Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Revolution and Notes From The Underground

By James Curcio
I've written some about how Euripides' The Bacchae was an early inspiration in the writing of Fallen Nation. However, there are many more, some of which have only become more clear to me at the end of the writing process. I'm not sure exactly how that works, but I've found time and again that I stumble upon something that seemed to inform a project I was working on, which I was in the past only loosely aware of... and now I've finished the thing and suddenly these cultural pointers are there, tangible to me as my hand.

So this leads me to ask if any of you know about the Weather Underground? Named after that line from a Dylan tune, ("You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows") the WUO were a "radical left" organization that seemed to use white guilt to crystallize the need for revolution. Not so much on the methodology, but culturally, the forces that created the WUO couldn't have been far from our minds when dreaming up the fictional side to the Mother Hive Brain.

Here is a rather good documentary on the Weather Men which is available free online. Watch the whole documentary on YouTube, it's also available on Netflix On-Demand.

Skilluminati Research has an excellent write up on a figure that had connection with this organization, using more methods sanctioned by the need to counter fascist order with blind chaos, Ronald Stark :
"He had a mission, he explained, to use LSD in order to facilitate the overthrow of the political systems of both the capitalist West and communist East by inducing altered states of consciousness in millions of people. Stark did not hide the fact that he was well connected in the world of covert politics." ("article.)
Perhaps this Batman-esque weaponized hallucinogen campaign tickles our wicked imagination, however, when a rebellion is fought as a reaction to violence, violence seems a paradoxical choice. My stance on this issue is not a straightforward one. It's doubtless that not only is there a "time and a place" for revolution, but more importantly, there are times where to do anything but revolt is a crime against one's own humanity. That said, most of the options available to the average citizen amount to petty crime, and are unlikely to result in positive change. As toothless as pacifist rebellion can be, violent rebellion will always spiral out of control or burn itself out, leaving rubble in its wake. We say missiles and bombs can't bring freedom to Iraqis - they can't bring it to Americans, either.

Maybe most devastating to that cause in the US, "people are taught from an early age in America that all violence not sanctioned by the government is either criminal or mentally ill." So said one of the leaders of this organization, which all but petered out in the years following the Vietnam war. This is another element of most such operations - they require an enemy. Only when the external threat is great enough to supersede the demand for internal turmoil and drama does it lock all of our attentions on that common goal, whatever it may be. I have seen the same thing through my involvement in several loosely structured non-violent anarchist groups in the past.

Fallen Nation might shine a light on the need and possibility of organic rebellion, but it also reveals the farcical folly of youth. Complacency and silence make us pawns, but as Loki instructs in the book,
“Welcome back, friends and neighbors! In previous episodes we’ve covered comms, tactical planning, ran some practice ops – now it is time for a little theory. And to help us with this, I’d like to introduce you to a little friend of mine.”
A sock puppet dressed as a jihadi and branding a miniature AK-47 popped up from below the bench.
“Hello, sock puppet jihadi, how are you today?” Loki asked.
“Fight them in the streets! Death to the infidel!” it screamed in Loki’s falsetto.
“Just take a look at this poor bastard. He wants to get himself killed, and if he starts popping that thing off in public, he will. His fight stems from a basic misunderstanding of what a State is, what it’s designed to do.
“States are protective rackets. The Invisible Hand needs a visible fist. It keeps the streets clean enough to keep the cash flowing. Those nasty other guys, with the ugly flag or no flag at all, the State exists to murder them and their whole fucking tribe the moment they fuck with what’s yours.
“Pay your taxes, don’t dodge the draft, you get to walk the streets unarmed. Go around shooting people and blowing up police stations, you’ll get what you get.
“You don’t arm wrestle Leviathan, and you sure as Hell don’t come at him with a cap gun. Not more than once, not if you want to win.
“What you do is, you make him look like a bully and an idiot to his own people. You poke him into blind, violent over-reaction. You trap and confuse him, mock and bleed him. Money. Markets. Security. Identity. Legitimacy. These are your targets. Your every action should be considered to create the widest possible disruption with the least effort and the least violence.
Leave Leviathan stomping his own people in idiot rage. Confiscate their bottled water while Rome burns. And when he hurts his own people, you’ll be there with a kind hand and a comfy couch. And your recruiting pitch.
“He’ll be blind, broke, and friendless, with blood on his hands. You’ll be alive to build your new world.”
The question is, are you going to take that mischievous bastard at his word?

...Until next time...

Pre-order a copy of The Immanence of Myth, published by Weaponized in July 2011. (Or sign up to be notified of its release on

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