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Who is the enemy?

Who is the enemy?
October 31, 2012, 10:01:55 AM
I've been wondering about our cultural problems in the West. Where to lay the blame? My thinking atm isolates the managerial state, with a political class intent on pushing cultural marxism. But then this leads me to think...do lefty political groups really have that much power, or is there something more structuralist going on, without a centre of power?

Others might have different opinions. Let's talk.

Re: Who is the enemy?
October 31, 2012, 10:32:13 AM
However you might want to classify it (and this is certainly not the only way to speak of the problem), it is this: the divorce of God from Nature, of Nature from Man, of Man from God.  Or, Man's amnesia as to his status and purpose in the world.  Or, a severence of the intellective faculty from the informing Logos.  All healthy societies maintain and pass down such things (Tradition, in all its manifestations - even Nihilism); the West gave it up, allowed itself to be mislead, and began to descend.

We see no inherent worth in anything, because we believe in nothing in which there could be "inherent worth"; a passive Nihilism suffuses every single idea, ideal, and movement generated by the West, principally because the West is founded upon an interpretation of reality which has no room for eternal qualities such as honour, justice, truth, or decency - while these things are occasionally entertained, this can only be done for sentimental reasons; without these things being known as the eternal qualities they are, they are seen to be as ephemeral as anything else, if not even more so.  Civilisation crumbles as a result, except we're bringing a large portion of the planet down with us, this time.

To put this in a less metaphysical, more psychological context: we have severed ourselves from the world in which we live, in a mad bid to proclaim a false sense of individuality, of independence.  In order to make ourselves distinct, we have made the world "other", and we truly treat it as such: its resources are ours to take, its systems ours to meddle with, its death no concern of ours (we can just "move planet", or some such fantasy).  Beyond the exploitation of the planet, there is an almost universal personal alienation: in making the distinction between what is "us" or "ours" and what is "other", we reduce ourselves to a certain range.  This constriction leads to a fundamental cognitive dissonance, as consciousness recognises its identity with all things, the mind seeking only to support itself.  We know, at one and the same time, that all things are interdependent, that there is nothing that does not rely on multiple others, and yet we wish to consider ourselves to be above such limitations - our desires conflict with our knowledge, and internal conflict results, leading to apathy, despair, wanton behaviour, etc.

There are a large number of other things which might be considered "enemy", but I believe it is best summed up in the current paradigm and its associated mental illnesses (being trapped in the mind, dissociation between self and world, ignorance of consciousness, etc.).

Is not democracy all about "I"?  Shouldn't human endeavour be about "it"?  Where has this bizarre self-importance come from, but the negation of all that might hold meaning higher than that of the appeasement of the ego?

Phoenix

Re: Who is the enemy?
November 02, 2012, 12:15:30 AM
When you realize that the solution is also structural in nature, then you become a lot more patient. Stupidity has a way of fucking itself over in the (very) long run. Has it permeated so much that humanity as a whole will perish? I can speculate about that as much as a weatherman can control the weather. I view the battle on a micro level, and fortunately I've kicked the enemy--ignorance--out of my home.

Re: Who is the enemy?
November 02, 2012, 12:54:04 AM
When you realize that the solution is also structural in nature, then you become a lot more patient. Stupidity has a way of fucking itself over in the (very) long run. Has it permeated so much that humanity as a whole will perish? I can speculate about that as much as a weatherman can control the weather. I view the battle on a micro level, and fortunately I've kicked the enemy--ignorance--out of my home.

It's important to do your bit on the mirco-level, whether that be artistic, communal, environmental, personal-educational, etc. However at the end of the day I don't believe the problems with souless modern culture are bottom up. There is something top down going on, or at least somethinf structural which is neither bottom up or top down.

Culture is getting stupid, increasingly plebian, increasing standardised and base.

So looking at this issue from the political point of view, a la Carl Schmitt. Friends and enemies, where do those who are interested in action look for the problem? I don't believe it's all due to a lack of personal ethics. People aren't left alone as a people to have their actions governed by their (traditional) society's personal ethics. There is a distinct spanner in the works, somewhere.

Quote
Distinct from party politics, "the political" is the essence of politics. While churches are predominant in religion or society is predominant in economics, the state is predominant in politics. Yet for Schmitt the political was not an autonomous domain equivalent to the other domains, but rather the existential basis that would determine any other domain should it reach the point of politics (e.g. religion ceases to be merely theological when it makes a clear distinction between the "friend" and the "enemy"). The political is not equal to any other domain, such as the economic, but instead is the most essential to identity.
 
Schmitt, in perhaps his best-known formulation, bases his conceptual realm of state sovereignty and autonomy upon the distinction between friend and enemy. This distinction is to be determined "existentially," which is to say that the enemy is whoever is "in a specially intense way, existentially something different and alien, so that in the extreme case conflicts with him are possible." (Schmitt, 1996, p. 27) Such an enemy need not even be based on nationality: so long as the conflict is potentially intense enough to become a violent one between political entities, the actual substance of enmity may be anything.
 
Although there have been divergent interpretations concerning this work, there is broad agreement that "The Concept of the Political" is an attempt to achieve state unity by defining the content of politics as opposition to the "other" (that is to say, an enemy, a stranger. This applies to any person or entity that represents a serious threat or conflict to one's own interests.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Schmitt#The_Concept_of_the_Political

Phoenix

Re: Who is the enemy?
November 02, 2012, 01:34:43 AM
My friend, we're not all scholars here, I'm afraid you must break down your thoughts and concepts more into vernacular nomenclature. I'm at the micro, distribution and volunteer coordinator at a food depot, and I'm writing my own book, I don't have time to keep up with the scholarly lingo. :) But I do wish to discuss this topic (if only to play devil's advocate, ha).

Re: Who is the enemy?
November 02, 2012, 01:48:09 AM
It's important to do your bit on the mirco-level, whether that be artistic, communal, environmental, personal-educational, etc. However at the end of the day I don't believe the problems with souless modern culture are bottom up. There is something top down going on, or at least somethinf structural which is neither bottom up or top down.

Would you not say that a cultural problem would manifest itself not only at the individual level, but at the communal and state/nation level?  There is little in this world that is "all or nothing" - it's likely that whatever sickness affects the modern West today is generally active at all social strata and at all group levels, including that of the individual.

Re: Who is the enemy?
November 02, 2012, 01:53:41 AM
It's important to do your bit on the mirco-level, whether that be artistic, communal, environmental, personal-educational, etc. However at the end of the day I don't believe the problems with souless modern culture are bottom up. There is something top down going on, or at least somethinf structural which is neither bottom up or top down.

Would you not say that a cultural problem would manifest itself not only at the individual level, but at the communal and state/nation level?  There is little in this world that is "all or nothing" - it's likely that whatever sickness affects the modern West today is generally active at all social strata and at all group levels, including that of the individual.

Yes, but I'm keen to identify where change must come from. It wouldn't do, for example, to suggest people become more ethical (in the ancient sense of discipline and self-cultivation). Because systems of ethics or values don't just pop out of thin air. They depend on social structures to take root.