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QUICK COMMENT ON THE SOCIAL EPISTEMOLOGY OF PROTESTANT MODERNITY AND ITS ECONOMICS
Protestant economics is predicated on the motivational drivers of selfishness and envy in the service of the nation’s economy and wealth.
So by harnessing the “bad” towards the “good”, it might be thought that the “good” has cleverly triumphed by transforming the “bad” into a labour of the production of the “good”, according to its casuistical dialectics or dialectical casuistry?
But this neglects the very success of that dialectical system in becoming a new set of sociopolitical standards and constituting a new norm.
It’s success transforms what was initially the clever but resigned exploitation of the “bad” – which in any case is produced – into a systematic necessity for the “bad” which then incentivises and increases the production of the “bad”.
These dialectical shufflings and transformations between “good” and “bad” are the sociological result of economic necessity that is in line with profitability strategy serving ideas of wealth.
It is interesting to note the frequent reversal of literal meanings in the Anglo-Saxon vernacular vocabulary of approval, where words literally denoting “badness” (including the word “bad”) are used to refer to the “good” or “goodness”.
This shows the malleability and mobility of moral evaluation characterising such social structures.
It’s a disciplined socius instantly responsive to the needs of military economy.
It’s why Anglo-Saxon Protestant cultures are indisputably the world’s most prolific and paranoid producers of conspiracy.
That conspiracy industry is the sign that Anglo-Saxon Protestant, so-called, “civilian” cultures are pre-militarised, militarised in advance.
That general form of militarisation is the real result of “modernity”, a result that has unfortunately become a global model.
NATIONALIST VIRTUE SIGNALLING IN THE MILKING SHED, BUT HAS THE CRYPTOCURRENCY CAT GOT THE CREAM?
It’s not by accident that the notion of “virtue signalling” has become so central in contemporary political and cultural debates.
On the one hand, sections of the domestic population, the so-called, “working classes”, and other ostensibly disadvantaged social echelons, usually seek social approval and communion through patriotic expressions which are the “virtue signalling” of nationalism and ethnonationalism.
This kind of “nationalist virtue signalling” serves multiple purposes.
The fervency of “nationalist virtue signalling” is an area in which the stridency of “working class” expressions attains equality or even superiority over the usually more moderate or genteel expressions of the other social classes.
This constitutes an egalitarian component of populist nationalism.
The second purpose is more complex and stratified involving the fact that overt patriotism is most usually characteristic of wars between nations.
So what could in a sense be construed as working class appropriation of overt patriotism, functions as a double reminder; of those wars between nations; and as a warning to the more privileged classes who might be distracted by international indulgences into forgetting national obligations.
The link between war and warning constitutes another metonymic layer of reminder and veiled threat.
So populist nationalism produces multiple forms of symbolic compensation for the so-called, “working classes”, et al.
It could be interpreted as the reigning in of internationalist and cosmopolitan, interests and cultures, what is commonly called “globalisation”, by locally bound nationalisms?
Given the globetrotting antics of antiglobalist proponents, though, it’s obvious that more than fidelity to geographical locale is at play.
In the 20th century, the global mobility of capital in contrast to the fixed locality of labour was a common theme.
The global mobility of capital meant that capital could source labour anywhere on the globe.
Traditionally, the reverse wasn’t true, labour could not easily relocate anywhere on the globe.
So capital had the global mobility advantage over labour.
But the internet has given international communication to all, including labour and the “working classes”.
The internet has given global mobility to “fixed locality”, it has given it to the fixed locality of nationalism as against the global mobility of capital.
What has happened is that the ideology of locality has both informationalised and internationalised itself as the globally mobilised, international politics of nationalism.
It was only to be expected and it is quite logical.
If capital used the global mobility of internationalism to escape local obligations, the escape route it was using was precisely the inter-, the between, criss-crossing the borderlines, so to speak, between the nations.
Obviously, from that borderline realm of “between the nations”, capital can have its profits run along to offshore, tax havens. Tax havens being the epitome of evading local obligations of nations.
But this borderline realm of “between the nations” is the necessary concomitant of “nations”, themselves. Without nations, obviously there cannot be any ‘inter-nationalism’.
So, if nations are the ‘milking sheds of capital’, so to speak, which of course they are, then it obviously makes a lot of sense to exercise strategic interventions of power in those ‘milking shed’, nations.
Labour is using exactly the limitation of locality that capital has always exploited to labour’s disadvantage, as an international rallying cry of internet-driven, chaotic information clusters, that have been replaying all of the tropes of populist nationalism with such dramatic and farcical force, that entire governments and the courses of nations have been radically altered.
The irony, of course, is that of localism having to use detours of the very internationalism it is trying to condemn. But internationalism is no longer the only escape route for mobile capital. In a hyper- connected world, the difference between localism and globalism is moot if the information from both sources is equally accessible.
That is why so much energy and effort has gone into cryptocurrency.
It’s another escape route for mobile capital, which requires new horizons of secrecy.
GAMES OF NEOLIBERAL REALITY AND FASCIST FICTIONS FOR RIGHT-WING ROBOTS AND CONSERVATIVE ANDROIDS
Are you going to blame the “neoliberal consensus” for the first, US Civil War, and for the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan?
What does “neoliberal consensus” mean, exactly, anyway, given that Democrats, Republicans, and Trump supporters, can all represent themselves as “fighting for freedom”, in some way or another, and therefore can technically all be called “liberal”, notwithstanding the fact that two of those groups don’t self-identify as liberal and use it as a negative epithet for the other group that does so self-identify?
