Notes on Modernity

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Xanthippe, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Xanthippe Registered Member

    If the discussion forums on the internet currently are anything to go by, then we have a good indicator on how steeped in modernity the spirit has become; I call this the Twilight of Philosophy.

    Never before was there such an unprecedented comfort level; what has sprouted are vast patches of poppy fields and debates revolving around the best fertilizers to sustain this level of dope. I say unprecedented because even humanist philosophers like Sloterdijk are forced to speak out at the contamination of reality occuring.

    Income without performance, insurance securities taking over the slightest sufferings, claims of victimization preceding any readiness to fight, information consumers relaxing on authority stamps than experience for persuasion, persuasion than passionate inquiries, pacifism, infantilism, feminization, sexual banalities, gender intorsions, genetic distortions, racial denial, narcissistic self-advertizements and hosting self-promotional publication dinners for re-editing works that pass for knowledge and such schizoid self-fragmentations, spreading themselves thin mark this twilight of auto-narcotization.

    The Nihilistic Rejection of Reality monopolize both ends of the binary system: variations Within ideologies based on the Absolute-one and the Absolute-nil, both relying on erasing one's past, both promising the absent whole that would technically end existence, occupy every spectrum of life.

    While this takes the illusion of a debate, of the occurence of dialogue, of thinking, of philosophy, factually, it is only a saturation and an internal polemic over which end and variant of nihilism ought to dominate.
    The right-left dichotomy are 'conflicts' over method than substance, while both sides agree on the fundamental homogenizing principes of production, consumption and the "freedom of the individual".
    As Nietzsche, Baudrillard and Sloterdijk have remarked, the "simulacra of options" has only made the human animal more stupid, redundant, hedonized and dependent on the system more than ever.

    Some have said, "This is a war like no other", and I agree with them.

    According to a Vedic myth, the churning of the ocean helped separate the nectar of immortality from the poison of death; while modernity and its by-effects cannot be 'escaped' from, the furiously churning machine aids the separation of the sane from the insane, the healthy from the sick and the decadent, and man from the under-apes. The same movement that furthers the growth of the disinherited and the depraved many are also what necessarily prompt the rare few to want to become stronger and self-distinguished from all this dis-ease that is modernity.

    I offer notes and an objective assessment on the state of our reality, in the hope of some rare few may awaken to what confronts them and prepare for it.
    GoatMan likes this.
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  3. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Baudrillard, Jean wrote:
    Disneyland is there to conceal the fact that it is the ‘real’ country, all of ‘real’ America, which is Disneyland (just as prisons are there to conceal the fact that it is the social in its entirety, in tis banal omnipresence, which is carceral).
    Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when in fact all of Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and the simulation.
    It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality (ideology), but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer real, and thus of saving the reality principle.
    The Disneyland imaginary is neither true nor false; it is a deterrence machine set up in order to rejuvenate in reverse the fiction of the real.
    Whence the debility, the infantile degeneration of this imaginary.
    It is meant to be an infantile world, in order to make us believe that the adults are elsewhere, in the “real” world, and to conceal the fact that real childishness is everywhere, particularly amongst those adults who go there to act the child in order to foster illusions as to their real childishness.

    Evola, Julius wrote:
    America ... has created a 'civilization' that represents an exact contradiction of the ancient European tradition. It has introduced the religion of praxis and productivity; it has put the quest for profit, great industrial production, and mechanical, visible, and quantitative achievements over any other interest.
    It has generated a soulless greatness of a purely technological and collective nature, lacking any background of transcendence, inner light, and true spirituality.
    America has [built a society where] man becomes a mere instrument of production and material productivity within a conformist social conglomerate
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  5. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Dostoyevsky, Fyodor wrote:
    Still a certain dullness of mind seems to be an almost essential qualification, if not for every public servant, then at least for anyone seriously intent on making money.

    And this "dullness" is what makes the Modern world spin.
    Look at how we evaluate quality today?

    Siegfried, André wrote:

    In its race towards richness and power, America has abandoned the axis of freedom in order to follow that of productivity…
    All the energies, including those related to the ideals and to religion, lead towards the same productive purpose: we are in the presence of a productive society, almost a theocracy of productivity, which is increasingly aiming at producing things rather than people, or people only as more efficient workers…

    In the U.S. some kind of mysticism surrounds the supreme rights of the community.
    The human being, having become a means rather than an end itself, accepts the role of “cog-in-the-machine” without thinking for a second for a second that in the process he may be somewhat belittled…

    Hence, a collectivism which is willed by the elites and a-critically accepted by the masses, surreptitiously undermines man’s autonomy and strictly channels his actions, thus confirming his very abdication without him realizing it…

    No protests and no reactions of the great American masses ever ensues against the collective tyranny.
    They accept it freely, as a natural thing, and almost as if it were expedient.
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  7. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Heisman, Mitchell wrote:

    Equality would seem to implicate an ultimate trajectory of evolutionary “regression” because equal rights imply the beginning of the end of Darwinian selection.

