luka

Well-known member
Staff member
He did say in an email yesterday

"I wish I had a challenger from the Left but they essentially ignore me without a second glance."

So I'm sure if you did want to play that role he'd enjoy it.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
I do think it's an argument worth having, although the stakes are a little obscure.

People from the world of Theory will talk about the importance of political "imaginaries", but there's often a sense that an "imaginary" is a sort of epistemologically suspect supplement to the true (historical materialist, or whatever) view of the world, something to be explained rather than something that can do any explaining in its own right. An imaginary patches things together into a coherent view - a myth, an image of truth - but things don't really fit together that way (or don't necessarily do so - the image has to fit reality well enough to seem to make sense of it, but reality itself is under no obligation to make that kind of sense, or any other).

So what seems to belong to the Right, and not the Left, is commitment to an imaginary as itself explanatory, as a true picture of the way things necessarily or properly are. For example, ethnonationalist imaginaries tell you stories about who your people are, where you belong, what your collective destiny is as a distinct cultural force. They also tell you stories about how your people has lost its way, been betrayed or undermined, and needs to recover its confidence, unity and sense of direction. That's where they tend to turn fascist, or feed into fascist schemes for consolidating power.

A "left" imaginary might propose a story about how all human beings have communal freedom, transcendence and connection to the cosmos as their birthright, and condemn capitalism as a system which obstructs the realisation of that birthright. That seems more promising, but I don't trust it, because it still suggests a mythic enemy, a deceiver or betrayer, who has alienated us from our true nature, and the construction of that enemy can take all kinds of paranoiac forms, projecting an anti-life malignancy onto some particular class of human beings who have supposedly stolen our enjoyment and need to be stamped out for the sake of everyone's human flourishing (except, presumably, theirs). Fascism's opening pitch isn't always "we must all come together as one race, unity is strength"; it can also be "we will only be free to be truly ourselves when the boot of the usurper, the usurer, is off our necks".
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
Ultimately, capitalism isn't "Babylon", or for that matter The Terminator. It's not a mythic enemy, it's a powerful attractor in the space of possible systems of organisation of production, and the task, if we want to get out of the pull of that attractor, is to dissolve the class interests which hold that system in place, and realize a better one.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
How do you know it isn't Babylon? Or the Terminator for that matter?

One of the things Prynne does is he deliberately excises and disavows all the religious language and conceptions that crept into his early poetry. I understand where he's coming from and I'm glad someone has done that, but I don't think it's something I would want to do. It's certainly not something I'm ready to do. I feels far too much like self mutilation.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
I dunno. I have this problem with Christianity: it only works if you allow that there is an underlying moral order to the cosmos, that it is a creation which can be redeemed. Given that premise, you can work your way through to the belief that every individual life is caught up in the drama of salvation, that there is a great closing scene of judgement in which the creator says "yes" to the world and "no" to the world simultaneously, preserving and gathering up everything that has been good and discarding everything that has been bad. The final act of creation is division, the separation into sheep and goats. So you work in the present moment towards the salvation of everything that will have been saved, in sure and certain hope of the condemnation of all the evils of the world. That imaginary can be a tremendously hopeful one, it has sustained people through very dark times, and motivated acts of remarkable selflessness (since the aim isn't personal salvation or justification - we are not justified by works - but simply to act as if the final affirmation of the good in creation as distinctly and eternally good were an established fact). But it's also an extraordinary folly and anthropocentric self-aggrandisement, a projection onto the grandest of screens of very parochially human concerns.

Mythology is the lingua franca of the human interior, but I feel it's being fundamentally misapplied when it's treated as descriptive of objective reality. Christianity can only ever, at most, be subjectively true for me. I think there is a criterion of truth beyond that, and there's a sort of deep duty to observe that criterion.
 

kumar

Well-known member
Poetix what do you make of marshall mcluhans bits on catholicism ? I am not equipped to debate the finer points at all but there’s a collection of essays his son published where he discusses his conversion. he explains it as being a matter of objective truth, that either the whole system had to work or else be the biggest lie going. I hadn’t reached the conclusion that he did by rigorously studying the trivium and millennia long scholastic arguments so I can’t add much but one of his points is something like “it’s objectively true because human perception itself is The Incarnation, the external world recreated internally at every moment by every person...” in any case I hadn’t come across that idea before I’m not sure how canonical it might be but I thought it was exciting.
 

kumar

Well-known member
He does say at one point that he prayed for a sign for years before he converted by saying “show me a sign” and he was shown several but he’s quite old school and private about revealing what those were. Anyway would be interesting to hear someone’s take on it who has more of a clue
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Znore says he's a big fan of poetix and he's going to respond he feels very flattered but he said it will take a few days because "he has some friends staying round" which I think is a total lie I reckon he is just playing for time but let's wait and see what he comes up with.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I don't think znore is a Christian though. Not as far as I know. I'm fairly sure I'm not and I don't think he is either.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
"This imaginary Book of Orpheus acts as an unofficial Bible of the panoriginal religion of the Earth, a "faith" that is tribal and decentralized but also fully universal. And this religion was once present within every ethnic grouping across the planet, from Japanese pre-imperial Ko-Shintō to Siberian shamanism to Old European heathenism to the "primitive" and psychedelic animism of Africa and indigenous Australia and Amazonia.

All things are full of gods; and one feminine creative/procreative principle pervades throughout all of internal and external nature, a foundationless foundation that can be expressed by no fundamentalism. Words are no slaves to their "definitions." Verse is never truly sentenced to any fixed grammar. Neither is this the infamous One World Religion of active post-Bircher paranoia and paralysis. No control centre is possible within this jungle of spirits. It is by nature, as nature, uncontrollable and free.

Yet what does any of this have to do with revolutionary praxis in a "concrete" sense? Why waste our time on mystical or poetic tradition at all instead of the "realistic" goal of social revolution? Once more, following Blake, revolution in order to be fully successful must become revelation.

This tradition, when entirely shorn of its priestly accretions, exemplifies the radical values of liberty, equality, fraternity, sharing, the holding of all possessions in common, in fact the expansion or re-appropriation of the commons to include the entire cosmos. The creative imagination within this tradition is identical to solidarity, to compassion, to love.

And while within technocratic capitalism, here in agreement with its orthodox Marxist critics, imaginative vision is either banned or marginalized or profitably exploited, for the Everlasting Gospel it becomes both democratized and all important. The generation of meaning becomes liberated and this, in turn, is the first and crucial step towards social revolution.

The realm of Matter is saturated and overrun by Capital. The primitive/post-historical anarchist communist guerillas stage their attacks of sabotage, subversion and liberation from the one great remaining inexplicable wilderness of the Imagination.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Which is exactly what I was saying in heronbone 100,000 years ago

WORLD IS SHRINKING.
STRONGHOLDS OF RESISTANCE ISOLATED
THEN
OVERWHELMED.

Babylon. ROME.

retreat to jungle stronghold.
to cave complex. to mountain fastness. consolidate.

encoded messages sent along secure frequencies.
knowledge. resistance. solidarity.
mountain top to mountain top
wood to shaded wood.

HERE WE CAN OPERATE OUTSIDE OF TIME.

COMMUNICATING ACROSS IT AND THROUGH IT.

Here we can trace conspiracies and forge counter-conspiracies of our own. Plots to assassinate kings and unseat potentates, redraw maps and reassign values.
Remake experience.

https://miracleinvasion.blogspot.com/search?q=Stronghold
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
This is why finding znore was so exciting for me because everything he says has precise parallels in my own work. We've come to same conclusions independently. So even if we are mad it makes the madness feel more real for being shared. Very reassuring.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Prolonged exposure to Ben Watson and thirdform has convinced me that Marxism is the enemy of the revolution. I used to think it seemed quite cool. Now I think it is death. (No offence lads, love you both but your better instincts run counter to the Marx cult)
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
So even if we are mad it makes the madness feel more real for being shared. Very reassuring.
That's why places like this are so valuable. I doubt many of us on here can have the same conversations elsewhere. You'd lose people within minutes if you brought up drill alone, let alone stuff like Grapejuice.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
What is Imagination?

One answer is that imagination is a way of generating conjectures about the way the world is. We imagine that things are thus and so, and then by reality testing we find out from the world itself whether they really are or not. On this view, imagination proposes, reality disposes. It is possible for us to imagine wrongly, and the sensible thing to do is to assume that this is to some degree the case with whatever we imagine. It's important to be able to imagine freely and widely, because the world is in reality very strange and various, but imagination takes no part in shaping the world. Whatever degrees of freedom we have in pursuing imaginative avenues, we must accept the verdict of reality in the last instance.

Another answer is that imagination is a world-making faculty. Everything possible to be imagined is an image of the truth, a navigational tool. Without this faculty, confidently and actively exercised, we are condemned to submit to the world as it is - the world as it has been shaped for us by others. What is offered to us as the verdict of reality is all too often the verdict of the powers and principalities of the world, who refuse any image of the truth that is not congruent with their own narrow interests. We must refuse their claim that "nature" is thus and so, and that we are bound to respect what is "natural" according to their rubric. Imagination breaks open pathways for living, it is a "shaping spirit" as Coleridge described it. On this view, myths are powerful vehicles for social change, because they show us a world composed of spirits and powers, a many-god-universe, in which we also find that we have spiritual agency. No agent has unlimited power in this universe - which means that ethically we should seek harmonious co-existence rather than one-sided domination - but for the same reason there is no prevailing force, no final legislator, to which we must submit without question.

I think that both of these views of imagination are true, in different domains. The first is true of physics, of the physical-law-governed fabric of the universe. The second is true of social reality, of the anthropogenic world of material arrangements to which we are habituated. Social reality is not law-governed in the same way as physical reality, and it is stifling to our social imagination to imagine that it should be so.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
The contested territory is the in-between domains: ecology (is the world of trees, meadows, animals, weather systems etc the world of spirits and powers pictured by animism, or a world of physical entities obeying physical laws?) and economics (are there physical-system-like characteristics to human societies inasmuch as they are subject to resource constraints - material scarcity - and the organisation of material production based on abstractions such as capital, the commodity form and so on?). Here I think we have to see through both prisms at once.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Seeing as all of us here, neoconservative libertarians and mystical Marxists alike, love this blog, I wonder why he won't come and join us.
 
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