Thursday, 26 June 2014

"assessed according to the superficies"

Having recently relegated the online activism work and poetry of Charles Torres Veitch, to the darkened place in my non-awareness it's increasing irrelevance demands, I was surprised and horrified in equal measure to stumble upon a video of his entitled "Privacy is the Fetish of Evil", having been irresistibly compelled to watch such an intriguingly titled video, I have also decided some use value may be derived from a quick review of the ideological propositions on offer within it, the first striking impression received was that I couldn't help notice that Charles' "Freedom Fighting" crusade, has really become a cruel parody of his original apparent intentions, to produce a socially empowering artistic critique of our dehumanizing capitalist society, instead his rebellion has become a commodity, with what little popular appeal he garnered now serving predominantly private interests, as his means of obtaining donations from anyone with money beyond sense, who finds themselves moved by his increasingly elaborate appeals.

 Words from F. Nietzsche's Twighlight of the Idols
image Cornelisz van Haarlem's "Adam and Eve"

The reason Charles makes a good subject for a blog about Truth Fetishism, is simply his susceptibility to it's practice; the way the easy answers he seeks are translated into various sensational slogans like; the frequently deployed "freedom" façade; the ambiguous though apparently still effective 'appeal to pathos': "love"; the numerous false dichotomies littered throughout his performances; or as in this video where he describes his private encounter with a Sgt (Dick?)Tracey; simplified, reduced abstract thinking like "nothing is moving there is no space time", a slogan that nicely encapsulates the disjunction between mind and it's prime mover, the immediate environment, maybe therein is a hint to the naming of the character from the American television show he's been watching.

As with any 'ontological conservative', Charles inevitably comes baring illusory ideal forms with pre-determined moral values of good and evil, his attention, intellect and marginal oratory skills are primarily engaged in the maintenance and substantiation of his particular ideology, or "the truth" from which these ideal symbolic fictions and absolute values are derived, the concepts he intends to conserve through his asserted consciousness of their being.

This fundament of his work is evident in his poetry about quantum mechanics, his opinions on reality and the selection of enhancing facts he can extrapolate from philosophy, psychology, popular culture or behavioural science, -shaping what conforms, or can be made to appear to conform, into his narrative- to convey a façade of credibility, however these insights appear to be developed only so far as is required to assert and support his particular ideological vision, the essential aspect of them, and what the viewer receives from him, is what can be used to advance his agenda, support his sense of order, defend himself against those unpleasant sensations, experiences or situations he encounters in the world, with their material, tangible causes, which he refers to as "evil".

"Truth" at this stage designates all sorts of things that we today call "figments of the imagination", the factitious representations of concepts, people, events and situations, construed as being the embodiment of either a good or evil spirit, to be embraced or rejected, accepted or opposed, loved or hated, are assumed to be universally applicable and then applied to his superficial concepts of; "government", "the State", "taxation", or specific individuals, generally that which is encountered in the world which does not conform to his ideal, or which disagrees with his 'a priori'** moral values, these abstractions; "state" "media" "education" etc,. coming to represent a figurative grinding post for any fetishistic axe, everything is 'assessed according to the superficies', wheat separated from chaff then lumped together in 'bundles', forming the basis of rejection, a negative ideological worldview from which to become.

His interests in the subject are not with the processes at work, the forces at play, the totality of a thing it's inherent contradictions, nor are they with the thing itself, but in how his concept of 'it' serves to substantiate or affirm his adherence to this sense of morality, however this is merely an interpretation of certain phenomena — more precisely, a misinterpretation. Moral judgments, like religious ones, belong to a stage of ignorance in which the very concept of the real, and the distinction between what is real and imaginary, are still lacking.

"If people are good to you, if people are kind, if they treat you with respect, you should at the very least do the same for them"

In this blog I merely seek to question their motives, what lies behind this sycophancy, this desire to misinform and fill the mind with sweet nothings, is it insecurity, to what end is somebody making such a show of benevolence?

More often than not this tendency to appear to do good, to be humble, to flatter with kindness while seducing with factitious platitudes, is an attempt to ingratiate themselves, to weaken one's resistance gradually, to the imperceptibly slow advance of their control over your perception of them, this is how a salesman establishes "rapport" with somebody, by convincing them to perceive them a certain way, by conveying a certain image of approachability, respectability or enlightenment,  an evolutionary adaptation the Lion, Hyena or Crocodile could never accomplish, thanks no doubt to the prevalence and protection of the nursery rhyme every child should know: "Never smile at a crocodile".


*see his comments about christianity, preteen girls, menstruation and suicide. 
**refers to an earlier entry in which Veitch posits an inherent "sentience" akin to transcendental good and evil.
*ˆsee Stanford Prison experiment, again another useful 'fact' constantly reproduced within this milieu, to support the rejection of psychology or all forms of authority outside the self, an example of how Truth fetishists focus on only what confirms their personal opinion.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Apotropaic Images

 Apotropaic images of Satyrs, Phalli or Fascinum, in short fetish objects thought to embody a mystical power were placed in gardens, on hearths, chariots and around one's person, as a protection against the fascinations of the envious "lower classes of the community", to divert the attention and intention, the "spells and sorcery" of this "evil eye" turned against them.

This small excerpt from Pliny's Natural History highlights the origin of the inequalities, which make the production and dispersal of fetish objects essential for the ruling classes to 'ward off the evil eye'.


Pliny The Natural History

...In our laws of the Twelve Tables, we find the word "villa," or "farm," nowhere mentioned; it is the word "hortus" that is always used with that signification, while the term "heredium" we find employed for "garden." There are certain religious impressions, too, that have been attached to this species of property, and we find that it is in the garden and the Forum only that statues of satyrs are consecrated, as a protection against the evil effects of spells and sorcery*; although in Plautus, we find the gardens spoken of as being under the tutelage of Venus.....

.....It would be surprising indeed, for the beasts of the field to be forbidden the thistle for food, and yet it is a thing forbidden to the lower classes of the community! These refined distinctions, too, are extended to the very water even, and, thanks to the mighty influence of money, there are lines of demarcation drawn in the very elements themselves.... it the fact, then, that any herb of the garden is reared only for the rich man's table? It is so—but still let no one of the angered populace think of a fresh secession to Mount Sacer or Mount Aventine; for to a certainty, in the long run, all-powerful money will bring them back to just the same position as they were in when it wrought the severance. For, by Hercules! there was not an impost levied at Rome more grievous than the market-dues**, an impost that aroused the indignation of the populace, who repeatedly appealed with loud clamours to all the chief men of the state to be relieved from it. At last they were relieved from this heavy tax upon their wares; and then it was found that there was no tax more lucrative, more readily collected, or less obnoxious to the caprices of chance, than the impost that was levied in exchange for it, in the shape of a property-tax, extended to the poorest classes: for now the very soil itself is their surety that paid the tax will be, their means are patent to the light of day, and the superficial extent of their possessions, whatever the weather may chance to be, always remains the same. 


*"contra invidentium effascinationes" =  to counter effects of the evil eye.
** bears reference to the abolition of the market-dues, or "portorium," by Augustus Cæsar, and the substitution of a property tax of one twentieth of the land, a method of taxation which inflicted greater hardships than the former one, as it was assessed according to the superficies, not the produce of the land.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Illusionnistes, aboyeurs et barons...

How did the United Kingdom survive the destruction of the Working classes, organized Labour and Labour Party during and after the reign of Margaret Thatcher? What trickery has enabled the ruling classes in the UK to prevent a revolutionary uprising, or the disintegration of society in response to the ever widening income and education gap between rich and poor? Is it the same mystical force which ensures our submissive fascination while the Conservative Establishment is increasingly seen to be the fat little maggot at the rotten heart of the British State?

The Conservative establishment, ---typified by esoteric organizations like "the Order of Bath", "Order of the Garter, Thistle, St Michael & St George etc,.", "Pilgrims Society" and "Monday Club", peopled by various old World Nobles, countless Lords and Dames, industrialists. tycoons and numerous "old money" multi-millionaires, constantly operating exoterically through the influence, their private dealings, personal fortunes, and financial calculations exert on the Conservative Party (particularly it's back bench, and newly emerging Libertarian/Nationalist Right Wing outfit; UKIP)---- has been successful in conserving the gains from anti-working class, neoliberal reforms enacted by Margaret Thatcher and her successors in the Conservative Party, even channelling their victims ---in true 'pastoral' fashion--- towards the Conservative establishment's favoured ideological response to various 'economic' problems.

As in business, image and reputation is everything, PR is paramount, focusing the masses attention on manufactured problems which the Right Wing dominated media outlets constantly portray; "Immigration"; "erosion of Sovereignty"; "control of Borders";"benefit cheats", "Law and Order" etc,. and away from consciousness of the deleterious effects the Monetarist policies of the last few decades is essential if their reactionary agenda is to go unnoticed.

The Free-Market reforms of the dark years during Thatcherism, particularly wage suppression, and subsequent privatization of public utilities, saw the formerly nationally owned industry giants; Jaguar, British Telecom, Cable & Wireless and British Aerospace, Britoil, British Steel, British Petroleum, Rolls Royce, British Airways, British Gas, water and electricity, being auctioned to private, often foreign investors, the dismantling of the Coal industry, privatization of the railways and de-regulation of the financial services industry, enabling property prices and speculative investments to increase wildly, benefited exclusively the managerial moneyed classes, coporations and wealthy private individuals, who then became the owners of these formerly publicly maintained services & industries, raised prices and dropped wages in order to increase private profit margins, at the expense of the British general public.

