31-03-10

Anarchism

"Whoever denies authority and fights against it is an anarchist." Sébastien Faure as quoted on p. 11 of 'Anarchism', by George Woodcock, broadview encore editions, 2004.


Since this is degenerating at the moment into a 'what am I reading'-diary, and I was anyway looking to do a 'Pop Culture' entry (it being long ago and all), why not do an anarchist quote?

It's not like the reader - if any - has a choice in the matter ;-)

So I'm an anarchist. That means I have a problem. Because to a real anarchist I will be an example of le nouveau bourgeois. A real anarchist will undoubtedly tell me an enormous amount of things that I will have to give up in order to be a real anarchist (plus probably some things I need to pierce through some selected body parts).

There you have my problem: I'm very bad with authority. So, I wouldn't listen to any well meant advise; certainly if that advise basically consists in telling me what needs to be done to enter a certain group of non-individuals. Nope, I am a bourgeois, and I am proud to be. I want my luxury and I feel no inclination whatsoever to fight, and revolutionize things by waving my arms about and chanting stuff in street choirs. No, I won't get involved in any of this marching and sacrificing and denouncing ...

And I certainly don't feel like using the word 'propaganda' as if it was a normal word that did not carry the connotation of brainwashing.

Nor do I particularly care for secret gatherings where people conspire to great things, smoking some stuff & ultimately going home drunk and/or stoned (mostly without a real prospect for having sex).

No, I like my luxury. I like my laziness. I like having the wealth of aristocrats & sons of craftsmen in the XIXth century that had both time & resources to concentrate on a life of thought and action and boozing with like minded souls.

Still I'm also an anarchist because I like my lifestyle and independence so very very much that I'd very much like everybody to be as bourgeois as I am. Some would be very harsh on me for wishing universal laziness. Many of them would say: it is a very decadent thing to convince everybody that they should be as decadent as I am.

They would be right! I am a decadent. This is the decadence movement. Without an exclamation mark ;-)


Whilst writing this I was listening to The Ramones, Weird Tales of The Ramones.

22:12 Gepost door Guido Nius in Vrije tijd | Permalink | Commentaren (4) | Tags: intention, imagination, pop culture, decadence, boldness |  Facebook |

14-10-09

Bleed for me

"(..)

C'mon bleed
C'mon bleed
C'mon bleed
Bleed for me

We'll strap you to a pipe
Electrodes on your balls
C'mon scream
C'mon writhe
Face down in a pool of piss

C'mon bleed
C'mon bleed
C'mon bleed
Bleed for me

In the name of world peace
In the name of world profits
America pumps up our secret police
America wants fuel
To get it, it needs puppets
So what's ten million dead?
If it's keeping out the Russians

(..)"

Dead Kennedys, 1982, any of many lyrics sites.


Indulge me (meaning: I'll indulge myself anyway, thank you very much!).

It's been busy; haven't had a chance to take things in new directions, & feel a need to be outspoken. That means I'll take the liberty to be brief and all mystical-like as behooves one who is convinced the populace needs it short & simple (peace, love & climate change and stuff). In other words: awaiting the time to find a good quote, I will for this once try my best not to be myself.

(anyway, as people slowly realize the 60s were a problem & we're in desperate need of a come-back of the 80s, i.e. it's time for what was marginal in the 80s to become the fucking mainstream already)

As follows:

1. First there was the word. The word created men. Man discovered the world. World & word will never co-incide. The word will converge to the world. The world will be full to the brim of this word. Word and world are forever separated by at least an 'L' (in smaller case, to be exact). Note: when I say 'man' & 'men' I do refer to women.

and,

2. There is always something wrong with Utopian type societies, even in ideal cases. Such was the point of much post-WWII literature. It is really not too much to ask to go figure out what is commonly wrong in all these utopian rêveries. It suffices to go all destructive on this common element & deny existence to anything that has even the remotest tendency to evolve into something that might include that element.

