"Agreed!", ourselves replied so loud, "Hip! Hip! Let's make him king!"
"I mean let's all be parallel!" said he, outright bemused.
"That's mystery, but sounds so keen!" they went away confused.
"I've got it!" the nimble-wit he pawed,
"Let's spike that bastard to a cross!"
"Or put him in the salt mines!"
"Or make him row a boat!"
"Or maybe folks should gather round and put it to a vote!"
And said "With such a spectacle,
We might just get away
With taking o'er the whole show and them without a clue"
"Or should we just go home again
Before we catch bird flu!".
And said "with such an attitude,
You may as well obey
This dictum I must now repeat, (as often that I must),
'Choosers will be beggars 'fore they're turned right into dust'!"
"Adjourn to lunch! Me thinks I saw some dust mites 'long the way".
"Those dust mites love the earthmen, and we in turn love they!"
- A. Runnion Polisson
And Jesus said to passersby, "Let's abolish ruling!"
The king's men they got worried, "What shall we do, oh boss?
Grey Man looked at Lizard Man, his brother in a way,
Lizard looked at Grey Man, and blinked his lidless eye,
"Stop! I'm getting hungry!", so eloquently said Grey
"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for breakfast." - B. Franklin
Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country. - Ambrose Bierce
There is nothing more odious than the majority. It consists of a few powerful men who lead the way; of accommodating rascals & submissive weaklings; & of a mass of men who trot after them without in the least knowing their own minds. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
However much you claim to be against property or even against the state, if you support democracy you are actually for property and for the state. ...To me, “planning” implies that we all get together and decide what we are going to be doing for the next 5 years and then we go away and do it. This sounds like another example of fetishising the moment of decision-making...(Democracy involves a) separation between decision making and action – nothing can be done until everybody has had a chance to discuss it. ...Democratic structures take the “war of all against all” for granted, and institutionalise it. - Wildcat
Democracy is opposed to 'communism' (a break with the social traditions of atomization and exclusion). 'Communism' endeavors to build community and relies, not on atomization, but solidarity and trust between people. Personally, I don't see the difference between representative authority (parliament/congress), collective authority (consensus democracy) and kingly authority (monarchy) from the individual's perspective. All impose law, which is nothing but exclusion and restriction - the basis of property. Subjugation to the outcomes of voting can only be a matter of acquiring permissions by acknowledging the authority of the permit. A social agreement should not be confused with democracy unless it is made permanent and binding (reified) regardless of changing circumstances. Circumstances always change. If all are in agreement, there is no need for a vote. If nothing can be done without consensus, nothing will be done except in a society of automatons - democracy discounts diversity instead of celebrating it. - fendersen
Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves. - Joseph Sobran
On Obedience: All their life was spent not in laws, statutes, or rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure. They rose out of their beds when they thought good; they did eat, drink, labour, sleep, when they had a mind to it and were disposed for it. None did awake them, none did offer to constrain them to eat, drink, nor to do any other thing; for so had Gargantua established it. In all their rule and strictest tie of their order there was but this one clause to be observed,
Do What Thou Wilt;
because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour. Those same men, when by base subjection and constraint they are brought under and kept down, turn aside from that noble disposition by which they formerly were inclined to virtue, to shake off and break that bond of servitude wherein they are so tyrannously enslaved; for it is agreeable with the nature of man to long after things forbidden and to desire what is denied us. - François Rabelais, 1532
What do we call persuasive dialectics? Enough masterdebation - Just say No! - fendersen
A rapist has no need to actually be violent so long as his victim is passive. - Joseph K
The Justice and Morality of Government: To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated, regimented, closed in, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, evaluated, censored, commanded; all by creatures that have neither the right, nor wisdom, nor virtue... To be governed means that at every move, operation, or transaction one is noted, registered, entered in a census, taxed, stamped, priced, assessed, patented, licensed, authorized, recommended, admonished, prevented, reformed, set right, corrected. Government means to be subjected to tribute, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, pressured, mystified, robbed; all in the name of public utility & the general good. Then, at the first sign of resistance or word of complaint, one is repressed, fined, despised, vexed, pursued, hustled, beaten up, garroted, imprisoned, shot, machine-gunned, judged, sentenced, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, & to cap all, ridiculed, mocked, outraged & dishonored. That is government, that is its justice & its morality! - P. J. Proudhon
I heartily accept the motto, — "That government is best which governs least;" & I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly & systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all;" & when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. — Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
Within mainstream discourse, and particularly in texts like the one by Matthew Arnold whose tide I have deliberately appropriated here, the terms "culture" and "anarchy" are regarded as antithetical. Any putative tendencies toward anarchy become a pretext to entreat authority to intervene and reestablish order and culture. But for proponents of anarchy this polarization clearly remains unacceptable. For the latter, the primary aim becomes the development of a culture of anarchy. Unfortunately, however, this project has been poorly served by anarchist thinkers who for the most part have remained mired in politics. Little seems less anarchic than jejune fantasies, presented with evident yet rather pathetic glee, of a future peopled with wholesome types whose entire raison d'être and greatest pleasure resides in orderly discussion and voting at neighbourhood or communal assemblies. I am not referring here to the visions of Utopian dreamers à la Morris, but to the prevailing impressions which exude through major anarchist texts, including those by contemporaries such as Murray Bookchin. In such works, many shibboleths are discarded, but not the one designated as politics; the future emerges as a place freed from all governance, except the rule of politics itself. Of course, communal decision-making processes should not be denigrated, and must play an important role in any future anarchy. But to envision a fresh culture around such a dessicated structure remains absurd, and fuels the popular suspicion that militants are only interested in recreating humanity in their own atrophied image, with a greatly distended political consciousness, but merely a rudimentary capacity for existential experience and appreciation. Given that anarchism has partly relied upon the vibrancy of its ideas and the exemplary actions of its adherents to transform popular praxis, its marginal appeal remains hardly surprising. Frankly, whatever vigour inheres in certain features, its notions of a politicized future are bland and unappetizing, and its conception of an adequate basis for a culture of anarchy remains almost nonexistent.
