February 13, 2005

Gog-magog: the London and Marvel connexuses

history gog and magog.JPG





Posted by mark k-p at February 13, 2005 01:22 PM




while i'm writing something about faciality, i thought you might be interested in this: See the first picture (fig. 31):

Compare the role of line-borders around the eyes (based on the role of the Khattakite dam between Gog and Magog) -- which turn them into Possessing Gaze-machines -- in these scrolls and Deleuze-Guattari's discussion about terresterial signifying despotic face and proliferatition of eyes by multiplication of borders.

Posted by: Reza at February 13, 2005 03:46 PM



ps. those who would like to follow Mark's reference to Marvel comics, check Gog-Magog at The Unofficial Handbook of the Marvel Universe (http://www.marvunapp.com/) .... Always wondering how these mythoi engineer such fascinating anomalies in British / American comics.

also check this thread at chaosium archive (an occult guide to London):

Posted by: Reza at February 13, 2005 04:17 PM



Good to see you back Mark, and the site definitely benefits from your illustrative touch.

Posted by: Tachi at February 14, 2005 03:26 AM



Hey Tachi, Good to see you back too; Nick and I will try to get this real-time archive off the ground soon. we are also working on the rest of your suggestions as well (intro, background info, etc.) ... by the way, i've signed up another del.icio.us feed for textual materials on different topics, so send me your suggested reading list(s).

Posted by: Reza at February 14, 2005 03:39 AM



anyone know what it means?

Posted by: willow at February 15, 2005 01:34 AM



Since K-P doesn't tolerate responses, this is a precious chance to fisk the Hollow Men Jesus-rant.

"Nietzsche: "'Real are we entirely, and without belief or superstition.' Thus you stick out your chests - but alas, they are hollow!'""

So we need belief and superstition? That's hyperstition removed from the equation from the start (not that Nietzsche's quote has anything like this implication).

"Is there anything more tedious than attacks on religion in general and christianity specifically?"

'Tedious' - yawn. 'Is there anything more tedious than defences of religion, especially Christianity?' Equally plausible, equally vacuous. Next.

"One of the most refreshing aspects of Zizek and Badiou is their unashamed reclamation of aspects of the Christian legacy."

'Refreshing' - umm, like 'tedious' - random subjective judgement. Next.

"... Christianity, as Zizek says, is too important to be left to the 'Christians'."

Fair enough, as Satanists, agitated atheists, and just about everyone else whose been screwed over by this toxic shit would agree.

"... The bleakest libidinal position of all, the attitude Nietzsche most abominated and feared, was that of perpetual critique, as practised by the Last Man. The 'Last Man' was the European at the end of history, listlessly watching 'the reel as it comes to a close', 'liberated' from the 'illusions' of any particular cultural group, and so free to choose the 'best' from all of them: a bit of zen buddishm [sic] here, a dash of steppes shamanism there, seasoned with some kabballah to taste."

This is where things really get morbid. Anyone unbound from a parochial tradition (leaving aside the extreme improbability of such a condition, given the ruinous tenacity of enculturation) finds themselves in the 'bleakest libidinal position of all' - excessively free, no longer coded and territorialized, cut off from the nourishing prejudices of their natality - this conservative refrain can be found everywhere that technocapitalist decoding is disdained, whether right and left, as the resilient battle-cry of pure reaction.
This is the petulent sob of a little European who doesn't want to imagine anything else is possible, a purely formal embrace of the historical and geographical accident of birth just because they are 'mine', a deliberate affirmation of prejudice and cultural chauvinism, eyes shut, ears blocked, nothing to learn except what the ancestors taught. Block out the world, it might communicate something new and turn me into a deracinated cosmopolitan ...
Rhetorically it places itself among the new reactionaries of the christoanalytical left due to its fundamental anticommerc.i.a.l.i.s.m. What it hates above all is the possibility of 'shopping around' for religion - freedom, diversity, affect, flatness and cosmopolitanism, as opposed in every respect to the servility, monotony, sentiment, verticality and parochialism of a revived priestcraft (cast in the pitiful mode of a 'sophisticated' resignation to cultural fatality).
Paganism - which no one devastated by the monotheistic catastrophe can ever truly reach - is of course more 'traditional' than the upstart usurper faith that now claims to monopolize 'our' cultural references, but leave that aside. This paganism is an offense precisely because it is not a slave cult, because its mode of religious engagement is immediate and horizontal, based on traffick and communication (even 'shopping around') not abasement before authority. Paganism delivers direct encounters with the sacred rather than 'faith' transmitted by priestly authorities. It intrisically complies with untotalized diversity (every people has its gods, try what works, try to be polite to them all) rather than the 'endogenization' of polytheism or 'jealous' intolerance and fanaticism of monotheism. There are a million reasons to celebrate paganism so: 'More on this soon'.
"[F]ree to choose" - we really can't have that! This is the Alpha and Omega of the reactionary case (left/right, categories implode) - fear and hatred of freedom.

"Yet what remained uncritiqued in this allegedly hyper-discriminating, hyper-critical stance was the position of the chooser, he who critiques. Who or what is this individual? Why, Oedipus, at last, of course, and, as Deleuze-Guattari point out in Anti-Oedipus, the simperson of Oedipus is our equivalent of primitive tanoos [sic] and despotic icons. Oedipus, who believes in nothing but his own subject position, the empty formal space of he who does not believe."

The crux of the argument - if you're free you're Oedipus (and D&G told us that's really bad, right?). Stop believing and you only believe in yourself. Dissociate from parochial chauvinism and you become 'an empty formal space.' Embrace your prejudices and servility, then at least you're an authentic slave.
There's so much rotten here it's difficult to know where to start.
The easy part is that it's all so unbelievably familiar, resonating with a vast archive of reaction including every conservative thinker of whatever stripe since the dawn of modernity at least - with Catholic intellectuals especially representative of the breed (Lacan, Zizek, Negri among them).
1) What has the individual to do with any of this? Critique proceeds from complexes of affect, semiotic materials and discourses, bioneurological systems, demonic influences ... none of which arise from 'the individual'. Even the most emphatically 'individualist' critique of the slave cults (Ayn Rand?) draws its resources from canonical principles or argumentation that have no genetic or logical dependence on the decoded individual subject (a 'simperson' of course, and we know how much conservatives hate artificiality).
2) "Oedipus ... of course" - if this was deliberate parody it would be hilarious. Start reading enough Christoanalyis and suddenly Oedipus is everywhere (didn't D&G tell us that?). People shopping around rather than listening to their priest - Oedipus. Deracinated cosmopolitans disdaining the prejudices of their tribe - Oedipus. Trouble-makers getting off the couch / leaving the confessional - Oedipus. Anglobalizing decoding of the planetary commercium - Oedipus, Oedipus, Oedipus (please make it stop!).
3) "[H]e who does not believe" - back to the belief shtick, as if 'unbelief' were such an easy thing to achieve ('hang onto your parochial traditions real tight, otherwise you'll be catapulted straight into naked Oedipus'). But then it's not really 'belief' in any generic or philosophically interesting sense that's at stake here - the kind Pyrrho engaged with - it's big-B Belief, Faith, Jesus Love, Old Time Religion, with CR adopting its now standard role as pushing decaying priest toxins on anyone who'll listen (while shutting down response because authoritarian monologue is pretty much the whole point of such preaching, and always has been).

"Nietzsche made two major errors in relation to Christianity though. The first was the one identified by John Gray ..."

John Gray!!! OK, carry on ...

"... in Straw Dogs. Unlike Schopenhauer, who rejected Christianity in the name of what were in effect other religious positions - Buddhism and Hinduism - Nietzsche, a little like the pantoGoth God-baiters of today, protested rather too much about his anti-Christianity and his rejection of religion. Nietzsche was the inheritor of Christianity because he believed in History as Progress. It would be the Anti-Christ ubermensch who would emerge as the redeemer."

So Nietzsche was still ensnared in Christianity, which I'm sure would have surprised him (sarcasm off).

"The second was his flattening out of Christianity into One thing. The 'ascetic ideal', the miserable devotion to 'self-mutilation' is no doubt an aspect of what has been called Christianity. But from the very start, in the conflict between Peter and Paul, between them and the Gnostics, Christ's legacy has been a site of struggle."

Just so long as we keep it in the family.

There's more, but it doesn't add anything.

Anyway, typical slave cult stuff. Not content with it's own cramped servility, it has to lash out at anything that threatens to escape, while attempting to technologically entrench the monological mode to forestall retaliation.
If you like snarky preaching, rooted in mainstream European conservatism and its complacent cultural chauvinism, you'll love CR.

But 'K-Punk'? Maybe a name change is in order.

Posted by: nick at February 15, 2005 03:29 AM




All I need is a broader path to damnation.

As I discussed here, over at cold me and even at Dread, I think monotheism should be stormed from all sides. From within: the process has already begun and with the heresy-industry of Islam (already producing surplus value) developed and escalated through War on Terror and along the Gog-Magog Axis, Islam has entered a new phase in which heresy / apostasy have become inseparable and indistinguishable from the 'Islamic Fundamental Dimensions (Pillars?)' as Ibn Maymun predicted (what happens at this side of panorama – emergence of the Thing from within – I think cannot be so pleasant for anthropomorphic entities; it is slow, messy, complex and with too many diversions along the path and always an excessive amount of collateral damage ... Z.crowd needed a guarantee for the relentless eradication of salvation, of any kind).

