I Reject, I Affirm. ''Raising the Black Flag'' in an Age of Devilry. - Page 35 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

An atheist-free area for those of religious belief to discuss religious topics.

Moderator: PoFo Agora Mods

Forum rules: No one line posts please. Religious topics may be discussed here or in The Agora. However, this forum is intended specifically as an area for those with religious belief to discuss religion without threads being derailed by atheist arguments. Please respect that. Political topics regarding religion belong in the Religion forum in the Political Issues section.
#15139201
ingliz wrote:^

Vietnam and the 'body count', perhaps? The objective was not to hold territory or secure populations, victory was assessed by having a higher enemy body count.

Sort of like keeping score in a video game, eh?
#15139204
@Political Interest , You said;

Some people are deceived into thinking that freedom from duty and responsibility will liberate people, in fact it will just take any colour out of their lives and make them into an exercise in consumerism.


Yes, it is a dreary and pointless materialism, sterile, often childless in a purposeful sense, and very unsatisfying.

If individuals would rediscover these concepts their lives would be much richer. If society embraced these concepts as a collective it would be absolutely beautiful.


I agree, people in the West were always hyper-individualistic (selfish I might say uncharitably, and anti-social), but even here within living memory it wasn't too extreme. Now people live like the Cyclops in the Illiad, Polyphemus.

Each society is the product of the values and ideals that the people within it hold. Our current societies merely reflect that which the people value and which guides their lives.


Or lack thereof.


Is that because the former preserves passionarity as a function of being somewhat primitive and tied to the land while the latter loses this as a result of softness and disconnection from natural living?


I think so, PI. It somewhat relates to me like what Jean Baudrillaud was saying about reality and symbols and ''simulacrum''; we become removed from immediate experience from real objects and sensations, receive our notions of natural living in a mediated filter of civilization.

That's an amazing story. Funnily enough the Koreans till this day apparently adore the Turks and considered them extremely brave and fierce allies against communism. The first Koreans to convert to Islam in the modern era were apparently converted by Turkish soldiers.


I don't doubt it. As for the story itself;

Honour settled in a personal way and outside the acceptable realms of civilisation, but certainly in way that is unambiguous and clear, irrespective of what one thinks of it.
.

Indeed. Like my earlier illustrative comment about Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian Knot.

The drone strikes, their very existence is an exercise of moral ambiguity. Certain people do not seem to grasp the irony of employing such 'civilised' methods of warfare.


That is because modern war dehumanizes not only it's victims but also it's enablers and perpetrators.
#15139209
Potemkin wrote:I remember reading about a Byzantine princess who was outraged by the Franks' use of the crossbow. She regarded it as a coward's weapon, and the fact that the Franks favoured its use convinced her of the essential barbarism of the Frankish people. Drone strikes are merely the latest development of the West's cowardly approach to warfare - cowardly in the sense that it is an alienated and alienating weapon. The victim is not a living, breathing individual whom one must grapple with directly at the risk of one's own life, but is merely an anonymous target caught in the crosshairs. This desire to put distance between oneself and one's enemies as one kills them is characteristic of the West; and this distance is not merely spatial but is moral and spiritual as well. It is, at its root, a fundamental rejection of reality itself. War must become merely a video game; life itself must become merely a video game. This fear of both life and death, this fear of reality, is a moral sickness.


@Potemkin

To me, it's ironic that I actually flip the script and call such things like the crossbow, this spatially and morally/spiritually mediated weapon of death, a sign of advancing civilization, and that being a bad thing.

For isn't that what increasing civilization does, put physical and moral distance and barriers between man and his activities in the world? So much so that the Barbarian sees Civilized man and his clever tricks as cowardly and effeminate?
#15139210
Political Interest wrote:There is today a definite fear of reality, but was it always so?

For example, Europeans have always demonstrated tremendous bravery in World Wars. We cannot deny the bravery of British and French soldiers in the trenches or of the bravery of German soldiers.

