My Contribution For The Next Issue…

I’m going to be inserting Bob Black’s review of Processed World, a semi-interesting “anti-authoritarian” or libertarian-communist (however you’d like to organize your oxymorons for this range on the political spectrum) magazine that you can get for $10.00 a year from PW at 55 Sutter St. #829, San Francisco, CA 94104. It’s nicely put together, anyway, for you aesthetes, and will give a good picture of what the cutting-edge of the movement is today… ahem.

Filthy, maybe if you cut it down again so that you could fit 6 or 8 pages per, we could go back to four? Subs would include special magnifier?

Well, the band was/is back together. Real-life Viet Vet former junkies who never really gave up the life turned up to play rhythm guitar and drums. The drummer is into jazz of the late forties; the new guitarist altho somewhat open tends toward the more abrasive music, which is fine with me, and Jon stays with Mellow rock. Ike has begun regularly playing harmonica with us, but he’s only just learning and takes it more as an opportunity to practice than a chance to get with a professional band. Not that we are. After all, Tom, the new guitarist, after plotting with me, Brad (drummer), and Ike about how to get himself admitted at the V.A. for delayed shock (Szasz, Szasz, I have to write and tell him about this!) finally did get in, only he professed symptoms sufficient to get prescriptions for heavy drugs and we won’t likely see him for a while. He was having a peak in the wave of disputes with his “wife”, whose 40K inheritance he helped run through in the space of six months. At least I am practicing daily again. Hopefully we can resolve the situation and get steady personnel so that we can play in a few area bars and make a tape… One thing we really need is a talented singer, since none of us can get away with claiming to be one, and even in our degenerate genre we have standards…

KYSOR, I saw that about impetuous newcomers… when did I say “What have you got against me?” Unless I’m wrong about who is referred to in line 23 counting up from the bottom of page 62 TC110. It’s alright… I’ve learned that I must humble myself before the great Masters and not make any noise that might disturb the dust that has been settling on these pages… disturb the tranquility of the crypt, the elegant tomb of thought…

Downard: I’ve just read in Bertram D. Wolfe’s Three Who Made a Revolution that Alexander’s death did not mean all that much to Lenin! Avrahm Yarmolinksy, on the other hand, says it was pivotal but not cathartic, that is, important but not to be overrated as motive. Thanks for the quote from your great grandma about picking a fight.

Diogenes: in comments to T-R you say that a human being is a biological machine whose values are determined by genes and environment. How far does this determination go? Since it seems to me that if this was the case in any thorough sense then we might have seen some differences in history… but maybe that, yeah, okay, that means everyone is smart and perceives their best interests correctly. Okay. But anyway, you can escape the determination easily by wanting to die. Once you’ve played the Kirilov card you can then select your values on any basis you choose. (Choose, choices, adrift.) The Samurai, maybe the state seppuku artists, what were they called, anyway, in wars the soldiers who choose to die are acting contrary to what an effective biological program might dictate, and even if we excuse it by pointing to their stupidity, it means that stupidity can short-circuit the program, so how strong can the determination be?

 

 

… Will Be Found In The Next Issue…

Steve Witham: If I recall, Koestler had a section on humor in Janus wherein he does a good job of explaining it as the clash of context, which struck me as the best description I’ve ever seen, since most of the other describers weren’t able to fit Andy Kaufman into their schemes. (He provokes anger or disgust, and acts dead seriously on stage, maybe a bit circumspect, and since in a humor act you’re supposed to be funny, it is funny to turn that on its head. This is a bit of a private joke for the entertainer though, cerebral, rather than the as ever-more-tedious-and-predictable regular laugh routines are hilarious.) You say that the situation becomes unbearably tense, embarrassing, etc., all negative emotions. Appreciation of a joke is more coolly intellectual than that as someone builds up a context for you, and then quick-as-a-wink pulls the rug out from under, or jams the north ends of the magnets together, the conceptual oxymoron which for a split second is perceived not as a duality but as a unity. That’s why i find Anarcho-communists so much fun (and why they have such a short half-life): they jam together mutually exclusive premises. Have you done phenomenological exercises, like where you look at an abstract drawing representing a cube and then play with it, switching back and forth in dimensions and fronts, backs, sides? You get to a place that feels as if you’re crosseyed, when you can simultaneously hold in mind more than one of the assigned values that makes the cube face up or down, and it is pleasant. Much like what a joke does to me, anyway. The new context, in a good joke, comes across in all its implications, in a flash, coexistent with the old one. Then it’s over and you slide down to whichever one leaves the least loose threads hanging. What’s the similarity between a Nip girl and a girdle? It takes a yank to get ’em off! (Obligatory apologies to those with offended sensibilities go here.)

