Anarchy is a Scale-Independent Proposition

  • Posted on: 18 April 2015
  • By: worker

From Human Iterations - by William Gillis

There’s a particular narrative–surprisingly common in certain corners of the anarchist scene–that no one has really bothered to call out and so has grown rather fat and comfortable over the last few decades. It goes something like this:

Thinking or acting from a big-picture perspective is–if not The Problem–then at least a major root cause of everything miserable about our world. Any claims, theories, ideals, or motivations that extend our frame of reference beyond our immediate lives are predicated in the same mistaken arrogance, a mistake responsible for the seemingly intractable poison within the left and activist struggles, as well as so much more. In response we must ward ourselves from the ideologies, the grand constructs, the stories that dwarf the particulars of our immediate perceptions, our social circles, our daily struggles. Most of all we must reject the search for universals and focus only on the “human sized”.

Often this narrative quickly segues to pattern-matching this “big-thinking” tendency in terms of some unified Judeo-Christian tradition (under the assumption that there’s only a tiny chance of running across anyone with a strong claim to be part of a different tradition). At this point the narrative really picks up steam: There was once polytheism/animism/spiritualism but then all the little gods and little tribes got ground up by the big universal monster and now there’s just universal stuff, and we should just break things apart again until they’re back on a “human scale”–ala Dunbar’s Number–where we can better keep track of everything. And, supposedly, therefor stop our thought from growing ‘out of control.’

All one should be concerned about are your immediate relationships with other people in your social/drama circles, how you relate to them and the kind of psychological states you’re able to briefly create together.

For a lot of people this perspective somehow resonates very deeply as a kind of clean break. There’s this big boogeyman representation of supposedly all existing paradigms, and then there’s them, breaking away, abruptly free to explore an array of new possibilities. You get this with a lot of cults too, once you just see The Problem everything is so clear and filled with newness and possibility. Our brains love the feeling of a new perspective or a new context, especially when we’re dealing with continually grinding problems. We get to let go of all our frustrating calculations and considerations constantly hanging around, persisting in the back of our minds, and start anew! People get so overwhelmed by that rush that they refuse to pay attention when this new One Simple Trick fails to actually address anything, when the exact same sort of problems creep back, and the limits of the new paradigm start to feel like a prison walls again. And so you see people, enraptured by the feeling of the original break, with the impression of it, refusing to feel out for these walls, repeating the same kind of sad content-devoid mantras in response to any input. “If you’d only see that it’s all Moralism maann.

Granted, this can be an important step in flexing your brain, I guess, if you come from a certain background, with certain priorities. But I don’t. This shit and the context it comes out of are just so incredibly alien to me. And so the magical salve of returning to the small-scale is just a wad of spit and leaves to me. It doesn’t begin to address the things that worry me.

Like a lot of people I didn’t originally become an anarchist over concerns about black helicopters or mushroom clouds or any showy large-scale horror. I first became an anarchist because at a very young age I saw people–individual people–exercising control over other people. I saw dynamics of abuse, coercion and manipulation and I recoiled from them. I thought about the way these dynamics worked and then I critiqued and rejected them. Simple as that. Crucially these behaviors were often completely divorced from epic narratives, big ideologies or global forces. They were, in fact, often intensely localized, personal, and situational. Sometimes they gave rise to grand ambitions and sweeping frameworks. But they arose separately, and indeed, were often joined closely with an anti-narrative and anti-globalist bent. “This situation is unique and can’t or shouldn’t be compared with any other, much less any commonality identified.” “Ethics is a delusion for weak people.” “There are no constants so why not give into whatever impulses strike me.” Indeed the most powerful tools in perpetuating these power dynamics were those that denied universals or constants and those that exploited limited knowledge, information or communication. Gaslighting. Triangulation. Isolation.

You actually believed me?!” and then cackling laughter.

Such sociopathy is not a fringe dynamic, but a near constant tendency that is deeply deeply riven in just about every society or culture on this planet. It survives in no small part by keeping its ever present machinations hidden or at least unspoken. It perpetuates itself through narratives that reduce the world to an unmappable formless mess, devoid of constants or directions. It remaps the world and our experiences as a substanceless game of immediate impulses and chance particulars. Everything is arbitrary, so why not? An impulse towards friends and family after all is just a historically contingent trapping that one could easily emerge without or shed off. Love and compassion just a fleeting affliction of sentiment, with no deep reason to prompt valuing its perpetuation. I may bask in parental love for you today and tomorrow delight myself by your screams as I break your fingers. There are no constants, no universal attractors, no way to argue or persuade that isn’t just manipulation, positioning, delusion. Being kind or resisting power might happen to give you some sense of pleasure or happiness but any sufficiently intelligent person can change their brain. Why not take the easier route and just just find ways to hack how you get pleasure? To distract yourself from recognizing oppression and suffering, or to take delight in them?

Cinematic buckets of blood dumped on Carrie or the hordes beating Piggy are not a departure from the norm but are implicit in everything we do. Our society’s illusion of normalcy is a detente riven with the fluctuations of our continuing and almost-all-present manipulations, cruelties, and selfish acts. These small violences form a constant fabric whose wrinkles form the scaffolding of larger emergent structures until we arrive at governments, religions and corporations.

