Why Meme Magic is Real, or How Trump Won the Propaganda War

The aptly named One Meme to Rule Them All heralded the true beginning of the spontaneous grassroots pro-Trump campaign. At no point were Hillary supporters motivated to produce or share memes

Remember when you were a kid, and “reading” books used to be less about those weird symbols that the grown-ups were hypnotised by, and more about looking at pictures that had those symbols underneath? That wasn’t just you being uneducated – it was also your intuitive understanding of the power of those pictures to talk to your spirit.

Magicians are aware of one thing that ordinary people are not: that the deeper parts of the mind, which psychologists call the subconscious – or even the unconscious – are not in any way less powerful than the surface parts that do all the thinking and talking.

Indeed, some even draw a distinction based on the primary target of the magic in question. Lesser magic can be considered the art of conscious magic and is mostly intellect-based, routine and predictable; greater magic is the art of unconscious magic and is mostly will-based, darker and more dangerous.

Memes speak to the subconscious. So they, like magic, are not targeted at the logical, rational, autistic left brain, because the left brain is the gatekeeper of the conscious. Memes appeal to the joyful, passionate, spontaneous and psychotic right brain, because the right brain is the gatekeeper of the subconscious.

In this, their power is humour, not logical rigour. This is a point that the left have missed for a long time, as they have become ever more obsessed with political correctness and policing people’s speech, although they managed to avoid any serious consequences until the Trump election.

We are now in the Post-Truth Age; this is a point that is well understood. The implications of this are less well understood. One of them is that it is no longer considered possible to determine using logical rigour which of a set of political candidates is most likely to be lying.

Politicians have been trying for so long to get an edge on their opponents by crafting more powerful lies that the race to the bottom has led to no-one believing them at all.

The more Hillary Clinton shrieked accusations of fascism at Trump, the more she herself came to appear Hitler-like, and the more Trump came to appear the noble resistance

And so it simply didn’t matter what Hillary Clinton’s arguments were. All Trump had to do was to create the right sort of vibe, and this would ensure that his voters turned out while Hillary’s did not. In this regard, the more Hillary struggled to get an edge, the more she sunk into the quicksand.

The rhetoric against Trump quickly became so extreme that it was laughable. Clinton genuinely appeared to believe she was fighting Hitler, and the stronger her belief the crazier she appeared to all but her own echo chamber.

Soon it was pretty clear that Hillary Clinton was herself a dangerous megalomaniac, and that she had the entire political establishment, the military establishment, the industrial establishment, the banking establishment and the media establishment behind her.

It was against this backdrop of extreme seriousness and humourlessness that memes started to work their magic.

Meme magic began, therefore, in the symbology of resistance. In much the same way that early Christian martyrs adopted the symbol of the fish as a sign of a mutual interest in resisting Babylon and Rome, so did young and creative people adopt Pepe and Kek as signs of resistance to a monstrously corrupt political establishment.

After the election, only the relatively woke appreciated how close we had all come to disaster

FaceBook avatars bearing green frogs also bore a message that went over the head of the majority of the plebs, but these were understood as a secret language by an elect few. It was a sign not to give up hope, not even when the mainstream media was pushing polls that gave Hillary Clinton a 98% chance of winning.

The three propaganda images in this essay are an excellent example of this phenomenon, and are merely a selection from the best. Where some people just see ridiculous drawings or photoshops of Trump, many others were powerfully affected at a subconscious level.

This column has previously argued that Hitler represented an excess of masculine energy, and that the world may have recently swung too far to the left in a 70-year cycle of history.

Hillary was always much more like Hitler than Trump was or ever could have been. Her promise to let 500,000 Syrian refugees into America was a clarion call for those who had been watching the collapse of Europe and the distance between Establishment politicians and the will of the people in the West.

Perhaps her defeat was then – rather than the certain path to nuclear hellfire the talking heads told us it would be – a sign that things are about to move back to normality. Trump has already admitted that the American Government has done a poor job recently of living up to its stated ideals.

The danger for Trump is that, having gone all-in on the “drain the swamp” rhetoric, he has to make genuine change or lose support in the next election. He also has to stay onside with the army of meme magicians that shitposted him into the White House.

It is too early to say if he will succeed. In any case, it can be confidently predicted that meme magic will play a large role in the next election and in each one henceforth.

Where is Humanity on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a famous psychological theory based on the observation that people as a rule take care of their most pressing needs first, and only when those are satisfied do they develop an ambition to move to the next level.

The most common way to represent this is as a coloured pyramid – one can see an example as the title image of this essay. The ‘lower’ desires represent the more fundamental ones. The need represented by each level must be satisfied before a person is motivated to move on to the next one.

The lowest level is physiological needs. This basically means air, water and food. When the need for these are met a person moves on to safety needs, such as physical and economic security. Meeting those needs will mean a person advances to the level of love and belonging, where they try and satisfy a need for friendship, intimacy and belonging.