    A genuine, progressive implementation of universal equal rights implies the artificial end of natural selection; the systematic unraveling of the mechanism that made the evolution of life possible in the first place. The principle of equality can thus be look at as the principle of the elimination of selection.
    The idea of “natural right” is pre-Darwinian. It is thus not especially surprising that the “progress” of the modern idea of the individual right to life leads in precisely the opposite direction as the “progress” of natural selection. The egalitarian elimination of selection is directly tied to the modern notion of leftward “progress” precisely because the gradual accumulation of selections that built life up suggests an equally gradual elimination of selections to unravel life down. The opposite of the modern idea of individual rights is the right of the stronger.
    Individual rights tend to defend the weaker, while natural selection tends to eliminate the weaker.
    From some points of view, then, equal rights can be looked upon as the “progress” of genetic maladaptation.
  8. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Guenon, Rene wrote:

    Among the features characteristic of the modern mentality, the tendency to bring everything down to an exclusively quantitative point of view will be taken from now on as the central theme of this study. This tendency is most marked in the “scientific” conceptions of recent centuries; but it is almost as conspicuous in other domains, notably in that of social organization — so much so that, with one reservation the nature and necessity of which will appear hereafter, our period could almost be defined as being essentially and primarily the “reign of quantity”.

    Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von wrote:

    The history of philosophy, of the sciences, of religion, all show that opinions are spread abroad on a quantitative scale and that the leading position always goes to what is easier to grasp, that is, to whatever is easier and more comfortable for the human spirit.

    Indeed, the man who has fully educated and developed himself in a higher sense can always reckon to have the majority against him.

    Gasset, Ortega y wrote:

    The characteristic fact of the moment is that the mediocre soul, recognizing itself as mediocre, has the audacity to assert the right of mediocrity and impose it everywhere.

    Freud, Sigmund wrote:

    I have found little that is "good" about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.
  9. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Evola, Julius wrote:

    The United States represents the reductio ad absurdum of the negative and the most senile aspects of Western civilization.
    What in Europe exist in diluted form are magnified and concentrated in the United States whereby they are revealed as the symptoms of disintegration and cultural and human regression.
    The American mentality can only be interpreted as an example of regression, which shows itself in the mental atrophy towards all higher interests and incomprehension of higher sensibility. The American mind has limited horizons, one conscribed to everything which is immediate and simplistic, with the inevitable consequence that everything is made banal, basic and leveled down until it is deprived of all spiritual life.
    Life itself in American terms is entirely mechanistic.
    The sense of I in America belongs entirely to the physical level of existence.

    The typical American neither has spiritual dilemmas nor complications: he is a natural joiner and conformist.

    Evola, Julius wrote:

    In America any inventor who discovers some new tool that will improve production will always win more social approval and acknowledgement than the traditional type of the intellectual; moreover, anything that is profit, reality or action in the material sense of the word will always be valued more than anything that may derive from a line of aristocratic dignity.
  10. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Evola, Julius wrote:

    Obviously, the levelling process applies to the sexes as well.
    The Soviet emancipation of the woman parallels the emancipation that in America the feminist idiocy, deriving from “democracy” all its logical conclusions, had achieved a long time ago in conjunction with the materialistic and practical degradation of man.
    Through countless and repeated divorces the disintegration of the family in America is characterized by the same pace that we could expect in a society that knows only “comrades.”

    The women, having given up their true nature, believe they can elevate themselves by taking on and practicing all kinds of traditionally masculine activities. These women are chaste in their immorality and banal even in their lowest perversions; quite often they find in alcohol the way to rid themselves of the repressed or deviated energies of their nature.
    Moreover, young women seem to know very little of the polarity and the elemental magnetism of sex as they indulge in a comradely and sportive promiscuity.
    These phenomena are typically American, even though their contagious diffusion all over the world makes it difficult for people to trace their origin to America.
    Actually, if there is a difference between this promiscuity and that envisioned by communism, it is resolved in a pejorative sense by a gynaecocratic factor, since every woman and young girl in America and other Anglo-Saxon countries considers it only natural that some kind of pre-eminence and existential respectability be bestowed upon her as if it were her inalienable right.

    Evola, Julius wrote:

    After exposing the decadence of modern woman, he must not forget that man is mostly responsible for such decadence.

    Just like the plebeian masses would have never been able to make their way into all the domains of social life and of civilization if real kings and real aristocrats would have been in power, likewise, in a society run by real men, woman would never have yearned for or even been capable of taking the path she is following today.

