The State, the Ultimate Form of Aesthetics, Negates Sustainability & Idealizes Centralization

22 Sep

[The ff paragraphs are a preface or abstract for an essay on the artificial nature of the Postmodern State and its intrinsic drive toward impoverishment & collapse]

It is doubtful that abundance or even sustainability may be achieved via the current matrix of intensive governmental intervention in and management of financial markets and trade. Just as in effective governmental control of mass media, intervention in cultural discourse including markets spurs uncertainty, paralyzes investment and creates terror. Intervention, doubt and terror are key terms and facts of postmodern culture. More, they are primary means and effects of governments’ management of their captive population, their herd. These terms encode geopolitical and culturally transformative goals that impoverish and break human systems, what some call ‘mediating institutions,’ foremost among them the family and, secondly, father-child bonds. These means dehumanize in their drive to make the primary relationship that between an alienated or dependent persona and the State. Yes, persona, because the drive of the postmodern State is to deform its citizens into masks. Excessive focus on sustainability as a concept or political strategy links to eugenic agendas that undercut the sources of innovation, prosperity and local and national genius. New insights into the nature and trajectory of this counter-productive trend may be gained from a non-technical analysis that draws on aesthetics and the Liberal Arts.

Pertinent concepts for prosperity are as simple as generativity and desire, each akin to generosity, and the freedom and will of diverse ethnic and national groups to maximize their traditional structures of valuation. De-centralized systems that respect the local rather than imposing alien and imperial concepts and centralized direction of local, national or regional economies encourage the genius of peoples in discrete environments with their own perceptions of time, social fabric, and tools (technology). This serves a global environment that fosters birth and the wealth that derives from the aspects of human skills and genius.

The postmodern State with its hi-tech financial, scientific, military and managerial interventions is the ultimate form of aesthetics; a reification of identity conflict and sign of cultural decadence as diplomacy fuses with imperial management and control. This process is rooted in a hysteric ‘perfectionism.’ The intrinsic dynamic of idealizing Western poiesis leads from an idyllic phase of image-work, reverie, plan or imagination to an increasingly apocalyptic phase in which idealized images (‘democracy,’ ‘the dollar,’ ‘IMF loans’) extract energy from its host culture, achieving hegemony in a de-naturing process in which the eidolon asserts its primacy over the genuine original. This leads to increasing exaltation of the State as an image of ‘the people’ and to ollapse of the host culture and individual. An elegiac phase follows in which the forms of State intervention and oversight, privileged in pseudo – moral concepts like ‘transparency,’ ‘zero tolerance’ or ‘mutli-lateralism’ rigidify and are deified by its servile media and academic cadres who since the late 19th century have moved from a critical to affirmative relation to the State. In socio-economic terms this is an era and condition of contrived and enforced scarcity and regression. Virtual reality displaces reality, fictions and official lies displace local truths, and managed scarcity is valorized as ‘sustainability’ or ‘equality’ while the trans-national corporate matrix seizes ever larger portions of a shrinking pie.

Several themes pertain to the logic of this dynamic and trajectory of the West (which can be demonstrated in literature, music, visual art, geopolitics, demographics, pseudo-religious pretensions of ‘situational ethics’ and more). One: while it exalts and rules by the instrumentalities of reason (indeed, hyper calculation and extractive reason are its methods), it is essentially an irrational and obsessive process rooted in the envy of the artifice for the genuine, of the highly formalized/constrained for the spontaneous and flourishing. The drive to standardize and manage in the names of prosperity, security, sustainability and so on is the lust for power and a mania to petrify and control: in fact, a mania to kill by turning lives into fetishes, — items on a balance sheet or ‘customers served.’ The process that begins in the urge to idealize identity and motives, that presents itself as another Salvationist cult that seeks to re-make the world into its image of ‘prosperity’ or ‘managed outputs’ is morbid and terrifying to others and itself, the agents of a process of self-generated fictions. The terror of the power matrix, at its core, a crisis of identity and purpose, is projected onto the world in designs of management and control, in pathsways of servility that receive, as wages, a free pass for thuggery. This postmodern economic imperialism is dressed as an idealized and fabricated ‘multiculturalism’ or managed ‘diversity.’ Such meta-fictions, like digital currencies, neither sustain nor flourish. Perhaps that is their purpose, to preclude flourishing…

