If I look around at all the people, I see all sorts of patterns and forms of categorization circulating among them. And that’s perfectly normal. Humans are tribal animals. They very gladly assign themselves to a tribe and feel identified with it. Or more accurately, memes assign human tribes to themselves, and the meme in behalf of which human tribes create the most physical mess will be the most evolutionarily successful.
And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, be sure to read my last article on memes. If memes don’t tell you anything, this article on Anarchy, Voluntarism, and the Soft Makers of Non-Freedom won’t tell you much either.
Nations, races, religions, ideologies, or even genders, identities, sexualities, or “Russia vs Ukraine” camps. Memes have us in power and are practically what we are. Some memes remain static, others proliferate, others fade away and are replaced by new memes.
Of course, memes took hold of me too (I didn’t even realize how, and my brightly colored psychedelic wardrobe was replaced by predominantly black items shortly after I started visiting the black Parallel Polis building in Prague).
But I would venture to say that I’m captivated by memes in a slightly different way than most people I see in the media or on the street every day. Maybe it is just that my “self” is mostly made up of a different community moving in different memetic structures.
For example, if some dude says he’s a conservative, feminist, Hindu, or nihilist, I usually think he’s just a poor human being who’s fully absorbed in his beliefs that he wants to impose on others. Expressing one’s beliefs (political, philosophical, religious) in whatever form is after all just a morf through which a given meme of politics, philosophy, or religion can spread.
I am liberty
But what about me in such a world of people for whom everything has to fit into some globally established patterns? How to name myself? What is my intentionality in the world, not just politically, but economically, or in life as a whole?
So if I had to name my orientation in some way – my intentionality, which has a need to replicate itself in the world of morphs – I would call it “voluntarism”, or something like that. And since I don’t like to replicate my perspective on life with some words and -isms, but rather with brief thoughts, I’d like to explain what exactly that is.
Namely, if I form a relationship with a structure (be it with a friend, with the state, or with a religion) and the structure forces me to do something (and tells me that I can’t do something and must do something, or the structure itself forces me to stay in a relationship with it), the relationship with the structure seems rotten to me, and I automatically look for ways to rationally avoid such a relationship. Non-violence and voluntariness is a very important part of my subjective ethics.
However, many people who are close to liberty – that is, people who label themselves “voluntaryists” like me – automatically consider themselves “anarchists” or “libertarians”.. And this is exactly the stumbling block. Any name is also a memebiont composed of memes, and each such memebiont manifests itself differently in human brains. Names have meanings, and many times their meanings are quite different than the meanings that the memebionts themselves want to replicate. There is no anarchist like an anarchist and there is no libertarian like a libertarian. And that is why it makes sense to look not at easily (and mostly mis)interpreted names and categories, but at what a given person fitting into a particular category actually does in his or her life. What systems he or she creates, how he or she interacts with the environment, and what he or she does.
I am therefore no fanatical ideologist. The days of trying to replicate my beliefs through constant education and debate have long passed me by. I have come to realize that there are a huge number of people in the world who don’t give a damn about my dream of voluntarism. There are plenty of people who want violence and plenty of people who don’t mind violence being committed against them. And there are even a significant numbers who care which group of people commits the violence against them, and are willing to fight to the death against one group and identify with the other (even if both groups commit virtually identical violence). People are just retarded. And they make their world accordingly, and also the world of the people with whom they form some sort of relationship. Their retardation can replicate itself into other brains just as anything else in a culture can replicate itself into other brains. And there are a lot of these people.
And once I realized this, I stopped seeing the point in changing the political system through the political system itself, because it’s logically obvious that the system’s goal (like any other meme) is to replicate itself. In short, it doesn’t make sense to me. The meme of nation, state, or any other religion or philosophy is a foreign artifact to me. Something I don’t consider to be an effective tool in my life.
And I’m not claiming that the state, philosophy, or religion have any magical substitute of my own. No way. What I am claiming is that I look at life differently than I do in the concepts of state, religion, or philosophy. I am made of different patterns and behave differently. I can direct my life energy into something that makes sense to me and I consider directing it into nonsense to be a waste. I create my own system, largely independent of political or religious systems. I form it with people who think like me, and together we try to rationally ignore such people and such systems that we consider retarded.
Ethics and the Soft Makers of Non-Freedom
Leaving aside the fact that the intentionality of most ideologies doesn’t seem very rational to me (most ideologies are more or less soaked in a sort of Platonic-modelled worldview), the very perception of any particular ideology is often marked by how our meme-bionts process the existing ideological morf (as I mentioned above).
For example, many people see anarchists/voluntaryists as some kind of blinded opinionated antagonists of the state. Whatever the state decides, a proper voluntarist should disagree.
Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. I’m not an ideologist, and I don’t know all the potential decisions the state might make, so I can’t dare to agree or disagree with it. I can say, however, that I don’t really like state action because state action makes economic calculation impossible. And such action will therefore always, in short, more or less deprive me of my liberty. Whether economically, or somehow “feelingly”.
And this brings me finally to how I actually perceive freedom and what freedom actually is for me.
