Click for Preface
The process that led to the development of the next two pieces has depended on the help of a few authors, the contributions they have made to the greater process of inquiry, the magnificent souls at the Commoner who have remained steadfast in their unending support with not only editing this article but by showing a level of compassion that restores one’s faith in humanity (in a moment when it was crucially needed), and my guides from above--equally matching the earthly love in this great below with a pure abundance of care (cariño) that is on par with the cosmic affinity of the divine.
My autodidactic interests post-graduation led me towards the obvious conclusion that my studies did not cease with a bachelor’s, would not cease with a doctorate, and will possibly never cease regardless of one’s mortality. Therefore it is important to note what I am contributing here in theory is not necessarily novel to the current global situation of accelerated system breakdowns, but is arguably instead a necessary narrative base to the bridging of novel organisations by regular people for the explicit purpose of facilitating the development of such novel organisations and not the base itself. My contributions to the general process of inquiry oriented towards praxis therefore should be understood as a process of inquiring about the material development of code systems, the subsequent development of economies derived out of the regulation of said systems, and the impact of further developing these tautological regimes under the cybernetic production of capital.
Assisting me in this task in part has been my perpetual fascination with Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, a deep reverence for Foucault’s work on the prison, the contributions of the Prison Information Group, and a burning fire of intrigue in the works of Tiqqun which caught light many years ago with The Coming Insurrection. On the last particular influence, The Cybernetic Hypothesis continues scorching the lumber of my mind, as that work ties in (along with later Deleuze) still with Ian Alan Paul’s Are Prisons Computers?
Connecting these sparks with the infernal incendiary fluid that is Andrew Culp’s Dark Deleuze and the question of praxis becomes even more pressing. As another creative contribution to the long tradition of philosophical inquiry, Culp’s work contains a fatal error: the supposed amputation of the creative from the creative-destructive act. In the paradoxical presentation of his creation, he formulates by way of simplifying the dialectical interaction of the creative-destructive act the sole advocacy of destruction as a means for radical change. What is apparent however, in mistaking the inverted orientation of the destructive-creative act as raw destructive power, is that Culp has severed nothing. Proclaiming he has righteously done so limits the spectrum of praxis to a tautology of incessant breakdown. Nonetheless, Dark Deleuze was a necessary progression in the development of praxis insofar as its conception was crucial for the engendering of its own critique. If what one is contributing is worth its effort, then I would hope in due time that my essays are met with equal diligent introspection and criticism. The glue which brings all these influences together comes from Eduardo Viveiros De Castro’s Cannibal Metaphysics. If one is blessed by fortuna, I will publish more on the works associated with the previously cited texts above so that something of a Gray Deleuze--a Wise Deleuze (or a Terminator Deleuze for those who prefer dramatic language) may emerge.
Free revolt itself cannot be achieved without the global integration of common activity. As such, it is important to recognize that the destructive act for the purpose of liberation, focused to particular theatres of class struggle (organized labor, direct action, hactivism, and terror) cannot by themselves destroy the control that biospectacular capital maintains over social life. As a matter of fact these petty destructive acts, operating within the realm of spectacular political exercise, are the consumption material for spectacular production’s renewal. The question of praxis then fundamentally requires a serious objective observation at the material conditions of current society, and recognizing what activities are lacking for the purpose of unleashing desire. Moreover, neoreactionaries advocating for the entrace of technocapital singularity have effectively washed the topic of any serious consequential consideration for its impact on global life. Constructing The Sarcophagal Machine is the deliberate exploration of this tautology as the Dance of Fire is a call for the actualization of liberated human thought, language and action.
Constructing The Sarcophagal Machine
'You'll see the horrors of a faraway place,
Meet the architects of law face to face,
See mass-murder on a scale you've never seen
And all the ones who try hard to succeed,
This is the way, step inside…'
-"Atrocity Exhibition" by Joy Division
Developments in communication technologies birthed computer code in the cauldron of 20th-century imperialist wars. Code built the post-Fordist model, an abandonment of market production stimulated by high employment on a national basis to one stimulated by a large variation of unregulated labour reserves on a global scale. This transition, which ushered in the era of neoliberal political economics, was for the working classes (and continues to be) a mass sacrificial wasting of life offered for the continuation of global capitalist production.Code is a product of the imperialist ambitions of nation-states in the twentieth century, and it enables the proletariat to twine its logic into rope.
