Defending the Commons

“Civilization is to groups what intelligence is to individuals. It is a means of combining the intelligence of many to achieve ongoing group adaptation. Civilization, like intelligence, may serve well, serve adequately, or fail to serve its adaptive function. When civilization fails to serve it must disintegrate unless it is acted upon by unifying internal and external forces.”
-Octavia Butler, The Parable of the Sower

Greetings Space Cadets! Welcome to a very auspicious post dedicated to some of the most vibrant cultural creatives who have inspired many of the ideas apparent in this post, in particular Alley Valkyrie, Rhyd Wilbermuth and Derek Faeynid Mooar of Gods and Radicals who I had the extreme pleasure of meeting and conversing with at this years Pantheacon. Much of what is presented here has its origins in conversations that occurred over two days, and a stellar presentation on witchcraft in crumbling political regimes.

The world is an organism, it adapts to changing environments as it shapes them with its long geological and climatological cycles. This represents the first layer of the Global Commons, with its physico-bio-chemical operating system, it is the life support systems of nature that gives rise to all other organisms, and social systems that are a result of those organisms advanced evolution and capacity for consciousness. The body politic represents the second nature (culture) and the most dynamic layer of this commons. It is the realm of culture and society, similar to its biological antecedents it has an adaptive immune system designed to weather systemic shocks generated from its own internal contradictions along with the cycles of transformation in the physical part of the system which can sometimes disrupt the ephemeral social layer it undergirds. These shocks can include natural “disaster” (change), economic instability, political upheaval, and technological evolution, the latter of which when intelligently applied can enhance the functioning of the stratum layers and improve the overall efficiency and fitness of the system. It behaves much like an organisms population in response to changes in the prevailing environments, it is evolutionary and adaptive. It favors no organism over another and will simply slough off any systemic disruption that threatens its overall function.

Focusing solely on the second envelope layer of this system which contains the social hive-mind which is an outpouring of its neuronal cells called Humanity which creates a global mind. This secondary system can also fall out of equilibrium with the first layer and its internal support systems and at this time we see that is exactly what is happening. There is a new adaptive threat creating social instability and potentially destroying the physical substrates it depends on. In particular we are witnessing a global trending towards a crypto-fascist social organization in response to the cadaveric spasms of an empire in end stage functions. First a little history lesson, the 1930’s was the last era when the Global cultural system was infested with this social malignancy, it was the first time it experienced this particular threat (there were earlier more primitive versions of it such as colonialism, the genocide of native peoples in North America, the rise of early capitalism, the enclosures act, and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade). It was more akin to deleterious mutation in ones of its cells that eventually aggregated and mestastisized into a systemic problem which ended in the global conflagration of WWII (perhaps a metaphor for an extreme immune response) which discredited the ideology for the 50 years in the intervening period. This collective adaptation would ensure that should this threat emerge again, it would be recognized and neutralized before it had a chance to infect the commons again. It has re-emerged and yet it is very different this time, it is less like a tumor which can be easily recognized and contained and instead is more like a retrovirus which can insert its DNA into the host genome. Viruses mutate to evade host immunity by changing the organization of their surface membrane proteins which allows them to disguise themselves and avoid provoking an immune response. In this case it has emerged again in the guise of a Trump presidency and the alt-right and other extreme nationalist movements in other locales that this virus has managed to infect. In this case it is hijacking the existing machinery of civilization to spread its virulence, it is a response to the fact that liberal democracy and the empire it underpins is failing us and as of yet there is not a political mutation with enough of a vector to fill the vacuum, and so a viral protein has filled it instead.

It seems at the very least that there is some semblance of an initial immune response in that there has been a concerted resistance that has emerged to the onerous positions of this new administration along with the bringing down of said viral mouthpiece Milo Yiannopolous by an anonymous Canadian teen. That said, there remains the thorny issue of the modern enclosures act of hyper-Capitalism, corporatocracy, and the insidious neo-crypto-fascism that has crept into the body politic (in particular the thinly veiled white supremacy of one Stephen Bannon). That this infectious ideology has managed to hijack the machinery we depend on to protect our freedoms should give us all pause and a need to vaccinate ourselves against this cultural virus. It is a sophisticated mutation that has allowed it to command the language of post-modern irony and has deftly adopted certain ideas from the political left to advance its virulence. It hides itself in urbane terms like alt-right and alternative facts. It has managed to hijack our cultural institutions to replicate itself, and it is up to us to diffuse it as we can no longer depend on these systems to do it for us. In this vein here are thirteen symbolic antidotes to the virus of empire:

Aries: April 19th-May 13th:  It’s Going Down

“Meet Antifa, the most reasonable people in America”
-Pacific Standard headline, February 7th, 2017

Aries is full of piss and vinegar these days, outrage at the absolute absurdity that passes for a politics of substance. Brimming with vitriol at a generation of elders making policy that makes it painfully clear that the same generation that spurred the Civil Rights Era has lost its damn mind and empowered an actual tyrant to run the last empire on Earth. Punching Nazi’s, breaking windows, and setting fires are simply not enough and are mere masturbation for the Rams these days (not to mention that it seems that extremists of late have become more litigious and so vociferous and possibly violent approaches are courting the kind of trouble Aries does not want). In a word Aries is struggling to find constructive outlets for an excess of outrage and energy that stems from having every one of their sensibilities regarding fairness trampled on, and Aries is seeing red and wanting to declare war. Once again it seems Aries is revisiting one its native themes in this case aggression, and the need for a defensive posture.

When the state commits violence under the viral influence of fascist ideology it makes no sense to automatically default to civil disobedience alone. It is an extreme emergency similar to the state of alert that a body undergoes when it is being attacked by pathogen, it first raises the alarm and then mounts a very aggressive immune response that resists the pathogen and prevents it from attacking uninfected somatic cells. We are facing such a situation and there may be a rationale for more aggressive tactics. There are those who have wring their hands at the idea of property damage being done to facilities owned by multi-national corporations who are responsible for creating the conditions under which resistance has become the public’s most effective option to safe guarding its liberties. Aries fails to see how this is violence as destruction of private property is a form of resistance that highlights the theft from the commons that private property represents (this is not the same as personal property). While this is not an endorsement of the practice it is not a condemnation either, it is entirely situational and let’s not forget that Police will often incite violence and destroy property to incite violence which they can then crack down on.

Other tactics of community and individual self-defense may have to be applied in situations of extreme emergency. When you are threatened by the incitement of actual neo-Nazis reason is not an effective tool as extremists like this will not be amenable to reason. When dealing with extremists like this the automatic assumption is that you can appeal to their better nature but as far as these hateful ideologues go there may not be a better nature to appeal to. There is a need for caution here Aries as your headstrong nature can have you going gung-ho and cause you to end up being merely destructive instead of strategic and this is precisely what needs to be guarded against. Better to channel your ferocious energies into other pursuits that send powerful messages of resistance for instance agitprop art, or other creative venues can both enlighten and communicate aggressively without violence. There may be times so extreme however that may call for more drastic measures, and there is always an impetus that there are machines that need disrupting and perhaps like the Luddites of 19th century textile worker fame you need to throw wrenches in the machines as a form of protest that sends a powerful message, perhaps instead of force which is morally ambivalent disruption is the better tactic. I am reminded of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2016 in which activists formed a human chain that spanned the entire causeway of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco and disrupted traffic for hours, it was a similar protest strategy that was both aggressive and effective, we need more of that and Aries you are a master of subterfuge.

Taurus: May 14th– June 19th: The New Commons

“We have reached a new milestone as a human family. With seven billion of us now inhabiting our planet, it is time to ask some fundamental questions. How can we provide a dignified life for ourselves and future generations while preserving and protecting the global commons – the atmosphere, the oceans and the ecosystems that support us”
-Ban Ki Moon, South Korean Diplomat

 

The virus of corporate power meeting the apparatus of state which is what Mussolini called fascism has begun to infect the world political dialogue. In the US we have gone an interval of neoliberal austerity into a period of crypto-fascist ideology as the basis for national policy and all in a last ditch effort to rescue an empire on life support. Capitalism is failing us by choking us in our success, it is concentrating wealth into too few hands, and stripping the natural world of its integrity threatening the very basis of civilization. It has become a virus that is running amok and overwhelming our innate immunity. We are seeing more severe inequality than at the end of the Roman Empire and levels like this actually cause social collapse. Add to the mix the threat of automation and technological unemployment in a monetary context that ties the essentials to currency exchange and you can see the perfect storm.

Our political economy is failing us and the time has come for a new adaptation. Much like the extreme adaptation that was the acquired immune system that emerged in recent evolutionary time among vertebrate life-forms, which provided the basis for these organisms to be able to adapt a response to threats in the environment that are unprecedented. The same is in short order needed, in essence to create a new civilization from the crumbling ruins of empire we must craft a new political-economic vision. Perhaps in this vision we have a universal basic income that provides the means for everyone to access the necessities of life without enslavement to the state and the jackboot of authority on Humanitys’ collective face. Or perhaps distributed automation that frees up the means of production from corporate ownership and places it back into the hands of a social commons that allows communities to provide for themselves without reliance on extractive supply chains. Perhaps cities will re-merge as eco-technological centers of social innovation a new kind of high tech urban commons united by people who are freed of the necessity to sell their time to corporate monopolies and can instead focus on the creation of vibrant community life. This is the new political economy for the 21st century that will help us to address many of the converging crises that we collectively face and you Taurus are destined to be the progenitors of this new way of life. Traditionally your sign has been associated to comfort, luxury and finance so you have a working relationship with the concepts of political economy or essentially the interface between politics and economic realities. We need an economics of human scale and one that is free of ideology, and you Taurus are the harbinger of this transition.

