December 14, 2018
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November 17, 207
'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.
We need a new west.
There's no better time to rethink some of our common assumptions than now. We disparage other cultures for female genital mutilation, and as heinous as it is, we dismiss male genital mutilation in this country because we suppose we have a better reason to do so. While we're busy fighting to keep people out who would prefer a clit-cutting community or even just arguing with people who think that letting them in is a gesture of tolerance, perhaps we will take a minute to examine just what it is we're defending.
The following are some common precepts about western life, practices and ideas which are as enduring as they are unquestioned and ignored as often as questioned:
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.
Whether they are selling socks or toad meat, marketers are no strangers to the abstract concepts that humans want most that which cannot be sold. They know that what most humans want is freedom—but especially in America where happiness is mistaken for it.
But what does freedom mean in a world of meaningless words? Or is that just it? Is freedom merely a ‘construct?’ A ‘fabrication?’ A ‘fiction?’ No, in western society today, freedom is the