PAEAN-ORISON-LITANY OF THE GREEN LION

Pocket-sized publication of a homemade slab of acephalic, Luciferian ceremonial magick. “Paean-Orison-Litany of the Green Lion” is a compact invocation of DIONYSUS-AKEPHALOS, suitable for the daily use of magicians wishing to conjure and sustain energetic impulses of the mad, fervent, and intoxicated sort whilst furthering the obsessive lust of creative will. Assemblage of original materials with elements plundered from the poetry of Aleister Crowley and d.a. levy. A bit of headless magick for those at the interstices of delirious poesy and ecstatic ritual, useful for channeling the fiery spirit of the Aeon of Horus and smashing all inner vestiges of institutionalized aesthetics. “Invoke often.”

4” x 6”, 10pp, card wraps, 33 copies, $5

birdsoffire [at] riseup [dot] net to order

NO MORE FIRMAMENT

NO MORE FIRMAMENT

journal of the cement fuck

Lost Cause Samizdat — June 2022 — anti-copyrot

33 copies and that’s all — 24 pp. — 7 x 11”

CONTENTS:

1. “On the Cement Fuck”

2. “All Writing is Pigshit” – A. Artaud

3. “Save Art from the Artists!” – A. Brener/B. Schurz

4. “Visions of Present and Future” – A. Jarry

5. “Beret” – d.a. levy

plus visual poetry from Jim Leftwich, Joel Lipman, Ficus strangulensis, John M. Bennett, Blaster Al Ackerman, S. Gustav Hägglund, & d. zyrus

write birdsoffire [at] riseup [dot] net to order

Alfredo M. Bonanno – The Moral Fracture

The Moral Fracture

That an action is considered “just” is not a sufficient element of judgment for it to be put in action, executed. For this to happen other elements are necessary, some of which, like the final moral consideration, are completely alien to the objective basis and justice of the action in itself. This can be seen in the difficulty that every comrade comes across in the moment they find themselves undertaking actions that at the light of sole logic seem exemplary. It is, like I will try to demonstrate here, of a moral obstacle that must be overcome, an obstacle that leads to the creation of a real moral “fracture”, with consequences not always easy to foresee.

We have been sustaining for a long time, with multiple other comrades, the uselessness of mass movements, pacific and demonstrative. Instead, alongside movements of mass, organized in an insurrectionary fashion, we advocate for the possibility (the necessity, even), of small destructive actions, direct attacks against the structures of capital responsible for the current situation of exploitation and genocide at a global scale. Putting aside discussions on method and political validity, it seems useful to reflect a little on the diverse personal disposition of said actions.

Deep down, in each and every one of us, no matter how many theoretical analyses we’ve done, ghosts remain: someone’s property belongs to them. Others could be the someone’s life, God, civilization of behaviors, sex, tollerance for other’s opinion, and so on. We all are, to limit ourselves to knowledge, against property, but, the moment we reach out a hand to attack it, inside of us an alarm sets off. Centuries of moral conditioning act unconsciously and trigger two reactions, equal and contrary. On one hand, the shiver of the forbidden, which brings many comrades to senseless robberies often beyond immediate and inevitable need; on the other hand, the discomfort for an “immoral” behavior. Putting that shiver aside, which does not interest me and that I will gladly leave to those who enjoy such things, to those who want to insist on this “discomfort”. The thing is that we are all reduced to the status of animals in the pack. It is not here the case to quote and I do not accept any authority. The matter is obvious. The morality that everyone (“everyone”, so even those who negate it theoretically and then find alibis of every type to not turn this negation into praxis) shares is that “altruism”, gentlemanly in the behavior, tolerant in the relations, egalitarian and levelling in the utopias. And the territories of this moral are yet to be discovered. How many are the comrades who proudly declare to have visited some of them and then would back down horrified before the breasts of their own sister ? Maybe many, certainly not few. And we are always prisoners of an idea of slavery, said moral, when we justify before ourselves (and before the tribunal of history) our attack against private property, claiming that the expropriators shall be expropriated. In this way, we confirm the “eternal” validity of morality of our previous masters, deferring to those who will come later the task of judging whether we can or cannot consider expropriators those in whose hands we have put back what we have personally expropriated. Justification after justification, we almost build back the church. I have said “almost”, because deep down we do notice, but we are scared of it.