"Anarchy can be defined as maintaining a field of infinite potentialities." – John Moore
"Theories of liberation are the clothes of dictators." – Fredy Perlman
On Organics: The brain is my second favorite organ - Woody Allen
[Isn't this just another chicken 'n egg argument?] A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg. - Samuel Butler, 1877
If you think this is a chicken 'n egg arguement, you have stumbled upon the fundamental principle of existence. - Catilina 'Sneaky' Fromb
The dominant Western kind of awareness is probably incapable of sustaining a viable human relationship with the world because it objectifies everything. Modernity is unique in the depth of its objectification, universalizing to the entire world the despotic attitude that everything is an “it” serving as his or her “property.” The democratization of despotism is reflected in contemporary economic theory, and universalizing of science as the only road to knowledge.
The silver lining here is that universalizing despotic relations to the non-human delegitimizes their use between people. At the threshold of the human world we have drawn a cultural and psychological line. We know that people are resources, but also that they are not only resources. Modernity teaches us that anything into which we can enter a relationship is not properly simply a resource. Friendship can be a valuable resource, but friendship exists only when the relationship is not considered a resource by those involved. Friendship is a relation of Thous, and only from the outside, where its utility is visible but the rest of its meaning is not, can it appear to be a relationship of Its.
... a true harmonization of humankind with the other lives and powers of this place requires us, like the beaver, the buffalo, and the salmon, to create greater beauty and abundance as a result of our actions rather than in spite of them. - Gus diZerega
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. — John Muir, 1869
On Being and appearance: There is no clear-cut distinction between being and ways of appearing. (There is) a primordial interrelation of perceiving and perceived, something which is sometimes expressed as the reversibility of touching and being touched, where (even) 'generosity' has a dual sense of giving and being given. ... Meaning is a certain reversibility of the visible and the invisible - the visible is not the opposite of the invisible but rather its doubling. Meanings are not subordinated to signs, nor vice versa. ... Meaning cannot be attributed purely to ideas; if a painting is torn apart, it no longer has meaning but is rather returned to strips of canvas.
Consciousness, the world, and the human body as a perceiving thing are intricately intertwined and mutually 'engaged'. The phenomenal thing is not the unchanging object of the natural sciences, but a correlate of our body and its sensory functions. Taking up and coinciding with the sensible qualities it encounters, the body as incarnated subjectivity intentionally reconstructs things within an ever-present world frame, through use of its pre-conscious, pre-predicative understanding of the world's make-up. Things are that upon which our body has a grip, while the grip itself is a function of our connaturality with the world's things.
...The essential partiality of our view of things, their being given only in a certain perspective and at a certain moment in time does not diminish their reality, but on the contrary establishes it, as there is no other way for things to be co-present with us and with other things than through such "Abschattung" (Shading).
...Each object is a "mirror of all others." Our perception of the object through all perspectives is not that of a thetic, propositional, or clearly deliniated perception. Rather, it is an ambiguous perception founded upon the body's primordial involvement and understanding of the world and of the meanings that constitute the landscape's perceptual Gestalt. Only after we have been integrated within the environment so as to perceive objects as such can we then turn our attention toward particular objects within the landscape so as to more clearly define them. (This attention, however, does not operate by clarifying what is already seen, but by constructing a new Gestalt oriented toward a particular object.) - wikipedia on Merleau-ponty
The notion of infinity demands relativity, for in an infinite structure (a structure which can be nothing if it is not our perception of "orderly" relations) every point is simultaneously its center - there can be no unique center where there are no boundaries. It seems then, we impose our own center in what was a centerless structure by the very focus of our perception informed by sensation, and this in turn delimits the boundary of the gestalt, the limits of perception, the skin of the structure. As our gaze moves, so do the perceived relations or 'connections', and the structure transforms into something new. Beyond our perception, nothing has changed. This process differentiates perception, cognition (or cognitive restructuring), and so-called "empirical reality" of which we, even as observers, are an active part. Permanence is impossible, reality is illusive, essence is unlikely, our memories fail increasingly. When we try to speak of it, we are left only with metaphor - shared perceptions can only acheive approximation. - fendersen
Behind (Otto) Gross' emphatic focus on transgression lies a profound realisation of the interconnectedness of everyone and everything. Therefore all boundaries may be seen as arbitrary and transgressing boundaries then becomes a protest against their unnaturalness. From a psychopathological perspective it would be all too facile to diagnose - not unreasonably, though - a father complex, an unresolved incestuous tie to the mother, a neurotic longing for paradise as a return to the womb etc., etc. Very similar diagnoses, incidentally, could easily be made of the other founding fathers of analysis. But this would mean that we remain in the compartmentalized realm of reason and rationality alone, where everything and everybody is separated from everything and everybody else. - Gottfried Heuer
...Taking the study of perception as his point of departure, Merleau-Ponty was led to recognize that one's own body (le corps propre) is not only a thing, a potential object of study for science, but is also a permanent condition of experience, a constituent of the perceptual openness to the world and to its investment. He ... recognizes a corporeality of consciousness as much as an intentionality of the body, and so stands in contrast with the dualist ontology of mind and body in René Descartes.
