10 Ways YOU Can Fight Fascism Around the World
I wrote this for Nick Pell at Key 64. I’m very glad he asked me to write it, because it did me a lot of good to get my thoughts organized, and the response to this piece has been huge. I’m backing it up here because I like my formatting more, plus I fixed a number of typos.
This is the best guide I can offer for proactive, prolonged, independent and effective resistance against the overwhelming direction towards greater warfare, poverty, and fascist control we see around the world in 2007.
I was asked by a weirdo I have a lot of respect for to write on this specific subject. I want this article to be as useful as possible, so I’m just going to lay things on the table as quickly and as clearly as I can.
Let’s begin by shaking off bad language—we tend to discuss politics using old metaphors, which are useless today and actually make understanding the problem more difficult. There is no Left and Right, there is no “inside the system” because none of us are “outside” of it, there is no change “from the bottom up” because there is no “top” to bring the change to.
We find ourselves up against an entrenched power structure composed of a relatively very small group of wealthy elites. They seldom rule directly or even visibly, and maintain their power through building huge armed bureacracies who enforce power for them. The global power structure is a decentralized, constantly shifting network of organized crime and national control systems, representing many different races, nationalities, religious dogmas and cultures.
However, there are common threads in all systems of social control: They do not have a sense of humor, they are bitterly opposed to Art, and they are unable to handle bizarre and confusing situations. These systems are built upon enforcing conformity, turning nature into consumer goods, and controlling information. These systems require enemies and they create criminals.
Because of these common threads, these systems all have common weakness that we have the power to exploit to incredible effect. If you take nothing else away from this, please remember: you are exponentially more powerful than you think you are.
The simplest summation of the overall strategy I propose is this:
1. Destabilize Existing Structure
2. Minimize Destructive Backlash
3. Establish Robust Communication
To this end, I propose 10 steps which form a conceptual toolkit. Perhaps that’s a euphemism for “disorganized pile of shit,” but I feel strongly that these are all relevant and useful:
1. Practice is repetition is preparation is power.
Can you win a fight? Can you control a situation enough to escape? Can you outrun police? I’m not saying you need to be able to knock someone out like Brad Pitt, but I am saying self-defense is a core life skill. Without it, you’re not effective. I recommend Aikido and Tai Chi to all living humans, unconditionally.
Establish meaningful and beneficial routines. Our culture is a constant pulse of imposed rhythms and rituals that we need to actively fight against to maintain clarity and effectiveness. Learning any skill set is amazingly simple: learn about it, then try it out until you get it. That iron-clad formula will guide you through anything, from juggling to fellatio to meditation.
2. Create situations that cannot be controlled.
I don’t propose that because it’s punk rock, but because I believe it’s a solid strategy. Ideally, in any confrontation, you want control of the situation. However, we’re talking about us, you and me as individuals, taking on the global power structure of Earth in 2007 for control of our planet. We are not in control of the situation, it is dumb to assume we could be. So go for the next best thing—be totally unpredictable, escalate chaos and noise, and create a situation that nobody could possibly control.
This is basically an unspoken bet with your opponent: “I am giving up control of this situation because I am faster, smarter and stronger than you.” Embrace chaos and leverage chaos, because what cannot be predicted cannot be controlled. Only a lawyer would pretend otherwise.
3. Do not allow yourself to be controlled by situations.
What do you do if someone puts a loaded gun in your face? Sure, that’s a heavy situation, but do you panic? I propose you remain calm and ask the human with the gun what they want. There is never any reason to panic. Self-assembling nanotech hunter-destroyer clusters swarming thousands of feet high, raining down human blood and internal organs, is still not a valid reason to panic. Panic is helpless idiot fear. In high stakes situations, you need to be calm and focused.
Horrible and amazing things will happen in the next five years, but you’re going to survive and maintain, just like humans always do. You yourself should make peace with death. I mean that honestly, not being sarcastic or macabre—it’s important for psychological health to keep your death in perspective. Avoiding it always leads to complications, and as I will discuss later, denial of death has been shown to make people more suggestible, afraid, and prone to violence.
4. Seek information, avoid arguments.
The only person responsible for getting you trustworthy information is you. This involves a great deal of work. Am I seriously advocating that you spend hours a day just sitting around learning stuff? Absolutely yes, I am. The wonderful Jennifer Bowen introduced me to the phrase “good company is kept discussing good ideas—not people.”
The internet is insanely effective for rapidly accessing high volumes of high quality information. It’s also a great way to spend four hours checking your email, watching porn, or getting into pointless arguments with total strangers. We all have egos, we all get pissed off occasionally, but don’t do that online: get up immediately and use that anger to lift some free weights.
5. Seek predictive models, avoid explanatory models.
I propose that it’s more important to have a general sense of what’s coming up next, than to have a precise picture of what’s going on now. The global power structure is not a monolithic, static object: it is constantly shifting, and while we focus on one tentacle, seven more will be taking advantage of our ignorance. An accurate history of this power structure is far less valuable than knowing how they operate, and what their assumptions are.
Remember, we’re living on the same planet. No amount of secret insider knowledge will spare you the consequences of catastrophic storms, toxic pollution, solar and lunar cycles, space weather radiation, etc. The global power structure has to respond and adapt to the world it claims to control, use the cycles of nature against them.
This is a massive source of power that few activists seem to be aware of: for the past three centuries, governments, militaries and corporations have been waging a very literal War Against Nature, attempting to control what they cannot understand. Recent documents like the UK Ministry of Defense report “Global Trends 2007-2036” make it clear that those in power cannot predict the short-term consequences of worldwide toxic pollution. They are scrambling to prepare for a future crisis they cannot plan for. You can, though.
6. Become an autonomous cell.
Do you realize that most of what “intelligence analysts” do is just read through publicly available media and look for patterns? Are you familiar with the concept, technique and theory behind “asymmetric warfare?” What do you think military analysts mean when they predict a future of “constant low-intensity urban conflict?” Is it signifigant that the US government has a long track record of inflitrating, subverting and murdering counter-culture icons and revolutionary leaders?
As Peter J. Carroll observed in Psybermagick: “In practice the power of any conspiracy rises and falls in inverse proportion to the power of its internal conspiracies. Mutual guilt and bribery mainly hold together conspiracies whose ideologies command insufficient loyalty, but this makes them vulnerable.” Take advantage of your opponents paranoia, use their need for control against them.
Autonomy also implies economic freedom, good health, and secure access to food. Shelter can of course be communal and improvised—in many climates, shelter is barely nescessary most of the year. Although I’m essentially advocating that we take the Army recruiting slogan, “an army of one,” further than they themselves ever will, I’m not avocating turning your back on anyone. I’m advocating that you work for your community, independently and perhaps invisibly.
7. Don’t be a dickhead, and love thy neighbor.
It’s the only rational approach to life: do your best to be nice. By doing so, you make life easier for those around you, you reduce physical stress that wears on your own body, and you will often find yourself reaping rewards at random. Some people call this “karma,” other folks call this “emergent properties of complex networks.”
Be nice to your neighbors. Help them out for no reason, refuse to accept money for doing so. Partly because real charity is subversive these days. Also, in 2007, you do not want the cops called on you, period. You truly do the world a favor when you purge yourself of terms like “sheeple” and “the herd”—I’ve also learned, through hilarious personal experience, that referring to taxpaying citizens as “slaves” will never work out for you.
There is nothing wrong with being selfish, only being dumb. Dumb selfish people look for simple self-benefit, smart selfish people look for open-ended, mutually beneficial situations. If you can improve your community, you have also improved your personal power base and your chances for long-term success. That’s not “public service,” just science, math and common sense.
8. Invest in tools and share them subversively.
The old Industrial Revolution plan for social control was simple. Wealthy families owned all the “capital goods”—the machines and factories that make consumer goods. So they used that power to hire poor people to work for them, in exchange for being able to purchase some of the “consumer goods” they themselves made. Things have changed a lot in 2007, because the line between capital and consumer goods has blurred almost completely. You can launch a record label with about $5000 and be pressing your own CDs, for instance.
Technology is magick. I think that’s become clear enough to just leave that as a statement. We now have the tools for invisibility, weather control, human cloning and burning entire cities to the ground with a single missile. We will soon have the tools for universal translation, undoing one of Jehovah’s major curses as chronicled in Genesis 11. It’s vitally important that us fringe weirdos get ahold of all these amazing future toys before they get turned into future weapons against us.
Sharing is subversive. Communal access to important tools is subversive. Growth is a sign of a healthy economy, profit is a sign of a sick one. Break the profit cycle everywhere you can. Nobody will go pay for a service or tool when they can use an equally good one locally, for free. You would be amazed how low overhead can be when maintenance is your only expense. You would be amazed how well you can maintain tools and facilities if you’re willing to put in work.
9. Become a Beacon of Insane Hope
Yeah, perhaps I’m reaching with this one, but I mean it emphatically. There is no shortage of people telling me how fucked I am, but I’ve spent the better part of a year tracking down people who are talking about solutions, comparing technique, and putting in work towards something better. I want to talk to people about seed bombs, quantum microdots, urban farming, water purification, anything that can improve reality, here and now.
There’s strong evidence that fear and anger are actively used as tools of manipulation and social control: the White House spent $1.6 billion dollars in 2006 on “public relations.” This is a signal that needs to be counteracted, becacause based on psychology experiments, evoking the concept of death alters human perception. People become more dogmatic, nationalist and likely to support violence. This is based on the research of Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski, and you can find more information searching for the phrase “Terror Management Theory.”
I am not advocating violence to any extent. Perhaps this is the strangest concept in my toolbag, but for what it’s worth: violence is actually not your weapon. Sure, you can throw rocks at cops, shoot cops, and blow up police stations, but you’re actually not accomplishing anything. In fact, you’re doing Their Job for them, which is why undercover police officers around the world try to start riots at peaceful protests. Violence is not a weapon we can control, so it’s not a weapon we should use, either.
10. Please, be fearless.
The stakes are beautifully high, the enemy is unbelievably strong, the fight looks completely hopeless. It’s too perfect, it’s ridiculous. How can we be bored on a planet as deliciously dangerous and insane as Earth? I can only conclude that my entire generation is living inside an open-ended video game that we’ve been training for since birth without even realizing it.
So keep pushing, stay calm, eat healthy, seek novelty, breathe deeply, take risks, think slowly, move quickly, speak clearly, fight dirty, dream crazy and please, be fearless.
If you’d like to contact me, feel free. I am friendly, honest and generous.
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