Racism, Sexism and Evolution
by Robert Anton Wilson
from Green Egg, Vol. IX, No 77
ALEPH: If Crowley had said, “Do what I wilt shall be the whole of the law,” he wouldn’t have sounded any different from all the other religious nuts of past and present. Because he actually said, “Do what thouwilt shall be the Whole of the law, he is known as the worst Monster and Madcap in the history of mysticism. Whatever else this proves, it clearly indicates that most people are desperately looking for some Authority to tell them what’s right and wrong, desperately afraid of taking that responsibility for themselves.
BETH: “Do what I will,” is the basic ethical teaching of Confucius, Buddha, Plato, Jesus, Zarathustra, etc. etc. Among the domesticated apes of Sol-3, any expansion of consciousness beyond the robotic level of conditioned sex-and-status tribal roles is experienced as so shattering, so illuminating, that the bewildered mind, when it returns to social consensus reality, is convinced that it has achieved some absolutely cosmic Enlightenment. Actually, it is probable that the highest trances of the most advanced adepts on this planet are only a distorted fraction of what Objective Intelligence would be (in those sections of space-time where it presumably exists.)
GIMMEL: “The only intelligent way to discuss politics is on all fours,” said Dr. Timothy Leary recently. Politics is standard vertebrate behavior to determine control of turf. Among the hominids of this backward planet, the territorial brawling has steadily grown more excessively violent as technology has advanced. The growling, fur-bristling, and similar kinesic domination signals, meanwhile are ephemeralized into stiffly-worded diplomatic “white papers.” Ideology and morality, the two chief causes of misery on this unfortunately primitive planet, provide “philosophies” which disguise the mammalian political struggle as a metaphysical conflict between abstract Good and abstract Evil. Visitors would do well to regard all the domesticated apes of Terra as mad unless they exhibit some overt signs of detachment from ideology and morality. It is certainly a safe rule-of-thumb that the most ideological and most moralistic are the maddest of all.
DALETH: Even though Kant gets the credit for inventing the Categorical Imperative, he merely made articulate what the best hominid brains had been groping toward for a few thousand years at least. Since the founding of civilization (i.e. Empire,) it had become obvious to the thoughtful that something like a Categorical Imperative was necessary. All of the “Do What I Will” ethical systems are attempts by shamanic-yogic individuals to state what sort of game-rules might tame, domesticate or retrain the ever-accelerating horror of our mammalian politics expanded by our technology. Civilization (i.e. Empire), it is now obvious, can easily destroy the planet without some such ethical check.
HE: There is, to my knowledge, no record of a pre-civilized (i.e. pre-0Imperialistic) people ever inventing a Categorical Imperative. As Nietzsche so succinctly points out, ethics among tribal and barbaric peoples are totally subjective. “Good” is what is good for me and my tribe. “Bad” is what is bad for us. Enslaving another tribe, raiding their cities, looting their ships piratically, etc. are all “Good“ because good-for-us. This is pure vertebrate politics and no lion, rat, hamster, hawk, etc. would ever behave on any other basis.
VAU: The Categorical Imperative was invented, the altruistic ethics (which ALWAYS are practiced within the tribe) were expanded to the whole human race (at least in religious teaching and in humanitarian hopes) only when the rise of civilization (Imperialisms) made territorial brawling increasingly constant, increasingly bloody and increasingly dangerous to everybody. When Nietzsche or James H. Madole protest that planetary altruism is unnatural, they really mean unmammalian. The attempts at universal ethical systems by Confucius, Jesus, Buddha, etc. (however contradictory and arbitrary) were attempts to fulfill a need that had arisen because we had evolved in a new evolutionary direction, outside the mammalian norm. Domesticated ape plus Alexander’s military organization was already a frightening spectacle to the intelligent and intuitive minds of that period. Domesticated ape plus hydrogen bomb is even more dismaying.
ZAIN: Ethics, like courtesy, is based on intersecting trajectories. If you and I never intersect life-paths, there is no possibility of (or need for) ethics or courtesy between us. As nations rise and vertebrate politics is magnified by organization and technology, intersections and/or collisions increase. At least minimum standards of politeness and decency become necessary. Since people, by and large, would still rather die, even in prolonged torture, than to think for themselves, it becomes inevitable that great prophets and Messiahs should arise and establish such game-rules on the basis of “Do what I will,: because some god told me to pass these orders on to the rest of you.”
