Comments on the socio-ideological theories of anarchist-heretic George Walford (http://www.gwiep.net/
Essay One: Systematic Ideology - by Tani Jantsang
You say: "Systematic ideology is a study of ideologies founded in the late 1930s in and around London, England by Harold Walsby, George Walford and others. It seeks to understand the origin and development of ideologies, how ideologies and ideological groups work together, and the possibilities of guiding the development of ideologies on a global scale."
You say: "The basic premise of systematic ideology is that ideology is the central motivator in human affairs; that the characteristics that make up the major ideologies come in sets; that those sets of characteristics form a series; and that the ideological series forms a system."
Please refer (references) to all texts on the site listed above that explain this theory, since I did look over a few of these. What I wrote below agrees with the "idea" of SI, but also argues methods.
I say that ideologies are "religions" that seem non-religious. In order to figure out why masses adhere to any ideology, you have to first understand the underlying nature of humans, which is primate nature and hard-wired in all of us. You next have to look at the eco-niche the humans are in, and I mean that in an all-encompassing manner that includes metabolism. This is no small thing and it is a highly synthetic view. Since most analysis of ideology disregards the "animal" and the "environment," you might disregard what I just said, or not even understand how foundational it is. You can not disregard this, I say.
Ideologies may be carefully thought out; they can be explained on a very concrete "gut" level or very abstractly, but they arise first from feelings a person or people have, whether they are aware they are feeling these things or not. There are tons of ideologies out there, however, only the ideologies that "gain credence" and "catch on with the masses" are the ones you hear about or know about. Why do they gain credence? Because they resonate with the heart of the people - not just their minds.
How many people actually understood Marxist analysis, as turgid as that was? Very few, actually. However, this was one of the mass movements out there and the kind of "think-feeling" that is somewhat Marxist, or a result of Marxism, is still around today. How about Nationalism? That's tribalism, no ifs ands or buts. It's instinctive - that is why nationalism is seen as mystical, many times. It takes on mystical forms, many times. It's instinctive. Anyone can come up with "fine abstract or rational reasoning" to back up nationalism. Don't be fooled. It's based on pure instinct and it's tribalism. Is Nationalism rational? Sure. Is Marxism rational? Sure. Do they work? That's a different question.
Ideology is definitely the central motivator in human affairs by the time it IS an ideology. By that I mean that you need to see that the real life affairs and real life situations and real motivators came first - they were just inchoate, not organized. That is, no one "spoke them into words." When the "pulse of the people" is thought out by one or more people that write about it, speak about it and who have apparently logical sounding solutions, solutions that resonate with what the people are feeling, you end up with ideology. Then the ideology kicks in and if it's very cohesive it's going to stick around for a long time and become that "central motivator in human affairs." To use a very easy-to-understand example, like nationalism. Nationalism is not just some "event" in the 20th century. See it for what it is: tribalism. Did you ever notice that it is a lot easier to get ethnic nationalism going strong than it is to get workers of all kinds to unite?
To paraphrase, you say that the major ideologies come in sets, forming a series, forming a system. However this is exactly how religion works. Ideology can contain mystical elements - or downright false elements. What's the difference? People believe in the ideology. Like faith. Did the masses understand Marxist-Leninism? No. They just believed.
Do these ideological groups work together? Sometimes. They work together out of convenience, usually. Sometimes they merge into a new ideology that, in my opinion, is just another variation (like Marxism, then Marxism-Leninism - or Maoism).
How can you guide the development of ideologies on a global scale? Can that be done? Yes, if you want a lot of different ideologies, it can be done. We already have that, even if no one wrote them all down. Take a look at what the people are wanting for; take a look at what they wish they had and do not have. Take a look at the way they live. Take a long, hard, objective and open look at what is so innate to the people in an area, so knee-jerk instinctive with them, that it seems as if it's genetic (and it might be). I refer to culture. People who have "forever" had a "machismo" ethic, e.g., are not going to bend to any ideology that grates on the underlying "machismo." These people set up hierarchies - no different from what most primates do! There is never equal treatment for all in such cultures even when they try to advocate it. It is as if this just can't happen. It's that ingrained. In order to introduce some foreign ideology into such a sample of people, you'd have to tailor it to "go with the flow" of the people there so that it might modify the underlying culture. Going against the flow, that is, what the people almost instinctively feel, won't work. That is: do not go against machismo. Just create something new and convince everyone that this new thing is machismo!
Marxists tried to guide ideology in African countries. What they got as a result of this were not Marxists. They got a lot of blacks that want to murder whites as a result of their efforts because the "capitalist pigs" happened to be colonoliast whites, at that time. Marxists tried to guide ideology in the American majority white people. What they got were a lot of guilt-ridden "liberals" that like to spend the money of other white and other working people on programs. The workers suffered. Non-workers did not suffer. Top elite capitalists did not suffer. Whether or not these programs help everyone in society is irrelevant; they are not seen/felt as doing that by most white working people who struggle to make ends meet; they are seen as "for the blacks." Is there something wrong with their eyesight? Do they not see their own grandparents on social security? Do they not see that most people on welfare are white? No, what they see is being guided by what they feel, immediately feel, feel every single day as they work in order to make ends meet. Next they think up thoughts and band together to try to change things politically. The predictable result of this is a backlash - and racism, that is, more racism - not less than there already was. What is racism? It is tribalism.
What I find bad about ideologies that tend to stick around is that they form new paradigms - and these paradigms might hamper advancement and/or be just plain false. The paradigm most people live in now, whether they agree with it or disagree with it, is that "whites are responsible for the woes of a so-called Third World." That everyone knows what "a Third World" is, is indicative of the overall paradigm. Why is this a false paradigm? Because it looks only at recent history. It never dares go back to the "H. sapiens starting point" to look at group strategies that either made or broke a group of people who, that far back, were all the same people, one group of H. sapiens. This one group split up into many groups and went their own ways from there. It doesn't dare look at the choices these early humans made - including choosing where to live, since there was plenty of room back then. It never looks at successful versus failing strategies as JUST strategies that early H. sapiens adopted in each of the groups they formed (before you could even tell one apart from the other). Within the paradigm, only "race," as judged by mere appearance (how superficial can you get?) is seen and blame is given to the successful. Right now, and only right now, the West (predominantly white people) is successful.
