The future calls, but who listens?
There is a noticeable decay in the quality of philosophers in the modern age. The worst kind of philosopher is one who is too involved with the rabble. There have always been philosophers engaged in the political, but only to the extent their stomachs could take, by contrast the postmodernists absolutely relished in this realm. That is where they thrived, that is where their life began. Without the public they would have been nothing. Foucault immersed himself into the gay community as an open statement and therefore an act of liberation. The philosophy of liberation is a public matter; an open and continuous affront to power. The philosopher of liberation makes a game out of being as edgy and outspoken as possible, he loves the spectacle (look no further than the petition by French philosophers to end the age of consent), he attacks everything and anything, he loves the limelight, he loves the debate and doesn’t hesitate when he is called upon. The instincts of this philosopher are first a man of the public sphere and second a thinker. All thoughts of his are concerned with the spectacle and so he emulates a petty bourgeois parliamentarianism. The concept of a political party is formed and perpetuated by the lust of public attention; the ever increasing need to play a character on a theater stage, to put on a show, to groom an audience, to be in the spotlight; “Look at me!” So sayeth the parliamentarian as he blinks. There is a reason why in Rome the actor was considered the lowest kind of man; he wasn’t real. His craft? Lying well. Postmodernism is a political party masquerading as philosophy. A mask of comedy. Postmodernism isn’t a rejection of liberalism, nay it isn’t even a different side of the same coin. It’s born of the same instinct. It’s the conclusion of liberalism and so justifies the modern liberal state.
The greatest philosophers have always been ascetics. What is the philosopher but a secular priest? The greatest minds have always scorned the spectacle. The philosopher’s modus is authenticity. Imagine an authentic actor! He would no longer be a character and so would not be fit for the stage. The philosopher yearns for distance – it is for this reason he is challenging – his outsidedness makes him an enigma to be cracked open and scorned. The philosopher is a spectator and not a spectacle; an outsider looking in, the closest thing to a human god. Just as the wise Zeus laughs at human suffering so too the philosopher laughs at the squabbling of the average man. Stirner calmly smokes and watches on…
Like the average voter, followers of modern philosophers are parakeets; how well they imitate their masters! They don’t realize they’ve fallen for the trap of philosophical populism. Is it any wonder they all sound the same? Vae vobis auditores…
Whenever a Pharisee dangles bait, I stomp my foot and shout “I refute you thus!” Many have forgotten this fine art and are reeled into shore. This will be fixed.
The philosophy of history can be described as an involution rather than an evolution. Forgetfulness is an active faculty in man. In exchange for knowledge he must forget some previous knowledge. The history of philosophy is a circle of forgetting and gaining. We should not look at this with complete scorn, many of the wonderful things achieved would not be possible without forgetting, but we must acknowledge with every bit lost man will come to an impasse when he has forgotten himself completely. Like layers of an onion, man peels away at himself until there is nothing left. The descent of philosophy is a great peeling away at the soul of man. The progress of reason cannot be described as anything other than a will-to-senility. When this impasse is reached, man has no other choice but to turn around; to reject the progress he has made. Yet the sights and sounds along the trail of life will no longer be the same. He will always fail to gain the sensation once felt. Everything he sees has already been seen, nothing surprises him, nothing makes him wonder. The world fills him with rage. Man wars at himself to feel that same joy of discovery that propelled him. He tears asunder the barriers of his mind like a ravaging animal, hoping to open some holy passage. His efforts become more barbaric, more cruel, more unusual, until he finally collapses from exhaustion and enters the long rest. At the end of pure reason, the barbarian is let loose once more; but the past is done, man is hollowed out and there is nothing left of him, when nothing is left death is the only reconciliation. The new barbarian is the last curtain call, the embodiment of the will-to-death, the last triumphant sound of man before he passes on. Philosophy has become more barbaric, but it hasn’t reached the end, it still reeks of the hope filled boasts of progress (reason). There will come a time when reason itself is disparaged. Alas…
Who will make it out of the great turn? Only those who embrace the barbaric future, namely those who disparage “decency”, those who disparage “compromise”, those who disparage “right”, those disparage “systems”, those who disparage “rationality”, those who disparage “moderation” – in short, those strong enough to embrace death as the greatest impetus for creation, artists who embrace their rage, throwing all caution to the wind and breaking entirely with ‘progress’. The will of death flows through them like electricity. The work of the cultured barbarian comes down in a flash of lightning, striking down all in the way… and so men will come to worship them, like the gods? The great turn will separate the wheat from the chaff. Just as a delirious man turns lucid before his hour rings, so too man will come out clearer and levelheaded.
The philosopher of the future embraces isolation. The barbarian cannot be wild if he is tied to the stage.
States of emergency are indicative of an existential threat – the crisis of instincts. In the past 20 years, states of emergency have compounded and increased in visibility. Fear has increased and so have the precautions. From deep within our soul a defiant ‘no’ is rising. Our sensible outer shell is cracking, take a look at our present absurdities. At some point there will be a state of emergency to end all states of emergency. The state of emergency perfected, the barbarian let loose.
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