It has taken me a while to figure out how to finish this series, because I believe conscious thought and meditation on the structures I have already expanded on will lead to further avenues of freedom. With that said, I felt the spirit of the situation had been left alone, and so in this finale I will simply expand on loose thoughts relating to freedom and exit in general, there can be no general conclusion to exit, only a personal one, found mentally.
I lived in a quaint little town in the middle of rural England. I say lived even though I still live here, because the town is expanding. There was a vote and all that jazz, but anyone who has lived through these happenings will know and, in retrospect, understand that expansion in-itself is a force from the Outside, and there is no single committee or person which can take responsibility, industrial and commercial expansion are the material symptoms of progress, that is, when progress is seen as a priori good. Anyway, back to my little town. It was a general small rural town. A few pubs, a few shops, couple of restaurants, lots of green space and a somewhat existent sense of community. Now, this all seems like some nostalgic gushing so far, but there’s more to it than that, I promise.
We’ve all heard of small-town folk getting frustrated when the huge supermarket comes in and ruins all the local businesses, even though those small-town folk make little-to-no effort to support local business. Hey, convenience can destroy even the most pithy of principles! What I’m getting at is, I understand the cliche. In fact, it’s almost stupid to critique that form of commercialism these days. Anyone who understands the positive-feedback loop of capitalism (Accelerationism), will also understand that material-criticism or anti-capitalist praxis is really dumb. I’d like to think that if this series has made anything clear it is that exit and freedom are (mental) perspectives and not physical routes.
So when I write here of my frustration at the expansion of my little town, it is not because I now see more cars on the road, witness the destruction of green spaces or hear more bullshit. No, even though these are frustrating symptoms of expansion in-itself, my frustrations are at the continuation of mental-state which can only be described as dead. More people will move to the town, the town will expand more, there will be less green space, and what made the town nice in the first place will be destroyed and no one will understand why this has happened. And then those with the money will move somewhere else and repeat the process. ‘There’s nothing new under the sun.’ etc. But in this cycle of consumerist life is the problem of freedom and exit. All these people believe they’re exiting something, or becoming free from something, when in reality they are still moving along the exact same line as they were before, except this time they’re doing so within a ‘nicer’ house, or in a faster car.
Unlike other texts of this sort I am not here to profess universal love, or unconditional rights or some other (false) objective idiocy. All that I shall profess is the continual analysis of the self. In witnessing the cycle of a town go from idyllic to suburban hellhole, I have actually witnessed very little. I only noticed this in retrospect of course. There were those who years ago attached their identities to the village green and to cricket, there were those in-between who attached it to the idea of careers and there are those who now believe they are moving into a prosperous town. The mistake all of these generations made, or are making, is that they have allowed their selves to become tethered to abstract ideals. But again, I’d like to think that another thing I have avoided in this series is the idea that anything I write here is anything new, it isn’t. All I have written is repetition, and shall be written time and time again by those who took the time to look inward.
Here’s the part where I upset you. This series never had answers, not once. The reason for this is because the only answers worth anything are the ones you come to on your own journey, by your own will. I cannot teach you how to ‘exit’ or ‘be free’ as much as I can teach another to be calm. My notion of calm is in relation to all that I have I read, experienced and thought on, and as such I cannot help you. You must help yourself. You must change your life.
Why is this part titled ‘Anti-Requiem’? Let me indulge you.
Requiem: a Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead.
Modernity is an anti-requiem. It does not wish for a repose for the dead, because it is fueled by the dead. It is fueled by that and those who follow their most apathetic whims and desires, those who are purely creatures of habit. The majority shall never be free. Modernity is too strong. But if you’ve come this far, there is probably hope. Many I knew are simply gone. Many reading this will state I am crass, ‘edgy’ or simply an arsehole for stating that others are dead, sheep or robots. If you’re one the people calling me an arsehole, then chances are you are also one of the people who are gone. I occasionally see childhood friends I lost contact with. They are gone. The conversations are nothingness interspersed with consumption and items, their actions are constrained by devices and their-selves are lost to a void of apathy and habit. I shall waste no time dragging horses to water, they never want to drink. Only those horses who are curious about the water in the first place shall be given help. That is you, dear reader, you are here and reading this, modernity hasn’t taken you just yet.
The process of exit is mentally exhausting. Freedom is largely sacrifice.
“Freedom is a two-edged sword of which one edge is liberty and the other, responsibility. Both edges are exceedingly sharp and the weapon is not suited to casual, cowardly or treacherous hands.” – Jack Parsons