When we take away the property of others, this fact has a social meaning, it constitutes a rebellion, and precisely for this reason, the possessors of property that are attacked must be representatives of the class that detains property and not simple possessors of something. We are not aesthetes of the nihilist act, for which it would be ok to deprive charity from the dish of the poor because that “is” property. But the act of expropriation has a meaning precisely in its class context, not in the “wrong” behavior of someone we sought to expropriate has had in the past. Otherwise, we’d have to exclude because of legitimacy the capitalist who pays his employees according to the syndical rate and doesn’t deprive them of anything according to the law, moreover to not sell at exorbitant prices and does not commit usury. Why should we even care about such things ? The same problem emerges when we talk about “destructive” actions. Many comrades cannot stay at peace. Why these actions ? What is their finality ? What is their validity ? They do not cause utility to us, only damage to others. Attacking, for example, just for the love of discussion, a corporation which provides weapons to South Africa or funds the racist regime of Israel or projects nuclear plants or makes electronic devices that are then used to better address traditional weapons, and many other similar activities, the emphasis is not so much put on the specific responsibility of who we are attacking, as it is in its class position. Specific responsibilities are elements of judgment for the strategic and political choice, class collocation is the only element of judgment for the ethical choice. This way we can shed some light. The moral basis of the action resides entirely in the class difference, in the diverse affinity of two components of society that cannot be mixed or make pacts and whose existence will end with the destruction of either of them. The political and strategic basis instead determines a series of considerations that can also be contradictory.

Every objection aforementioned is obviously traceable at this second aspect and does not influence the moral basis. But, without even noticing, it is in the territory of the decision that many of us find difficulty. Deep down, mass movements, pacific (or almost), simply declarative of intents “against”, was a whole other thing. Even the extremely violent clashes against the police are another matter. There is a halfway place between us and the “enemy” object, a reality which lets us save our moral alibi. We felt sure to be in the “right”, even when we had – in the dimension of democratic dissent – positions not shared by the mass of protestors. Even when we broke some windows, things were always kept in a state that could be repaired. Directly facing the attack, we, all alone, or with other comrades that could never give us that psychological “blanket” like the one we received so easily inside “the mass”, things are different. We are, alone, to decide our attack against the institution. We don’t have mediators, we don’t have alibis, we don’t have excuses. We either attack or back off. We either accept to the end the logic of class conflict like an irreducible contrast without solutions, or we go back to compromise and linguistical and moral messes. If we reach our hand, deteriorate someone else’s property, but always property of the class enemy – we have to take on all the responsibilities, without finding any excuses in the alleged conditions of the collective situation in its entirety. That is to say we cannot defer the moral judgment, relative to the necessity of attacking and hitting the enemy, at what the others think, who participate altogether in determining “the collective situation”. Let me explain. It is not that I am opposed to mass effort, counter informative and preparatory, to those intermediate clashes that still have to exist in conditions of exploitation and misery. I am against a symbolic setting (exclusively symbolic) of these conflicts. They have to be directed at obtaining, even if partial, concrete, immediate and visible results, but with the precondition of an insurrectionary method, that is, a method based on the refusal of representation, on the autonomy of intervention, on permanent conflict and on autonomous basic structures.

What I disagree with is the stubbornness of some on the necessity to stop here, when they do not declare to stop before, at a simple wrestling of counter information and of denunciation, orchestrated and rythmed at the pace of oppression.