    The periods in which women have reached autonomy and pre-eminence almost always coincided with epochs marked by manifest decadence in ancient civilizations.
    Thus, the best and most authentic reaction against feminism and against every other female aberration should not be aimed at women as such, but at men instead.
    It should not be expected of women that they return to what they really are and thus re-establish the necessary inner and outer conditions for reintegration of a superior race, when men themselves retain only the semblance of true virility.
  11. Landau Roof Registered Senior Member

    Very interesting posts. I think I'm going to like you - although without actually pressing the like button. I don't think you'd approve of that. So I am still rereading and taking in your views. What solution or alternatives do you propose?

    And: about Disneyland. When I lived in Japan for three years. I longed resisted a visit to Disneyworld/land, whatever, because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the 'real' Tokyo and it. Finally I did visit, and my fears were justified.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  12. Xanthippe Registered Member

    de Benoist, Alain wrote:

    We can hence better understand that contemporary decadence is not the effect of its distance from the Christian religion, but its profanation in the strict sense of the word, i.e., its generalized diffusion in profane forms – its generalized infection.
    And it is in this sense that one can say, without cultivating paradox, that the world has never been as Judeo-Christian as it is today.
    The moral God is dead, but the values he has bequeathed are more present than ever, even though their impotence is a generally noted fact, and even though they constitute merely a décor of the impasse in which our contemporaries crash into time and time again like a fly on a windowpane.
    God is dead, but the modern world continues to claim him as its authority, precisely because it cannot and does not want to rid itself of his carcass.

    All Western “humanism,” according to Levinas’ phrase, is passing through a “secularization of Judeo-Christianity” – not is it by chance that we are witnessing the resurgence today of a fundamental criticism of Heidegger accompanied with the adulation of a Judeo-Christian monotheism in which nobody believes anymore but which everyone claims.
  13. Xanthippe Registered Member


    Thanks for appreciating.

    Like I already mentioned in the OP, there is no 'escape' from modernity, to do so and reject this facet of reality would only be enmeshing oneself further in a nihilistic mentality.

    Reconnection to your roots, life-affirmative values, and a path of increasing discrimination is the resistance you can offer yourself against this war attempting to negate all the last sparks of pure thymos.
  14. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Camus, Albert wrote:

    In contrast to the ancient world, the unity of the Christian and Marxist world is astonishing.
    The two doctrines have in common a vision which completely separates them from the Greek attitude. Jaspers defines this very well: “It is a Christian way of thinking to consider that the history of man is strictly unique.”

    The Christians were the first to consider human life and the course of events as a history that is unfolding from a fixed beginning towards a definite end, in the course of which man achieves his salvation or earns his punishment.
    The philosophy of history springs from the Christian representation, which is surprising to a Greek mind. The Greek idea of evolution has nothing in common with our idea of historical evolution.
    The difference between the two is the difference between a circle and a straight line.

    The Greeks imagined the history of the world as cyclical.
    Aristotle, to give a definite example, did not believe that the time in which he was living was subsequent to the Trojan War. Christianity was obliged, in order to penetrate the Mediterranean world, to Hellenize itself, and its doctrine then became more flexible.
    But its originality lay in introducing into the ancient world two ideas that had never before been associated: the idea of history and the idea of punishment. In its concept of mediation, Christianity is Greek. In its idea of history, Christianity is Judaic and will be found again in German ideology.
    It is easier to understand this dissimilarity by understanding the hostility of historical methods of thought toward nature, which they considered as an object not for contemplation but for transformation.
    For the Christian, as for the Marxist, nature must be subdued.
    The Greeks are of the opinion that it is better to obey it. The love of the ancients for the cosmos was completely unknown to the first Christians, who, moreover, awaited with impatience an imminent end of the world.
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  15. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Camus, Albert wrote:

    In contrast to the ancient world, the unity of the Christian and Marxist world is astonishing.
    The two doctrines have in common a vision which completely separates them from the Greek attitude.
    Jaspers defines this very well:
    ‘It is a Christian way of thinking to consider that the history of man is strictly unique.’

    The Christians were the first to consider human life and the course of events as a history that is unfolding from a fixed beginning towards a definite end, in the course of which man achieves his salvation or earns his punishment.
    The philosophy of history springs from the Christian representation, which is surprising to a Greek mind.
    The Greek idea of evolution has nothing in common with our idea of historical evolution.
    The difference between the two is the difference between a circle and a straight line. The Greeks imagined the history of the world as cyclical.
    Aristotle, to give a definite example, did not believe that the time in which he was living was subsequent to the Trojan War. Christianity was obliged, in order to penetrate the Mediterranean world, to Hellenize itself, and its doctrine then became more flexible.
    But its originality lay in introducing into the ancient world two ideas that had never before been associated: the idea of history and the idea of punishment.
    In its concept of mediation, Christianity is Greek.
    In its idea of history, Christianity is Judaic and will be found again in German ideology.
    It is easier to understand this dissimilarity by understanding the hostility of historical methods of thought toward nature, which they considered as an object not for contemplation but for transformation.
    For the Christian, as for the Marxist, nature must be subdued.
    The Greeks are of the opinion that it is better to obey it. The love of the ancients for the cosmos was completely unknown to the first Christians, who, moreover, awaited with impatience an imminent end of the world.