Above these three levels are two that are arguably not so much ‘needs’ as ‘decencies’. The first is the need for self-esteem. This relates to the human desire to be accepted and appreciated by others and by oneself. Generally the lower one’s self-regard the greater one’s need for fame or respect.

The last level is self-actualisation. This involves fulfilling one’s greatest potential; becoming the best version of oneself that it is possible to be.

It’s common for individuals to look at where they are themselves on Maslow’s hierarchy. It certainly is an interesting theory for anyone curious about how they fit into the grand scheme of things.

Some people are further than others. What we generally consider wealthy, fortunate, or “doing good” correlates pretty strongly with where a person is on the hierarchy of needs. If we take a look at humanity, though, we can see that as a whole we have not come very far.

According to the World Food Programme, 842 million people go to bed hungry on any given night. This represents about one in every eight people, all of whom have fallen at the first hurdle when it comes to the hierarchy of needs.

If one thinks about what that means in practice, it is one in every eight people who have no realistic chance of ever making progress in any of the other needs. After all, someone who goes to bed hungry will hardly be concerned with their bank account, because if they had any money they would have bought food with it.

It’s worth thinking that one in every eight people are that desperate – possibly that means one in every eight people are desperate enough to have a strong incentive to do serious harm to another human being, should an opportunity for a robbery arise.

After all, the major incentive a person has for not robbing someone is their desire for physical security, in the form of not going to jail, and their desire for social esteem, in the form of not being thought to be a robber.

As both of those needs are less fundamental than the need for food, a hungry person is unlikely to care about them very much. The desire for food is even more fundamental than the desire for peace, and so one in every eight of us is too hungry to care at all about all the war in the world.

A global universal basic income would raise us up the hierarchy, as it would take care of most basic physiological needs. It is the inability to fulfill the need for these that causes the vast majority of human suffering in the world.

It does, however, raise the spectre of overpopulation, at least in the minds of those who believe that some of the tropical peoples are incapable of keeping their breeding in check. If a person believes this, then it is natural to also believe that a global basic income will lead to ecological collapse.

Maybe humankind is doomed to remain at a reasonably low level because of the belief that if we co-operate too closely, factions within humanity will take advantage of this peace to wage war against other factions, perhaps even without those factions knowing about it.

The False Dichotomy of Nihilism vs. Fanaticism

Why is the world so fucking crazy? Here’s the short answer: people prefer the certitude of moral fanaticism to the yawning, howling chasm of despair that is nihilism. This essay argues that this false dilemma will always arise in the hearts and minds of people who have failed to dial their frequency into the range of gold, for whatever reason.

As any existentialist can tell you, nihilism is an inevitable part of being human. If one is not dull in the head, one soon observes that the vast majority of politicians, rulers, religious men and media figures are liars and thieves, essentially just master pirates, and one turns from there quickly to despair.

This despair tends to neither last nor transmute directly to nihilism. It doesn’t last because the naivete into which one was brainwashed soon reasserts itself. Because it reasserts itself, the despair does not transmute into nihilism.

A dull person will cling to this naivete once it is reasserted, and will not let it go again for fear of the despair that filled that gap last time. An intelligent person will break it down again, choosing by an act of will or intuition to understand that their suspicions about the true order of things were correct, and that one can never trust a person claiming to be one’s superior.

If the child-like naivete cannot reassert itself, usually because a person has developed a deep cynicism towards it, then despair will eventually turn to nihilism. This only occurs once a state of learned helplessness has been achieved. From here, things will go one of two ways depending on the philosophical sophistication of the person involved.

One way is to reach a kind of philosophical maturity. This way is really, really hard and is outside the scope of this essay. Essentially it is the same task as creating the Philosopher’s Stone, or reaching nirvana, or spiritual absolution, or becoming the Overman.

The second way is to become a fanatic about something. In practice, it doesn’t actually matter what one becomes a fanatic about, although each individual fanatic will doubtlessly have a number of illogical, contradictory or spurious reasons to support their supposedly heartfelt belief. All that matters is that it feels better than nihilism.

It can be observed in many people that they have become fanatics about something in order to distract their minds from the ennui that arises from considering existence authentically. Honest philosophical thought seems to lead directly to panic as nothing appears to matter and we appear to die.

One absolves oneself of the moral imperative to be authentic once one becomes a fanatic. The life of a fanatic is defined. It is defined primarily by those one stands in opposition to.

If a National Socialist, one opposes Commies; if a Communist, one opposes Nazis. If a supporter of one’s military, one opposes all other militaries. If a supporter of one’s soccer team, one opposes all other soccer teams. If a feminist, one opposes the patriarchy, if a men’s rights activist one opposes feminists, if a Muslim one opposes the infidel, if a Catholic one opposes the heathen, and so it goes.

