Monday, April 26, 2010

Child Adults and Adult Children

What are Adult children?

Adults who play with toys, who spend more time playing games than living life, who may “provide” for themselves financially, but who are not autonomous. Going through the motions to get a well-paying job is not the same as growing up, and if somebody devotes the resources obtained through this well-paying job solely to entertaining oneself that person is not an autonomous (i.e. self-creating, self-determined) subject. They are a child working toward the means to preserve the state of childhood.

NOTE that I say SOLELY. I have my toys and entertainments too, as do all adults, but there are other things in my life. It’s not just about working to provide myself with toys, and playing with those toys. I’ve got other shit on the go, and ends other than entertainment that I devote my resources toward. This is the basis of the distinction between an adult with a healthy fun-loving spirit and an adult child.

Growing up in a small, reasonably wealthy town, I was used to seeing Child-children and Adult-children. When I stepped off of the plane in Jordan, I met my first real Child-adults. As I stepped outside of the airport in Aman my first sight was a boy of about seven or eight selling handguns and ammunition that were laid out on a blanket in front of him. I was twenty-three at the time, and remember thinking to myself, “I’ve never HELD a gun. This kid, who is a third my age, makes his living by selling them…” It was a rude awakening.

The human animal is infinitely adaptable. If a child has to become self-reliant, it will, as long as the need presents itself soon enough in the child’s development. Once a pattern of dependence is established, however, even drastic circumstances will fail to break it. European culture created the idea of childhood, as we generally understand it today, in the 1700s. This social construction created a safe psychological space for learning and development in which the mind could grow and discover itself before having to confront the challenges of adult life. The mind thus prepared, it was believed, was better capable of overcoming those challenges. Neil Postman goes into great detail on this subject in his book The Disappearance of Childhood, which I highly recommend although it comes to conclusions that I strongly disagree with. Other cultures have had childhood as a cultural institution as well, with the definitive characteristics of that state being relative to the conditons of their society, but those cultures traditionally have rites of passage. Rites of passage are traumatic events designed to break the cycle of dependence and allow the child to be reborn into adulthood as an autonomous subject.

European culture couldn’t come up with anything like that… so they’d just fuck. Sex was the rite of passage.

As we all know, sex was the big taboo of late European culture. I say “late,” because fucking was not private or taboo in early European culture. It wasn’t until the birth of European childhood in the 1700s, when suddenly there was a whole class of people in society that sex had to be kept secret from, that it became a forbidden subject. In this sense, sex was a neurotic rite of passage for the West. It wasn’t a cultural institution, but there can be no doubt that it was a rite of passage all the same.

Modernity has utterly torn the idea of childhood apart. Sex is everywhere. Sexual images are used in advertising, so the first encounter with sexuality that most children of our age will have is with images being used to sell products. The psychological impact of this is obvious: we are breeding a generation of prostitutes, and Adult-children. The rite of passage, neurotic or not, has been trivialized by associating it with consumerism and thereby robbed of its significance. Sex isn’t a taboo that one breaks, thereby gaining autonomy over social expectations, but rather it has become a commodity. Just one more form of entertainment. Many people in western society stay children because they can conceive of nothing higher than entertainment and leisure to direct themselves toward. At the prey of these desires, they will never become autonomous.

Child-adults in our society, paradoxically, are often prey to the same desires. Adult-children are accustomed to having those things provided for them, first by a loving parent and later by an infantilizing corporate institution. Child-adults know that if they want something, they will have to take it for themselves. They have no higher goals, but meeting their lower goals is significantly more difficult, so they develop a kind of self-reliance that enables them to take over aspects of their own lives. It’s also true that Child-adults start off struggling to meet needs, rather than wants. That gives them a power that Adult-children will probably never know.

Child-adults, however, are only autonomous to a point. Because they are struggling to meet needs, they are still reactive rather than active. They may be very impressive to adults in that they function at a high level when it comes to meeting those needs, but they do not direct their own lives. They react and develop according to their circumstances.

The skill set of the Child-adult would do a great deal to help the Adult-child just as the living conditions of the Adult-child could conceivably allow the Child-adult to realize its potential. But in all this, where are the grown ups?

The Patriarchal Family and Original Sin

Wilhelm Reich’s "Mass Psychology of Fascism" is an important book for people trying to understand the power-structure inherent in the dynamic of the patriarchal family. Reich saw that the combination of sexual repression and herd mentality was what enabled totalitarianism, and he believed that the fundamental root of this sexual repression could be found in “mysticism,” which he identified as a necessarily reactionary phenomenon. Reich’s conception of mysticism bears a great deal of resemblance to the modern Liberal Secular Humanist characterization of religion qua religion. It is seen as necessarily hostile to individuality, necessarily hypocritical, and necessarily unable to withstand the natural expression of the human sexual instinct. This last necessity, according to Reich, manifested itself in the patriarchal family unit, which was the primary instrument of sexual repression. This totalitarian tool imprinted the characteristics of obedience and servility that were essential for fascism to triumph. The habits of behavior acquired by submitting to the will father, in other words, pave the way for submitting to the will of the government.

