The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 9.5

August 4, 2006

"Perhaps we didn't appreciate fully enough the depth of the
hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the
Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car
bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry to
Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness
that it did not create in us the concern for the marines' safety
that it should have. In the weeks immediately after the bombing,
I believe the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave.
Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to
rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of
policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that
policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and
neutrality, those 241 marines would be alive today."
- Ronald Reagan, in his autobiography,
and now undoubtedly rolling in his grave

Neutrality is a perfectly reasonable position to take between two hostile and fanatical sides, and if you are much stronger than either side you can bring them both to the table and negotiate a lasting peace. However, when you view the conflict as between good and evil, neutrality is a position which stands in opposition to your god and you have no choice but to take sides and fight as if the universe depended on the outcome. Ideology makes things easy to understand for the world is divided between good and evil, right and wrong, us and them, and all those difficult and maddening arguments about what is fair can be put to rest by repeating simplistic absolutes.

Of course, this doesn't mean that there is no role for calm, cool reason in defending ideological positions. In a world of many competing belief systems it is important to be able to sell your point of view to others in order to win their support. So true believers are often found making the case for why their ideology is right and just and why their rival is neither. And while their arguments sound well reasoned and logical one should keep in mind they are generally based upon ideological assumptions which are in no way rational. Ideological beliefs are established with powerful emotions through psychological conditioning and no amount of post hoc rationalization can change the fact that ideologies are essentially "castles in the air".

And so as Lebanon and Israel are bombarded with munitions, the rest of the world is bombarded with rationalizations as both sides try to convince us that they are the victims and that the other side is the problem. War is hell, but you know it's bad when you read Op-Ed pieces written by people who are essentially apologists for infanticide. I was surprised when Alan Dershowitz presented what was in essence Ward Churchill's "little Eichmanns" argument in support of Israel, that civilians who are in some way assisting the enemy aren't completely innocent and thus their deaths are not so tragic. Of course, "assisting" is a very loose term, but Alan is careful not to equate things such as state imposed taxes with donations to Islamic charities and thus Israeli civilians are innocent and Lebanese Shiites are not. Of course, given Alan's past defense of torture perhaps I should have expected him to defend the indefensible once again. A day later Jonathan Chait derided proportional retaliation as "silly" since Israel is "at war" and, as is common among neo-cons, used a World War Two analogy to justify his position. Although he didn't go into details with his analogy one can imagine that his argument would be something like: the Allies were justified in burning Dresden to the ground because they had to stop Hitler's genocidal campaign, likewise, Israel is justified in modestly bombing Beirut and elsewhere in Lebanon to stop Hezbollah from wiping Israel off the map. Take your pick of logical fallacies in that line of reasoning. Secondly, Chait suggested that Israeli tactics should be judged by their effectiveness rather than by a moral standard, a position that would seem to justify a (cough) "final solution" to Israel's problems with their neighbors. Adding to all of this is the attitude among some of Israel's most vocal critics that because of Israel's brutal, but at least partially justified, treatment of the Palestinians it has brought extremism upon itself and thus bears all the guilt for any atrocities committed by either side. After all, what should Israel expect when it mistreats a people so badly? Apparently you can wash your hands clean if you use the blood of your enemy's crimes. So when intellectuals on both sides use their superior reasoning capacity to rationalize excess and atrocity it doesn't take a genius to figure out why things get out of control.

In previous newsletters I've outlined why I feel that people like Dershowitz, Chait, and others are moral cowards, so rather than get tied up arguing one side or the other I'll view the current situation using the Fireaxe theory and focus mainly on the larger perspective. Both sides are undergoing ideological mutation and becoming more aggressive as a result of feelings of insecurity, but it is the side that has suffered the worst which is changing the most rapidly. Both the Palestinians and the Lebanese have witnessed the rise of radical religious parties which are now in partial control of their respective governments. Both Hamas and Hezbollah have been "baptized in fire" so to speak from brutal Israeli occupations that have lasted many decades, and as a result they are highly resistant to death, suffering, and other extreme conditions which make most groups surrender. We've seen this transformation before in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Algeria, Northern Ireland, and elsewhere, and now we are seeing it again in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. We all know how it turns out, and there is little reason to think that this time things will be different.