This process is as true of groups as it is of individuals. Thus we can see that, ironically, the mass rejection of the mainstream moral narrative that followed World War I laid the furrow for the mass fanaticism that led to World War II.

Becoming a fanatic in this manner leads to a very soothing and very temporary kind of peace. One soon becomes surrounded by like-minded fanatics and, from there, it is trivial to convince oneself that the mission all of you are on is the true and righteous one and that by rebuilding the world in your image you will genuinely create a utopia for all.

Doing so, however, comes at a bitter cost. In refusing to act authentically by becoming a fanatic, one inevitably finds oneself forced to either tell lies or to commit violence, for all falsehood finds expression in the human world in one of those two ways.

Observing the reality around you before taking action usually gives you necessary clues about who you are and what your role in this place is. This is the basis of Pyrrhonic wisdom, which is to ask what the nature of things actually is before you react to it.

This column contends that the way to peace is to look beyond; to look beyond the reasons people say they do things and the moral superiority they claim motivates their actions and see the true frequency of their spirits. And then apply that same caustic cynicism to oneself, usually in meditation.

Only by doing this can a person correctly observe the terrain before them and move accordingly.

The Four Faces of the Adversary

The four books of the Satanic Bible are named after four faces of the adversary, and the four that most readers would have a surface familiarity with. The Satanic Bible briefly draws a parallel with these names and with the four basic alchemical elements. This essay discusses that parallel at length.

Central to Luciferian or Satanic thought is the concept of the adversary. This is not, in essence, much different to the Abrahamist concept of the adversary as someone who opposes the will of God. The major difference is really the conception of the God that the adversary has rebelled against.

In Abrahamist faith, the will of God is perfect and any opposition to it is evil. Because any opposition to it is evil, anyone opposing it can righteously be destroyed. Because the will of God has to be interpreted by the priesthood, then anyone decreed to be an enemy by the priesthood can be righteously destroyed.

This line of reasoning obviously gives a lot of power to the priesthood, which is why that profession has been instrumental in rotting the brains of the rest of us for thousands of years.

Anyone rejecting that line of reasoning is necessarily a devil in the eyes of the priesthood and those they have hypnotised into doing their bidding. In cultures where the priesthood is dominant, they are able to criminalise opposition to their lies, as with blasphemy laws, mandatory dress laws for women and drug control laws.

The obscene degree of subservience demanded by the priesthood before they will cease their aggression against the populace causes many, many people to start to feel loyalty to the adversary. If God demands the genital mutilation of infant children and the total submission of women, then any person who has not been bred for slavery from birth will naturally oppose God.

Understandably, such a fundamental archetype as he who opposes God will manifest, in the Great Fractal, as a wide range of various beings, depending on the cultural context of whoever views him and their state of mind and individual frequency.

Satan is the archetypal demon of the element of Fire

The first book of the Satanic Bible – the Infernal Diatribe or the Book of Satan – is linked to fire. This is perhaps because fire is the most rebellious of all elements.

Like fire, Satan is seen by the Abrahamists as an exceptionally destructive force, because the world as created by their God was naturally perfect and so Satan, who wished to change it, naturally wished to destroy perfection.

This also explains why Satan is always at, or near, the top of the pantheon of those who identify with the adversary. After all, when the Biblical Satan was commanded by God to prostrate himself before Adam, Satan responded: “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”

The destructive effect of fire is not seen by Satanists as a thing that destroys the correct order of God. Generally it, and Satan, represent a liberating force that dissolves acid-like the foundations of corruption in the world.

The archetype of Lucifer is closer to aristocrat or philosopher-king than demon or ruler of Hell

The second book of the Satanic Bible is the book of Lucifer, which is associated with the sign of air. Lucifer is the Latin word for light-bearer, and so he also bears similarities with figures such as Prometheus, Mercury, Maui and even Jesus Christ.

Fittingly, the literary style of this book strikes a change from the fiery diatribe of the first. Instead of poetry it is comprised of intellectual essays, which are Luciferian in the sense that their iconoclastic style tear away the webs of lies that blind us and let the light of truth in.

Appropriate to an air sign, Lucifer represents the thinkers of the Earth. Not the thinkers of heaven, the theologists, who are the worst bullshitters of all, who compound lie upon lie upon lie like a blacksmith forging a weapon with layers of iron.

Rather, Lucifer represents the philosopher and the scientist, both of whom have had to fight for the right to tell the truth in the face of Abrahamist dogma.

Of course, that doesn’t matter for the Abrahamists. If the only acceptable moral position is complete and total submission to the every word of the priests, then so much as thinking for oneself is a sin, because it opens the door to possible subversion of the will of God.

Belial is the repulsive Lord of the Flies, also known as the Prince of Lies

The third book of the Satanic Bible is the book of Belial, otherwise known as Beliar by some in the Abrahamic tradition. The etymology of the world relates to “lacking value”. This is because the statements of Belial have no truth value – he is the father of lies.

