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An (incomplete) Affirmation of My Relationship With Primitivist Thought

My relationship with the school of thought that is primitivism is very split between intense affirmation and intense differentiation. And that is essentially all I wish to communicate through this piece. It is in many ways intended as a reflective effort for me and also as a point of clarification for those who might wonder what my perspective on primitivism. This is certainly not intended as a rejection, or an embrace. I will address first some common themes within primitivist thought in a broader sense, before commenting on the influence of and points of differentiation from key individuals within the topography of primitivist discourse, who have impacted upon my perspective. 

(I will note here that, while I will include Quinn as a primitivist (for reasons I clarify later), I am not using primitivism here to refer to all anti-civilisation thought, so there individuals who have influenced my thought, who are critical of civilisation, that have been excluded from this piece.)

Main Themes – 

Traditionalism

Many within the world of primitivist discourse and practice will advocate traditionalism as a lifestyle that people should embrace. What I mean by traditionalism is basically seeking to adopt a life-style that is considered generally historically past – this could also be described as regressive or reactionary. This is seemingly embraced to form an alternative narrative to that of progression, which is often tied to technological-narratives. 

I can appreciate much of where the desire for traditionality comes from and do see a great deal of beauty in those cultures who live now in ways that might be described as “backwards” or traditional by this culture – though I feel that to describe them as backwards is offensive and revolting. I would also be dishonest if I did not acknowledge that I have a fondness for traditional folk music, which might well, come from a similar psycho-aesthetic to the primitivist desire for tradition. 

I am not a traditionalist though. To me, traditionalism, as an attempt to provide a blueprint for a lifestyle people can adopt, is a mode of lifestylism – rank with much of the narcissism of greenwashed “ethical-consumerism”. In this way, the push for tradition strikes me as an attempt to provide a choreography for individuals to conform to – a choreography that stereotypes those cultures they deem desirable-to-emulate in a thoroughly romantic way. 

I also wonder why traditional living would be desirable to me, here and now today? How does embracing tradition provide a desirable way of rebelling against the Leviathan today, particularly when its violence historically saw the end of traditional practices that it sought to annihilate?

Rewilding

I think rewilding is perhaps the most beautiful concept and practice within primitivism, even if I have a point of differentiation from general primitivist use of this term. I love how primitivists have used this practice not just of one done in the garden, but as something that they individually do to themselves. That rewilding is taken as a personal endeavour positions the activity as one of self-becoming, self-actualising, metamorphosis, destructive-creativity where who they are dies and is reborn. 

As I expressed in my book Feral Life, I do not find the practice of rewilding to be limited to just the boundaries that primitivists will often limit it to – but would not deny that they can be part of a practice. For myself, rewilding is a process of reweirding, as what is wild is weird and what is weird is wild. This opens up rewilding to including modes of weird-experience that primitivists would often deny being at all valuable for rewilders. I have been disappointed to see primitivists push the line that rewilding is an embrace of normality, out of some historical stereotypes around “primitive” people – as if normalisation and normality are desirable qualities.

Anthropological-realism

Another point of differentiation, though not rejection, is with regards to anthropological-realism. For many primitivists, anthropology holds the truth. So much of their theories and practices draw from anthropology as truth. 

I am somewhat influenced by anthropology in my perspective – particularly Sahlins and his work Stoneage Economics. But for me anthropology is just a means of forming stories about how one or another group of individuals are living. 

In my rejection of species-being (that goes with my rejection of speciesism), I do not encounter a desire to embrace anthropological-reconstruction, in the way that many primitivists advocate. As I experience anthropological-machinery as the apparatus for life-abuse, which is mass-extinction-culture(/this culture), I would rather see and partake in the deconstruction and destruction of anthropological-Realities than the (re-)construction of alternatives.

Collapse

Like most primitivists I have encountered, I find the ending of civilisation through collapse. But I differ in many ways regarding what I mean by collapse and how I see this occurring. Where I find similar ground with most primitivists after this is in finding value in healing through rewilding post-collapse. 