I see two main ideologies of the 20th century; everything else is a variation of the same theme. All the ideologies of the 20th century either cast blame on 1. some "evil Western imperialism" and use plain old jealousy to unite the masses and use "racism" as an excuse for anyone non-white that isn't currently on top; or 2. a group of similar people became proudly nationalistic where they declared themselves a "superior race." Saying you are a "superior race" and believing it is no different from saying you are "Chosen by God Himself" and believing it. It's the same thing, with the same potential effects on the "inferior/Not-Chosen." All ideologies, left or right, contain the same dualism that Western religions have: there are the good guys, and there are the evil guys. As I see it, every other ideology was just a variation of these two main themes. Sure, these are motivators in human affairs; but the question is, are they positive or negative?
Nationalism is very positive for certain people in a nation; but it can be deadly to anyone who is not of the same tribe (or designated a "sinner"). Marxism can be very positive for certain people in a nation, too; but it also can be deadly to those of the wrong class, including those with inherited wealth, whose parents worked hard to attain what they have and exploited no one.
The politics of the left tend to make "those on top" feel guilty; they feel like "sinners." It doesn't matter if they don't use that terminology. In that sense, the politics of the left can feel suffocating, as if a yoke is choking your heart. In comes extreme nationalism - and that definitely has the potential to free anyone from such a stressful yoke; it's euphoric! That's the reaction. It's a rebellion against the suffocation the person feels. It has nothing to do with thoughts or reasoning. Reasoning comes later. The reaction comes first. Then comes reasoning, justifications, rationalizations. Next, the ideology - the newly converted nationalist learns the verbiage and slogans just as most Marxists knew verbiage and slogans.
I see all other ideologies as falling in-between these two main types, all of them based on feelings and hard-knocks experiences. I don't think that any ideology is good or evil even if it leads to my own demise, even the ideologies that have led to genocide. They aren't right or wrong; good or evil. They are all too human! People did that because it is within human nature to do that. This needs to be accepted and understood! Something triggers it first: feelings. Next comes the speaker that speaks to the heart of the people and if what he's saying is so far off the mark that none relate to it - that speaker is soon forgotten. However, if he speaks to the heart of the people and all or most relate to it? Well, take a look: these ideologies are still in our society, so many years later. They are motivating people right now to take sides in politics, right now. Like styles of clothing. some catch on; others do not. Some styles are completely forgotten to history. And then some never go out of style - they return, modified, updated, etc.
In order to see how systematic ideologies shape society, you can't look at the "egg heads" that write down the ideology. You have to look at the people who make that society "a society," and who work and make every single thing you want and use. They are not "egg heads." Most of them aren't even smart. I hate to say it, but most of them can't even think or just don't have time to think. They simply believe and try to use what little time they have to enjoy non-thinking joys. They definitely believe an ideology if it conforms to what they feel and experience.
Basically, Systematic Ideology would be an ideology of ideologies, as if to "transcend" the self-referential nature of deductive processes, perhaps an attempt to be extra-paradigmatic (I don't think it is, however). It would be "the hypothesis OF the higher hypothesis" in Platonism. It's that cognitive act that "steps outside" of defined categories, like the outsider's view, a release from the straightjacket of preconceptions (whether true or false) or a "sight" outside of the prismatic lens of a greater paradigm most aren't even aware of. However, I see that even that is subject to what I wrote above, using words a lot more concrete - after all, the outsider is still a human observing humans and is himself subject to being human (and all that entails).
Sure, some of us can really jump paradigms, really step outside and look as an exercise in thinking. But when push comes to shove, we deal with life inside those paradigms/ideologies even if they change from week to week or get adjusted. My essay is basically saying that ideology is the last thing that comes out of a lot of other very foundational things. What I mean is, ideologies on war strategies are not the same as being in a real war and having to immediately react to stimuli (or die). If ideology is written in stone, even an ideology OF ideologies, it can still become another dogma, a straightjacket that holds things back.
Essay Two: Making Systematic Ideology Vanguardist - by Walter Alter
Comments on the socio-ideological theories of anarchist-heretic George Walford (http://www.gwiep.net/)
Alter - Political Satanic Reds
The Walsby/Walford Systematic Ideology's approach to issues of political science, dating from the 1940's, may raise the specter of vanguardist potential if it can employ insights into the contemporary effect of decentralized electronic communication upon societies. Although Systematic Ideology was conceived in the age of radio by Walsby and amplified in the age of TV by Walford, we are now in the cyber age (1), an age not predicted in Walsby's era, and an age whose predictions by media sages such as Marshal McLuhan (2), in Walford's time, were largely ignored after an initial but short-lived interest by the western counterculture. Though presumably vanguardist, the 60's Counterculture had reached its decadent phase in the mid 70's (3); after the end of the Viet Nam war removed its core motivating vehicle and along with it, any possibility of the radical wings of the counterculture maturing into actual armed anarcho-marxist uprising in the cities of the west. (4) This decadence was typified by a stubborn and chronic technophobia, an inability to come to terms with the west's capability of placing revolutionary quantities of counter-alienating consumer durables and information technology into the hands of its citizens. Had the Counterculture been able to see itself operating within larger fields of cognitive interpretive organization as did Systematic Ideology, had SI been better equipped with predictive capability and thus seized the vanguard, much futile waste of anti-capitalist effort may have been avoided and the creation of just societies globally would be nearer at hand.
One of S.I's major tenets is that there is an axiomatic inverse ratio between the demographic composition of the eideostatic and eideodynamic categories (the conservative to radical ideological spectrum); the eideostatic conservatives at the base of the pyramid being axiomatically larger in numbers and the eidodynamic radicals at the less populous apex, ever diminish in numbers as a function of increasing levels of repudiation of the status quo(5). Modern communications has changed the proportional population mix of the various eidostatic and eidodynamic demographics, with many of the radical agenda programs expressing a power beyond the indications of their numbers and becoming woven into the central fabric of industrial nations, to wit: gay rights, sexual freedom, abortion, racial integration, native people's rights, alternative energy, permanent grass roots activism, environmentalism, equal job mobility and pay for women, prisoner rights, immigration reform, handicap access, job safety, and so on, to the point that capitalist society seems to have adopted almost the entire radical single issues agenda, a very successful initiative, yet certainly one falling far short of the withering away of the state (6). S.I.'s observations that radicals wield little power due to their small numbers overlooks the incredible influence that radical/progressive ideology has in the communication industries (7) and as a general cultural paradigm generator. In the electronic world, numbers are not the only contributing factor to ideological and political power bases(8).
The takeover of western media by the radical agenda has been a substantial unrecognized (9) victory by the left; a takeover that has not yet finished its work. Since contemporary mass communication technologies have phase shifted into an interactive arrangement via individually owned and operated desktop computer technology (10), lateral connectivity, a democratized anarchistic decentralized peer to peer communication, is now seen to be breaking the point-to-many broadcast paradigm and the various ideological strategies and predispositions built into centralized network broadcast (11). The previous regimen of one way major corporate network broadcast communication is now a many-to-many thing, and is poised to crush the monopoly on information once enjoyed by a handful of brahminic think tank attitude distribution hubs.
The effect of cable video/computer info-democratization is subtle yet steady and its gains in breaking monopoly control is becoming apparent to cabals and syndicates such as the music industry giants and corporate network TV programming, as a fait accompli, an unstoppable force, but also contributing heavily to the fall of state capitalism in the former Soviet Union and, currently, NEP-oriented China, if the lengths to which they are going to censor and suppress free net access (at the time of this writing) is any indication (12). S.I. should be poised to interject integrative explanations of the work of modern telegraph metaphors which take into account such tools as the McLuhan hot/cool anti-fragmentation schematic of communication media (creating what he termed a "global village") (13) to its readership among the post-modernized intelligentsia.
The value of a good hypothesis is its ability to predict (14). Systematic Ideology has the potential to do this as its descriptions of ideologies is not limited to their interacting in adversary relationships but has presciently recognized the derivative evolution factor, observing that the various defined eido-categories and their ideological memes or idee fixe units (15) are alive and afoot simultaneously today, creating an extremely interesting mix of interacting (far more than is apparent) cognitive constructs (16). Walsby/Walford recognized the parent-derivative nature of each diminishing ideological demographic and Walsby presciently understood how derivative continuity need not equate to oppositional rivalry(17). This exceedingly important concept is not fully developed in the S.I. literature I've examined so far.
While S.I. clearly diagrams how the eido-categories are historically and overtly functionally stratified, it does not continue the exercise to show how a theory of historic phase determined proportional mixes of the influences wielded by the various ideologies, i.e., conservative influence upon radicals and vice versa, would determine political outcomes behind the scenes. Even if it may be hard to demonstrate rival ideologies actively learning from one another, the suffering of defeat certainly and axiomatically forces one side to examine the winning strategy of the other side and thus learn from at least the tactics employed if not the ideological principles that brought the tactics into being. (18)
In getting rival ideologies to investigate each other's motivating factors, it may help to attempt to show how often times the aim is the same even though the process of mind is not and simply compare processes of mind. Putting the rival's method in one's own terminology can help. In the example of the single world government model, if the single world government archetype can be re-engineered by the radical left, S.I. may prove key to emerging into the 21st century with a "union of opposites", an integrative right-left synthesis. If the "scientific" part of "scientific socialism" could be grafted onto the science driver aspect of capitalism, a new sort of globalism could evolve, a rigorous scientific-capitalist (federalist many economically interacting governments) sense of globalism rather than an anarcho-socialist (monopolist one government for all nationalities, creeds and geographies) globalism. (19). McLuhan correctly senses that human affairs constitute a "mosaic" rather than a hegemony, and as a mosaic of interacting sovereignties, provide a mechanism for testing evolutionary ideas without the usual catastrophic involuted decision making characterizing totalitarianism.
Forward process need not be a Darwinian shotgun of ideas, bad ones failing and good ones leading the way. Good ideas can be identified while in the cognitive phase, they need not be tested to be known to be the correct path. The statistical inverse population (and subsequent power) distribution hypothesized by S.I. were derived by an historic process of increasingly distilled and refined equity seeking socio-economic ideas emerging from the previous governing set of ideas. Adaptability as a positive characteristic of our species was considered to be non-optimal when the exploited adapted to their masters. Radicals understood this as axiomatic without the need of historic proof. They intuited that the human spirit flowers only when not exploited. The achievement of less suffering (greatest good to the greatest number) through a process of idea overthrow within the human intellect where idealizations (such as simple empirically derived efficiencies) need not be tested in reality to be known to be correct, is not a delusion. Clearly, then, traditional radical repudiation of the ancient regime is justified and appropriate. But is it still justified in the age of info?
In the age of steam, radical consciousness, not understanding how technology worked as a principle of universal isoperimetry or geometric efficiency, had no choice but to bring down the system. Yet through generations of presumably analytic struggle, an essential blindness occurred. The attainment of the radical goals was simply not observed to be occurring in a historically determinant way (capitalism had not yet fallen) and the nature of the struggle was never modified as a natural result of that observation. One wonders whether the objective was the attainment of goal or the perpetual struggle to attain the goal. Was radicalism trapped within its meme or cognitive model? (20).
Now that radical ideas have suffused the core of industrial societies, the hypothesized proportional mix of the adherents to the range of ideologies observed by S.I. may be up for recalibration in the info age, and some understanding about how info works on consciousness and determines consciousness's subsequent survival-driven political constructions, may help S.I. vanguardists better predict and thus lead the permanently alienated intelligentsia into a new condominium with capitalism, its science drivers and the uniquely human power of applied invention (21)
One telling and instructive example of cyber culture working in tune with (and in many cases a direct witting application of) anarchist doctrine (22) is the concept of "shareware". This is a concept that has stormed and taken over the battlements of the forward elements of capitalism found in the computer industry. Shareware made its modern debut originally before the desktop computer, during the age of the hippie counterculture with the advent of free, advertiser supported newspapers. It was discovered that advertising paid for distribution and production costs, and, with management receiving less than "golden parachute" wages, information could be disseminated in mass quantities for free; something for nothing The formula paramount to advertisers was readership, period. Free publications could not miss in getting readership. A self-amplifying feedback loop (23) was set in motion, one that the ethos of capitalism could structurally never have discovered on its own without help from anarchy- a thing given away can lead to more business profit than a thing sold at artificial demand price.(24) What emerges strategically from the shareware concept is a generation of humans who do, in fact, expect as their birthright access to (which equates to control of, in information culture terms) the tools of production, idea production that is, which is parent to and formative of all other forms of production (25). This is victory.
With the computer revolution (26), a Pandora's box of new ideas about value and value for exchange was opened, never to be shut again. This was an anarchist idea and it is the living proof that the most profound changes in society are not those brought about by armed insurrection or by the inertia of a culture of pragmatism, but by the creation of surplus (27). By the mid 80's, America's newest and fastest growing hobby for technophiles was computer programming. The output of small application programs to fill in gaps in the commercial software suites and arrays became a tsunami of invention, but with a modern twist, the production costs were near zero, so the programs could be offered as free to use with a donation appropriate if the program was found to be useable and if the user could afford to send in a few bucks. This is pure sliding scale value exchange... "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" writ very real on a daily basis in an industry that was to basically take over the major routes of input into the collective brain of all humanity. This ethic was a direct effect from the realization that human genius is the primary raw material of industry (28), and that human genius doesn't require a condo, limo and trophy wife in order to produce savant quantities of useful and efficient cultural tools, tools that could be put in the hands of the many instantaneously.
Once S.I. understands that the new emerging eidodynamic is one of information upgrade, a "hyper" eidodynamic that repudiates all ideologies in favor of the latest version, the latest update, the latest release, then S.I. can begin to gather up the shattered remnant geniuses of the other ideologies in a global information think-village. Ideology can become "open source", contributable to by all using the latest tools of cognition; ideas from the assembly line floor.
1. Any theory of ideologies as a class of phenomena, a meta-theory overarching the sub-theories, must allow itself to be modified by updated information, must allow itself to be modified by changes in historic or evolutionary phase, as a gestalt figure-ground relationship. The author feels that ideologies are modified through history in two basic ways; they are subjected to new strategies compellingly presented by their leaders (such as Lenin's NEP), and/or they find themselves newly cast upon a different stage set gestalt background/phase, usually temporally determined by the march of history (such as contemporary information society).
2. Marshal McLuhan's seminal "Understanding Media", 1964, provides the beginnings of an ordered approach to mass media, electronic communications and applied technology to questions of drivers of social transformation, and, as such, is more an anthropology lesson than a metaphor for industrial progress. One of McLuhan's primary conclusions is that technology provides the luxuries of the aristocracy to the masses of proletarians, an important concept, although he fails to follow through on issues of the cooption of elitist values by the proletariat and the effects of permanent commodity surplus upon necessity assignment cast against a social background of free time and discretionary income.
3. By the mid 1970's two major contributors to the western hippie counterculture revolution were airbrushed from official and unofficial curricula; media theoretician Marshal McLuhan and architect Buckminster Fuller. Both had run afoul of the post Viet Nam war radical slump regrouping and ideological cleansing that had need of a new center of rotation and found it in a constellate of "soft" ideological issues such as environmentalism, anti-consumerism and techno-phobia. Both McLuhan and Fuller were technophiles and, thus, unwelcome in the new radical university whose professorial flocks were tended over by a brahminic elite of postmodern theoreticians, postmodernism being most clearly understood as a set of cognitive wrecking tools (including PC speak) designed by the contemporary Trotskyite intelligentsia as a rationale for the dismantling of "post industrial" capitalist society, by any means, revolutionary or accelerated decay.
4. Having lived through the 60's and 70's as a Marxist, and later as an anarchist and finally as an ideological free agent, I'm still unsure as to the actual potential for armed overthrow of the U.S. by the "make love not war" generation. Were radical vanguard elements shanghaied into delusion in order to turn the center of the wheel enough to elect a U.S. President willing to come to a permanent treaty of condominium with the Soviet Union and China, basically carving the world into spheres of influence (a term I heard uttered with cabalistic reverence in academia in the early 60's) between east and west? If so, they were their own worst enemy. By the end of the Reagan-Bush era; 12 years of repudiation of a radicalized Democratic Party by the American electorate; with a shocked global left wondering what the Wicked Witch of the West had done with the Soviet Oz, it was abundantly clear that the attempted radicalization of the Democratic Party was unpalatable to the American ideostatic expedient center and the strategic net result was the defeat of socialism (via the collapse of the Soviet Union) as an applied economic reality for pretty much all time. Basically, all the capitalo-imperialist aggressors had to do was give the left enough rope with which to tangle itself to death.
5. Walford and Walsby both imply also that a certain intelligence factor favors the more radical ends of the spectrum, as though the societal evolutionary aspect of the ideostatic-dynamic impetus would naturally include the evolution of intelligence. This is a valid point in my view as it is clear that reform, revolution and repudiation require the ability to cognitively dissociate from deductive socio-mental structures, assimilate new data inductively and proceed with a new set of axioms. This process is known anciently as the platonic hypothesis of hypotheses method, from which epoch even then it was known that the new hypothesis must overthrow the old hypothesis, that the old hypothesis does not retire gracefully in recognition of a new logic or new data base, but fighting to persist as though a being or life form, as is proposed in contemporary meme theory.
6. In this regard, radicals should be prepared to congratulate themselves for an epoch defining victory, for virtually all of the abuses, exploitations and elitisms fought long and hard against through 200 years of the industrial renaissance (I refer to it as "renaissance" rather than "revolution") have been mitigated via radical agenda inspired reform legislation and the setting up of permanent watchdog institutions and attitudes. The culmination of the organized labor struggles of the west with the American civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's, made manifest the historic hopes and struggles of all humanity and set the stage for the cognitive exportation of these institutions to the 3rd world. That the "postradicalism" period now struggles for acceptance of such marginal notions such as freedom to use recreational drugs, distribute pornography, needles and condoms, same sex marriage, use profanity in mass media, i.e., hedonistic excess catching the coattails of the struggle for just societies, should indicate that it's job is pretty much done via the vehicle of egalite and that the vehicle of idealized anathema is probably not suited for children.
7. Although the left will complain that accusations of the media being liberal is right wing hysteria, it is a plain and obvious fact that, though conservative usually on matters of national defense, the western media, including and especially entertainment media, are, in fact, far left of center. Recent coverage of mid east affairs has caused various Jewish groups to present statistic evidence of pro-Arab bias in the American and European press in hundreds of subtle ways utilizing every sub consciousness threshold syntactic, semiotic and lexicological spin variable in the book. Recently the author took part in a BBC news website survey on weather and environment that had as the web page's graphic design element a photograph of a factory complex spewing smoke into the sky next to the yes or no box answering the question "Do you think global warming is a priority matter for governments?".
Virtually the only rightist mass media outlet (there are many small demographic right wing media and religious outlets) are the Murdoch organs and talk radio. The hegemony of right wing talk radio hosts has the left in a lather and several leftist think tanks have engineered efforts towards equalizing that "imbalance". Virtually all of the so-called mainstream press can be demonstrated to be soft on criticism of liberal matters and hard on conservative matters. The fact that it took the western press almost 10 years to cop to the hideous mass murders in Pol Pot's "Campuchia" are indicative of the sorts of left leaning press blackouts that number in the hundreds since the Viet Nam war era radicalized the western press.
8. Never before has the ability of single humans to effect the outcome of history in a creative manner (anyone can bomb or assassinate) been as great as it is today. This need not require a savant genius to effect, but merely people who possibly stumble upon obvious concepts and logical combinations of concepts that are being pathologically overlooked by a brahminized intelligentsia. The marriage of off the shelf technologies in unique ways is a great field of invention that is accessible to the emerging body of novice cognitive hobbyists. For example, the concept of the now popular mountain bicycle was unknown before the early 1970's when a group of kids in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais near San Francisco simply put two and two together, combining the gear change mechanism of European road bicycles with the sturdy construction of American street bicycles in order to be able to race down the fire trails of said mountain. This concept had eluded bicycle manufacturers, an industry where innovation at one time had led to the invention of powered flight. The inertia of the status quo (the static ideological frame of reference) to impede efficiency, is a tragic wonder.
9.The left's repudiation of the right's characterization of mass media as being "liberal" is the result of two factors: 1. The need to camouflage this media hegemony and pretend that the media is neutral, and 2. The displeasure that radicals typically ascribe to any social or political element no marching in lock step with the party line, i.e., if you are not with us, you are against us, which is basically a failure to perceive that the press needs to appear mainstream to maintain its cover as a neutral estate. This is "point of view" analysis- from the center, the media IS leftist, but, of course, from the Michael Moore left, the media is perceived to be corporate.
10. The desktop computer revolution was basically begun by the "Two Steves", Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, who founded Apple Computer Corp. The most profound revolution perhaps in human history was the brainchild of two hippie anarchist potheads who got their start phracking or breaking into the international telephone exchanges and had begun to manufacture portable hand held equipment to make free phone calls from the U.S. to anywhere in the world. The first outcroppings of computer "geek" culture in M.I.T. and Stanford universities in the late 50's began as enclaves of bright human beings who could see when systems were not working, including social systems, and perceive that human social injustice was fundamentally an intolerable system inefficiency, human happiness being the greatest contributor to social efficiency. The first hackers learned their craft in order to break into mainframe computers to get time to run their own programs, hardly malicious, and often times requiring physical break-ins to computer centers in order to get some time to play with the gear. It was this consuming impetus to overcome the scarcity of the resources in question that led to the incredibly rapid democratization of computer technology. It didn't take much to radicalize this demographic during the Viet Nam era, and their applied economic spawn created the most progressive and humane work conditions in history.
It is also interesting to note that the hippie radicals at Apple Computers, in their subsequent elitist obstinate and monopolist strategy to not license the manufacture of clone Apple-like computers, relegated themselves to a diminishing, if not vanishing, role in the computer revolution, whereas, the blue suits at IBM, the megalithic mainframe manufacturing bastion of info-capital, became the potting bed of licensed domestic and offshore manufacture of their computers which has become the industry desktop standard by a factor of 10 to 1. The metaphoric implications of those two concept domain dynamics can very possibly be used to explain why no radical revolution will ever succeed rigorously and that vanguard elements can be interpreted as elitist.
11. Terms such as lateral connectivity, democratized playing field, decentralized, and peer to peer are all analogs to that category of function of mind known as inductive. This is the dynamic information update activity of the mind and works IN CONCERT with its counterbalance, deduction. It is not possible to overemphasize the importance of the twin engines of consciousness- induction and deduction. Knowledge of how the mind works within these two parameters of intake and outflow is one of the most powerful tools of ideological cognition there is, one that sets us as equal to the task of de-puzzling the universe.
The universe is an ineluctable machine that somehow (the "how" is the ONLY religious discourse, all others are mere anthropomorphism) spat us out as incredibly, miraculously unique in our ability to act independent of the instinct hard wire program; yet within physical law, able to exploit the potential of physical law as a dense matrix of "fields", our mental fields possibly rivaling the entirety of the universe as essentially formative. If the reader takes one thing from this paper and its extensive footnotes, it is hoped that they would understand the crucial determinant forcefulness of the dialectic between deductive and inductive processes of mind. Simply put, deductive/inductive IS how our minds work (though in many topologically stretched "morphs"), and subsequently, how societies and their derivative ideologies work.
12. Radical cadres are touring the land presently warning of the dangers of post-9/11 anti-terrorist legislation threats to freedom of speech, whereas they should be standing arm in arm in Tienamin Square protesting the shutting down of internet cafes, free web surfing access, blogs and uncensored internet service providers in China and, by extension, other centers of info repression in the world.
13. Probably McLuhan's most well known phrase, the notion of the "Global Village" should be right up any Marxist theoretician's alley. Basically here is a validation of Engels' evolution backward to primitive means of wealth distribution, i.e., communism being an innate state of human society. In McLuhan's concept, electronic communication media simply obliterate the capacity of spatial distance to create separation and disassociation between societies. McLuhan's sin in the eyes of contemporary anarcho-trotskyism (Marxism no longer exists as an economic theory, it is now a contemporary Trotskyite propelled new-age nature worship hedono-mysticism) is that this achievement of the communist ideal was accomplished by the engine of capitalist industry and, moreover, is an unstoppable unfolding of the human survival urge manifested in the creation of technological extensions of protective physiology, clothing an extension of skin, etc. As Walford likes to point out frequently, the fact that we got here from there must indicate that here is better and the methodology of that voyage is justified by the benefits its compass heading has provided humanity.
14. Our weakness as humans is that we don't rigorously understand how perceptions work to form our minds; either individually or collectively. We focus far too much upon a) the temporally immediate and b) the spatial object of attention. It's as though we can't walk and chew gum at the same time and perceive phenomena only as a static category and composed primarily of what fixates our attention. This is an echo of the present state of human consciousness which is an imbalance of its two dialectic components of deduction and induction, which, heretofore, have not been allowed to function fully dialectically, one side of the equation being in chronic domination over the other due to the survival struggle against a background of perpetual historical shortages of goods.
Walsby and Walford understand that there is a chicken/egg aspect to any historic topic, and much progressive social theory tries to establish which forces act most powerfully upon human affairs by understanding which forces have and continue to act "first". Great controversies such as the "nature vs. nurture" one or the placement of the vanguardist role upon the proletariat or the intelligentsia, will plague this discourse until some background-foreground discernment utility is provided.
It must be understood axiomatically that we are dealing with a primary dialectic division of this universe into two first phase divisions of said universe which are acting upon who and what we are as sentient beings. There are no surprises in naming these universes the physical one and the mental one, and spiritualisms aside, the light of logic establishes that our inner worlds are clearly derivative from the larger parent/container external universe.
Human consciousness derives from physicality, derives from attempting to propel a flesh and blood body through space for as long as possible. The physical universe then, is the ultimate arbiter of what sorts of ideas survive, and an accurate depiction or what sorts of ideas have survived, can be plotted, can be extrapolated from, can predict. The processes that our minds invoke in order to insure survival, mirror the mind/universe figure ground gestalt. It plays a dynamic process (information uptake and interpretation) upon a static predetermined container (the container is always precedent to the contained) background of symbol meaning, which acts as an interpretive framework (ideology) that ultimately determines how the being will act, often in the face of contrary evidence.
15. Meme theory attempts to account for the stubborn persistence of groups of ideas even beyond their usefulness or demonstration of falsity by assuming that culturally persisting ideational archetypes exist as survival conscious entities that operate upon human consciousness parasitically. Any form of an expressed human ideal would be a meme, as would be cultural wisdom, values and (as critiqued by postmodernism) artificial consumer appetites Meme theoretician Morris Berman states: "An idea is something you have; an ideology is something that has you.", so, by Berman, ideologies are meme intense, probably addicting if not parasitic and survival oriented out of mere reflex.
Anarchists at the extreme vanguard might be said to be in a state of meme capture if not addiction. The unconscious realization of this trap has the danger of unmet ideals converting to cynicism or nihilism/gnosticism. Nihilism/gnosticism can go two ways, into wanton hedonism (Riechian sexual freedom plank of anarchism) or extreme asceticism (eastern/nature minimalist/purist mysticism plank of anarchism). However, no new idea exists apart from it's parent, and the recognition that branching is a primary organizing overlay of universe phenomena evolving in time (not only biological as each unit of time branches from the preceding, carrying all with it), makes meme theory somewhat a useless exercise since all ideas are memes. Like most empiric approaches, meme theory refuses to acknowledge the capacity of the mind to abstract as a function of categorization, a primary act of mind, and thus reveals itself to be a cynics tool for concluding that human mental activity is in essence an unnatural, unwholesome thing. This is a Gnostic premise, the premise that earthly physicality is inherently a corruption of divine disembodied spirituality.
16. The Internet is fundamentally a catalyst to discovery. The model of hyper text and hyper link breaks down many of the engineered ideological boundaries due to its inherent "wide angle" non-specialist democratized nature. A walk down the information superhighway is far more risky to the ideologue or curate than a walk through the mall, for the chance of the unexpected and unplanned for curiosity propelled encounter with new interpretive frames of reference is a constant threat to previous deductions since the information superhighway's inherent nature is that of upgrade flux in service to induction. Web surfing, and more to the point, web searching, is basically an act of discovery, one that satisfies the savant human grace that makes us truly human - curiosity. The radical left intelligentsia is experiencing a fundamental schizophrenia vis a vis the Internet; it knows that the Internet is a mind toy and good for intelligence, but it also exposes their cadres (and any ideological cadre) to alternative viewpoints. A radical organizer doing a search on the acronym WTO might typically end up reading material about the Rockefeller Foundation from the 1950's written by the right wing John Birch society, and even worse, wondering why he wasn't made hip to their revelations about globalist centralized economic cartels and cabals far sooner by his own ideologues.