Leftists declare such interpersonal power dynamics–insofar as they are ever forced to recognize them–only the consequence of macroscopic patterns like Capitalism. What a laugh! The small is ultimately not so much the result of the big as the other way around. Feudalism, state communism, city states, federated tribes… no matter how you push the wrinkles in the fabric around the psychology of abuse, control and deception that ties it together remains unaddressed. Hunter gatherers like any other iteration of humanity often did horrible things to one another, held each other in abusive bondage, faith and ritual. The bonds that oppress us are no less bonds if they are small-scale and responsive. The might of emperors has oft been but a puff of air compared to aggregate coercive power and suffering caused by every abusive partner or parent or friend in the world. It does not take the existence of sweeping patriarchal norms and socializations for partners to abuse each other, for parents to be cruel or domineering to children, these behaviors emerge in almost every culture or circle. The rates of abuse and physical violence among lesbians are the same as among heteros. This is not some magically adaptable macroscopic force or conspiracy that absorbs every punch we through at it and magically reorganizes itself, it is not some huge spectre out there beyond our immediate lives, it is a persistent tendency, a creeping low-level infection riven throughout our immediate lives, our collective and one-on-one relations.

And everywhere it smirks to itself. Every Pope has been an atheist. Every successful president or czar a passionate egoist. They wrap their thoughts in robes, just as most of us wrap our thoughts in what we term ‘useful‘ delusions in our most clearheaded moments. Temporary allegiances and affectations. Sure the power that binds others often binds the wielder. But not always. And certainly not always in a meaningful one-to-one relation against the subjective desires of the wielder.

This kind of person, this kind of thinking, has no need for universal or big-perspective thinking; they will scramble for power in any context. The problem they represent is irrespective of the scale of pageantry. These sociopathic currents run deep in almost every cluster of individuals and often crawl into our own heads.

The damage we do each other at the small-scale, at the “human level”, is usually far more profound in suffering than the damage done by big tangled contexts and social organisms above and beyond our families, lovers, and friends. They intersect, they feedback off each other in interesting ways, and with bigger scale comes bigger risk, to be sure, but at the end of the day the narrative of small-scale against big-scale is utterly toothless against the roots of the horrors we face.

I any many others were originally attracted to anarchism not because we were looking to satiate some hunger for the participatory delusion / commodity known as “community”, but as a ray of absolute resistance against the fundamentally sociopathic and nihilistic social norms of our world. Against an omnipresent foul fog that burns our lungs and seeks to settle deep into our skin.

For us Anarchism has always first, foremost, and at root, presented itself as a sharp critique of this rampantly common and pedestrian perspective, this staunch belief in immediatism and the irrelevance or nonexistence of universals or solids of any form of truly persuasive arguments that might be found–this assumption of the uniform arbitrariness and futility of vigilant investigation beyond one’s momentary or happenstance motivations–that infests every abuser, every conman, every social capitalist, every creep, every rapist.

Our anarchism represents a break with this, it is the cry that an-archy is possible, even considerable, that we need not reassign the term like so much litter to denote merely diffuse, local and personal archies. That we need not embrace the orwellian framework in which anarchy is the same shit, only more locally responsive. It is the declaration that there is a substantive differentiation to be found between the ideologies or psychologies of constraint and those of richer, wider engagement, of more expansive identity and compassion. And that the latter is ultimately more attractive than the former. That we need not shy away from reality or lower our gaze in furtive dejection to our immediate trappings, to mere fleeting impressions of love and resistance, to aesthetics rather than anything of consequence.

Such an anarchism is an unraveling of the very fabric of power relations that bind almost every society on earth. And critically: there is no scale at which it does not apply.

That big showy tangles of power must also be dissolved is but a trivial ramification, it is no more representative of the anarchist break than any other shift or twist in the fabric of power relations. Nor can our break be characterized by a brief or local loosening of the weave. The break anarchism signifies is not with the particularities of the west, or of civilization, it goes far far deeper than that.

Why do we throw ourselves on bombs or strap bombs on ourselves to save others? These are not superficial feelings, they are not socialized happenstance or quirk of birth. These are conclusions those who are radical in their investigations, their vigilant explorations, find themselves drawn to. As radicals we never allow ourselves to be satisfied with hazy mystical simplified abstractions and spooks like “friendship” rather than concrete realities and dynamics of thought and action. Or wander in circles, adding contextual complications but not even attempting to weigh, reorganize or sort through them into any rooted form. Relishing the self-created maze of notes upon notes and so never attempting to isolate the deeper patterns or consistencies.

The narrative of opposition to “big-thinking” is at its core just a kind of smug pride in timidity, of ritualized fear and comfortable despair. “We have not won in a few scant iterations of history and this is proof that we will lose.” “Some people tried thinking and look at where that inevitably led.” It’s the instinctive recoil of the traumatized animal. A sense that “when the stakes go up we dare not rise to compete.” And at its core it swallows and preserves every nihilistic assumption at the core of our sociopathic society. One might be able to relate to the mewling slave repeating “might makes right” like a prayer of absolution, having internalized the masters’ intellectual laziness, but one should never join them.

Let us never forget that coffins are made “human sized”; our lives should be bigger than them.

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Comments

This is an incredible essay he's nailed it!

I tend to agree with you, but reading James C. Scott (particularly Art of Not Being Governed) has definitely challenged this for me.

I haven't read James Scott, sounds interesting, but back to the discussion, I'm more into ontology as a DIY individualist transcendental journey of self-discovery and the evolution of the relationship fabrics encompassing the Other, which to some translates as a deterministic universal, but far from it, in fact, it is the opposite, like a reverse osmotic relational feedback which empowers both entities engaged within the relationship, not a binary us/them destruction of the creative potential.
I'm no scholar as is obvious from my plain language, and I read this in the context of my own interpretation of viewing the individual's cosmos as possessing the entire spectrum of social potentialities.