From the ashes of this sacrificial wasting comes a newer proletarian force, the revolutionary digital proletariat (RDP). This is the global body of workers who produce information capital. Those who may become organised for the purpose of seizing the means of cybernetic capital, a seizure followed by a global recoding of communication networks in order to fully decommodify the global economy--to reprogram the logic of the web away from commerce and towards the commune.
Moreover, the current bourgeoisie take interest in Nick Bostrom's Simulation Hypothesis as though they themselves wish to replace the living world with a simulation. Coupled with the advancement of computing power, they permit a new form of exploitation based in virtual feudality. Prototypes of this social activity have already been observed in video games wherein real-world currencies may be exchanged for virtual goods and vice-versa. Roblox, one of the most popular video games on the market, exploits child labour and monetizes it. Children programmers design games for the platform and are poorly compensated in return.
The ecological ruin of the planet hypothetically rendering industrial production unfeasible, leaves the bourgeois class then with the virtual commodity as the primary point of production/consumption until resources can (possibly) be brought in from outer space and the monopolisation of resources can be ensured for the stability of the neo-mercantile system. This is a variant of the totalitarian model which, fully matured, demonstrates a society of technologically sophisticated spectacular control. Guy Debord expresses the psychological motivation driving the phenomena as follows:
'So long as the realm of necessity remains a social dream, dreaming will remain a social necessity. The spectacle is the bad dream of modern society in chains, expressing nothing more than its wish for sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of that sleep.'
In the throes of worsening crisis after crisis, alienated humanity romanticises previous forms of exploitation. They yearn in nostalgic stupor for garage rock, glam, punk, disco, goth, boom bap, RnB, fusion, dance, and metal aesthetics but not the substance. They long for old-school diners serving burgers, shakes, and segregated patrons, for the old mythos of White Heritage (at times without actually being white), for the return of the guillotine and the inevitably martyrs under its blade. They look to reenact the historic expulsion of the Other, as their “ancestors” did with the Moors from Spain or the Jews from England, and with incredible imbecility assume that they will be exempt from the burning flames they stoke. Finally, they marvel at the coronation of a new king despite said monarch representing a social order that despises them.
What is politics to the spectacular consumer but a macabre festival? They may get none of these sights and all of them at the same time via the cyber continuum. For this purpose, dopamine reactions triggered by outer stimuli, ingested or otherwise, serve to manipulate the worker. Under capitalism, these reactions are employed so the worker may continue producing: the underlying resentment towards the wealthy is inoculated for safe consumption by others on the market.
There is more than just dope in the streets today. There’s dope being peddled in the churches, at political rallies, and fast-food restaurants. It's trafficked over air waves by news anchor mules, and supplied directly through smartphones. In the same way that the drug war is a war of classes, the class war is a war of drugs. When troublemakers come around to feed the masses speed instead of opium, its production and distribution is matched tenfold by the drug labs of the rich: think tanks and marketing firms. When they come around telling the masses to blow up the labs of the ruling class, national mafias impose state force with brutal diligence.
However, in the presence of environmental extinction, stronger opium is produced for the masses to consume. Such was Mark Zuckerberg's realisation when he decided to preeminently buy out the metaverse concept (as pathetic as the project is now). Virtual Reality as a product will not have the use value that augmented reality technologies will have, initially. To this extent, their roles will be different. In the deployment of augmented reality, physical space itself is encoded by data onto the subject's surroundings and their being. Here, the most intrusive and lucrative prospects lie for the virtualization of data. Reality here is further commodified and the subject is rendered to a state of naturalised schizophrenia. Whilst mentally-ill workers are stigmatised by institutional medicine for not meeting the demands of capitalist reality, the petit-bourgeois construct their own fantastical and unreal realities with the aid of technology. The Internet-of-things is a form of this development, since the petit-bourgeois now proudly proclaim, “My household appliances are all talking to each other!” without a single mental health call to the authorities being made.
