The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 10.5

August 3, 2007

"…a world in which there is one master, one sovereign----
one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of
decision-making. At the end of the day this is pernicious
not only for all those within this system, but also for the
sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.…
What is even more important is that the model itself is
flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral
foundations for modern civilization."
- Vladimir Putin

As correct as the Russian president may be regarding the uncomfortable reality that centralized power, while often purporting to be the defender of morality, inevitably becomes corrupted from within, his own actions in consolidating power within his ruling party put the lie to his noble sounding words. However, it would be a mistake to simply write off Putin's observations as mere hypocrisy, as so many pundits in the west do, since they reveal a deep and uncomfortable truth.

However moral they may begin, centralized institutions which consolidate and exercise power will always tend towards acting in ways which expand their power base, often at the expense of their high-minded ideals. Though morally repugnant, this makes perfect sense. Institutions which are the best at accumulating power will continue to accumulate power, beating out all of their rivals in the process regardless of ideals. If an institution's ideals restrain it from the pursuit of power, that limitation will make it less likely to obtain and hold on to power than other institutions with no such limitation. Thus, natural selection in the realm of political and social power promotes the growth of institutions which are unrestrained by morality. Furthermore, if an institution can create the impression that it is more moral than it really is, that works to its advantage by gaining more support from the general public.

The only solution to the problem of the rise of institutions which are solely focused on the consolidation of power is one that Putin has used himself, one must assemble an institution which is more powerful than any rival and use that institution to squash those rivals before they can spread corruption. This is why it is often declared that a strong central government is necessary to protect the social order, and indeed without such an institution a nation will generally descend into warlordism, making it vulnerable to both infighting and invasion. However, the problem of a strong central government is that it will eventually become corrupted, often with those in charge being blind to their own excesses. In the pursuit of fulfilling its duty of defending the nation against all foes, foreign and domestic, the government becomes its own worst enemy.

Putin's solution on the global front is that there should be no single, all-powerful nation, but that power should be distributed more evenly between two or more nations so that no nation can act without the consent of a majority of the others. This system is reminiscent of the three-branch system of government of the United States and its set of checks and balances which were intended to ensure that corruption could not manifest inside the very institution which was entrusted with preventing corruption. It's not a bad idea, preventing instability by pitting institutions or nations against each other, provided that everyone plays by the rules and no nation or institution is able to achieve dominance over the others, but throughout history such stability has never lasted for very long. Also, "stability" is a relative term since rival institutions and nations are constantly vying for dominance and clash on numerous fronts: sometimes in the form of proxy wars, sometimes through economic competition and coercion, and all too often in morally indefensible ways.

To the second part of Putin's statement, regarding the moral basis of modern civilization, certainly trust is at the heart of morality. Modern civilization is immensely interdependent and thus economic and political systems need to be stable and only change at a slow pace in order to support the billions of people cohabiting the planet. When the needs of too many people go unfulfilled, due either to disruptions in or inadequacies of the system, their trust in that system will falter and morality becomes a casualty. Why should one follow the rules when the system punishes them for it? So stability is one key for morality provided that the system works well for everyone. Another key is, of course, justice. A single, dominant institution or nation must obey laws and norms and must not act exclusively for its own interests and against those of all others. Such actions destroy trust and promote instability, which is the point that Putin was trying to make in regards to present conditions in the world.

There are obvious differences and surprising similarities between the U.S. and Russia. On one hand you have a country with a track record of being tyrannical trying to appear egalitarian and on the other you have a country with a track record of being egalitarian acting tyrannically. Both can twist the language of their high ideals in order to claim the moral high ground, often hypocritically criticizing each other for offenses of which they themselves are guilty. Whether it be interfering in elections, excesses in wars against insurgents, economic arm-twisting, and self-righteous rhetoric, the two former superpowers are using every part of their Cold War arsenals to gain power in the world, causing death and suffering to many in the process.

