Sunday, April 13, 2014

NATA-NY Interviews Satra Wasserman on Thelema



Based on active discussion of J. Cypher’s recent presentation “Anarchy as Spiritual Practice,” NATA-NY decided to interview Satra Wasserman about the spiritual tradition of Thelema. When Satra suggested that J. expand on her brief mention of Thelema and its potential intersections with anarchy, we decided that Satra was much more qualified to speak on the topic. Read the full interview below.
*******




This is by no means an "official" statement.

What is Thelema?  What does it mean to be a Thelemite?

Aleister Crowley is a name that many are familiar with. He was born on October 12, 1875. The Crowleys were a Quaker family that ran a brewery for over 200 years. They also owned several pubs. The father, Edward Crowley, left Quakerism behind and embraced a new fundamentalist faith known as the Plymouth Brethren.

From Matthew 18:20: Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The Plymouth Brethren interpreted this as a new approach to Christianity. They believed that Priests or Ministers were not needed to commune with the Lord. This is significant because it clearly influenced the young AC.

He traveled about and joined the Masons and the Golden Dawn. He was married to Rose Kelly and the two went on a honeymoon in Egypt. They spent time exploring the Pyramids. Rose experienced some things that may be thought of as unusual. Crowley was well versed in the ways of magic and tested her a few times to get a sense of what was going on. This is all known as the "Cairo Working." I will not play biographer here. Suffice it to say that several rituals were performed during this time. Many of them within the inner chambers of the Pyramids. Rose instructed him to enter his temple at noon each day for one hour and record what he heard. On April 8, 9, and 10 of 1904 he followed her instructions and encountered a being named Aiwass. This being described himself as "The Minister of Hoor-Paar-Kraat." Aiwass dictated 3 chapters of what we now know as The Book of the Law.

I am not going to say much about this. Crowley worked diligently, and there is another presence known as V.V.V.V.V.. The Book of the Law is attributed to Aiwass. The other Holy Books of Thelema are attributed to V.V.V.V.V.. In our system, these books are known as "Class A." In The Book of the Law it says: Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.

Whenever we quote any words that are from these sources, they must be perfectly reproduced.

So, this is all very outrageous indeed. I will now offer some personal interpretation on the subject. Crowley is regarded as our Prophet. He is not a "saint." We do not think of him as being a living god. I do not follow the man or emulate him in any way. However, I am eternally grateful for what he did. I believe that he "cracked the code," and left behind the blueprint for human enlightenment. He put himself through a form of comparative religious training. He traveled the globe and really got into things. He studied Taoism and Buddhism, etc. In my eyes, he distilled the finer essence of these traditions and, "got to the bottom of it."

Thelema represents the evolution of religion. One term you'll see bandied about is The Method of Science, The Aim of Religion. Crowley created a system of attainment that works for the chemist, the baker, the politician, and the anarchist. There's something for everyone.

Is there something for the atheist? There may be. This it a great debate amongst Thelemites. I do not claim to be any sort of authority. In my view, a strict materialist/skeptic need not apply. What is required is an open mind-- the ability to leave the friendly confines of rational thought. What does X mean? Be Silent and perhaps you can tell me what it means.

Many members of the Ordo Templi Orientis call themselves atheists. I am not an atheist.

The Book of the Law lays down a code of conduct:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.

Crowley referred to this as, "The most sublimely austere ethical precept ever uttered, despite its apparent license."

What does it mean to be a Thelemite? A Thelemite lives by this code.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law is a challenge. It does not mean, "Do whatever you want." I can tell you that much. Few on this earth are courageous enough to do their Will.

Let's look at the second line. Love is the law, love under will. This part is oft-neglected by many in the community. Love is our value. It is also the technique and medium of our highest aspirations. We strive to attain what is known as Samadhi. This can be thought of as blissful union. You can attain Samadhi with your wife. You can attain Samadhi with a deity. There is something we refer to as the Holy Guardian Angel. Attaining what we call "Knowledge and Conversation" of the HGA is the Grand purpose of our system.

In conclusion, Thelema can be looked at from a philosophical vantage point, or other perspectives. It's quite open. There are fundamentalist types like myself. I am a member of the A.'.A.'.. The Order that hath no name among men. I've met many people who simply like Crowley and dig the vibe. What does Thelema have to offer? About ten years ago, my Father traveled to New York and performed a ritual invocation of the God TAHUTI. I was in attendance. I have seen many rituals. On this day, I saw my Father (the guy who sends checks for $50) become a God upon this earth. The ground shook beneath my feet. I will never, ever forget that day. That’s what Crowley’s system can teach you. 


How does Thelema influence your daily “mundane” life?  Do you find that your decision making process, your interpersonal relations, or your goals are impacted by your belief system?

Yes to all the above. As I mentioned before, I am a member of the A.’.A.’.. As such, I engage in daily practices and keep a magical diary with detailed records of what, when, and where. An example of this would be meditation, simple ritual, and perhaps a few solar adorations. This is where one greets the Sun in a formal matter. It is short and to the point. I also perform a short ritual before eating. In public, it is done under my breath and only an observant person will notice anything unusual.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Every decision is informed by this creed. I can’t even buy a pint of haagen dazs without having a moment to reflect upon the action. The idea is to manifest the True Self. During the course of our lives, every person is lulled into a form of sleep. We all remember “They Live” with Rowdy Roddy Piper. Beneath the veneer of an 80’s flick is a deep philosophical message. We are blind. There is great truth in that film. I am 34 years old. I cannot tell you how much of my time has been spent chasing the false image of an image. Look at the recent phenomenon of financial workers committing suicide. Imagine that. We’re talking about successful people. Were they doing their Will? I would guess the answer is No. 

Who are you? Where are you going? What is your Work? These are questions that must be addressed. We are living in the Aeon of Horus. This time began on the first day Aleister Crowley received The Book of the Law. The Law of Thelema is in effect Now. Forgive me for skipping some explanation here but I will direct everyone to the appropriate resources later on.

Two teenagers tried to bully me the other day. It is a long story. I was doing my Will and they sought to interfere. This was not a situation where a show of physical strength was within the realm of possibility.

I put an end to it. I did so with the power of my voice. My victory was total and complete. That was an act of Magick. My goals are to find Love and give love to the world at large. Those are lofty goals indeed. 


Does being a Thelemite have political and/or social implications?  If so, what are they? What are your personal political, social or economic views?  Do you feel that these are influenced by Thelema?

Liber OZ is where the rubber meets the road in terms of Thelema and politics. I am a staunch conservative and a fan of the great Ronald Reagan. Our readers can examine Liber OZ on their own. It can be thought of as the Thelemic Bill of Rights. Simply put, we demand FREEDOM. It is no idle demand.

I take Liber OZ extremely seriously. If Man is free to live by his own law…to work as he will…to think as he will…to move as he will on the face of the earth, then we must live in a land which accommodates those ends. You cannot move as you will on the face of this earth under an oppressive system which stymies the individual and prevents one from achieving economic freedom. It’s also more than just money. Do we want simple jobs that have no relation to our true selves? People should be able to earn money doing the things they would like to do.

I have crunched these numbers and come to the conclusion that free market capitalism is the best and bravest of systems. I am a fan of Peter Schiff. I share his opinion. A person should be able to graduate high school and walk into Goldman Sachs wearing a dandy outfit, courtesy of Mom and Dad. Wearing this outfit, you plunk down in a chair and explain why they should give you a shot. You walk out victorious and spend the next few years getting coffee and making copies. By age 24, you are earning real money and making your mark.

Perhaps you enjoy taking photographs, or would like to make baseball mitts. Whatever the case. A human being should be able to pursue these goals with a realistic chance of succeeding. I Need to live in a world like that. I think all drugs should be legal. Man has the right to play as he will. I support every word of the US Constitution. Man has the right to speak what he will. I certainly support the 2nd Amendment. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights. And so on, and so Forth.

Get these goddamn autocrats out of our computers. Stay away from my phone. I do not have children. If I saw a man whispering into my son’s ear, I would be extremely interested to know what was being said.

America should have the smallest government possible. Power to the People.



Do you see a connection or intersection between Thelema and libertarianism/ anarchism?

Yes I do. In general, I notice a similarity in energy between what I think of as a fun body of Thelemites and today’s anarchists. There’s a willingness to think outside the box. I spent time around the National Anarchist Tribal Alliance, NY. Fraternity abounds and everyone wanted to hang out. It’s a nice intersection of motivated philosophers and fun loving people. There is a scene. And it’s not just anyone. We’re talking about folks who want to make a difference and impact the world in a positive manner. On the A.’.A.’. website, you will see the following line: “The door is open to all persons who in sincerity wish to join themselves to a Body of Initiates pledged to the Service of Humanity.”
That’s a far cry from the “devil worship” people typically think of when Aleister Crowley’s name is mentioned.

J. Cypher recently put a speech on youtube about Anarchism as Spiritual Practice. It was incredibly well researched. I enjoyed it. One thing in particular caught my ear. She kept using the word “anarch.” That means sovereign individual. It hit me that you could take every occurrence of the word anarch, replace it with the word magician, and end up with the same effect. Almost nothing would change. One of the books I recommend later on is The Temple of Solomon. Ordo Templi Orientis means, “Order of the Temple of the East.” That’s Solomon’s Temple. The idea is to build the Temple within. You are the Tower of Babel. The Arch of the Covenant. Protect yourself.

Getting back to mundane politics, it is my opinion that a Thelemite who embraces communism or its derivatives is suffering from a bit of cognitive dissonance. In the introduction to The Book of the Law, Crowley writes: “Ferocious Fascism, cackling Communism, equally frauds, cavort crazily all over the globe. They are hemming us in. They are abortive births of the Child, the New Aeon of Horus. Liberty stirs once more in the womb of Time. Evolution makes its changes by anti-Socialistic ways.”

These words are not “Class A.” I would like to point that out. If the state is in control then the people are not in control. There is no freedom in slavery.

The Knights Templar. The Masons. Those men came before us. As members of the O.T.O., we bear the same shield. We are Defenders of Society and Western Civilization. I do not sit around yapping about bitcoin and the evils of slavery. I say look at the bright side. How can we save the US Dollar? What can we do to protect this land? If I see a young girl crossing the street, I do not need for her to embrace Thelema. I want to make sure that she is protected and able to pursue her joy, whatever that may be. If America collapses, there is no telling what will happen to her, to me, or those I love.



How does Thelema support or facilitate community?

Thelema certainly does facilitate community. There is a great Order by the name of Ordo Templi Orientis. O.T.O. for short. This Order resides in many cities around the world. I am in personal contact with people in Japan, London, California, etc. We share certain bonds. It’s pretty cool.    



What was the Thelema Abbey?  Would you consider this an intentional community?  What lessons can we learn from the Abbey’s history that could be applicable today?

The Abbey of Thelema was a place where Crowley spent a few years of his life. This subject is covered in great depth in many books, some of which I will list later. The path of Magick is one of scholarship. You will find large bookcases in all of our homes.