PS I extracted the essentials from for instance Integrative Relational Psychotherapy Paul L. Wachtel, more as a confirmation that I am not alone in pursuing this method of tackling the enormous problems facing humanity's downward spiral to destruction.

"The small is ultimately not so much the result of the big as the other way around. Feudalism, state communism, city states, federated tribes… no matter how you push the wrinkles in the fabric around the psychology of abuse, control and deception that ties it together remains unaddressed."

So the local cops are not the result of wider municipal, national, global big policies. It's just about a gang of goons in need of jobs that appeared out of nowhere...

This is just a tiny instance of all the wrongs in this text. While I do see a legit idea in this text (concerning the depersonification and alienation of the current immediate reality of people, as well as their personal existence as a whole, not as some politicized made-up, segmented roleplay. Which is indeed a central problem in our shitty relationship with this world, not just speccific to the left), I think the author just misexpressed it, or with the wrong discursive approach.

Thing is... no matter how you want to avoid the "big issues" -which is legit also in my opinion for how it is dehumanizing and makes us lose sight on our very personal sensistive reality- the big will STILL exist and play for or against you on a daily basis AND within your local environment.

The soldier that took me for a ride the other day as I was hitchhiking most probably was one of those that enlisted in going to support the neonazi junta in Ukraine and its dangerous war games; the tar sands train that is passing near my place is a crucial element of the global capitalist though it's likely to affect the environment around (as it did several times, in a devastating way); the local anarchists here are being mind-raped and snitched on by pseudo-commie State agents part of a big picture of counterinsurgency and control of dissent. Of course these issues are depersonalizing in such a lame way as they make me feel like having ashes in my mouth when talking about these, but there has to be a way to address them without stopping being a human being!

It's more about how we think and adress the big issues and the value we give to these rather than addressing them or not.

The exact opposite is true. There is this undying capitulation to universals and in a much stupider fashion, Kantian morality. That is leftism and it is more popular today than ever.
One can't actualize change beyond their immediate conditions and that's why leftism is a joke.

Lack of a strategy that we can play a part into is a rampant problem among people in today's world, even with the Internet around, not having too much of it. If you look at strikes and the usual street protests, they lack most of the scope of what is attacking problems at their roots, instead of attacking at the facade and especially the ramifications that reach us in our personal lives.

There's still this precious info I've been holding, about a weekend resort for the ultra-rich capitalist establishment near my place, that not only no one in the Left milieu of the big city nearby care about -no matter how they pretend to be anticap- but I'm sure wouldn't care much about if I'd be telling them about it, or whether they'd even pay attention.

The last person who beat me at chess did so by telling me one thing: always keep an eye on the wider picture.

"or whether they'd even pay attention"... for the very same reason that it's not part of THEIR milieu.

In any grand narrative sense. Human realities are mediated by differing themes and tunnels(R A Wilson).

The Rich people that you complain about are simply a symptom of collective spiritual wealth that is given onto to them by the social belief base. If you want to put an end to that kind of reality, then subvert peoples every day sense of what a wealthy life is(introduce a little Novatore) and deface the currency of productive reality.

The reason there are rich people is because people as a whole want to be rich. Promote things like minimalism, and create unbounded wealth of mind and spirit. That meetup is about as interesting to me as the Bilderberg meetup that Jonestown Koo-laid drinkers are all into disrupting.

Well I have a different take on how to change the world. I think an anarch doing za-zen can achieve more than one throwing bricks at bank windows. Maybe they'd even play a better game of chess? KxB check ;)

Is how it's gotta be. If you look at surviving indigenous stateless societies, the way they take on power is indirectly where it only concerns immediate habitat matters. By taking on instrumentalist formations against the state, that would be enough to erode whatever authentic stateless content they currently have.

Confrontational violence is fine for a small Quixotic percentage(living in violent times also helps), however when it becomes organized is when it becomes diluted by the usual means and ends separation points of politics.

Yeah the old saying 'Clean up ones own backyard (firstly)' translates as clean up ones own consciousness of all the conditioning and brainwashing (before tackling external faults). That's why the anarch milieu still has in its midst sexists opposing 3rd wavers, latent syndicalist leftoids, and hipsters who still possess corrupted mindsets and egos too weak to contemplate using a bold individual praxis from the ground up to defeat any regional authoritarian hegemony.

No, that's just about the type of people you choose to hang out with. Also the cleansing of consciousness is next door to cultists brainwashing, and not just rhetorically.

Next you'll say individualist anarchs are a cult unto themselves. Anyway, we don't just 'hang out' with people, that's too sheepish, we only engage in intense sessions of radical inter-subjective analysis.

Or brainwashing... yeees! Open yourself and reveal all your experience and desires to us, let all those filthy subjective barriers fall... you are now a singularity part of a wholesome magma! (though there are more singular singularities than some others, but that's not the issue now in time we'll discuss about informal hierarchies...)

"The small is ultimately not so much the result of the big as the other way around."

wha?? your wack causality theory is showing - i think you've fallen for One Simple Trick to explain everything again....

Everything is related in some way, relatively. There are no "big" and "small", there are only distances and languages and forms. That theory above is a very good entry way for a feudalist mindset where people just become even more compartmented in their socio-geographically defined bubbles and social cleavages as they already are. Sorry for butthurt but I don't think that was needed.

