Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Man of the Year, the Noble Lie and the Importance of Critical Thinking and an Attachment to Reality

 Man of the Year is one of Robin Williams’ more underrated movies in my estimation.  Good Morning Vietnam is entertaining but half-asses its messages and pulls its punches when it comes to America’s involvement in Vietnam and good people doing treacherous things whether for a valid and worthwhile cause or not.  The Vietnamese boy bombs a US Army cafĂ© yes, but isn’t that minor compared to all the innocent lives destroyed by American troops in a war that America had no justification for fighting in?  There’s also the sheer brilliance that is the masterpiece of The Fisher King but I’ll write an entirely separate essay on the work.
Man of the Year is a movie that’s entirely unashamed to be a Progressive Left-of-centre movie but never needs to blatantly state that it is.  Robin Williams plays a type of John Stewart, Bill Maher news comic who decides he’s tired of Government corruption namely private interests deciding policy rather than what is in the best interest of the American people.  Though he is a comedian (or very-likely because he is a comedian) he at-first tries to battle the pro status-quo conventional Republican and Democrat buy playing their own game, but then comes to the realization to fight for a genuine change in American politics he must himself be entirely genuine and candor; rather than giving the standard family-values “I love me some Jesus” bullshit we get out of average politicians who focus more on campaigning and bamboozling the American people rather than legislating on their behalf.  And here we see a major flaw with Representative Democracy, but I’m going to refrain from critiquing said system for now and further flesh out the plot so I can bring to life the analogy of the film fully.
He surprisingly wins the election and shows that he’s a sincerely dedicated individual to the good of the American people – however he later finds that to act on the behalf of the American people would be to live a lie.  For the system that allowed his victory over the standard Conservative politicians was a system error, and very-likely few Progressives voted for him because they’re defeatist and rationalize that they need to vote Democrat (though they realize that the Democrats are almost as Right-wing and corrupt as the Republicans, and won’t bring about real improvement in any substantive or significant way) rather than voting for say the Green Party (a real Left-wing party that believes in Left-wing values) or in this case the true Progressive Dobbs – this is my own analysis and isn’t present in the film though is fairly obvious to infer if this movie is meant to depict modern American politics accurately.  He steps down from his position of President-elect because he would rather stay true to his belief in honesty and sincerity than act out a lie for a grand cause.  Such is this movies critique of Plato’s Noble Lie and Representative Democracy as a hole.  The fact that him, a good and decent man who would fight against corporate interests and fight for the quality of life and opportunity of every human being to advance themselves would be actually elected into office is a lie, a impossibility - not only because of the nature of the Capitalists' interest in politics, but of the nature and essence of authority (having leaders run society rather than individuals collectively) itself regardless of the more "benign governance" that we see in more Progressive Liberal Democracies.
Throughout the centuries, religions, Governments and various philosophies have either explicitly stated or implicitly implied in their actions and sentiments that it is better to delude one’s self and believe a happy falsehood rather than to embrace reality as it is.  The most obvious example being in the book of Genesis with Adam and Eve, God essentially plays the role of the Wizard of Oz, and by telling the two to not partake of the Tree of Knowledge essentially voices the sentiment:  pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!  This disgusting mentality that the average human being cannot be allowed freedom or apprehension of reality, because one cannot “handle the truth” is something we see in essence in the very core of hierarchy and authority – such sentiment is brilliantly portrayed in Orwell’s 1984, and as such I won’t spend much time fleshing out what is already apparent to the half-way intelligent.
One of the major developments the average individual most make in the contemporary world is acknowledging that the Noble Lie of either belief in God or Representative Democracy is relegating the functioning of societies and our very depiction of reality (due-to the nature of authority requiring propaganda among other reasons) to others and therefore to be slightly superfluous we relinquish reality, our significant involvement and attachment to it and even for most an accurate portrayal to it to those who can never have our best interests at heart and in-fact when one views the history of Christianity (and all other religions, particularly the Abrahamic ones), Government and Capitalism we see something that psychologically is aware from the get-go that reasoning faculties, independence and high standards of living is not something to be allowed.  For luxury is one of the greatest threats to mysticism, authority and even Hedonism, for a man who lives in an age of basic well-being will naturally have his more intellectual qualities flourish rather than being trampled upon and thusly retreating to the liquor bottle or whore house which is paradoxically the case in more impoverished conservative societies of religious sentiment – seen in Winston in 1984 going to the Prole District to have sex with a prostitute which seems to be a fairly common and acceptable practice in Oceania, despite the fact that it is explicitly forbidden (though because there are no laws in Oceania all actions can be technically forbidden at a moment’s notice), the real crime being the mere existence of independence or original thought.