...corporeality intrinsically has a dimension of expressivity which proves to be fundamental to the constitution of the Ego.
Their groups diversify, with intruded "foreign body" or undue exigence.
That which defines community is extincted -
namely, symbiosis, reciprocity or inter-independence.
Restored by that famous system, "Immune",
(our corporear, warrior society),
or on the other hand, do we assume,
of pain we suffer terribly,
On Magic: The primacy of nonhuman nature for magicians, and the centrality of their relation to other species and to the Earth, is not always evident to Western researchers. Countless anthropologists have managed to overlook the ecological dimension of the shaman's craft, while writing at great length of the shaman's rapport with "supernatural" entities. We can attribute much of this oversight to the modern, civilized assumption that the natural world is largely determinate and mechanical, and that what is experienced as mysterious, powerful, and beyond human ken must therefore be of some other, nonphysical realm above nature--"supernatural." Nevertheless, that which is viewed with the greatest awe and wonder by indigenous, oral cultures is, I suggest, none other than what we would call nature itself. The deeply mysterious powers and entities with whom the shaman enters into a rapport are the same forces--plants, animals, forests, and winds--that to literate, "civilized" Europeans are just so much scenery, the pleasant backdrop of our more pressing human concerns...it is likely that the "inner world" of our Western psychological experience, like the supernatural heaven of Christian belief, originated in the loss of our ancestral reciprocity with the living landscape. When the animate presences with whom we have evolved over several million years are suddenly construed as having less significance than ourselves, when the generative earth that gave birth to us is defined as a soulless or determinate object devoid of sensitivity and sentience, then that wild otherness with which human life had always been entwined must migrate, either into a supersensory heaven beyond the natural world, or else into the human skull itself--the only allowable refuge, in this world, for what is ineffable and unfathomable. - David Abram
On Time: "Time is an illusion. Thursdays doubly so!" - Douglas Adams
"I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather's & when Father gave it to me he said, Quentin, I give you the mausoleum of all hope & desire; it's rather excrutiatingly apt that you will use it to gain the reducto absurdum of all human experience which can fit your individual needs no better than it fitted his or his father's. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now & then for a moment & not spend all your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly & despair, & victory is an illusion of philosophers & fools." — William Faulkner, The Sound & the Fury
Suppose time, the illusion that is, were a table-cloth which we could grab at the edge with both hands and yank out from under all existence and discard it over our shoulder into the oblivion of nothingness. We would witness the simultaneity of all being. Yet synchronicity surprises us! We could also experience reciprocity as the only timeless social relation, for the distinction between immediate return and delayed gratification would likewise disappear. Without pondering the great questions of the purpose and reason for life and the pay-off at its end, we might just begin to enjoy it. The goal of the child at play is to continue playing - life contains its own purpose, and that is demonstrated in the "will to live". - Catilina 'Sneaky' Fromb
On Homo Mutilans: Perhaps the most profound name ever bestowed upon a species, was that given to human beings by Karl Linnaeus in 1753 in his great book Systema Naturae - namely, Homo Sapiens. Linnaeus briefly epitomized this with the words; "Man, know thyself" (Homo nosce Te ipsum). This sounds like an injunction, and it is; but it was also intended to underscore the fact that human beings are the only creatures in the world capable of self-consciousness and contemplation and characterized by an unparalleled creativity.
Yet an impartial survey of Homo sapiens' record since 1753, would suggest that Oscar Wilde, as usual, was on the mark when he said that Homo sapiens was the most premature definition ever given a species. A possible improvement might be, in demotic English, "the wise guy, too clever by far for his own good." Perhaps the more appropriate appellation at this stage of human maldevelopment would be Homo sap, "the addlepated one." Not that the wisdom is not there as a potentiality. It is. Every child is born with the wisdom of its body and of its mind, striving to develop and grow in an environment that satisfies its basic behavioral needs, to grow and develop in physical and mental health. By mental health I mean the ability to love, to work, to play, and to think critically. Alas, this ability has been confused and adulterated by adults, who have rarely consulted the child and have instead ritually imposed their own adult confusions upon the child. Perhaps that explains why most adults are largely deteriorated babies. That is why to be born into the human family is to be in danger of suffering the usual mental and sometimes physical mutilations to which children are made to submit.