I feel like I'm missing the first half of a conversation and this essay is a rebuttal. Sure, "big thinking" leads to the trappings of leftism if you get lost along the way and nihilism often results in cowardly, selfish, relativism but neither is mandatory.

Unless you get lazy and give up, you can benefit from being grounded by some nihilism and keep your sense of the larger struggles too.

People don't know what to do about their problems.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERtkpnXLrL4

“Thinking or acting from a big-picture perspective is–if not The Problem–then at least a major root cause of everything miserable about our world. Any claims, theories, ideals, or motivations that extend our frame of reference beyond our immediate lives are predicated in the same mistaken arrogance, a mistake responsible for the seemingly intractable poison within the left and activist struggles, as well as so much more. In response we must ward ourselves from the ideologies, the grand constructs, the stories that dwarf the particulars of our immediate perceptions, our social circles, our daily struggles. Most of all we must reject the search for universals and focus only on the “human sized””

William Gillis seems to miss the obvious; i.e. he sees the problem as a problem of ‘scale’ wherein we make interpretations on a grand scale and use these interpretations to formulate actions that we apply to the small human-sized scale that fail to take into account the particulars of the human-sized daily struggles. We EXPERIENCE LIVING in a relational world that our noun-and-verb language gives intellectual RE-presentation to, in the one-sided terms of ‘independent things’ and ‘what independent things do’, as if we didn’t have to worry about the relational aspects (as if the operating space was simply an empty container rather than ‘the mother of the rhythms, cycles and relational forms continually gathering and being regathered within it).

In other words, in the relational space of the physical reality of our natural experience [as contrasted with the simplified INTELLECTUAL RE-PRESENTATIONS of noun-and-verb language], it is nonsense NOT to acknowledge and take into account the inherent primacy of outside-inward orchestrating relational influences (cycles and rhythms and inductive influences) that shape our individual and collective actions.

By imputing void passivity to space rather than the inductive relation influence of ‘fielding’, we force the intellect to ‘blame’ the authorship of all dynamics on ‘independent things’ and ‘what independent things do’. Science even goes so far in this absurd ‘flip’ in the ordering of things, as to insist that ‘plants have intelligence’ that explains their intra-species and trans-species ‘cooperation’. In other words, ‘science’, based as it is on ‘what things do’ as if in a space that has no influence, gives itself no other option than to explain the authorship of dynamics as coming, ultimately, from some innate ‘intelligence’ buried deeply within the’independent things’ that science says ‘are alive’.

as schroedinger says, the world is only given once, not twice; it is not splittable into the inner world of our subjective experience AND a perceived ‘objective world out there’.

nietzsche makes the same critique of this intellectual noun-and-verb RE-CONSTRUCTION of the physical reality of our experience which nullifies the inductive cycles and rhythms of ‘fielding’ [fields such as gravity, electro-magnetic/thermal are everywhere-at-the-same-time] that are continually gathering and orchestrating the relational forms in the transforming relational activity continuum, that implants a notional local authoring source called ‘life’ into the so-called ‘independently existing material objects/organisms, that purportedly explains conceptualizing the world in all-hitting, no-fielding terms;

“That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the only effective force–in will, in intention–it is belief that every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’ 484

this belief, for Western civilization, makes an ‘operative reality’ out of an absurdity/stupidity, ... and that’s where we are right now in the modern world.

This problem is not on William Gillis ‘radar screen’ since he accepts the simple cause-effect paradigm of science and intellect. He accepts that we should be managing things on the basis of our perception of an ‘objective world out there’, ... but only on the proviso that we orient such management to the human-scale particulars. This is another way of advocating a free-market economy wherein the local agents, still seen as ‘independent’ and seeing themselves as ‘independent’ pursue their own interests as independent causal agents, shaped by their own values.

Mach’s principle of inhabitant-habitat INTERdependence will still not be acknowledged in this scenario;

“The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants” – Mach’s principle ... as is inherently the case in the physical reality of our natural experience as relational forms in a transforming relational activity continuum.

So, ‘moral judgement based Justice’ will continue to rule in Gillis human-scale oriented social dynamics, and the actions (e.g. violence, killing) of the more powerful (slave-masters) will be judged by a blind-folded Judge, as if actions are things-in-themselves, ... so that the violence of the impoverished and disempowered slave against the wealthy and powerful slave-master will receive the same judgement as the violence of the slave-master against the slave, ... in keeping with the all-hitting, no-fielding intellectual perspective given by noun-and-verb language and ‘science’, ... while the physical reality of our natural experience silently screams out as to the inherent inductive authoring source of the slave’s violence, acknowledging ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ effect, and acknowledging the hitting-fielding nature of dynamics wherein outside-inward inductive/accommodating/orchestrating influence is in a natural primacy over inside-outward asserting action.

The problem is not in imposing a grand-scale theory that cannot possible take into account human-scale struggles, ... the problem is in conceiving of the world dynamic in the one-sided, all-hitting, no-fielding terms of what notionally-independent things do. This assumption, that the authorship of actions and results tracks back to the interior of an independent causal agent, is a very convenient assumption in that it generates great ‘economy of thought’, along with moral judgement based Justice which denies the natural primacy of outside-inward orchestrating influence [e.g. of the slave-masters] over inside-outward asserting actions [e.g. of the slaves]. The little girl popping her party balloons is NOT REALLY the cause of the war veteran with PTSD ‘going berserk’ and the match tosser is NOT REALLY the cause of the forest erupting in an incendiary flare-up, ... it is the ‘fielding’ that dominates in ‘hitting-fielding’ dynamics, and it is absurd to claim that the ‘hitting results’ are fully and solely attributable to the hitter, ... but it is the slave-masters that predominate in the formulating of laws and the moral judging and justice system that enforces them, ... and who maintain the notion of ‘innocence until proven guilty’ as their protective shield, and they will never be proven guilty of offences sourced from the ‘fielding’ side of dynamics (stepping on the oxygen supply hoses of others, until they prostitute themselves to get relief) because ‘outside-inward orchestrating fielding influence’ is not even on the radar screen of a ‘civilization’ that intellectually constructs their ‘operative reality’ on a one-sided all-hitting, no-fielding basis.