However, the film is primarily analogous to the understanding of Representative Democracy being a lie through the idea of both a noble leader who will instruct (yet somehow represent the common views of the American people which is an obvious contradiction that those who are suffering from American Leader-worship have yet to come to terms with) America in a moral sense and in terms of administration or utility.  The idea of the need of “moral leaders” and “pillars of the community” is an antiquated and harmful notion that essentially is quasi-Hobbsian in nature in saying that a type of State (whether it be an actual representative of the Government, a priest, pope, or businessman) is necessary to save human beings from their natural nature of moral “anarchy” or in other words Hedonism and Nihilism.  Of course when one views such sentiments closely, the more authoritarian and puritan a Nation becomes, the more moral nihilism is tolerated, vindicated, authorized and commanded usually in the name of some high moral code either of God, Government or Profit Motive. 
Human beings naturally have some basic understanding of right-and-wrong, or at the very-least can be easily taught what is in most cases a fairly simple moral code of moral universals and the Non-Aggression Principle which all systems of hierarchy and management defile every moment of every day, so it is clear (I’m being brief with this point due-to it being a repeating theme in my essays) that we must not subject ourselves or learn morality as a grand sacrifice of self-interest or reason, but simply to act with a type of fairness, kindness and degree of shared sacrifice that one may be astonished how little the burdens of such things are and how bountiful the fruits of basic moral action in the private and public sense will inevitably be. 
But not only do we sacrifice the world of ethics and moral sentiment to crooks and thugs when we surrender our independence and reason; we sacrifice our right of operation of resources in our own communities and dull our sense of priority, consequence and basic reasoning and morality in the process.  For when we allow Capitalists and Governments to do our jobs and perform our responsibilities for us, we voluntarily surrender not only every realm of life but large portions of ourselves, what it means to be humans, to these demons who we call our leaders.
To reiterate, in-terms of physical realities and moral truths, as well as both independence and mutual cooperation and respect of all those in our community, it is not to embrace the force-authorizing and insulting view of Plato’s Noble Lie, instead we must have the simple honesty and integrity to look at reality as it is, so we may both come to terms with the truth (both what we can change and what we cannot) and have the slightest hope of changing it – instead humanity is full of cowardice and fear, choosing to hunch one’s self, nay, obliterate one’s self in the effort to push unpleasant realities under the rug while apathy, hatred and suffering accumulate, and our Dark Gods who have punished us for our loyalty grow fat from the marrow of our bones.

On Myopia, Communitarianism and Victim Complex

 Myopia and cognitive bias rather than ignorance are the foremost enemies of wisdom.  Ignorance can be eroded through simple resource and motivation to attain knowledge; but a simplistic construction of reality (lack of imagination and broad-mindedness) or a psychological barrier that prevents one to both think critically and impartially – and instead takes the path of least resistance and absorbing the avenue of information that conforms to the individual’s pre-existing framework of reality – and far-worse prevents significant and meaningful development (mostly due-to the lack of critical thinking but also based from temperament) derivative of one’s ideological crutch is far-more difficult to eradicate for it is based on a cognitive illness present in all humans to a minor extent and major degree in most.  We see this in some of the well-educated and those who either have abandoned or never have been swayed by the religious and superstitious.  The cognitive bias involved in religious mentality is obvious and as such I wish to instead illuminate a type of political narrative that seems to exist either in those who are at-least compared to the average American somewhat erudite or are simply those who are quite knowledgeable of erudite subjects (e.g. philosophy, science, movies, history, books, etc) but in-general are the simple-minded who have put on airs – which is the case I’ll allow the reader to come to his or her own conclusion on.  Though political narrative exists in arguably all political philosophies and constructs (except perhaps Anarchism at-least to some extent, since the main notion of Anarchism isn’t a historical or ideological narrative primarily but a statement of the immorality of force and therefore the illegitimacy of the State among other things) it’s the narrative of the First World being the source of all woes that I’d like to address considering it’s one that the most simple-minded of individuals can show to be flowed and yet is argued by at-least seemingly more well-cultured individuals.
