“Authentic common life arises not through reflection; rather it comes about from the need and egoism of individuals.” 

                                                                                                                                                                     --Karl Marx

            There are about as many Satanisms as there are Satanists but a common thread among many Satanists is individualism.  Besides meaning that the Satanist values lifestyle choices which are made without reverence for societal norms, this individualism often translates into a political and/or economic preference, as well as a philosophical view of the nature of reality itself.  Often we have developed this viewpoint in oppositional response to institutions or social groups who have demanded we annihilate part of ourselves in order to conform to their demands, to which I can only say: good.
            However, many Satanists lose a lot by adhering to strict individualism too rigidly.  Philosophically, some Satanists fall off the deep end into solipsism.  They view individuals as so separate from everything else that they fail to see the material and economic unity which defines the real world.  Some also advocate strict individualism in the world’s practical affairs.  If our political, economic, and philosophical systems respect only individuals, they will actually fail to give individuals all that they could be giving.  These systems are our creations after all, or we sustain them, so they should work for us to the maximum.  Capitalist economics secures the ability of certain individuals to accumulate wealth.  But which individuals?  Most of us aren’t accumulating wealth at all, and are struggling simply not to be going backwards.  Our political systems ought to stay out of our private lives, certainly.  However, if the will of the majority of individuals is not imposed, then we, the majority of individuals, may have to suffer from the toxic waste or carelessness that a tiny handful of manufacturing owners profit from.  The Satanist quest for indulgence, likewise, necessarily involves social forms of enjoyment. 
            By our physical separateness and our independent mental calculations, we are distinct, and yet by our continual economic cooperation and exchange, our mental intercourse, and our existence in the same physical reality and on the same planet, we are united.  This is a contradiction in the minds of people who can only perform categorical thinking, but in living practice it is the commonplace reality.
            Ironically, in order to fulfill my individual desires, I find it necessary to reject the limitations of individualism.

A world made of selves – and selves made of the world

            The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one.      --Heraclitus

            Much of our very view of reality itself is individual – the world looks very different depending on where you are standing, both in a literal and figurative sense.  However, as Marx wrote, even our senses are social.  We can watch the same news and movies.  We can be aware, in unison, of all the different sensory phenomenon which might occur in a room we are both in.  People who lose part of their senses are often just as frustrated by the loss of their access to society as they are dismayed by the loss of the raw individual experience.  It’s questionable if all cognition occurs within individuals.  Some thinking happens in a dialogue between individuals, and some thoughts would never have been reached without contact between different minds – raising the question of whether they are truly different minds, and not components of one mind.
            Not all social thinking is stupid, panicky mob mentality.  That is social thinking, but of the worst kind.  Another kind of social thinking would be the exchange which occurs through collaboration at universities or on the Internet.  These have their limitations but have also created wonders.  Even Satanists will find themselves occasionally resorting to a useful tool of truth-testing: is the fact being proposed widely believed?  This obviously doesn’t always work but sometimes helps.  At the very least, we can use experiments to socially establish truth itself by determining if any reasonable person would be able to replicate the experiment and achieve the same results.  The social nature of thought itself only reflects an extremely social existence by humanity, whether Satanists would like to admit they are immersed in it or not.
            Such a refusal to admit our interconnectedness does not even make logical sense.  All parts of the world are affected by all other parts of the world.  Each individual is touched by the entirety of the rest of the world, but each individual in their own distinct, particular ways, making each individual unique.  Marx said, a bit abstractly,

            The individual is the social being…The individual and generic life of man are not distinct, however much – and necessarily so – the mode of existence of individual life is either a more particular or more general mode of generic life, or generic life a more particular or universal mode of individual life.

Carl Jung’s novelist disciple Hermann Hesse said it differently in Demian.  “Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again.”

We all depend on collaboration

            "From the moment that men in any way work for one another, their labour assumes a social form."    -- Karl Marx

            While we can lump many of our problems under the category of “society,” we should remember that society benefits us individually, and society in general was established and is sustained for the personal gain of those involved.  Just as LaVey explained that human spirituality is only an outgrowth or part of our carnal, bodily nature – but a necessary or pleasurable part – so is society an outgrowth of individual needs, not some sentimental bond based strictly on love or moral obligation. Marx wrote, “Authentic common life arises not through reflection; rather it comes about from the need and egoism of individuals.”  But while society is rooted in individuality, this does not mean that there is really no such thing as society.  Society does still exist, is still a crucial part of the human condition, and does fulfill individual needs in ways that individual survivalism could not even approach.  The writer Oliver Wendell Holmes said “I like to pay taxes.  With them I buy civilization.”
            Many Satanists grind against society as it exists – rightfully.  However, in the process of doing so, they sometimes consign every major institution to their list of targets for hostility.  It is very easy to dismiss literally every social institution as oppressive – governments, political parties, even businesses and industry itself.  It is true that all institutions are interconnected in various ways, so there is something wise in the instinct that they are all guilty.  However, we should view all of these social groupings as tools which could be used for us, or used against us.  They have a dual character, and an untapped potential of being liberating instead of oppressive.  It is not a case of society itself being awful, but simply that we have not yet arranged it in the most helpful way.  Marx wrote “So long as man does not recognize himself as man and does not organize the world humanly, this common life appears in the form of alienation…His activity, therefore, appears as torment, his own creation as a force alien to him.”
            It is tempting to try to avoid untangling the vastness of the world and to instead secede from it, but this is impossible.  Many people believe they have done this by starting their own small businesses, but even entrepreneurs are enmeshed in a world of customers, clients, and suppliers, many of the entities they deal with being very large companies employing many people.  The entrepreneur is still part of a collective, social process of production, distribution, and consumption.
            Without social production we would not be able to do many things.  Without an economy coordinated on a mass scale, we would not be able to produce trains, planes, and automobiles.  A government can give its citizens the freedoms of leaving them alone; however, the freedom to actually do anything requires technology.  Without an airplane you are not free to visit another continent in a short amount of time.  Without food, you are not free to do anything but die.  Technology of any significance, industrial technology, requires the submission of large numbers of individuals to a common plan of labor.  As Marx wrote in his master work on economics, Capital,

The effect of the combined labor could either not be produced at all by isolated individual labor, or it could be produced only by a great expenditure of time, or on a very dwarf-like scale.  Not only do we have here an increase in the productive power of the individual, by means of co-operation, but the creation of a new productive power, which is intrinsically a collective one.

In another section he described the way in which humanity nearly melds in the process of collective labor, creating a whole greater than the unity of parts, whose power increases by a greater degree with each person added:

The twelve masons, in their collective working day of 144 hours, make much more progress with the building than one mason could make working for 12 days, or 144 hours.  The reason for this is that a body of men working together have more hands and eyes both in front and behind, and can be said to be to a certain extent omnipresent.

These days, the many steps in the production of a single final product involve many geographically disparate people, connecting us with people we may never even meet.
            The process can be a pain but the fruits are incredible.  We currently suffer a continual sleight of hand, and a tiny few people make immensely more money from the production process than the majority of individuals.  This makes collaborative labor seem like much more of a pain than it has to be.  Workplaces democratically owned and managed by the workers themselves would make work seem like a blessing rather than a curse.  Social institutions are simultaneously the setting of our enslavement, and the keys to our liberation.
            The only way to really know your opinion of society and industry is to imagine a situation without it.  Are you really interested in dismantling all that exists?  Do you want to go back to when people died at age thirty?  Before the Polio vaccine?  You will probably find it more self-serving to attack the facets of society which displease you and keep the rest.
            This process of recognizing the magnitude of society in comparison with your tiny self, and your at least partial dependence on society, can be very humbling.  Good!  Advancing yourself to a position of strength only becomes practically possible once you have been brutally honest with yourself about your real position in the world.
            That many Satanists want to secede from society is really no surprise – it is a logical outgrowth of the hardcore individualism present in LaVey’s writings.  This individualism can sometimes cause blindness to the real existing economic interconnection we have with the rest of humanity.  The flaws of the individualist view of the universe correspond with the flaws of the empiricist point of view, which attempts to look at things strictly in terms of isolated facts.  However, isolated facts are meaningless.  As Marxist philosopher Lukacs explain, it is actually the defining context of the facts which makes the fact even possible – facts without context are as meaningless as numbers without naming the objects that they are counting, which are not facts at all, but incoherent nonsense.  You can count all the trees you like, but unless you point out a forest, you don’t get very far.
            The blind spots which result from this way of thinking, in their political form, create a failure to acknowledge or properly analyze social context, and are part of the reason for the right-leaning economic and political views among Satanists.

