Max Cafard
The Dragons of Brno Fredy Perlman against History’s Leviathan

Hanging above the entrance way to the Town Hall of Brno, the capital of Moravia, is a Dragon. The famous Dragon of Brno. The Monster, which stares down through glassy eyes upon all who enter this seat of political power, was brought back long ago from a strange and distant land.

Some might call this awe-inspiring beast a mere “crocodile.” But to the good citizens of Brno of an earlier age, it must have represented everything exotic and remote. In all probability, it was precisely such a creature that was called “Leviathan” in Biblical times.

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Max Cafard
Zen Anarchy Zen anarchy? What could that be? Some new variations on the koans, those classic proto-dadaist Zen “riddles”?

What is the Sound of One Hand making a Clenched Fist?

If you see a Black Flag waving on the Flagpole, what moves?

Does the flag move? Does the wind move?

Does the revolutionary movement move?

What is your original nature--before May ’68, before the Spanish Revolution, before the Paris Commune?

Somehow this doesn’t seem quite right. And in fact, it’s unnecessary. From the beginning, Zen was more anarchic than anarchism. We can take it on its own terms. Just so you don’t think I’m making it all up, I’ll cite some of the greatest and most highly-respected (and respectfully ridiculed) figures in the history of Zen, including Hui-Neng (638–713), the Sixth Patriarch, Lin-Chi (d. 867), the founder of the Rinzai school, Mumon (1183–1260), the Rinzai master who assembled one of the most famous collections of koans, Dogen (1200–1253), the founder of Soto, the second major school, and Hakuin (1685–1768), the great Zen master, poet and artist who revitalized Zen practice.

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Max Cafard
“The Politics of the Imagination” (excerpt)

[The] utopia of domination is utopia as escapism. This danger is especially real for those utopians who have been frustrated in their efforts to realize their dreams, or who do not even reach the level of praxis. Utopia as escapism remains in the vacuous realm of what Hegel called the Beautiful Soul, of those Dreamers of Moral Perfection who are unable to cope with the ugliness and ambiguity of the world, and therefore cling to a bloodless ideal.

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Max Cafard
Welcome to the Idiocene

It has been proposed that the present era of life on earth should be called the Anthropocene to reflect the human domination of our planet.

However, an elegant, scientific-sounding term like anthropocene seems like a cop-out, a handy euphemism to hide exactly what kind of domination this is and what it’s doing to the planet.

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