I've never understood how Europeans could be so brave in the World Wars and yet now there is today this fear of reality and this sort of virtuality that is developing.


So many today are not as their ancestors were, unfortunately.
#15139212
ingliz wrote:^

Vietnam and the 'body count', perhaps? The objective was not to hold territory or secure populations, victory was assessed by having a higher enemy body count.


Lives and deaths reduced to statistics; ''kill enough and we'll win'', is just one of the abominable and stupid signs of a larger mentality.
#15139215
Potemkin wrote:Sort of like keeping score in a video game, eh?


That's basically what the drone strikes are, a video game played by a generation of gamers desensitized to violence but detached from physical reality-the sort of ''soldiers'' who cry like babies when they stub their toes. I know, I used to see that sort all the time. Actual up close physical combat would send them into absolute shock and horror.
#15139243
[url]rickroderick.org/308-baudrillard-fatal-strategies-1993/[/url]
Ah, Baudrillard wrote a wonderful piece about the Gulf War. The name of the piece was “The Enemy Has Disappeared”. Now, I don’t want you to think that I believe what I am about to say as my own position, I am just giving you Baudrillard’s, ah, because I don’t think the Gulf War was planned as deeply as he does in the regards that he thought it was.

Ah, Baudrillard, ah, was offered a job by a French newspaper to cover the war. So of course he agreed on condition he not go to the Gulf because he wanted to cover it on CNN where it would really happen, follow me? I mean the war would really… who won or lost would be told to us on CNN. We won’t know who won or lost anywhere else, so to cover the war in the sense of hyperreality, the way to cover it is sitting in one’s flat in Paris on CNN. That’s how he covered the war.

His thesis runs as such. He took the Gulf War very seriously. Baudrillard states that war is real if anything is. I think that’s a powerful quote: “If anything is real war is”. You know, I mean… it sounds pessimistic. But if there is something we can still attach reality and meaning to, if it’s not war, one would wonder what it was. Because it is… just an incredible human event filled with passion, pain, suffering, madness and all that. If it’s not real, what is. If anything at all would be, it would be war.

According to Baudrillard’s reading of the war – America as for Baudrillard the leading society culturally in the world, the one that leads the cultural trajectory of the world through television, movies and so on – the war that we fought in the gulf was not directed against the enemy. I mean, as it turned out, the enemy was left not much different than we found them. It was not directed against any enemy at all. The enemy disappeared in the show business. The war was directed against reality. The war was to show us that even war isn’t real.

The war was to kill the Vietnam syndrome, a war that we remember as real, as a real war. So the way to kill that memory according to Baudrillard is to fight a hyperreal war complete with evening shots of shrapnel falling into Israel, which it turned out that a lot of the shrapnel was from the patriots that were fired up into the sky. I mean, you know, the scuds were after all bad Russian technology – which isn’t good technology – and the technology that we had sold them wasn’t our best…

I mean, to the extent that there was some reality to the war, it was no more complex than the reason the British won a battle in the 12th Century because their bow and arrows would shoot further than the other guys so they could stand further back. Sort of, the real part of the war may have been along those dimensions [coughs]. But the hyperreal part was to watch the nightly scud watch. The scud explosions on TV. And it’s hard to even evoke the feeling of togetherness the American people had in the glow of the television set watching… and I mean even the names are straight out of Steven Spielberg: “patriot missiles” blowing up “scuds”. I mean, the poetry of the hyperreal is something… I mean, Walt Disney wouldn’t do something that hokey: patriots versus scuds, I mean, that’s worse than Darth Vader or something, I mean… so the patriots would blow up the scuds.

Of course later we found out – according to the Israeli military – that there were only, what? One or two confirmed hits. CNN of course showed those over and over and over again to us so that as we watched the war, since those hits could be simulated, the hyperreal feeling of continuing victory and success of our technology was reinforced daily. Capped off by the, ah, moral equivalent of a sportscaster’s comment at the end of a game every night when the military people would get out and roll out the scorecards of the day. Very much like we do after the Bulls and Phoenix play and we come out and sort of like the US is Michael Jordan, you know, and the other side is Barkley and Michael scored 55 patriot missile shots and the other side 28 and we won, you know, against the third best team in the world; the third largest army.

