Demons to some. Angels to others. The third film radically altered the original concept, making Pinhead into a purely evil demon of chaos, explained by Pinhead losing the human, 'orderly', part of himself during the previous film. In the fourth film he is presented as a megalomaniac bent on world domination,  and by the fifth he acts as a judge, punishing those who open the box for their sins by making them face their personal demons.
In this film, he goes by the title of "Engineer",  a name derived from the lead cenobite in Clive Barker's original novella. Of the four we know about, he is the leader, but the Cenobites have been around for centuries. To me, Pinhead is the chief Cenobite of the 20th Century.. The character's past, which is alluded to in Hellbound , is expanded upon in Hell on Earth. Spencer participated in the Battle of Passchendaele , after which he lost faith in humanity and God. He wandered Earth indulging in a hedonistic lifestyle to bury his trauma, turning to the baser methods of gratification and pleasure until finding the Lament Configuration in British India in According to Clive Barker, as the writing of the Hellraiser script took place during the height of the A Nightmare on Elm Street , Friday the 13th and Halloween film series, his intended portrayal of Pinhead as an articulate and intelligent character was initially not well received by the producers: some suggested that Pinhead should act more like Freddy Krueger and crack jokes, while others suggested that he be a silent character like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.
Barker insisted that Pinhead's personality be more evocative of Christopher Lee 's portrayal of Count Dracula : "Part of the chill of Dracula surely lies in the fact that he is very clearly and articulately aware of what he is doing — you feel that this is a penetrating intelligence — and I don't find dumb things terribly scary — I find intelligence scary, particularly twisted intelligence; it's one of the reasons why Hannibal Lecter is scary, isn't it?
It's because you always feel that he's going to be three jumps ahead of you. Though described by Pinhead's human half in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth as being "very persuasive and very inventive",  Pinhead prefers using coercive methods in order to obtain his goals, a fact which brings him into conflict with his ally, the demon Princess Angelique. Pinhead can be reasoned and bargained with. In both Hellraiser and Hellraiser: Hellseeker , Kirsty Cotton bargains with Pinhead to offer him more "souls" in exchange for her own in particular, her human adversaries , thus resulting in her life being spared.
In his demonic incarnations, Pinhead is irreverent toward Christianity : in the third film, club owner J. Monroe exclaims " Jesus Christ ," to which Pinhead mockingly replies, "Not quite. Taylor, who portrays Pinhead in Hellraiser: Judgment , described the character as "twisted and intelligent". Finding Pinhead's mannerisms and demeanor to be unique among horror icons, Taylor tried to capture that in his performance: "It's about the stillness. He's already so terrifying that when he makes a move, it means something.
He's very economical and when he speaks, he's so eloquent. I feel like I was in character the whole time, and I don't mean that in some sort of artistic, lofty way. I mean I maintained the demeanor the whole time because I had to. Described by Doug Bradley as stronger than Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers,  Pinhead is an extremely powerful being, and as such, has several supernatural abilities.
His preferred method of attack is by summoning hooks and chains to mutilate victims, often pulling said victims in several directions to tear them apart. The chains may even change shape after having attached to a victim. He is capable of creating other cenobites from both living  and dead victims. In order to act in the physical world, Pinhead needs to have been purposely summoned through the Lament Configuration, though this in itself is not usually enough for Pinhead to target the puzzle-solver: in Hellbound: Hellraiser II , Pinhead stops the Cenobites from torturing an emotionally traumatised girl who was manipulated as a proxy into opening the Configuration, remarking " During this incident his powers were apparently expanded beyond their normal limits allowing him to physically warp reality to his will.
- Select a book of the Bible.
- What Are Some of the Effects of Sin on the Life of the Believer??
- The Day My Father Killed Me.
- Counselor (The Young Ancients Book 5).
Pinhead at first has no memory of his human past, though is reminded of it in Hellbound: Hellraiser II , which results in what screenwriter Peter Atkins described as him being "spiritually weakened" and subsequently killed by the Chanard Cenobite. Pinhead is shown in all his appearances to be accompanied by other denizens of Hell. Although originally portrayed as a subordinate of "The Engineer" in The Hellbound Heart ,  his film incarnations show him as the leader of secondary cenobite characters.
The most consistent members of his entourage are a trio of Cenobites named Butterball , The Female , and Chatterer. Though he usually dominates other demons present in the films, in Hellraiser: Bloodline , he encounters Angelique, whom he grudgingly treats as an equal:.
This is something entirely new for Pinhead; he's never had a demonic cohort, so to speak. He's had his other Cenobites in the previous films, but the pecking order was always pretty clear. Angelique is at least his equal, and certainly in Angelique's own mind possibly his superior. Pinhead doesn't quite see things that way, so their relationship is a little sparky. Though initially reverent toward her, Pinhead is disillusioned when his methods in achieving his goals through coercion come at odds with Angelique's more seductive techniques.
Doug Bradley has stated that he has not been approached to reprise the role of Pinhead in the remake, stating that "seeing someone else become Pinhead feels like a kick in the teeth". Gary Tunnicliffe, who was responsible for the Pinhead makeup in the last four films, improvised a new design for Pinhead called Project Angel: Recreating an Icon , the photos of which he published in Fangoria.
My design idea was to create something that still felt like Pinhead but that stepped away from the 'order' of the original design, something that was more painful, more chaotic. Among Tunnicliffe's redesigns included the usage of square shafted nails for the iconic pins, which were meant to look rusted and handmade.