OHETH: All that is past history. The Categorical Imperative is as obsolete as Alexander’s chariots. As The Book of the Law predicted in 1904, “The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect and the I lofty chosen ones in the highest.” The “gross”, namely our bio-survival body-ego consciousness, has entered the fire since Hiroshima, planetary holocaust is a real possibility and there is no security anywhere. The “fine” have been tried in intellect as Einstein’s relativity, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Gödel’s proof, etc. have removed all certainty from our intellectual system, leaving us no choice but agnosticism as the one remaining honest philosophy. And the “lofty chosen ones”, our spiritual aspirations, have been “tested in the highest” by the jolting revelations of psychoanalysis and cultural anthropology, which have demonstrated beyond all question that all ethical systems are equally arbitrary and irrational. We know that we are here, but we have no guarantee that a second from now we might not be incinerated in a planetary blunder; we know that we think, but we have no assurance that our thinking can every prove anything; and we know that we must make choices, but we have no grounds to believe out standards of better-and-worse have any validity.
TETH: The collapse of certainty has been extremely painful to moralists and ideologists who are mostly inclined to deny it or ignore it. This leads to endless confusion, especially among Marxists and liberal-humanists, whose official philosophies of dialectical materialism and scientific agnosticism are incompatible with any ethical absolutes, but who still manage to remain morally indignant most of the time. On examination, what such groups are morally indignant about is the fact that the Categorical Imperative ethical systems never did take any firm root (except in preaching and theorizing) and most domesticate apes of the hominid species continue to behave on the basis of standard mammalian politics, including racism, sexism, bullying, treachery, predation, etc. Ironically, such behaviors also continue, rationalized by morality and ideology, among Marxists (cf. KGB) and liberal-humanists (who largely staff the CIA.)
YOD: A more hopeful view becomes available when we realize that while the planet has been shrinking, the available universe has been expanding. The shrinkage of Earth is well-noted in books on World Federalism, etc.; what it comes down to is that we are all intersecting and colliding. (For instance you recently had to decide whether or not to help napalm Vietnamese children. If you paid your taxes, you helped in the baby-roast. If you refused to pay, your life took a dramatic turn into adventure and high drama with jail at the possible climax.). Hence the frantic attempts to recreate a Categorical Imperative, even after reason and morality have been proven totally random and unreliable. Meanwhile, however, the expansion of the universe shows the alternate path and the evolutionary meaning of Crowley’s Law of Thelema.
KAPH: “What is good for me and my gang” (standard mammalian politics) become counter-survival when technology and overcrowding made for more frequent intersections/collisions. “What is good for all men and all women” (Categorical Imperatives) then become necessary. Al of this is a very early stage of vertebrate evolution on a planet probably less than half-way through the average DNA script for satellites of type G stars. Domesticate apes, of course, do not like to think that they are early evolutionary forms; they like to think they are the Crown of Creation. Hence there is a notorious lack of evolutionary perspectivein virtually all hominid philosophies.
LAMED: The human nervous system is literally exploding. Technology, the extension of our nervous system, shows exponential accelerations on all levels. Speed of communications increased 107 times since 1900, speed of travel 102, data processing 106, etc. None of our social institutions or mammalian philosophies can cope with change at this velocity. The break-up of existing imperialistic Civilization is intuited as inevitable everywhere. We are each on a collision course with all. The planet has shrunk to pin-size and our territorial squabbles are increasingly omi-lethal.
MEM: The DNA hasn’t guided us this far without having more metamorphic and mutational possibilities in reserve. “We” are, you must remember, local cells in the 1.5-billion year old Genetic Brain which has adapted, survived, and tenaciously advanced toward Higher Intelligence by continuous strategic evolution. It is and has been trillions upon trillions of experimental models: bee, ant, mantis, whale, hamster, tree, grass, ape, spider, eagle and dolphin. Migration and mutation are its basic metaprograms. (Specifically, most of our ancestors were not of our favored race or sex. The majority of them weren’t even mammals.)
NUN: Migration and mutation, the flight from Earth into cosmic space-time, is the obvious direction of current technology. The domesticated ape species calling itself Homo Sap is about to cease to exist, even if SHe does survive hir territorial rumbles. The spread of human seed throughout the galaxy means the end of humanity-as-we-know-it. A thousand post-human species, adapted to interstellar conditions of tremendous variety, must and will replace the homogenized humanity dreamed of by terrestrial egalitarians. The racists are going to win out after all but it will be a bitter victory for them. The races we know can never survive long beyond Earth. Mutation and metamorphosis, the basic DNA strategies, will consign them all to the scrap-heap.
