Sunday, August 18, 2013
I use the word ‘soylent’ in the sense that the superstructure of the modern world has become stuck in a labyrinth of its own making. Part of the reason for being stuck in a labyrinth is the computer, which can be programmed to repeat a senseless ideology ad infinitum, i.e., the mind of an idiot as well.
This point--the dead center of the mind of an idiot--was reached when Deadalus, the ‘scientist’, started believing that he could make the computer think in an organic manner. Therefore, when Deadalus arrives at the exit of the labyrinth of his making, the computer has a program that will turn him back into the labyrinth.
When such ‘turnings back’ into one’s self reaches a certain critical number, organic flesh turns into virtual or soylent flesh of the ideal man, which man is best described by the philosopher and psychologist Žižek as a democrat with “a certain ‘pathological stain’”.*
While I believe that Žižek has contributed ideas that move us closer to better perceiving certain riddles of our times, he--through being or pretending to be so much of our times—has made his own It (the ‘who’ of earlier times) into a ‘stain’ of soylent flesh within his own formulation of a ‘democratic’ nation, Such soylent flesh though alive finds itself to be in a state of rigor mortis.
Lacking grounding in organic nature, man becomes a soylent, a creature which attempts to establish for Itself a beachhead by hooking a steel ring into the nose of an organic democratic community. The not yet repressed community of individuals is then told in suitably academic terms: “This leftover [democracy in the wild] to which formal democracy clings, that which renders possible the subtraction of all positive contents [i.e., the tongue does it after kissing the ring—auth.], is of course the ethnic moment conceived as ‘nation’ [the nation as an identifiable leftover of the organic community—auth.]”*
I concur with Žižek in how our time perceives the condition of government. Bought off by capitalism turned into religion, governments of the West have had great success in murdering and destroying organic life and environment on our planet, and replacing it with two cars in a garage and the like. Such a replacements have satiated all need for the human mind to think creatively, as ‘art’ today illustrates. In other words, ‘art’, too, is an instant soylent, an It, a product of an inhuman human and can bypass the human dwelling and go directly into a museum or morgue. What is the difference?.
One of the insruments that facilitates and turns the organic community into a community of soylents is the law. We can observe this every time a Parliament (composed of pseudo immortals) meets and passes laws for the mortals; that is to say, law-makers die of the law only during a Revolution, but the public suffers and dies of it all the time. The ‘dying’ are all ‘ordinary’ men and women, soldiers, and prisoners sentenced to death, and include self-immolating Tibetans in the role of Indians trying to resist the invasion of their country by a soylent cavalry of the Chinese.
It is interesting that upon entering the ritual of becoming soylent leads to becoming an ‘ethnic’ at the half-way house called ‘a nation’.
This prompts the question: What is the difference (if any) between an ‘ethnic’ and an ‘organic’?
The obvious answer is that the ‘ethnic’ is of a ‘nation’ (preferably an urban one), while an ‘organic’ is of a community in the wild. Such a link leads us to a ‘community’ that several blogs ago Žižek defined by the German word Gesellshaft, basically an organization of strangers, card carying members of a political party or labor union. Be these as ‘ethnic’ as they wish, the Geselshaften of capitalist democracies remain for ever a conglomerate of strangers with love in a state of rigor mortis between them.
Another definition of a community speaks of it as people living in the same locale and sharing the same social and historical experience.
Yet, a third definition of ‘community’ is the Latvian definition: it locates the home (the place) of Latvians in
(a certain geographic location), but defines a Latvian by law, re: it is not
necessary for a Latvian to have a direct experience of ‘the place’, but it suffices
that he-she comes from parents of the place. Latvia
Such a definition of a community, nullifies the community of place—especially if the place is a small one, and those living at the place are a small number. When ‘the place’ has many tens of millions of inhabitants, then the physical impossibility of a quick and total replacement of the remnant of the organic community preserves the ‘ethnic’ inhabitants of a nation until the language changes beyond easy recognition. However, this does not hold true in all cases. In the instance of the Latvians, their (and not only) organic community became soylent with the replacement of the oral and idiomatic culture by that of the written word and legal terminology.
Thus, even within one nation there may come to be two communities: one being of the soylents, the other of the organics. The soylents, generally practice capitalism, while the soylents practice subsistence economy. --With the arrival of the Industrial Age, the soylents generally repress the organics—until the soylents become an overwhelming majority and their ‘nation’ experiences exponential growth ‘in place’, which, because the growth cannot be sustained, quickly implodes (crashes) ‘in place’ and reverts to the ‘wild’ state. Needless to say, the implosion is denied, as is the case today, because soylents cannot imagine that ‘democracy’ must return to its organic, i.e., autarchic and subsistence economic stage.
*Slavoy Žižek, “Looking Away”, An October Book, MIT Press, p 104-105. All text placed withing brackets [ ] are by the author.