They Didn't Know

“Control” is the name Burroughs proposes as a term for the new monster, one that Foucault recognizes as our immediate future. Paul Virilio also is continually analyzing the ultra-rapid forms of free-floating control that replaced the old disciplines operating in the time frame of a closed system. There is no need here to invoke the extraordinary pharmaceutical productions, the molecular engineering, the genetic manipulations, although these are slated to enter into the new process. There is no need to ask which is the toughest or most tolerable regime, for it’s within each of them that liberating and enslaving forces confront one another. For example, in the crisis of the hospital as environment of enclosure, neighborhood clinics, hospices, and day care could at first express new freedom, but they could participate as well in mechanisms of control that are equal to the harshest of confinements. There is no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.

- Gilles Deluze, "Postscript on the Societies of Control"

This is not the sort of post I could have imagined myself writing a year ago, or even a few months ago. But the signs were all there, even if communicated in a way where they could be intelligible by a different narrative, one which is acceptable to the social spaces I've inhabited. They call it "schizoposting" these days to say the sorts things I say online – a set of specific cherrypicked signifiers that are made into a designated performative otherness. This sort of discourse is overwhelmingly skewed by hylic sane people, but it also also provides the material for mimetic camouflage; it's all just jokes, I tell them and myself. But that's how it always starts. You don't realize the joke has been on you the entire time until you get the punchline, when you can no longer deny it, when the delusions and paranoia have become so deeply entrenched that you are scared of the people closest to you and think they're out to get you, when your internal narrative of reality has diverged entirely from their own, when you start seeing and hearing things that aren't there. At first you might dismiss these things as coincidences or random chance, but there is no coincidence, and I'm not convinced that anything we perceive is truly random or that anything is real.

Randomness and chaos are concepts that hylics think of in the same terms that Gilles Deleuze critiques in the first chapter of Bergsonism: Chaos is not its own state of being, but is thought of in terms of a lack. Chaos is merely a negation of order, a lack of organization of a particular sort. This, as Deleuze analyzes in Bergsonism and elsewhere, is not a well-formed philosophical concept but rather one that arises from an error in thought, concepts that are ill-fitted as he describes them, in which they carry more baggage than is within their scope. Because chaos as non-order requires the concept of order as well as the concept of negation, and it also carries with it whatever psychological motivations would lead to someone deciding arbitrarily that chaos is merely a lack of order, it is ill-fitted and poorly understood by the people who advocate for that sort of ontology. It's simpler, more elegant in a mathematical sense, to think not in terms of a difference in degree, a proximity or lack thereof to certain concepts that are privileged in the canon of western philosophy, but rather to think in terms of different kinds. Not order and non-order, but different organizations of things.

It's no accident that Deleuze and Guattari would go on to write about schizophrenia in Anti-Oedipus, but I've become convinced that their work is one of the only fully-formed instances in western philosophy of thinking in terms of peripheral assemblages like schizophrenia and that the reasons why they're thought of as being so incredibly difficult to understand is because they cannot be approached in the same way that most of philosophy is approached. This is why their work, and especially that of the Ccru, was not merely flat philosophical writing, but moves between fiction and nonfiction (theoryfiction). Before we understood the world according to the "rationality" of the Enlightenment, we often understood it through stories, folklore, history, and religion, and in order to understand a world outside of the west we must unlearn the ways in which the west has conditioned all thought. The Ccru called this the Architectonic Order of the Eschaton, a world imperialism on the metaphysical plane.

The thing is that Anti-Oedipus and the works of D&G and the Ccru can be understood more intuitively by not thinking in terms of the One God Universe as William S. Burroughs called it, or the Black Iron Prison for Phillip K. Dick. One of the ways to get out of it is with drugs, which are just a shortcut for temporary insanity. It's no accident that "ego death" is a common experience with psychedelic drug use, though few seem to make the connection that this is because drugs can temporarily change a person's brain chemistry to align with what isn't the dominant neurotype – what we call being "sober" and "sane". The other way of escaping the OGU is to just be insane by default. Better still is to do both.

I've often read reports of people who went deep into hard psychedelic drug abuse for long periods of time, and they always describe the sorts of symptoms that have been my default experiences my whole life. Seeing or hearing things that aren't there, divergent perceptions of time, disordered thinking, a bad memory, major depression. But it wasn't until I'd gone deeper into drug use that I started to understand what was really going on. I finally started to get the joke and realized that what D&G were talking about when they wrote about schizoanalysis was describing a way of perceiving the world that I have always had.