As a libertarian, I have often viewed freedom in terms of rights-based, libertarian NAP (non-aggression principle) style, and I have argued with this “model” of freedom many times. Murray Rothbard, for example, in his book The Ethics of Liberty, beautifully described the concept of property rights (which I think is actually entirely based on the non-aggression principle), and based on that he assigns unquestioned rights to human beings based on the ownership of our bodies and the products of our labor that we have acquired by spending the energy of our bodies (or the products that we have acquired by consensual exchange with the consent of another body).
Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty was undoubtedly a very important book for me. Today, however, I see it more as a cute formula applicable only as a kind of objective marker of liberty in society. But certainly not as something on the basis of which I perceive freedom. Subjectively, in my life.
And by what, then, do I determine whether or not I have any freedom in my life? No matter how stupid it sounds, I simply “feel” freedom in my life. If I am not free, I feel uncomfortable. If I am free, I am happy.
For example, if some loud drunk dude on the street yells that homosexuals are sub-human and need to be killed, according to Murray Rothbard or the non-aggression principle, the loud dude is not violating my rights, and I’m not going to argue about that. But the truth is that I’m going to feel uncomfortable around such a loud dude. He’s going to annoy me and I’m going to be kind of afraid of something that might happen. So rationally, I ignore this loud dude by leaving the shared space I create with him.
And that loud dude is someone I call the “soft maker of non-freedom”. Soft makers of non-freedom are people who don’t directly violate someone’s freedom (at least according to Rothbard), but create the substrate for potential non-freedom to emerge. And it’s not just loud people who call for the murder of homosexuals. It’s also the teacher who tells his students that marijuana causes schizophrenia. It’ s the patriot who loves the flag and calls for national and racial purity. It”s a Catholic priest who lectures in church about making abortion stricter. It’ s an admirer of totalitarian regimes who writes lengthy posts on Facebook. There are a lot of people like that.
The softmakers of non-freedom produce a lot of physical mess. They produce morfs that replicate the memes that control their minds. They control the heads of more and more and make them soft makers. A whole social mood can emerge from a few fanatics. And out of moods can come systems. Gross violations of freedoms and gross encroachments on property rights. And no one knows when such truly unfree action will occur in an environment full of soft makers. When a soft maker becomes a hard maker and kills, robs, or jails someone.
And that was exactly the reason why I left Slovakia. I consider Slovakia to be a country with a lot of primitive people. A lot of soft makers and hard makers of non-freedom. People who cultivate various traumas among themselves and compensate for them on the complexes of the minorities, whether they are drug users, homosexuals, or different ethnicities. Slovakia is, from my point of view, uncultural and regressive, and the morfs of the memes of uncultured and regressive can be seen there practically all the time, whether some politician pushes through some crazy law or some psychopath kills another person in the street for being homosexual.
I do not want to be part of a relationship with a politician in a state where I can be thrown in jail for carrying marijuana, which has long been legal in most civilised countries. I don’t want to be part of a relationship with a random person on the street who beats me up or kills me because I look a certain way (I should point out that the gay club murder case is, by the way, the second gay murder case in Bratislava in the last three years). I consider such a relationship rotten, I am leaving it and I do not plan to try to save it.
Symbols of ideologies, national flags, political party logos and rituals. As our beloved memetics tells us, all these things mentioned are morfs that make memes exist in our heads and that make them replicate themselves in other heads. If there were no ideological morfs, there would be no ideologies.
And of course, if we want to destroy all these ideological primitivisms and patterns of thought that lead to non-freedom, we have to destroy their morfs in the first place. But I don’t think blowing up parliaments, burning flags, or killing officials will lead anywhere 🙂
The real way to destroy morfs is to destroy their contents. Without morfs, memes won’t be able to replicate. And morfs will be destroyed precisely if they become mere foreign artifacts. As foreign as they are to people who love freedom and non-violence.
Flags, emblems and nations will become what Stonehenge is today and what cave paintings are today. Artifacts whose meaning we have yet to “discover” and which we do not know.
And the only way to do that is to build your own systems, unless you are a person who cares about freedom. Building your parallel structures, your “visions of the world” and your memes. Your symbols, or your morphs, through which memes can be replicated. This is exactly why the symbolic annexation of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic by a parallel system yesterday turned out exactly as you can see in the picture below.
That is why I appeal to all friends of freedom and non-violence to consider their identification with some of the constructs and patterns that surround them. What one can and cannot really identify with. Whether it is religions, states, nations, or ideologies.
I find it very fascinating to deal with everything that is going on in our human species. Including violence, murder, and lawlessness. I’m also interested in politics, centrally planned economies, mass murderers and fanatical psychopaths.
Just because I rationally ignore those relationships that don’t suit me doesn’t at all mean that I ignore what’s going on in relationships as such. And many of us don’t realize that.
As long as I live in the Pacific Rim Rim of Fire, I also don’t need to feel any “belonging to earthquakes” to collect some data about earthquakes – it’s just that information about earthquakes makes it possible for me to protect myself from them quite well. It does not imply that I consider earthquakes to be some sort of solution to something, or that I feel part of the matrix of earthquake worshipping.
I live in Prague at the moment and I’m happy to be able to protect myself from the lack of freedom I felt in Slovakia. I’m glad for all the information I have access to and I’m glad to know about what’s going on in Bratislava. I sympathise with the people who live there and who do not feel free. And I will be very grateful if they can also protect themselves from that lack of freedom in the same way that I protect myself from it.
I hope each of us can find a way to be a freer person.