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    Ultro.png Ultrōneism is a philosophy where I ramble on and on and on about nonsense.


    See my Userpage.

    Random Ramblings

    Another Side of Narcissus

    The myth of Narcissus is usually taken to be a "warning" against one-sidedness or at least extreme vanity. Like all great myths it contains an underlying ideal that the "creator" (as if a myth could have a single creator) wishes to promote. The story itself may not be real, as Lévi-Strauss succinctly observes: ‘Mythical stories are, or seem, arbitrary, meaningless, absurd…’[Note 1]. Myths do not always tell a story of the real world. Hence, comparing them to the real world in order to see whether the stories related in them are ‘true’ does not make sense. The message of myths is a moral tale about what holds the narrator’s universe together. They are moral tales because they encapsulate clear indications of how to live in this world once we understand it in the way the myth wants the audience to understand it.

    Art is the material or objective representation of what Hegel calls the "Absolute", or perhaps what Plato calls the 'Form of the Good'. And wish this we find that Narcissus is not only a myth, but also a meta-myth which explains the relation between the individual and the ideal. See for Narcissus he discovers in the reflection "another side of himself (Jenseits)"[Note 2]. The otherside (Jenseitiger), both the German words here have double meanings in 'beyond' and 'otherwordly' respectively. Stirner uses the terms to relate the longed for otherside of oneself to a religious longing of perfection, or heavenly or spiritual otherness. And do we not find that Narcissus' other (himself) is a longed for, Ideal "lover". He longs for the perfect version of himself, but he can never find it. He dies next to the still pond waiting for this "other".

    Now, obviously one shouldn't have extreme vanity and then one wouldn't die caring only for oneself. However, do we not find that instead Narcissus died waiting for the Ideal, the perfect other that would never come? The problem of Narcissus isn't one-sidedness, egoism if you will, but rather an endless striving for the ideal, the utopic or religious vocation of waiting for Jesus to come, or for the revolution to start. That perfect moral world which is contained within myth, within scripture, within manifestos, the underlying story that is devoid of reality and just a little absurd but it sure does have a message that you should take up, you have a calling in life and it is to exactly what someone else tells you to do. The catechism of the Catholic Church, Marxists, Myth Makers, etc. outlines perfectly "what must be done" in order to bring about heaven on earth, all you need to do is fall in line and die beside the pond.

    I Can Do Naught Else

    'Here I stand, I can do naught else!’[Note 3] are the supposed words of Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms. It is utilised thus for the same reason Stirner uses it, its role as "the basic maxim of all the possessed"[Note 4]. If one had it in their mind that it could be no other way, they are trapped within their own thoughts of "the truth". Anyway, the point here is to discuss the 'stubborn figure', the Zizekian "proto-totalitarian", the immovable person who can do naught else. For Zizek this falls to Antigone who disregards any argument against her cause because she wants to do what she wants to do. Unlike say her brother Polynices who even knowing that he is fated to die because of a curse, continues on the path because "God is on his side" - "And you never ask questions When God's on your side"[Note 5]. Now, I would call that stubborn.

    However, these distinctions will need to be discussed at another time for our purpose in this section will be to relate the stubborn figure to the myth of Prometheus. Prometheus (meaning forethought, i.e. 'future-foretelling') within Pseudo-Aeschylus' tragedy Prometheus Bound[Note 6]. The Titan Prometheus after aiding humanity, or persuing an alien cause, a cause that was not his (I wonder why Stirner never mentioned him) is punished by Zeus. Prometheus being the forethinker that he is, knew he would be punished and still commited the act. Further still, upon being given the chance to "repent" for his actions and released from his "cruxifiction" Prometheus doubles down and incurs the wrath of Zeus, solely because he "knows" Zeus will be overthrown (which Prometheus later prevents only so he can be released). As such, the petty stubborn character of Prometheus can literally do naught else except be strung up and nailed to a rock.

    The ancient conception of Prometheus was a necessary character for the worldly experience of the origin of 'Man', however the modern or romantic conception of Prometheus takes us on another path. Instead of being "stubborn" he is instead rebellious, opposing the tyranny of Zeus and of "religion". For we find that both Goethe's and Percy Shelley's Prometheus is a anti-authoritarian rebel who fights for humanity and freedom. Even Nietzsche's Prometheus speaks as the human conquest against God, the figure who gave humanity its knowledge and thus became an enemy of God. Shelley's depiction particularly speaks to me, solely because the Prometheus is not petty but actually pities Zeus, and in the end doesn't overthrow or replace Zeus, the current master, but rather in Shelley's anarchist philosophy there is no power in charge at the end. No change of masters, no changing of the guards. Instead, we have a figure who retains a form of his stubborness, maybe even his "possessed" nature in regard to his aid to humanity, but the romantic conception portrays him in a better more rebellious light.

    Let Us Strive for One-Sidedness: Reconciliation and Catharsis in Antigone

    To observe the relation of one-sidedness and Ideals within art, I wish now to look to an example within tragedy. Tragedy according to both Aristotle and Hegel is a form of poetry (and for Hegel poetry is the most "inward" expression of the absolute in art), and one that expresses catharsis. Now catharsis is exemplified in tragedy because the "tragic" outcomes are self-caused, as such the character in realising their decision and reconcilling it with the other purges their previous thoughts and achieves catharsis. As such the "one-sided" position of the tragic hero is negated by the opposing view, on this Hegel says, "The original essence of tragedy consists then in the fact that within such a conflict each of the opposed sides, if taken by itself, has justification, while on the other hand each can establish the true and positive content of its own aim and character only by negating and damaging the equally justified power of the other"[Note 7].