It was said of Belial in Paradise Lost that “all was false and hollow” and that he “could make the worse appear / The better reason” – in other words, he told believable lies.

Naturally, if one is a liar oneself, and the objective is to bullshit the population into submission to your chosen God, then anyone telling the truth about you or your bullshit will have to be branded a liar for you to survive.

In this way Belial represents the adversary as scapegoat. If the population have been lied to so badly that they have become confused, then anyone who speaks the truth will appear to be speaking lies, and naturally because those lies are actually true they are also believable.

What are “believable lies” to the Abrahamist are often the stone-cold truth to the freethinker. In this sense Belial represents the courage to always speak the truth regardless of the social pressure that might be exerted in the other direction.

Belial is related to the element of Earth in the Satanic Bible, and he plays this role by way of being stable. As everything that lives rises from the Earth and falls back to the Earth, so is the truth about reality more fundamental than any lies told about it.

Who the Abrahamist calls Belial is he who brings people back down to Earth and to reality after they have been swept away by the lies, promises and threats of Abrahamism.

Leviathan represents the awesome and relentless power of the forces of Nature, which all freethinkers know will out

The fourth book of the Satanic Bible is the book of Leviathan. This is the face of the adversary when seen through the aspect of water. In this manner, water represents the emotions, which flow back and forth throughout the world, giving life where things had been too dry.

There is a strong ascetic streak to much of Abrahamism, especially in regards to sex. This asceticism is shared, not only by other religious traditions (in particular Buddhism), but also in regards to other avenues of worldly enjoyment, such as dancing, music, gambling and the interaction of unmarried men and women.

You name it, Abrahamists have tried to ban it – and the more enjoyable it was, the harder they tried. Even now, with all of dancing, music, prostitution and homosexuality legal, they continue to insist that the laws putting people in cages for cannabis offences are upheld for spurious reasons like protecting the mental health of the young.

There is a particular reason for this, and like most religious “culture” it has a superstitious origin. The essential delusion is that anything that feels good will cause a person to identify with the material world, and this – because the spiritual and material worlds are believed to be in constant opposition instead of harmony – will then make them become less spiritual and more like a vicious animal.

The reality that suffering causes a greater attachment to the material world than pleasure, because suffering when present is always at the forefront of the mind of the sufferer whereas pleasure is fleeting, is entirely lost on the followers of slave religions.

In this manner, Leviathan represents an entity like Dionysus, Pan, Mercury or Loki. You can thank Leviathan for every delicious recipe ever remembered, every lovemaking technique ever passed on, every joke worth repeating and every joyful ditty ever learned by heart.

One could say that there were as many faces of the devil as there are people who oppose their local conception of what God is. And in the right time and place that could be any of us.

The Four Realms of Human Awareness

Dividing the Great Fractal along two particular masculine-feminine axes gives us four realms of human awareness. These axes arise in response to two fundamental questions about any new piece of knowledge that are natural for a conscious entity to ask themselves as reality becomes more apparent after the birth of a physical body.

The first question is “Is this knowledge actual knowledge or is it a lie masquerading as knowledge?” The second question is “To what area of existence does this knowledge pertain?”

The first question gives us a basic division into truth and falsehood. The second question gives us a basic division into physical and metaphysical.

In the quadrant corresponding to both truth and physical, we have the realm of knowledge we call science. Human awareness probably entered this realm in conjunction with the mastery of fire, because it was not until then that the scientific method became necessary.

It was necessary for the mastery of fire because we had to learn, by trial and error for the most part, that dryness of the air was a factor that determined the possibility of starting a fire, as was the degree of contrast in terms of hardness of the two woods that were rubbed together, as was the temperature of the embers created by the friction.

This primitive scientific methodology led to the invention of the bow drill – a technological leap as ingenious as anything humanity has taken since, and one that increased our chances of survival in nature by more than any other. All scientists are the spiritual descendants of those early shamans who had the courage to master fire.

In the quadrant of truth crossed with metaphysical, we have philosophy. This arguably preceded the mastery of fire. More likely, though, it arose as a consequence of the leisure time that itself was created as a consequence of the massively increased efficiency of food consumption afforded by the ability to cook food in fire and therefore pre-digest it.

In other words, because eating cooked food was hyper-efficient it gave early man an opportunity to relax, and this brought with it consideration of basic existential questions like “What the fuck is going on here?”

The advent of philosophy massively increased human survival prospects because it allowed us to think ahead in a rational manner. This naturally led to an appreciation of the cycles of nature such as the seasons and the tides, and the migration patterns of the game animals upon which nomadic tribes depended.

These two realms of human awareness increased human survival chances so much that our population began to swell to a degree that could not be sustained by the hunting and gathering practices of the time. This overpopulation naturally led to increased competition for the now relatively scarcer resources.