From the outside: I have been thinking about this for many years, how is it possible to engineer, develop or at least participate with a type of paganism that evades appropriation, cuts through all modes of pacification and never ceases to agitate? Think this might be a crucial question at this point that some truly hideous strains of monotheism (enveloped in heat-resistant, hardened, militantly improved but seemingly harmless spores i.e. the Cult of the Lamb, heavily Christian Buddhism, etc.) are going to spread over pagan continents. What happens here takes another path which leads to the victimologic core of monotheism soaked in organic cowardliness, self-promoting survival economy and necrocracy, something that doesn’t emerge from the foul body of monotheism that Z.crowd fermented to eat itself from within and ‘overlap’ the infernomatic insurgency of Tellurian-Omega over the Desert-monopoly of God. So how is it possible to come up with a mutant (counter)insurgent Pagan crowd resisting pacification? Has it something to do with politico-economic dimensions, ways of participation or communicating with (Un)Life?

Posted by: R at February 15, 2005 04:56 AM



R - in full agreement on the two-pronged strategy, which needs vigorous thrashing through in respect to Gog-Magog.
There are many ways this could be configured, but my preferred version right now (mapping West/Jay?) is raw techonomic decoding vs furiously uncompromising jihadi upsurge. In this respect, Xtianity and Oecumenic turn-the-other-cheek slave-cultism just gums up the machine.
excrasez l'infame

Paganism is mostly just heaps of intriguing corpses these days, probably not worth getting too excited about (vudu might have an interesting walk on part somewhee down the tracks)

PS. 'endogenization' of polytheism remark response to your 'Hindu bureaucracy' comment - triggered the realization that culturally infolded paganism does indeed adopt a 'bureaucratic' interphase - between true dispersal and consolidated theotyranny

Posted by: nick at February 15, 2005 05:24 AM



I like 'responses', but this hardly constitutes a response. The reason why I stopped comments is that the facility is abused by unthinking kneejerk trolls. The position I have developed precisely has emerged from discussion with others, engagement with the world. Simply wandering around the globe confirming your own oedipal phantasms is not 'engaging with the world'.

And quite honestly, if this is the best you can do, I suggest you give up. It's the same boring position that you've been pushing for years, Nick. If anything is the 'sob of a European', it is this. Anti-Christianity is the very mark of the European smugoisie. There are different types of Christianity - there is such a thing as liberation theology, for instance; Christianity is the fastest growing religion in Africa. I don't know how you square this with your caricature of Christianity as a slave cult.

As for Satanists, please. Now their 'rights' are protected by law, surely even you must give up the embarrassing pretence that there is anything extreme about them. Satanism = selfishness and carnality. How radical.

Lacan a conservative? Could you explain what is conservative about Lacan? Perhaps you could explain how your theory of shopping is more radical than Lacan's theory of the always-already dead god?

You need to keep up, Nick. The whole point of Badiou and Zizek's take on Christianity is that their xianity it is a break from organic community, an unplugging. 'Anyone who does not hate their father and mother cannot come to me.' That is what Badiou's St Paul is about: breaking out of narrow ethnicity, but in the name of collectivity, not in the name of shopping.

How do the Gnostics fit it into your picture of christianity as a slave cult?

Your definition of freedom is beyond crass, but revelatory. The freedom to shop around. LOL. It's capitalist ideology, increasingly threadbare. Polytheism as one big store to wander around. But who is it who shops if not Oedipus?

How does Spinoza - the ultimate monotheist in many ways - fit into your picture? Not at all, of course. For many reasons, but mainly because his notion of freedom couldn't be further from your adolescent laisser faire liberalism.

What's punk about shopping, tourism and support for the dying US superpower Nick? Perhaps you could explain how your supine surrendering of all reason in the face of Bush's fundamentalist Christian regime is 'punk'?

The only way to explain either is Oedipalism. It is some Oedipal desire to revolt against Dead Fathers (the old academic Left, which now exists only in your fantasms; Jahweh and his authoritarian dupes, which yes, are still powerful but have little to do with anything but the type of 'Christianity' you like - i.e. might is right US fundamentalism. What could be more like Jahweh than the US's idiotic war on Terror?)

btw, I left comments open on this in the hope of discussing gog-magog, not to invite irrelevant trollism and ppl bringing agendas from other sites. But I've learned my lesson now.

For those interested in gog-magog rather than resentimment, you can click on some of the images for links.

Posted by: mark k-p at February 15, 2005 09:50 AM



What exactly _would_ constitute a response, then? A fawning panegyric? Who is the 'kneejerk troll' here? Parodying nick's post as a 'defence of satanism' when the one mention of satanism is a mention within a litany of those who have an aggressive 'interest' in christianity that is not revivalist (against your apparent suggestion that any aggression against christianity is merely an 'oedipal' reversal of the rationally-valid decision to submit to christ)? Most of the rest is just an ad hominem attack of the type you profess to deplore.

True, there is liberation theology, but surely liberation _from_ theology is the ultimate goal? Why valorize and fetishise the means to an end, even going so far as to transcendently rule out such a vulgarly 'mechanistic' reading of the role of religion in favour of a reinvigoration of absolutist belief? What's wrong with treating religions like products or services rather than transcendent truths - What about Vudu and its 'shopping around' for gods=rhythms=traits - has this CCRU staple been discarded now in favour of 'God is love'?

Your glib dismissal of the globally intricated machine of capitalism as 'shopping' speaks volumes about the basic imbecility and futile ineffectuality of the CR 'position': as usual, you're not doing yourself any favours...

Posted by: raven at February 15, 2005 11:22 AM



it is hard to see how we can understand zizek/badiou's use of christianity as any _less_ of a cynical, arbitrary, opportunistic 'usage' of christianity than any other theoritico-consumer choice UNLESS we subscribe to some sort of transcendent principle of spiritual heredity by virtue of natality or national-belonging (it's MINE or rather I'm ITS), and believe that somehow they have, and are offering us, proper access to community with this historico-religious spirit. In which case we're back with the Ahnenerbe, or any number of like-minded and ridiculous outfits. Although, maybe this would fit with KP's haughty disdain for anything from beyond the confines of golden-age-of-england TV reruns and the ICA bookshop despite his claim to have 'engaged with the world' in some fashion more profound than mere vulgar travelling.

Posted by: raven at February 15, 2005 01:50 PM



terrific post nick. but you have to ask, why would anyone take kp seriously in the first place? he's just desperately taking on the style of zizek, badiou etc, like some teenager. oh look it's really radical to believe in boredom! it's the new thing. more on seventies tv programmes soon..

Posted by: willow at February 15, 2005 11:19 PM



great post nick!

Posted by: willow at February 15, 2005 11:50 PM



mark k-p -

"There are different types of Christianity - there is such a thing as liberation theology, for instance" - Xtian lies plus soc.ialist lies, wonderful.

"Could you explain what is conservative about Lacan?" - a new confessional for bourgeois sophisticates plus psychoanalytical mystification / second-coming of anti-market totalitarian politics

"The whole point of Badiou and Zizek's take on Christianity is that their xianity it is a break from organic community" - hence their fondness for radical Maoism? betray your family to the secret police and enter the kingdom of heaven. For anyone with any understanding of what this soc.ialist hell did to China (30 million + dead), Badiou's oh-so-eurocool attack on Deng and defence of the cultural revolution is beyond disgusting.

"Spinoza - the ultimate monotheist in many ways" - IMHO this is beyond ridiculous. Look at the reception of Spinoza (who introduced critical scientific methods to the study of religion) - violently anathematized by the Dutch Jews, then treated as a dangerous pantheist/atheist for at least a century

"adolescent laisser [sic] faire liberalism" - excepting the subjuvenile (but so K-P) 'adolescent' that's a fine starting point. Both 'laissez faire' and 'liberalism' [in its european sense] mean freedom, but then i haven't been born again as a totalitarian soc.ialist.

"your supine surrendering of all reason in the face of Bush's fundamentalist Christian regime" - this could actually be an interesting point with a bit of work. How exactly am I in any position to 'surrender' whether 'supine' or otherwise since I'm not an American, I don't have a vote, and I'm not in a WWIV conflict zone? Isn't the fact I'm still refusing the miraculous appeal of happy-clappy religion precisely a refusal to 'surrrender'? But there's an interesting pattern to Ccru fission here - I'll take the tax-cuts and regime changes, you can have the conservatism and born again religion.

"the old academic Left, which now exists only in your fantasms" - surely you jest! Guess academics are mostly 'laissez faire [Manchester] liberals' these days.

"ppl bringing agendas from other sites" - so you do all your snarky atheist bashing at K-P behind your ROM defences, then come over here for some 1970s UK pop parochialism?

"For those interested in gog-magog rather than resentimment [sic], you can click on some of the images for links" - those interested in ressentiment can head over to K-Punk, but you won't be allowed to discuss it.

Raven - great comments, this question especially:
"What about Vudu and its 'shopping around' for gods=rhythms=traits - has this CCRU staple been discarded now in favour of 'God is love'?" has been pre-occupying me too.