    As such, tragedy acts as a sort of mini-dialectic where opposing but one-sided or particular views (both of which have validity) are negated and sublimated into a universal view that the Hero obtains by modifying their view to incorporate the other. As such Hegel's famous interpretation of Sophocles' Antigone involves the relation betweem the ethical order of the state or civil society exemplified through Creon and then the divine or familial ethical order exemplified by the women or Antigone in this case. This is due to the fact that in Greek Society the male was the "political" actor while women were the guardians of the family and thus the household Gods. Both sides in this case, being Creon's earthly or human/state laws and Antigone's divine or familial laws, have justifications in Greek society. However, neither side acknowledges the others claim, they are both one-sided and stubborn, the "mirror-image" of each other. Butler here argues that Antigone is not a pre-political argued for by Hegel but instead she uses the tools of her "enemy" - "Antigone emerges in her criminality to speak in the name of politics and the law: she absorbs the very language of the state against which she rebels"[Note 8].

    Zizek also builds on this political dimension, his famous "Antigone... – a proto-totalitarian figure?"[Note 9] . He says his precisely for the same reasons as Butler and Hegel, that she is a stubborn figure, again he says, "If one were to rewrite Antigone as a modern tragedy, one would have to... turn it into a case of ridiculously stubborn perseverance which is utterly out of place..."[Note 10]. Antigone here is abashed by Zizek who unlike Hegel or Butler sees no redemption, unlike say Creon - who "far from being a totalitarian, Creon acts like a pragmatic state politician"[Note 11]. Zizek's favourite thinker Lacan has much the same to say, "Creon exists to illustrate a function that we have shown is inherent in the structure of the ethic of tragedy, which is also that of psychoanalysis; he seeks the good. Something that after all is his role. The leader is he who leads the community. He exists to promote the good of all."[Note 12]. Either way, both figures here exemplify different but justified one-sided positions.

    The opening position of the play or the positive of the dialectic is actually Creon's law, thus the negation is Antigone's "divine". As such the reconcilled position actually falls not to the "Hero" but rather Lacan's "counter- or secondary hero"[Note 13]. I go a step further and claim that he is the Hero, he experiences the reconcilliation and catharsis, Antigone in the end actually justifies her actions not on the God's or the family (both of which she casts off) but rather her own interests. She throws away her previous justification of divine laws, her commitment to family and rather says "Never, I tell you. If I had been the mother of children or if my husband died, exposed and rotting- I'd never have taken this ordeal upon myself... What law you ask, do I satisfy with what I say... no brother could ever spring to light again."[Note 14], and her brother in which Creon "has no right to keep her from her own"[Note 15]. She removes herself from the God's who she even says have forsaken her and left her to die, and the family in general of which she disregards except for her brother upon which she has a "selfish" interest in.

    She goes to death without reconcilling with Creon's laws. However, Creon after Antigone, his son, and wife commit suicide realises that it was his actions and his failure to acknowledge Antigone's position (the gods) which led to this situation and he realises his failure as King and demands to be taken away. Now, Antigone's 'personal passage' (my own name for it) is considered to be out of place, famously by Goethe who argues it is not fitting with the correct ethical order that is supposed to come from the Hero or tragedy. Her actions do not exemplify a "correct" one-sidedness or a universal principle contra Creon at the end, but rather a particular moral bankruptcy akin to say Stirner. Antigone rises above the art form and exemplifies Stirner's true egoist one-sidedness and opposed to being just an embodiment of a universal principle or "higher object" such as the family, state, or Gods. She escapes the dialectic, the “…contradictions [which] universally form the tragic conflict in the moral tragedy; and you have to think and feel morally to be able to take any interest in it.”[Note 16]. The Hero is actually Creon who as we know is "defeated" in the end.

    Reflections on Myth

    Ancient greek religion, and thereby myths, were not dogmatic or "positive" doctrines that afforded to their followers a set doctrine to experience. Instead, many different cities had their own stories and histories. Now, that is not to say that Zeus wasn't Zeus or that the Trojan war never happened, but rather Homer's story of the Trojan war for example is just one particular take on the story. For the Greek, "[t]he tradition of telling and retelling myths extends from the archaic period right down to the mid-fifth century AD..."[Note 17]. And myth takes form in many different mediums; poetry, painting, sculpture, tragedy, epic, comedy, philosophy. Each of these produces their own unique myth, and "[g]iven that Greek myths were not rigid, it is methodologically very important that we respect the individual telling or representations of the myths."[Note 18]. All Greek myth takes form in art, each telling is an artistic expression.

    However, the particular myths have long been subject to universal or scientific explaination. Most famously is perhaps Freud's theory of Oedipus, "and Freud presents his own hypothesis not as a new theory but as something that must itself be recognized as a ‘universal’ truth."[Note 19]. In turn the 'structuralist theory of the myth' looks to find the "parts" the individual elements of myth, the building blocks if you will that underlies all the particular myths. However, as particular objects, myth within art, such as a vase painting, Euripides' Medea or Plato's 'Ring of Gyges' these examples fail to be brought under universal categories. According to Lyotard, artistic objects escape our reason, they introduce imagination or emotion (if you are Plato) which cannot be logical or rationally analysed. hat the mind cannot always organize the world rationally. Some objects are simply incapable of being brought neatly under concepts. Such generalities as "concepts" fail to pay proper attention to the particularity of things.

    The myths instead of being scientifically analsysed should be taken as a whole, as the individual thing. However, something like tragedy with its anxiety and pleasure, produces emotional effects in its audience (contra. Aristotle). As such, tragedy falls under the Kantian sublime. Kant explains this mixture of anxiety and pleasure is a clash between our reason and the imagination. And this according to Lyotard produces the "irrational" content of art, the art is a breaking point in our reasoning, it escapes us and thus the "whole" cannot be totally understood either. Neither as parts or as whole's, art speaks to the irrational part of us (precisely why Plato despises art, but that shall be discussed down below). Taken as a whole, myths transform into "...historical forces, and that we should be especially careful not to make any comparison between accomplished fact and the picture people had formed for themselves before action."[Note 20], the picture in this case stands for Sorel's mythic projection. Myth then for Sorel is for "men who are participating in a great social movement always picture their coming action as a battle in which their cause is certain to triumph."[Note 21].