“The sum total of these moralistic attitudes, which cluster around one’s attitude toward sex and are commonly designated as “philistine,” culminate in notions of-we say notions of not acts of-honor and duty. … A touch of dishonesty is part of the very existence of private merchandizing. [i.e. advertising] When a peasant buys a horse, he runs it down in every possible way. If he sells the same horse a year later, it will have “become” [quotes mine] younger, better, and stronger. One’s sense of “duty” is molded by business interests and not by national character traits. One’s own commodity is always the best-the other person’s is always the worst. … Nevertheless the concepts of “honor” and “duty” play a very decisive role in the lower middle class. This cannot be explained solely on the basis of efforts to conceal one’s crude materialistic background. For despite all hypocrisy, the ecstasy derived from the notions of “honor” and “duty” is genuine. It is merely a question of its source.”

-Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, p. 52

This distinction between the notions of honor and duty and acts of honor and duty is key to Reich’s argument, and instrumental in defusing his attack on mysticism in general. We need look no further than “by their fruits, ye shall judge them” in the Bible to see that, in scripture at least, religion encourages us to make judgments based on what people do rather than what they say. Although Reich insisted, “every form of mysticism is reactionary,” (ibid, p. 24) he does not go into detail to provide evidence to support this statement, and his argument falls apart under close scrutiny. Islam totally revolutionized the nomadic tribal culture of the Pagan Arabs, overturning its entrenched leadership and paving the way for a new social order. Christianity revolutionized Monotheism by giving anybody who chose to identify with Jesus Christ access to the One God (which, as Gnostics would later observe, paved the way for the idea that “there is no God but Man” which shines forth in Thelema). Buddhism revolutionized the yogic practices of greater India and south Asia by giving them transcendent purpose. Rather than trying to secure a favored position in the cycle of death and rebirth, Buddhists sought to escape it altogether. Sikhism revolutionized synergetic religion, by showing that different Gods could be understood as different phases of the divine, that One could be Many could be One, expressed succinctly by the Guru Nanak’s epiphany that “there is no difference between the Hindu and the Muslim.” Although all of these ideologies were co-opted by reactionary political authorities, the distinct revolutionary character of the ACTUAL RELIGIOUS SCRIPTURES (as opposed to the behavior of religious institutions) cannot be denied. Reich sort of shrugs this off and, like our modern liberal secular humanists, focuses on the debate he can win, namely, the one where his opponents are fearful and ignorant. (see Reich p. 128 below)

An element of hypocrisy is germane to all corrupt institutions. It must be remembered that the Romans made Christianity into a political tool. Islam became another form of nationalism. Buddhism’s atheistic character provided the gateway for communism in China and ethnic chauvinism in Sri Lanka. Sikhism became a political ideology when greater India was partitioned upon ethnic and religious lines, with an independent state for Hindus and Muslims and nothing at all for the Sikhs. With a mere casual glance at history, this devolution is not hard to follow. Chauvinism of all kinds is based on a combination of hypocrisy and the obedience imprinting caused by the traditional Patriarchal family.

“I am the boss. I am the father of your family. I am your God.”

-Paul Castellano to Sammy Gravano during his Mafia initiation, Underboss, Peter Maas, p. 141

“A lot later on, I got to learn that the whole thing was bullshit. I mean, we broke every rule in the book. Like, at one of the trials, the lawyer asked me, ‘How could you break the oath of omerta?’ I said, ‘there was a hundred rules, and we broke ninety-nine of them. This was the last one. It wasn’t that hard anymore.”

-Gravano, in retrospect, ibid

The patriarchal family model is necessarily grounded in hypocrisy because the father is not God, and does not truly have the power that he appears to have to the child or that he assumes to have over his wife. For children reared in this kind of environment, realizing the truth can come as somewhat of a shock, and they find themselves yearning for something to replace the comfortable illusion that has been dispelled. This is what makes the Patriarchal family model so valuable to totalitarianism, but not, as Reich and the Liberal Secular Humanists would have us believe, necessarily valuable to mysticism or religion.