Individualism and the P-Word

            Politics!  The political individualism of many Satanists usually takes one of two forms.  Sometimes it takes a more politically moderate form which stands up for civil rights, and sometimes depending on economic viewpoints, a preference for the unrestricted market.  Other Satanists glorify a sharp distinction between ruler and ruled, perhaps with anarchic competition between those vying to be ruler.  Sometimes they use the phrase “might is right” and take the process of competition to be the best testing ground of whatever strength is necessary to rule.  As "individualist" as some of these may seem (maybe), in reality all of these place severe limitations on personal fulfillment.

Civil Libertarianism: The Freedom to Do Nothing of Significance

            Civil libertarianism is probably the least objectionable of the hardcore individualist political preferences of Satanists.  It is not harmful, and in some ways helpful, but it simply doesn’t go far enough in the right direction.  It protects the rights of individuals but fails to acknowledge that we exist as a society.  It does not address all of that economic real life, of cooperative production – it blindly ignores the fact that human society is social.
            Marx wrote a piece called On the Jewish Question, which ironically had virtually nothing to do with Jewish people but rather dealt with individualism and collectivism.  In it he mocked the idea that “Liberty is the power to do anything which does not harm others,” as stated in the 1791 Declaration of the Rights of Man.  He wrote:

Liberty is the right to do and perform anything that does not harm others.  The limits within each can act without harming others is determined by law just as the boundary between two fields is determined by a stake.  This is the liberty of man viewed as an isolated monad, withdrawn into himself…Liberty as a right of man is not based on the association of man with man but rather on the separation of man from man.  It is the right of this separation, the right of the limited individual limited to himself.

Here Marx prefigured virtually everyone who thought they were super-original when complaining of consumer society.  Consumer culture is culture in which socialization virtually does not occur because all public spaces are strictly engineered towards selling individuals consumable products which they consume in small groups if not in complete isolation.  For an easy example of this phenomenon, simply think of how much ice you have to break, and what a potential stigma you face of being perceived as a weirdo, for simply talking to strangers near you in most commercial establishments, subway trains, or even the sidewalk.  You have the right to be an individual…a completely isolated, powerless individual.  It is almost as if life is that sad moment in a movie in which the camera perspective shifts to a bird’s eye view of the character, and gets farther and farther away as they are dwarfed by their smallness compared to a world that operates not in harmony with them but with indifference or hostility.  Marx summed it up more succinctly: “The right of property…lets every man find in other men not the realization but rather the limitation of his own freedom.”