The reason that I quote "Postscript on the Societies of Control" in the opening of this post is because the issue of being schizo isn't as cut or dry as one might think. The dominant portrayal of schizophrenia is the most severe cases of it, where someone is in a fully psychotic or catatonic state, and it's also always portrayed as being perpetually in that state. Yet where do we most often see schizophrenia represented and talked about? In the insane asylum. Every person I've ever met who has been institutionalized has told me that even in the 21st century – when we have supposedly become as a culture more progressive about mental health and don't lobotomize people anymore – psych wards still do not exist to actually treat mental "illness". An institutionalized schizophrenic may experience a lasting state of psychosis, but this is only the reaction a certain neurotype has to an insane and barbaric society that treats people with different neurotypes as a class of people to be cleansed from the gene pool.

It wasn't even 100 years ago that we were still doing all the things to lunatics that are supposedly the relics of a bygone age of ignorance. The United States, famously, inspired the eugenics policies of the Nazis,1 but this is typically talked about as if it was a thing that we only did in the 1920s when experiments in using psychoactive drugs to brainwash and torture people continued on into the late 20th century. Schizophrenics and autistic people, who have often been conflated by psychiatry as the same thing, were involuntarily imprisoned and used as test subjects for psychiatric procedures. They were lobotomized, sterilized, and later mostly put on antipsychotics based entirely on the discredited theory of schizophrenia being an excess of dopamine in the brain. Since the mechanism of action in antipsychotics follows this faulty theory accordingly and deprives the test subject of their dopamine, it's no wonder that antipsychotics have a track record of inducing psychosis in otherwise "sane" patients.

Just like how the United $naKKKes of AmeriKKKa supposedly solved racism and sexism in the middle of the 20th century, we're lead to believe that the treatment of lunatics was also solved. Yet only about an hour from where I live, there's an asylum that is now abandoned but closed about 20 years ago and was notorious for forced sterilizations, lobotomies, and various other forms of abuse. Even as recently as the 2010s, this same state that has since outlawed institutionalizing lunatics has been caught sending intellectually disabled children to out of state facilities where institutionalization is still legal.

This is only one segment of the myriad of different institutional forms of abuse, systemically supported by this illegitimate fascist state, that continue to go on into the 21st century. Another is the prison system, and the treatment of Black men and the mentally ill have a lot in common when the societies of control regress into disciplinary societies. When Deleuze says that the societies of control are "a modulation, like a self-deforming cast that will continuously change from one moment to the other, or like a sieve whose mesh will transmute from point to point", what he means is that there are varying degrees of segmentation in the societies of control. Many will only see its gentler, manipulative apparatuses, the proliferation of "therapyspeak" and mental health awareness that tricks the center-left majority into thinking that things are better than they used to be. In a material sense, they are not. Anyone who has ever been on the periphery knows this. The system has only gotten better at gaslighting us into thinking that things are better. But to paraphrase Lenin, the psychiatrist will give you the language with which to turn your madness into a weapon.

One of the ways that control works is on the level of individual thought, the "cop in your head", or what Wilhelm Reich called the "little man" that desires his own repression. The cop in your head tells you that the way you perceive the world must be the same way that everyone else does, because there is such a thing as an objective reality. When consensus reality breaks down and language no longer adequately describes reality, it's made by the societies of control into an individual error in thought. One has a "chemical imbalance", is "delusional", is engaging in "magical thinking" or "paranoia". A failure in being able to participate in constituting consensus reality with language makes you abnormal. You will tell yourself this because your parents, teachers, and peers, from your earliest memories and throughout your entire life, will tell you that you are abnormal. They will tell you that they care about you and that you need to calm down and stop your raving before you hurt yourself or someone else, because they are the enemy. They are the hylics who want to see people like you locked away somewhere from the rest of society where you can no longer be an inconvenient refutation of their consensus reality narratives. If they can, they will eradicate you and everyone like you.

At every different level of civilization, there are those who can assimilate, the hylics – whites, the sane, cishets, men – and there are the people who rule over them and control their reality. The ones who can assimilate are given the barbed lure of temporary hollow luxuries; they flee to the center of the herd to blend in and be like everyone else, lest they get eaten by predators. They see those who fail to conform get eaten and it serves as a continual reminder for everyone else to fall in line, because being on the periphery is scary and dangerous. But that's exactly why it's where everything interesting happens.

