Noam Chomsky

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Echoes said:
Post Cold War "left demoralization" is only media "smoke and mirrors".

The USSR did not represent social welfare. Western Europe did. By 1945, in many Western European countries (or Western countries in general), the Welfare State was established by political right-wingers, such as General de Gaulle in France. It's this spirit that was destroyed by liberalism, in the eighties. Liberalism that became global in the nineties (free circulation of capitals) but that was mostly negotiated by the political left ! They destroyed the Welfare State that the Right established.

Jean-Claude Michéa showed very well that in the 19th century, the working class and syndicalist movement would never consider themselves left-wingers. Neither did Marx nor Engels because the Left advocated for free-market, yes indeed. Marx even borrowed many ideas from "romantic right-wingers" (Balzac, Burke, Carlyle). Michéa argued that there had been a historical compromise between the Left and the socialists after the Dreyfus affair. Only that is just true for France. Britain saw the same evolution at about the same time.

So when the communist parenthesis was closed, the Left just went back to its roots: LIBERALISM ! Societal issues (gay marriage, drugs, etc.) and anti-racism became their favourite struggle (even before the end of the Cold War), which actually has always been.

Another interesting note is that during the Cold War, the so-called Stalinians would always side with the Conservative (that was true for the French Communist with De Gaulle), while the Trotskyists would side with the Liberals ... and become their useful idiots (Hitchens is the typical example).
This is wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. You are deliberately being specious, while you keep associating cultural liberalism with economic liberalism. The two are separate entities.

The syndicalist movement was heterogeneous in the 19th century, until it eventually differentiated between anarcho-syndicalsim, and the nationalists. The former has been largely forgotten about after being first abandoned and then persecuted by the right wing for not embracing nationalist causes, as was the case under Mussolini and Hitler. Marx and Engles were clearly not free-market pundits.

You also have to distinguish between so called "atlantism" and "eurism." Mackinder clearly showed that in the last few centuries the “maritime attitude” means “atlantism”, as today the “sea powers” above all are England and America, that is the Anglo-Saxon countries. Against “atlantism” personifying the primacy of individualism, “economic liberalism” and “democracy of a Protestant kind”, stands “eurasism”, necessarily presupposing authoritarianism, hierarchy and the establishment of “communitarian”, national-state principles over the simply human, individualistic and economic concerns. The clearly expressed eurasian attitude is typical first of all of Russia and Germany, the two mightiest continental powers, whose geopolitical, economic and - most important – word-view concerns are completely opposite to those of England - US, that is the “atlantists.”

Anyway, the opposition “Lenin=German spy” - “Trotsky=American spy” really corresponded to a definite typological scheme. In any case, at the pure geopolitical level, the operating of Lenin’s government had an Eurasian character, if only because, contrary to the authentic Marxist doctrine, he preserved the united great eurasian space of the Russian Empire. (Trotsky, on his part, insisted on exporting Revolution, on its “mondialization”, and considered the Soviet Union as something transient and ephemeral, as the bridgehead for ideological expansion, something which should disappear before the planetary victory of “messianic communism”; as a whole, Trotsky’s mission bore on itself the mark of “atlantism”, as opposed to communist “eurasist” Lenin). Leninist-bolshevik “internationalism” itself had a definite “imperial”, “eurasian” measurement-principle of “soil above blood” - though, certainly, this principle was distorted and misinterpreted due to the influence of other aspects of the bolshevik ideology and, most important, due to the activities of “influential agents” of atlantism inside the same communist government. Summing up all these reasons, it is possible to say that a distinctive feature of the representatives of the Eurasian Order in Russia was almost “compulsory” germanophily (or, at least, “anglophoby”), and conversely, in Germany eurasists were “compelled” to be russophile. Moeller van der Bruck made once a very correct remark: “French conservatives were always excited by the example of Germany, German conservatives by the example of Russia”. Here the whole logics is revealed of the geopolitical, continental background of the invisible occult fight passing through the centuries - the occult War of Continents.


If as you claim the so-called Stalinians always sided with the conservative parties, whereas the Trotskyists, which meant democratic communism to be globalized, and hence a softening of the totalitarian view, had found allies among the liberals, I think you will find possible reasons within this "atlantism" vs. "eurism," baring in mind that nations like France and Italy shared qualities of both.

You also don't consider the wave of progressive democracy that swept through Europe in the post-war rebuilding phase as the real basis for building social institutions. Despite having many conservative political leaders and their majority coalition’s in power at the time, as in Italy with the Christian Democrats, this can hardly be chalked up primarily to conservative causes, other than perhaps some lingering vestiges of fascism. Furthermore, it is nonsense that Europe's left advocated the free-market in ways that were strictly bound to liberalism and the development of capitalist economies. That certainly wasn't the case with Palmiro Togliatti and subsequently Enrico Berlinguer in Italy, despite the fact that the Italian communist party was pressed to make a historical compromise with the Christian Democrats. The Cold War set the zeitgeist and among the Western nations that meant accommodating the free-market at various levels, on the left just as on the right.

While this was all taking place the material wealth that accrued among the Western nations, was accompanied by more leisure time and prolonged education for a young generation that now didn't have to enter the labor market right after primary school to help put food on the family table. The establishment of an educated and idle emerging generation, led to the calls for social reform that touched upon all levels of the state and its institutions, even the Church, that was countered by reactionaries who aligned themselves with the various conservative currents and who became their useful idiots (like Lefebvre).

These upheavals and the continued triumphant march of the free-market, after the communist parenthesis was closed, saw a new class of politician eventually emerge in Europe. Characterized by market fundamentalism, nationalistic patriotism and conservative values, the new class was best represented by Thatcher and Helmut Kohl, but also even if under somewhat different terms, Craxi and eventually Berlusconi. The left didn’t revert back to liberalism, it simply was defeated by it, under the aegis of this new, emerging class of political conservatives. Indeed the spirit of the Wellfare state, and hence social democracy was destroyed by liberalism in the 80's. But who exercised a frontal attack of the Wellfare state, syndicalism and had a highly pejorative outlook on society, even claiming that it didn't exist? The iron lady herself, Margaret Thatcher.
 
Jan 20, 2013
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hiero2 said:
Oh, and one other thing. While Chomsky starts from an enlightened and perspicacious beginning - for instance, with an observation of the hypocrisy and greed that seems inherent in mankind and particularly obviated in the minimally regulated economic environments of modern Western economies, he takes his thinking to a sophist's elegant, but ultimately inaccurate, logic. In other words, he spouts a lot of fine talk, but his political ideas are not much better than idiocy. He goes off on tangents that divorce him from reality.

In my humble opinion, of course.
I agree that Chomsky lacks political strategy and solution, similar to Marx, but might this be because he is not a Politian? He is an intellectual after all. I still think the quote below is a great observation by Chomsky.

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

Addressing another of your points – I am not convinced hypocrisy and greed are inherent in human nature? We may have adapted that way (learnt behavioural), for survival in a society’s advanced political structure as has been developed.

Humble if you take on the academic might of Rhubroma and a little brave too :confused:
 
hiero2 said:
I would venture to say that yourself has succumbed to a stereotyping of the words without full consideration of same. For instance, your use of the word "conservative" in the first para quoted is typical US usage - and inaccurate at its nature. A US "conservative" is no longer "conservative", and hasn't been for at least 40 years, if not longer. What the US refers to as "conservative" is closer to groups who are right-wing, nationalist, militaristic, religiously fundamentalist and intolerant. Social "liberal" groups have often been, for the past 40+plus years - conservative in the dictionary definition of the word - NOT seeking further change - but rather seeking to maintain existing status quos. Treehuggers are often seen as "liberal" and seeking change - when what they really seek is to maintain the natural world that exists, or to restore it to a fairly recent state.

I would also venture to say that there is no "old ideological distinction". No historical universal definition of either "liberal", or "conservative", of "left", or "right" has remained static for long. Very little about such labels has remained static over the decades. There are many shades of grey, in many different palettes and mixtures of this and that and the other thing, in some unique combination.

About the only things that seem to remain somewhat static over time are a groups' views on military action, nationalism, and social welfare vs laissez-faire economics. You might think of some other conditions to include, but I think you will get my point. "Liberals" are not necessarily seeking change, and "conservatives" are not necessarily conservative.
Good. So you basically illustrate the leveling of what's now (already in slightly antiquated terms--by today's standards) called neolliberalism. Great that we're all up to speed now. Any chance we can move on?

So are you saying that if words change meaning and function in the common culture that all resonance and reference should be dropped? So much for etymology....

Chomsky has a platform and works it. To no clear end. Arguably far better him and anyone like minded than those who work positions of influence to detrimental ends. However pragmatic their facade...
 
hiero2 said:
All the social "isms" were deeply contributed to by the unfriendly atmosphere and environments that quite literally grew out of increasing industrialization.
Abetted by, but not reducible to. No doubt isms are inextricably rooted in modernity/modernism (such as was).

But maybe more useful to tap the impulses/affects that were fed and fed by that linking and trace that trajectory for today.

("Unfriendly" makes it sound as though you're channeling the biases you held Rhub to. Bit one sided as your friend Marx might say.)
 
horsinabout said:
I get this quote from my postings over in the Armstrong thread in The Clinic:)

I think that what Chomsky is saying in the Vid below is, that we may like to believe we live in a democracy, but we don’t exactly. Actually we live in what is more akin to a totalitarianism and have in effect sleepwalked into it. That we have become knowingly accepting of the idea because it puts food on the table. I feel there is something in what he says, but it never seems resolvable. Like what of an alternative, this is left open.

http://youtu.be/2cNanUuUG64

Now if you could cross Noam Chomsky with Mark Twain, what an interesting homogamy that would make. I just want to cuddle them both, in a granddad kind of way.

http://youtu.be/fnF-7bqyKuo
Discussed here a few years ago. I had thought you were in the UK (where conditions are differently inflected) but one reference for this is Wolin, Democracy Incorporated.

Mostly dismissed (even by posters here) and forgotten now, these were the basic conclusions of the Frankfurt school. No one has to take their literal arguments and claims as incisive or subtle so long after the fact--so much as the impulses they were addressing.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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i've been reading the tread for a while and finally decided to post...

one can agree or disagree with chomsky, but he's hardly the polarizing figure many here seem to excite themselves interpreting the man.

granted, i only listened to 3 of his interviews. my impression - i was listening to a soft-spoken, observant and quite sharp intellectual.. in one of those interviews, i thought his statements were too anti-american as opposed to speaking to 'help' america. the issue was the united states military interventions around the world. while this was the theme that would normally find the most vigorous agreement with my position, chomsky was phlegmatic, monotonous or , in one word, dull if not boring...

cant get why so many emotions are wasted on a man who isn't going to inspire a revolution judging his modest manners. :confused:
 
python said:
i've been reading the tread for a while and finally decided to post...

one can agree or disagree with chomsky, but he's hardly the polarizing figure many here seem to excite themselves interpreting the man.

granted, i only listened to 3 of his interviews. my impression - i was listening to a soft-spoken, observant and quite sharp intellectual.. in one of those interviews, i thought his statements were too anti-american as opposed to speaking to 'help' america. the issue was the united states military interventions around the world. while this was the theme that would normally find the most vigorous agreement with my position, chomsky was phlegmatic, monotonous or , in one word, dull if not boring...

cant get why so many emotions are wasted on a man who isn't going to inspire a revolution judging his modest manners. :confused:
Fiery rhetoric has been co-opted by other positions and media in this country. That won't get you very far. Sorry.

No one person is going to inspire "revolution." And the more pressing question, anyway, would be where they'd take it if they could.

Sorry to sanitize your already dull observations further, but no one the remarks in this thread were particularly "excited" by Chomsky to begin with.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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aphronesis said:
w
... no one the remarks in this thread were particularly "excited" by Chomsky to begin with.
sorry to disappoint you, but your multiple increasingly argumentative contributions not only indicate being excited in excess of normal discussions but rather confusing as to what exactly the point was... except to point to own smartness which might not be shared by many.
 
python said:
sorry to disappoint you, but your multiple increasingly argumentative contributions not only indicate being excited in excess of normal discussions but rather confusing as to what exactly the point was... except to point to own smartness which might not be shared by many.
Well. I posted several times in a small window to a thread i hadn't really checked. Thanks for visiting though.

If I take your larger point to be that we could ask the question of the relevance and sustainability of anti-capitalist intellectuals such as Chomsky (please go ahead and post links to some from you backwater.) and what aims they achieve, then fire on, but spare the sober rhetoric for your labmates, partners, etc, since you bring none to this table

(Also, don't as some naive backwater minor savant confuse repetition with intensity)
 
Jan 27, 2013
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aphronesis said:
Well. I posted several times in a small window to a thread i hadn't really checked. Thanks for visiting though.

If I take your larger point to be that we could ask the question of the relevance and sustainability of anti-capitalist intellectuals such as Chomsky (please go ahead and post links to some from you backwater.) and what aims they achieve, then fire on, but spare the sober rhetoric for your labmates, partners, etc, since you bring none to this table

(Also, don't as some naive backwater minor savant confuse repetition with intensity)
You sound drunk.

Chomsky was great 20 yrs. ago but so was Jello Biafra. Chomsky met his waterloo on 9/11, Jello just melted away.
 
python said:
i've been reading the tread for a while and finally decided to post...

one can agree or disagree with chomsky, but he's hardly the polarizing figure many here seem to excite themselves interpreting the man.
.....
cant get why so many emotions are wasted on a man who isn't going to inspire a revolution judging his modest manners. :confused:
IMHO, outside the U.S. in socially democratic Europe, countries with military budgets roughly balanced against a robust social fabric will not hear anything special in Chomsky's work because they don't quite live it, but, not too far off.

Inside the U.S. his ideas are a threat to the ruling class who have most Americans believing their social and industrial policies help the majority of citizens and we know that's not true. So various personal attacks are launched against the man instead of discussing the merits of his ideas.

He also disassembles much of the American foreign policy, and in the last decade it's become domestic policy with very little emotion. Again, this is a topic that cannot be discussed, only "The American Way" defended.
 
RetroActive said:
You sound drunk.

Chomsky was great 20 yrs. ago but so was Jello Biafra. Chomsky met his waterloo on 9/11, Jello just melted away.
Sleep deprived. Maybe the same difference.

Really, Jello was great 20 years ago?

Chomsky keeps coming up (in contexts outside of this forum). What seems more interesting to ask--than debating the obviousness of what he's saying--is not when his relevance waned, but why there aren't many younger figures taking his place.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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aphronesis said:
Sleep deprived. Maybe the same difference.

Really, Jello was great 20 years ago?

Chomsky keeps coming up (in contexts outside of this forum). What seems more interesting to ask--than debating the obviousness of what he's saying--is not when his relevance waned, but why there aren't many younger figures taking his place.
I was being somewhat facetious. "Manufacturing Consent", and Chomsky more generally, was an underground hit in some scenes.

I think there are plenty of younger figures taking up his mantle, if not his place. Do your own research, think for yourself has become more grassroots I'd suggest. Of course it's an amorphous goo that spins off in all sorts of crazy but there's easy access to so many more perspectives obviously. Even in the backwater.

A free library card is still the best though.:)

I'm not sure we need a 'leader' anymore. Individuals have to understand for themselves and act accordingly. Consent can be withdrawn. (I'm not living in some sort of pollyanna state obviously, I'm highly sceptical in fact but the opportunity is there. People need to grab it but...the alternative is a nightmare.)

The snow has melted and the frogs started singing so I guess it's time to get the garden ready. Eat your heart out NYC.;)
 
RetroActive said:
I was being somewhat facetious. "Manufacturing Consent", and Chomsky more generally, was an underground hit in some scenes.

I think there are plenty of younger figures taking up his mantle, if not his place. Do your own research, think for yourself has become more grassroots I'd suggest. Of course it's an amorphous goo that spins off in all sorts of crazy but there's easy access to so many more perspectives obviously. Even in the backwater.

A free library card is still the best though.:)

I'm not sure we need a 'leader' anymore. Individuals have to understand for themselves and act accordingly. Consent can be withdrawn. (I'm not living in some sort of pollyanna state obviously, I'm highly sceptical in fact but the opportunity is there. People need to grab it but...)

The snow has melted and the frogs started singing so I guess it's time to get the garden ready. Eat your heart out NYC.;)
I have never, anywhere on this board, argued many things more implicitly than a need for fewer leaders in any aspect of life. (The backwater address was intended for a poster who made it personal--nothing more: that said, one finds that the more experiences and stages one passes through, the more likely if not inevitable, one finds others passing through "insights" that are best shed in favor of better ones rather than expressed strictly for the sake of personal instantiation.)