It’s Good to Be King…eh, Not Really…

            Some Satanists take the “Might is Right” idea really, really far.  They sound almost like they want a Satanist to enthrone his or her self as a monarch (probably themselves).  Some Satanists sincerely desire a dictatorship, fascist or otherwise; others an oligarchy of Satanists.  There are openly Nazi Satanists.  Some of the political scenarios proposed by Satanists are frankly bizarre to the point of sounding utterly unrealistic.  However, I’m a socialist, and I know that to many people socialism sounds bizarre and utterly unrealistic, so in hopes that others will take my thoughts seriously despite their unconventional nature, I will give the systems of my opponents the same treatment.
            To me Satan is the archetypal rebel and liberator, and Satanism is about freedom.  Too many Satanists twist this into “the freedom to oppress the shit out of everyone else” which obviously is not freedom for most people involved.  I have no wish to dominate others for the sake of it – I only desire to dominate my own circumstances, and to not be dominated.  In my opinion a mature soul needs nothing else.  However this simple dismissal of political domination will not be enough for the new Satanic fascists.
            Instead, the rigid class societies which some Satanists propose will be unsatisfactory, even to them, as Hegel explained in his master-slave dialectic.  Class societies necessarily fracture the human self into two incomplete fragments, neither of which are truly free.  One side labors, but does not control what it does, how it does it, or own what is made by the process.  The other side, the “ruling” side, issues commands without ever being truly immersed in the work being done.  As parasites, rulers have little to do with the actual running of their world, but instead bumble around, learning of the practical limitations of their out-of-touch demands and proposals only when (or if) their underlings point them out.  They do not gain the fulfillment that ironically the slaves and workers still have to an extent – they are not part of the process of self-expression by creating something outside themselves.  They deal not in the million various occupations of their empire, but simply how to consolidate these in a certain ways that benefits their rule.  For example, a ruler will never know the joy of carpentry but will simply rule over carpenters.  Perhaps you would like to be someone who struggles alongside their underlings – fine, but this means they are your equals, and means that you actually subconsciously favor a social system of comradely equality.
            Let us ignore, for a moment, how rotten such a society would be for the people on the bottom, which is where most Satanists would realistically end up, no matter how bright, clever, strong, or ambitious they are.  Let us look at things from the position of the hypothetical new Satanic oligarchy, enjoying the fruits of its conquest.
             Perhaps this new elite believed that it would be able to relax, refine its tastes, and focus on the finer things in life.  But not so.  Soon after apparent victory in any single location, this Satanic elite would find itself trapped in continual competition which would require it to expend the resources of its new dominion on military and economic conflict with outside forces.  Perhaps you are comfortable with the idea of eternal competition – you live for the challenge.  I sympathize.  However, the kind of challenge entailed in this arrangement is actually a rather miserable one, not one of creative expression or indulgence.  It is the competition of producing things at as low a cost as possible, and not to satisfy any needs, but to manufacture more efficient tools of annihilation, in comparable quantity or quality.  This kind of competition is nothing but a race to pump out as much shit as possible in as little time as possible, not a glorious battle of wills.  Even if this empire was able to spread across the world, the interdepartmental competition would create a different form of the same problem.
            You may aspire to some form of dictatorial power because you may think that this will let you own the world.  Perhaps it will place you in a management position in the great reductionist, tedious race to the bottom, as opposed to the entry-level tier, but it will certainly not get you closer to anyone in any real way.  Power cannot win you friends, only empty flatterers.  Even the powerful are not free to interact with society genuinely.  Wherever they go among their estate, they find only themselves.  Since services are bought with money or compelled with force, the servants act not out of genuine respect of the ruler or employer.  Anyone who believes a hierarchical or class society can be based on respect alone is naïve and sentimental.  The ruler finds not an actual human interaction, but only their own commands echoing through a contraption of unliving machinery and miserable flesh.
            For most of us the problem is not even so philosophical – we are the miserable flesh in someone else’s contraption.  Class societies, even with a sizeable ruling or middle class, generally still form a pyramid shape, with the majority firmly at the bottom of the pyramind (if not the absolute desperate bottom).  It is worth repeating, that even if you are an individualist, in any class society most individuals end up on the bottom.  That means you, so perhaps you’re better off siding with us little people than continuing to waste your life on the pipe dream of absolute rule.  Satanists might scold me for having an inappropriately moralistic concern for the state of society and the majority.  But I’m in society, and I’m part of that majority!  This is pure selfishness.
            Isn’t espousing the “rabble” a rejection of Satanism?  Am I discounting myself from being part of the “alien elite?”  Perhaps not, if by that we mean people who have had the courage to gaze into their own souls, and the audacity to affirm what they found there as their god.  But doing this never changed my lack of power in society!  To me I’m somebody, no doubt, but to the system, I’m still just a number.  While my internal character may be different from those around me, my objective predicament is almost identical.  If my role is to be the spark of anger and intelligence which animates the hitherto-slumbering peasants around me to self-centered thought and action, that sounds like a life well-spent to me.

The Free Market: a Rags-to-Riches Lottery Scam

            The case against hardcore individualist economics, usually equated with free-market capitalism, is actually little different than the case against arbitrary tyranny.  Enabling tyranny is what money does – it allows one person to tell other people what to do.  We are prisoners of starvation, and whoever holds the most money holds the keys.
            Corporate bureaucracy and governmental bureaucracy are virtually indistinguishable for the people working in them.  Fascist Satanists, forget your pipe dreams – the rule of the few has already arrived!  The market is the arbitrary tyranny of a few over the rest.  In the case of the market as in the case for the battle for political power, the likeliness of you rising to the top is continually dangled in front of you – for the benefit of others! – but the likeliness that this will actually happen is virtually zero.  It is comparable to priestly manipulation of believer’s hopes in going to Heaven.  Trying to compete against the big dogs of capitalism, with their capital stock of millions and billions, is like playing against the house in gambling.
            For those who do rise to the top, the same limitations apply.  You are not free to share in any joy with any other human being, because you are king in a world of slaves who do not socialize with you honestly, but who do whatever might win them your favor.  Your “equals” are usually your competitors, from whom you are just as alienated as your servants.  Any temporary collaboration is eventually betrayed by the need to stay ahead in the competition.  You can own the world, but you still only own a world of cold cash payment.  You will never achieve the true ownership of another person that comes with unlocking the secrets of their soul and catalyzing the unfolding of their self-understanding and will.
            Of course the pipe dream of rising to the top needs to be checked by reality.  We live on a planet in which one sixth of the global population lives on $1 or less per day.  For Americans, the wealth gap has been increasing since 1973, and is now bigger than it ever was, even during the plutocratic, opulent Roaring Twenties.  We in the USA live in a country where one percent of the population controls forty of the wealth.  Since in reality only twenty percent, and not fifty percent, of stock ownerships is generally enough to control a company, we can comparably say that this rich one percent effectively owns and controls all of American society and far beyond, including all supposedly “independent” institutions such as colleges, media outlets, and political parties.
            For us slaves seething beneath the surface in our hell of the working world, life is simply getting worse.  For a real understanding of what life in America has been for many and is becoming for most of us, read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed.  Even this wonderfully descriptive book is now out of date and does not take recessional conditions into account.  We are told to be happy to even have a job, even while pay rates and benefits decrease.  We work more for less pay.  We live in debt.  We are not moving forwards but backwards.  If we are lucky we can get a professional job of similarly decreasing value, though we may be stuck flipping burgers or other service professions from which we cannot even make a living.
            The market is nothing more then the tentacles of the financial sector wrappings its parasite limbs around the earth, conveniently cloaked in seemingly voluntary exchanges.  It is an empire worse than anything the Catholic Church has ever created.  Social parasitism is one of the greatest crimes of Satanism, or if not a crime, one of the obstacles we are better off refusing to tolerate.  If Satan is the god of individuals of character, then today he stands not with the market but against it.

            What is needed is a synthesizing whole.  To respect individuals without concern for collective life is to glorify isolation, and the incompleteness of a life in which each person is limited by other people, and disempowered by their lack of power over the true power in society: organized cooperative effort.  On the other hand, to respect collectivity without respecting individuals is to uphold repressive tradition, enslavement, arbitrary obedience, and callous indifference to real desires.  The two types of shortcoming mentioned above ironically often go hand in hand.  Neither individuality nor society is complete or fulfilled without the other.

Life is a Party…Don’t Forget to Invite Guests

            The essential part of individualism sought by its adherents might actually be authenticity.  Authenticity is capable of taking on a social character, especially during revolutions, moments of the mass intervention of ordinary people into the stream of history, or other smaller and less intense popular struggles.  Authenticity means genuinely living in accord with one’s desires, or at least striving towards satisfaction when it cannot happen immediately.  Perhaps LaVey’s emphasis on individualism as a core part of Satanist philosophy was a wrong turn.  Individualism insofar as it meets desire is nice, but if it becomes an obstacle rather than a tool, it should be dropped altogether, and is really secondary to meeting desire.  For this reason, perhaps we should put down our Satanic Bibles in favor of William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
            “Desire” is a general term that does not specify to whom the desire belongs.  To me this accurately reflects the situation.  I want to satisfy desire.  Whose?  Often it doesn’t matter.  The desires of others and my own often mesh together so much as to be indistinguishable.  We must admit that humans evolved as social animals.  Therefore, as part of our genome’s survival pattern, we evolved to gain joy from socializing, which ensured we would band together in groups, which in turn increased our survival rate.  For evolutionary reasons we are also very sensitive to the emotions of other human beings around us.
            It is fine if we choose to decide that we no longer care about the sensations which exist only because they allowed humanity to survive during prehistory.  Many people talk about the “natural purpose” of this or that human function.  Why does anyone care about that anymore?  Now we are simply left with the results of that evolutionary process.  For example, the human species does not need to increase its population, and yet sex is still pleasurable.  So it is with socialization – so indulge!  So care about other people – because you can’t help it, because it feels good, because you are human, because you evolved that way, and because as a Satanist you are uninclined to apologize to Puritans for your nature.
            I heard once that laughter is best when shared – or was it, happens only when shared?  Every Satanist needs to give themselves a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves if they truly believe that they do not at some level value sharing their experiences with others.  Such an admission may be difficult because of the vulnerability it implies.  So be it.

