From January 2000. Proof that I've been railing against the storm for a long, long time. Am I a sage/seer or do I just keep playing the same old record?
RULES FOR TWENTY FIRST CENTURY LIVING.
I am lucky because I am an outsider. In a world which places all its value on homogeneity and majority rule and consequently on mediocrity and sameness – I am different. I am an individual in a world of clones. McDonald’s is no longer just a place to stop and devour fast food – it is a state of mind, a state of being. One which I reject. And thus am rejected by that society. I am free. For most of the time it is as if I do not even exist in this world – and that is the only kind of freedom one can hope for these days.
It used to be said that money buys freedom, if not happiness, but money – the creation of the capitalist horror – is the arch enslaver. It destroyed community forever so that no matter how hard socialists or communists try, it is impossible for them to flourish. In order purely to survive they must succumb to one of the basic tenets of capitalism, the insignificance of the individual. A society based on money cannot allow the individual true rights and thus socialism and communism have inherent flaws until they reject economics. The Cuban revolution tried to restructure economics upon a new system, but you cannot tinker with economics to get a good version. Economics in its very existence is an evil. It is wrong thinking. Thus anarchism is the only possibility – the province of the individual.
Yet in the twenty first century, even anarchism is misunderstood as a result of the concept of individual having become corrupted. It has been corrupted into a vision of thoughtless violence against people when its very basis is of the primacy of people. It stands against property not people. It seeks to destroy systems not lives. It is an activity of morality not of mindless physical destruction. There is no inherent paradox, no selfishness in individualism. It does not deny community or even society. But to understand the kind of community or society it represents one has to travel outwith, either temporally or spatially, capitalism and its constructs. Firstly the individual must accept altruism – that while he is unique, every other being is also unique. And that it is the very uniqueness of the individual which is important. We are different and our difference gives us our value.
However, in the world in which we now live, every effort is made to encourage samenesss, to discourage individualism and uniqueness. It has gone so far that the mass of people now have no idea what true individuality even is any more. And certainly would not value it were it explained to them. For we are dealing with realms of morality in a world whose fulcrum is materialism.
And I have no illusion as to my power to change things, the status quo, the system, whatever. Greater men than I have died in the attempt. And for what? To save people who do not want to be saved. Worse than that, who cannot be saved. To wake up a world which has overdosed on capitalism and finds the concept of withdrawal worse than that of addiction. Which is why the only freedom is to stand outside. To learn how to live completely outside and to rid oneself of the vestiges of corruption which gnaw at the soul, the desire for external validation, for “success” in terms of that which one no longer respects. This is the paradox. Why seek this? Why expect that one will ever “succeed” to change a world that opposes everything you stand for. How expect them to welcome you into the fold, or even to set you up as a leader? You can see how they treat their leaders – sacrificing them Coriolanus style to the media or at best rewarding them with material excesses which are designed to corrupt the very morality supposedly applauded. There is no victory within the system. The only victory is without – and one cannot change things, one can only live and leave a record that one has thus lived. That one has not given in and “loved Big Brother” that one is stronger than that. That one is free.
One has to question everything. To upturn the value of everything. Take one’s “right” to procreate. In one’s own image. The biggest lie of all. Creating more cannon fodder. Another statistic. Mankind has got it wrong. It has gone past the stage when we can get it right communally. And so precisely because one cannot bring a new life into a better world, it is better not to contemplate the bringing of new life. Do you want to give birth to a slave? You enslave yourself by giving birth these days. With a child it is impossible to evade society and either you try to raise your child in freedom in which case it comes to maturity in a world even more corrupt, even more horrific than ours, with the ever present risk that it will reject individuality and become yet another slave, or you submit to the system and give up your freedom in the creation of a slave. Slavery is endemic in our world. You cannot create a free being. Capitalism dictates that. And do not be mistaken. Capitalism lies at the heart of all political and social structures of the modern world. All society is fundamentally capitalist in that all modern societies are based on a created reality known as economics. Perhaps personally, from a stage of maturity, it may be possible to largely steer clear of capitalist enslavement, but we are the last generation who will be able to do this. We have been mutated to such an extent, degraded to such an extent that it is impossible to rectify the situation. And no one even wants to try. Money was the demon which was let out of Pandora’s box and once freed, cannot now be caught. Money is the atomic bomb of the collective social consciousness.
Perhaps a new Pilgrimage to a new world is required? But the capitalists control the means of production, and the fruits of production and you cannot break into their world without coating your hands in their materialism. The only purity is purity of mind. So far they have not been able to totally destroy the capacity for free thought, but it is only a matter of time. It will come.
I used to think it was possible to influence others by example. Now I realise that the only result of ones example is that one is viewed as an eccentricity and even if people find that quaint, or charming rather than shocking or risible, they do not want to adhere to the same values. The best you could hope for is that they think they want to copy some of it, but then therein lies failure – for they are precisely copying rather than understanding the requirement for originality, for individuality. Mediocre people trying to be different are about the saddest kind. Sadder than those who have simply given up and are “the same.” If you do not feel your difference as a fundamental truth of your inner being, if your uniqueness and individuality are not the prerequisite of your existence rather than your goal, you cannot hope to succeed.
The tone of this has to appear nihilistic or downspirited in terms of all which is held socially acceptable. That it is viewed so is yet another example of how far we are from freedom. This realisation is in itself an expression of happiness, of freedom, of truth and understanding. One breaks from the shackles of trying to “fit in” of trying to “add value” to society. When one is in a corrupt society one has no responsibility to live up to the rules. To be pure in a corrupt society is simply to be corrupt by the standards of that society. To be alienated. Thus only in alienation is freedom. One does not court disapproval, or rejection, or oppression – one simply ignores their power. It doesn’t matter. Just live your life. Make your rules and question everything. Learn all the time and change and grow. As a free individual, an outsider. You may stand with your face to the window, but you do not seek to enter. You do not desire the sweets inside the shop, the warmth of the hearth on the other side of the pane of glass. The best you can hope for is to be left alone.
The utopia is to find others who understand this freedom. Like all utopias it is really a dream. They are few and far between and the commonality may be too slight. But it is possible from time to time to find others engaged on the same path. Few will stay the course, but you cannot be responsible for that. Take comfort where you can but do not outstay your welcome and do not give in to false methods. Many people think they are free. Make your own guidelines, your own test. Apply it rigorously to yourself and to others. Adapt it and reapply it regularly to make sure that you have not succumbed to the slavery of mediocrity and materialism. It is harder as you get older. There are so many more things to “have” to “be” and so much more “expected”. Both ridicule and praise will drag you down if they are from the wrong quarter. You will think you have succeeded and then you realise you have been cheated into slavery by external validation on the capitalist model. Only have respect for those who have no respect for the systems. Respect for the individual is paramount. Beyond that question everything. Hold nothing else dear. This is the reality of twenty first century living.
Find out more about the theory, process and meanings - an exercise in creating a brain in a virtual vat.