These radical groups are becoming very good at what is called "fourth generational warfare", which has also been mislabeled as terrorism by those who fight against these unconventional tactics. It was Hezbollah's successful use of fourth generational warfare that enabled them to drive Israel out of Lebanon after an eighteen year occupation and thus earned them great respect and admiration in the Muslim world. Afghanistan was a similar success story when the Mujahideen drove the Soviets out in the 80's. These radical groups tend to share their secrets and we've seen the spread of various successful fourth generational war strategies to hot spots around the world, mostly notably in the Middle East. What this all means is that our enemies are learning how to defeat our technologically superior armies and they're getting better at it.

Israel, Russia, and the U.S. are failing to understand what they are dealing with in terms of the enemies they are helping to create. Just as Reagan assumed that the Lebanese would behave rationally with respect to U.S. Marines, our leaders are making bad assumptions about how much death and suffering our enemies can endure and how effective our military might actually is. Our leaders believe that with enough "Shock and Awe" and overwhelming firepower they can eventually defeat the enemy and thus they will make all sorts of excuses for excessive, questionable, and immoral strategies in the hopes that going to extremes will produce the long sought after victory. But extremism in this regards loses friends and drives others into the enemy camp. It is a desperate move that fails more often than it succeeds.

Although history lines up squarely against such measures, they might actually work, but our leaders are playing a dangerous game. Israel might turn southern Lebanon into one giant Fallouja and succeed in exterminating thousands of Hezbollah fighters, but in the process they might send ten times that number of recruits into the open arms of radical Islamic groups across the Middle East. As a result, Israel could very well end up facing an even larger and more determined foe in the future. A worse scenario is that Lebanon will become like another Iraq, which is already becoming like another Lebanon of two decades ago, and the occupying army will be forced to cut and run. Israel's first contact with Hezbollah guerillas on the ground showed just how costly, in terms of blood and steel, a full scale operation in southern Lebanon would be. The U.S. has first hand experience in where that leads. In Iraq a hasty withdrawal is looking more and more likely with each passing day. Now, tell me again what the current reason is for staying in Iraq? Is it to prevent a civil war? Well, what if they have a civil war anyway? It looks like we need another new reason to be in Iraq.

The moral of the story is: never put yourself in such a position where you cannot afford to lose, and don't stay there if you have any choice in the matter, but ideological mutation is not limited to just one side and it seems very clear that those doing the occupying are matching or even exceeding their foes in their resistance to death, suffering and the embrace of any tactic no matter how extreme. Perhaps the best reason for us to get out of the Middle East is to prevent moral cowardice from further corrupting our own vaunted ideals.

Speaking of corruption, the new Fireaxe CD, "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess" is moving steadily towards completion with close to sixty-five minutes of rough tracks now recorded. My "day job" has taken precedence over recording over the last two months and I've been putting extra time into meeting an important work deadline, but it looks like the next two months will see a return to a more normal schedule. Such is the price of complete artistic freedom, I've got to pay the bills in other ways.

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

Fireaxe creates a presence on MySpace

Yeah, it's a little embarrassing, but with IUMA currently missing in action I had to find another way to make Fireaxe MP3s available to the general public. To this end I decided upon MySpace as a vehicle to get word out. I'm not doing very much with the site in regards to compiling a long list of friends, networking, or trying to pick up underage girls though. I've merely posted four MP3s and added the last three Burning Blades to the Fireaxe "blog". I don't intend to do much more than that since it doesn't appear to be worth that much effort.

So if you want to be Welcomed to My Realm, and want to hook up with Fireaxe via the friends connection, wander over here:

Also, if you know of any good band sites that let you put up a lot of MP3s for free I'd love to get some URLs from you. Four songs really isn't enough to get the full Fireaxe flavor.