Well by the end of the article I was wondering, I was going: you know, that’s just way too cynical even for me, I can’t buy that argument. And then I began to think about what the war looked like on TV and a comment then… [trails off] Then I just had to start trying to find people who had been in the war. And sure enough I found someone in Durham who had been… you know, a lot of North Carolina people go to the war, I found a young pilot and he said oh, that no, it was very exciting and then he went on to explain to me how the sights that they used in order to, you know, fire their smart bombs were just like the games in the arcade that he grew up with. He said, you know, no way in the world could he have had better practice than he got in those arcades to fire smart bombs. I mean, it had passed him by that the real had happened even though he was really there.

I talked to a woman who had been on the ground, in a jeep for most of it. And she went “Oh the desert is so big and the sand…”, she said, “…but I really didn’t get a feel for until I got home and saw what my husband had taped”. Why? Because the little individual actors sink into insignificance compared to the damn spectacle of the thing. The spectacle of it. I mean, when humans were less important than God we could understand because he built everything. When we are less important than a Nintendo we get confused. That’s when we start thinking that we are under siege. It’s when Billy says “Oh yes, you can kill mum and dad but leave the Nintendo”, then we are rightfully upset.

The postmodern trajectory leaves us in a situation where drawing the line between the real and the unreal is no longer merely philosophical but a practical day-to-day issue. See, this is what I want to drive home. We are not off in some fairy land, this is a practical day-to-day issue of figuring out what’s a simulation and what’s not. Is this guy really an insurance salesman or is he here to rob me? You know, I mean… this is no longer Cartesian doubt that one has to conjure up in a meditation. This is a wide radical doubt about the very ground beneath our feet and the nature of whether it’s real or not.
#15139249
@Wellsy

Glad you mentioned Baudrillaud :D

This is most important;

''The postmodern trajectory leaves us in a situation where drawing the line between the real and the unreal is no longer merely philosophical but a practical day-to-day issue. See, this is what I want to drive home. We are not off in some fairy land, this is a practical day-to-day issue of figuring out what’s a simulation and what’s not. Is this guy really an insurance salesman or is he here to rob me? You know, I mean… this is no longer Cartesian doubt that one has to conjure up in a meditation. This is a wide radical doubt about the very ground beneath our feet and the nature of whether it’s real or not.''


And so now we have a whole series of events that either ''did'', or ''did not'' actually happen in reality. Real reality that is, not what we see in the Western world. I keep waiting for events to happen to burst this layer or bubble of illusion, but it seems with each one, people fall deeper and deeper into this ''Hyperreality'' Jean Baudrillaud spoke about...

I of course can relate to the first Gulf War a great deal for example, saw what I thought was reality, but a whole number of apparently manufactured or at least mediated events happened also, that I admit were hard to not fall fully into, not entirely real.
#15139252
In light of the West's trajectory, Trump, and Baudrillaud, I want to post this Blog article by Alan N. Shapiro for some insights;


Orwell, Baudrillard and Trump, by Alan N. Shapiro
Posted on February 19th, 2017 by Alan N. Shapiro | in the Category: Donald Trump, Jean Baudrillard
1 Comment »

Should we be content with the media theory of Orwell or with the media theory of Baudrillard, or do we need a new media theory? Trump makes statements which are not true, but which he claims to be true. His inauguration crowd on January 20th, 2017 was huge, he says. Millions of people voted illegally in the presidential election, especially in California and New Hampshire, he declares. President Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, Trump states. Obama wanted to allow a quarter of a million Syrian refugees into America, says Trump. Thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated on the night of the September 11th, 2001 attack, so it goes. Trump believes what he believes. What he says carries much weight because he is Trump. The argument put forward by the White House press secretary Spicer to support “the truth” of what Trump believes is that tens of millions of people believe him. He believes in them and they believe in him. A populist-democratic God.