For most primitivists I have encountered, the collapse of civilisation is something that happens through essentially political – revolutionary-political – programming, in ways that (at least somewhat) conform to the ideas of Derrick Jensen, Ted Kaczynski and John Jacobi. The narrative goes somewhat like this – in the Future, civilisation gets too big for itself and can no longer support its own weight; and at this point in history, when the material conditions are right, a revolutionary vanguard rise up the People (not as masses but as People), who engage in “decisive ecological warfare” and civilisation is brought down through the revolutionary effort; after this political programming is completed, individuals experience freedom. There will no doubt be differences to this narrative between primitivists and I have generalised here, but generally this has been the “plan” as I have seen it from primitivists – a revolutionary theory/political narrative, or roadmap. 

I do not see collapse as a political narrative or revolutionary occurrence, or as something that is waiting for Humanity when the right historical-material conditions arrive from the future. Rather, I experience collapse as a here and now process that is continually happening, with civilisation continually needing to attempt to rebuild itself. This process, as I experience it, is not a revolutionary movement, but an involutionary process; not political or designed, but wild and without a blueprint or choreography to follow. I notice that, where civilisation fails to rebuild itself – abandoned/ruined cities and buildings being some of the most dramatic examples of this process– rewilding happens spontaneously and without design. I know that, during my personal experiences of civilisation collapsing, the most intense places of healing and life-affirmation have been ones where I have experienced rewilding/becoming-animal. 

Key Individuals

John Zerzan

Undoubtedly the most famous of the primitivists, there is a lot that is valuable in Zerzan’s thought – more than I will go into now. My personal relationship with Zerzan has always involved a point of tension, regarding his disapproval of my having collaborated with LBC and Aragorn!. But I have always found John to show something of caring affirmation, behind his grumpiness. 

The most valuable areas of thought I think Zerzan brings to the conversation are his criticisms of symbolic-culture (though I do have some differences to his thought – symbolic-culture and symbolic-experiences are different to me, especially in totalitarian contexts) and time (which I would say Zerzan’s key failure is his not taking this far enough, with his embrace of historicisms). These influenced my thought in both Feral Consciousness and Feral Iconoclasm.

The most significant area where I differ in perspective to Zerzan is with regards to art and aesthetic-experience. My experience of artistry is of it being a point of civilizational collapse, where the will-to-life/power, which is wild-Being, cannot be caged and actualises the destructive processes of creativity (wild-life being creation); and I often think that whenever Zerzan critiques the arts he is limiting his perception of art to that of being the viewer/spectator, and that he fails to consider the artists experience of creativity.

Kevin Tucker

I approach writing about Kevin Tucker with somewhat of a feeling of amusement and quiet laughter. Tucker’s feeling about me have been made clear through his aggressive dismissal and attempts to insult via Twitter (one insult finding itself in the opening pages of my Feral Life). 

I do feel that the concept of primal anarchy, which I encounter as Tucker’s creation, is very valuable – which is why much of Feral Life is focused on affirming primal anarchy. However, I do differ from Tucker in what I mean by primal anarchy, as I feel that Tucker doesn’t actually understand the concept he created. I’ll explain myself. As I encounter him, Tucker takes primal anarchy to be a lifestyle articulated through an anthropological-realist lens – that of the nomadic hunter-gatherer – and basically only this. While primal anarchy includes this for me, I do not encounter it as only this. In my usage of the term, primal anarchy is immediate-freedom, anarchy occurring as a primary-process (primal-process) and not something occurring through a secondary “higher-order” processing. The difference between these meanings is vaster than it might initially appear. Tucker’s is with regards to an anthropological-reconstruction of a lifestyle – actually a secondary form of processing. My meaning pertains to a psycho-geographic-experience – a primal form of processing. One way of further differentiating Tucker’s meanings and mine is that in Tucker’s meaning “primal anarchy” is “out-there” and some-Thing away from us. For me, primal anarchy is a here and now encounter that I experience in the present moment.