Willow - "why would anyone take kp seriously in the first place?" - amazingly, given the 'everything you love i hate, everything you hate i love' dynamic between us right now, i still respect roughly 50% of the K-Punk posts, and also know what KP was capable of before christonanalytic soc.ialism overwhelmed his appreciation of freedom

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 01:35 AM



but nick, he's so sloppy! he's soooo grab this and that from the net - no wonder he likes the idea of not being a person, perhaps what he really wants is to not have to fact up to how mediocre he is, and how unlikely it is that he would ever be published outside of this vast vanity publisher

Posted by: willow at February 16, 2005 03:05 AM



I'm sorry to say it, Nick, but Mark is right here: how could you think that your idiotic, Oedipalizing trolling constituted a *response*? I mean, you didn't even *agree* with him!! He's fairly obviously right about another thing, too: you really do need to "keep up" with what's happening. Nietzscheanism is so tired by now it's asleep; it's so old it's dead. Nobody's reading that stuff anymore. Frankly, it's kind of embarrassing that you're so behind the times that you didn't know this. In case you hadn't noticed, critique is old school; dogmatism is the shit again now. And again, you must admit that Mark is right: you haven't changed your position beyond all recognition for years now; isn't it time for you to get some new gear? You're just not ... protean enough, frankly. I mean, don't you follow even follow Parisian fashion? Don't you know that Badiou is the dernier cri of French philosophical haute couture right now? Sorry if it hurts you to hear this, Nick, but to be honest you're so ... 1991!

Anyway, the good news is that it's probably not too late for you just yet: after all, Mark hadn't read any Badiou until a few months ago, and now he's a veritable Badiou-propagandist and panegyrist. Back in August on his blog he admitted that he hadn't read any Badiou and that he was reluctant to because he didn't think that Badiou's use of traditional metaphysical terms like 'rationalism' and 'truth' was very hip. But now look at him! He moved with the times, man, and he already has a 'Cold Rationalist' clothing line up and running and everything! Hadn't you better do the same? I mean, it's not as if you actually have to *read* a whole lot of Badiou, much less understand it -- again, Mark has read almost nothing, but at least he knows where it's at!

Posted by: Axiomatik at February 16, 2005 04:25 AM



apologies about the extra 'follow' there

Posted by: Axiomatik at February 16, 2005 04:30 AM



Willow - It's difficult on the web, I know, but still hoping to keep on topic (Christian revivalism in high-theoretical garb) rather than promoting a KP hate-fest - naive as that may sound

Axiomatik - Was I 'being' Nietzschean? Only out of ignorance and by accident, I assure you ...
On the '1991' fashion awards point - I'd been assuming that the 'collective' hyperstititional turn coinciding roughly with the transition of Millennia was the key time ref.

IMHO one of the principle areas of Hyperstitional application is the monotheistic conveyor belt, with it's inherent apocalypticism (right back to the 'Z-Crowd') and tendency to install itself as an effective cosmic-political reality despite its essential untruth (grotesque absurdity) - that's why attempts to redeem this historical vector on the basis of its own tradition are fundamentally inconsistent with hyperstition and require vigorous resistance.
This might also explain why since KP discovered Jesus and the inner truths of the Christian tradition his involvement in hyperstition has basically short-circuited - in fact, become structurally impossible. The most hyperstitionally degenerate AOE myths ('the vanishing Cryos') have been pushed even further into intellectual corruption ('the reborn Christ') and then recycled as Cold Rationalist dogmas, with lots of attendant shouting

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 05:01 AM



Axiomatik: “I mean, you didn't even *agree* with him!!”


“isn't it time for you to get some new gear?”

Welcome to 2005 fashion show!

“Mark has read almost nothing, but at least he knows where it's at!”

In a jumbo jet flying to Calvary?

Posted by: Euclid at February 16, 2005 05:33 AM



Axiomatik - ROFL
"Keep it dusty"

Posted by: u/c at February 16, 2005 09:41 AM




Badiou is such a bad deleuzian. 'Born again' Badiou-ists will be the next black.

"Both 'laissez faire' and 'liberalism' [in its european sense] mean freedom, but then i haven't been born again as a totalitarian soc.ialist."

Hmmm, a bit of a Bushism, no? 'Freedom'? I am no spectacular fan of K-Punk's Badiou/Zizek fanboyism, but I am certainly not a fan of deploying discourse that resonates with the refrain of the right-eous and the associated acts of global stupidity.

Posted by: Glen Fuller at February 16, 2005 11:16 AM



Glen Fuller - suit yourself. 'Laissez faire' actually a taoist term (from Laozi, 'wu wei' or 'non-action'), but my problem with W is he's too much of a soc.ialist (US Federal Govt could be slashed by at least 30% while still cranking up WWIV to a whole new level).

On Gnosticism - PKD is great, even (especially?) Valis, but I'm in no hurry to chain myself to the ceiling (http://www.ccru.net/occultures/bergman1.htm)

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 11:30 AM



PS. Superb Steyn piece to upset any Kumbaya tranzis still hanging out in the hell kitchen: (http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2005/02/15/do1502.xml)

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 01:15 PM



Was Popper a practitioner of the dark hyper-fictional arts... Do samizdata.net have a link to hyperstition yet?

Just kidding.

But why would Kumbayas (assume a witty abbreviation for evangelical Christians) support the UN? Or are tranzis and kumbayas (not to mention kitchen staff) all just basically the same?

You know that radical non-Christian Badiou (and he really is, don't get fooled by what other blog-factions tell you) has more or less the same line as Steyn about the UN - that if you conceive of the rest of the world as pitiful victims of course you'll end up fucking them.

This is not meant to be a trollish post, btw

Posted by: infinite thought at February 16, 2005 01:36 PM



infinite thought - someone would have to be WAY oversensitive to think that was a trollish post ;)

I'd love a link from Samizdata - haven't started serious link-whoring yet - probably too many political chaotics here right now to justify a solid minarchist attachment, but i'm working on it.

'kumbayas' actually not witty abbreviation for evangelical christians (as you might have noticed, there can be a short attention span here as soon as the snarling stops for a few minutes, that conversation petered (or pauled) out) - they're the 'give peace a chancers' (guys who haven't read anywhere near enough Hobbes)

Badiou blew it politically with me when he denounced Deng Xiaoping - i mean, that's like attacking Reagan or Thatcher, absolutely unforgivable leftist evil ...

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 02:09 PM



'Did we not see, when after Mao’s death he seized power in a bureaucratic coup d’État, how Deng unfurled, during the whole of the eighties and up to his death, a completely savage and completely corrupt sort of neo-capitalism, all the more illegitimate as it maintained the Party’s despotism?'

Yeah, you and badiou definitely not reading from the same prayer-book!

But suspect he's not a kumbaya either - thanks for the clarification. But surely these people died out in the '60s? Centre-left gvts are certainly not kumbayas these days - the only people who are massively anti-war these days are the neo-nazi movements in central Europe (neither USA, nor Islam).

Posted by: infinite thought at February 16, 2005 02:46 PM



infinite thought - "the only people who are massively anti-war these days are the neo-nazi movements in central Europe (neither USA, nor Islam)" - not sure if i can bring myself to believe this, but i'm gasping in awe that it is being said ...

"surely these people died out in the '60s?" - this could be taken various ways, given ANSWER and that crowd are actually NKorea-loving Stalinists its probably right that the antiwar movement is 'just on the other side' (kind of mindless right wing slogan i'm sure you've heard before, but it still seems basically correct to me - seemed (at a distance) lots of the antiwar stuff in the UK was basically jihadism (surely i'm going too far for you now, right?)) - things typically take a long time to 'die out' (MKP has this 'dying out' theme too - and i never believe him either), that's why applied violence is usually required somewhere down the line ... (not that hippies and other daft fellow-travellers bug me particularly, as long as they're too stoned to speak and don't vote)

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 03:16 PM



You've been away from Europe for too long! The neo-nazi anti-war movement is a strange consequence of various ideological strains, but it seems to be predicated on the conviction that nations need to maintain integrity in order to operate precisely as nations (exclusive borders, help their own first, ethnic/religious purity, that sort of thing). At the recent march on Dresden, German neo-nazis held up large white remembrance crosses baring the legends 'Vietnam', 'Iraq' and so on, indicating their opposition to US-UK-Europe attacks on other sovereign nations.....which put them in a bizarre position vis-a-vis the official 'anti-war' allied bombing remembrance ceremony being held at the same time.....

When I say that most are not as anti-war as this I mean that many uphold this common-sensical 'well, you know, we should invade if things are really bad' stance - Blair didn't get the chop after all, even if he is 'massively unpoopular'.

Erm, if 'applied violence is usually required somewhere down the line', and yet the anti-war movement was too Jihadic for you (despite it being in practice completely ineffectual and non-violent), surely you need to differentiate 'good violence' from 'bad violence'. I assume you're not condoning violence for its own sake....furthermore, aren't the Jihadists in many respects as Hobbsian as you are?

Posted by: infinite thought at February 16, 2005 03:38 PM



I should really proofread before I post...excuse the poor formulations, typos, etc...

