Tag Archives: Sartre

SWILL: Economy But One Strata In Whole Geology Of Troubles

economides
Economides
samplex

To: sworg-talk@scenewash.org
Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000

BEGIN ANOTHER SWILL, THIS ONE WON'T LAST FOREVER

Reading more from Article 3:

The SI also inherited a nineteenth century conception of materialism from the same sources. This legacy prevented SI critique from appreciating the complex alchemical processes which take place between subjective and objective facts (specifically the potent and complex role of existentialism and human psychological necessities which ensue from it). It is specifically this incomplete conception of materialism which gives rise to the naive revolutionism which anticipates that revolution follows dutifully on the heels of revelation—that human belief, perceptions and will follow meekly behind a radical description of the world. The uncomfortably ill-defined relationship of situationism with communist and anarchist blocs also derives from this unfinished work. This discomfort with other leftist bedfellows is in fact serious enough to raise questions about whether situationism is in fact compatible with these other traditions at all (or rather—vice versa).

Rebunk: I might caution against the use of the term "existentialism" in this instance, evoking as it does yer Sartres, Camus', Merleau-Pontys and the rest of yer "Temps Modernes" gang, especially when I think you're referring more to Keirkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky et.al. (have we discussed Heidegger ever?)

Ghe word Existentialism should definitely appear in the said declaration because it is a word which we cannot afford to lose to the enemy. However, I shall try to think of a phrase to add which briefly defines what is meant by it so that, as you say, it is distanced from the dreary likes of Sartre and Camus. As for Heidegger—wot a friggin kraut wanker he woz, eh? A genius without doubt but I'd sooner not have to actually go mince myself in any of that shit if it can possibly be avoided. (shoulda mentioned Husserl in there somewhere too—just to annoy the "antifascists").

Rebunk: These thinkers also have something in common with the young Marx, pre-autocritique Lukacs, and all of Korsch in the centrality that the notion of alienation holds within their work. If we can find some form of unification here—whose seeds exist in the work of the Frankfurt School; Kube has already mentioned Reich and Fromm, and I'd like to add Adorno and Benjamin...

Now my metaphor is this—suppose the handful of degrees of initial chill is equivalent to the relative deprivation induced by material shortages, by the exploitations of captalism. It sets up a chain reaction of social relationships which may in their turn worsen such shortages or in some other way worsen social cruelties or suppress consciousness.
Not happy with this. "Alienation" is a very much parenthesised version of angst. It tends to constrain the idea, once again, in the dated and inadequate conception that only the issue of production, of capitalist class relations, is what matters in the attempt to realize a better way of life. It tends to distract from the notion of SIN—of the root of alienation in an imperfect response to inherited (and personal) karma (to use no-doubt wholly unacceptable terms to convey a virtually indigestible idea). Reich and Fromm, for all their fine points, did precious little to redress this either, although the psychoanalytic school has certainly come out with some juicy stuff in recent years (such as 'Sexual Personae' and some of its very dubious political conclusions, which I plan to discuss sometime soon). Moreover—what kind of people think of themselves as "alienated" these days? Iffy kinds of people. The fact is that a LACK of alienation is no guide whatever as to whether a person is living a good life or not, and nor, basically, is alienation. All we see in this phenomenon is whether some particular individual is currently relatively successful or unsuccessful in losing him or herself in activity / whether LUCK (as much as anything else) is providing an adequate supply of options at a particular moment.

Rebunk: Then we can relocate revolutionary nihilism in the drama of everyday existence. From this I would tentatively argue that radical change takes place not after revelation, either through the presentation of a utopian ideology or pointing out the poverty of current conditions of existence, but after grasping the mechanisms of real social relations and locating the energies capable of transforming them.