In that regard, it seems to me that consent if merely "withdrawn" is merely reactionary and doesn't amount to much, it has to be worked through with its useful parts retained.

Unfortunately, it seems that many of the "replacements" are working within reduced circumstances--this is a perennial complaint, obviously--just as the older ones have long since refused to modify their thinking and the parameters of their address.

What's interesting about Chomsky is that part of his stature is generational: he came of age when there could still be public intellectuals who served a public sphere--rather than utilitarian public and private interests. He knows this and his co-optation of Foucault's terminology and arguments is evidence. Along the lines of those who argue "yea capital and technology" does this imply that the average intelligence quotient (like those of poverty, etc. being lower) is higher than anytime in "history". Probably. Does it mean everyone should--as most do--cash in and sing the praises of the status quo?

Maybe not.

Public libraries here aren't so hot (back to the public/private issue) even the big one. Better to have institutional access.

It hit the 50s/60s earlier this week: a damn sight better (or just barely) than London last year.
 
aphronesis said:
Sleep deprived. Maybe the same difference.

Really, Jello was great 20 years ago?

Chomsky keeps coming up (in contexts outside of this forum). What seems more interesting to ask--than debating the obviousness of what he's saying--is not when his relevance waned, but why there aren't many younger figures taking his place.
I perceive it in the broader context of class struggle.

That is the protagonists of Chomski's generation weren’t capable, or didn't know how, to give political form to that desire for justice and equality that we very approximately call "the left." And the younger figures are sick and tired of watching those old guardians watch over a tabernacle that's been empty for quite some time now.
 
rhubroma said:
I perceive it in the broader context of class struggle.

That is the protagonists of Chomski's generation weren’t capable, or didn't know how, to give political form to that desire for justice and equality that we very approximately call "the left." And the younger figures are sick and tired of watching those old guardians watch over a tabernacle that's been empty for quite some time now.
Still a long ways from being properly analyzed in this country. To your point below, most talking about "class struggle" do it strictly in terms of quantity and externals.

In this country they were still working with Enlightenment and Imperialist categories, so no they didn't.

That those younger figures are is true. But as I suggested in the next post, their reach isn't that broad. And, as some critics of the generation following Chomsky's are fond of suggesting: you vacate (completely) what seems an obsolete or empty position at your own peril.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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aphronesis said:
I have never, anywhere on this board, argued many things more implicitly than a need for fewer leaders in any aspect of life. (The backwater address was intended for a poster who made it personal--nothing more: that said, one finds in life that the more experiences and stages one passes through, the more likely if not inevitable, one finds others passing through "insights" that are best shed in favor of better ones rather than expressed strictly for the sake of personal instantiation.)

In that regard, it seems to me that consent if merely "withdrawn" is merely reactionary and doesn't amount to much, it has to be worked through with its useful parts retained.

Unfortunately, it seems that many of the "replacements" are working within reduced circumstances--this is a perennial complaint, obviously--just as the older ones have long since refused to modify their thinking and the parameters of their address.

What's interesting about Chomsky is that part of his stature is generational: he came of age when there could still be public intellectuals who served a public sphere--rather than utilitarian public and private interests. He knows this and his co-optation of Foucault's terminology and arguments is evidence. Along the lines of those who argue "yea capital and technology" does this imply that the average intelligence quotient (like those of poverty, etc.) is higher than anytime in "history". Probably. Does it mean everyone should--as most do--cash in and sing the praises of the status quo?

Maybe not.

Public libraries here aren't so hot (back to the public/private issue) even the big one. Better to have institutional access.

It hit the 50s/60s earlier this week: a damn sight better (or just barely) than London last year.
Discernment is a wonderful thing. We all have choices to make, those choices support someone's purpose obviously. When a tidal wave is approaching don't mind me seeking higher ground. Is that acting or reacting? Does it matter? The status quo isn't all bad, there were some genuinely good intentions that built this circumstance obviously. While I lean towards an anarchistic perspective, I suppose, I support universal healthcare pragmatically, for ex. The pharmaceutical bent is another matter. So I guess I agree with you.

