“That is the trickery of the witchcraft. They want us to believe…”
Decontextualized like this, this prompt makes me think about the amount of self-deception necessary in sustaining an unexamined life of privilege and inaction in a self-destructive, massively top heavy culture of death, poised to come crashing down around our shoulders at any moment. There is sleight of hand in obscuring interlocking systems of oppression but there is also willful belief.
On the one hand, perhaps it refers to witchcraft: the culture-wide performance involved in sustaining a vision of “the West” as coherent, just, rational, democratic. Or the ideology that obscures the inequitable workings of capitalist economic system in conjunction with various cultural and institutional systems of making “isms” simultaneously productive and invisible. Or the diffusion of a matrix of power that interacts that produces and acts upon various different subjects. This is all witchcraft.
On the other hand, perhaps it refers to the witchcraft that ensures we remain invested in the status quo in so far as we cannot conceive of something else, something feasible. Or, as I am often caught, if we can conceive of something else, some utopian vision of liberation or an end to struggle but find ourselves too woven into our own web of cynicism and distrust of the state, leftist alternatives, and ourselves: a position equally apolitical. In this way cynicism can often be a crutch that disavows a more tenable position. It’s also a decidedly white masculinist position and, honestly, fuck that. I’d like to think I grew out of this position years ago but in my weaker moments, I find myself thinking that John Zerzan, Derrick Jensen, and Ted Kaczynski might have their redeeming qualities.