Posted by: infinite thought at February 16, 2005 03:39 PM



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4261263.stm for picture of NDP and anti-war crosses

Posted by: infinite thought at February 16, 2005 04:02 PM



When freedumb is too dumb to (set) free it won’t last and probably already lost.
Freeing dust is not necessarily and best not done to cause a dust up and/or places to be dusty; fresh rockdust is the best working, in the sense of longest lasting, slowest (almost imperceptible if you don’t sharpen your taste and senses way above average) releasing substance (vitally important, substantial drug) for terresurfacialife, it’s magic, it’s the instant that takes more than an instance to get going (hide inside everything alive) we just don't have a handle on dosage yet .. or anymore if you prefer the infantilized grandeur version. http://www. uoguelph.ca/~geology/rocks_for_crops Agrominerals of sub-Saharan Africa a 2002 book one can order or download as a pdf with a breakdown by country (Ghana has 4 pages of data devoted to it for instance) --- rocks for crops p van straaten 2002 ICRAF nairobi kenya 338 pp guelph

Who says MarKeyPunkO isn’t messing with my agenda (rather than vica versa)? All that goes without saying and fear of future interference has aborted many a perfect moment already, not that most of them (momentae, minute and momentous both) ‘mind’, not free enough to change the course of free(to be)dumb.

Did he post some petrified heros/petrifyers or is my sign of some significance (too)?

For more thought on ex- vs inclusion see northanger’s post ‘decrypting poetpiet’ but skip the first few fault riddled and daft drafts

Let's have the Hobbesian ‘haves’ have at the be and have noughts.

let's organize fights where everybody wins!

Let's fight rocks, they don't fight, we can't lose and they don't either cause they don't ever even begin to fight back.

Now to nevertheless give 'm (rocks) the random chance at scoring (and us an ethic of fair fighting) we could get a quite challenging gauntlet competition with BIG prize money for the survivors.

I admit this is more challenging (not to mention costly) than drawing a comic with animated and purchaseable personifications but plastic (‘action’ ((robot pre))figures) and pulp are not nearly ever in the same sense personalizable (I mean, as assimilable) as rocks, (unless you really wanna go golemmodifying on us, .. hey .. ..clay tablets were first medicine in this kind of sense, only afterwards used to keep score* when storehouse(( and thus supply line rhizorouser and tension ))builder, wellpaid, rainbow shirt wearing, cerebropatristically disowned disowner, the elite ‘joesieve’ ((who had it so tough he though nothing of making things tougher on sleepy steady state peasant existence, was buried by brothers only to rise high and free)), arrived on the scene) best prefigured by good draughtsmen, my favorite is Maarten Toonder by the way.

*exclusive, yet (for check and controlsake) duplicated and .. .significantly .. . .sealed for a time, memory aids. As time went on these token records and receipts were exchanged (and failing to function) in varying magnitudes, cycles and directions while the stuff I am talking about is very much a tidal thing too, feverish and frantic speed of flashcapital vs the slow work of oxides on their way to reduction and refuelization via the compost. It’s you or me unless you agree to help me. Are we qlean quits now?

Posted by: piet at February 16, 2005 04:33 PM



infinite thought - "surely you need to differentiate 'good violence' from 'bad violence'" - comic obviously, but this is actually really interesting stuff (certainly from this weird neck of the woods) - guess you're astute enough to realize us libertarian types have been in a state of major delirious confusion since WWIV crossed the line (we've just been more discrete about it than the soft left). Exactly this issue and everything linked to it - how do you push for knocking out rogue fascist regimes providing future WMD for international terrorist movements without buying into big-government securocracy - produces an absolutely delicious neural schizifier. Cutting to the chase, think Steyn gets this pretty much absolutely right (government always fucks up, kill fascists whenever you can, cross cost-benefit analysis on basis of strict Hobbesian realism with just a pinch of Wolfowitzean panache, scrub out all utopianism (bye bye Badiou and co.), try to remain amused even as everything slides into hell). As for jihadis, at least they're relatively honest ...

From my PoV, antiwar movement was quite effective, putting massive brake on Anglosphere political options viz knocking out fascist regimes (e.g. common wisdom that 'of course' attacking Iran/Syria/... is out of the question given the 'quagmire' in Iraq)

This sovereign nations thing huge of course (especially here, hugely fetishized by the PRC govt) - goes back to Treaty of Westphalia (1648? - too lazy too google) and coterminous with modern international politics, so there's quite an earthquake happening (given that everyone with functioning sense organs knows unconditional state sovereignty ended with the 'Bush Doctrine')

PS. on 'fascist' my usage based on Paul Berman and Christopher Hitchens, rather than ready to hand monkey turds, but sure effect much the same

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 04:50 PM



piet - "For more thought on ex- vs inclusion see northanger’s post ‘decrypting poetpiet’ but skip the first few fault riddled and daft drafts"

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 04:54 PM



infinite thought -
PS. can't get BBC here - perhaps single greatest delight of inhabiting this country

Posted by: nick at February 16, 2005 04:55 PM



Nick – Glad my ‘innocent’ questions amuse…

I forgot about the BBC ban. You can get it in Iran – I suspect more ammunition for your hyper-con arsenal… ;)

About your ‘major delirious confusion’ regarding the violence meted out by those big-government anti-market securocracies, surely you dissemble a little. If you agree with Steyn that ‘government always fucks up’ (and I’ll take your word for it that this is his position), don’t you need to ask why and in what way? Does it fuck up by killing too many civilians in un-media-friendly ways? Does it contradict itself too many times for even the least attentive of voters to get suspicious (it’s about terrorism, bin Laden, er, oil, women’s rights, er, freedom, er, the threat to us, to others, no, it’s a point of principle, etc)?

Or don’t gvts actually operate in a more systematic way than this – attempting to remain in power, protecting the interests of those it financially best serves whilst trying not to invoke too much consistent rage in its electorate…… You know as well as I do that if the US + co. want to attack Iran etc. they’ll do it regardless of a bunch of whining civilians, which is why I don’t think the anti-war movement has nearly as much effect on policy as you do. I suspect libertarians play up the impact of these stances in order to feel ‘justified’ when occupations ‘succeed’.

The only considerations invading gvts have are practical (enough troops, enemy power…only in very limited terms is it anything to do with PR).

I think you have to come clean about your investment in superpower – if you really believe that the American gvt is on its way to some sort of anti-Marxist, pro-market, libertarian, withering away of the state then I suspect you run the risk of being consigned to the utopian dustbin along with Badiou (as you see it – I think it’s structurally impossible for Badiou to be utopian cos he has no real conception of history, by that’s by the by). If you don’t then you should abhor the rather old-fashioned empire-creating of an aging behemoth like the US.

Furthermore, at the risk of sounding like a fucking liberal (I suspect it’s much too late), can you really not see any role for a MAD-type scenario, or for allowing countries to have heavily-regulated nuclear industry but no weapons? Can’t markets sort it out, or are there really naturally ‘bad guys’ and ‘good guys’ out there that must fight to the death in some kind of end-times scenario?

I suppose it comes down to yet another naïve question: does pro-market liberal capitalism need war? If it’s so obviously the future, why can’t everyone see it?

Posted by: infinite thought at February 16, 2005 05:41 PM



Tickled to see that Deng Xiaoping's hypertrophic bureaucratization of China under authoritarian state capitalism can be so happily brought under the banner of laissez faire (skating gingerly over the facts of Tienanmen square, the work camps, the executions), that the touching, if a little repetitive, preoccupation with new and inhuman intensities can find a cozy home under the impeccable OFSTED heading of diversity, that Taoists can hold hands with Deleuzians in a festival of repressive desublimation and pagan inaction...

But really, Nick, either (1) your love of Das Deng is founded on a somewhat belaboured subpolitics of acceleration (in which case, Junger is far more tonic company), a kind of communist manifesto without the communism, suggesting you quickly drop the cynical disquisitions on freedom and diversity or (2) all this Techno-Sinophilia amounts to (2a) Hegel in China = a philosophy of history that has finally shed its fantasies of the yellow peril and the AMP (Asiatic Mode of Production) and embraced world systems theory (Wallerstein et al have been preaching the great shift for some time now, and The Economist is grudglingly tuning in); (2b) Hayek on MDMA, or how to get the listless youth to cheer on structural adjustment; (2c) a gross misrepresentation of contemporary capitalism and its effects on the Chinese peasantry, urban proletariat and environment (many continuities there between the worst of Mao, Deng and today's PRC).

Since hyperstition, I gather, is not a mere apologia for wanton incoherence, and I suspect that your newfound concern for (but surely not belief in!) freedom and diversity is pretty epidermal, why not sing the praises of intensive acceleration and have done with these inept forays into liberal morality and political science?

Might it be because if we're playing qualia the jihadis and red guards are sure to beat the cosmopolitan petty-bourgeoisie any day, hands down? No pagan supplement d'ame is going to change the basic (alas, Lacanian) equation: 'no authority = little intensity".