We see this particularly in Marxists, namely the tendency to associate all ills of the world to Imperialism, America and Capitalism rather than to have a more intelligent, subtle and nuanced view that places a portion of the blame on profit-based incentives and Imperialism of the present-day or past where it is warranted (for there is much evidence that the things I mentioned cause much suffering globally, but to accost the First World as the Left-wing version of Satan, a bringer of all suffering, disparity and despair in the world is quite childish and reverts back to the myopic views of religion) but also places a significant portion of the blame on the regional Governments, customs, religions and individuals.  I would like to argue this is another example of one of the main distinctions between Marxism and Anarchism.  While Marxism has the tendency to generalize and simplify, Anarchism seems to view the world as a complex fabric of a multitude of variables.  There are common trends in cause of suffering and basis in ignorance and hierarchy yes, all ideologies need to purport some idea of a quasi-universal theory of life and humanity after all, but the Anarchism I’ve come to terms with at the very least is one that views reality as a interlocking fabric of particulars.  The particulars have common aspects and are to some extent universalizable, but ultimately are individual components that both function according to their own nature and exist for their own sake. 
In Marxism, we see a type of grand teleology of material conditions and classes altering as to bring about a next pre-determined stage which will ultimately bring about Communism.  Though Marxists never speak of such a notion, psychologically this could create a similar effect of the Christian who vindicates the world and its immensity and multitude of suffering as being part of God’s plan, or because all have an opportunity to reach Heaven all suffering in this callow material realm is insignificant and forgivable on God’s part (though the most ludicrous notion of the Christian is the belief that there is nothing to forgive).  The Proletariat Revolution has much the same prophetic tone as the meek inheriting the Earth as proclaimed in the New Testament, and neither have either come to pass nor is there any evidence that such will come to pass.  The Dialectical and prophetic nature of Marxism as well as its sweeping generalization of human beings based on their class is its main flaws when conjoined with the absurdity of wishing to create a State that will destroy itself – ignorant of the rather simple truth that power exists (as stated in 1984) first and foremost for its own sake; that power begets power and that its first task or priority is either achieving more power or securing the power it has namely in reducing the quality of life of humanity and the populous’ capacity to think critically.  Both creating the illusion that authority is necessary for both security and administrative efficiency when studies have shown that both Capitalism and Government are incredibly inefficient and both largely (and almost solely with the exception of religion) create conditions of insecurity for Man both in his life and his freedom.
We see this shallow form of Materialism not only in a present-day diagnosis by Marxists, but also in their prognostication of the future or of the future’s ideal state.  Anarchists and Marxists are both Internationalists in the sense that they reject Nationalism and Patriotism, viewing such notions as Conservative sentimentalism that is both not based on empirical findings and creates the irrational and arbitrary divide of human beings based on nationality rather than more significant aspects such as intelligence, morality, temperament, sentiment or even class.  However, there is a divide in ends, for the Marxist will want to create a theoretical state-of-affairs where a State in the proper sense of the word does not exist, but instead a global form of organization where there are universal laws of administration and operation.  Or as I believe Marx put it, “where Government becomes not the ruling of men but the administration of things,” I’m paraphrasing of course.  Anarchism instead wishes to attain a more “organic” naturalistic composition of human organization, where all communes interact yes, but the focus on Communitarianism over Globalism has the dual benefits of having different communes for those with different sentiments and lifestyles (some communes could ban drugs for example, while others could follow the Non-Aggression Principle to the full letter of its meaning – as long as the individual who is born in such commune is not prevented from leaving and is given proper opportunity to leave said society for one of those of more-like mind) and having the individuals be responsible for their own affairs both publically and privately, when a global system of quotas and empirically validated standards may be efficient and rational, but both deters individual freedom of expression and activity (human beings are inefficient and largely flawed animals after all) and dulls the mind by having all follow accepted laws of standardized operation rather than having every commune largely doing things similarly but still follow that basic impulse of everything exceptional in Man that divorces him from other animals (for animals too can be exceptional in things such as compassion), namely his desire to reason out new methodology and envision new modes of production or even a new theory of physics that could make a entirely new form of production possible – a radically new understanding of the Universe theoretically leading to matter synthesizers where one could make food out of air for example, once again using the power of imagination and general intellect to turn the fantasies of Science Fiction into a reality.

