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Wilhelm Reich and the Irrational in Politics

reichirrational

Untitled.  8.5 x 11 inches.  Paper, glue.

By 1992 I was well underway in my trajectory through anarchism (and out the other side).  This is the sort of poster I was making and posting on telephone poles in Knoxville, Tennessee that year.

The image is of Wilhelm Reich and his cloudbuster machine.  Making posters as if exposure to information could change minds, as if an elite few had the answers for all, made as much sense as connecting hollow pipes to a lake and aiming them at clouds to drive away bad UFOs.  Except if activism means telling stories then I want the stories to be interesting, I want stories about sex energy and aliens not stories about class struggle and labor relations.  So of course I made a poster against making posters.

I used a photocopier to reduce the image, reduced that reduction, then once more, then enlarged the reduction, then enlarged the enlargement.  That gave it the posterized / samizdat look I was hoping for.  The text is by from The Life and Work of Wilhelm Reich by Michel Cattie.  It was produced on a Commodore-64 computer using the GEOS operating system and printed on a dot matrix printer. Owning a computer that could print in one of nearly a dozen typefaces, in justified columns, was uncommon at the time.

Accomplishments

accomplishments

Accomplishments.  Ink, 3.5″ x 4″.  Circa 1984-1985.

My earliest self-published work was seized and destroyed by a middle-school teacher in 1978-1979.  My self-published work between then and 1987, when I started publishing OVO, is not well preserved.  This is one of very few items that remain.  Here we see the self-doubt (and self-importance) appropriate to a teenager.

Pussy Riot 1913

One hundred and one years ago today…

British Pathe: Emily Davison Throws Herself Under The Kings Horse

Wikipedia: “Emily Wilding Davison (11 October 1872 – 8 June 1913) was a militant activist who fought for women’s suffrage in Britain. She was jailed on nine occasions and force-fed 49 times. She is best known for stepping in front of King George V’s horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby on 4 June 1913, sustaining injuries that resulted in her death four days later.”

Miss Davison was known to egoist Dora Marsden [1][2], who had this to say…

“Miss Emily Davison has gladly laid down her life for woman’s freedom.” This is Mrs. Pankhurst’s latest message. Here, then, we have it – the cause of Freedom. Freedom is the devil which drives. We must get a nearer view of it. [...] Miss Davison, for instance, was in the presence of something innocuous to most of her companions, but very deadly in relation to herself when she lent ear to the pleadings of the great Cause “Freedom.” Her soul strong for action, sucked in the poison which would have harmed little one less sincere. Miss Davison we know has long held that in her “Cause” a death was necessary. Were it not for the tragic sequel, one might smile at the naively-honest mind arguing so simply with issues so stupendous. It was inevitable, that, short of abandoning the “Cause” some such tragedy should gather round her. A fatalism must inevitably attach to those who cannot abandon the phrases of their yesterdays: who must spend more on them; because they have already spent much.

Apio Ludd: Review of Confessions of a Failed Egoist

20140526myown

Successfully Amusing

I know Trevor Blake, and he is not a “failed egoist.” First of all because you really can’t fail at being an egoist, and second of all, because he gets more enjoyment out of his life than most people and avoids jobs better as well. But the essay his book is named after isn’t about that. It’s an argument against egoism. And it does fail. Since humor is central to Trevor’s written endeavors, I think he knows this. After all, he argues against egoism from a position external to me, and as an egoist, I would simply reject such an argument. But the piece is genuinely funny.

The same goes for nearly every essay in the book. Whether he’s taking the piss out of Ayn Rand, mocking Islam, shouting fire at his crowded fist, pissing on the “power of the wilt” or going through the cannon of egoist literature trying to avoid gunpowder stains, Trevor makes me laugh out loud.

Though not a failed egoist, he is a failed anarchist. In “Trajectory Through Anarchism,” he describes this. When I read his definition of anarchism (“the belief it is possible and desirable to maintain the world’s population at the current standard of living without government and without a period of transition from the present to an anarchist world”), I concluded he was never an anarchist in my sense: an individual who chooses to face his world in opposition to every authority. My anarchist has always been egoistic.

But the main thing I want to content with in this book is that I do not, as Trevor claims, “work hard for being such a bum.” Play hard? Sure! Make efforts to accomplish what I want? You bet! But work? WORK?! WORK!?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Though I do admit, I am a self-made bum.

reprinted with kind permission from…

My Own
Self-Ownership and Self-Creation Against All Authority

May 2014 – Number 13

Intellectual Vagabond Editions
P. O. Box 34
Williams OR 97544
USA

A Reminder from Selective Service

selectiveservice

A Reminder from Selective Service.  Collage, paper and glue.  1984.

My earliest self-published work was seized and destroyed by a middle-school teacher in 1978-1979.  My self-published work between then and 1987, when I started publishing OVO, is not well preserved.  This is one of very few items that remain.

I registered with the Selective Service in 1984 when I turned 18 years old.  In the United States this is required of all men and not required of any woman.  The difference between what was required of men and women brought to mind earlier civilizations and their initiations to manhood, inspiring this collage.