Googling the question, this article, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot , gives a quick and magisterial survey of the relevant factors and relations.
What is called, the “neoliberal consensus”, is basically government by corporate capitalism.
Corporate capitalism is a practice and ideology intrinsically predicated on colonial economics and extraction.
The East India company has often been called the first corporation. That’s obviously colonialism.
So have the Knights Templar been called the first corporation. That’s obviously a sort of colonialism, too, resource and capital extraction from foreign markets.
It was obvious, at least to me, in the last century, that contemporary scenarios could occur.
They were guaranteed to occur given the onion-like layers of colonial propaganda constituting the base but convoluted norms of so-called, “Western nations”.
Corporate capitalism has to exploit someone or something, somewhere, in order to accrue profits significant enough to attract investment.
The colonial or neocolonial model of extraction is always the governing ideal of corporate capitalism, of Occidental, or western and middle eastern forms of capitalism, in general.
It’s a habitual and historical instinct, deep in the Occidental psyche.
So, if Western economies cannot impoverish foreign natives in foreign lands so as to accrue profits, or if they have done so and there is no more surplus value to be extracted; then the Western hunger for profits is going to colonise and feed on the domestic population’s wealth.
But the domestic population, though resenting such exploitation, is going to be caught up in a moral bind due to its own complicity in colonialism – in (neo-)colonial ideology and (neo-)colonial benefits.
In the same way that European governments had the difficulty of reconciling colonial wealth extraction with international laws concerning private property, domestic populations of Western nations enriched through colonialism and neocolonialism have the problem of trying to exempt themselves from being colonised by the very processes that they otherwise have a history of happily subscribing to and benefiting from.
European governments solved the problem of reconciliation by noting that European nations themselves were colonised by imperial forces, at the outset.
The reconciliation attains a consistency of sorts, but at the expense of enshrining imperialism and injustice as governing values.
That obviously militates against all of the nonsense propaganda produced by European nations and colonial extensions, such as the USA, concerning justice.
The domestic populations of Western nations, though statistically supportive of the view that colonialism was beneficial to those who were colonised, seem hypocritically reluctant to engage in similar colonial relations with their own governments and corporations.
So those domestic populations are caught in contradictory commitments; on the one hand, they identify with the forces of colonial or colonising capital; but, on the other hand, they are opposing the corporate forces of colonial or colonising capital, in so far as those forces are directed at them.
Identification is usually ethno-national; opposition is based on capital relations such as ownership and finance, usually according to some other associated form of class grouping.
Corporate forces deploy racism and nationalism, leveraging ethnonational identification as a distraction from oppositions based on ownership, finance, and other associated, class divisions.
Domestic populations of Western nations, or more precisely of those Western nations caught up in colonial and neocolonial relations, are thus on the cusp of the contradiction between the ethnonational identification identifying domestic populations with colonial exploiters and the property divisions identifying those same domestic populations with the colonised and exploited.
Domestic populations of Western nations, thus inhabit a schizophrenic, socio-economic position.
It’s a position that naturalises hypocrisy for those domestic populations as default behaviour.
The biggest market in the US mediascape is that of European-Americans who wish to believe in the twisted worlds of romanticised and revisionist colonial propaganda and call it “history”.
Note how all of the historical fantasy that those people seem to like carefully avoids the colonial era.
Most of it is mediaevalism, apartheid temporality, apartheid fantasy history.
It’s natural that such a market wishes to avoid narratives of its own villainy, however accurate those narratives might be.
And so it is that such market desire becomes the architect of apartheid fantasy history and of a new sort of commodity mnemonics, one that can be delivered in increasing HD, in 3-D, eventually as a holographic sensorium and artificial environment rivalling or even exceeding the resolution of reality itself!
This then is the ultimate escapism, into the commodity mnemonics of apartheid fantasy history!
It’s a commodity mnemonic environment driven by algorithms of Euro-American, ethnic anxiety, the crafted data of what right-of-centre, Euro-Americans, call “race realism”.
One, where eventually, in accord with the stringency to not cause European-American anxiety, ethnic otherness is carefully reintroduced into apartheid fantasy history as the themed spice of carefully categorised, commodity mnemonic exotica.
Everything is processed according to those commodity mnemonic machines driven by market desire and Euro-American, ethnic anxiety.
The USA as racialised regiments of productivity*; the so-called, right-wing, Euro-American regiments, constantly faultfinding with regard to non-Euro-American regiments, masking the faultfinding as the somehow de rigueur behaviour of free-market competition and free expression.
It’s all game theory and if the USA always and invariably proceeds according to game theory predicated on concepts of self-interest, then does the concept of the game itself take on the role of the real?
It seems obvious that it does, given the tu quoque robotics of US citizen response!
Very much a robotics of full commitment, there never seems to be any hint of awareness of anything beyond the games played.
* The USA dream consists of what is supposed to be the morality of equal opportunity in conjunction with what is supposed to be the meritocracy of devotion to and competence at productivity games.
CONTOURS (con tourisms) OF OCCIDENTAL POSITIVISM
I think there’s an article somewhere associating Michel Foucault with so-called, ‘neoliberalism’.
Postmodern and poststructuralist critiques, whether of Marxism or anything else, are important qualifying stages of epistemological, ontological, and other forms of, reflexivity; forms of reflexivity that require more than just practical, pragmatic, or Occidental-theoretical, understandings.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. Instead, there have been all kinds of reactive epistemology, things like ‘speculative realism’; object-oriented ontology; and even the various cults of immanence, some of which attach themselves to Deleuze and Guattari.