    de Benoist, Alain wrote:

    The sickly types aspire to form a herd.
    Quantity compensates them – at least they think it does – for what they lack in quality.
    If several suffer together they believe their suffering is reduced.
    Those who boast Judeo-Christian values sometimes attribute to the “powerful” the feelings they would have or be tempted to have if they were there in their place.
    They do not see the true power is an end in itself and does not aim, on condition it is tranquil, at any utility – that the “will to will denies any end in itself and only tolerates an objective as a means in order to best itself deliberately in the game and organize a space for this game.”

    In paganism happiness is never the antagonist of power, But nor is it an antagonist of equity.
    By condemning the exaltation of weakness, paganism is not in any way aiming at justifying the crushing of the weak by the strong, nor forming the “ideological alibi” of any sort of established disorder.
    To the contrary, it claims to contribute to the formation of the spiritual framework that allows every individual, whatever his rank, assuming only that he has the will, to cultivate what inside strengthens and does not undo him.
    Paganism does not reproach Christianity for defending the weak who are unjustly oppressed. It reproaches it for exalting them in their weakness and viewing it as the sign of their election and their title to glory; it reproaches Christianity for not helping them to become strong.
    So it is not a question of opposing the strong versus the weak – today, in any event, it is paganism that is weak and Judeo-Christian monotheism that is strong – but purely and simply of opposing a system of remaining weak with a system of becoming strong.
    It is also a question of making a world that is not a vale of tears, not a theater of shadows, nor a stage where a man with erratic happiness acts out his salvation, but that natural field of self-expansion for a man capable of asserting his autonomy and establishing himself as his own project.
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  16. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Harvie, Ferguson wrote:

    The correspondence between the macrocosm and microcosm was transformed, during the Renaissance, into a new metaphor of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’.

    The cosmos became a unified but unbounded structure ordered through universal laws of nature. The intimate reality of human experience could no longer be conceptualized as a metaphor or symbol of an all-inclusive order.
    The human world must conform to the same laws as the rest of nature. Yet the dignity of man, which had been one of the central ideas of the Renaissance, seemed to imply a privileged status for the human.
    This difficulty, the paradox of Renaissance humanism, lies at the intellectual heart of bourgeois psychology.
    No sooner had the claim to dignity been established, through the assimilation of man to nature (in Arcadian or Utopian forms), than it was lost.
    Man did not inhabit a centralized and degraded world; he assumed the dignity of celestial motion. But, in consequence, his soul was no longer the mirror of the world.
    The unique advantage of his position as an observer of the cosmos was lost.
    True, the cosmos was no longer held to be the means to proclaim an ultimate truth; but even as a mechanism it appeared baffling.
    Its regularities could be formalized through the quantitative language of mathematics, but the cause of its order remained mysterious.
    Was human nature similarly unknowable?
    Was it not equally contrary to presume that man was a mystery to himself?

    These purely intellectual considerations were, additionally, ways of describing the new social reality of commodity exchange. The commodity embodied a dual reality. As exchange value it expressed the universality of necessary relations.
    It created a world of ‘nature’ within which man could live, a world which appeared to have sprung up magically around him and now sustained itself by the power of its own indwelling forces.
    As use-value, however, the commodity was ultimately relinquished to the ‘irrationality’ of the human subject.
    The division between microcosm and macrocosm gave way, then, to the distinction between object and subject.
    ‘Human nature’ was, just as much as the physical cosmos, inexhaustible.
    As ‘subjectivity’, the human was an interior cosmos.
    But what was its specific mechanism?

    A series of attempts were made to ‘save the phenomenon’; to ‘explain’ human reality in terms of universal laws and, at the same time, clearly distinguish between the peculiar quality of human experience and all that lay beyond it.
    Cartesian dualism is the first step towards the self-consciousness of the bourgeois ego.
    The radical distinction between matter and mind, itself hinting at the momentous split between the view of the ‘object world’ exclusively in terms either of exchange or of use, cleared the way for the direct ‘application’ of physical concepts to human activities.
    This, of course, was not Descartes’ intention, but as so often demonstrated in the history of ideas, innovators are powerless to exercise control over the effects of their ideas. Once the ‘qualitative’ character of human experience had been confined to a particular category, it could be fully explored by the methods developed within quite different fields of study.