“Not only Victorian; wherever the family has been strong, it has always been an engine of tyranny. Weak members or weak neighbors: it is the mob spirit crushing genius, or overwhelming opposition by brute arithmetic. Of course, one must be of good family to do anything much that is worth doing; but what is one to say when the question of the Great Work is posed?…
In every Magical, or similar system, it is invariably the first condition which the Aspirant must fulfill: he must once and for all and for ever put his family outside his magical circle.Even the Gospels insist clearly and weightily on this. Christ himself (i.e. whoever is meant by this name in this passage) callously disowns his mother and his brethren (Luke VIII, 19). And he repeatedly makes discipleship contingent on the total renunciation of all family ties. He would not even allow a man to attend his father's funeral! Is the magical tradition less rigid?
Not on your life!”

-Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Cap. LII

The hypocrisy of the traditional family, which Reich sees as rooted in mysticism, has three main aspects. These are the divinity of the Patriarch, the denial of female sexuality, and the denial of sexual pleasure.

Focusing on the Church instead of the Bible, (i.e. the enemy he is equipped to defeat) Reich recalls a public debate in which he pointed out that, “If nature is so strict and wise, why did it produce a sexual apparatus that does not impel one to engage in coitus only as often as one wants to create children, but on average of two to three thousand times in a lifetime?” (ibid p. 128) To Reich, this elementary fact (along with a few others) exploded mysticism, because the men to whom he presented them were incapable of answering for their church’s policies toward sexuality in light of it. Aleister Crowley, a mystic who made great efforts to reconcile human sexuality with a religious life, took the same data and used it to conclude, “The sexual act is a sacrament of Will. To profane it is the great offence. All true expression of it is lawful; all suppression or distortion is contrary to the Law of Liberty.” (comment on AL I:42) In other words, Crowley saw sexual pleasure as a confirmation of divinity rather than a refutation of it, for the same reasons that Reich gives to try and score a rhetorical point. Of the crowd’s reaction to his presentation, Reich says,

“The clerical representative’s embarrassed answers evoked peals of laughter. When I began to explain the role played within the network of authoritarian society by the church’s and reactionary science’s denial of the pleasure function, that the suppression of sexual gratification was intended to produce humility and general resignation in economic areas also, I had the entire audience on my side. The mystics had been beaten.”

-Reich, p. 128

Leave it to a secularist to try and repudiate thousands of years of culture, mystical experience, philosophical study, and history by exposing some foolish and ignorant old men for the hypocrites they were.

As we can see from the above, Crowley has a critique of the family and its role in society that is very similar to Reich’s. They both see it as a fundamental obstacle to individual freedom, in that it imprints notions of obedience to authority. Both men recognized the traditional family relies on the oppression of women. Crowley went so far as to claim that “two-thirds of modern misery springs from Woman's sexual dissatisfaction,” (comment on AL II:52) and “laws against adultery are based upon the idea that woman is a chattel, … It is the frankest and most crass statement of a slave-situation,” (comment on AL I:42).

The totalitarianism of western Liberal Secular Humanism is covert. Its adherents do not realize that they are devoted to any specific ideology, although all the people who claim to have no specific ideology seem to believe the same things and repeat the same “truths,” (usually starting with, “there is no absolute truth” and “everybody has a right to an opinion about anything no matter how ignorant they are”). They say that they are free, but the fact is that this “freedom of choice” only really allows them to decide which products to consume. In the modern west, we have choices without meaning, because our society is arranged to ensure that the choices we make will not create significant change. People identify very strongly with the choices that they do have. They “find themselves” in the music they listen to, the clothes they wear, the movies they watch, the job they have, the car they drive, the school they went to, or where they spend their free time. Earlier forms of totalitarianism didn’t try to convince its subjects that they were free, and in this Liberal Secular Humanism has them beat. People want to believe that they are free, so they will listen to an authority that tells them they are, despite all evidence to the contrary. I think Reich provides the key as to why it has become necessary for this totalitarian ideology to make people believe they are free.

“More than the economic dependency of the wife and children on the husband and father is needed to preserve the institution of the authoritarian family. For the suppressed classes, this dependency of only endurable on the condition that the consciousness of being a sexual being is suspended as completely as possible in the women and the children. The wife must not function as a sexual being, but solely as a child bearer. Essentially, the idealization and deification of motherhood, which are so fragrantly at variance with the brutality with which the mothers of the toiling masses are actually treated, serve as means of preventing women from gaining sexual consciousness, or preventing the imposed sexual repression from breaking through, and of preventing sexual anxiety and sexual guilt feelings from losing their hold. Sexually awakened woman, confirmed and recognized as such, would mean the complete collapse of authoritarian ideology.”

-Reich, p. 105

So what went wrong?

I think it is safe to say that we live in a culture that his successfully disentangled the sexual instinct from the production of children, a move that Crowley calls “the first condition of the Brave New World,” (MWT Cap. LIII). Having achieved this, we see that totalitarianism now finds it necessary to use clandestine means to achieve its ends. It has become what the French thinker Chantal Delsol calls a “black market” ideology, with all of the danger and unreliability that implies. Liberal Secular Humanism, in spite of its cherished “tolerance,” shares the same basic quality as every other totalitarian ideology, namely, that it sees its own worldview as the only acceptable one. The only difference is that people who deny it are called “crazy,” instead of "sinners," or "enemies of the crown."