It’s interesting that someone like Nick Land preferred the seeming tangibility of Deleuze and Guattari, instead of what he saw as the ‘academic formalism’ of Derrida. It’s obvious that he did not understand Derrida.
It’s then interesting to see his taking up with right-wing politics, something that is arguably not at all disconnected from his philosophical preferences and dislikes.
In my own work, of course, I have observed a general movement that can be called Occidental positivism, which probably isn’t that far away from Derrida’s logocentrism.
The entire Occident is caught up in its own ‘brand’ of positivism which proceeds according to its distinctly ‘marked’ epistemology, in one direction only. It knows of no other way but this proprietary and unilinear herding of knowledge.
This is why it could not solve the paradox of desire, because it was spellbound by the hypostatic and substantialising atrophy of its own principle of desire, which it could only image as the loveless invariance of servile control.
It is this age-old image of imperial security, intrinsically belonging to the West, that is attempting to rehabilitate and readjust itself according to its ridiculous philosophical exhaustions, dressed as rhetorics of immanence.
These shapes of contemporary reaction and how they show themselves all describe some of the contours of Occidental positivism.
THE JUNGLE OF WHITE DECEPTIONS
If the task of lifting the automobile and tipping it over was an idealised picture of multiracial cooperation –though there did seem to be more white faces than black ones – then the heavy responsibility of destroying the automobile was initiated and mostly continued by white males.
There’s a sense in which an expression of Afro-American discontent has been hijacked by the white majority. Is it because the protest concerns an Afro-American individual, that in the eyes of white, ‘United States of America’, Afro-Americans are responsible for everything done in the name of the protest?
So whatever the respective motivations might be; white solidarity with black lives; inchoate white frustration with no other platform or outlet; the desire to construct an historical event; or just eagerness to engage with the excitement of a public event; the theme of Afro-American oppression actually serves as theme park for the psychopathology of white, US American, entertainment and disaffection?
Lions and tigers exploited at petting zoos.
What’s going on with the exploitation of lions and tigers at so-called, ‘petting zoos’?
Huge profits are produced at these stations of zoological sentiment.
How is it that so many US citizens, all across the USA, can afford the exorbitant prices of this kind of conspicuous consumption, are happy to fund a bloated health-insurance industry whose inefficiency has been priced at two trillion dollars over twelve years, yet are resentful at the idea of funding free healthcare for all?
Is it the paranoid, US American psyche, trying to identify with the power symbolics of predation through sentimental relations with its infant form?
01) “Business Insider reports:
Three former US servicemen and self-proclaimed members of the far-right “boogaloo” movement were arrested on domestic terrorism charges and accused of carrying unregistered firearms and trying to spark violence during protests against police brutality.”
02) “Fox News: Brutalization Of Black People Good For Stock Market”
03) “More of that Christian love: Christian TV host Rick Wiles is happy because he believes Trump is going to start rounding up and torturing liberal activists.
Right Wing Watch reports:
On Tuesday’s episode of his “TruNews” program, Wiles cheered Trump’s plan to use the military to quash nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd and called on Trump to use the military to take down liberal organizations, arrest their leaders, and send them to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured.”
04) “Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Racism Won’t End Until The Left Learns To ‘Accept Jesus’”
05) “Texas County GOP Chair Claims George Floyd Killing Was ‘Staged Event’ To Damage Trump”
06) “Oregon Police Caught On Video Collaborating With Armed White Extremists”
07) – “Facebook Reportedly Axes Right-Wing Accounts That Talked Bringing Weapons To Protests
The suspensions reportedly came the day after hundreds of employees staged a virtual walkout after Facebook decided not to flag Trump’s posts like Twitter did.”
Is there a circuit of insecurity describing such contiguous instances of anxiety?
02) People are complaining about the Fox News report stating that atrocity against black people is profitable on the stock market. They are complaining that the report is racist.
But what they’re not doing is acknowledging that the report is a confirmation that the stock market itself and by extension the economic system, is deeply racist.
That the stock market and economic system are not at all objective phenomena, but they are constructed from the outset to be exploitative and racist. The system is not only gamed, in the same way that casinos and fruit machines are, but unjust and exploitative practices are deliberately built into it.
03) & 04) It’s hilarious, Christian TV host Rick Wiles is literally suggesting that military troops be deployed against protesters and that should one of those military troops be sacrificed in the conflict with protesters it would serve as a pretext to introduce martial law which would obviate the civil rights of the protesters.
So, a strategy of cunning militarisation, serving the devious Christianity of fascist theocracy.
Has the Texan Lieutenant Governor, who was suggesting that racism is contingent on the political left not accepting Jesus, neglected to note the white nationalist who murdered the congregation of an Afro-American church?
05) & 06) Another Texan administrator, this time taking a leaf out of the Alex Jones’ conspiracy playbook, calling the police killing of George Floyd, a ‘staged event’.
The deviousness of white, US Protestant and Puritan, delusions and denial, always powered and sustained by an economic extremism feeding on racism.
The jungle of white deceptions always masquerading as ‘opinions’, together with the right to such ‘opinions’.
Or, the right to not only lie, but to impose that lie on those being lied about.
This goes back to the Norman conquest of Britain and the beginning of Anglo-Saxon anti-Semitism.
Those puritans who were the most virulently anti-Semitic, who were the most deceitful, moved to the USA.
So, 01) to 07), is not just a circuit of insecurity.
It is a deliberate circle of dishonesty and communal insanity.
It is the characteristic engine of psychotic profitability and militarised economy.