Your father [James Wasserman] is a major figure in the Thelemic world.  Tell us a little bit about his journey and how he has influenced your spiritual beliefs.

My Father wrote a memoir named, “In the Center of the Fire.” Pick it up. It’s on amazon. All I can say is that I’m the luckiest kid in the world. My Dad is also my Brother. We met before I was born and I love him. I really do. He has devoted his life to Thelema and spent all his years in its great service. What does that mean? Well, this is a guy who knows how to keep Silent. Sometimes he doesn’t talk. That’s a funny thing. What does his silence mean? There is no greater communicator than this. On some levels, Thelemites worship at the Altar of Silence. It runs counter to normal thinking.

Being Silent, and being a Thelemite, he also respects Liber OZ. He knows that Man has the right to think what he will. All my Dad ever told me to do was to be myself, and to find myself. I thank him for that. He talked to me like I was a man when I was five years old. Pretty soon I’ll be 35. Same old Dad. He’s awesome.



For readers who are interested in learning more about Thelema, what recommendations do you have?

Here is a list of Books that I recommend:

The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley- Richard Kaczynski
Magick in Theory and Practice- Aleister Crowley
Initiation in the Aeon of the Child- J. Daniel Gunther
In the Center of the Fire- James Wasserman
The Temple of Solomon- James Wasserman

On youtube, my Father has several videos. Search for “in the center of the fire” and watch everything there. Also search for “james wasserman” and watch one titled: The Temple of Solomon and Political Liberty.

The A.’.A.’. has a reading list. You can find the A.’.A.’. at www.outercol.org.
You cannot find the A.’.A.’. anywhere else. Heed these words. Any talk of “lineage” or aught else is fully erroneous. There is One Order.

The O.T.O. can be found at www.oto-usa.org. On this website, you will find links to the A.’.A.’. and a list of Lodges. It is a long list. I would recommend finding the Lodge nearest you and contacting them. Look at their calendar. Attend a Gnostic Mass. Check it out.



Do you have any other thoughts or comments that you’d like to share?

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.

I am on facebook. Easy to find. Craig and J. are my extended family- my Brother and Sister.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Judge Slaps Down an SPLC Hit Man

4_OPP_Lamont_Jenkins
Judge orders leftist group to pay $50K

By Pete Papaherakles
For years, organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League have gotten away with harassing, smearing, suing, threatening and generally irritating prominent patriotic and free speech groups and individuals in the United States. That all changed in January, though, when an American Indian sued one of these groups and won after the conference he was scheduled to speak at was forced to shut down due to threats.
The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in February 2010, when One People’s Project (OPP), founded by Daryle Lamont Jenkins in 2000, targeted a conference set up by the New Century Foundation in North Carolina. After receiving considerable pressure as well as threats, the hotel was forced to cancel because so-called “white racists” and “bigots” were meeting there.
David Yeagley was one of the scheduled speakers. Although Yeagley is a Comanche Indian, he has very strong nationalist convictions and is a fierce advocate for the right of whites to defend their own interests. A true American patriot with multiple master’s degrees and a long list of achievements, he has been called the “American Indian Leonardo DaVinci.” Yeagley took it upon himself to file a lawsuit against  OPP and finally succeeded in getting justice in an Oklahoma court—amounting to a $50K judgment against OPP.


Over the years, OPP has targeted groups such as AMERICAN FREE PRESS, the Council of Conservative Citizens and even prominent revisionists like historian David Irving. OPP is supported by Morris Dees’s SPLC, which has reaped hundreds of millions of dollars by instigating racial tensions and capitalizing on the exploitation of alleged victims of racism.
Jenkins, an obviously self-indulgent man with secretive funding, directs small groups of young, unemployed leftists with too much time on their hands. He operates OPP’s website, which publishes phone numbers, home addresses and workplace addresses of individuals  OPP has targeted and slandered as being far right or racist.
This writer has also been a victim of OPP’s harassment. In 2009 Canadian free speech activist Paul Fromm spoke to a small gathering at my home. Members of OPP placed fliers throughout the neighborhood with my name, address and pictures of hooded Klansmen, misinforming them that a Klan meeting was taking place at my house.
The local media was even contacted, and the event made the evening news as a half-dozen disheveled demonstrators with signs protesting racism marched in front of my house.


Craig FitzGerald NATA interviewed by Dutch Zine Green Nationalist



Can you please introduce yourselves for our Dutch readers?

My name is Craig FitzGerald, I am a spokesperson and co-founder of the National Anarchist Tribal Alliance of New York (NATA-NY).

How and against which back round NATA was founded?

NATA was founded in late 2010.  We organized as an alliance of anarchists of all hyphenations, along with libertarians and nationalists disenchanted by elections and political parties. Over fifteen years of on-and-off involvement with the anarchist movement in the NYC area left me very disillusioned. This was due mainly to constant infighting, denunciation of those who dissent or disagree, and a tendency to embrace leftwing and statist pet causes.  NATA was formed as an alternative to an anarchist movement that had become stale, reactionary, dogmatic and even statist.

You call yourselves NA what exactly is National Anarchism?

The “nation” in National Anarchism (NA) does not refer to a government, state, or arbitrary borders. The word nation comes from the Latin Natio which literally translates as "that which has been born." NA is essentially Pan Anarchism or anarcho-pluralism.   Anarchism in general can never be a one-size-fits-all label that means the same thing to everyone; the philosophy’s very nature requires heterogeneity.  Unlike the dogmatic, utopian, universal egalitarianism of many anarchists, NA is a realistic and pragmatic approach to the differences in opinion among anarchists.  I believe that NA has the potential to be a large umbrella under which numerous groups could identify; it can philosophically unite diverse hyphenated anarchists with one another, and with other anti-statist groups. This is because the people/community are the nation, not the state.