3/10

3/10 signifies a ‘judgement’ as to the value of an assertion or an assertive action, as if there is such a thing as an ‘objective valuation’, ... as in Kant’s idea that there is a universally valid ‘voice’ inside of us, informing us as to what is good and what is bad and that enables us to assign values on a linearly graduated scale.

of course the notion of objective values is bullshit. it is a herd management tool, as nietzsche points out, ... and as we know from our experience-based intuition. our ‘universally valid voice’ varies by crony collective; i.e. it is inherently subjective;

"an action in itself is quite devoid of value ; the whole question is this: who performed it? One and the same ” crime ” may, in one case, be the greatest privilege, in the other infamy. As a matter of fact, it is the selfishness of the judges which interprets an action (in regard to its author) according as to whether it was useful or harmful to themselves (or in relation to its degree of likeness or unlikeness to them).”— Nietzsche on ‘Morality’ and ‘Herd Behaviour’

our Western european culture, which claims that 'it possesses the ability of universal judgement' as to which actions are 'good' and 'which actions are evil' and which actions are of less than average good or more than average good and to what degree, ... knows that sodomy is an evil act, and in fact has valued it as being on the same negative value level as murder, so that those who partake of it should be hanged.

The U.S. Supreme Court made a firm statement deploring the collapse of “moral standards” in upholding sodomy laws in 1986;
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“Constitutional law boiled down to the personal moral biases of nine justices of the Supreme Court. The concurring opinion of Chief Justice Warren Burger [in upholding sodomy laws in 1986] noted that condemnation of sodomy "is firmly rooted in Judeao-Christian moral and ethical standards." To strike down the law "would be to cast aside millennia of moral teaching." It was on this basis of ancestors’ moral standards that a twentieth-century constitutional decision on sodomy laws was based.”
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However, in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned the position that the morality of the action could be established by moral tradition, and reversed their position, saying;
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“The psychological discomfort of repressed or moralistic individuals from centuries before created a jurisprudence relegating the enjoyment of non-procreative physical intimacy to the status of criminality.”

the notion that is such a thing as 'objective values' is the root problem in Western civilization and it derives from the manufactured certainty of noun-and-verb language-and-grammar.

nietzsche estimated in the 1890s, that it would take 200 years for Western civilization to recover from this delusion; i.e. for the 'transvaluation of all values' associated from acknowledging the relational nature of the world we live in;

"And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income …” –Nietzsche, ‘The Will to Power’, 1067

'Nietzsche's mirror' implies that one needs only reflect on one's own experience to 'get the point' that the world is a transforming relational activity continuum, as in Heraclitus'; "Listening not to me but to the logos, it is wise to consider that all things are one"

3/10 is commonly used as an expression of universally accessible 'objective values'. the contention that there are universal values is the core tool in herd management. if you can get a group to shout out their values in chorus, you are well on your way to managing the herd [i.e. on using herd management techniques as the basis for 'community']. 'the wise' are then seen as those having the best handle on 'objective values', rather than those that understand that 'all things are one' (we are strands in an interdependent web-of-life).

The values needed in those who acknowledge relational interdependence lead to 'restorative justice' wherein the valuing orients to cultivating balance and harmony within the ONE interdependent relational matrix;

“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach
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“The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.” – Erwin Schroedinger

so, far, we are 120 years later in the 200 year transition projected by Nietzsche, that it would take for the 'transvaluation of all values'... aka... the shift from the subject-object splitting worldview to the view which acknowledges that we, as the observing subjects, are included in the objective world that we are looking out at. Instead of the slave-master making an objective assessment as to the violent actions of the slaves in the street, he will acknowledge that he and his cronies are the authors of this action by virtue of their monopoly control over access to essential resources, that they are using to 'make slaves' out of non-crony others so as to extort prostitute-like behaviours from them; i.e. to create a spawning ground for extremist behaviours as the imposed tensions rise to, and exceed,'the straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back' threshold levels.

the most powerful individuals in the community, having acquired their power from extortion-based processes, appoint themselves as moral judges that set values such as 3/10 and administer punishment/reward that gives direction to the herd.

so long as we have this system of values that everyone in the herd is told are universal, and so long as the collective is a group willing to follow such [inherently subjective]assessments of [passed-off-as objective]value, we will perpetuate this dysfunctional system of community that is prepared to go to war with other communities on the basis of assuming that their values are objective and that they can have access to a universally valid 'voice' inside their head enabling them to assess anyone's 'actions' as to their 'goodness' or 'badness', ... as supported by the subject-object split built into noun-and-verb RE-PRESENTATIONS that artificially removes the relational essence of 'actions', ... and in contradiction to our experience-based intuition that tells us that;

"an action in itself is quite devoid of value ; the whole question is this: who performed it? One and the same ” crime ” may, in one case, be the greatest privilege, in the other infamy. As a matter of fact, it is the selfishness of the judges which interprets an action (in regard to its author) according as to whether it was useful or harmful to themselves (or in relation to its degree of likeness or unlikeness to them).”— Nietzsche on ‘Morality’ and ‘Herd Behaviour’

after 120 years into Nietzsche's estimate of 200 years, ... the 3/10 (x/y) value-judgers and imposers amongst us remain in a strong majority, even amongst those exploring new ways for collectives to cultivate 'community'.

maybe it will take more than 200 years for the transvaluation of values to install; i.e. it will require a restoring of experience-based intuition to its natural precedence over noun-and-verb language based intellection (aka 'science'). meanwhile our academic institutions are putting out more and more graduates whose professions embody ways of doing things that keep noun-and-verb language-based intellection in an unnatural precedence over experience-based intuition.

