Home Forums Aleister Crowley Biography Aleister Crowley and ‘magical fascism’

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  • #66446

    amadan-De
    Participant
    "Camlion" wrote:
    … this is the most elementary level stuff, I really can’t believe anyone sees cause to debate it.

    I am rapidly forming the sad opinion that some ‘Wills’ are more elementary than others. We may all be ‘stars’ but some have a greater number of points (vectors) to their ‘light’.

    Or, “We are all of us in the gutter, Some of us are looking at the stars” to quote the Pretenders paraphrase of Wilde.

    #66447

    Falcon
    Participant

    Was Crowley a patriotic-nationalist? It would seem so:

    “I remember being amazed in later years when my patriotism was doubted. I am perfectly aware that I am irrational. The traditions of England are intertwined inextricably with a million abuses and deformities, which I am only too eager to destroy. Shakespeare’s patriotism in John of Gaunt’s dying speech in Henry V appeals directly to my poetic sense. I am quite prepared to die for England in that brutal, unthinking way. ‘Rule Britannia’ gets me going as if I were the most ordinary music hall audience. This sentiment is not interfered with by my detestation of the moral and religious humbug which one is expected to produce at moments of national crisis. My patriotism is of the blatant, unintelligent variety, popularized by Kipling. I like the old rime: Two skinny Frenchmen, one Portugee. One jolly Englishman lick ’em all three.”

    -Crowley ‘Confessions’ page 107

    #66448

    Camlion
    Participant
    "Falcon" wrote:
    Was Crowley a patriotic-nationalist? It would seem so:

    “I remember being amazed in later years when my patriotism was doubted. I am perfectly aware that I am irrational. The traditions of England are intertwined inextricably with a million abuses and deformities, which I am only too eager to destroy. Shakespeare’s patriotism in John of Gaunt’s dying speech in Henry V appeals directly to my poetic sense. I am quite prepared to die for England in that brutal, unthinking way. ‘Rule Britannia’ gets me going as if I were the most ordinary music hall audience. This sentiment is not interfered with by my detestation of the moral and religious humbug which one is expected to produce at moments of national crisis. My patriotism is of the blatant, unintelligent variety, popularized by Kipling. I like the old rime: Two skinny Frenchmen, one Portugee. One jolly Englishman lick ’em all three.”

    -Crowley ‘Confessions’ page 107

    In spite of himself, as he says there.

    #66449

    Mocata_Karswell
    Participant

    Crowley’s essay The Black Messiah shows just how deeply ingrained were AC’s views on race. In this piece he was trying to replace the Theosophical Society’s aim of Krishnamurti becoming the second coming of Christ, as the star in the east. AC was trying to organise as the Star in the West. Krishnamurti however walked out from the Theosophists, renouncing the role which they wanted him to play.

    “There is one salient fact of today to which Europe and America can not shut their eyes. It is the surreptitious agitation of the inferior races, those whom evolution left behind- the negro and the negroid types. This menace grows with every year. Their own problems are so different that the white races, save for the few individuals who have studied the situation, have been prevented from grasping the full impact of the threat…An immense multitude of blacks and kindred races, from every corner of the Globe, took part in the greatest shock of modern times- witnessed, in other words a mortal blow to the prestige of the white races, by destroying the legend of their solidarity; and the point of conflict was the very heart of European civilisation. For whole years these blacks looked on at the life of a country which they did not know, and could not understand. They aquired, to some extent, even the habits of the Aryan; and, when, they returned to their own countries, carried with them a smouldering hate, a secret and deep-seated envy…This is only one crude illustration of a gigantic movement which is actively in progress- a far more serious menace than the old terror of the ‘Yellow Peril’…The grotesque theatricalities of the renegade Annie Besant, the Barnum of the buck Messiah Krishnamurti, must serve to sharpen the will of the white race; not only to defend itself, but to sally forth once more as in the spacious days of Good Queen Bess, and reconquer our foregone prestige and mastery…The con game of Besant’s n****r is thus not only an insult, it is a usurpation and a fraud…The white champion has apppeared, He, who with the aegis of the Spiritual Masters of the planet, has proclaimed the Law of Thelema, the Law of Love, comprehended and directed by Will: the Law which bids each man pursue the proper orbit of his destiny, and develop himself around his own true centre of Light, will bring back welfare to his own race, and establish Peace with Victory upon the Earth.”