    As such, myths for Sorel are underlying Ideals, they project "mens" values into the future and set up the object of action. Here we find the Ideal that we spoke about earlier within art and myth specifically. Sorel continues to argue that "[a] myth cannot be refuted since it is, at bottom, identical to the convictions of a group"[Note 22], here we find Barthes thesis that myth is the underlying natural view of society, it is what props up action and norms. Thereby, myth is an irrational, but totalising striving towards the Ideal. It sets up the Ideal, and readies individuals for "action", the irrational spontaneity of action towards the "naturalised" ideology. An endless striving towards the ideal of the individuals and community. Although this ideal is not say Plato's which was always the utopian and rational. Perhaps another reason why Sorel seperates his Myth from Utopia, the picture presented in the myth is never a pure reflection of reality, i.e. Barthes seperation of myth from reality, that it seeks to deviate from the reality. Myth then, as art is an irrational medium for ideals.

    The Poetic Revolutionaries

    "A prolific poet, working in his academy, was called to lunch by his wife. He answered: “Wait just a moment; I only have the guardian class, a Socrates and a Muse to sing about.” Such is the way of the philosophical reactionary Plato — I chose this phrase, because one must not appear in the drawing room of philosophy without the tailcoat of a philosophical phrase — he deals with the difficult titan’s work of ancient poetry, which had to create the artistic heaven, the first heaven under the heavens, in broad brushstrokes. He depicts one after the other. It is a joy to see. Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Sophocles, the Greek Sophists, the Tragedians, the citizens of democracy, all get depicted using the same stencil." [Note 23]. Now, funnily Plato famously burned his poetry (which also included a work of tragedy) after meeting Socrates. As such the 'prolific poet' comment is an ironic claim for one such as Plato who later despised most forms of poetry, drama, and rhetoric. The quote comes from Stirner's work "The Philosophical Reactionaries" in which he responds to claims of sophistry within his work, and obviously this easily fits a critique of Plato who disliked tragedy for its sophistry.

    We would find the same story in Fischer's work (the subject of Stirner's critique) as in Plato's, in which Stirner says, "...let’s hear our glorious sophist-hunter himself: 'Sophistry is the mirror-image of philosophy — its inverted truth.'"[Note 24]. Thus, wholly the same truth, but in the opposite position? Oh, the position doesn’t matter to us. We look at the picture from above and call it a 'sophist'; we look at it from below and call it a 'philosopher' "tel est notre plaisir."[Note 25]. Obviously it is quite funny that both Fischer and Plato are "excellent" dialectians, in which the negative or inverted truth of philosophy should play a role in their dialectics. Such that tragedy or poetry, should wholly have its truth contained within philosophy, which is solely Plato's issue with the 'techne' or skill of poetry, that it takes away from philosophy. They "[the tragedians] dabble, Plato thinks in the philosopher's business, and he sets out to suppplant their faulty tragedy with a poetry of his own, the 'truest tragedy.' Plato's hostility to the tragedians is that of a competitor and successor."[Note 26].

    Plato believes there is an ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy, or the rational and the irrational. One stems from logical or dialectical thinking, the other stems from "divine" inspiration, one seeks the truth, the other seeks to please its audience. It speaks to their emotions rather than their intellect. However, as we have discussed the object of tragedy is the moral, which is why Plato disagrees so much. Because tragedy not only displays the good man, but also the evil man, and the not so perfect God. It displays the 'moral ideal', but can also display the negative as an ethical object or at least a spectacle which may soothe 'the masses'. Aristophanes in his riff on tragedy within his Frogs makes Euripides say "A poet should also teach people how to be good citizens"[Note 27]. Plato here doesn't disagree with the object of tragedy, but rather wishes to "fix" or improve tragedy towards his "truest tragedy" which appears in his Laws. It should never contain the evil man even if they are punished. Plato's goal was to purify tragedy of its own failings and to philosophise it further into rational, scientific, and universal principles of the philosopher.

    Obviously Plato's ideal is very different to Sorel's. Plato's utopian republic would eliminate myth, poetry, tragedy precisely because it contains the wrong ideals, whole Sorel's myths would help to eliminate utopias by providing a possible image of the Ideal without it being set in stone. Although both agree that myth is irrational. However, someone like Aristotle argues that there are rational principles behind tragedy, it follows set structures, provides set "experiences" for audiences such as catharsis etc. As such tragedy for Aristotle is a rational discourse. So too for Hegel who as we have argued boils down tragedy to dialectic itself, it produces universal rational principles through the "elimination" of one-sided particular positions. It lifts up discourses to Hegel's'Absolute'. Although for Hegel much like Plato, art is less rational than philosophy. The objective or material medium of art although presenting universal values (i.e. a portrait is a "perfected" or universal image of a person) is still a sensuous and thus not absolute medium, unlike rational thought. Tragedy however for Hegel even if less rational always unfolds in a rational way, the dialectic of rational and irrational continues.

    Lastly, we have to touch on the issue of deception, which for Gorgias was the underlying nature of tragedy. But Plato instead held that tragedy or poetry doesn't deceive but rather imitates (rather poorly) reality. That tragedy doesn't represent Plato's rational Forms means that it instead references material reality, or that art for Hegel as the material object doesn't reach his Absolute completely. Thus, art here never fully reaches the Ideal. Within structuralism we have come full circle because according to Barthes, myth doesn't seek to show reality when creating a worldview, it seeks to deviate from the reality. It doesn't deceive or cloud rational judgement (in agreement with Žižek's view of ideology) but rather shifts or purposely imitates reality. For Lévi-Strauss, myths do not show reality, they contain absurdities. And obviously myth displays stories that could happen, or atleast exist within reality (there are historical places, people, and Gods that are accepted, etc). So, myth works not because it hides its intentions, but because the intentions of myth have been naturalized. As such we return to Sorel's underlying community values, the ideology of a culture. Myths and thus poetry, art, tragedy, etc. aims to educate the masses on solely good terms, although it may use rhetorical skill and sophistic argumentation. Tragedy, and by extention myth, from the very beginning of "philosophy" was to display the Ideal, the "perfect" state of man, and to educate the 'ideal republic' which is society, and naturalize particular worldviews.

