|Montreal, September 13, 2003 / No 128|
by François-René Rideau
Now that we saw the static and dynamic principles of Black Magic, we can examine its effects in real life, and relate its modern expressions to their traditional archetypes.
Human sacrifices: Black magicians invoke sacrifice as good in itself, something that pleases the gods, with the ultimate sacrifice being human sacrifice. They will thus justify killing for the good of the people: for instance, Aztec priests used to sacrifice humans everyday, so that the sun would rise again tomorrow. Nowadays, this primitive form of human sacrifices is not so frequent, but such sacrifices still exist in disguised forms: wars, embargoes and other governmental operations cause many direct deaths, collateral damages and other "inevitable casualties" that serve to satisfy the power trip of political managers, under the pretense of domestic security, the defense of democracy, national interest, the indivisible unity of the republic, etc. Directors of intelligence agencies may even let the people they are meant to protect get killed so as to promote their agenda of stricter "security measures" toward public opinion. To black magicians, individual human lives are "expendable" in order to further the superior motives of the collectivist entity they claim to serve.
Black magicians create beings that are more dead than alive. For that,
they typically hypnotize and drug their victims, that they then use as
slaves before they die; such people might not be very productive, but the
magicians don't care since they get to benefit, even though the
operation is a greater loss to the victims, and a net loss for global welfare.
The chosen victims were often first drugged into faking death, so that
the black magician could pass as its resurrecter and savior. Nowadays,
workers are forced to surrender four fifths of their lives; citizens are
deprived of the responsible choices that are the very stuff life is made
of. They are not living beings, though they aren't completely dead either.
Yet, the black magicians of government claim to be their saviors, the ones
to whom they owing the little life they have left. And indeed, since the
official statistics don't distinguish between a living man and a zombie,
they will serve as a justification to whatever policy will "enhance" the
visible official statistics at the invisible cost of transforming humans
Material Sacrifices: Black magicians will require destructions meant to appease the gods: valuable goods are destroyed in the hope of a magic reaction from the gods, outside of any rational mechanism of natural causation that will link the sacrifices to any positive effect. Of course, black magicians will insist on how important it is that a properly anointed priest should control the sacrifice (and be paid for his office, obviously). Non-ritual sacrifices will be recognized for the murder, vandalism, robbery and fraud that they are; whereas ritualized sacrifices under control of Black Magic priesthood will be presented as valid and working invocations. For instance, private forging of money somehow will be decried as robbery with the effect of decreasing total wealth, whereas government-backed inflation, which amounts to the same forging of money, will be boasted of as somehow increasing wealth. Governments will build great public monuments at great expenses; they will build roads, plan up massive economic intervention, etc.; for that, they will demand that the public consent to new taxes as a sacrifice necessary for the Godvernment to grant them its divine benefits. When faced with the shortage and failure of government supplied goods and services, they will invoke the civic duty to reduce their consumption and expectations. They will have recourse to a reduction in work time, so as to diminish unemployment(71). Though material sacrifices do not end human lives, they spend the human life that was necessary to build the sacrificed material. Just like zombifying people is enslavement – the partial murder of one's future – material sacrifices are robbery – the partial murder of one's past(72).
Sacrifices have many effects that reinforce the power of Black Magic: they benefit the priests of Black Magic who levy their share of the loot, and thus creates a class of powerful citizens interested in maintaining the belief. Properly directed, sacrifices will destroy the enemies of Black Magic, and deprive them of the resources through which they could grow. Sacrifices commit all those who participate in such abominations; these people, to preserve respect for themselves, will refuse to acknowledge their own foolishness, their own sins, their crimes; to relieve their own guilt, they will happily reject the blame on the sacrificial lambs, the victims of ritual sacrifices, or some other symbolic enemies. Sacrifices divert the attention of the public away from the real causes of their sorrow, the real culprits, toward the accomplishment of the ritual. Sacrifices give hope to the believers, that since the sacrifice was made, now their lives will get better; with this hope, believers will continue to get the system going. Sacrifices instill fear in the believers, that if the sacrifice were not made, their lives would get worse; with this fear, believers will prevent changes from toppling the system.