I was intrigued by the Positive Disintegration staff, but tend to suspect that it is wrong headed. (!) For the brain to contain a silent program for correcting steps in the verbal programs stretches the limits of the brain’s credibility, since, Brain knows, I’ve been haggling with that sort of thing for a long time. That there may be warring factions among the verbal programs is certain, and that the left and right brain may vie for dominance seems likely. (Tech vs. Fuzz? Neither/Nor! Both!) Laing has it that schizophrenia is a positive progress toward self-definition, which is a mistake, since he hasn’t really ”cured” anyone unless you view living on the ward forever as a cure. When he started out he prefigured (?) Szasz-type analysis, or Jay Haley, watching both sides of the interpersonal equation and seeing whether “crazy” behavior doesn’t elicit desired responses, and it does. Almost behaviorist in the reliance on measurable (?) data, but Szasz & Haley & Laing all include subjective data, and use language or conversation (or lack of it) as part of the behavior data. Well, shall we disintegrate? Nice method of expunging bad programs maybe! On with the randomizers!

Wayne Wallace Wayward: Here I read you “making the case for coercive eugenics,” (p. 51) and have to ask you detail the steps between Ayn Rand and the aforementioned clever development so that I can tell my friends that there actually are people who believe it. Unless you don’t, in which case you’re off the hook. The case wasn’t made for me because I didn’t see how you established that “increasing the general intelligence etc.” takes precedence as a value. But for the statement where you observed that this generation doesn’t seem to you to be the only one that matters, I found nothing that erects A Race of Reasoning Geniuses of universal value. Furthermore, I don’t even see why it is of importance to me, let alone anyone else, although far be it for me to try to stop the Nobel Prize Winners from banking their superior come. I doubt the stiff about ethology discovering all kinds of hard-wiring, too. That’s what they all say in order to get their research grants: “We’ve discovered the threads of the laws that unalterably govern human behavior, and if you just give us the money we’ll generate all sorts of new excuses for regulatory agencies.”

 

 

… but the Contribution to the Issue…

We might suppose that if the hard-wiring existed, there are sufficient incentives in natural selection (despite the ease and comforts of Civ.) to have, through 800 odd generations, weeded in favor of increased ability, and it’s true, since we have a million geniuses living in the ghettos enjoying themselves with drugs and free money while the morons go to work every day. They know a good thing when they see it. The value gained in taking the handout is far greater than any possible absurd increment of gain to be had by refusing it, much as the individual worker’s incentive to increase production in socialized-production economies is lower that the gain to be had in getting by with minimal effort. Facetiousness aside, maybe I’m wrong because Civ.-advancement has enabled vast population explosions and kept alive lots of people who might otherwise not be, which negates any remaining natural select mechanism.

Reading Hayek’s Counter-Revolution of Science lately and he waxes laudatory over all the unintended consequences of human actions. Names money, language. I think the rules of a culture’s music fall into this category, too: not invented or planned, but occurred as a result of casual other-directed actions. So, he doesn’t mention the negative unintended consequences… maybe the death of intelligence is one of them. Or, since at this stage I still view intelligence as a function of anti-laziness (see possible gain, put effort in; don’t see gain, must be dumb; I.Q. as bootstrap phenomena and have I refuted myself yet again?) we’ll say that Civ. encourages laziness. Anyway, much as it would constitute a prohibitively high cost activity should I devote myself to inventing money, or making every effort to increase the intelligence of future generations, I refuse to do it until you make the case better. If we abolish the public schools, anyway, an increase in general I.Q. will be the unintended result, because it is the schools that are making people stupid, so ally yourself with that single issue group.