What would a National anarchist society look like?

A National Anarchist society would be extremely diverse,  seeing that the very nature and essence of NA is that each community has every right to self-determination.  This could manifest as a planned communist economy, a laissez-faire free market, a religious or racially separatist enclave, an environmentalist eco-tribe, or anything else. 

What are your most important source of inspiration?

My wife Jamie and other members of NATA are my greatest source of inspiration. That being said, I find great inspiration in the writing and work of Josiah Warren, Henry David Thoreau, Max Stirner, Benjamin Tucker, Gustav Lauder, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ricardo Flores Magon, Karl Hess, Richard Hunt, Ashanti Alston, Hakim Bey, the EZLN and many others.

How do you put your ideas into practice? What kind of activism are you engaged in & what kind of projects did you realize?
  
NATA and I are involved with a wide range of activities including homesteading, permaculture and organic farming, urban gardening, beekeeping, community organizing, intentional communities, alternative currencies, etc.  NATA has been involved with a variety of movements.  We support gun rights, antiwar efforts, 911 truth, an end to the Federal Reserve, Cannabis legalization, and Occupy Wall Street (OWS), among other movements. We have hosted film screenings, poetry readings and lectures, and provided much needed supplies to NYC’s homeless.
 and confronted “antifa” on multiple occasions.

How are your relations with the anarchist and nationalist scenes in general? 
 Do you cooperate with any other organizations, collectives or political parties/movements?

Despite opposition by some so-called “anarchists,” NATA has many allies in the greater anarchist and OWS movements. Those who have open minds and do not blindly believe the smear campaign “antifa” has levied against us continue to work with and support NATA. We also have many allies amongst populist/libertarian nationalists. Whether anarchist or nationalist, left or right, we put our differences aside and focus on working together on what we do agree upon: local autonomy and individual autarchy. NATA’s members continue to collaborate with groups as diverse as We Are Change, Occupy Wall Street, Earth First, the Libertarian Party and others.

Does Ecology have a role in your opinions, and so how?

Ecology absolutely has a role in NATA’s outlook.  We try as much as possible to be involved with and promote a culture of small scale  organic family farms and intentional communities.  Because the natural environment plays such a central role in all of our lives, it should be a local focus for moving forward in a decentralized world.  If individual communities can learn how to ecologically protect and nurture their land, the earth will benefit much more than if people continue to rely on governments and large NGO’s to “save” or “protect” the environment, especially when these institutions are in league with polluting corporations.  Not only that, but we need food to live, and our sustenance comes from the land.  We should not only be working the land to survive, but also to reestablish the harmonious relationship humanity used to have with the earth.

Can you tell us about the current situation in your country?

The experiment in American federal republicanism has failed and the U.S. has become the empire she unified to fight against.  The only ones who benefit are a plutocratic oligarchy. I won’t go into depth about the power elite’s exploitation of the people, whether political, corporate, etc.  The U.S. can be considered “the belly of the beast” in many ways, but it is also the birthplace of a lot of real resistance.  In my experience a lot of people are waking up to the reality that this country is not what it should be, and are asking themselves what they can do to make a difference.  I have seen a wide variety of people decide to get involved with activist movements, even when they previously had negative or indifferent opinions of such groups.

What are your views on Sub/counter cultures?

Any culture can be a sub/counter culture depending on what the dominant culture is.  It really about context—what is and is not status quo.  As a person who grew up as a part of various NYC subcultures, I can see their worth.  This is mostly because subcultures tend to form small, close-knit social groups, which is in line with NATA’s tribal anarchism.  Also, sub/counter culture can attack the system in a more subtle and indirect way, by building something free from the ground up.

Last comments to Dutch readers?

Please consider secession (from the UN, the EU, NATO, and even the Netherlands) as a practical means of achieving your goals and dismantling the global Anglo American Zionist Empire.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Struggling on: Zapatistas 20 years after the uprising

BBC nerds visit Chiapas two decades after the EZLN's rebellion, and provide no new insight on the Zapatista Movement

 

Struggling on: Zapatistas 20 years after the uprising


Zapatista National Liberation Army leader Subcomandante Marcos smokes a pipe during peace talks on 24 February, 1994, in San Cristobal, Mexico The EZLN's charismatic leader with his pipe and balaclava soon became iconic for the indigenous struggle
There is a single bullet-hole in a banister on the second floor of the municipal palace in the southern Mexican city of San Cristobal de las Casas.

It is all that remains of events on New Year's Day 1994, when armed rebels stormed the building and caught the colonial city off guard.

But it was not just the mayor's office that was taken by surprise. The military and the federal government were, too.

There had been rumours for some weeks that the disparate indigenous groups in the region had been organising to form a rebel army.

Now, in a matter of hours, the EZLN, better known as the Zapatistas, took control of much of the southern state of Chiapas.

The fighting was short-lived as the army was sent in to restore order. Less than two weeks later, the Catholic Church negotiated a shaky ceasefire.

Basic demands

"In Mexico there is no justice. The government is completely deaf: they don't want to hear or listen." -Antonio Vazquez, Indigenous community leader
"These are all the newspapers from the time", says Concepcion Villafuerte directing me towards several boxes marked 1993-6.

Inside are stack upon stack of jumbled copies of El Tiempo, the left-wing publication she ran for many years with her husband.

After some searching we discover the edition closest to the date of the guerrilla uprising.