Jahwohl. We are not so far apart on this at all, but to hell with the "tentatively" part. However whilst I do not dismiss the role of capital (therefore would not neglect to pay cheques into my bank account if I had any) the nature of those energies which do indeed transform real social relations is incredibly more subtle, and enduring, than the fixation on mere class-economics has long suggested. A prog on tonights TV suggests to me an example—600 million years ago, the earth for some reason suffered a smallish dip in average temperatures severe enough that in time the sea began to freeze over as far down as Texas. Because the frozen snowy wastes were WHITE, they reflected a substantial proportion of the suns heat back into space thereby making the chill increase geometrically. As a result the entire world was soon frozen solid EVERYWHERE. This flipping of state was basically irreversible—even at the equator there is estimated to have been a kilometre of ice. No free water, no rain—just one big snowball planet under a cold blue sky. (in fact this condition probably lasted for 10 million years until volcanic greenhouse gases flipped it back out). Now my metaphor is this—suppose the handful of degrees of initial chill is equivalent to the relative deprivation induced by material shortages, by the exploitations of captalism. It sets up a chain reaction of social relationships which may in their turn worsen such shortages or in some other way worsen social cruelties or suppress consciousness. It is entirely conceivable for the consequent social conditions to not only perpetuate unnecessary material scarcities even after the technological means of ending them altogether has been brought into existence, but even of increasing atrocities of various kinds as well as denuding life of warmth in general and replacing it with ever-growing suspicion, or hedonistic distractions from emptiness and the rest. The world could be trapped in such conditions for ten million years after the original economic cause has long since been irrelevant. Oh yes it could.

We must eliminate the assumption that reversing such a scenario hinges upon crude mechanisms, or else (at least) to prosper within it we must. The economy is but one strata in a whole geology of troubles—all of which are entirely REAL.

—kubhlai

********* END OF THIS SWORG SWILL TRANSMISSION *********

Just A Quick Notion On The Winces of Kierkegaard

kierkegaard
Kierkegaard in Suspense
samplex

Date: Tue Apr 22, 1997 2:03:45 PM

Whew! E-mail is so much fun, fun, fun, I just hate to quit, but I just wanted to add something to that last note I was meaning to include, but forgot, in my haste to close...but your theology seems patently Kierkegaardian [Soren] who actually is recognized more as a famous existentialist philosopher than the theologian his lesser-known but notable father was.

Are you familiar with this line of devotedness? Actually I count myself among that fuzzy number (in logic) although as the grandfather of modern existentialism (albeit in a christian context, whereas Sartre's atheistic philosophy some 60 years later is generally counted as the full maturity of the logic) Kierkegaard's moral forces point up many more questions rather than answers of the biblical accounts; most famously, his take on Abraham's dilemma in sacrificing Issac in his small book "Fear and Trembling", the moral urgency of the individualistic voice of God as opposed to the giant institutional promises, as God always attempts to stretch his handpicked servant's perceptions far beyond the norm of the culture at hand.

Many christians like to play dodge ball with the sixty-six Jewish books you call the Word, picking and choosing which Old Testament rules to follow and which ones to throw off as a revelation of Jesus. I don't want to draw you into a long-winded blather you are not interested in pursuing, since you've already given me your Pauline summation nicely concise, but I was just wondering what, if anything you thought of the Kierkegaardian concept of God's will beyond common acts of simple goodness just as Hinduistic as anything purportedly Christian? Because in a rough and tumble world, simple goodness and moral certainty often are incompatible with questions of greater good and lasting peace, eh?

GT

Every Four Years A String Of Would Be Presidents

nightport
Shop Steward
samplex

Date: Wed Mar 6, 1996 4:09:33 PM America/New_York

...stimulate the economy, flush the media with money and boxcover mythologies, and expect us to deny something's not quite right with this picture. The waste of tearjerked capital over the fight for ideas is enough to clear the nostrils. But to those who come to expect these juggernaut cash hits every four years with this patriotic blood & cash flinging contest, while a joke to millions and a militant and righteous duty to millions more, the process is absolutely vital to Media's economic persona and the length and strength of its self-serving pursestrings and panache among the governed.

Having risen now to the same powers of mirroring the level of big business, as the Church once held over feudal Europe, and with Ross Perot in '92 and Steve Forbes this time around pumping so much of his stash into those same industries the Media will have developed a taste for this level of spending and will dig in to keep the game at this level of trade in the future and what does that spell? I don't think it is relief.