On the other side of the equation, Trump is hard at work to delegitimize the liberal news media (like CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post), to undermine their authority, to get them identified in the hearts and minds of his supporters as being the purveyors of “fake news.” This strategy is the equivalent of that practiced by the far right in Germany which refers to the liberal media as the “Lügenpresse” (“lying press”). Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and a fervent Trump supporter, recently advised his fellow citizens: “Better to get your news directly from the President, in fact it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.” There is no reason to search independently for verification of assertions anymore, for the signifieds of the signifiers which are words. You do not need to trouble yourself anymore with examination of the relationship between words and their meaning.

So this is Orwell’s 1984. Two plus two equals five. Why? Because the great leader, the dictator, the totalitarian government, says that it is. When all information and knowledge is controlled by a Power which seeks to unify and therefore negate all views of reality, the transmission and circulation of ideas becomes a social act par excellence, the effort of an individual to link herself to others through mutual recognition of freedom. The enemy of Winston Smith (the protagonist of 1984) is the synthetic manufacture of books and literature of all sorts carried out in the obscure offices of the Ministry of Truth. Winston’s intellectual obsession is the Party’s erasure of the past and rewriting of history. But the Party cannot determine everything. The recollection by one man of something different, something not accounted for in the official version of the facts, already signifies the recovery of coherence and the genesis of a political challenge.

The Ministry of Truth, disseminating information, instruction and entertainment, reaching into all domains of social and everyday life… the superintendence of work norms, evening recreations, the rationalization of activities through bureaucratic administration… Newspeak: the fabricated anti-language, an explicit design accomplished through the simple elimination of words. Not formal and legal restrictions on freedom of expression, but the restriction of the cultural and linguistic fields… “Heretical thought will be literally unthinkable, as least so far as thought is dependent on words.” (1984) Speech will be reduced to a sound best described by the Newspeak word “duckspeak”: an emission not so much of the brain but of the larynx, “a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.”

Orwell’s fiction describes the system which Trump would like to implement. Baudrillard’s theory offers an explanation of how we arrived at this stage. But are there not useful ideas beyond these two media theory paradigms? Is a new media theory possible and what would it say? We can glimpse the beginnings of this new theory in Baudrillard’s concept of “the fourth order of simulacra.”

What does Donald Trump mean “when he says words,” asked Zachary Wolf, CNN politics editor. What has the media culture as a whole done to the status of words?

Communication in the age of media virtuality has the property of viral metastasis. In the essay “After the Orgy” in the book The Transparency of Evil, Baudrillard writes of the “epidemic of simulation,” a networked mode of fractal or viral dispersal. Updating his famous theses of “the three orders of simulacra” (in Symbolic Exchange and Death) and “the precession of simulacra” (in Simulacra and Simulation), Baudrillard seeks to introduce “a new particle into the microphysics of simulacra”:

The first of these stages had a natural referent, and value developed on the basis of a natural use of the world. The second was founded on a general equivalence, and value developed by reference to a logic of the commodity. The third is governed by a code, and value develops here by reference to a set of models. At the fourth, the fractal (or viral, or radiant) stage of value, there is no point of reference at all, and value radiates in all directions… (Baudrillard, The Transparency of Evil)

This is the fractal or viral stage of fourth-order simulacra. In Baudrillard’s post-simulation epistème or “epidemic of simulation,” value – if that term is still appropriate – radiates in all directions in a cancerous metastasis. There is “no relationship between cause and effect, merely viral relationships between one effect and another.” All spheres of society pass into their free-floating, excessive, and ecstatic form.

The cross-contamination of societal spheres which Trump represents is that of the disappearance of the boundary between the discourses of the news media (or “politics”) and the operation of the first three orders of simulacra in the media culture in general. This phase was already partly attained by other presidents and prime ministers like Reagan and Berlusconi. With Trump we are experiencing a quantum leap.

