Saturday, April 24, 2010

© Eso Antons Benjamins, aka Jaņdžs

The small secret
(which you may learn as soon as you read this)
at is
It will be an act of not-violent terror. To whom?
To the enemies of the “not-voters”.

POSTSCRIPT 3 / Summary 1
100 The Enemies of the “West”

Photos: The beginnings of mimesis: Life mimics life: Frogs eggs

These blogs tend to be a continuum of an idea or thought, which is why—if you are interested in what you read—you are encouraged to consider reading the previous blog(s) and the blog hereafter.
To say that political thought and engineering in the West is simplistic is to understate the problem. A better word to describe it is “sick”. Like many illnesses, sick politics took time for a human agency to set up. It then incubated, to infect further, and then reached its virulent stage in the 20th century.

Many of my preceding blogs touch on the schism in Christianity, that is, between arch- and neo-Christians. Such a dual Christianity is not acknowledged by either the intelligentsia or historians of the West (or East), yet someday it will be obvious to anyone who understands that the rise of Catholicism was accompanied by short- and long-term repressive violence. As a consequence of the violence, of the arch-Christian sects (the Cathars, Bogomils, Waldensians, Johns Children, etc.) only the Jews remain, however and alas! no longer recognizable as their former selves.

Among the Latvians, it is the Children of Johns, the once arch-Christian sect, who are no longer remembered for who they were. All that remains of the Children of Johns is the Midsummer’s Solstice celebration at which time the celebrants may occasionally refer to the event as “Johns Eve” and even with lesser occasion refer to themselves as the Children of Johns. More specific interest in the Children of Johns it is apparent no longer exists.
To explain the simplistic political thinking in the West (of which Latvian politicians believe themselves to be a part), I will return once more to Michael Taussig and his anthropological studies. I believe Taussig to be right-on in his explanation concerning anti-Semitism (see quote below), nevertheless, I would like to take anti-Semitism a step further and include among its transgressions anti-self-ism or anti-European-ism. By extending the reach of the anti-Semitic meme, we arrive at the insight that anti-Europeanism among Europeans (in effect, anti-Latvianism among Latvians), too, remain as much a force of fascism as ever, especially because the Latvian people (and of course the Europeans as a whole) never really understood fascism. The repression of the European people by the European elite has lasted for so long as to cause both the people and the elite to forget their history and allow it to be replaced by an artifice or as Taussing describes it—“history… outside the mimetic faculty….”. In other words, history is no longer a written history making an effort to come alive, but an artificial history written by scholars whose experience of history is as much bookishly self-referentialist as it is experientially nonexistent.

The path from colonialism to fascism is illustrated in Taussig’s book, “Mimesis and Alterity”. Though Taussig is writing of the Indians living in the Putumayo in South America, we may learn much by substituting another group of people (through a wilful act on my part) for the Indians, re the arch-Christian/Europeans. Here iTaussig (65):
“…the imaginative range essential to the execution of colonial violence in the Putumayo at the turn of the century was an imagining drawn from that which the civilized imputed to the Indians, to their cannibalism especially, and then mimicked. It should also be pointed out that while this violence was doubtlessly motivated by economic pressures and the need to create labour discipline, it was also… very much a passionate and gratuitous end in itself.

“This mimicry by the colonizer of the savagery imputed to the savage is what I call the colonial mirror of production and it is… identical to the mimetic structure of attribution and counter-attribution that Horkheimer and Adorno single out when they discuss (in “The Dialectic of Enlightenment”) not the violence of the twentieth-century colonial frontier but the blow-up within modern European civilization itself, as orchestrated by anti-Semitism.”

Taussing then quotes Horkheimer and Adorno: “There is no anti-Semite who does not basically want to imitate his mental image of a Jew, which is composed of mimetic ciphers: the argumentative movement of a hand, the musical voice painting a vivid picture of things and feelings irrespective of real content of what is said, and the nose—the physiognomic principum individuationis, symbol of the specific character of an individual, described between the lines of his countenance.”

There are several things in the above quotes which I would like to point out further and add to my own observations.

Let us turn to what Taussig describes as “the blow-up within modern European civilization”. It is my perception that the blow-up is not over. It continues in the effort of NATO to try maintaining pre-eminence of the West through the war in Afghanistan (Latvian military forces including). It also continues by means of the economic catastrophe that now spans the globe. The catastrophe was temporarily averted as a result of a temporarily successful diversion of social tensions caused by secular princes (nee neo-Christians) to Conspicuous Consumption. The mechanism through which Conspicuous Consumption was accomplished was to loosen—following WW1—the gold standard, and then replace it by fiat money in the latter half of the 20th century. The world is familiar with the consequences of fiat money through the parliamentary democracy and inflation in the Weimar Republic of Germany in the 1920s and more recently in Zimbabwe, Africa.

Though Taussig does not connect the repressions of arch-Christianity with colonialism or colonialism with fascism, he comes close enough for my purposes. Writes Taussig: “Fascism… is an accentuated form of modern civilization which is itself to be read as the history of repression of mimesis—the ban on graven images, gypsies, actors; the love-hate relationship with the body; the cessation of Carnival; and finally the kind of teaching which does not allow children to be children. But above all, fascism is more than outright repression of the mimetic; it is a return of the repressed, based on the ‘organized control of mimesis’. Thus fascism, through the mimesis of mimesis, ‘seeks to make the rebellion of the suppressed nature against dominion directly useful to dominion’”.

Even if fascism ceased being virulent as the result of physical exhaustion of societies due to WW2 and a subsequent release of tensions by taking advantage of a combination of machine production and fiat money to squelch unresolved tensions and aggressiveness, it did so also by absolving the carnal sins of sin, now identified as Conspicuous Consumption. However, fascism did not disappear (even if it sometimes so appeared), because “organized control of mimesis” (through apparent release of control over Conspicuous Consumption) cannot be sustained over the long-term.
This is why I agree with Taussig that we need to seize “…the opportunity to dismantle… second nature and reconstruct the worlds”.

This is a time when a small nation like Latvia has the opportunity to be shrewd and set its sail toward the future “within the buffeting of history” (Taussig). However, before the vessel called “Latvia” can take advantage of its small size and sail past the sinking ocean liners, it needs to deconstruct its parliamentary democracy and the Constitution which are tied by hidden ties to fascism. The most obvious way this can be accomplished is to encourage the people of Latvia to “not-vote”, dismiss the parliamentary partidocracy, and then reconfigure the future in a manner that will encourage mimesis not only among their own, but throughout the world.

The setting of the sails into the winds of history requires a radical jibe, that jibe being the “not-vote”.

No comments:

Post a Comment