Gemini: June 20th– July 20th: The Power of Words

“The lunar flights give you a correct perception of our existence. You look back at Earth from the moon, and you can put your thumb up to the window and hide the Earth behind your thumb. Everything you’ve ever known is behind your thumb, and that blue-and-white ball is orbiting a rather normal star, tucked away on the outer edge of a galaxy.”
-Jim Lovell

 

Words shape perception, the novel 1984 makes this clear with the concept of doublespeak, words designed to shape perception by masking their hidden meanings in seemingly innocuous phrases. The alleged alt-right understands this and has used carefully crafted ironic phrases to describe itself which hide its infernal intentions. The fact that said movement has found a way to hijack mainstream platforms is instructive even considering the fall of Milo Yiannopolous who fell from grace as a result of words that shape perceptions and ergo construct reality. Gemini will not forget that one of the mouthpieces of said insidious movement is currently the chief White House strategists and the mastermind behind Breitbart news  (Stephen Bannon) which became the platform for these fascistic ideas re-packaged for a 21st century audience. Phrasing matters and calling out language is essential so we do not misperceive what is really being said. Alt-right is a cleverly ironic trope and yet it also conceals the real meaning and they need to be called what they are fascists! What’s more the rise of the troll and the magic concealing device of the impersonal Internet and the screen which gave rise to boards like 8chan that allowed for largely male frustrations to be vented and married to fascist ideology all for the lolz, with no regard to the consequences of broadcasting such a schema, that is until they found Nazi’s sometimes get punched.

Gemini you understand the nature of perception very well as you are twins split between two worlds one lives in the surface word where words mean what they seemingly convey and the other lives in an under-surface world where words conceal greater meaning. Even our immune system uses signaling to communicate a threat and does so in a way not to raise the alarm of the targeted pathogen, without the pathogen being made aware. An antigen presenting cell will encounter said pathogen, devour it and secrete the bits on its cell surface as a kind of wanted poster, then ferries itself deep into the germinal center of some lymph tissue where it encounters naïve effector cells, activates them and they go into search and destroy mode. Gemini the defense of the commons calls for a similar communicative ability, the capacity to recognize the virus of fascism, and the ability to call it out, present it to world and then to activate the necessary parties that can have an impact in addressing these threats. Our system of checks and balances is sorely being tested at the moment, this system designed to root out tyranny, and you lovely Gemini play an essential role in this social immune response. Whether you are a journalist at the center of the debacle or a common person on the street you have a role to play in the communication and parsing out of the language being used to conceal the real agenda. Phrasing matters, you know terms like “alt-right”, and “alternative facts” are more insidious than they appear, call it out, call a spade a spade, the entire future of civilization depends on it.

 

Cancer: July 21st-August 8th: Mutual Aid Networks

“An injury to one is an injury to All”
-Anarchist Slogan\

Cancer can be likened to the lymphatic tissues of the Commons immune system, it houses all the cells that protect the body from pathogenic damage and initiate the immune response. These tissues nourish the cells, produce the cells, give them an environment to live in and also house the university functions of the system by being the reservoir for activation of naïve immune cells through exposure to pathogen antigen molecules. I say all of this Cancer as you are a kind of reservoir for highly effective people, and you are the one that provides nourishment, emotional understanding the meeting of survival needs and a safe space for community to develop and emerge and in times when communities are being torn asunder by economic instruments and political contingencies this is needed more than ever before! I speak namely of the need for solidarity networks, these go beyond the confines of communities, political parties or organizations of hieratic structure and instead represent horizontal networks of mutual aid designed to meet the immediate needs of their members. In particular they are intentional. horizontal in structure, open to participation and centered on serving the most vulnerable populations.

One of fascisms tactics is to divide and isolate people and alienate them so they feel vulnerable and alone. Solidarity networks are a buffer against this as they allow people to feel connected to community and to meet their needs outside the confines of state authority. What is more because they are free-form and intentional they have a flexibility to provide for people that other systems of distribution lack, they also represent the seeds of a new emergent commons that could become the cellular model of a new civilization. They also represent a kind of immunity against the creeping fascism that has infected the political machinery of our civilization. They have to be carefully crafted to be effective, and there are a series of vital questions that have to be constantly asked in the evolutionary development of these networks. Queries such as What do we need? Specifically bodily and emotional needs (an area Cancer naturally gravitates towards), What do we need to feel safe? Survive? Deal with fear and anxiety? How can we use our unequal privilege to provide for more vulnerable members of our cell? There are many organizations that have utilized this method of social organization to great effect including the cell model used by Reclaiming, a spiritual organization that began in San Francisco in 1980. It also a principle used by many anarchist and libertarian socialist organizations. I mention it Cancer as I am tasking you with starting these networks or at least getting the ball rolling on them. There is such a need now for collective arrangements that allow for the meeting of both tangible and emotional needs at a time when many especially minorities are feeling threatened and vulnerable in a vicious national discourse that has turned very nasty. All this said don’t forget the cardinal rule of both Cancers and solidarity networks, you must also prioritize your needs in the organizing process!