He also designed the new Pinhead as wearing a white priest's robe rather than the original black leather, as a homage to the origins of the word "cenobite" which implies a religious connection.
NPR’s Book Concierge
I don't think that's right. I think the whole point about Pinhead is that he isn't bloody - that his victims are bloody but he isn't. The other thing is that there are these lacerations that are diagonal and very random. The original had the feel of geometry paper in school where it was broken up into segments and lines, which to me had a severity to it.
Having the pins of the intersections of the crossroads made it have a surgical severity to it almost. I think this new version has sacrificed that feeling. Pascal Laugier , who was set to write the remake wrote an online statement, stressing that Tunnicliffe's redesign was unauthorised, and that he himself had a very different design in mind. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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We modelled it about six times and did loads of drawings. Growing older is the process by which desire is proletarianised. The world on its head will only revert when the choice is simply death or the rebirth of the child in each of us. Our desires coming to life again herald the birth of a society which has eventually become human. Chapter 6. We live most of our pleasures under the sign of their fatal inversion. Pleasure creates life. Chapter 7. The will-to-power is the will-to-live upside-down.
Our choice of society comes from each individual choosing between death and the unlimited expansion of our desire for life. Autonomy has only one imperative, which is to destroy every other one. Expansion of the self will foment the international revolution. The long dark night of trade is all the illumination our inhuman history has ever known. It will lift as life dawns. Death stares at our passions and we mute them; we mesh our desires with what is inimical to life; and we base the greater part o f existence on the bloody search for profit and power.
We have been doing it for centuries and we have had enough. We have had enough of revolutions dyed in blood by intellectuals. Violence too is changing sides. Survival, going cheap these days in what is left of the exchange market, is the everyday production of misery, a totalitarian industry.
It too is in what you call crisis, in fact the death spasm of this whole civilisation. The only human thing this society based on commerce has made is the mould cast in parody of itself, which serves to propagate it world-wide. Once cloaked in divinity, then fleshed in ideology, power is now revealed in its bare bones: Economics. If this carries all the bets, the game from now on must go against us. Is it true that life makes sense because of death?
Or that we have energy in order to work? That sooner or later judgement is passed on everything either by gods or men or history? That everyone has to pay in the end? For one reason or another, or even for no reason? All in all, do authority and money really regulate how lovers kiss or the taste for wine, or your dreams, or the smell of thyme on a mountainside, since they govem what they cost? If it is and they do, then the world is upside down, and I want to set it right.
Daylight has not yet dawned on real life. But behind all you shadowy figures, it is pushing through, under my very feet. We are all so sick of the whole shebang that we want to give up dying whilst gesticulating like the living. In the pit of despair the road stops Am I the only one to oppose your society-in which desire turns to rape and the will to live becomes deadly? Even the discouragement and lack of confidence drummed in since childhood have lost their power to persuade me otherwise. And do not kid yourselves that the triumph of commerce can conceal its appalling effects on humanity.
For you cannot resist the historical fact of life by processing it simply into profit and loss. Collectively, our will to live will smash the supremacy of senile economics. If we give them free rein we demolish the current dominant ethic, but it will not be destroyed till we let desire rip. Revolution no longer lies in refusing to acquiesce and survive but in taking a delight in oneself that everyone conspires to prohibit, particularly the militants Yet the weapon we can all use to fight the proletarianisation of body and feeling is pleasure unstinted and unopposed.
Most people have lived in opposition to the flow of life. Yet it is becoming obvious that this perspective is now being reversed and the architects of topsy-turvy confounded. It announces the end of the economic era and introduces universal self-management. By reversing my perspective, I can distinguish between sound reasoning which ends up killing me, from my desire to live, reasoned or not. Refusing to survive is replaced by affirmation: nothing can satisfy my appetite except more life. People grow so used to fear, to murder, to contempt and hate that they become deaf to whatever in them whispers that maybe they are wrong and their attitude simply reflects what they loathe in their own lives.
That is why they prefer drugs to suppress their despair — the illusion of instant cure keeps them going. But the canker which devours them remains. Freedom has no worse enemy than these cure-all panaceas which claim to transform society. For these veils of exorcist ritual simply serve to smuggle the old world back in. Lawyers for the revolution or sniffers of radical chic, whatever pedigrees these grocers have, they are our adversaries, armour-clad in neurosis, and will bear the full brunt of the violence of those who live without restraint.
I know well the wise men who denigrate survival, having in many ways been one of them. Under the cassock of that high-brow criticism moves the secular arm of far more pemicious inquisitions. But they merely project the disgust they feel at themselves towards others. Since the system spreads by destroying its producers and thus by destroying itself, the problem is how to avoid becoming an accessory to trade.
Those who whimper in pain, unable to relax enough to enjoy themselves, give up extricating their desires out of the mercantile stranglehold, and make money because they cannot make anything else. Such potential suicides are notable for the way they slag the Establishment; but however convinced they seem, they remain its lackeys to be dug back into the social midden. No doubt that is why we pay them so much attention, these ossified landowners and disillusioned civil servants.
Decay ennobles. Toilers for order, toilers for chaos, for inhibition or psychic lib. Death grabs and you stumble from life, wom out with keeping the books and balance-sheets of daily misery, or with strutting your stuff like a ham politician because of the wonderful way you are managing to die.
Though you loathe power you revere it nonetheless, for from it you have borrowed that arrogant attitude of rejection which endorses all your contemptible acts. But life mocks those even with the most wonderful theories. Only from pleasures is born audacity and laughter, which rings out at orders and laws and limits; it will fall upon all who still judge, repress, calculate and govern, with the innocence of a child.
While intellectuals devise ingenious methods of slipping through the keyhole, those with a world of desires to achieve are breaking down the door, an act of particularly gross behaviour for those fastidious mechanics in social engineering who think they see light at the end of the tunnel. But it is life itself seeking fulfilment. The increasing abstraction of the commercial process has turned our heads into the last place left to hide; but even there all that remains is the shadow of power in a tower of skulls.
The scars of age, source of so much nostalgic reminiscence, are the wounds of self-renunciation, pleasure mutilated and bled to death by a mania for appearances, a need to dominate, and the will to power. Your truths have little but the bitterness which has sown them, their edge honed on generations who learned to accept things only if accompanied by kicks, cuffs and mortification. But all arguments cut both ways and set up their own repression. An influential person quickly discovers that though he controls others he has no real existence for them. That is why I do not intend to try to convince you: I do not care to add scorn to whatever contempt you already have for others.
However rapt your attention to the various messengers of self-destruction, whom I am sure will repay your attention with interest, I prefer, rather offhandedly, to wait until sooner or later you grow deaf to everything that does not increase your pleasure. It is much more the lack of fun which batters us than over-abundance and indulgence. Let the dead bury the living dead. My well-being does not dine upon virtue and certainly not upon revolutionary virtue. I feast upon what is alive and kicking.
Dead truths are venomous, as all who give up their desires discover. What returns each man to himself is written with the taste of plenty, not under the scourge of directives. But the lie that we each carry can be dissolved only by doing exactly what we want to do, without qualm or hesitation. May your desires wipe out whatever lies remain here, and efface the grand inquisitor from your brain. In all beings, in all things, in all creation, I take what pleases and leave the rest.
Keep away, serious critics! This is not for you. Why should you put up with me if you cannot stand yourselves? I have nothing to exchange. If you know all this and better, go to it! Whoever learns to love himself is beyond the plots and spells of shame and guilt and the fear of loving; and knows too, that despite my errors I do not veer an inch from my desire to create a society based upon the individual will to live, by globally subverting the society which has stood everything on its head.
What could I wish for the present but to take the greatest pleasure in being what I am? If these righteous citizens knew what dynamite they humped about every step of the way Who will shatter the rock that for millenia has sat upon individual autonomy? For so long now learning to live has meant learning to die. But if I take it steadily, at my own speed and so that it feels right, it will turn out just as I wish. Only the individual will to live can make the Book of Pleasures what it is to me, an urge to have fun that nothing and no-one outside myself has imposed on me.
They are generally the same people. The key is within each of us. No instructions come with it. And you will cease to link yourself to the people whose everpresent memories of having taken part in a movement in history still prevent them from deriving any personal benefit from the experience. It is entirely up to us to invent our own lives. We waste so much energy in living vicariously, it is really hard work, when it would be enough, if you love yourself, to apply this energy to the achievement and development of the incomplete being, the child within.
I wish to reach the anonymity of desire and be carried away on the flood. In endlessly denaturing what still seemed natural, the history of trade has reached a point where either we perish with it or recreate nature and humanity completely afresh. Beyond the inversion in which death battens on life, life leaps up, and swiftly sketches society where pleasure comes of its own accord. It ought never to be stifled.
I see no justification — except economic — for suffering, separation, orders, payments, reproaches or power. My struggle for autonomy is that of the proletarian against his growing proletarianisation, of the individual against the omnipresent dictatorship of goods for sale, the commodity. Life erupting has kicked a breach in your death-oriented civilisation. Will you now accuse me of being overly subjective? Probably you will; but take care, because one day your own subjectivity may tap you on the shoulder and remind you of the life which you are most lamentably losing.
Over your realism my naivety has one incomparable advantage: it is brimming over with most amusing monsters, in contrast to what you call planning and foresight which accustoms you to live with a distrust for pleasure which reaches back thousands of years. Individuals are being born again and I am glad, glad as at spring burgeoning again in the earth. Were I alone in feeling it, the entertaining folly of having desired to conquer death by liberating all desires from it would remain.
The factory has invaded the territory of everyday life. Ten hours a day of noise, exhaustion and humiliation were unable entirely to wear them out. The economic crisis still experienced as specifically economic encouraged the proletariat to acquire the means to accede to the pleasures the bourgeoisie had previously reserved for itself. The constant threat of hunger made them overlook the fact that life bought with wealth and power was fundamentally life reduced to economics.
The right to pleasure thus appeared as a conquest, although pleasure had just been taken over as an object of trade. Illicit pleasures are banned until they become profitable. In so doing, capitalism grows but digs its own grave by killing off the producers who make the expansion possible. We all know in what contempt the aristocracy held the work which guaranteed its survival. Where feudalism cared only to see theomorphic shit the bourgeoisie has erected its nutrition centre out of the basic substance of economics, and the bourgeoisie has forcibly exposed the true excrement in both religion and economics.
The bourgeoisie redeem work, thanks to which they seize power, but the right they arrogate to themselves, to rank manual below intellectual work, profitably repeats the hierarchical ritual. Knowledge establishes a new temple of power. Pleasures which over-stepped the limits had previously been expiated with penances, masses and mortification: the bourgeoisie are the first to propose redemption through work. Sin is cheerfully desacralised, given a cash value, and identified with a right to profit.