DISPUTATIONS ON THE THEOLOGY OF THE RADICAL OBJECT (some excerpts)
DISPUTATIONS ON THE THEOLOGY OF THE RADICAL OBJECT (some excerpts)
Your notion of radical objectivity would lead to the scenario wherein there could be an alleged ‘object’ that is completely subsistent to itself; an object that is never ‘thrown’, as it were, beyond itself; an object that is only present to itself and never anything else.
But what could such an object be if it has no effects except for itself?
But then, even on such alleged grounds of self-subsistence, this radical object would be obliged to divisively economise itself according to whatever quality might be attributed to it.
But what grounds are there for such attributions, anyway, if there are no objective effects beyond the radical object?
Only the radical object itself and the pure hypothesis of it?
It’s a theology of the object, theological objectivity; a theology of unconditioned objectivity?
Or it could be the case that the cosmic horizon hasn’t changed and everything is shrinking? lol
Your apologia for external objectivity precisely predicates itself on the distinction between internality and externality. The assumption of direct and indirect relationships characterising the causal relations of that distinction usually lead to the corollary assumption of independent objectivity.
Such allegedly ‘independent’ objectivity is precisely predicated on the notion of an objective privacy wherein the object ‘itself’, so to speak, is always inaccessible except through some structure of mediations.
The notion of independent objectivity is contingent on the unity of the object.
The unity of the object, in principle, can never fully present itself in any of the object’s effects, necessarily so, because the unity of the object has to be the unity of its effects, too, in order for those effects to belong to the object.
That unity which quite literally constitutes the principle of the object itself cannot be characterised or exhausted by this or that set of its effects, if it is obliged to function as the principle of unity for all of those effects.
Similar to the ontological relationship between being and beings, the relationship between the unity of the object – constituting the principle of the object itself – and the effects said to be of that object, are both equally delimited by the guiding principles the respective attributions bring into play. That is, by the guiding principles of ontology and objectivity.
But in both cases, the guiding principles themselves (seem to) escape instantiation.
The hypothetical unity of the object necessarily seems to lead beyond any of its possible instantiations, whether interior or exterior, internal or external. It seems to lead beyond that which it is supposed to unify, beyond all that it is supposed to negate?
So, if the unity of the object, the principle of the object itself, necessarily transcends instantiation, what object is left to attribute independence to?
What’s left? An “inner urge”? Does objectivity collapse into energetics, à la Schopenhauer? Et cetera, usual gingerbread!
What I’m suggesting is that the themes of interiority/exteriority; direct/indirect; or immediacy/mediation; independence/contingency; et cetera, are such that they all structurally condition each other.
That the metaphysics of alleged independence is itself conditioned by the assumption of those themes mentioned.
The metaphysics of independence is merely an absolutist theology of the object.
It’s a theology of the unconditioned object.
But the unconditioned object can necessarily have no attributes, no conditions can be attributed to it.
It even escapes self-conditioning.
So nothing is left except its principle or the principle of its mere assumption?
It’s important to think through the metaphysical implications of whatever is assumed, not just shelter in empiricist utility or the complacency of scientific approximation. Of course, if those are sufficient, then metaphysical consideration isn’t necessary.
Looking at the entire universe as an object, with respect to what exactly does that universe-object modally or characteristically appear? Is it not the case that the mode of its appearance or presentation is necessarily constrained by the modality of that which it presents itself towards and appears to?
The subtraction of a subject from a universe would leave a subject-shaped hole, so to speak, in that universe.
If the contours of that subject-shaped hole constitute the contours of that subject’s apprehension of the universe, then it is the case that that subject apprehends that universe minus itself.
Given the uniqueness of the subject, its existential imprint, the ‘subject-shaped hole’, would be unique, too.
So the contours of its apprehension would be likewise unique, together with the universe-minus-itself that it apprehends.
It’s not a case of reducing the object to the modality of apprehension, subjective or otherwise.
A universe that is supposed to be inclusive of all things would necessarily be inclusive of all subjects supposedly apprehending that universe.
So universal inclusivity in principle prohibits apprehension of universal totality, given the requisite of external perspective.
The assumed condition of all inclusiveness displaces the possibility of externality.
But externality is a requisite of objectivity.
Does the notion of universal inclusivity necessarily collapse in the absence of externality?
If inclusivity is merely inclusivity and not internality, does that avoid the problem?
If externality is a requisite of objectivity, then the absence of such externality prevents the constitution of any objectivity.
If the universe cannot be constituted as an object, then not only are internality/externality not possible, but neither are inclusivity/exclusivity!
If it were the case that all apprehensions are external to the universe, what would that entail?
The Kantian injunction that all apprehensions are ends in themselves? lol
That apprehensions are not things, or at least are not the sorts of things that are susceptible to universal inclusivity? But isn’t universal inclusivity supposed to be inclusive of everything?
Is it possible to unify all apprehensions in a theological synthesis not susceptible to the sorts of quantification or reification characterising universal inclusivity? Et cetera!
The systematics of both objective and subjective constitution exceed objectivity and subjectivity.
But objectivity and subjectivity are mutually conditional, in that an object not producing objective effects
An object or thing-in-itself not producing any effects on anything else would be indiscernible from nothing, so according to the law of the identity of indiscernibles, such an object or thing-in-itself would be nothing.
However, if it is said that the object or thing-in-itself produces effects on itself, this would necessitate that it be a compound entity and not a thing-in-itself.
If it produces effects on itself, then it would necessarily be self-differentiated according to those effects and into different states not identical with each other.
It could not be identified with any of those states at the expense of the other states, so it would have to be identified with the economic totality of states.