It is possible, necessary even, to do something else, and this something, at the moment, in a phase of violent and swift restoration, it seems possible to individuate in direct action, scattered, towards small objectives of the class enemy, objectives that are well visible on the territory (and when they are not visible, the work of prior counter information can make them visible with some effort). I don’t think there would be anarchist comrades who would be against these practices, at least in principle. There could be those (and there are) who declare themselves as fundamentally against a general consideration of the social and political situation, because they don’t perceive in it a constructive massive freeing, and I can understand that. But there cannot be a priori disapproval. The thing is that those who distance themselves from these practices are by far less than those who, even if accepting them, do not perpetuate them. How to explain all this ? I think it can be explain with this “moral fracture” that the overstepping of the threshold of the other’s “right” entails in many comrades, like me and many others, educated since infancy to thank and to forgive continually.

We often talk about the liberation of the instincts and — without really having a clear mind – we talk about “living one’s true life” (complex argument which deserves an in depth analysis). We talk of rejecting the illusory ideals transmitted to us by the bourgeoisie in its victorious moment, at least of rejecting the forged terms by which these ideals were imposed on us through the current morality. Finally we talk of the real satisfaction of our needs, which are not only the so called primary needs of simple physical survival.

Well, I think that for all of this beautiful program, the words won’t be enough. When we stayed still on the shore of the old class conception, based on the desire of “reappropriation” of what was unjustly taken away from us (the product of our work), we were able to “speak” properly (even though we’d then badly ramble) of needs, of equality, of communism and even of anarchy. Today, when this phase of simple reappropriation has been quickly modified under our very eyes by capital itself, we can’t use the same words, the same concepts. The time of words is slowly coming to an end. And every day we notice to be tragically backwards, to be enclosed in a ghetto of discourse in which we linger to chat on arguments nowadays void of real revolutionary interest. And in the meanwhile people travel rapidly towards other meanings and other perspectives, phonily pushed by the improbable but efficient insistence of power. The enormous work of liberating the new man from ethics, this gigantic weight that was constructed at its time in the laboratories of capital and smuggled among the ranks of the exploited, this work practically hasn’t even begun.

Alfredo Bonanno

Originally published in “Provocazione” n. 12, marzo 1988, p. 7. Italian text retrieved from A mano armata, Edizioni Anarchismo.

Alfredo M. Bonanno – Love and Death

Love and death

Make thy love larger to enlarge my worth

– Elizabeth Barrett Browing

From an extended silence lacking signals, a taciturn pact based on the freedom between comrades, bursts out, breaking the ice, the police notice of death, which every hope of the soul insists on not believing. Little lines from the journals. The death of an anarchist with his explosive. Luigi Di Blasi, lacerated by a bomb. Impossible. Everyone of those who had known him, and loved him, negate the categorizing thought of death, the definitive closing that like a bleak basalt that seals the uncessant emerging of life and gives it to the regard of those who survived, remorseful actors of a requiem whom in other times, before the spontaneous and unstoppable insurgence of projects and actions, were dispersed among sophisms of uncertitude, sufficient to ensure their own greedy and inconceivable safety.

Believing in this reality, which on the other sides the silence strives to reiterate, means only that to admit the mortal unattainability of our rocky dreams, of the construction of a marvelous world, never closed off in a program or in ties of rational coldness, but precisely because of this always imaginable, always spurred, dragged, by the way Gigi saw reality, by the way in which reality was seen by his eyes.

But his tongue, merciless and rigid, doesn’t admit unfathomable paths. He needs, in the very use of the past tense, the surety of a police certificate. So the grammatical instrument brings us to the end, in the sunny territory of safety, while Gigi favored the shady edges, where he could walk closer to the joyous feeling of life, with his comrades, that in the torrid necessity of action often found only cataloguing and closing. Surely, one of the only ones we ever knew whose personality’s plenitude was seized in the things to be done and, at the same time, in the way they were done ,because, beyond doing there were other comrades with whom he had to do it, and this only in the perspective of a common growth not based on the gossip of ideology, but on feelings, on mutual trust, on respecting one another, on desire and joy for life.

It is not our intention to write an obituary, a dreadful word that reminds us of the inescapable mission that often our dead silently leave us and which we have always denied to accomplish. This time again we are ugly gatherers of memories, also because, like Empedocles’ sandal, not some part but all of Gigi’s short life stays with us, promptly alive, actively meaningful.

