Rhizome theory or Mycelial theory?

Rhizome theory or Mycelial theory?

Some preliminary (and extremely disjointed) questions about creating a natural theory for civilizations' active entropy.

(Disclaimer: using natural systems to explain what humans do is problematic. People have used all kinds of ways to link their theory with natural systems (weather, evolution, pack dynamics, trees, plagues) with terrible results. This isn't to say that there isn't anything to learn from nature & try to adapt it to help you. I like better the vice versa where the natural world is compared to humans a little better, in that it humanizes in another way that can encourage connection to the land.)

I personally don't like to view the system as a monolith, although I do see the charm in it. The system today is a series of apparatuses (Agamben 'What is an Apparatus') that exist on a spectrum of importance to overall stability. I like this analysis because it takes into account the historical rise to the systems modern day institutions (Michel Foucault, various texts). And the networking of specific branches of the state (DOJ, the branches of military, the DSHS and other safety nets, the Forest Service, etc.) with specific branches of capitalist industries (such as prisons, arms manufacture, computers, automobiles, etc.) portray a more complex canopy than labeling the systems of control simply as 'an oligarchy' or whatever the fuck Chris Hedges calls it. The methods of control that shaped these institutional branches shaped the social restraints like racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. but also things like the Protestant work ethic, guilt and shame, the tendency to accept hierarchies, etc. It's obvious to me that Europe was a clusterfuck of emotional resentment that launched a series of bizarre chains of events that landed us all in this hell scape (Silvia Federici 'Caliban and the Witch). Witch trials, religious wars, enforced Christian practices, ideas about sexuality, etc. really did a number on people & they built their social structures to match their mental illnesses. Now all of those earlier vulgar institutions have grown, strengthened & subdivided out in order to fill any void of freedom left not yet brought into the fold. And while they (property, law) all seem to have formed together and can thus be seen as a singular entity (like the growth of a single tree), it of course operates as a pretty complex series of fucked up relationships. Some branches seem more huge & solid like the military, some small twigs like a school principals association. Some are internalized prejudices or unexamined subservient reactions (or maybe these are the trees digestive or immunological system?).

I'd really like to use an arboreal metaphor for the major institutions that form the system and a fungal one to describe our past, current & future resistance to it's continued existence, but I'm worried I'm already stretching too far. Hyphae move forward & gather strength in that forward movement before branching out into the surrounding substrate. The way mycelium exists as it feeds it's way through substrates & distributes nourishment across huge distances illustrates a way for anarchists to network & fight the system, but I can't quite put it into words.

If your goal is some form of total revolution then the entire tree has to be dissolved.

Mycelium uses various enzymes to dissolve the various materials, sometimes it may take many species to totally eat away something large, like a tree. First the tree has to have some sort of weakness & opening (like a wound or already fighting off another infection) in order to infect the tree. It may even keep the tree alive for years, sapping it's energy and providing very little nourishment in exchange, before the tree finally succumbs to it's parasite, like the largest organism on Earth, the honey mushroom Armillaria.

What species do trees hold back (younger saplings, etc) & what new life can grow from it's digested minerals in the wake of it's decay (or ashes for that matter) as it's unlocked body changes the quality, and therefore type, of the topsoil? What new forms of life can then emerge when we play this entropic role?

Are we ready to give up control over what happens next if we, through our own anti-control oriented fungal-like resistance, lay a specific kind of groundwork through our destructive processes? By already attacking prisons, banks, sexism, art, etc does this already shape what comes next? I mean, does the motivation and specific branches we choose to focus our destructive capacities on really fundamentally different than if these collapse-oriented practices were done by religious fanatics or just straight up racists like atomwaffen or whatever the fuck they're called? I think it makes a huge difference in what comes next.

When a tree does die, it's still there as a log needing to be broken down further. Is this the stage of history right now? Is the system so rotten that it already resembles a fallen tree?

Or are it's branches (the institutions & the ones that grow from them, ie the smaller twigs) still holding back the sun?