But such an identification with an economic totality of states would no longer be susceptible to the effects producing those states, because the identification is supposed to be a compound result of those states.
So the identification is the resulting abstraction of synthesising economy or economic synthesis?
An abstraction strangely sustaining itself according to an economics of differential tautology!?
But it’s a null abstraction, no longer susceptible to its own effects precisely because it is constituted by them!
So this attribute of self-effectuation, of self-subsistence and self-determination; all of which constitute the pre-requisites of independence; likewise, leads to indiscernibility from nothingness.
So, is the theology of radical objectivity, a necessary presupposition of realism, incoherent without nihilism?
Is the attribute of independence contingent on the deliberate insistence of that nihilism?
Is realism actually nihilism?
If it’s the case that objects or forms are equilibria between constitutive forces, then it is the case that those forces are necessarily constitutive of those objects or forms, in order that they be ‘constitutive forces’.
Forms are known by forces and forces are known by forms.
Measurements are forms..
POSITIONS OF ‘IGNORANCE’ AND THEIR CHARACTERISTIC ‘PRESENTATIONS’?
Both of you reduce everything to subjective terms, licensed by assumptions of authenticity driven by figures of personal experience.
In Zack Doctor’s case, it isn’t that you don’t objectify, but you are objectifying in out of context and mistaken ways. Your interpretations are stuck in the hypostatic fixations of some sorts of conventional reception.
You’re not looking at the ‘logical’ form(s) of the metaphysics of both ‘presence’ and ‘nihilism’.
Straightaway, you import concerns of subjectivity and meaning, considerably and unnecessarily complicating the issue.
Very simply, the concept of ‘presence’ inhabits a differential and binary structure of application, together with ‘absence’. Whatever ‘presence’ and ‘absence’ are predicated of and whatever or whichever such predications occur from the perspective of, vary according to the case of application.
But the differential and binary structure of ‘presence’ and ‘absence’ remain constant.
The metaphysics of nihilism can take different forms, but all these forms revolve around the concept of ‘nothing’ or ‘nothingness’, said concept instanced as semantic function in the transactions and operations of nihilism.
The metaphysics of nihilism; its transactions and operations; the ‘nothing’ or ‘nothingness’ which such transactions and operations shuttle around; all of these constitute nihilism and the metaphysics of nihilism, as a ‘presence’.
Nihilism, as a logic of negation is contingent on ‘there being’ something to negate. If nihilism obtains, then there is nothing to negate, which can be interpreted in two ways, lol.
That there are no positive ‘things’ (or assertions), to negate; or that, hypostatically, ‘there is nothing’ (there actually is ‘nothing’, as a positive term or thing), to negate.
The first interpretation removes all positivity thus causing nihilist negation to be redundant, there is nothing left to negate.
The second interpretation positivises or positively asserts nothing or nothingness in order to negate it.
So negating the negation; negating the negative; which sounds suspiciously like Hegel?
It could well be what Heidegger means by “the Nothing nothings”, that phrase which Rudolf Carnap so eagerly ridiculed when critiquing existentialism and Heidegger? Not sure, though, would have to check it.
Anyway, the seemingly self-reflexive application of negation to negation, it would seem can only apply in conditions of positivised negation, the negative considered as positive instance.
Because, if the negative is seen as pure negation, with no positivity whatsoever, then it could not self-reflexively negate itself, because it is not an ‘itself’; an ‘itself’, at least within the context of consideration, would ‘automatically’ constitute a posit, position, and positivity.*
Notions of presence and absence hinge on these considerations.
But what can be straightaway seen, is a mutual and necessary contingency of the positive and negative, reflected in the oscillation of positivist consideration between the two interpretations of the obtaining of nihilism and the logic of nihilism.
That, in the absence of positivity, nihilist negativity cannot obtain; nihilism cannot absolutise itself, at least not without recourse to the very positivity vitiating its self-absolution.
Zack Doctor brings up nihilism in the context of conventional, US, psychology-speak; existential psychology-speak; et cetera. This is why he instantly imports irrelevant subjective considerations and even solipsism, all of which imports indicate only his own preoccupations and not those of the text he is interpreting.
A cautionary note, though.
One has to be careful to retain awareness of multiple levels of pertinence and not get lost or led astray.
So, in this case, it was entirely unnecessary that ‘Zack Doctor’ repeat his own preoccupations when the text he is attempting to address doesn’t licence those preoccupations.
It might be that ‘Zack Doctor’ brings up solipsism as an indirect and shifted, metonymic response, to Brian Barr’s staging and valorisation of self-interiority? Who knows?
*This can, however, be recontextualised and reversed, à la Schopenhauer.
THE NINE BILLION NAKED EMPERORS OF POPULIST CONSUMERISM: Consensual Circulations and the Votaries of Vanished Values
According to The Independent, Trump produced this statement:
“He also insisted to supporters: “We did nothing wrong and we have tremendous support.””
During his election campaign, Trump said that his support was such that he could get away with killing or murdering someone openly, in the street. That with respect to such ‘support’, he could do no wrong.
This link between moral determinations of right and wrong and their seemingly assumed contingency on the presence of popular support, isn’t just characteristic of Donald Trump.
It is something that has grown to increasingly characterise general culture.
Whether or not, the media culture of soap operas and reality television shows have in some way promoted social consensus as an absolute value with utter disregard for any other kind of ethical or moral determination, is a question that needs to be asked and answered.
With the growth of marketing culture seeking and inventing new desires to unleash, new affects to liberate, in their own desire to further entrench and implant their profit cycles and schemes, no other consideration seems to be left but the rule of such libidinal contrivances, the absolute enslavement to such a sovereignty of mechanised desires.