    The Actual is Irrational: The Ideal of Art

    The title will be familiar to those who know it. No, the title comes from Hegel's famous claim 'the actual is ratioanl', and as you've probably guessed I am not a fan of rationalism. Now that isn't to say that I oppose 'rational' thought, I just happen to think that their are things that slip through the cracks, and one such object is art. Now, I hold that art is irrational, or atleast extra-rational. That it escapes scientific or conceptual analysis, because while there are parts, there is also the whole. Although similar, I build off of the Romantics conception. The romantics, in following Kant thought that aesthetics could never be brought under conceptual analysis, it opposed cognitive thought. However, they still thought it followed rational principles, this is where we disagree. Instead, art speaks to our 'feeling', our creativity, our pleasure, emotion, etc. It is a striving, an attempt to approach or approximate what they called the 'Absolute'. Something that was outside of concepts, the absolute (the whole, the one) was unconditioned, because reality to the romantics was conditioned (by concepts), the overarching principle couldn't be conditioned. As such, their attempt to approximate the Absolute comes in through aesthetics, and not science. On this Schlegel says, "[i]f we abstract from all knowledge and will…we still find something more, that is feeling and striving. We want to see if we will perhaps find something here that is analogous to the consciousness of the infinite…"[Note 28].

    The Infinite, the One, the 'Form of the Good', the Absolute, all of these are analogous to the Ideal, "...for the romantics, the absolute is an organic rational whole, which is to say that it develops in accordance with a final purpose, “conforms to some form, archetype or idea.” The absolute, in other words, is an ideal reality, and the romantics are therefore idealists"[Note 29]. However, unlike say Hegel or Plato the Absolute can never be reached, it is always an endless striving. Instead, they fall closer to Schelling who seperates art from "rational" philosophy, he says, "...art occupies the highest place for the philosopher, since it opens up to him the holy of holies..."[Note 30]. Schelling like Stirner (or perhaps Stirner like Schelling) places art in relation to religion and seperates it from reason. Again, "art is, in fact, the only alternative, that the categories of science (in the broad German sense of the term that covers every rationally disciplined enquiry) and art cover the entire range of human cognition."[Note 31]. However, Schelling goes further than the romantics and argues that aesthetics can actually give us access to the Absolute. Art is the relation to the Ideal. Now see, here we have Stirner's thesis that Art creates religion, it supplies the Ideal.

    And while Bauer sought to show art as the expression of self-conscious individuals at to strip art of its religious message (i.e. a reversal of Hegel's 'end of art' thesis), in which the gospels (following David Strauss) were creative myths of conscious communities. However, unlike say Christian Hermann Weisse he didn't see Mark as the first gospel because of its aesthethic-religious content, but rather solely for its aesthetic content, because the later gospels were religious and thus more "clerical" and less self-conscious. Although, for someone like Stirner, art gives the subject the object, it gives the ethical object or the objective form of the Ideal, it presents the religion its object. Now, that is not to say that art is religion, but rather Art creates the Ideal of which religion must depend. Religion is a relation to objects. Rather than say philosophy which deals with objects or subjects as if they were the same, they look into the rational content. The philosopher deals with God in the same way a rock, discovering its essence. As such, art seperates itself from rational content, and itstead deals with aesthetic content.

    This content as we have discussed previously is the bane of Plato, the emotion, the irrational spirit, the call to action etc. I.e. for Plato art (poetry) can never reach the Form of the Good, or the relation of Good and Love in Beauty. However, it is because of its irrational content that it speaks to say the Romantics, Schelling, Sorel, Lyotard, Stirner, as opposed to say Plato, Hegel, Bauer. These last figures like Levi-Strauss or Freud seek to place art under a scientific lens (i.e. German philosophy as 'science') and thus derive its conceptual power. But as we have also discussed that art is particular, it escapes universal principles. Even Bauer agrees, arguing that the substance or content of art is only one part, the subjectivity of art is removed through the conceptual. On this he says, 'Only a self-conscious individual, even if as an expression of a community, can produce art and compose poetry[Note 32]. Stirner, I believe has taken this opinion and produced it further, he says on multiple occasions that artistic works are individual reflections, "...no one can, for example, produce your musical compositions, carry out your painting projects, etc., in your place: Nobody can replace Raphael’s works. The latter are the works of a unique individual, which only he is capable of achieving..."[Note 33].

    As such, Hegel's conception of art as an objective representation of the Absolute can never fully appreciate the particular, subjective, emotionally side to art and thus fails to completely "conceptualise" it. Instead, we agree with the Romantics or Schelling, that the absolute is found (or perhaps the Ideal is represented best) within Art (that is not to say that Hegel's writings aren't works of art, but even trying to understand them completely rationally fails). Here we find Stirner's "critique" or rather analysis ring true, "Art creates disunion, in that it sets the Ideal over and against man."[Note 34]. It like Sorel, creates the future ideal and produces action, although again like Sorel, Stirner argues that the Ideal can never be reached because it can never come down to the Real, where then would the Ideal be? The endless striving for perfection, for the Ideal is the principle of the Romantics, of Sorel. The rational utopia of Plato will never be reached, but maybe we can stumble upon an approxiation of the Ideal?