Deciding between them, or objectively pointing out the flaws in the behavior of these two rivals would be a simple, objective exercise if it wasn't for the fact that morality is not an objective term. Every ideology has its own unique moral code as well as caveats that allow it to break that code when necessary. In fact, there is nothing that cannot be justified when viewed through the prism of ideology. One only needs to present a case where an immoral act is required to prevent far greater immorality to turn an immoral act into a rational, pragmatic, and indeed moral one. Most people would sacrifice one life to save a hundred, and so selling the idea of "virtuous immorality", realistic or not, is one way that a nation can maintain the support of its power base while freeing itself from the constraints of its own ideals.

Make no mistake about it, Russia and the United States are continuing to struggle over control of the vast energy reserves of Asia and the Middle East. Oil is power as is natural gas and both are needed in large quantities to keep modern nations running at top speed. The economic, political, and rhetorical conflicts between modern nations are simply surrogates for, and possibly precursors to, violent and devastating conflicts. Simply put, the words that our leaders spin are the tools of war. Whether they are doing so intentionally or not is irrelevant, if their words have power, they will continue to use them to garner more support for their position. The battleground of ideas is critical in an ideological struggle.

So to Putin I would say that a world with two, three, or many masters is no more immune from the corruption that inevitably plagues a world than one with only one master. Morality will be discarded in the pursuit of power and hypocrisy will run rampant until such a time that the world ceases to function well and the lack of trust and decency becomes intolerable. It is then that the masses will make an about face and tear down their corrupt institutions, with those "quaint" notions of accountability, responsibility, and honor becoming the traits that they seek and around which power is accumulated. We will likely fight over which brand of these virtues we will rally around but in the end they will be accepted, worshipped, and finally taken for granted once more, opening the way for the abuse of power and trust and starting us on another cycle of social and political revolution. Such is the way that things appear to work. Of course, I'd say the same thing to Bush, but I doubt that he would understand what I'm talking about.

Speaking of things that Bush wouldn't understand, recording for "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess" is finished save for a few parts which will be performed by a guest vocalist. Since the time of the last newsletter the final track fell into place and a number of touch-ups were done. Mixing and mastering will soon begin and the artwork is in process, but it is all taking too long, and so, as promised, here is another sample from the new CD.

Viva la Revolucion!

A big ‘Hello’ to anyone receiving the Burning Blade for the first time. This is the Fireaxe newsletter.

Economics and the Fireaxe theory

"Yeah, Bernanke. Another baby-boomer mush head screwing up
a perfectly good system of transferring wealth from the middle
class to the investors. I mean seriously. Enough with the boomers
already! They're incompetent! They can't win wars, they can't rig
the stock market, and they sure as heck can't stand a little Gen X
competition on the internet."

- The Lukewarm Butterknife - Tenth Edition

Ben! Ben! I was joking, Ben! Honest!

For those of you who have been following the rise and fall of the global markets you might have noticed that after I sent out the April Fool's Edition of the Burning Blade this year that the markets lurched upwards faster than Alberto Contador on steroids. And if you're following the independent tracking of the M3 measure of money in the United States you know that while the measure was going up at 7.6% before the Fed stopped reporting it, that it has been going up by over 13% for most of this year. Contrary to how I portrayed things in the humorous version of this newsletter, Ben Bernanke has been hard at work pumping up the stock market and with the exception of the last two weeks, he's done a heckuva job.

Of course, my savings account is getting a meager 4% interest, which, if you subtract the inflation in M3, is actually losing money at a nine percent clip against the growth of the money supply. &#%@!! Somebody call the cops! I'm getting robbed!

Back to being serious. Sure, money is important, you might say, but I feel that many of you out there are wondering why I discuss economics fairly often in the Burning Blade. I can sympathize. It's a boring subject that most of us take for granted and ignore. After all, for almost everyone alive on the planet, their money has always been good and has always lost only a little bit of its value each year. There's no reason to think that will change. And furthermore, to focus on money beyond that which you need to get by at an acceptable standard of living is often taken as a sign of greed. I always used to think that money matters were the exclusive realm of accountants and money-hungry MBAs, but the more that I examine the world through the prism of the Fireaxe perspective the more that I realize that economic systems are part and parcel of ideologies and that one cannot understand politics, religion, and how people get along with each other without knowing how modern economics works.