Leo: August 9th– September 15th: The End of Authority

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
-Henry David Thoreau

 

What has always been fascinating is that natural systems and the matrix of cellular networks seen in organisms are capable of self-organization. They have the capacity to organize themselves without the need for leaders, authorities, or directors. They seem to do it by simply sharing their resources and then changing their shape into a mutually reciprocal community in which resources are shared freely. It is a self-directed and spontaneous activity in which instead of leaders there are catalysts and facilitators that assist with the organizing work of cells, enzymes which speed up chemical reactions and such. What is more they manage to self-order without being told it is simply something innate. There have been human societies very much like this which have lacked central authority, and there are societies like this that still exist, the Na of China, The !Kung of the Kalahari Desert, and the Rojava Canton of Syria, although many are under threat from other central authorities who wish to access the resources they have or perhaps even just from cultural chauvinism. Even our human immune system works without central authority its cells simply communicate with one another in a decentralized network and from there are capable of coordinating a response to pathogenic agents.

I mention all of this Leo is that I have an inkling that leaderless societies that are self-organized and based more on organizers, facilitators and shared power are likely to become the dominant theme with technological distribution and the collapsing of empires which at the moment seems impossible but then so was the idea of the divine right of kings and that collapsed in very short order. I am not suggesting that societies can’t have leaders or representatives, I am suggesting that their organization will not be hierarchical or in need of leaders because the whole community will take leadership it will be a collective effort that is rotated among its members. Leo the reason for this long ambling explanation is because monarchy is a deep set symbol in your mythological genome and you have a very clear understanding of the karmic drawbacks to authority, the autocracy of monarchs and the iron fist of totalitarians so it is likely that you are the ones leading the fight to bring about an end to authority and initiate societies that are based on shared power. What’s more is you have the leaderless wisdom of natural systems to draw upon plus the long human history of having egalitarian societies that shared power among their members. Leo this is essentially your piece of the global commons project how to redefine leadership that is not about giving orders but about being a catalyst for change.

Virgo: September 16th-October 30th: Respect Existence or Expect Resistance

“Liberty, equality, fraternity”
-Motto of the French Republic

Humanity it seems is at one of those crucial thresholds that seems to emerge every 50 years or so give or take a few years in which all of our political idealisms are smashed against the reality of relentless evolutionary pressures to change and adapt to new systems. That the adaptation is causing nasty backlashes that insult the gracefulness of these ideals is merely the replicating forms of history repeating themselves. As we find ourselves once again at the end of empire and dealing with the fallout of an attempt to pop it up with nationalist movements like The Fronte De Nationale led by Marine Le Pen in France , Trumpism in the U.S., Brexit ala Nigel Farage in the U.K. and other similar trends in political instabilities we find that many of these stem from 40 years of austerity economics, technological change and the ever lessening grip of white supremacy due to population dynamics. Stagnating wages, college tuition hikes, increasing concentration of wealth and power into elites, skyrocketing costs of living, technological unemployment, a crisis in wealth redistribution, ecological instability, and hyper-capitalism which have wiped out local economies of scale. All of these converging trends have been engineered by administrations that were beholden more to corporate profit than the well-being of the commons and this is the result. The common person has largely been thrown under the bus and add this an outright assault on liberties coming from the surveillance state and we get massive system failure. The system that was designed to serve us is failing on every interconnected foundation you care to posit.

I mention all of this Virgo as you tend to be the denizens that take up the most space in the zodiacal wheel and there are more people born under this sign than any of the others and Virgo is expressly concerned with systems and the theory attached to them. In essence the one astrological obsession of this sign happens to be systems and the way in which they work for people and nature. The symbol here is eco-systems which serve a number of vital functions to the continued existence of life-forms on this planet and form the basis for all social systems that emerge from the ecosystem (everything that defines a social system has an antecedent in a natural system). Virgo we are now at a point in history where we have to defend against an autoimmune attack from a certain segment of our social system and also redesign the systems that provide for us as they are currently in states of collapse. I counsel this to you dear Virgo being the practical person you are the focus will not be on coming up with a grand narrative and another massive system with long supply changes but one that is a little more local in scale and featuring distributed systems of disbursement that form a network of decentralized nodes. In essence I say let a thousand flowers bloom , and let 7 billion microsystems converge to create the one that integrates the species into a global commons where it is the people and not elites, states, or authorities who design and implement the selective pressures under which these systems evolve and emerge. The revolution must be perpetual and it requires the participation of everyone, and soon the Earth will become like a protean organism, a living thing, constantly responding to changes in its environment. I liken it to the image of the virus, the forest, the ocean and the city all environments and idelons that are constantly changing and seemingly alive. Virgo this is what you subsist on, designing these systems and we need as many as you can muster. Our current system has not respected existence, and so it will now face resistance and eventually replacement.