    Well, atleast Plato and I can agree on one thing, that doesn't seem very 'rational' to me. Although one would then have to agree with Hegel that the real is rational, seeing as we have found the Ideal to be represented by the irrational. And as such, we find that the un-real, the Ideal can never be real otherwise it wouldn't really be Ideal, but instead real. The representation of individuals or communities etc. within art is as we have discussed the underlying Ideal or the Absolute, but as we have just discovered this absolute never comes to pass, the "ideal" or longed for otherside of ourselves is just that, an Ideal. As Stirner says, "[h]is arms reach outward, but the Other is never reached; for would he reach it how could the ‘Other’ remain? Where would this disunion with all of its pains and pleasures be? Where would be — and we can speak it outright, for this disunion is called by another name — religion?"[Note 35]. And if the Ideal can never be reached, why strive for it? Perhaps because the approximation is better than the real, but how good is the approximate? Can one ever really know?

    The Real and the Ideal: Mortality and Divinity in Ancient Poetry

    Who else could sum up the perfect relationship between the real and the ideal but the tragedy of the greeks, those pitiful actors who must deal with their mortality and suffering while the Gods toy around in their squabling and game-playing. The juxtaposition between the longed for lives of the Gods and the terrible reality of their own mortal existence. So too with even the Greek Philosophers, did not the Cynics argue that the Gods required nothing and so gave up everything themselves? Did not Epicurus also long to live as his God, that transcendent figure who lived without trouble and pain? Homer and Hesiod put on full display the opposition between the lives of mortal men and the carelessness of the Greek Pantheon. The people in all these displays, like the German Romantics, know they never obtain the Ideal but still strive after it, but what seperates the Greeks from the Germans is the acknowledegment of the real actions that come from the striving, and the true reality of their own lives. They exist as actual figures who can obtain their own possibility or capability. They know they will never truely reach the Ideal of the Gods and instead aim for the approximation from the beginning.

    It is from Homer and Hesiod that the Greeks gained there full conceptions of the Greeks, or so says the historian Herodotus. And within their works they put on the full display the 'games' of the Gods, while the gruesome Trojan war unfolds, or the endless labour of man is "promoted". Homer argues that death in battle, glory, is the goal of Man (or that of proper homecoming), while Hesiod argues it is good livelihood and work, as such the "Ideal' of these poets is disconnected with the real Ideal of the lives of the Gods. Although later philosohical conceptions came closer to the Godly Ideal, it could still never be gained in full. Plato's Demiurge rationally orders the universe according to Forms, so we should build our Republic the same. Aristotle's 'Prime-Mover' is pure perfection, and everthing strives to be like it. The Cynics argued that the Gods were perfect and thus didn't require 'goods', so what did they do, they gave up as much as the good always falling short of nothing. Epicurus' "Gods" i.e. transcendent entities who didn't care the universe, living a life blissfully with no pain or worry, and what did Epicurus teach?

    Now, could we argue that the Christian will never become God? Sure, but the ideal Christian outcome is "ruling" over the next world with Jesus. You will gain your true life along with God. Now, that isn't to say that I think Greek Religion is better, I just find that art produced in that culture displays a realer side than Christian art (including literature). That is not to say that Christian art is wrong, nor for that matter is say a photo of a rock, it instead has very little 'Ideal' in it. The point here is to say that Greek art while not perfectly meshes the Ideal and the Real to create beautiful works. Like even little bronze models of Horses in the 8th century BCE were used as a status of power, or given to sanctuaries as offerings. They were reflections of real things, but also reflections of the values in society. As opposed to say God reaching out towards Adam, which I mean, doesn't really reflect anything real of me, except you know perhaps the individual connection between a christian and God (but I can't say I am a believer). Either way, I think the combination of ideal and real is "better" in antiquity.

    The End of Art

    Art as as reflection of the Absolute has had its time, that job now shifts to religion and philosophy. At least according to Hegel who argued that modernity with the rise of secular or humanist art has stripped art of its highest vocation (job), on this he says, "art, considered in its highest vocation, is and remains for us a thing of the past”[Note 36]. As such, art is no longer the best medium for the truth of reality. It no longer reflects the Ideal perfectly. However, I would argue that this has never changed, the "Absolute" has just changed. Which for Hegel would be impossible because it would always be heading towards the same (albeit it "is" not always the same). See for someone like Bauer who argued for an atheitic theory of art, art was instead meant to be stripped of its religious role and instead taken up as a critical tool for religious and political critique. It was to become "autonomous" which is also Hegel's goal, it "“...is to get a sure footing in the prose of life, to make it absolutely valid in itself independently of religious associations, and to let it develop in unrestricted freedom”[Note 37].

    The 'changing' Ideal would then reflect the society and its values, i.e. Sorel's myth - "[a] myth cannot be refuted since it is, at bottom, identical to the convictions of a group"[Note 38], or Barthes notion of the myth, a naturalisation of values (although for Barthes they are top down values of the ruling class and its media). Although, art that merely reflects the dominant or in our case 'bourgeoisie' values then it loses all its "critical" power. The situationists argue that "reactionary" forces seek to downplay the political role of art in order to integrate it into "society", artworks are sterilized, banalized, degraded, and can be safely integrated into the official culture and the public discourse, where they can add new flavors to old dominant ideas and play the role of a gear wheel in the mechanism of the society of the spectacle.[Note 39]. Oscar Wilde, Walter Benjamin, and Roland Barthes also critique "social" art for its reduction of uniqueness and creativity. The artist must follow the dictates of the market if they are to make a living, or they utilise a natural language which is pre-ordained. While Benjamin argues that mass-produced art fiting to cultural values limits the aura of original art.

    As such, the "religious" nature of art in its promotion of the Ideal reduces the 'real' of the art, the individual or personal reflection is limited through social values. However, figures like Bauer or the Futurists, or the SI argue that the "ideal" nature of art needs to be seperated from social values in order to "truly" reflect the Ideal. Quite similar to Plato who argued that usual poetry speeks to the masses, while philosophy speaks to the "aristocratic' intellectual. Although the Futurists are more on the side of pushing art into the social [political] sphere rather than seperating it, however, they do have a distaste for traditional values. My opinion stays the same, whether "traditional" or "revolutionary", art produces Ideals, and if these are critical or not does not change their "religious" vocation. Whether they supply the Ideals of the "masses" or a select few critics, whether they are "unique" and individual, or mass produced, they reflect the Ideal aspirations, messages, or values. Now that is not to say this removes the real aspects (as Benjamin says, all "creative" works of art are still unique).

