Aphorisms

From The Burning Block Issue 3:

The news exploits crime the way that voting polls exploit minorities. The former rewards crime through fear, the latter rewards minorities through shame.

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We pay musicians to provide us with emotions. The nightly news requires the correct interpretation, without which we would fall into indifference or consider crime itself a series of necessary, ground-level constellations.

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Democracy is the politics of crisis. It measures what is shrill and in quick succession, the potential for that shrillness to become shriller through augmentation. An augmented solution to a specific set of problems then gets mistaken for freedom.

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A misanthrope is a misandrist who has decided to hate women too.

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Civilization has reached such a whirlwind that, soon, we will not pair ‘hope' with ‘change' but ‘hope' with ‘sameness.'

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He confused his rarity with his worthiness.

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The paradox that ‘all things are nothing to me' is that it leads to the idea that ‘nothing is everything to me.' But then what is the next step? It would have to follow that ‘nothing is nothing to me.' Having let nothing flit away, as something impossible to hold, how does one then accept the final, weighty conclusion, that if ‘nothing is nothing to me,' then surely, ‘everything is everything to me?'

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The reactionary and the Machiavellian stand on either side of the radical. The reactionary sees the radical as a desecrator of what is sacred. The Machiavellian sees him as a desecrator of heresy itself.

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It is easy to determine the enemies of socialism because it is easy to see who has the most money. It is harder to determine the enemies of anarchists, on the other hand, for even if the state were abolished, it would be hard to tell of whom they would become jealous.

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The Right only cares about culture when it is on the verge of collapse. When culture falls out from under them, they rarely realize they are falling with it.

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We see culture as something that may return if we are kind to it; if we set up delicate circumstances ever so carefully. How seldom do we realize just how few men really represent it? What is culture aside from a few stubborn conduits, loved by rare tastes and hated by the masses? It is a few songs, a few tales about men even rarer than the men we remember from history, along with a few weapons that will never again be used. Culture itself is an impersonal war of highly personal inclinations and mindless accidents. To chase its return is to chase sleep on a restless night.

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Our bipartisan culture will destroy itself as the one side asks the other to accept its own legal destruction and the other seeks to deregulate its interior order.

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Academic nihilism is war in peacetime.

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To police thoughts, one must gauge thoughts which are already there. This is done best through socializing thoughts; making all thoughts appear to be of equal measure. But to make all thoughts of equal measure, all things would be, with time, considered to be equal. The equality of one variable always enunciates the unbridgeable gap between everything else around it.

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Money itself is already socialistic. It equalizes all things that one amount can purchase, but at the expense of possession through invention.

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Whatever center is left after the ego has dissolved into the universe, into consciousness, could just as soon be placed into the ego as it absorbs everything else in the universe. The desire to find the Ur-desire and the desire to be rid of all desires are similar projects. As a man thinks precisely that painful thought which he tried so hard to avoid, both these experiences may visit him so long as he runs from them, but not due to a transformative moment. His ultimate revelation is that he has and will continue to take them for granted, no matter how far he runs from them or how hard he grasps for them.

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He trusts a change in opinion only if the new opinion is the direct inverse of another. Those who claim that reality is an illusion are mistaken in that they assume we exist in some plastic imposition in the midst of chaos. It is rather that what we call ‘reality' already makes so little sense that to call it an ‘illusion' would be offering it a praise it doesn't deserve.

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The word ‘leadership' means so little in the realm of politics today that it might as well be a fairytale. Our politicians do not rule with seduction or charisma; they merely use it to draw and quarter.

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How many generations of men and species of animal preceded my existence so that I might fritter away my time merely drinking a cup of coffee in a café? But then I merely shrug and say, ‘But it's such a good cup, the view is so nice and all of my ancestors since time immemorial would have gone to the dust even if this cup was a tad bitter.'

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So much is sacrificed, roped together and jerry-rigged just to arrive at the number 1. If merit is a value determined by accretions of numbers, then the man possessing merit is no different in value for his ability to do one job as the masses are in performing a mechanized, unilateral job. The machine which requires a single lever may require many gears, but they are all from the same machine. The many, being their own rule, in kind make a rule of the rare.

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Western man has long considered the divine a ceiling above which he could not reach higher. Man now allows room for the divine by considering it a configuration in whose hollows he can hide that within him which is more than animal.

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To neutralize all matter, to deprive perception of all its borders, to level every value to the ground-this is not cowardice nor is it brave; it is simply the final conclusion of rational thought. The content to which each number is an avatar may be different but the function is the same. Numbers at once measure gradation whilst dissolving gradation in the reach of infinity, where even the infinity of gradation itself is freed from its bonds as having no final project or goal.

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History is written by losers. The winners destroy it.

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If revolutionaries cannot have their revolution, they'll settle for apocalypse.

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There is no event which defines all of history. Such an event would not be the last event but, in fact, the first event. There is only gradation and even this is enough of an imposition on history.