Posted by: savonarola at February 16, 2005 06:38 PM



infinite thought - "I think you have to come clean about your investment in superpower" - the 'coming clean' rhetoric definitely sounds 'fucking liberal' [in US sense] ;) (you surely can't be claiming i'm dissembling in order not to offend!)
anti-utopians don't invest in anything except least worst alternatives - thing about the US, rest of the world is a reeking slum when it comes to geopolitical principles (PRC's buddies for instance, NKorea, Myanmar, Pakistan ...), so US (+ Australia) just has 'to do', because in the real world you can't denounce something without supporting something else. [Of course Bush is a bible punching soc.ialist, but then there's John Frickin Kerry and the dilemma is immediately over]. When China or India start behaving responsibly in the international arena or the minarchist colony on Mars revolts against excessive govt, I'll switch my allegience to them ...

non-State actors and psycho rogue states (trust Kim Jong Il anyone?) make MAD absolutely impossible except for dupes

"does pro-market liberal capitalism need war?" - wrong question IMHO, rather: does liberal capitalism always find itself immersed in wars (background Hobbesian hubbub) that force it to behave in a far more Hobbesian (fangy) fashion than its internal principles (civilized economic transaction between rational agents) adequately prescribe? - A. Yes, or at least, assuming the opposite is irresponsible naivety.

Savonarola - think all your questions entirely pertinent, although attempts to multi-choice my possible responses rather absurd. Trying to evalute the current PRC regime without reference to its history is another utopian error IMHO, 'progress/regress' are the basis of realistic judgement not conformity to some free-floating model of perfection. In this respect DXP probably counts as the single greatest leader in world history, whose Tiananmen screw-up looks fairly minor compared to the 30 million deaths of the Great Leap Forward and the hundreds of millions lifted out of crushing soc.ialist poverty after the 1979 turn around. Still, your "intensive acceleration" point is fair enough, it just so happens that there's a perfect conformity between economic freedom and 'growth' (intensive acceleration) - so i feel entitled to wear my teddy-bear ears liberal humanist hat every now and again because otherwise the only person i can talk to is Vauung ... (even if moral discourse is sheer bullshit, it's still a mode of diverting interaction) - also agree the Lacan equation interesting, but too dogmatically transcendental for my tastes.
"Wanton incoherence" - at least

Posted by: nick at February 17, 2005 12:40 AM



infinite thought, savonarola - [squirming maundering infant in my lap compromising my response to your fantastically interesting comments - will attempt more appropriate response after shortish intermission]

Posted by: nick at February 17, 2005 01:25 AM



look forward - bedtime here, unfotunately, but back soon...

Posted by: infinite thought at February 17, 2005 01:58 AM



infinite thought -
"big-government anti-market securocracies" - this seems rather quick, or at least, the three terms need de-synthesizing at least momentarily. Security issue in all itys dimensions hugely interesting IMHO (planning a post on it, so won't address it much right now). 'Big-government' meaning wars cost money? But US military budget is tiny (3.5% GDP) so big-govt politics far more a welfare state problem (i.e. a European one most prominently). 'Anti-market' also relatively intricate topic, probably better to kick it down the thread, except to note that relation of markets to security is not one of simple opposition.

On ‘government fuck up’ Steyn did a fabulous column on the flight 93 event and spontaneous swarming vs bureaucratic 'defences' (apologies for lack of link, it was months ago). Clearly the military, for instance, is an inefficient bureaucracy, paying ridiculous prices for all its equipment and employing legions of useless pen pushers - intense competition on the battlefield probably means it is a little less sclerotic than comparable civilian institutions, but only to a very limited degree. America's best 'homeland security policy' is the 2nd amendment and an armed citizenry. Your list of 'fuck ups' is not unreasonable, but i'm basically focused on economics and efficiency (US$ per dead terrorist and reliability of interception). Think contracting out violence to taut private sector operators will happen increasingly, but it won't be quick and it raises scores of interesting conundrums. In brief, libertarians get 'Hobbesianized' when they just sigh and pay out for the government to blunder around inefficiently and bomb people with golden toilet seats etc. It's the tax paid for living in a planet-sized lunatic asylum.

Find your discussion of government motivations a bit leftist in slant, sure their are corrupt corporate pork hunters of various kinds, but there's plenty of empirical evidence that the biggest corrupting constituencies are public sector employees of State bureaucracies and nationalized industries. The 'right' tries (should try) to be realistic about narrow motivations and control them through checks and balances, markets where possible, otherwise through consumer controlled bureaucratic systems (voucher schemes) or disintegrated authorities. Politicians seek power, pretty much everyone seeks money, activists seek radical chic (+ getting laid), State employees want to keep their jobs without doing any work, etc etc ... really don't buy Chomsky-style monolithic corporate power as THE decisive factor. Quite open to possibility of emergent purposiveness in institutions ('Governments want ...') but reluctant to accept it as a self-evident dogmatic truth.

"You know as well as I do that if the US + co. want to attack Iran etc. they’ll do it regardless of a bunch of whining civilians" - this way to fast - what is "US + co."? What is 'to want' (sure 'they' 'want' it already, but enough to create an international political shit-storm? maybe ... Whining civilians are voters, and even whining foreign civilians can be a major pain in the ass in various ways (funding or becoming terrorists for instance, or voting out friendly governments). US govt bureaucracies have massively fragmented agendas (CIA and State Department basically siding with the Euroweenies during previous admin. for instance, though Bush seems determined to clean them up now)

"if you really believe that the American gvt is on its way to some sort of anti-Marxist, pro-market, libertarian, withering away of the state ..." relax, definitely don't think anything like this. What is American capitalism doing? that seems to me more the issue. Is it gaining a tighter grip on the State, overcoming the political influence of New Deal populism and trending towards a more dynamic business climate? Some 'positive' signs IMHO (tax cuts, social security privatization ...) other deeply troubling ones (medical porkeroo, corporate welfare, wobbliness on international trade ...). Since in my 'right-wing marxist' analysis economic growth just IS social change in every respect that matters, cranking up GDP is the sole index of real importance (conditioning all the rest). Obviously want maniac supply-siders running policy as far as politically feasible.

"I think it’s structurally impossible for Badiou to be utopian cos he has no real conception of history" - hope this topic will come back - strongly disagree, after reading his political writings, which seem drenched in utopianism (i.e. claim we should demand big dreamy things from 'society').
"you should abhor the rather old-fashioned empire-creating of an aging behemoth like the US" - US is 'Hegemonic' not Imperial (alternative is ANARCHY = FASCISM). For anyone with minimal Hobbesian assumptions ('there's a lot of crazy bastards out there who want to kill us') it's hard to know what 'abhorring' US role in global (OK, planetary capitalist) security really leads to.

"can you really not see any role for a MAD-type scenario, or for allowing countries to have heavily-regulated nuclear industry but no weapons?" - MAD is off the table. The only reason these guys want nuke programmes is for bombs (like Iran needs civilian nuclear power? - time to get off the bong)

"Can’t markets sort it out?" - Markets presuppose economic motivation, where this is overridden - by jihadi enthusiasm or soc.ialist dictatorship for instance - they can't control the phenomenon

"are there really naturally ‘bad guys’ and ‘good guys’ out there that must fight to the death ...?" - guessing you don't have problems with West having slaughtered German Nazis or Japanese fascists, so it's just a matter of categorization. How comparable are hard-core Salafists to Nazis? - I'm with Berman and Hitchens (very comparable)

"... in some kind of end-times scenario?" - this is too big and tied up with other hyperstitional questions to rush a response here.

"If [pro-market liberal capitalism] is so obviously the future, why can’t everyone see it?" - Is it more weird that humans have been biologically constructed to tolerate history or to resist it? IMHO we're a spatchcock engineered conservative species frightened of change, but also curious and experimental enough for runaway social dynamics to hook us into one-way (historical) processes. Capitalism exploits our conservatism (search for personal/family economic security) and alchemizes it into revolution (K+ techonomic mutation). This dynamic goes way back before modernity - after all, people have always sought to use technology to resist change and stabilize their environment, with the side-effect that the species is plunged into history ...
More generally, this q. (of yours) fascinated all the Austrians (think savonarola refers implicitly to it above)

Posted by: nick at February 17, 2005 06:01 AM



PS. apologies for typos, errors and weird glitches

Posted by: nick at February 17, 2005 06:03 AM



savonarola -
"Tickled to see that Deng Xiaoping's hypertrophic bureaucratization of China under authoritarian state capitalism can be so happily brought under the banner of laissez faire" - but DXP didn't bureaucratize, he began a process of massive de-bureaucratization (of course, there's a long way to go). The mainland Chinese economy is a fascinating beast, combining extremely heterogeneous elements (hope to get into the topic in detail later). One thing for sure, it is being prfoundly privatized, from being among the most totalitarian in the world to one that now nurtures an entrepreneurial non-State sector growing at dizzying speed.

"(skating gingerly over the facts of Tienanmen square, the work camps, the executions)" - lots of rough shit going down, sure

"that the touching ... pagan inaction" - found this paragraph hard to decode

"your love of Das Deng is founded on a somewhat belaboured subpolitics of acceleration (in which case, Junger is far more tonic company)" - but Junger was crap at economics

"a kind of communist manifesto without the communism, suggesting you quickly drop the cynical disquisitions on freedom and diversity" - capitalism liberates the means of production, hence freedom and diversity

"or (2) all this Techno-Sinophilia amounts to (2a) Hegel in China = a philosophy of history that has finally shed its fantasies of the yellow peril and the AMP (Asiatic Mode of Production) and embraced world systems theory (Wallerstein et al have been preaching the great shift for some time now, and The Economist is grudglingly tuning in)" - but Wallerstein et al are crap at economics, for instance, they have no understanding of market dynamics and expected Germany+Japan to overtake the US by end 20th C. If all you mean is that East Asia is the hub of planetary economic dynamism, definitely agree (though US proves very adaptive when subjected to fierce competitive pressure, maybe benefiting more from Japanese economic miracle than Japan itself). (Old) Europe is screwed.