SAMEK: Quarrels over busing, dish-washing, salaries, capitalism, socialism, etc – the whole current of Left-Right debate – is as obsolete as the War of the Roses. Prof. O’Neill’s space-cities are getting increased publicity and support. Dr. Leary’s Terra II is now a legal corporation with some very wealthy backers. In Germany, an engineer named Lutz T. Kayser of Stuttgart has raised $3 for the first civilian space exploration corporation in Europe. The great migration is beginning.
AYIN: The old tribal-relativist question, “What is right for me and my gang?” once again becomes more relevant than the pompous and irresolvable Categorical Imperative of “What is right for all men and all women?” The only intelligent choice today is to find your real gang – the tribe that is neuro-genetically wired up to be going in the same evolutionary direction as yourself – and synergize your group efforts toward achieving Escape Velocity.
PE: Many world-savers have taken on that occupation unwillingly, only because it seemed that the only way their evolutionary ideals couple be preserved would be through first uniting humanity into a homogenous hive without war and racial strife. This Quixotic and well-nigh impossible burden can now be dropped. The best way to assure the survival of some human seed, and the best way to give your evolutionary ideals a good chance, is to put all your efforts into migration.
TZADDI: Those whose evolutionary ideals are necessary to the cosmic mosaic, or compatible with it, will survive and even thrive during the migration-mutation. Those whose evolutionary ideals are primitive, mammalian, typically primate, will probably not survive the migration-mutation. Evolutionarily, this is the way it always works out.
KOPH: I started out to write a letter to the Green Egg FORUM about why I disagree with James Madole’s racist philosophy as expounded in FORUM #VIII, 75; instead I wrote this article. (Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Madole.) Squabbles about which kids should go to what schools (the chief bone of contention between Madole and the liberal-humanist Establishment) will fade away when migration opens infinite doors to space and the overcrowding, intersections, and collisions of civilized humanity are transcended by cosmic freedom. Let Madole lead a tribe of pure Aryans to some Aryan heaven in the Orion system. I personally am signed up for Dr. Leary’s Terra II, which plans to include all races and all 48 neuro-genetic types of humanity on the assumption that all genetic variations are necessary. Let everybody else get their own space tribe together and go off in their own heavenly direction. “Do what thou wilt” shall be “the whole of the law.” (Frankly, I suspect that the weird brand of pseudo-science underlying Madole’s racist-occult philosophy will lead his gang into the same debacle where Hitler landed. But Madole is at liberty to feel the say way about the Wilsonian philosophy) the universe is a big Mother!
SHIN: Shifting from a territorial to an extra-terrestrial perspective changes sex-role ideologies as much as race ideologies. To make this explicit, I can do no better than to quote Robert. A. Heinlein’s perfect definition in Time Enough for Love: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, conn a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
RESH: Looking at matters from an evolutionary viewpoint, minus morality and ideology, leads to increased mental clarity and greater tolerance. Anything that has been around for a few thousand years (e.g. racism, sexism) has served a definite evolutionary function; otherwise it would not have survived. The same is even more true of anything that has lasted millions or billions of years (e.g. predation, violence) those of us who wish to move to a higher cosmic destiny have no real reason to get upset or discouraged by the continuation of these classic vertebrate games into our time. The universe, as Dr. Leary has remarked, is an intelligence test. If we cannot surmount bitter opposition (and even “unfair” tactics) by the mammalian establishment, then we do not qualify as fit to instigate the next mutation. The proper course, then, is to have a good laugh at our own presumption and vanity. Meanwhile, until we are forced into that cheerful Taoist surrender, our enemies are our best friends since they are teaching us to be smarter, quicker, more patient and dedicated, much shrewder and more practical. Anger is a luxury for losers; those who intend to win can’t waste time on it.
TAU: “Nobody is really sane until he has said sincerely, ‘Thank you, God’” (Oscar Ichazo) Leaving aside the sexist semantics of that aphorism, Oscar is quite right. Whatever we mean by “God” or “Goddess,” it is obvious, at least, that every organism that ever lived on this planet contributed to making possible this city, this room, this typewriter where I sit recording my Signal and the like situation in which you sit receiving my Transmission. The only sane attitude toward the trees and vegetation that made animal life possible, the creatures from amoeba to austral-epitecus that moved life upward and onward, the men and women who gave us culture and technology as our heritage at birth, is inexpressible gratitude. Since history is made by our actions, not our sentiments, such gratitude needs to be expressed in action or it is mere Transcendental Masturbation. The only actions that express existential gratitude adequately are those which transcend our seeming limits and strive upward toward higher intelligence, deeper compassion, more total responsibility, greater joy. If we really understood the splendor of being conscious in this universe, we would shine like stars.
Every man and every woman is a star. – Aleister Crowley