I think it would be greatly to our advantage if, instead of calling ourselves Homo sapiens, we called ourselves Homo mutilans, the mutilating species, the species that mutilates both mind and body, often in the name of reason, of religion, tradition, custom, morality, and law. Were we to adopt such a name for our species, it might focus our attention upon what is wrong with us and where we might begin setting ourselves right... - Ashley Montagu
On Childrearing: The basic pattern of social behavior in the human species lies in the relation between mother and child. She has carried that child in a womb for 266 and a half days, which is actually the average from conception to birth (not delivery:doctors "deliver" babies but shouldn't). Babies get themselves naturally born, in most cases, and that child is looking forward to a continuation of the life that it had in the womb, which was sort of ideal. The temperature and pressure are constant, no work is required, and he or she is looking forward to a continuation of this. What they are looking forward to is a "womb with a view."
But they are expelled rather roughly and usually taken away from their mother, which is wrong. It's physiologically and psychologically wrong. Both baby and mother need each other more at that time than they ever will again. The baby should be put to nurse at the mother's breast, whereat it induces an enormous number of wonderful changes in the mother which she needs, such as the arresting of postpartum hemorrhage, which no obstetrician can do as well as the suckling baby, for there is more intelligence in the upper and lower lip of the newborn than in the brains of the obstetricians put together.
There is love between those two. All of this is communicated through touch, which would be lost if the baby were taken away from the mother. If you want to know what love is, interrupt what is going on between them and you will perceive the negative effects, the frustration of love. That baby is wanting to love. Striving to love. By not separating them, you not only enable them to live longer but you enable them to grow and develop rapidly in the ability to love themselves...
What is frustration? It is the thwarting of an expected satisfaction. What every baby expects is to be loved. When you thrwart that expectation, you make the person sink lower and lower into despair and frustration, and to react in hostility, aggressiveness: "I don't care a damn about you anymore. You haven't cared a damn about me; why should I worry about you? Why should I become involved in all this?" This is the massive alienation, the disengagement, the detachment which we are suffering from in our culture, for hatred is love frustrated. - Ashley Montagu
Childlike obstinacy and intractability have as much right as childlike curiosity. The latter is being stimulated; so one shall also call forth the natural strength of the will, opposition. If a child does not learn self-awareness, then he plainly does not learn that which is most important. They do not suppress his pride or his frankness. My own freedom is safe from his wild spirits. If pride turns into spite, then the child approaches me with violence; I do not have to endure this since I am just as free as the child. Must I however defend myself against him by using the convenient rampart of authority? No, I oppose him with the strength of my own freedom; thus the spite of the child will break up by itself. Whoever is a complete person does not need to be an authority. And if frankness breaks out into insolence, then this loses its vigor in the tender strength of a true wife in her motherliness or in the firmness of the husband; he is very weak who must call to authority for help and he does wrong if he thinks to improve the impudent as soon as he makes him fearful. To promote fear and respect; those are things that belong with the period of the dead rococo. - Max Stirner
On Education: Our good background of recalcitrancy gets strongly suppressed and with it the development of knowledge to free will. The result of school life then is philistinism. Just as we found our way into and permeated everything with which we were confronted during our childhood, so we discover and conduct ourselves in later years, resign ourselves to the times, become its servants and so-called good citizens. Where then will a spirit of opposition be strengthened in place of the subservience which has been cultivated until now, where will a creative person be educated instead of a learning one, where does the teacher turn into a fellow worker, where does he recognize knowledge as turning into will, where does the free man count as a goal and not the merely educated one? Unfortunately, only in a few places yet. The insight must become more universal, not so that education, civilization, the highest task of man is decided, but rather self-application. Will education be neglected for that reason? Just as little as we are disposed to suffer loss of freedom of thought while we change it into freedom of will and glorify it. If man puts his honor first in relying upon himself, knowing himself and applying himself, thus in self-reliance, self-assertion, and freedom, he then strives to rid himself of the ignorance which makes out of the strange impenetrable object a barrier and hindrance to his self-knowledge. If one awakens in men the idea of freedom then the free men will incessantly go on to free themselves; if, on the contrary, one only educates them, then they will at all times accommodate themselves to circumstances in the most highly educated and elegant manner and degenerate into subservient cringing souls. What are our gifted and educated subjects for the most part? Scornful, smiling slave-owners and themselves slaves ... What do we complain about then when we take a look at the shortcomings of our school education of today? About the fact that our schools still stand on the old principle, that of will-less knowledge. The new principle is that of the will as glorification of knowledge. Therefore no "Concordat between school and life," but rather school is to be life and there, as outside of it, the self-revelation of the individual is to be the task. The universal education of school is to be an education for freedom, not for subservience: to be free, that is true life. The insight into the lifelessness of humanism should have forced realism to this knowledge. - Max Stirner
Education is founded on fear of pleasure. Nothing is more calculated to extinguish pleasure than your need to produce, be commercially viable, serve some purpose. Any constraint whatsoever, however mild, excites the faint-heart fear of living and free existence. At this point the child's apprenticeship begins. - Raul Vaneigem
I'm bewildered that educators aren't ashamed to run classrooms that compare unfavorably with school restrooms as places where kids want to be. I suggest that is a far greater problem than treating kids with enough respect to let them control their own bodily functions. I never knew any good teachers who were afraid of competition from outside distractions, but I knew of many bad ones who were.
