Thursday, November 30, 2006

o no, o no, damn you Stormfront!

i was looking up something about Druidic magical resistance to the spread of Christianity in the British Isles, when I came upon this on a message board about how Celtic Paganism should but doesn't exclude and hate "non white" people:
I Am a proud Asatru Pagan
I disaprove of Christianity and see it as Jewish. What matters to me is my people and my culture.

Only Odin can judge me!

I support Enlightenment, I support the creation of a pro-white media. I support the destruction of the anti-white sentiments made by popular culture.

Join the White Resistance!

o balls.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


what to do?

i have heart for anyone who invites mysticism divinity back into their lifestyle, especially if they are as spiritually depleted as many people in the area i live in. but really, i don't dig Christianity.

noone's really engaged me about how stupid Against His-story, Against Leviathan! is, so I'll go ahead and use the whole example of the Israelites and the Exodus and them turning into party-hardy pagans when big brother Moses turns his back. as Fredy Perlman tells it, Moses comes down off the mountain, sees that the people are no longer under his control, and sends his goons to kill a lot of them, which they do. Those were "the sons of Levi." I reread the part of the Bible this was in, and this seemed a justified interpretation of the scene.

and you've got the whole Christianity evangilism thing, with people having healthy parts of their culture ripped away by contemporary, unquestioned missionaries; especially evident with "uncontacted" folks who "haven't heard the good news". but it's past time i at least forgive the Spanish Conquistadors for what they did. apparently the sailors were very oppressed back in Spain. considering the age of exploration came on the tail end of the Inquisition, I'd a) have some pent up violence too if i were them and b) want to get the hell out of Dodge (fanatical, puritanical and feudal Europe), any way i could. and besides, the old conquistadors are dead and i waste emotion on them.

but there's a whole snake-hating thing from a pre-Jewish Semitic creation myth. i personnally think the snakes have suffered long enough, guys, without you continuing to invoke Yaweh and getting snake blood on your hands every time you see one of the most beleagered vertebrate suborders in this country, the Serpentes.

but the supernatural facts remain: when i hear about my christian folks speaking in tongues, or non-violent martyrdom, or curing AIDS by praying and laying your hands on someone, or knowing things most couldn't guess without the use of a Ouji Board or Otherworld journies of some kind, or displacing the Shuar head-hunting thing with lots of praying, i can't help but be excited.

so what's Jesus got to offer, hmmmmm? well, I'm tempted to say that his religion makers stole most of the good traditions from pagans, or smothered out traditions that filled a vital role in the society which they were converting and had to invent some new and incidently similar tradition for their newly expanded flock. but that's just simplistic.

"No Gods, No Masters," right? well, I've actually heard of lots of anarchists doing spiritual stuff. i've read descriptions of rituals that people invented to gods they came up with on their own; the @'s would ask for something, pray for it, if you will, and it would turn up. it's worked for me, for the courage to leave a major bad relationship and the opportunity to enter a major good on. it happens in unlikely circumstances, and it happens as soon as it needs to after you've asked. try what i did the first time if you're uncomfortable with the "G" word, and make your request out to the entire Universe, asking for whatever you need in exchange for your dedication to be good to yourself and others.

there're plenty of Christian Anarchists; the Psalters come to mind, as well as some folks in the Catholic Worker Houses.

my aunt, the uber-Christian one, says that she had alcoholism ripped out of her by god at her request; furthermore, that it was a fairly painless operation that anyone can do with His help. she and many others also credit seemingly inexplicable good fortune to God's will. she's a frickin' millionaire, and she's happy, and she supports lots of unlucky people and good causes with the money. i don't quite get it, but then again, i kinda do. now if they'd just give a damn about Earth and humans besides what'll happen between now and Judgement Day, which will be SOON, right, then i'd be much more simpatico.

fuck 2012

Saturday, November 25, 2006

in case it discourages you...

if you're trying to offer me a chance to sell your prouduct, forget about it. i don't do that. i don't even let you advertise on my blog, and you'd pay me money no questions asked. what makes you think i am going to publish your shit as comments?! who even gave you access to my blog? PISS OFF

celtic shamanism

i figured, my ancestors are celts and picts; my interests in the spiritual are alternative and empowering- why not go for shamanism? why not CELTIC SHAMANISM? and you know, despite all of the right headed arguments about niche filling being moral nihilism over at Human Iterations, (which I am in agreement with), this is doing it for me. i've been following what the celtic lunar calendar, as alligned with certain types of trees, has to do with human development, and it fits. like a glove. and i'm getting into the practices and it's just great.

my advice: don't take no for an answer from any belief system unless you've felt the conviction to explore it yourself and followed through with it.

do not give up on spirituality!

some changes

my friends:

notice the expanding sidebar of links. there is a lot of good stuff there, and even more if you count what those links link to in turn. the newest addition is, or Big Medicine: Because the Truth Can be Used to Tell a Lie.

keep it fresh, funky and feral,


Against His-story, Against Leviathan! chapter 4 (armed opposition; Jewish Exodus from crumbling Egypt)

Against His-story, Against Leviathan! Chapter 4


The book at the origin of today’s Civilizing Religions does not begin with Civilization-builders, say with Sumerians who launched the first Leviathan. Its first chapter tells of an earthly garden, Eden, a place reminiscent of the state of nature. Its second chapter tells of the withdrawal of people from the entrails of a large Leviathan. The book then uncritically describes these people’s attempt to launch a Leviathan of their own, but the Book goes on to tell of painful and often insupportable captivities in the bowels of other worms. The overall impression it gives is that the wonders of Civilization are not positive, life-enhancing womders.

Withdrawals from Civilization are so numerous and so frequent that the life-eating worms appear to be in a continual state of decomposition.

The exodus of Israel from Egypt is not a major withdrawal, but it is a well-documented one, so that we can get an inside view of some of the actions and even some of the thoughts of the participants.

The subjects of the exodus are zeks in Egypt, but they seem relatively privileged zeks. They are pre-literate. They are not people of a single mind, as they reveal later in the story, and if they are not even of a single tribe, they will be welded into one by their later common experiences.

They have not been in Egypt long, only a few generations, so that they remember there’s a world outside of Egypt. They reference to the earthly garden may even be a memory of a world outside Leviathan. Turner will suggest that the only garden they remember is the Mesopotamian garden of the Lugal and his Akkadian successors.

This may actually be the case with some of them, but I suspect that most of them have something else in mind.

Forty generations after their exodus from Egypt, these people’s scribes will write their Book; in it they will accurately tell of political and military events described on tablets and scrolls available to modern scholars, but not available to the scribes. The memories of pre-literate people are long. People can remember the deeds of Pharaohs, Hittites and Assyrians can also remember that their own ancestors once lived in communities of free human beings, whether in Yemen or Ethiopia, and that these ancestors communed with animals, with Earth, with the spirit of the sky and the spirit of the apple tree.

I suspect that they remember, and call Eden, what others remember as the Golden Age. And if they are uncomfortable in Egypt, the memory that there is an outside, even a pleasant, idyllic outside, must stimulate in them a desire to leave the greatest and wealthiest of all ancient Civilizations.

Despite their nostalgia for what Morgan and Engels will call a more primitive statge of existence, a stage that was not a mode of production, these relatively privileged zeks are not unaware of the material and social conditions of their own age. They know that the Egyptian Leviathan is only one monolith among others, and they seem to know a great deal about the others. This is not surprising, since they remember recent ancestors more vividly than they remember Eden’s Adam, and a least one of these recent ancestors, a man called Abram, hailed from Harran, a town at the very crossroads between the world’s major Leviathans. Even if Abram did not live near the governor’s palace or the Temple but on the outskirts, he was surely familiar with the inner city and its gardens, and probably with the gardens of other cities as well.

Abram must have been even more familiar with the merchants and soldiers of the great Leviathans, since Harran lay on the road taken by Assyrian traveling salesmen seeking windfall profits in Anatolia, and the salesmen’s peaceful daytime commerce led almost inevitably to clashes of ignorant armies by night, transforming Harran’s outskirts into a darkling plain.

Abram’s kin were surely swept into the confused alarms of struggle and flight. They might even have fought alongside Egyptian or Hittite armored men as auxiliaries. It is unlikely that they were ever auxiliaries to Assyrians, since their Book will express only horror and fear of the death squads sent out by the tyrants of Ashur and Nineveh.

The scribes will write that their ancestor Abram already worshipped only Yahweh, but this is surely wishful thinking on their part, since Abram’s grandchildren will still be honoring several nature gods in their later captivity in Egypt.

We are not told exactly when or why Abram’s kin made their way, or were taken, to Egypt, but there were many occasions when such a journey would have been opportune or even necessary.

* * *

The repeated attempts of Lugalzaggizi’s Akkadian and Amorite successors to set the world-embracing Leviathan back into motion had the unintended effect of setting many of the world’s peoples into motion.

We’ve already seen how disturbing a visit by a merchant, the merchant’s cousin and a few armored men could be. Communities of seed planters and communities of pastoral nomads took up arms, either to protect themselves from future visits or to try to recover their captured kin.

In Anatolia, influential women urged the Pankus, the council of all, to defend their ways from the onslaught of Death’s merchants, and the more powerful consorts of influential women began to build walls. Later Hittite scribes will refer only to the powerful consort on their tablets, and will refer to him as King Labarnash the first, but they will remember that the king was a mere consort because the women will remain proud and strong into the Scribes’ time. Anatolian women will not be debased so easily; over fifty generations later, Herodotus will speak of Anatolian “Amazons,” and there will still be powerful women in Anatolia into Rome’s patriarchal age.

While the more settled communities resisted the mosnster by walling themselves in, more mobile pastoral nomads did as the Guti had done and stormed the gates of the cheating Leviathans. By this time the grasping tentacles of the various Leviathans had disrupted the great grandparents of virtually all the peoples who would storm the gates of Leviathans in later ages, great grandparents of Sanskrit and Iranian speakers, of Tungus and Turkish speakers, of Mongols, Finns and Magyars. The Mesopotamians called them Kassites, Hurrians and Mittani. The Egyptians called them Hyksos. The Anatolian-adopted Hittites are said to have originated among them.

Many of these kingless people rode horses and some wielded iron implements, but this did not make them any more Civilized than the copper-using ancestors of the Ojibwa on the Great Lakes; the horses and iron became productive forces, they became Civilization’s technology, only after they became part of Leviathan’s armory.

These peoples were not afraid to attack cities, and fury drove many of them to make a complete mess of their disrupters’ urban centers. Sanskrit-speaking Kassites federated with Elamites raed most of the Amorites’ empire to the ground and reached the very threshold of Babylon.

The Kassites’ cousins, called Hurrians by the Assyrians, former their own federation of mounted men in the Armenian highlands and harassed Ashur as well as Ashur’s Levantine outposts.

The people or peoples called Hyksos federated with Egyptian armies and chased Assyrians from the entire Levant.

The Hittite army alliked with Hiksos, Hurrians and Kassites sacked commercial Aleppo, the jewel of the Levant, as well as distant Babylon itself, helping the Kassites impose on Amorites the very burdens the Amorites had imposed on Kassites.

It may be that Abram’s kin helped Hyksos oust Assyrian outposts from the Levant and accompanied some of their fellow-auxiliaries to big brother’s homeland on the Nile, where life would be less swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight. Or it may be that they sought refuge on the Nile a generation later, when mounted Mittani did to Assyria’s realm what the Kassites had done to Babylon.

It is also possible that Abram’s kin were captured by the victorious Amoses. Or, a couple of generations after that, they might have been taken to the Nile by a zek-hunting expedition sent out by the second Tutmoses.

It seems likely that Abram’s heirs were already established zeks on the outskirts of Karnak or even further south when Menelaus and his Myceneans fortified their towns on the northern shore of the Mediterranean, when a volcanic eruption in Crete flattened the communal stone lodge which would later by called Minos’s Palace.

They probably saw, and may even have helped build, Queen Hatshepsut’s palace on the Nile’s other shore, one of the most beautiful architectural wonders anywhere, before or since—a palace surrounded by lush tropical gardens which would later revert to desert sands. But they were not impressed by this wonder. Like zeks elsewhere, they probably felt pains in their joints when they viewed the great monuments of their masters. For this same reason they couldn’t have been thinking of the Lugal’s garden when they remembered Eden, and they could hardly have thought their ancestors had originated in a Lugal’s garden.

They were still in Egypt when Queen Hatshe;sut was murdered by her successor, when scribes rubbed her name off the cartouches, manufacturing positive evidence that proved there had never been a woman Pharaoh. The zeks must have wondered if all this really had to be done to erase the memory of a woman who had never claimed to be anything other than a man.

The captives could not have known that while Hatshelpsut’s name was being besmirched and forgotten in Egypt, the woman-hating Theseus, a Basileu or commander of a band of Myceneans, was defeating Anatolian Amazons, killing Antiope, enslaving her sisters, and entrenching himself in fortified Troy.

* * *

The Israelites in Egypt were by no means ignorant of the ways and deeds of the great Leviathans of their time. We can even suppose they were not of one mind about these ways and deeds. Some among them, like some among the Hyksos, were probably modernizers who thought Lugalzaggizi and other pacifiers of enormous regions brought peace and not the spear. The modernizers were undoubtedly a minority. The majority must habe been what we would call Primitivists, people who looked back nostalgically to the ancient garden and its nature gods.

The modernizers among them could not have felt at ease either among their fellow immigrants or among their Egyptian hosts, since numerous Hyksos had been expelled for their foreign views and ways at the time when respectable Egyptians replaced their former confederates as administrators of all Canaanite languages to administer the Pharaoh’s lands in the Levant and to protect these lands from the cruel Mittani, and the would by ambassadors must have been enraged when the second Amenophis married the daughter of the Mittani Artatama and then formed an alliance with these charioteers against the Hittites.

The children or grandchildren of modernizers as well as primitivists must have been repelled by the third Amenophis, who not only continued the hated alliance with the Mittani and sent embassies to horrid Assyria, but who also married his own daughter. This unspeakable tyrant’s rule went on for almost two generations; fortunately the Ishtar sent by Mittani to help the tyrant live yet longer failed.

Modernizers must have breathed freely for the first time when a royal modernizer rose to the office of Pharaoh as the fourth Amenophis and changed his name to Akhenaten. If this Pharaoh was not the first totalitarian, he was the first revolutionary totalitarian.

It will be said in our day that the grandfathers of Moses learned their monotheism from Akhenaten, who will be thought to have invented it. I think this Pharaoh did not have to invent what had been the common practice his Ziggurat-raising neighbors for more than fifty generations. He could have learned some of the details of this practice from the Semitic immigrants in and near his palace.

The Pharaoh decreed that just as he was the king of kings and lord of lords, so Aten the Sun would henceforth be the god of gods. The revolution was not in the decree but in what followed. Armed bands of newly constituted Priests of Aten, escorted by the Pharaohs armies and probably by modernizing immigrants, stormed the Temples of all other gods and expropriated all other priesthoods, giving all the lands and palaces to Aten. This was a forerunner of the more famous religious wars which would devastate Europe at a later age. Egypt had never before experienced such iconoclasm, such persecution, such internal violence.

Unfortunately for the modernizers, conservative priests loyal to the ousted gods, squadrons of them, rose up against the usurpers and against their god Aten. If any of the immigrants had found favor with Akhenaten, they were in trouble now. After placing nine-year old Tutenkhamun on the throne, the ido-worshipping priests proceeded to treat the montheist’s partisans as they had been treated. A new purge of foreigners began. This was a good time to leave Egypt.

If Akhenaten did not give the Israelites monotheism, he did do them a different favor: he had abandoned the Levant when he had called his armies home to smash idols. But the persecuted quickly learned that the Hittites had replaced the Egyptians as the Levant’s occupiers, so the Levant might not be safe for Egyptianized Semites yet.

So the Israelites stayed where they were and lay low while army commander Horemheb besmirched Akhenaten’s name, claiming the monotheist’s administration had been corrupt, his tax collections fraudulent, his requisitions arbitrary, and his army a band of pillagers.

The Israelites might have heard that zeks allied with nomadic Arameans had recently ousted Babylon’s tyrant and that Assyrian death squads had promptly invaded Babylon and inflicted abominable mutilations on the rebels. So still the Israelites stayed where they were while the first and then the second Ramses did to the memory of Akhenaten what the third Tutmoses had done to the memory of Hatshepsut: erased it.

* * *

At last the awaited day approached.

The second Ramses, a megalomaniac who ordered mountain sized statues of himself built all over Egypt, decided to conquer the world. This Pharaoh drained Egypt of food and supplies in order to provision his armies. He marched westward and reduced free Libyan tribes to tribute-paying subjects. Then he marched east and north, toward the Levant, with the largest army ever assembled. This army, which provisioned itself on route by plundering every community along its line of motion, gave rise to undying resentment along the entire southeastern Mediterranean coast.

Meanwhile, the forewarned Hittites conscripted the largest army ever assembled north of Egypt and prepared to face the invaders, their army giving rise to resentments along the middle sea’s entire northeastern shore.

The two slouching armored giants met a Kadesh on the Orontes. The scribes of the Egyptian and those of the Hittite both claimed their Lord had been victorious, but the Leviathans of each began to decompose the day after the victory.

The victorious Hittites returned to Anatolia and were beset by resentful Mycenean and other bands of armed adventurers. None of the Hittites’ Anatolian subjects were willing to keep supporting Khatushilish’s palace or his army.

On the Levant, the Hittites still held Carchemish, but Assyrians led by Shalmaneser put an abrupt end to Hittite Carchemish. The Assyrians went on to “slay the host of the Mittani” and might have swallowed the entire Levant if they had not had to turn eastword against resurgent Babylonians aided by Elamites.

Phoenician mercantile cities, particularly Tyre and Sidon, free at last to feed their own Baal and Moloch instead of the gods of their Hittite overlodrds, dispated their large ships to Libya and elsewhere in Africa, to the Aegean and the Adriatic, in fact all the way across the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic. They left signs of their visits in many parts of the world, but they did not reveal their destinations to competitors.

By the sheerest coincidence, at the opposite side of the globe, across an ocean that would not be officially sailed until a certain Columbus performed the feat, colossal heads were sculpted, heads of people who look nothing like anyone who ever lived anywhere near Tehuantepec, the so-called Olmec heads. It would of course be insulting to suggest to present-day Nahuatl and Maya people that their ancestors did not invent practices like the building of Ziggurats or the feeding of human victims to Baal. But such a suggestion would not have been insulting to those people’s ancestors, who actually insisted they had learned much from strange-looking foreigners who hailed from the sea.

Be that as it may, on the Mediterranean the great ships’ merchants gave rise to defensive leagues equipped with small ships, and these soon set out on plundering expeditions of their own.

The whole world seemed to have been set in frantic motion.

The second Ramses returned to the Nile in time to celebrate his feat, and he ordered his sculptors to portray the victory at Kadesh on the walls of every new Temple, a different moment of the battle on every wall.

But soon Ramses’ Leviathan decomposed as surely as his foe’s. A palace conspiracy almost did the Pharaoh in. Zeks in labor gangs refused, simply refused to perform their assigned tasks. This was an early recorded instance of a strike. The concern expressed by the scribes suggest it might even have been a general strike. And then news came that seaborne Libyan and other mysterious foreigners were raiding the Nile’s delta.

If the Israelites were ever going to withdraw from their Egyptian captivity, this was surely the time.

* * *

The withdrawing captives place themselves in the charge of a Moses, an Egyptian at least on his mother’s side. (In Egypt names and wealth are still passed through the female line, an ancient custom the scribes and Pharaohs could abolish with no better success than the Anatolian Hittites.)

Moses may be a minor palace official who fails to rise because of his family connections among the foreigners. The man’s later utterances are fanatically patriarchal, and this fanaticism cannot be explained by pointing to the patriarchal tendencies of pastoral nomads; materials will be found which show Israelite pastoral nomads worshipping female as well as male deities in Egypt. His father was probably an official during Akhenaten’s reign, lost his office when the monotheistic Pharaoh fell, , and has since been grumbling and airing his modernist views to his compatriots. The son, Moses, obviously rejects his mother as well as her people and chooses to become a champion, a deliverer, of his father’s and half-brother’s people.

We will have no good reason to undermine Moses’ motives, to attribute his choice to resentment. The Book portrays him as a principled member of the ruling class who casts his lot with the oppressed, and we can accept that and start with it. He’s as ideally suited for the task of leading the captives out of Leviathan as any Ensi’s cousin. He has merely to say, “Let my people go,” and his former fellow-officials and even relatives will issue the necessary orders and passports.

The destination is clear. Moses will lead the captives to Canaan, which has recently been vacated by all the large armies, and at least two of the occupiers are not likely to return soon: the Egyptian is tied up by strikers, conspirators and raiders, and the Hittite seems, from all reports Moses must have heard, to be decomposing altogether, beset by continual famines and hostile raiders. The third large army, the Assyrain, is busy elsewhere; its tyrant Tukulti Ninurta is on the Tigris subduing Babylonians and Elamites and proclaiming himself King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Sun of all the peoples. So Canaan seems like a safe place of refuge, at least for the time being.

But to Moses’ followers, at least to the “primitivists” among them, Canaan means something else; it means a common language, an original common home; it probably means something like the Eden they’ve wanted to return to. Why else would they call a war-torn Levantine province “the promised land”?

There is no reason to assume Moses is a modernizer like his father, especially in view of the fact that he does leave Egypt with the zeks. The Book makes it clear that there are no modernizers in the entire band of wanderers. In fact, these people’s disgust with the amenities of Civilization is so profound that it will be felt by the Civilized urban scribes who forty generations later will still write with revulsion of the “fleshpots” of Egypt and the “harlot” Babylon.

Moses was clearly no modernizer in Egypt. But once he’s out on the desert sands, and some of the people pull toward Yemen, other toward the Red Sea and Ethiopia, Moses has to decide just exactly who and what he is.

The Moses of the Book is not a modernizer. He does not think that the lubrication and streamlining of a Leviathan can have any human meaning. He’s as repelled by Ashur, Khatti and Ur as any of his followers.

But where is the promised land? Most of his followers are apparently primitivists. And apparently they are either weak or blind, since it should be clear to them that once they safely reach the desert, Moses can do nothing more for them. They cling to him, either because of loyalty or because they are still intimidated by the former member of the Egyptian palace staff.

Moses is neither a modernizer nor a primitivist. It is clear that he is an armored man who is unable to remove his armor. He is like Lenin. He seeks within, but finds no destination there; all he finds in himself is bits of Leviathanic armor. He hates Ur and Ashur, and his contemporary Tukulti Ninurta makes him shake with rage. But the only voice inside him is the voice of Lugalzaggizi, the voice of the Almighty, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Male of Males. Lenin will hear the voice of Electrification. Yet Moses hates every specific King of Kings, just as Lenin will hate capitalists. Moses abstracts the King, makes him a god, just as Lenin will abstract Electrification and make it Communism.

By this act Moses projects his inner emptiness, his armor, his own dead spirit, into the very Cosmos.

If any in that group think of Eden as a Lugal’s garden, it is Moses. The gods are all dead for this upper class Egyptian. For him there is no Eden, there is only Leviathan.

It is ironic that this man for whom there is no outside should have been the one to lead the others out.

Of course he hadn’t thought all this out before he left Egypt, and perhaps he expected the armor to come off, perhaps he hoped some glimmer in him would come alive. But nothing does. Only an abstraction stirs inside him, bodyless, sexless, neuter and immortal. The abstraction is Leviathan itself, as concept.

We will all know that his followers do not like what they hear. As soon as he turns his back they form the ancient, sacred circle of the old community. They abandon themselves. They dream. They are possessed. They honor a golden calf, not because she’s golden but because she’s feminine, because she gives birth to life, because she’s Earth’s and because she is Earth.

The people know the difference between the dead idols of the Egyptians and the living symbols of their own ancestors. The remember. Their insides haven’t gone dead. They are zeks and children of zeks. They always knew the armor was a burden they would shed one day, and when the day comes, they are able to shed it.

Moses is challenged. He can respond by going to them, by listening to their voices. He’s still Moses the man, the potential human being. He’ free. He can let the living glimmer inside him open up, like an egg; he can choose to come alive.

But Moses responds by turning his back to them. He lets the armor take over. He stiffens. W. Reich will say he becomes rigid. He chooses to let the potential remain Nothing, to let the armor extinguish the little glimmer of Life there was. He lets Leviathan speak through him. And the voice that speaks is not that of Akhenaten, the Sun, but that of Lugalzaggizi, the Lord of Lords.

The armor speaks of no garden. It expresses “a vision of life that is spiritually light years removed from the mythic community,” as Turner will put it. The voice of Leviathan speaks of Commandments and Punishments. It does not speak of ways, of paths to Being, but of laws, of closed gates. It does not say: Thou canst and Thou shalt Be. It says: Thou shalt not.

And woe to those who disobey. Just as the thing, Leviathan, has its police to persecute, torture and execute those who stray from its justice, so the concept of Leviathan, Yahweh, has its police.

But the concept’s police is not itself a concept. Moses gives this task to the life-giver herself, to Nature—not all of Nature, but only her irruptions, only her violence, all condensed and concentrated as in Lugalzaggizi’s own god in the Ziggurat. Earthquakes, storms, floods and plagues are Yahwehs’s instruments of persecution, torture and execution. The goddess worshipped in the calf is turned against her worshippers.

And now comes the crowning touch. Now Moses becomes an actual forerunner of Lenin. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This is something Moses may well have learned from Akhenaten. This is modern. No Sumero-Akkadians have yet been able to impose the “no other.” Moses does not put on mere bits of armor; he wears the whole thing.

The Commandment still has a Sumerian form, but its modern meaning is spelled out:

And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to
Powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

The Pharaoh’s former official knows that captives from free communities have to be made over into zeks; they have to be domesticated, they have to be forced to eat their freedom.

But the calf-worshippers still resist. They rebel. They are ready to withdraw again, this time from their Leader’s Leviathan.

So the armored man drops the veil and makes the armor visible to all. He stops being a medium though whom Lugalzaggizi speaks. He becomes Lugalzaggizi. He sets in motion a general purge with a police which is neither a concept nor Earth’s concentrated wrath:

Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and from from gate to
gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.” And the sons of Levi (they will later form a Defense League) did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

This massacre is the first Holocaust perpetrated in the name of Yahweh. And there is neither human recourse nor human justification. “I am that I am.” This is Dogma.

The anti-human, anti-natural face of what will later be called Totalitarianism, has to be worn together with the rest of the armor. Every last speck of human skin has to be concealed. Leviathan has neither life nor soul. It is that it is. It is its own sole goal. It is Death, unmitigated, unjustified, unexplained.

We will get used to Science, Technology and the Secular State; we will not be horrified by the inhumanity of this man’s vision; some of us will even be impressed by the progressive, nay prophetic, character of it.

But those who left Egypt, those of them who are still alive, cannot stomach the monstrous regression, and Moses knows it. If he doesn’t act quickly, the mass murder will be followed by mass suicide or by an Exodus of those who are left. “I am that I am” is not enough for people who still remember.

So he brings out the famous Covenant. He has already told them, “if ye will harken unto My voice… then ye shall be Mine own treasure…” Now, like a horse trainer, he tells them how they will be treasured, what reward their obedience will yield them. They will reach the Promised Land. But in this land they will remain zeks. The curse of toilsome labor will not be lifted from them. The land will not be eden, a place which no longer exists for this armored man (just as women don’t exist for him; only the sons exist; women are nothing but childbearing machines, vessels which might as well be made of clay, the stuff to which Earth herself has been reduced, stuff which is to be manipulated and mutilated).

The Promised Land is a new Leviathan, and the treasured will be rewarded as Lugalzaggizi’s Ensis are rewarded. Thou shalt expropriate the others. Thou shalt inherit great and goodly cties which though buildest not, and houses full of good things which thou filledst not, and vineyards and olive trees which thou plantedst not.

This is the land of mild and honey, and Moses’ troops are to storm it like Pioneers:

And I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite and the Hittite, and the Perizzite,
The Hivite and the Jebusite…

It is significant that the Canaanite, the cousin, is to be the first victim. Leviathan has no kin. Whoever stands in the way, whatever lives outside it, is its enemy. All beings not encased in its entrails, whether people or animals or trees, are its enemy.

…Replenish the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the
fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living
thing that moveth upon the earth.

This, as Turner points out, is a declaration of war against the Wilderness, and this word has now taken on an awesome meaning: it refers to “every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” This is Leviathan’s declaration of war against all Life.

Moses dies, but the “sons of Levi” actually reach the Promised Land, the land of their one-time kin. And they do not arrive as kin; they do not form the ancient circle or revive the lost community. They arrive like Tukulti Ninurta’s armed Assyrians, as the Nemesis of their former kin. One of the sons of Levi, a man called Deborah, a forerunner of the armored Joan of Arc, fills the Pioneers with genocidal hatred. She, or rather he, exhorts, raves and gesticulate to enrage the sons against every last Moabite, Hazorite and Canaanite in the Promised Land.

Moses dies, but the Leviathan he sets in motion is immortal, and if in time it, too, will be swallowed, its Concept will one day light the way of monstrosities undreamt by Lugalzaggizi or Moses.

And thou shalt consume all the peoples that the Lord thy
God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them…

As Turner will observe, this is a description of things to come; this already foresees the “dark clouds over Africa, the Americas, the Far East, until finally even the remotest islands and jungle enclaves are struck by fire and sword and by subtler weapon of conversion by ridicule.” This is already the discovery of the New World.

* * *

Thursday, November 23, 2006

cum in a gun

Anti-War Activists Plan 'Global Orgasm For Peace'

(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO Two peace activists have planned a massive
anti-war demonstration for the first day of winter.

But they don't want you marching in the streets. They'd much rather you
just stay home.

The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul
Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an
orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.

"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after
it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a
meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a

The couple are no strangers to sex and social activism. Sheehan, no
relation to anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, brought together nearly 50
women in 2002 who stripped naked and spelled out the word "Peace."

The stunt spawned a mini-movement called Baring Witness that led to
similar unclothed demonstrations worldwide.

The couple have studied evolutionary psychology and believe that war is
mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of
"my missile is bigger than your missile," as Reffell put it.

By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they
hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more

The couple said interest appears strong, with 26,000 hits a day to their
Web site,

"The dream is to have everyone in the world (take part)," Reffell said.
"And if that means laying down your gun for a few minutes, then hey, all
the better."

Show and Tell Black Swamp Edition

well look at that! I found the first zine i did, of my adventure to the 2006 Great Lakes Anarchist Gathering. it was tucked away in an obscure folder. enjoy!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

plants for a future

i've been wondering what this plant was and what i might partner with it to to. the plants for a future database had some answers: its common name is American beauty berry, also called French mullberry

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

i feel like this guy

(there's a hole in my cast for the ultrasonic bone regrowth stimulator, and a stomach ache that won't go away)

Monday, November 20, 2006


any readers in the UK? Jersey Giant Cabbage seed request

i want some Jersey Giant Cabbages seeds, avaiable from Paul Chambers to UK residents for cost of postage. if you're reading this and you think you can supply me with a link in the shipping chain, i'll love you a lot. please let me know. :) apparently they're used for walking sticks, read about at

Saturday, November 18, 2006

ANd then it was so......

I went down to La Paz, And what do I see?

A can of empty spraypaint and flourescent marks the trees.

Construction = deconstruction of the natural creations

Hut appears safe for now, but i fear it is time to find alterior spots to prep.



On February 14th this year, a group of anarcho-punks from across the
Philippines aged 15-25 were on a trip to Sagada, a well known hiking spot,
to go walking. Police stopped the vehicle they were hitchhiking with and
brutally arrested them without a warrant. Later, they were told of an
attack by Maoist guerillas on a military outpost a few days before. When
they denied involvement, they were subjected to further torture including
suffocation, electrocution, simulated executions and drowning. The two
youngest had to be released, but the 9 others have been charged with arson
and murder.

The youths were all active in ecological campaigns and groups such as Food
not Bombs, but there is no evidence of any connection with any Maoist
organisations, or guerilla groups, or any evidence for the crime. Their
arrest was illegal. They are being held under terrible conditions without
even basic necessities or enough food in overcrowded cells.

International solidarity could make a huge difference to this case. There
has already been a demonstration at the Filipino embassy; we are now
calling for a day of protest on Friday 17th November, with phonecalls,
letters, faxes, and emails both to the prison in which they are being
held as well as to the Filipino embassy in London to pressure for their
release. You can say you are phoning/writing about the Sagada 11, mention
their names, and that you would like to enquire about their welfare/you
think the arrests were illegal/demand their immediate release, etc. Please
remember that they are being accused of being part of Maoist/terrorist
actions so be careful not to associate them with anything overtly

Sample letter from Asian Human Rights Commission at: and /1886

Filipino police: Gen. Arturo Lumibao: 0063 27264361

Jail:see address below, phone number: 0063 744222304

Filipino Embassy: 0207 9371600, Fax: 020 79372925, Email:

And write a message of support to the Sagada 11: Darwin Alagar, Cell 1
(age 21), Rundren Lao, Cell 3 (age 24), Jefferson Dela Rosa, Cell 3 , age
22), Metro Villegracia, Cell 4 (age 24), Neil Russell Balajadia, Cell 5
(age 25), Ronron Pandino, Cell 8 (age 23), Arvie Nunez, Cell 8 (age 23),
Aldous Christian Mafosa , Cell 9 (age 19), Anderson Alonzo, Cell 12 (age
18), c/o Jail Warden James Simon, Benguet Provincial Jail, Justice Hill,
La Trinidad, Benguet 2601, Philippines


It is also reccomended that people contact the prosecutor as he is able to
get the case dropped..
Baguio Assitant Prosecutor Octavio M. Banta
Baguio City Regional Office
Rm 112 Grd Floor, Justice Hall, Baguio City
Tel: +63(74) 446-4460

Points we suggest including: 1.) Judge Laoagan, who heard their case in
May, ruled that their arrest was illegal 2.) As well as being illegally
detained, their civil rights, as protected by Article III, Section 12 of
the Philippine Constitution, have been violated by torture, and
interrogation without legal counsel. and 3.) Confessions, or any other
evidence obtained by torture is inadmissable under Section 12(3) of the

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

do or die

the first article really helped me to understand why going to college wasn't important- i have better things to do and prepare for than a successful financial career!

in case you're wondering

i am just sitting around reading and surfing, to facilitate the healing of my foot. so i get bored and share more thoughts than usual on the blog...

i laughed a lot at this video: i just saw "Borat", so I thought i'd look at Da Ali G show it came from

some cold shit

Hugging is illegal, comrades

It's a fact that more than six million people have seen Juan Mann's Sydney-filmed Free Hugs video at YouTube, and huge numbers have seen it at Google Video. And while hugs may be catching on around the world just when you thought it was uncool to be a hippie/hugger, the phenomenon is not welcome in -- you guessed it, Communist China.

"Earlier this month, Chinese police swooped in and detained Shanghai huggers, a fate shared by some Beijing arm-spreaders a few weeks before. Reporting for China Daily, Cao Li writes that these participants were brought into custody for lacking a certificate to organize in a public place. Organizers are pessimistic that the powers that be in China will provide proper documentation for future hugathons. 'Why can't we melt the coldness in people's hearts with our hugs?' asked Shanghai organizer Baigu."


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Against His-story, Against Leviathan! chapter 3 (gift economy vs. trade, Ur & Sumeria)


The surplus product, the famous margin, did not give rise to the Leviathan. On the contrary, it is the Leviathan that gives rise to the margin. Communities of human beings needed this margin no more than communities of wolves.

Bes need a margin to feed their queen. The Leviathan needs a margin to feed, not only the gods and their shrine keepers, but mainly the Lugal and the Ensis and the Scribes as well as all the springs and wheels with which to make war.

The first Leviathan does not revolutionize the material conditions of production, for it institutes these; it is itself synonymous with material conditions of production. The first Leviathan revolutionizes the conditions of existence itself, and not only of human beings but of all living beings and of Mother Earth herself.

The surplus product makes its appearance together with the vessels that hold it. Human communities have long had baskets and vases, although rarely more than they could carry from winter to spring camps. They did not need them. With the rise of the first Leviathan there is a virtual technological revolution in vessel production. Turner, and Mumford before him, mention the proliferation of bins, storage jars and clay vats that now makes its appearance.

In fact Ur, enclosed by walls and stocked with grain, is itselve a large vat, a town-sized storage bin.

The surplus product is merely another name for Leviathan’s material contents, its entrails. It can hardly exist by itself, suspended in mid-air, “ripe” for the beastly carcass to form around it.

Communities of free people had usually stored enough food to last them through an average winter, and although some of their dreamers were excellent weathermen, they often had to skimp and squeeze when the sky outwitted the dreamer.

The first Leviathan stores enough for the worst possible winter and then some, since free people no longer do the work. A living being so stuffed would suffocate and explode. There are hoards of every conceivable product. And where there are hoards, there’s trade.

Trade is very old. In the state of nature, trade is something people do to their enemies. They don’t trade with kin.

A person gives things, just as she gives songs or stories or visions to her kin. The receiver may or may not reciprocate on some other occasion. The giving is the source of satisfaction. We will be so far removed from this, we will not understand. That will be our shortcoming, not hers.

She trades only with enemies. If a hostile group, whether near or distant, has something she wants, she and several well-armed cousins go to the hostiles with something the hostiles might want. She offers her gift, and the hostiles had better offer the thing she wants on the spot or she’ll carry her gift right back to her village.

Soon after the rise of the first Ur, trade becomes extensive. Virtually everyone is now everyone else’s enemy. When you give someone a gift, you expect what you went for; you keep careful records on your clay tablet, and woe to him who defaults.

A single view of the hoards gives rise to a new human quality. This quality becomes so widespread that we will not believe it did not always exist: Greed.

You can see that over half the grain in the storage bins rots every year, unused. And you know that in the Zargos Mountains and in the Levant there are camps of foreigners who rarely store enough food to tide them through a hard winter. Those in the Zargos Mountains wear beautiful fur garments, and those in the Levant derive a purple dye from shells.

You, a Priest’s brother and an Ensi’s cousin, set out toward the Zagros Mountains with forty zek-drawn cartloads of grain, a years output of forty zeks. You go at the end of a long, hard winter. You get ten fur robes for every cartload. They claim not to have so many furs. Perhaps it has dawned on them that they are being plundered, that the relation they’ve established with you is not a relation between their furs and you grain, but between themselves and the zeks who harvest the grain, and that you are a thief who is stealing from both.

So you rush back to Ur with your grain and return to the foreigners’ camp with you cousin the Ensi and a band of well-armed men. The Ensi’s men remove the robes from the foreigners’ backs. There still are not enough robes, so the Ensi’s men return to Ur with several of the foreigners’ sons and daughters.

Ur has progressed to the stage of engaging in foreign commerce.

* * *

There is some evidence that Sumerian traders followed their greed as far east of Ur as India, as far south as the first or second cataract of the Nile. Before speculating about their trips, I have to digress into another matter, because modern prejudices have made a mess of the little evidence there is.

Many if not most of the first archeologists will be enlightened, progressive and unabashed racists. The appearance of the murderous Leviathans will be a great moment for them, and they will claim that the Leviathan of the appropriate race was the father of all the other Leviathans.

A little later, during the Community of Nations era, the racism will have to be toned down somewhat. It will be said that the people in Egypt as well as those in Persia and India were all endowed with the genius to devise permanent war machines, that they all developed their own Leviathans independently during the same few generations by coincidence.

The feat of launching a Leviathan will be considered a sign of genius. But is this feat a sign of genius or of mental debility? Who but imbeciles would step out of the state of nature and into the entrails of an artificial worm’s carcass for no good reason? The suggestion that numerous human communities succumb to this idiocy at a given moment, each of its own initiative, is neither plausible. It takes genius to keep the monster away.

There are plenty of ways of keeping the monster away. Unfortunately for human communities, not all these ways lead to a safe refuge. For the sake of brevity, I will reduce these ways to two: the community can remove itself physically from the monster’s reach, or it can stay where it is and try to hold its own against the beast.

The earliest tablets do not record the movements of communities outside of Sumer’s sphere. It will be suggested that the last migrants to the double continent on the opposite side of Earth from Ur, the Inuit people, begin to cross from Siberia to Alaska to Greenland at about the same time when the first Leviathan is set in motion. There will be no proof that these people are being pushed by others in an early version of the now famous analogy of falling dominos. Toynbee and others will document such movements for later ages, when military exploits by Chinese generals will send people camped by China’s wall running across the length of Eurasia to Rome’s gates, pushing all others before them. We will know that a vast number of Eurasian communities will successfully keep themselves out of the monster’s reach until the Leviathan called USSR swallows the last of them in our time.

Physical removal, namely fleeing or as we will say, dropping out, effectively removes one from the monster’s reach. But ultimately none flee for good, since Leviathan will shrink the size of the world and turn all places of refuge into cleared fields.

And not all communities want to flee. Their valleys, groves and oases, the places where their ancestors are buried, are filled with familiar and often friendly spirits. Such a place is sacred. It is the center of the world. The landmarks of the place are the orienting principles of an individual’s psyche. Life has no meaning without them. For such a community, leaving its place is equivalent to committing communal suicide.

So they stay where they are. And they are kissed by the monster’s grotesque lips. Artifacts of Sumerian origin will be found in early Egyptian as well as Indian sites. We will not know who carries the artifacts, but we will know that it is easier to walk from Mesopotamia to the Nile in the age of the first Ur than in our age, even after Urlugal begins to turn the region into a “darkling plain swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night.” Compared to what modern Leviathans will make of this region, the darkling plain of Urlugal’s age is a peaceful garden, and an Ensi’s cousin would have no trouble walking in it.

As for the more distant places, we will know that when the sea and land caravans between the Fertile Crescent and India are first mentioned in records, they are mentioned not as something new but as something very old, and the first mention of the silk route to China will not be an inaugural address.

Leviathans eventually become enormous, as large as continents. But we should not project this enormity to the early days and expect these first contacts to be frequent and to involve lots of people. In some circumstances, near a source, a pebble can change a whole stream’s course. We all know of the later traveler Marco Polo, who acquired a taste for Chinese pizza, spaghetti and ravioli and carried his taste across the entire length of Eurasia, totally transforming the Italian diet. I would guess that only two visits, one by the Ensi’s mercantile cousin and the second by the Ensi and his punitive expedition, would make a strong impression on any community in the state of nature. And Sumerian merchants travel far, by land and by water, to distant places they call Dilmun, Magan and Meluhha.

I’ll let the reader speculate about the details of such encounters. I’ll only say that, after the children of the defaulters are kidnapped by the spear-armed goons, a member of the community who speaks of the positive wonders of Civilization is a moron, not only in his kin’s eyes but in ours too.

* * *

Here we reach a problem that has plagued people since the age of the first Ur, the problem of resistance. Some of us will wish, in retrospect, that the communities within Ur’s reach had destroyed the first monster in its lair, while it was isolated and not very large.

Apparently numerous communities in the Zagros mountains and in the Persian plains try to do precisely that, and they fail.

Others, less sanguine, perhaps less confident of the might of their gods in the face of armor and wheels, do the next best thing to fleeing: they wall themselves in, thus walling the moster’s claws out. The walls protect these resisters from Ur’s claws but do not keep the resisters out of Leviathan’s entrails.

Why do the resisters fail? This is an important question, the question of Life against Death. Norman O. Brown will make it the title of a very informative book.

Pre-state communities were gatherings of living but mortal individuals. All their secrets and all their ways were passed on directly, by word of mouth. If the keeper of important uncommunicated secrets died, her secrets died with her. Enmities and grudges died with their holders. The visions and the ways were as varied as the individuals who experienced and practiced them; that’s why there was such a richness. But the visions and ways were as mortal as the people. Mortality is an inseparable part of Life: it is Life’s end.

We will keep projecting modern institutions into the state of nature. There were no institutions in the state of nature.

Institutions are impersonal and immortal. They share this immortality with no living beings under the sun. Of course they are not living beings. They are segments of a carcass. Institutions are not a part of Life but a part of Death. And Death cannot die.

Insis die and zeks die, but the labor gang “lives” on. Generals and soldiers die, but Ur’s army “lives” on and in fact grows larger and deadlier. Death’s realm grows but the living die. This creates problems that resisters have not, so far, been able to deal with.

Those who try to destroy the first Liviathan by storming its walls, the Guti and others in the Zargos mountains, the Elamites in the Persian plains, the Canaanites and other Semites of the Levant, cannot dispatch a simple war party with an informal chieftain as in the old days. A war party from a single camp won’t reach even the outskirts of Ur. They have to gang up with other camps, with as many as possible, before even contemplating a serious raid. And once they do gang up and attack, they cannot disperse and return to village life as they always could before. They may even defeat Ur’s main army, but before their victory celebration ends they get word that Ur’s undying army has already massacred more of their kin.

So, since they bothered to gang up, they stay ganged up. The young men don’t lay down their spears. This is unprecedented, but how else are they to resist the monster? They’ve committed themselves to staying and they feel constrained to accept the horrible consequences.

Their armed men do unto the foreigners what the foreigners do to them. They return with captured Sumerians, and the captives are put to work on local shrines and fortifications.

Technology progresses by leaps and bounds. Death’s real expands. Soon there are many Leviathans. There’s Elam in the Persian plains, there’s Mari and Ebla and others in the Levant, and there’s talk of a Guti Leviathan somewhere in the mountains. The brave fighters succeed in defeating only themselves.

* * *

Those who wall themselves in fall into a similar trap.

Communities built walls before, at Jericho for example. But they built a wall once. Wall-building was not an institution among them. The hostiles camped outside were not Urlugal’s undying army. They were another community who either moved to another site, or who found husbands and wives among those of Jericho, and ceased being hostiles.

This is no longer the situation faced by the builders of walls on the banks of the Nile, by those raising the walled Mohenjo Daro on the banks of the Indus, by those who would slightly later enclose themselves in fortresses in Central Anatolia.

The Leviathanic intruders are not communities of free mortals. They are emissaries from something that neither leaves nor dies. Even their memories are not human but are stones carried in pouches. Jericho’s walls will no longer do. The walls have to be high and strong, and they have to be repaired as often as the ditches of Erech.

The seasons pass and the generations pass, yet the walls must still be maintained. And maintained they are, generation after generation.

The seeress who dreamt of the need for these walls has experienced her last important vision. From that day on her kin have paid her scanty attention; they’ve been hovering around her brother, Pharaoh, who in his person combines the offices of Sumerian priest and Sumerian Lugal.

Walls cannot be permanently maintained with a temporary division of labor. At first free cultivators of the soil are invited to help build the walls, in exchange for stimulating visions as well as grain plundered by Pharaoh’s men from other cultivators. And the free peasants do build, apparently of their own accord, sublimely beautiful walls and pillars and shrines, with surfaces covered by sculptured and painted motifs rich with meaning to everyone on the Nile.

But a permanent division of labor is compulsory simply by being permanent, and compulsion is soon as common on the banks of the Nile as on those of the Tigris. What was done voluntarily by one generation is expected of the next, and is imposed. Egypt is no longer a place where people share ways; it is now a place where some impose laws on others. Ways were always living ways; laws are not ways of free people. Laws are Leviathan’s ways.

The tasks performed for Pharaoh are not freely chosen; they are imposed tasks, forced labor.

And like a living worm that reconstitutes itself from a mere segment, a complete Leviathan is excreted by the Pharaoh’s household. The builders and craftsmen are no longer invited. Pharaoh now leads armies northward to Sinai and the Levant, southward to Nubia. He returns with captives. He imposes heavy tribute on those not captured and leaves tribute collectors in distant garrisons. Like the Lugal, he now has scribes who keep track of the tribute, and he sends punitive expeditions.

Pharaoh too has an artificial memory now, a data bank as we will call it. His scribes have devised a script of their own as have scribes in distant Mohenjo Daro on the Indus. The characters and the materials are different, but the aim is the same. And Pharaoh’s scribes, like the Lugal’s, have devised an artificial year, a calendar, the earliest form of clock, to be able to foresee the days when the tribute crops turn ripe.

How sad! All this is being done to protect the old ways from the onslaught of a beast with “a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.” All this is being done for the sake of the spirits of the valley, for the ancient community’s gods.

We must remember that enlightened progressives who would do all this for the sake of productive forces, for Science and Technology, for the Leviathan itself, have not been born yet. Perhaps the cities of Sumer, amazingly secular cities, already contain precursors of modern progressives, but even there the god in the Ziggurat comes first.

In Egypt there is not even a glimmer of progressive enlightenment, and there won’t be for at least a hundred generations. There the aim of all violence, of the capture of foreigners, of the rending of communities, is to preserve the old community, to defend Life against the great cadaver. All the killing of the raids, invasions and wars is sacrificial killing. It is done for the sake of Life, for the sake of the spirits of the animals, the plants, the river, the underworld and the sky.

But the world of the spirits shrinks, as it had in Sumer, and becomes confined to the Temple, which in Egypt is also the Pharaoh’s household.

Unfortunately for the Egyptians, Life cannot be preserved in a sealed jar. It atrophies, and at last it dies.

This sad, slow death can be seen in Egypt’s paintings, its sculptures, in its lore, in its shrines.

The earliest painters and sculptors clearly still breathe the air of the community Pharaoh’s household intends to preserve intact. These people are still in touch with women who leave their bodies and visit the underworld, with men who extend themselves toward the sky and fly, with people who actually speak to the Jackal and the Ibex, for the gods still mingle with the people. Pharaoh’s early craftsmen still know such seers, but not many, and the next generation knows even fewer.

There are still seers who have visions and revelations, but who knows what foreigners inspired them? Ultimately only Pharaoh’s visions can be trusted, and Pharaoh takes care to confine himself to the visions of the old ones.

The gods stop mingling with the people from the day when Pharaoh undertakes to defend and preserve the gods. And despite all Pharaoh’s efforts, the gods die. I suspect it is because of his efforts that they die. I don’t presume to know much about deities, but it seems they cannot support Leviathans any better than people support plagues; gods are among the cadaver’s first victims; the beast is deicidal.

The death of Egypt’s gods is recorded. After two or three generations of Pharaoh’s protection, the figures on the Temple walls and pillars no longer jump or fly; they no longer even breathe. They’re dead. They’re lifeless copies of the earlier, still living figures. The copyists are exact, we would say pedantic; they seem to think that faithful copying of the originals will bring life to the copies.

A similar death and decomposition must pale the songs and ceremonies as well. What was once joyful celebration, self-abandon, orgiastic communion with the beyond, shrinks to lifeless ritual, official ceremony led by the head of State and his officials. It all becomes theater, and it is all staged. It is no longer for sharing but for show. And it no longer enlarges the participant, who now becomes a mere spectator. He feels diminished, intimidated, awed by the power of Pharaoh’s household.

Our painting, music, dance, everything we call Art, will be heirs of the moribund spiritual. What we call Religion will be another dead heir, but at such a high stage of decomposition that its once-living source can no longer be divined.

* * *

While the ecstasy of the former living community languishes within the Temple and suffers a slow and painful death, the human beings outside the Temple’s precincts but inside the State’s lose their inner ecstasy. The spirit shrivels up inside them. They become nearly empty shells. We’ve seen that this happens even in Leviathans that set out, at least initially, so resist such a shrinkage.

As the generations pass, the individuals within the cadaver’s entrails, the Ensi as well as the zeks, the operators of the great worm’s segments, become increasingly like the springs and wheels they operate, so much so that sometime later they will appear as nothing but springs and wheels. They never become altogether reduced to automata; Hobbes and his successors will regret this.

People never become altogether empty shells. A glimmer of life remains in the faceless Ensis and zeks who seem more like springs and wheels than like human beings. They are potential human beings. They are, after all, the living beings responsible for the cadaver’s coming to life, they are the ones who reproduce, wean and move the Leviathan. Its life is but a borrowed life; it neitgher breathes nor breeds; it is not even a living parasite; it is an excretion and they are the ones who excrete it.

The compulsive and compulsory reproduction of the cadaver’s life is the subject of more than one essay. Why do people do it? This is the great mystery of civilized life.

It is not enough to say that people are constrained. The first captured zeks may do it only because they are physically constrained, but physical constraint no longer explains why the children of zeks stick to their levers. It’s not that constraint vanishes. It doesn’t. Labor is always forced labor. But something else happens, something that supplements the physical constraint.

At first the imposed task is taken on as a burden. The newly captured zek knows that he is not a ditch-repairman, he knows that he is a free Canaanite filled to the brim with ecstatic life, for he still feels the spirits of the Levantine mountains and forests throbbing inside him. The ditch-fixing is something he takes on to keep from being slaughtered; it is something he merely wears, like a heavy armor or an ugly mask. He knows he will throw off the armor as soon as the Ensi’s back is turned.

But the tragedy of it is that the longer he wears the armor, the less able he is to remove it. The armor sticks to his body. The mask becomes glued to his face. Attempts to remove the mask become increasingly painful, for the skin tends to come off with it. There’s stiall a human face below the mask, just as there’s still a potentially free body below the armor, but merely airing them takes almost superhuman effort.

And as if all this weren’t bad enough, something start to happen to the individual’s inner life, his ecstacy. This starts to dry up. Just as the former community’s living spirits shriveled and died when they were confined to the Temple, so the individual’s spirit shrivels and dies inside the armor. His spirit can breathe in a closed jar no better than the god could. It suffocates. And as the Life inside him shrivels it leaves a growing vacuum. The yawning abyss is filled as quickly as it empties, but not by ecstasy, not by living spirits. The empty space is filled with springs and wheels, with dead things, with Leviathan’s substance.

* * *

The once-free human being increasingly becomes what Hobbes will think he is. The armor once worn on the outside wraps itself around the individual’s insides. The mask becomes the individual’s face. Or as we will say, the constraint is internalized. The ecstatic life, the freedom, shrinks to a mere potentiality. And potentiality, Sartre will point out, is nothing.

This reduction is most visible in the cities of Sumer, Leviathans which are amazingly modern in this respect as well. It becomes so visible that the Sumerians themselves start to notice it. It is not the increasingly stupefying ritualization of the Temple’s activities that bothers them, nor even the evermore noticeable inner emptiness of the Ensis and their families. All this seems to be accepted as a consequence that follows the need for a dependable supply of water and zeks. What bothers them is that descendants of the first Sumerians are themselves being reduced to zeks. The main instrument of this reduction is trade, or as we will call it, business. The Sumerian city, more than any other early Leviathan, is a heaven for businessmen.

A businessman is a human being whose living humanity has been thoroughly excavated. He is by definition a person who thrives in, an on, the Leviathan’s material entrails. People reduced to things are amongst the objects in the beast’s entrails and are obviously fair game to this hunter of profits. The businessman’s axiom, long before Adam Smith will publicize it, is: Every man for himself and the gods against all.

We’ve already seen how the Sumerian businessman reduced a community of foreigners to debtors, then defaulters, finally zeks. He now applies the same economic wisdom to foreigners inside Sumer, and at last he stops distinguishing between foreigners and Sumerians.

The reduction goes so far that by the time of the reign of Urukagina, even the Lugal is bothered by it. And this Lugal decides to do something about it, or at least publishes a tablet stating such an intention.

This Urukagina, who assumes the office of Lugal of Lagash at a time when his southern neighbors have already adorned the banks of the Nile with the first pyramids, may not be the first reformer. He’s the first documented reformer. He is the first of many who will put the wellbeing of the entire worm ahead of the wellbing of a segment. He can see that the greedy profit-seekers, who are a mere section of the whole, have been distorting the cadavers coherence, its very ability to move, by eating up all its entrails. He proclaims that the vipers “shall not gather fruit in the poor man’s garden,” they shall not reduce Sumerians to zeks.

By placing the welfare of the entire worm above that of its swelled segment, this reforming Lugal, like many of his liberal successors, unleashes forces which overwhelm him. Relying on his memory of earlier stages of the worm’s existence, he presumes to know the best, or most just, arrangement of the worm’s segments.

The first Urlugal presumed to know the hierarchy of the gods and got away with his presumption because the gods were already weak and dying.

Urukagina doesn’t get away, because the segment he attacks, although by definition dead, is not weak. Retribution takes the form of an invasion from Umma. Urukagina is swept out of office by Lugalzaggizi of Umma. Urukagina is killed, so are his liberal Ensis and most of their zeks, and Lagash is razed to the ground.

The town of Umma is not known either for its power or its courage, and it doesn’t susddenly acquire these qualities. Its strongman Lugalzaggizi does not invade Lagash with Umma’s forces. The necessary forces as well as the technology needed for an invasion are in the segment Urukagina attacked. Lugalzaggizi is the instrument of the reformer’s downfall not because he champions the powerful, but also because he knows something Urukagina did not know.

Lugalzaggizi understands that the head of Leviathan is not where it was a year or a generation ago, nor where Urukagina thinks it ought to be. Just as the Lugal’s god is always the god in the phallus-shaped Ziggurat, so the Leviathan’s most powerful segment is always its head. Such is Leviathanic justice, and Lugalzaggizi, not Urukagina, is the true champion of the worm.

Lugalzaggizi’s championing of the powerful gives him allies in all of Sumer’s cities. Perhaps they are all beset by reformers nostalgic for an earlier Leviathanic order. Lugalzaggizi’s forces overrun all of them.

Before all the corpses are buried, Lugalzaggizi is Lugal of Umma, Lgash, Ur and Erech. His scribes describe him as the Man of Erech, the One and Only. The Tigris-Euphrates valley is occupied by a single Leviathan. Sumer is one for the first time. The worm has eaten all its predecessors. Lugalzaggizi’s scribes also describe him as the Lugal of Lugals, an expression which his Semitic-speaking subjects translate as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But the days of even this Almighty are numbered. Just as Sumerian speakers are no longer all priests and Ensis, Semitic speakers are no longer all zeks. By way of marriage, physical prowess or toadying, grandchildren of zeks are in the palace and in the Temple. Those in the Temple presume to give the names of long-forgotten Semitic deities to the Sumerian gods, give the vulgar name Ishtar to the daughter of the Moon. Sumerian-speaking priests no longer seem to care; many of them must know that the Sumerian gods are no longer anything more than names. Besides, many of the brothers of the Semitic-speaking priests are Ensis—so many, in fact, that it would be imprudent to insist that Ishtar’s real name is Inanna. Furthermore, in the outlying cities along the road from Sumer to the Levant and the Sinai, there are not only Semitic-speaking Ensis but even a few who presume to the office of Lugal. Such a one is Sargon the Akkadian.

Sargon is Sumerian in everything but his language. He apparently began his career as an Ensi to the Lugal of Ur, for whom he collected tribute from a Levantine province. When Ur fell to Lugalzaggizi, Sargon named his province Addad and assumed the post of Lugal. He has benn observing Lugalzaggizi’s fat Leviathan, something we will call an Empire, for a whole generation. Suddenly he figures out something that even Lugalzaggizi doesn’tknow; his scribes say Ishtar told it to him. Sargon knows that the phallus-head of the Leviathan is for all the powerful, not only Sumerian-speaking powerful.

All the powerful who have felt the least bit slighted find a champion in Sargon. Following Lugalzaggizi’s lead, he captures his mentor and sweeps through the cities that gave rise to the first Leviathans.

A single Leviathan, as long as the Nile and several times wider, now sprawls over the entire Fertile Crescent. Its entrails contain Mesopotamian Umma, Ur, Lagash and Erech as well as all the cities along the roads to the Levant.

Sargon, who started his career as tribute collector, knows as well as any Pharaoh or Lugal what the worm does best. It eats tribute, not only to feed the Lugal and his Ensis, who now have Semitic names, but above all to feed the increasingly violent gods in the Temple, gods as dead as the Leviathan itself, and just as hungry.

* * *

The feats and fates of Urukagina, Lugalzaggizi and Sargon are the subject of what we call “history.” Mary Jane Shoultz has demystified the word. When we speak of real History, of His-story, we mean His-story. It is an exclusive masculine affair. If women make their appearance in it, they do so wearing armor and wielding a phallus shape. Such women are masculine.

The whole affair revolves around phallus shapes: the spear, the arrow, the Zigguat, the Obelisk, the dagger, and of course later the bullet and the missile. All these objects are pointed, and they’re all made to penetrate and kill. The Mesopotamian Zigguat and the Egyptian Obelisk man-made mountains which point at the sky, forecast the day when males will tear the atmosphere’s ozone layer and propel themselves to airless spaces where once only gods flew.

Many, from Euripides to Bachofen, Shoultz, Grass and Turner, will ask why His-story is so exclusively masculine. They will remember the stud-like character of the human male in the state of nature and will wonder if the Leviathanic feats that constitute His-story are the male’s revenge.

With the rise of the Leviathans, women are debased, domesticated, abused and instrumentalized, and then scribes proceed to erase the memory that women were ever important. Diamond says that literacy, which Shoultz calls Maleliteracy, is ideally suited to erase the poast from memory. In the old communities, what one elder forgot another was likely to remember, and traditions could hardly be lost unless the whole community met disaster.

But as soon as social memory loges on the scrolls and tablets of scribes, a single directive from Pharaoh or Lugal can erase a whole portion of the past, or even all of it. In Egypt many early cartouches, nameplates will be found with the barely-discernable name of a woman, the Matriach; on all of them, the woman’s name is erased by later scribes, who then place the name of a man in the cartouche.

The woman is the mother; she’s Earth; she gives birth to Life. But the man no longer feels inferior; he has immersed himself in the Leviathan, which is neuter and gives birth to no life, but which doesn’t need to give birth, since it is immortal. Empowered by Leviathanic armor, the males hit back.

Turner will cite one of the bedtime stories told by Sumerianized Akkadians who share power with Sargon. They still remember the primal mother, Tiamat, the first progenitor of life. But now they make her out to be as dead as Leviathan, saying that heaven and Earth herself are formed of her dismembered carcass. Marduk, Sargon’s god, is her dismemberer. In Turner’s words, Marduk “smashes her skull, splits her body like an oyster, and the obedient winds whisk her blodd away.” Turner will point out that the violent Marduk will have a long line of Earth-hating successors; or contemporary Lugal Reagen will try to be the last.

His-story is a chronicle of the deeds of the men at the phallus-helm of Leviathan, and in its largest sense it is the “biography” of what Hobbes will call the Artificial Man. There are as many His-stories as there are Leviathans.

But His-story tends to become singular for the same reason that Sumer and now the whole Fertile Crescent becomes singular. The Leviathan is a cannibal. It eats its contemporaries as well as its predecessors. It loves a plurality of Leviathans as little as it loves Earth. Its enemy is everything outside of itself.

His-story is born with Ur, with the first Leviathan. Before or outside of the first Leviathan there is no His-story.

The free individuals of a community without a State did not have a His-story, by definition: they were not encompassed by the immortal carcass that is the subject of His-story. Such a community was a plurality of individuals, a gathering of freedoms. The individuals had biographies, and they were the ones who were interesting. But the community as such did not have a “biography,” a His-story.

Yet the Leviathan does have a biography, an artifical one. “The King is dead; Long Live the King!” Generations die, but Ur lives on. Within the Leviathan, an interesting biography is a privilege conferred on very few on on only one; the rest have dull biographies, as similar to each other as the Egyptian copies of once beautiful originals. What is interesting now is the Leviathan’s story, at least to His scribes and His-storians.

To others, as Macbeth will know, the Leviathan’s story, like its ruler’s, is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The ruler is killed by an invader or a usurper and his great deeds die with him. The immortal worm’s story ends when it it swallowed by another immortal. The story of the swallowings is the subject of World His-story, which by its very name already prefigures a single Leviathan which holds all Earth in its Entrails.

* * *

Withdrawals of human captives from the entrails of the dead worms are at least as common as the swallowings of small Leviathans by larger ones. People do not only revolt. People actually leave, escape, get out. They try to do so all the time. They frequently succeed.

Sargon’s reign was long. His empire lasted for two generations. It ended when “all lands revolted against him and beset him in Agade,” in the words of a Cuneiform tablet. Nothing is left of the enormous Leviathan that sprawled over the entire Fertile Crescent.

Unfortunately, segments of the decomposed worm remain scattered over the countryside, and each segment tends to recompose itself into a complete worm. Dead things have powers living beings lack. Biologists will try to give this strange ability of the dead to the living, by a process called cloning.

Some of the fragments, the ones containing the rich and powerful, succeed in giving motion to a new worm, and a new Leviathan punishes the withdrawers vy reducing them to outright slavery, to perpetual zekdom. Sargon’s successor Rimush even extends the worm’s carcass over the Elamites in the Persian plains.

There are revolts in every quarter, and at last Rimush is killed by his own guards. He’s succeeded by Naram-sin, called “God of Agade” by his own scribes, but this god’s empire is in a state of continual decomposition. The captives in this Leviathan’s entrails invite kingless nomads from every quarter to help them tear up the monster from the inside.

The intestinal wars last long into the next successor’s reign. At last Elamites withdraw, Lagashians withdraw, and then the entire beast breaks into little pieces. Zeks even abandon the canals.

The great Leviathan is destroyed, for many people permanently. A similar Leviathan will not rise again in this part of the world until four generations later. Anarchy returns to the Fertile Crescent.

Unfortunately this is not the anarchy of a former age. The human beings who have withdrawn from the Leviathan are maimed. Their armor doesn’t come off. In many the potentiality to by human remains nothing. The region itself has been turned by the warring Leviathans into an inhospitable wilderness. And some of the allies, for example the Gutians, who had been invited to help overthrow the great worm, try to set in motion a worm of their own, modeled on Lugalzaggizi’s and Sargon’s. Nevertheless, the captives withdraw, apparently preferring even this flawed anarchy to the Leviathanic order.

During the very generation when anarchy return to the former Sumer-Akkad, Pharaoh’s conscripts walk away from their pyramid-and-palace-building assignments, turn against Pharaoh and against all his priests’ official rites, and restore some degree of anarchy to the Nile as well. Pharaoh’s zeks return to their villages and try to resume life as it was lived in the old days. Fractured segments of the monster that was headed by the Memphis monarch lie scattered on the Nile’s banks. The fallen Pharaoh’s former agents try to give motion to some of these segments. “Seventy kings during seventy days” reveals the degree of their success.

And a generation or two after the collapse of these two giants (archeologists will disagree about the chronology), a third attempt to launch a Leviathan floundersd. Mohenjo Daro on the Indus is abandoned by its inmates. The details of this withdrawal will not be known because the script will bot by deciphered. This withdrawal will be a myster to people with Civilized brains, and it causes will be sought in floods, droughts, invations and even a “tectonic shift.” If one is convinced that people would never leave the entrails of Civilization, then one has to resort to tectonic shifts to explain why people do leave. But if one is not so convinced, then the mystery is not why people leave, but why they stay inside as long as they do.

The people by the Indus are spared from being shackled by a State for many generations. Those by the Tigris and the Nile are not spared so long.

Here it should be pointed out that the segments of decomposed Leviathans have an unfair advantage over communities of free human beings. The segments are like machines. If they’ve merely been abandoned and haven’t rusted too badly, they can be oiled put back into operation by any good mechanic. The segments, being dead things, may corrode; they will never die.

But human communities, once dead, stay dead. Communities of living beings are clearly inferior in this respect. Put somewhat differently, Death is always on the side of the machines.

This has tragic consequences for those who at last succeed in disencumbering themselves of the heavy carcass. They cannot return to the old communities, for these have been destroyed by generations of plundering, kidnapping and murdering Civilizations. People cannot resume; they have to start over again. We should not assume that the ways, what we will call Culture, nurtured and cultivated over thousands of generations, can be regenerated overnight. It may well be that such ways require the cultivation of many generations.

But the people struggling to launch a new Beginning don’t have an age in which to do it. They’re camped in the midst of Leviathanic segments, machines which any good mechanic can reativate and use to put a whole generation’s efforts to naught in a single campaign.

This is precisely what happens. On the Nile, segments of the decomposed Leviathan are put back into operation in Thebes and Heracleopolis, and both grow into complete worms. On the Tigris-Euphrates, in fact in Erech, the strongman Utukhegal gets hold of the unwieldy worm the Guti had set in motion, only to be overthrown by his own deputy; but this deputy, Urnammu, succeeds in getting the entire Sumero-Akkadian Leviathan back into motion, again stretching it from the Levant to Elam. All the efforts to launch a new Beginning are brought to naught; they’re not interrupted; they’re killed.

After two generations the captives of the regenerated monster withdraw again. This time the Sumero-Akkadian Leviathan is abandoned for good. But armored Sumerianized Semites insist on tinkering with the segments, and at Ashur they set a new worm into motion, this one manned by zeks from among new Semitic foreigners, Amorites.

Five generations later, descendants of the Amorite zeks launch a Leviathan of their own in Babylon, where they continue to call labor-gang bosses “overseers of Amorites.” And five generations after that, the Amorite Hammurabi stretches the Babylonian worm over ancient Urukagina’s realm, while the Amorites’ former masters, the Assyrians, stretch their worm over the western provinces of Lugalzaggizi’s realm.

Meanwhile, unnamed people from the forests and mountains of the Guti have carried bits of Mesopotamian armor across all of Eurasia to China, for such is said to be the origin of the Yang Shao culture. Only two generations later there’s a script and a Hsia Dynasty whose founder, Yu, is credited with providing a reliable water supply.

To the west of the Fertile Crescent, in Anatolia, where women will continue for many generations to celebrate Earth’s unstinting fertility, at two spots often visited by Assyrian merchants, there are already incipient worms, later known to Egyptians and Assyrians as Hittites.

Every new model has accessories its predecessors lacked. The segments left on the Levant by the decomposition of Sargon’s monster are reconditioned into mobile, octopus-like monstrosities that will transport Phoenician commerce to places far beyond the reach of more stationary worms. The Phoenician merchants at Byblos and Ugarit even recondition the hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts into a far more efficient too, the alphabet.

Human communities regress while the worms progress. The Leviathan’s greatest achievement, as L. Mumford will suggest, is to reduce human beings to things, to remake men into efficient mechanical fighting units.

All this is depressing. The realm of Death expands. And since Death is to Life as Night is to Day, when Death’s realm expands, Life’s contracts. The inhuman tale truly signifies nothing human.

Having mentioned some of the main protagonists who set themselves up against human communities and against Mother Earth herself, I’ll turn to a small group of people who who withdrew from the entrails of one of the great Leviathans. These people were insignificant to everyone but themselves at the time of their withdrawal and would have remained insignificant if their Jewish, Christian and Islamic heirs had not carried the shadow of their withdrawal to every previously safe refuge on the globe.

These people are, of course, the Israelites who withdrew from Egyptian Civilization, and at this point I have to say that I’m surprised the armored questioner who smugly threw the positive wonders of civilization in my face, since part of his armor is made out of the detritus of this small group who walked away from the wonders.

* * *

yes yes yes!

Finally an intellectual that I'm 99% keen on their view of technology. His name is Ivan Illich, maybe I mentioned him before. Thanks J Man for introducing me. I'm reading this essay that's really doing it for me. Let's see the technophiles attack him! yeah right.

Here are a few paragraphs that really struck the cord.

"Commercial monopoly is broken at the cost of the few who profit from it. Usually, these few manage to evade controls. The cost of radical monopoly is already borne by the public and will be broken only if the public realizes that it would be better off paying the costs of ending the monopoly than by continuing to pay for its maintenance. But the price will not be paid unless the public learns to value the potential of a convivial society over the illusion of progress. It will not be paid voluntarily by those who confuse conviviality with intolerable poverty.

Some of the symptoms of radical monopoly are reaching public awareness, above all the degree to which frustration grows faster than output in even the most highly developed countries and under whatever political regime. Policies aimed to ease this frustration may easily distract attention from the general nature of the monopoly at its roots, however. The more these reforms succeed in correcting superficial abuses, the better they serve to bolster the monopoly I am trying to describe."

He's talking about technology being developed and used to deny people the freedom to relate to other people outside of monetary transactions. In this case he uses the examples of health care, which he calls sick care, making it illegal and difficult to provide care for one another without tributing the "experts". He's not really touting bunches of alternative therapies, he's just saying we can take care of ourselves and each other to a much greater degree than we do and should. He has similar notions about cars.

"Crucial to how much anyone can learn on his own is the structure of his tools: the less they are convivial, the more they foster teaching. In limited and well-integrated tribes, knowledge is shared quite equally among most members. All people know most of what everybody knows. On a higher level of civilization, new tools are introduced; more people know more things, but not all know how to execute them equally well. Mastery of skill does not yet imply a monopoly of understanding. One can understand fully what a goldsmith does without being one oneself. Men do not have to be cooks to know how to prepare food. This combination of widely shared information and competence for using it is characteristic of a society in which convivial tools prevail. The techniques used are easily understood by observing the artisan at work, but the skills employed are complex and usually can be acquired only through lengthy and programmed apprenticeship. Total learning expands when the range of spontaneous learning widens along with access to an increasing number of taught skills and both liberty and discipline flower. This expansion of the balance of learning cannot go on forever; it is self-limiting. It can be optimized, but it cannot be forcibly extended. One reason is that man’s life span is limited. Another-just as inexorable-is that the specialization of tools and the division of labor reinforce each other. When centralization and specialization grow beyond a certain point, they require highly programmed operators and clients. More of what each man must know is due to what another man has designed and has the power to force on him.

The city child is born into an environment made up of systems that have a different meaning for their designers than for their clients. The inhabitant of the city is in touch with thousands of systems, but only peripherally with each. He knows how to operate the TV or the telephone, but their workings are hidden from him. Learning by primary experience is restricted to self-adjustment in the midst of packaged commodities. He feels less and less secure in doing his own thing. Cooking, courtesy, and sex become subject matters in which instruction is required. The balance of learning deteriorates: it is skewed in favor of “education.” People know what they have been taught, but learn little from their own doing. People come to feel that they need “’education."

Here we get into the discussion about how division of labor, particularly longer term, is abusive to the participants. And also why so many people are deplorably ignorant about the technology and circumstances they are immersed in.

This guy makes me want to learn how to build a strawbale house. I think I'll go do that. Peace out