One other (similar) point of differentiation between Tucker’s thought and mine regards our differences regarding the idea and practice of nomadism. Again, Tucker seems to take nomadism as something that is essentially limited to “nomadic-hunter-gatherer” ideals that he upholds as the true anarchy-ideal. I feel disinclined to limit the idea and practice of nomadity in this way. I encounter nomadism as both geographic and psychological and just how the mind changes through the experience of moving through a space, a space changes through movements within the mind. For me, the lack of psychic-nomadism within Tucker’s thought and his apparent ideological sedentism is astounding, and while I may be able to be accused of being a bag floating in the wind, I’d rather that than being a brick, stuck in the concrete.

Fredy Perlman

Perlman’s impact on me is a strange one. His more analytic pieces often do not inspire much in me, if anything, whereas I enjoy his more expressive pieces of writing immensely. Where he has impacted me most is in his work Against Leviathan, Against His-Story, not really for the ideas and narrative he expresses within the book, but for the feeling I was left with after reading it. Reading Perlman’s Against His-Story was part of my motivation for writing Feral Iconoclasm – fuel to my fire. I actually included a quote from Against His-Story in the opening pages of the book. 

Daniel Quinn

While Quinn did not call himself a primitivist and is not usually considered a primitivist, I am including him here. My main reason for doing this is because I encountered Quinn when exploring primitivist thought and find a great deal of similarity between Quinn’s thought and that of most primitivists. I am aware that many would disagree with me on this and am happy to accept that. 

Quinn’s thought I find immensely beautiful in many places – often far more beautiful than self-described primitivists (particularly the more political individuals within primitivist discourse). The areas of Quinn’s thought I want to affirm are his observations of the environmental situation being primarily a psychological occurrence – i.e. individuals forgetting as part of “the great forgetting” – rather than just a political one, and his identifying that ecological wellbeing is an egoistic (rather than moral) pursuit, where individuals embrace what they “really want”, rather than conforming to what this culture states they “ought to” want. With this, Quinn does not limit praxis to collectivist-type political-narratives – he affirms the open potential of the individual to remember/re-member and desire. I cannot understate how intensely this resonates with my thought and how enriching I find these qualities of Quinn’s thought. 

Where I most intensely differ from Quinn is in his advocacy of the-teacher, or teaching-as-practice. My initial reason for difference is first and foremost because I don’t believe this thought can be taught, but occurs first and foremost through experience. After this, I feel an immediate skepticism towards those who seek to position themselves as “teacher” – especially in the context of meditation teachers or individuals who claim to be able to instruct individuals on how-they-should-think. Finally, I feel that there are far more and frankly better ways to impart thought, ideas and so on than teaching, such as art, poetry, conversation and (maybe) writing. 

John Moore

The primitivist who today I wish to affirm the thought of most intensely is that of John Moore. I consider Moore to be immensely brilliant and beautiful. 

The aspects of Moore’s thought that harmonise most intensely with mine are his affirmations of bewilderness (his concept that I stole in my Feral Life), ecdysis, poetry, post-structuralist thought and post-Situationist praxis. To me, Moore is delightfully refreshing and invigorating to encounter, when contrasted with a world of discourse that is disappointingly dominated by anthropology. There is also a lively playfulness to Moore, most noticeable in his Book of Levelling, which is nowhere to be seen in the lifeless serious political-analytics of primitivists like Jacobi. 

The one point where I will differentiate my thought from Moore’s here is in the romantic gender-essentialism he embraces throughout his piece Lovebite. He is obviously coming from an eco-feminist perspective throughout this piece and while I appreciate where he seems to have come from, to me the propagation of reductive gender norms in this way ultimately supports patriarchal narratives – or at least, that is how I see it. 