In ancient times, religion was the law. There was no separation of church and state. Thus, in various religious texts you will find laws governing property rights and the repayment of debts right alongside laws dictating how witches are to be dealt with and the proper way to worship one's god. Usury for example, usually defined as charging excessive interest, is regarded as a sin in most religions. But in modern times, where religion's power to enforce the law has been taken over by secular and pluralist ideologies, and where advances in mathematics and communications have made economic systems vast and complex, economics has risen up to become an extremely powerful force in the world, one that ideologies must account for and control. Furthermore, economics has become so powerful that it has even had more than a minor influence on ideological thought.

Like it or not, modern civilization has deprived us of our independence and ensnared us in a vast network of inter-dependence. Almost everything we need is brought to us through that network which relies on a multitude of logistical, contractual, and financial relationships to function properly. Most of us are far away from anything resembling subsistence farming and we rely heavily upon the network to support us. This can be seen in any area where war breaks out or a disaster takes place. The support system breaks down and instantly there is a humanitarian crisis which needs both immediate attention and long term planning to resolve. Without assistance, the crisis will quickly devolve into immorality and anarchy as desperation overrides social conscience. We need the system to work, and the rules which the system follows are governed by economics.

The economic system, through market forces and regulation, satisfies our physical needs, but more importantly from an ideological standpoint, it influences our role in society and determines, to a large degree, our sense of self worth. Most of us have jobs, and our jobs have a certain income which is determined by the economic system. Our income is the primary determinant of the lifestyle we lead, whether we can afford luxuries or we struggle to get by. Our incomes also convey status which has far-reaching social repercussions. The rich have far more opportunities than the poor beyond merely their ability to buy more and better things. These are things we all know and accept, but does income really translate into a sense of self-worth? The answer is yes, but not entirely of course. A person's place in society is determined by a number of things: how they treat others, how honorable they act, and how wise they are, but also by what they do for a living. The whole of society benefits when each individual contributes to the system in some way and thus it is vital that the system reward individuals for their contributions to keep them working to support it. But while non-monetary contributions and rewards are important, they cannot replace economic ones, and so professions and incomes are a vital part of the social order.

In modern times the importance of a functional economic system has grown as the importance of family and social ties have diminished. Sons seldom follow in their father's footsteps and take over the family business anymore and seeking employment via familial connections is frowned upon in modern, merit based societies. Today most people are expected to find their own way in the world, choosing paths that can be quite different than the ones which their parents took, and prospering by doing good, professional work. Thus, it is no longer the community which is expected to take care of individuals, but rather the economic system, which provides opportunities and rewards hard work. Being able to hold a job is a rite of passage in modern society. It represents an individual's coming of age. It shows that they are responsible members of society. It gives them a feeling of self-worth and rewards them with money, which imparts no small amount of freedom along with it. Earning money translates into independence, provided that you earn enough of it to get by at the standard of living that you are comfortable with. But when you achieve that goal you feel like you are a part of a larger whole, like you're earning your keep.

As a part of the community most people take an interest in making sure that their town, state, and nation is the best that it can be. They identify with their community and take pride in it. They support their community and it supports them and everything is as is should be. At least, that's the way it's supposed to work. But an economic system is just like any other system created and maintained by humans, it isn't perfect, and it is vulnerable to dysfunction and corruption. One of the most common dysfunctions of an economic system is the misallocation of resources, which is a fancy way of saying that too much money gets spent on things from which too few people benefit. Market based systems are supposed to work against such misallocation but the markets often fall victim to manipulation and herd mentality. When the economic system becomes dysfunctional, it has the collateral effect of eroding the self-worth of those who are not benefiting as much from their labors as they should be. An economic system which has high unemployment, or which forces people to work at jobs which are below their level of talent or expertise, or prevents too many people from realizing their potential, or deprives people of the things that they need, is one that disrupts the connection between the individual and the community. When the system treats someone poorly and unfairly, that person will find fewer and fewer reasons to support the community in return. They will cease to identify strongly with their community and regard it with contempt, anger, or simply not care much about it at all. They may turn to crime, drug use, or other anti-social behaviors which hurt the community and the economy. One can argue that having a functional economy is the foundation of any community, of equal or perhaps greater value than religion or a political system, since immorality and intransigence will result when the economy does not work for all. Preachers can preach and politicians can make promises, but if neither can put food on the table then their words will not find the ears of the masses. If the bad times persist, revolution becomes inevitable.