    These methods were to be Newton’s, rather than Descartes’, and the disciples of Newtonian ‘corpuscularism’ rather than those of their master.
    Although, especially in France, controversy surrounded the ultimate significance of Newtonianism for a philosophy of nature,his ‘methods’ were freely borrowed and uncontroversially adopted as the foundation for a new ‘science of man’. Just as the cosmos had to be described in a form commensurate with the new social reality of commodity exchange, so the human ‘qualities’ hidden within such a reality could appear philosophically only as elements within a theory of the market.

    Society was composed of commodities; individuated objects defined by the universal attribute of exchange-value (labour). The cosmos was composed of individuated objects, bodies, that differed only quantitatively (by mass) and thereby established invariant relations with other bodies. The ‘internal’ reality of human nature, in spite of its ‘ultimate’ irrationality as ‘pure subjectivity’, could be grasped as a similar ‘internal market’ upon which some universal quantities were exchanged.

    First, therefore, human nature became a universal defining criteria, the ‘species being’ of man. This had not been the case, of course, in feudal society.
    There only particular human beings existed, specific qualities held fleetingly within a living subject. The bourgeois revolution, opposing all feudal restriction upon internal ‘freedom’ of the market, created the individuated ‘ego’ as a new historical actor.

    ...‘Sensationalism’ was the first and perhaps the most successful version of bourgeois psychology.
    Its initial appeal rested on its claim to offer a systematic and comprehensive account of subjectivity adequate to the new ‘scientific’ world view.

    Hobbes of course, even before Newton, had proposed a radical materialistic psychology.
    It was, just for this reason, rejected. ‘Mechanism’, not ‘materialism’, was the key to the new intellectual order.
    Even nature could not be grasped as a purely ‘material’ phenomenon, and a properly scientific approach began with the recognition of the limits of our commonsense notions of physical causality.
    The world contained nothing but matter in motion, but that was not to say that every phenomenon was reducible to the effects of ‘contact’ and collision among its elemental particles. One of the leading ‘corpuscular’ philosophers, Robert Boyle, insisted upon the importance of ‘emergent’ and functional relations for any reasonably satisfactory account of even simple physical phenomena. The ‘texture’ of matter, its internal organization, gave rise to many of the ‘sensible qualities’ through which we recognized it.
    Sensationalist psychology, in its more sophisticated variants at least, was fully alive to these distinctions. Even where it appeared to be an attempt to reduce psychology to physics, or physiology, it was careful to preserve the ‘dignity’ of its subject matter by making the particular and unique quality of subjectivity its ultimate frame of reference.

    The emergence of the self as the active principle of a materialist psychology was inevitable once the classificatory division between matter and spirit (exchange and use) had been established.
    It was expressed less systematically but more brilliantly by Diderot, for whom ‘individuality is the subjectivisation of reality’ rather than simply a ‘feeling point of nature’, and less brilliantly but even more comprehensively by d’Holbach.

    The latter indeed goes so far as to propose the self as the gravitational principle of the subjective world. Rather than attempting to ‘explain’ subjectivity as a particular effect of matter in motion—as we find, for example, in Hobbes, and thereby assimilating man to a universal category of nature—sensationalism progressively accepted the separateness of human nature as a ‘spiritual’ phenomenon.
    As such it had to be described and understood in terms of its own internal relationships.
    The human subject then became an interior cosmos, a psyche, qualitatively distinct from, but ordered homologously to, the ‘system of nature’.”
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  17. Xanthippe Registered Member

    Baudrillard, Jean wrote:
    The ‘advanced democratic’ systems are stabilized on the formula of bipartite alternation.
    The monopoly in fact remains that of a homogenous political class, from left to right, but it must be exercised as such.
    The one-party totalitarian regime is an unstable form–it defuses the political scene, it no longer assures the feed-back of public opinion, the minimal flux in the integrated circuit which constitutes the transitory political machine.

    Baudrillard, Jean wrote:
    We live by the mode of referendum precisely because there is no longer any referential. Every sign, every message (objects of ‘functional’ use as well as any item of fashion or televised news, poll or electoral consultation) is presented to us as a question/answer.
    The entire system of communication has passed from that of a syntactically complex language structure to a binary sign system of question/answer – of perpetual test.
    Now tests and referenda are, we know, perfect forms of simulation: the answer is called forth by the question, it is design-ated in advance.
    The referendum is always an ultimatum: the unilateral nature of the question, that is no longer exactly an interrogation, but the immediate imposition of a sense whereby the cycle is suddenly completed.
    Every message is a verdict, just like the one that comes from polling statistics.

    Democracy, emerging as a compromise in a disintegrating hierarchy has, ever since, never attained its original spirit, and intent.
    The structures of democratic rule remained but the methods used to manipulate, and to re-establish hierarchies which would exclude the unwanted ones, shifted from overt to covert.

