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Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:41 pm
by d63
“One of the questions asked in anguish by many addicts and depressives is, “Why me?” Bataille’s philosophy (particularly his search for and attribution of meaning to the different, deviant, and repulsive) helps answers this question, so providing much needed comfort.
Bataille suggested that the sacred can be found in extreme experiences. These fall into two categories, the external and the internal. It’s helpful to associate these two categories with two stages of addiction. The external experience is akin to the addict’s acting-out experience pre-recovery. Recovery enables the addict to experience the sacred via internal experiences, free of the need to act-out through substances, processes, or other people.” –from Micheal Moccata’s Philosophy Now article ‘George Bataille’s Experience’

“One must still have inner chaos in order to give birth to a dancing star.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

“Don’t give up your vices. Put them to work for you.” –also Friedrich Nietzsche

Please (once again (excuse the dear diary moment; but this particular subject hits close to home as my life, since my teens, has been a weird mix of creative and intellectual curiosity and ambition supplemented by a propensity towards compulsive and addictive behaviors. I have always had my vices, even when I tried to escape them. (And I would note that I generally attempted to escape them due to more practical matters.) But I’ve always been lucky in that my creative and intellectual ambitions always kept my embrace of the chaos in check: an anchor that allows one to embrace the creative chaos (to absorb the edge it can give a process (while not succumbing to it. So while I agree with the point (consider it a valid process:

“Bataille suggested that the sacred can be found in extreme experiences. These fall into two categories, the external and the internal. It’s helpful to associate these two categories with two stages of addiction. The external experience is akin to the addict’s acting-out experience pre-recovery. Recovery enables the addict to experience the sacred via internal experiences, free of the need to act-out through substances, processes, or other people.”

:it’s not the only story out there. Sometimes you can embrace your vices (even your mental illness as John Nash showed through mathematics (and still be happy as long you maintain a healthy respect for the footwork involved. To give a ‘for instance’, Jim Morrison emphasized throughout his process the important influence of shamans and Indian peyote rituals. And it clearly paid off for him. Where he went wrong was in failing to recognize the sober footwork that went into those rituals. The shamans didn’t just go out and take peyote in the valley and consider it a job well done. They rather went through a series of sober approaches towards enlightenment: sweat lodges, meditation, dances, and most notably a ritual in which they hunted down the peyote and shot it with a small bow and arrow.

The main point I am trying to make here is that embracing chaos can be productive as long as one maintains a healthy respect for order (the act of doing a thing (as well. This is implicit in a statistic I came across a long time ago: data that showed that creative people are 6 times more likely to suffer from depression while having the compensation of better resources to deal with that depression -once again: John Nash.

And I am not arguing that this understanding will work for everyone. Bataille’s was clearly a different situation. All I am saying is that there are alternative narratives.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:34 pm
by d63
"What the way we have responded to Trump reminds me of is the movie Darkest Hour about Churchill dealing with the approach of Hitler. Churchill was basically negotiating a path through Britain's desire to maintain peace and Hitler's aggressiveness. They just didn't know what to do. They didn't want to fight. But they didn't want Hitler taking over: achieving his ambitions. We are dealing with a very similar situation with Trump as progressives. We just don't know what to do." -me

"This mess isn't going to end with the end of Trump.
We need to be very clear on that." -ibid

I have several concerns here:

For one, I can't help but feel that the troll mentality has broken from cyberspace and become a real-world issue. We clearly saw it in what the tea bagger's have been up to: the modern-day equivalent of the brown shirts. But I think it's become a little more subtle than that. And before I go on, I will admit that I am working with gut instincts based on anecdotal evidence. The best I can hope for is that it resonates enough for you to consider it.

That said, Bruce Cannon Gibney wrote an excellent book (by which I mean he made a convincing argument for his thesis (called A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America. And I would not dismiss his argument -that is altogether. However, things I have seen lately (especially on the boards (has brought me to believe that not all millennial nuts have fallen that far from the tree. That sociopathic MO seems to be at work in a lot of young people I encounter on these boards.

And I don't think I'm the only one seeing this. I recently watched a movie called Untraceable about a serial killer who killed his victims online just to show the system that more people would watch than we would like to believe. And yes, it is just a movie and not solid proof for my thesis here. But there is something about the comments on the antagonist's board that rang true: the way they adopted the mannerisms of professional critics, in a kind of ironic way, to comment on the performance of the murder.

I saw it as well in the first episode of the latest season of Black Mirror. A brilliant computer programmer (the latest version of the Nietzscheian overman (takes people from his real world situation and programs them as simulacra for his own personal fantasy which involves him being a modern day Captain Kirk, a scenario in which he becomes a tyrant to the perfectly sentient replicas. And you can easily see the troll MO at work here. But you see it even more in what happens when the simulacras rebelled and broke free. They found their selves in a gamer’s universe confronted by a gamer who, when he found they had nothing to trade, threatened to blow them out of his quadrant if they didn’t leave immediately.

“Yeah,” he said after they left, “I am king of the fucking universe.”

And you can see a connection (a rhizome (with a point I have previously made on these boards:

“Today I want to explore the InCel (involuntarily celibate (movement and the Red Pill sights they are associated with. It is, of course, tempting to mock it –and many highly intelligent people do. But I’m not really sure that is the smartest approach. For one, it can only exacerbate the situation by taking (what seems to them, at least (a kind of “in-crowd” tone that is, in the sense of not being part of that “in-crowd”, the very source of their understandably painful experience of alienation. And this is important to understand since it may well be this experience of painful alienation that lies behind most of the mass shootings we’re seeing in America. I mean this could well be the reason this is mainly occurring in High Schools and Colleges, the outright cauldrons of narcissism and vanity in which being part of an “in-crowd” is everything. And I’m not blaming the victim here. Kids will be kids. But what I will suggest (and I apologize for my opportunistic Marxist jab (that a lot of this comes from producer/consumer Capitalism and the way it bombards us (via TV ads (explicitly with images of what it is like to be part of an “in-crowd” while implicitly implying that if you are not like one of those people you see, you are no one.”

And I would further reiterate the connection I see between this movement (the alienation involved (and the fascist experiment we are currently engaged in. I would reassert my theory that such sites are prime recruiting grounds for neo-nazis and alt-right types. I’m not altogether sure that jobs are the only thing that white heterosexual males are afraid of Mexicans stealing. (And in my defense, just look how I got trolled when I suggested that world peace could only be achieved when, through interbreeding, we became a world of mutts.)

