Yeah… about that.

With a gaze fixed at the base of the dim green hill  ahead, the dry warm air of the night took rest around his presence as his vision adjusted to the lack of sunlight. The pulsating flash of a few lighting bugs patrolling the steeply rolling hillside added a nostalgic touch to the atmosphere.

After a few moments of peripheral scanning, he let out a quiet extended yawn, and turned around. The entrance to the bordering forest stared him down like a Goliath; a slight pang of nervousness ran up his spine and into his chest, yet he knew better than to hesitate.

He walked forward along a beaten dirt path, and peered into the complex patterns of wooden pillars shrouded by a network of treetops that blocked out any and all possibility of pervading moonlight.

He continued along the path through the woods, relying on the texture of the ground below for direction; eyes gradually adjusting along the way. The faint sound of talking could be made out in the distance. The destination must be near.

After a few more minutes of keeping pace he noticed the light of a small bonfire radiating through the forest, the voices grew louder and entire words could be almost made out. The closing distance revealed a clearing. Illuminating their gathering ever so slightly with the pale glow of a full moon.

He finds two of his companions seated on a log by the fire, and the third accompanied by his fiance taking rest on a fairly ratty looking blanket perpendicular to the left side of the log. He was greeted warmly with hello’s upon arrival.

After greetings, handshakes and brief preface chattering, he took a seat on the log to the left of his two friends. He was offered a can of beer but knowing he would have to drive later that night he politely declined.

A pipe was passed to him. “This cannabis or tobacco?” He asked.

“Both” Replied Conner who was sitting on the far right end of the log.

Appearing quite satisfied with this answer he drew a blue lighter from his pocket and took a long gradual pull. He held it in as he stared upward at the night sky, and slowly exhaled through his nose.

Many of the details of the night that were previously bouncing around his mind like a pinball machine quieted.  He felt his bodily tensions ease as his consciousness became absorbed in the conversation around him, and the seemingly animated tendrils of flame that danced and flickered about from the fire pit.

The conversation which had previously been about alternative politics took a sudden change to urban legends and local myths; “how stereotypical for a camping trip?” He thought to his own amusement.

For almost an hour they babbled on about things like The Wendigo, unsolved murders, supposed gateways to hell, haunted landmarks, conspiracy theories, and UFO sightings. They tossed around all the timeless nightmare fuel that teenagers and young adults have been using to scare each other into fits of paranoia and fight or flight mode as long as firesides have existed.

As much as he loved hearing these old tales again, none of them were able to get much of a hold on our protagonist. It felt more like a trip down memory lane than anything. At least until Isaac’s fiance Patricia abruptly took over the conversation, seeming almost pressured by something unseen.

She wore a faint look of unmistakable malice on her face as she began to nervously spin them all a yarn that none of them had heard thus far.

She began by asking everyone if they noticed a path that diverges to the right about halfway through the woods. We all nodded. He hadn’t thought of it until now but he had noticed it. He recalled the image of it to the forefront of his mind from earlier and remembered that it was blocked off about a foot in with barbed wire and caution tape. Obviously anyone could just walk around it but the point was obviously to signify that entry was a no-no.

She asked us if any of us had ever tread past it. Seth who was sitting to the right of him, on the middle section of the log, Looked up and said that he had walked down it for about ten minutes once out of boredom, but that the path seemed to go on for much longer. He than seemed a little unnerved when he explained to us why he had turned around.

According to his recount by this point he had suddenly been overcome by stomach pains, a pounding headache, and an extreme sense of impending doom and sadness as he walked, not only that his field of vision began to feel limited, and he began to notice abrupt movements from the corners of his vision that danced through both sides of the treeline. Not usually being one for superstition, he chalked it off as coincidence and decided to head home and rest, but by the time he had made it back to the main trail he felt completely fine.

He said this was quite disturbing, but since he coulden’t explain it he had kept it to himself until now. Patricia didn’t seem surprised by this addition and began to continue. She goes on to explain that there used to be another campsite down that path, about 8 times larger than the one we currently sat at.

“About 20 years ago, when I was about 8, I remember my family used to take me and my brothers camping at the old site. But the summer after my 9th birthday we stopped going. I always asked my family why but would always brush it off, avoiding the subject like the plague. Around the same time a couple that was close friends of the family, as well as a group of college kids from outside of the area, and a couple local drunks all went missing. It wasn’t until I was older that I made the connection. It also wasn’t public knowledge, the newspaper published very little on anything besides the last time they were seen in the village, but after prying several locals for answers I found out that all of them had went up to the campground shortly before they vanished.”  She said blatantly displaying visible discomfort by this point.

She explains how she was obsessed with this ordeal in her younger years, and wanted to learn as much as possible about what might have happened. For three years her free time was spent in the local library studying the history behind the area, or in the local bar trying to extract information from locals and drifters who felt more comfortable to share than usual.

Most of the time it would just be trivial spins on what she already knew if anything, but one night a local outcast whom one rarely ever saw at the bar gave her something to work with. He told her that he had been with the two drunks that disappeared a few weeks before the others.

He had no credibility for this statement, but since she had seen them the three of them walking through town drunk together on multiple occasions she had no reason not to believe him. He said they were walking up there to camp out after a long night of drinking. He said the whole walk in he felt something was wrong but that the other two assured him he was being paranoid. He said they had just been there the day before and he had no reason to think anything of it. When they got in he said they saw a cabin which had not been there the day before. Cabins don’t just magically appear, and there’s no way someone could have built it in a day, besides that it looked aged as if it had been there for years.

His friends who were far more intoxicated went to go investigate, but he decided to turn around and walk back to his car where he could sleep off the alcohol. After doing so he awoke the following morning and drove into town to get breakfast at the same inn where they had been drinking the night prior.

He thought nothing of what happened until three days went by without hearing from his friends. He went to file a report with the local police station, but for some reason they wouldn’t let him leave until he promised not to talk about the ordeal.

He said this was the first time he had talked about it with anyone. That it rests heavy in his mind like an inescapable plague. He lacked closure for the death of his two closest friends. Unsatisfied that he’ll never acquire answers which he desperately doesn’t want to have in the first place. The police seemed just as scared as he was. He was no longer scared at this point however. Just melancholy, angry, and confused.

He explained to Patricia that he coulden’t deal with it any longer. That he was gonna go investigate the cabin for answers that night after he had left the bar, and should he not return than so be it, as it was better than living with the weight of the curiosity and remorse.

They left the bar at the same time, she asked him if he wanted to follow, but he declined and said that he had to go it alone. That was the last time he was ever seen alive. His head was found impaled on a bloody tree branch outside the trail entrance.

His body never turned up, police collected the head and that alone was buried. He had no family around or money to pay for a cemetary plot so they buried his head near right where it sat on the trail entrance.

Rumors spread and the following deaths came quickly. First the family disappeared as they had taken the whole ordeal for wives tails. Shortly after a group of college kids bent on exploring paranormal activity and haunted areas went missing.

Suddenly everyone around the bonfire appeared rather shook. Not a word was said, they put out the fire and walked back to their cars. All of us or so we thought.

The next day everyone tried meeting up but nobody could get a hold of Seth. We returned to the parking lot outside the trail and his car was still there. We wondered if he had drank too much and slept in his car.

They opened it too find his head wrapped up in the blanket that Isaac and Patricia were sitting on the night before. Patricia turned and abruptly vomited on the ground.

They all tried to file a report with the police station but just as Patricias story went; the newspaper would not publish anything about it. We don’t go to that campsite anymore; even the small one.

Isaac and Patricia moved out of town shortly afterwards. Conner and I never hear from them aside from a postcard once or twice a year. We never really talk about it either; we just keep our distance and beg anyone who thinks about camping on that accursed mountain not to go.

Das Ende.

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On P. J. Proudhon’s ‘What is property?’

Original text available  free at Marxists.org

On our journey through anarchist philosophy, we arrive at the fourth stop.

In Hindsight, I wish I had arrived here first. The archetypal treatise known as ‘what is property? has helped me to understand the rest of the reading at a far deeper level than I had been able to ascertain prior.

Having gone through most of  the works of Mikhail Bakunin, several by William Godwin, and a brief but enjoyable stop at ‘The Communist Manifesto’ by Karl Marx; We now find ourselves at the literary doorstep of Pierre Joseph Proudhon as he lends assistance toward our understanding of the state, our place (within), and how we think about the government and our lives as a whole.

I would almost go so far as call it the Anarchist version of the communist manifesto. If Marx dealt with the who and the how of the state and revolution; Proudhon dealt with the what and the why. 

While their comparison requires one to speak in terms of apples and oranges; Proudhon seems to have peered both deeper into the roots of society, as well as having done so with better spirit and intention than Marx and at the same time falls short on Marx’s ability to verbally paint detailed pictures of societal constructs and functions as well as predict the course of their (r)evolutions. 

Highlights

1. “What is slavery? and I should answer in one word, It is murder, my meaning would be understood at once.”(Proudhon 1840)

At first our mind does not wish to reconcile these two phenomena as identical; but upon closer inspection we may begin to see the parallel. Murder is too end the life of another through execution. Slavery forces one to forfeit their life for the sake of somebody’s profit. If one is too live merely for someone else’s gain, and that alone; are they truly better off than dead?

If one is doing so for a good reason such as a parent living purely for their children or an activist living purely for their cause than certainly, because those things hold a legitimate importance and bear meaning too the individual.

However if one is living purely for the profit of a malignant superior whom they did not choose, than I say they may as well seek liberation or die trying.

While the majority of us do not live under such conditions this may just as fluently speak to smaller more personal instances, which may only pose a risk to certain degrees of comfort, wealth, free time and or reputation. A perfect example would be liberation from a destructive addiction, a toxic partner, an unfair landlord or a shitty job that has a hold on you.

 2. “What is property! may I not likewise answer, It is robbery, without the certainty of being misunderstood; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first? “(Proudhon 1840)

If we are a mere microcosm of the earth; than any attempt to lay claim on it is in fact a glorified act of robbery.

If you go hiking through the woods and catch a tick, does that tick now legally possess the right to unpack, set up shop, start a dynasty, partition your skin, seize your bodies means of production and create a monopoly on your skin cells and hair follicles?

Didn’t think so; most of us would likely remove it as soon as we were aware of it’s presence, which causes one too wonder if this is part of the planet’s agenda.

The irony here is that some conservative thinkers are fond of deeming those who collect social security parasites; while this in a sense this may be true, they are in fact only leaching off a larger and more destructive parasite. In another sense this need not be true. Unlike real parasites, every parasitic force in this world has the ability to become a mutualite. That is too say that you contribute something to your host. If every parasite underwent this transformation, the world would be a perfect place.

This is not communism, this is not too say you work only for the state, but you work for the state and yourself. I believe however taxes aren’t a very good way to accomplish this. Charity, and investments into the quality of life of the public at whatever reasonable level you can afford, ought to be mandatory and replace the idea of taxation.

That said a perfect society, would be a capitalist direct-democratic society in which anyone with wealth and power was an egalitarian who thought like a Green-Market Socialist, an Anarcho-syndicalist , or an outright saint. Those who believe such a feet to be out of reach will be in for a rude awakening.

     3. Property is robbery! That is the war-cry of ’93! That is the signal of revolutions!”(Proudhon 1840)

This was also the war cry of 2000s anarcho-punk band Wingnut dishwashers Union on their track ‘Proudhon in Manhattan’ “Throw your hands in the air cause property is robbery.”

4. “If your conscience is free, if your mind can unite two propositions and deduce a third therefrom, my ideas will inevitably become yours.” (Proudhon 1840)

Proudhon makes it a point to inform us that utilizing what he has left us will require arduous deductive reasoning in order to read between the overlapping borders of his ideological web.

The process of deducing additional information from the cross reference of two statements will be key in the analysis of his work.

5.”every perception received by the mind is determined by certain general laws which govern the mind;”(Proudhon 1840)

That is to say that we view all that we are met with in terms of how our mind wants us too see it. To say that our individual perspectives are sculpted by and in conformity with our worldview.

That while our worldview may grow and change it always serves to reconcile our experiences and knowledge with it’s own most primitive form.

6.”If the mind has no innate ideas, it has at least innate forms” (Proudhon 1840)

If the mind cannot produce ideas which are purely independent of what it is exposed to, it would still however possess the ability to take shape and execute functions which exist independently of the mind.

Systems like anarchism and communism may be modeled and replicated in the mind while existing independently of it’s container.

Likewise our minds may take variants of pre-determined shapes according to what types of problems we want too solve, what kind of tasks we wish to complete, and how we wish to exist and portray ourselves.

This allows archetypal personality types such as Tyrant, Artist, Peasant, Merchant and Scholar to take forms which are transient of the minds they occupy.

7.”(That) very thing which exists implies the ideas of substance, mode, relation, number.”(Proudhon 1840)

For something to exist:

  1. It must consist of one or more smaller somethings (substance)

2. Must be identifiable with some form of categorically qualitative property (mode)

3. Must have the ability to interact with other somethings (relation)

4. Must be rationally quantifiable. (number 

9. “Even when we are fighting against a principle which our mind thinks false … we obey it while attacking it” (Proudhon 1840)

This speaks to a strange situation many who seek communities or roles of resistance find themselves in. It causes one to antagonize the host from the inside, yet itself being a working component of that society.

Kinda like an unending game of ‘devils advocate’; in which ones mind is always always at odds with the bodies actions due to ideological or emotional friction created by the subjected scenario therein.


10. This principle, impaired by our ignorance, is honored and cherished; for if it were not cherished it would harm nobody, it would be without influence … what is it? Can it be religion? (Proudhon 1840) 

The answer is yes.

People have used religion as an excuse to do harm but this does not make any religion inherently harmful. One may also make the same claim about the Arts, Philosophy and Mathematics. For all of these exist primarily to serve as tools for our mental canvas and a point of reference for thoughts and ideas.

The exception being religion (and art depending on how you look at it) in serving for it’s subscribers as a way to facilitate spiritual growth or a ‘personal connection’ with God/Universe/Allah/Yahweh if you believe in that sort of thing.

Faith is something I would probably recommend purely because it has improved my quality of life, but everyone is and ought to always be free to form their own choices and beliefs.

The last thing I want is too appear as if I’m telling anybody what they ought to believe; unless that consists of telling people to believe in equal opportunity, non-violence, and freedom of speech.  

11. Do unto others that which you would that others should do unto you; Do not unto others that which you would not that others should do unto you.(Proudhon 1840)

This age old wisdom is still repeated today as the golden rule of ‘treat others how you’d like to be treated’ I don’t think the fact that it carries a tremendous amount of merit on any and every level of the social sphere needs much explaining.

Well this just covers the tip of the iceberg for this work, but I don’t wanna drag you along all day just quite yet. If you find this sort of stuff interesting, by all means read the original text! I hope all of you have a wonderful day, and let us not forget ladies and gentleman: PROPERTY IS ROBBERY!

 

Adfectantibus Romanis Cantor

Adfectantibus Romanis Cantor

Adfectantibus Romanis Cantor
— Read on chaotickblisse.com/2019/03/27/adfectantibus-romanis-cantor/

another poem from our episodic verse project chaotick bliss!

Half-Argument for relevance of abstract thinkers.

Why have academic intellectuals of our day deemed abstract thinkers worthy of a lesser merit? Is it because we’re more fun at parties? Or merely the jealousy over the modern academics inability to create anything profoundly original? Or most likely of the three: that I myself have grown bitter over my current favorite writers (Dostoevsky and Bakunin) being labeled as too abstract for relevance.

In spite of criticism I find them to be more relevant in a manner so practically profound yet dualistically simple that what is to be gained from reading such a variety is often overlooked. Let’s look at Dostoevsky for example, any one of his works that I have thus far picked up, has contained so much information that I could read the same passages for weeks on end and get new and unique lessons (not unlike reading a religious work) picking up informational tidbits about everything from the art of literature, psychology, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, Russian history sociology, and above all ethics.

Likewise with Bakunin, I first took to him for his rants about anarchism and radical political philosophy, but found myself being schooled on almost everything else under the sun in the process, as a result I see it more due to call these abstract thinkers vastly paradigmatic rather than irrelevant to their respective fields, and that again their is much more to learn from these types of thinkers than first meets the eye.