Libra: October 30th-November 22nd: Charm Offensive

“Human rights are not about what makes privileged people comfortable.”
-Alley Valkyrie

 

Libras are not known for being aggressive, that said, given the political climate of late a great deal more of them are punching Nazi’s, after which a rain of soft glitter falls under which the Libra dances gracefully (that sounds decidedly more Libran, than stark Nazi punching). I mention the subject in that Librans are unfairly attributed with being impartial observers and weighing the arguments. It is unfair because it assumes that Libras are pushovers who will not take a stand for justice when presented with gross inequality, this could not be further from the truth, perhaps an example to illustrate ripped right from the pages of the planetary ruler of the sign. In Sannion’s ‘The Other Aphrodite’ we are at last informed that Aphrodite was no light weight Goddess, and she cannot be summarily dismissed as a bubbly-buxom Barbie-doll inconsequential to any serious consideration. Instead we learn that she was in fact red in bare blade as she was known as goddess of both love and war, which acknowledges her Cthonian darkness, and the fact that she will resort to violence to protect what is cherished and loved to the point of terror.

The more instinctual Aphrodite pairs well with the other dominant Libran symbol set Lady Justice. Depicted holding scales in one hand which holds the balance of justice and represents fairness, a blindfold to represent impartiality and a sword to punish injustice where it is seen to emerge, tempered of course by mercy (punishment is only doled out to those who it is merited for, appropriate to those who would encourage violence, i.e. crypto-fascists). In these times when the Global Commons is threatened once again by the collapse of neoliberal enclosure which has soured into extremism it seems the sword would do well to be wielded by fair Libra, so I dare say there may be a rationale for punching Nazi’s. To return to the immune system metaphor, Libra is likened to a dendritic cell that acts as a go between for the innate and adaptive immune systems in mammalian biology. Namely it acts as an antigen presenting cell assists killer cells in eliminating an invading pathogen, and given political realities that is not a metaphor. In a word Libra, you call bullshit when you see it (air signs always communicate) and you don’t mince words. In a time of declining empire, with a near totalitarian regime using double-speak and alternative facts, striking back against the bullshit is an act of revolution. Interesting to live in times when acts of insurrection are the ones that will actually protect our humanity and protect the commons from the virus of empire. It’s time to call a spade a spade and your in no mood to speak in metaphor or sugar-coat it. At a time when language and irony are being used in the service of totalitarian nightmares parsing out words and concepts is so absolutely vital, it shakes people out of their technologically induced insularity and when trolls are faced with the hard realities of the world they often cower from their on-screen bravados, so Libra punch some Nazi’s and call out some trolls, we cannot let this Bread and Circuses routine continue. Nor can we continue to languish in a politics that considers only the sensibilities of those who hold privilege in society, and continue a politics that panders only to the narrow range of their concerns especially as it tramples upon the rights of others who are simply attempting to live.

Scorpio: November 23rd-November 29th: This Machine Kills Fascists

“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.”
Henry A. Wallace

It is a sometimes dark landscape that you operate in, and in the more abject realities we are faced with your mind is naturally turning to the existential threats facing humanity made all the more intense with the re-emergence of primitive social darwinisms a perverse pretzel twist of evolutionary logic that masquerades as legitimate policy. It seems that vast tracts of the social machinery have become infected with the virus of this creeping Orwellianism and there is a need for a collective immune response in defense of the common body.

Scorpios are the metaphorical cyto-toxic lymphocytes of the global commons immune response, these are the immune cells that are capable of detecting pathogen by docking with the antigen present on an infected cell and then once identifying the pathogen it releases a protein call perforin that essentially piercings the cellular membrane and causes the infected to destroy itself. This is most definitely a Scorpio effector function as it is both intelligent and slightly diabolical. In an age when the virus of fascism is infecting the media and the minds of vulnerable people and empowering a movement that represents the worst mistakes of history a tactic equally as contagious is usually called for. Scorpio it seems you are acting as the collective CTL’s and you are doing it through the psychological martial art of rhetoric, you are essentially hijacking the doublespeak and weaponizing it and using it to causing the auto-destruction of hateful extremists.