My other concern is that this propensity towards fascism can only get worse as the pressure to emigrate from third world countries gets greater. As climate scientists have argued, the first main effects will be close to the equator: the place where third world countries are. And I can’t help but see a mob/threshold dynamic in that we are primarily dealing with people with low thresholds for now. But what happens when more and more immigrants overwhelm our capacity to help them out? All I can see is people with higher thresholds (higher tolerances (succumbing to the fascist/troll mentality.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:01 pm
by d63
Dear diary moment 9/24/2018:

The latest rhizome I have turned to is classical mythology. And I have done so by downloading three audible lecture series: Greek mythology, Roman mythology, and a great courses one on classical mythology in general. And I’m on the one on Greek mythology right now. And when I am focused on these lectures, it tends to work with my method of operation in that they usually offer a PDF study guide that I can use for a “study point” when the footwork is done and I can go to the “library”. The thing is that at the end of the notes, they generally offer the things you would expect from college courses: suggestions for further reading and, more relevant to my point here, questions to consider.

And the question to consider that struck me today was:

What was the relationship between Zeus and Hera?

And the reason I zeroed in on this is because the mythology of Zeus and Hera (the Jungian archetype (represents a dynamic that haunts us to this day. If you think about it, we see a similar dynamic at work in modern media that portrays rich couples as a relationship between a philandering husband that cats around while the wife tolerates it so she can maintain her social status and abuse it as well. Zeus (as I am coming to understand (was a major player spreading his seed into whatever female he could trick into getting down to the dirty.

Hera, at the same time, was always working behind the scenes: manipulating everything to her own elitist status.

I mean how familiar could that story sound?

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:05 pm
by d63
Dear diary moment 9/29/18:

Something new (to me at least (that came up in my recent immersion in Greek mythology is that, in Homer’s Odyssey, the song of sirens promised fame and glory. I didn’t know that before. And I must admit a certain amount of confirmation bias in the why of what I am about to follow with here. But the main reason I took note of this is that it is perfectly compatible with my sense of Odysseus’ endeavor to hear the siren’s song without risk of self destruction.

There have been two myths that have haunted me for some time now, myths that I see as potential articles with philosophical implications very much in the spirit of Camus’ essay on Sisyphus. One is Orpheus’ attempt to bring Eurydice back from the underworld and his failure to do so because… well, he just looked back. This one, to me, illustrates Lacan’s notion of Jouissance.

In the case of Odysseus’, what I see is an individual that desperately wanted to experience what most mortal minds don’t get to. Hence the external restraints on his behavior (being tied to the mast and having wax plugs put into the ears of his rowers (as compared to arrogantly depending on his capacity for will power. And this goes back to points I made on a previous rhizome concerning George Bataille: ... 493297244/

In Odysseus, we see the epitome of the intellectually/creatively curious individual. One who, much as Charles Bukowski and Silvia Plath (as well as many other artists (reflected, was perfectly willing to broach the edge of the abyss, in order to see something most others don’t get to, but was smart enough to impose upon himself external restraints on his behavior.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:59 pm
by d63
If the recent events regarding Kavanaugh and Lord have shown us anything, it’s that we are dealing with a cult dynamic here –exactly, mind you, as Bob Corker (a republican (suggested. And in this case (as concerns the attacks on democrats), what we are looking at is the very Cassandra complex that tends to accompany the cult dynamic. What the repugs are basically spinning to their base (via confirmation bias( is the notion that the left of center attacks on Kavanaugh are purely political when the repug’s arguments, as far I can tell, are basically meant to make it look as if Kavanaugh was being unfairly persecuted when, in fact, they have completely failed to establish, for instance, that Lord was some kind of politically driven nut job out to sabotage Kavanaugh’s career. And that whole FBI investigation was little more than a sham that Trump channeled towards his ends to make it look as if the repugs were being fair and balanced.

It’s a little like being in love with a sociopathic player: they’ll go out and screw around on you (establish their power over you (then turn it around on you to make it seem like everything is your fault.
To give you a real sense of the cult dynamic involved: have any of you noticed the way in which people around you are watching FOX News or listening to people like Glen Beck or Alex Jones? It’s like they’re programming their selves. Their world (which was once working great for white heterosexuals –especially male ones –think make America great again (is no longer working the way it should. And, of course, to bring into a political discourse the argument “what’s in it for me alone?” simply would not work in something meant to find a working compromise. So it stands to reason they would have to turn to the “in-crowd” of the cult. This was foreseen by Kierkegaard’s Continuation of Sin in which the individual, rather than face the guilt of their bad choices, leans into sin. Everyone knows, at some level, hate can only lead to ill and evil.

So why wouldn’t they turn to gurus like FOX News, Glen Beck, or Alex Jones to make their self indulgence seem a little less evil than it actually is? Make it feel a little less irrational and unreasonable?
And the cult dynamic always begins and ends the same. It always starts with a lot of promise, arguments for how you have every right to self indulgence, that the only thing standing your way is such and such. But, by the end, all you’re hearing about is what you must do for the higher purpose of what the guru is offering you.

And make no mistake about it: Trump is a guru. At least that is the way he sees himself.
Such is the misdirect that the emerging oligarchy under producer/consumer Capitalism must turn to in order to establish itself.

And the Republican platform is its primary form of expression.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:30 pm
by d63
Dear diary moment 10/7/2018:

Had a thought last night. Or, rather, it was fusion of thoughts I have had before. I have pointed out before that a lot of this comes out people expecting way too much from our political system. As anyone who has taken a poly-sci 101 class knows, politics is the art of mediating between a very diverse multiplicity of interests. Therefore, a perfect (or better said: working (democracy consists of a situation in which everyone is happy with some things while being unhappy about others. And the only thing that would disrupt this are utopian notions about what would be perfect if only such and such weren’t in the way. And by this understanding, we can now see how Trump and his followers are basically utopians –that is despite the dystopia we see coming out their belief systems.

And this becomes all too clear when you compare my model of lowered expectations to the element of utopianism demonstrated by Trump and his followers and the authoritarian dynamic that emerges from it. As I have said before: it always starts with these appeals to self indulgence (even if it comes at the expense of others (and always ends with all this talk about what you must sacrifice for the higher good. In other words: what starts with an experience of perfect satisfaction always ends with an experience of perfect misery.

In other words, in order to fix this, we have got to deal with this demand for perfect satisfaction as concerns government. We have got be analytic and see it for what it is and see our own ideas about the perfect society as nothing more than ideas –that is in comparison to democracy which is the only political and social system we really need.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:27 pm
by d63
Reference: ... 847478785/

“D Edward Tarkington I may need to refresh my idea of Utopian.

While your view makes sense to me to a point there is still a disconnection in my mind.

In my mind to be Utopian in any sense, disregarding the fact that I disbelieve in both personal and collective utopias, requires some thought and planning. For instance we don't say kids are Utopian because they may want to eat candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We may consider that foolish or inexperienced or something else but I've never heard it described as Utopian.

I think in the same way i think the majority of hateful, violent, bigoted (and on and on) people do not think things out. I think they compartmentalize so much that they fail to achieve any type of possible reality.

For instance if you want the government to create and maintain a social safety net for you but do not want the government to have the resources or the laborers it needs to do so, nor do you want anyone to contribute to it. In my mind that is similar to the kid wanting candy 24/7.