It’s always their desire to achieve market saturation. They don’t want to change that desire just because markets can get saturated, or environments can be damaged, et cetera, so they implicitly rely on the promise of infinite markets, markets of infinite extent. It’s a promise that they constantly sell; whether it’s US evangelism and dominion theology; US marketing practices, et cetera; without actually doing anything towards infrastructural fulfilment of that promise.
So it’s always about those ‘full desires’, as it were; those ‘absolute commitments to’, and ‘total coincidences with’, whatever figure of desire has been selected or is being promoted.
Superlative hyperboles; hyperbolic superlatives.
You’ll notice that lots of musicians and entertainers, when being interviewed, constantly say, “Absolutely!”
They are in accord with the mores of promotional obligation characterising the general culture or society that their promotions are directed to. It’s a cultural habit of verbal emphasis that is in line with the tacit injunctions of a hidden fundamentalism, a silent tyranny that never speaks.
Derrida had quite a lot to say about the metaphysics of such libidinal plenitude, as it were. About the rhetorics and characteristic expressions of such cults of hyper-enthusiasm; about the slippages of their signifiers and signifieds. It’s easy to observe the radical narrowness of conception characterising such cults, the characteristically dogmatic approach with which their acolytes present anything and everything; constantly territorialising and attempting to reduce all else to the dumbed-down, base terms of its radical insularity, it’s absolutist and totalitarian insularity, it’s tyranny of insularity.
Whether it’s Ayn Rand’s libertarianism, a kind of ‘politics-for-one’; L Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, psychoanalysis for stupid people, which actually becomes the blueprint for the society of psychic surveillance and control, according to all the whistleblowing reports about Scientology; or in the 21st-century, things like Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology, dumbed-down, market appropriations and retreads of philosophy.
All of these are characterised by the trope of restatement according to insular assumptions and the granularised conceptions and outlooks belonging to those assumptions.
It’s a sociopolitical and sociopsychological configuration, a grid of simplistic, lcd, libidinal circulation mobilised only according to its own operations and nothing else.
Those of a supremacist ilk openly advocate policies of social iniquity and exclusion, yet cannot themselves live up to their own standards of inclusion.
Even Buddhist philosophy is falling victim to these would-be, mass-market, mandarins of mediocrity; these experts of banality resentfully attempting to colonise anything and everything beyond the limits of their insular boundary; endlessly secreting their granularised discourses of insular assumptions as the slime of an imperialising domestication.
With all of these instances of radical narrowness, there is always the excuse and justification that they are catering to those of even greater insularity and ignorance! That somehow the existence of an allegedly greater ignorance can somehow justify the promotion or propagation of an allegedly lesser ignorance?
[redacted ]”if others agree with Cranthimus that i’m some sort of crypto-Hegelian “Trumpian Buddhist” watering down Buddhism for the “stupid masses” then let me know and I’ll see what I can do to fix that.”
Note how the individual predicates his-her hypothetical decision on a consensual determination (“if others agree”), when s/he ought to really know and be able to determine for him/her -self, the truth values in question.
But this seeming submission to consensus is conducted to hide the fact of numerous failures of logical discernment and objective apprehension by this promoter of a domesticated and defanged, appropriated and banalised, consumer Buddhism.
S/he produces opinionating pronouncements about various areas of Buddhist philosophy and teachings, as if those pronouncements were objective facts rather than errors based on inadequate understanding. Whenever those pronouncements are proved to be erroneous, there has never been any admission of error, of even its possibility. Instead, displays of disingenuousness are produced, irrelevant misdirections, et cetera. Such petty juggling of red herrings is usually the sign of a political promoter rather than an exploratory thinker.
(Note the misleading quotation marks of “stupid masses”, as if it was verbatim quotation, when it was actually an interpretive reduction meriting single quotes.)
For such political promoters, of Buddhism or anything else, philosophy and theory are merely pretexts for some other motivation.
For them, mistakes are never opportunities to think afresh, because they are not thinkers, they are merely calculators of social position. This is why such political promoters lack theoretical and speculative ability, because really the list of their aims was always much more basic and mundane, and self-improvement was not on that list.
Those aims are wholly taken up and exhausted by social reactivity.
Whatever brand of politicisation might be involved, the centrality of social reaction doesn’t change.
This can even be observed with the most unpleasant, All-Trite, exclusionary, and ostensibly individualist, promoters on the Internet. They constantly abuse others and indeed their platform is the justification of such abuse. But when all their arguments and positions are defeated, they straightaway appeal to the very people they abused and treated so badly – the hypocrisy is quite astounding, in a way.
There is one common denominator between most of these promoter characters – they are largely from the USA.
THE FESTIVAL OF UNANIMOUS INTENT
Interesting itinerary of internet linking produced the following associations.
On Facebook, Stephen Paul KIng’s link to the logician, Peter Smith, itself linked to this tweet by David Allen Green:
“Retweet on TwitterPeter Smith Retweeted
David Allen Green56m
Brexiter trashing of independent domestic institutions – judiciary, parliament, civil service – tells against any sincere belief in “taking back control”
Instead, it is populist nationalist authoritarianism
Arbitrary government on the back of “the will of the people”
Dangerous” ( https://twitter.com/davidallengreen/status/1176743259579854848 )
“Arbitrary government on the back of “the will of the people” Dangerous”; by David Allen Green;
is reminiscent of this, by Jerry Pournelle:
“Read your Rousseau on the subject; his theory of the general will. The general will is the will of all, and thus if you oppose what the government says, you are really opposing your own will, and therefore you may be forced to be free, hm?”.*
David Allen Green reads “the will of the people” as “populist nationalist authoritarianism” of the political right; whilst Jerry Pournelle reads Rousseau’s concept of ‘general will’, ‘the will of all’, as the radical imposition of a possibly dubious communist ‘freedom’, of the political left.