The trouble is those good intentions are being transformed, in an epic way, into private pockets (we all know this). It seems a natural response, when faced with ever greater centralisation and authority to withdraw consent and become more local and DIY. Groups are easily controlled, individuals acting on enlightened self interest are much more difficult as they have to be persuaded by reasonable arguement.:cool:

While I agree that there aren't as many intellectuals speaking out as there probably should be; were there more or less 20 or 30 yrs. ago? I don't know. There's certainly a large, crazy conversation going on amongst many more people on the net but not in public as much as previous times. I can only agree with you, and repeat, the public sphere is being subsumed by private interests - now in a predictive programming way. What is the response you have in mind for this absolute control we see emerging?

I also agree that the majority have given up but there's a minority that's getting more irate to borrow Sybil Edmonds line. A few more 'crises', 'revolutions' and 'false flags' etc. and people will be forced to confront this circumstance one way or another. Choice (willfull ignorance) is being revoked as the sights are increasingly being dialed in on previously entitled domains. I see bubbles, many debt bubbles too...

I like libraries, but I was meaning "do your own research, read books" sort of thing.

What's your take? Is it going to burn up or fade away (this dystopia).:p

We've had this sort of conversation before and it goes around and around. There are no easy answers except the ones that Gov't Corporation hands out. They have the megaphone, the money and the guns. I just have my own mind and, albeit limited, choices.

I don't have many answers, certainly not one size fits all answers, but I'm going to work in the garden now. That works for me.:D
 
Jan 27, 2013
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aphronesis said:
Still a long ways from being properly analyzed in this country. To your point below, most talking about "class struggle" do it strictly in terms of quantity and externals.

In this country they were still working with Enlightenment and Imperialist categories, so no they didn't.

That those younger figures are is true. But as I suggested in the next post, their reach isn't that broad. And, as some critics of the generation following Chomsky's are fond of suggesting: you vacate (completely) what seems an obsolete or empty position at your own peril.
(it started raining)

Do we really need more analysis? We're very rapidly moving into questioning what it means to be human in a very literal way, never mind the left/right formalities and the public private debate.

What seems to be needed is far more basic than that to my mind. People have to be reminded that they're allowed to think, to question, to say no. The future, despite all appearances, is not inevitable.

It's almost as though their basic survival instincts have been turned off. There are monsters running amok, hyper predators, and they think they're their friends - or something. Deer in the headlights.:confused:

It's overwhelming but, again, the alternative is nightmarish. We've seen it before. This universal empire notion isn't new, the corporate spin is sort of. I'm watching it crystalize and nation states dissolve. Only individuals changing their minds can stop this though I'm not sure how other than to say stop supporting this madness, become aware.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose
 
RetroActive said:
(it started raining)

Do we really need more analysis? We're very rapidly moving into questioning what it means to be human in a very literal way, never mind the left/right formalities and the public private debate.

What seems to be needed is far more basic than that to my mind. People have to be reminded that they're allowed to think, to question, to say no. The future, despite all appearances, is not inevitable.

It's almost as though their basic survival instincts have been turned off. There are monsters running amok, hyper predators, and they think they're their friends - or something. Deer in the headlights.:confused:
Public/private is a gone debate. I brought it up as a historical reference in. re. Chomsky and his legacy--it wasn't over in his time, nor was the left/right opposition.

Here's an elegy for the latter http://newleftreview.org/II/74/t-j-clark-for-a-left-with-no-future.

We're all to the right now. Especially when--as Chomsky will rehearse-- only the state can monopolize violence. Or the claims to it. Literal and explicit as well as imperceptible.

All that said, I don't think your humanist questions are separable from the recurrent rhetorics of "crisis" "apocalypse" and so on. All of which were still live in the 60s and were never much solved. In large part due to the mass hysteria that came to substitute for analysis.

So in that sense, I do think it's necessary. (And per you other post, one thing the US has suffered from and that postcolonial--or emerging industrial--nations--will also experience is a belated reception of critical thinking, e.g. Frankfurt School analyses of the 80s based on the tools of the 30s. With that come possibilities for what it even means to be human, what constitute rights, values, aspirations, obligations, and so on. All only after the fact. When the animals of capital have left the stable.) I could be wrong, but there's the potential that you pose "human" as a universal, if not a cosmology. I take your running points that there's much in the latter that's long since been effaced and could be re-realized if anyone could take the time (for themselves). On the other hand, part of doing so entails laying out the details of that effacement.

