Saturday, August 16, 2014

On Ferguson (repost)


What do the powers claim to establish?

It is important to remember, that, in order for the powers to retain power there must be an implicit altruistic motive.

In other words, the powers are powerful not simply because they are powerful (holding the most weapons, etc.), as this doesn’t work, for ‘the masses’ can at any point overthrow them (or at the very least, create chaos). 

The powers are powerful precisely because they claim to bring peace and justice.

The battle is thus ideological.

Therefore the key to undermining the powers is demanding what they claim to proffer society, taking the discourse of power more seriously than the powers.

I.e. subverting the norm means radically accepting its ideological presuppositions.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Hearing Paradox


While it is true that the beautiful soul exists, I find many of the attacks against public (i.e. known) contrarians—genuine or otherwise—to be some version of the following . . .

“We will listen to you, just as soon as we can no longer hear you.”


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We Are (Not) All Experts


People are equal—opinions are not. This is a truth democracy apologists ignore often. While it is true that there is no individual in a ‘meta-position’ who can proffer the rest of us an absolute solution, the problem is that a disavowal of any ‘higher view’ functions as its opposite, that is—a leveling of the playing field of opinions makes the herd (uninformed) ‘experts’ participating in a feedback loop which reinforces the ruling ideology.

We see this play out in real time everyday—climate change is a good example here. Climate scientists are disparaged so that ‘news’ personalities, politicians and others (who know nothing of climate science) can imbue their viewers, constituencies, etc. with anti-science propaganda. For if professionals in a given field ‘don’t know anything’ about that particular field (or at minimum can’t be trusted), the result is not that we all ‘don’t know anything’ (about said field), but much more radically: we all know everything (about said field)—not in ‘reality’ of course, but in function, i.e. when all opinions are equal, all opinions are thus equally legitimate.

To be certain, I am not arguing for a universal acceptance of every argument from authority, but rather against the false argument from (the) authority of the herd, simply because—the ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. {Marx/Engels] 

In other words, the opinions of the herd are the opinions of the powers that be

Authority is ‘challenged’ not to challenge power, but to reinforce a power greater than what is being challenged. Power, under the guise of ‘democracy’, demands we seek the opinions of all so that in the end we are stuck with the ruling ideology, and thus the status quo. (This is precisely how real equality, i.e. the Idea of radical justice, gets mocked as horribly ‘undemocratic’.)

Paradoxically, a level playing field of opinions is intrinsically hierarchic. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On Meaning, Motive, Will, Belief, Reason


Meaning, motive, will, belief, reason—one never ceases retroactively ‘positing presuppositions’. 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Few Words From Bruno Latour (On The Irrational Rationality Of Creationists)


If the Bill Nye/Ken Ham (evolution vs. creationism) ‘debate’ reinforced anything, it is this: some of the most conspicuous offspring of enlightenment thinking are not New Atheists, humanists and the like, but rather their ‘official’ enemy: religious fundamentalists.

Latour put it this way in his On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods:

“Curiously enough, these people [creationists] are called ‘irrationalists’, whereas their greatest fault comes more from the reckless trust they display in scientific methodology, dating back to the nineteenth century, in order to explore the only mode of existence they are able to imagine: that of the thing, already there, present, stubborn, waiting to be pinned down, known. No one is more positivistic than creationists or ufologists, since they cannot even imagine other ways of being and speaking than describing ‘matters of fact’. No researcher is that naïve, at least not in the laboratory. This is so much the case that, paradoxically, the only example of naïve belief we have seems to come from the irrationalists, who are always claiming that they have overthrown official science with stubborn facts that some conspiracy had hidden away.” [44]