I’ve been throwing the phrase,” Existential Crisis”, at the wall, over there, for a while.
Thinking about Postmodernism, and Post-post modernism…all sorts of things, flowing from these….questions.
I treat Wiki just like I treated my Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Deluxe, back home…wandering in C.F.F.’s and E.G.’s..(in this case, Virtual…) Books all over the bed, the floor.
I’ve been in the Frankfurt School, and what flowed out of their Thinking…and that led to Immanent Critique, and Ironism….down a short set of rapids, to Neopragmatism, Neo Gramsci, Reflective Disclosure, and Richard Rorty. The History of Liberalism, of course, like the bottom of the river.
Keep running into Marx…although not in the way we think of him in America(snort)…more in the sociologicaly revolution he inadvertently launched. Perhaps the Gravel on the river bottom.
Culture Jamming…and , finally, to Capitalism. Dig and Dig, and read all about Milton Friedman, Hayak, and the whole gang. (I like Hayak, btw)
And, as always, I think about this Thing We Do, Now….and identifying it.
Corporate Capitalism? neoFeudalism?
Better, but still a cast into the bushes.
With all of this in my head, and more…I lie awake(pain, and mind)…and arise for coffee, and Rachel Maddow…watched a show, “Outfoxed”, an expose, of sorts, about the inner workings of Faux News(sic)…
this makes me think of (likely Rove) telling Suskind the difference between History’s Actors, and those who study their Actions, the “Reality Based Community”…of how they the ,”Actors”, Create Reality….by Fiat!. for the rest of us to study and admire.
I ain’t going into the Thicket of Neoconservatism, again…I reckon I’ve learned enough about them. They’ve been replaced, anyway.
The new bunch is the same as all of the old bunches…the Laconophilia of Neocons, the Old Right, and their focus on Economics,however crazily derived, the Fundies.
Even Tea is there, sloshing around…but I don’t think any of this is adequate in Defining just what we’re dealing with , in this Country.
The Right is enduring a Crisis of who they are…Existential Crisis, Anomie….just like the Left did, in the 60’s and 70’s. The Left Fractured into Absurdity, and withered away before the new onslaught of “Conservative Revolution”. The Left was exhausted by their own Purges and Strife…and had no defense against the antiLiberal Propaganda.
Since they are the Dominant Political Outlook of our times…(go on, argue with me on this point)…it turns out that we all are enduring an Existential Crisis…and worse, and Ontological Crisis.
We have a network…with “News” in it’s name…that spews the worst propaganda imaginable. But we can’t do anything about it, because They have the Right to Freedom of Speech and Thought, too.
We have a large segment of the Population who believes that the Earth is 6000 years old, and that Scientists are evil, and that they’re plotting with the Queers, and likely Jews and Black Folks…to turn us into the Soviet Union. That Climate Change, and “Critical Thinking” are Liberal Plots.
Cornucopian Thinking. Magical Thinking. Clinging ever more fervently to Bronze Age Ideas…and making Reality fit their Delusions.
We still tell ourselves stories…about American Dream….about the Shining City on a Hill…and how Things Will Improve.
We eat it for Breakfast.
This is why we’re having, not only an Existential…but also an Ontological Crisis.
We can’t determine Truth.
The Nonphilosophy of “Postmodernism” has played a large role, it seems…but, in the irony of the century, it affected the Right more….and made them go mad.
The Fundamentalist Bent, when merged with Economic Philosophy, is a dangerous thing.
Take Fundamentalist Christianity…Literalism,leading to a break with Reality…and marry it to Uber Rational Corporate Capitalism(which, in another Irony, flows from the Enlightenment)….stir.
In the 90’s(I’m remembering this figure), something like 80% of the economists were Friedmanites…
Or at least, cozy with Chicago School.
Politics have Fundamentalised, too…and in much the same way.
In fact, it’s getting hard to distinguish between the disparate realms, here.
Congressmen are Preachers are Economic Pundits are News(sic) Reporters are Congressmen…
We have so many different Narratives in Play, that there’s bound to be contradictions…the inclusion of Literalism into the Mix, fixes this. The Literalist Fundies have had long practice believing in Contradictory Things, at once. As the Merger between them and the others has Gelled, it should have been expected…
Faux has pioneered and developed this into High Art…We Create Reality…and the only Liberals we’ll have on to try and counter the Narrative Mix, are the weak and unheard of types.(Sorry, Alan).
Define Socialism…Capitalism…even Conservatism…there is a whole other Language in play, here…it sounds like American English…except that it says Nothing. It imparts Emotions.
Ontology is the study of Reality…of Being.
The reason that folks like me can’t talk to “Conservatives”, is that they speak a different language.
They’ve built an alternate Reality…and insist that we not disturb their Illusion.
It’s most evident, I think, in the Economics.
Tax Cuts!...analogous to “God Wills It!” (see Kingdom of Heaven, for a somewhat ahistorical romp through Crusader Delusions)
The Enronisation of Capital…just making shit up, and calling it Real…and, somehow, turning that into Billions of Dollars…
Until the Faith of the “Investors” wanes…turns out that Reality has a habit of intruding.lol.
But we persist!
More Deregulation! More Tax Cuts!
Extrapolate this,(which shouldn’t seem all far fetched, as it just happened to all of us)…Extrapolate it into the Memespace….into the Zeitgeist of that side of the Collective Mind…
Where do we begin to counter such problems?
Half of the country believes at least some of this Other Narrative Mix….and a largish portion of the relatively Sane Half pays heed to it…uses it’s language and Framing.
As more, somewhat accidentally found, implication that the roots of our Secular Anomie lay in Fundamentalist Xianity…Presuppositional Apologetics.
Here is the denial of any Truth, any understanding, outside of a Literalist Biblical Framework…..asserting(!) that even arguments against are Proof.
Faux ‘News’(sic) is the Political(pseudosecular) Expression of this…and Neoliberal Economics, is the(again, pseudosecular) Economic Expression.
Tea doesn’t hear the evidence presented by those pesky Liberals…because theirs is the One True Faith.
The Certainty I’ve been hollering about….(Van Til:” "(T)he only proof for the existence of God is that without God you couldn't prove anything."”…Circular Logic, at it’s best)
Like Uncle Friedrich, I worry about Nihilism.
I worry that it will lead to other than Neitszche’s preferred embrasure of Man Creating His Own Meaning(!), in an essentially Meaningless Universe.
All of my wrangling, and pestering…is not(usually,lol) mere Partisanship…I think that there’s something afoot. I have searched for an Exegeisis…some inkling that someone else…perhaps better qualified…had noticed this, too.( I am Feral, after all…I do this because I can’t help it…and if I don’t ‘let it out’, I shall surely go mad)
Philosophy is at a Nadir, in America.
Post Modernism Killed It.
Zizek, so far, appears to be the only one worth reading.(I want Links!) The Rest….again, so far…seem to say a lot of nonsense, and call it “philosophy”…Gray is Nihilist, in the worst sense…and I can’t think of any others, off the top of my head….which should say plenty(!).(That Greek-sounding guy, Nick-something….dense, bordering on nonsensical…but with a few good ideas, in spite of himself)
I survey the Media, and a wide range of things online. There’s much Contradiction…much Incoherence.
Reason is on the Run. How can we hope to have what resembles Civilisation if we cannot agree on anything, at all? Rove’s two arbitrary Divisions of Mankind seem to actually Exist…and that’s a Terifying Thought.
See: Antinomy, as in Kant.