Whether or not the same aggregates of personal voluntarism are operative or being assumed in both characterisations; whether David Allen Green’s, “the will of the people”, equates to Rousseau’s concept of ‘general will’ or ‘the will of all’, as interpreted by Jerry Pournelle, is an interesting theoretical and hermeneutic point requiring discussion.
Of course, homogeneity of the demos and its intent, of democratic assent or voluntarism, is necessarily assumed as a unified and singular, majority decision. It’s the majoritarian structure that both of the opposed political tendencies are implicitly appealing to.
So obviously, the colloquial ‘tyranny of the majority’ in both cases, coalescing around assumptions of unified and singular intent, but such an allegedly singular intent always being the result of conflict and opposition between various, plural voices, who certainly don’t seem to be celebrating any festival of unanimous intent.
* Quote taken from interview with Jerry Pournelle, in Charles Platt’s, “Dream Makers: Science Fiction and fantasy writers at work”, Xanadu Publications Ltd: 1987: pp. 17-18
“”Representative democracy is not the be-all and end-all,” he replies.
“In fact I don’t give a damn if the political system is monarchical or elective, so long as it has large areas in which it leaves me alone. And my suspicion is, by the way, that a king has less power over me than a president. Read your Rousseau on the subject; his theory of the general will. The general will is the will of all, and thus if you oppose what the government says, you are really opposing your own will, and therefore you may be forced to be free, hm? That strikes me as being the ultimate rationale for something even worse than fascism, because fascism at least understood that there are differences between people and said, basically, ‘You are going to compromise your differences and work together.’ I’m talking about Italian fascism, not German national socialism, which is an entirely different matter and was not based on any rational view of anything.
“The communist system is based on Rousseau’s ideas of the general will. The Marxists say that we’ll just eliminate all the classes but one. So I still think that fascists are considerably less enemies to traditional Western civilization than communists, so long as we clearly distinguish between German national socialism and Ibero-Italian fascism. Mussolini not only made the railroads run on time, he built them. Whatever vou want to say. Italy would probably be better off under him than it is under whatever the hell it has now.
“I don’t know, I’m not an Italian, and in many respects I have no right to an opinion on the subject; but I just look at their economic development pattern in the 1920s, starting with a much lower base than they have now. And I find that the Italian anti-fascist writers do not have the verve of the German anti-Nazi writers; they find it harder to find something to hate. I mean, the guy who makes you drink castor oil is certainly not being very nice to you, but that’s entirely different from his putting you in a goddamn camp, or cutting your balls off. or making a lamp shade out of you.
I think it is very possible that Mussolini could have made a different decision and become an ally of the West. He almost was; he kept Austria from being absorbed by Germany for many years. and could to this day be a hero. After all, Stalin is still thought of in some heroic terms. and yet that son of a bitch managed to knock off more people than Hitler ever did, and I’m not talking about during the Second World War, I mean the phony famine in the Ukraine, and all the rest of it. He racked up a score that Genghis Khan would envy.”
I break in here, to object that there can’t be many people who admire Stalin any more.”
METAPHYSICAL STRUCTURING OF LINEAR DESIRE
If ‘metaphysical structuring’ consists of ‘metaphysical hypostases as assumptions of cultural injunction and coding of social instruction’, whether or not, those assumptions are explicitly known or implicit, this is merely the observation of possibilities of fresh, theoretical application. Testing out different grids of theoretical extrapolation that are extensions of sets of principles, whether conventional ones driven into new territory, or fresh ones as yet unconventionalised, to see what they say.
The situating and privileging of a Trumpian figure of response that is untutored by teleprompting, is a figure staging the productions of an alleged, psychic interiority, as a type of authenticity. That type of authenticity of psychic interiority would be one which contrasts a structure of psychic immanence, as an allegedly unmediated, metaphysical hypostasis, with the structure of remote, cybernetic instructions, suggested by ‘teleprompting’ – ‘tele-‘, being distance, remoteness.
So, the figure of teleprompting, suggests the remoteness of network distribution exceeding structures of conventional, psychic reception, the teleprompter user thus represents as a node of such remoteness. The average voter without socially significant, powers of distribution, for whom such networks are experienced passively, and not personally, in ways that are sufficiently, individually satisfying, would tend to have increased alienation from such networks of remoteness, distrusting their excessive remoteness from the concerns of personal relevance.
What is at stake is not the quality of Trumpian, psychic interiority, but rather the psychic interiority of USA American selfhood, itself. That psychic interiority, what Christopher Lasch called, ‘The Culture of Narcissism’, in the 1970s, has been configured for over a century by remote forces of market or marketing culture, to the extent, that US American selfhood is difficult to distinguish from the market forces sustaining it. When everything has been commodified, it is difficult to find authenticity beyond commodity. The commodity gaze is always in operation, it seems.
Thus, the last site where alleged authenticity of psychic interiority can take a stand, is in the caprice of the consumer, the consumer being the highest aspiration of marketing activity. Marketing always attempts to coincide with the identity of the consumer.
The fact that Trump doesn’t need a teleprompter, to represent the psychic figure of consumption or the consumer, is a key, marketing achievement. Because the consumer doesn’t need a teleprompter; the consumer isn’t trying to sell anything. The consumer is a buyer.