Totalitarianism cannot reveal itself as such. In a sexually liberated society of people who see themselves as valuable and deserving of freedom, that would cause mass outrage. So long as totalitarianism cloaks itself beneath the garb of individual choice, it can operate as it always has. As long as the choices it offers us remain meaningless, it will avoid serious interference. In other words: as long as it remains hypocritical, totalitarianism can continue to function.

The standard argument against hierarchical authority is based on a conflation of authority with totalitarianism. A hierarchical authority that is grounded in reality, has positive goals, and uses peoples’ individual strength rather than encouraging their common fears, could be an awesome force to direct the human race. But so long as the traditional Patriarchal family model continues to dominate consciousness, “authority” will be seen as equivalent to “totalitarianism,” which always relies on some form of the doctrine of original sin.

The basic premise of totalitarianism is that, “evil is more powerful than good, because we are fundamentally flawed.” This is what made it possible for the Roman and Protestant churches to rule over people’s personal lives and destroy their strength as individuals. This is what made it possible for German nationalism to exercise its xenophobic slavery/slaughter campaign, because in spite of the “fact” that the Germans were a “master race,” they believed that the slightest intrusion of a foreign substance would destroy their purity and thus their power (which is actually an admission of weakness when you think about it). This is also the basis of Secular society’s hostility to religion qua religion. If it can be demonstrated that people calling themselves religious have done bad things, this is seen (by committing one of the most basic logical fallacies, “this cat is black, therefore all cats are black”) as sufficient proof that religion itself is bad. At the heart of both ideologies is the belief that human beings are intrinsically weak and require redemption. What do Reich and Crowley have to say about this? I’ll let my subjects close this particular essay in turn.

“The extensive success of religious mysticism is to be ascribed to the fact that it is centrally rooted in the doctrine or original sin as a sexual act for the sake of pleasure. National Socialism retains this motif and makes full use of it with the help of another ideology, [Christianity] one in keeping with its own purpose.”

-Reich, p. 118

“The doctrine of the previous verses, which appears not merely to allow sexual liberty in the ordinary sense, but even to advocate it in a sense which is calculated to shock the most abandoned libertine, can do no less than startle and alarm the magician, and that only the more so as he is familiar with the theory and practice of his art. "What is this, in the name of Adonai?" I hear him exclaim: "is it not the immemorial and unchallenged tradition that the exorcist who would apply himself to the most elementary operations of our Art is bound to prepare himself by a course of chastity? Is it not notorious that virginity is by its own virtue one of the most powerful means, and one of the most essential conditions, of all Magical works? This is no question of technical formula such as may, with propriety, be modulated in the event of an Equinox of the Gods. It is one of those eternal truths of Nature which persist, no matter what the environment, in respect of place or period."
To these remarks I can but smile my most genial assent. The only objection that I can take to them is to point out that the connotation of the word 'chastity' may have been misunderstood from a scientific point of view, just as modern science has modified our conception of the relations of the earth and the sun without presuming to alter one jot or tittle of the observed facts of Nature. So we may assert that modern discoveries in physiology have rendered obsolete the Osirian conceptions of the sexual process which interpreted chastity as physical abstinence, small regard being paid to the mental and moral concomitants of the refusal to act, still less to the physical indications. ***The root of the error lies in the dogma of original sin,*** as a result of which pollution was actually excused as being in the nature of involuntary offence, just as if one were to assert that a sleep-walker who has fallen over a precipice were any less dead than Empedocles or Sappho.
The doctrine of Thelema resolves the whole question in conformity with the facts observed by science and the proprieties prescribed by Magick. It must be obvious to the most embryonic tyro in alchemy that if there be any material substance soever endowed with magical properties, one must class, primus inter pares, that vehicle of essential humanity which is the first matter of that Great Work wherein our race shares the divine prerogative of creating man in its own image, male and female.”

-Aleister Crolwey, comment on Liber AL I:52

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Partner Abuse 2010

“Abusive men come in every personality type, arise from good childhoods and bad ones, are macho men or gentle, “liberated” men. No psychological test can distinguish an abusive man from a respectful one. Abusiveness is not a product of a man’s emotional injuries or of deficits in his skills. In reality, abuse springs from a man’s early cultural training, his key male role models, and his peer influences. ***In other words, abuse is a problem of values, not of psychology.***”

-Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That p.75

For the person who is invested in the therapeutic model of self-knowledge, the last sentence of the paragraph above fairly leaps off of the page. The therapeutic model asserts that there are no “bad people,” only personal injuries that lead to bad behavior. Interestingly, this model is in complete harmony with the abuser’s story about himself. Although an abusive man may describe his behavior as a loss of control, a dysfunction, or a mental illness, Bancroft makes it very clear that nothing could be further from the truth. This is a smokescreen to distract people from the real issue, namely that the abusive man is asserting control, not losing it. He is creating a highly functional home life, from his perspective, through bullying and intimidation that, far from being problematic for him, he actually reaps numerous benefits and advantages from.