We don’t want to remember, we want to live. The rest, from the dull silence to the fleeting chit-chat that teaches us to roam left and right, building fantastic deductions and preoccupied distancing, doesn’t tell us a thing. Injustice and ignorance seem to be walking surely. It doesn’t bother us. But the air we breath can still make us remember the polished cortex of his words heard through elegies, and as much as this could be one of our operations, if man has the strength to go beyond itself, it can also go beyond time, win suffering, pain, even death.

With Baudelaire we can clearly, always see deep down his (the cat’s) adorable eyes the hour, always that same one, an immense hour, solemn, big like the space, not partitioned in minutes or seconds, a motionless hour that is not shown by clocks.

It is our way to tie back a memory, of respecting a will that sought to go beyond the limits that enclose man and its excessively humane mishaps, a revolutionary will that sought to transform the world.

Alfredo Bonanno

Published in “Anarchismo”, n. 69, June 1992, p. 12

essay

The following text was presented at the 2021 BASTARD Conference in Berkeley, CA.


The Snares of Realism

“I had always thought that such an independent movement as Surrealism was not susceptible to the ordinary processes of logic. Did Surrealism in order to survive have to involve itself in a factual revolt concerning the eight-hour day or the fight against inflation? What a joke and what baseness of soul!”
— Antonin Artaud

Of the myriad technologies that this society employs in its ongoing project of total domination, few are capable of digging their claws so deeply into us as the concept of Reality. The understanding of Reality force-fed to us by institutions of authority connotes an objective, supraindividual, inescapable actuality which we are all constantly subject to and obliged to respond. Since time immemorial, officials have recognized the importance of an exclusive, absolute conception of Reality in constructing the social consensus on which servitude is built. Particular views on what exactly this Reality looks like may change considerably from one regime to the next, but the basic necessity of its imposition remains ever-apparent. Once Reality imposes the final word on what is true and actual in the world, our individual experience of that Reality becomes of little consequence. Rather than a world that is lived and embodied (indissoluble from our experiencing it) here we find ourselves accosted by a Reality hideously detached from our singular experience of it.

An exclusive, sovereign concept of reality (inevitably one that serves hegemonic power) is isolated and invested with the incontrovertible authority of a supreme Real. This alienated existence then becomes the standard by which lives are appraised, (de)valued, and (de)based. One’s apperception of their world becomes effectively meaningless when considered in relation to this imperious grotesquerie. All self-creation must now be made subservient to the exigencies of the One Real. By acceding to this totalitarian metaphysic, not only do we abidcate our unique experience of self/world for a standardized, absolutist existence indifferent to our individuality, we also allow ourselves to settle for a pacified life of compromise, stifled imagination, and foreclosed possibility. Rather than demoting ourselves to mere pawns in a cosmic scheme, we should instead begin with the insistence that our selves and our worlds are one and the same, and from this derive our refusal of the demands of Reality.

Beginning to extricate oneself from the snares of Realism first entails careful consideration of the phenomenon of experience. It seems plainly evident to me that we can each encounter our worlds only through the looking-glass of experience. The perspectives on these worlds which organize and direct our energies are wholly unique to each of us, and this singular experience can never be directly shared with others.

We encounter our worlds only through this inalienable frame, interpreting and shaping our existence relative to our subjective experience of it. An “objective” understanding of the world depends on first accepting the world as being, in some sense, distinct from me. And yet, far from being distinct, our worlds and our subjective experiences thereof instead comprise an inseparable monad. The concepts of ‘self’ and ‘world’ (which is all these forces ultimately are: ways of mentally distinguishing and delineating different aspects of immanent, all-encompassing becoming) suddenly implicate each other and become inseparable. All disjunction between subject and object therefore collapses, leaving only immanent, relational experience where phantoms once loomed — the obscure interpenetration of self and world.

Initially such a notion of existence may seem heavily conceptual, and therefore only useful to that all-consuming, fanatical pursuit known as philosophy. In fact, the relational perspective described above describes our preconceptual experience of life (so far as it can be described using language). Before we begin using language and abstract concepts to organize and understand what it means to be alive, we experience the world entirely through the lens of perpetual singularity. Most of us have experienced moments in life where the intensity and unpredictability of living left us at a loss for words and forced to use a different sensibility when confronting them. In these moments, we can perhaps glimpse something of what it feels and looks like to gaze upon our worlds using a lens untinted by language and representation. 

