Communique #4: The End of the World
The A.O.A. declares itself officially bored with the End of the World. The canonical version has been used since 1945 to keep us cowering in fear of Mutual Assured Destruction & in snivelling servitude to our super-hero politicians (the only ones capable of handling deadly Green Kryptonite)…
What does it mean that we have invented a way to destroy all life on Earth? Nothing much. We have dreamed this as an escape from the contemplation of our own individual deaths. We have made an emblem to serve as the mirror-image of a discarded immortality. Like demented dictators we swoon at the thought of taking it all down with us into the Abyss.
The unofficial version of the Apocalypse involves a lascivious yearning for the End, & for a post-Holocaust Eden where the Survivalists (or the 144,000 Elect of Revelations) can indulge themselves in orgies of Dualist hysteria, endless final confrontations with a seductive evil…
We have seen the ghost of Rene Guenon, cadaverous & topped with a fez (like Boris Karloff as Ardis Bey in The Mummy) leading a funereal No Wave Industrial-Noise rock band in loud buzzing blackfly-chants for the death of Culture & Cosmos: the elitist fetishism of pathetic nihilists, the Gnostic self-disgust of “post-sexual” intellectoids.
Are these dreary ballads not simply mirror-images of all those lies & platitudes about Progress & the Future, beamed from every loudspeaker, zapped like paranoid brain-waves from every schoolbook & TV in the world of the Consensus? The thanatosis of the Hip Millenarians extrudes itself like pus from the false health of the Consumers’ & Workers’ Paradises.
Anyone who can read history with both hemispheres of the brain knows that a world comes to an end every instant — the waves of time leave washed up behind themselves only dry memories of a closed & petrified past — imperfect memory, itself already dying & autumnal. And every instant also gives birth to a world — despite the cavillings of philosophers & scientists whose bodies have grown numb — a present in which all impossibilities are renewed, where regret & premonition fade to nothing in one presential hologrammatical psychomantric gesture.
The “normative” past or the future heat-death of the universe mean as little to us as last year’s GNP or the withering away of the State. All Ideal pasts, all futures which have not yet come to pass, simply obstruct our consciousness of total vivid presence.
Certain sects believe that the world (or “a” world) has already come to an end. For Jehovah’s Witnesses it happened in 1914 (yes folks, we are living in the Book of Revelations now). For certain oriental occultists, it occurred during the Major Conjunction of the Planets in 1962. Joachim of Fiore proclaimed the Third Age, that of the Holy Spirit, which replaced those of Father & Son. Hassan II of Alamut proclaimed the Great Resurrection, the immanentization of the eschaton, paradise on earth. Profane time came to an end somewhere in the late Middle Ages. Since then we’ve been living angelic time — only most of us don’t know it.
Or to take an even more Radical Monist stance: Time never started at all. Chaos never died. The Empire was never founded. We are not now & never have been slaves to the past or hostages to the future.
We suggest that the End of the World be declared a fait accompli; the exact date is unimportant. The ranters in 1650 knew that the Millenium comes now into each soul that wakes to itself, to its own centrality & divinity. “Rejoice, fellow creature,” was their greeting. “All is ours!”
I want no part of any other End of the World. A boy smiles at me in the street. A black crow sits in a pink magnolia tree, cawing as orgone accumulates & discharges in a split second over the city…summer begins. I may be your lover…but I spit on your Millenium. …source
Waiting for the Revolution
How is it that “the world turned upside-down” always manages to Right itself? Why does reaction always follow revolution, like seasons in Hell?
Uprising, or the Latin form insurrection, are words used by historians to label failed revolutions — movements which do not match the expected curve, the consensus-approved trajectory: revolution, reaction, betrayal, the founding of a stronger and even more oppressive State — the turning of the wheel, the return of history again and again to its highest form: jackboot on the face of humanity forever.
By failing to follow this curve, the up-rising suggests the possibility of a movement outside and beyond the Hegelian spiral of that “progress” which is secretly nothing more than a vicious circle. Surgo — rise up, surge. Insurgo — rise up, raise oneself up. A bootstrap operation. A goodbye to that wretched parody of the karmic round, historical revolutionary futility. The slogan “Revolution!” has mutated from tocsin to toxin, a malign pseudo-Gnostic fate-trap, a nightmare where no matter how we struggle we never escape that evil Aeon, that incubus the State, one State after another, every “heaven” ruled by yet one more evil angel.