Time and again, Bancroft unreservedly attacks the idea that abusers should go into therapy. He even goes to far as to explain in detail how therapy can make someone a more effective abuser. I was struck by a certain similarity to my own observations about politically correct culture during the ‘90s. As a teenager I noticed that what was taking place was a shift of language, not of values. For all their ambitions, the political correct crowd only seemed to succeed in doing one thing: teaching assholes how to hide their prejudices under a polite disguise.

This post examines the way in which society and technology has facilitated this shift in our cultural narrative while simultaneously providing the means to sustain misogynistic values.



Without the fa├žade, the abusive man is unable to get what he wants. In some cases this is of a wild, emotional type who “just doesn’t know what he’s doing,” probably because he “feels too much.” In other cases, this is of a stern, authoritarian father figure, who “knows best” and is therefore not to be challenged or contradicted. Perhaps he is of the romantic flavor. In the television series “Californication,” David Duchovny portrays a “sex-addict” writer who frequently waxes poetic about how his flagrant indiscretions come from his desire to “show each woman that she is special.” But success is your proof! Or, “by their fruits ye shall judge them,” as the other guy said. The result of his behavior is the total opposite of his stated intention. This is fairly common for an abusive mentality. The “helper” creates problems. The “father figure” is incompetent. The “wild lover” does not really experience the emotion “love” at all.

In all of these cases, the abuser is greatly aided in his mission to create a false reality and cause his partner to question her own judgment and doubt her own perceptions by a visit to a psychologist.

“An abusive man who is adept in the language of feelings can make his partner feel crazy by turning each argument into a therapy session in which he puts her reactions under a microscope and assigns himself the role of ‘helping’ her. He may, for example, ‘explain’ to her the emotional issues that she needs to work through, or analyze her reasons for ‘mistakenly’ believing that he is abusing her.”

-p.26

Once again, it should seem like this is obvious. Instruction in the therapeutic model is bound to help someone who is determined to dominate another person. If an abuser begins to see the destructive behavior that is the result of implementing their values as a legitimate expression of their “feelings” or as a “mental-illness,” it becomes even more unlikely that they will ever change, and even gives them a weapon to use against anyone who suggests that they should.

The basic idea here is that the intent behind this behavior is concealed, or disguised as something else. It will generally be impossible to get the person behaving in this way to admit that it is intentional behavior, especially considering that society in general has come to frown upon the abuser’s value system in the last twenty years, but one must look at the results of a person’s behavior to understand what they truly intend. The values and thought processes that create abuse were institutionalized in the family long before these social changes. Our cultural narrative about the roles of men and women has changed very rapidly in the last forty years, but human behavior has not. Therapy, the liberal secular humanist’s version of a priesthood, can be beneficial for people with no other emotional outlet, but this doesn’t seem to be the case for the matter in question.

“My clients are not unusually repressed. In fact, many of them express their feelings more than some nonabusive men. Rather than trapping everything inside, they actually tend to do the opposite: They have an exaggerated idea of how important their feelings are, and they talk about their feelings-and act them out-all the time, until their partners and children are exhausted from hearing about it all.”

-p.31

At the end of the day, the abuser’s intention is to focus everything on himself. Therapy is a great help in this regard. Many people, especially young people who have no concept of what life was like before 1995 (for the record, you don’t actually have to have been alive at a particular point of time to find out what life was like, but you do have to be literate, as very few people below the age of 25 today are) see politically correct language, the therapeutic model of self-understanding, and the kind of bubblegum feminism promoted by the mainstream media as “progress.” “Why are we still talking about these things?” is a question I hear, not just from young men, but from young women as well. “So much has changed.”

Really? Changed? Maybe. But what has changed, and how?

“A boy who grows up in a home where his father assaults his mother may observe over the years that his father never seems to get in any serious trouble, indicating to him that his father’s behavior is not viewed as wrong by the community. (In fact, any male who is older than ten or fifteen years of age today is unlikely to have ever seen his father prosecuted for domestic violence, since such prosecution was uncommon before 1990).”