It would have soon been apparent that this increased population led to increased violence. There was one way around it, though: there is one way to compete with one’s fellows without using violence, and that is by telling lies.

Science and philosophy come naturally to men. To get them to behave in an unnatural manner, one needs politics and religion.

This mixture of the physical world and falsehood is the realm of human knowledge that we know as politics.

The earlier developmental stages of politics can be observed in the ever-shifting alliances of chimpanzee troops. Essentially the objective of politics is to position oneself or one’s group so that one is in an optimal position to compete for scarce resources without violence.

For example, it can be seen that in our modern civilisation that the men of silver generally have an easier time attracting fertile women than the men of iron. This is because being of silver – a part of which having the capacity to derive advantage by telling lies – is more closely associated with having a capacity for resource acquisition.

The politics of today have arranged the minds of the rest of us so that if the man of iron tries to take what he wants by force, as he did in prehistoric times without anyone being able to stop him, he will be outgunned by the Police.

The simplest way, however, to arrange a group of people so that they will do whatever you tell them is with religion. This is why the intersection of the metaphysical and falsehood is the quadrant of religion.

That philosophy and religion are the opposing poles of one axis can be understood by knowing that the purpose of philosophy is to enlighten and the purpose of religion is to confuse.

Make no mistake – the purpose of religion is to confuse its victims into passivity, from where they can be herded wherever their shepherd desires. This is why religious scriptures are absolutely riddled with contradictions.

These contradictions, such as the Biblical admonitions to both love thy neighbour and to destroy all enemies of God, have not arisen because the authors of these texts were philosophically unsophisticated.

Quite the opposite. It has been known since Babylon that if you can rot the minds of the populace with moral confusion they will become compliant with any decree from a ruler, as long as that decree promises to impose the order that all confused people desperately crave.

Telling lies, therefore, is an end in itself to both political and religious rulers. This point cannot be overemphasised if one wishes to make sense of the world.

The Fallacy of Pre-Emptive Violence

At a march in Washington D.C. this week, accused neo-Nazi Richard Spencer was kinghit from the blindside by a mystery black-hoodie-clad protester. Footage of the incident was the most viral meme of the entire Inauguration period, trumping even anything the U.S. President said. The reaction of the Internet, predictably, was divided.

One part of the viewership was appalled by the purposeless attack on the sacred value of free speech; another part was excited to an almost sexual state of arousal by the sight of a Nazi getting what they thought he deserved.

Justification for the latter reaction began almost immediately, and was earnest, although convoluted. The basic premise, however, was eerily familiar: Spencer was a Nazi, Nazis want to violently take over the world, therefore they can essentially be attacked at any time in pre-emptive self-defence.

On the face of it, it’s hard to argue with that line of reasoning. The excuse that “I just got the bear before the bear got me” was after all, the excuse George W. Bush used to invade Iraq and kill a million people – and he completely got away with it.

There’s one glaring problem with the Bush Doctrine though, especially when it is applied to blindsiding people in the street for their political opinions: the potential excuses that a person might make to conduct ‘pre-emptive’ violence against another is limited only by human ingenuity.

In the same way that conservatives delude themselves into believing they are compassionate, liberals delude themselves into believing they are tolerant.

For a start, the logic that any violence against Nazis is justified because Nazism is a supremacist political movement also justifies violence against any of the Abrahamic cults, as they are also supremacist ideologies.

It would then be legitimate to beat the shit out of any Christian or Jew one met on the grounds that their holy book contains a command from God to kill homosexuals. One could also conduct pre-emptive violence for a number of reasons against any Muslim you met.

Any American could be dealt to under the logic that American imperialism is one of the prime threats to the stability of the world order, and any European could be shown some fist on the grounds that prior imperialism suggests a high likelihood of future imperialism. Any Chinese or Indian could be bashed because their massive populations threaten the viability of the biosphere.

If someone calls you a Nazi, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Nazi’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the right of the speaker.’

If someone calls you a Commie, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Commie’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the left of the speaker.’

This means that anyone can find a reason to attack anyone else pre-emptively. It’s just a simple matter of knowing if you are doing it because your target is a Nazi or because they are a Commie.

As anyone who walked the streets of Weimar Germany could tell you, National Socialists and Communists are just ready made for fighting, like the yang and yin of violence. Their natural instinct is to go each other like two stags in rutting season.

Perhaps the best course of action for reasonable people is the Churchill Doctrine that served Britain so well in World War II: just stand back and let them kill each other.

P.S. Our anarcho-homicidalist readers usually enjoy seeing any kind of political extremist get punched in the head, so here’s the funniest dubstep remix of the incident we could find.