By representing himself as the ultimate consumer; by incessantly reminding the public of his alleged wealth, giving him full access to the range of consumption; Trump represents himself as a ‘winner’ in the consumption game, with no personal stake in political change, beyond the alleged authenticity of a psychic interiority of self, that could choose political disinterest, if it so desired.
By repeating populist grumblings with no consideration for other kinds of cultural or political etiquettes, Trump can represent the grumbling and dissatisfied, populist consumer, thus taking away the pressure of tacit, social injunction, such removal of social pressure being representable as a kind of liberation, as well. It’s populist, political psychotherapy.
The fragmented opinionation of Trump’s incessant tweeting, is another strategy of reaffirming populist identity. That Trump repeats what his share of the US electorate say, reaffirms their identity, as well as confirming his representation of them. He is teleprompted by them, not by any other form of remoteness that doesn’t coincide with their own vacillations. It doesn’t matter to them, that Trump changes his output, according to their own changes. It doesn’t matter that the mechanics of repetition is a background construction or staging. None of that matters, as long as the circuit of repetition is constant. Because that circuit is a cybernetic circuit, the echoing of the Trump electorate, for which Trump chooses to play the mimetic puppet.
That Trump might be personally profiting from the various events, merely confirms his authenticity for his supporters, because the figure of personal profit is an accepted link to concerns of individuation, that are foundational in circuits of alleged authenticity belonging to the figure of psychic interiority, as it occurs in the base model of US American selfhood, as imported from the inculcations of Calvinist and Protestant, northern European, socio-economic systems.
It’s a development in line with US production of its own dream. It’s a movement in general, oneiric economy.
It’s a nostalgic movement in new conditions, new conditions showing the old conditions of baseline brutality of exploitation for what they were and are. The nostalgia of old conditions is engaged in multiple vectors, of denial; of revision; of affirmation and justification; of the production of a chaotic confusion in order to justify brutality of exploitation. All of those vectors are the result of contained, social contradictions, emerging out of their prior structures of arrangement, into the dreamspace of uncontained, electronic communication. If newspapers, radio, film and television, constituted prior networks of social containment, obviously those networks and their containments are no longer going to be able to function in the same way, given new conditions where all of those technological mediations have been rolled into one, through the Internet, and broadcast ability attainable by all, in possession of a network device.
All of this is just standard, techno-theory, even media theory.
More interesting, then these kinds of standard, ‘techno-sociology’, as it were, are the longer lines of development, in play. Those which are not so much the concern of standard models of self-interest, at least they are not discussed within the circuits of concern belonging to such models. Or if they are, they are discussed only according to habitual, metaphysical inflections, often constituting serious distortion of what is at play. That’s understandable, given that such developments seem to be even more remote from those circuits of self-concern, than those they currently seem to be rejecting, which ironically enough, they are simultaneously producing, as well.
This mutual rejection and production, though, occurs within their own dramatis personae, within the highly conditioned, theatrics of psychic interiority, within Christopher Lasch’s narcissistic economy. All of these constitute the hypostatic, staging principles, of the collective, US dream; it’s a ‘socialism of the unconscious’ which they are continuously projecting as a reverse gesture of an ostensible, ‘individualism’, whose ideal conditions, as set in their own minds, they are unable to fulfil.
This sets up the oscillating contradictions between images of ‘self-reliance’; ‘duty’, ‘obligation’, ‘responsibility’; and ‘care’ or ‘carelessness’. In an increasingly interconnected scenario, the clarity of such images is increasingly difficult to achieve, according to prior structures of social arrangement and containment. Given market conditions, of commodity environment and the sensorium of commercial transaction that it constitutes; and given current events reporting based on fragmentary fluctuations of those market conditions; individualised, informational relevance, becomes increasingly difficult to achieve, at least in a way that might present unproblematically, in socio-economic and cultural terms.
For those inculcated with the figure of psychic interiority, as occurring in the base model of US American selfhood, the new conditions of interconnection threaten the old images of self-individualism, in multiple ways and along multiple vectors. That those new conditions of interconnection have been driven by their own desires is an irony which they seem unable to acknowledge. Consumer expectation and demand is not usually associated with any kind of ironic appraisal concerning itself.
The consumer wants what it wants and doesn’t really want to think about the consequences of that desire. If it doesn’t get what it wants, then resentment comes into play.
What the US consumer really wants, is an environment totally in accord with its own desire, attentive to its every need. This is an attitude that has been deliberately inculcated by decades and decades of market conditioning. The desire is not only for commodities, but for cultural attention, as well. In fact, the desire is for absolute, self-cultural celebration, to increasingly hysterical levels, in order to satisfy or satiate the market-implemented, structure of narcissistic expectation, that is at work.
This desire for absolute, cultural attention, is at odds with global interconnection, hence, all the culture wars and the resentment against any academia not giving such attention.
By creating domestic discord and division, cultural attention is being sought, which is being received, thus satisfying to some degree the logic of narcissistic expectation that seems to be at work. Socio-economic problems and poverty exacerbate this need for cultural attention.
Really, it’s a desire for cultural recognition by a culture that has grown bored with itself and wishes to reinhabit the nostalgia, the horrors, challenges, and imaged successes, of its own development, by which it entertains itself and continues to give itself meaning. It’s a desire that wishes to continue looking into a mirror that it has distorted, in advance, and wishes everyone else to look into, as well. But it’s a desire doesn’t really seem to be interested in understanding, either itself, or anyone else. That is because it’s a desire that no longer knows how to understand, it has lost itself along the linearity of its own trajectory.