Conclusion

As the title states, this piece is not a complete affirmation of my relationship with primitivist thought. There are subjects, such as technology and food-consumption-narratives that I have not included here, which I perhaps could have done. Equally, there are individuals who many might consider key to primitivist thought who I have not commented on. Regarding individuals who I have not included, my choices in individuals I have included has primarily been due to which primitivists have impacted me most intensely. 

Through this piece I have sought to affirm areas of primitivist thought I find value in, as well as affirming areas of difference. This is to reflect neither a rejection of primitivism or an embrace. I am not a primitivist and have never described myself as a primitivist. I am though inspired, moved and affected by primitivist thought, as well as occasionally disappointed. 

I would encourage anyone who would wish for me to have written more here to read my Feral books, as these have all be influenced by primitivist thought, while being different to primitivist thought.

The Year of Quiet Oceans- poem

The Year of Quiet Oceans

The year of quiet oceans will not go unforgotten by many,

But to the Oak tree a short walk from my house, the Lyn river and cliffs at the edges of my world, the rocks of which have encountered the orchestras of primordial seas, full of untamed life,

The year of quiet oceans may be forgotten by them – perhaps only remembered as another unusually scorching summer for them.

In the year of quiet oceans the instruments projecting anthrophonic sounds in the air – with that rank and arrogant song, that seeks to silence other melodies – fell quiet, before silence,

A sound that, with all the qualities of a cancerous tumour, grows,

But who today listens to the ocean, other than those individuals who survive in it their home.

The pursuit of dead flesh, without the authenticity of the fight, as well as acid rain and other very civilised occurrences have removed the orchestras from the ocean.

But what does causation, causality or the Causes of individuals who wish to save them, mean to those who live amidst the anthrophonic song,

And who undoubtedly enjoyed the year of quiet oceans?

Now, do not take this as a celebration of ill-health,

No,

This is an affirmation only for the space where geophonic and biophonic melodies might crescendo again,

Without being polluted by the songs of the industrial death machine of Leviathan!

I will try to listen to the ocean, to hear the songs that it sings.

This Spring morning, I’m hearing goldfinches, sparrows and blue tits,

As well as others, whose songs dance on the air,

Like they were floating on water.

Xen: The Zen of the Other by Ezra Buckley

I have (somewhat) known Ezra Buckley for several years now, via the internet. The immediate quality I noticed was that Buckley gives basically nothing of them that would give any quality of who they are, besides being sympathetic to zenarchy and eco-extremist thought, and loving the idol Tiamat. I’ve experienced a feeling of appreciation for Buckley, for the value that they have shown in my writing and the kindness that they have shown me (via the internet). So I was deeply pleased to learn that I’d been sent this book that they have written.

The first thing that I will say about Xen is that it is not a work of philosophical theory or political propaganda. I encountered no groundbreaking ideas and didn’t feel challenged by the book. (Okay, that is criticism done.)

Xen, from my reading, is partly a zenarchist love poem to Tiamat and partly a piece of grunge-literature style ego-centric autobiography. But really, these different parts cannot be separated.

Xen is non-linear. Xen is liminal.

What I appreciate about Buckley’s book is the sense of desperate and furious will-to-life/power, coupled with a playfulness that is wonderful. I’m sincerely grateful for having been sent the book, both to know something more of Buckley (even if that is the Buckley that Buckley wants to tell) and for the pleasure of reading this work on Xen.

Some Lazy Thoughts On Bob Black’s Myths.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Bob Black had released his recent work The Myth of Human Rights, partly because I had weeks prior purchased a zine copy of his The Abolition of Work and intended to reread it. Black, along with Jarach and Crimethinc, was one of my first encounters with post-left anarchist thought, and at one time I really valued his thought. I have read both works since the publication of the more recent and am going to share (lazily) some of my thoughts on (the myths in) both.

The Myth of Human Rights –

Factual-Realism: Black’s embrace of this (myth/)mode of argument is intensely disappointing. Claims of “objectivity” are incredibly weak attempts at posturing some notion of authority. It seems to go with a form of Humanist theology that I’d have hoped Black wouldn’t turn to.

