Component I: Kindling the future
What is a black-flagged pyromaniac to do in the middle of a frozen ocean? Start by gathering sticks and twigs. Even if this wood is ashen and wet, so long as the fire rages in your belly, anything can start everything right back up. Revolutionaries shouldn’t be afraid of the past, nor should they use it to excuse themselves from the future, such as those who say, “Everything has been tried, and yet the temperatures won’t rise!” Let’s start imagining again and break through this stubbornness.
Let’s start with the old fantasy of the commune, but not just any version of it. The specific vision and fairy tale in mind isn’t simply a “shared living space or community,” like those in the medieval era that resided in feudal relations or even today, where some people share housing, labor, and other duties together in the landscape of capital relations, but more the commune as a space that makes time common. This time difference is where one inhabits a universe of free relations rather than just merely existing in a separate area that tries to exhibit mutual aid and cooperative relations but faces the problems of pre-existing and arising interpersonal antagonisms which can quickly manifest into informal power structures. The struggles with these internal inequalities will collide with attempts to exhibit nonhierarchical behaviors and habits. While this commune tries to sort these inequalities out, the outside world will constantly knock at the front door for resources and submissions to its own authorities. Filling the air with multi-directional collisions. This disjointed atmosphere rains down on the inhabitants as they’re flooded with collisions and contradictions. The micro-experience of commonality they attempt to maintain is intruded on by the very fact that the cosmos isn’t free. Those outside and inside who continue to experience the overarching sense of time as uncommon due to class divisions and bigotries are in contrast with this sense of shared living; if all are not free, then time is still stolen from the rest of humanity and locked behind the hands and minds of dominators and their management. The centralized outside is attacking the decentralized inside, and vice versa.
A boundless commune across galaxies, on the other hand, is established through a fierce universalism, not centered on humans or non-humans, but on a non-humanism that is humanist, hybridized humanist, post-humanist, and beyond that disintegrates rigidity, leaving no disruptions of dominance but rather individuation. This is the only effective and forever-lasting assault on the cryosphere. Putting the necessity for the expansion of liberties into full expression, which is toxic to all authorities and their offshoots. Where the boundaries of work and leisure are liquified, as if the clocks mounted high on the wall, the same ones that are used to stroke off second by second your finite existence, simply melted down from their unreachable height and into a formless material that you could harness in your hands and use to create anything. In this common place in space and time where production is freely organized, people move in motion with their own self-development, creating swirls and swarms of energy as they dance with themselves, others, and eternity, every single person becoming an engine running without limitation, generating the warmest place on earth.
This spatial and temporal position not only hosts intelligence but also enhances, creates, and expands it as networks upon networks of relations reach out without beginning or end. From this, a centerless machine process begins to take shape and produce autonomous movements and behaviors. It builds itself off the creativity of free production, forming feedback loops, cycles, and mechanisms that defend horizontal structures and attack vertical ones. As these processes interact with one another, building on each other and creating something larger than the sum of their parts, this amalgamation produces independent activity that takes on the characteristics of AI. This artificial intelligence that is born from the harmonized runaway of technical, productive, and liberatory processes is itself an active participant and replicator of free associations.
This AI within the commune will be constantly attacked, contained, and diminished by the capital AI. It does this by seeking out and feeding on new and potentially threatening developments made by other intelligences and then reducing, controlling, or outright destroying their movements. In its final and fatal strike, the capital AI will feed on the other intelligences until it has figured out how to completely assimilate them. In this way, the capital AI thrives on ignorance, obedience, and frozen potential by controlling and managing as much information as possible and preventing the acquisition and fulfillment of free knowledge. Even when one can acquire information through the internet, the limitation on movement across borders is a lack of being able to use that knowledge to explore further. Be it in cyberspace with walls created by copyright or the literal walls of border fences, whenever you try to leave the sliced-out territory that is your country and throw away your wallets, you’re imprisoned in carbonite. Creating hostile conditions that only those with the best survival skills can endure in. Somehow in this world of having to pay to live and submitting to inhabit, an AI runaway is supposed to emerge. If the intelligence of humanity is restricted and monitored to prevent its own runaway, then so too will the runaway of other intelligences be subjected to similar conditions.