"(2b) Hayek on MDMA, or how to get the listless youth to cheer on structural adjustment" - sounds great, but not exactly getting the 'how' (great despondency of my existence is that antimarket nannified ideas always far sexier to young troublemakers than promotion of raw liberty)

"(2c) a gross misrepresentation of contemporary capitalism and its effects on the Chinese peasantry, urban proletariat and environment (many continuities there between the worst of Mao, Deng and today's PRC)." - this requires more detailed discussion than i imagine would be tolerable here right now. Deng's reforms began in the countryside, with peasants thoroughly pissed at collectivist experiments eagerly seizing opportunity to push the 'family responsibility system' of grassroots productive independence + huge leap in agricultural incomes. Peasant incomes have since stagnated for intractable economic reasons (because aggregate agricultural income largely equivalent to social food budget, it's difficult to lift overall living standards in peasant-dominated societies - as the proportion of income dedicated to subsistence falls, so does the fraction of gross social output availabale to farmers - mass urbanization (at least 500,000,000 people) the only practical solution in the medium term).
Urban proletariat doing OK unless working for clapped out State industries - as indicated by human flood of migrant workers into cities. Voting by foot by far most reliable gauge of what's going on anywhere btw.
Environment issues always overblown, prosperity sorts this stuff out - concentrate on GDP growth

"I suspect that your newfound concern for (but surely not belief in!) freedom and diversity is pretty epidermal ..." - Why 'newfound'? Always took D&G to be promoting freedom and diversity. Maybe i'm just using more colloquial language these days.
Not sure what a 'belief' would be in this case, nor am i pretending to have 'transcended' belief (unbelief is a limit).
Skintelligenic take on 'epidermal' will have to wait.

"why not sing the praises of intensive acceleration and have done with these inept forays into liberal morality and political science?" - but it's the same phenomenon, merely in different registers. The culture of democracy means everyone has to articulate 'political science' questions to some extent, even if they don't vote.

"Might it be because if we're playing qualia the jihadis and red guards are sure to beat the cosmopolitan petty-bourgeoisie any day, hands down? No pagan supplement d'ame is going to change the basic (alas, Lacanian) equation: 'no authority = little intensity'." - absolutely love this - truly brilliant and worthy of far more extended examination than it will receive just now.
1) Commercial republics have actually shown themselves historically to be quite stubbornly competent at fighting and winning wars once fired-up to do so - plenty of interesting ref's here, VDHanson's 'Carnage and Culture' is one excellent signpost
2) the Lacan equation is simultaneously intriguing and repellent ('nun-raping' ideology in the end) - once you buy into it all kinds of foucauldean sadomasochistic political perversions start to make sense. Ultimately, i just don't accept that a big dead daddy is necessary for a serotonin spike. Seems to me the most intense cities in the world are the most thoroughly liberalized from the grassroots (= economically), with the oceanic intensities of decoded consumerism plateauing far better than hysterical jolts of totalitarian fanaticism

Posted by: nick at February 17, 2005 08:19 AM



“The replacement of the Republican and Democratic Parties by two new governmental servicing corporations run by Coke and Pepsi has massively reduced corruption, pork-barelling and foreign policy machismo.”

-- Meat (or How to Kill Oedipus in Cyberspace), p. 200.

Posted by: The Ghost of Easter Past at February 17, 2005 11:51 AM



The Ghost of Easter Past - any hint of a schedule?

Posted by: nick at February 17, 2005 12:30 PM



Well it says here, “A laundered Michael Jackson facsimile is in the Whitehouse”, so I assume you were just making it all up in your head.

Posted by: The Ghost of Easter Past at February 17, 2005 12:46 PM



> you surely can't be claiming i'm dissembling in order not to offend!)
> surely i'm going too far for you now, right?))

nick, isn't it time to drop this pathetic desperation to shock us all with your 'extreme' views, the marilyn manson act won't wash - no-one's shocked by you, least of all when you're toeing the whitehouse PR line...

Posted by: The Ghost of Black Eyeliner Past at February 17, 2005 03:04 PM



By far the most interesting thread I have seen for a while, though I have been absent from the blog for some time.

Trying to plug into your currents for a sec Nick - seems you maintain that China is still not a responsible player on the world stage, and your strongest political support is for the US since it is the least undesirable alternative power to side with for the slide into WWIV. Yet you almost glorify the direction China is heading (since Deng 1979) - isn't this precisely for the reason that you support the US: economic freedom and prosperity?

China is not at all the best place to do business as you may suspect (have you ever done business in China, or worked in a commercial environment?); the commercial sector is rife with corruption, a lack of creativity and innovation, and state involvement. There is a long long way to go before China as a whole (not just counting SEZs) becomes an economic superpower.

Posted by: Tachi at February 17, 2005 04:44 PM



Tachi - all your comments on China plausible at least, but the vector is breathtakingly positive ('+' in a cybernetic sense if the value judgement seems questionable).
When it comes to the cultural infrastructure of affect, directions (+ of course speeds) matter far more than absolute values. Hence East Asia is buzzing and optimistic, while (much richer but) decaying Europe is drowning in its own ressentimental bitterness and despair.

"isn't this precisely for the reason that you support the US" - I'm not really in a position to support anything, and while I'm certainly tactically aligned with what infinite thought calls US 'superpower' (given the alternative is ANARCHY = FASCISM made grotesque by the impotent moral pontifications of cowards, hypocrites and heads-in-the-sanders) think facts, scenarios and models make better discussion material than allegiences

Posted by: nick at February 17, 2005 11:57 PM



Grumpy Ghost - you really think Marilyn Manson is more shocking than the Bush administration? That's certainly a minority view worldwide ...

Posted by: nick at February 18, 2005 12:27 AM



isn't KP post just the best ever? the most wonderful load of nonsense...!

Posted by: willow at February 18, 2005 12:59 AM



Willow- "isn't KP post just the best ever? the most wonderful load of nonsense...!"

If you mean the recent post at KP, you are dead right.

KP: "the Prince Charming of Cold Rationalism"

Is there anything more pathetic, farcical or immature?

Posted by: Euclid at February 18, 2005 03:19 AM



>>> isn't KP post just the best ever? the most wonderful load of nonsense...!

It certainly is. In fact it’s so good I think it deserves to be posted here too. Here are some of the highlights once again:

>>> No, I am not tolerant. No, I do not want to 'debate' or 'enter into dialogue with you. No, I don't respect you, nor do I solicit such respect for myself from you. The defenders of tolerance, debate, dialogue and respect advertise their bourgeois credentials with such advocacy. I'm sorry, apolologists for exploitation of labour, but, no, I don't see it as my duty to provide the enemy with a space to express itself.

So, yes, hold on tight and spit on me, I am a dogmatist. But what does being a dogmatist entail? Briefly, it involves commitment to the view that there are Truths. One can add to this, the view that there is a Good.

It's no accident that, since Kant, rationalism has been held to be synonymous with dogmatism. Post-Kant, we have grown accustomed to the view that critique rather than dogma is the only acceptable ethical and philosophical position, so that 'rational dogmatism' sounds like the worst imaginable insult.

But where does this attack come from? Fundamentally, four interrelated positions: authoritarianism, mysticism, egotism and relativism. Far from being equivalent to authoritarianism, as the postmodern liberal doxa would have it, dogmatism is only effective alternative to authoritarianism.

Dogmatism is religion in the best sense. It is only through dogmatism - ruthless subordination of your Self to an impersonal system - that his majesty the Ego can be crushed. This has been the appeal of nontheistic religion throughout the ages.

Posted by: Bloot at February 18, 2005 03:26 AM



Well that’s certainly roused me from my critical slumber! LOL

"Our age is the age of dogmatism, and to dogma everything must submit."

"The motto of the Enlightenment is therefore: submit yourself to an impersonal system!”


Faced with this, is there ANY intelligent person who wouldn't immediately rush to align themselves with Russell's definition of "the liberal outlook"?

>>>> The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology.

Posted by: Bloot at February 18, 2005 03:37 AM



Hmm, back again I'm afraid -- can't sleep (despite MKP's not-terribly-subtle attempt to lull me into an infantile dogmatic slumber! LOL)

Just wanted to pose a quick question to Mark: since the title of your latest 'k-punk' post is 'We Dogmatists', I'm curious to know: who exactly is this 'we' supposed to refer to? Could you please ONE SINGLE PERSON who agrees with the above views? (Since you're all about 'collectives', that shouldn't be too hard now, should it?)