Hers was the newspaper in which the Zapatistas chose to publish their demands.

"The first six were very basic: land, a home, food, health, education and work," Ms Villafuerte
 recalls.

Concepcion Villafuerte  

 
"The others were more general, for all of Mexico: justice, democracy and freedom. They were basic needs for everyone, for all poor people, not just Indians."

I ask her how many of those aims she thought had been achieved 20 years on.

"By the EZLN, none of them," she remarks grimly. "But then, nor have they been achieved by other Mexicans."

"We have a greater economic crisis today than in '94. And it's not just an economic crisis, it's [a crisis] in education, in healthcare."

Since the fighting ended, she explains, the Zapatistas have created their own autonomous municipalities, called caracoles, which are independent of local government on land they took back from large land-owners in the 1990s.

"I think the Zapatistas are better off than we are," Ms Villafuerte adds.

Rebel communities

After several days of petitioning, we were granted exclusive access to one such Zapatista municipality called Oventic, located just outside of San Cristobal.

The people of Oventic remain deeply wary of outsiders. Our guide, his face covered by a black balaclava, refused to tell us his name and only answered our questions in basic, monosyllabic Spanish.

Oventic residents  
Residents of Oventic remain deeply suspicious of outsiders
 
We were not permitted to film anyone without their balaclava on and the collective leadership, known as a Good Government Junta, would not talk on camera.

However, we did get a glimpse of how these secretive and closed communities are run.

We saw their new school, daubed with pro-EZLN graffiti and images of Che Guevara and the Zapatista leader, Subcomandante Marcos.

Sign for a clinic and store in Oventic  
Oventic has its own small health clinic
Mural on the school in Oventic 
Its school is emblazoned with Zapatista mottos and imagery
 
The residents have their own healthcare clinic and several second-hand ambulances.
Women have a much more equal role in decision-making than in other indigenous or rural communities.

In the fields, the men work to produce coffee, maize, chilli and beans. Some crops are sold to generate funds for the community, but mainly they are for consumption by the cooperative.

The Zapatistas ask for no help from the state, and are generally left to their own devices in return.

At one point, I peeled away for a moment to chat to some young people playing basketball.

That was enough to bring our visit to an abrupt end as our guide quickly led us back to the main gates.

'Just demands'

But a little further into the Chiapas countryside, we met an indigenous community who were keen to talk.

Mural in Acteal  
Almost 50 people were killed by paramilitaries in Acteal in 1997
 
Residents of the small village of Acteal set up an indigenous rights group called "Los Abejas" in the early 1990s. They agreed with the Zapatistas' basic demands, but did not support their use of violence.

Despite that crucial distinction, scores of paramilitaries entered Acteal in December 1997 and massacred 47 unarmed people, including children and pregnant women.

Elias Gomez lost seven family members in the attack, including his brother and his father. He showed us the site where the violence took place, which the villagers are turning it into a permanent memorial.

"When the Zapatistas rose up, we supported them because their demands were just," says community leader, Antonio Vazquez.

"It's what the people want, demand and cry for. In Mexico there is no justice. The government is completely deaf: they don't want to hear or listen."

Acteal community leaders wear their traditional headdress  
 Residents of Acteal are proud of their indigenous traditions

The governing party, both in San Cristobal and at the federal level, is the same today as it was in 1994: the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

"The PRI now has more of a social conscience", says San Cristobal Mayor Francisco Martinez, insisting that the state has invested heavily in indigenous communities.

But the levels of poverty and marginalisation in Chiapas are among the highest in Mexico, particularly for indigenous peoples, who make up roughly 65% of the local population.

But these days, although they nominally remain at war with the Mexican state, the rebels' struggle is more ideological than armed in nature.

Subcomandante Marcos (left) is interviewed by journalist Carlos Loret de Mola on Televisa on 9 May, 2006  
Subcomandante Marcos now takes to the airwaves rather than call to arms
 
Whatever they may or may not have achieved in the two decades since their uprising, few would disagree that the Zapatista rebellion has irrevocably shifted the relationship between the authorities and the indigenous population in Chiapas.

It is a sentiment neatly summed up by the sign at the entrance to Oventic: "You are in Zapatista territory in rebellion: here the people rule and the government must obey."

Monday, November 11, 2013

BLACK CROWN & BLACK ROSE Anarcho-Monarchism & Anarcho-Mysticism

By Hakim Bey


IN SLEEP WE DREAM of only two forms of government--anarchy & monarchy. Primordial root consciousness understands no politics & never plays fair. A democratic dream? a socialist dream? Impossible.
Whether my REMs bring verdical near-prophetic visions or mere Viennese wish-fulfillment, only kings & wild people populate my night. Monads & nomads.

Pallid day (when nothing shines by its own light) slinks & insinuates & suggests that we compromise with a sad & lackluster reality. But in dream we are never ruled except by love or sorcery, which are the skills of chaotes & sultans.
Among a people who cannot create or play, but can only work, artists also know no choice but anarchy & monarchy. Like the dreamer, they must possess & do possess their own perceptions, & for this they must sacrifice the merely social to a "tyrannical Muse." Art dies when treated "fairly." It must enjoy a caveman's wildness or else have its mouth filled with gold by some prince. Bureaucrats & sales personnel poison it, professors chew it up, & philosophers spit it out. Art is a kind of byzantine barbarity fit only for nobles & heathens. If you had known the sweetness of life as a poet in the reign of some venal, corrupt, decadent, ineffective & ridiculous Pasha or Emir, some Qajar shah, some King Farouk, some Queen of Persia, you would know that this is what every anarchist must want. How they loved poems & paintings, those dead luxurious fools, how they absorbed all roses & cool breezes, tulips & lutes! Hate their cruelty & caprice, yes--but at least they were human. The bureaucrats, however, who smear the walls of the mind with odorless filth--so kind, so gemutlich--who pollute the inner air with numbness--they're not even worthy of hate. They scarcely exist outside the bloodless Ideas they serve.
And besides: the dreamer, the artist, the anarchist--do they not share some tinge of cruel caprice with the most outrageous of moghuls? Can genuine life occur without some folly, some excess, some bouts of Heraclitan "strife"? We do not rule--but we cannot & will not be ruled.