So in other words I don’t feel they have thought out their positions enough to know what they truly want.”

First of all, Sitty, I apologize for posting what we already know: your post. I do this for two reasons –especially when it comes to someone not familiar with my methods of madness. For one, it makes it lot of easier (through copy and paste –that is on a Word document (to wind through, point and reference to, and comment on various points you have made. (You’ll see what I mean in the following.) Plus that, it allows me to groom it for cross pollination.

That said, I once again am empathetic with your argument when you say:

“D Edward Tarkington I may need to refresh my idea of Utopian.

While your view makes sense to me to a point there is still a disconnection in my mind.”

I am asking a lot when it comes to asking you to take on a broader understanding of the term “Utopian” as compared to how we normally think of it. This why I actually think (in the context of the general understanding (the normal logic (of the term (you make a good argument when you say:

“For instance we don't say kids are Utopian because they may want to eat candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We may consider that foolish or inexperienced or something else but I've never heard it described as Utopian.”

That, going by the framing you are working from, is a good argument. Where I am departing from you (that is from the framework I am working from (is the recognition that those children are actually acting in the capacity of Utopians to the extent that they are imagining a perfect world, one, BTW, that certain adults are always standing in the way of. And I would segue this into the argument that we are all basically Utopians in that we all have these ideas about what the perfect world would look like. However, if we’re realistic, we also recognize that there is a big difference between the world as we would like it to be and the world that we can hope for. And this is the distinction between the Utopian and the democrat. The democrat recognizes (as any Poly Scy 101 class will tell you (that politics is the art of mediating between diverse interests. Therefore, the optimal situation would be one in which everyone has things they can appreciate while still having issues. The Utopian, on the other hand, seeks perfect satisfaction (even if it comes at the misery of the other), and can only result in a situation that goes from perfect satisfaction (generally at the expense of the other (to perfect misery when all those appeals to self indulgence turn into a lot of talk about what you must sacrifice for the sake of the higher principle that bought you that self indulgence in the first place.

And there is more to say about this, Sitty. For instance, we can see the same Utopian dynamic at work in addicts who will turn to ill for the higher principle of that first high. But my window has run out. My main point for now is that for all the libertarian and FreeMarketFundamentalist claims and criticisms of socialists being Utopians, and dismissing them based on that (on being too idealistic), they (and I include Ayn Rand’s nonsense in this (are no less so.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:04 pm
by d63
Dear Diary moment 10/25/2018: As Kyle from South Park would put it: I had a thought today:

I now see the importance of Deleuze and Guatarri’s rhizomatic model (as compared to the arborescent (in terms more entwined with my own model of the Metaphysics of Efficiency as compared to the traditional Metaphysics of Power: that which leads to a Culture of More –which I will connect to Trump later.

If you think about it, the Metaphysics of Power is always dependent on arborescent models: tree-like models with an original cause at the bottom of it all. For instance: the recent issue of a disturbing number of young African American men being shot by cops under precarious circumstances. The left, of course, will designate the root cause to the prejudice of policemen. The right, of course, will delegate the root cause to the criminal nature of young African American men in the inner cities.

And this is the Metaphysics of Power at work: two sides attempting to offer a solution to some mythical original cause propped up by the traditional arborescent model. But let’s look at it from a more rhizomatic perspective. Let’s look at it from the perspective of a complex feedback loop between the desperation that might emerge in the inner cities, the desperate acts members of that environment might engage in, the fear that might provoke in those trying to enforce law in such an environment, and, yes, any prejudices those experiences with desperate members of that environment might reinforce.

My main point here is we can see how the Metaphysics of Power (the authoritarian mindset (would tend towards an arborescent model with some imagined “root cause”. We see it all over Trump with all his Gordian Knot solutions. It’s always a matter of clear-cut villains at the root of it: too much regulation, too many taxes, Obamacare, too much government, immigrants, etc., etc.. And I realize I have mentioned several causes which would seem to contradict my point. But Trump, due to the arborescent model he is working from, sees every issue as something like a different tree that he has gained special access to the root cause of. This is why he (as well as his followers are (is completely incapable of grasping any issue in its true complexity.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:33 pm
by d63
To go back to the subject of the democratic (as compared to the republican (platform being evolutionarily mandated, I want to look at recent trends in the university system. It use to be that the university system was the main institution by which we created responsible citizens. As Rorty argued: primary education was about creating functional members of society while the universities were about creating enlightened citizens. And I would argue that at that time the universities played a major role in our evolution as a species –that which we must do if we are to survive as a species.

However, due to the Regan Revolution of the 80’s (and the animosity of common hicks towards intellectuals), it changed for the sake of tax cuts for the rich which led to less federal funding for universities and their consequent increased dependency on corporate funding. What gradually resulted from this is our universities being dominated by the tyranny of the functional inherent to the corporate sensibility. The emphasis turned from enlightenment to what can make money. This is why, for instance, the philosophy departments gravitated from continental philosophy towards the more analytic: that which seemed more “scientific” and could appease philosophy’s guilt at not being able to create an I-Phone. On top of that, it became more about writing books that could actually sell. Think: Dennett, Searle, Pinker, etc.. Even art became a matter of what some corporate CO would like to hang on the walls of their company, that which would express their power.

What the tyranny of the functional (via the republican platform (fails to recognize is that progress (in other words: our evolution as a species (is that (in the sense of Deleuze and Guatarri’s social production (is completely dependent on exchanges of energy between the functional and non-functional acts of creativity. Our history has shown that by focusing purely on the functional, our society (our economy even (can only fail. We need non-functional acts of beauty in order to facilitate the functional acts of progress.

If I have learned nothing else from my recent immersion in classical mythology, I have learned this. It’s buried in us.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:37 pm
by d63
“Indeed, incessant cycles of deterritorialization and reterritorialization through axiomatization constitute one of the fundamental rhythms of capitalist society as a whole - what Marx referred to as the "constant revolutionizing of the means of production [and] uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions [that] distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones"46: capital is extracted from one locale (the rust belt, the United States) and re-invested somewhere else (the south, the Pacific rim); labor skills corresponding to certain means of production are, for a time, fostered and well paid, only to become worthless a few years later when new means of production prevail; consumer preferences are first programmed by advertising to value one set of goods, only to be deprogrammed so as to consider them "out of fashion," and reprogrammed by another advertising campaign to value a "new" set of goods. The terms deterritorialization and reterritorialization thus presuppose and reinforce the notice of a "common essence...of desire and labor," referring without distinction to the detachment and reattachment of the energies of "production in general" (including "consumption") to objects of investment of all kinds, whether conventionally considered "psychological" or "economic." “ -Holland, Eugene W.. Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 20). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

Unfortunately, guys, this is going to be a bit wordy (the very thing I tend to complain about the French being –so call me hypocrite if you will (as there is a lot to quote and a lot to say here. But if it’s any consolation, much of it will be Holland’s writing.