A tree has many parts that must be dissolved before it is entirely gone, (lignin, cellulose, etc). What do these parts represent? Is it traditions or types of languages or technologies or what?

Are we (together) or I (alone) just one species playing our (or my) part in the overall death & destruction of the tree?

Or are we the entire process of the trees' decay and redistribution?

If we, as anarchists, are one species in the process then who are our natural competitors or allies (Maoists, liberals, environmentalists, Eco-extremists, etc.)?

If we, as anarchists, are the entire process of natural succession, then who amongst us plays what corresponding ecological roles: What is the infoshop, who is the theorist, who are the rioters, what is the anarchist press, what is land projects, who is the assassin, who is the herbalist, who the squatter bike mechanic, who is the traveler, who is the hacker, what is single issue pressure activism? What could they be if they structured themselves more like their natural counterparts?

Or, in keeping with us (anarchists) as a singular species in the process and borrowing from D & G's whole 'body without organs' thing (which I know is supposed to describe eggs), are each of those roles the various parts that unintentionally make up our mycelial body? And is the destruction of the tree our becoming?

The tree can’t exist without the mycelial network and there is usually a clear line drawn between the two. Mycelium can abandon a tree that is toxic/infected and risks the health of the rest of the community, or if it’s a vital part of the group they can funnel a greater portion of energy to it to aid in its survival. Can the tree (that is the system) be the infected one, while natural structures that are beneficial for us to grow represent the rest of the forest that has been shut off from the aid of the mycorrhizal mycelium as it tries to keep the tree alive?

And we can redirect energy and decomposition towards favoring those structures that help us and just what are those structures?

Are we, as entropic anarchists, the saprophytic fungi while those who build a counter-culture (musicians, artists, comedians) represent the mycorrhiza that the tree needs through the recuperation of their emotionally driven projects?

Can they (counter-culture) learn to abandon their host tree, because it's beginning to rot, and refocus their energies on the rest of the forest? Or will they focus their energy on trying to fix the problems in the system through activism or strengthen the system through capitalist recuperation?

Is it through our (sapro) attacks and weakening of the system that drives them (mycorrhiza) to stop supporting the infected trees (the systems) growth and refocus them elsewhere? In this way is the entire analogy linked to the process of 'deterritorialization & reterritorialization' described by Deluze & Guattari?

Is Deluze & Guattari use of the plant rhizome analogy a misnomer? Paul Stammets and others have more accurately deduced that the historical & current threads of human relations resemble mycelium (the internet, their transportation systems (slime mold/Tokyo subway), the spread of ideas). But does that entire analysis negate using the infected tree as a metaphor?

Or do human actions themselves not always coincide with the organization of the system & therefore the arboreal metaphor still stands?

I have a lot more questions, but I suppose I just want to hear if this is even a project worth undertaking & if anyone else has been thinking about this. Please be patient with my scattered thoughts & limited scope! Thanks!

The System is a Tree, Because Why Not? Justifications for Creating a Natural Theory for Civilizations' Active Entropy.

Over the last few years I've gained an appreciation for removing categorical systems from their original contexts to help me approach a more fuller understanding of my life through providing me new lines of thought to explore and expand upon. I like the playful challenge and depth that comes along with adopting a framework that has its' own internal logic, but that doesn't seem to fit the problem I'm analyzing. The patterns that emerge when I play within the parameters of the various different systemizations of patterns (i.e. schools of thought) offer me a chance to undo, or bolster, old lines of thought from completely unexpected directions.

I undertake these exercises with a healthy dose of skepticism that underlies my deep materialistic worldview, because to take the conclusions too seriously, I assume, would pull me into delusion. Being critical of ideology, morals and other mental blinders and wary of anyone who claimed to have found an answer, was the defensive mechanism that allowed me to cherish keeping my mind open to new possibilities in my ever changing environment.