So let's take these two together. Abusing words for the 'good of ..' is the surest no-no. It goes to the core of what we are and ever can be and it is common to Utopian dreams and nightmares from Wilde over Kraus to Orwell.

To take a case in point: let's examine the use of the term 'politically correct'. When somebody uses this term in a pejorative sense you know you have a number 1 that is combined with a number 2 (as per the above numbering scheme).

Indeed, there is nothing pejorative about being politically correct. As can be easily & conclusively demonstrated as per the following:

- using words to express something that is correct is a proper use of words

- expressing something that is correct politically is both possible and informative

On top of which it being obviously highly relevant to be correct from a political point of view. For instance it is politically correct to prefer freedom of speech. On analysis this entails that only such acts as can be properly classed as 'speech' are free. This in turn excludes any pronouncement on non-speech acts such as shouting, singing, baby talk, talking nonsense and - in general - uttering non-propositional content in ways loosely similar to the use of language or words. Not that they are restricted or not allowed; far from it, as far from it being restricted or unallowed to fart in public; they are simply not speech acts. And therefore not to be confounded with politically correctly vindicated free acts of speech.

So here we have a specifically sophisticated (call it: libertarian) abuse of words. The pejorative use of 'politically correct' is incorrect. Not just politically incorrect but just - simply - incorrect. Strictly speaking it's not even a speech act, and it would be fully consistent to disallow that specific use of that specific concatenation of words (which is not to say, obviously, that it should be disallowed or that it would be correct to do so).

To conclude with our specific example: the pejorative use of 'politically correct' is an instance of authoritarian behaviour (this statement is correct, by the way). This type of authoritarian behaviour is a political nuisance at best (this statement is politically correct). The use of this statement under the misleading umbrella of libertarian with a non-coincidental objective of creating pleasurable associations with 'liberty' is, well, doubly misleading (being mild here). There is no limit to this abuse. It has been on record that some 'libertarians' have made use of the work of G. Orwell in defense of their specific though crime (better; absence-of-thought crime).

Clearly there are things (were things, will be things) that are passed off as politically correct which are not (were not, will not be) correct (above you found a very complex one exposed; the simpler ones are - hmmm - simpler to expose). They have to be exposed to be incorrect (or, more narrowly, politically incorrect). That can be done in a variety of ways the most ineffective of which is probably this one.

I will leave it smugly up to the reader to generalize thes messages to other uses of words in an effort to obstruct the progression towards truth and the development of language as such.

A hint for demystification: to illustrate the last two paragraphs I refer to the quote I have quoted above.


Whilst writing this I was listening to Bronski Beat, The Age of Consent.

22:19 Gepost door Guido Nius in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: pop culture, decadence, language, universals, boldness |  Facebook |

27-06-09

Too much pressure

"(..)

Too much pressure, my life's so hard
Too much pressure, and all them certain kind of people
Too much pressure, them having it easy
Too much pressure, them having it easy
Too much pressure, them sail through life
Too much pressure, them have no joy
Too much pressure, them have no joy
It's too much pressure, it's too much pressure

This pressure got to stop
This pressure got to stop
This pressure got to stop
It's got to stop, it's got to stop....

(..)"

The Selecter, downloadable from iTunes & whatever.


Well, something to kill the time (mine & yours). Still, good lyrics, great music.

Pressure has always been predominant; struggle for life and all that. Heaven & hell, & the risk of eternal damnation. But it has transformed, & is transforming, no doubt.

Let's start with the former. In times we know of history lessons, there clearly was the phenomenon of the happy few that had time on hand; in which they were tormented only by their own, to some extent at least, chosen targets. I'm not speaking here of the rich and famous, of the powerful and rich. Wealth, fame & power are the sources of pressure; pressure to achieve, to a very great extent, goals set by others, or by a general (e.g. sociological) context. I'm speaking of the happy few intellectuals which - either through favourable inheritance or through selection on a basis of intellectual or physical ability - wound up having time that - from the point of view of immediate utility in the framework of the then current society - was unaccounted for.

This was literally unchallenged time, free from challenges, un-hectic & detached. The people having it had a lot of it but there were very few people that had any of it. Not the rich, wealthy & powerful as all of them were (and are) under constant pressure to conform to the many demands of their status and the continuation of it, not only for their lifetime but also across generations (of kindred blood or spirit). Those that I've quoted here are mostly of that specific class of the happy few.

The happy irony - and proof of the unavoidability of intellectual & societal progress - is that this class of happy few (from gladiators over clergy to academics) are the by-product of numerous status quo's, numerous regimes. Necessary by-products, which are unavoidably created. Because the rich, famous & powerful needed the rewarding mechanism of inheritance to ensure their continued service to hte status quo by the promise of, at least, riches to their offsoring. Also because any regime needs some selection of the intellectually & physically best in case some external challenge is to be defended against. Once selected they will mainly be idle, since in the status quo the challenges will be exceptional. Lest you think I forgot the irony, I didn't, really - the irony is that this necessary by-product of the status quo invariably generates the ideas around which the status quo generating these 'idle' people will be overturned.

(Oh, come on: if you want your irony in one-liners - Go somewhere else!)

This diagnosis of 'idleness', or lack of pressure, is probably accurate over vast times from the first civilizations until recently. Until the first fin de siècle that was called the 'fin de siècle'. Only then (examples are Wilde, Proust - 'I have to quote Proust here, one of these weeks!') did this type of idleness become assertive; no longer constant in its defense against charges of 'decadence' but claiming decadence as: 'thé way to be'. Not that there weren't precursors, Montaigne was one and there were others, but the archetype was more that of Darwin (& there's nothing wrong with him, he just did not claim that the type of idleness he had was a good thing, in general). Anyways, it is no co-incidence that the timing of assertive idleness (and laziness) co-incides with growing industrialization & urbanization. Both these latter not only generated more & more people with some idle time; they also colluded in bringing idle people together in ways that would exponentially increase the generation of destabilizing ideas - & to the extent that modern society, modern regimes are inherently instable. In some of the more fortunate cases this instability is even guaranteed by a constitution.

This transformation has been a good thing but has not remain unchallenged - & far from it, modern history is the history of challenging the democratization of idleness. Even the mechanism of creating and sustaining idle elites has been put to work in a constant struggle against democratization of idleness. 'Conservative intellectuals', & its specific pinnacle symbol of think-tanks, have emerged & are, as of very recently, the dominant claim to intellectualism; elitist intellectualism with the unstated goal of reserving idleness for a happy few & a, sometimes even explicitly stated, framework of restraining the instability that's brought by new ideas - decadence soon became a pejorative term again.

As it proved impossible to contain the increase of free time (although, of late, this is again something that's attempted afresh - cfr. pushing up the retirement age); their struggle has been to contain the freedom, the 'idleness', of people to use free time. This is done by putting pressure on people's direct utility for society (a.o. a pressure to procure more expensive or compulsively time consuming habits during one's free time). This is also done by creating a societal context in which free time needs to be 'spent' by ever increasing demands for the free time to be supercharged with events and other trophies and symbols of it being 'well spent'.

The current balance is one in which the happy few are an unhappy many. Many of us have free time but almost none of us have it in such abundance as to allow us to be spening it idly in pursuit of our own useless, decadent goals. This has checked - & is constantly checking - the generation of new ideas, which is a pity. The fight to fight - against the consensus that the current elite has built to saveguard the prosperity of its offspring and other heirs - is the fight to claim the free time without having to be accounting for it to anyone or anything.

The fight to fight is the fight for unashamed decadence. I kid you not.

An innocent quote, a complex thought. I apologize for any incoherence. I also am a lot under a lot of pressure; & I don't have the freedom to work these things out to a satisfactory level of perfection.


Whilst writing this I was most appropriately listening to New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, "Live in Paris" & The Selecter, "Greatest Hits".

17:28 Gepost door Guido Nius in Vrije tijd | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: learning, pop culture, decadence, optimism, competition |  Facebook |