-p. 321

Given that abusive behavior is generated by a set of values that is taught by male role models, this neat little observation pretty much leaves the whole “but we’ve already come so far, why are we still talking about this?” ship dead in the water. Not only that, but there is a deeper issue at work that Bancroft touches on, but does not go into great detail about. This issue dovetails the rise in prosecutions of domestic abuse cases that he describes above, and does a great deal to undo the work that has been done by the feminist movement since the 1970s. The boy who is growing up today may be able to see that outright abusive behavior is viewed as wrong, but what makes up that boy’s community? What information is he taking in? What are the sources? With the internet, the “community” is not just your neighbors and the local cub scouts, the community, the regular social network that surrounds the developing child, is defined by digital space.

Q. What major cultural phenomenon, almost completely ubiquitous among men but rarely discussed or analyzed seriously, arose in the 1990s, around the same time that laws against partner abuse became more frequently enforced?

A. Internet Pornography.

This is… huge. As Bancroft says, abuse is a problem of values, not of psychology. And men now have almost limitless access to images, not just of sex or of naked women, but of highly specialized, specific pornography which can serve as a strong confirmation of the values they have about sex and the value of women as people. It’s true that you can look at pictures of naked women, jerk off, and leave it at that, but if a man has a value system comprised of negative attitudes toward women, porn can provide a deep and intense confirmation of those values.

In a sense it’s true that we have “come a long way” culturally, but internet pornography is, in a clandestine manner, taking us a thousand steps in the wrong direction. It’s true that it is considered socially inappropriate to honestly express the kind of value system that creates abusive men. They may know that they are supposed to interact with women in a particular way, talk about women in public in a particular way, and they may even believe themselves. But porn doesn’t lie. You can find out what kind of person a guy really is by looking at what gets him hard and makes him come. Any attempt to deny this basic fact is an obvious lie.

In spite of the cultural changes that have taken place in the last forty years, it is now possible for a man to, behind closed doors in the privacy of his own home, view hundreds of thousands of images and videos that validate the practically ubiquitous misogyny that is deeply held, publicly denied, and rarely seen for what it is, even (or especially) by the man in question. And I’m not just talking about tits and ass. There’s a lot of pretty brutal stuff that’s disturbingly easy to find out there.

Misogyny is in the closet in 2010, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone away. In fact, as we all know, when something is hidden away like that it becomes far more intense, far more perverse, and far more dangerous.

Democracy and the Environment

We are all very familiar with the problems that can come about in an authoritarian political system characterized by consolidated power. The problems produced by Democracy, however, are largely ignored. To be clear, I’m not talking about the “failures” of Democracy. This isn’t about what problems arise when Democracy goes wrong, but rather the problems that arise when Democracy goes right.

The present environmental crisis is absolutely inextricable from our Democratic system of government.

There is an environmental crisis. Our lives, one way or the other, will change a great deal because of the impact that industry is having on our planet. Without entering into a discussion of the scope of this crisis, the fact is that we produce too much waste in the form of garbage and pollution. We consume the planet’s resources at a rate that is not sustainable. After more than a decade of meetings, summits, conferences, and efforts to “raise awareness” (not exactly a measurable goal with demonstrable results) we are no closer to a viable solution.

The best that our leaders have come up with so far is to ask people to voluntarily reduce their rate of consumption and recycle waste, and to ask governments to put regulations in place to attempt to limit the impact industry has on the planet. In the former case, it’s easy to see the problem. Recycling is a weak form of damage control, not a solution. This description applies across the board to the “strategies” that democratic governments have come up with to deal with our environmental crisis. The problem of waste and consumption is getting more severe. It might be getting more severe less quickly than it was, but after more than a decade of brainstorming, that’s hardly an accomplishment. In the latter case, there is a problem with money. Elections are won with cash, and campaigning for political power isn’t cheap. Any move to create the kind of regulations that would significantly affect the environmental damage done by waste and pollution is likely to cost big business dearly. It’s not just that a politician or political party demanding these kinds of regulations will not receive campaign contributions, they are also likely to make enemies with deep pockets who will be willing to spend millions to see them lose an election.

We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing. Major changes have to be made to the essential structure of the global economy. Those changes, however, would have a severe impact on the average citizen. A lot of people would lose money, and a lot of people would lose their jobs. There would be a period of great chaos and suffering. There’s no way around this. The nut is that if we don’t do something to initiate these economic changes, the end result will be far, far worse. If you don’t accept the pain of the dentist’s drill, you eventually lose the tooth.