Though I think that would have been a fine ending point, it perhaps would also benefit to make another distinction between Marxism and Anarchism in their roots as I see it.  Marx was of course largely inspired by Rousseau and in a sense this type of “Ideological victimhood” of the Third World being first and foremost (or nothing more) than the playthings of the sadistic European-Americana culture of enslavement and persecution of others seems to be a logical consequence of a global and materialist approach to Rousseau.  Marx was of course no Primitivist, but those with Primitivist sentiments can easily re-work Marxism into an ideology for their psychological framework that attempts to vindicate much of Rousseau’s sentiments in an international and material way (rather than the largely psychological findings and pronouncements of Rousseau) as I previously stated.  The Anarchist (once again the form of Anarchism I would advocate) instead is far-more a successor of Kant than Rousseau, wishing to strive first-and-foremost an enlightenment where all individuals are seen as and treated as Ends-in-Themselves.  The individual is a caused being to be sure, and since a Nation is nothing more than a body of humans and resources it too is a caused thing.  However, though a Government in Pakistan or Israel may be to varying extents either influenced by American interests and sentiments or are oppressed either by the American government or various multi-national corporations it both is always far-more influenced by local than foreign variables (for like  how an organism can be conditioned from outside sources, its own internal make-up above all else is the deciding factor of its nature and behavior) and the individual most first-and-foremost take responsibility for its own actions rather than saying, “but, I’m a caused being!  It’s not my fault.  Americans made me veil my women for centuries because of the successive bombings and occupation that’s been going on for years!”  Though a Nation and its people are caused, any entity must take responsibility for its own actions for we have the capacity to choose and the illusion of Free Will.  And though Kant’s ideas on punishment are a tad primitive, it is this individualistic and existential conception and expression of humanity rather than a wholly sociological and shallowly material (that is a simplistic interpretation of Materialism and nothing more) that separates Kant and the Anarchists from Rousseau and Marx.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

On the Existence of Multitude Individuality and the Psychological Grounding for Sameness and Authority

If there is to be any dichotomy within philosophy and perhaps within psychology and human instinct, it is the divide, the gulf of sentiment, between the “Holist” or the “Unitarian” (not meaning the religious denomination) and the “Particularist.”  This divide takes several forms and can be seen as motivation for multitudes of human behavior, subconscious bias in reasoning and in various philosophies and forms of Government and management of resources.  The Unitarian views all existence has fundamentally unified in essence and being and views alteration of the Universe’s nature as ephemeral if existing at-all – they focus on the entirety of existence and claim that it is grounded by something that can never be given validation empirically whether it be mathematics (the view that numbers exist in a Platonic realm and therefore apart from human construction), God (Pantheist or otherwise), Hegel’s “World Spirit,” the Forms, Schopenhauer’s “Will,” Emerson’s “Over-soul,” or even the simple Buddhist claim that “all is one” and the self and multiplicity of things in existence being a illusion, with similar notions (to my limited knowledge) also appearing in Hinduism.  These are essentially the grand metaphysicians that view phenomenal existence both as illusory but also view the human consciousness as having a direct-link to the “true reality” through non-empirical means – in other words viewing human understanding as fundamentally mystical rather than a dual process of cognition and sensory impression. 
