If you make a revolution, make it for fun

Posted by Anti Citizen One on July 10th, 2012

If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don’t make it in ghastly seriousness,
don’t do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun.

Don’t do it because you hate people,
do it just to spit in their eye.

Don’t do it for the money,
do it and be damned to the money.

Don’t do it for equality,
do it because we’ve got too much equality
and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart
and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.

Don’t do it for the working classes.
Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own
and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.

Don’t do it, anyhow, for international Labour.
Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.
Let’s abolish labour, let’s have done with labouring!
Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it’s not labour.
Let’s have it so! Let’s make a revolution for fun!

D H Lawrence

Manfred, a dramatic poem

Posted by Anti Citizen One on June 28th, 2012

I just finished editing a reading of Manfred by Lord Byron. It was fun and the plot raises some interesting points on morality, responsibility and punishment. It is also featured on a (non-philosophical) website, tvtropes. It is interesting to see how the story relates to other works of fiction and how it contrasts with Faust.

Near the end, a demon comes to take Manfred to hell in a similar manner to Faust, but things take a rather different course:

SPIRIT. But thy many crimes
Have made thee–

MANFRED. What are they to such as thee?
Must crimes be punish’d but by other crimes,
And greater criminals?– Back to thy hell!

Anti Citizen One

All things are ready…

Posted by Anti Citizen One on November 15th, 2011

All things are ready if our minds be so.

Henry V, Shakespeare

In A Balloon

Posted by Anti Citizen One on October 27th, 2011

We are not in the boudoir of a mincing lady, but like two abstract creatures in a balloon who have met to speak the truth. Andrey Antonovitch Von Lembke in Demons, Dostoyevsky

Moral Decisions Are Not Hard

Posted by Anti Citizen One on September 19th, 2011

Let us be on our guard against thinking that moral decisions are hard. It is true we cannot deterministically determine what course of action is moral, but we cannot pretend that that moral decisions are simply the result of logically thinking through the issue. We can think we have found a solution but then realise it has unacceptable consequences and we have this as a reason to reject that course of action. But how do we determine, systematically, what is relevant to a moral decision and what is not? Of course, there is no logical basis for this criteria. We just use a hybrid of logic and instinct and social pressure and so on – although the use of logic is usually restricted to creating an ad-hoc justification of our conclusion.

If there is anything hard about moral decisions, it is because we have different impulses and priorities that play out in our minds. I would not be surprised if this mostly happens subconsciously. But when our subconscious cannot come to a firm conclusions, it is referred to our conscious mind and we need to make a decisions – but the parameters for the decision have largely been determined already in our minds. We then have a war of priorities and logical thought is allowed to have a role, along side our instinct. This is when we experience that wavering before deciding on the moral action. When a particular decision has the upper hand in our conscious mind, we should not forget it has only the upper hand in the landscape of our subconscious. The hard part of decisions is only us suffering under the uncertainty of reality as these tendencies resolve themselves.

Anti Citizen One

All history is the experimental refutation of the theory of the so-called moral order of things


Blog Not Updated

Posted by Anti Citizen One on February 11th, 2011

AFTER this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the solitude of his cave, and withdrew himself from men, waiting like a sower who hath scattered his seed. His soul, however, became impatient and full of longing for those whom he loved: because he had still much to give them. For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love, and keep modest as a giver.

Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his wisdom meanwhile increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.

Justification for Torture and Other Ramblings

Posted by Anti Citizen One on November 9th, 2010

It’s really grinds my gears when I hear attempts to justify torture. George W Bush recently said water boarding saved lives. This is NOT a valid justification for torture, simply because there is no valid justification AT ALL. (Well OK there probably are hypothetical situations that I might support torture, but they don’t occur in recent times, like the trolley problem.) Until this “torture is OK” attitude is fixed, any military interventions based on “liberating” countries, or criticising countries for human rights abuses is complete hypocrisy. We need to prosecute those who practise torture. Now.