Thus, modern ideologies, such as Democracy, Communism and Fascism, must incorporate methods of managing or controlling the economy of a nation so that dysfunction is prevented and revolution is avoided. Economics is too important a factor in a post industrial society to leave unattended. But economics is more than just a way of managing limited resources. Economics reflects and influences the values of a society. Communism is focused on both social and economic equality which requires a totalitarian government to ensure that economic inequalities do not occur. Democracy is focused on freedom and independence and regulates the economy as little as possible, allowing market forces to determine merit. Fascism seeks a middle way between the two, allowing the government to have far reaching powers to prevent dysfunction but still allowing enough economic freedom to reward those who perform the best. All three ideologies seek to manipulate the economy so that it reflects their basic ideals regarding a person's relationships with other individuals, the community, and the state, but as long as people have at least some freedom on how to spend their money the economic system within any ideology will tend to shift and change. Sometimes these changes will result in a less productive economy which the state needs to step in and correct, and sometimes these changes will result in a more productive economy that can force a change in the laws of the state and even in the ideology itself. A perfect example of this is China, where the recent opening up of the economy of the communist state has resulted in massive changes in both the economic and social order and left over a billion people confused about what ideology they are actually following. Is it Capitalism? Communism? Some odd mixture of the two? The Chinese government is trying to stay in control of the economy, but it is finding it difficult to reign in the ravenous beast without causing bigger problems in the process. Indeed, a nation's economy can be like a frisky young stallion, sometimes it goes where the rider tells it to go and sometimes it just goes where it wants to go.

No ideology has solved the problem of how to prevent an economy from becoming dysfunctional. This is due to the fact that the falsehoods that make up ideologies permeate their economic systems. I've discussed ideological falsehoods in editions 8.6 and 9.6 of the Burning Blade. Those essays can be summarized by stating that ideologies must provide powerful incentives in the form of future gains in order to motivate their believers. In economic terms this means that ideologies must deliver increasing growth in economic measures such as income and gross domestic product. These numbers are used as proof that things are getting better and can be used to maintain the faith of people who are not personally doing well by showing them that the overall economy is expanding and that good times will be heading their way soon.

A functional economy generally grows at a steady pace over time due to innovation, increases in productivity, and population growth. While this progress is encouraging, the main focus of a nation is not on absolute gains, but on relative gains against its rivals. If your nation grows at a 5% rate but the average gain worldwide is 8%, then your nation has actually declined 3% relative to all others. Not only does this represent a loss in a nation's power and influence but it brings into question the competence of the government and even the efficacy of the ideology. No one wants to see their nation go into decline, even in relative terms. Such a thing makes a nation more vulnerable to foreign interference, in both economic and military terms, and doubts are cast on the beliefs of the people that their nation's ideology is truly superior and that it will eventually achieve global dominance or at least last a very long time. If your nation grows at an above average rate, or higher, all is well, but for those nations which are below average, their populations will believe that something is wrong. For those unfortunate nations the fault must be placed somewhere, such as on the unfair practices of a rival, the poor performance of the government, or in the flaws in one's ideology. Of these the easiest for people to accept is that the fault lies outside one's own nation. However, blaming the government, especially the members of the "other" political party, is also quite popular.

The central problem is that while not all nations can grow at an above average rate, all are expected to do so (an inherent property of ideologies), and the populations of some nations demand that their nation be the best every year. These unrealistic expectations cannot be met by all nations, and so many seek ways to make it appear that their nation is doing well despite the truth that it is not. Fudging the numbers is one of the best ways to create growth out of nothing, such as getting creative with inflation figures so that it is much lower than it really is. Since all economic statistics are compared against inflation, making inflation seem low makes everyone seem richer, especially when money is being borrowed or printed at an exceptional rate. Making credit more available is another way of making people seem richer than they are. This allows people to borrow more of their future gains for enjoyment in the present, but if the risk of defaults is not adequately accounted for this guarantees economic shocks down the road as promises fail to be delivered upon and dreams crash to the ground.