That said, we can easily see here how Capitalism (by the model of D & G( can lead to the very right-wing nonsense we are dealing with now: this constant state of change that many people would prefer not to be involved in, people who might choose to capture everything into a paranoid center. We can even see why such people might resist the D & G agenda of accelerating that dynamic until we somehow break through it to the other side. Hence: their orientation towards reterritorialization: a hopefully permanent one in their minds. And this is implicit in Holland’s next point:

“Closely linked with deterritorialization and reterritorialization are the parallel terms "decoding" and "recoding," which bear on representations rather than on concrete objects. Decoding, it is important to note, does not refer to the process of translating a secret meaning or message into clearer form: on the contrary, it refers to a process of dis-investing given meanings altogether, to a process of "uncoding," if you like: the destabilization and ultimately the elimination of established codes that confer fixed meaning.”

This is what Trump and his followers don’t get: it is profit seeking behaviors that is taking the meaning (the certainty (from their lives. They would rather focus on the shiny objects (who wants to be a millionaire? (that Capitalism (via media (flashes in front of them and blame everything on those who fail to meet the criteria of ideal producer/consumers: immigrants, welfare queens, gays, minorities, government even, the people you see on shows like COPS, etc., etc…….

Capitalism rewards identity (as is all too obvious in TV ads). Becoming is always suspect until it can be conscripted into the producer/consumer agenda: the Platonic realm of ideal forms according to corporate owned media.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:59 pm
by d63
Today, I want to mainly work in the overlaps one finds among various philosophers, the primary territory, I believe, we all tend to work in having chosen to pursue such a thing.

“The law tells us: You shall not marry your mother, and you shall not kill your father. And...docile subjects say to [them]selves: so that's what I wanted!” –quote from Anti-Oedipus

“Such is the ruse of the law prohibiting incest (and perhaps of law in general): it presents desire with a falsified image of what desire "wants" in the very act of prohibiting it. Desire is thereby trapped in a first paralogism, a classic double-bind that Deleuze and Guattari call the "paralogism of displacement": docile subjects supposedly discover what they desire at the same time that they discover they cannot have it.” -Holland, Eugene W.. Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 37). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

This, of course, is also a major issue with Žižek as well. And what I’m reminded of is Sartre’s Vertigo of the Possible: that which is not so much a fear of falling into the abyss as throwing one’s self in. And it is important note in the context of D & G’s rejection of Freud’s Oedipus Complex and the way it channels desire as compared to simply describing it. And we can get a sense of this when we consider Freud’s concept of Wish Fulfillment as concerns dream psychology. Under the Freud regime, it was generally assumed that if you dreamed about yourself committing some weird or odious act, it meant that you had some subconscious desire to do so. But Sartre’s Vertigo offers an alternative. What it tells us is that if you find yourself dreaming about an act like blowing up a church or killing a baby or kicking puppies or even find yourself naked in a tub with your mother, all it really constitutes is the mind recognizing that the possibility exists. And in defense of that, I would note how in such dreams we find ourselves in a state of panic wondering why we would do such things. And we see a similar dynamic at work in D & G’s attack on the Oedipus in that it creates the possibility (the vertigo even (of killing one’s father in order to sleep with one’s mother –that which is then translated to the model of a fragmented self (which is actually our natural/schizo state (that can only be put back together by re-establishing our relationship with a father figure such as the psychiatrist. Think ego psychology. Think Dr. Phil.

Another overlap I would like to approach here has to do with the binary of the neurotic (that which puts its emphasis on anti-production (and the pervert: that which puts its emphasis on hyper-production. It seems to me that we can see an overlap between the neurotic and Carl Jung’s malady of the extrovert, what he referred to as the hysteric. In that case, the subconscious (always working to counter the conscious subject (attempts to overwhelm the subject which is always focused on the world of objects. In other words, much like the neurotic, the hysteric is always engaging in an extreme form of anti-production.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:26 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 11/29/2018:

While reading Eugene Holland’s secondary text on the Anti-Oedipus, and going through the part about the relationship between the savage, the despotic, and Capitalism, I found myself asking the same old questions:

How deep do I really need to go into such theory? How important is an expert understanding of it to my process?

Not that I would abandon it. I’ve found too much I can use in it. (Especially the rhizomatic aspect: perhaps the source of a D & G auto-critique (And D & G do encourage us to not ask what it means but, rather, what it does. And I’m perfectly capable of writing about and describing what it does, but in a very blue-collarized way –one that might even be considered naïve by some of Deleuze’s (w/ and w/out Guatarri (more passionate devotees. But for me, this is mainly the input/output dynamic of taking in a lot of different information from a lot of different sources, letting it churn in my mind, and seeing what it can produce in the form of writing (or art (or poetry (or just whatever. I’m just not sure this requires that I put all my energy into it when there are other things I’m interested in doing.

That said, one of the things my filters are starting to pick up in Holland’s book is the transformation as concerns the Oedipal between the savage, the despotic, and the capitalist is how it went from a system of horizontal exchange in more savage systems (their BwO (or socious (being the earth (to the vertical power structure of despot who was basically given a free-pass on the incest taboo since he was basically father, mother, brother, and sister (as well as friend (to all his sovereign. So it stands to reason how he might find himself at some paranoid center since he had open access to any woman under his command. It would stand to reason that, eventually, other men would seek to overthrow him. And given the genealogy involved, it would stand to reason that Capitalism would establish the Oedipal dynamic in which the metaphorical son (or son’s (overthrows the father figure to achieve the potential mother.

The thing to note here is how the incest taboo, in savage societies, was mainly an issue of encouraging exchange with others outside of the immediate family structure.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:32 pm
by d63
“The connective synthesis concerns instincts and drives, and the ways they endow objects with value or erotic charge; roughly speaking, it translates Freud's notion of libidinal investment or cathexis and the functions he assigns to Eros or the life instinct. The disjunctive synthesis involves the functioning of pleasure, memory, and signs in the psyche, along with what Freud called the death instinct, or Thanatos. The conjunctive synthesis, finally, is about the formation of subjectivity.” -Holland, Eugene W.. Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 25). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

Today I want to take a more personal approach to the model described above (D&G’s syntheses of the unconscious: connection, disjunction, and connection (through an old and trusted riff of my own. And I am doing so in preparation for an article I would like to write for a UK magazine I’ve allied (or rather affiliated (myself with: Philosophy Now. So any input (whether it succeeds or fails (would be appreciated. Consider the sentence:

At what point are you in this sentence right now?

Now think about your experience of reading that sentence. First there was the connective synthesis of connecting one word to the other –all of them partial objects that somehow related to the object that followed and somehow connected. But it wasn’t long before the disjunction kicked in of not having the full meaning of the sentence until you reached the end. On top of that, there was the disjunction of discovering a question which you couldn’t answer while it was being asked which, technically, means you never really answered the question. As Deleuze put it in Difference and Repetition: you were dealing with a past present that was never really there.