Sex and the Fireaxe theory

Now that I have your attention, this essay will focus on gender rather than the messy exchange of bodily fluids.

The Fireaxe theory focuses on violent conflict in its analysis of how human consciousness formed and how ideologies interact. The prevalence of violent conflict between nations is also a common topic of feminists when critiquing our male dominated world. Since women are much less violent than men it is often argued that a female dominated society would be much less violent than the current one if not utopian in regards to conflict. In this essay I will show how this conclusion is faulty and how sex roles, both traditional and modern, contribute to the violent nature of ideologies.

The Fireaxe theory makes no mention of gender and in effect states that gender is irrelevant, that ideologies are essentially forced into being aggressive and violent due to the need to compete against their often hostile rival ideologies. Since aggression is a survival advantage, ideologies which cultivate that trait in its members will thrive where others will not. Thus, inherent in the theory is the idea that ideologies led by women will be just as aggressive and violent on average as those led by men.

This is not to say that as individuals women are just as aggressive as men, which is incorrect regardless of how one twists the term, but it is also incorrect to say that all men are more aggressive than all women. Even though the general rule holds, that men are more aggressive than women, there are wide differences within each sex and so there are many exceptions to the rule. History shows that a small number of women have become great leaders regardless of the ideology they follow and there have always been a minority of vocal, determined women in every culture who have held their own against men and strongly influenced their culture. Even in countries where women are harshly repressed this is true. But it must also be said that those women who have risen to the top are very different from their less aggressive sisters. Indeed, they are more masculine in many ways.

This probably explains the, shall I say, violent reaction that most feminist leaders have when confronted with the facts that men and women really are profoundly different. In their personal experience aggressive women feel equal to men and they have good reasons to fear a society that expects all women to fit into gender stereotypes. Feminist leaders are exceptional women who have often been held back by prejudice. However, studies have long linked aggression and dominance behavior to testosterone, a hormone that men have in generally far greater quantities than women, undermining the idea that gender specific behavior is all just a social construct. But there are large variations in hormone levels within either sex and so one would expect a few women be on equal physiological footing with their male counterparts. And although testosterone isn't the whole story behind aggression, it is a major player in human behavior.

The Fireaxe theory suggests that individuals of either sex with higher levels of testosterone will rise to positions of leadership in any ideology since the ideology needs to be aggressive to survive in a hostile world. Also, it suggests that the ideology will contain doctrine which encourages dominant individuals to achieve leadership positions. However, since overly aggressive individuals can be detrimental when placed in a leadership position, there may also be ideological mechanisms to prevent such individuals from rising too high. And thus I would expect above average to high levels of testosterone to be the norm for leaders of either sex. The fact that far more men will have such levels of testosterone than women falls in line with the greater number of men in leadership position and supports this assumption along with the fact that ideologies lead by women are by no means submissive and pacifistic, but what I'd really like to do is to get every president, prime minister, and dictator to fill a specimen bottle so that I can put my assumptions to the test.

Traditional gender relationships are generally based on one partner, usually the male, being dominant and the other, usually the female, being submissive. In this arrangement there is order. Although negotiations can take place, and often do, there is a clear understanding of who makes the final decisions. Responsibilities for both members in the relationship are well defined in these traditional relationships and in days long past in western culture the local community played a strong role in making sure that relationships stayed together and that each member did their part.

The role of the community, which is set by ideological doctrine, cannot be understated concerning traditional relationships. In any relationship where one party submits to the other there needs to be a counterbalancing force which prevents the dominant party from abusing its power. The community serves as that counterbalancing force in traditional relationships, protecting the female and making sure that the male does his duty. Furthermore, the community encourages dominant behavior in males while discouraging similar behavior in females, in effect forcing everyone to fit into gender stereotypes and play specific roles in a relationship. Males are encouraged to engage in competitive activities where dominance is established in various contests, mainly those which primarily reward brute strength, and thus high testosterone, while females are encouraged to be supportive of others and cheer their favorites from the sidelines. While basic physiology supports this type of relationship to a degree, it is clear that traditional relationships fail to account for diversity within the sexes. This puts dominant women as well as non-dominant men into conflict with the social order and also with their own sense of self. Furthermore, when studying both primitive cultures and our closest primate relatives it is clear that lifelong monogamy is not the natural state of humans. Although our physiological makeup leans towards male dominance in relationships, it does not lean so far as that expected in traditional relationships. So, why are traditional sex roles so different from the natural order?

