Archive for political philosophy

The Illusion of the Eternal Soul

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17th, 2008 by mrdirt

I am the beginning and the end.

I am Life and I am Death.

The existence of the soul is a myth which, like most religious/spiritual/metaphysical fairy-tales, has one purpose and one purpose only: to quench your lust of life, to make you oblivious of the true nature of life and to keep you mentally enslaved within an illusion, a virtual reality where the meaning of life is labour and procreation.

The myth of the soul has existed, much like other religious myths, for hundreds of thousands of years, ever since the formation of the first proto-societies/family-tribes. It is safe to say that the myth arose ever since we became self-conscious of our existence and aware of our own mortality. Even now, if you try to grasp the notion of death as the end of your existence you will not be able to do so, the thought that you will forever seize to exist is extremely frightening and disturbing. A simpler example would be to ask you to contemplate the universe. The idea of infinity cannot be grasped with the human mind, it is impossible for us to think outside the notion of space/distance. But in the same way, and in fact probably even harder, we are also unable to understand a universe that is not endless. You imagine the universe as a sphere, an area that somewhere has an end. But what exists beyond its borders? Nothingness is not a concept that the human brain can grasp.

In the same way, the brain cannot grasp these concepts when applied to time. Eternity, the existence of time without beginning and end is difficult to understand. Even more difficult is to understand a state of things where time does not exist. This inability to understand the end of existence, that death is the end and there is absolutely nothing after it, creates such awesome fear within our hearts that is is easy to understand how the first humans chose to create a bed time story with a happy ending for their children and themselves. And so death became nothing more than a passage to the afterlife.

The development of the notion of the soul was affected by a variety of factors. It was not only the fear of the unknown and our mortality that played a part. It was also the understanding that we were somehow different from all the other creatures that walked the earth. We were the only life-form to be self-conscious of our actions and our choices, of good and evil, of life and death, of mathematical patterns, of our bodies, of nature, and so much more. This led the first humans to conclude that we are different, we are higher beings, and thus arose the myth that we were made in the image of the gods (read the ancient Greek myth of Prometheus). And of course, since the gods(the sun) were immortal, so were we.

But even though it was decided that we should be immortal, it was still to be decided what it was that was immortal in us. Certainly it could not have been the body. The body dies and rots and returns to the mother earth. So what is it that rises up to the heavens? More importantly, what is it that comes from the life-giving creator-god, the sun? Light and warmth. And what is it that creates the same effect here on earth? Fire. So the sun-god was a huge fireball. And sitting around the fire that kept them safe and warm at night, what did our ancestors see rising to the sky? Smoke. As simple as that, our immortality came to be represented by a smoke-like existence, an intangible, ethereal, airy presence that could be seen like the smoke, a ghost or a spirit, the soul.

Having existed for hundreds of thousands of years, the myth of the soul has permeated the human subconscious and is now considered by all as a given, a fact. The non-affiliated nature of this myth has accommodated its existence within all religions and all societies. Even today’s atheists and agnostics uncritically accept the existence of the soul. “I may not believe in a creator-being, but I still like to bask in the lie that is my immortality”. Indeed, the myth of the soul is so established within human society and psyche that the denial of its existence is met by shock and horror. To confess that you deny the existence of the soul would be in the same region as someone in the Dark Ages claiming that the earth is round.

But why is it that even now, having advanced so far in terms of knowledge and technology and so much more, do we still stick to this notion of the eternal soul? After all there is no proof to justify it. On the contrary, the evidence point towards a wholly humanistic nature of the self. We know today that a person’s personality and his illusion of the “self” is the result of the structure and workings of his brain, combined with his experiences during his pre-pubescent life. So it must be something else that causes this ignorance. A conscious effort to deny the facts like an ostrich who buries his head in the sand. Certainly there is the fear of the unknown. But is that enough to justify the unwillingness to progress? Or is it the case that certain people benefit from this myth?

I want you to consider what you would do if you were told with no uncertain terms that there is no afterlife of one sort or the other and after you die you simply seize to exist? Would you still be willing to spend the largest part of your life in the modern slavery that is wage-labour consumerism? Would you accept the system as it is, a system in which you get the wonderful things that exist around you in the “afterlife” while those who take advantage of you enjoy them in the real life? The afterlife, the immortality of the soul is nothing else but another dogma by which you are kept in chains, educated to become unwilling to rise up and fight for your freedom and your rightful share of the beautiful miracle that is life. They tell you “blessed be the poor for they will enter heaven with Jesus while the rich will spend eternity in hell”. They tell you “blessed be the martyrs because if you die fighting for your religion Allah will give you lots of beautiful wives to fuck for the rest of eternity”. And then they send you off to do their dirty work.

