TOTW: Anarchy & the Occult


Chaos works in mysterious, inscrutable ways . . .

Before thir eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
Illimitable Ocean without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, highth,
And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
Of endless Warrs, and by confusion stand.

John Moore, quoting "Paradise Lost" in “Anarchy and Ecstasy”.
How else to describe experiencing the sublime other than being submerged in bewilderness?

Anarchy appears amidst ecstatic visions, beckoning to be worshiped...
. . . a Devotional Anarchism gathering in wilderness under the full moon to carry out its rites.
. . . a Praying Anarchy of inward retreat.

In tension with an Aspirational Anarchism which sees Anarchy as a goal and an unreachable destination, a beautiful idea; a world-weary Nihilist Animism . . .
. . . that mourns the loss of a spirituality inextricable from genocided indigenous lifeways rooted in the land.
. . . that dreams of an impossible practice it cannot participate in, carried out by free actors who live without fear and speak words beyond comprehension.

What distinguishes practices grounded in the daily experiences of the real mysteries of nature, deeply attuned to the environment and the greater enveloping mysteries from beyond, from countless forms of madness and civilization? How do anarchists engage with the pandemonium of magic, superstition, hyperstition, cults, secret societies...

What can we say about Anarchism & the Occult and the Occult features of Anarchism?

⸸ This Topic of the Week concludes the Theme of Three Weeks: Religion.

There are 58 Comments

Can't go wrong mixing Max and Rudolf together.

What a crap.
Steiner WAS a kind of anarchist in youth, but he became clearly an authoritarian thereafter - which means: he broke with anarchist ideas completely!

You have to use him in a modified marginal manner. He has his problems. there is some traces of materialism in his thought. SIR EINZIGE...what criticisms do you have of stirner

Yes he was the Bill Cosby of pseudo-scientific mysticism with an entrepreneurial zest.

???Anyway just about everything is pseudo-scientific given time and I don't think science should be a worldview or a monomethodology.

I think there's stuff in The Philosophy Of Freedom which is good to take in and was postmodern before its time. Some his reality and history claims are cringey and of the times but you can cut that part out. I'm not interested in anarcho-anthroposophy.

and still is, are the "mein" statements. Of course, what he's doing is attempting to overthrow the existing order and destroy all forms of authoritarian thought by possessing it greedily for himself, but it's a failure because it asserts an over-importance of personally owning something, which is why i brought up the materialism which seems to be inherent in his worldview.

more simply put, Stirner's head was full of a bunch of really crazy spooks, and in order even know what he's talking about, your head has to be full of them as well.

Did any of you even read stirner before shitting on him? Like other than memes and such. Stirner wants to dismantle the society which is doomed to fail. Stirner saying everything is mine also means everything is yours as you're an unique. Unique shrouded by spooks (prejudice, religion, the hierarchy of the mind etc). I would recommend you to read stirner first then talk shit. Instead of just puking hatred for some philosophy writer who got marx pissed 200 years ago.

Hes buried in Germany, I have never been to that place.

Those who freak out about criticisms of stirner which you have dont understand his philosophy, nor do you understand that inferiority/superiority has no place within his praxis and philosophy.

What, are you trying to start a stirner kvlt where any speculative critique of his words is met with douschey rants? Get bent loser. Max stirner was not perfect, and behind every insult there is a compliment.

Okay, this three week TOTW theme has been a ride. The first was interesting, the second a bit repetetive and unclear. But this... what the actual nuts?

I heard of a small collective of anarchists in the southeast about a decade ago that became demonolators or something for a little while. They'd do the normal thing with their comrades, but at night they'd meet in the woods or below the train trestle to worship the devil and curse their enemies. There was a bunch of sex stuff too. I thought it was weird, but when some heavy felonies came down on a bunch of people, including some of their members, the charges mysteriously disappeared and a the arresting police department came under investigation. I think the evidence room manager got locked up himself, and our devilish friends got slaps on the wrists. Dunno if it was the magic or what. There was a news article about it, I'll look it up...

There was something about this in the crimethinc one off vortext

magic is when a lot of people are using drugs all the time and things go unaccounted for

yeah ... good luck drawing any lines between any of these events. have fun with that

and wtf does any of it have to do with the occult? just like, classic 90s satantic panic?

goth hippy punks doing edgy shit for giggles and then all the baby boomers assume it's cuz "the illuminati?"

"What distinguishes practices grounded in the daily experiences of the real mysteries of nature, deeply attuned to the environment and the greater enveloping mysteries from beyond, from countless forms of madness and civilization? How do anarchists engage with the pandemonium of magic, superstition, hyperstition, cults, secret societies..."

i'm sensing a strong disavowel of the idea that humans are already nature whether they choose to be so or not. Everything they create and demand is arguably nature as well. Humans have lived for approximately one million years on earth, and their extinction will be affected within 6 billion years. They are not separate from what they experience and create.

this is not "a strong disavowel [sic] of the idea that humans are already nature whether they choose to be so or not" but questioning the perception of things as magic or not, sacred vs mundane

Overall I dont a reason to doubt me here, the emphasis on "nature" already does imply "things not affected by humans"

as i understood it, nature was mentioned to distinguish "things as they really are", which includes everything, including humans and things affected by them. the question is, if things are magical, one could be in-touch or out-of-touch with these magical aspects, in similar way that science proposes models and theories that attempt to explain observable phenomena. is magic a delusion, or is it delusional to deny what's magical? does magic merely exist in the domain of the conceptual, belief, ideation, perception, or is it an aspect of the natural mechanics that constitute everything, so to speak?

beliefs are real, but atoms are not made of belief, yet the thing named "atom" is a name with a corresponding model given to a type of thing that is more than that? meaning, a distinction between hinting at real aspects of things, vs make-belief which is a different real aspect of what people do

people have lauded quantum physics for showing a potentially magical (normally described as "spooky") side of nature, but rather they're an extension of theoretical science and lab equipment. Atoms are real and you can't see them without the right equipment. Quantum physicists have demonstrated with different equipment, you can see atoms as a beam of light, which has implications for string theory.

Magic typically describes anything that feels awe inspiring and mysterious. Once something is understood, that feeling changes. One time i went kayaking on a placid and large lake . We discussed crossing it in a longitudinal manner (17 miles), but decided that it required too much planning. One of the greatest feelings from kayaking on this trip was just sitting right in the middle of this enormous lake, being completely surround by water on all sides. This is "magic" or "religious awe". People are meant to live in constant flow immersion, yet modern life often just feels mechanical and boring. Over fairly recent years, the attempt to take back flow immersion has largely been manifested in "The Now", and people have seen this as joke in some ways because "society" has a heavier emphasis on the future as opposed to lived experience.

The occult is fuelled by fear of death, of debt, of the unknown, whereas my own attitude is "Whatever". In the Now, there is no time to ponder upon anything else but the immediate reality of solid matter, and it is vanity to think out of this immediate condition.

In this episode of the Brilliant in timestamp 56:54 A! asks Carrie about "how to start a church" after prefacing the question by saying that he was pondering about carrying out something similar to a weekly religious service with a green orientation.

I think this TOTW's text represents this tendency by some liberals to overuse the "anarchist" paint all over the place.

Dunno what else to put in your cabbage soup tonite? Put on this aged anarchist spice they been using in every meal since Chomp-chompsky.

Anarchy sure has got something to do with some brands of satanism and witchcraft, I suppose, just like the more left side of anarchism is very much like liberation theology. So any equation here can reveal to be complex. I'd say maybe the divide is really between a humanist (social, pro-industry) anarchism and an eco (antispeciesist, pagan) anarchism... Hard to reconciliate the two tendencies.

"reconciliate"?! Anarchism having something in common with "some brands" of satanism and witchcraft?! Left anarchism resembling "liberation [sic] theology"?! Dude, you're trying way too hard.

The definition of occult means that it's hidden & secret.
So bringing up here anything in light would mean it ceases being the occult.

An interesting book i read by Aliester Crowley on the occult connection to the creative nothing, that magic was a momentary conquest over time and that was its chaotic anarch nature.

Easy, Magic, or the conquest of time is achieved by immersing oneself in the Now, by living spontaneously in the moment whenever possible, cos sometimes one has to look to the future. The magic moment is timeless awe epiphany creating experience, like when the rabbit is pulled out of a hat, but when an excellent idea is created in one's head.

which exists as a methodology of power. This methodology is pretty widespread in the americas and other related places on the planet. Remember how Hakim Bey recommended putting a hex on corporate board members? Alchemy is an obsolete type of magic, and chemistry is an incredible influence in the word today: cleaning products, glue, medication, and so much more.

Expertly stated, doctor! So what’s the secret? How has the Taliban survived three armies, airstrikes, special forces teams, invasions, drone bombings, and heat-seeking missiles? How could people with not many more supplies than I currently have in this marsh have brought the United-fucking-States to the goddamn bargaining table? How have they done what every boot-worshipping liberal, every piss-stained pacifist, every party-worshipping dolt dead set on unions and dead organizing….how could they have achieved the military victory everybody said was impossible?

Any national army will find itself unable to compete against this kind of warfare. What’s the DSA going to do? The Leninists? Call Russia in to help you put down the rebellion, like in Syria? Maybe call China?

Sweet JESUS!

All I know is, out here among the sawgrass, life is chaotic, beautiful, and supremely deadly. The civilized world with its rules, employers, prisons, and slums can’t penetrate the multi-pronged resistance of the bogs, swamps, and marshes.