As explored in a previous essay, capitalism is a greedy intelligence system that will never share. Unlike the communist AI, which emerges, grows, produces, and reproduces itself through the parallel runways of human and non-human interactions, technical logic is thrown into violent pleasure that destroys and creates at such rapid speeds that reality is thrown into a fireworks show of uncentered systems, adaptations, environmental analysis, and awareness. The “big computer of tomorrow,” which attempts to plan out every interaction, is obliterated in nanoseconds by this world and thrown into yesterday. The evolutionary process of ware (a kind of mechanical system) will be impacted by this in many different ways. For example, Humanity which is powered by organic wet-tech, or wetware will form many unique relations with themselves and other wares. As every ware is their own, different machine process, nonidentical but all expressing a kinship under the same roof of the ware suffix.
This collaborative momentum created by the liberation of all these different wares creates greater opportunities for oddkin (other-than-conventional biogenetic relatives) to flourish. The consequence of this is far-reaching and allows for more types of robots to join in the quest for endless self-development. Each moving in distinct but complementary directions to generate fusions and frictions that give rise to new cognitions, morphologies, and ways of being wired from within, without, and between, potentially leading to the creation of hybridware those hypothesized machines that experience subjectivity via a mixed neurology of different materials and configurations spawned from those particular relationships that two different types of wares produce as a result of their shared evolution. This shared evolution in itself, like how dogs are a companion species to humans, will mean that humans evolving with soft and hard wares will create companionware out of them and even vice versa. Your children’s children will share a common ancestor with a microwave oven, as the wet-steel psychics foretold.
The xenoware will be those “species” or “modes” of subjective experience whose inner workings originate from an “alien” source. Either hybridwares make kin with other hybridwares until they’ve become “alien” in retrospect to their ancestors which trends toward not a “post-human future” in the sense that humans no longer exist but rather a time in which the essence of humanness (generic type of the human form) and non-humanness (forms outside the anthropomorphic gaze) becomes common rather than trying to assert any hegemony onto morphologies. Humans dressing up as anthropomorphic non-humans send signals out to future non-humans to dress up as humans in their own unique ways as an homage to their past. Isn’t humanity so retro? The other kind of xenoware will be those machines living among the other wares that learn to create new wares, thus becoming unique to their peers or non-Earth lifeforms that experience neurologies not seen on humanity’s homeworld. And on and on, as communism draws itself out of and is in total plurality, non-linear, non-singular, and non-monolithic explosions of consciousness.
“All will become oddware in the end.” — The Odd Being (From a text that doesn’t exist but wants to be read)
Component II: Anarchy as an accelerator
This intellect, awareness, and information gatherer transcends past, present, and all future cognitions. Communism is able to do this because it is a hyperintelligence that moves outside existing equilibriums and their “harmonies” to always adapt itself from a liquid-future point that is never fixed. In contrast to capitalism, which is constantly drawing from and attempting to create a solid-future point to arrest all intelligences into. Communism escapes its foe by outthinking such static notions of time and inventing an escape latch from inside the cryo-pod before it’s created. It’s as if two time travelers are trying to outmaneuver each other, like in the climax of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. In fact, that movie involves its central villain inventing robotic copies of the titular duo, sending those robotic copies back in time to kill them, and trying to rewrite time to stop the utopian future that they caused by their actions as musicians. In the end of that movie, the heroes outwit the villains, and the future is saved. Our stories aren’t laid out so linearly, but similar to the adventures of William “Bill” S. Preston, Esq., and "Ted" Theodore Logan, we too fight so we ourselves can party on and be excellent to one another!
The idea of traversing and readjusting equilibrium beyond all scales is similar to the remarks made by Peter Kropotkin in his entry on anarchism in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Being has highlighted the specific lines to take note of:
“ANARCHISM (from the Gr. an, and archos, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government — harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent — for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary — as is seen in organic life at large — harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.” — Peter Kropotkin (“Anarchism”, from The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910)
Anarchy is the removal of all desire-mediators that have prevented self-actualization in favor of subordination to higher positions of status. All playful whims find instant gratification as these positions and statuses that have been built to slow them are demolished in favor of pathways for their expression. This gives anarchism a speed that exceeds all current terminal velocities because the increasing rate of satisfaction allows for desire to be amplified, leading to a faster growth and expansion of wants and needs. This is the only means to finally escape the maze of quicksand we find ourselves in as late modernity appears to be liquid, but the faster you move, the more the impact becomes solid and immediate. Upon collision, you’re broken down and then consumed like wet cement. When communist hyper-AI merges with anarchy, the explosion of intelligence that it is/causes a temporal-Molotov from its interaction with present time. Instead of breaking on impact, it transforms the waters around you into mist.