As for the "you can't criticize us unless you're willing to join us" nonsense, excuse me but piss off. It's precisely the authoritarian conformity imposed by mediocre half wits that made school so awful in the first place — why would anyone want to go back and perpetuate it? This is just a filter to prevent criticism -- because anyone who can stay in the typical school for more than a year or two is precisely the kind of person who can convince themselves that the need for order justifies controlling the bowel habits of young adults ... – William S. Borroughs.
"a free state -- to be permanent -- must evolve from a free people. We cannot bestow free conditions," which "must be worked for and established consciously." Compounding the problem is the fact that "A simple natural state could not be enjoyed by Society today." So-called adults, "who have not expressed themselves self-actively since babyhood would feel awkward and perplexed in a natural condition." In short, "A free Society, a free condition, would naturally result [only] from a spontaneously self-active, self-employed, self-directing body of humans." To create this new "body of humans," one must start -- not with the adults, the young, nor even the children -- but with the infants, the only ones in whom "the instinct and impulse for freedom" is completely un-self-conscious and unrestrained. "If we succeed in fostering the instinct and impulse of freedom which the infant reveals we may reasonably count on building a free Society,"
Because young children do nothing but express themselves -- every infant "has a self-centered, self-conscious, self-determining and self-directing instinct which shuts out the useless and unnecessary things which would serve only to distract and confuse him" -- they are both the role models for adults who would like to free themselves from capitalist oppression and the ones most likely to benefit from a new pedagogy, organized around self-expression.
One of the gravest objections to our present school system is the initiation of the young into forms which have not been called out by any need or desire of the child [?] In the school the child soon finds or senses that his acts are caused by an outer influence or permitted by an outer authority. The flow of his former life is diverted and consequently its course no longer normal. His inner voice is stifled and though he may still feel the impulse to act independently, there are too many voices in that child center for him to distinguish his own. From the standpoint of human growth, the outer voice is always false and totally unrelated to man's inner life. When the school succeeds in deadening the sound of the inner voice, it becomes an enemy to human development and a hindrance to life. – Elizabeth Byrne Flynn [ quoted from notbored].
On Philosophy: Only the philosophers can die and find in death their true self; with them the period of reformation, the era of knowledge dies. Yes, so it is that knowledge itself must die in order to blossom forth again in death as will; the freedom of thought, belief, and conscience, these wonderful flowers of three centuries will sink back into the lap of mother earth so that a new freedom, the freedom of will, will be nourished with its most noble juices. Knowledge and its freedom were the ideal of that time which has finally been reached on the heights of philosophy: here the hero will build himself a pyre and will rescue his eternal part in Mount Olympus. With philosophy, our past closes and the philosophers are the Raphaels of the era of thought with which the old principle perfects itself in a bright splendor of colors and through rejuvenation is changed from transient to eternal. Henceforth, whoever wants to preserve knowledge will lose it; he, however, who gives it up will gain it. The philosophers alone are called to this giving-up and to this gain: they stand in front of the flaming fire and, like the dying hero, must burn their mortal body if the immortal spirit is to be free. - Max Stirner
On Science: In the end, science as we know it has two basic types of practitioners. One is the educated man who still has a controlled sense of wonder before the universal mystery, whether it hides in a snail's eye or within the light that impinges on that delicate organ. The second kind of observer is the extreme reductionist who is so busy stripping things apart that the tremendous mystery has been reduced to a trifle, to intangibles not worth troubling one's head about. - Loren Eiseley
It seems that every important scientific advance provides tools which look to be just what the applied scientists and engineers had hoped for, and usually these gentry jump in without more ado. Their well-intentioned (but slightly greedy and slightly anxious) efforts usually do as much harm as good, serving at best to make conspicuous the next layer of problems, which must be understood before the applied scientists can be trusted not to do gross damage. Behind every scientific advance there is always a matrix, a mother lode of unknowns out of which the new partial answers have been chiseled. But the hungry, overpopulated, sick, ambitious, and competitive world will not wait, we are told, till more is known, but must rush in where angels fear to tread.
I have very little sympathy for these arguments from the world's "need." I notice that those who pander to its needs are often well paid. I distrust the applied scientists' claim that what they do is useful and necessary. I suspect that their impatient enthusiasm for action, their rarin'-to-go, is not just a symptom of impatience, nor is it pure buccaneering ambition. I suspect that it covers deep epistemological panic. - Gregory Bateson
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.
Human beings are the only creatures who are able to behave irrationally in the name of reason.
The family unit is the institution for the systematic production of mental illness.
One goes through school, college, medical school and one's internship learning little or nothing about goodness but a good deal about success.
Man is the only one-hundred-and-fifty pound non-linear servo mechanism that can be wholly reproduced by unskilled labor ... The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us ... It is work, work that one delights in, that is the surest guarantor of happiness. But even here it is a work that has to be earned by labor in one's earlier years. One should labor so hard in youth that everything one does subsequently is easy by comparison ... The idea is to die young as late as possible.
The doctor has been taught to be interested not in health but in disease. What the public is taught is that health is the cure for disease.
There have been some medical schools in which somewhere along the assembly line, a faculty member has informed the students, not so much by what he said but by what he did, that there is an intimate relation between curing and caring.
