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Book A Brief Look at Infra-Materialism is an item in Disco Elysium.

Description[]

A concise introduction to infra-materialist theory, intended for a general audience. You can tell this particular copy has spent a lot of time in someone's back pocket.

Background[]

This book is on Ignus Nilsen's theory on the relationship between thoughts and matter. He argued that thoughts don't just reside within the mind but radiate outwards from it in rays of politicized energy he called "plasm". He speculated that strong enough plasm could influence material reality, from which follows the name of the theory: infra-materialism. This plasm is generated by humans alone, though there have been efforts to organise species of aquatic mammal and higher corvids in the SRV.

Followers of Nilsen extrapolated that dedicated revolutionary states could exhibit extra-physical phenomena generated by the plasm of their followers. The revolutionary plasm of first-level societies was postulated to do things like invigorate crop growth, promote facial hair growth, and allow communards to have sex for eight hours straight.

In second-level societies, hyper-revolutionary individuals were theorized to be able to project their thoughts and read the thoughts of others; a communist folk legend states that Kras Mazov and Nilsen did not even speak during their final meeting, simply sitting in silence and reading each other's thoughts while drinking tea.

Third-level societies have never been achieved, but theorists believe the laws of physics would cease to be laws, and such societies might lack organised governments, financial institutions, and law enforcement, as well as be free of hunger, disease, and mental illness. Stories from Samara (reminiscent of well-known Samaran folktales) involve bandits and fascists being levitated by members of ideologically advanced communes, which would be an example of third-level abilities if the accounts could be substantiated. During the Revolution, a group of Nilsen's acolytes attempted to channel third-level abilities. Standing above the Bay of Revachol as Coalition forces made landfall, they attempted to visualize pinching Coalition Warship Debutante between their fingers. They were killed in an artillery strike before anything happened.

Nilsen's later writings speculated about the potential for extra-physical architecture that disregarded the laws of physics, relying on the revolutionary faith of the people to stay up. He made some conceptual drawings of these buildings, including a government ministry shaped like a great inverted pyramid and a leaning tower wrapped in a helix he called 'The Tower of History'.

Infra-materialism has been strongly criticized by both communists and non-communists on the basis of its lack of evidence. Plasm has never been directly observed and the exact mechanism behind extra-physical phenomena is undefined.

Uses[]

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