The crime of idleness is absolved when it acts as a stimulus to consume. Making pleasure democratically accessible coincides — though it is scarcely coincidence — with the conquest of new markets where simple enjoyment is called comfort and happiness possession. In so doing, however, the bourgeoisie crystallise the inexpiable sin: refusal to pay. So enjoyment outside a transaction is the absolute economic crime. Our apparent freedom to do whatever we like shows how whatever we choose serves the economy.
Just as bread earned by work tastes acidly of sweat and wages, marketable pleasures are more tedious than the boredom it costs to produce them. The survival pleasures swindle is part of the lie of abstract freedom. The history we lead with every turn of the wheel is not the history of our desires but rather of a lifeless civilization which is about to bury us under its dead weight. For pleasure has only ever existed by default. To begin with it was shoved into the decent obscurity of night, into the cupboard, into your dreams, the inner world which is not abroad in the light of day, which is the measured light of work-time.
But production quotas have ended up subjecting the secret world of desire to the scanners of their self-seeking science and, since it is impossible to abolish desire, economic necessity is instructed to obtain maximum profitable usage. The transformation, by constraint and work, of actions and behaviour which have long remained outside the immediate orbit of the economy, shows clearly enough that the mercantile process evolves only by appropriating life, and uncovering only what it can exploit.
Nothing will escape its voracious appetite if humanity becomes increasingly strange to itself. We are stricken with survival sickness in a world totally upside down. Man is the only creature capable of realising his desires by changing the world. Yet, until now, all he has realized has been the exchange of his life-force for the production and accumulation of goods.
For thousands of years the system governing history has operated on the social need to transform our sexual potential into the energy for work. For as long as there have been kings and priests, in a process as invariable as the inequalities between classes and as progressive as the history of trade, power and economy, like a pair of vampires, have sucked fresh blood to warm their frozen veins.
What a pretty kettle of fish! As far as we are concerned that road stops here, where the killing joke pointing the irony is that amidst all this wealth that could feed every desire for life passion is utterly absent. In a world where the only thing forbidden is the autarkic act, all is permitted except absolute pleasure. Religion viewed all pleasure as sin, so in the heaven of trade, it was translated into the castrating aspect of the need to produce.
Just like salaried workers, pleasures cost the life of a proletarian. The economic animal rules by punishing its sexual nature. As an autonomous power apparent everywhere, it reflects the primacy of work and the division of labour. It is a perfect model of the world inverted. It does not matter if in fact there ever were a state of society before trade civilisation, a vegetal era marked by femininity and mythically identified with the Golden Age.
We will never return. We stand now upon the threshold of the unliveable, filled with compensatory nostalgia for a past that never was but inseparable from a history based upon the degradation of the will to live. This is the turning-point. Are angelic pursuits like politics, numismatics, business and fishing really doing their best to chase sex away? For it returns on the lam of the negative, charged with rancour, contempt and hate.
Wherefore so much ferocity in the competitive rivalry of huge companies, of shopkeepers and their nations, if not because sexuality repressed at the front door comes through the window at the back, and bearing not life but death? How else does one explain the bloody emotional plagues which ravage proletarian struggles for emancipation? Butchered sexuality turns the rage to destroy what it cannot create against itself.
Those who have lived in the shadow of religions all bear the black feature of the sexual sun inverted. Since we still see the celebration of erotic ardour couched in funereal allusions, we have to believe that the venom of dead gods has never ceased to poison us. However, genitality was taken to be the whole gamut of sexuality when it was only a part of it. This is to put all your money on partial sexual emancipation; in the end you receive the prize you deserve: an even greater alienation.
In a sense, taboos and religious and moral prohibitions have protected orgasm from the vicissitudes of mercantile recuperation. Once revealed by that partial liberation the bourgeoisie introduced into society and into our individual bodies, genitality was to finish up in the hands of specialists in sexual economics. Cut off from the struggle for autarkic life, isolated from the reversal of perspective, it fell into the power of a system of oppression pursuing the piecemeal conquest of sexuality and thereby mopping up one of the last pockets of resistance.
Packaged as liberation, genitality becomes profitable. As with most passions, in the greatest and growing sector of life, it joyfully enters the universal factory: to work. Into the museum with male castration, that nightmare which haunted patriarchal power with chromographs of tiger hunts with phallus hoist, the Vendome column, and the last bullet! And let no-one attempt to replace castration with orgastic stasis, with unhappy fumblings instead of feminine or masculine or childlike genitality.
The economy is clutching at life so hard it is stifling it, and that is the end of an evolution. Under such circumstances, people separated from their will to live are effectively castrated. Fundamentally, saleable pleasure panders to sexual impotence. Aware of its growing debility, life contemplates the history of its exhaustion, and finds itself immediately faced with a choice: either the consolations of death, or the world-wide reversal of the world upside-down.
The time when the former sustained the illusion of the latter is over, and over too is the route to annihilation passing itself off as public welfare and happiness. When I reflect how the human race has persevered in its attempts to exterminate itself through wars, slavery, torture, hate, massacres, epidemics, money, power, work, whatever has not actually died seems to me all the more irreducibly elemental. Upon this final burst of life which can no longer be extinguished or hidden, l want to found a radically new society.