No person shall be […] deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. US Constitution, Fifth Amendment.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Eighth Amendment

It is also questionable that we should be trading with countries that practise torture – we are complicit in their torturing (benefiting from oppression) and we supply logistics (airports for rendition, etc), equipment, diplomatic assistance that enables them to carry on torturing. Unfortunately, that includes most countries. This makes globalisation highly questionable.

He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. Beyond Good and Evil

The UK is apparently building two aircraft carries it doesn’t need. Since the government would be responsible for the cost of winding down the shipyards if the orders were cancelled, it is cheaper to build them, apparently. A third option that occurred to me: cancel the aircraft carries, keep the yards open and build something useful! At a last resort, it could be warships – but make them ships that are more appropriate to actual needs. On the other hand, wasting military spending would probably lead to a safer world. The MOD might be up for a nobel peace prize?

The government also said it plans to force “some” long term unemployed to do manual work for continuation of social benefits. The criteria of who exactly they plan to force into work is not exactly defined, as far as I know. The devil is in the detail. But considering we don’t have full employment, it seems unfair to force people to work, when there are not enough real jobs.

That reminds me of the university funding debacle. The university budget has been cut by 40% (£4.2bn from £7.1bn), with the costs passed to students. Most students will not have significant funds for their own development and will accrue large debts. This creep of debt to the majority of the population (not to mention the house mortgage system) is a form of economic slavery. The ban on collecting interest is one of the few things I agree with in the Qur’an and the Bible. Except most believers seem to have ignored this teaching. Although I have a love of learning (and therefore of free education), I see the current increase in university places as farcical, unnecessary and potentially counter productive as economics increases its hold on university policy.

To connect the employment and university issues, we seem to be training graduates for non-existent jobs. OK, some jobs exist that require that level of study – but too much is being made of the “need” for a degree to get a job. Most jobs don’t need it – it is only the under-supply of employment that makes competition for the job intense – and drives the need for practically superfluous degrees. Full employment has some interesting economic consequences. A job guarantee program might be better than forcing manual labour on virtual benefit slaves.

Rant concluded.

Anti Citizen One

And where doth man not stand at abysses?

Posted by Anti Citizen One on November 5th, 2010

Courage slayeth also giddiness at abysses: and where doth man not stand at abysses! Is not seeing itself- seeing abysses? […As] deeply as man looketh into life, so deeply also doth he look into suffering. FN

A quote that applies to me – fortunately or unfortunately (or comically or tragically)

Anti Citizen One

Abominable Bloodshed

Posted by Anti Citizen One on September 24th, 2010

When I hear people talking about how “advanced” our culture has become or is higher than other cultures, I am reminded of good ol’ Dostoevsky (emphasis mine):

In any case civilisation has made mankind if not more bloodthirsty, at least more vilely, more loathsomely bloodthirsty. In old days he saw justice in bloodshed and with his conscience at peace exterminated those he thought proper. Now we do think bloodshed abominable and yet we engage in this abomination, and with more energy than ever. Which is worse? Decide that for yourselves. They say that Cleopatra (excuse an instance from Roman history) was fond of sticking gold pins into her slave-girls’ breasts and derived gratification from their screams and writhings. […] Of course boredom may lead you to anything. It is boredom sets one sticking golden pins into people, but all that would not matter. What is bad (this is my comment again) is [if all human action can be based on man’s true advantage,] I dare say people will be thankful for the gold pins then.

I have not really reviewed Life without Priciple (which is awesome) or Nausea (which is groovy). I should revisit them. My concern is to review them, I kind of suck the life out of them, from my perspective. Ironic really, considering this blog “kills” concepts for me!

Anti Citizen One

“Violence is Never the Answer”

Posted by Anti Citizen One on September 23rd, 2010

To provide a little perspective on the view “tolerance is always good”, “respectful discussion is paramount”, etc, here is a contrary view:

And I agree with him.

Anti Citizen One