boomerintown wrote:That is a good point about Camus account of the absurde, to some degree it is a similar escape into symbolism in the same way as God is. But I dont think there is any contradiction between symbolism and Nietzsches concept of an ubermensch, at least not if you just understand it as a goal striving towards certain virtues and becomming a better version of yourself, without expecting others to do so too.
And as far as meaning-creating creatures, I agree to that completly. But in the same sense as Chomsky talks about language, we are limited in the kind of meaning we can create, where the moral code is a universal code in the same sense as Chomskys universal grammar.
Hmm, I think that makes Nietzsche a little too much like self-help. I think he's definitely talking on a greater scale about the achievements of humankind in general - although it may be an elite few who are most essential to that.
I think that Chomsky being more on the analytical side, is more restricted in what counts as the symbolic, namely explicit language and grammar. When the symbolic reaches into art and religion, that's beyond the scope of his analysis, whatever the merits of it might be.
What is the meaning or significance of a human life - of humankind in general? I think there is a striving to answer that question in whatever people choose to devote themselves to. Even in just surviving day-to-day.
boomerintown wrote:But why would we need a Master Signifier? The Persian empire remained strong, and often tolerant, with Zoroastrianism as a religion without any Master Signifier in the sense of a God. And Buddhists doesnt have a Master Signifier either? So either we mean by Master Signifier something that can exist outside a system with a God, or we can obiously live without a Master Signifier. Either way there should be no problem with the death of God? But I might missunderstand your point.
Fair point, but I think the master signifier of more mystical religious traditions is just more subtle and implicit. It could be more like an empty signifier, which could be filled in different ways, or remain a void around which other symbols are constructed, while still serving a master orientation function.
Or perhaps the death of god phenomenon is more of a religious crisis specific to western abrahamic traditions? It could signify the necessity of transitioning more to an empty signifier type symbology, or something more mystical, to achieve collective meaning when we find it difficult to literally believe in an old man in the sky. For example, there is something called GNON (God of Nature, or Nature) which is a way that neo-reactionaries include atheists and agnostics in their movement while maintaining its religious character. Or in the postmodern Marxism article I linked to earlier, the class struggle itself, which evades symbolization, could serve as an empty signifier. There could be multiple ones for different purposes.
boomerintown wrote:Well I think there is a pretty dialectical relationship between ideas and material conditions here, they both help to shape eachother, but they dont determine eachother either.
Agreed. Not sure why such a dialectical stance is so hard for Marxists lol. Well actually its just master signifier logic, in that they believe that materialism is the master key that can be used to understand everything.
boomerintown wrote:I see the categorical imperative more as a starting point to understand morality. I think there are no problems in wanting a maxim where you put your own family first in several important issues become a universal law. But it does adress issues such as justice, why you should vote, responsibility in regards to climate change, respect of everyones individual freedom, issues that for instance utlitarianism completly misses.
I believe there are multiple moralities which at different times and places, may claim our allegiance. It is indeterminate what is objectively the correct action, because it depends on which morality you choose to listen to at that particular time. If utilitarianism is correct, then we should probably be spending every waking moment thinking of how we can prevent the deaths of malnourished people. Other moralities may have us do something similar with regard to climate change. But that is exhausting, there are simply too many moral demands coming from every direction. In reality, none of us live according to any of these doctrines.
This is because they are all not self-aware they are slave moralities, and by necessity they have to compete with a master morality that says "this is good because I like it, it makes me feel good, it increases my power and autonomy."
Like Nietzsche says, we are like a dual star system, in orbit around dual moralities.
Any slave morality that has ambitions to be anything more than a scolding lecture to make people feel bad about their natural inclinations, has to take this into account. You can't make it to Mars without calculating orbital trajectories, and likewise we cannot catapult our way into solving something like climate change without calculating the gravitational effects of moral dark matter (master morality).
boomerintown wrote:I think Marx is often missunderstood as a champion of the poor or weak. He is a champion of the strong and heroic class, which he saw in early industrial capitalism as the working class. He specifically adressed the dangerous of trying to side with the lumpenproletariat, and his goal was never to ask for charity or in any way to make excuses for yourself. His case was that this class should fight for their personal goals, using the power they had as a result of their role in production. And this worked, as we saw in several countries. The wellfare state is essentially an expansion of early collabortions between workers who gathered money in order to pay for someone if he got injured, etc. The only problem is that his vision of a classless society is unrealitic, but not that there was any slave morality involved. Id say slave morality is Rousseau and to some degree even Locke, philosophers who portray humans as victims of their environment. Marx was critical of the world, but so was Nietzsche. They were however both admiring strenght, not weakness.
Fair point, I agree that there is at least a significant dimension of master morality in Marx. Although he was writing in the context of the socialist tradition of the time, in which I believe slave morality is more dominant. This is evident in the way socialists tend to emphasize basic needs being met for all, and how their passion for equality tends to take a "leveling" form, where anything that grows too powerful is treated with suspicion at best.
Of course worker liberation is a big part of it too. Both morality types are in operation whether people are aware of it or not. And I'm basically arguing that we should become conscious of this and organize a symbology in which there is a place for both. The language of morality is typically implicitly slave, in terms of your duty to others. Too much of this is a drag, and there is a tendency towards moral puritanism, as evidenced by modern wokescolds.