Intro to the Crucial Arts
Basically, doing the *Crucial Arts* is an attitude, a way of thinking, becoming, being, and interacting–towards an openly challengeable claim of *mutually beneficial outcomes* (MBO’s). It is a way of creative liberation, beyond the confines of ideology and every political imagination i’ve seen.
The philosophy of the Crucial Arts proves the value of waking up to and moving beyond the coerced Givens so normalized in our War-subordinated societies (a). Givens (i.e. “This is The Way Things Are So You Better Get Used To It”) are spoon-fed to persons systematically alienated and divided from their desires and made to subordinate to the interests and severely alienated beliefs of the terrorist elite, whether manifesting as States, kings, or gurus (b).
For instance, the Martial Arts claims great ideals, yet for centuries this way has practiced war–maiming and killing–as its most integral way of interacting with rigid systems and their forced or manipulated fighters. There is no liberation here, only two groups of highly manipulated persons seeking to impose their wills on the other, often at the behest of their leader, or “master”.
The Crucial Arts provides an escape.
As well, the Crucial Arts *also* shows the folly of rigidly pacifist nonviolence, providing an escape from that ghetto as well. Both ways have some value, given extreme contexts, yet are so limiting of their adherents’ potential that they prove, as rigid systems often do, to be more boon to stated ideals than alleged progressions.
“If maiming and killing solved anything, we would have been living free of the problems they allegedly solve long ago.”–unattributed
On the other hand, the Crucial Arts seeks to utilize, as its main mode of vision, operation and interaction, the broad imagination potential and creativity of its utilizers, each taking various leading roles as they dare.
Underlying the proactive “action” face of the Crucial Arts is the general seeking of community and mutual aid of *individuals* with other individuals (i.e. persons liberated from the confines of ideology) towards a *multiversity* of inter-dependent persons, groups, and camps seeking excelling beautifulness.
Not that being “beautiful” necessarily means a rigid orientation to what many people seem to think of when they think of “utopia” or “peace”. Instead, the Crucial Arts way is a way of *being real* with each other in non-moralistic ways (wanting even to escape from the rigid underlying demands of what “morality” supposedly stands for)(d).
So, to draw up an illustration, the Crucial Arts is a militant style of peace, seeking to embrace the indomitable spirit of rebels and challengers, while not letting the ways in which they are tooled (by the domineering paradigm) continue to mine and tool us. Thus we realize the value of indivudially choosing to avoid or jiu-jitsu that both overt and covert social conditioning which has tooled us–so that we may most freely move towards our most basic loved desires.
Such as our most basic *desires* of wanting beautiful meaning in our lives. Of wanting to live excellently, fully, and even wildly! Our most basic desires to utilize the imagination and intuition we usually learn to distrust and suppress in our schooling years. These desires we often nurse and secretly hold onto underneath layers and layers of armor in what become, over time, the fortresses of ourselves.
“Why can’t we all just get along?”–Rodney King, victim of municipal soldier brutality
Whether we are so-called “idealistic” and “naive”, or well-seasoned in the worst stupidities of humanity, both extremes long to find ways to get along with others in meaningful ways. We just don’t accept the idea that it’s so-called “human nature” to continue waging varying amounts of stupidity at each other. Nor do we accept the belief, popular today amongst vanguards and intellectuals today, that subtle coercion–aka the “manufacture of consent” is the way towards sanity. We know in our hearts that it *is possible* to basically cooperate, even when we don’t have too many experiences. We see the impediments, and they are usually having nothing to do with individual people so much as organized people (e). To at the very least keep bridges between each other which may prove mutually beneficial as mutual trust builds.
On the other hand, maiming and killing people destroys bridges with others, since people are forced to hide or suppress their true feelings when violence or threatened violence coerces so-called bridges.
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
So, the Crucial Arts is a way of proceeding towards this connection in both micro and macro–with each other as individuals (the micro), and each other as communities or camps (the macro).
To actually attain this depth of connection with others, whether in defensive mode or *on the offensive*, we see that we must find ways to escape the traps that keep us rigidly divided from each other.
The way i’ve found to escape those traps is by *going to the heart* of situations personal and seemingly impersonal. Going to the heart means to find out what situations perpetuate challenges, either to our own thinking and beliefs, or those of others. The best way i’ve found in my imperfect search is the way of mutually beneficial liberation.
So, the crucial arts is a way of doing things which first uncovers and demystifies, and then explores ways of doing things that liberate our imaginations and desires. For me, this means playing with and working at ways of promoting escapes and liberations from the situations and beliefs which keep people feeling powerless and lost, and thus prime product for exploitation and mining.
In order to go seriously towards such escapes and liberations, we’re going to have to realize the value of “digging deeper” than what we’ve previously imagined–because every way we have so far dug has proved to not solve the problems we face! And such problems, or challenges, continue to crop up in new forms!
It is here that i say we need to *go to the HEART*, to the CRUX of things; to the place that perpetuates the same old consequences and allows them to thrive–and “mess with” that. To become conscious of these realities via empathy, walking in another’s moccasins, and realizing the value of doing so. Thus we evolve!
A way i have found to go to the heart is to help spread deep ideas, experiences, and insights, as already articulated by quite a few people. And to promote a continued orientation to critical thinking about situations which many seem to uncritically overlook.
If you know of any art, spokenword, critiques, and visionary writings on topics across the spectrum which help shed light on a broad picture, please email me at intheheart2 [at] ziplip.com
direct action: interactors and teams
*spanarchy* (a social system which incorporates the stated and idealized ideals of all systems, thought of and yet to be thought of.)
a) for a broad crucial arts-styled analysis see here; for a more general page of crucial depth see here. b) a reference to the terrorist elite comes from the excellent insight of John Trudell when he speaks of states and their minions not having “power” so much as the ability to carry out military terrorism. See his ‘We Are Power’ speech for more info on this idea and way of looking. c) spanarchy link forthcoming d) see this critique of morality e) See Aldous Huxley (link) on the danger of “organization man” and man becoming an “automaton” further reading: 1) The closest Euro-centric political theory i’ve found to the Crucial Arts and Spanarchy is the post-left milieu. See Jason McQuinn’s article on this for more insight. 2) “As We See It” by the Columbia Anarchist League (note: spanarchy encompasses anarchist analysis and claimed ideals, amongst other analyses and ideals that resonate) 3) The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem