Painting the Background Part 1: Political Orientation

After recent posts, I suppose that I have probably disclosed a fair amount concerning my political orientation. The use of terms like “Spectacle” and “Late Capitalism” indicates a specific placement somewhere along the leftward axis. “The Spectacle” is particularly narrow, originating from the Situationist school of Anarchism. It would be inaccurate, however, to say that I am a Situationist, or even a committed Anarchist in the classical sense. These are orientations not statements of ideological agreement.

The salient points of my political orientation are as follows:

1. Anti-Capitalism. Capitalism has failed to create a just, enlightened society. It has had more that enough time to do this, if that were even its goal. There are people who still starve and live in the gutter when there is no need for them to be there. We still fight wars we do not need to fight. Capitalism has done little for the human race but provide a comfortable form of indentured servitude (euphemistically called “credit”) to the middle class, and a huge mass of poor people around the world fighting over the scraps and growing increasingly hostile about it.

Having said that, this “anti” position on my part comes with the full awareness that “Capitalism” is an abstraction that refers to a cluster of activities. Some of these activities on their own are perfectly benign. Even the harmful ones could potentially be turned against the interests of the ruling class. “The System” is really just a set of game rules that everyone follows. A change in any one of the significant rules could precipitate a major shift in power from one entity to another.

2. Anarchism. This is a form of socialist thought that sees the modern nation state as the instrument of capital, and thus inherently opposed to human freedom and autonomy. Generally, it harbors great antipathy toward authority qua authority, since most forms of authority are derived from violence. The State is merely the gang of pirates that managed to emerge victorious and create veils of mystification around its abuses.

3. Mutualism. This is a form of anarchist thought that sees cooperative organization of alternatives as the best way to implement a classless, stateless society. It eschews direct confrontation with the state or the corporations served by the state as ineffective and even counterproductive. No one in a high corner office cares about a group of angry kids three hundred feet below. Any uprising can be put down and turned into a riot in the news. It is better to be a termite than a pitbull if one wishes to bring down a mansion.

Those are the big three. It may seem at times that I advocate for modern liberal democracy. This is not to be considered an enthusiastic endorsement. It is simply that this configuration gives more “wiggle room” for building alternatives free from harassment than an open dicatorship of theocracy. In the end, I don’t think it matters much who gets elected. The orders will still come from Wall Street, for good or ill. Mostly ill.

The extent to which these views will directly impact what I write in this blog is uncertain. My intention here is really to bring a generalized “critical theory” approach to thinking about Modern Paganism. Very, very generalized. I have no intention of invoking the names of Foucault or Zizek unless I think something specific from them, or another theorist, brings something illuminating to the discussion. In that case, the post would probably spend most of its time explaining the concept, rather than assuming that the reader is familiar with it.

This is as deeply as I care to delve into the topic of my political orientation. Any more detail would divert what is intended to be a summary into very complicated waters.

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1 comment
  1. Yana said:

    “It is better to be a termite than a pitbull if one wishes to bring down a mansion.”

    I love that. Enjoyed the post, too.

    (zhyndra from lj)

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