When you consider the oppositional nature of consciousness (The Burning Blade 8.2) it is clear that internal strife is not necessarily detrimental to an ideology, and in fact ideologies which enforce unrealistic sex roles benefit from the practice. When you impose restraint and monogamy on people whose physiology tends towards a certain amount of promiscuity, internal conflict results. Ideologies take advantage of this conflict by linking the forces which make people want to break the rules with the ideology's adversary. For Christians this means that the desire to have sex out of wedlock is said to be the work of Satan, and that temptation and sin leads to eternal torment. For secular ideologies, this means that inappropriate sexual desires are dubbed perverse, animalistic, or disrespectful of others, and that giving into them will lead to one being socially ostracized or incarcerated. In any case, deviant desires conjure thoughts of the adversarial relationship between an ideology and its enemy, be it a mythical creature, social degeneration, or fundamentalism. All of the sudden a person's natural feelings are transformed into the invasion of enemy forces into the battleground of the person's body or imaginary soul. A battle is then fought, and if the person successfully defeats those forces through self-discipline he is rewarded for his restraint and his allegiance to the ideology.

Of course, it is important that the followers of an ideology win these internal battle more often than they lose them, so an ideology's rules for sexual relations can't diverge too far from normal human behavior. However, the stronger the battles are, the more rewarding the victory is, and so a system which features highly unnatural sexual behavior and also severe punishments for those who disobey will produce followers who are highly motivated to fight hard and fight often against ideological adversaries. With victory after victory, these followers will become well conditioned to follow the ideology since they have beaten powerful foes in its name. They will support the ideology since it supports their self image as a mighty warrior and devoted servant. It is also important to point out that the feeling of victory in these internal battles tends to outweigh the good feeling of having a more natural relationship. Since members of an ideology have a permanent sense of inadequacy, and this is partly because they are forced into unnatural idealized sex roles, they have a great need to experience victory in one form or another. Proving one's self through self discipline is but one of many ways to make those feelings in inadequacy go away.

Contests with adversaries, both real and imaginary, serve to strengthen an ideology. And since aggression is a survival advantage, it is important to reward dominant behavior so that the more dominant members of an ideology gain positions of power. Although it seems obvious that dominant individuals in an ideology will naturally rise to the top, it is often the case that those already at the top pass down their power to those less deserving through nepotism, cronyism, and simple bribery. Corruption can reduce the aggressive quality of an ideology's leaders not to mention their competence, and this tends to happen quite often, if not invariably, regardless of the governing system. Thus it is important to have contests, or some form of meritocracy, when determining who is to assume leadership roles. Furthermore, since seeking a dominant role often puts one on the path to self betterment, and this is because success requires more than just testosterone, dominance is often encouraged in many other areas instead of just leadership. An ideology thrives when all of its members are working hard to be the best that they can be so that they can be victorious over rival ideologies.

In ideologies which feature traditional relationships between males and females, females are discouraged from being dominant or exhibiting dominant behavior. However, they play very powerful parts by rewarding men who display dominant behaviors. Not only are men who win contests and show their prowess applauded by the cheering crowds, they are also strongly desired by swooning women, which generally allows them to choose the most desirable of a number of women for marriage. Additionally, few things make a man feel more "manly" than winning a contest and feeling his woman resting soft and compliant in his arms. I'm told that even modern women enjoy this romance novel kind of experience too as do modern men. In this way women contribute to the aggressive nature of ideologies, not by being aggressive, but by rewarding aggression and assisting aggressive men by serving them as wives and lovers. Women provide men with a powerful incentive to compete.