There is no mystique to life, only to its absence, nor reasons for life, only reasons for commercial imperialism which encircles it, and which confirms by its inability to swamp it, the indomitable character of life. Competitive bidding pares them down to boney profit-earning and production. Life cannot be reduced to some sort of vaginal, phallic, anal, digestive, cervical or clitoral spasm. It has no truck with economics whether sexual or gastronomic, political, social, intellectual, linguistic or revolutionary — it falls outside production norms.
Nor does it replace old taboos with directives to break them. Life has neither goal nor finality. It escapes the economy and for fun will destroy it. By breaking into history, by welling up just where moribund society meets individuals increasingly much less dependent upon it, life becomes strange and new. It does not matter that its discovery exposes how fragile it is to the vagaries of individual consciousness, to understanding clouded with confusion at its lack of energy and consequent rebuffs. As emancipation gropes through the dark it comes upon more marvels between earth and sky than commercial civilization has ever dreamed of.
Death is what the dominant world thinks about. The more life decays, the more the market reckons on the scarcity of intense pleasure and multiplies the number of survival pleasures on offer; which, as they are sold and bought, turn instantly to constraint and work. But at least credit them with the sincere expression of their withering away. How excited they become over the price of things, accepting misery as though money were bound to bring it, and showing just how contemptible they are with their hatred for all that lives, their justice, their police forces, their freedom to kill, their civilisation.
But you who claim to be from the other camp, who bet on the breakdown of commodity distribution, on the end of the State and on the coming of classless society, who between the cheese and the sweet, start singing of revenge that sounds already like marching boots, are you any different from your enemies?
- Don Stewart :: What Are Some of the Effects of Sin on the Life of the Believer?.
- Shameek Speight?
- Sins & Needles.
- I Remember Woody.
Do you reek any less of death? Do not tell me that you are celebrating the last days of the old world in advance. To wait patiently, even impatiently, for the final somersault of this society that gobbles us and drags us down the whirlpool of its long agony, is the way dead men pass the time.
You promised yourselves the jubilee you are dying of waiting for so long ago, that all you have left is the desire to die. You spend as much time prophesying the apocalypse as a civil servant in calculating his future promotions. Like him, you have managed to find the market in boredom interesting.
There, theologians mull over the Great Night and with subtle discrimination carve up the territory of angels and demons, while the crippled of the next insurrection work out which lines to follow, and the puritans finally resolve to profit from life, since only pleasures count for anything. They rub shoulders with the prosecution extolling the virtues of sin, preaching the duties of refusal, awarding certificates for radicalism, and denouncing the prevailing misery. To these judges reply counsel for daily life, and as scorn and contempt echo hate and derision, there rises from these communal assemblies a stench every bit as piss-ridden and carbolic as those that rise above central committees, G.
From such assemblies stride those glorious individuals resigned to misery, and the lost souls of terrorist dawns. For the cast of the dice on which you risk your life by doing in some magistrate or other public nuisance is only the harbinger of the final grand devaluation where death will be as nought. The most destitute forms of survival draw from the false freedom of nothingness and the contemplation of it an unlooked-for rise in price. All deaths are paid for in advance at usurious rates. No-one will right the world upside down with any part of him which is itself upside down.
We have fought the economy too much as economists and used this behaviour as an alibi. We have lived through the becoming of trade, in a deathly dialectic which is precisely the history of the economy feeding on humanity, the history of an empire which grows and perishes to the exact extent that men produce it and submit to its power, thereby slowly reducing themselves to pure exchange values.
Here we all are gathered together, at its extreme and final stage of development, to assist at its demise. We are, however, condemned to die with it, at least if we remain trapped in the trading reflex, if we allow the possibility which is staring us in the face to slip away, to set up a life dialectic, an evolution in which what is human finally escapes the economy completely. The feeling starts with private individuals, in their irreducible subjectivity, in that part of life on which encouragement to work and submit to a particular regime only breaks its teeth.
Out of these stiff and ridiculous pawns on the chequer-board of profit, which to varying degrees we all are and where we find ourselves, life emerges in sudden jolts. This is where reversing the world upside down takes root, where we create the society which is based on intense individual pleasure and the destruction of all that hinders it.
By destroying mercantilism everything becomes immediately freely available. These are not the fictions of a creature oppressed. They announce neither Golden Age nor lost paradise. They are a world in becoming, in which sooner or later each element forms into its opposite, dies and is reborn. But this becoming will have nothing in common with trade-based civilization. The end of the proletariat also means an end to the proletarianisation of the body.
Beneath the misery of the labouring classes, nineteenth-century philosophers divined the incubation of total man and the age of liberty coinciding with the end of class society. Today only those modern philosophers who are tied to desks do not yet know that the proletariat remains an abstraction until founded on the struggle by every proletarian against the proletarianisation of his own body. Stripped of its myths, with its spectacle and its misery in flat contradiction, the economy is simply a disease of the will to live, the very cancer of life.
Its roots push further and further into an increasingly fragmented body as the economy invents a gastro-intestinal version of itself, to match a genital, ocular, and cervical version, an economics of the vital organs, functions and reflexes, which, modelled upon the dominant world, imposes return norms, profit margins and savings, expenses, will-to-power, and exchange.
And while this monstrous abstraction takes over gestures, muscles and bearing, any check on its advance holds the rest in check. There is not a disease, a satisfaction or a gesture which does not immediately translate the permanent struggle between the desire to find pleasure in all things and the fragmentation of the body into productive zones. The best obtained by constraint becomes the worst. Despite indignant protestations to the contrary, most people work to proletarianise themselves. It is unprecedented how the hunger for freedom is presently fed so many orders.
