Victoria Pickering / Flickr

Plastic teenage pre-frontal cortices melt to the production rhythm of chocolate-chip cookie factories. Roy F. Baumeister made a point in his cookie experiments: Willpower is finite, depletable and temptation eats all future attempts at resistance. Permanent presence of chocolate-chip cookies, permanent depletion of will-power. The narco-advertising virus proliferates chocolate cookie dopamine drain across all city surfaces, screens and psyches to market (un-)saturation. Hegel’s Wild Beast branches out as poison vapour: Erototoxic advertising pollution of the libidinal economy. 20th-century psychology is weaponization of desire, advanced liberal government. Knowledge is for cutting and Le Bon-Freud is for controlling the flow. The mind has no firewall: Propaganda outsourced to private sector as PR-advertising professionalizes and perfects the hijacking of the nervous system at any instance to produce soft-featured 21st-century subjectivities on the eternal quest for the perfect latte: weak-willed foodie-furry-fatty-fanboys.

At the same time, emergence of a quiet and desperate transpartisan ideological consensus on accelerationism as romantic nihilism against the overpowering inertia of the system, a refusal to insert decision between yourself and the machine. While Hezbollah miraculously defies the onslaught of US-Israeli technoscience with asymmetric warfare intelligence, Western opposition is best annihilated by the threat of stalled career prospects. Parliamentary democracy is its mirror: A culture of diluting the political into a paralyzing cascade of weak compromise between corrupt representatives mellowed by the superhuman patience-persistence of capital accumulation. All cultural immune systems must dissolve against glamor dream career carrots: ascetic protestantism, fasting rites, virile honor, primacy of conscience, sexual continence.

Perhaps then it’s no wonder how 21st century proto-politics takes the form of NoFap. A first but important refusal to participate in the rituals of the draining economy of willpower depletion with a potential to extend into other habits as a desperate shot at discipline to ward off going full Kaczynsky.  Fascism is a symptom, a politics of desperation and last resort. It feeds off the filth of Weimar as a lashing out and/or violent overreaction against what eclipsing overstimulated nervous systems of all ages on the wrong end of the hormesis map as decadence. No surprise that Alexander Dugin, theoretician of fascism in the 21st-century, appears in Russia as a reaction to Pizza Hut Gorbachev and his drunkard successor. Fascism becomes the last straw of dignity, concentrated Yang force against the threat of cold thalassocratic imperial sea monster Yin-chaos dissolution. It flares up in the hearts of men as desire for humility, deindividuation, uniformity whenever the mass of losers-as-system-output is hitting critical quantities.

The escape from cascading circles of decadence is phallic. It is instinctive immune reaction of the brightest unruly boys, undomesticated testosterone rage trying to break free from rites of progressive humiliation: public schooling, video games, mixed with Ritalin and high-fructose corn syrup doses to prepare for the slow rot of the tertiary under the stark and dead light of energy-saving light bulbs. When they break free physically — charges of assault, verbally-intellectually – instant status depression, but no one conceives of the prior steady decades of low intensity assault on the nervous systems by sleazy Hollywood-Madison Avenue.  Elliot Rogers is a symptom, the subject as remote controlled pure emanation of peak propaganda. A body, distorted into taking the promises of the system at face value, heading for ultra-narcissistic violent meltdown.

Where’s the political?

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already found out that the reign of the intermediary will always skew the odds against you. The military-sourced juntas of Chavez and Putin prove that alternative power structures are most likely to emerge along the vectors of logistics, organization and counterintelligence while “bottom-up” revolutions of the distracted masses are high-speed geopolitical extinction mechanisms (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Ukraine). In the absence of cultural immune systems, the brutality of military discipline remains the only match for the corruption of devirilized democratic culture, which is perhaps why today even the draft has become a subversive tool to be anxiously eliminated by all of “Western democracy.”

Real political movements and collectivities cannot be sourced from narcissistic individualism. Father-killers, soyboys, hedonists, and social media casino addicts of the junkie economy will only ever go so far before the betrayal kicks in. Identifying the common root of the problem is not obvious: The intellectual legacy of antipsychiatry has dissolved notions of physical-psychological health and normalcy and robbed society of the analytic tools to identify what is sane (all sanity suspected of being fascist).

All the Spaniard’s thoughts were focused on the great battle (la gran contienda), the terrible catastrophe that lay ahead, which only the metaphysical cowardice of discursive liberalism could deny was coming.

–Carl Schmitt, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy

The zeitgeist has already switched sides and the current excesses of liberalism only reinforce the impression of an ideology in its death throes. Power has recognized that the anthropological limits of bullshit have been reached and that popular anger is mounting. There’s a demand out there for complexity, content, and hard-to-swallow truths. Power has set its eyes on an avantgarde it wants to co-opt to self-reinvigorate and to bounce back safely purging some of its worst hysterics in the process while appropriating others. Those who care about the Western tradition of honoring individual freedom best not celebrate too early. They risk finding themselves on the other bad end of something sinister.

It must be remembered that anarchism is that game of inscribing decentralization and freedom in architecture to maximize resistance to co-optation. Today, this means engineering bottom-up strategies to escape the draining economy, a metapolitics which is always necessarily vitalist and ecologist. The answer to safe spacing may just be sane spacing. In the day to day, this will mean identifying and starting to cut chocolate cookies out of personal, political and social space. That’s a start. Without willpower there will be no power.