I do not think that the classical Western narratives of Marxism and psychoanalysis will be of much help to us, as a thinker like Slavoj Zizek would like. We need to creatively expand the horizons of our thinking. We need to help the next generation of media thinkers to emerge and to flourish, free from abstract wholesale rejections of capitalism, and free from grand psychological theories of “what truly motivates people.”

If we adopt for a moment the perspective of the German idealist philosophical tradition which goes all the way back to the 18th century – such as Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, his critiques of ontology and transcendental analytics; of psychology, cosmology and theology; then we might take the position that so-called ‘reality’ was always a metaphysical notion, a naïve assumption. Thus the early Jean Baudrillard’s concept of hyper-reality – since it, in a way, derives from the idea of reality – is perhaps also naïve. Yet I believe that, in his later writings, Baudrillard goes beyond any trace of metaphysics in his emphases on radical autonomous objects, “impossible exchange”, quantum physics sociology, photography as the writing of light, and the self-parody or carnivalesque mode of simulation.

Science cannot really be about discovering “the true nature of reality,” as some scientists like to describe as being their mission. “Discovering the true nature of reality” would be a tautological statement, since it is science, in the current and still largely prevailing modernist paradigm, which generates the concept of “reality.” Science would be investigating its own projection. We cannot allow science to be based on a tautological self-contradictory first principle.

Self-parody already made an early appearance in post-modernism: for example, in the imperatives to freedom and choice in consumerist advertising’s self-parody of democratic values.

Don’t you sometimes wish you had swallowed the blue pill?
#15139254
I think the bubble doesn’t burst because the basis of it still permeates everyones existence in the modern industrialized world.
One mediated by images, symbols and reproduced objects. not tangible or unique objects and people.

In fact, the “shared reality” seems to proliferate further into different echo chambers. And now even if you meet them, they’re hooked in to culture and civilization, an individual within the mass of individuals.
So you can’t just blow up your tv and mobile phone, you’d have to escape civilization entirely.
#15139257
Wellsy wrote:I think the bubble doesn’t burst because the basis of it still permeates everyones existence in the modern industrialized world.
One mediated by images, symbols and reproduced objects. not tangible or unique objects and people.

In fact, the “shared reality” seems to proliferate further into different echo chambers. And now even if you meet them, they’re hooked in to culture and civilization, an individual within the mass of individuals.


@Wellsy

The bubble has to burst from the Outside, my friend. From the Other, the Barbarian. It's in Modern civilization that we are hooked up to the ''Matrix'', so to speak. There are many people in this world that aren't connected to It to a significant degree. Except maybe as it's enemies.
#15139274
annatar1914 wrote:@Potemkin

To me, it's ironic that I actually flip the script and call such things like the crossbow, this spatially and morally/spiritually mediated weapon of death, a sign of advancing civilization, and that being a bad thing.

For isn't that what increasing civilization does, put physical and moral distance and barriers between man and his activities in the world? So much so that the Barbarian sees Civilized man and his clever tricks as cowardly and effeminate?

The irony is that the Franks (whose descendents later became "the West") were indeed the barbarian 'Other' to the civilised Byzantines, but even during their 'barbarian' phase our ancestors were already infected with the moral and spiritual sickness whose effects we see all around us now.
#15139337
Potemkin wrote:The irony is that the Franks (whose descendents later became "the West") were indeed the barbarian 'Other' to the civilised Byzantines, but even during their 'barbarian' phase our ancestors were already infected with the moral and spiritual sickness whose effects we see all around us now.


As an Orthodox Christian I see it as the Franks, so very shortly after their conversion (unlike other Germanic Barbarian tribes who were already Arian heretics before the invasions), actively subverted Western Orthodoxy from within, with their errors based both on their ignorance and worldly self interest. In time these trends solidified into the institution of the Papacy and went on from there.