One of the more ambivalent tactics that has been used by anti-fascist groups is doxing which exposes the personal details of crypto-fascists and puts them into a public forum where they are easily accessible. It is a morally ambivalent tactic but when faced with this level of extremism it is a tactic that does have a certain logic to it. I am not suggesting that you dear Scorpio go and do it, but I am suggesting you use your natural talents for seeing in the dark to uncover and expose injustice, you are after all the archetypal holder of collective power and at a time when divide and conquer is the national agenda  people coming together in solidarity is revolutionary especially in the face of the existential threat of social-darwinist ideologies guiding policy.

Ophiuchus: November 30th-December 17th: Rogue Harlot

“Disobedient women who drown cities”
-Rhyd Wilbermuth,
The Spector of a Whore

 

 

As the divine continues to shimmy her way into our common culture, she carries with her the promethean ethic that has allowed her at least to guide the next phases of social evolution. The future is female was never more true than now, and is needed to counter the bluster of a dying empire trying to resuscitate itself with appeals to masculine aggression (‘Make America great again!’), which has run its course. The complexities of an international world call for a softer touch. Civilization is now augmented and co-owned by women (and the gender variant) and just in time, as it is about time that that the feminine had a more leading role in social evolution, there is a need for a humanizing impulse in times that seem more akin to machination.

In light of this we call upon the female refusal to submit to the imposed order of imperial power usually of male imagining, that creates the new Aeon in the fragments of the collapsing one.

Through the Promethean law of conflict and capture the feminine and what’s more women have seized the reigns and now co-own civilization, and it seems the masculine cannot handle it and is seeking to engineer a backlash of Patriarchal empire to regain control, little realizing they are propping up a form that is on life support and is demanding that they save through heroic measures. A return to immune system metaphors, after the long viral attack of empire the body has managed to regain its territory and we see the first inklings that the virus is being thrown off. There is a need now for memory b-cells to be in place that hold the memory of viral antigens so that the next waves of attacks, and believe as empire stumbles and dies it will lash out like a wounded animal, we are able to mount an even more effective and vociferous resistance. B-cells in essence hold the memories of past invasions and ensure that future ones are stopped in their tracks. Like b-cells Ophiuchus holds the memory of centuries of imperial oppressions from the Patriarchs of Rome that banished the reptilian feminine and denied Ophiuchus a place in their cosmogony to the rise of crypto-fascism today, the most recent viral mutation of empire. Ophiuchus is uniquely equipped to mount a viable resistance because it understands the mechanisms of strong man politics and exactly how to diffuse them, and make no mistake that is exactly what we are dealing with here, why do you think that the first targets under these tactics are always the rights of women at a practical level? You are a Medusan cipher aware of the Cthonian power of the divine feminine, and not content to stop at just a spiritual expansion but also a practical expansion of the “female”, genderqueer sphere. You carry the genomic memory of bloody imperial repressions and the mantle of liberating the Commons from this privatizing obsession of empire on life support. You see through the sham of “Make America Great Again” and you understand what is really being said here is “Make America Dominate again” and you realize how insidious the message is and that it only serves to profit a system designed to serve a privileged elite all else being considered ‘collateral damage’ or ‘externalities’. You cannot stand for this and you will utilize every tool of outrageousness in your toolbox to hasten the death of this sucking chest wound that goes by varying names, the alt-right, literalist evangelism, and veiled white supremacy. The chains of empire have long been broken and you are done with being victimized by its repressions any longer, we need your voice at this time.

Sagittarius: December 18th-January 18th: Internationalist: Global Commons

“Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.”
-Albert Einstein

The rise in nationalism we are seeing throughout the world is largely white supremacist sentiment and a decidedly anti-immigrant stance couched in the language of nationalism. It fails on two counts, it allows for the continued non-acknowledgement of the implicit racism that underlies these ideologies and what’s more it actively encourages the blaming of poor economic policy decisions on the convenient scapegoat of immigrants. That this analysis has been made time and time again and still these movements thrive is not surprising when it is accounted for that this racialized economic dialectic has been foundational to the perpetuation of extractive economies since the inception of Capitalism and the burgeoning mercantilism that gave rise to it. It is no surprise that colonialism went hand in hand with capitalist expansion as it depended on this hostile takeover to open new markets in new corners of the planet. Factoring this idea in then makes it easy to understand how major corporations based in the US were able to offer supplies and support to the Nazi regime during World War II as it was incredibly profitable. Few understand that major organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institute directly funded the Nazi eugenics programs in the early 1930’s or the fact the IBM stuck around after the war started and their computer punch cards were used in concentration camps to liquidate entire populations of undesirables. It seems the same guiding philosophy that underpinned 1930’s fascism is the same that underpins today’s less virulent but equally insidious versions and it all traces back to nationalism and the collusion of corporate power with State apparatus. One minor difference to account for instead of Jews, Italians, or Africans it is Muslims. The sentiment is the same and the populist fervor among mostly white and privileged populations is the same.