    Given the dumbing-down process, necessary to maintain internal harmony, what sane elite would place its faith on the judgment of the masses?
    Dumbing-Down essentially means reducing the sophistication of the mind.
    The individual becomes more primal, in its reasoning, more animalistic, more easily manipulated using need/desire/want.
    Human nature is denied so as to make the manipulation of it more effective.
    It's a way of reducing self-awareness - the opposition to Know Thyself.
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  18. Landau Roof Registered Senior Member

    But what are my roots? I think as a Western man, my roots are Christianity, or what? Thor and Odin? How does any of that help me? Or do you mean my roots are the traditional hunting-gathering lifestyle of all of our ancestors though we are westerners or not?

    I agree that there is no escape. An anthropology professor I had said that if we were to return to nature (as the "hippies' would like) the effect would be worse than two worldwide nuclear wars. Okay, there would be no radiation, but you follow his meaning.

    So if there is nothing to be done, what are you talking about? Maybe you just like quoting people and putting their names back to front so you can add commas.
  19. Xanthippe Registered Member

    "When we speak of Modernity, we speak of a total, self-referential, enclosed system, with its own rules, definitions, and dynamics.
    Everything must be adjusted accordingly, if we wish to survive and be successful within it: values, principles, morals, ambitions, superior/inferior, culling, conflict, survival and so on.
    Though we might strive to live outside of its premises we, nevertheless, must abide by its containing presence.

    Did not men abide by nature's ways while they struggled to be more than animals?

    That nature has been replaced by a manmade environment using nihilism as one of its premises, only changes the adaptive tactics, and the nature of the struggle.

    The SuperOrganism, we call a Nation, a State, a System, a Civilization, subordinates its genetic parts, using memetic assimilation.
    The organism is the inferior order, in relation to the SuperOrganism.
    A quantitative superiority.
    Specialization is the end product of codependency, and dependency is the negation of freedom, the restriction of free-will.

    Love, as an emotion now detached from phenomena, and made into a pure noumenon, becomes the binding social lubricant.
    All genetic distinction must be made superficial for its power to bond, to create dependencies, to work effectively.
    Genetics are reduced down to a superficial appearance, a trickery the mind must "overcome" for it to find bliss in the communal feeling of love.
    The emotion ceases to be an organic tool, and becomes a SuperOrganic one.
    Hate is projected outwards, towards otherness, while internally all cellular walls must be made porous, opaque, all-inlcusive; walls torn down, to increase (inter)active efficiency (synergy).
    The naturally produced distances required for an organism to emerge are now contradicted on a noetic level.
    The organism, the cell, can remain distinct, but only apparently...only superficially.
    Appearances ARE superficial, but only for internal consumption (politics).
    Noetically all walls, all distinctions, are non-existent; remnants of a "primitive" and now overcome past/nature.

    Values are no longer based on the relationship of the organism with its mostly unknown, unpredictable, world, but adjust to SuperOrganic predictable, known, relationships...they become Super-Real (hyperreal).
    Baudrillard, Jean wrote:
    When the real is no longer what it was, nostalgia assumes its full meaning.
    There is a plethora of myths of origin and of signs of reality – a plethora of truth, of secondary objectivity, and authenticity.
    Baudrillard, Jean wrote:
    The obscenity of our culture resides in the confusion of desire and its equivalent materialized in the image; not only for sexual desire, but the desire for knowledge and its equivalent materialized in ”information,” the desire for fantasy and its equivalent materialized in the Disneylands of the world, the desire for space and its equivalent programmed into vacation itineraries, the desire for play and its equivalent programmed into private telematics.
    It is this promiscuity the ubiquity of images, this viral contamination of things by images, which are the fatal characteristics of our culture.
    And this knows no bounds, because unlike sexed animal species protected by a kind of internal regulatory system, images cannot be prevented from proliferating indefinitely, since they do not breed organically and know neither sex nor death.

    The image substitutes the appearance, and the two are confused as similes.
    Equalization becomes possible.
    The malleability of the image, using techniques/technologies, purchased as commodity, and put on as an identifier, creates the illusion that appearance is also malleable - the past has been overcome in the present, or in some projected future.
    The past's immutable determining indifference to our presence is "corrected" with a bit of human cosmetic intervention, and training, to bury essence in hyperbole.

    Modernistic obsession with perspectivism and subjectivity is another form of trying to escape, to erase, the objective world.
    The individual is convinced that he is free to will any self he wants.
    Trained in any social utility available, which requires an average potential, the conviction deepens.
    The individual is now his SuperOrganic specialization.

    Every other organic identifier is insignificant, a childish game, a hedonistic plaything - severity reduced, using techniques/technologies, to the level of entertainment, and/or another consumer good."