Nothing when compared to need is discharged into the New Enterprise Zones for Urban or Human Renewal as the actors in the gentleman suits keep promising new ways and new means every four years while delivering themselves like clockwork rolled in festive dollar bills at a jet's pace for an obligatory plaque onto a hallway wall somewhere, while thousands more are perverted daily. Yet the ravages of a country still too uncivilized to help itself out of its own gutters when there is plenty of good reason so do so, and plenty more not to delay, continue unabated, and we dare rejoice.

Actually, I like the election process. While still flawed, it beats the competition.

Have they made the queen a taxpaying pauper yet? The American presidential process? It makes me feel—in some flowing black and white 1940s ripening years pox Americana way—truly American in a period of my life when sometimes very little else does, despite what I wrote in the paragraphs above.

The attacks on freedoms and speeches, canned images, and radical philosophies, lifelong experiments, existentialist liabilities and the gamut of ownership theories practiced and reviled, all in the name of freedom are numbing and yet our cities and towns, villages and highways, headjukes and shrines are crime infested pestilences. No longer free to walk the streets outside one's own shelter is one without accusation, or violation. Snapping turtles and foxtrotters line the sidewalks of cities in despair. This is indeed an America with a rich and harried past, and it's catching up to yet another generation of babbling believe-it-or-nots. Nothing is changing. Science of observation is the interpolating ether of our age and is busy simply unmasking the obvious. Time to move on.

Shop Steward? Impressive! Ballbreaking or nervekilling. Sounds like you're taking on the latter effect. I have an old highschool pal at the GE plant in Jacksonville, FL who's in a similar role. Last I heard from him, the major issue among many was GE thinking of killing 150 jobs by closing forever the north Florida plant. He, of course, was fighting for the jobs. Said he was coming to Washington, but I never heard from him if or when he was here.
Space, yeah, you described precisely the bio-electrical pain I suffer. Plus I have that tingling down into the elbows & fingers on both arms in daily nearly fulltime direct current. Psychostress and repetitive stress syndrome, along the lines of carpo-tunnel have me under arrest. Totally unrelated but accumulative are my feet and leg muscle cramping limitations. It's a wonder I am still kicking around, but I am putting best hope forward that this is a busy body spring and summer. Log-in time plus time wellspent reconditioning whatever's left of my body. Some good food, not too much, a light alcohol season, miles of smiles from BABY, and I figure I'll fall back to winter again a little better off than I am right now, and expect that while fate continually aims to choke my aptitude for resurfacing the future with my own stale image, I'll get enough done to please the chef.

My ailments I suppose are dangerous, but what kind of man am I but to continue pushing in the directions in which I push? Give it all up? I love being busy, but I really dig the accomplishing of a job well-done. That's where my artistic career is life-threatening. Give what all up? To live what kind of life, THEN?

That HMO pulled-near-randomly-off-a-list-doctor I went to last fall just laughed at me, or perhaps with me, who knows or whatever, but THAT was the end of it. Guess I gave him the impression I already had all the answers, and well, of course I knew why & more the reasons I hurt, knew also many perfunctory near-cures, but a neurotic like myself lives in devoted ruin a tragic guest of this state. And so how many choices do I really have? And what would I be giving up to try one, or even a few of them?

Shop Steward? Impressive! Ballbreaking or nervekilling. Sounds like you're taking on the latter effect. I have an old highschool pal at the GE plant in Jacksonville, FL who's in a similar role. Last I heard from him, the major issue among many was GE thinking of killing 150 jobs by closing forever the north Florida plant. He, of course, was fighting for the jobs. Said he was coming to Washington, but I never heard from him if or when he was here.

I downloaded last year's AL & NL stats offline somewhere but I haven't studied the calculus to form my own team projection yet, but I might put that on my shortlist of plans for this weekend. Get juiced as field general again, check out who's available. Money's tight right now, especially as tax day approaches, so coughing up to Prodigy is a major decision. We always owe Uncle Sam BIG. She always handles it near deadline. I simply sign my name. The joys of bookkeeping are hers, so I gave that task up years ago.