On other thing: when putting across your ... ahem ... how to put it? ... [delete, delete: self-censorship in operation here] ... opinions, I really think you owe it to those of your friends who have been working assiduously over the years to translate and present Badiou's ideas to the English-speaking world in the rigorous and sophisticated form that they both demand and deserve, that you make it absolutely clear that the views you espouse are NOT shared by Alain Badiou. If you must persist in the narcissistic vainglory of self-publishing your imbecilic soliloquies and moronic monologues [hmm, delete button doesn't appear to be working!] on the net where anyone who happens to do a Google search for 'Badiou' might well be directed to your site, I really think you ought to be very careful to clearly dissociate your own hastily conceived opinions and beliefs from the rigorously reasoned arguments of serious philosophers. Forty years after his initial reception in the English-speaking world and Derrida is still widely regarded as a sophistical charlatan (an insult that he was not even spared in the obituaries which appeared after his death) due to the inept misappropriation and zealous misrepresentation of his ideas by people who had no business reading him in the first place. Should you continue to act as Badiou's self-appointed publicist and vulgarizer, then I'm afraid that his work is destined to get the same kind of reception as 'Cold Rationalism' has so far received in the confines of the blogosphere (i.e. it will simply be ridiculed and scorned), thus seriously hindering the considerable ongoing efforts of those who have the patience and critical forebearance to actually undergo the incredibly difficult and painstaking task of first coming to a rigorous, sophisticated and hard-won understanding of Badiou's very complex texts and arguments before venturing to publish anything on them. If you find nothing more in Badiou's texts than the latest radical-sounding rhetorical ornamentation with which to redecorate the walls of your autocratic little self-publicizing blog, then I really think you ought to leave it alone altogether and stick to areas that don't exceed your rather modest intellectual competence: e.g. music reviews and cultural studies. (And by the way, the same goes for the likes of Kant, Hegel and Husserl, who you have clearly understand nothing of either. If you're not prepared to actually *read* those you criticize, I really think you ought to curb your voluble trap.)

Posted by: Bloot at February 18, 2005 05:43 AM



"dogmatism is only effective alternative to authoritarianism" - discuss

Posted by: nick at February 18, 2005 05:54 AM



Bloot - chill ;)
"Well that certainly roused me from my critical slumber!" - as you say, LOL

Posted by: nick at February 18, 2005 05:56 AM



After investigating the inherent CHEMICAL ELEMENT at the heart of this group it was discovered, utilizing the IC/DC CSAIL METHOD, this group exhibits extremely STRONG SIGNAL of CLUSTER-TYPE: ONE BIG RHIZOME. Mostly distributed throughout UNITED KINGDOM. REGIME OF SIGNS indicate following characteristics: clear MANIFESTATION of REASON AND LOGIC, GENIO HUIS LOCI(*) and a AEONIC CURRENT that can, at best, be described as LEMURODIGITAL. Evidence of widespread belief in THE HOLY BOOKS of THE ONE IN THREE concerning THE(impending)APOCALYPSE. Group appears to be diametrically & quite vociferously opposed to the VIRGO LUCIFERA groups seeking ENLIGHTENMENT via ORGASMIC BLISS (aka, one-hand-grasping gematria system).

(*) we remain clueless as to what this means exactly.

should you have more inquiries about this research (or, you know more about GENIO HUIS LOCI than we do), please contact CLYTEMNESTRA NYARLATHOTEP, ADEPTUS MINOR.

Posted by: clytemnestra at February 18, 2005 07:01 AM




Feeling electrical floods of pleasure engulfing me.

>>> clytemnestra@nyarlathotep.ck

Nyarlathotep, indeed!

Posted by: R at February 18, 2005 07:24 AM



Nick - "I'm not really in a position to support anything, and while I'm certainly tactically aligned with what infinite thought calls US 'superpower' (given the alternative is ANARCHY = FASCISM made grotesque by the impotent moral pontifications of cowards, hypocrites and heads-in-the-sanders) think facts, scenarios and models make better discussion material than allegiences"

Interesting point. Agree to the general tone - contra-moral impotency - but have to split hairs somewhat. I don't want to pursue a personal agenda, but obv. cant deny interest in your particular (and personal) angle.

However, the issue I see concerns more generally what being 'tactically aligned to' amounts to, and how this differs from 'moral pontification'. This is an issue, I think, since it affects all Hyperstitionists who are engaged in praxis: there are value judgements all of us make when enacting decisions and in engaging with the forces cutting through us.

Whilst moralising without an appreciation of base global dynamics (for example about privatization of public services, the collapse of the welfare state) reflects unthinking resistance to change, self-deception and pathetic anthropomorphism - deploring humanity, because in general the species digs its hooves into a specific niche in a changing cosmic fabric, does not deliver a moral high-ground based on a superior intellectual 'position'.

It in fact contributes very little to questions of praxis, which are, IMHO, far more important than intellectualising about events in which we play no part. I am not saying that this is what anyone in particular is doing, though I see strains of this many threads here. Your contribution Nick is stimulating and, dare I say it, 'heartfelt' (i.e. total).

'Facts, scenarios and models' - important for discussion, I agree. More so than our own 'allegiances', though allegiances - or better, alliances, pacts - good stuff for discussion when considering the changing relationships of the key players on the global stage - government, big business, etc.

Uncovering facts (or uprooting lies), conceptualising scenarios, and developing models amount to nothing without full engagement to actual lines of praxis. Internet discussion room activity is painfully locked into a very tight orbit. What could the most effective lines be?

Moralising is indeed indifferent to the subtle and complex processes which shape and are shaping our world. But there are still questions of value attached to the development of models and tactical choices we make. And tactics is all about engagement, and this involves alliances and allegiances, however fluid.

Posted by: Tachi at February 18, 2005 11:38 AM



Nick, one other thing - interested in you either/or point of view:

US 'superpower'
ANARCHY = FASCISM made grotesque by the impotent moral pontifications of cowards, hypocrites and heads-in-the-sanders

Strikes me as somewhat naive coming from you that there are two alternatives. Especially when you claim that you are not in a position to 'support' (though you allow yourself tactical alignment.)

In fact, what differentiates support from alignment?

Posted by: Tachi at February 18, 2005 11:43 AM



nick - maybe this praxis issue is where some of us non-hyperstitional players need to leave the field, what say you? i'm not a major player here, and it's at this point i ask myself why i'm here and what you and reza are up to. well, mostly i just wonder what vauung is up to really ... but you get the idea.

Posted by: northanger at February 18, 2005 11:49 AM



Tachi - brief response for now (more later): really think heartfelt moral-political polemic (a zillion mea culpas obviously) extremely sub-hyperstitional and while very enjoyable (for me, anyway) shouldn't be allowed to wreck the multitracked highly diverse and experimental undertakings that this blog is really based on

nothanger - think your comment slightly perverse, this is among the very LEAST hyperstitional of discussions happening here (a holiday from the rigours of impersonality, mutant masks and experimentation) so definitely not a sufficient excuse to bail ...

Posted by: nick at February 18, 2005 02:44 PM



PS. apologies for tone of 'pathetic desperation' but qabbalists are thin on the ground, so if you're fleeing try to send us a replacement (ha!)

Posted by: nick at February 18, 2005 02:50 PM



nick - "this is among the very LEAST hyperstitional of discussions" - and certainly the post that veered the most off-topic! it had such potential :( would be nice to blend in this crop circle bizness (come to think of it, should check two asteroids with this: ANGEL & SERAPHINA and see whether there's any mention of angels in the g-mg corpus)


Posted by: northanger at February 18, 2005 03:17 PM



nick - "replacement" - will the antichrist do?

Posted by: northanger at February 18, 2005 03:24 PM



 http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/10257.html Prof Luker, responsible for a great little linkfilled overview http://hnn.us/articles/10157.html of the left's take on (and ((Burke's*)) part in) Ward's predicament (all the way from academic to trollish ones) has in this (first mentioned/linked) item taken aim at a supremacist citing Blog and Mablog www.dougwils.com/Print.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=779 a godmatchic covenant obsessing idaho outfit where the man gets a friendly nod -- *Burke's PostfirestormScript (feb 8): swarthmore.edu/SocSci/tburke1/perma20805.html 

Posted by: piet at February 18, 2005 09:37 PM



Tachi: "Internet discussion room activity is painfully locked into a very tight orbit."

You ever tried crawling into a rock? Go get your ass within earshot of a jawcrusher and use your imagination for the rest of the way, then go to a neglected corner of the gravels grits and such assorted grades a few days after a good rain and some good sun, then look for a puddle and don't come back to tell me you missed witnessing yet another first day of terrestrial creation in action,

The lockeduptightness on such (pregrind) hard knockschoolgrounds won't receive any organicalizing help from minds suffering that state but the vision must always gaze to its lowly counterpart in order to circleclosing open spiral .. so . .I agree with you halfway already

unless you insist on failing to make the connection, (I am rethinking my disagreement with jesus and bush here ((if yar not for me you are against me)) it's just the solutions of them ((merely attributed to the former but very much in evidence from the latter)) that I am completely opposed to ((laughter instead of slaughter; take the s the skin the snake the kin and use that hardware to tie the marriage knot between heaven and earth)); there is only one set of ideal action ((so restricted in fact it may seem dangerously close to dogma but consequence of deviation is correspondingly severy)) but seeing they apply just about anywhere compostable material accumulates or can be schlepped to compensates that rigidity royally, the path may be narrow and barely recognizable most times at first but the means to and indeed ends, the oldest ambition, ideal and profession, to be a responsible gardener, are myriad) .. unless you fail to lay the link and pointing to this o so simple solution

Venus don't smile on everyone I know (god knows we breed our kind with a great paucity of smiles, leadership of the kind I desire as much as I am unwilling to take it upon me) but without the earthy anchorment of concepts we just inflame and fly off the handle, starving in a sea filled with flickering lights, without dogspelling the faunspill we free nothing, we water down, what i call water down, dilute, nay homeopathize, pollute and poison all potential for PRaxis

Let me start over before I give the impression to deride and antagonize . . .I can use all help, including bureaucratizers (hell I am one of those fiends myself) .. . no forget that too, lemme try once more. . .