Humanism: Black misses the first point of destroying the myth of human rights; destroying the concept of “human” species-being. As such, the piece reads like an ode to human-being.

Contradictions = bad: Black positions contradictions as something bad, when being-contradiction – contradiction being difference – is a core aspect of anti-totalitarian praxis. To not contradict the system is to accept this culture. Black’s anti-contradiction logic strikes me as weak, at best.

Conflict-harmony dichotomy: I find this dichotomy to be an entirely false one and Black’s appeal to it instantly reminded me of Hobbes and his anti-wild ideology.

Chomsky Name Calling: Black’s belief in the myth that calling Chomsky names makes him more interesting is just sad. Nothing more can be said on the matter.

Utopian Anarchism: Black appealing to romantic sentiment regarding utopian anarchism is (also) just sad, and (sadly) suggests to me that Black is a disappointed optimist, still hoping wishful thinking might come true.

The Abolition of Work-

Suffering is caused by work and is bad: I find this myth to be both victim posturing politically and ontologically false, as I encounter suffering as a basic aspect of being alive. In both of these ways, I encounter Black as pathetic and moralistic.

At Work People Aren’t Free: Black’s posturing this myth strikes me as utter bad-faith and again victim posturing (again pathetic). I find freedom to be ontologically prior to productive narratives – you can’t escape your freedom Bob!

Life Will Become A Game?: Life is a game Bob. If you’re not having fun, maybe you need to get better at playing it!

Final thought –

Perhaps it is unfair to critique an individual whose obituary has been written before they died, after a stark decline – https://aragorn.anarchyplanet.org/in-defense-of-bob-black/ . I certainly don’t want to deny that Black was one of my early anarchist influences and I will never forget (nor stop loving) the reaction of local members of the SWP and ML party, when I handed them prints of Groucho Marxism, at a local vegan cafe when I was 17. I do feel that to critique – not necessarily to comment on – is to affirm some value in a work (even a lazy critique).

And here I’ll end this.

Smash All Clocks by Calvin Smith – a review

Small chap-book poetry collections are wonderful, certainly to me, and Smash All Clocks, by Calvin Smith, is a wonderful read.

In that way that poetry meets theory (often better than analytics), Smash All Clocks comes across to me as an egoistic-perspectivist work of expressive writings, detailing Smith’s experiences of being alive amidst Leviathan’s auto-cannibalistic collapse. It’s grunge-lit style I found immediately pleasing and the imagery Smith uses left me feeling a sense of appreciation for him.

There are powerful personal extremely short poems in the collection, such as Hiking and Lost; funnier poems, such as Karen; and pieces that take a more serious tone, full of dissatisfaction, disillusionment and left me with a feeling of dark-affirmation. None of the poems stand out above or beneath any of the others, but they are all, in their own way, individually them.

You might ask why you should bother to read this collection, if all you’ll learn is Smith’s perspective, and it is true, there’s nothing really to learn from the poems other than Smith’s perspective. But reading because you ought to read something is terrible and you will only gain what there is to gain from reading Smash All Clocks if you read it out of a desire to do so.

Personally, I am very grateful to Calvin Smith for sending me his poems and hope he will send me any more collections he eventually writes.

On Aragorn! a year after

Yesterday I said to Katie that tomorrow/today will be 1 year since Aragorn! died. We then had a short conversation on the subject, where she said that she remembered me not entirely liking A!. I responded by saying that I found him difficult and often didn’t like him, and that he was largely considered with anarchist discourse to be a hostile arsehole; but that there is/was more than that. I went on to say I value/love/miss him, in part for the digital places that anarchists can use and for his thoughts on anarchism-without-a-roadmap, but more so for the moments of care he showed me and for how he supported my writings. I had other individuals who had collaborated with him previously encouraging me not to, but I chose to ignore them, because I felt that working with A!, regardless of what I found dislikeable, was in my well being, which it was, as I feel that I’m unlikely to have become who I am today if it weren’t for his, albeit virtual, presence in my life.

