August 12, 2018
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November 17, 207
The west has always been secular. It held onto a soteriological strain which often visits religions the moment they reach a peak of ecclesiastical ornamentation. Christianity internalized the Jewish law from which it descended and, thus, became a new church of ecclesiastical ornamentation. Many are well acquainted with the pairing of Buddhism and secularism, for instance. Less popular is the notion that Christ's incarnation into a body which could die, rise and then leave man alone could only ever result, theologically, in secularism.
It didn't, however, simply result in people no longer believing in God and going about their merry ways.
I've been interested for a while in a political Center which would be far more radical and removed from the 'centrism' claimed by moderate politicians of the establishment. The position I envisioned would be radical, not in its fusing of radical elements from both the Left and the Right, but in its reading and interpretation of history through the lense of an attitude of 'apoliteia,' along with emphasizing a theory of sovereignty designed for the projection of a configuration of society in which people could be 'freed from the political;' a phrase Marxists might suppose could only happen through a form of bureaucratic socialism as Zizek contends, Traditionalist conservatives might suppose could only happen through tribal culture and the family unit, and anarchists will resolve themselves to experience in some Fleeting Autonomous Zone.
Now, granted, each of these apolitical-political schemes might work for specific covenant communities, but the question remains, how do we get to this panarchial Garden of Eden in which radically different neighbors can share the same countryside without butchering and bombing one another? You've already gotten the question wrong if you suppose that your own favored form of sovereignty would be the best for every group.
'Nihilism' is an often stigmatized word in our culture.
But there is the argument that nihilism, functionally, can act as a dialectical tool to level incoherent precepts about the nature of reality down to constituent parts. Of course, people can take this too far to where even the constituent parts are done away with altogether, which leads one ultimately to the position that one can act as though no negative consequences to one's actions matter.
Though many thinkers from the west may align with the wisdom of the east, they have to crash violently through western nihilism to get there. They resent the miracles Christianity would have them believe, for they know that the east considers its very mythmaking capacity the real miracle.
Political ideologies fail and triumph to the degrees they do because they are not the result of reason. They are always fueled by emotion; especially ideologies which require the frenzy of the masses to execute their most violent features, as in communism, democracy and fascism. Exegesis are created which focus on the sacred element which will tug on a group's heartstrings. The economy can be manipulated if the worker is exalted. The individual can be manipulated if the culture is exalted. When people talk about freedom, they usually mean freedom for one group to make decisions and the rest to stay quiet lest they get what little they have taken away.
Max Stirner's egoist from his major work, The Ego and It's Own, found a home in a community he called the 'union of egoists.' Far from the simple solipsism that Stirner is often accused of, this union provides the egoist with a group of like-minded people for an indefinite time for one specific purpose or a set of purposes. It is based, not on a constitution or contract, but on voluntary, mutual self-interest. Each member is encouraged to serve himself in the interest of the group, with the self interest of each member maximized through combined effort.
Economic tragedies rest ever suspended over us in intervals between the moments in which they explode. Bataille's embrace of the tragic sense of the economy is as anti-utopian as it is ‘life affirming'-a Nietzscheanism without which Bataille would not be possible. But then, Bataille is not possible without De Sade either. Within De Sade's work is a key to understanding a system of exchange which throws aside the victimary moralisms socialism requires to dress itself as an utopian ideology whilst enjoying the same unencumbered power plays.
Kant said, 'Act only in accordance with that Maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.'
This is not only a brilliant reconfiguration of the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated, but an improvement on the idea of platonic forms.
In his interview with The Paris Review, Roberto Calasso said the following:
I feel thought in general, and in particular what is unfortunately called “philosophy,” should lead a sort of clandestine life for a while, just to renew itself. By clandestine I mean concealed in stories, in anecdotes, in numerous forms that are not the form of the treatise. Then thought can biologically renew itself, as it were.
It would appear that Roberto Calasso’s own works set out to do just that. The 49 steps alluded to in the title of Calasso’s book refer to a sequence of meaning in the Talmud. Here, however, the sequence, or something like it, is used not on the Talmud but on the