Soon you will fulfill your destiny as a brain in a vat, and be put on a stash with the remaining Great Minds of the 20th century, for idiots like Azano and Gunther to come worship and admire your brain once in a while. Then when revolution hits in 200, I'll try to make sure that the smashy-smashy communist cyborgs spare your vat.

...I promise!

Thinking or acting from a big-picture perspective is–if not The Problem–then at least a major root cause of everything miserable about our world. Any claims, theories, ideals, or motivations that extend our frame of reference beyond our immediate lives are predicated in the same mistaken arrogance, a mistake responsible for the seemingly intractable poison within the left and activist struggles, as well as so much more. In response we must ward ourselves from the ideologies, the grand constructs, the stories that dwarf the particulars of our immediate perceptions, our social circles, our daily struggles. Most of all we must reject the search for universals and focus only on the “human sized””

William Gillis seems to miss the obvious; i.e. he sees the problem as a problem of ‘scale’ wherein we make interpretations on a grand scale and use these interpretations to formulate actions that we apply to the small human-sized scale that fail to take into account the particulars of the human-sized daily struggles. We EXPERIENCE LIVING in a relational world that our noun-and-verb language gives intellectual RE-presentation to, in the one-sided terms of ‘independent things’ and ‘what independent things do’, as if we didn’t have to worry about the relational aspects (as if the operating space was simply an empty container rather than ‘the mother of the rhythms, cycles and relational forms continually gathering and being regathered within it).

In other words, in the relational space of the physical reality of our natural experience [as contrasted with the simplified INTELLECTUAL RE-PRESENTATIONS of noun-and-verb language], it is nonsense NOT to acknowledge and take into account the inherent primacy of outside-inward orchestrating relational influences (cycles and rhythms and inductive influences) that shape our individual and collective actions.

By imputing void passivity to space rather than the inductive relation influence of ‘fielding’, we force the intellect to ‘blame’ the authorship of all dynamics on ‘independent things’ and ‘what independent things do’. Science even goes so far in this absurd ‘flip’ in the ordering of things, as to insist that ‘plants have intelligence’ that explains their intra-species and trans-species ‘cooperation’. In other words, ‘science’, based as it is on ‘what things do’ as if in a space that has no influence, gives itself no other option than to explain the authorship of dynamics as coming, ultimately, from some innate ‘intelligence’ buried deeply within the’independent things’ that science says ‘are alive’.

as schroedinger says, the world is only given once, not twice; it is not splittable into the inner world of our subjective experience AND a perceived ‘objective world out there’.

nietzsche makes the same critique of this intellectual noun-and-verb RE-CONSTRUCTION of the physical reality of our experience which nullifies the inductive cycles and rhythms of ‘fielding’ [fields such as gravity, electro-magnetic/thermal are everywhere-at-the-same-time] that are continually gathering and orchestrating the relational forms in the transforming relational activity continuum, that implants a notional local authoring source called ‘life’ into the so-called ‘independently existing material objects/organisms, that purportedly explains conceptualizing the world in all-hitting, no-fielding terms;

“That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the only effective force–in will, in intention–it is belief that every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’ 484

this belief, for Western civilization, makes an ‘operative reality’ out of an absurdity/stupidity, ... and that’s where we are right now in the modern world.

This problem is not on William Gillis ‘radar screen’ since he accepts the simple cause-effect paradigm of science and intellect. He accepts that we should be managing things on the basis of our perception of an ‘objective world out there’, ... but only on the proviso that we orient such management to the human-scale particulars. This is another way of advocating a free-market economy wherein the local agents, still seen as ‘independent’ and seeing themselves as ‘independent’ pursue their own interests as independent causal agents, shaped by their own values.

Mach’s principle of inhabitant-habitat INTERdependence will still not be acknowledged in this scenario;

“The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants” – Mach’s principle ... as is inherently the case in the physical reality of our natural experience as relational forms in a transforming relational activity continuum.

So, ‘moral judgement based Justice’ will continue to rule in Gillis human-scale oriented social dynamics, and the actions (e.g. violence, killing) of the more powerful (slave-masters) will be judged by a blind-folded Judge, as if actions are things-in-themselves, ... so that the violence of the impoverished and disempowered slave against the wealthy and powerful slave-master will receive the same judgement as the violence of the slave-master against the slave, ... in keeping with the all-hitting, no-fielding intellectual perspective given by noun-and-verb language and ‘science’, ... while the physical reality of our natural experience silently screams out as to the inherent inductive authoring source of the slave’s violence, acknowledging ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ effect, and acknowledging the hitting-fielding nature of dynamics wherein outside-inward inductive/accommodating/orchestrating influence is in a natural primacy over inside-outward asserting action.