Stumm: In discussion of the Vanguard advocacy of “Leninism,” you say that contradictory goals and strategy don’t work because they don’t produce movements with sufficient followers. God help us if this is the only reason, because it seems untrue. The Holy Roman Catholic Church wanted to save souls… (I guess there’s no necessary strategic or tactical program derivable from that)… and they found followers. “It’s stupid to practice what you preach!” — J.R. “Bob” Dobbs.

Leninist libertarians do exist; I’m one of them about 5.3% of the time. I didn’t see any commands for libertarians to subordinate themselves in the essay by Raimondo. He made a call for a well-functioning organization based on an equivocal idea about “democratic centralism.” Either way you’re not sublimating yourself if you place high enough value on participating so that other choices aren’t as important. The libertarian movement might fail because the libertarian ideology is not sufficiently laden with steps that are commands to go and replicate the ideology in other minds.

But think thus: in a war, even individualists may see that it is profitable to them, and will enhance chances of achieving their goal, if they temporarily sign on with a crew that runs things hierarchically. In order for the task to be completed we must pull together, and if you don’t like it you may leave (ideal), and some will stay because they chose to stay not feel so bad about “taking orders.”

And thus: Given a base of nominal supporters large enough, the “dictatorial” “central committees” can issue, not demands, but plans for this or that coordinated activity that you can participate in as you choose, and by the law of large numbers, each activity will draw a percentage, perhaps high enough to get the thing done without stepping on toes. Whatever. I actually don’t trust Raimondists that much, and although I savor the idea of a functioning group I don’t make the best member of one, since I take it for granted that participation is my choice, and I choose to spend my time otherwise

 

 

… is Right Here …

more often than not. What I’m sayin’ is that I don’t see how Raimondo really called for a truly dictatorial leninism that would repel you & me and other libertarians… he couldn’t really enforce it anyway unless his people started enforcement squads a la Scientology… or no, if you sign a contract to give your life to the Party… but that isn’t in the cards. He does, apparently, want some tighter restrictions placed on membership, such that among other things you may have to make a commitment to show up for work, too: what’s the big whiff… unless you’ve advanced far enough to begin a critique that goes beyond appearances… beyond the spurious antitheses of left & right…

Gunderloy: But no, I’m not a proponent of multiple-realities world models! You got me all wrong! I think that stuff is a bunch of claptrap written by acidheads! Reality is not socially constructed, or changed by the individual, despite the claims of the cranks whom Martin Gardner tells me he skewers in his forthcoming book. Values may vary, but the bedrock reality does not. I’m a proponent of multiple-value system models! And in interpretive areas like psychology, I think it is a good idea to lay all the systems out on the table in front of you and then do an epoché, or combine them. Dream interpretation? All the systems have application, so you have to use ’em all! You don’t build a house with just a hammer you know…

Philip: I didn’t realize my “test” convinced people I was rabid… for so long I’ve been amused by the various street posters (I have a great collection) that I figured that others would be amused, too. The test idea came later, when I saw only a tiny response to a column by my pal Bob Black. Mike Hoy won it because he sent me a note saying, “Wow! Where can I get more of this bizarre fringe weirdness?” He was either entertained, or updating FBI files, or in some other way appreciated them, which is all I meant, and no one else evidenced any appreciation at all. They had several things to recommend them: liven up the graphics of this rag; see if they would provoke any Q & A; fill space while I read up and get a grasp of what was going in (so as not to waste sub rights); and the general tossing in of a few firecrackers. There’s a circle of people who produce beautiful, wild, funny, interesting, scary & stirring posters, and who trade, collect, etc. and contact each other, or cultivate new entrants, by waiting for responses to posters that were posted. I even forgot, until you asked, that I had inserted them, staged a test, and announced a winner. I could have put in the Stalin poster from some generic Progressive Labor Liberty Party, wonder what people would have thought then? The situationists stuff is the most intriguing, and Bob Black’s the most powerful, and the few from Anti-Authoritarians Anonymous are excellent (I’m talking content here on all of them). Anomie produces wonderful nihilist colleges. I’ve done a few myself, poor jobs all. It’s fun!

