February 27, 2009

Climate change, microclimates, and the individual.

“Incidentally, prior to setting up my bunker on the Sus, I studied construction plans that Captain Ross had found among the Eskimos of New North Wales. A basic theme for the anarch is how man, left to his own devices, can defy superior forces – whether state, society, or the elements – by making use of their rules without submitting to them. ‘It is strange,’ Sir William Parry wrote when describing the igloos on Winter Island, ‘ it is strange to think that all these measure are taken against the cold – and in houses of ice.’ " Eumeswil, Page 241

Our world is obsessed with thereal and imagined consequences of global climate change. If we accept its reality, how do we react?

Firstly, we should make clear that we can understand climate change both materially and spiritually. And secondly, we must distinguish between our strategy as individuals and as humanity, as a collective. All considerations of man's strategy as a collective - whether we are to blame; whether we can change our ways; what the actual consequences will be, and so on - will be left aside here. Interesting though they may be, we are concerned here with the individual, and his personal strategy is in a different realm from mankind's.

Like the Inuit in Jünger's quote above, and unlike the collective or zoological man, the individual lives first and foremost in his own microclimate. The Inuit lives in an extreme climate, which he cannot hope to improve or control, but he survives because he acts where he can - on his microscopic world. There he builds himself a more temperate microclimate, his igloo, using the materials his environment provides, however unsuitable or paradoxical their nature may seem.

Like the Inuit, the anarch will also usually find himself in a social and spiritual climate hostile to the expression and fulfillment of his individual nature. Today, to the hostility of the external environment, must be added its uncertainty and changeability. If the demands of society, of Leviathan, are already a threat to individual freedom and fulfillment today, its future demands and conditions are even less known.

This makes the creation of a stable and favorable microclimate all the more urgent for the anarch and for every individual who wishes to preserve their individuality and freedom in our world. If we are able to create a favorable spiritual and material microclimate around us, it becomes less important what happens in the macroclimate around us.

Naturally, our microclimate is in contact with the global climate and thus not unaffected by its macroscopic changes. Thus we need to observe our world and sometimes take extra precautions when particularly bad conditions threaten our stable microclimate.

From these warm, secure inner fortresses, we can then radiate forth a warmth and optimism into the world which has direct positive effects on those around us. Here - and not in desperate and futile attempts to change or stabilize a spiritual global climate - is where we really can help our world in need.

February 25, 2009

The anarch’s relationship to authority

“Although I am an anarch, I am not anti-authoritarian. Quite the opposite: I need authority, although I do not believe in it. My critical faculties are sharpened by the absence of the credibility that I ask for. As a historian, I know what can be offered". Eumeswil, Page 67

The anarch in Ernst Jünger´s conception is not against authority, as the anarchist is. Certainly, he does not ascribe any higher truth or sense of obligation to authorities within whose domain he randomly happens to fall. But neither does he demand or even inwardly desire to be rid of external authority. Rather, he sees it as as useful structuring factor, which he needs for his own development and personal aims: external authority creates a more or less law-conforming and predictable social structure within which and against which he can test and hone his own powers and freedom. The presence of authority gives the game he plays its rules and boundaries.

The anarch understands that the particular identity of the authorities over him has come about randomly, with no inner connection with his true inner nature - he merely happens to be born or live in their domain, for the time being. Whether a Greek or an American, within a communist, capitalist or fascist structure - how could such a random association with his own nature expect special deference or respect from him? But he knows that he needs the authority for his own purposes and as a practical man, he therefore learns about its particularities and adjusts his behaviour accordingly.

Consciously recognizing the absence of any credible superior virtues or mandates in the authorities requires him to be more reliant on his own judgements and critical faculties. His understanding of history gives him a basis on which to critically judge the offers and boasts of authorities - he does not naively buy whatever is sold to him.