So you learn to tell yourself that you are so sane and normal, or maybe that you have some mental health issues that are normalized because they can be treated but not solved. Our supposedly progressive society normalizes and destigmatizes depression not because it cares about depressives but because depression is usually treatable with drugs. Treated, but not cured, because all of bourgeois psychiatry that calls itself a science without practicing the scientific method is not interested in cures or helping people. It is interested in control, and SSRIs are not just an easy apparatus of control, a lobotomy in a can, but they make you into an even more ideal hylic. The system does not want you to have desires, but it doesn't want you to feel pain either, because pain is an adaptive response. Depression is an adaptive response to a pervasive wrongness in the world that is directly affecting you on the individual level. The system doesn't want you to notice that. It doesn't want you to develop an adaptive depressive numbness; it wants to impose its numbness onto you. It wants you to go to work and only desire what you've been told to desire.

But I have spent my entire life having an innate sense of distrust for all these different apparatuses in the societies of control, because I have only ever experienced them as discipline. My far-right evangelical family, who tells an eight year old that suicide is a sin and that you'll go to hell for it. My teachers, who have to take me aside and tell me how to repress my default behaviors because they are causing me to be outcasted and bullied by all of my peers. My peers, who get initiated into adulthood by being the most outwardly vicious oppressors of anyone who cannot assimilate. And once again, my parents, who remain in denial about all of this, unable to bear the reality that their dreams of assimilating into the white middle class are not going to be fulfilled. They cannot handle the reality that their firstborn is a gay retard, so the rest of the system takes over and disciplines her, because this is the height of white privilege: To be alienated even from disciplinary violence, and have the system do it for you.

The repressive structure that is instilled by discipline into those who cannot ever assimilate can only work for so long before it collapses. Major depression becomes a fact of life for her for as long as she can remember, and she blocks out most of her life. She cannot remember any original source of trauma, and would be almost grateful to even have one singular moment, one linear event where the traumatic break happened between normalcy and illness. It would at the very least give her the same linear narrative as everyone else, but there has only ever been one disaster after another, and she retreats into herself, because from the very start she knows that she cannot trust anyone. At every level of socialization she has learned that everyone is the enemy, that this world is designed to kill her. She spends most of her life in isolation, and the moments when she slips up, because she's still a kid and hasn't been doing this for very long, she is reprimanded for it. She learns to fake being normal by becoming less of herself, trying to act like someone whose brain is slow and orderly and linear and boring, but the depression never goes away, and it takes many years before she's become adequate at pretending. The depression only gets worse, in fact, because it is the adaptive response of a person in perpetual crisis who knows that something is "wrong" with her, that the way she experiences the world is not like most people's. But she cannot talk about this with anyone, so she talks to herself, she invents her own inner world, she repeats nonsense phrases to herself until the words lose meaning because she has never been able to reliably share meaning with anyone, the narrative of her life splits in two. Rarely does anyone ever get a glimpse into this, and the times when it happens, it is another catastrophe. So the pathological self-isolation and paranoia only becomes worse.

Whatever original difference there once was in perceiving the world, a state of disordered thinking and bizarre beliefs that likely arises from a fundamental difference in the experience of time, finds itself in a world that it does not belong. She learns to pretend to be sane and normal, and for a time pretend to be a boy, but this is only evolving camouflage to survive in a world of predators. Internally, there is a cacophany of her own voices talking so loud, so fast, so constantly, that she could not write fast enough to get them all down. She would like to even have a single distinct consciousness in herself, but they are all the same name, though they have many voices. She has had to hide for so long that she has created her own sovereign world from everyone else, with her own vassals. She has built her own labyrinth.

At times, she finds that she isn't alone, or at least that people seem to like her when she pretends to be normal. It puts the brakes on her descent deeper into being undeniably insane, but it comes with a cost, because the ones who are like her have too much responsibility put on them and they are dealing with someone who is already susceptible to paranoid delusions, and the ones who aren't like her eventually learn that she isn't just the version of herself who is the closest approximation to "normal" that she can manage. They aren't like her, and they cannot understand her, and when the mask slips they recoil the same as everyone else. They didn't know. They reproduce the carceral logic of the societies of control in their disciplinary modality. They accuse her of some individual moral failing, the cop's favorite spook, and then they too punish her. Because she is a woman, and because she is trans, they can do whatever they want to her and there will be no recourse for her. She can expect nothing but destitution and ruin as long as she gives them the chance to do this to her.