While this nondual perspective can help to allay the unrelenting and exhausting pursuit of self-knowledge, its inherently preconceptual nature makes it far more ineffable than an ontology that conserves the Real. This same quality makes a relational, anti-realist viewpoint far less useful in serving the apparatuses of domination. The latter should not be interpreted as implying an ascetic refusal of conceptual thought, or even of the subject/object dichothomy (as if such refusals were even fully possible). Experiencing some sort of distinction between self and world, and between the variety of different objects encountered therein, may very well be an unavoidable consequence of using language and the representational modes of thought that accompany it. Whether or not such modes are escapable in a provisional sense, the possibilities these artificial distinctions open up for communicating and sharing life make them incredibly useful tools — indispensable even. It seems to me that the more an individual allows themself to embrace and play with this notion of a monistic self-world, the more adept they become at employing the specious distinctions so often presented as objective truth while not falling prey to their traps. In other words, we develop our capacity for employing these conceptual tools in ways that enhance our self-creation and make them our own, rather than treating them as sacred objects to which deference and fealty are owed. Perhaps scores of evangelists have inadvertently been on to something profound in their glib insistence that “Reality cannot be ignored”.

Now I hope you will appreciate why the constant exhortation (not uncommon amongst self-described anarchists and egoists) to “be realistic” invariably fills me with corrosive, churning spleen. One might even suspect that such sensible sanctimony manifests in direct proportion to the degree that we are dissatisfied with the world around us and willing to view human atrocities as demanding abolishment by any means and no matter the cost. The appalling scope and severity of today’s barbarism is so viscerally repugnant that many understandably feel the urgent need to make any sacrifice in order to mitigate its effects. Often, amongst unapologetic utopians (a term anarchists should not hesitate to embrace), the seemingly-distant prospect of creating the world of our dreams instead forges a utilitarian insistence on achieving appreciable social change here and now. Too often this manifests as a willingness to collaborate with those who should be enemies and to abandon imaginative, boundless desires for achievable reformist ends that oblige us to embrace servitude. Not to mention the self-satisfied brand of altruistic moralism and toxic savior/martyr complexes which have become so indicative of the contemporary Left. The horrors that permeate our world end up justifying total conformity to the very Reality principle which allows these horrors to continue. The universal social nightmare winds up rationalizing its own preservation. Since I desire to live my life in the most delirious and excessive manner I can, I can only howl my total refusal at a prepackaged, predetermined Reality founded on obedience and compromise. The notion of an absolute, transcendent Real is yet another of dominion’s manifold tools; another insidious technology of authority which I am at daggers with.

Besides the ceaseless presentation of absolute Reality as exigent fact, there is another apparent reason for the generalized reification of life we see everywhere: though our individual realities are ultimately incommensurate with those of others, they often share enough characteristics in common to make the idea of a single, transpersonal Reality seem plausible. If we provisionally employ the subject/object dichotomy, we might think of this in terms of our selves and our worlds both comprising numerous subjects and objects. While we give our existence shape, color, and meaning in a way that enduringly determines the worlds we encounter, we are also constantly being shaped, colored, and given meaning by these same worlds. The threshold between our worlds and our selves can only be described as an impossibly complicated, infinitely recursive feedback loop. As our worlds take shape around the subjects that encounter them, those subjects are in turn acted upon and shaped by the worlds they face — often in complex and unpredictable ways that refuse easy schematization and confound efforts to make them serve crude political programs.

This dialectic between self and world, subject and object, shaper and shaped, influencer and influenced acts as a ground for the idea of objective Reality. Though no two of us experience a phenomena in exactly the same way, the self/worlds we all encounter often share a great deal of commonalities and tend toward regular, systemic expressions that we can recognize in others. Over time, these overlapping dimensions end up coalescing into the matrix of social institutions, behavioral norms, and conceptual abstractions that constitute so much of what we think of as our worlds. As these conventions subsume and smother more and more life at play within their rigid armor, their presence ruling over us and dictating our existence suddenly appears not only as objectively Real, but as inevitable. The value of all activity, both actual activity and potential, now depends on the degree to which it yields to Reality’s demands (hence the meaninglessness to which the term “realpolitik” has lately been consigned, since today capitulation to the real defines all politics).  Emerging from this awareness, I offer the following axioms: no insurrection without imagination, or alternatively, Realism = death.

While breaking with Realism and indulging our imaginations as never before, it is important that we remain — not realistic — but open about what it means to refuse any Reality but those we create ourselves. Even the most basic attempts to communicate with others or act collectively seem to require, if not complete fidelity to a conventional notion of Reality, then at least the willingness to tentatively embrace its objective appearance. It is therefore no great wonder why so many dedicate their lives to developing humanity’s knowledge of ‘objective’ circumstance (Science) and adapting their behavior to its spurious truths. Nor why so many drown their passions in the bog of political activism, desperately trying to fathom why the masses do not adopt their wizened convictions about “what is to be done”.

It should by now be obvious that the relational, egoistic mode I am attempting to trace here collapses the moment some guru or technocrat redeploys it as a means toward “enlightenment” for all the world’s unredeemed children. That said, I will note in only in passing that this relational orientation is, in large part, precisely what so many mystical, occult, and gnostic traditions have gestured toward with the fraught term “enlightenment” (and this phenomenon is not exhausted by the recuperated ends to which it is often employed). But rather than the connotations of exalted wisdom that usually accompany this idea, an anarchist anti-realism might instead suggest a radical inseparability from my world; a condition where understanding cannot be achieved through passive contemplation alone. 

Similarly, the willful refusal of ostensibly-objective Realism in favor of self-determined reprogrammings of reality is more or less what numerous occult and mystical traditions have meant by magick. The body of magickal practices known as chaos magick particularly brings this gesture to the fore: chaos magick eschews any systems or practices presented as universally meaningful and applicable. Rather, chaos magicians openly acknowledge that the significance of a particular concept or activity has nothing to do with their ultimate verisimilitude. Magickal practices become meaningful only insofar as the magician chooses to invest them with personal meaning and treat them accordingly. In principle, any and every act imaginable shares the same basic potential for magickal practice — their applied significance and efficacy derive not from any innate value but solely from the reality the magician actively ascribes to them. In this way, chaos magick (and all sorcery, for that matter) functions as a conscious reprogramming of my reality to reflect the ceaseless evolution of experience; allowing the tremendous energies of my will and desires to act upon reality in an acausal manner.

Lest this essay seem like pure critique, I will conclude by underlining the profound shift in one’s relationship to self/world (now deliciously indistinct) that is sparked when we embrace an anti-realist understanding of our lived experience. Once all dualistic binaries have been subsumed within immanent relationality, I begin to experience my self, my world, and my reality as three mutually-implicating elements of the same infinite game. Now allowing myself to play with these overlapping facets of existence unreservedly, the surrender of my dreams and desires on pragmatism’s leaden altar is revealed for the travesty that it is. What was once alien to me, imposed from without, I now make my own without any hesitation or limits. And so, the egoistic dimension of such an approach becomes clear. But this same shift in my senses of self and world is equally essential if collective action is to be anything other than mutual renunciation. So long as efforts I undertake with others remain chained to and guided by transcendent notions of what is Real, these projects will only betray the irreducibly-personal motives which lead us to engage in collective pursuits in the first place. As previously stated: implicit within a relational frame of mind is the annihilation of the individual/collective dichotomy. Once I recognize self and world as two dimensions of the same ineffable process, both solitary and collective activity can no longer be grounded in the presumed exigencies of a peremptory Reality, but can only take root in the all-encompassing immanence of that which is my own.

This is what it means to “base [my] affair on nothing”. The nothing within me and within my worlds. The nothing out of which I create everything.

— Lower Bottoms, 8/12/2020