Joyful libertarians, who damn me as an autonome, corner themselves by praising idleness while feeling guilty for contributing nothing to the revolution. Your hatred for trade masks a deeper loathing, which reaches you when you glimpse yourself in the mirror of absent life, more and more like that which you attack. What interests you in this final battle is to have done with yourself.
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Rejecting dominant society has become as tedious and constraining as accepting it because both one and the other obey the same master. Whether you fancy yourself as high-priest of negativity or hero of radical purity the old world goes down skid row very well on its own.
Since trade progresses by negating itself, it fattens all the better on your criticisms of it since they mostly flow from your own economic reflexes: your need to keep up appearances, the work you do born of your will to power, your guilt and debts, the occasional blow-out. No lesson is a good one, because every lesson is an imposition. Where there is constraint there is work; and where there is work there is no pleasure. What prevents me from unreservedly enjoying myself stems from the world upside-down, even the impulse to reject it.
A pleasure curbed is a pleasure lost. The idea that one must orgasm at any price is just refurbishing old proscriptions with the same old consequences: timely support for those for whom revolution is a duty, radicality a test, life a spectacle. While the old moles of the critique work at the collapse of the old world, love-libertarians work to improve the sexual economy. Obligatory pleasure replaces forbidden pleasure. Enjoyment is faced like some exam, with pass or failure the key. Eating, drinking, and making love ornament a good reputation.
To win your badge of radicality, just indicate here the average length of your orgasms! The sins of debauchery are finished since pleasure started to clock in at the factory each day. Break all taboos, economic progress demands it! Obligatory emancipation certainly bolsters up the fundamental prohibition; it excludes all pleasure which claims to escape constraint, work and exchange.
Aesthetes of the good life and bureaucrats of classless society are off the same shelf, while those who find misery salutary hob-nob with the anti-survivalists. The crush of rivalry is thickest around pleasure. Any return to the past merely attempts to gild what is only there to hold a price-tag. Sex has hardly emerged from having to produce babies before it lines up to compete for bigger, better, longer orgasms.
But for that reason do we have to go back to courtly love, flirting without fulfilment, or the china-doll syndrome?
Or any other archaic chastity? Artists in regression and modernisers of recuperation come from the same piss-pot: Business. As for nit-picking distinctions by forensic pathologists, what do I care for your carefully-labelled glass jars marked heterosexuality, homosexuality, perversion, sadism, coprolalia, normality and deviance? Pleasure has no frontier and I expect to be prepared against any attempts to limit it.
When what is desirable and pleasureable turns into necessity I flee as I would from work. I am not turned on by their death-wish which only operates in business anyway as far as I can see. Work is the opposite of creativity. As human behaviour usually conforms to commercial mechanisms, history has ceaselessly impoverished the part officially set aside for creative people. Artists, craftsmen, sorcerers, poets, composers, visionaries — anyone who arrogates the passion for creating to themselves — have been wrung through the mangle of industrialisation and the breakdown of the artisan class by the marketing of culture and concretisation by trade, and dried out under the ministration of bureaucrats.
Creativity is steam-rollered by work just like any other manifestation of life. Seeing how directly it now serves commercial interests shows that its rivalry was only ever tolerated, if repressed and inverted. Our feeling for the past had better not hide the misery and wealth of our present! However moving I find the works of musicians, painters, engravers and builders, I can see all too clearly the signs of passion defeated and involuntary renunciation.
The vivid flash of their explosive energy lingers with us; it should never have been fettered by intellect, survival considerations, money or the will to power. What delights me is that you can still feel the sexual impetus when you get close — which is the desire to go further and reverse the inverted world of creation.
What is genius, familiar spirit and breath of inspiration? Showcases to which the organisation of labour allows a narrow margin of freedom, a false liberty parodying the autarkic nature of life itself. Perhaps in pre-agrarian eras a primitive creativity existed, involving the whole body, simultaneous and social, channelling natural forces, and of which magic, alchemy, art and inventive deliriums are just memories. What is certain is that the need to produce represses creativity, fragments it, and turns it towards its negation.
Creativity is the aborted child which alchemy attempts mystically to bring to life, sensual experience condemned to go into exile in the head as intellectual work escapes from manual work, the unexplained from which the scientific unconscious derives its windfalls and which the economy recuperates. The end of tolerated creativity — the end of all forms of art — nevertheless identifies the passion for creation with free and intense pleasure in life. Upon this rock the fundamental prohibition commercial society has never ceased to build its churches of liberty.
The disgust for forced labour and the allure of creative work allows the do-it-yourself trade to turn us each into his own employer. Staining glass, cuisine, distilling liqueurs or arranging flowers, telling stories and singing, relaxing and dreaming are creative pleasures; the imperative to produce has no scope for them.
The ideas that to escape survival sickness , one must create , manages to create a void in what could eradicate it. If it is true that a pervasive discontent gnaws at us all, even those who reckon themselves happy; if it is beyond dispute that creativity — by which I mean the construction of life according to our desires — is absent worldwide, you may now rejoice: we are each of us about to be given formal notice of our obligation to produce our own happiness.
Originally you could look on the scam as a self-defence mechanism for pleasure. It taught me to work as little as possible, to get hold of useful money without wearing myself out, to dance past orders, to ridicule superiors, to steal from the state. But the ruinous condition of the job-market swiftly turned it into parallel work.