    Autonomy of Art

    The Soul of Man Under Egoism

    Wilde's socialism was obviously no scientific or economic analysis of the internal contradictions of capitalism, it was rather a statement of creativity. Now, while art may be a path into the ideal, it cannot help but also being the Sorelian or Baurian relflection of consciousness (collective or individual respectively), a material object in which an individual or community may represent themselves. A seeming connection between uniquely created objects (as if a creative act could be completed by any other individual) - "...the rest [individual works] remain egoistic, because no one can, for example, produce your musical compositions, carry out your painting projects, etc., in your place: Nobody can replace Raphael’s works. The latter are the works of a unique individual, which only he is capable of achieving" [Note 40]. We have then a connection between a unique individual and its creative objects (property). I do not wish to argue that Stirner was a socialist, although as we all know he wasn't opposed to the idea, only its sacredity, rather his complaint against capitalism (and for that matter socialism and communism) was that it stripped the individual of themselves, and of their uniqueness, or their creativity.

    In its place, Stirner contends that socialism in its focus on the community even if private ownership is done away with (something Stirner also argues for), is just as much a burden on the individual. Now Wilde's analysis points him to the great poets and artists of history who were wealthy enought to solely express their individuality (again, as if only the rich could do so, instead of those who act as themselves through and through). He then concludes that inequality, money, markets, etc. are to be blamed for the lack of "livers" as opposed to those who merely exist. Now I do very much agree that capitalism stifles everyone, including the capitalist, but I do not agree with his solution, nor do I agree capitalism is to blaime for the lack of individuals, rather that it is self-denial on behalf of the individual towards something like the market, the community, capitalism, work, competition, critics, etc. This brings us onto the second criticism of Wilde's against capitalism, that being his complaint against competition. In which he finds the destruction of individual creative acts.

    On this we agree, because we find it again in Barthes whose first work Writing Degree Zero locates the unique and original in writing. Barthes argues that conventions (i.e. what Wilde would call the dictates of the public and the market) inform both language and style, rendering neither purely creative. Instead, form, or what Barthes calls "writing" (the specific way an individual chooses to manipulate conventions of style for a desired effect), is the unique and creative act. However, a writer's form is vulnerable to becoming a convention once it has been made available to the public. This means that creativity is an ongoing process of continual change and reaction. This program of escaping essential identities through a reinvention of oneself has many important parallels with the Baudelarian aestheticization of the self. Like Baudelaire's assertion that the self must be treated as a work of art, Stirner sees the self -or the unique- as a "creative nothingness," a radical emptiness which is up to the individual to define: "I do not presuppose myself, because I am every moment just positing or creating myself"[Note 41].. The self, for Stirner, is a process, a continuous flow of self-creating flux--it is a process that eludes the imposition of fixed identities and essences: "no concept expresses me, nothing that is designated as my essence exhausts me"[Note 42].

    Stirner's and by extension Baudelaire's concept of the self finds itself at home with another post-structuralist thinker, Foucault. Whose concept of freedom and individuality is a reflection of the ancients in their "care for the self". It is a process of re-defining oneself and never being pinned down, not essentialised and classified. Being unique and creative. For Baudelaire (and Foucault), the contingent, fleeting nature of modernity is to be confronted with a certain "attitude" toward the present that is associated with a new mode of relationship that one has with oneself. This involves a reinvention of the self: "This modernity does not 'liberate man in his own being'; it compels him to face the task of producing himself"[Note 43]. So, rather than freedom being a liberation of man's essential self from external constraints, it is an active and deliberate practice of inventing oneself. This practice of freedom may be found in the example of the dandy, or flâneur, "who makes of his body, his behavior, his feelings and passions, his very existence, a work of art"[Note 44]. Not only is art a creative act, but so too is the self a creative act that produces individualism. The individual produces their own individuality through their uniqueness and their unique creations. Artistic 'Ideals' are then surely products of myth makers and artists, but also of creative individuals who merely wished to, like Stirner, "...write because I want to give my thoughts and existence in the world"[Note 45].

    The Reality of It All

    Behind Every Beautiful Thing: Aesthetic Relections on Bob Dylan

    Political Intrigue: Insurrection and Revolution in Sophocles’ Antigone

    All's Power in Love and War

    I think everybody knows at this point that Ancient Greek (and Roman) society contained a wider range of sexual "possibilities", and if one has studied their Foucault, they would know that terms such as homosexual or lesbian etc. are very modern terms. The Ancient Greeks instead had the dominant (or penetrative) partner and then the submissive, which really confines the role to adult males. As such, the "place" to be in Ancient Greek society was as the dominant table, or profession or etc. As such the "phallic" role was the power in the realm. And in order to "secure" this power if one lacked it we shall be looking as two possible methods. The first being a Hesiodic "Bullying" or "Suppression", while the second will be a sort of Sapphic "Assimilation".

    Now, I don't agree with either method, even if Hesiod in is my influences list (but that will come later I suppose). The Hesiodic case involves obviously Hesiod, whose younger brother sort of kicked him out of the family wealth and became popular or influential where they both lived. Hesiod then sort of felt like a "submissive" male and made it his goal in his poetry to undercut his brother, other submissive males, and especially females to make his own position look better. His own powerless position was to be improved by attacking others in a similar situation and forcing them even lower. While Sappho instead likens her own love to Homeric Epic and its tales of war. She "masculates" her feminine love, and thus lifts herself up and "phallicises" her position, aiming to make herself seem dominant which was forbidden to women. Sappho's position however acknowledges the power of the dominant or masculine and thus has to reach it, she reinforces its material reality through her acceptance of it. If she rather sort power without "giving" power back to her oppressors that would be the best, but sometimes it isn't all that easy.

