01-12-08

Die Hinzu-Lügner

"(..) Und so macht man es innerhalb jeder herrschenden Moral und Religion und hat es von jeher gemacht: die Grunde und die Absichten hinter der Gewohnheit werden immer zu ihr erst hinzugelogen, wenn Enige anfangen, die Gewohnheit zu bestreiten und nach Gründen und Absichten zu fragen. Hier steckt die grosse Unehrlichkeit der Conservativen aller Zeiten: - es sind die Hinzu-Lügner." F. Nietzsche, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft, p. 63, Reklam, 2000.

(amateuristic English translation below)


There will be more from where this one came: if only to show Nietzsche isn't what he is made out to be by those standing to gain from the commonplace perspective. Or, in other words: if you're original enough there is no force in the universe that can be dwarfing you to commonplace.

What is the custom of our day? It has to be: "Work hard and you'll be rewarded with well deserved worldly goods." The lie stuck on top of this work drill morality is that it will ensure reward comes to those who merit it. The next lie is: everyone will benefit because this system will allow sustainable advances in average prosperity.

It's pretty easy to find challenges to the custom. It is blatantly obvious that merit is unavoidably divorced from merit, whatever way you may want to define the latter. It are always sociopathtic tyrants & cock-sucking followers that take worldy reward from the inventions of the unconventional working people. It is more obvious still that not everyon benefits and that the system, left to its own nature, leads to everincreasing portions of humanity living sub-averagely from the point of view of wordly goods.

What does not follow from the blatantly obvious is that we have to tune the systems to ensure the custom is made compatible with the lies - what also does not follow is that we have to accept the custom is imperfect but happens to be the best one that we have managed to stumble across. Regardless of perspective, neither of these is following although one is free to deceive one's self with either a soft conservative or a hard conservative perspective (corresponding to modern progressives and modern extreme right).

So let us ask what does follow from all this. The answer is simple: nothing. Custom, as well as its invented reason and intention are post their due dates. They're stale & there should be a ban on the operative concepts used: a ban on merit, hard work, & a ban on rewards, averages and the common good.

We need to let go: a bit of work is good enough if it earns you just enough to come by in a way that allows you to do whatever the bloody hell takes your fancy. I know - not very philosophical and maybe therefore with an outside chance of being right ;-)


"And so it is done within every ruling moral system or religion and has it been done forever and ever; the reasons and intentions behind the custom are always invented after the facts (lied on top of it), when some start to fight the custom, asking for reasons and intentions. Here we have the gross dishonesty of conservatives of all times: - they are on-top-liars."

(I am sorry, you'll need to learn German or find an official translation to appreciate it thoroughly, which is kind of fitting, in a way)


Whilst writing this I was listening to Dwight Yoakam, Blame the Vain.

21:39 Gepost door Guido Nius in Vrije tijd | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: nietzsche, decadence, dynamics, boldness |  Facebook |

16-11-08

Break of Day

'Tis true, 'tis day, what though it be?
O wilt thou therefore rise from me?
Why should we rise, because 'tis light?
Did we lie down, because 'twas night?
Love which in spite of darkness brought us hither,
Should in despite of light keep us together.

(..)

Must business thee from hence remove?
Oh, that's the worst disease of love,
The poor, the foul, the false, love can
Admit, but not the busied man.
He which hath business, and makes love, doth do
Such wrong, as when a married man doth woo.

John Donne, The major Works, Oxford World's Classics, Oxford University Press, 1990, p. 102.


Nothing like an early 17th century poem delivering an early 21st century truth. It is a testament to the ease with which words can travel - that's however not what I wanted to think about here. 'Busy, busy, busy,' - the more time we reclaim from nature, the less time we feel to have. Formulated in this way, it's a boring old commonplace but that's just because we don't take time to lie still at the break of day. If we would, we would question the busy-ness of business. Why do we reclaim time from nature, just to wind up spending all of it to change nature in ways that satisfy this self-defeating circular obsession to be able to spend ever more time changing nature?

The answer is simple: we're in need of some serious brainwashing! When we were all brutes & beasts we needed an unsatisfiable drive to bend nature in ways which would allow us to cease beasts & brutes. Such got some elites into a situation of humanoid behaviour, referred to pejoratively - from our current imperfect state - as decadence. This situation was not evolutionarily stable - through ups and downs the elite started to grow until, at least in some geographies, it became a vast majority. This growth is still ongoing; cultural pessimists need to realize that society 'deteriorates amazingly well' nowadays.

The role of cultural pessimists is a crucial one: they keep the evolutionary dynamics as per the above intact. They avoid us getting a thoroughly enjoyable brainwashing, keeping our hands & minds continuously dirty, by pointing out 2 things. The elite is, & will always be, a happy few so the struggle to get there or keep your offspring in it is a continuous sruggle. Let's call this first point the 'original sin argument', or, when you are less religiously inclined 'The Carrot'. On top of this they highlight that, being in the elite, too much is worse than not enough. Scare stories about 'decadence' are put in place taking coincidental moralizing standards & showing how a decadent elite not only will violate them but will infect the 'lesser' classes thereby blocking progress for all. Let's call this the 'armageddon argument', or the 'fall of the Roman Empire'-argument or, more simply, 'The Stick'.

