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Re: <nettime> Interview PLW [2x]
nettime's alias on Tue, 19 Mar 2002 08:34:47 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Interview PLW [2x]



Table of Contents:

   Re: <nettime> Interview PLW                                                     
     "Pieter" <smallaxe {AT} xs4all.nl>                                                   

   conservative Christian anarchism                                                
     "Kermit Snelson" <ksnelson {AT} subjectivity.com>                                    



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Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 19:11:56 +0100
From: "Pieter" <smallaxe {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Interview PLW

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "John Armitage" <john.armitage {AT} unn.ac.uk>
To: "'Pieter'" <smallaxe {AT} xs4all.nl>; "nettime int"
<nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net>
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 9:06 AM
Subject: RE: <nettime> Interview PLW

> Isn't it about time we all stopped playing along with this silly game?
>Forthe record, PETER LAMBORN WILSON IS HAKIM BEY -- the 'Prince of
>Liteness'.

> John.

Well, no, quite the contrary I believe. Moreover, I haven't noticed "us
all" "playing along w/this silly game"; everywhere you look on the
internet or in zines, people seem to find it necessary to blurt out on
line 1 that the two are identical (a well-established fact by now I
should think). Then why use an alias at all? With all due respect and so
forth, I get the impression that this sort of thing has more to do with
the contributor's ego: Oh, but *I* know who he is, and now I'm gonna
tell you all.

For your bookkeeping, Sakhra -l'Assal hasn't quite been himself lately
either ;)

Best,

PB

"Nevertheless, there's the principle of the thing: secrets
should be respected. Not everyone needs to know everything! What the
20th century lacks most--& needs most--is tact. We wish to replace
democratic epistemology with ``dada epistemology'' (Feyerabend). Either
you're on the bus or you're not on the bus."

- -- The Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade Collective, *Radio Sermonettes*


*****

ANGERED BY SNUBBING, LIBYA, CHINA SYRIA FORM AXIS OF JUST AS EVIL; Cuba,
Sudan, Serbia Form Axis of Somewhat Evil; Other Nations Start Own Clubs.

Beijing - Bitter after being snubbed for membership in the "Axis of
Evil," Libya, China, and Syria today announced they had formed the "Axis
of Just as Evil," which they said would be way eviler than that stupid
Iran-Iraq-North Korea axis President Bush warned of in his State of the
Union address....


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Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 12:32:03 -0800
From: "Kermit Snelson" <ksnelson {AT} subjectivity.com>
Subject: conservative Christian anarchism

John Armitage:

> Isn't it about time we all stopped playing along with this
> silly game? For the record, PETER LAMBORN WILSON IS HAKIM
> BEY -- the 'Prince of Liteness'.

Yes, but the great American historian Henry Adams demonstrated back in 1907
that any true doctrine of "spiritual anarchism" like PLW's revolutionary
Sufism requires exactly two personas.  Adams himself was one of two members
of "the wholly new and original party of Conservative Christian Anarchists,"
whose mission was "to restore true poetry under the inspiration of the
"Götterdämmerung." [1] Here is his explanation of the "two persona"
principle of spiritual anarchism and how it relates to the underlying
critical/dialectical method of "the will to be-against":

     This wing of the anarchistic party consisted rigorously of but two
members, Adams and Bay [Bey? - KS] Lodge. The conservative Christian
anarchist, as a party, drew life from Hegel and Schopenhauer rightly
understood. By the necessity of their philosophical descent, each member of
the fraternity denounced the other as unequal to his lofty task and
inadequate to grasp it. Of course, no third member could be so much as
considered, since the great principle of contradiction could be expressed
only by opposites; and no agreement could be conceived, because anarchy, by
definition, must be chaos and collision, as in the kinetic theory of a
perfect gas. Doubtless this law of contradiction was itself agreement, a
restriction of personal liberty inconsistent with freedom; but the "larger
synthesis" admitted a limited agreement provided it were strictly confined
to the end of larger contradiction. Thus the great end of all
philosophy--the "larger synthesis" was attained, but the process was
arduous, and while Adams, as the older member, assumed to declare the
principle, Bay Lodge necessarily denied both the assumption and the
principle in order to assure its truth. [2]

Having shown the dialectical necessity of both the "two persona" principle
and the "will to be-against" in spiritual anarchism, Adams goes on in the
next paragraph to anticipate Negri's exhortation to "push through Empire to
come out the other side":

     Adams proclaimed that in the last synthesis, order and anarchy were
one, but that the unity was chaos. As anarchist, conservative and Christian,
he had no motive or duty but to attain the end; and, to hasten it, he was
bound to accelerate progress; to concentrate energy; to accumulate power; to
multiply and intensify forces; to reduce friction, increase velocity and
magnify momentum, partly because this was the mechanical law of the universe
as science explained it; but partly also in order to get done with the
present which artists and some others complained of... [3]

Toward those who objected to this doctrine, Adams directed this thundering
retort:

     Of course the untaught critic instantly objected that this scheme was
neither conservative, Christian, nor anarchic, but such objection meant only
that the critic should begin his education in any infant school in order to
learn that anarchy which should be logical would cease to be anarchic. To
the conservative Christian anarchist, the amiable doctrines of Kropotkin
were sentimental ideas of Russian mental inertia covered with the name of
anarchy merely to disguise their innocence; and the outpourings of Elisée
Reclus were ideals of the French _ouvrier_, diluted with absinthe, resulting
in a bourgeois dream of order and inertia. Neither made a presence of
anarchy except as a momentary stage towards order and unity. Neither of them
had formed any other conception of the universe than what they had inherited
from the priestly class to which their minds obviously belonged. With them,
as with the socialist, communist, or collectivist, the mind that followed
nature had no relation; if anarchists needed order, they must go back to the
twelfth century where their thought had enjoyed its thousand years of reign.
The conservative Christian anarchist could have no associate, no object, no
faith except the nature of nature itself; and his "larger synthesis" had
only the fault of being so supremely true that even the highest obligation
of duty could scarcely oblige Bay Lodge to deny it in order to prove it.
Only the self-evident truth that no philosophy of order-- except the
Church--had ever satisfied the philosopher reconciled the conservative
Christian anarchist to prove his own. [4]

It may interest some to know that Henry Adams, the author of these lines,
was respectively the grandson and great-grandson of the sixth and second
Presidents of the United States.

Kermit Snelson

Notes:
[1] Adams, Henry, _The Education of Henry Adams_, 1907, p. 405
    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/hadams/eha27.html
[2] ibid., p. 406
[3] ibid., pp. 406-7
[4] ibid., p. 407


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