The problem is not in imposing a grand-scale theory that cannot possible take into account human-scale struggles, ... the problem is in conceiving of the world dynamic in the one-sided, all-hitting, no-fielding terms of what notionally-independent things do. This assumption, that the authorship of actions and results tracks back to the interior of an independent causal agent, is a very convenient assumption in that it generates great ‘economy of thought’, along with moral judgement based Justice which denies the natural primacy of outside-inward orchestrating influence [e.g. of the slave-masters] over inside-outward asserting actions [e.g. of the slaves]. The little girl popping her party balloons is NOT REALLY the cause of the war veteran with PTSD ‘going berserk’ and the match tosser is NOT REALLY the cause of the forest erupting in an incendiary flare-up, ... it is the ‘fielding’ that dominates in ‘hitting-fielding’ dynamics, and it is absurd to claim that the ‘hitting results’ are fully and solely attributable to the hitter, ... but it is the slave-masters that predominate in the formulating of laws and the moral judging and justice system that enforces them, ... and who maintain the notion of ‘innocence until proven guilty’ as their protective shield, and they will never be proven guilty of offences sourced from the ‘fielding’ side of dynamics (stepping on the oxygen supply hoses of others, until they prostitute themselves to get relief) because ‘outside-inward orchestrating fielding influence’ is not even on the radar screen of a ‘civilization’ that intellectually constructs their ‘operative reality’ on a one-sided all-hitting, no-fielding basis.

I won't go into the details, but I am for thinking in terms of scale. Yes, how very Leninist of me.

No.

part of the values problem that nietzsche is talking about is how many people have been conditioned to believe in the objective value of an assertion or an action. for those who believe in such, there is no point in considering where others may be coming from, or acknowledging their experiences (e.g. the cultural genocide of colonized people by colonizers who epitomize the tendency to believe that they have a universal voice in their head that defines for them, the objective value of an assertion or action).

the only thing that matters, to such believers in 'objective reality' and objective value judgements, is to reject the assertions or actions that their 'universally valid voice' tells them are 'false' or 'bad'. once one has made an 'objective judgement' as to the worthlessness of an assertion or action, any tool that may be effective in discrediting the assertion or action, such as an ad hominem, is fair game.

Particularly when winning means losing non dualistically or rather, some of us prefer, dialectically.

The winner/loser relationship that's a dominant morality in the capitalist order is a false paradigm that only serves to its own reification, leaving only a trail of death and misery behind.

Also, we're all losers since it's universal fact that death has the last word on us all petty pretentious idiotic mortals. So only death wins in this world. Did capitalists ever understood anything from Gilgamesh's chants?

nietzsche and others have pointed out that ‘that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’. this has been called ‘PTG’ (Post-Traumatic Growth). it can move us towards ‘amor fati’ (‘love/acceptance of fate’); i.e. acceptance of whatever actually unfolds. as victor frankl observes, we may not be in control of our circumstances, but we are in control of our attitude towards our circumstances [this does not mean that we need let go of trying to change them]. this is ‘scary’ to those ‘winners’ who would like us to accept that those of us who are not amongst the "one percent" in terms of material wealth and privilege, are ‘losers’. it is the path of the losers that leads to 'übermensch-heit’. as nietzsche observes in his critique of Darwin's notion that evolution is spearheaded by 'winners';

Anti-Darwin. — As for the famous "struggle for existence," so far it seems to me to be asserted rather than proved. It occurs, but as an exception; the total appearance of life is not the extremity, not starvation, but rather riches, profusion, even absurd squandering — and where there is struggle, it is a struggle for power. One should not mistake Malthus for nature.
.
Assuming, however, that there is such a struggle for existence — and, indeed, it occurs — its result is unfortunately the opposite of what Darwin's school desires, and of what one might perhaps desire with them — namely, in favor of the strong, the privileged, the fortunate exceptions. The species do not grow in perfection: the weak prevail over the strong again and again, for they are the great majority — and they are also more intelligent. Darwin forgot the spirit (that is English!); the weak have more spirit. One must need spirit to acquire spirit; one loses it when one no longer needs it. Whoever has strength dispenses with the spirit ("Let it go!" they think in Germany today; "the Reich must still remain to us"). It will be noted that by "spirit" I mean care, patience, cunning, simulation, great self-control, and everything that is mimicry (the latter includes a great deal of so-called virtue).” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

capitalism breeds ‘winners’ with impoverished spirits. it is those who acquire spirit that are the agents of transformation/evolution, ... losers in a material-physical sense are winners in the acquisition of spirit. materialist winners live in fear of holding on to their material winnings, while losers build spirit that is fearless in the face of whatever unfolds. this is not nihilism; i.e. it values the growth of spirit and locks on to this in the course of collapsing materialist hierarchies, so that when the materialist hierarchies lie in rubble, the spirits of those who have collapsed them are at their peak. Dionysus reigns over Apollo, Enkidu-Gilgamesh over Pre-Enkidu-Gilgamesh, ... relational fielding over material being.