... There exists, at the present time, a widespread belief in the innate nature of competition, that is to say, that competition is a form of behavior with which every organism is born, and that this is particularly true of man.
Just when the idea of the innate competitiveness of man came into being I have not the least idea. It is at least several thousand years old, and was probably in circulation long before The Old Testament came to be written.
The scientific validation of the idea of the innate competitiveness of man was provided in the nineteenth century by Darwin and his supporters, and particularly by Spencer and the whole school of Social Darwinists who followed his lead ... These ideas, I am going to suggest, are erroneous, tragically erroneous.
In a competitive society freedom of inquiry is not genuinely possible; that freedom of inquiry is proportional to the development of cooperation within any society, in which there is an absence of dictatorship of any sort, and the person is free to arrive at and express his own judgments without fear of punishment, and in the expectation of the desire in his fellows to understand.
(But) most of us are no longer really human, we have been deprived of our humanity. We have been dehumanized by the processes of conditioning, upbringing and socialization. We are no longer the organized authentic self which we were once capable of being… What we are born for is to live as if to live and love were one. Unless we learn that lesson “the goose is cooked” as it were. - Ashley Montagu, The "Go-Getter" Spirit - Competition thrives on insecurity & Darwin: Competition & Cooperation, 1952
On Love: “If any idea seems hitherto to have eluded all efforts to reduce it, to have resisted down to the present time even the most out-and-out pessimists, we think it is the idea of love, which is the only idea capable of reconciling any man, momentarily or not, with the idea of life.”
"Each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it. We can have but one great experience at best, & the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible." — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Yes, I believe, I have always believed, that to give up love, whether or not it be done under some ideological pretext, is one of the few unatonable crimes that a man possessed of some degree of intelligence can commit in the course of his life. A certain man, who sees himself as a revolutionary, would like to convince us that love is impossible in a bourgeois society; some other pretends to devote himself to a cause more jealous than love itself; the truth is that almost no one has the courage to affront with open eyes the bright daylight of love in which the obsessive ideas of salvation and the damnation of the spirit blend and merge, for the supreme edification of man. Whosoever fails to remain in this respect in a state of expectation and perfect receptivity, how, I ask, can he speak humanly? - Breton
The intimate order [nonrepresentable and nondiscursive being] cannot truly destroy the order of things (just as the order of things has never completely destroyed the intimate order). But this real world having reached the apex of its development can be destroyed, in the sense that it can be reduced to intimacy. Strictly speaking, consciousness cannot make intimacy reducible to it, but it can reclaim its own operations, recapitulating them in reverse, so that they ultimately cancel out and consciousness itself is strictly reduced to intimacy - Battaile.
On the non-independence of the ego: “The mind of the greatest man (underscore three times “the greatest man") is not so dependent that it is liable to be upset by the slightest din going on around him. It does not take the silence of a cannon to stop him from thinking. It does not take the noise of a weathervane, of a pulley. The fly’s thought-processes are disturbed at present. A man is buzzing in its ears.” A man who is thinking, as well as on the mountain top, can land on the nose of a fly. - Breton/Battaile/Lautréamont
Couldn't it also be said that because the fly shares such intimacy with the universe, it only perceives the man of deep thought as a buzzing in its ear while the man's thought is totally disrupted by the fly on his nose (underscore three times “nose")? - fendersen
... where objects are on the same plane as the subject, where they form, together with the subject, a sovereign totality which is not divided by any abstraction and is commensurate with the entire universe. - Battaile
On the living organism, in a situation determined by the play of energy on the surface of the globe, ordinarily receives more energy than is necessary for maintaining life; the excess energy (wealth) can be used for the growth of the system (e.g., an organism); if the system can no longer grow, or if the excess cannot be completely absorbed in growth, it must necessarily be lost without profit; it must be spent, willingly or not, gloriously or catastrophically ... We can ignore or forget the fact that the ground we live on is little other than a field of multiple destructions. Our ignorance only has this incontestable effect: It causes us to undergo what we could bring about in our own way, if we understood.
... Production is the basis of a social homogeneity. Homogeneous society is productive society, namely, useful society ... The common denominator, the foundation of social homogeneity and of the activity arising from it, is money, namely, the calculable equivalent of the different products of collective activity ... According to the judgement of homogeneous society, each man is worth what he produces; in other words, he stops being an existence for itself
... Heterogeneous reality is that of a force or a shock. It presents itself as a charge, as a value, passing from one object to another in a more or less abstract fashion, almost as if the change were taking place not in the world of objects but only in the judgments of the subject.