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  20. Landau Roof Registered Senior Member

    You've certainly given us food for thought. How about taking pause and giving us time to digest all this?
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  21. Xanthippe Registered Member


    To Know Thyself is to be aware of one's own pattern of behaving or (inter)acting, beyond the superficial or the more simplistic and general. It is to identify one's self as distinct in relation to otherness.
    The more precise this self-awareness is, all the more precise its association with otherness.

    Life develops a primitive form of consciousness not to evaluate self, but to evaluate otherness so as to direct self.
    The self need not be known, nor valued, for action is self expressing itself, and it cannot be anything other.
    The self need not be aware of itself to act in preserving self.
    It need not evaluate itself in relation to otherness, to self-maintain.
    The process is genetic, automatic; a reaction to otherness, evolved through trial and error.
    Only otherness needs to be dealt with, and to deal with it the emerging consciousness evaluates, discriminates.

    Self evaluates otherness by juxtaposing, in relation to its own need – the expression of self-maintenance as the by-product of otherness, entropy, flux, upon its self-ordering.
    The evolutionary utility of consciousness is in this efficiency of discriminating between one otherness from another, in relation to this pulling upon it by the totality of (inter)acting otherness, also called Flux; finding patterns to distinguish divergence, offering the advantage of directing its energies (activities) more effectively.
    This direction determines the nature of its future (inter)actions, as a past manifesting towards an object/objective.
    The repetition of successful behaviors (interactions) establishes them as effective.
    Value is then presented in relation to the organism’s needs.
    No awareness of self, other than the awareness of need manifesting as action, has to be present; the successful processes become automatic, innate, spontaneous.
    The need produces the action towards, as an expression of self as lacking.
    Consciousness emerges always outwardly focused.
    It perceives self intuitively, viscerally, and the other consciously.
    The senses perceive other, because that is why they evolved.
    Their survival role is to deal with otherness, as this relates to need.
    Later it turns inward, only if it is successful in preserving self for a sufficient amount of time to produce excess energies.
    The first evaluation is in relation to this self-maintenance, which preserves the possibility of evaluating, and of discriminating.
    There is no choice unless first, the organism deals with its own needs.

    From the “I am what I am not” we proceed to the next stage of consciousness which is the “I am what I wish to become” – a projection of an idea(l), self, in the yet to be.
    This becomes the religious projection of a God, in the yet to be beyond.
    Value is now a juxtaposition of this idea(l), desirable self, with that of another, less desirable self, and/or with that of self which is far from ideal, the real self, relating to the projected ideal self.

    You cannot will self, before there is a self to will; you cannot value self, before there is a self to value; you cannot will life before there is life which is willing.
    There is no idea(l) before there is a mind present to idealize; there is no object/objective unless there is a mind, within a world, to project an object/objective.

    Ordering precedes consciousness, and consciousness precedes self-consciousness.
    There is a temporal succession which exposes evolutionary, adaptive, stages of development, from the unsophisticated towards the more sophisticated; from the past towards the future; from more order towards less order, which is chaos.

    Diversion precedes the perception of similarity – similarity presupposes a difference. If there is no difference present there is no need to perceive similarity; if there is no multiplicity there is no need for the idea of oneness, and wholeness; if there is no displeasure there is no need for the pursuit of pleasure; if there is no absence there is no need to pursue and to move towards and to project.
    Entropy precedes ordering.
    Ordering is a (re)action, to entropy; an opposite movement.
    This is also self-maintenance: to sustain the order present, against the disordering.
    The will towards life presupposes a predominantly lifeless reality.
    The will towards power implies powerlessness, as a prerequisite.
    The will towards pleasure presupposes displeasure.
    The will towards any projected idea(l),a s object/objective, presupposes its absence, as an absolute state.
    Any willing, or movement towards, implies an absence of what is willed and approached.
    I do not wish for what I already have, or what i am not at risk of losing.

    Subjectivity presupposes the objective – the world made into object/objective.
    Objectivity is, for the subjective interpreting mind, a tautology, with world.
    The world is, for the subjective consciousnesses, an object/objective.
    The world is the dynamic, fluctuating (Flux).
    The objective/object is world made into a static ‘thing’ in relation to a subjective consciousness, continuously striving towards the attainment of the absolute merger with the world - becoming towards Being.

    The subjective presupposes the objective, world; the world does not presuppose a subject to interpret it.
    The world does not require a consciousness to interpret it, for it to exist or to continue existing; a consciousness, which experiences the world subjectively, does require a world to preexist its emergence within it.
    World exists even if there is no consciousness to perceive it.
    In fact, without this pre-existence there is no possibility for the subjective to emerge in the world, as part of its fluctuating possibilities.