Both of these gimmicks represent moral failings in the realm of economics. One is simply bald-faced lying and the other is yielding to temptation. The problem with these types of moral failings is that they solve problems in the present at the expense of causing greater problems in the future. This presents a moral dilemma. If your focus is on survival in the long term, allowing such moral failures to occur is unacceptable, but if short term survival is of the utmost importance, then these moral failings are not only tolerated but encouraged. In democratic systems, where politicians must be reelected at frequent intervals and where many of them do not serve for long terms, one would expect to see politicians accepting economic malfeasance as being vital to their careers. This is not to say that democracies are uniquely vulnerable to economic malfeasance as the leaders of all nations must show economic growth or be called to answer for the decline. No one wants to be the one stops the printing press and calls for restraint. Politicians who tell the people that everyone is going to have to suffer through some bad times while a recession runs its course are seldom popular and rarely remain in office. So there is an extreme temptation to indulge in immoral economic practices to meet the demands of the present and let someone else deal with the consequences. Of course, after this process has been repeated a number of times, and the future consequences of past bad decisions have grown to epic proportions, it becomes more and more important to a nation's leaders to push the bad times off just a little farther so that they occur on someone else's watch. No one wants to appear responsible for bringing down an economic house of cards. So higher and higher it goes.

But once the tools are in place to make the economy of a nation appear to be stronger than it is, dysfunction in the economy can flourish with the general population being none the wiser. If growth appears to be strong and everyone feels richer, the balance of how economic rewards are distributed throughout society can become extremely skewed without the people realizing that they are becoming effectively poorer. While one's income may appear to be going up as fast as the reported amount of inflation, the real rate of inflation will eat away at one's income, degrading one's standard of living making it difficult to bargain for better raises since their bosses will just point to the government's figures as proof that the raises they have given are fair. To make ends meet many people often have to turn to borrowing to get by. Borrowing just adds another drain on one's income and can only be considered a short term solution, but for those who need the money there is no alternative. Like their governments, they push their problems off to the future and hope that it will all turn out for the better. Also, the government's unemployment statistics can appear to be quite low, but not indicate that the high paying jobs are being moved overseas and replaced by lower paying ones. Slowly but surely wealth gets transferred from the masses to the rich while the widely reported economic statistics tell a story of growth and prosperity.

The result of all this is moral decay, both in economic terms and in social terms. The immorality on Wall Street is frightful, with the global marketplace appearing to be more and more like one gigantic Ponzi scheme teetering on its last legs. Greed has run unchecked for decades and the world has collectively borrowed deeply into a future that has no chance of being realized. Unfortunately the powers that be continue to kick the problem down the road with many of them refusing to believe that a problem even exists at all. After all, the system hasn't crashed yet, maybe it will all work out. But more importantly is the moral decay on Main Street. Here I'm not referring to gay marriage, flag burning, nudity and profanity in popular culture, or abortion rights which are moral issues in name only. The true moral decline in a nation is rooted in the bond created between individuals and their communities through economic contributions and rewards. When standards of living decline and needs go unmet it's no surprise to see people caring less and less about their nation and the law. When the promise of good employment after attaining a degree in higher education evaporates and only far less palatable opportunities remain it's hard to keep believing in the work ethic. Gambling, in casinos, public lotteries, and the stock market becomes endemic as people strive for that lucky strike which will allow them to lead the kind of life that the economic system denies them. Certainly a few individuals can prosper, even in the worst conditions, through hard work and taking initiative, but if the system does not work for the majority of people there will be breakdowns in morality across the board. When people lose their self respect they will not respect others. When people lose their sense of self worth they will treat others as if they were worthless. Relations of every stripe break down, not just economic ones, and trust is replaced with lying, cheating, and doing whatever it takes to get what you want or need.