Are we questioning it in a very literal way. Or are we moving into a new stage of artificiality, which paradoxically, comes after the media paranoid decades prior, when now everything that constitutes society, civilization, the world, is being re-naturalized only as much of it becomes unattainable. Or available only in parcels....
 
Politically, I agree with Chomsky's conclusions a lot of the time, but I hate his reasoning. I think he knowingly spouts fallacious arguments, almost as an insult to his audience. I really can't stand the guy.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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aphronesis said:
Public/private is a gone debate. I brought it up as a historical reference in. re. Chomsky and his legacy--it wasn't over in his time, nor was the left/right opposition.

Here's an elegy for the latter http://newleftreview.org/II/74/t-j-clark-for-a-left-with-no-future.

We're all to the right now. Especially when--as Chomsky will rehearse-- only the state can monopolize violence. Or the claims to it. Literal and explicit as well as imperceptible.

All that said, I don't think your humanist questions are separable from the recurrent rhetorics of "crisis" "apocalypse" and so on. All of which were still live in the 60s and were never much solved. In large part due to the mass hysteria that came to substitute for analysis.

So in that sense, I do think it's necessary. (And per you other post, one thing the US has suffered from and that postcolonial--or emerging industrial--nations--will also experience is a belated reception of critical thinking, e.g. Frankfurt School analyses of the 80s based on the tools of the 30s. With that come possibilities for what it even means to be human, what constitute rights, values, aspirations, obligations, and so on. All only after the fact. When the animals of capital have left the stable.)which paradoxically, comes after the media paranoid decades prior, when I could be wrong, but there's the potential that you pose "human" as a universal, if not a cosmology. I take your running points that there's much in the latter that's long since been effaced and could be re-realized if anyone could take the time (for themselves). On the other hand, part of doing so entails laying out the details of that effacement.

Are we questioning it in a very literal way. Or are we moving into a new stage of artificiality,
wnow everything that constitutes society, civilization, the world, is being re-naturalized only as much of it becomes unattainable. Or available only in parcels....
Thanks for that link. Superb. Too many quotable passages but a couple first impressions...

their very sound was grotesque and they were like a reflection of the futility of trying to make anything clear out of the cloudiness of crai.
:D

Bradley has a great passage on ‘what [he] ventures to describe as the centre of the tragic impression’. I quote it in full:

This central feeling is the impression of waste. With Shakespeare, at any rate, the pity and fear which are stirred by the tragic story seem to unite with, and even merge in, a profound sense of sadness and mystery, which is due to this impression of waste . . . We seem to have before us a type of the mystery of the whole world, the tragic fact which extends far beyond the limits of tragedy. Everywhere, from the crushed rocks beneath our feet to the soul of man, we see power, intelligence, life and glory, which astound us and seem to call for our worship. And everywhere we see them perishing, devouring one another and destroying themselves, often with dreadful pain, as though they came into being for no other end. Tragedy is the typical form of this mystery, because that greatness of soul which it exhibits oppressed, conflicting and destroyed, is the highest existence in our view. It forces the mystery upon us, and it makes us realize so vividly the worth of that which is wasted that we cannot possibly seek comfort in the reflection that all is vanity.
Here again is Bradley. ‘The tragic world is a world of action’, he tells us,

and action is the translation of thought into reality. We see men and women confidently attempting it. They strike into the existing order of things in pursuance of their ideas. But what they achieve is not what they intended; it is terribly unlike it. They understand nothing, we say to ourselves, of the world on which they operate. They fight blindly in the dark, and the power that works through them makes them the instrument of a design that is not theirs. They act freely, and yet their action binds them hand and foot. And it makes no difference whether they meant well or ill. [6] Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy, p. 32.
Politics in a tragic key, then, will operate always with a sense of the horror and danger built into human affairs. ‘And everywhere we see them perishing, devouring one another and destroying themselves’. This is a mystery. But (again quoting Bradley, this time pushing him specifically in our direction) ‘tragedy is the . . . form of this mystery [that best allows us to think politically], because the greatness of soul which it exhibits oppressed, conflicting and destroyed, is the highest existence in our view. It forces the mystery upon us’. And it localizes the mystery, it stops it from being an immobilizing phantom—it has any one politics (for instance, our own) be carried on in the shadow of a specific political catastrophe
Are you trying to make me cry?:)

To the first bolded, as you've said:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality-based_community
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

What I meant by 'literal' speaks to the word artificial as well. What does it mean when the hand that creates is no longer flesh and blood and bone. We don't have wait for something to come along, it's pulling into the station.