Over the last few months I have regularly thought back to my last video conversation with A! and how it was actually the best we’d ever had. A! told me about some of his early more-situationist inspired writings, plans he had for the coming years and how Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of his favourite films, with us agreeing to watch it together when we met in person. I saw the film in December and I felt a mixture of sadness and joy; sadness that I’d never watch it with my friend and joy for what of him I saw in the film.

There are incidents that I am somewhat aware of through retellings, where A!’s apparent involvement disgusts me. When I think on these I remember that I’ve not always done things I later approve of, am disliked by some for friendships I have had and do not experience myself as a creature who is disgusting!

Whatever criticism and hate I have or will receive for having collaborated with A!, I will likely continue to experience them with feelings of bitterness, for how shallow they often are, and joy to have had some intensity of experience of an individual who was so powerful (and lacking authority).

Reclaiming Ourselves by Emma Kathryn – a review

Radical discourse is sadly dominated by nostalgic-sentiment regarding rebellions and revolutions that happened outside of most of our life experiences and by future-oriented Reality-planning bound to hope-hopelessness advocacy, both of which hold little-to-no here and now meaning or relevance. This is why books like Emma Kathryn’s Reclaiming Ourselves are so valuable, beautiful and something I’d love to see more of.

Rather than Marxist posturing about revolutions or transhumanist wishful thinking about the prospects of future technologies, which are dependent upon the narratives of scientific production and social machinery; Kathryn’s thought across this short collection of thoughts and suggestions are ones that individuals can engage with independently, from their own will-to-life/power. With it’s strong anti-consumerist theme, Kathryn’s thought could be considered anti-consumerist-pagan individualism – not individualism as liberalism, as presented by collectivist ideologues and liberals, but authentic individualism that is not bound to political ideologies.

With her focus on food, medicine and body, there is an environmentalism within Kathryn’s thought that is not grandiose, simple and immediately accessible. In this way, this work can be thought of as a beautiful immediatist handbook – immediatism meaning praxis that is not dependent upon Historising political-machinery.

If you have read my books Mesodma or Feral Life: Meditations on Rewilding and Anarchy then you might have noticed Emma’s name mentioned in both. This is because she edited them for me. Maybe you have not read those books, but recognise her name for it being included within the Night Forest Cell of Radical Poets materials. We also collaborated on a piece published by Gods and Radicals. These past collaborations and our friendship are partly why I am writing this with a feeling of joy for Emma’s newest book.

Gentle, honest and beautiful are all words I would use to describe this text, and I am sincerely grateful that Emma sent me this copy to read and review.

The book is published by A Beautiful Resistance.

Wyrd Against The Modern World by Elani – a review

In his underappreciated essay Create Dangerously, Albert Camus stated that “to create today is to create dangerously” and few works truly live up to this statement, in this chasm of friendly face mass-produced easily-consumable banality of tame-shit that passes for creativity, than Ramon Elani’s work Wyrd Against The Modern World. This work is nothing less than an act of rebellious dangerous creativity, which few individuals today have the strength and bravery to put forward. 

The world of radical pagan thought, which has sadly seen too much of “hex your boss” and “Marxist = liberation theology”, is thoroughly enriched through this book. Wyrd Against The Modern World is a brutal, beautiful and frankly iconoclastic work of sober, pessimistic environmentalism, with all the qualities of wild, untame rebellion that that would desirably inspire. Elani’s writing here is a flame full of life and fury, seeking to burn down the ideologies that we can consider “the modern world”. 

Much of the book is dedicated to Elani’s thoughts regarding what climate change is. Through his pagan philosophy, Elani presents climate change as being – 

“… climate change as the return of the repressed”

“Climate catastrophe is kathodos, a journey into the unknowable and into mind-shattering terror.”