Now, depending on the extent of environmental destruction, mass displacement, and social unrest, those with no other recourse will vie for the harder opium in larger numbers. Virtual reality (VR) could become the place of illusionary safety from famine, harsh unpredictable weather, mass-violence, and mass-death. With no civic spaces remaining, the only ones that may persist untouched are the truly virtual spaces. Here also rises the practice of exploited labour in the virtual. As video games steadily become a component of the global economy, the understanding of video games as a leisure activity will flip into one of coerced and exploitative labour. Paired with advancements in robotic engineering, private interests could bypass the issue a hostile environment poses to construction and other material development. The only material necessity for the masses (aside from food and water) would be a storage unit for each body. Imagine whatever size one could under such circumstances. Studio. One-bedroom. Closet. And if one thinks the owning class wouldn't make the poor fight over the larger units to keep them motivated and working, then one is severely mistaken.
Let us also assume that the technologies of automating labour could also mature within the timeframe that virtual reality advances within the next two centuries. What is to be expected from this speculative concoction is the emergence of simulated reproduction to exploit labour; the absolute appropriation of the physical body and the surrogation of it upon death by a replacement NPC (non-playable character) and all the compiled recordings of movements that would be needed to do the job (only faster). These machines will be the tombs of the masses—the limited edition packaging for tomorrow's clearance sale. This preservation and accumulation of bodies, then surrogation via automation and disposal upon death, would be the birth of total virtual servitude in a bourgeois paradise and a proletarian hell.
Without intervention, the new managers of the boiled globe will wickedly beckon,
'You've seen the others who suffocated working the wasteland heat…give us your names, your labour, give us your body for we have a safe, cool space made for you. Come. Follow us.'
To drop out of life: this initiates the most extreme act of consumption. A purchase of servitude through the commodity that in return consumes the remaining life force of humanity through virtual sacrifice; the final market exchange for the sarcophagal machine in all its sublime comforts. Here escape manages to transform from a term of revolutionary possibilities and is recuperated into an apocalyptic spectacle of death in captivity. In other words, it is a global massacre, followed by the enslavement of its survivors.
The great tombs of the wealthy, monuments of power housing slaves and goods for an illusionary journey into the future, will remain still for an eternity. Inanimate matter guards the mummified remains of humanity. Before, paradise, hell, spirit, and god were ideas, dreams, or visions of master interpreters. One day, the bourgeoisie, through the development of technocapital singularity and its global depletion of life-force will make them material. After death life will become digital, and the afterlife a digital plane. One can only imagine under such circumstances, three centuries from now, the automated essence of workers will be solving algorithmic problems in the virtual for a boss who is long-dead. Forever working. Forever unknowing to the reality of materiality, to the reality of the physical world now left to lie in ruin Essences ensnared after death and restless in their sentient illusion. Forever telling a story incomplete. Forever locked in the sarcophagus with the rotting corpses of the rich, with the skeletal remains of a global proletariat starved and forced into cannibalism. Out of this omnicide, the Sarcophagal Machine will have been born.
The Dance of Fire, or, Destroying The Sarcophagal Machine
'My father behold, the enemy's ships came (here); my cities(?) were burned, and they did evil things in my country. Does not my father know that all my troops and chariots(?) are in the Land of Hatti, and all my ships are in the Land of Lukka?...Thus, the country is abandoned to itself. May my father know it: the seven ships of the enemy that came here inflicted much damage upon us…'-Ammurabi
While the Sarcophagal Machine prospectively offers the necessary sustenance for the survival of capital in technological processes, even under these new controlled social relations there will be power leaks. Power always seeps in different directions, and the over-maturation of civilizations with their inherent decay grants an opening to the united multitudes, and consequently the revolutionary digital proletariat (RDP).