By the time the 1600's rolled around, you had a significant break with the remnant of the Christian past completed with the ''Jansenist affair''. One Cornelius Jansen, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church from Ypres, detected a growing heresy of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism within the Scholastic doctrines of the Papal church. Spending 22 years writing an enormous tome called the ''Augustinus'', and drawing only from Church Fathers in the West like Blessed Augustine, he ably refuted the Jesuit ideas then current in his time. Unfortunately perhaps, he died before his work could get published. The Jesuits then went to work, having the Pope condemn 5 certain propositions allegedly within the book (that nobody can ever actually find to this very day) as being heretical. All the Clergy and Religious had to sign a formula that affirmed that the ''heretical'' propositions were not only absolutely within the pages of the Augustinus, but also that the dead Bishop Jansen-who being dead couldn't defend himself or his work- meant them in a bad heretical sense .

Paganism in it's essence triumphed in the West.
#15139599
With all that in mind, the decline of the West and of America in particular, barbarism and civilization, the real fault lines that are developing which will shape the coming decades and centuries are those between Islam and Non-Islam. And with everything that is weak and in decline falling, to become Islamic societies, one will have to ask why this is so.

Is Islam more ''barbaric'' or more ''civilized'' than some other religions? It has always been a religion of trade and of cities, of private wealth and earthly joys as a gift from Allah. Certainly Muslims saw the Franks and others during the Crusades as being barbarians in comparison. Perhaps they still do, and maybe the designations of ''Roman'', 'Jews'', ''Polytheists'' and ''Franks'' are useful descriptors as well to this day of Non-Muslims. Maybe, even more enlightening in some ways than categories like ''barbarian'' and ''civilized'', although I still think ''Hellenism'' and ''Judaism'' are still apt to some situations.
#15139748
One can construct very reasonable-appearing and elegant theories that intellectually satisfy the very human urge to hold to at least two contrarities at once. But the heart-and the conscience calling from within the semi-dormant heart- knows better, and rejects and rebels against such nonsense all the time.

So what does the heart say, the heart that is not seared into nothingness by modern life?

To learn what the heart says, a person has to take hold of Faith, of ''Pietas'', first, and then the truth begins to be revealed which informs the heart and then at last, the mind.
#15139954
A piece I wanted to share on the chance it might spur some thoughts in you @annatar1914
Hegel and the Ancients - Andy Blunden
A brief read, two pages but something which resonates now that I have been re-listening to Rick Roderick’s lectures about The Self Under Siege. It stands out in its concluding remark:
Modern day Hegelian revolutionaries can embrace their allies amongst indigenous peoples. They have a common enemy, an enemy which I have chosen not to characterise as “bourgeois” or “colonial” or “Western,” but as bureaucracy.

Where the emphasis seems to me to point to the problem of the sort of thinking that is prolific in modern/capitalist society. I wonder if this is what comes under the criticism of instrumental reason, the rationality of life in narrow individual ways to manage the complexity of it. But is the very thing which causes problems which are irrational in their outcome all the while seemingly rational with appeals to being evidence based and empirical as they pursue clearly defined goals.

I feel concerned with this manner of thinking as it has clearly harmed the education system I’m hoping to be employed within and also is a constant tension when I do things with no clear utility. Wanting to learn things out of curiosity is against the idea of doing things for a clear purpose. And this seems to infect a sort of anti-intellectualism because why do anything other than what is bare necessity? Of course many have little choice but to live as such but to carve out a space beyond necessity seems itself necessary to maintaining some sort of self.
#15139958
Wellsy wrote:A piece I wanted to share on the chance it might spur some thoughts in you @annatar1914
Hegel and the Ancients - Andy Blunden
A brief read, two pages but something which resonates now that I have been re-listening to Rick Roderick’s lectures about The Self Under Siege. It stands out in its concluding remark:

Where the emphasis seems to me to point to the problem of the sort of thinking that is prolific in modern/capitalist society. I wonder if this is what comes under the criticism of instrumental reason, the rationality of life in narrow individual ways to manage the complexity of it. But is the very thing which causes problems which are irrational in their outcome all the while seemingly rational with appeals to being evidence based and empirical as they pursue clearly defined goals.