Furthermore, women swoon not only over contest winners, such as sports heroes and politicians, but over men who present themselves in masculine or dominant ways. Men in the armed forces and any man in uniform will make a woman's heart race. Rock stars make women swoon due to the fact that they are the center of attention during a concert, and the masculine swaggering and generally sexual content of their music doesn't hurt either. Women are also attracted to tall men, muscular men, and men who assert authority over others, or at least those who claim to be superior, and all of this is true both in traditional relationships and in modern relationships. So men still fight with each other to be the things that women desire.

There are, however, a number of large differences between traditional and modern relationships. First of all, in the modern landscape, there is no unified community which holds traditional style relationships together. Instead, females have been liberated from their submissive sex role and as a result are expected to protect themselves from males who would abuse their power over them. Males have also been liberated from their sex role in that they are not expected to live up to their obligations to women whom they are seeing. In fact, men may abuse their power over women, or rather, any power that women surrender to them, to quite a large degree provided that they do not do anything illegal. Lying to women to get sex and walking out on vulnerable women carries a lot less of a social stigma in modern relationships. Females beware! But the liberation of women and the acceptance of dominant behaviors in females have allowed women to lie too as well as use a multitude of devious methods to get what they want out of their relationships with men. Males beware!

The modern landscape is one where both sexes are assumed to be equals regardless of their physiological differences and the community reinforces the notion of equality, especially in terms of personal responsibility. In essence, the modern creed is "if things go wrong in your life, it's your fault". As a result the traditional relationship has foundered since it often needs outside assistance to survive. In its place is the modern relationship where both males and females are seen as independent equals who come together out of convenience to fulfill each others needs. Absent the kind of tight codependency which typifies the traditional relationship, the modern relationship does not often endure given that the needs of both parties often change over time. And since many modern people are independent, leaving a modern relationship is not as traumatic as leaving a more traditional one although divorces involving children can still be very messy.

Though liberated from traditional sex roles, competition for attention in the modern landscape is even more fierce than in the traditional landscape. With essentially everyone free to "hook up" whenever they please and with many people having the ability to leave their unrewarding relationships without worrying about finances or the social stigma attached to divorce or promiscuity it is increasingly difficult to maintain a relationship no matter how much it is valued. One must always be desirable to their partner or to potential suitors and this means proving one's worth up against one's rivals at all times. Also, staying in or even landing a relationship can be difficult if one is not blessed with natural advantages. Thus, being aggressive and increasing your desirability are extremely important. In this way it appears that dominant behaviors by males are more prominent in modern societies than in traditional societies since males are constantly vying for female attention. Also, females, being less submissive, are more difficult to impress in the traditional way, so men feel the need to be even more masculine and dominant to compensate for that. Of course, women are still subject to the physiological leanings of their bodies regardless of what the social norms expect and thus most females still swoon in the presence of a dominant male. However, this swooning does not last for long. Modern females have learned that swooning is the fastest way to end up used and abused with a broken heart. So the blissful feelings that typify the first part of any relationship are always tempered by a realistic vision and vigilance against betrayal. This is the tragic downside of modern relationships. After having one's dreams of a long and fulfilling relationship dashed by a cheating, unresponsive, or untrustworthy partner, both females and males are reluctant to give themselves as openly the second, or third, or fourth time around as they did the first. In the absence of trust, intimacy suffers, and the natural desire for intimacy goes unfulfilled.**

The modern relationship is thus characterized by a lack of submissiveness by either party and a need to be dominant, or at least vigilant, due to a profound lack of trust. It is here where ideologies which espouse sexual equality generate a similar yet opposite kind of internal conflict as do those which support traditional relationships. Although freedom and equality are the ideals of modern western ideologies, co-dependency and a dominance and submission style relationship, albeit with allowances for some amount of promiscuity, is the more natural state of human beings. This creates friction between a person's natural desires and ideological expectations which in turn produces conflict in human relationships. To state this more simply, the traditional relationship demands too little freedom while the modern relationship demands too much. Either situation is fine for an ideology since all that matters it that ideological ideals diverge from the natural order. Establishing "healthy" relationships is not in the best interests of the ideology since by keeping people conflicted, the ideals of the ideology are being constantly reinforced via internal struggle.

This is one of the main messages of the Fireaxe theory, that survival of the ideology is more important than the interests of its members and that ideology is superior to biology when it comes to being the driving force behind human behavior. Ideologies fight for survival against each other and to compete successfully they must control and motivate their members more than rival ideologies do. Keeping humans in a state of frequent internal conflict is one way of doing so since being in a persistent state of inadequacy creates a need that the ideology can fulfill. If a person is denied the satisfaction that comes with a more natural relationship they are motivated to work hard for their ideology in order to gain satisfaction in other ways. In traditional relationships, social constraints and boredom can lead to feelings of inadequacy with the church waiting to give direction and purpose to a lost soul. In modern relationships, the lack of trust and absence of a strong bond can lead to feelings of inadequacy with numerous salesmen waiting to fill the void with products that promise better and greater things. Interestingly enough, in the modern landscape it is not so much self-discipline which is rewarded, but self-indulgence. That is the dogma of capitalism. Furthermore, ideals, whether it is the fiftieth wedding anniversary of a happy couple, finding true love with your soul mate, or hooking up with all of the hottest players in the city, always seem within reach but are in reality only accessible to the lucky few. The "impossible dream" is the engine that drives ideology by keeping people in a state of dissatisfaction with their current life.

In either role, traditional or modern, females contribute to the aggressive and often violent nature of ideologies. Even if they are not performing violent acts or sending troops into battle females support and benefit from the institutions that give ideologies warlike power. Although it has liberated men and women from traditional sex roles, feminism has done nothing to change the aggressive nature of western ideologies. In fact, it has legitimated female aggression and resulted in men becoming even more aggressive in response. Competition in all areas has become more intense as women line up next to men in the fight for dominance. And while the ideals of modern ideology are still unreachable by most, feelings of inadequacy still abound, and internal conflict is still omnipresent, it is clear that the liberation of women has resulted in a successful ideological mutation. So if this doesn't sound like a good deal to you, keep in mind that what is good for the ideology and what is good for individual humans are not necessarily the same thing. The survival of the ideology is what's important, your survival and life satisfaction is less so.

Lastly, the hallmark of modern western ideologies is the power of the free market, and this is the state that modern relationships are rapidly heading towards. The free market has made so many things readily available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week that it seems natural that selecting new lovers will become as easy as getting food from a drive-through window. Looking for someone long term? Select from this menu. Looking for a one night fling? How about one of these selections? It would seem that all desires will be catered to and how can that possibly be a bad thing? But the trouble is that the free market does not necessarily produce stable, optimal outcomes. First of all, what people may want is not always what they need. Secondly, what people want is not always what they get. And thirdly, like the stock market, the relationship market has bear and bull cycles which are sometimes interrupted by sharp corrections. So while it appears that further liberation and more freedom is an unstoppable trend, a harsh reversal is likely to be waiting in the wings.

** As an aside, it is interesting to note that the liberation of women from traditional sex roles has resulted in a loss in their power over men. In the traditional case, women gain power by having a large majority collude to withhold sex from men until they gain a lasting commitment. The few women who do not participate are branded as harlots and shunned, which keeps their numbers down and prevents most men from achieving sexual satisfaction without making a concession. In the modern case there is no more collusion and women must use other means to attain a long term relationship. Currently this situation has played into men's hands since they have easier access to sex and can delay marriage longer, but if they ever sign those marriage papers, their wives end up with tremendous financial leverage over them due to the current draconian divorce laws. These laws are out of step with modern trends, but either may change in the near future.

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 end of 2006. 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

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