Unlikely bridgings are being made between disparate ideological standpoints on a daily basis that are worrisome to ideologues of all factions. Communication and support between right wing gun nut militias and left wing urban revolutionaries and rape conscious urban women on the issue of 2nd amendment gun ownership erodes the control of ideologues. Analogously, right wing militia and paramilitaries now kick back after a day crawling through the underbrush on weekend "maneuvers" and enjoy a fat country grown spliff wondering why one doesn't relax a bit more about his paranoias and take some time to smell the roses.
Also, paranoid hoaxes are no longer as able to stir up as much fervor and thus lose membership far more easily when alternative points of view are made easy to come across. The hoaxers are beginning to experience "cried wolf too often" syndrome, as exemplified by the Y2K hysteria. It becomes harder to generate the kinds of hysteria in the west that used to propel great political upheavals. The restraint shown by the American people and government in the wake of 9/11 is something that could only occur the electronic era. One can only surmise what the Arab reaction to a similar act on their soil, the flying of a plane full of pilgrims into the Shrine of Mecca, for example, might have accomplished in the way of utter pandemonium; the Arab world basically being a window into bygone centuries and an interesting laboratory for study of what western civilization has striven to evolve out of.
17. In the information global village, former adversaries are given the tools that allow them to see over their own ideological fences. Web browsing amplifies curiosity, discovering new information creates an appetite for both the act of discovery and the surprise and pleasure of encountering amplifications of one's own point of view and a less shocking means of encountering ideas that run against one's point of view placed within the neutral context of the Internet. This context of low danger levels combined with the privacy of zero peer pressure or critique, is THE revolution.
18. It is axiomatic that any society requires specialist expertise factions within it, if only by virtue of the divisions of varied forms of labor. But this notion can be extended to include ideologies as analogs to divisions of labor in that some ideologies work at the fringes of discovery, and even though harboring thoughts of parricide, release back into the larger society progressive ideas. Being a member of the anarchist intelligentsia IS a division of labor within the capitalist container. You will be co-opted.
The default dynamic of co-opted left-vanguardist contributions to capitalist society as a division of capitalist labor includes the need to demonstrate the success of acarchist ideas before the revolution has occurred, if only for recruitment. The thinking world requires a working prototype. So, for example, if the ideological predisposition of a generation of hippie computer inventors and programmers, with its primary goal to form a society without leaders discovers a natural venue for that idea within a particular economic sphere of the host society, say computer technology, and that economic sphere turns out to be vanguardist economically within the capitalist container, then the power of "leaders" is functionally reduced by the example of leaderless or decentralist "open source" enterprise. Given the chronic and persistent technophobia of the left, capitalism seems paradoxically to be better able to assimilate new ideas than are the creators of new ideas themselves!
19. In order to systematize ideologies, one must refer to history and track ideologies and their effects through time. The difficulty here lies in the static nature of the definitions and the dynamic nature of the defined ideological operations. Historic terminology rarely takes into account the changeable nature of the ideology, its natural maturation and the possibility of its cooption by infiltrating elements. The process of infiltration is a tool of ideological warfare is poorly understood and rarely discussed.
For example, the Republican Party, USA, was, in the period of its inception, a progressive, pro-labor, pro-civil rights oriented political party that placed Abraham Lincoln, an anti-slavery candidate, in the U.S. presidency where he waged war against the secessionist Confederacy over the issue of slavery and states rights, i.e., a directed or "dirigist" federalism rather than a federation of sovereignties. Radicals have stared at me in blank incomprehension when informed that enfranchised black demographics voted 90% Republican up to the time of Teddy Roosevelt's presidency. Conversely, the Democratic party up through the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, was a friend to the southern slave states, expressing its inherent white's only variety of Jacobinism as a rebelliousness against Federal authoritarianism. By the end of WWI, these ideological alignments had significantly reversed themselves whereby Republicans were comfortable with the exploitation of labor and the Democrats were pro-labor and civil rights positive from the New Deal 1930's to the present.
20. Cognitive modelings, like dreams, do not answer to physical laws. They are mental patterns answering to mental dynamics alone which are elastic metaphors for physical reality but which obviously do not necessarily answer to laws of physical reality, hence the notion of "delusion" applied to greater degrees of departure from reality. But, since the future is also free from reality yet accessible to cognition, it is also is a reality in the making. The boundary between delusion and prototyping is both poorly defined and vulnerable to unforeseen future variables.
But this modeling ability can also be unexpectedly accurate and, when accurately employed, there can be confidence that the idea will work in reality. The great electrical inventor, Nikola Tesla was able to do this to an extraordinary degree, visualize an electro-mechanical machine, test run it, disassemble it and actually check its moving parts for wear, all in his imagination!. His inventions all worked flawlessly as originally visualized. True, he was dealing with physical objects with known properties, but modeling is modeling and the more data is available, the more known the outcome, physical or social.
So our imaginations can be both powerful prototyping tools or fountains of delusion, but not inherently exclusively one or the other to be cynically discounted by pragmatism or charismatically embraced in spasms of "gut feeling" subjectivity by radicalism.
21. World celebrated electrical wizard and inventor (eclipsing Edison before being drummed off the reservation) Nikola Tesla, claimed to have discovered a means whereby energy could be extracted from the earth's static field charge and broadcast through the stratosphere at high frequency, however in a manner unlike microwaves, a method incorporating ground antennas. But the details of his theoretical understanding of high frequency electrical resonance phenomena, a resonance being that type of phenomena which extends to infinity in the small and large directions as well as possibly others, remained un-communicated for reasons of secrecy. His subsequent work and access to finance or a laboratory were suppressed. Where he was once lauded as a hero of civilization in the scientific and public press, a suspicious and yawning silence ensued.