One issuer of posters to whom I had an issue of TC sent told me that “they’re all such right-wing cranks that there’s no point in talking to them.” Of course, it’s a sword that cuts both ways, but the thing that gets me is off the wall systems of thought, or rather, the obscure ones with a number of different implications, like jazz music. Or a high-high number isotope, or rare species. One can appreciate them without dedicating one’s life to them. Seems to me that mighty philosophical systems must have two things, among others: an idea from out of the blue, and an advocate who will persevere like a hound dog. I see evidence of lots of blue-generated ideas, but fewer dedicated generators. TC strikes me as a good forum for that kind of work, with a camaraderie, a kin of advocates from beyond the pale. Anywho, I can’t be convinced of anything, I’ll believe it and use it where it applies, but… as Tribunal Overdrive said, “We have discovered the radical negating virtues of a positivist leer… thus the slogan: We Believe In Everything!”

 

 

… Though soon thru miracle of repro will be all over the place.

I’m having second thoughts about blabbing on and on about why I prefer a “libertarian social order” — and I’ll define it very loosely, explaining that a vector from the standard Party Line to the outer reaches corresponds to a curve of satisfaction that I would feel should any of the concrete goals of the possible progressive steps be attained: any is good, the more the better — so: it has something to do with a period of time I spent gaining firsthand experience with a totalitarian society, which was followed by about a month in the wilderness (and though I wouldn’t have thought so at the time, this now qualifies as the best discrete time of my life), which was followed again by re-entry into this society, which was the object of many optimistic dreams during the wilderness episode. Slowly it dawned on me that between the three samples, the first and third had more significant mapping than did the second and third — contrary to what I had wished. I mean I had wished for the kind of dignity and freedom I experienced in the wilderness, but back in Civ. I found more of the indignity and unfreedom I experienced in the Other Place. Wilson: the armchair philosophers don’t believe in Will because they never exercise any. Who?: the armchair phils make up a bunch of tired platitudes and rationalizations because they never have experienced the abrupt break in the real thing they theorize about.

My theme? That’s a tough one; I’ll have to think on’t e’en more. Herr Kritischer! My focal point is my subjectivity I guess, but I enjoy writing to people (I write a lot of letters), and TC is a novel and efficient method. It is also far less expensive than some APAs I know and would like to participate in but cannot for tight budget. Maybe after a time I’ll develop an Idea that will take years to track down.

And the reason I mentioned SRAF/TC/& Otro interfacing is that it looked like fun. Since we’re unlikely to get any advocates of Establishment Liberalism here (they’re daunted), or advocates of the Republican Party, or many many other popular variants of the disease called organized thought, maybe we can at least get some debates among those who ostensibly agree on a few fundamental principles. Emphasize ostensible, as I’ve found in SRAFBull. The different conclusions drawn, left & right anarchist, ought to make for some interesting song & dance did both potential participants have the stamina and talent; I’m not blaming Connectors… I just recalled chemistry experiments as a youth: let’s mix This one and THAT one and see what happens… Again, rare hybrids? Beautiful dialogue? More the merrier: if it is fun in the first place, it’s fun in the second. They’re not so purist in SRAFBull as you may think, and some interesting discussion goes on. But in the same sense that TC won’t be challenged by interlopers of different persuasion, alone, no one does it there, either. TC isn’t quite so organizally cliquist, though, and the random entrant is more comfortable.

Must sign off.

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