Contrast this with the view that the Universe is a myriad variety of elements, compounds and the seemingly limitless amounts of shapes and actions or alterations (a ball traveling across the globe, bouncing so many millions of times and all other forms of movement and change it can have both in its own constitution but change it brings to other objects) that is posited largely by the Empiricists, Materialists and though not directly would be by the natural conclusion of a Kantian or  Pyrrhonist in the sense that though they would claim knowledge of nothing (including the assertion that even knowledge of the impossibility of attaining knowledge is impossible or somehow incoherent as to claim absolute knowledge even of absolute ignorance would be only to express one’s own ignorance) especially in the latter case, they would (or rather should) concede at the very-least that existence is a multi-faceted thing of diversity for otherwise there would be no possibility for a subject doubting and a world to be doubted – even solipsist must confess that even if existence is nothing more-than the projection of his consciousness there is a conscious thinking thing and then a portion of the mind that he experiences as outside himself as said projection of the subconscious.  And even if the Pyrrhonist or a student following the radical but ultimately fruitless thinking of Descartes would say that this schism could be the creation of a evil demon or nefarious machine, to posit the existence of a demon and yourself and more-importantly to posit a illusion and something outside or alternative to the illusion of mind-and-world whether separate physically or merely phenomenogically would be to posit a distinction in existence yet again – so you see that nothing can ever truly be “one.”
It is the Inclination of the Unitary that is the founding of all grandiose evil in the world.  While petty apathy, selfishness or base nihilism can inspire a man to commit acts of treachery and wrongdoing to his fellows, ultimately it can never inspire evil in the grandiose way.  One could argue that one may not wish to ground a unitary system or expect others to conform to said system for some higher good, but instead has a warped psychosis of Narcissism where he essentially wishes to be the god and ruler over all things for the sake of his own ego.  We see here however a subconscious inclination and desire to ground everything as an object of utility of one’s self or thing which can never receive absolutely correct and true rightness and warrant of action until one has granted it.  This is what is most commonly referred to as “the God complex” and it’s sickness is one of the most blatant forms of sickness in “unification” or what I’ll from henceforth be calling “Borgism.”
Borgism holds that existence is unitary and unified fundamentally, and therefore all resistance to either a higher ethic or higher purpose can be met with force (since if existence is grounded fundamentally on divine or “sacred” teleology and ethics, then human rights in the most absolute and meaningful sense do not exist) and either punished for defiance or purged for purification.  We see both in the psychosis of God, Government and Corporation.  God and Government are similar, but God specifically refers to the instinct of maintaining the purity of the universal and absolute source of all creation (not only consequentially but in-terms of value and ultimate meaning and significance) and either damning, expelling or exterminating all those who either sin against it or more specifically and the worst sin of all, do not recognize this “supreme source.”  The psychosis of Government in-terms of ethics and utility holds that there must be a unified form of ethics that all human beings are privy to, and therefore all deviancy from this moral absolute must be punished or shunned – this also includes the concept of cultural homogeny and social norms that must be adhered to which often are fundamentally religious and political in nature.  We must remember that the very nature of Government is hierarchy, and all hierarchical structures view themselves as an absolute above all other things; they are what have primacy and all other things exist in purpose or in merit of goodness only in relation to them – a good man is a good and compliant citizen.  Even if the law consists of something that is harmful to the individual, it is not the fact that one is voluntarily harming one’s self or reducing the quality of life in society that is the sin (for Government not only allows but condones, enforces and engages in actions that decrease the quality of life and mind in society as do religions and corporations), the blunder is instead the sheer lack of obedience to laws.  In the case of God this is seen in a view that Abraham obeying God and potentially murdering his son was not only correct but righteous despite the reality that murder (arguably particularly infanticide) is wrong regardless of whether a magical man in the sky wishes it.  In the example of Government, there are advocates of Rule-of-Law that would contend that during prohibition those who were simply acting as free individuals and imbibing liquor are committing a wrongful deed and deserve punishment, or even those who would have consequences befall abolitionists for performing a noble deed of great consequence to others and freeing those whose realization of their most fundamental essence (being a phenomenogically free being capable of choice and free action) had been deprived from them.  In the example of the Corporate it becomes less obvious for there is multitude in business and the individual as well as exterior (pursuit of profit of the businessman which the individual is beholden and subservient to) pursuit of profit exists.  But this is also myopic and all-encompassing both in being a universal theory of human motivation (human beings are shallow, hedonistic, and fundamentally only wish to pursue pleasure and profit as a means of doing so) and in having all social action and custom revolving around market-based thinking and the all-mighty dollar.