Moral decay also occurs among those who are rewarded handsomely by the system, particularly when wealth and income come too easily. It is common for the rich and powerful to lose their respect or concern for the community since treating others well can become irrelevant to their well being. Also, those obsessed with accumulating power and wealth, who generally obey few or no morals, prosper in environments where economic malfeasance is rampant. When immoral people become powerful, they open the door for further immorality. Cheating is contagious. And once an economy begins to become dysfunctional, moral decay on both the rich and poor ends of the spectrum tend to push the system towards more dysfunction rather than righting the ship. It's not inevitable that the system proceeds to a complete calamity though. One solution for several nations has been to elect what is essentially a dictator, someone who seizes power with the goal of correcting the system, such as Putin has done or as F.D.R. and Hitler did during the 1930s. Of course, such a solution has potentially serious repercussions.

Thus, economics is important, both to the Fireaxe theory and to people in general since it controls our fates more than we realize. Taking it for granted is a mistake as it does not always function in an honest manner, and leaving it in the hands of the politicians, the wealthy, and the herds of investors has always ensured dysfunction and the eventual breakdown of the system. In the end we all suffer, not just the rich, the powerful, and those who owns stocks and bonds, but everyone who is a part of the economic network, so it's necessary that we all make sure that problems are stopped before they grow to epic proportions. Unfortunately, this time around it appears that I, and many others, are too late.

The Fireaxe theory - Outline

I. Basics - well established theories

  • 1. Emergent systems - that complex systems can arise from the interactions of simple things
  • 2. Natural selection - that organisms mutate, proliferate, and compete, with the "losers" becoming extinct
  • 3. Behavioral science - that neurological systems, at their core, function according to the rules of conditioning
  • 4. Entropy - that within a closed system, entropy always increases, which limits the amount of transformation that can occur

II. Extensions

  • 1. That consciousness is an emergent system: a complex system arising in the human mind from the interaction of simple neurons.
  • 2. That civilizations are emergent systems arising from the physical interactions of humans whether conscious or not.
  • 3. That ideologies are emergent systems arising from the psychological interactions of conscious humans
  • 4. That emergent systems follow the laws of natural selection in much the same way that organisms do
  • 5. That the universe is, by definition, a closed system

III. Contentions regarding consciousness

  • 1. That consciousness is a survival advantage
  • 2. That being a member of an ideology is a survival advantage
  • 3. That making its members conscious is a necessary part of an ideology's survival
  • 4. That consciousness is created by instilling within a person a permanent sense of inadequacy - in essence a state of constant fear
  • 5. That the deeper the sense of inadequacy, the stronger the person is motivated - generally to serve their ideology

IV. Contentions regarding ideological struggle

  • 1. That ideologies fight for survival using many methods including, but not limited to, war and enslavement
  • 2. That aggression is a survival advantage
  • 3. That aggressive ideologies make members of rival ideologies feel afraid and inadequate which in response become more aggressive, thus creating a vicious circle
  • 4. That aggressive ideologies must continue to grow or face internal strife as their aggressive members will feed on each other to satisfy their needs
  • 5. That internal struggle results in ideological mutation

V. Contentions regarding the future

  • 1. That internal strife is inevitable since the laws of entropy imply that continuous growth is not sustainable
  • 2. That the abstract bases for ideologies transcend mortality and thus suicidal aggression is not restrained by fear of death
  • 3. That ideological mutation will eventually result in the creation of a suicidal ideology which will attempt to save the human race by destroying it

How to order Fireaxe CDs

Ordering Fireaxe CD's is an informal process as I am selling them personally out of my apartment. Simply mail me a letter which contains the following:

  • 1. The names of the CDs that you want to buy.
  • 2. The address where you want the CDs sent.
  • 3. Cash, a check, or a money order for the total cost.

Here is a price list. The first number is the cost for U.S. based customers, the second is for outside the U.S. The prices include shipping and handling.

Food for the Gods: $12 / $14
Victory or Death: $5 / $7
Lovecraftian Nightmares: $5 / $7 (SOLD OUT)
A Dream of Death: $3 / $5 (booklet out of print)

Send everything to:

Brian Voth
1301 Medical Center Dr. #415
Chula Vista, CA, 91911 USA

If you review CDs on a website or in a magazine, any one of the single CDs (Not "Food for the Gods") is free of charge in exchange for the review. In this case all I need is a request by e-mail. Please send me the URL of your review site or copy of your magazine with the review in it when it is done. If you want to exchange CDs, tapes, or stuff of equivalent value, make these requests via e-mail and we'll arrange a trade.