Synthesizing Individualism and Collectivism

            Nothing I have ever encountered expressed the relationship between the self and the world more beautifully than the novel Demian by Hermann Hesse, a book with wonderful satanic overtones.  Demian focuses mostly on the internal wanderings of a German youth as he strives to be himself against a world that demands otherwise, or as he says, “I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self.  Why was that so very difficult?”
            However, by the novel’s end, this quest for authenticity has been expressed as a universal principle within all life, stunted and crippled by capitalist Christian civilization, which finally erupts onto the world stage in the form of World War I.  The self-world relationship in Demian is actually highly flawed, relying on magic and the supernatural rather than simply being a trait of material reality.  Furthermore, the flirtation with treating World War I as some kind of potentially liberating event was naïve idealism against the reality of a conflict that basically involved the mass-enslavement of soldiers for their exploiters.  However, though the novel linked the intimately personal and the global in a confused way, the accomplishment was in linking them in the first place.  The link is made all the more special because the more personal, psychological facet of the novel is such a powerful, brave, painful, realistic description of what life is like when you live with a hell-bent insistence that being true to yourself is the highest value.  What could have greater global, political implications that that?  If everyone followed that consistently, the world would be remade.  As was written in Demian, “Who would be born must first destroy a world.” 
            What is needed is a synthesis – and a synthesis is completely different from a compromise.  In a compromise, each opponent chooses to limit themselves in the name of a “peace” which is at bottom false, contradictory, unstable, and temporary.  This peace is false because it is built on self-denial, and all beings with wills eventually get itchy, grow tired of their self-denial, seek ways to overcome it, and any social structures based on that self-denial destabilize.  In a synthesis, different parts are brought together in a symbiotic fashion in which all parties benefit (in ways other than simply not having to fight), and in which all parties experience the external relationship (synthesis) as an expression of their true internal desiring selves.  All compromises ask the involved parties to compromise themselves.  In a synthesis, everyone truly wins.  In the Communist Manifesto, Marx referred to these as situations in which “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.”  It was precisely this synthesis which Marx sought and saw in the possibility of socialism – though it applies also to any successful social collaboration:

This communism as completed naturalism is humanism, as completed humanism it is naturalism.  It is the genuine resolution of the antagonism between man and nature and between man and man; it is the true resolution of the conflict between existence and essence, objectification and self-affirmation, freedom and necessity, individual and species.

A great part of this synthesis stems not simply from the enjoyment of being surrounded by other bodies and minds, but in collaborating with them in the pursuit of a better world.
            Long-termism is not martyrdom.  Living as if the history of the world is your chessboard is simply a much more interesting and fulfilling way to live than is being caught up in petty personal jealousies and the competition to die with the most toys.  Of course this is part of a great debate among Satanists – is it better to sacrifice for long-term desires or hedonistically satisfy immediate urges?  While I firmly say “both,” there is something absolutely beautiful about indulging in the sin of creating a great, selfish goal, which makes your true body include not just your flesh but all the maneuverings you commit in its name – every person and thing you have influenced and that is part of your struggle.  You can live more intensely in the present by living for the future – the further away, the more intensely.  In fact the greatest indulgence may ironically be expanding your will to the point of living for things you have very little chance of living long enough to see.  Nietzsche was right to point out the pride and selfishness of martyrs.
             Some of the most intelligent, interesting people I have ever interacted with are not wrapped up in their own little bubbles.  A true, strict individualist is mainly concerned not with art, nor philosophy, which all depict or are embodied in the world outside of themselves, but instead are caught up in their own little petty dramas, jealousies, and vanities with their friends and lovers and families.  The most authentic people, in my experience, have grounded their characters in things much larger than their strictly-defined physical selves and personal lives – and by doing so have turned their individual selves into giants.  Some of my favorite people are those who have thrown themselves into politics – not party hacks who obsess over elections, but people who immerse themselves in the real issues and debates that embroil the real state of the world such as civil rights, wealth distribution, war and peace.  All beings who live in the world are world-beings, and we can only be ourselves by being in touch with and participating in the world.  This is not the “giving yourself to the world” that means crushing yourself and falling in line with morality or the authorities.  This is the “giving yourself to the world” that means you are immersed in the direction that history is taking and you own it.
            In the 1960s, hippies spoke of “cosmic consciousness” as a friendly, New Age, white light principle.  Actually, being aware of the trends in public opinion, as well as the power plays and economic goals of various global players, is dark and sinister, pragmatic rather than idealist.  Hippies were not so much in touch with the world-consciousness as they were in touch with their own philosophies, and their own “vibes.”  True world-consciousness means following the news and world developments in the vicious, self-serving way that military and investment strategists follow them.  Truly being aware of the world, in this realistic way, also signifies that your will, your greed, and your goals are of a grand, ambitious scope – not the ultimate dissolution of the self into the world, but the ultimate selfishness, so large it could consume a world.

“To weld this world into one single unconquerable and all-destructive force -- this is our organization, our conspiracy, our task.”
                                                                                                                                --Russian Anarchist Sergei Nechaev