Political Gnosticism: Why a Demiurge Would Have Created Both a Left and Right Wing

Of all the world-hating, female-fearing, life-denying cults that sprang up in the wake of the Curse of Abraham, one of the most interesting is Gnosticism. As far as Abrahamic cults go, it’s unusually moderate, and its adherents appear to have achieved a far higher level of general spiritual awareness than the others. It’s worth taking a closer look at.

Gnosticism might not even really be an Abrahamic cult, as the sentiments that led to its creation may predate Abraham and go all the way back to Zoroaster, but the common interpretation of it nowadays is in the Christian context, as it was codified in the Christian Syria and Egypt of the second century A.D.

We may never really know if this movement was started by Christians who accidentally got close to the truth or if it was started by people who knew the truth and therefore knew that they had to modify it to fit a Christian paradigm for it to be accepted. Therefore we cannot judge if the Gnostics basically had it right or wrong (at least not here).

The essentials are this: there exists a unified, remote, supreme force that is considered a deity. From this deity various lesser forms have emanated. It is one of these forms – known as the demiurge – that has created our material world. In some schools of Gnosticism this demiurge is considered merely imperfect – in others, outright evil.

The essential idea that the world as it appears to the senses is not the full story is an idea that is shared with many other esoteric traditions. On the face of it there are similarities with the Hindu concept of Maya.

Let’s leave aside what we know about consciousness and the contents of consciousness for now. This essay posits a simple argument: any demiurge intelligent enough to have created the world in which we find ourselves wouldn’t do anything so simple and easy to outwit as merely maintaining the illusion of a material world.

A clever demiurge would create two competing illusions, one masculine and one feminine. In this manner, the vast majority of people will spend all their time and wit trying to figure out which of the masculine or feminine illusions are correct, never suspecting that they were both shadows cast by one black fire.

This is a far more accurate picture of our world that to posit simply truth and illusion. There is not only truth and illusion, but truth within illusion, and enough so to make it far more powerful an illusion.

After all, if we were merely trapped in an illusion, then knowing the truth would be a simple matter of outlining the illusion and then looking at its opposite.

A clever demiurge might create just the one material world, but it would be created in a way such that there were at least two entirely different interpretations of it, and therefore conflict. This conflict would itself intensify the power of the illusion, as it would force all of us in the material world to take it seriously or suffer and die.

The most obvious way to understand this is to look at modern politics from a Gnostic viewpoint.

Most of us agree that there is only one material world, but, by way of example, consider these two competing perspectives. If one looks at the world in a feminine way it is natural to conclude that the primary imperative was to co-operate. If one looks at the world in a masculine way it is natural to conclude that the primary imperative was to compete.

This can lead to two entirely different attitudes to life, which naturally cause their bearers to come into conflict. After all, if someone is truly committed to competition there is no way to co-operate with them short of abject submission.

If one takes a fundamentally feminine perspective it may be that one looks to co-operate first and foremost and is thus likely to end up supporting a social democrat party. This will inevitably lead one into conflict with anyone taking a fundamentally masculine perspective, because this latter group will resent paying the taxes demanded by the social democrats.

If one takes a fundamentally masculine perspective it may be that one looks to compete first and foremost and so ends up supporting a conservative party, and so comes into conflict with those taking a fundamentally feminine perspective, because this latter group resents the inequality, coercion and social decay demanded by organising society for optimal capital production.

The demiurge may have achieved all this by emanating from itself lesser demiurges. Perhaps there’s a left wing demiurge making us want to do stupid things like let millions of Muslims in, and a right wing demiurge making us want to do stupid things like spend our children’s education money on a giant bronze statue of Jesus.

If any of this is true, the only way to find absolution is to reject entirely the belief that politics is a lens through which the truth appears. The left wing tells half truth and half lies, and the right wing simply tells the truth where the left lies, and lies where the left tells the truth.

Did A Weak Cannabis Policy Cost The Democrats The Presidency?

Let’s be clear – Donald Trump will not become American President this week because he out-thought the Democratic campaign during the election (although he did). He will become President because the Democrats and Hillary Clinton threw away a winning position out of sheer arrogance and hubris. One of the prime reasons for the Democrats squandering a sure-fire win was their refusal to promote a humane cannabis policy.

Cannabis became medicinally legal in California 1996, and many supporters of cannabis freedom were frustrated by George W. Bush’s refusal to countenance so much as a discussion about the subject between 2000 and 2008. When the Bush Presidency ended in 2008 and the Democrat Barack Obama became the President, it seemed like occasion for hope.

Indeed, Obama campaigned as the hope and change candidate. Part of this campaign was to distance himself from the haughty arrogance of the Dubya years. This manifested as a website – ‘We The People’ – where the American people could have their say on the issues important to them.

The top two subjects on this new website both related to repealing cannabis prohibition.

Cannabis users finally thought they had someone who would listen. Obama, infamously part of the “Choom Gang,” was sure to legalise cannabis. He had all the right rhetoric, admitting that he “smoked pot as a kid” and that cannabis is not more dangerous than alcohol.