... the protection of homogeneity likes in its recourse to imperative elements that are capable of obliterating the various unruly forces or bringing them under the control of order. - Battaile
On The State: The empire submits from the start to the primacy of the real order. It posits itself essentially as a thing. It subordinates itself to ends that it affirms: it is the administration of reason. But it could never allow another empire to exist at its frontier as an equal. Every presence around it is ordered relative to it in a project of conquest. In this way it loses the simple individualized character of the limited community. It is not a thing in the sense in which things fit into the order that belongs to them; it is itself the order of things and it is a universal thing. At this level, the thing that cannot have a sovereign character cannot have a subordinate character either, since in theory it is an operation developed to the limit of possibilities. At the limit, it is no longer a thing, in that it bears within it, beyond its intangible qualities, an opening to all that is possible. But in itself this opening is a void. It is only thing at the moment when it is undone, revealing the impossibility of infinite subordination. But it consumes itself in a sovereign way. For essentially it is always a thing, and the movement of consumption must come to it from the outside. - Battaile
On Nomads and Capitalism Nomads have no points, paths, or land, even though they do by all appearances. If the nomad can be called the Deterritorialized par excellence, it is precisely because there is no reterritorialization afterward ... With the nomad, on the contrary, it is deterritorialization that constitutes the relation to the earth, to such a degree that the nomad reterritorializes on deterritorialization itself. It is the earth that deterritorializes itself, in a way that provides the nomad with a territory. The land ceases to be land, tending to become simply the ground (sol) or support. The earth does not become deterritorialized in its global and relative movement, but at specific locations.
... Capitalism is not at all territorial, even in its beginnings; its power of deterritorialization consists in taking as its object, not the earth, but ‘materialized labor,’ the commodity. - Deleuze & Guattari
The spectacle is a permanent opium war waged to make it impossible to distinguish goods from commodities, or true satisfaction from a survival that increases according to its own logic. Consumable survival must increase, in fact, because it continues to enshrine deprivation. - Debord
Smelling a rat, Marx countered that “the man who possesses no other property than his labor power” must of necessity become “the slave of other men who have made themselves the owners” However, the confusion spread, and soon thereafter Josef Dietzgen proclaimed: “the savior of modern times is called work. The ... improvement ... of labor constitutes the wealth which is now able to accomplish what no redeemer has ever been able to do.” This vulgar-Marxist conception of nature bypasses the question of how its products might benefit the workers while still not being at their disposal. It recognizes only the progress in the mastery of nature, not the retrogression of society ... The new conception of labor amounts to the exploitation of nature, which the naïve complacency is contrasted with the exploitation of the proletariat. Compared with this positivistic conception, Fourier’s fantasies, which have so often been ridiculed, prove to be surprisingly sound. According to Fourier, as a result of efficient cooperative labor, four moons would illuminate the earthly night, the ice would recede from the poles, sea water would no longer taste salty, and beasts of prey would do man’s bidding. All this illustrated a kind of labor which, far from exploiting nature, is capable of delivering here of the creations which lie dormant in her womb as potentials. Nature, which, as Dietzgen puts it, “exists gratis,” is a complement to the corrupted conception of labor - Walter Benjamin
[we need reminded of] what Bataille understands as the loss principle, the principle of unproductive expenditure that is beyond all thought and productive activity. It is my contention that the logic of the and needs a but that would mark the limit, specifically the terrestrial limit of growth that corresponds to the spatial ground of the Earth ... not everything can ontologically belong the realm of the productive and infinite growth. The already there is not necessarily antiproduction within production itself (which is the absolute logic of late, globalized capitalism) but the unproductive expenditure that belongs to the impossible, yet there, the logic of a but, that corresponds to an understanding that the earth itself is not free precisely because energetic resources are not infinite. A logic of a but understands that, at some points, operations of production must be reversed and forces must flow back and be lost to the outside which is beyond thought.
... The way to find the spatial ground of the Earth is to think the limits of growth - ontologically and terrestrially - the points at which productive force must turn unproductive. Deterritorialization as the instance of thought is just the force of capital; however deteritorrialization as the movement of thought beyond itself, situated at the crossroads of the impossible-yet-there is an effective strategy for freeing energetic flows from capitalist processes of production. Ultimately, Bataille understands that the Earth is not free, precisely because there are always already limits to all aspirations of growth and expansion. To find Bataille on this side of Deleuze & Guattari is to find the spatial ground of the Earth-- the One of positive deterritorialization-- that the smooth space of smooth capital seeks at every turn to negate. - Julie Wilson
On Reciprocity: Reciprocity is not a form of economic distribution. Reciprocity is an unhurried, multidimensional relay race, sans teams, such that the baton you hand off to the person you ambled into is replaced by a like baton recieved from another who has ambled into you. The proper gift does not entail loss, nor sacrifice, nor exchange, nor gain, nor even value – it is the giving itself which is esteemed. You either play or play not. There is no game. The game of economics is born when the gift is annihilated. Mutuality is destroyed when a single particle of play collides with a corresponding antiparticle of game. Life is replaced by survival. Survival is mucking about in the mud scrounging for scraps, and fighting off other interloping scroungers – for homo economicus modernensis, it's nasty, brutal and short.
