Here in Zombie-Land, enjoy the little things, find a family, but also don’t shy away from recognizing the reality that zombies are legion and in control politically. What might keep people from recognizing this reality is its undeniable ugliness, and a fear that there is no viable response to it, the fear that recognizing the truth would be psychologically overwhelming, a short path to despair. However, there is a viable response. There are ways of dealing with the shocking malevolence, the entrenched deceptions and violations of humane values. First, let’s admit there is a problem. Many of the cultural distortions of reality listed last time (posting 58, April 4, 2013, Living in Zombie-Land) have the effect of diverting attention away from the actual seat of effective sovereign power and from the malevolent belief set and value system this power expresses. Even though there are some bottom-up political forces, the seat of sovereign power is not a democracy, not a meritocracy or even an aristocracy, but something more like a confederacy of crime families embracing and expressing an ideology based in an old warped ideal of masculinity. Capitalism is a huge top-down cultural and political force in addition to its more familiar presentation as a fruitful economic arrangement. Capitalism means plutocracy; it isn’t complicated.
The importance of a certain ideal of masculinity in that plutocracy’s world-vision has been drawn quietly into the background in response to the force of feminism (one of the bottom-up political forces), but that masculinity is still foundational in the politically “conservative” worldview. It is entrenched in the culture of military organizations, male team sports, police services, male dominated professions and clubs, and all mainly male regions of organizational and management hierarchies. The resort to war as a glorification of that old masculinity is always available to the plutocracy when it senses any serious questioning. War is also very profitable for the plutocracy, and so is vital in many ways to its continuity of covert sovereignty. Resisting war is a good starting place for any active political movement toward justice.
All this is to say that, politically, something very close to the worst case scenario is our actual situation, even though that reality is normally masked and distorted into appearing like a democracy by having the effectiveness of bottom-up political forces exaggerated and top-down forces left unexamined and often totally unmentioned. It raises the question of how a good life embracing profound reality can be possible in this situation. Of course, in this situation, a good life must involve resistance to the parasitic forces.
Happy Thought, Grim Politics
The Harry Potter canon is an excellent source of metaphors for the political situation. For example, in book three of the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, (written by J.K. Rowling, published by Raincoast Books via Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (1999), ISBN-10: 1551922460, ISBN-13: 978-1551922461) a powerful and difficult (and fictitious) magical charm is introduced, the Patronus Charm, especially effective in self-defence against soul-sucking dementors. The foundation for launching the Patronus Charm is a personally powerful and inspiring happy thought. In the world of political reality, the parasites use cultural norms as dementors that suck the creativity and power from individuals. To face the ugliness of political reality, a profound inspiration, an awesome happy thought, is necessary.
The first happy thought that comes to mind is the work that women and children do: connecting, caring, nurturing. Undefeated by all the parasitism imposed on them by powerful collectives and zombie individuals, many women persist in their work of building connection with the new human arrivals, engaging face to face through innumerable hours of an infant’s learning language and the ways of human interconnectedness. Mothers in that situation also find one another and share in building the culture of nurture and caring support. It is enough to give a person hope for humanity, and as such an indispensable happy thought for politics.
Protected Identity and Equality in Particularity
Another happy thought, not so distant from the work that women and children do, is elemental intelligence and its transcendent freedom. The most important philosophical idea of all time is the idea of the interiority of intelligence. To be philosophical is nothing other than to recognize the particularity of the interior powers and situation of each innocent personal intelligence as definitive of a personal identity. Do that and you are a practicing philosopher for the purposes of politics. It is an elemental self-identification, and also the way to perceive equality with every other particular intelligence. The particularity of intelligence is not competitive, not hierarchical. The freedom of each intelligence is profoundly particular, and each is equally transcendent as a unique point of creative power engaged with nature and culture in a particular way. That is the wonderful philosophical happy thought, to be combined with the work that women and children do as the foundation of our Patronus Charm, which, to re-mix the metaphors, acts as a hazmat suit to protect against despair within the poisoned culture.
The great myth maintained by mass media is that capitalism is the best that human society can ever be, because it manifests the double aspect of human nature, masculinity and femininity, almost perfectly, and so could be said to be instituted by God or Nature. However, the animal-herding culture of parasitic masculinity, the ideal of capitalism, takes any perceivable difference, such as race or gender, as the mark of prey, an invitation to loot, to exercise parasitism. However, that is not an essential feature of masculinity, but rather the peculiarity of a particular cultural tradition that was made to “go viral”, by violent force of arms, at crucial stages of history. Almost all expressions of masculinity and femininity are cultural constructs, not manifestations of nature. The really profound revelation of human freedom, individual intelligence, is prior to and more elemental than masculinity and femininity. It transcends them and is completely unidentified in capitalist culture, indeed it invokes a very different vision of human interconnectedness based on empathy and equality. The capitalist economic and cultural system does not express human nature appropriately in the least, but misrepresents it in deeply debilitating ways.