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Reverse Monetarism

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13th, 2008 by mrdirt

I looked in the mirror only to discover that I was the reflection.

Both Capitalism (Free Market) and Communism (Closed Market) are systems by which the elite enslaves the population through enforced consumption.

Consumption is driven by propaganda and “legal” lies such as advertising, marketing, popular art and other methods of culture and lifestyle imperialism, and is funded by the creation of debt. The debt is administered as a pyramid scheme passed on from the top to the bottom. Standing at the bottom of the pyramid, one tends to regard the “scheme” as a good and helpful idea, since he cannot see the top. A small individual debt can be acquired (for the purpose of consumption) in return for a promise that your future labour will repay the debt with interest.

Looking at the top of the pyramid one can re-evaluate the implications of this system. A government that is in debt of trillions dollars has borrowed this money with the promise that it will repay it in the future with interest. This implies that not only does it impose on its citizens the responsibility and burden to pay off the debt with future labour, but also that their labour must increase in order to accommodate the interest.

The idea of interest is in all probability the most important key to the correct functioning of economic transaction. Interest represents the value of money (which is nothing else than legal tender, i.e. a promise) that increases in time. The increase in the value of money is the result of the increase of the value of the/a commodity. The increase in the value of the/a commodity is (or should be) the result of increased value of   productivity (labour) that is reflected as an increase in its price. The increase in price has to be accommodated through the circulation of more bank notes which are borrowed from the banks with interest. Therefor, any labour that results in the increase of the value and wealth of society/humanity also increases the debt of humanity to those who have the “divine” right to print bank notes. Plus the interest.

So, the more you work, the more debt you create, and the more you need to work to repay it, etc, etc. But how does one solve the problem of debt-interest? Maybe the answer is : by taking away the right of anyone to “create” money. If the amount of money in circulation is kept at a constant, it will lose its intrinsic value since it will be impossible to “find” the extra money by which you would repay the interest. That “extra” money doesn’t exist, and never will. In this case, if you borrow 1000 dollars, you will pay back in the future 1000 dollars.

But why would anyone lent you money if they are not gonna get interest? And without people lending money how can progress be achieved? Well, profit from lending can come in 2 forms. It can come in the form of a commodity (you lend me money to buy seeds, and I repay you the money plus I give you some of the produce). The second way comes in the form of an increase in the value of those 1000 dollars. Let me explain. One hundred years ago you could buy a loaf of bread for a penny. Today a loaf of bread at the supermarket costs 1 pound. That is an increase in value of x100, even though the real value of bread has decreased by x100 (due to the advancement in technology which allows us to make bread with much less labour). If any, the price should fall, not rise. This discrepancy in the price and value of bread is the increase in the amount of bank notes circulating (also referred to as inflation).

But, if the amount of bank notes is constant, and I lend money for someone to create an oven that bakes bread twice as fast, which results in half the labour needed to produce a bread, the decrease in the real value of bread should be reflected as a decrease in its price. So with the same money (the money that I lend) I can buy more bread than before. Under this system, lending money is more of an act that benefits the general public rather than the owner of money. In the previous example the general public will benefit from the drop in the price. Another way this “profit” could manifest would be as less hours for the workers (rather than a wage drop or firing some of them) thus increasing their quality of life.

So what is the point? Well, if money is constant, you can’t charge interest for money. And interest is the “price” we pay to get hold of bank notes from the banks. Even though money is nothing but representation of value, in the current system it has a value of its own. You don’t save money, you sell it to the bank at 3% profit. The bank doesn’t lend you money, it sells it to you at 5% profit. So no matter what you do the bank will always profit from the fact that society cannot operate without money.

The Right to an Un-Stately Existence

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1st, 2008 by mrdirt

I walk on a bed of salt.

The white spreads in front of me, blinds me.

Here there is no road

 

 

Owing to the fact that the so-called mandatory “education” is nothing more than the calculated attempt by states to produce citizens, it is no wonder that very few people have a clear understanding of what life was, and can be, in the absence of states. 