But, finally, you reached the end of the sentence and experienced the conjunction (this kind of collapsing on itself (of getting the meaning of the sentence. The problem, however, is that you were never really there to answer the question as it was asked.

Now we can translate this to the point Holland (via D&G (was trying make as concerns the subject (that which occurs after the fact): that it is always the aftereffect of the syntheses of the subconscious but is always naturally prone to claim all processes (all syntheses that led to conjunction (were the results of its own efforts. And it’s easy to see the problems this could lead to.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:39 pm
by d63
“Such delegation explains why the family can appear to be a microcosm when really it is not; why familially constructed subjects often seem, on the one hand, so ill-suited to the specific content-requirements of social-production at any given moment of its development; why, on the other hand, the family's degree of abstraction as an apparently separate reproductive institution produces subjects perfectly suited formally to a system of social-production in constant flux. For what they learn in the nuclear family is simply to submit, as good docile subjects, to prohibitive authority - the father, the boss, capital in general - and relinquish until later, as good ascetic subjects, their access to the objects of desire and their objective being - the mother, the goods they produce, the natural environment as a whole. But that is all they need to learn: the content-requirements of social-production, as capitalism "continually revolutionizes the means of production," change too fast for the family to play much of a role in job training, for example, just as fashion and life-style fads change too fast for parents to play an adequate role in consumer training. What the Oedipal family-machine produces is just enough: obedient ascetic subjects programmed to accept the mediation of capital between their productive life-activity and their own enjoyment of it, who will work for an internalized prohibitive authority and defer gratification until the day they die, the day after retiring. Far from being autonomous, much less originary, fundamental, or universal, the Oedipus complex of the nuclear family appears as though it had been "fabricated to meet the requirements of...[the capitalist] social formation" (101/120), from which it in fact derives by delegation.47 And to challenge or rebel against such Oedipally constituted authority would amount to committing incest! The Oedipal machine, to the extent that it works, effectively straight-jackets desire.” -Holland, Eugene W.. Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (pp. 55-56). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

And to go straight to the source itself:

“From the very beginning of this study, we have maintained both that social-production and desiring-production are one and the same, and that they have differing regimes, with the result that a social form of production exercises an essential repression of desiring-production, and also that desiring-production - "real" desire - is potentially capable of demolishing the social form. (116/138)” –Ibid: quote from the Anti-Oedipus

I know this is a lot. And if it is any consolation: the bulk of it is Holland’s writing and not mine. But it gets at the heart of what the Anti-Oedipus is about; all else is just elaboration and articulation. At the same time, I should admit that there is a little (maybe a lot of (confirmation bias at work here in that it confirms some of my initial instincts about the book and overlaps with one of my main concerns about Capitalism: what I refer to as the tyranny of the functional. And much of what follows will be framed in terms of that tyranny.

I would first note a point made elsewhere in Holland’s book: that, under the Oedipus, the nuclear family provides a kind of elementary preparation for functioning in a Capitalist society (very much like the 3 R’s in American primary education: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic): a prohibited in the form of the incest taboo (the mother (and a prohibitor: the paternal father figure –that is against a desire that probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the prohibition in the first place.

What this creates is a situation that (at a more nominal/blue collar level (Capitalism engages on a regular basis: of creating a situation that serves its purposes at the expense of others while wiping its hands clean of it. And the way it does this (via psychoanalysis (is by separating desiring production from social production via the nuclear family; by making it seem as if what we are and do is purely the result of our individual circumstance within the family; our individual psyches. It is as if Capitalism is saying (via, once again, psychoanalyses: that if there is a problem, it is not Capitalism that needs to be reformed, it is you.

And nowhere is this clearer than in Ego Psychology in which the assumption is that if you are having problems, it is due to a fractured ego that can be put back together if you submit to a paternal guru type. And that is when we are, by nature, fractured selves. Think Dr. Phil here: the epitome of Ego Psychology and the tyranny of the functional. And is not Dr. Phil not the very kind of psychologist that Guatarri was seeking to undermine when he allied himself w/ Deleuze?

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:32 pm
by d63
Dear diary moment 12/9/2018:

Today I want to focus on the “New Earth” agenda of the Anti-Oedipus: this perpetually deterritorialized state in which the socious is brought more in line with the deteritorialized state of the unconscious: the BwO. First of all, I would note how it seems to cycle back to the savage state in which the earth-based socious and BwO are so closely bound that is hardly worth talking about desiring production as distinct from social production. The primary difference between the two, however, is that the New Earth socious would lack the codes and mores that the savage milieu was dependent upon. It, as compared to the savage, would be a complete unleashing of desiring production. And I would note here how D&G’s agenda retains an element of “the noble savage” that has been put into question by more contemporary thinkers as Steven Pinker.

(And I would also note how this pretty much confirms (that is to confirm the confirmation bias at work on my part (what I’ve always suspected about Deleuze: that the creative act was never that far from the back of his mind.)

But what I mainly want to point to is the overlap between D & G’s Utopian vision and that of other thinkers. Most notable here is Marx’s vision of a society in which an individual could be a fisherman in the morning, a musician by noon, and an artist by night. And I would note, here, the Maslowian concept of the hierarchy of needs that comfortably overlaps with D & G’s unleashing of desiring production. And I would also note here how Capitalism (as D & G suggest (has made this possible via technology: for instance, how computer/digital technology has made it easier to make movies or songs or graphic art. Think sampling here.

And to push the issue even further (that is at the risk of gerrymandering), we can even see this unleashing of desiring production in Rorty’s argument that we need to quit worrying so much about what constitutes a given discipline: science, art, philosophy, etc., etc. (quit recoding and reterritorializing (and let our acts be the “unforced flowers of society”.

Once again: the creative act never seems that far from Deleuze’s mind. But then, it never seems that far from Guatarri’s, Marx’s, Rorty’s, or even Maslow’s either. And I suspect this is because we are talking about creative people that basically wanted to spread the joy.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:17 pm
by d63
One of the grievances I’ve developed with MSNBC (call it a lover’s quarrel (is their tendency to refer to FOX News as “state TV”. This, of course, is a reference to Orwell’s 1984. And it is inaccurate –or, rather, partially so. It’s only (and in a conditional way (“state TV” when Republicans are in control. And it is only so within the framework of what the republican platform represents: a complete submission to Capitalist values and almost religious faith in the market. In fact, if FOX News is anything, it is anti-government or state. The truth is that what FOX News is actually playing lip service to are corporate values.