 “… climate change represents a necessary restoration of cosmic balance”

“… climate change as hierophany”

“Climate change is nothing other than the forces of Tiamat embodied …”

“… climate change as a baptism and ritual purification”

To Elani, climate change is the fury of the gods seeking to destroy civilisation, to liberate the world, as an act of self-liberation. 

While I experienced an intense appreciation for Elani’s thoughts regarding the attempts to preserve the myth of control and that myths destruction, as well as his rejection of mechanistic causality; I do not share Elani’s perspective regarding fate, as a mode of determinism that renounces freedom. Some of Elani’s thoughts on fate are – 

“We must return to the true path, the path of wyrd, of fate.”

“The ultimate gift of climate change is the reacknowledgment that wyrd, fate rules all.”

“… nothing can withstand its fate and that fate is always experienced cyclically.”

“There is no freedom, all things are subordinate to powers beyond them.” 

“Enslave yourself to the gods, to your dreams, to love, to fate, to the earth.”

“To be free is to be lost.”

“No, true freedom is found in utter surrender and obedience to the voice of the sacred within yourself.”

“There is only one path now.”

Rather than experiencing this disagreement as something to reject in Elani’s thought, I encounter this as an opportunity for me to affirm my perspective through differentiation. In this way, Elani’s determinism for me is an opportunity for me to reflect upon my ontological anarchist perspective and why I feel a desire for diversity in thought.

Much of the book is comprised of an exploration of the ideas of Jung, Jeffers and Lawrence, and with this there is an unspoken affirmation of the poet over the theorist in Elani’s thought. This is another truly wonderful aspect of the book, as environmental discourse is certainly lacking in poetry! 

On their thoughts combined, Elani states this –

Each in his way also saw that the path toward regeneration, whether or not it came about as a result of catastrophic collapse, lay in the natural world and the gods and spirits that dwell within it. For each of them, our only hope is to return to nature and the natural path, which we here call wyrd, which we followed for the vast majority of our time on earth as a species. So we too will say as plainly as we can that our only hope for survival lies in a return to the land and the gods, in the restoration of the old ways, old ways of thinking and living, in the dismantling of causality as a conceptual apparatus. Following Lawrence, Jung, and Jeffers, let us put aside materialism and dance the old dances and obey the hidden wisdom that is found in our pulsing blood, travel within the self to find the lost part of ourselves in the dark woods of the unconscious, and reconsecrate our bonds of allegiance to the inhuman source of all life and beauty. In the immediate future, this path, the path of wyrd, leads us back to the land and the home.

Home is the locus and focus of Elani’s philosophy – 

“Make the home the center of your life.” 

“If we do not make a space within us and our lives for the gods and spirits to dwell, can we be surprised when we do not find them?” 

“Let the home become a site of defiance, a bold denial of industrial society. Let the home be made into a bulwark against the modern world.”

The book drifts between terrifying and beautiful descriptive imagery, reflecting Elani’s skills as a poet and the intensity to which his dark thoughts are affirmations of life, as an experience that is both terrifying and beautiful. Some examples of this are – 

“In the burning sun, the savage storm, and the rising sea are the grim faces and voices of the gods and spirits that modernity so proudly put aside.”

“It is regenerative because it is destructive.”

“There is strength in the mountain, there is peace in the grace of the bird that soars through the clouds above us.”

Regardless of any (minor and arguably not important) disagreements or differences in perspective I have with his philosophy in this book, more than anything else I want to thank Elani for writing this and having the courage to share his insights with such honesty, with the awareness that bad-faith readings will likely seek to distort his thought.

https://www.nightforestpress.com/product-page/wyrd-against-the-modern-world?fbclid=IwAR2V7N6ma2Up03sqWU5mg7pBqpH42AZvPkGIKJl8-jo7ofGR3U_EjRYdIDE

A Quick Note On Why I Hate Morgue And Hyperianism

Today Facebook reminded me of the Things that are Morgue and his “Hyperianism” (math worshiping gnostic-type body/life renouncing arse-water thought) –

There’s more reasons to be revolted by Morgue’s rhetoric than what I’m going to note here. If I had any appreciation for him I might critique with more detail, but I don’t want to advertise his thought too much here. If you wish to discover more then you can go on YouTube and listen to him Teach for yourself (please don’t buy his book and provide him any financial support)!