I would wish to revive (or rather have persist, since in-a-sense scientific observation and comprehension of existence is of a multiplicity in variables and how certain elements and key factors of existence effect others and conjoin to create a fabric of countless items and substances being influenced by countless expressions of energy, with unifying theories of string theory and gravity existing only to explain the functioning and existence of all the phenomena of existence, not “override” or remove their fundamental individuality by saying they exist truly only as Number or World Spirit) the Heraclitean model of existence, not only in physics however but of human beings in their psychology, essence and self-defined purpose.  Though like the Universe, humans can be seen to operate in ways that are quasi-universal and suspect to laws of material and consequence, there is both no law that effects all human beings (asides from for definitional purposes a genetic code that is a more materialist understanding of the definition of “human.”) just as to my knowledge even the speed of light (which was once viewed to be entirely universal and constant) slows as it approaches a black hole and ceases to exist (or is trapped inside though I’m not sure what exactly that means).  Instead there are simply phenomena and individuals that seem in some ways to largely be identical or at the very-least similar; but to say that this means that all things which meet a certain criteria of definition are identical or that therefore all existence is “one” or unitary is to say that all Irish are the same (instead of merely all being drunks) or that the whole of existence is Irish.
For both utility and understanding human beings lump phenomena into categories, but to say that all particulars of existence are simply the individual substances or criterion of their man-imposed categories and definitions is tantamount to saying that a bachelor is nothing more-than a unmarried man, rather than saying that by calling him a bachelor that is all we can say about him without further description or sensory perception of the actual individual.  Though a thing is defined by its definition that is not to say a thing is its definition.  Every individual thing in existence first-and-foremost contains individuality in being even if like many plants it is simply a genetic copy of its mother.  It contains individuality both in space, time and in particular qualities.  For though it may be an exact copy in genetics because it exists in (at-least to some extent) a different time and space it will receive a different environment and will grow to be a different tree in outlay of roots, height and general health as well as a litany of variables that contain the possibility, nay, the inevitability of said multiplicity. 
To say as Parmenides does (and Zeno in-relation to motion) that time and space are illusory or truly non-existent is to essentially make the very notion of not only science but any statement about anything at-all impossible.  The very notion of “Borgism” or “Holism” if one is to separate the belief from what I would contend are its multiple psychological and political manifestations, is incoherent and essentially meaningless.  To say that all of existence is “one” is essentially to blanket all of existence with the unifier of “existence” and then to say that all the particulars of that which you’re unifying and generalizing are illusions or secondary to this model of “sameness,” a model which can never accurately depict its subject of imitation due-to the myriad and changing nature of existence.  “All is one?”  You might as well say “All is all,” since that’s essentially is being conveyed while in-a-sense proclaiming that “all is nothing at-all” if we are to take the view that only the model of “sameness” and homogeny exists rather than the real existence of real things.  Or rather, in a sense instead it’s to claim, “All is in truth an inaccurate model of illusion and falsehood.”
The Transcendentalists are the most recent and least awful version of this psychology.  Being essentially along with Carl Jung and a few other thinkers the intellectual muscle behind the “hippy-dippy” New Age movement of the sixties – and frankly at-least in-terms of those specific New Age beliefs there’s not much meat on this non-materialist bone.  Emerson and Thoreau are certainly both wise men who deserve respect and reading, but ultimately they show in Emerson’s Individualism and Emerson’s Anarchism the irreconcilable contradiction between individuality and “oneness.”  Not conforming one’s individuality to social dictates and being genuine is a main element of Emerson’s thought, but if others and myself are fundamentally one unitary being, then why should there be any divide at-all?  Like a scientist who still wants to cling to the unverified notion that the Christian God (or any creator) created the world, the Transcendentalists cling to this irrational and potentially barbaric idea that leads to psychological sameness and political monstrosity while trying to advance ideas of free expression and the Non-Aggression Principle.  The Existentialists have a far-more profound truth that has of course more factuality but more significance and meaning to human life as-well; namely that human beings are fundamentally unique and sovereign.  We experience all phenomena has fundamentally distinct from us, and ourselves being radically distinct from all other things in existence.  Not only does Transcendentalism pose this type of unitary self, it poses a theory of epistemology to ground this unitary sameness that is not based on anything asides from human sentiment, and poses that something is true simply due-to popular expression.  Ignoring the now obvious mechanism of evolution and biology that creates organisms that have certain attributes necessary for survival.  Human beings have evolved to suspect there is a deadly threat hiding in a bush rather than to be oblivious to any possibility of danger.  Does that mean that there really is a murderer outside my window making noises because a part of my being is inclined to believe so in delirium?  Just as the irrational portion of some men and women’s being cling to faith and a notion of God and eternity in an afterlife would then verify these sentiments based solely on shared sickness?