It has become a means of making money without having to go into business. Autonomy-as-sauce tarts up reality in which you can each be your own boss, and exploit yourself directly. That the law of the scam necessarily rules in prisons, factories, barracks and Iron Curtain countries gives the analogy by which to measure our jailhouse universe. Every chain of events is sinister. Do not ask me to choose between the chain you have to fasten yourself and the one which turns duty into normal convention, a promise into a contract, and your fear of others into dominating them.
I do not want to fight the commodity with what it absorbs of my life but with what life recovers by smashing it. There is no other way to be creative. Do you have to wait till this exuberance, paradoxically lived out in a passionately self-destructive way, attenuates into survival care and moults through patient labour into an object for exchange? We used to fling ourselves at pleasure as into a fight with the odds against us. Now it is pleasures which hurl themselves on us in order to rip off whatever is still warm and palpitating until, we are bled white with boredom.
Nothing cures survival sickness. Teeth will not sprout again on stumps. Survival pleasures are the last stage of this incurable disease called life turned toward death; the final petty irritations of life capsized. But the old fatalism of death as king is now shown up as an imposture. For in the very decay of the abstraction freezing life we see the social resurgence of the will to live.
Economic imperialism which was falsely identified with our universal destiny is faltering in its attack. We can destroy it now because everyone can feel the conflict in himself between his urge for enjoyment, and the false satisfactions of commercialised pleasure exciting him yet denying him gratification. Such awareness is perceived directly in the body. Thwarted pleasures reflect back through all the organs like echoes of commercial castration. Every illness is an expression of some disorder in the will-to-live. Heart murmur, toothache, love-sickness. It has never been so obvious that a cure based on the emancipation of pleasure demands the annihilation of mercantile civilisation.
Survival sickness devours the bourgeois-bureaucratic class and proletariat alike. With one difference however. They conceive of no other remedy than death, which they identify with the death of the entire human species. The second has long let itself be caught in the trap. It has negated its proletarian condition with the means sold to it by a dominant class, itself proceeding quite unconsciously to proletarianise itself. When emancipation proletarianises, it masks oppression. The moment a person who is ill accepts the illness he is incurable, the moment his will to live tolerates it like a parasitic implantation which only treatment from outside can reabsorb or extirpate.
Because the commercial process the ruling class directs and which directs it in turn has such fatal consequences, such also are its remedies. The therapeutic it recognises either cures or kills you. Its final solution to survival sickness hangs on an apocalyptic upheaval of the commodity system world-wide. For the proletarians however, the liquidation of the trading system is only an effect of freeing pleasure. They can take the direct route to the end of proletarianisation — and the end of survival — because they are not the managing directors of their own alienation. They undergo the hustle of life as an oppression emanating from the ruling class, and when they feel the conflict between free sensual gratification and economics, there is nothing to hold them back from jettisoning work, constraint, intellectualism, guilt, or will to power.
Whatever represses pleasure will be destroyed by it. As sure as work kills pleasure, pleasure kills work. If you are not resigned to dying of disgust, then you will be happy enough to rid your life of the odious need to work, to give orders and obey them , to lose and to win, to keep up appearances, and to judge and be judged. I am not calling on you to make an effort, but to leave things alone. In the search for endless pleasure, the proletariat returns to what it could not take by assault, as jungle invades a town when the structures of state collapse.
Why stretch out all day the economist behaviour it demands of me for a few hours? Submission to discipline is the strength of the State, and is never so powerful as when it can take advantage of self-denial. But lucidity is more intimate. The enemy is a creature of habit. To prolong the pleasure of writing this book, am I to transform it into drudgery, forced labour, production batches, time schedules, hourly rates? I shall be content to throw light on my desires, reinvent those that are cockeyed, reach a free state of spirit and cast this summary in book-form into the shops, where you can steal it, keeping what pleases and throwing out the rest.
Every time you work you destroy yourself. The little time I find myself locked up in barracks, as it were, is always enough to make me desert and create occasions for deserting. I allow myself to be won over by the release from the agreement to do what is boring me. The taste for pleasure without reference to anyone else or their opposition spontaneously renders me perfectly useless to mercantile society, which makes its uselessness to me all the more obvious.
Pleasure avoids becoming a commodity on condition that it destroys it. But this it undertakes only if it can escape a while. For it is not the hungriest who have made hunger strikes, nor those who enjoy themselves least who revolt for universal self-management. Any temptation to live is an attempt to do so. Momentarily saved from the grip of the commodity I understand better how to break it. Only my pleasures penetrate my shelter, where l am free of constraint, and exist only for myself, to the delight of whatever attracts me.
I do not worry over the consequences. When the struggle against misery becomes the struggle for passionate abundance, you get the reversal of perspective. As you slide down the slopes of pleasure till you reach the sweet water in which life is reborn do you not feel the old obligations to produce, earn a living, educate yourself generate reputation and promotion, give and take orders? But it is really so easy to turn your back on work, fear, rewards and punishment, to smash the mirror of roles and discover on the other side of the only real truth of life, the overflowing richness of amorous embrace, the exultation in creating, a chance encounter, the changes in organic rhythms, the taste of life restored to whatever you are, free from the merchants of universal blandness.