In Russia the Narodnik-Anarchists would sometimes forge a ukase or manifesto in the name of the Czar; in it the Autocrat would complain that greedy lords & unfeeling officials had sealed him in his palace & cut him off from his beloved people. He would proclaim the end of serfdom & call on peasants & workers to rise in His Name against the government.
Several times this ploy actually succeeded in sparking revolts. Why? Because the single absolute ruler acts metaphorically as a mirror for the unique and utter absoluteness of the self. Each peasant looked into this glassy legend & beheld his or her own freedom--an illusion, but one that borrowed its magic from the logic of the dream.

A similar myth must have inspired the 17th century Ranters & Antinomians & Fifth Monarchy Men who flocked to the Jacobite standard with its erudite cabals & bloodproud conspiracies. The radical mystics were betrayed first by Cromwell & then by the Restoration--why not, finally, join with flippant cavaliers & foppish counts, with Rosicrucians & Scottish Rite Masons, to place an occult messiah on Albion's throne?

Among a people who cannot conceive human society without a monarch, the desires of radicals may be expressed in monarchical terms. Among a people who cannot conceive human existence without a religion, radical desires may speak the language of heresy.
Taoism rejected the whole of Confucian bureaucracy but retained the image of the Emperor-Sage, who would sit silent on his throne facing a propitious direction, doing absolutely nothing. In Islam the Ismailis took the idea of the Imam of the Prophet's Household & metamorphosed it into the Imam-of- one's-own-being, the perfected self who is beyond all Law & rule, who is atoned with the One. And this doctrine led them into revolt against Islam, to terror & assassination in the name of pure esoteric self-liberation & total realization.

Classical 19th century anarchism defined itself in the struggle against crown & church, & therefore on the waking level it considered itself egalitarian & atheist. This rhetoric however obscures what really happens: the "king" becomes the "anarchist," the "priest" a "heretic." In this strange duet of mutability the politician, the democrat, the socialist, the rational ideologue can find no place; they are deaf to the music & lack all sense of rhythm. Terrorist & monarch are archetypes; these others are mere functionaries.

Once anarch & king clutched each other's throats & waltzed a totentanz--a splendid battle. Now, however, both are relegated to history's trashbin--has-beens, curiosities of a leisurely & more cultivated past. They whirl around so fast that they seem to meld together...can they somehow have become one thing, a Siamese twin, a Janus, a freakish unity? "The sleep of Reason..." ah! most desirable & desirous monsters!

Ontological Anarchy proclaims flatly, bluntly, & almost brainlessly: yes, the two are now one. As a single entity the anarch/king now is reborn; each of us the ruler of our own flesh, our own creations--and as much of everything else as we can grab & hold.
Our actions are justified by fiat & our relations are shaped by treaties with other autarchs. We make the law for our own domains--& the chains of the law have been broken. At present perhaps we survive as mere Pretenders--but even so we may seize a few instants, a few square feet of reality over which to impose our absolute will, our royaume. L'etat, c'est moi.
If we are bound by any ethic or morality it must be one which we ourselves have imagined, fabulously more exalted & more liberating than the "moralic acid" of puritans & humanists. "Ye are as gods"--"Thou art That."
The words monarchism & mysticism are used here in part simply pour epater those egalito-atheist anarchists who react with pious horror to any mention of pomp or superstition-mongering. No champagne revolutions for them!

Our brand of anti-authoritarianism, however, thrives on baroque paradox; it favors states of consciousness, emotion & aesthetics over all petrified ideologies & dogma; it embraces multitudes & relishes contradictions. Ontological Anarchy is a hobgoblin for BIG minds. The translation of the title (& key term) of Max Stirner's magnum opus as The Ego & Its Own has led to a subtle misinterpretation of "individualism." The English-Latin word ego comes freighted & weighed with freudian & protestant baggage. A careful reading of Stirner suggests that The Unique & His Own-ness would better reflect his intentions, given that he never defines the ego in opposition to libido or id, or in opposition to "soul" or "spirit." The Unique (der Einzige) might best be construed simply as the individual self. Stirner commits no metaphysics, yet bestows on the Unique a certain absoluteness. In what way then does this Einzige differ from the Self of Advaita Vedanta? Tat tvam asi: Thou (individual Self) art That (absolute Self).

Many believe that mysticism "dissolves the ego." Rubbish. Only death does that (or such at least is our Sadducean assumption). Nor does mysticism destroy the "carnal" or "animal" self--which would also amount to suicide. What mysticism really tries to surmount is false consciousness, illusion, Consensus Reality, & all the failures of self that accompany these ills. True mysticism creates a "self at peace," a self with power. The highest task of metaphysics (accomplished for example by Ibn Arabi, Boehme, Ramana Maharshi) is in a sense to self-destruct, to identify metaphysical & physical, transcendent & immanent, as ONE. Certain radical monists have pushed this doctrine far beyond mere pantheism or religious mysticism. An apprehension of the immanent oneness of being inspires certain antinomian heresies (the Ranters, the Assassins) whom we consider our ancestors.
Stirner himself seems deaf to the possible spiritual resonances of Individualism--& in this he belongs to the 19th century: born long after the deliquescence of Christendom, but long before the discovery of the Orient & of the hidden illuminist tradition in Western alchemy, revolutionary heresy & occult activism. Stirner quite correctly despised what he knew as "mysticism," a mere pietistic sentimentality based on self-abnegation & world hatred. Nietzsche nailed down the lid on "God" a few years later. Since then, who has dared to suggest that Individualism & mysticism might be reconciled & synthesized?

The missing ingredient in Stirner (Nietzsche comes closer) is a working concept of nonordinary consciousness. The realization of the unique self (or ubermensch) must reverberate & expand like waves or spirals or music to embrace direct experience or intuitive perception of the uniqueness of reality itself. This realization engulfs & erases all duality, dichotomy, & dialectic. It carries with itself, like an electric charge, an intense & wordless sense of value: it "divinizes" the self.
Being/consciousness/bliss (satchitananda) cannot be dismissed as merely another Stirnerian "spook" or "wheel in the head." It invokes no exclusively transcendent principle for which the Einzige must sacrifice his/her own-ness. It simply states that intense awareness of existence itself results in "bliss"--or in less loaded language, "valuative consciousness." The goal of the Unique after all is to possess everything; the radical monist attains this by identifying self with perception, like the Chinese inkbrush painter who "becomes the bamboo," so that "it paints itself."

Despite mysterious hints Stirner drops about a "union of Unique-ones" & despite Nietzsche's eternal "Yea" & exaltation of life, their Individualism seems somehow shaped by a certain coldness toward the other. In part they cultivated a bracing, cleansing chilliness against the warm suffocation of 19th century sentimentality & altruism; in part they simply despised what someone (Mencken?) called "Homo Boobensis."
And yet, reading behind & beneath the layer of ice, we uncover traces of a fiery doctrine--what Gaston Bachelard might have called "a Poetics of the Other." The Einzige's relation with the Other cannot be defined or limited by any institution or idea. And yet clearly, however paradoxically, the Unique depends for completeness on the Other, & cannot & will not be realized in any bitter isolation.

The examples of "wolf children" or enfants sauvages suggest that a human infant deprived of human company for too long will never attain conscious humanity--will never acquire language. The Wild Child perhaps provides a poetic metaphor for the Unique-one--and yet simultaneously marks the precise point where Unique & Other must meet, coalesce, unify--or else fail to attain & possess all of which they are capable.
The Other mirrors the Self--the Other is our witness. The Other completes the Self--the Other gives us the key to the perception of oneness-of-being. When we speak of being & consciousness, we point to the Self; when we speak of bliss we implicate the Other.
The acquisition of language falls under the sign of Eros-- all communication is essentially erotic, all relations are erotic. Avicenna & Dante claimed that love moves the very stars & planets in their courses--the Rg Veda & Hesiod's Theogony both proclaim Love the first god born after Chaos. Affections, affinities, aesthetic perceptions, beautiful creations, conviviality--all the most precious possessions of the Unique-one arise from the conjunction of Self & Other in the constellation of Desire.

Here again the project begun by Individualism can be evolved & revivified by a graft with mysticism--specifically with tantra. As an esoteric technique divorced from orthodox Hinduism, tantra provides a symbolic framework ("Net of Jewels") for the identification of sexual pleasure & non- ordinary consciousness. All antinomian sects have contained some "tantrik" aspect, from the families of Love & Free Brethren & Adamites of Europe to the pederast sufis of Persia to the Taoist alchemists of China. Even classical anarchism has enjoyed its tantrik moments: Fourier's Phalansteries; the "Mystical Anarchism" of G. Ivanov & other fin-de-siÉcle Russian symbolists; the incestuous erotism of Arzibashaev's Sanine; the weird combination of Nihilism & Kali-worship which inspired the Bengali Terrorist Party (to which my tantrik guru Sri Kamanaransan Biswas had the honor of belonging)...

We, however, propose a much deeper syncretism of anarchy & tantra than any of these. In fact, we simply suggest that Individual Anarchism & Radical Monism are to be considered henceforth one and the same movement.
This hybrid has been called "spiritual materialism," a term which burns up all metaphysics in the fire of oneness of spirit & matter. We also like "Ontological Anarchy" because it suggests that being itself remains in a state of "divine Chaos," of all-potentiality, of continual creation.
In this flux only the jiva mukti, or "liberated individual," is self-realized, and thus monarch or owner of his perceptions and relations. In this ceaseless flow only desire offers any principle of order, and thus the only possible society (as Fourier understood) is that of lovers.
Anarchism is dead, long live anarchy! We no longer need the baggage of revolutionary masochism or idealist self- sacrifice--or the frigidity of Individualism with its disdain for conviviality, of living together--or the vulgar superstitions of 19th century atheism, scientism, and progressism. All that dead weight! Frowsy proletarian suitcases, heavy bourgeois steamer-trunks, boring philosophical portmanteaux--over the side with them!

We want from these systems only their vitality, their life- forces, daring, intransigence, anger, heedlessness--their power, their shakti. Before we jettison the rubbish and the carpetbags, we'll rifle the luggage for billfolds, revolvers, jewels, drugs and other useful items--keep what we like and trash the rest. Why not? Are we priests of a cult, to croon over relics and mumble our martyrologies?
Monarchism too has something we want--a grace, an ease, a pride, a superabundance. We'll take these, and dump the woes of authority & torture in history's garbage bin. Mysticism has something we need--"self-overcoming," exalted awareness, reservoirs of psychic potency. These we will expropriate in the name of our insurrection--and leave the woes of morality & religion to rot & decompose.