So it isn’t as if Obama could claim to have been unaware of the strength of the sentiment of Americans in favour of legalising cannabis when he became President. By 2008, pretty much the entirety of Generation X believed that cannabis ought to be legal.

However, it turned out that neither Obama nor the Democrats had the guts to do anything about this generation’s foremost moral issue. This blog piece from 2009 provides an eerie premonition of the argument of this essay.

Obama, like the Green Party of New Zealand and almost everyone else, sold cannabis users down the river as soon as he got into power.

In fact, in 2009 Obama was even recorded laughing at the plight of the cannabis users who had just put him into power, as if putting tens of thousands of people in cages for their choice of medicine was an absurdly trivial matter.

Come 2016, and even a country with the socioeconomic challenges of Uruguay has managed to legalise cannabis fully – and still nothing from Obama or the Democrats, apart from a sense that they expect credit and gratitude for not sending the federal police to attack cannabis users in states like Colorado that expressed a democratic will to have legal cannabis.

So when the 2016 Presidential Election came around – and Democratic voters were asked to support a candidate who was known to not support cannabis legalisation – of course they simply refused and did not vote.

Despite a growing population and many large demographic advantages, Hillary Clinton got 4,000,000 fewer votes in 2016 than Obama got in 2008, and a large number of those will have been cannabis users. After being lied to by Obama, and then being presented in 2016 with a crusty old Boomer with no appreciation of medicinal cannabis at all, why vote?

It could be argued that the Democrats’ obstinate refusal to accept what all of their constituencies know – that cannabis prohibition ought to be repealed – cost them the Presidential Election. It showed them to be a party completely out of touch with the people they claimed to represent.

The New Zealand Labour Party looks set to ignore the lesson – Andrew ‘The Ditherer’ Little believes that cannabis causes “brain damage,” which means that there is no reason for medicinal cannabis users to vote Labour either.

Medicinal cannabis users will have to wait for him to run his course as Prime Minister, and then to wait for the next National Prime Minister to sit on their arse for nine years like Key and Clark did, which means possibly waiting until the year 2036 to get what Californians have had since 1996.

With a much more sophisticated appreciation for the national sentiment than the Paedophiles of Wellington, this column stands by the following prediction: the New Zealand centre-left will not win the 2017 General Election without the humane cannabis law reform policy that young people, Maori people, and both physically and mentally ill people are now expecting by right of natural justice.

The Life Cycle of Internet Forums

As any long-term reader of this magazine can recite by heart: as below, so above. The life-cycles of men and women are well known; those of empires somewhat less so. This essay will examine how the life cycle of Internet forums follows a pattern similar to what can already be observed in Nature.

If one follows the series of 19th century Thomas Cole paintings known as The Course of Empire, one can surmise that, on a much smaller scale, Internet forums follow the same pattern.

The first stage is known as The Savage State. With regard to empires this refers to the state of nature that existed before human civilisation arose. It is therefore an especially feminine time, full of raw potential and untrammelled chaos.

Internet forums begin in a similar state before anyone starts regularly posting. Often there is nothing but forum software to start the process. At this stage the forum has the full potential to go in many directions, as the people running it are yet to make any firm decisions regarding subforums or posting etiquette.

The second stage of an empire is known as the The Arcadian State. This is functionally almost identical to a world run by philosopher-kings. In the Arcadian state, humanity lives at peace with Nature. We might have learned to alter our environment in order to not die as easily, but nothing major has happened.

An Arcadian state exists in Internet forums when the people who have the greatest personal interest in the subject matter naturally find the forum and start to populate it with quality threads. This usually occurs when the name of the forum is spread around by whoever started it and they attract a small, hard-core of highly interested experts.

The third stage of empire is known as The Consummation of Empire. This is represented by glorious buildings at noon on a summer’s day. Everywhere there are marble steps; one can observe a triumphant general crossing the bridge that spans the central river, and all of this in the shadow of the great domed temple.

This is also the best stage of an Internet forum. In this third stage, the excellence established in the second has attracted a huge number of other people. They all want to take part in the glory, and so they flood in and tell their friends. The forum expands, and develops. More rules become necessary to deal with the friction naturally caused by such heavy interaction.

However, in the same way that the seed of decadence present at the height of the glory of empire is also the seed of its destruction, so are the abundance of rules and restrictions that come with the greatest extent of traffic the downfall of Internet forums.

The fourth stage of empire is known as Destruction. In this stage, the empire is collapsing. The painting represents the fall of the Roman Empire as it was sacked by Vandals and Goths, but it could serve as metaphor for the fall of any empire into destruction and ruin. It is hinted that the cause of the destruction may have been a civil war.