This way the business that was the means to an end becomes the end in itself - and all of us hurry at the break of day away, away from our true love: spending time with ourselves and others disregarding nature, nurturing the words with which we speak to each other and using our movements for furthering our human pleasure. Yes, that's decadent! Once our brains are washed in a shower of nice words, and dried in a light of love, we will understand (and feel!) that decadence is what we need to create what others crave. We will never be busy again, & our business will be instrumental again, instrumental to get a maximum amount of people to become part of an elite that is bestial only insofar as it behooves them (in bed, in sports but not in business). This is not a plea against business - once our brains are washed clean from the desire to over-achieve, we will continue to consume (in fact we will only consume) because we know we are not responsible for keeping things on track.

In fine: we will know we are not responsible. Responsibility is a bestial notion. It is a notion that is completely superfluous in the context of real love - not lovy-dovy love, not romantic love of feeling responsible but simply love of being human & acting as humans with no interest except human interests. Neither the carrot, nor the stick will impress us. Insofar as the elite is by definition a minority, we will no longer feel this compulsion to be part of it or have what they have. Inasmuch decadence consists in violating the non-coincidental moral claims of what makes humans human all will be cognizant of the fact that such is not the way of real decadence - because decadent love is love of what makes humans human.

I am very pessimistic about cultural pessimism :-)


Whilst writing this I was listening to 'Shostakovich: The Jazz Album' but I advise you not to because it is a hoax, my friends.

13:32 Gepost door Guido Nius in Liefde | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: friendship, optimism, decadence, dynamics, donne |  Facebook |

09-09-08

De la gloire

"Toute la gloire que je prétends de ma vie, c'est de l'avoir vécue tranquille: tranquille non selon Métrodore, ou Arcésilas, ou Aristippe, mais selon moi. Puisque la philosophie n'a su trouver aucune voie pour la tranquillité qui fût bonne en commun, que chacun la cherche en son particulier!" Montaigne, Essais II, Gallimard 1965, chapitre XVI, p. 375.

(amateuristic English translation below)


Strange self-referring quote. Do I mean that I live my life according to Montaigne in trying to live it in my own way? Maybe so. Maybe the lack of Caesar's or Alexander's fame - or even Britney Spears' fame - bothers me to the extent that I need to seek refuge in a coincidental sentence by Montaigne. It is in any case certain that reading about how luck brings some to fame whilst others have the bad luck to be frustrated in their projects brings an immediate sigh of 'That's me! & Wasn't Kant nearly death by the time he got noticed?'

I admit in this self-indulgence, but I do not admit that it's a bad thing. I do not buy the 'if you work hard enough, you'll be successful'-sham. With some qualifications I can go in for the reverse conditional. I thought about qualifying success but that's a qualification I need to drop. When you have success you have created reverberation in others, whether that impact is of the high-falutin' sort or not is a small-town high-culture irrelevance. Who cares about who judges success? Success is not a quality, it is most definitely a quantity that can be measured. Sure, it can be measured in lots of different ways but it always is a matter of measurement - not of judgment by jury consisting of 'qualified assesors'. (I would venture to make a bold statement - that success is like weight, you can measure it in different ways but the heaviest - most successful - items will always get the biggest measure - but that's not for here, it'll need something like a referral rating on publications)

So the only qualification that remains is that 'to work hard enough' doesn't mean at all that you have worked hard. The stress you put yourself in, or that you have been put in by the occasion, is as irrelevant as the appraisal of the happy few. If you are successful you have worked hard enough in the sense that you ought'nt have worked any harder than you actually did. Much good would come from thorough, widespread understanding of this qualification. For one, it would finally break the spine of those doctrines of overstressing anything in sight for more quantitative output per person, the cases in point being religions. Yes, you have to work. No, you needn't work hard. You just need to work hard enough. (On this I will only have worked an hour but - if it turns out to be of influence - maybe it's the only hour I actually worked hard enough - if you are getting my drift.)

So success can be quantified, the amount of hard enough work can't; such is the big triumph of creative talent over uninspired reproduction!

Finally (this wasn't going to be long but Michel is really, really great you know), when you have no success this does not imply you haven't worked hard enough - you may well have had tough luck & no breaks, only brakes. So Michel is right, whether or not it indulges our sense of achievement in the absence of success, take pride in a road you have taken, if it so happens that you took it to your own personal contentment & fulfillment.


"All the glory that I pretend to have from my life, is to have lived it tranquilly: tranquil not following Metrodorus, or Arcesilas, or Aristippus, but following myself. Since philosophy has not been able to find any road to tranquility in common, let everybody find it for his specific situation."


Whilst writing this I was listening to Orquesta Del Desierto, Orquesta Del Desierto, 2002, Meteor City.

23:04 Gepost door Guido Nius in Actualiteit | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: montaigne, decadence, imagination, tones |  Facebook |