Thinking or acting from a big-picture perspective is–if not The Problem–then at least a major root cause of everything miserable about our world. Any claims, theories, ideals, or motivations that extend our frame of reference beyond our immediate lives are predicated in the same mistaken arrogance, a mistake responsible for the seemingly intractable poison within the left and activist struggles, as well as so much more. In response we must ward ourselves from the ideologies, the grand constructs, the stories that dwarf the particulars of our immediate perceptions, our social circles, our daily struggles. Most of all we must reject the search for universals and focus only on the “human sized””

William Gillis seems to miss the obvious; i.e. he sees the problem as a problem of ‘scale’ wherein we make interpretations on a grand scale and use these interpretations to formulate actions that we apply to the small human-sized scale that fail to take into account the particulars of the human-sized daily struggles. We EXPERIENCE LIVING in a relational world that our noun-and-verb language gives intellectual RE-presentation to, in the one-sided terms of ‘independent things’ and ‘what independent things do’, as if we didn’t have to worry about the relational aspects (as if the operating space was simply an empty container rather than ‘the mother of the rhythms, cycles and relational forms continually gathering and being regathered within it).

In other words, in the relational space of the physical reality of our natural experience [as contrasted with the simplified INTELLECTUAL RE-PRESENTATIONS of noun-and-verb language], it is nonsense NOT to acknowledge and take into account the inherent primacy of outside-inward orchestrating relational influences (cycles and rhythms and inductive influences) that shape our individual and collective actions.

By imputing void passivity to space rather than the inductive relation influence of ‘fielding’, we force the intellect to ‘blame’ the authorship of all dynamics on ‘independent things’ and ‘what independent things do’. Science even goes so far in this absurd ‘flip’ in the ordering of things, as to insist that ‘plants have intelligence’ that explains their intra-species and trans-species ‘cooperation’. In other words, ‘science’, based as it is on ‘what things do’ as if in a space that has no influence, gives itself no other option than to explain the authorship of dynamics as coming, ultimately, from some innate ‘intelligence’ buried deeply within the’independent things’ that science says ‘are alive’.

as schroedinger says, the world is only given once, not twice; it is not splittable into the inner world of our subjective experience AND a perceived ‘objective world out there’.

nietzsche makes the same critique of this intellectual noun-and-verb RE-CONSTRUCTION of the physical reality of our experience which nullifies the inductive cycles and rhythms of ‘fielding’ [fields such as gravity, electro-magnetic/thermal are everywhere-at-the-same-time] that are continually gathering and orchestrating the relational forms in the transforming relational activity continuum, that implants a notional local authoring source called ‘life’ into the so-called ‘independently existing material objects/organisms, that purportedly explains conceptualizing the world in all-hitting, no-fielding terms;

“That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the only effective force–in will, in intention–it is belief that every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’ 484

this belief, for Western civilization, makes an ‘operative reality’ out of an absurdity/stupidity, ... and that’s where we are right now in the modern world.

This problem is not on William Gillis ‘radar screen’ since he accepts the simple cause-effect paradigm of science and intellect. He accepts that we should be managing things on the basis of our perception of an ‘objective world out there’, ... but only on the proviso that we orient such management to the human-scale particulars. This is another way of advocating a free-market economy wherein the local agents, still seen as ‘independent’ and seeing themselves as ‘independent’ pursue their own interests as independent causal agents, shaped by their own values.

Mach’s principle of inhabitant-habitat INTERdependence will still not be acknowledged in this scenario;

“The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants” – Mach’s principle ... as is inherently the case in the physical reality of our natural experience as relational forms in a transforming relational activity continuum.

So, ‘moral judgement based Justice’ will continue to rule in Gillis human-scale oriented social dynamics, and the actions (e.g. violence, killing) of the more powerful (slave-masters) will be judged by a blind-folded Judge, as if actions are things-in-themselves, ... so that the violence of the impoverished and disempowered slave against the wealthy and powerful slave-master will receive the same judgement as the violence of the slave-master against the slave, ... in keeping with the all-hitting, no-fielding intellectual perspective given by noun-and-verb language and ‘science’, ... while the physical reality of our natural experience silently screams out as to the inherent inductive authoring source of the slave’s violence, acknowledging ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ effect, and acknowledging the hitting-fielding nature of dynamics wherein outside-inward inductive/accommodating/orchestrating influence is in a natural primacy over inside-outward asserting action.

The problem is not in imposing a grand-scale theory that cannot possible take into account human-scale struggles, ... the problem is in conceiving of the world dynamic in the one-sided, all-hitting, no-fielding terms of what notionally-independent things do. This assumption, that the authorship of actions and results tracks back to the interior of an independent causal agent, is a very convenient assumption in that it generates great ‘economy of thought’, along with moral judgement based Justice which denies the natural primacy of outside-inward orchestrating influence [e.g. of the slave-masters] over inside-outward asserting actions [e.g. of the slaves]. The little girl popping her party balloons is NOT REALLY the cause of the war veteran with PTSD ‘going berserk’ and the match tosser is NOT REALLY the cause of the forest erupting in an incendiary flare-up, ... it is the ‘fielding’ that dominates in ‘hitting-fielding’ dynamics, and it is absurd to claim that the ‘hitting results’ are fully and solely attributable to the hitter, ... but it is the slave-masters that predominate in the formulating of laws and the moral judging and justice system that enforces them, ... and who maintain the notion of ‘innocence until proven guilty’ as their protective shield, and they will never be proven guilty of offences sourced from the ‘fielding’ side of dynamics (stepping on the oxygen supply hoses of others, until they prostitute themselves to get relief) because ‘outside-inward orchestrating fielding influence’ is not even on the radar screen of a ‘civilization’ that intellectually constructs their ‘operative reality’ on a one-sided all-hitting, no-fielding basis.

I said "No".

As in "No means No".

I'm going to bring a pony drawn cart of roses grown in the rotting waste of the former global capitalist Empire's excrement to the vat's mausoleum. I'm not ashamed to give worship where it is deserved! ;)

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