Have you ever been to my site, if not, look around and tell me if you find a lock . .. yourself in shock more likely, .. .there is less flow, graduation, mental gap filling and knot easing than I would like but perhaps I'll still learn a trick or two.

Posted by: piet at February 18, 2005 10:24 PM



HEEEYYYYY, let's have a drumroll .. . .

things are gonna be great to follow ova hea:

Re: [PEN-L] Thomas Brown and the bastard Piscataways
Louis Proyect
Fri, 18 Feb 2005 10:25:34 -0800

Thomas Brown wrote:
Are you inviting me to join your list for
a discussion? If not, please don't
send me any more of these.
yrs, t
Look, Thomas, I cc you when I write an attack because I see it as a
courtesy, even though you surely don't like what you hear. I only found out
by accident that Ralph Luker was calling me a "troll" on Cliopatria. When I
am being attacked on the Internet, I want to be able to defend myself.
Obviously, you can join Marxmail to answer me, but that might be like
jumping from the frying pan (lbo-talk) into the fire. As they say on
Christian talk radio, the choice is yours.


Posted by: piet at February 18, 2005 10:51 PM



Tachi - "Internet discussion room activity is painfully locked into a very tight orbit." - what internet discussion room? please describe tight orbit.


Posted by: northanger at February 18, 2005 11:01 PM



Hey Mark, what's for dinner man, anything on the AG enda I mean ME nu? Here's a whistle wetter for ya:
Is there a rational position on this issue other than the trite anti-war
I do not think so, but then again, humans are not rational (at
least not fully) and the only rational thing is to accept that.



Posted by: piet at February 18, 2005 11:09 PM



crikey! nothing against mark k-p, but i just realized something. last k-p post had me chained in the basement for weeks. so, thinking ahead, desiring self-preservation, i think it best that i cease posting in this "room" (and escape while i can!). lol.

Posted by: northanger at February 18, 2005 11:15 PM



wow, didn't realize I was being that generous, around the 17th post of that thread someone posts the whole goddamn OED entry for rational in three parts and gets scolded by the mememommy .. . ready for the best part???????

Drumroll again. .. . . ..

or better yet lets dispense with the hollow shit and haul up off below the heavey heavy stuff .. .. dead weight in motion bangkrrrrdebunkbankbank


By the way, I half heard an academic on dutch radio last weekend say there are stories about Dresden being filled with folks from quite far away even at the time (100.000), any refs??????

Posted by: piet at February 18, 2005 11:24 PM



this thread has it all - (melo)drama, action, tears, plot-twists, now with the bloot battlescenes fading from memory piet arrives to clear up any accumulated confusion and northanger movingly confesses that k-p chained her up in a basement - definitely claiming first round hawking the hollywood rights ...

Posted by: nick at February 19, 2005 12:13 AM



Piet - are you saying that going to your site is like crawling into a rock? I would at least have added a drum roll upon entry into the site, perhaps with horn section.

Posted by: Tachi at February 19, 2005 06:03 AM



Tachi - your comment above (which i promised to get back to) seems to be centred on this key proposition: "questions of praxis ... are ... far more important than intellectualising about events in which we play no part"

totally agree.
Ideally 'pontification' (mea culpa x n) would be relegated to a carrier function, where it could be pursued far more vigorously and constructively.
Think part of the concrete method issue is sheer anthropology - Steven Pinker (in his IMHO brilliant 'The Blank Slate') suggests moral pontification is a natural human propensity, along with the associated tendencies to partisan organization (psychological test subjects divided into groups by coin-tossing quickly began to develop strong partisan loyalty to their 'tribe,' attributing all kinds of superior moral virues to it (over against 'the abominable tails' - i extrapolate)). Point is, we can either tolerate a degree of this human nonsense or try to stamp it out. Seems to me, best policy is tolerance without letting it get in the way of more important work.
Another (sort of related) question is whether a productive hyperstitional analysis of 'capitalism' can be launched here, locking onto topics with high Hyp. affinity, e.g. money, social science fiction, cyberspace, transhumanism, artificialization, pulp markets, telecommunism (or whatever other genuinely mutant strains of marxism) ... there are a huge number, but partisan cat-fighting and blind heel-digging tends to obstruct their rigorous elaboration - i'm agnostic about the prospects here, but some good carriers would probably help a lot ('good' in this context designating optimum blend of rigour, extremism, contagion and comic absurdity)

Posted by: nick at February 19, 2005 08:39 AM



Nick, thanks for your response; if I am not contributing directly to Hyperstition with this questions and comments then please understand that this is because I am still undergoing a kind of induction.

Please see my comments in the Hyperstitional Method II thread - better there I think.

Posted by: Tachi at February 20, 2005 02:46 AM



Tachi - definitely 'contributing directly to hyperstition' - focused q.s highly welcome at this (and i hope at every later) stage

Posted by: nick at February 20, 2005 06:42 AM



>Grumpy Ghost - you really think Marilyn Manson is
>more shocking than the Bush administration? That's
>certainly a minority view worldwide ..

also master of the evasion. My point was, obviously, that neither MM nor Bush nor your good self were shocking. Not that I necessarily disagree with you, but the 'I'm being naughty, aren't I?' lines come across as a tad needy ;)

Posted by: Ghost of Trakl Interpretations Past at February 20, 2005 10:25 AM



Ghost: what's the *need* for being shocking?

Posted by: Tachi at February 20, 2005 10:38 AM



Grumpy Ghost - think you fundamentally misread the exchange you're obsessing on (go back and check if it's so important to you).
Don't see any 'shock tactics' happening here from any quarters

Posted by: nick at February 20, 2005 01:05 PM



>Ghost: what's the *need* for being shocking?
why ask me?
just forget it...after all, it was in no sense 'me' who said it, anyway.

Posted by: ghost at February 20, 2005 05:07 PM



Some insightful Bible students noticed, the proof lies in the obvious identity that exists between Daniel's "the king of the north" in the last days and Ezekiel's "Gog" of the latter days. By comparing what is said about each of them in the two prophecies, it is manifest that they can only be different titles for the same being.

Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39 = Daniel 11:45

1. Their geographical position is the same. "Gog's" country is in the north part in relation to the Holy Land; as it is written, "Thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts". "Gog" is therefore "the king of the north", his place or country being there.
2. Both of them are adversaries of Israel and invaders of the Holy Land. The eleventh chapter of Daniel abundantly proves this in relation to "the king of the north"; and of "Gog", Yahoueh said: "Thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land".
3. The time they invade the land is the same. "The king of the north" invades in the last days. Of "Gog" it is said: "It shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land".
4. The same peoples are named as components of their armies. The Libyans and Ethiopians are allies with "the king of the north"; and in the enumeration of Gog's forces, it says, "Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them".

Who is "Gog"? Which land is the land of "Magog"?
Some people think that "Gog" is the Devil. But does the context support this idea?
Ezekiel wrote that after "Gog's" last attack he will fall and then be buried by the people. (Ez.39:4,11) So there is no need to prove that "Gog" represents the Devil as we know that the devil does not have a body of flesh and bone and has no need for a grave. Thus, in actuality, whom does "Gog" symbolize?

"Gog" is the chief prince of Meschech and Tubal.
"Meshech, the sixth son of Japheth (Genesis 10:2) is the founder of a tribe (1 Chronicles 1:5; Ezekiel 27:13; 38:2,3). They were in all probability the Moschi people, inhabiting the Moschian Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Psalms 120:5 the name occurs simply as a synonym for foreigners or barbarians. "During the ascendency of the Babylonians and Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs and gave this name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they are still generally known throughout the East" (Easton's Bible Dictionary).
Many ancient sources have clearly identified "Magog" as referring to the "Scythians".
One of the earliest references to Magog was made by Hesiod, "the father of Greek didactic poetry" who identified Magog with the Scythians and southern Russia in the 7th century B.C. Hesiod was a contemporary of Ezekiel.
Josephus Flavius clearly identified Magog. "Magog founded the Magogians, thus named after him, but who were by the Greeks called Scythians". (Josephus, Antiquities, 1.123; Jerome, Commentary on Ezekiel 38:2)

The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that in the fifth century B.C. the Scythians ruled from the Don River, in present southern Russia, to the Carpathian Mountains in central Europe.

Philo, is another historian in the first century A.D. who identified "Magog" with southern Russia.

Ancient authorities clearly identified the Scythians as the ancestors of the present day Russians.

However, even without that information, the identity of "Magog" is not too difficult to figure out. In Ezekiel 38:15, it says: "And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee". The "north parts" is literally the "extreme, or uttermost" parts of the north.

Posted by: Ewaik Ryszard at May 21, 2005 02:05 PM



I live in 10212 Las Vegas, Nevada. Have you been here before?

Posted by: Ein Lo Sechel at September 23, 2006 09:35 AM



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