The Sea Peoples of the Bronze Age came from various islands and remote lands in the Mediterranean and laid waste to the centres of ancient societal power already coming undone. Warring migrants in their project of survival and liberation from struggle, homo digitalis too may unite under the banner of the multitudes in the mounting crises, but not just as peoples coming from the sea. Rather, today's dispossessed multitudes are from the atomized cloudal systems. They are condemned to the representational non-spaces uninhabitable by definition to the physical form, thus they inherently remain abstract and disconnected bodies of social power who must come together in the consolidation of their material forces. They are the RDP matured and functioning as the nervous system of the social corpus: they are activated once the question of total existential threat initiates the tightening of the global noose.
Systems tip over into crisis eventually, and that self-destruction opens the possibility for a new militant struggle from the Sky Peoples (a disorganised and coordinated global digital network of revolutionaries). And if this venture too fails, as it very well could, if the climate crisis produces the negation of industrialised societies as a whole, then the preservation of humanity becomes a question of struggle in the natural economy, as well as a reconstitution of the natural economy as primary logic. The only worthwhile response then to the question posed by Bostrom (a thought experiment suggesting the possibility that our reality is simulation, a playground or scientific experiment for beings beyond our own comprehension) concerning the nature of our reality (the founding logic of the sarcophagal machine) is, 'When we finish with the last of our prison wardens, we in time shall dispose of our cosmic jailers too!'
One might not believe in a god, but if there is someone else called god commanding reality as simulation, then the ascendant collective must slay them and feed on their corpse. For a patriarchal god by theoretical definition must castigate his subjects to a material world separate from the ethereal realm, but if his subjects are no longer bound to those constraints by placing god in a material context (simulation hypothesis), then they are no longer subjects, and neither is the despot god sovereign.
Humanity may be the amalgamated conscience whose sum of its parts is a rising being of materiality breaching the holy seal, seeking to consume a falling star and seize the means of reality. To feast on the great Other, coalesce what was with what is to be, and shatter the chains of time. As a consequence of such transcendental aspirations, the mad human cyborg to the reactionary evangelical is a luciferian cannibal. The title should be worn proudly in the presence of these powerful imbeciles, as the appetite of the mad cyborg is insatiable, and will not be satisfied until their teeth sink into the flesh of the despot divine. No master will quench the thirst of absolute liberation. No god can survive the rupture of their body. Only infinite emergence from the rising multiplicitous being feeding on the holy remains, like bacterial life.
Eat my body, and drink my blood. The religious ritual of communion as it is established by Christ is the promise of eternal life (unlimited future after death) through eternal remembrance (two thousand years of Christ on the cross). The symbolic ritual itself, of drinking the wine and eating the bread, remains as a spectacular function integral to piety as a primitive abstract commodity, and necessary to inoculate the natural tendency for humans to incorporate the Other into their own body. In this declaration for the consumption of the Other, another result was exacted by the educated elite. The church understood Christ's statement (eat my body, drink my blood) not as the necessity of all humanity uniting in loving fraternity against the wealthy which imposed a sinful regime of economic degradation through Roman conquest. This here was the true message of Jesus. The many must triumph against the dark madness of class society, which at that time imposed order and extracted wealth through the primitive abstract commodity (virtue, piety, truth, etc).. Instead, the priesthood interpreted it as the violent imperialization of the multiplicitous other by becoming the Roman imperial position, through the spectacular ritual of wine and bread extracted from the masses, while military domination imported foreign knowledge onto perceived primitives.
How history's class struggle unfolds, then, depends on the worker's struggle against data conglomerates. The more data the working class has to collectively work with to inoculate cyberspace with the necessary elements for synergistic collaboration, the further the established revolutionary connections already made can endure. Consequently, data ownership and privacy must be struggled for via any means available, along with the outright acquisition of smart technologies, and the junction of action between core labour and peripheral labour in dealing with imperialistic raw mineral extraction. The social contract reborn in the destruction of the state of exemption can only occur by the workers' global consolidation of multiplicitous forces. Slowly, as revolutionary connections develop, data actualize themselves as the soil that cover the grave of the bourgeois class, shovel by shovel. The question remains: who will pick up the next spade?