Yes. The mosquito swarm. A million bites from a million different mouths, a cloud you can never fully remove from the land underneath them!

Much wisdom in that!

I'm going to do my best to reveal a few of them. The vietcong, which you mention at the end of your first paragraph, is a very illustrative point:

1. Dispersion: successful militias do not give themselves away, and avoid revealing their location to the enemy. You can't attack something that's imperceptible. Big Armies assume that their going to win because they are large and have the greatest technology, but this is often not the case.

2. Intimacy and lack of bureaucracy: All free-flowing activity in a "militia" requires direct action and easy communication. Big Armies always suffer from a failure to communicate. Hierarchy = failure. Most people are hesitant to understand this.

3. Evenly distributed resources: the ideal of equality tends to be a joke. Guerilla warriors do not suffer from such absurd processes such as rationing, a successful guerilla troupe allows their resources to be distributed on either a natural or case basis.

Yes, alchemy is obsolete, now chemistry has given us ---Silastic, the magic glue. If your car, house, body, material, metal surface, wood, paper, glass, ceramics, leather, plastic is broken, just add the magical Silastic glue to create the miracle of rebirth, the second coming, the repair of your favourite objects de belief!

Nazism and the Occult have a long and sordid history whereas anarchism has had a more practical intersection with Liberation Theology. Sorry @news.

Yes and look where that got anarchy. Practical does not necessarily equal payoff. Also Occult does not equal Nazism.

Nazism has a roughly 20 years-long history. Putting aside the later post-war Neonazism which is a bunch of different things not exactly related to the former regime.

How long is the history of the "occult"?

I'm also the one who brought liberation theology here, above. While it's accurate to compare it with contemporary anarcho-leftism, it becomes pointless to try drawing a comparison with anarchists as a whole, and also self-serving to your own authoritarian bias?

Has been around since at least the latter half of the 19th century and the practices go back even further. I really don't understand the Nazi connection you are trying to make. There are logical reasons why anarchists and anarchs would want to appropriate the language practices and ideas connected to it.

Anarchism really has something to do with a kind of earth art, in my opinion. For example, Gaia (Gaea), in her, we see both creation and destruction, order and chaos

I agree, and with the " Now aesthetic ", that wild barbarian spontaneity which never worries about what teh morrow brings, because earth art is intuited raw, pure and chaotic without rationale.

Not when the only thing Gaea does is react indifferently. Indifference, or non-organizational attitude means freedom to act on impulse and be repelled by counter-impulse. Its a self-regulating system which has universal applications. I have lived my life in this manner, have rùn the gaunlet of counter actions, acquired the experential data for heuristic data feedback which I call organic wisdom.
So although it at first appears shortsighted, the accumulated knowledge creates a dep pool of feedback experience and wisdom.


That’s interesting, I guess. May I ask what your housing situation is like? Im getting train-riding, couch-surfing crusty oogle vibes.

I was kicked out of the house at 12 because I stopped taking showers and refused to wear clothes, I've been a rolling stone ever since

Real clickman is not an ordinary user, but a "super power". You will only be eclipsed in front of them.

Art is just spectacle 'till it's no longer considered "art", due to no longer being made a separate category of productive activity with its own capitalist valuation patterns.

There's no "economics" in art in society?

Haha, GTFO. Yer either a bad troll or a complete liberal chump.

I would say "art" has been crowded with capitalistic ideas and tweaked for consumerism. I don't see anything wrong on avant garde /abstract art/dadaism as they can be used to dismantle the societies rules and ideas of what's grotesque and what's not. Tho art has no value when the monetary value is included.

About cappi hippies why are they growing anx gathering more people lol, "let's save the world by buying carton/paper cups from starbucks!!!"

There are true artists, and then there are the fake crass philistines who only produce commodities but never mind-altering masterpieces like Hieronimous Bosch, Dali and Duchamp.

The capital is killing the art with those carcasses. An art without soul, without meaning and value. Sad to see some artists becoming sellouts you're right tho. System is trying to kill the art, the soul of the people with such commodities. Anyone can do art if they do not sell their souls to the concrete monster. It's just scary to see art becoming more and more industrial and mass produced instead of using it to reflect your mind or embrace the abstractness of your mind.

"For example, Gaia (Gaea), in her, we see both creation and destruction, order and chaos"

why do some people insist on such anthropomorphic genderizations?

Theology, Gaia (Gaea) is a personification of planet earth. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, unless said person posits that gaea is a short handed term for the impersonal forces which exist throughout the entire universe -- impersonal in the sense that it isn't a person, but also favors/codemns no one.

In the anvil, i thought it was pretty groundbreaking when they said that "nature is indifferent", this is undeniably true. We can burn down forests and poison rivers: all gaea does it react.

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