Transmission #02

We are awash in a sea of data and information, which - rather than setting us free - shackles us tighter than ever to the wheels of history. It’s not that the mass of humanity is more ignorant now than in any time past; it’s that a small minority (not as small as you might imagine) is possessed of horrendous power and know-how that allows it to rule with impunity. The game has changed. You cannot be truly liberated if you only want to “affect consequential change to these core systems”; that’s how they’ve tricked you into the same game they play. Playing their game, you lose. There’s no point in arguing what is or is not consequential - it’s all one.

A system only functions as long as a majority is at least ambivalent toward it, so even the awareness that it’s oppressive won’t suffice. Think about how long it took for segregation in the United States to fall, despite decades of informing and agitation - you must fundamentally transform those who make up the majority (or a decisive fringe of the majority) away from the ideas that sustain the system you hate, not just tweak their understanding.

Information doesn’t equal power. And freedom is more than having access to a limitless variety of enslaving crap. You must refuse it all. Your impotence is of your own making. If you really want to know what it’s like to live without fear - of oppression, of the night, of terror - start by destroying every network you belong to. Close all your browser windows right now - shut them all down. Start in this room, with the people around you: every human contact must be reforged into direct, honest, unmediated relations. Only that can free you.

Secondly, find ways of defying the institutions you can’t avoid. Strike sparks from the system in creative, joyous ways - like striking a flint. Go outside, lie down in the street, think of nothing, love the sun and the dirt under you - defy them by not being afraid of living, by embracing the pain and joy of being alive. Do not network, do not share - the time of community is over, the time of the individuated, uncommunicating ego has returned. Avoid anything that is automated or has a mass audience - defy their ideas of success and acceptance by seeking your own, separate fulfillment. Be useless, in other words, but always alive. Refuse what they propose, and select what you desire, carefully. You will soon learn that they cannot stop you, because you are small. But they will also learn that you cannot stop them, because they are big. It’s not a question of impotence, but of incommensurability.

You think freedom means having lots of choices. You’re wrong. Freedom is having only one - the choice of walking out the door. Choose that. The rest is terror.

–R. Artaud (Telos)

᯾᯾ ᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᯾᯾