Muslims, Modernity and the Mundane

On the road

On the road

The continuing saga of beheadings perpetrated by jihadists of ‘Western’ origin is much discussed and little understood. One relatively unseen perspective is that this saga highlights a crisis within ‘Western’ civilisation, within ‘modernity’. Religious fundamentalism of any stripe is a conscious rebellion against the materialist and secular nature of modernity; disgusted by the prospect of a mundane existence, some young Muslims have chosen a radical path away from it. Moving to a foreign land in secrecy to fight for a cause provides an exciting excursion and an escape. But this is not the only form of rebellion taking place against what Fredy Perlman calls the Leviathan – merely the most radical.  Continue reading

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Reasons for communication, reasons for community

Originally posted on Consentient:

In my last article, I heavily criticised Paul Wheaton for trying to take permaculture in a anti-ethical, capitalist direction. I did so because I feel that capitalist subsumption of permaculture would be an intolerable tragedy, and because no one else had really made a serious critique. My aim was to make Wheaton’s supporters think again. From what I can see, they must either be missing the point or guilty of the same capitalist addictions. It remains to be seen exactly what the balance is in that regard.

I wanted now to clarify my position with some unpacking of a few key concepts, as well as look at how those concepts relate to the disagreement between Wheaton and myself.

I’ve had feedback from a few readers now, and one thing that’s emerged is that people are a little bit surprised at the intensity of my critique. I’ve written back in response to…

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Permaculture isn’t dead, it just smells funny

Entito Sovrano:

Paul Wheaton – Murdering Permaculture

Originally posted on Consentient:

Or, in the case of the internet output of the self-professed ‘Duke of Permaculture’, Paul Wheaton, it smells like bullshit. A big pile of it.

I’ve been researching this guy pretty intensely for several months now, and I can no longer hold my tongue. Somebody has to say something about how full of it this guy actually is, and about how what he is doing isn’t actually permaculture at all.

Permaculture is a philosophy of ethics and design tools that are supposed to enable people to live sustainably, which means not relying on destructive things like oil, mass production, toxic fertilisers, and the like. Oh, and industrial plant.


Permaculture is also, as I’ve pointed out before, a reaction to the exponential heightening of these destructive factors which has been brought about by capitalism, and represents a radical escape and divergence from that paradigm to an entirely different, autonomous…

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Holding your attention

Originally posted on Consentient:

First of all, for those of you that don’t know, the original meaning of entertainment was ‘something that holds your attention’, in other words: captures your mind.

Today I want to talk about a mindset that has captured the minds of most of the world: capitalism.

Capitalism is a nightmare in which the everyday humdrum reality of drudgery, wage-slavery and servitude is fused with the titilliating world of escapism and entertainment, but this fusion is done is such a way as to make the two seem like distinct, opposite states of being.

Most people, if asked, would probably say that what they do for ‘entertainment’ makes their life livable. It’s the carrot that leads them to volunteer for the theft of life that is work, and all the other exploitations to which they are also subject – inflation, political corruption, taxation, tacit complicity and legitimisation of all of the above.

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Frack your government

Entito Sovrano:

Let the fracking commence!

Originally posted on Consentient:

I recently watched Gasland, and its sequel, Gasland: Part Two, and was deeply moved by the film’s exposure of the horrendous damage to people and their environments by the monstrous natural gas industry and its devastating technique of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

The first of the two films shows the national picture of ruination caused by fracking in the United States, where the industry is the most developed, and therefore has exacted the harshest toll.

The second film, however, as well as documenting the continuing fight of the affected people to obtain justice for the crimes committed against them, takes a step back and explores the wider picture of agency and manipulation that has allowed these crimes to be perpetrated, and which protects their criminal perpetrators from receiving any kind of justice at all. While some disparate and localised public offices joined the side of the victims…

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Max Stirner is winning the staring competition

On a crisp autumn afternoon I make my way through a graveyard that is of special importance to me. Various memorials line its uneven paths, punctuated by the occasional ancient mausoleum to a long dead aristocrat or member of the bourgeoisie. Chipped angels and cracked crowns smack of desperate attempts at permanence, but are already sullied by the ravages of entropy.

The memorials tell a tale as rich and as varied as the tumultuous history of the city itself. This is the Sophiengemeinde in Berlin, a cemetery named in memory of the mad third wife of King Frederik I of Prussia, and one that bears the permanent scar of ideological struggle. Upon construction of the Berlin Wall, this peaceful world was split in half: the local church remained in West Berlin, but its accompanying cemetery was taken into the East.  Continue reading

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Thomas Hitzlsperger and the Humanist Project

Continuing the theme of my previous post referencing Bob Black’s attack on Humanism and in light of the news that retired German international soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger has ‘come out’, I found a statement by him in relation to this to be very interesting and worthy of investigation.

In an article published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday 9th January, Hitzlsperger is quoted as stating the following:

“Every human being should be able to live without fear of discrimination due to his or her background, skin colour, sexual orientation or religion. I do not see this as a political statement, but as a self-evident fact.”

This statement is extremely interesting as it says something fundamental about the emancipatory project of humanism and the insurmountable contradictions within it which derive from its universalism.

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