I feel concerned with this manner of thinking as it has clearly harmed the education system I’m hoping to be employed within and also is a constant tension when I do things with no clear utility. Wanting to learn things out of curiosity is against the idea of doing things for a clear purpose. And this seems to infect a sort of anti-intellectualism because why do anything other than what is bare necessity? Of course many have little choice but to live as such but to carve out a space beyond necessity seems itself necessary to maintaining some sort of self.


@Wellsy , my beginning foray into reading Hegel was an interesting one, once I got past the clunky German thought forms (like my later reading of Heidegger). But one thing that struck me early on was this dichotomy between that philosophical thought that had crystalized out of scholastic and yes, essentially bureaucratic thought (the systemization of life into discrete and understandable ''quanta'' of rational information-on one hand-and Hegel's understanding which seems to ''flow'', with everything as a process never fully understood; Becoming, not Being-on the other.

The takeaway being for me (initially reading Hegel just to tackle Hegel's pantheism, which seems ultimately that of Spinoza's, by the way) that if one can at least make one's students catch fire with an enthusiasm for learning as a process, that one can accept the mystery even as one uncovers the truth just a little bit, that one has done a service to them. That is, if the limit is bounded by what we call ''natural philosophy''.

But back to Bureaucracy itself as being the enemy concretized in the West... Yes, I think that it contributes immensely to rationality turning into irrationality, for sure. We're finite creatures, yet we want to know. Some of us anyway, falling into a concupiscence of knowledge so much that we strike bargains with the Devil just like Dr. Faustus did...

Mr. Blunden mentions appropos of this perhaps, Martin Luther and Nicholas Copernicus. But of the two, I'd say that Luther's dispute was one that could have been made anytime really between 1000 AD and 1500 AD, while the Copernican revolution was a greater leap by far, utterly changing the mental topography of most of mankind by say, 2000 AD for sure (I'd argue that it was part of the Hermetic/Occult/Neo-Pythagorean teachings for possibly thousands of years prior). Giordano Bruno is a Modern, while John Calvin is not, yet even most ''traditional'' people today are pretty much followers of Bruno almost without exception.

Is this itself part of Hegel's thinking on display as historical process, as most think, or is it the triumph of a new ''Orthodoxy'', of a new and ever more scholastic bureaucracy at work? I'd argue uniquely I admit that it is the latter rather than the former, a return to a sort of Paganism that would be very alien to most of our ancestors circa 500-1500 AD. Neitzsche saw it, of course, as did Pascal, and Kirkegaard drawing off the experience of reading Hegel himself. They have, in trying to create a ''new man'' managed to re-create an old type of self disguised as a new one.

All of this is to say, on a practical level at least, that I believe it would be far more useful to teach people to think, more than just giving them information to be absorbed, especially absorbing the foundational assumptions of our modern world.
#15140345
annatar1914 wrote: I still think ''Hellenism'' and ''Judaism'' are still apt to some situations.


Very apt, as it turns out, having been reading the Books of the Maccabees in Scripture recently. I've discussed what Hellenism really is and it's revival in the modern era; the polytheistic anthropocentric worldview that is strictly has boundaries of the physical and sensual sort, worships the beautiful physicality and strength of humanity exalted or otherwise in perfection of form and of action, has no limits on pleasures and passions of any kind, seeks glory and fame, honors and wealth.

Old Testament Israel was none of that. And Today's Israel of God isn't either, or any ''Abrahamic'' Monotheist sect for that matter .

