Thoughts for this Time

7 Nov

“Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
Ripeness is all. Come on.”

“The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most. We that are young
Will never see so much, nor live so long.”                       [King Lear 5.2.9-11; 5.3.323-26]

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. Continue reading

Postmodern Management as a Principle of Macro-Cultural Analysis

22 Sep

[The following are the opening paragraphs of a paper to be presented at a global conference; my focus is on the matrix of State Control & Impoverishment vs plenty. The rest will be posted after publication of the paper].

Every kind of diplomacy is of a business nature, every business of a diplomatic…the prince or statesman wants to rule and the genuine merchant wants only to be wealthy.” [1]

This paper uses an interdisciplinary framework to consider the dyad of abundance and poverty or, more essentially, fertility and sterility. This approach includes the fields of ethics and geopolitics and the relationship of governance and governing institutions to business and finance. Fundamental insights also may be gained from the field of aesthetics particularly as regards imagery and marketing, from ‘news’ and sports to the marketing of national image or celebrity icons. For this hermeneutic, management is less a distinct field than a central thematic and operational – systemic issue, as a principle of macro-cultural analysis. Managing or control is the principle that pervades postmodern governance, politics, diplomacy, and marketing and that has transformed ethics and much of academia into its handmaiden. For example, situational ethics and utilitarianism are forms of management and control that, like the system of credit money or ‘fiat currency’ (idealization in the service of power, money-magic instrumentalized for power), shows the hegemony of the English system and its ‘god-game’ [2] in geopolitics, finance and cultural transformation. Utilitarian biases pervade modern economic and demographic thinking, offering moralistic cover to forms of human sacrifice. Continue reading

Aesthetics & the State

23 Apr

As the idealizing dynamics of Western culture proceeds, the State becomes the ultimate social form of aesthetics. By the logic of image-work, the dream-idol of a social hypostasis of the self takes form in images, visual, conceptual, relational, political and economic that possess and displace the identity of the generative dreaming self. This transfiguration is vampiric: the State, like all image-ideals increasingly possesses and displaces it host. In sociopolitical and economic forms, — and, in our age, in media — the cliches and ‘scripted’ self-adulation, presentation and apologetics of State, via the media, the nexus of modern and even more, postmodern image creation becomes the definer of truth and life. All demands it makes on its host, that it infests like a parasite, are justified in ideal, once normative terms that have become cliches, husks and individuals are drained and re-presented as reflections and imitations of their image-idea, now become a monster, the hidden subject of all horror and terror works from novels to geopolitics. This is the APOCALYPTIC phase of image-work, as the idol displaces and consumes its host.
The host loses vitality in proportion to the appropriation of its identity by the image. As the State glamorizes itself as the benevolent first principle, this corporate personae, this abstraction and mask hardens, becoming impervious and totally intolerant of any critique; nothing must be outside the self-definition and facade of the image. At this point we have the elegiac phase of culture, the one the West entered starting in England in the mid-19th century (see “Idylls of the King” which shows the West’s dominant native myth as consuming itself). The host culture and its individuals and founding norms and relations are exhausted and the STATE, “the great petrifact” as Spengler called ‘Megalopolis’ — and Nietzsche termed, “The New Idol” becomes a TOTAL construct and the civilization dies. The ultimate social form of aesthetics and poiesis, that is, of representation based in the Hellenic tradition is Totalitarian, self-destructive, fundamentally a lie and morbid.
If you are feeling things are getting worse, stressful filled with uncertainty and terror as the lies — truisms — of State become more ubiquitous and sacrosanct, this is the reason. The Hebraic source of Western freedom, of moral and social norms in all fields has been utterly covered over, the geopolitical form of which is the denial of legitimacy to the Jewish State. The West is mighty and utterly dead and arbitrary like Rome under Trajan and Hadrian. Already it includes elements of the physical collapse under Aurelius and the lesser and lesser followers.
This is partly a contrived collapse to facilitate management of generic human inventory, — the individuals now formed in the likeness of images that they reflect without even knowing their own inauthentiticy – and partly an organic, logical and inevitable denouement of the form of expression, idealizing image-work embedded in the West’s Hellenic root.

Image

Group in a Gold Sky

24 Mar

Group in a Gold Sky

oil on paper, 12 x 16″ November – Dec. 2011

Sub Plot of King Lear Echoes Jacob-Esau

26 Jan

Shakespeare adapted the subplot of King Lear from a section in Sir Philip Sydney’s Arcadia. The blinded king of the Paphalogonians (north central Asia Minor) grieves his metaphorical blindness in trusting his bastard son, Plexirtus rather than his good son, Leonatus who stands by him until he is relieved. Shakespeare greatly expands and deepens the resonance of his source in the family of Lear’s senior advisor the Earl of Gloucester and his two sons, Edgar a legitimate and slightly elder son and Edmund, the bastard who is ‘some ten or twelve moonshines lag of a brother” as he puts it (1.2), that is, ten or 12 months younger than Edgar. Continue reading

Notes on Hamlet

26 Nov

Shallow reading and the skewed perspective of modern sensibility, with its ‘psychological’ bias have blurred several aspects of Shakespeare’s great play. I will here show how the play itself makes clear, explicitly clear the way Shakespeare intends us to understand Hamlet’s dynamic relationship with Ophelia, — which continues to be grossly misunderstood, partly for trendy political reasons — and the character of Gertrude, sensual, unthinking, obtusely insightful, which has a decisive impact on the events of the play. Continue reading