I am a writer and publisher interested in exploring the use of SAFE as a media channel.
As part of that I have been mulling over a concept for a safe website (?safesite) that I would like to share with you. Even though I’ve had the seed of the idea in my mind for quite a while, its still fairly undeveloped really, and I may end up re-working it quite a bit. But I figured it would be good to see if I can get any feedback at this early stage to help me decide how to proceed, and to gauge whether this is worth putting a lot of work into.
Also, I would be happy to hear from anybody that would like to work with me on this. It would be especially good to find a graphical artist.
Here is a first draft of some text I have just written for the site which attempts to explain the idea behind it:
Who Are The Ant Illuminati?
Regardless of whether or not the illuminati are a real organisation, or whether they truly have the power which some people attribute to them: the idea of the illuminati is a powerful meme which embodies many of the most pressing concerns people have about modern society and the nature of power and influence within it.
Even assuming that the existence of the illuminati is a myth, therefore, we may still assume it to be a useful myth. Throughout human history mythology has served as a powerful sociological force, serving to bolster our sense of community, helping us to explore and communicate complex social and moral questions, and expressing political and psychological realities in an accessible way.
Mythology is not simply the primitive religion of the past, nor is it ‘other people’s religion’. It is the collective wisdom of the crowd, often developed collaboratively over many years by diverse individuals, and expressed through that powerful tool which has so often proven to be the favoured medium of religion and philosophy alike: the parable.
In fact, the connection between mythology and religion as we know it today is itself largely a myth. Doctrinal religion is the death of mythology – its fixation at a certain point in time and the preservation of its corpse in the face of social change. Mythology, on the other hand, is a living, breathing, manifestation of the natural religious impulse.
A good myth is the embodiment of reality. Its own physical reality is a moot point. Does the ‘invisible hand’ of capitalist markets exist? Of course it does not exist in any physical sense as a material entity, but that does not mean that it does not exist, as shown by the substantial body of evidence documenting its actions. The invisible hand is a myth, but it is a useful myth which embodies a complex set of underlying realities.
A good myth also serves as inspiration, helping us to contextualize philosophical and political realities within the realm of individual human actions and relationships. We are, in a very real sense, the stories that we tell.
It is in this spirit that I present to you the idea of the illuminati as a useful enemy, and a convenient vehicle through which to understand and express many of the negative forces operating on the evolution of society.
More than that, I wish to use the myth of the illuminati as the genesis point for the development of a mythological counter-narrative: the Ant Illuminati.
Ants are a popular symbol within the SAFE community, for much the same reasons that they are useful in this endeavour: they present the perfect example of ‘spontaneous order’. The name also seems fitting as it can be read as ‘anti-luminati’.
The illuminati represents the totalitarian control of society by a small elite group, brought about in large part by an imbalance in knowledge caused by the hoarding of ‘secret wisdom’ by the elite and deliberate attempts to keep the masses in a state of ignorance, or the hidden machinations of secret societies, and enforced through a command and control system. Ant society, on the other hand, represents the possibility of a complex and perfectly ordered social system, including role specialization, emerging naturally from the independent decisions and actions of each individual, with no central control system, and brought about through the constant and free sharing of information (through pheromones, in the specific case of ants).
The purpose of this project is to explore the porous borderland between art and politics by using the new mythology of the Ant Illuminati to effect social change. It will be an experiment in modern mythology.
There will be no attempt to create a singular official version of this mythology, nor any central doctrine, nor to eradicate contradiction within it. Neither will there be any attempt to create an organisation called the ‘Ant Illuminati’.
Instead, it will attempt to create a mythological foundation as representative of a reality which already exists in the world. It will aim to provide a medium through which to draw together the various strands of this external reality into a single space. It will aspire to inform its development within the life of the individual, and to provide a set of tools through which to understand and manifest it.
Hopefully, it will also present a convenient and appealing way to explore and to share it with others, and a communal sense of identity and culture to inspire its builders.
In short, the answer to the question, “who are the Ant Illuminati?” is: You, if only you choose to be so.