Yet since that period and the various confrontations this wholesale betrayal of the working class provoked, the Poll Tax Riots (1989-91), Battle of Orgreave (1984) and Battle of the Beanfield (1985) (being some of the more prominent amongst many others), the majority of Briton's have been extremely compliant, willingly conformist and suspiciously docile to the continuing advance of Capital, towards a position of absolute dominance over organized Labour. The inevitable inequalities formed by this arrangement provoking little more than the occasional protest centered on piecemeal economic demands.

Was the defeat of organized Labour, their subjugation below a managerial class to the tools their own hands had built, the expulsion of new age travellers from their ancestral spiritual heartlands, and the violent repression of the masses of poor people lashing out against the Poll Tax under one of the most unequal, class divided societies the world has ever known, enough to convince the people of Britain that actually Big Brother and his financial backers do know best?

Was it Thatcher's police state reforms and premeditated attacks on worker's rights, or the strategically deployed display of military ruthlessness with which they were enacted, that convinced us of the need to 'defang' the Unions as a political force?

As unpopular as it may be my theory is that Thatcher was right, which is to say she knew very well the concept of trickle down economics would serve to seduce the dispossessed masses, blinding them to their increasing dependence on the market, even if it was through factitious contrivances based on the booming industry of market research, the data yielded there serving the creators of fashions, fads, trends and numerous constantly emerging commodities enabling you to obtain consumer satisfaction.

If the economic forecasters predicted a problem it would be in the interests of this plutocratic over-class to oil the gears of wealth -through commodity- production.

The development of consumer commodity markets, fed by the increased availability of industrial resources and off-shore labour markets, required by the owning classes for their 'cost efficient' production, facilitated the huge leaps made in technology over the last few decades, and widescale availability of consumer electronics (to the level whereby most homes in the developed world have more than one television), this has coincided with the development of the production methods of the various entertainments and media fetishes derived from them (fed by psychological, neurological advances, derived from market research, etc,.), and enabled the Church of the Market to 'freely' distribute it's propagandistic imperatives to consume, to fashion the acceptable channels for expression of desire, putting into it's priesthoods hands a tool for propaganda that make those constructed by the Fascist propagandists of Nazi Germany seem insignificant.

In fetishistic terms privatization, or to use the famous slogan: "trickle down economics", has created an [illusion of] abundance, and availability of everything for all [with an adequate credit rating], which makes it very easy to convince oneself when looking, that we've never had it quite so good, that we've never been better off and that the Lord of the church of the Market really does provide to His faithful servants.

This illusionary, temporary but constantly enlivened sense of satisfaction, endlessly reinvigorated through the production and consumption of it's symbolic forms, is facilitated in no small measure by the over-availability of 'consumer credit', the small plastic cards in your wallet are tools which enable you to service any particular impulse or desire, conceived, manufactured, marketed then implanted in your head by the multi-billion dollar advertising industry. Credit entitles you to enjoy the products and objects of success, regardless of your socio-economic status, even if it is just a transient joy amidst the more prevalent, arduous moments undertaken to attain it.

Capitalizing on the requirement for the objects of success to be widely available to those not using credit, the market for imitation brands being mass produced and sold to mass market, at a fraction of the price of exclusive brands, creates a class system of representation. One's station is still determined by one's ability to pay for the status symbols required to make a show of it, or not as the case may be, but these lesser brands in various fields whether furniture, clothing, automobiles or perfumes superficially appear the same as those hand crafted, limited edition or customized luxury items available to the moneyed classes, so their owner can play at pretending to have attained that level of individual 'success'.

The proliferation of the consumerist ideal where 'one is what one owns rather than what one does', through the constantly disseminated advertising propaganda, which, while affirming the righteousness of consumerism determines the values our consumption reflects, renders us all susceptible to the shop displays of designer brands which we're exposed to on a daily basis in our towns, which having long since been infiltrated by numerous multinationals, are a cacophony of constantly competing private interests vying for our attention, their sole intention to appeal, to stand out and entice us into a financial transaction in their establishment.

The optimum mode of transmitting the most desirable cultural fascinations, are those spectacular representations of human beings known as celebrities, these apparently sentient lifeforms, despite being no different, infact often more banal, monotonous and uninteresting than the most insignificant Human life, are elevated above the general mass of people as an idealized object for them to identify with and imitate, the sublime object of a particular consumerist tendency, or lifestyle.

Much has changed in the forty years since the libertarian reforms of the economy under Thatcher began, the influence of money has re-assumed it's dominance over British life. The sparkling abundance of distractions, fantasy and illusions presented by increasingly empty emissaries of banality, command their own moments of fervent exaltation. They herald tidings of the newest forms of enslavement, a cult of blind adherence to economic logic and the presumed objective value of objects of devotion.

Against the backdrop of a rigorous and prolonged government attack on our collective heritage, culture and self respect, the waning of the ability of the working class to convince themselves they have a voice, through Unions and the Labour party, renders them easy targets for the seductive conveyor belt of consumerism, and more insidious 'opiums' conceived by the dominant ideology, in order to undermine the last vestiges of resistance to the ongoing privatization of the Education system, NHS and destabilization of Democratic societies...