Even if there were a politician willing to sacrifice their career to give voice to some tough choices, they wouldn’t have the power to actually order big business to pull the plug on industry in a democratic system of government. The issue would have to be put to a vote, and the popular choice opinion would be easy to turn against it. The people will not put themselves out of work, big business will not sacrifice billions of dollars, and no body of elected officials would ever pass a law ordering them to. I say that the environmental crisis is inextricable from Democracy because the very nature of that system goes against what is absolutely necessary to seriously deal with this problem. Merely asking people and industry to change isn’t enough. They have to be made to change or, regardless of whether we're dealing with a buildup of waste and pollution or actual climate change, we will be faced with a public health catastrophe of massive proportions. Although we do have environmental regulations in place, they are far less demanding than they need to be, and they need to be applied across the globe to be fully effective. As long as a company can divest its business interests in one country and invest in another with less severe regulations, pollution and waste will remain a problem. What nation would sacrifice its own economy to chase business away into a neighboring country where industry is held to a lower environmental standard? It will seem, at first, that the cure is worse than the disease. The difference is that we will recover from the cure. The disease doesn’t go away.

Unpopularity and the disruption of business are not the only obstacles faced by a Democratic system of government trying to address this crisis. A long-term strategic plan is absolutely necessary for a sustained effort toward changing our impact on the environment to be successful, and long-term planning is virtually impossible in a Democratic system. In a Democracy, because of the importance of public opinion, the focus is on achieving an immediate result that a politician can take credit for. Regardless of the branch or department, when you have a new boss every two to six years, (and possibly a new mandate altogether if a different party comes in to power) the strategy is constantly changing. Term limits and frequent elections mean that political careers are built on short-term plans. Over time, this leads to a series of cosmetic changes that have no real impact. An individual or institution acting according to a plan moves toward its goal one step at a time. In a Democracy, political institutions change direction every few steps, and wind up going endlessly in circles without getting anywhere. Term limits and frequent elections have been seen, legitimately, as a triumph of democratic values. And as we can see, when those values are realized, the Democratic institution becomes completely myopic, unable to see past the next election or appointment.

Why does Democracy create these problems? To understand this, we have to look at the essence of Democracy itself: the need for human co-operation.

Human beings only work together effectively when they have a common goal or a common enemy. Democracy demands that representatives of various regions and interests co-operate to govern, but it lacks the sort of goal-oriented framework that would make that co-operation effective. At best, the mandate of a Democratic government is to protect the state and deal with social problems, but politicians can’t agree on what the real threats to the state are, or what social problems are important to address. These are negative goals, in that they are about dealing with crisis rather than creating something new. The result is the partisan chauvinism and ridiculous infighting that permeate our political structures. A positive goal is necessary for these differences to be laid aside. Democracy itself is hostile to positive goals, because as soon as we have a positive goal a clear hierarchy of value emerges. To use a very simple example, “all people are equal” is a clear statement. Tautological, and a poor use of a comparative adjective, but clear. As soon as we have some frame of reference for comparison, it becomes impossible to assert equality. All people are not equal at playing tennis. If playing tennis is our goal, there will be numerous factors, both essential and circumstantial, that will go toward establishing a hierarchy.

The point is that it is only possible to maintain the illusion of equality if we remove any context for comparison. If we have positive goals, these goals necessarily present a context for comparison. Not only that, but the environmental crisis would constitute a clear and immediate threat. If we have plans for the future that involve building something (i.e. positive goals) then those plans cannot possibly succeed unless this crisis is dealt with. We would be motivated to make the necessary sacrifices if we were truly committed to accomplishing that positive goal. If our plan for the future is “more of the same, and try not to let anything bad happen” (i.e. negative goals) then we are more motivated to preserve our present state of comfort than to make the sacrifices necessary to confront this crisis. The consequences of the mismanagement of the economy do not directly interfere with our day-to-day lives in a way that most people immediately experience, and so our leaders are unwilling to demand the kind of sacrifices necessary to effectively deal with this crisis.

The question is, how far does the situation have to deteriorate before the cure becomes less painful than the disease? Isn’t this a clear consequence of our cherished “freedom,” which might mean that (gasp) freedom from compulsion is not always a good thing? Unless this problem is dealt with honestly, “freedom” as it is defined by democracy may eventually mean nothing more than freedom to drink poisoned water, breathe poisoned air, and live on a mountain of trash.

Patriarchy and Seduction

There are numerous ways to obtain power. None of them are easy, and all of them require Will and brains. A select few are merely born into their station. Others are elevated through a hierarchical system for reasons other than their being fit for the positions they hold, which would be a sign of a diseased hierarchy. We need not concern ourselves with either category for the purposes of this discussion.

Most of the upward movement in any power structure, but particularly in a Patriarchal power structure, happens because of seduction. If we grew up in a family unit, a parental paradigm forms the psychological backdrop for our understanding of authority. This paves the way for two forms of seduction: father/son seduction, and daddy/daughter seduction.