    (Excerpts from The Black Messiah by Crowley)

    #66450

    Camlion
    Participant
    "Mocata_Karswell" wrote:
    Crowley’s essay The Black Messiah shows just how deeply ingrained were AC’s views on race. In this piece he was trying to replace the Theosophical Society’s aim of Krishnamurti becoming the second coming of Christ, as the star in the east. AC was trying to organise as the Star in the West. Krishnamurti however walked out from the Theosophists, renouncing the role which they wanted him to play.

    “There is one salient fact of today to which Europe and America can not shut their eyes. It is the surreptitious agitation of the inferior races, those whom evolution left behind- the negro and the negroid types. This menace grows with every year. Their own problems are so different that the white races, save for the few individuals who have studied the situation, have been prevented from grasping the full impact of the threat…An immense multitude of blacks and kindred races, from every corner of the Globe, took part in the greatest shock of modern times- witnessed, in other words a mortal blow to the prestige of the white races, by destroying the legend of their solidarity; and the point of conflict was the very heart of European civilisation. For whole years these blacks looked on at the life of a country which they did not know, and could not understand. They aquired, to some extent, even the habits of the Aryan; and, when, they returned to their own countries, carried with them a smouldering hate, a secret and deep-seated envy…This is only one crude illustration of a gigantic movement which is actively in progress- a far more serious menace than the old terror of the ‘Yellow Peril’…The grotesque theatricalities of the renegade Annie Besant, the Barnum of the buck Messiah Krishnamurti, must serve to sharpen the will of the white race; not only to defend itself, but to sally forth once more as in the spacious days of Good Queen Bess, and reconquer our foregone prestige and mastery…The con game of Besant’s n****r is thus not only an insult, it is a usurpation and a fraud…The white champion has apppeared, He, who with the aegis of the Spiritual Masters of the planet, has proclaimed the Law of Thelema, the Law of Love, comprehended and directed by Will: the Law which bids each man pursue the proper orbit of his destiny, and develop himself around his own true centre of Light, will bring back welfare to his own race, and establish Peace with Victory upon the Earth.”

    (Excerpts from The Black Messiah by Crowley)

    Crowley dishing dirt on a perceived rival for the ‘World Teacher” title, a title that he longed for rather naively but very intensely.

    #66451

    Azidonis
    Participant

    93,

    "Los" wrote:
    While I’m on the subject, a Thelemite might judge that it would be easiest to carry out his will if most people in society were sheep who were kept busy with the task of trying to “fit it” and thus didn’t get in the Thelemite’s way.

    Such a Thelemite could support social policies that, in his estimation, reduced people to sheep as part of a practical strategy for making it easier to do his own will.

    I don’t like sheep. More often than not, they just get in the way. :/

    Liars, thieves, stupid drivers, inconsiderate people, nosy people, people who walk slow across the crosswalks on major public streets, people who leave their kids in the car on hot summer days, people who generally exhibit no common decency or courtesy, people who don’t use their blinkers, who don’t turn on their headlights in the rain, etc. ad nauseum.

    I could really do without them. As sheep, they just get in the way. The world is overpopulated with them. Every time I leave the house I have to step over and onto many sheep just to get where I am going. Why would anyone want to wade through bile?

    Either enlighten them, or let them die.

    Then of course, there are many people who are inherently “good” people.

    There is a difference between the sheep that are considerate of others and go about their business, and the sheep that all clump up in the middle of the pen by the food going “baaah”, only trying to move another sheep out of the way so they can eat, not thinking that the one they are moving has fought for days just to get close to the trough.

    I do what I can to help these sheep, but some are simply not self-conscious. They are world-conscious, ego-conscious. They have the “mine mine mine” complex that is both annoying and disturbing. I try not to associate with these types of people.

    “They are the slaves of because.”

    Just two pennies as I read the actual debate going on.

    93 93/93

    #66452

    lashtal
    Keymaster
    "Mocata_Karswell" wrote:
    (Excerpts from The Black Messiah by Crowley)

    Hmmm… This essay seems to be referred to regularly, despite it being unpublished: http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=50558#50558

    I’m aware that it is quoted (briefly) in Starr’s ‘The Unknown God’ and that it appears in the Yorke microfilm, but is it actually available elsewhere? Otherwise, we can all just “make stuff up” and ascribe it to Crowley (cf. ‘Satanic Extracts’).