If the intelligentsia of the modern world can get their collective brains around Nikola Tesla's work, they will experience a post-electronic renaissance in human affairs. It's there, it's a puzzle, it has power, it's solvable.
22. It should be kept in mind that the computer industry owes much to the ideologies commonly known as "libertarian" a sort of anarcho-capitalism combined with the intellectual products of the metal and punk youth subcultures and anarchist leaning technophiles (as opposed to the anarchist leaning in the environmental, vegetarian, animal rights, eastern spirituality, purist, minimalist technophobes). Libertarianism considers itself an anarchy, but within a currency exchange system, which, for all its faults, has delivered more justice, knowledge, freedom, joy, human growth, wit, literature, music, etcetera, than any other system to have evolved and survived millennia of human conflict. Marxism will one day be seen to have been doomed from the outset.
23. Self amplification is what bacteria do in a sense, but the sense I mean it here is that the pressure of human survival itself necessarily dictates what degree of insanity societies will be allowed to experience before they undergo a self-derived extinction, making self-amplification the mark of sanity. Self amplification is also the foundation of the intrinsically human striving to achieve genius, an unrecognized form of instinct, a spiritual instinct minus the dogma. There may be a natural threshold at which a mind goes critical mass and can sustain its own chain reaction of knowledge. Our minds operate in the modes of feedback analysis and re-hypothesis. Those minds that do this most often are deemed smart.
24. Capitalism recognized that the bargain sale was not a price undercutting mechanism, it was a means to get attention focused on the contents of the store. This is a properly bourgeoisie concept and points to the nature of the bourgeoisie mind, ever more devious and selfish, yet employed by a greater good in spite of its warts. Exploitation has a way of revealing itself eventually when accomplished by stealth. The many hypocrisies and inconsistencies employed in its behalf are the result of unscientific short term immediate field thinking. Science wins against this adversary if only because it conceives in terms of longer time periods, i.e., in terms of lawful "eternal" universal principle and a scientific bourgeoisie is probably the most potent social category history has yet witnessed, the true vanguard.
25. The perception that intellectual freedom increases with approach of anarchism, may be in error. At no time in history has intellectual freedom been greater than under the capitalist industrial democracies in which virtually anything can be publicly said or advocated, from the stupid to the banal to the criminal. As long as the demographic is manageable by the state and doesn't provide a pronounced threat such as direct terror action, the radical can say pretty much anything. There is no anarchist model in which there exists more intellectual freedom than what is currently encountered under 21st century electronic capitalism.
26. The laws of technology clearly demonstrate the inherently democratizing nature of applied scientific invention. The Industrial Renaissance (misnamed the Industrial Revolution) made democratic republicanism possible by creating a large enough bourgeoisie capitalist class that the ideals of neo-Platonic Christian Humanism were able to be successfully instituted via the process of political reform. For example, by the mid 1800's in the US, slavery had been voted out of the northern states and was on the verge of being voted out of the southern states on the eve of the southern secession and subsequent civil war. In fact, slavery's pending electoral defeat may have been an important propellant to the secessionist movement.
(The difficulty of the American Revolution for anarcho-Marxist theoreticians is manifest in a) its success in creating a nation state that was a beacon of freedom and rose to be the most powerful of nations in a little over 100 year and b) its theological base in the ethical ideals of Christian humanism. It is little appreciated how this anti-empiricist Christian notion of the perfectibility of the human spirit could result in a society which had such a powerful belief in autonomy as a function of scientific invention. Walford makes reference to the interaction of Protestantism and the rise of democracy, but S.I. needs to understand the actual dynamic behind the application of Christian neo-platonism as a progressive force.)
Liberalism (precision) could not have entered or consolidated were it not for industrial technology. Technology was seduction to the aristocracy because it provided means for a victory in struggles for domination, but it spelled the aristocracy's doom in that it provided tools (and tools of cognition) and luxuries unheard of via heretofore luxury goods manufactured at cheap prices. The POTENTIAL of the masses to voice their desire and insist upon economic and juridical enfranchisement was increased, and that is all that is needed. (Potential has far more power than we perceive, It IS the unperceived future) Policy followed. An educated (machine operating workforce) was needed and that meant literacy and public education. With mass literacy it was game over for the aristocracy (as it had been in the American Colonies, it's revolution having been made possible against incredible odds by almost universal literacy there)
It may well be the final irony for leftists that capitalist technology will bring about anarchy and cause the withering away of the state.
27. Walford offers for the fist time a system by which "overlay" of the preceding ideology may be considered to effect the subsequent...i.e., feudalism overlaying conservatism and being responsible for its more backward notions of chattel slavery then likewise applied in conservatism's overlay upon capitalism as glaringly unchristian injustices tolerated in 19th century "christian" nations such as child labor. This overlay process can also work in reverse, one of the themes of this paper, in which the more radical ideologies exert an effect back upon the less radical.
If it can be demonstrated to the radical mind that capital is capable of humane behavior, particularly in its liberal scientific components, thus able to cast off the exploitive feudal overlay, perhaps radicalism may come to cease its repudiation of old but serviceable ideas about wage driven production and distribution and LEAD the parade. A society that scientifically produces surplus, MUST have the use of some sort of value symbol tool, a specie money or paper money universal value marker. The radical would do well rather than to repudiate money in favor of an unwieldy low resolution barter system, to create a digital money that has HISTORY, a dollar bill that can tell you all the hands it has been through and how dirty it is.
28. Genius, like anarchy requires the condition of play in order to survive. Anarchy might well be considered the vanguard of genius formation, sublimating it's instinct to play within the frustration release device of satire and sarcasm. Genius also contains a core that is inherently outcast and pariah, again, characteristics of the archetype anarchist. But ALL ideologies attempt to keep defection to a minimum, and this policing of the ranks, a sort of meme-defense, the experience of "thought patrol" elements, within anarchy also, leaves what safe haven for the free thinker? Where do the non or anti-ideologues go to play?
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