    Discourse on Injustice

    Lyotard's collapse of "Grand-Narratives" was a continuation of Nietzsche's claim that we have killed God. Instead of a shift into Nihilism, we have in fact returned to Paganism (I will touch on this in the next section). However, Lyotard saw this in a positive note. Reversing Plato's critique of "pagans" for their shifting Gods and understandings of reality, Lyotard instead suggests that the Postmodern is akin to a shifting pantheon of morals, model images, sacred concepts, etc. Like we have freedom of religion, people have different gods, different laws, different states, different cultures, etc. We don't all have one overarching system that we obey. And Lyotard here discusses that this is no cause to panic because there isn't objective truth or without objective morals, akin to Dostoyevsky's "if God is dead, then everything is permitted". No, instead the injustice of the Postmodern Pagan is very similar to one of the "founders" of Greek paganism, Hesiod. Whose 'Discourse on Justice' within his Works and Days relates how his brother Perses has taken the greater share of the inheritence, squandared it, and then comes crawling to Hesiod for the remainder. Hesiod then continues to relate his theories of Justice, Hubris, his Good and Bad cities, etc. But most importantly is his discussion of the distribution of wealth.

    Reading Hesiod through Lyotard, I find that Hesiod's justice in this case is a case of "justly" earned wealth, not the violent or unjust taking of anothers property and wealth (now I know the socialist case could be taken here, and do so if you so desire). Lyotard's postmodern justice is precisely having no one overarching justice, it is letting the small "micro-narratives" and pagans have their Gods. It is not forcing a singular world view, not taking more than their fare share, "They know not how much more the half is than the whole"[Note 46]. Zeus himself (while being the overarching Justice in Ancient Greece) gave the God's their titles and duties, he distributed justice accross the Gods, and perhaps our Postmodern Justice could act as an overarching justice in which all forms of justice are given their place in the pantheon. So to do I find my own political "ideology" involving a Lyotardian or Hesiodic kaleidoscope of justice, I do not wish to universalise my thought to applicable to all individuals, or even another individual.

    It’s Easy to See Without Looking Too Far That Not Much Is Really Sacred: The Death of God and ‘petits récits’

    Probably won't be the longest or "richest" section because it came to me in a dream, no, I just haven't happened to come back to the texts that this is built upon. Obviously the title would give you impressions of the Nietzschean destruction of, or at least the realisation of destroyed, universal values, truths, discourses, etc. and then the follow up "solution" of Lyotard's minor narratives in the place of universal 'Grand Narratives'. However, you would be wrong, because like the good Postmodernist I am, I must be ironic. Because you find that the first part of the title, which happens to be a Dylan quote about 'toy guns that spark' and 'flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark' you would still find that people do find things sacred. And while we may have killed God, we still have all the other 'God's' to deal with, or even just the next God. One must only look at how the Christians killed Zeus or how the Humanists killed the Christian God. Yet, we do not wish to discuss what Stirner calls "piling heaven upon heaven"[Note 47]. Instead I wish to discuss Lyotard's inversion of Plato, here Plato, in Book II of the Republic, condemns pagans (a term later used for Platonic Theology, see the heaven piling?) for their shape-shifting and deceitful gods, antithetical to universal truth. Lyotard prefers a mirror image of Plato's critique, vindicating the pagans as Plato sees them. Lyotard argued that we live again in pagan societies with many gods to be worshipped.

    We have killed the one "true" God and in his place have filled the void, the valueless nihilism of Nietzsche never came to pass, even in the the depths of postmodernity. Instead we can go down to the shop of "truths" or narratives, and pick our very favourites. Quite strangely, a lot of atheist writers prefer the pagan, the Greek 'age of tragedy', even Cioran in his nihilism commends that golden age of antiquity. On this he says, "The old one (Paganism), so much more human, left you the faculty of choosing the god you wanted; since it imposed none upon you, it was up to you to incline toward one or another. The more capricious you were, the more you needed to change gods, to shift from one to another, being quite certain of finding the means of adoring them all in the course of one existence."[Note 48]. Oh a choice in masters, how appetising. Yet here we also find another principle, the 'Postmodern Cynic' of Žižek, which is quite fascinating that it appears in a discussion of postmodernism... Anyway, the ideological shopper who knows they are being decieved by ideology but still "chooses" it anyway is none other than our postmodern pagan who has killed God (Ideology) but in its place has created Gods (Ideologies). Instead of being forced or perhaps unconsciously taking on the position of the ideological, we now have the believer who is left the faculty of choosing the ideology they want. As much as postmodernism is charged with relativism, or nihilism it somehow finds itself stuck in the middle of sacradity. It is no more relativist than the Catholic and the Prostetant who are no longer fighting over the Gods they made. Nor is it anymore nihilist than the pessimist who adores the pagan sensibility.

    The Religious Forms of the Social Life


    BERNHEflash.gif BERNHE
    Let us begin with your caption, because I assume most people use it as a summary to their ideology in semi-quote form. It reads, "Why settle for imperfection if we don't have to?"[Note 49], which as we know by now is a religious sentiment. There is a eschatology to this, one that "demands" or rather plans on forcing you to follow its catechism so that a political heaven may be established. And we may respond with our own question, "whose perfection" - Perhaps, we should take a leaf from "religion" or Christianity in this case and "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."[Note 50]. I doubt BERNHE is meaning this perfection, but rather his own definition of perfection which rather makes him quite the egoistic person, even narcissistic, everyone should be like me claims our tyrant. Yes, this would be easily shown by "not" being his own, his property, you would quickly take a trip to his jail. I prefer to have my own definitions of perfection, and for that matter, self-perfection. As such, I will keep it to myself.