The synchronous de facto global State operating in the interlinked economies of Japan, China, Europe and America are exquisitely lethal aesthetic products of the will to power and its deceits reified in the fictions of highly leveraged derivatives dwarfing the moral and economic value of what they represent. Fiscal integration, hidden imperialism masks and suppresses very diverse national and regional cultures. Negating real differences, this system is collapsing into enhanced management of impoverished generic human inventory. This is not sustainable.

Data that demonstrate morbid and counter-generative trends in postmodern finance and economics are in the matrix of international policies. The elevation of the concept and practice of fiat as the key principle of putatively therapeutic governance underscores the themes as major currencies collapse, or are collapsed and take economies and nations down with them. The imposition of the ethanol mandate and consequent disorder in the grain, meat and dairy markets causes impoverishment, hunger and social conflict, just as genetically modified foods multiple genetic diseases, death and sterility, leading to ever greater ‘security’ measures. Intervention and fiat cause malinvestment and institutionalize bias toward malinvestment. This pattern shows the non-sustainability of centralized models and the hollowness of their ‘democratic’ and altruistic rationales. Contrived dialectic conflicts from the Middle East to East Asia to the predictable North-South Rupture in the Euro experiment show that the lust for total management, the ancient urge “to be as God” powers the key features of the postmodern State (the “New Idol” foreseen by Nietzsche)[1] and tends to the opposite of sustainability, — collapse. The same pattern can be found in Western literature from Greek tragedy to Romantic poetry, the Camelot myth, modern dystopias of managed regression; and in the core destruction wrought by ‘gender wars’; the fiction, idyll, official lie, eidolon displaces the real as women displace men and alienated individuals, beholden to ‘beneficent’ government replace families…

This analysis shows that government, with total management as its first principle, the media as its method of control and therapeutic outcomes as its excuse, becomes a manager of human inventory defined variously as ‘consumers,’ ‘clients,’ the electorate, etc. This culture of management and its spectacle of State solicitude are intrinsic to the displacement of life by virtual reality and the burial of liberal discourse, communication informed by the past, by slogans, logos and icons. This essentially is a process of fiat in which truth becomes equivalent to power resulting in ingrained doubts and anxiety: a culture of terror whose systems are distraction, contraction and extraction. By endless wars of attrition against the best enemies money can buy, Government – Central Bank manipulation creates uncertainty not only about markets but all official ‘promises,’ policies, currencies and even science. As the image and spectacle of the official smile rigidifies, culture enters an elegiac stage of impoverishment and collapsing demographics; “the tone of truth” reveals itself as routine lying, torture and depression: the lust for power negates humanity. In morbidity, the postmodern State, like John Claggart commits suicide in killing ‘Billy Budd,’ i.e. the humanity of its citizens.[2]

Analyzing this dynamic from idyll to image abstraction-apocalypse and elegiac collapse offers a new hermeneutic for financial-economic studies and most fields in the Arts and Sciences enabling new trans-historical analysis of Western civilization. It is urgent to recognize the will to power and control that is the first principle of this process in order to begin turning it toward national and local forms of generativity. Innovation should be left to competing and diverse individual groups and businesses to maximize the human form of natural lavishness and abundance in which every morsel is not overseen and counted by a central power. The principle of gleanings must gain prominence [3]. A new understanding of wealth and sustainability will result with new studies, perception and methods oriented toward abundance and birth.

1. Friedrich Nietzsche, thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part I

2. J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (1982), part 1 passim on the methods of the “civil bureau” or ‘security’ forces; Herman Melville, “Billy Budd, Sailor” (1890-1; first published 1924; Claggart is an embodiment of the homicidal quality of envy).

3. Deuteronomy 24:19-22


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