Again, the pattern is replicated perfectly in the life of Internet forums. The barbarian invaders are the people who recently joined the forum at its height but who would clearly have not have belonged back in the Arcadian stage. In other words, plebs.

These plebs have the effect of dragging the forum back down, firstly by reducing how willing other posters are to be open and creative, and secondly by provoking whoever is running the forum to bring in more and more rules to crack down on the plebs and to try and restore the glory days.

In this fourth stage of forums, it becomes harder and harder to post anything unorthodox or interesting as true creativity becomes ever more likely to fall foul of censure. Consequently, many of the threads, instead of discussing current events like in the glory times, are just wistful ramblings about old posters and old arguments.

New posters, instead of finding a niche they can feel happy in, are persecuted by older ones, frequently in the manner of high school girls psychologically abusing a victim. This henpecking has the effect of making the forum into a troll’s paradise, which attracts an ever nastier grade of poster, until the stream of new blood dries up completely.

The fifth stage of empire is known as Desolation. This is similar to the first stage, with the exception that the potential of nature, instead of bursting forth with vitality, is exhausted. There are no more human beings – Nature has entirely reclaimed the space on which a glorious capital once stood; weeds and flowers grow from the cracks in the shattered marble.

This is also the natural end stage of all Internet forums. Indeed, 99.9999% of them are already at this stage. Here, there are no more truly human posters, just ghosts of people who used to be funny, back when they were younger and cooler, and before they sold out for a job or became bitter because of a family or or extended period of time without getting laid.

In this stage, there are as many banned users are there are regular ones. Here, no new posters even want to join the forum, because there is no joy in listening to middle-aged washouts droning out about how everything was cooler a decade or more ago. Especially not when these same washouts feel obliged to pack bully anyone who threatens the morgue-like atmosphere.

Because computer software does not need to eat and is therefore cheap to maintain, some forums are capable of lurching along in zombie mode for many years.

And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page…

‘I Like Smoking Weed’ Is a Perfectly Legitimate Argument

There is a faulty premise in the national consciousness – the premise that the pro-cannabis lobby has the responsibility to make the case for legalising cannabis before prohibition can be repealed. All kinds of politicians, from Andrew Little to Peter Dunne, have trotted out this lazy deception.

This line of rhetoric is false because it relies on a more fundamental premise, which is that the manner cannabis was made illegal was legitimate in the first place.

The usual apologia is that the politicians are our lawful representatives and so the laws they pass are done so with our consent, and so the politicians have the consent of the governed, and so all the laws they have passed are legitimate, including the ones pertaining to cannabis prohibition.

Basic logic that even a child can understand will tell you that, in the case of cannabis, the lack of a victim makes the law against it categorically different to other laws.

Punching people in the face is bad because it causes suffering.

Stealing someone’s food is bad because it will make them suffer from hunger.

Killing people is bad because it causes suffering to the remaining friends and family (not to mention the person while they’re being killed).

Murdering, shooting, stabbing, raping, kidnapping, defrauding, robbing, stealing, assaulting and battering – all of these are crimes because they have victims.

Outside of the delusional fantasy role-playing world that judges, lawyers and politicians have invented, crimes are distinguished from non-crimes on the basis that crimes cause suffering, not on the basis that a bunch of paedophiles in Wellington have decreed them thus.

This might sound really obvious to any Buddhist readers out there, but to many Kiwis, conditioned from childhood to obey authority without ever questioning its legitimacy, it appears revelatory.

It also puts the moral responsibility back on us to consider if the laws being passed by our supposed representatives actually have the effect of reducing suffering in New Zealand or not. The responsibility is not on our political representatives to make moral decisions on our behalf, because politicians are men of silver and philosophy is the preserve of everyone.

One argument is that cannabis, even if not directly harmful, may be indirectly harmful because of long-term health considerations of the user that the general taxpayer has to pay to treat. This argument contends that we ought to wait for science to prove that cannabis is relatively harmless.

The truth is this – we don’t need to prove that science says cannabis should be legal because science was never used to make it illegal. We also don’t need to prove that cannabis is harmless because harmless is not the standard things have to reach in order to be legal.

It’s legal to consume any of alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fat or tobacco to whatever extent one likes and to have the taxpayer cover any medical costs that may arise.

It’s legal to fill the tank of your car up with petrol, a vital and ever-diminishing resource, and to drive around and around in circles for no reason.

It’s legal to join a rugby team and to hit another person in a tackle with the intent of injuring them and to break a bone oneself and to go on ACC.

It’s legal to go into a forest with a rifle and shoot dead a whole bunch of large mammals.

All of these activities arguably cause more harm than smoking cannabis does, even under the broadest interpretation of health issues.

The standard to make cannabis illegal – which has never been met and which never will be met – is that there is more suffering under a regime of cannabis freedom than under a regime of cannabis prohibition.

Until this standard is met, no further reason for using cannabis need be given than ‘I like smoking weed.’