In Black Magic, the priests throw spells: they recite formulas, conduct rituals, make magic items. The goal of these spells is manifold: they divert the attention of followers from topics where reasoning could show the absurdity of Black Magic; they focus this attention on some activities that the black magicians control; they give an opportunity for the black magicians to get paid for these activities; they cultivate habits of dependency among the followers; they turn the intensity of cult worship into a means of social signalling among the followers, with followers competing to be more prominent worshippers, and excluding the lesser worshippers (or worse, non-worshippers) from high-profile social activities (or from society at all, when the power of black magicians is great enough).
Black magicians brew magic potions and recite formulas that they promise will have various beneficial effects if followers drink the potions and follow the rituals. The modern Black Magic forms of these potions and formulas are legislative grandstanding, political platforms, demonstrators' demands, strikers' requests. If you should back the projects of politicians, then things will improve for you – or so they say. The laws being voted, the regulations being issued are as many magic formulas meant to dispel evil. People, those who enforce as well as those who endure, don't have to understand the mechanisms of these laws, the reasons why they are meant to bring prosperity; they have to be smitten by the magic of these laws, by their superficial appearance of goodness, by their official purpose full of good intentions, by the congruence of their rituals with other accepted rituals. Oftentimes, the people who participate in these rituals will recognize how absurd and destructive they are, but they will nevertheless abide by the prescriptions of Black Magic, and accept the belief that these obvious failures are but part of a beneficial big picture, and maybe even the consequence of a lack of respect for Black Magic principles, to be solved by appeals to more Black Magic.
Black magicians use voodoo dolls as symbols of enemies and phenomena that they claim to master through symbolic intervention. They use these symbolic interventions to claim as their success any progress visible against enemies or in the phenomena, whereas any regress will be the fault of people not complying with their precepts, or otherwise of a lack of Black Magic power and intervention. Modern black magicians use statistical models for this very same purpose. Expert statisticians will build models tailored to justify any desired intervention by the government, and to explain how it is thanks to government intervention that the economy is doing better.
Black magicians regularly call for massive religious gatherings, so as to build up cosmic forces, so as to summon good spirits. These grand masses have none of their proclaimed magic effects on the external world; their real purpose is their effect upon the members of the cult themselves: they are an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the movement in the face of opposite odds; they serve to assess the loyalty of members to the movement, and to force people into committing to the movement; they rouse tribal feelings of belonging to the group, and other crowd reactions; they strengthen the members' view of the world as "us against them;" they confirm the black magicians as the leaders of the mob. Votes, polls, referendums, mass demonstrations, etc., are to a great extent such Black Magic masses: they don't have much effect on the outcome of events, but serve to give a mantle of legitimacy to those who rule in the name of the Common Cause.
Black Magic is a tool to confer power to a class of priests, higher and lower. The modern form of Black Magic serves its own class of politicians, big and small. They interpret the "will of the people" or whatever the official ruling principle is. The religious class is organized in a hierarchy of actual rulers. Aside from this hierarchy there is also a large class of theologians who will invent intellectual justifications for the regime and its interventions, as well as provide a reserve of potential rulers. The modern form of this class of men is the intelligentsia, made of "experts," statisticians, statist "economists," etc. Most of them will be paid by government or otherwise receive various privileges as university professors, directors of various administrations, journalists, political consultants, etc. These alleged brainiacs will provide alibis to Black Magic; they give it the apparent authority of reason. The apparatus of State-controlled intellectual activities will offer intellectuals the choice between two opportunities: they may live well as servants of the Minotaur, gaining in social status as they spread the official ways of thinking; or they may be officially discredited and be excluded from controlled means of communication should they prefer to be dissidents.