The CDs come with a booklet filled with awesome art, a letter about the project, and some information about the CD which can also be found on the Fireaxe site.

Lastly, if you want to print and distribute Fireaxe CDs I can send you an additional CD which contains tiff files for all the booklets, tray cards, and labels for each project. The tiff disk is free so just say the word.

The Future

For the rest of this year and part of the next I will be recording the next Fireaxe CD entitled "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess". I'd like to have it complete by the middle of 2007. The new CD will dig deep into the dark crevices of our society and our minds, pull forth the myths that we cling to and hold dear, and expose them all for what they are. While “A Dream of Death” explored the madness of dreams, and “Food for the Gods” described the chaos wrought upon the earth by ideologies, “Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess” will depict the psychological enslavement of the individual in modern times. It will be the darkest Fireaxe work ever.

My goal is to deliver music to whoever wants to hear it in whatever way is necessary. Whatever the market demands, I will supply, but I do want to avoid the mass marketing channel. Exposure is fine, but in the modern business, the substance of the music must be altered to match the demands of the marketplace. This would totally defeat the purpose of why I write music in the first place. I write music because it is a way to express my emotions. What I both think and feel goes into the songs. That is the power, Fireaxe is the channel, and any diversion diminishes the emotive effect. Thus I try to avoid such diversions. That is how art should be.

Rights to duplicate Fireaxe materials

Currently Fireaxe is not for profit. I sell the CDs for $5 each which covers the production and mailing costs. For CDs sent out of the country, I'll have to charge $7 per disk to cover the additional mailing cost. If you write reviews or put samples on your website I'll give you a CD for free. Since I am not making any money with the current recordings, you are free to make duplicates of them to distribute as long as you obey the following guidelines:

  • 1. You can only sell the duplications for the price of the medium or less, plus any delivery cost. You are not allowed to make any profit with the music.
  • 2. You should tell me how many copies you gave out and who got them so I can keep track. Also, if they have an e-mail address I'd like that as well so I can add them to the mailing list.
  • 3. You are likewise free to adorn any webpages or duplications with the gifs and jpgs on my website as long as you include an obvious link back to my website. This includes putting Fireaxe song samples on your site as well.
  • 4. You are free to play any Fireaxe songs (in unaltered form) provided you are an unsigned band without a marketting tie-in. You are not allowed to record those songs onto anything that you will sell.
  • 5. You are food for the gods.
  • 6. You are required to crank the song "Hounds of Tindalos" as loud as you can as often as you can. It's your only defense against THEM. Be warned, they come through angles. Note that the CD is round. Are your speaker cabinets square?
  • 7. Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Hastur the Unspeakable, and all other mythos creatures are purely the inventions of Lovecraft and other fiction authors. None of it is real, at least that's what I'm going to say in court if you try to sue me for destruction of your property, house, city, or soul as a result of listening to the "Lovecraftian Nightmares" CD too much.
  • 8. You are free to play "The Rack" in school or church or any other institution bent on crushing your will and turning you into a mindless zombie slave of the corporate dominated world. Try not to develop a bad attitude about it.
  • 9. You are not free to commit suicide while listening to any Fireaxe song. I'm sorry, I'll have to prosecute. On a serious note, if you are thinking about doing it, please e-mail or call me if you have no one else to talk to. When I was in my teens the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd used to really get to me. Just hearing songs like "Comfortably Numb", and "Hey You" would get me pretty depressed and mildly suicidal. I'm just trying to say that I've been there. If my music is having that effect on you, please get in touch. You aren't alone.

The gist of it is that you can do just about anything with the music as long as you don't profit from it and that I get some sort of credit for having written it. I'm open to any methods of distributing my music, such as compilation tapes or CDs, radio play, or recording label distribution. However, you will need my direct permission to do so or some kind of legal agreement.
Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

Back to the Burning Blade Index