If you reach the heart of yourself you know how to build the world out of the ruins around you. It was a mistake to rail against the uselessness of salon revolutionaries, for no revolution has succeeded whose fate was not sealed in intellectual cenacles, unfortunately for those who had to spill their blood. Over drawing-rooms and pubs, religious sects and family gatherings, bed at least has the advantage of giving least encouragement to speechifying, profligacy, recuperation, work to the greater glory of battle, and the waging of war by dint of proclamation.
Rather it inclines one to idle and dream, caress, make love till you grow deaf to orders, insensible to fear, hungry for endless voluptuous pleasures. And what a privilege! Those who rise from bed to arm themselves at least know why they go to fight. Instead of preaching revolt and radicality, leave every proletarian time to recall what life is and to drop what prevents him living it, to discover, behind the conflicting wills imposed on him, what it is he really wants. Abandon him to his pleasures and bad trips, his sympathies and antipathies, to his sparkle and drive and his laziness, excitation and detumescence.
Get off his back and let him lie on it! When they are caught in the irrepressible rush of sexual excitement people quickly discover a violence which they can use to satisfy their pleasures, and equally to smash down what stands in the way of satisfaction. The revolution will be a gathering of speed as the living race towards life. Then we will see if such a tide-race leaves the stucco walls of hierarchy, State and commodity civilisation standing. It is only a matter of reversing the order of priorities, of opposing the look of love to the perspective of profit and power, of ceasing to ride our passions against nature.
Reversing perspective is not the reversal of the world upside-down but is its consciousness and initial practice. The class struggle is suddenly as present in the individual as it has always been in society. And it raises a query at once personal and collective: What freedom can a person hope for if his function is to impose work and constraint?
On the far side of sexuality reduced to the genitals lies global sexuality. As the last stage in sexual fragmentation and dysfunction, genitality has promoted orgasm to the rank of universal model of satisfaction and frustration. And what better reproduction of the mechanisms governing us: a charge-discharge mechanism reducing erotic tensions to zero in a subtle coven of erogenous triggers, with feedback, ball bearings, regulators, lubricants, changes of oil, and all this to culminate in spending, in loss of self, a consumption of vital flux for which recuperated work, deposit arrangement and retention schemes offer to compensate.
If, on the other hand, loving gives a sense of fullness, an exhilaration like nothing else, it is because the grip of trade is less blatant here than in the pleasures of eating, drinking, looking and travelling. It is not in love to reduce itself to genitality and its concomitant forms of chastity.
It has withstood economic encroachment so well that it is one of those increasingly rare states which are indescribable. The unsayable reveals the presence of life, which is nothing if it does not become all. Every satisfaction is sexual and comes from the world-wide sexual impulse. But separated from others, it swiftly reproduces separation from life and yields to the death reflex. You always want to recreate pleasures in their sexual unity, in opposition to that reductionism which separates them.
If ever you have tasted the unquenchable thirst for intense pleasure you know that the life-force is a spring which never runs dry. One pleasure calls to another, and though one tires of an isolated amusement, a multitude of desires wakens a host of joyous satisfactions. And this is how one fulfilment undoes ten frustrations, time condenses instead of trickling away, and a moment contains eternity. Life with all the stops out is the only thing I live for.
The only reality which matters to me is this one, for it is the only one to create. Social disintegration has left individuals as the basis for what can be launched against this process. It leaves it up to them, however, either to fall for business reductionism or to found a society free from every kind of power, profit, and exchange, according to their desires.
Where lies voluntarism? In giving way to fun the more fun I want to have; in that pliant state in which the more I wish to enjoy myself the less I work; and in pleasure, where the less I work the more I want to set up the conditions suitable for endless pleasures?
All pleasure is creative if it avoids exchange. Loving what pleases me, I have to build a space in life as little exposed as possible to pollution by business, or I will not find the strength to bring the old world down, and the fungus among us will rot my dreams. While the State is in disarray, strike hard at business and its friends. If disgust with life at the level of getting by made the movement of , laying hold of life will begin the era when universally people will run their lives themselves. Business relations can be poisoned; so too can the will to live.
So we will give this dead civilisation its coup de grace now, not through the force of things but in the excitement and enjoyment which obliterates them. Crises multiply, we no longer count the shocks, the old State and economic edifice reels. You might think a huge burst of laughter would bring it down. Creating for fun is spreading throughout what used to be models of organisation for everyday life — the factories.
More and more unselfconsciously sabotage transforms assembly lines into amusement arcades, changes a warehouse into a free distribution centre, the boss and the agitator get greeted with jeers and cat-calls. So who is going to seize the factories to organise work in another form in them? Everything work has produced has been stolen from the creativity of millions of proletarians.
So are you astonished to see real creative workshops emerging from the systematic dismembering of the factories? Do you doubt that these dry wombs of business could give birth to what we need to construct our homes and our pleasures, upon the ruins to build our dreams, adventures, music, our roving upon earth and water, in air and fire? I am well aware of the limits beyond which an object loses its charm. However pleasing, this wine glass bears the mark of profitability cut into each of its seductive facets.
Even stolen, it is tainted with the infamy of price. Everything about it follows a fundamental corruption, and one fault ruins the whole. The pleasure of draining it, gazing at it, holding it in my hand, is smeared with the sticky thumbprint of business. It is impossible to enjoy anything made by work and constraint. But, behind the cynical wheeling and dealing which snuffles at every trough, a long-distant desire to recreate nature comes through.
Nature has never really existed. Originally assimilated to divine power, the rule of nature was the law of the gods, or, in fact, of sorcerers and priests. When the production economy developed, nature becomes the object of work, exploitable material.