Black Magic, being based on wishful thinking rather than reason, always insists on intents rather than causal connections. In popular literature, a pure heart – according to the black magicians' morality – rather than patiently developed skills – as adapted to mastering nature – is the key to all blessings. In modern Black Magic, this focus on intents is still prominent. Political measures are backed not with an explanation of their effects, but as serving the just cause of the people, of the workers, etc. Leaders will display how touchy-feely they are, they will cultivate feelings and sentiments; anyone trying to analyze rationally and debunk their justifications will be dismissed as having dark intents, as being a "class enemy," a servant of Evil, foreign enemy forces. As marxists used to explicitly say, to black magicians, it doesn't matter what you say, only where you speak from.
Black Magic is based on a manichean view of the world, where the black magicians assume the role of Good, White, etc., whereas anything that stands up against their aims is considered as Evil, Black, etc. In this manichean cosmic struggle, everyone is forced to take one of two sides. This is the quintessence of political polarization. Of course, among black magicians themselves, factions that compete for power will each claim to be White, whereas the opposite faction is Black, or at least manipulated by evil forces, or allied to them, or at best "objectively allied" to them. In democracies, this competition for the claim of being good against evil takes paradoxal form, as the political life is polarized into two poles (left and right), each identified by its radicals, but at the same time, each competing for the marginal voters around the median opinion, far from the professed radical ideals used for intellectual justification of the parties. People in democracies are thus led to constantly choose between the "Lesser of two evils," away from either of the two main branches of Black Magic ideals. Democrats are both aware of this limitation of democracy as the means to advance their Black Magic ideals(73), and at the same time, fanatically attached to democracy as part of the consensual doctrine accepted by the two main branches of democratic Black Magic.
Another paradox of black magicians is their relationship with money. They will institute a precise accounting of private and public activities in terms of money, so as to be able to tax and fund them; they will thus express everything in terms of money; they will see money everywhere. Money is a magic thing to them; when any emergency happens, all the government has to do is to "unblock money" so as to fund a budget for whatever emergency measures have to be taken. black magicians worship, admire, envy, desire the power conferred by money. They love to generously spend other people's money, with laws, subsidies, feasts, institutions, constructions, etc. However, doing so, they spend not just people's money, but also their lives: for the utility of money comes from its use as an intermediate for the adaptive cooperation of individuals who are free to choose how to cooperate or not. The power of money is ultimately tied to the freedom and creation of White Magic; people only accept government-controlled money as a compulsory legal tender because they expect that despite the inconvenience, they will be able to use it as a practical universal intermediate in free trade. So black magicians are ambivalent about this. They hate the free market and all it represents, because it is a negation of their basic premises. At the same time, they recognize that a free-market economy is inevitable, and indispensable, if they have to have anything to prey upon. Black magicians will thus learn to have a double hypocritical attitude regarding money: they will openly claim it as good when it is confiscated and spent by the Godvernment, and as an instrument of vice to be despised when it is in private hands. Yet they will do whatever they can so that the money flows, sacrificing their ideals to the private lobbyists who promise prosperity. Finally, they will personally indulge to the power of this great "corrupter" that is money, although by identifying themselves with the Great Cause, they will easily pardon this vice in regard to the services that they render to the Nation (or whichever the Great Cause is).
Black Magic leads to many such paradoxes, and black magicians must thus train themselves and their followers into techniques of double-think, whereby they will be able to manipulate concepts from two or more logically contradictory points of view, depending on the context, while actively avoiding any situation where the contradictions become too obvious. The ultimate spell of Black Magic is thus to confer its followers some kind of schizophrenia allowing them to survive despite the contradictions upon which their beliefs are founded.