Now some may protest that issues such as immigration, PC issues, or abortion are hardly corporate concerns. And, to some extent, they would be right to the extent that profit seeking behaviors are generally indifferent to such issues. But at the same time, these issues do serve their interests either indirectly through misdirect or in more direct ways as I will describe below. The misdirect, of course, is that as long as a group of intellectual hicks keep voting republican because they’re pissed off about immigration, PC culture, or even abortion, or even being picked on white guys (that is when most of the rich are white guys), that can do no other than serve the interests of the rich and the emerging oligarchy they are participating in –that is with outright contempt for the masses including those who support the republican platform. And this is what republican drones don’t get: while they are focusing on the failures of government (while they are engaging in all this talk about “liberty”), they are surrendering their selves to the very thing that lies at the source of pretty much all their problems: profit seeking behaviors. On top of that, they are attacking and undermining the one institution they have available to them to act as check and balance to corporate power: a government that could (should we make it happen (act in its proper capacity and facilitate a fair (mind you not an equal (distribution of power.

The direct way in which corporate interests profit from republican issues (mainly immigration and abortion (is that an expanding economy (that which profits them as investors (is an expanding population. Capitalism rides on constant expansion. So we hardly need reflect and elaborate on the very real impact this could have on our environment and LIMITED natural resources. Hence: the republican (as well as FOX News (tendency towards denial when it comes to such issues. On top of that, we get so-called "enlightened entrepreneurs" who will address these issues no further than will hurt their profits while making it seem like the market is the only solution we really need.

And this is my issue with MSNBC. By calling FOX News “state TV”, they simply reinforce an outdated notion of what an oppressive society might look like and therefore add to the smokescreen for an emerging oligarchy.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:10 am
by sacrosanct
I have never quite understood the essence of writing a blog. It is so absurd and awkward letting people know everything about your life, its mysteries and its boredom. It is not eloquently said that a blog is a necessity for who I am. I do not detest writing a diary, nor a journal, nor an essay but I do conspiracy theories inside my head. I do reject writing a blog about it all of me, suddenly bursting into flames when I receive the thought of an online blog. Everything about it is not at all true for it is expressing the obvious. I sit in my bed using my laptop computer, with the airconditioner turned on and I feel very satisfied, relaxed and contented with myself as the internet artist. However, I still do detest writing online blogs since it seems unrealistic to be writing revelations and contemplations about your inner self, innate ideas and your whole true life. And so I conclude, with my post in these so called debating forum of opinions and facts not untrue however strategically confined.

:-k :-" O:)

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:04 pm
by d63
“There are many other examples, but I’ll end on that one, because it encapsulates the rhetorical sleight-of-hand so many on the right use to establish the myth of “political correctness.” They conflate being challenged with being censored.

It’s an argument that really should be self-refuting. If the conservative right to free speech depends on not being challenged, then, by logic, it requires ending the liberal right to free speech. After all, what are liberals doing when they challenge Trump, if not using their free speech to counter his?” -Marcotte, Amanda. Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself (Kindle Locations 211-215). Hot Books. Kindle Edition.

First of all guys, I cannot praise this book enough and highly recommend it to all my progressive allies. Granted, there is a bit of confirmation bias at work in that it confirms a lot of connections I have been making –most notably the connection between red pill and incel (involuntarily celibate (movements -in a very Naomi Klein style. Because of it I stand on Marcotte’s, much as I do Naomi Klein’s and Nicole Blackmun’s (a respected poet), shoulders.

And excuse me for mansplaining here, but what this comes down to is the right always entering the discourse at a disadvantage. Imagine a discourse between three people: the first one argues that in order for us to have a just society we have to take care of the needs of the least fortunate among us; the second one says “true”, but let’s not forget the beneficial aspects of the market and the justice of merit; then the third one says “Yeah: but what’s in it for me?” The problem for the rightwing mentality of the third person is that they are in a discourse that naturally assumes a criterion of what will work for all parties involved. Therefore, their argument is condemned right from the start.

Therefore, they have to resort to the dirty logic described above. And who would be most likely to resort to such cheap tactics than sexually frustrated white males who (rather than take the time to their selves to improve their selves in ways that might make them more attractive to a prospective mate (serve as prime recruiting ground for SDPs (Social Dominator Personalities (in the form of the alt-right and neo-Nazi’s? As I have said for some time now: I don’t think it’s just jobs that they’re scared of immigrants taking.

What this comes out of is what will statistically happen: by 2043 whites will be a minority. But it won’t happen like these twerps imagine it. It won’t be them meekly huddling together while all these minorities surround them looking for revenge. And I would note here the element of guilt at work. What it will actually look like is a change in the way family get-togethers look like. It will be mixed race couples producing mixed race children. It will be a nation of mutts that, yes, will hang onto their heritages for the sake of nostalgia, but still be a nation of mutts.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:07 am
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 1/22/2019:

Today (on HBO (I watched the movie Brexit: a dramatization of the processes that went on behind Brexit. (And I’m quite sure my jam-mates David John and Christopher Vaughn will take an interest: how I tag ya, bro's.) I would first say that it is a movie that I would recommend to my American Jam-mates as well as those across the pond. And I say this because it did a good job of describing a dynamic that was as well at work in the election of Trump. And I think, as the movie pointed out, this can be traced to the influence of the Australian Robert Mercer who put a lot of money into both movements.

But what really interested me about it was the extent to which computer technology and algorithms were used to manipulate the voter base. Now this would seem strange to me and most of the people I interact with on this board since most of us are intellectually and creatively curious enough to inoculate ourselves by seeking information outside of the mainstream. But what the movie crystallized for me was that while there are people like us who are committed to our agenda and people on the right committed to theirs enough to seek information (think: FOX News), there is always a group of people in the middle dealing with the day to day that don’t have the time to seek out the information that we do. They’re like windsocks going where the wind blows them and perfectly susceptible to the algorithms that experts have learned to manipulate.

(And I would also note how the guy trying to keep Britain in the EU found himself overwhelmed by complete nonsense (feelings over facts (much as Churchill did when Hitler was on the move.)

And such is the situation in America as well.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:43 pm
by d63
“More specifically, it [the metaphorical approach to changing belief systems] is to think of truth as something as something that is not already within us. Rather, it is something which may only become available to us thanks to an idiosyncratic genius. Such a conception of truth legitimizes auditory metaphors: a voice from far off, a Ruf des Gewissen, a word spoken out of darkness.

Another way of putting this point is to say, with Davidson, that “the irrational” is essential to intellectual progress.” –from Rorty’s Heidegger and Other Essays

Here again, we come up against that pragmatic overlap between Deleuze and Rorty. And I would note here especially the phrase “a word spoken out of darkness” in which one could easily sense echoes of D&G’s concept of desiring production in the Anti-Oedipus: schizoanalysis. But more notable is the common emphasis of both on the creative act: their common sense that philosophy is as much a creative act as it is a matter of any kind of truth seeking. The main difference between them is a matter of temperament: Deleuze’s radicalism as compared to Rorty’s bourgeoisie liberalism. As D&G wrote in What is Philosophy:

“Dinner and conversation at the Rorty’s”

And what we should also note here is how Rorty’s (as well as Deleuze’s implicit (w/ and w/out Guatarri (point about metaphor is confirmed by contemporary dream research: the generally accepted theory that dreams play a role in neuroplasticity. Earlier in the book, the metaphorical approach to changing belief systems was compared to two other approaches: perception in which its changed by perceiving something that goes against one’s present belief system, and inference in which previous beliefs lead us (through an inevitable tension (to see that we can no longer maintain the belief system we currently hold. And as Rorty also points out, these two approaches leave the language (the underlying framework of thought (we use unchallenged.