In order to gain new insight from a different logic you first have to develop a perspective to start from and then you need to try to fully understand your problem. For me, the problem was and is civilization, and it required a lot of reading and a shitload of salt to try and understand the various perspectives laid out against it from all sides. I studied gender theory (Julia Serano), communization and other anti-state communist currents (theorie communiste, Situationist International, Jacques Camatte, the Duponts), attachment theory (Gabor Mate and Jean Liedloff), individualism (Max Striner, Renzo Novatore, Émile Armand), insurrectionary anarchism (Alfredo Bonanno, Wolfi Landstreicher, A Murder of Crows, various communiques and prison correspondence), deschooling philosophy (Ivan Illich, Matt Hern, A.S. Neil, Francisco Ferrer), the anti-psych psychoanalysts (R.D Laing, Wilhelm Reich, Felix Guattari), the new left (Herbert Marcuse, Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Gilles Deluze), recent anarchist theory (Peter Gelderloos, Crimethinc, Bob Black, Dot Matrix, Jason Mcquinn, Paul Simmons, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, Ron Sakolksy), classical anarchist theory (Errico Malatesta, Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, Michel Bakunin, Rudolph Rocker), rebellious art movements (Dada, the Surrealist International, Black Mask), radical environmental philosophy (James Lovelock, Bill Deval, Arne Naess), green anarchist theory (Fredy Perlman, David Watson, John Zerzan, Green Anarchy Magazine, Jesus Sepúlvida), eco-anarchist theory (Dave Foreman, Will Potter, Do or Die, Judy Bari, Earth First! Journal, Rod Coronado), anti-civilization theory (Ted Kaczynski, Paul Shepard, Chellis Glendenning, Derrick Jensen, Daniel Quinn) and the history of anarchist and other like-minded groups and the revolts they took part in (the autonomen, ALF/ELF, Os Cangageiros, CNT/FAI, IWW, Direct Action, CCF, ITS, the Bonnot Gang, antisec/lulzsec, Church of the Subgenius, Antifa, pirates, slave revolts, antinomians, native struggles, the Diggers, the Luddites, dropout cultures). I was forced to view the world through a different framework each time I read some authors' run for the prize or kindly, thoughtful analysis. Although frustrating at times, because of the authors pompous lack of awareness of the limitations of their ideology to properly explain the full scope of whatever they're explaining, these critical explorations into their personal mental mazes gave me a depth that helped me shed new lights on some old thoughts, and my distrust of ideology stopped me from falling prey to some shepherd and their flock while I immersed myself in translating their sacred documents.

While I strongly support keeping an open mind, I can't deny that I hold strong positions on many things, I take stances, back them up and see no value in floating free like a balloon amongst the sharp rocks of reality. Although I usually only ever take the negative stance, it's not because I'm worried about muddying my reputation, I grew up squatting in the punk scene so I'm not that clean to begin with and don't care if people place me into a box, I'm pretty used to it by now. I have no desire to give you an answer and I'm not interested in finding a shepherd to follow or a flock to lead, so I choose to tread my own path, influenced by every situation I've been in; shaped by my own traumatic cultural inculcation and my subsequent self-education and radical, healing self re-creation. In an effort to hold strong to my humanity in a society that's quickly losing theirs, I've learned to trust those weird half-thoughts I have, that most others will never even have one eighth of, while knowing I can also trust my analytical thoughts of doubt, because I've spent the time shaping those critical instincts into something worth relying on. I can now freely delve into full flights of fancy to see where they take me to and what I can bring back to help me make sense of things.

Like I mentioned, from my early teenage years through to my mid twenties I tended only to read non-fiction literature and tried to discuss its implications endlessly, but for the past five years or so I've made a conscious shift towards comics, novels and botanical texts. As an anarchist, this switch in focus provided me with new insights to analyze the eternal human project of revolt, that "spring of perversity that does not run dry". Only from entrenching myself so deeply into that logical realm, was I then able to use the tools and scope I acquired from my time there when I finally did step into other, more unfamiliar, realms of thought. When interpreting authors meanings, I came to find those ideological biases' I spent so long (not that long compared to some amongst us) critiquing, and protecting myself against, actually had a real value to me as I tried to read deeper than the original intention the writer might have had in mind. I often ask myself, "what would so-and-so have to say about this concept or that new thing?" before I realize that it's actually me I'm asking that question to. Mostly because a lot of times old so-and-so has been dead for years and I can't bring myself to talk with their current-day flock. So it's with this appreciation of frameworks, their rules and ideologies that I've chosen to pick ones that are seemingly far removed from their proper places as a game I play to provoke new insights.