The Freedom of Elemental Intelligence
Capitalist enablers deny and ridicule the idea that a wonderful change is possible, but it is possible. Think and live elementally. See through the distortions of reality created by parasitic/ plutocratic culture. In thinking the elemental situation of intelligence, clear away all the disembodied spirits, the demons, ghosts, guardian angels, collective spirits of peoples, states, tribes, teams, and all such personified abstractions, leaving individual intelligences to engage with nature in their creation of sustainable lives. Those disembodied personifications are examples of the large body of culturally imposed fables and false values, such as alpha-trophy-looting masculinity, all of which can be cleared away by anyone’s thinking to disclose the elemental situation of intelligence.
Human being is embodied intelligence, normally conditioned within portions of an elaborate culture constructed through a particular history by a multi-generational interconnectedness of ordinary individual intelligences. The force of intelligences is such that the fabric of human being is not pre-determined as nature is. It can be re-created to express ever more of the transcendent freedom of intelligence. So it becomes possible to think that war, slavery, and human-on-human parasitism in all its forms can be ended: Big happy thought.
Emphasis on the imminent power of the malevolent plutocracy can also be exaggerated, however, because most of the work of preserving and operating top-down parasitism is accomplished by entrenched and widespread cultural legacies from history. Once again to draw on the Harry Potter canon as a source of metaphor, the socially conditioned distortions of reality cited in posting 58, April 4, 2013, Living in Zombie-Land are cultural legacies serving as the horcruxes of the parasites. (See: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, written by J.K. Rowling, published by Raincoast Books via Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (2005), ISBN-10: 155192756X, ISBN-13: 978-1551927565.) Horcruxes are living fragments of a dark wizard’s soul, removed from his original body and magically hidden for permanent safekeeping in separate objects. Fragments of the soul of parasitism are stealthily embedded in the cultural legacies just cited, every bit as effective and malevolent as plutocratic activists, but functioning independently of them. Simply outing and disabling a particular oligarchic group will not solve the problem of human parasitism, because its horcruxes, such as the cultural ideals of masculinity, will exert their malevolent influence and re-create another parasitic oligarchy.
The main role of activist factions among the ownership oligarchy and the corporate/ professional collective is to bolster, support, conserve, and promote the enduring structural layers and features of the cultural legitimation of top-down human-on-human parasitism, such as the cultural ideals of masculinity as enshrined in good old “family values” as well as in supposedly wholesome activities such as team sports. It is made to look benign, charitable, well meant, innocent. There does not need to be a cabal, meeting in secret, to arrange and manage operations on a day to day basis. The parasitism is nothing as straightforward as a conspiracy, but is, rather, a broad and deep cultural legacy of institutional structures and values. The ordinary content of mass media is quietly demonstrating a specific political correctness to normalize the parasitism on an ongoing basis.
The Strategic Doctrine of Albus Dumbledore
In his struggle against organized dark magic, the fictitious wizard Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter’s headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) devised the strategy of first identifying and destroying the malevolent Lord Voldemort’s horcruxes. He deduced that it would be futile to confront the main body of the enemy before the horcruxes had been destroyed. The same strategy is transferable from fiction to reality for resistance to the political reign of legitimized parasitism. In general, first target the cultural horcruxes for sustained debunking. For example, since so much cultural emphasis is placed on concealing the power and even the existence of the modern plutocracy, it is an easy conclusion that one tactic of resistance is to recognize the plutocracy, watch for its manifestations, and expose its lies, crimes, and incompetence in everyday discourse. This is already in progress, as is resistance to some wars. Weakening the cultural underpinnings of the malevolent sovereignty of the Old Regime is exactly how Enlightenment rationalists succeeded.
Another act of resistance, possibly more difficult than recognizing the plutocracy, is debunking the old ideals of masculinity, plutocracy’s foundational fable. Nothing much will change without the destruction of that old horcrux. However, it is not complicated. Decline participation in the culture of combat, sport, and fashion. Avoid associating with any groups that celebrate or tolerate violence, or groups that use uniforms, logos, insignia (especially insignia of rank), formal gestures (salutes, handshakes) or postures (standing at attention, bowing or kneeling), synchronized movements, drills, or rituals. Those are all cultural zombie tags and weapons against intelligences. When confronted with competitions, recognize that these are mechanisms for externalizing and poisoning self-definition (self worth) by anchoring it to the justification of parasitism on everyone lower in the ranks of competitors. There might be no way out of competing, but that should be counteracted with attention to the innocent interior process of building your life, the origins of projecting your aspirations onto a future which is mutable by the force of your embodied intelligence.
If it seems like connecting with people might be difficult in the absence of “tribal” logos, gestures, and insignia, just remember that ordinary conversations do not require them. Here in Zombie-Land, enjoy the little things, find a family, and also, out of the abundant happiness of being alive in elemental reality, externalize freedom by strategic resistance to the legitimation and practice of top-down human parasitism.
Copyright © 2013 Sandy MacDonald. The moral right of the author is asserted.