But those scraps, how they do shine, like jewels from the diamond mine! Yahoo, yahoo! I've got so much more than you! – A. Runnion Polisson, Ode to Jonathan Swift
On the dialectics of capital and labor: Since the day a man had the criminal ability to profit by another man's labor, since that very same day the exploited toiler has instinctively tried to give to his master less than was demanded from him, in this wise the worker was unconsciously doing SABOTAGE, demonstrating in an indirect way the irrepressible antagonism that arrays Capital & Labor one against the other. — Emile Pouget, Sabotage
It is obvious that there is an inherent tension between capital/ruling-elite and labour (capitalism is but one method of creating a ruling elite); only two situations are available:
As I see things, I am not a robber. In creating man, Nature gave him the right to live & man has the duty to exercise that right in full. So if society fails to provide him with the wherewithal to survive, the human being is entitled to seize what he needs from wherever there is plenty. - Alexandre Jacob (1879-1954)
On Relativity and life: From the standpoint of nihilist relativity, that "there are no absolutes" and "this is absolutely certain" do not present contradiction. Relativity annihilates Kant's categorical imperative. Neither does the statement "We now know that nothing is known" cause a problem - contradictions are acceptable precisely because differing relative standpoints are expected. In the realm of linguistics, meaning is always context sensitive - dictionaries are only tourist guides. Life itself cannot be extracted from its context. Relativity can be summed up by John Muir's statement, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." Relativity both destroys and rescues logic. If logic is itself subject to relativity and therefore multiplicity, then we may also speak of the logic of passion, and even that grand opposition between reason and passion breaks down without a whimper. The distinction between being and nothingness likewise withers away by the same logic which destroys the chicken-or-egg paradox: "The universe is 'nothsome', or constitutes a matrix of 'somenothingness'". - Dufús
On the space-time continuum: If space-time is a blanket, the fabric is nothing, woven of big, tiny explosions of creativity cross-hatched with their own destruction. There is infinite space between the threads, which is to say, almost none whatsoever and quite a lot, depending on your perspective. Time is merely the relationship between creation and destruction, where creation is a coalescing product, or rather a synonym of our individuality (self or ego) and destruction is its return to nothingness (disintegration - 'death' or 'birth'). [With his atomic metaphor, Epicurus implied that from the level of the molecule, its death (disintegration) is freedom for its formerly constrained, and therefore ordered 'atoms', who go on to collide with others and give birth to new molecules.] The texture of this blanket is that of multiformed tornadoes in constant undulating movement and its color is variegated, bright and twinkling. On occassion these tornadoes invert and become volcanoes. It's kind of a thick, fuzzy blanket, replicating itself in each twinkle. Time is, of course, a perceptual illusion and varies according to size - a day in the life of a mosquitoe is presicely equivalent to three score and ten for the modern hominid. What is perceived as a spark to the latter is a prolonged luminescent tornado to the former (unless, as Einstein suggested, it is travelling very, very fast). There is a spark correlated with each subject-object (somenothing: the 'area' on which creation and destruction intersect), and we call that life. "Life twinkles, then ya die!", or to be more in keeping with the metaphor of the tornado, "Life sucks (and sometimes spews), then ya die!". - Catilina 'Sneaky' Fromb
On Nonsense: To the well trained ear, this all wreaks of nonsense, yet the alternative we are expected to buy into, an either/or, black-and-white world of absolute oppositions endlessly struggling for preeminence or annihilation - dialectics, competition and dialectical materialism, or truth being the reductive synthesis of mutually exclusive ideas, wherein which this immanent stress causes all movement - is perfectly acceptable. But, not only is nothing certain, this is the only certainty, and nothing can not be experienced outside of the context of something. Of course, the reverse is also true, which makes context (or gestalt, if you will) not only the primary, but the only order of existence - somethings, nothings, and what has been called "the analytic third", the relationships therein. The study of this is known in some contexts as "ecology" (the study of 'the relationships in the house', or in the absence thereof, 'under a blanket'), and in other contexts, "magic". - Dufús
Game rules: For the project of civilization, there is an advantage in going from freeplay (natural to children) to structured gaming. Bonnano suggested that work is merely a game with rules. I'm sure Baudrillard would agree. Rules with games are thought to ease the movement from the condition of living (in the world) to surviving (in an illusion). Still, there is difficulty transisting from freeplay to game to work. Initially, of course, this is school work - in kindergarten, 'work' is still fun; by 1st grade, it starts to become tedium; in later years, when it is struggle and toil willingly engaged, it is said we are ready for "the real world" so we are graduated. The goal of education has always been to corrupt and transform children into "productive citizens", not human beings. Freeplay is regulated to the point of extinction. All social relations thereafter become economic and political - they become productive.
"Productive forces" are nothing if not the "force of production" regimented into armies of producers. - fendersen
The Social Relation of Production: Let us not become trapped by phraseology. The social relation of production can only mean that our human relationships are mediated by products and production or work - that is, by things, property, value, and their creation and maintenance. The value is not even that of things, but of ourselves as measured by those things, their creation, maintenance and growth - the perpetuation of an illusion (actually, "delusion") insistently mistaken for reality. If we are alienated from "reality", we are also alienated from the illusion, for it appears to have magically taken on a life of its own, beyond our grasp and control. Like the television which is defecated from the bowells of a factory, the illusion is a group effort which no member of that group is capable of (re)producing. It is only passed on along the assembly-line to each new generation of workers, trained to proudly reject any allusions to a similarity to the ant. - fendersen
On Advertising: Advertising crassly reflects the fact that capital is representation, that it survives because it is representation in the mind of each human being (internalizing what was externalized). Advertising is the discourse of capital: everything is possible, all norms have disappeared. Advertising organizes the subversion of the present for the sake of an apparently different future. - Cammatte
Sign appliqued to back of bicyclists' jerseys: