TOTW: Time

  • Posted on: 17 September 2018
  • By: thecollective

The distro I’m a part of just hosted a discussion on some excerpts from The Old Calendrist on the oppressive nature of modern capitalist time and calling for a return to ways of keeping time before the current Gregorian calendar (you can find more of the piece here):

What do we want? We want those golden days of September stolen from us by the idolaters of science and rationalist utilitarianism. We hope that the restoration of sacred pagan time will induce a new wide-spread consciousness open to a radical critique of technology as alienation. Stage by stage we’d like to regress toward the status quo ante 1752. Abolish the Industrial Revolution and the post-Industrial reign of time as money. Abolish not only electricity and infernal combustion but also the steam engine. Bring back agrarian green artisanal social time. Abandon the Capitalist Hell Realm. And by the way, let’s also get rid of Daylight Saving Time. Down with all Time Lords. Free Time.

Humorous and nostalgic, the essays identify a problem that’s both abstract and intimately felt: that of time. Time is tied to all sorts of things that make life under capitalism unpleasant: the tyranny of the timeclock, the drive for efficiency, standardized measures which make our lives more easily monitored and controlled by bosses of all sorts.

Against capitalist time, the authors call for a multiplicity of calendars and a return to sacred time as a return to capital-N Nature:

“We advocate abolishing the Gregorian calendar because it has become the time-system of (post)industrial Capitalism, the reign of Work as alienation and the “cruel instrumentality of Reason.” We insist on a “return” to some holy and inefficient calendar--any system so long as it’s old--and we especially support the Julian calendar, which England and America followed till 1752. The point is to re-enchant Time itself, to make it sacred again, more in harmony with Nature, more “organic.””

What do you think of this as a potential model for anarchist time? What are other ideas for restructuring or disrupting time as it exists? Can “society” exist without one time to rule us all?



Time is what keeps everything from happening simultaneously.

For sure, Society cannot function without the imposition of a world-wide time keeping convention. Abolish Society!

If you want to meet your friend for coffee some way to coordinate that timing is needed, but other things such as when are the pears ripe? are visible if we pay attention, no calendar is needed. The Universe is not a clockwork but the Universe does function as a clock if we observe closely the small changes in the space around us. When is it time to clean the sink? Notice the sink. Is is dirty? If yes, time to clean. No calendar necessary.

Time, as in clock time, is only necessary to the extent we are not fully in the world-moment of the thick now.

The alarm clock, klaxon for my servitude, rent and tax cracking the whip for my labour, the church bell chaining my soul and tolling my end :(

Why the Julian and not a lunar calendar?!

I can't speak for the authors but the connection to the Julian calendar is related to the conception of the Julian Calendar as pagan time. "We call this system pagan time. The very word 'Julian' also evokes for us our hero Emperor Julian 'the Apostate', a renegade from Xtianity, the last pagan philosopher to rule the Roman Empire (d. 362 ad)"(p.1). Plus there are Greek Orthodox schismatics who are Julian calendar holdouts and call themselves Old Calendrists, and Wilson et al. wanted to take the name for themselves as part of the effort to Repaganize Monotheism. The first essay also discusses the Bristol "Time Riots', which resulted from the removal of 11 days when the calendars switched, hence the slogan "GIVE US BACK OUR ELEVEN DAYS"(p.2).
The whole pamphlet seems like slightly silly fun at first, but really makes some very serious and important points. Even beyond the demand for those 11 days back ("It would be like eleven Christmases in a row --or eleven Halloweens-- that great pagan holiday").
On a slightly related note, I've opined elsewhere that if only all the anarchist-y witchy kids on the internet would just read Wilson's book The Temple of Perseus at Panopolis (Autonomedia, 2017) they would unlock so much magic(k)al power that the world would be sucked into an-anarcho-pagan vortex where the state would cease to exist along with the internet and electricity, monotheism would be re-paganized, the aurora borealis would be restored to its former glory ("under harmony"), ETC.!!!

If we're going to change the calendar, let's get weird.

Today is Setting Orange, the 41st day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3184
(9 fays til Bureflux)

I'd prefer to do away with time altogether, but a simple calendar system without clocks would be an improvement on our fully mechanized positivist relationship with time. Calendars are probably unavoidable, but they don't necessarily have to carry the weight of progress as inexorable movement through time. Ideally the counting of lunar or solar cycles wouldn't need to be counted, certainly not outside the scale of a lifespan.

If you are interested in the Discordian calendar then I really would suggest reading the Old Calendrist pamphlet, preferably the print version from Enemy Combatant or the original broad sheets. Apio Ludd's recent discordian influenced calendar is pretty amazing too. Maybe also available from EC.

I haven't been able to find any info on Ludd's calendar–anyone know what it's called or where to look?

Apio's calendar is entitled "Apio Ludd Era Year 23 Calendar". It was printed by Enemy Combatant, so you could ask them ( EC Publications POBox 1014 Jacksonville OR 97530.). Definitely get their catalog if you don't already have it. I don't think Apio's address is public/on the internet but if you ask around you might be able to find it and ask him directly. There are still mysterious anarchist postal networks independent of the insidious internet.

they actually do call for a return to the lunar calendar, among other options, throughout the piece. it's all so tongue in cheek, so serious, and so curious all at once that it's hard to poke simplistic holes in what's offered, to paraphrase: TIME sucks. what if we started making it for ourselves, and started our approach by attacking some of the most egregious temporal inflictions like the gregorian calendar, the clock, the abolition of saturnalia?

Acid is groovy -- don't kill the pigs...

Yea but what about the Time Cops?

So it seems, some petty bourgie "intellectuals" like those at Pleasure Editioms got plenty of TIME in their hands.

Yeah so... We're abolishing the evil of gender, then why not going after the calendar too? My bad...

Abolition is a state fiat born process. It's really association/disassociation.

make time "sacred"?!?!?! fuck that shit!

We exist in the glorious Now! Be gone plodding time, do not strip and quarter our spontaneity into measured segments to fit into your stale uniformity!

Serious Heidegger shit, le woo.

Temporarily being here, *pop*

Serious cart b4 horse shit. Capitalist time is a product of capitalist social relations and material processes. Not vice versa

Is that "capitalist time" predates capitalism by a minute. The calendar was necessary for the creation of agriculture and primitive accumulation. You should read it. Its pretty interesting.

Serious shit before brains, you have to think about eating something and after eating you take a shit. If you don't shit, you die! Sooo, you begin life sitting in the Now and then ideology or belief creates identity and boredom, and this makes you want to escape the Now and join the Spectacle.


that's cool or it would be if seasons etc weren't objectively real and stuff? claiming that capitalist time invented capitalism is like claiming 4chan invented the internet...just no. a better starting point would be perlman's discussion of the monastery as model for the clock as model for the factory. (so much for sacred time!) no need for heidegger, debord or any other confused authoritarians.

Even Marx acknowledged that the calendar was necessary for the process of primitive accumulation (which was a necessary precursor to capitalism). The calendar was necessary for the move from horticulture to agriculture. The calendar dates back many thousands of years. Date capitalism where ever you want and the calendar predates it by 10000 years at least. So Capitalism is 4chan and the calendar is the internet in your otherwise apt analogy.

I'm not sure why the link doesn't name the authors (Peter Lamborn Wilson, Robert Kelly, Rachel Pollack, Charles Stein, Kim Spurlock). Maybe they wanted to be anon originally, but they are clearly identified in both the pamphlet version and the original broadsheets.

I love the Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints. I get it every year. It has the drawback/merit of maintaining the current calendar but transforms everyday into a feast day of resistance against the planetary work machine.
"artwork by James Koehnline, and text by the Autonomedia Collective. Hundreds of radical cultural and political heroes are celebrated here, along with the animating ideas that continue to guide this project a reprieve from the 500-year-long sentence to life-at-hard-labor that the European colonization of the ""New World"" and the ensuing devastations of the rest of the world has represented. It is increasingly clear at the dawn of this new millennium that the Planetary Work Machine will not rule forever! Celebrate with this calendar on which every day is a holiday!"

I love the changing light. I absolutely melt in twilight's expanse. I joyfully submit to the seasons change. While, in contrast, bean-counting regularity bores me to a bitter hatred. I recollect more time than seems left, yet memories always fail me. By whatever calendar or metric you care to use, moments pass far too quickly. It is heuristic to say sadness always resides when a beauty fades.

no potential model. no restructuring. no society.…

"if we can only conceive of ideas which are constructed in the language of the state or capital, we cannot break out of their restrictive logics. . . . if we live a series of moments measured by the clock which ticks to the rhythm of productivity, we live abstractly equivalent moments of bland repetition.…"

speck of dust!

gotta be the full moon bringing out the crazies

13 full moons in one rotation of the earth around the sun dude.

M-O-O-N, that spells REEEEEEEEEE!

I base my whole existence and purpose on this earth around my wife's menstrual cycle! ALL OTHER TIMING METHODS ARE MERE DISTRACTIONS FROM THIS SINGLE KLAXON CALLING!

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