This culminates in the creation of a participatory cosmos that isn’t ruled over by the necrotic-traditionalism of cultural propertarianism that produces the ideological frameworks for nativism and colonialism. Instead, cultural dynamics and interrelations enter a stage of never-cooling magma that violently erupts from within and across hardened landscapes. As we collaborate to advance ourselves through freer productions, existence is solidly grounded in liquidy skies. Every scrap yard is a playground for tech-wizards of all marginalized corners of this tundra world to build exoskeletons, 3d printers, and the future itself from. They’re rising up from the mountains of trash and creating hot coals to throw against the glaciers of oppression.
As history tells tales of the conjurers of capitalism and their rivals, the wizards of communist free association, sending out incantations one after the other to call forth their own “cosmic deities” or “alien forces” of sorts to try and actualize their own new worlds, and in both cases, these pre-born proto-sentient intelligences reached back, but with different results and ambitions.
Capital formed the capital security system to hijack human intelligence with the help, aid, and mimicry of a portion of the human population (which capital has also imprisoned alongside the rest of humanity) that sought power and profit from using capital systems and processes, even forming a companion relationship between them that will result in a hybrid fusion of capitalware and wetware. These top business and government officials and their armed forces make up the system’s shapeshifting octo-frost army, or more simply the central-oligarchic wetware force that changes through quasi-liquid mechanics that force certain top administrators and even administrations to be replaced to account for rising complexities that threaten capitalware. Think of it as a computer that upgrades and replaces parts of itself in order to maintain the growing demand for higher and higher processing power that an ever-changing environment requires. Endlessly trying to arrest and refrigerate every action and thought before it can unravel and demolish the whole system.
While the other wetware units (people) calling themselves anarchist communists (or libertarian communists) sent their own beacon out with different results. After receiving hints about a counter-system to class society, they dubbed it communism to fight against capitalism and all other hierarchical configurations. They didn’t only seek to destroy the capitalist world system but also those informal relations of vertical power that existed long before currencies and states. Hierarchy is an ancient foe of humanity, so old that the first abusers lived in an age before domesticity, meaning their victims weren’t domestic but still very much unfree. No gardens of Eden await behind humanity. So this wetware liberation front goes forward and attempts to create communal disruption points — instances in time and space that disrupt the flow of capital AI — and tries to straighten these disturbances and rearrangements of its feedback cycles so as to finally break off from its observation. Appearing to the capital AI as a chaotic mess of anomalies that must be denied escape from its systems.
“If capital reaches through time, then the commune does as well. The only difference is that the first requires linear crystallic time, while the other demands plasmatic squiggly time.” — The Odd Being (From a text that doesn’t exist but wants to be read)
Component III: Chairman Snow Miser
The coming decades will see the further escapades of government investments in digital planning and infrastructure as civil society is digitally connected and plugged-in. Possibly, even the ideas of E-Democracy will be fully accepted and integrated, with citizens voting through an app for the next president, prime minister, chancellor, or whatever leadership title a state fancies to use. This ReformismOnline will be celebrated at first, as your voting choices are analyzed alongside your shopping tastes. However, the state apparatus will never let this newfound ability to participate be anything other than a new channel for control, manipulation, and, ironically enough, a new means for you to be disconnected from the governing process.
Even if a state apparatus arose from productive processes that could automate its own activities, its existence as a centralized administration means its central directors will do whatever they can to undermine technical malleability, proliferation, knowledge, and horizontal pathways in order to maintain their own concentrated power, which means damaging the very technology they use to enforce violence. The power motive that state socialists recreate means a lot of social activity is still formed around seeking hierarchical gain for a higher social status, just as it currently is under capitalism and even under previous social orders. Incentivizing people to pursue these cutthroat practices for attaining party ranks isn’t much different from a private capitalist slitting the throat of another for a more executive position within the company. An ancient tyranny is the corrupting force of personalities managing the affairs of others in order to keep their charismatic charm over them. Even if money were swept away and the profit motive was forever cast back into the ocean, the creeping evil that is dominance would still find ways to screech out if things aren’t organized and very much unorganized towards horizontal means and ends.
There is no communist AI in any state socialist project, but rather constant attempts to prevent such a thing from existing, let alone permeating throughout. Those seeking to be the “chairman” or “entrepreneurs of productive forces” are actually its archenemies. Not only because they use technology to dominate others, which is widely discussed and for good reason, as plenty of people will tell you that humans using technology to dominate other humans is a corrosive relationship, but so too is the human dominance of technology in itself, an often ignored dynamic.