The first aspect that I will note here is how Morgue presents himself as a Teacher – he positions himself as possessing knowledge that “you” need and he can provide you. This is an immediate effort in disempowerment and bad faith, that seeks to render the listener feeling as there is something fundamentally wrong with them, through the notion that their bodily-sense experience (that is “them”) is not to be trusted – I.e. “you can’t trust yourself, but you must believe me to acquire truth”. This gets coated verbally in seemingly anti-authoritarian thought, critiquing states, media and similar institutions, which mask the technological-scientism and Teacher position Morgue takes, as yet another form of authoritarian rhetoric masking as liberation-thought. Morgue repeatedly spouts that he wants people to think for themselves, but this means “think like me”, as an effort in positioning mathematical-Gnosticism and scientific-Realism as Truth.

The other aspect of Morgue’s thought that I will note here as utterly revolting is that of it being body/life renouncing. Within all his pretty (empty) words about “higher consciousnesses” and transcendence there is an ideological push to reject the world as flesh and body that is being-Earth. This anti-environmentalism is ultimately a form of suicide-bomberism, which seeks to annihilate life in search of heaven – a vile, pathetic and cowardly form of thought! Also known as Gnosticism, this form of ideology embodies much of what my thought is largely an attempt to destroy. Below are 2 pages from my Feral Iconoclasm, on Gnosticism –

Not wanting to think about Morgue and Hyperianism any more, I will end this here.

The Ego and its Hyperstate by Rosenstock – a review

As when reading any work of psychoanalytic theory, throughout reading The Ego and its Hyperstate I had one question going through my mind – does Eliot want to fuck my mother? But jokes aside, this text is not a standard work of psychoanalytic theory. For one thing, not being as cold as others I have read in that school, I did not have to put on my (Freudian) slippers! (No more dreadful jokes, I promise).

This book is Rosenstock’s interpretation and analysis of the social-ontology of self-interest. As the subtitle states, the book is an analysis of self-interest that uses psychoanalytic theory and a dialectical approach. Dreams, Lovecraft, popular cinema and Alice in Wonderland are all part of the picture the reader finds within the text. Through these images and others, Rosenstock seeks to construct a bridge between Freudian thought and Stirner-type ideological egoism – or at least appears to seek this.

The main analytic gift Rosenstock gives is his concept of the Hyperstate, epitomised by the Absolute Hyperstate, which is defined as – “The articulations of the past create the self-interest of the present. The dreams of the future return to redefine the identities and orders of the past. This is The Absolute Hyperstate.”. But this work is more than a single concept! Rosenstock’s real gift to the reader is another addition to the world of radical mental-health thought, to join Félix Guattari, Roberto Freire, Otto Gross and others not willing to conform to industrial-mainstreams – something desperately needed in a world dominated by CBT and psychiatrists pushing pills.

If you want an introduction to his concept of dialectical egoism before you read the book, check out this piece on Rosenstock’s blog https://wp.me/pakZfP-7y


As for any critical points I could raise, I will state 2 here. The first is the top-down position of the analyst-as-authority (in-the-know), which is undoubtedly a product of the ideology and methodology of psychoanalysis Rosenstock embraces. The second is that Rosenstock is obviously attempting to construct some-Thing through this work, as system-building, which leaves me somewhat skeptical. However, neither of these criticisms, which are applicable to most of radical discourse, are reason enough to erase the value this text holds.

The book is likely best suited to readers interested in radical-therapies and Freudo-Marxist theories.

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