I'm not alone in finding the value of repurposing frameworks to make a point, indeed we partially do it every time we use analogies and metaphors to compare things, but to elaborate an entire analysis from it is an entirely different undertaking. Douglas Adams in his last installment to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy "Mostly Harmless", describes the importance of this exercise when writing about a society of aliens who crash landed on the outer rim of our solar system with the purpose of observing humanity, and who've found the earthlings' astrology to have a hidden importance for finding inaccessible truths.

"In astrology the rules happen to be about stars and planets, but they could be about ducks and drakes for all the difference it would make. It's just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It's like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that's now been taken away and hidden. The graphite's not important. It's just the means of revealing the indentations. So you see, astrology's nothing to do with astronomy. It's just to do with people thinking about people."

In his wonderful post-apocalyptic, post-technological novel, "Engine Summer" author John Crowley outlines a labyrinthine commune where the occupants organize themselves into tight bands, which they call their cords, corresponding to long-since abandoned psychological personality profiles, which the people in this story refer to as the Filing System. Living mostly within their cords and using those extinct social frameworks to order themselves they found profound meaning that the inventors had no inkling could ever exist.

"Years later, Blink told me the full name of the Filing System, and I made him say it over and over till I could say it too, and then I went on saying it, like a nonsense rhyme. Sometimes at night I say it over to myself till I fall asleep: Condensed Filing System for Wasser-Dozier Multiparametric Parasocietal Personality Inventories, Ninth Edition. Blink tried to explain what all that meant, but I forget now what he said; and even the gossips who sit and look at it all day call it only the Filing System. It's from the Filing System that the cords are derived, though the angels who created the System knew nothing of cords, and the System is hundreds of years older than the cords which the gossips found there. "In ancient times," Blink told me, "it wasn't supposed to yield knowledge, only to keep facts straight; but the angels who thought it up had created more than that, and although whatever facts the System was to have kept straight are lost now, this new knowledge of the cords was found in it, which its makers didn't know how to see there. It's often so.""

It's with this desire to play in new playgrounds and see who's there and what I can find to bring back home that I even begin attempt to explore what I'm going to bring forward in this piece. I don't expect everything to fit neatly into place, but I am interested in the way I made those links when they do fit together and I hope to garner interesting revelations while fucking around within a natural systems' internal logic and share it with you.

,,,,,,emile,,,,,,,?,,,,,,,,,,,,emile,,,,,,,,,?,,,,,,,,,,are you back,,,,,,?

This horrible textwall is applying the rhetoric of clickbait editorialized article to some vague notion of rebellion...

Pretty disturbing.

No, I'm just interested in writing the first piece about Entropy, and thought I would put up some questions for anyone to answer here and then I added some reasons why I think it would be a worthwhile endeavor. I'm eventually going to try to turn these ramblings into something readable.

Well there's a paleo-nihilist on this site who is right into entropy, if you send out a call for him, he may reply and fill you in on some details;)

Welcome back emile old buddy. I've read more authors than you have hah!

always thought d&g's anti-tree thing was bs, a forest /is/ a rhizome ffs

I agree with that. There are so many intricate relationships in a forest ecosystem and their threads could certainly be seen that way.

Personally, I like trees and the relationships they support through the habitats they provide, so writing this is more of a mental exercise, or a game, than shit-talking trees. I also really admire fungi (for years now) and want to see if their forms have anything to offer anarchists. So I do kind of have a dog in this race.

Also, I'm not emile.

Fungi like mushrooms? NO NO! DON'T GO THERE! you don't want to talk to trees and all their friends in the forest. Just stay focused on reality and leave that stuff to the psychonauts to sort out.

In case it wasn't clear in those poorly phrased questions, I'm not talking about drugs.

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