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Society can only engage in a proper war of values when all sets of values are, not only acting on the same object, but aware of acting on the same object. On other occasions, a triangle and a square are mistaken for the same shape, two sides see them differently, insist on the same language and, thus, doom their discourse to a domain of mutually assured destruction.

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Technology has robbed the media's mimetic hold on history. So long as something can be easily filmed, millions of people can be eye-witnesses. The prevailing interpretation of an event will thus be the new meme, which leaves us with the task that was required of us before film: psychology.

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To say that we live in one of the safest times in history is a mistake in quality. The only possibility of ‘politics' that enters our mind today is one in which violence remains ever-suspended over every single transaction. Will politics mature to such a degree that it will recognize only those transactions which are inherently violent?

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Many good ideas have been spoiled by one's preoccupation with placing it to the Right or to the Left. Likewise, many ideas have been endorsed by the same means. Ontological parliamentarianism.

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When turning one's skepticism toward voting, one only scratches the surface by vetting the means of duration and persuasion. One must turn skepticism toward that persuasion which led to the next layer of persuasion as law.

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We trust our distrust of others more than those others we trust.

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The historian, living in the midst of history in the making, must escape out the back door.

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Marx castrated the warrior and made him a worker.

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Attention is a luxury that modernity can only purchase with boredom sustained by a promise, real or imagined, of pleasure.

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They voted democracy away.

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The defeat of the mainstream media and its false information will be followed by the defeat of whatever false feelings succeed it.

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Not all cultures get monuments. But, perhaps, it would do all cultures some good to have memories. Sadly, they have only histories.

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It is a mistake to think that, because some truths are difficult, truth itself is difficult. Resistance is no measurement for an idea's veracity. A cow and a large stone may weigh the same, but only one of them provides food as compensation for its weight.

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I cannot forgive the pederast, not only for the heinousness of his act, but because every other man looks like a saint standing next to him.

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The riot and the protest belong to the same species of activity. They are licensed noises, blessed by the church of the establishment and the accepted radicality of culture. Anarchists will not perform coup-de-tats lest they give their entire game away-that power replaces power. Its point of equal distribution is an event in which whole spiritualities and ideologies base their hope. We rest in the delusion that we can simply vote away our slavery.

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‘The good' is only considered a known feature of the majority if a community disregards the function of memory itself. The liberated slave, the man shipwrecked far from his family after a great war; these only knew evil having witnessed the good of another.

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That one could learn the degrees of boredom! A fatalistic masochism concerning boredom may, though it appears as mere complacency on the surface, harbor that germ of determination needed in order to take on an arduous task or learn a lofty truth. Likewise, it is sometimes precisely what appears to be youthful vigor and enthusiasm to act which excites one's need for a series of small, sustained stimulations, whose rewards, though frequently available, seldom purchase the fruits of a sober education.

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Let revenge be performed only as a contract of honor to oneself or another, lest one's mere dissatisfaction with the fruits of revenge cause one to seek a greater satisfaction elsewhere (and thus, perhaps, unwitting cause for another's revenge).

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People say ‘we are all the same' to incite guilt and ‘you are all the same' to condescend.

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Extremists take what you don't like about yourself and do it better than you can.

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He comports himself how he would like to be seen and, thus, self-creates. Even as he self-creates, spiritually, he joins a club whose very identity is designated by the series of gestures and postures he has adopted. He is most alive because his peers are dead.

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God is the idol formed from a moment of perfection melted down.

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The western mind is not suited to the nuanced revelation of truths which hide in plain sight. We treat all of reality like bark, which can be stripped to reveal a network of beetles and centipedes. We want our revelation to be as large as the illusion we suspect. However, when it is revealed to us that we have simply been victims of a great many very small white lies whose seeds had been planted in us at varying stages of our development, we then distrust the quiet truths once they are gradually revealed to us. Our fear of being duped saves us as often as it blinds us.

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Secularized versions of spiritual messages cause us to look at the world as an act of representation, when in reality, no matter one's spiritual inclination, the world is closer at least in part to a religious domain in this sense: it is an act of sacrifice. However, pushing spirituality through a secular filter will cause one to sacrifice only the myth itself for the sake of one's almighty prejudices, which, had it not had the spiritual myth to hold it up, would have gotten by well enough with some other sacrifice; perhaps time in thought, or in energy expended for the sake of some work. Secular language contains almost every seed of spirituality; it simply has an allergy to the parts of its vocabulary which most reveal man's impotence.

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Anti-modernity's dependence on modernity is certain. One can run in a pack and howl at the moon, all the while drawing up a list whose items include all those features of the modern world which keeps one from being wild. Their tribalism is of a type which can only exist at the expense of society. Just as psychologists and anthropologists are always looking for that germ of the antique reaction in every aberration, in every deviant and self-destructive form of behavior, so the man living against modernity will develop ways to purify himself of all civilization. That which is civil in him haunts his every wild action, weighs him down, becomes the new evil, the new numinous fulguration of an alternative ground of being.

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Exotericism is the exhaustion of man. Esotericism is his impotence.

Buy Issue 3 here.