The first state was created some 350 years ago. Before the invention of the state, societies still existed and functioned perfectly. These societies were divided into the local population, who were free men, and the foreigners who were captured at war and became slaves. As Kingdoms began to increase in size, there was a dire need for Kings and the aristocracy to discover someway that would allow them better control over the land they commanded so as to avoid the diffusion of power. It was this need that slowly diluted the concept of slavery. As the ruling class slowly eroded the freedoms enjoyed by the local population, the boundaries faded and a new class of slaves appeared. This happened early in the dark christian ages when the feudal system was introduced. This system ensured the concentration of power to the hands of the few, condemning the local population to what can only be described religious slavery. Using the power of religious terrorism and rendering education impossible, the feudal lords (warriors and priests) claimed a divine birthright to freedom. Everybody else was a serf, a stylized version of slavery, with forced labour substituted by taxation. The taxes that serfs had to pay were so high that working 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, was barely enough to pay the taxes and have some food left over so you would not starve to death. This system lasted for about a thousand years until the invention of “citizenship”, the new and improved version of slavery.  

Citizenship came about with the emergence of the “state”. There were two main reasons for the creation of the state. The first was to pacify the people who after thousands of years of suffering begun to demand certain rights. This saw the system of plutocratic aristocracy replaced by plutocratic “representative” democracy. Although the first states appeared within the small Germanic kingdoms, the most notable “evolutions” of kingdom to state  are the French and American Revolutions. In France, the uprise of the revolution of the mob without any real direction and understanding resulted in the overthrowing of one aristocracy only to be replaced by another (Napoleon). In America, the refusal of the people to pay taxes to the English king, resulted in “independence” and the formation of a “representative” democracy. The so-called forefathers of America were masons, that elite group of merchant, traders, bankers, businessmen, who grabbed this opportunity to create a true plutocratic establishment based on capital. Capitalism anyone? As for “representative” democracy, who would you vote into Congress? The plumber who lives next door, or some rich bastard whose family has been Congressmen for the past 300 years? It is no wonder that the father of both these failed revolutions, Thomas Paine, is nowhere to be found in school textbooks. 

And this is how we ended up where we are today, living in a representative plutocracy. We still pay taxes like serfs, but instead of a King we have a Congress whose job is to find ways to “legally” direct the flow of money to today’s feudal lords. $700 billion dollars to bail out the bankers who destroyed the money market by making too much money? How insane is that? Wars to feed the military-industrial complex, the petroleum industry, the food industry, the cosmetics industry etc.      

The second reason for the creation of the state was to streamline and raise the efficiency of the system which those in power use to monitor the people, i.e. to create all this bureaucracy that we now consider to be necessary for the running of a state. The insanity of this system is so remarkable that people stop questioning it. They think to themselves “the government must have a reason to do this because it is so insane”. Here’s one of my favorite examples. I pay the government money to build roads. I pay the government money to hire traffic wardens. I pay the government money so that I can take a test that proves I am capable of driving. I use my own money to buy a car. And yet, I am forced by law to pay an insurance company money to be allowed to drive. And to get an MOT test! I find this the most disgusting  form of exploitation. With what right does the government enforce on me that I need to have the money to pay for an accident in case it happens? Using the same logic, an insurance company should have enough money to pay for all their customers in case they all got into an accident. Banks should have enough money in their vaults to pay for all their customers savings. Which of course they don’t. It seems to me that when cars were first invented some smart banker down at Wall Street came up with the idea of car insurance and persuaded some of his Congressmen buddies to pass a law that would force you to have an insurance. Its a money making scheme. The government forces the population to give the bankers money and all we get in return is 1% of what we paid. There are thousands of examples of state insanity and exploitation like this one.    

So what exactly is it that gives legality to a state to enforce this exploitative system on to me?   John Stuart Mill’s refutal of the “First Cause” argument comes to mind. Mill, an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century, was taught by his father that if there has to be a first cause, and God created the universe, then who created God? The question of course cannot be answered and therefor the “First Cause” argument cannot stand as a theory. 

