Repeating PodThoughts

My state is technically open but I am still quarantining. I went outside for the first time in two months to buy alcohol and enjoy the unseasonably cool temperature. I am going to come back to blogging, slowly.

Here are some quotations from the the usual suspects. In order: Dugin (lol), Wyndham Lewis, Groys, Vladislav Surkov (not quoted before on this blog, as far as I can remember, but reading that Adam Curtis piece on him years ago definitely shaped the preoccupations that inform every post I’ve ever written) and Pelevin.

I have thoughts on conspiracy theories and similar shit that’s timely and maybe I will get to them soon, if I think there’s something to say that hasn’t been said so much more coherently elsewhere.

I will just say, paraphrasing myself (lol) when I was at a conference where someone had read a piece from a novel concerning the “modernist moment”, an idea of time unfolding in ‘kaleidoscopic simultaneity’. He offered this vision of non-linear-everything-at-once time as something in opposition to a too easy, conspiratorial Fascistic attitude he attributed to Trump and the creatures at Charlottesville. He also talked about flatness and the illusion of choice in our pseudo-democracy. To cut it very short: if everything has been leveled and flattened and rendered meaningless, than the one who appears to be constructing something real on this leveled, flattened, obliterated society is the winner.
Maybe this is simply describing a succesful sale in the ‘marketplace of ideas’, but it seems to me that the impotence of modern leftism rests in this attitude that they can only see, only diagnose or predict or describe. To make actions based on Marxism is to repeat Stalin, seems to be the (sometimes) unspoken motivation for this partially self-inflicted impotence.

It’s pathetic. Have the bravery to say and to do: Repeat Stalin. Repeat Stalin. Repeat Stalin.

Why not listen to this as you read on.

dunkey

The Quotes:

Dugin: The enemies of an “Open Society” are those, who advance (proclaim, put forward) variable (different) theoretical models based on the Absolute against the individual and his/her central role. The Absolute, even being instituted spontaneously and voluntaristically, instantly intrudes into the individual sphere, sharply changes the process of its evolution, violates (exercises coercion over) the individual’s atomistic integrity, submitting it to some outer individual impulse.

The individual is immediately limited by the Absolute, therefore the people’s society loses its quality of the “exposure (openness)” and the perspective of free development in all directions. The Absolute dictates the aims and tasks, establishes dogmata and norms, violates (coerces) an individual, as (like) a sculptor coerces his material (stuff).

Popper starts the genealogy of the “Open Society” enemies from Plato, whom he regards as a founder of the philosophy of totalitarianism and as a father of “obscurantism”. Further, he proceeds to Schlegel, Schelling, Hegel, Marx, Spengler and other modern thinkers. All of them are unified in his classification by one indication, which is the introduction of metaphysics, ethics, sociology and economy, based on the principles, denying the “open society” and individual’s central role. Popper is absolutely right in this point.

16
Wyndham Lewis:

As a result of the dogma of What the Public Wants, and the technical experiences of the publicist, a very cynical and unflattering view of what the Public is is widely held today. And, indeed, the contemporary Public, corrupted and degraded into a semi-imbecility by the operation of this terrible canon of press and publicity technique, by now confirms its pessimism. It has learnt to live up to, or down to, its detractor. So in speaking of “the Public ” we must speak of that sad product of publicity that we see around us.

It is inevitable that men who had escaped or resisted the general dementia should, surveying the fruits of liberal enlightenment and press control at last formulate a counter-doctrine. “Why turn yourself into the eternal servant of an imbecile,” they then exclaim, “or (in the christian idiom) of the halt and the blind; or condemn yourself to teach the alphabet in an infant class for ever? Why not rule — would not that be simpler?” That is the natural reaction of the best contemporary statesmanship to the fruits of What the Public Wants.

Having arrived at this point, we are confronted with two figures, who
remark that It is not worth while to rule men; and that All rule is evil, respectively. The first is excellently symbolized by Frederick the Great, who proceeds, of course, to rule men as they have seldom been ruled before.The second would be symbolized by Count Tolstoy, who did not believe in authority. He considered that no man should have power over another,and that authority in itself is evil.

It is this second type of man to which the soviet rulers especially object:for he is casting contempt on what they regard, rightly, as their predestined function — namely, to be rulers: men organizing and legislating for human beings as they are, not as they should be. They cover with scorn, in consequence, the “intellectual” who “does not wish to stain his lilywhite hands with such a sordid thing as power.” Power, they say, is good.

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Surkov:

We understood everything literally, and that meant we were absolutely unsuited for life, helpless. We required constant care, but they abandoned us. They wouldn’t let us work. They wouldn’t pay us a disability pension. Many of us deteriorated, fell and perished. The rest of us organized ourselves to stay afloat, to save ourselves together or perish together.

We founded the Society and prepared a revolt of the simple, two-dimensionals against the complex and sly, against those who do not answer “yes” or “no,” who do not say “white” or “black,” who know some third word, many, many third words, empty, deceptive, confusing the way, obscuring the truth. In these shadows and spider webs, in these false complexities, hide and multiply all the villainies of the world. They are the House of Satan. That’s where they make bombs and money, saying: “Here’s money for the good of the honest; here are bombs for the defense of love.”

We will come tomorrow. We will conquer or perish. There is no third way.

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Groys:

Thus Stalinist communism proves finally to be a revival of the Platonic dream of the kingdom of philosophers, those who operate by means of language alone. In the Platonic state, the language of the philosophers is converted into direct violence by the class of the guardians. This violence holds the state together. The Stalinist state was no different. It was the state apparatuses that translated the language of the philosopher into action – and, as is common knowledge, this translation was exceedingly brutal, incessantly brutal. Nevertheless, this remains a case of rule by language, for the sole means by which the philosopher could compel these apparatuses to listen to him and to act in the name of the whole were those of language.

To abolish philosophy’s total claim to power is to abolish philosophy itself, leaving only the history of philosophy remaining. A common misconception must be dispelled here, however, one which also clouds our understanding of the Platonic state. To many, the call for the kingdom of philosophy sounds undemocratic, because philosophy is believed to be a specialized knowledge that most people do not possess.

Thus it is assumed that the kingdom of philosophy means domination by an elite, a system of rule from which most people are excluded. Who is a philosopher, however? A philosopher is anyone who speaks, so long as he or she is speaking (or remaining eloquently silent), for all speech refers to the whole, directly or indirectly, and is in consequence philosophically relevant.

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