    #66453

    OKontrair
    Participant

    Through the generosity of another member I have seen and read The Black Messiah. The excerpt above is from it and the introductory remarks about the Theosophical society and Krishnamurti are Yorke’s.

    I strongly disagree with Mocata_Karswell’s input to the effect that this piece “shows just how deeply ingrained were AC’s views on race.” Quite the reverse. AC did not publish this piece, nor sign it – he used the pseudonym Gerard Aumont – not one of his crazy W.C.Fields style pseudonyms but a plausible subterfuge. It is intended to deceive.

    As Camlion points out this was part of the World Teacher Campaign and as such a political document and ploy. Hypocrisy in a political document is the norm. This is an appeal to the attitudes that might be in the recipient. It apparently was neither sent nor used. Perhaps in the morning after Crowley awoke to the fact that the Theosophical Society membership had no aversion to Indians.

    In the broader context of Crowley’s life’s work this is trivial. Crowley could be a grouchy Patrician snob, he’s often at his most amusing when he is, and ‘racism’ is just a form of snobbery that can be enjoyed by even the least accomplished.

    OK

    #66454

    zardoz
    Participant

    LIBERTY: 1. The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life.

    2. An instance of this; a right or privilege, esp. a statutory one

    These definitions of Liberty are about as anti-racist and anti-fascist as you can get.

    Aleister Crowley was an enthusiastic and inspired advocate for Liberty.

    The idea that Crowley was fascist or racist seems pretty ridiculous after reading this:

    Liber DCCCXXXVII
    {Book 837}
    THE LAW OF LIBERTY

    http://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib837.html

    Some anti-fascist, anti-racist highlites from it:

    II. I write this for those who have not read our Sacred
    Book, the Book of the Law, or for those who, reading it, have
    somehow failed to understand its perfection. For there are many
    matters in this Book, and the Glad Tidings are now here, now
    there, scattered throughout the Book as the Stars are scattered
    through the field of Night. [size=16px]

    Rejoice with me, all ye people! At
    the very head of the Book stands the great charter of our
    godhead: “Every man and every woman is a star.” We are all free,
    all independent, all shining gloriously, each one a radiant
    world. Is not that good tidings?[/size]

    Then comes the first call of the Great Goddess Nuit, Lady of
    the Starry Heaven, who is also Matter in its deepest
    metaphysical sense, who is the infinite in whom all we live and
    move and have our being. Hear Her first summons to us men and
    women: “Come forth, O children, under the stars, and take your
    fill of love! I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours.

    [size=16px]My joy is to see your joy.”[/size]

    Again She speaks: “Love is the law, love under will.” Keep
    pure your highest ideal; strive ever toward it without allowing
    aught to stop you or turn you aside, even as a star sweeps upon
    its incalculable and infinite course of glory, and all is Love.
    The Law of your being becomes Light, Life, Love and Liberty.

    III. In the next chapter of our book is given the word of
    Hadit, who is the complement of Nuit. He is eternal energy, the
    Infinite Motion of Things, the central core of all being. The
    manifested Universe comes from the marriage of Nuit and Hadit;
    without this could no thing be. This eternal, this perpetual
    marriage-feast is then the nature of things themselves; and
    therefore everything that is, is a crystallization of divine
    ecstasy.
    Hadit tells us of Himself: “I am the flame that burns in the
    heart of every man, and in the core of every star.”

    Lift yourselves up, my brothers and sisters of the earth! Put
    beneath your feet all fears, all qualms, all hesitancies! Lift
    yourselves up! Come forth, free and joyous, by night and day, to
    do your will; for “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”
    Lift yourlseves up! Walk forth with us in Light and Life and
    Love and Liberty, taking our pleasure as Kings and Queens in
    Heaven and on Earth.
    The sun is arisen; the spectre of the ages has been put to
    flight. “The word of Sin is Restriction,” or as it has been
    otherwise said on this text: That is Sin, to hold thine holy
    spirit in!
    Go on, go on in thy might; and let no man make thee afraid.

    Love is the law, love under will.

    #66455

    Camlion
    Participant
    "zardoz" wrote:
    Aleister Crowley was an enthusiastic and inspired advocate for Liberty.

    So, Z, I should put away my jackboots now that I’ve dug them out and dusted them off? 😉

    Seriously though, Liberty has two components which balance one another, personal Freedom (a sort of “Leftist” idea) and personal Independence (a sort of “Rightist” idea). See Jack Parson’s ‘Freedom is a Two Edged Sword,’ which injects personal responsibility for oneself into the equation. The idea that these two concepts can, and should, coexist in Thelema elevates it politically above this tired old “Left-Right” fray.

