Tuesday, July 28, 2009

15 Live Happy, Make Others Happy

After the Johns (innumerable generations of sons of the Sun) had circled their respective communities around the Sun (aka the Big Other of psychologists and philosophers) and secured social stability through the institution of informal self-sacrifice*, there originated a saying that expressed an observation and a sense of accomplishment: “Live happy and you will make others happy”.

The echoes of this saying have many variations. One speaks of smiling and discovering that the whole then world smiles with you. Another finds its way into Jefferson’s phrase in the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident that all Men are created Equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Nevertheless, we note that these statements about happiness appear to be valid only under conditions of social and political stability, i.e., social control achieved by either charismatic self-sacrifice or by violence. Since the vertical State was constructed by visiting military (and bureaucratic) violence upon its horizontal predecessors, the Johns, the descendants of Johns are gene-** and honor-bound to rediscover such not-violent acts as will deflate and end militarist violence.

Today the survivors or the “children” of Johns are all who understand that the neo-Christian spiritual order is a coo coos egg. If the forebears of Johns Children once fell for the trick of the cynic, who was able to lay his egg in their nest simply by calling out: “Cook-coo! Look! Heaven! Believe it!”, today they have the experience not to fall for the trick. However, it remains an open question as to what tactic they are to use to reclaim for themselves a political position.

One idea that presents itself as doable is to found a settlement of not-voters at the periphery of the corporate “democratic” society, i.e., a settlement that collectively refuses to acknowledge the corporate order as a democratic order. If this community does not vote because it is systematically coherent (though still only an egg waiting to hatch), and at the same time thinks of itself as a community of Johns Children, then it is (implicitly) is a political party

Another doable community may justify itself not only by being not-voters, but define their systematic coherence as one interested in reestablishing authority over death. This community may begin as a community of elderly people. Given the orthodox dogma that calls voluntary death “suicide”, the elderly have a special interest in reestablishing their authority over the young and inexperienced, the neo-Christian priesthood, and regain their authority as peacemakers and facilitators of social cohesion.

In short, waiting for the moment of the final collapse of our dysfunctional orthodoxy does not mean practicing political ennui. Time spent waiting may be used in activating self-conscious inactivity, as the examples mentioned above show—by popularizing the notion of staying away from voting booths at election time, by recognizing death to have a creative social function. One may ad communities of Johns Children that refuse to become obscene consumers (but occasionally practice fasts), ones that practice sexual unions that result in no children, but which propagate themselves as clones. Such communities will precondition society to life in a not-violent society, even as it maintains awe for life that violence has dismissed.

At the level of recent history, the first major crack in the “modern” system occurred with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Though capitalists celebrated the collapse of the Soviet Union as their victory, they forgot that the breakdown of the Soviet order preceded their own. Moreover, the collapse of the Soviets occurred because they could not block their publics from being witness (through their television sets) to the seemy side of the West’s success. The disappointment of the Soviet public over its inability to join the West in consumer binge, i.e., unpunished plunder, set the stage for the collapse of the Soviet bureaucracy that was unwilling to lead by example.

The second crack occurred in the fall of 2008, when the Lehman Brothers Bank, one of the world’s largest, collapsed in the Unites States of America. The collapse sent a wave of panic through the world’s financial systems. Governments ordered their printing presses to grease the banking systems that had locked up their gears as lenders and become savings institutions of and for its investors.

The current economic collapse in the West is not a mere cyclical dip on capitalist charts, but initiates a social meltdown to be replaced by communities of not-violent terror, i.e., terror come to mean but another name for self-sacrifice.*** Of course, we will hear a thousand denials that the system is breaking down, and hear a thousand accusations of fear mongering. Even so, theirs is a militarist presumption of authority and claim that the house they built is the best house ever built. The state (existence) of society no longer can accept this argument as convincing.

The arch-Christians achieved not-violent peace with what psychologists (those raised under the aegis of neo-Christian dogma) call the “death drive”. While the arch-Christians had not heard of quantum mechanics, they understood that the gap (I call it the “possible unknowable”) in our understanding was real and for ever and we had to bridge it by faith. The quantum jump of the arch-Christians was doable through the act of self-sacrifice practiced by Johns and their Children. On the other hand, the neo-Christian act of sending John (as Jesus) to heaven made for a gap that makes 1% of the population oligarchs, 99% poor and worse.

To sum up: the “death drive” stands for a space within which a human being may exercise freedom not determined by choice of mere survival. A human being may say “no” and refuse to do his duty as writ by the laws or demanded by habit. It is true that the same human being may say “yes” to the law and do as ordered, however, it is the “no” that results in the collapse of the house of cards. It is the “no” that offers an opportunity for others to say likewise. It is the refusal to act that is at the root of a community premised on not-violent terror.

*The first most likely routine form of the self-sacrifice to become instituted in society was among the elderly through their refusal to consume food. Evidence of this is seen among the Cathars, re: the “endura”, and statues of Budhist monks http://tinyurl.com/lx52sy .
**“Gene-bound” = an assumption that life is an unrestrainable force, and though it cannot eliminate death, it may outlive it by outwitting it.
***The injunction “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is based on our knowing that at times our selves come as monsters in human dress. This is why self-sacrifice must forgive our monster-like neighbors as did John-Jesus, when he told those who had come to watch him being thrown into the pit of fire: “Brothers and sister, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

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