One owes a great deal to Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto in the development of the Cyborg as revolutionary agent. The definition of woman wherein they are reduced to a commodity valued by the desire of men contributes to the gradual and layered processes of conceptualization, valorization, commodification and disposal which underlies all innumerable separations on the basis of sex, gender, class, race, ethnicity, age, fandom, tribe (etc) that function as the fundamental logic of the commodification process which further perpetuates demand for production and therein economic control. It is because this process is identified in the 1980’s and 90’s by thinkers such as Haraway and Sadie Plant that the entrance of gender abolition in activist circles over the last thirty years has provoked such reactionary hostility, precisely because the state and the church as a regulatory machine of social reproduction within current society stands to lose the most in denying the binaries of paternalism and patriarchy.
When the mad evangelist preacher is barking wildly about lining up socialists against a wall to put a bullet in each of them, or cajoling their audience into believing the death of a queer person is a blessing from god, it is coming from their perceived deteriorating position within the gradual mechanisation of the masses. The reaction against mechanised empowerment, against the heresy transgressing the priest’s claim to the body as the temple of God, has been strong, and due to this dynamic, gender abolition by itself is insufficient against a reactionary bourgeois faction that so adamantly wants those defying classification disposed of.
To this, cyborgs must become militant in their task. They must bridge affinity groups on the ground, introduce them to digital means of praxis, introduce digital collectives to integrate on the ground praxis, and synergize organisational forces for complex direct actions using a milieu of tactics old and new. This can be accomplished by establishing a digital platform with such a purposeful intent, but only with the confidence of its users and the integration of cryptic interfaces. It is a pursuit of common action wherein its exercise is by nature low-risk due to precautions in established protocols. Even in an anonymised space such as this, people may work towards a common goal, establishing a notion of global solidarity and avoiding antipathy. The Sky Peoples, as a mechanised proletarian guard, seeks unity within global coalition-building as a basis for rapid development, and as a result form the Skyian body.
The Skyian’s body is the free-dancing force of rebellion. In their right hand, they bear the Promethean fire, and in the left the Hammer of Babel, which destroys all that destroys using the bludgeon of anti-code crafted out of the wreckage of god’s (and the bourgeoisie's) spite towards human connectivity, and bring the fire of naked power in revolt to all escaping the rule of their tower masters as their steeples turn to rubble: that is the Skyian’s task. The Babelian Hammer is the tool of the revolutionary masses exercised with a dual function: to demolish the remaining binary structures which create the Other and to develop new protocols of existence through the transforming of raw material into an architectural foundation fit for global society.
The movements of Skyians have no predetermined Modus Operandi in relation to the grander goal of liberation; they have no locations; their bodies operate autonomously in situational awareness of other body movements. They know who is where, the necessary objectives they may, or, (if some common sense either from self or others is introduced) may not undertake, and how they might coordinate certain actions and avoid other ones in a moment. In tandem, they are chaos acting in free precision. They are the gargoyle guerrillas who transcend both space and the virtual with each step they take, and who disappear into the cybernetic architectural structure once their task is done. They are everywhere, yet they are nothing but statues under the examination of the panoptic eye. Their struggle is the true referential essence to all that is in the infinite emergence of possibility, and in this chaotic resonance, true life will be born again.
Liberation will make its entrance as a black swan born of the labour of gradual escape into encrypted spaces of praxis, and through the raw conversion of data capital into units of anti-capital. Like an unexpected yet well-planned blow to the slave master’s head, true freedom cannot be experienced before the violence that commands us is annihilated itself. It requires total refusal of the omnicide forced upon us, and if that itself finds its scale to be monolithically entrenched, then what must be delivered in return is tenfold to the systems that mark our graves. In the shadow of pillars that cast the waning luminescence of empire, what is to come is not brightness to liberate the subject, but a raging inferno cutting through the darkness punctuated by the echoes of hammers, demolishing what remains of the partitions sanctioned by men. In this cave, God's shadow lasts, so we will demolish that which creates the shadow: the torches of the priests, the objects of spectacular desire, the cave, and the body of God. Great darkness finally beseeches light, and in capital's waste, true humanity finally emerges from their industrial womb.
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