April 15, 2021
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The New Aeon’s Political Philosophy

“Rabelais describes the rise of Democracy. Idle people, he writes, will stir up social strife, so as eventually to destroy all proper relations between classes and individuals. The ignorant will have as much political power as the instructed. The dullest and the most stupid people will be entrusted with government. Just as we see today! For genuine knaves are rare enough in governments; real capacity, even for dishonesty, is baffled by our political machinery. A clever man must at least pretend to be stupid to attain, and act with consistently dense imbecility to maintain, his place among the rulers of the world. No sooner is he suspected of possessing even one spark of intelligence that the herd distrust him, butt him from his pedestal, and trample him to death beneath their hooves.” (Crowley, Aleister, The Antecedent of Thelema, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 166).

“The scientific solution of the problem of Government is given in AL (Liber Legis). This law supersedes all the empirical theories hitherto current” (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 208).

“The average voter is a moron. He believes what he reads in newspapers, feed his imagination and dull his repression on the cinema, and hopes to brake away from his slavery by football pools, crossword prizes, or spotting the winner of the 2:30. He is ignorant as no illiterate peasant is ignorant: he has no power of Independent thought. He is the prey of panic.” (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 209).

“The men in power can only govern by stampeding him into wars, playing on his fears and prejudices until he acquiesces in repressive legislation against his obvious interests, playing on his vanity until he is totally blind to his own misery and serfdom. The alternative method is undisguised dragooning. In brief, we govern by a mixture of lying and bullying.” (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 209).

“This desperate resort to archaic weapons is the heritage of hypocrisy. The theories of Divine Right, aristocratic superiority, the moral order of Nature, all are today exploded bluffs. Even those of us who believe in supernatural sanctions for our privileges to browbeat and rob the people no longer delude ourselves with the thought that our victims share our superstition.” (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 209).

“Even dictators understand this. Mussolini has tried to induce the ghost of Ancient Rome to strut the stage in the image of Julius Cesar; Hitler has invented a farrago of nonsense about Nordics and Aryans; nobody pretends to believe either, except through the ‘will-to-believe’. (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 209).

“And the pretence is visibility breaking down everywhere. They cannot even be galvanized with spasms of pseudo-activity, as still occasionally happens with the dead toads of superstition. (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 209).

“There is one hope of uniting the people under intelligent leadership; because there is only one thing in which everyone really believes. That is, believes in such a way that he automatically bases every action of his daily life on its principle. (This is true of practically all men, whatever their race, caste, or creed). This universally accepted basis of conduct is Science.)” (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 210).

“Science has attained this position because it makes no assertion that it is not prepared to demonstrate to all comers. (This part is so well understood that all the ‘false prophets’ – Spiritualism, Christian Science, ethnological cranks, Great Pyramid puzzle-mongers, and the rest of the humburgs-all pretend to appeal to evidence, not to authority, as did the Kings and the Churches).” (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 210).

The problem of Government is therefore to find a scientific formula with an ethical implication. This formula must be rigidly applicable to all sane men so ever without reference to the individual qualities of any one of them” (Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 210).

The formula is given by the Law of Thelema. ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law’. This injunction, in one sense infinitely elastic, since it does not specify any particular goal of a will as desirable, is yet infinitely rigid, in that it binds every man to follow out exactly the purpose for which he is fitted by heredity, environment, experience, and self-development. “(Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 210).

“The formula is thus also biologically indefeasible, as well as adequate, ethically to every individual and political to the State. Let this formula be accepted by every government. Experts will immediately be appointed to work out, when need arises, the details of the True Will of every individual, and even that of every corporate body whether social or commercial, while a judiciary will arise to determine the equity in the case of apparently conflicting claims. (Such cases will become progressively more rare as adjustment is attained) All appeal to precedent and authority, the dead wood of the Tree of Life, will be be abolished, and strictly scientific standards will be the sole measure by which the executive power shall order the people. The absolute rule of the state shall be a function of the absolute liberty of each individual will.” “(Crowley, Aleister, The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 210).