Black Magic is a cult that must be kept alive by constantly occupying the minds of people. And the best way to occupy their minds is to also occupy their bodies. The Godvernment will seek to intervene in any and every aspect of social life. It will even intervene in so very personal things as intimate relations between people in love, by regulating marriage, giving it an important place in fiscal and civil regulations, etc. Any domain that is not subject to heavy regulations is disconsidered as lawless savagery, a wild anarchy, to be promptly remedied by new legislation. At the same time, all this intervention must be accompanied by constant rhetorics, by appeal to the citizens' spirits, and ultimately by the actual concern of anxious citizens, so that the Godvernment will appear positively rather than negatively. This is why black magicians will resort to a series of tricks so as to stage the public worship of Black Magic.
War is the grandest way in which the Godvernment is presented as the savior of the People. War may be an actual war against a foreign country, if possible led by an obvious tyrant. It may also be war against unofficial governments reigning over areas abandonned by official legal governments: the mafia, drug trafficking organizations, terrorists, guerillas, etc. In a more rhetorical way, it may be war against some official vice: drug consumption, smoking, prostitution, drinking, unofficial religions, etc. Politicians will resort to the vocabulary of war even as they claim to fight poverty, fight unemployment, fight any "social disease" or misery. All these wars serve as a justification to the State impersonating the role of Good in a cosmic struggle between Good and Evil. Their ultimate goal is not external, it is internal: the important effect and strong incentive for black magicians to wage war is not to fight the claimed enemy, but to tighten the subjection of the allegedly protected citizens(74). The "exceptional" situation of war will serve as an excuse for whatever crimes and attempts to subvert the rule of law that godvernmental forces may commit, as well as a diversion from whatever misachievements they may make on "secondary" fronts. This situation of exception is so beneficial to black magicians that they will make it become permanent: indeed, once they have spread the idea that they are the solution rather than the problem, they will use the very failures of their policies as a pretense for ever increasing their interventions. An initially small temporary intervention will thus eventually turn into a permanent war to struggle against the permanent fiasco caused by the very intervention of the State.
Throughout all their staging of life as a cosmic struggle, black magicians will cultivate among their followers a feeling of righteousness. According to black magicians, the world is "us" against "them," it is friends versus foes – and you better be among friends. Friends are to be identified by their intents, their community of interests, their belonging to a nation or a race or a social class or any other category proposed by the black magicians' ideology. Black magicians thus propose an easy, undemanding, relaxing, and false grid to understand the universe(75). This simple grid offers followers the immediate benefit of saving the need for sustained enquiry, indulging their intellectual sloth(76). Thus, bad guys can be equated with people with bad intents, and the other way round, while similarly good guys can be equated both ways with people with good intents. Enemies who claim to have good intents will be classified as hypocrits, or as deeply misguided pawns manipulated by a greater Evil. Friends who have bad intents are to be justified, pardonned, or excommunicated. This polarization of life in its extreme forms can lead to Conspiracy Theory, where some people want to see a common intent, a common will, concerted interests, a central organization behind any Great Evil in the world. Anything wrong must have been meant as wrongdoing(77). The dual form of Conspiracy Theory is much scarier: Totalitarianism. It is the belief that, at some scale, there can be any Good in the world only if behind it there is a common intent, a common will, concerted interests, a central organization. All in all, this Black Magic polarization of people's vision of the world is akin to Animism: the want to see willful intent everywhere.
Our claim all throughout this article is that Black Magic, the Authoritarian Principle, is an intellectual fraud; it is a mental illness; it is a parasitic meme that makes people insane; it is a profoundly erroneous view of reality. There is a fundamental inadequacy between the discourse of Black Magic and the very actions of black magicians, that ultimately take place in the real world, the reality of which doesn't match the expectations provided by Black Magic. Black magicians may choose to be ignorant of nature and to revolt against it, but by definition, neither their whims nor their actions will ever change the laws of nature(78). Furthermore, we affirm that White Magic, the Libertarian Principle, is a correct paradigm for apprehending Life; it is mental sanity, a valid way of understanding the universe as we may live in it.