As the Ranters used to say when greeting any "fellow creature"--from king to cut-purse--"Rejoice! All is ours!"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Police suspect anarchists in 60,000-euro post office robbery

The anti-terrorism squad was called in on Friday to investigate an armed robbery in the Peloponnese amid suspicion that self-styled anarchists may have been involved. At least four men are believed to have taken part in the robbery, during which 60,000 euros was stolen. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

from ekathimerini
The anti-terrorism squad was called in on Friday to investigate an armed robbery in the Peloponnese amid suspicion that self-styled anarchists may have been involved.
At least four men are believed to have taken part in the robbery, during which 60,000 euros was stolen. Nobody was hurt in the incident.
Two of the robbers, wearing masks, smashed their way into the post office at Vrachneika in Achaia shortly after a security guard dropped off the cash.
It is believed the men were armed with AK-47 assault rifles and spoke Greek without a foreign accent.
They made off in a stolen Nissan Sunny, which was found burned a short distance from the post office.
A police source told Kathimerini that the robbers’ modus operandi was similar to that used by anarchists in past raids.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Swiss Propose Basic Income Payment

 
By MARK ANDERSON

American Free Press

 A bold, unorthodox Swiss initiative has reached a striking new phase: On Oct. 4, Swiss activists dumped what were described as “8 million” 5-cent coins in the town square outside the parliament in Bern—to symbolize the financial well-being of Switzerland’s 8 million residents.

Those involved in Switzerland’s Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) ballot initiative poured a dump truck full of these shimmering coins onto the pavement to celebrate having surpassed the 100,000-signature requirement to eventually get the UBI on the ballot for Swiss voters to consider in their unique direct-democracy system.
While this initiative had about 40,000 signatures by the fall of 2012, one of Switzerland’s most influential monetary reformers, Francois de Siebenthal, informed this writer Sept. 30, 2013, that 116,000 signatures on petitions calling for a UBI vote had been certified as valid.
According to de Siebenthal, the UBI, if approved, would mean that the Swiss state would directly issue the equivalent of $2,800 US (2,500 Francs) per month — on a per-individual basis, not a per-household basis—to all Swiss citizens and legal residents in what appears to be the first nationwide proposal of its kind in human history.
This concept may strike some as odd—an unlikely libertarian-socialist hybrid, perhaps. As de Siebenthal and others behind the UBI see it, there is a large shortfall between the paltry purchasing power of the average citizen and the relative abundance of goods and services. That abundance is given an extra boost by the efficiency of automation. So, the tight money supply, as the thinking goes, must catch up with production, without people having to work for every cent—a bind which embeds the cost of providing salaries and wages into retail prices. That means that the more income is tied only to labor, the more things will cost.
That paradox creates a vicious cycle. How do we overcome it? Put some spending power into circulation outside the labor racket that becomes a guaranteed income, a societal dividend based on each person’s heritage as a citizen and his or her share in the natural resources of the earth, and in the cumulative wealth wrought by inventions and labor-saving devices.
This basic idea comes from “social credit,” which was brought forth most notably by a Scotsman, Clifford H. Douglas in the early 1900s. The Swiss UBI draws a little of its spirit from this school of thought that is making a comeback, though the Swiss proposal is not pure social credit as conceived.
Maybe human beings were not meant to be draft horses toiling their lives away on a global economic plantation. To improve things, the citizenry could create a commonwealth. As natural stakeholders in their nation’s abundance, there is some logic for them to have a foundational income without a “job” having to be the only means of acquiring purchasing power.
And as de Siebenthal also told this writer, Swiss UBI recipients could supplement that foundational income with standard employment income — mindful, however, that having their basic survival resting on much firmer ground allows them to pursue their life’s passions and the employment of their choice. Moreover, automation is seen as a liberator, not a job-stealer, because a UBI — a social dividend that could reduce or even replace welfare — should be paid to all inhabitants by birthright based on all production, including the automated kind.
Mr. de Siebenthal colorfully added: “We Swiss are all Kings, and the first duty of a King is to control the money creation, actually robbed by the bankers.” One hears echoes of the late Sen. Huey Long, the Louisiana “kingfish” who terrified the aristocracy with notions of commonwealth.
Mr. de Siebenthal explained: “The popular initiative for an unconditional basic income (UBI), which in the view of its supporters should be thought of as a civil right rather than social welfare, was launched in [April] 2012. It aims to have a new clause incorporated into the Swiss constitution that the Confederation ‘shall ensure the introduction of an unconditional basic income. The basic income shall enable the whole population to live in human dignity and participate in public life. The law shall particularly regulate the way in which the basic income is to be financed and the level at which it is set.’”
Put another way, a nation should issue its own public money directly, not borrow it into existence, at punishing interest, from predatory private bankers. That way, purchasing power and consumption can be increased, in approximate balance with production data, to buy what’s for sale and spur more production. That, in turn, creates sufficient jobs but also boosts automated manufacturing. The curse of full stores and empty wallets can, just maybe, be ended.
While the UBI proposal’s signatures were presented to the Swiss chancellery on Oct. 4 and the proposal could take at least two years to appear on the ballot, Switzerland’s voters just might be onto something here. Back in March, they already approved some of the world’s strictest controls on executive pay. And, since there’s more to life than shutdowns and debt ceilings, this latest money initiative deserves close observation.