If History IS “Time,” as it claims to be, then the uprising is a moment that springs up and out of Time, violates the “law” of History. If the State IS History, as it claims to be, then the insurrection is the forbidden moment, an unforgivable denial of the dialectic — shimmying up the pole and out of the smokehole, a shaman’s maneuver carried out at an “impossible angle” to the universe. History says the Revolution attains “permanence,” or at least duration, while the uprising is “temporary.” In this sense an uprising is like a “peak experience” as opposed to the standard of “ordinary” consciousness and experience. Like festivals, uprisings cannot happen every day — otherwise they would not be “nonordinary.” But such moments of intensity give shape and meaning to the entirety of a life. The shaman returns — you can’t stay up on the roof forever — but things have changed, shifts and integrations have occurred — a difference is made.
You will argue that this is a counsel of despair. What of the anarchist dream, the Stateless state, the Commune, the autonomous zone with duration, a free society, a free culture? Are we to abandon that hope in return for some existentialist acte gratuit? The point is not to change consciousness but to change the world.
I accept this as a fair criticism. I’d make two rejoinders nevertheless; first, revolution has never yet resulted in achieving this dream. The vision comes to life in the moment of uprising — but as soon as “the Revolution” triumphs and the State returns, the dream and the ideal are already betrayed. I have not given up hope or even expectation of change — but I distrust the word Revolution. Second, even if we replace the revolutionary approach with a concept of insurrection blossoming spontaneously into anarchist culture, our own particular historical situation is not propitious for such a vast undertaking. Absolutely nothing but a futile martyrdom could possibly result now from a head-on collision with the terminal State, the megacorporate information State, the empire of Spectacle and Simulation. Its guns are all pointed at us, while our meager weaponry finds nothing to aim at but a hysteresis, a rigid vacuity, a Spook capable of smothering every spark in an ectoplasm of information, a society of capitulation ruled by the image of the Cop and the absorbant eye of the TV screen.
In short, we’re not touting the TAZ as an exclusive end in itself, replacing all other forms of organization, tactics, and goals. We recommend it because it can provide the quality of enhancement associated with the uprising without necessarily leading to violence and martyrdom. The TAZ is like an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it. Because the State is concerned primarily with Simulation rather than substance, the TAZ can “occupy” these areas clandestinely and carry on its festal purposes for quite a while in relative peace. Perhaps certain small TAZs have lasted whole lifetimes because they went unnoticed, like hillbilly enclaves — because they never intersected with the Spectacle, never appeared outside that real life which is invisible to the agents of Simulation.
Babylon takes its abstractions for realities; precisely within this margin of error the TAZ can come into existence. Getting the TAZ started may involve tactics of violence and defense, but its greatest strength lies in its invisibility — the State cannot recognize it because History has no definition of it. As soon as the TAZ is named (represented, mediated), it must vanish, it will vanish, leaving behind it an empty husk, only to spring up again somewhere else, once again invisible because undefinable in terms of the Spectacle. The TAZ is thus a perfect tactic for an era in which the State is omnipresent and all-powerful and yet simultaneously riddled with cracks and vacancies. And because the TAZ is a microcosm of that “anarchist dream” of a free culture, I can think of no better tactic by which to work toward that goal while at the same time experiencing some of its benefits here and now.
In sum, realism demands not only that we give up waiting for “the Revolution” but also that we give up wanting it. “Uprising,” yes — as often as possible and even at the risk of violence. The spasming of the Simulated State will be “spectacular,” but in most cases the best and most radical tactic will be to refuse to engage in spectacular violence, to withdraw from the area of simulation, to disappear.
The TAZ is an encampment of guerilla ontologists: strike and run away. Keep moving the entire tribe, even if it’s only data in the Web. The TAZ must be capable of defense; but both the “strike” and the “defense” should, if possible, evade the violence of the State, which is no longer a meaningful violence. The strike is made at structures of control, essentially at ideas; the defense is “invisibility,” a martial art, and “invulnerability” — an “occult” art within the martial arts. The “nomadic war machine” conquers without being noticed and moves on before the map can be adjusted. As to the future — Only the autonomous can plan autonomy, organize for it, create it. It’s a bootstrap operation. The first step is somewhat akin to satori — the realization that the TAZ begins with a simple act of realization.