Yet at the same time, we take note that Black Magic, though it may bring sorrow, distress, failure, suffering and death to its followers and their victims, is itself surviving and prospering: It is a memetic success. It is another proof case where memetic fitness for a meme to survive is not the same as the fitness to survive for those who adopt it, or as the propensity of said meme to pass the test of rational criticism. Black Magic somehow "works," but it doesn't work as advertised. This is why we must examine the real reasons for its success. We must ask ourselves, what makes Black Magic so successful? What are the memetic forces that lead to Black Magic? What are the memetic forces that may help to resist and dispel Black Magic? On the long run, is Black Magic going to grow or to die away? And what can we do about it?
Black Magic spreads based on faith and fear and other basic emotions, on animal reflexes, on intellectual sloth, on a primitive way of thinking through emotional associations, symmetrical binary relations. It appeals to the primitive parts of man's mind and develops the pride of keeping one's mind in a primitive state. Indeed, Black Magic consists precisely of withholding rational thinking, and letting someone else – the Authority – decide on one's behalf. This Authority may be a past tradition, a present ruler, or a future power accepted in advance as a ruler (as with political elections). Black Magic is essentially the promise that a friendly superior force will solve your problems if you abandon your fate in its hands. It is the faithful abandonment of responsibility. It is the sweet bliss of ignorance. The ignorance that it spreads is itself the protection against the realization of the misery that the same ignorance causes. As with all kinds of faith, people believe because "it would be so nice if it were true." Those who deny the value of the promise are seen as enemies who try to destroy this value, assumed to exist.
Black magicians hate the free market, because it is not a personal god that they can bribe. But at the same time, they find it easy to blame the free market because it has no authoritative spokesman that can defend it: the common interest incarnate in free market is not any particular lobby's interest, and will find few people to actually defend it (as opposed to claiming to defend it while demanding protectionist measures for a special interest group). So Black Magic can survive through the distortion between the special interest of a focused group of organized predators unilaterally exploiting a widespread group of disorganized preys. People are born ignorant, and black magicians will cultivate this ignorance among people as long as they can, so as to victimize them.
Now, ignorance is not a stable state. Once someone is taught the principles of White Magic, and shown the nocivity of Black Magic, it becomes much more difficult to attract one's active support in the cult of Black Magic, helping to victimize oneself and other people. And knowledge is irreversible: once someone knows such a simple principle as White Magic, one knows it until one dies. That is why black magicians must expend a lot of efforts in trying to prevent people from thinking, and from ever being put in tight contact with the paradigm of White Magic. But these efforts will increase as methods are developed for spreading knowledge of the reality behind Black Magic. Ultimately, it will become so hard to remain ignorant, and so expensive to maintain other people in ignorance, that investing in Black Magic will be no more marginally profitable.
Government lives on Black Magic. Government produces Black Magic. But government is not Black Magic. More precisely, the Principle of Government is the main instance of Black Magic; however the body of people and activities known as "government" is not. Though they are historically, emotionally and semantically related, these two meanings of the word "government" must be distinguished, if we are to apply White Magic rational thinking to the underlying concepts, instead of merely Black Magic emotional feeling of them.
On the one hand government – its Authoritarian Principle – will monopolize, absorb and corrupt the production or delivery of goods and services actually produced through White Magic, and now made part of government – the Administrative Body. Government – the principle embraced by the rulers of the administration – will later use these monopolies as justifications for its existence: "public goods" that only It (the Body) provides, because It prohibits competition or regulates it away. However, the goods and services being monopolized by government, the productive parts of the administration, are in fact creations of White Magic. Hence, these parts of government – the Administrative Body – we do not seek to destroy, but verily to free and regenerate: we wish to remove the chains that subject these services, their producers and their consumers to the Authoritarian Principle of government.
Now not only is government (the Body) not made of pure Black Magic (since it absorbs White Magic components), but Black Magic is also very much present outside government (the Body) and even to some degree outside of government (the openly claimed Principle). There are plenty of accomplices to the activities of governments as such, who albeit having a status of "private" people and organizations, end up benefitting from public privileges; these accomplices serve to "privatize" the rent captured by those who hold power. There are also plenty of candidates who wish to replace current governments with new governments of their own, based on even more retrograde forms of Black Magic than currently rule: this includes all the religious fundamentalist movements, the worst among them being the socialist revolutionaries, etc. Then there are plenty of frauds who feed on the credulity and superstition of other people, though on a much pettier scale than instituted governments. Finally, Black Magic exists as part of the activities of many people who otherwise live through White Magic: political activists who do their best to get some party elected, trade unionists who demonstrate in the streets for their corporate interests, businessmen who pay lobbyists to court politicians, all these people have both this Black Magic activity of political manipulation, and (usually) a main White Magic activity of production. The latter kind of people constitute the major body of black magicians; though most of them are victims of Black Magic, they serve to propagate the mental illness.
Thus, government, as an instituted body, is not the main enemy, it is but the manifestation of the enemy. Should we manage to destroy the current government, evil as it may be, if we didn't dispel the belief in Black Magic, then Black Magic will spin off a new government, just as evil as the preceding one; and any violent means we used to destroy the previous government will only have resulted in pain and destruction. Our main enemy is more elusive, it resides in people's minds; it is the very belief in Black Magic, it is a disease from which we want to cure people. It is not government as a body, it is government as an idea; it is not the state, it is statism; it is not the political militants, it is politics. Our enemy is a mental illness, not the victims it infects. Our enemy is a view of the world where the interests of people are antagonistic instead of harmonic. Our enemy is the principle behind Enmity itself.
Let us not overestimate the enemy: it is not a devil endowed with a personal will; it is not capable of any coherent synchronized overall action; it cannot design concerted plans of action. Black magicians may be animists, we are not; we know that some phenomena emerge without any wilful intent nor any concerted action. On the other hand, let us not underestimate the enemy: it is not susceptible to be destroyed by a focused, narrow action, whereby we'd neutralize a few key people. Of course, such surgical actions may be necessary as a small but important part of an overall treatment, to inhibit the catalyzers of Black Magic; but the treatment cannot be narrow, for the meme of Black Magic is widespread in the human population, and is active even inside those of us who are conscious of its nefarious nature. The treatment will involve some form of education, to build some awareness of the Evil in those who think about politics, and to build some healthy reflexes in everyone.
Among the most potent obstacles that we will face, the more dangerous and evil people will not be the victims completely infected by Black Magic, those mindless superstitious people who abandoned their lives into the hands of Authority; these people are incapable of initiating rational, efficient action; though they may act in evil ways, their mechanisms of thought can be well understood; their actions can be foreseen; remedies can be found for them. Our most dangerous enemies will be those who use White Magic to efficiently cultivate Black Magic in other people, so as to unilaterally exploit them. Our most dangerous obstacles are grey magicians, who master enough of both forms of Magic so as to rule other people into serving them. These people understand the issues at hand; they can use White Magic techniques of rational design to lead and move the masses infected by Black Magic; and their interest is in preserving some form of Black Magic in other people. We must learn how these grey magicians think, how we can counter their work of evil, how we can turn some of them to our side, how we can use them to neutralize each other, how we can subvert their activity against Black Magic itself. Now, these grey magicians will adapt to our action; they will design new plans; they too will try to neutralize us, or to subvert our actions to their profit.
If we want our actions to be efficient, we must eradicate the source of the evil that destroys our freedom. It may be expedient to fight the visible manifestations of Evil, and indeed it is sometimes even necessary to do it. But the only useful fight on the long run is the fight against Evil itself. And it is the fight in which the fewest people actually participate. As Henry D. Thoreau put it:
We must learn to fight Black Magic itself, not its manifestations. So as to eradicate this parasite, so as to open the eyes of its ignorant victims, we must design a cure for this disease; and so as to design such a cure, we must understand enough of this illness and its mechanisms. We must understand how it works, and what efficient countermeasures there are. We must understand how it spreads, and how we can best prevent contamination. In other words, we must approach this problem with the White Magic attitude of engineering solutions, which supposes that we first develop a science of the mental mechanisms involved, call it "political psychology," "thaumaturgics" or "power memetics."
Our endeavour is Memetic Engineering for Liberty. We must engineer memes of White Magic that will successfully compete with the memes of Black Magic; this engineering includes successfully marketing the engineered memes. We must identify the psychological resources that Black Magic feeds upon, compete for those resources, and starve Black Magic from these resources. We must find and attack the weak defenses of Black Magic: the memes with the least negative feedback for Black Magic and most positive feedback for White Magic. We must discover by which chains of control grey magicians maintain the belief in Black Magic among the population, and disorganize, cut or subvert the longest of these chains.
This article may sound melodramatic. It is meant to. I plead guilty as charged of trying to raise emotion about the Evil that lies beneath government. Actually, I would have failed in my attempt, if I didn't sound melodramatic enough. Yet, there is hope. And hope is very important for raising emotion, too. Without hope, there is no need to worry; whereas with a great hope, the greatest difficulties will be happily faced.
In his 1860 article, Panarchy, P. E. de Puydt suggested that someday, people would cease to consider violence as a legitimate way to impose political opinions, just like they don't consider violence anymore as a legitimate way to impose religious opinions. This is our hope: someday, in civilized countries, governmental oppression will be remembered as a nightmare of ancient barbarian times, something unthinkable to civilized people, just like Wars of Religion now seem a barbarous thing of the past to inhabitants of most civilized countries.
And indeed, this utter delegitimation of aggressive violence will be but the final achievement of a long process of individualization of society. It is the same process by which religion was individualized(81), with the recognition that each individual has to seek his salvation independently from the collective, and much later with the official separation of Church from State. This process will be complete when people commonly accept the separation of Morality from Justice(82).
And there are good reasons to be optimistic in the long run. First, remember that Black Magic can exist but as a parasite to White Magic. Black Magic may always appear to be winning, dominating, etc. But deep down inside, White Magic is always the strongest. It is up to us to make this strength prevail in the open. One way to see Black Magic is as a parasite meme; we may say, to paraphrase Einstein, that like the measles, it is an infantile illness of mankind. We may then hope that we'll find good medication to cure this polymorphous evil. Then again, looking at things on a grand scale, we may actually consider that Black Magic is a relic of the past, a gangue of mud out of which Mankind is quickly emerging – quick in evolutionary timescales.
Indeed, from an evolutionary perspective, social interaction has long been limited to coordinating common interests against predators and preys, and otherwise managing the intrinsic conflicts of interests between group members. What the conscious mechanisms of thought were used for was recognizing friends and foes, preys and predators. Nature took care of all the engineering, through innate mechanical reflexes, internal biochemical processes, etc. Black Magic was the only kind of thought. The design of dynamic strategies of social interaction for hunting, escaping predators, reproducing, warring, is novel in evolutionary times. And modern man is unique in using conscious design of dynamic strategies to domesticate nature, to build new structures, to invent tools. This ability of dynamic thinking, of conscious engineering(83), is the distinctive trait of Mankind: it is the criterion by which we can distinguish the human being from his animal ancestors. It is the criterion by which we are superior to them, and by which our descendants will hopefully be superior to us. It is also the very principle of White Magic. White Magic is thus a great but relatively novel thing.
Black Magic is a remnant trace of primitive animality, of wild savagery, of ignorant barbarianism in man. White Magic is the principle of Mankind, a principle that has been tremendously successful at accelerating an evolution of Life toward new limits previously unconceivable and unconceived.
|<< index of this issue||