    The world, being in Flux, ever-changing, means that the idea(l) of an absolute convergence of subjective and objective will result in Godliness (one, singular, being), or an END – the becoming arrested in an all-encompassing Being, within which the objective/subjective converges in a singularity.
    The world made into a singular thing implies an exit from its processes. The consciousness projects itself "outside" time/space (reality, world) to then define world as thing (one, whole).

    The world is receding, from the interpreting, subjective, mind; falling away as it is approached; it has changed the instant it is interpreted.
    This is the existential distance between observers and observed, retaining the world as the eternally mysterious.
    The convergence is never finalized.
    The distance (real/ideal) is decreased but not covered.
    It can never be finalized.
    So, the Moderns and the nihilists (same thing in our time), attempt to escape its premises using words – words being noetic devices; human artifices, symbols, tools.
    The positivity of a world void of absolutes, but full of possibilities, turned into a “negative”; a world void of corrective, comforting, human artifices.
    To speak against humanity, these days, means you speak against the world itself.
    To support human contrivances is to be world-affirming…as in human world.
    This is the Nihilistic inversion.

    To compensate, for this distance between ideal and real, the interpreting, subjective, mind forages for patterns to project…seeking a final solution in this projection.
    The method is imagination.
    Imagination detached from reality is fantasy, or delusion.
    Imagination attached to reality takes the patterns found, in the past/nature, and uses them to preempt and prepare and adapt.

    Because the world is fluctuating, changing, consciousness must adapt to its changes, or suffer the consequences.
    The world, made into an object/objective, for the subjective mind, does not change to accommodate the subjective interpretation of it; it is the subjective interpretation that must adapt to its fluctuating dynamics, or perish because it is incapable of doing so (natural selection on a metaphysical level).
    The only way a subjective, interpreting, mind can alter reality is to first understand it – to understand means to perceive pattern in its fluctuating dynamics which hold true for long periods of time; long enough to make them useful.
    You cannot forage for patterns of that quality when you deny the past/nature as being present.

    This is what the subjective mind values.
    It is the basis of its value system, even if it is unaware of it; if this value system is interested in remaining attached to reality, rather than in detaching from it.
    It need not be aware of this…it is automatic and intuitive – it is primal.
    The only way to avoid these dire, for it, consequences, and still remain detached, is if an intervening will protects the subjective interpretation from the repercussions of its own error.
    Then all interpretations, perspectives are equally valuable, if they gratify some need in the individual – solipsism.
    This is called sheltering and results in Modernity (feminization, nihilism as an internal control mechanism, domestication, institutionalization, compartmentalization and so on).
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  22. Xanthippe Registered Member

  23. Xanthippe Registered Member

    I'm offering a phenomenology of Modernism, and not just describing an aesthetic.

    With modern minds intelligence becomes focused upon servicing, and serving, turning it from what confronts the norm into what supports it.

    As identity value is defined by freeing it from reality, and attached to the institution, the collective otherness, the mind's potentials are contained within social cultural, spiritual...mimetic parameters.

    The brain's intelligence becomes less threatening because now it is specialized and put into the service of the modern.
    The brain's entire focus becomes the desire to be appreciated, valued, by as many minds as possible - this changes its motive and its psychology, and makes its intellectual potential chained to the needs of what is most popular.

    Therefore, whereas such a mind can contemplate and consider many ideas it can never take them seriously if they do not offer an immediate reward.
    The brain's capacity to think becomes enslaved by the social and economic and the cultural necessities...the mimetic principles, whatever these may be.

    For the modern everything has been reduced to a sensation, the feeling, the emotion.
    It suffices that it feels good or that you "feel it in your bones", you "sense it in your gut".

    The animal (re)actions become the end; the reference point.
    A self-referential, looping.
    Reality reduced to the sense of emotional gratification an idea, a hypothesis, offers.

    Its identity and sense of self-worth are totally dominated by the immediate, the otherness, the useful, where utility is the product of the environment and the environment is man-made.

    The many cannot think outside the mimetic box, and those that can, are mostly enslaved by their natural need to belong, and to be appreciated - the standards for appreciation, for evaluating value, being mimetically produced and connected to mass judgement also easily manufactured.

    To be modern is to remain ensconced within a temporal box.
    If "genius" is the ability to exist (think, act) in a more timeless continuum, and not to be defined and restricted by the current - to think in a manner that extends beyond the socio-economic and cultural boundaries you were born and raised within - then to be modern is the opposite.

    To call it a form of retardation is not to give full credit to its commitment to what is called "normal" thinking and behaviour, because one can be intelligent and still remain trapped within a temporal cultural box wilfully or simply because one cannot break free of the childhood, family, teaching and their emotional weight.
    We can say that if it is not a product of a lack of mental talents and awareness inherited as being weak in potential, then it is the choice to remain loyal to what has been invested in - emotionally or materially - either because of cowardice or laziness.

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