When we hear the words “seduction,” and “Patriarchy,” most of us probably think of daddy/daughter seduction. The young, beautiful woman who fucks her way to the top is a myth. To really advance by using seduction in this way is demanding for several reasons, not the least of which because sex is the natural termination of the parental paradigm. Sex is a key rite of passage in the west. It is also the natural end of the symbolic daddy/daughter relationship, making it fairly easy for the man in power to walk away without giving up any more than he already has. He has initiated a symbolic child into adulthood, and although sex may be his objective and it certainly may happen more than once before this process is complete, this sort of seduction has a beginning, a middle, and an end. If the seducer doesn’t have a plan for what to do at the end, or doesn’t have the Will and brains to make that plan work, they will not get far. Because this relationship imposes a condescending power structure, it is inherently poisonous.

Father/son seduction is different. This form of seduction is the core of any Patriarchal system, and it is inherently a nourishing power structure because it is based on the "father"'s recognition and encouragement of the strengths of the "son." A young man sees a man in power and learns about his ideals, his aspirations, and what he considers good potential. That young man then seeks to demonstrate those ideals to the man in power with his own behavior, becoming a sort of symbolic son. This form of seduction is far more prevalent, and more effective in Patriarchal hierarchies, than the tricky daddy/daughter seduction. It takes advantage of the natural human inclination to pass on one’s knowledge to a person one feels could put it to good use. The death or retirement of the man in power is the only natural end. This is not regarded as manipulation in the way that daddy/daughter seduction is, but it is a form of seduction just the same.

I can’t imagine what would dissolve this sort of power structure, but I can imagine its values significantly changing. The father/son relationship is not, as we might assume, gender-specific. A woman who can demonstrate the ideals and aspirations held by someone in power is perfectly capable of this form of seduction, provided that the person in power can see himself or herself reflected in her. The argument against Patriarchy has been that men in power do not see themselves in women, who they regard only as potential sexual encounters or distraction from “man’s work.” This is not so much an argument against the system itself, but a case against the way that it is run. This sort of prejudice is naturally injurious to any hierarchy. Hierarchies can only be healthy if the people who are the most effective at managing their layers, realizing their goals and values, and demonstrating the ideals of their leaders are promoted into positions of authority.

What does this shift in value demand of people in power? Nothing more or less than that they built the most capable and effective hierarchies as possible. Nothing more or less than that they cherish strength and abolish weakness.

But most importantly: Nothing more or less than that they let the ends justify the means.

The Evil Satanic Conspiracy

The only possible way to hate God is by hating yourself.

We are created in the image of God. Although the word “God,” causes problems for some people because of their social conditioning and the way that the word is used in our society, (i.e. to refer to an imaginary disapproving parental figure) I’m going to assume that my readers know the difference between what people think words mean and what they actually mean, and that if they insist on misunderstanding it is due to their praiseworthy stubborn natures. We know what God “is,” by knowing ourselves. Some people try to tell us that God is something apart from us, an alien standard that approves or disapproves of various aspects of our being and psyche. This is, essentially, diabolism.

There is an evil, literally “Satanic,” movement at work in the world. It disguises itself as religion, although everything that it does demonstrably contradicts the basic premises of the religions that it claims to represent. People, especially in the secular west, believe that it IS religion, and by and large they either despise it, or distort themselves to live by its principles. The purpose of this evil “Satanic” movement is to make people hate themselves, and by extension, to make them hate God too. This is how we know the enemy. It doesn’t matter whether they call themselves Christian, Muslim, Cool, Hip, or Big in Japan, we can RECOGNIZE EVIL by recognizing THIS. If the thing is making people hate themselves, it is evil. Only by loving what we are, in truth, can we aspire to Love under Will. If we hate ourselves, we create division in our essential nature before we even conceive of the possibility of uniting our individual essence with an event or another being.

There are people, silly as it sounds, who THINK that they hate God, but actually love God. The thing that they hate doesn’t exist. It’s a mask on a crude cartoon devil. If they love themselves they love God, whether they like it or not. Ha ha! Suckers!

Here’s the real goose though: the devil has no goal. No final purpose. It’s just trying to PREVENT the goal from realizing itself. To prevent the purpose of creation from being accomplished. But that can’t last. Our present society is practically designed to create self-loathing, hatred of religion, (that could actually lead people to real knowledge) and a determined lack of discipline, discipline being seen as a concession to The Man.

What clarity of purpose! The Lord be praised! Those who cultivate self-love, true religion, and self-discipline in this society are truly the strongest, the smartest, and the most fit to lead.

“Consider the Bond of a cold Climate, how it maketh Man a Slave; he must have Shelter and Food with fierce Toil. Yet thereby he becometh strong against the Elements, and his moral Force waxeth, so that he is Master of such Men as live in Lands of Sun where bodily Needs are satisfied without Struggle.”

-Aleister Crowley, Liber Aleph cap. 37, “On Cultivating Strength Through Discipline”