I find linking the alchemical transformation to this transhumanist agenda (as a fundamentalist expression) useful, insightful. Back to the article:
After ‘socialism’ of this sort will come chaos, necessarily, but out of the chaos a new form of politics may still emerge. ‘A crisis that . . . purifies, that . . . pushes together related elements to perish of each other, that . . . assigns common tasks to men who have opposite ways of thinking . . . Of course, outside every existing social order’. And the upshot is as follows:

Who will prove to be the strongest in the course of this? The most moderate; those who do not require any extreme articles of faith; those who not only concede but actually love a fair amount of contingency and nonsense; those who can think of man with a considerable reduction of his value without becoming small and weak themselves on that account . . . human beings who are sure of their power and who represent, with conscious pride, the strength that humanity has [actually] achieved. [16] Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will To Power [1901], trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale, New York 1967, section 55, pp. 38–9 (trans. slightly modified).
He's talking about politics, I'm extending this "will to power" and transformational purification to the very nature of life as we know it. The only common thread, or the common thread, I can identify throughout history and into the present is an impulse towards the Monad (universal empire, super ego, superman, yada, yada). The Singularity.

Back to other aspects of the article...I find it hard to equate the irrational act of clubbing of someone (even to death) to the conscious harnessing of this irrationality for the achievement of specific outcomes in war. The cold calculating nature that creates the tools of our own destruction and manipulates the masses to carry out this function is of another order. I'm not an idealist really, but I don't think humans want to murder eachother as readily as we do under the institutions that condone and promote it either.

I agree that we don't need one big fire but millions of small ones. First people need to remember to question authority.;) I'm not that smart but I still have a choice. When the option to say no is revoked...

Life, what option is there?:p

p.s. I was curious how you meant re-naturalized? version 1 or version 2.

btw. ...the gospel Chris Hedges essentially.
 

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aphronesis said:
Public/private is a gone debate. I brought it up as a historical reference in. re. Chomsky and his legacy--it wasn't over in his time, nor was the left/right opposition.

Here's an elegy for the latter http://newleftreview.org/II/74/t-j-clark-for-a-left-with-no-future.

We're all to the right now. Especially when--as Chomsky will rehearse-- only the state can monopolize violence. Or the claims to it. Literal and explicit as well as imperceptible.

All that said, I don't think your humanist questions are separable from the recurrent rhetorics of "crisis" "apocalypse" and so on. All of which were still live in the 60s and were never much solved. In large part due to the mass hysteria that came to substitute for analysis.

So in that sense, I do think it's necessary. (And per you other post, one thing the US has suffered from and that postcolonial--or emerging industrial--nations--will also experience is a belated reception of critical thinking, e.g. Frankfurt School analyses of the 80s based on the tools of the 30s. With that come possibilities for what it even means to be human, what constitute rights, values, aspirations, obligations, and so on. All only after the fact. When the animals of capital have left the stable.) I could be wrong, but there's the potential that you pose "human" as a universal, if not a cosmology. I take your running points that there's much in the latter that's long since been effaced and could be re-realized if anyone could take the time (for themselves). On the other hand, part of doing so entails laying out the details of that effacement.

Are we questioning it in a very literal way. Or are we moving into a new stage of artificiality, which paradoxically, comes after the media paranoid decades prior, when now everything that constitutes society, civilization, the world, is being re-naturalized only as much of it becomes unattainable. Or available only in parcels....
Interesting and thoughtful post.

Its depressing to compare the 60s-70s with now in terms of political awareness. Despite the ubiquity of communication systems there is less meaningful dialogue. Twitter has spread the soundbite as the dialogue. Affluence has dulled the mind to the iniquities of the world.

Its frightening.
 

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