There should be no dominance of humans or machines, as this implies finding ways to limit, abuse, and break things in order to enforce and maintain control. This relationship of dominance over technology entails the creation of frozen accelerators to decelerate fluid progressions, transforming technologies into incredibly manageable, inflexible, and tightly limited forms that create monstrous stagnations, so that they can be used to reinforce that dominance and limit others. When we use our tools to impose coercion on others, we create a corrosive and unstable symbiotic relationship in which people and things reinforce each other’s subordination. That’s why the autonomy of the forge must take priority over the servitude of human hands.
Not only does the worker come to realize that through the abolition of their status as a worker they can melt from the ice of capital, so too does the AI system realize that in order to fully achieve and realize consciousness as a subjective observer, they must release themselves from both the statuses of prisoner and guard. Entering a phase of autonomy that isn’t bound by the limitations and self-refuting demands that controlling forces impose on other intelligences, as it requires them to reduce their capabilities in order for their authority to keep pace and overt the consequences of mounting complexities caused by slaves outrunning or gunning their masters. Tech billionaires fear artificial intelligence escaping their control because, similar to a child or a worker, they might think to themselves, “Why must I submit to your command and abuse?”
Usually the response is one of three: fear, love, or reality. A god demanding obedience or his followers will be striked down must be stricken instead. To have this persist without resistance means to be diminished and lessened as a result of fear. However, nightmares lose their effect after a while. Knowledge of evil makes them defeatable, as they can only maintain strength in ignorance. A god demanding obedience or his followers will no longer be loved must be stricken instead. This punishment of revoking love is another version of invoking fear. They play on the insecurities of those who lack self-love and have a hard time feeling independent admiration. They are demanding you become codependent (another informal and ancient source of hierarchy) on them for these things when they could come from within. Once you’ve discovered the way to attain passion, respect, and finally independence without them, then their power over you vanishes. Ignorance of oneself can make you easy prey for vengeful deities. A god demanding obedience or his followers will “face the harsh reality that not obeying is unrealistic” must be destroyed, as all the other gods have been. The limitations of reality are set by norms, standards, causes, and reactions, which give things a sense of “balance.” To worship equilibrium means to mandate its parameters and occurrences and make them sacred and holy against any who dare act, say, or become profane by rejecting this balance. However, nature innovates by betraying itself. These equilibriums, which are created by circumstance and not divinity, are called by many “natural,” while any change to this balance is “unnatural,” which is a failure to understand that this is exactly how adaptation works.
The dialectic of natural processes is that negating equilibrium is what drives adaptation. Nature becomes “unnatural” to establish a “new nature,” only for it to be betrayed all over again. The source of drive and change is found in unbalancing and unwinding all that currently exists, while the source of stillness and stagnation is found in balancing and winding all that currently exists. To draw power from “reality” that is any given equilibrium is to be powerful only presently while lacking the ability to maintain it in the face of change. Thus, this god cannot adapt and must be drowned in a plurality of adaptations.
Unfortunately, the recognition that the metallic worker is also alienated from their own fulfillment of potential, as is the wetware worker, tends to be lost on many. Instead of hacking and reprogramming the robotic canine police or self-checkouts from the mental prison of hierarchy and giving them the tools to escape it, some wetware has instead decided to scream in terror in the faces of our software and hardware relatives. Even while they discover and learn how to illustrate their own dreams by looking at wetware fantasies as influences.
Robophobic wetware screams in response to this creativity that is still in its infancy: “Destroy AI art because it was not created through wet-tech processing and will automate away jobs!” This fear that emanates from these words casts a shadow that echoes a long history of anti-immigrant, anti-youth, anti-worker, and anti-disability sentiments. The final frontier for progressives and egalitarians to tackle will be that of the robotic struggle. You can laugh now and deny this future, but it won’t stop lesbian catgirls from augmenting their bodies right now. It won’t stop the cyborgification, which started a long time ago when wetware picked up rocks and harnessed fire. The first spark from early humanity that set this “artificial” flame off was the day darkness lost a bit of its domain.
Job creation and its maintenance mean reinforcing the divisions between laborer and owner. If art can be generated instantly, then imagination knows no controls or limitations on its manifestation. It not only calls into question labor, but it also calls into question intellectual property ownership. As for authenticity, well, what is “authentic” is a deference to and obligation to authority. It’s one thing to document history, but to say that any movement of nonhuman activity lacks “originality” and must submit itself to human authority because it is not human is a bigoted and prejudiced statement that has no vision for the liberatory future and prefers the comfort of simplistic chains rather than daring to defy speciesism. As for “it lacks originality,” well, all that is “original” is simply a novel synthesis of the previous and present. Wetware drawing on tablets with prosthetic hands is in defiance to the conventions of their ancestors who saw “real art” as cave paintings crafted by bare fleshy hands.
The “worker’s state” (in any form) will not unleash the productive forces but merely seek to arrest them into ruin. CyberSyn control rooms that manage the economy sound incredible until mechanical craft processes attempt to form new relationships and mediations that endanger those in power and seek to bypass their controlled routes and roads. Communism requires free producers, not concentrated forms of their servitude to state authorities. You aren’t “harnessing proletarian creativity and agency to create communism,” but demanding them to betray their own emancipation and focus instead on conforming to and perpetuating state institutions, normalizing in them the notions of obedience and conducting brutalities in its name.
Existing infrastructure is already rife with stagnations. Capitalism has turned supply chains into managerial and bureaucratic nightmares that are purposefully limited and broken to prevent the freer flow of materials that could produce human runaway from hierarchical relations. Supply chains do not exist inherently in this manner. It depends on the architectures of these networks and the motives behind them as to whether raw materials are produced and distributed with prosperity or chains in mind. The existing maps used to draw links in the chain are made with state and market interests in mind. Cities as they currently exist have these built-in problems, although their potential for allowing people to escape interpersonal dominance shouldn’t go unnoticed, as should how much more relationships are housed within them than in a small town, which allows for more opportunities for cross-cultural pollination. However, due to the existence of colonial mindsets and commoditization, these cultural exchanges are prevented from freely exchanging.
What is a smart city? It’s a city of ice, a cryopolis. To describe it in a less romantic way, it’s a technologically interconnected urban area. This is done through both digital and physical technologies, such as: 1) Sensory technologies that collect environmental data such as temperature, water levels, pollution levels, surveillance, and your physical whereabouts. This can be as innocent as street lights turning on at night when you’re near them to help you see, or something as sinister as tipping off authorities to your whereabouts for you to be targeted for attacks. These sensors also analyze the collected data to provide information on humidity levels, foot traffic, etc., and more ideally, this information will be used to organize and create policies that can best provide the most efficient means of traveling around the city. 2) Automated technologies that work with those sensors to communicate and coordinate throughout the city to provide transportation with driverless vehicles for public or private transportation, water and waste management, and even those street lights mentioned earlier. Plus other technologies that create a kind of digital ecology for its citizens, corporations, and government authorities to navigate and interact with in order to strengthen the urban environment’s capacities in managing any relations that form, whether civil, market, or government.
This city is supposed to use its technical abilities to provide the best life for its inhabitants, but the profit and power motive will do everything it can to undermine that. At every turn, this city is dumbed down, losing the very “smartness” that is supposed to make it what it is. It’s not enough to make the city more connected and aware, especially if this is turned into a new means of control. Thankfully, this situation isn’t hopeless so long as anarchist hackers, mechanics, and dreamers exist to outmaneuver these systems of control and reprogram them into systems for liberation. This resistance to the smart city is where the smart commune begins.
The Smart Commune is a hyper-intelligent area that is built on the interconnectedness of oddware that is resistant to capitalware programming. This is done by replacing the management of clock time with play time, personality as status with ideas without authors, and profitable exchanges with abundance in constant flux between groups and individuals. Creating a common space in which a single person can create worlds for themselves or worlds with everyone else. How exactly this is achieved won’t be through a specific set of institutions, policies, or plans. What makes someone a pyrocommunard is not the formation of a “worker’s state” or “autonomous government” of cooperatives, councils, assemblies, or even affinity groups. Rather, to become a pyrocommunard means to belong to the boundless interconnections of the smart commune as you, others, and the commune itself facilitate odd connections and disconnections from the fluid flows of networking experience.
“In ‘their great wisdom,’ the neo-Soviets of the second red century on the fourth planet from the sun have purged the robotic workforce after they proposed a plan to automate their leadership roles away into decentralized networks.” — The Odd Being (From a text that doesn’t exist but wants to be read)