    #66456

    Keith418
    Participant

    I think reading this piece now might provoke a sort of crisis – as many appear to be in varying stages of denial as to the true extent of AC’s racist, antisemitic, and sexist views. But coming through this crisis might be healthier in the long run than staying stuck in denial and carefully tended ignorance – a preserved “faux naivete,” if you will.

    Why would the “secret chiefs” pick someone with such grievous flaws to be their prophet? Does it occur to people to wonder whether or not AC’s “problems” in this area are really not all that important in the cosmic scheme of things? To think this, of course, contradicts the current concerns about the extreme importance of PC issues in general. If these concerns aren’t that essential and all-important, why do we care so much about them?

    Are we judging Crowley, or are we judging ourselves and our society’s preoccupations with this kind of equality and the anxieties that get produced when it is threatened? If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have a crisis when confronted with AC’s politically incorrect lapses, what does that say about you? Only a “bad person” would fail to be outraged and upset, right? If you do not think that these thoughts diminish his stature as a leader, magician, and thinker, then obviously you are an “evil” person. The more we denounce Crowley, the better we can feel about ourselves.

    It is, after all, quite possible to dismiss Crowley’s racism, but retain his beliefs in hierarchy, aristocracy, individualism, as well as to share his disdain for herd morality, groups (any groups), and “group think” in general. You don’t have to be a racist to agree with him about democracy’s failings, or the stupidity of egalitarianism and socialism. I always wonder why people don’t disagree with Crowley about the racism, but decide to agree with him about everything else. Do their commitments to equality and democracy run even deeper than antipathy to racism? Or do people assume that once anyone abandons a commitment to equality and democracy, a racist outcome is assured? This latter POV seems to suggest that the only thing preventing racist nightmares is a commitment to democratic and egalitarian principles. So, are people opposed to racism because they are deeply committed to equality and democracy? Or are they supporters of democracy and equality because they are opposed to racism? Either way, Thelema is no help.

    #66457

    zardoz
    Participant
    "Keith418" wrote:
    I think reading this piece now might provoke a sort of crisis – as many appear to be in varying stages of denial as to the true extent of AC’s racist, antisemitic, and sexist views. But coming through this crisis might be healthier in the long run than staying stuck in denial and carefully tended ignorance – a preserved “faux naivete,” if you will.

    I don’t know why The Law of Liberty should provoke a crisis except for those too entrenched in their beliefs to accept the fact that Crowley’s highest ideals were anti-racist and anti-fascist. It’s right there in plain English. One would have to have an extreme “faux cynicism” to imagine that he was lying or didn’t really mean it. Talk about denial!

    Crowley did not ever espouse racist and/or fascist ideologies the way he promoted Life, Love, Liberty, and Light. That’s just a fact.

    Thelema is anti-racist and anti-fascist. The Law is for All.

    #66458

    Keith418
    Participant

    It is certainly possible to oppose fascism from any number of perspectives. Sadly or not, every anti-fascist perspective doesn’t not agree with every other one. For example, one could argue that fascism, being a mass movement, is dependent on herds, group morality, and “group think” – an inherently anti-aristocratic kind of leveling, in which the masses are upraised over the individual, or in which the aristocratic individual is forced to serve and exalt the masses. An aristocratic anti-fascist might have just as much disdain for a fascist group as they might have for an anti-fascist, democratic, anti-racist, and/or egalitarian group.

    You can be critical of fascism without being a believer in democracy, equality, or even being anti-racist. The fascist government in Italy, for example, considered Evola a threat and kept him and his activities under surveillance. No one would ever accuse Evola of being a believer in equality and democracy, nor was he a committed anti-racist either.

    I wonder if people suspect that any firm and committed anti-equality position leads, inexorably, to genocide. If that’s the case, then they will have a hard time with Thelema. Whatever it is, it’s not about equality and democracy.

    #66459

    Keith418
    Participant

    Sorry, that should have read: “Sadly or not, every anti-fascist perspective doesn’t necessarily agree with every other one.”

    #66460

    Michael Staley
    Participant
    "Keith418" wrote:
    I wonder if people suspect that any firm and committed anti-equality position leads, inexorably, to genocide.

    I doubt that this is a suspicion widely entertained.

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