That the majority of Trump votes came from white people should give us all pause in these debates. The fact that the media has spun it as working class voters en-masse who voted this way also flies in the face of actual voter polls that show overwhelmingly that working class people of color voted the opposition and that the majority of the voters who voted for Humpty-Dumpty were white and college educated. To say there was an implicit racism in that is an understatement and it is something that will have to be accounted for in the future. Perhaps all of this is in response to the collapse of white supremacy we are seeing around the world and this represents a backlash to the inevitable demographic transition that will eventually lead to POC majorities in many multi-racial societies. I personally as someone who identifies with many different intersecting minority identities welcome the change as it is likely I will fare far better under a more diverse policy framework as will everyone else. I mention all of this Sagittarius as you are the ones who are decidedly opposed to nationalism and ethnocentrism in its destructive forms because you deeply understand that the diversity is the reality of the human world and there are far too many converging crises for humanity to default to purely nationalistic solutions and that instead we must of we are to evolve begin to operate as a global commons that unites the nations of the world in mutual aid. It is also the astrological challenge I am posing to all of you who fall under the exegesis of this cipher. We must all defend the commons against this common threat of creeping fascistic nationalism that has brought the Neo-liberal era to a close. I am asking that you become the global immune system that adapts to neutralize this threat and relegate the ideology to the dustbin of history and discredit it so thoroughly that it is seen as pejoratively primitive when this era is reflected upon. It is a tall order but you have big hearts and fierce commitment to an internationalist stance, it’s in the genome of your signs mythology.

 

Capricorn: January 19th-February 15th: Machinery of Civilization

Capitalism fell—perhaps hundreds of years ago—but civilization endures.

-Christopher Scott Thompson,
A City where Gods can live,
Pagan Anarchism

Civilization is not empire and we do a great disservice to intellectual honesty by conflating the two. Empire is an ideology that infects and hijacks the machinery of civilization and turns it into a cancer that drains the vitality of the people and depletes the abundance of the Commons. Civilization is an idea we have yet to achieve and empire is a major obstacle to that apotheosis. Fascism is the ultimate explication of empire. Fascism’s viral behavior is currently infecting the engines of civilization in the interests of revitalizing a decaying empire. Capricorn is viscerally aware that Humanity has reached a juncture of history where the political form of empire with its attendant overconsumptions and aggressiveness is no longer sustainable.

Generations from now, at least 200 years removed will look back upon our empire as incredibly primitive and that we lacked the level of civilization they are likely to achieve will be painfully obvious. It will feed tropes typical of the younger generations who wonder in extreme bafflement what could have possessed their predecessors to make the decisions that they did even in the presence of better solutions to salient problems. In this futuristic scenario the world is vastly different from todays. Gone is the assurance that Capitalism would be the “end of history” a simulacrum that was as artificial as the “divine right of kings” which in its time seemed invincible as a protocol for social organization.

In an ironic twist the political theory behind libertarian socialism (anarchism) with its emphasis on cooperation, mutual aid and assumed consciousness of horizontal parity represents perhaps the most civilized philosophy that humanity has ever imagined to date. In the long run of our species it is likely that future civilization will have this philosophy intrinsic to its operating assumptions, the above scenario automatically infers that it is in fact the basis for social integration. This is of course another possible world, and the one that the majority of us would like to say our descendants hail from.

Capricorn understands the long view in the imperial endgame and that to get to that world there is an initiation of global proportions to allow us passage to that place and the first thing to go is the empire and the false consciousness it engenders in the species at large. There are any number of strategies and actions to pursue in line with this objective and you can spearhead any of them. Perhaps you are called to establish a solidarity network, organize a protest, commence a lunch program, in your district or any other high profile action. Then there is the simple ways we de-colonize ourselves, accepting that governments and elites will not pursue the work of sustainable civilization and that it falls to us on the ground to do so. It is likely that Capricorns could play a crucial role in transitioning civilization from its imperial phase into its post-Capitalist phase, plodding the course in its Saturnine way and building an enduring structure from the ruins of empire.

 

Aquarius: February 16th-March 11th: Future Politics

“Another world is possible, we’re from there”
-Gods and Radicals

For Aquarius these are not mere platitudes, they are salient realities, not mere slogans for car bumpers, they are visceral, lived experiences. It is Aquarians that say “We are from the future” and it makes sense as many of them are 3-4 centuries and in some cases a millennia ahead in their thinking, habits, affectations and perceptions of the world. Aquarians experience a world were the most crucial and pivotal crises are already future history and have already shaped the contours of a future politics, for them the world is realized eschatology. In a world so mired in apocalyptic sentiment this represents a blast of fresh air (the kind that is not climate controlled). The water-bearers have already been through the cataracts of time and the wrenching transitions of our seemingly disastrous age, have seen through the era of dithering we are witness to, and can say reliably, “I’m from the future, there is nothing to fear, everything is going to be alright, the future is a beautiful place.”