“The Master Therion, as a man, is but a poet, a dreamer; he can devise, but he cannot execute. He makes his appeal to you, as to a captain of men, an organizer forceful and precise, an employer capable and humane, an expert in efficiency, and a genius for translating Idea into the language of Reality. You, sir, whether you are aware of it or not, possess most notably the faculty of true imagination in the scientific sense of the word. You saw the possibilities of social development which must follow those of the rapid travel of individuals, and of the transport of their merchandise, independent of established routine. You saw the conditions which would make this dream economically possible, and you set to work to realize them. Sir, you succeeded; I offer you a greater dream. Behold, you have made me free to travel swiftly and surely where they will. You have done this by abating the conflict between unnecessarily (p.189) contenting wills. You have brought peace to many million by making each man independent of time and space, in a small spere of his many activities, and in the degree of the present possibilities of science. I ask you now to do for his spirit what you have done for his body. The greatest curse of your great country is the obsession riches. Wealth is too commonly regarded as a goal, not as a means; or if as a mean, then only to pander pleasure, vanity, or unjust power. It is as if a man should spend his strength, wear out his life, to buy a motor-car; and having it, do nothing more than gloat on its possession, insist on the whole world admiring him for it, use it to crush pedestrians, and the like, instead of using it for spiritual ends, to take delight in the beauty of Nature, to joy in keen fresh air, to travel to fresh fields of knowledge, to scale new heights of Wisdom. “(Crowley, Aleister, A Letter to Henry Ford, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 189-190).

“What is the cause of the deep spiritual discontent that mars the marvellous material welfare of your people of the great United States? What but this, that having attained the means of enjoyment and advancement, they know no purpose worthy of their endeavour? They know not their True Wills. “(Crowley, Aleister, A Letter to Henry Ford, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 189-190).

“Look back upon the Middle Ages! Ignorance, poverty, dirt, disease; oppression, superstition and disorder. Yet, in their myriad ills, what beauty, what attainment! Each worker a proud craftman; in their leisure, rapt in music; his faith a living light, his love an eternal romance. His mind was not debauched by newpapers, with their incessant glorification of riches, crime and fashion, their ghoulish clamour for war, their scandal-mongering as of barren hags, and their muck-raking as of wholesome schoolboys. What was the secret of their essential happiness? This, that each man respected himself, believed in himself, sought of his own nature. He did not wish to be as rich as this duke, or richer than that bishop; but only, to be rich enough to carry out the purpose in life for which he believed himself ordained. Today such souls are rare indeed; men chase foul phantoms decked in glittering gauds by the spellbinder of popular hallucination. How sordid the scramble of even the honest worker! Yet, hateful consequence, his prosperity breeds parasites. We have two classes whose existence threatens the very structure of society: the crook whose sole gospel is ‘get rich quick’, and the robber and murderer whose morbid mind finds Romance, elsewhere denied him, in criminal violence. So powerful have these vermin become in the last few years, so bold has impunity made them, that they dare openly defy the laws of the republic, corrupt the Legislature itself, and prey upon society by force of arms in open daylight. Another step, and they will threaten civil war. “(Crowley, Aleister, A Letter to Henry Ford, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 189).

 

“Economic pressure is destroying the ideal of the family; and the craze for pleasure is both eating the health of the individual and mortgaging the future of the state. What remedy that this, the Law of Thelema? Do what thou wilt is the sole possible answer to these suicidal aberrations of the moral sense, the one constructive policy that can unite self-interest with righteousness. The world-weariness of this generation is principally due to the standardization of just those things whose use and delight lies in variety: building, cooking, clothing, custom, opinion, and the like; so that the wealth burdened mules of the so-called prosperous classes, their glazed eyes starting from their bedighted harness, travel frantically to the ends of the earth in search of the more picturesque, which flees before them as it is pulled down to make more room for the conventional Pullman, the mechanical monotony of the jazz-band, and the soul-stupefying banality of the Cosmopolitan Hotel; while the indigent seek excitement in the phantasmagoria of the Sunday Newspaper and the Cinema, or risk the penitentiary or the gallows in the maniacal attempt to stimulate the nervous system that has been dulled by the poor-house routine of respectability. “(Crowley, Aleister, A Letter to Henry Ford, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 190)

“Deprived incapable or ignorant of the very nature of true aspiration, the starved soul turns to things forbidden; foul books and plays, poisonous drinks, vaudeville cults, brutalizing drugs-come death, come madness, come disgrace, but let us get away from daily life, and the enforced pursuit of aims which are not ours! Then, oh the spirits too dull, too prudent, or too cowardly to know what they lack, or to seek to escape from their invisible prisons! The ribbon clerk who would be happy as a cowboy, the slaughterer whose qualities fit him to be a tailor, the stenographer who could only find himself as a milliner, the athlete in a counting-house, or the born Engineer in a waiter’s livery of mock gentility-how deeply all these suffer in silence from their often unsuspected malady, in silence broken only by the stifled moan, the moan that, multiplied by countless millions, is dully heard as the deep discontent of the republic. All these “(Crowley, Aleister, A Letter to Henry Ford, in Crowley (eds) (1998), The Revival of Magick, p. 190-191).

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