But the civilized Western world of today is almost entirely ''Hellenistic'', is it not? This is why no outrage over the brewing conflict in Ethiopia, in Nagorno-Karabakh, over the Donbass or Syria or Lebanon, over Palestine, over Yemen, many other places. The ''Culture Wars'' within the Western world.
#15140719
@Potemkin , @Political Interest , and @Verv ,

Some time back I discussed with you gentlemen about the virtues of Barbarism versus Civilization, and with that in mind I was reading about the famous magical sword known in history as the ''Sword of Attila'', also known as the ''Sword of Mars'' or as the Hungarians have called it; the ''Sword of God''. The story goes like this;


... When a certain shepherd beheld one heifer of his flock limping and could find no cause for this wound, he anxiously followed the trail of blood and at length came to a sword it had unwittingly trampled while nibbling the grass. He dug it up and took it straight to Attila. He rejoiced at this gift and, being ambitious, thought he had been appointed ruler of the whole world, and that through the sword of Mars supremacy in all wars was assured to him...


A Barbarian could and would believe such a story. A Civilized person would not, and their rejection would be greater than any natural skepticism because the civilized person would deny any right to rule the nations via one's claimed numinous magic sword as a ''sign'', made in heaven or not, regardless of the circumstances. Attila was recognized as the ''Scourge of God'' by Christians in the Roman Empire...

Furthermore, not only would a modern civilized person reject the story, they would likely think that Attila could hardly have been so credulous personally, to think that a sword found in a field by a shepherd was the Sword of God that conferred his right to rule an empire. They would automatically give Attila their own convenient cynicism in this as to other matters.

I suspect that he absolutely believed in the divine gift of the sword, and his followers would too. After all, this is the same Attila who took the offer of the hand of Honoria seriously, and demanded as dowry half of the Western Roman Empire.

Those who wish to delve deeper into the mystical meaning of Attila and his rule personally can search here;

https://katehon.com/ru/article/atilla-i-ego-imperiya

And I note that every one of the words of the Hunnic language we have is either indeterminate Indo-European or actually Slavic. But anyway;

Is the real core or driving force of Civilization throughout the ages really lie in Atheism? In Materialism and skepticism?

Is the real core or driving force of Barbarism lie in the personal, in the real, the charismatic and vital?
#15140728
Amazing ideas here, honestly. This initially reminded me of the fact that Orthodoxy's great criticism of Catholicism is the fact that it comes to grandiose theological conclusions and, through things like natural theology, creates this idea that we can make conclusions about the Divine and the whole universe through rational constructs. Many Catholics will even talk about Christ as the Logos, which is not problematic... but begin to treat the logos also as simultaneously literally being rationality as well. That the world is created rationally, and governed by rationality, and this begins to confuse rationality with God...

In this, God is defaced...

It also makes me wonder if the desire to perfectly understand everything in a systematic way is itself folly. For we are either overly mundane and scientific, merely describing reality (inductive logic), or we are creating either tautologies or subjective truths masquerading as absolutes (deductive logic).

So, back more directly to the topic... Is materialism and skepticism the driving force of civilization? Wow, what a question. I will say that this is not the case, but only because I think that civilization is just based on the scale of being governed. For barbarians had trade, art, and I imagine they also attempted to be consistent, and what were the Egyptians, Babylonians, Indians, and the early Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, if not religious and mystical..?

Certainly you are right that certain aspects of civilizatin immediately will go over to materialism, and this materialism becomes an animating force. Perhaps it would be better to say that materialism and skepticism -- perhaps even pessimism are driving forces of civilizations in decline.

Where I think we are really onto something is that the core characteristics of barbarism can be the personal, real, charismatic, and vital. Evola and Vodolazkin both described the premodern mind very well -- it viewed time as circular, and viewed it as something that we interact with. It viewed nature as spiritual, penetrated through and through with Being and Will, etc., and perhaps it really depended on never cutting through this view with the blade of rationalism.

I would argue that civilizations in their ascent did not necessarily break this mold, either... but perhaps the mark of modernity is that almost nobody thinks this way anymore, and those who do are either at the absolute outskirts of civilized life, or they have put a great deal of energy into relearning this viewpoint.
  • 1
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 40
Racism definition & use

@Julian658 What is reverse racism? Can you pro[…]

Then enjoy the stone age I guess. The west is in[…]

I feel like we are confounding stuff here. Are we […]

Election 2020

https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/l4x6z4/[…]