Existing on the other side of societal collapse and reconfiguration does engender a certain distance from the suffering involve that is easily addressed by acknowledging that the future may be a beautiful place but it is a much stranger place. It is a place where the common person has heightened experience of everything, thought moves many volumes faster than it does now and to keep up there is a necessity to merge with higher orders of intelligence in a word biology has become indistinguishable from technology, with a class of machines that mimic the harmonies of natural systems, the climate has changed but thankfully the human scientific genius did catch up to adapt to the changes and two centuries hence the world now has the capacity to restore an Edenic state and a concerted re-wilding effort is underway and climate stabilization is well within the reach of human technique. The question is then how did we go from here to there, from the knife edge of extinction to the summit of apotheosis?

It began here and now by a series of small decisions that coalesced into bigger outcomes that ultimately meshed with the interconnected realities of the world system and changed the entire trajectory of humanity. Aquarius I call on you to dip into the strange light of the future that is your province and navigate a course out of this miasma. It will likely look like a concerted resistance to the thinly veiled fascism we are witness to being utilized to shore up the dying form of empire, a cancerous mutation of civilization unable to endure apoptosis and seeking a false immortality. It will mean that people on the ground will need to be encouraged to continue this resistance to tyranny, and be willing to pay the coin it will take to get to the age when a thousand flowers bloom, and grow over the ruins of long dead empires.

It will mean that here and now we harness the power of the global commons by first re-taking the cities, and making of them a commons, and from there the world will bloom into 7 billion unique cultures, messy like a meadow, but fragrant and beautiful in the chaos of its jungle of presence. Aquarius you may feel like a resident alien from this future world which you are native to, that said it is the very vision needed now to reconnect to that world which is the source for you and more importantly to give an arc of meaning to the human project which is currently stalled in dithering and the ideological pretense of keeping a dying empire on life support for the decidedly dubious reason that we cannot seem to muster the collective imagination to envision what comes after neoliberal domination. Like an Antigen Presenting Cell or specialized memory cell in the immune system you are remembering the future for all of us.

Pisces: March 12th-April 18th: Vague Agnostic Mysticism

”The Self must create its own reasons for being. To shape God, shape Self.”
-Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower, Earthseed series

The spiritual needs of individuals and cultures rarely ever make it into academic discourse and it is a shame that they don’t as the power and strength that they could draw on if they did would be immeasurable and would propel the change of culture at a faster rate. The anarchist movement has long pushed this away believing that the religious impulse is one that enslaves minds but it seems with the emergence of new alternatives that is increasingly not the case. There has been a moment of reflection that has come out of Standing Rock that has given the movement a moment to consider that perhaps the philosophy can so far as to have a soul or spiritual center, a sort of spirituality of autonomy that encourages freedom instead of hampering it or acting as an opiate. Beyond Standing Rock there has been the emergence of Gods and Radicals a publishing house devoted to disseminating authors who combine the philosophy of libertarian socialism with variants of religious and spiritual perspectives. Since 1980 the Reclaiming Tradition has been uniting spirit and politics for social transformation and is also organized along anarchist principles.

I mention it Pisces, because you are acutely aware of the need for a spiritual foundation to sustain the long arc of social change. Pisces is uniquely attuned to the spiritual needs of people, those needs that go beyond the body and the suite of emotions that seem to touch something beyond the pale. Pisces deals in this realm and experiences a split identity balancing between this world and this ephemeral otherworld. It is partly the reason why Pisces is so often dismissed and received with a lack of gravitas and this is a great dis-service to the immeasurable power that Pisces can unleash by tapping into this other worldly stream. It is from this font of imagination that we garner the capacity to dream of another possible world and to declare that we come from there. Even the bodily immune system responds and is organized by the unreachable ordering principles of cell adhesion and the capacity to discern between non-self and self protein markers. Pisces further understands the deep interconnection both seen and invisible between all phenomenon and walks through life experiencing everything as a kind of cosmic commons (which in truth it is). It is this higher perspective the capacity to have relationship with an organic Universe and to understand that every interaction in the universe is predicted on relation and mutual reciprocity that is so sorely needed in the world at the moment. Pisces, please spend the next interval of time cultivating this native capacity, it is the best weapon you have in a world where ideologies are being abused to underpin nasty backlashes and an attempt to regress the cultural dialogue centuries into a brutal past.

This concludes another Prometheus Jones stellar transmission, I will see all you lovely Space Cadets next month same frequency, same interval.

 

 

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