Instead, we must view not only science but ourselves and our notion of the good on grounds of sensory data and reasoning.  Anarchism is the only political philosophy that consciously disputes this notion of sameness in its myriad forms.  Under Anarchism “Man” is only a rough approximation and convenience used to understand men or people since I use the term as a blanket-term for all humanity encompassing both genders.  Homo sapiens exist in the world, but there is no Homo sapien “form” that exists without any attributes or traits outside of its basic humanity or “humanness.”  In this sense Anarchism is not only the solution and the ideal to be striven for, but it is in-essence reality as it currently does, did and always will exist as.  Not as some unified, indescribable, meaningless, incomprehensible goop, but as a litany of interdependent phenomena that act according to their own law that is generally given to universalizability(though not completely, which is a important distinction) at-least to some extent to a law that can be seen throughout the cosmos but only observed in individual phenomena.
Instead of following the Conservative psychology of turning human beings into vacant, obedient socially accepted drones drudging to the beat of some crass and yet held spiritual notion of the Absolute, we must always encourage the absolute of nothing but the free action of the individual, and his or her opportunity and inclination to strive for and be a embodiment of excellence in being whether it be mental (both intellectual and creative), moral or physical.  All moral ends that betray this sole absolute human good and the unjust and irrational methods one use to pursue them are the true defilers of the sanctity of Nature through damning choice in the name of freedom and security of self in the name of security of State or faith.  Goodness exists (at-least in potential) in all men and women, but the psychological and material interests of the Corporate, State and God-based notions have had us betray our most innate moral inclinations.  For though we cannot know what is right or wrong from intuition, the majority of what is moral was at-least in some rudimentary sense of potential instilled in us when we came into being in the world.  Yet this great gift of random circumstance and a conjoining of biological necessity and sentience is bastardized for the sake of profits, power and the gains of collective notions of God and Government – while all individuals (at-least in the long-term, for a tyrant or CEO can live a long and joyous life in a unjust world), all that exist truly and separately suffer.  Muted by pain, made shrill and obscene by propaganda and ignorant of the extent of their poverty due-to the effects said poverty of body and soul has had on their minds.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Albert Camus, Suicide and the Absurd

Though Camus is correct in describing both actual suicide and philosophical (or intellectual) suicide as breaking the relationship of the absurd and when done for existential reasons is cowardly and irrational, it seems he takes his view of “everything is absurd” too far and forgets in-a-sense that though existence is absurd, it is far-more than that primarily in various ways and it primarily isn’t experienced as such most of the time.  This is seen most obviously in pain and suicide.
Though the existence of pain and death are “absurd” in being both pointless (without purpose, though it is at-times a result of the purposeful thoughts and actions of others, which is in-itself absurd), non-rational and unjust they are fundamentally more-than this; they are either painful and unpleasant in the most primal way in the case of pain, and the destruction of self in the case of death.  In-fact, it could be argued that the intuition and expectation that one should exist forever is absurd, and death is simply the end of something that was never owed or created out of rational construction and purpose in the first place.  Pain is first and foremost the very essence of unpleasant experience and is only experienced as absurd by beings capable of reflecting on their misfortunes and how they are undeserved.  Though the suffering of animals too is absurd, the whimpering of a stray dog or yalp of a deer with a broken leg is not expressing existentialist frustration with one’s relation to the universe or Kierkegaardian anxiety.