In the same pattern, states claim that they are legal entities. But their legality does not come from above, since they are the highest legal entity. Therefor, their legality must come from the bottom. And it is the case that every state talks of its legality coming from its citizens in its constitution.  What I imply is that since there is no “divine” legality to the existence of the state it is ridiculous for anyone to claim that I cannot lead an un-stately existence. Just like I accept that people have the right if they so wish to organise themselves into large groups with a central authority, so should they accept that I do not wish to be a part of any group, be it nation or state. And yet I have no legal right to this. I cannot travel unless I have documentations which prove that I belong to a certain state. I cannot buy a piece of land without that piece of land falling within the borders of one state or another. But even though the state is the highest legal entity, it is not the “first cause”, and as such has no legal or moral justification over the “ownership” of territory or labour.

It is my fundamental right as a first cause to live free.

Money makes the world go round

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 23rd, 2008 by mrdirt

A horse and a hyena are seating under a tree playing chess.

The light coming from the old street lamp makes the sand appear like an autumn leaf.

Bishop to E6.

“Keep moving to the back of the train”. 

 

 

So, I heard this thing a lot. But the first time I heard someone say it as if it was the meaning of life, I think I cried for a week. “Money makes the world go round”. That’s right, money makes the world go round. No sir, its not the sun’s gravity  that makes the world go round. It’s not the sun’s light that keeps us safe from the darkness, nor its warmth that shelters us from cold. It’s not the sun’s energy that makes the plants grow so we can eat and breathe.

“Our ancestors were a bunch of uneducated imbeciles! Worshipping the sun as a life-giver… Whoever thought of such a preposterous idea? No, its the money that makes the world go round!”

Sarcasm aside, I like my ipod just like any other guy and I’m not saying we should burn all the money and go back to a barter economy. After all there’s not really any difference. So what am I really saying? Well, it goes a little bit like this.

Three thousand years ago, or maybe it was four, people begun to master the art of farming. Growing crops and domesticating animals meant people could provide the necessities for their families and have a little bit left over. And thus begun the first barter societies where commodities were exchanged. This was of course necessary at the time, or at least extremely advantageous, as trade of commodities increased the living standards greatly. Fast forward to today.

It’s self-evident that we now live in a society of consumerism, the Society of the Spectacle, as Guy Debord put it. A world where the commodity has replaced the sun as the object of our worship. This commodity fetishism has infiltrated our social subconscious to such a degree that the meaning of life has changed from “living” to “having”.  And this is true no matter what “alternative” system is used to organise our society. Whether its Capitalism or Communism, our lives revolve unnaturally around the commodity God and its image. None of the “alternative” systems have been successful in promoting a healthy state of existence, nor have they ever attempted to. The only thing that has been attempted was the redistribution of wealth, production and power.   

So our society is based on wealth, the more the better. No one has actually ever considered that there could exist a society that is not based on economics. A society where money is not what we all aspire to would be a society where poverty could easily be eradicated. The rise of consumerism has led to a deluge of problems, ranging from the biggest (poverty, famine) to the smallest (stress and obesity). 

Keep worshipping the God that kills you.

Prosperity and the illusion of Identity.

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 19th, 2008 by mrdirt

I fear him.

I do not understand him.

The mirror stares back at me.

Oh, help me great leader.

 

 

Prosperity, I think, is what we all aspire to. Happiness and progress. And yet, as a species, we do very little to achieve this. We are the only life form on this planet that kills its own kind for reasons that have no real value. We kill for oil, for land, for precious rocks, for ideologies. We carry out organised crime and legalise it by calling it a war among nations. We steal from our neighbours thinking that this way there is more for us when in truth there is less for all.

I was born and raised in a country that has been at war with one of its neighbouring countries for the past 500 years. I had to waste two and a half years of my life, the best years of my life, in the army being forcibly conscripted. I stood guard on the borders and saw people shooting at me. Trying to kill me because I was born about 100 kilometers to the west from where they were born. This is the only thing that separates as. The illusion of identity.

I know, it sounds silly. It sounds like the ramblings of an idealistic kid who hasn’t woken up to the real world yet. Or a pot-head hippie who thinks we should all hug each other in brotherly love. I assure you I am neither. In fact I would rather punch you in the face than hug you. Practically speaking though, war and poverty are an extreme waste of resources that could be put to better use. I’m sure you can thing of many.

