Monday, November 24, 2014
Week 40, Illuminatus! online reading group
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, considered by some the founder of anarchism. He was not just being French when he discussed different forms of property, Wilson and Shea explain in the appendix of Illuminatus!
(This week: "Mmm," she said, "I like that smell," page 406, to "The only thing to do was find a hole and bury myself," page 416.)
The discussion on property in this week's selection contains the underpinnings for left libertarianism and also illustrates how referring to the appendix of Illuminatus! can make portions of the main text easier to understand.
Broadly speaking, there are three main groups of anti-government types. One group consists of traditional anarchists, the folks on the left who don't recognize private property at all. Another group is the anarcho-capitalists, very similar if not identical to the Randians, who recognized all forms of private property, regardless of how it was acquired. Those folks, more or less, comprise the majority of those in the U.S. who refer to themselves as "libertarians."
The third group would be the left libertarians, the folks who fall into the slogan "markets, not capitalism," the kind of folk who hang out at the Center for a Stateless Society. They recognize that modern capitalism cannot be distinguished from the power of the state, and that not all forms of private property deserve equal respect.
While almost all anti-government folks agree on many issues — e.g., freedom of speech, non-intervention in other countries, live and let live in personal lifestyles — the disagreement on property crops up in all kinds of ways. For example, it's a factor (although not the only one) in the disagreement between "vulgar libertarians" and more leftist libertarians on whether a basic income guarantee is a good idea.
"Property is theft because the Illuminati land titles are arbitrary and unjust. And so are their banking charters and railroad franchises and all the other monopoly games of capitalism — "
"Of state capitalism. Not of true laissez-faire." (page 411)
The stoned discussion between George Dorn and Mavis perhaps is made more clear in Appendix Zain, Property and Privilege, which quotes Proudhon and explains why property, in different contexts, is theft, liberty and impossible. "Proudhon, by piling up his contradictions in this way, was not merely being French; he was trying to indicate that the abstraction "property" covers a variety of phenomena, some pernicious and some beneficial." (Page 767).
Notice the use of the word "privilege" in the title of the appendix section. Gross abuse of state power — such as the transportation of people as slaves from one continent to another — still have something to do with the distribution of wealth in the U.S.
Some notes on the text:
sunyata, page 407, in Buddhism, emptiness, the void
satori, page 407, the sudden enlightenment of Zen Buddhism.
"There's no governor anywhere," George quoted ..... That's Chuang Chou, the Taoist philosopher." (Page 408)
"No Govenor" was the name of a series of anarchist fanzines published by Robert Shea. There were 11 issues, archived at the official Robert Shea website.
A quote from Robert Anton Wilson: "There is no governor anywhere; you are all absolutely free. There is no restraint that cannot be escaped. We are all absolutely free. If everybody could go into dhyana at will, nobody could be controlled -- by fear of prison, by fear of whips or electroshock, by fear of death, even. All existing society is based on keeping those fears alive, to control the masses. Ten people who know [this] would be more dangerous than a million armed anarchists." Can somebody give me the source?
Some "No Governor" discussion from Schroedinger's Cat.
(Next week: "And then it was just like a light bulb in my head," page 416 to page 427, ""Heate die Welt," all repeated, "Morgens das Sonnensystem.")