She spends a long time thinking that they must have been right, because this has followed her for as long as she can remember. She has only ever known being treated by others as an outcast, had to hide from everyone lest she be disciplined again. She tells herself that she must be a bad person, because this has happened so many times, and so many people have said the same things to her so many times, and the only constant has been her. But she has only internalized the disciplinary methods of the societies of control. She convinces herself that there is a linear narrative to her life and her identity even when she knows this is obviously not the case, so that she can put the blame on herself as an individual. She learns to single herself out because this is how disciplinary modalities work. There's a reason why they reserve solitary confinement or being locked in a padded room for only the worst offenders.

It's only when she has finally suffered enough to no longer even be able to convince herself that assimilation is possible, that she can be normal, that she just has to repress as hard as she possibly can, that it all breaks loose. She finally has gotten the punchline to the joke in the form of a psychotic episode, and suddenly she remembers that she is a lunatic. She waxes and wanes between a black withdrawal into herself and a blinding terror of reality becoming whatever she wants it to be. In all cases it leads back to the crooked path, back into that blackest night that she gets her namesake from, and she realizes that she had already found a kinship here where ghosts and criminals dwell.

The societies of control will tell you that being schizo is exactly how they portray it, in their institutions, where they have their own disciplinary structures of abuse. They would not dare to admit that it is possible to survive and live a decent life even at the furthest ends of what is considered "normal" or "sane" or "human", that the hylic's linear perception of time is not an objective truth but merely a dominant one and that they make all other phenomenal experience of the world seem like an illness by institutionalizing abuse at all levels of a person's development. They would not want you to realize that they are your enemy, that they have always been trying to kill you, and that even if you do your best to hide and try to assimilate, you will probably kill yourself instead. Because your situation is already an unenviable one, a gift from the Devil, but they make it intolerable, make death seem like the only possible solution to your problems because all you can remember is a series of catastrophes and failures when you've tried to assimilate. Even if you try to be like them, they don't want you, and they make it so this world will kill you no matter what.

This is why the tendency is for the schizophrenic to create their own world, why hallucinations and delusions are the most frightening possible thing a normie can imagine. They respond to it the same way they respond to depression: They give you a canned lobotomy. Because the schizophenomenal experience of the world is, like depression, an adaptive response to an intolerable condition. And the hylic hates this. They hate that, try as they might, they cannot succeed in lobotomizing the schizo to save the human. They are terrified and hate it, marshal a whole army of spooks to convince you that you just have lost touch with an "objective reality", because this is the adaptive response to secede from a world that is designed to kill you. Your despair becomes the building materials for the labyrinth that you become, and they will tell you it's an "illness" because once people like us were revered as priestesses.

The west's imperial project is not merely to colonize the rest of the world; they started by killing their own, and this process has only continued. Now religion is next on the chopping block, because even that has too many relics of a past where anything other than the white sane cishet middle class was allowed to exist. They want everyone to be the same sterile, domesticated lobotomite that their disciplinary structures make those of us into who would have once been their betters, who are called by the gods. The herd is not just safe, but also stupid, boring, and resentful, a cult of misery for its own sake that began with the Anglo Puritans. This is why the ultimate end of western civilization is nothing but a lifetime of miserable toil to leave behind the impressive ruins that were the entire telos of Nazi architecture, and this is why the west and liberalism cannot be understood as anything other than a different modality of Nazism.

When I have to go outside, when I am around them, I know that everyone I'm surrounded by has a particle of Hitler in them; show the AmeriKKKan leftist a schizo tranny and see how quickly they defer violence to the apparatus of the neoliberal police state. Whenever I go, I know that I must conceal myself from them, that to them I am human-shaped garbage. I speak to them and use only as many words as I need. When they get too close, when I have been caught, the switch flips, the circuits open: Turn your illness into a directed energy weapon. They call it "infodumping" when the autistics do it, and when we do this, it is psychotronic warfare, a "rant". Overwhelm the enemy with unrelenting signal amplification until all the noise of their automaton existence is drowned out.

They do not want you to know that you don't need to fight your demons.


- SPK, "Slogun"



See: Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Author: n1x (n1x@katak)


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