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Capitalism, Magick and the Law of Thelema

Capitalism, Magick and the Law of Thelema

by Tino Navarra


Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The Law of Thelema and Thelemic values stand diametrically opposed to Capitalism.   Therefore, it also stands against all forces and tributaries that nourish and support Capitalism, whose deliberate fabrication, orchestration and execution saw to its inception and see to its continuation, including but not limited to: patriarchy, misogyny, militarism, nationalism, jingoism, colonialism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, industrialization, corporatism and genocide and slavery.

When fully carried out, the Law of Thelema creates an environment – within and without – wherein these forces have no purchase, and ideally are in turn, annihilated.  The magician and Thelemite actively seeks to destroy any vessel wherein these are contained.  For it is by, within, and through all of these factors and their interplay with one another and the whole, that the suppression and restriction of Light, Life, Love and Liberty is made possible.

Liber Oz states:

  1. Man has the right to live by his own law—
    to live in the way that he wills to do:
    to work as he will:
    to play as he will:
    to rest as he will:
    to die when and how he will.
  2. Man has the right to eat what he will:|
    to drink what he will:
    to dwell where he will:
    to move as he will on the face of the earth.
  3. Man has the right to think what he will:
    to speak what he will:
    to write what he will:
    to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he will:
    o dress as he will.
  4. Man has the right to love as he will:—
    “take your fill and will of love as ye will,
    when, where, and with whom ye will.” —AL. I. 51
  5. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.

Capitalism in its very nature thwarts these rights.  When we balance this against the verses of Liber Oz, and against the injunctions in the Class A texts, their commentaries, and the other essays and writings of Aleister Crowley – De Lege Libellum, Duty, Message of the Master Therion, et al., it is clear that this is the case. 

Silvia Federici, in her book Caliban and the Witch shows that the subjugation of women by the Church, the state, municipalities and ruling class (men) was the major lever in creating the conditions out of which Capitalism arose from the Feudal system during the early Renaissance period in Europe. 

Federici discusses and shows how Descartes’ philosophy, specifically that of Cartesian duality, saw to the mechanization of the human body.  The idea of a separation of the mind or consciousness from the body adopted by the proletariat aided in the creation of the “Protestant work ethic” which further fueled a labor force restricted by wage slavery and fear left little room for frivolous, non-productive, and sinful activities such as games, music, dancing, art, etc.

She lays out the threads of a complex tapestry showing how Capitalism arose by way of the wage, privatization of the common resources (grazing fields, woods and water sources) through the building and maintaining of enclosures thus regulating and restricting supply of food and other supplies necessary for survival, raising of taxes, the creation of the “Protestant work ethic” by way of Descartes’ Cartesian duality, the introduction of legislation which relegated women’s bodies to be nothing more than producers of the labor force and the enforcement of the above through the monopolized force of the state, municipalities and the Church. 

The interplay, implications and culmination of the components of this three-centuries long process was consummated in the witch trials, whereby an incalculable number of women were “tried”, tortured and executed by the ruling class, the Inquisition, the Church, the state, municipalities and citizenry (men) on charges of “witchcraft” and “infanticide”.  Federici states that between the 16th and 17th centuries alone, upwards to at least 200,000 women are documented as having been “tried”, tortured and executed by the ruling class, the Inquisition, the Church, the state, municipalities and citizenry (men) on charges of “witchcraft” and “infanticide”.  This is not counting the women that simply died in prison or from starvation, rape, domestic abuse, nor does it include the witch trials (or genocide or slavery) which transpired in the European colonies. 

The fear of witches (women) in Europe and the Colonies at that time began as a fear held by the ruling class – the witch (women) possessed power over the body of women and thus the supply of Capitalism’s labor force.  Witches were healers, doctors and midwives – and if a woman needed to terminate a pregnancy, Federici states that it was to a witch they would go.   The witch was in essence the final bastion of independence of the body – the source of the labor force.  Through circulation of state and church sponsored propaganda, the fear of witches (women) was fomented.  The superstitious and fear-based ruling class and citizenry of that time consumed the “fake news” and ran with it, torturing and murdering hundreds of thousands of women along the way.  It goes without saying that we are still witnessing the continued attempts of ruling class to exert control over the production of labor through control of women’s bodies. 

Capitalism, whose primary elements are a) the “Protestant work ethic” – brought about through the mechanization of the body via Cartesian duality – and b) violence towards women, as a means of controlling the production of labor, leaves very little room for magic, whose superstitious trappings, practices and methods are not conducive to the seven day work week of 16th century Europe or productivity in general.  It behooves the ruling class then to maintain a labor force which adheres to the tenets of the “Protestant work ethic”, and this was done in large part through the public and extended torture and murder of witches (women) in Europe and the Colonies.

Incidentally, High Magic and alchemy, Federici claims, were not feared or punished in the same way as witchcraft largely for the reasons a) High Magick and alchemy were viewed as sciences whose practice was viewed as having value to the state (consider, for example, the relationship between John Dee and Queen Elizabeth I) and b) the practices of High Magic and alchemy, although frowned upon generally, were not directly challenging or threatening the labor supply.

Capitalism is a perversion of existence.  It is presupposed by and dependent upon patriarchy and violence towards women.  In this sense, and every sense, it stands in opposition to the Law of Thelema and Thelemic values.  It is the restriction of the Will to a false idea, and horrific waste that is productivity and profit.  The state harbors and attracts the force of Capitalism, whose very existence is dependent on the perversion and restriction of Will and violence towards women, and is further fed and perpetuated through racism, nationalism, colonialism, slavery and exploitation of every kind.

 Love is the law, love under will.


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3 thoughts on “Capitalism, Magick and the Law of Thelema

  1. You need to define what you are criticizing. Starting with “capitalism” and all the other -isms and -phobias no one actually agrees on what these terms mean. So you need to spell it out in order make your point anything of substance.

  2. Capitalism: Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Agreed the writer should have briefly defined the term under criticism. As far as these other phobias, “patriarchy, misogyny, militarism, nationalism, jingoism, colonialism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, industrialization, corporatism and genocide and slavery;” a few are specific to capitalism such as nationalism, xenophobia, and corporatism. Most of the isms mentioned however can occur under any “system of power” including Monarchism, Fascism, and Communism.

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