Camus acknowledges that most people do not commit suicide over existentialist reasons.  Such reasoning may appear in a suicide letter but even this is largely a result of long stents of depression that create the words of despair rather than the other way around.  However to understand this and yet make arguments against suicide on Existentialist grounds seems to be a contradiction.  Camus properly as I’ve stated argued against suicide as an Existentialist position or decision against a perception of meaningless in the Universe or of perceived futility in one’s activities, but suicide is largely done as a desire to end the pain that one feels (many times correctly) will only leave one’s self when the self is no longer.  To say that one should not commit suicide because it surrenders but fails to solve the absurd is much like making an argument against not eating a fatty desert because it ruins one’s relationship between one’s self and the platonic form of nutritional food, or that God frowns on either.  We must be honest if we are to take a purely biological and pragmatic approach to life and say that there are situations where suicide is not only an understandable act, but the rational thing to do.  Millions suffer every day but due-to the evolutionary imperative to persist and spread one’s genetic material they continue to linger in agony largely meaninglessly – doing nothing but suffering and very-likely continuing (especially considering those in horrible countries reproduce more-than in the first-world) the cycle of suffering.  Instead of claiming suicide is some type of sin, we instead should focus on creating a world where no few would have even little reason to end their own lives and may live it with purpose, opportunity and dignity – to say that suicide is a selfish act is one of the most stupid things I’ve ever heard and fails to understand what suicide is:  the self-inflicted obliteration of the self.
But while ending one’s own life should rarely be seen as an immoral or unjustifiable act, committing intellectual suicide and choosing to claim the Universe and one’s place in is objectively purposeful out of convenience is never virtuous or excusable.  First off, we must make a distinction between those who legitimately and naturally see the cosmos as purposeful and those who to varying degrees explicitly rationalize to deem the world and themselves as such.  If someone is naturally or “authentically” a Christian, practices a religion or simply a general mindset of meaning and order (in the Existentialist sense) in existence then they are committing no moral error but simply have either a psychology which has them see things in such a way or has simply not (though this is unlikely even in the most unreflective) thought one such matters to come to the conclusion that the only significance or “meaning” life has is what we choose to give to it.  However, Kierkegaard’s Leap of Faith is so named because it illustrates someone who is specifically not naturally moved towards some assignment of meaning to existence and runs desperately towards the irrationality of faith because it gives him or her a sense of solace and closure in being that they were unable to find otherwise – whether because they require a belief in “objective meaning” for them to be secure in life having any meaning at-all, or because they have lived in a religious setting for so long they are unfamiliar with the notion that we can grant our lives its own significance, aim and warrant.  This is obviously either cowardice (if we are to be judgmental) or simply a form of despair brought about by a mixture of social, cognitive and chemical factors involving the individual. 
Existential instincts have become far-more commonplace in the twenty-first century I find, and it will be this just as much as material factors and secular politics (and which factors cause the others or if they all influence each other mutually is debatable; personally I’m far-more privy to a materialist rather than idealist notion of human change, in that it seems to me that the most wealthy countries – that were once religious but then became less so – alter in culture and mindset creating a cycle of mindset influencing politics and social norms and vise versa) that will be the death-nail in the coffin of religious and eventually authority-based sentiment and reasoning.  We do inhabit an absurd world, and only by doing the nobly absurd and absurdly noble task of deconstructing all that is deemed sacrosanct and impeccable can we in some ways dissolve the absurd; and through what has real value begin to move forward as a species, together, rather than moving stagnantly towards perpetual nowhere and inevitable destruction, taking a leap of psychological and philosophical suicide because one lives in a world where being a human being (perhaps one of the most remarkable species in the universe whose full potential is very-likely far from being tapped) is a unnaturally daunting task.  Unless we give society the tools for being their best selves, they’ll always be limited in sight and action and either resort to suicide of the body or far-more reprehensible of the mind.  Only by revolting against the sickness of cowardice and base human weakness that is the herd mentality can we even begin to strive towards let-alone recognize what our passions and purposes are and in finding them usurping them into existence.