We've spent a lot of money recently (actually two different friends have lent her money which she is paying back at a steep monthly short term) on another Macintosh, a Performa 525, (last November) and she just jacked it up to 36 Megabytes of RAM (three weeks ago). Although she's already okayed the $200 to suit up IF THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO DO, I am aware of the pinch. Her motto is, "Baby, you know I can't deny you anything."

A swell perspective, but sometimes I still think she needs a psychological or biophysical kickstart to really bring a zest for living back into her world. We admittedly inhabit and by nature maintain different pleasure zones, however clumsily, and so one or the other of us is always to some mood altering degree, and against our notions of goodwill, psycho-gritting along the edges of the other's nerves. Too much of this and life seems gray and petty. Achieving a level of zestful giving is definitely a renewal energy.

This may be the finest thing my wife loves in me while recognizing it is also my fatal flaw. And from my position as solitary nuthouser, unworthy of my own links to brilliance as she whittles away at the Always & Forever office earning enough mud to get us through the clay years, I fling her own dirty laundry out to public reckoning as if I were Henry Miller, or made of grainier stuff.
I LOVE Sue like none other and in my sorry state I should be quite content, but then a person like me is NEVER content, not even for an instant longer than it takes to think of something, someplace, someone else I'd rather be, or in a fit of traditionalism, be with, or finally, be against. And yet to prove I am truly a liar, I will readily suggest that I am par five happy, and except for the persnicketyness and general nitpicking paranoia my will to live insists I wear out in public like a bad leisure suit joke, I would ask for nothing but the next line of genius to flow from Sue to me and in turn from me to her. I guess I still can't explain the level, or perhaps species of co-dependency we practice but we both abide by it. It's not altogether healthy for either of us to live with each other somewhat crippled by our innate differences, or in a bitter reality bite admit that we are simply unwilling to change or mimic in roleplaying the rich complexities we would seek in each other rather than settle for what's here right now, point blank, boring apples, but then we know this arrangement is buckets better than the chaos of the chattering masses who would tear us apart by thinking themselves one or the other of our saviors, insulters, or both.

Organizations of all stripe are quick on the mark to stomp in with some gospel. Friends and family of every tradition might find fault, as we ourselves find fault, but at least we are willing to stand clean against those who don't even have a clue what it's all about. Our knot is all about the committment to friendship. In places where I usually hear the flaunting of the word love I usually also find a passive absence of true friendship. Lots of feigning and folly, but little substance to plant in the ground to await the grace and immediacy of claims bound to a fuller replenishment than the passing romance of what passes for love in this culture.

And from my position as solitary nuthouser, unworthy of my own links to brilliance as she whittles away at the Always & Forever office earning enough mud to get us through the clay years, I fling her own dirty laundry out to public reckoning as if I were Henry Miller, or made of grainier stuff.
We in our sometimes buffooning example fill that void, noting that true friendship exhales love, and suffers love its egotisms, its frailties. Erotic passion is intuitively another gig. Rarely do the two coexist in a lengthy run. The fictional Gomez and Morticia Addams may be the first to riot in both lanes I can think of, but there are probably many examples in an educated psyche of the best of both worlds. Sure, as a kid I often dreamed that I had risen to this level of living but frankly I must rest pat on this mediocre hand as the one that will take me through to the full of its season.

I haven't completely given up on Eros. I simply resort to the tricks of the exceptional or the unexceptional flipside, the unstable. I invent or create new worlds where I plan and imagine, where I am able to explore the whims of erotica through the visceral angst Sartre repeatedly dubbed Genet as possessing, and in fact I approach any fascinating study with this free reign with my wife as co-conspirator because she listens to me in my madness, and finds it all very enchanting if not somewhat redundant after all these years. This may be the finest thing my wife loves in me while recognizing it is also my fatal flaw. And from my position as solitary nuthouser, unworthy of my own links to brilliance as she whittles away at the Always & Forever office earning enough mud to get us through the clay years, I fling her own dirty laundry out to public reckoning as if I were Henry Miller, or made of grainier stuff.

Meanwhile, back to the chores. Do let me know when somebody takes the lead in getting Nuthouse 96 under way.

Fats