Metaphor, on the other hand, opens up the framework (via language (hence Davidson’s rejection of thinking of metaphor as having meaning in any real meaningful sense (much as dreaming does the brain (via neuroplasticity (for the sake of expanded possibilities for the mind.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:30 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 1/27/2019:

"To my mind, the persistence on the left of this notion of "radical critique" is an unfortunate residue of the scientistic conception of philosophy. Neither the idea of penetrating to a reality behind the appearances, nor that of theoretical foundations for politics, coheres with the conception of language and inquiry which, I have been arguing, is common to Heidegger and to Dewey. For both ideas presuppose that someday we shall penetrate to the true, natural, ahistorical matrix of all possible language and knowledge. Marx, for all his insistence on the priority of praxis, clung to both ideas, and they became dominant within Marxism after Lenin and Stalin turned Marxism into a state religion. But there is no reason either should be adopted by those who are not obliged to practice this religion." -from 'Philosophy as Science, Metaphor, Politics' in Rorty's Essays on Heidegger and Others

I would start by isolating this particular section:

"To my mind, the persistence on the left of this notion of "radical critique" is an unfortunate residue of the scientistic conception of philosophy.”

While I’m not totally in agreement with Rorty’s use of the qualifier “unfortunate” (I may be a pragmatist at heart, but I’m just not that pragmatic), I agree with the main thesis: a lot of the obscurity (read: radical (we find in philosophy may well be the result of trying to compete with science: the guilt at not being able to create an i-phone which most people are more likely to draw to. And Rorty is right in pointing out that for all of Marx’s emphasis on changing things, he hardly helped himself by working in the ethereal realm of theory. This, I think, is why Marx has become obsolete in that a lot of less theoretical writers have done a real good job of describing the failures of Capitalism without even referring to Marx. In fact, it may well be that Marx didn’t so much become obsolete as he became superfluous to the cause. I can more easily get the information I need to be critical of Capitalism through much lighter reading such as Naomi Klein, Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ha-Joon Chang and, the book I am listening to lately: Anand Giridharadis' Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World –all of which, BTW, I have come to know through audio books that don’t (beyond the in-depth anecdotal information they offer you (require a lot of in-depth reading.

And such is my pragmatic conundrum: why bother with high theory when I can more easily get the information I need without the pains I go through over such thinkers as Rorty and his other two companions in my holy triad: Deleuze and Žižek? And this question becomes even more pronounced under the threat to our democracy called Trump. And the only answer I can offer is that “radical theory” is a form of play: something engaged in for the same reason one might become a gamer. But it is a form of play with some perhaps serious consequences: that which could change sensibilities. Some of it may well trickle down into the day to day. But let’s not make the mistake, as Rorty is trying to point out (that is from the perspective of someone who has taken the time to understand such philosophical icons as Heidegger and Derrida), of taking it more seriously than it really warrants as concerns social and political policy.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:37 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 1/31/2019:

One of the things that are getting crystallized in my present immersion in Rorty’s Essays on Heidegger and Others is the import of metaphor as a means of changing belief systems. But in order to understand it, I have to put in the context of the other two means Rorty presented: perception (which can be associated with the empirical method and correspondence truth test) and coherence (which can be associated with the deductive method and coherence truth test). And it is important to note here that Rorty (via Heidegger (associates these with the mathematical approach to philosophy. And he does this because neither approach, while effectively changing belief systems, manages to change the language we use to explain them and, thereby, fail to change the language game (therefore the logical space (we tend to work in.

That is the gap that metaphor (a loose equivalent of the pragmatic truth test and Walter Kuhn’s “paradigm shift” (tends to fill by changing the language and, consequently, the logical space we work in. And what is important to understand here (via Davidson (is that metaphor has no meaning or content in itself. All it does is change the framework by which we work via the words we use within that framework: the logical space that is either expanded or revised.

(And I would note the overlap here with Marcuse’s concept of operationalism in One Dimensional Man.)

And yet again, I am given an opportunity to point to the pragmatic overlap between Rorty and Deleuze (this time specifically w/ Guatarri –and likely at the expense of the irritation of my fellow Deleuzians. If you think about the Anti-Oedipus, it is about a metaphorical framework in the form of Capitalism that they were attempting to overcome via a metaphorical shift they referred to as schizoanalysis. Now I understand they were arguing that things like desiring machines and desiring production were not just metaphors. But I consider that a mistake –perhaps even intellectual arrogance. By making such arguments, they leave their selves vulnerable to those who take what they argue too literally.

However, by looking at it as metaphor, you leave what you are offering as something the other can either leave or take. You offer it humbly as a framework in which the individual can fill with their own content.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:14 pm
by d63
" I can summarize my attempt to split the difference between Lyotard and Habermas by saying that this Deweyan attempt to make concrete concerns with the daily problems of one's community -social engineering- the substitute for traditional religion seems to me to embody Lyotard's postmodernist "incredulity towards metanarratives" while dispensing with the assumption that the intellectual has a mission to be avant-garde, to escape the rules and practices and institutions which have been transmitted to her in favor of something which will make possible "authentic criticism." Lyotard unfortunate retains one of the Left's silliest ideas -that escaping from such institutions is automatically a good thing, because it insures that one will not be "used" by the evil forces which have "co-opted" these institutions. Leftism of this sort necessarily devalues consensus and communication, for insofar as the intellectual remains able to talk to people outside of the avant-garde she "compromises" herself. Lyotard exalts the "sublime" and argues that Habermas' hope that the arts might serve to "explore a living historical situation" and to "bridge the gap between cognitive, ethical and political discourses," shows that Habermas has only an "aesthetic of the beautiful". On the view I am suggesting, one should see the quest for the sublime, the attempt (in Lyotard's words) to "present the fact that the unpresentable exists," as one of the prettier unforced blue flowers of bourgeois culture. But this quest is wildly irrelevant to the attempt at communicative consensus which is the vital force which drives that culture.

More generally, one should see the intellectual qua intellectual as having a special, idiosyncratic need -a need for the ineffable, the sublime, a need to go beyond the limits, a need to use words which are not part of anybody's language game, any social institution." -from Rorty's article "Habermas and Lyotard on Postmodernity" in Essays on Heidegger and Others

First of all, guys, there is a lot here already in the quote. And I mainly post the whole thing above in order to have what I’m going to post and bounce off of to have it readily available. So it could get a lot longer. And I apologize for that ahead of time.