So what is the illusion of identity? Bertrand Russel makes an excellent historical analysis. When man first appeared, we lived and functioned in the family level like a pack of wolves. Power in unity. In the pack, the strongest was the leader, the rest followed. Once these packs began to grow in population through war and conquest, the members of the pack no longer had any personal contact with the leader and therefor no loyalty. Instead, the loyalty of family ties was replaced by fear. For thousands of years the fear was that of physical punishment and pain. Today that has been replaced by psychological fear. In Germany, the Nazis cultivated the fear and hatred of other races, especially Jews, to trick the population into a war. In the USA, the Christian fundamentalists cultivate the fear of terrorism to convince the people that they should spent a trillion dollars to bomb a few poor people who are in fact posing no threat to them. Now, I don’t mean to equate Republican America with Nazi Germany, but I think you get the general idea. If you want war, scare the people into believing that “they” are somehow different from us. They are commies, they are muslims, they don’t eat mcdonald’s, etc. The trick never fails to work. And why would our leaders go to all this trouble, you might ask. Well folks, war is to capitalism a most essential necessity. It is the best and fastest way to create what economists call ‘surplus wealth’. And since, according to a fellow called Einstein, all matter is constant, ‘surplus’ wealth is nothing else but the redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. And you don’t even need Marx to tell you that.

Thus, as you should all know, war is the best way to enhance the feeling of belonging to a group, the feeling of identity. Security is in fact the last bastion of the nation-state, as we have learned from the EU experiment. But in the same way, identity is the cause of war. After all, the definition of war is hostility between groups of different identity. Of course, identity is not limited to the human illusion of nationality. There is also that unspeakable evil, Religion. Between them, religion and nationality have caused 99% of all warfare in the history of the human kind.

Warfare is not the only major problem caused by the illusion that we are somehow different from each other. Poverty, famine, disease, sound familiar? 80% of the human population, thats about 4.5 billion people, live well below the poverty standard. Are they stupid, weak, lazy, or just plain bad? God must be punishing that six month old baby, thats why it has malaria and starving to death! What a bunch of idiots! It hasn’t rained there for the past one hundred years and they still insist in living in that desert! Why don’t they just move? Oh, now I get it, it’s called ‘borders’. So thats why they can’t get away from those parts of the earth whose climate and terrain is not suitable to planting crops and raising domesticated animals. 

Sure, climate and terrain is not the only cause of poverty, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to analyse the reasons behind the underdevelopment of the Third World. Maybe in another post. The case remains that bringing down the borders would solve 99% of these problems. In fact, I am absolutely convinced that it’s the ONLY way to solve these problems. 

The R-3volution of Political Philosophy

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , on August 28th, 2008 by mrdirt

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

– Thomas H. Huxley


The purpose of the posts under this category, the main part of my blog, is to write down a few of my ideas so that i can elaborate on them. Hopefully, there are people out there with similar ideas and interests that will offer me their comments and feedbacks.

My thoughts regard the state of the human society, in other words the way we interact with the world around us and among ourselves. The limits to human behaviour, are set by the main institutions of humanity which include the political systems, the economic systems, religion, the law, education, parenthood, and many others that I will probably come up with later on.  I shall examine their nature (present), how they came to be (past), and the options available to us (future).

My ideas can be generally classified as anarchist or nihilist.

Anarchism is the political theory of a world based on a free society rather than the nation-state type of international system of the last 300 years. It is an ideology based on mutual aid and the liberty of the individual. Mutual aid, or social cooperation, has been the basis for survival of all sociable animals (humans, apes, wolves, lions, elephants, deers, horses, dolphins, etc). Individual freedom refers to the destruction of the state as a centre of power, to be replaced by local communities. Most people misunderstand the notion of anarchism to mean the absence of rule of law. In fact, it is rather the opposite as anarchism is the dispersal of power to local communities thus increasing the number of social contracts and therefore democracy. For more on this subject you can read Kropotkin. The economic side of anarchism was best described, in my opinion, by Proudhon’s and Rudolf Rocker’s anarcho-syndicalism which calls for the self-management of the workers, i.e. an economic system based on coop’s. Of course this is not the only branch of economic anarchism. There is also anarcho-communism and anarcho-collectivism, which are more popular, but personally I do not agree with them.

Nihilism is even more misunderstood than anarchism. Philosophical nihilism argued that life is pointless, void of objective meaning, purpose and intrinsic value. Although Nietzsche is considered the father of Nihilism he was vehemently opposed to this philosophy that encourages apathy toward life and the poisoning of the human soul. For Nietzsche, Christianity was the most nihilistic philosophy since it rejected the material world in favour of a non-existant after-life. Today what we understand as nihilism is exactly the opposite, it is Nietzsche’s teachings.


We must destroy the Homo Sapiens.