Secondly, this pretty much encapsulates why Rorty’s pragmatism is so dear to my heart while also justifying why I include him in my holy triad along with Deleuze and Žižek. And I would start with:

“More generally, one should see the intellectual qua intellectual as having a special, idiosyncratic need -a need for the ineffable, the sublime, a need to go beyond the limits, a need to use words which are not part of anybody's language game, any social institution."

I have always described that “idiosyncratic need” as “depth, intensity, and lightness of touch”. There was another French term offered to me via an interview of the actor John Lithgow stolen from ballet: that which meant lifting oneself into pure air –that which is expressed in the pirouette. But, ultimately, what it comes down to is the very rock star approach to intellectualism (via philosophy (that Deleuze had to offer. Hence: my inclusion of him in my holy triad w/ Rorty in that Rorty (while maintaining a distance from Deleuze’s avant-garde approach (showed a knowledgeable respect for it in very sharp contrast to Sokal’s cheap trick and attack on thinkers like Lyotard, Deleuze, Foucault, and other contemporary continental thinkers.

That said, Rorty’s main point here is a very democratic one: that it is going to take a lot of different people dedicated to a lot of different methods for different reasons to fix this: those who turn to the avant-garde in order to change sensibilities (see Lyotard (as well those who choose to accept grand narratives for the sake of social justice: see Habermas.

It comes down to Rorty’s repeated insistence that language is basically a tool with which we achieve desired effects. And under this model, we can see Lyotard’s embrace of the avant-garde and sublime as useful as Habermas’ search for a solid foundation for a liberal politics.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:28 pm
by d63
"Economists have a singular method of procedure. There are only two kinds of institutions for them, artificial and natural. The institutions of feudalism are artificial institutions, those of the bourgeoisie are natural institutions. In this, they resemble the theologians, who likewise establish two kinds of religion. Every religion which is not theirs is an invent of men, while their own is an emanation from God. When the economists say that present-day relations -the relations of bourgeois production- are natural, they imply that these are the relations in in which wealth is created and productive forces developed in with the laws of nature. These relations therefore are themselves natural laws independent of the influence of time. They are eternal laws which must always govern society. Thus, there has been history, but there is no longer any. There has been history, since there were the institutions of feudalism, and in these institutions of feudalism we find quite different relations of production from those of bourgeois society, which the economists try to pass off as natural and, as such, eternal" -a quote from Marx's The Poverty of Philosophy extracted from Slavoj Žižek’s First as Tragedy Then as Farce

There is a lot here in the context of my process. Unfortunately, in my IADD (Intellectual Attention Deficit Disorder), I’m a little like Trump in that I’m easily distracted by the next shiny object which could be the next quote I come across in Žižek’s book. But I’ll do the best I can with the window I have. And I would start with my mixed feelings on this. On one hand I’m with Žižek when he says:

“Economists have a singular method of procedure. There are only two kinds of institutions for them, artificial and natural. The institutions of feudalism are artificial institutions; those of the bourgeoisie are natural institutions.”

But I would humbly revise the point by noting a kind of imperative that economists tend to work under. But first we have to drop the loaded terms of Capitalism and Socialism and think in terms of a spectrum between a market economy and a command economy. It is easy to see (to Žižek’s point (why economists might lean towards the market side of the spectrum. The market is dynamic and seemingly unpredictable. The command economy less so: the leader sees that people need more bread and declares that more bread be made –it’s just that simple. So it makes perfect sense for economists (in their effort to be a science (to take on the challenge of the dynamics of a market economy. It’s their bread and butter.

I would even agree with Žižek (as well as Marx, BTW( that this can lead to a kind of religious approach to Capitalism. I mean what is the “Invisible Hand” but some god-like force that neo-liberals imagine. And as I’ve always liked to joke:

It use to be: pray hard and follow these principles and you too can enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Now it’s: work hard and follow these principles and you too can enter the kingdom of success.

Where I depart with Žižek (and Marx as well (is that economists are not always as committed to the above described dynamic as Žižek or Marx or even myself in the above point make it seem. My process of being a critic of Capitalism has been blessed with the influence of such economic thinkers as Paul Krugman and Ha-Joon Chang and Robert Reich (all economists), as well as Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC fame.

I just think that in a confrontation with Capitalism, it would be unwise to dismiss a discipline that is often attacking it from the inside.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:17 pm
by d63
"Although the "ruling class" disagrees with the populists' moral agenda, it tolerates the "moral war" as a means of keeping the lower classes in check, that is, it enables the latter to articulate their fury without disturbing the economic status quo. What this means is that the culture war is a class war in displaced mode -pace those who claim that we live in a post-class society...." -from Žižek’s First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

This is the one consolation progressives can take from the despicable authoritarian/antidemocratic tactics of the right: the very fact that the alliance of the evangelical right and libertarian/freemarketfundamantalist (think Ayn Rand (is a very precarious one. In fact, the only thing that holds them together is their hatred of progressives. And while there is the shared Calvinistic tradition between them (this notion that one’s standing in God’s eyes can be known through prosperity: the invisible hand of the market), one can only imagine the conflict that would arise between them were the progressives taken out of the picture. In other words, while the libertarian right might not share the evangelical right’s religious and moral convictions, they share a religious approach to capitalism, one that would easily fall apart once there were no longer progressives around to hate.

Žižek later goes on to explain the very real affects of this religious approach to Capitalism:

"Here one has to ask a naive question: did Madoff not know that, in the long term, his scheme was bound to collapse? What force denied him this obvious insight? Not Madoff's own personal vice or irrationality, but rather a pressure, an inner drive to go on, to expand the sphere of circulation in order to keep the machinery running, inscribed into the very system of capitalist relations. In other words, the temptation to "morph" legitimate business into a pyramid scheme is part of the very nature of capitalist relations. There is no exact point at which the Rubicon was crossed and the legitimate business morphed into an illegal scheme; the very dynamic blurs the frontier between "legitimate" investment and "wild" speculation, because capitalistic investment, at its very core, a risky wager that a scheme will turn out to be profitable, an act of borrowing from the future." -ibid

Madoff, basically, was a true believer. He was saturated with the religion of the “Invisible Hand”, and thought that it would justify and save him. And it’s not hard to understand why he would. Corporations are, by law, required to look out for the interests of their investors first. And it wouldn’t work if they did otherwise. If you’re an investor, the last thing you would want is some CEO going hippy and choosing to do the right thing at the expense of profits. Because of that, it’s not the role of corporations to act as moral agents. That is the role of government.

(And as Brian Musumi pointed out to me in his bounce off of D&G's Capitalism and Schizophrenia: the best model for Capitalism is the inner-city drug dealer who acts as a kind exchange point in the flows of money as compared to someone who simply accumulates wealth.)

At the same time, I agree with Žižek’s absolution of Madoff in that Madoff was basically a man caught up in the system (the simulacrum (of Capitalism. To me, it's no wonder he submitted to his fate like he did in the end: he saw exactly what I'm seeing now and repented.