    LibMarxBall.png LibMarxBallism
    Once again, we have found ourselves a very religious person who seeks to find their heaven at the end of society. Oh but one that has materialist history on its side. Yes the contradictions of capitalism with its one-sided state acting in solely class interests couldn't become a universal state, and must collapse under the wheel of dialectics. And yet the DOTP is just one such one-sided state, oh but it will collapse too, or rather "wither away" until only a contradictionless classless society forms. Because contradictions can only ever arise between classes and not individual and systems. However, once again we find that the individual doesn't really matter, as long as the end goal of communism is achieved, - "The revolutionary is a doomed man. He has no personal interests, no business affairs, no emotions, no attachments, no property, and no name. Everything in him is wholly absorbed in the single thought and the single passion for revolution."[Note 51]. In other words, feel free to die for the cause, the just cause, the right cause. You mean and have nothing compared to the individual filled "community", or rather the iron laws of history. Still, the replacement of one system by another even by revolution is nothing but a changing of the guards, a handing over of masters, a heaven storming in which the bourgeoisie "heaven" is toppled by the communist heaven, just as it toppled the feudal heaven. Nothing but a violent reform that sets up a new universal system that should, hopefully (fingers crossed) work for everyone because the state isn't one-sided. Well thanks Marx.

    Pixil-frame-0(27).png Kaiser Emperor Of Cheese Empire
    "This is what happens if I assume power and leadership in Indonesia" - Yes always the "if", what a wait! Let us follow the historical signs and make sure that we are one day ready... IF the Christian Eschatology has taught us anything, it is that the 'Catechism of the Catholic Church' or really any Catechism (even Marx's or Nechayev's), a set of rules or "planned" doctrines, even if there are 13 of them can never bring about heaven faster - "You know not the hour that I come". Civilisation and society will progress right into the end state, it is inevitable, and yet didn't the previous thinkers progress right into the current state of things? Did they not imagine a perfect little "heaven" for themself right here in their little slice of earth? And yet now we pile heaven upon heaven, we will never be satisfied, but be rest assured each heaven is the "end of history" and to get there you must reduce yourself to a mere means, a tool, in order to bring this utopia about. Oh but don't worry, it will be for your own good in the end, we are doing all of this to benefit you, and if you help out you will benefit yourself. And yet it would be a crime to stop progress, to go against the thirteen step plan, I am not allowed to seek my own self-benefit, because that would stop the self-benefiting utopia from coming about. Oh, what a contradiction. Yes, this acceleration of society into Cheese's "utopia" looks quite hellish to me.

    Ioist.png Io
    Now, the queer certaintly is different - "sexual acts and identities that do not libe up easily along the usual binaries..."[Note 52]. But if we wish to disolve the gender class system and make sure that all are "equal" - "No more distinction, no preferential treatment of persons, no class difference! Let all be alike! No special interest should be pursued anymore, but rather the general interest of all"[Note 53] - then we try very hard not to set up another distinction, between cis and queer. It becomes another them versus us mentality. And if one were really trying to be queer, then one would be trying to be unique. And "[a]s unique, you no longer have anything in common with the other and therefore also nothing divisive or hostile; you don’t seek to be in the right against him before a third party, and stand with him neither “on the ground of right,” nor any other common ground. The conflict disappears in complete—divergence or uniqueness."[Note 54]. See, the first quote is from a work on Sappho, discussing not her role as a lesbian, but as queer. And if you read my section on Sappho's assimilation above you would know that her "difference" reinforced the "cis" (which didn't exist then) or dominant male hierarchy.

    Ashley.png AshleyHere
    I'd have to touch on the socialism later, even if I have read "all" of your current influences. However, dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this Congregation, to join together this philosopher and this ideology in holy Matrimony. The philosopher being Max Stirner and the ideology being "Social" Anarchism. Which if we look at the "definition" of we shall find that it exemplifies "communitarian and cooperative aspects in anarchist theory" [Note 55]. And as we all know, if Stirner was an anarchist, then his anarchism would work off his many comments of "mutual" association and cooperation as opposed to competition. However, would we also fall down at the boundary of the community and the individual? Well surely if you valued the community more than its individual members, such that a random individual is "thrown" down so the community may walk on their back, well I wouldn't really think you were an anarchist. However, the social anarchist presumably sees the community as a continuous or seperate entity that continues on with or without certain individuals, i.e., they left or died. Which Stirner does not, because the union is not something else extra on top of the individual association. Still, I find no need for the word social, and I certaintly find no such individualist anarchists in history.

    Duckf.png Duck-Citizen
    I have great quarrels especially since you have come around to agree with my position. However, I am not apolitical, I am just not for sweeping change or for a change of masters. I think political "change" can stem from individual action, not that it needs to be, but I shall discuss that in a section. But, we are here today to discuss your opinions of which you have little presented currently so that will have to do. Radical change, by which I assume you mean revolution, assassination, large scale seperation, etc. need not lead to civil war, it is historically common. The civil war itself gives no freedom, prosperity, or equality but neither did the previous system if it lead to radical political change, and as such is not the problem of civil war, rather the danger it proposes to individuals. I am no Hobbesian, and as such do not seek security through the state but rather revel in the war of all against all, as it clearly seems to be the only way in which I myself step forward. I give to myself what I require, if the Ancient Greeks waited for their tyrants to "overthrow" themselves and give them liberation then they would have waited forever, it was only those people who threw off their own chains are release themselves who gain their "freedom", prosperity, and equality. Now, is this a call to revolution, or rather an assessment of "mental" chains whereby the authority is given to those because we bow down ourselves? If I view someone as my master, then they continue to be so, if I do not, then I see them as an enemy, an opponent, and an oppressor whose strength relies on my self-subjugation.

    Hard to say, hard to say. Can you stop putting so many icons and hyperlinks in your sections, especially if they have already appeared. Like Nominalism and Stirner appear like 10 times in one paragraph. I still think you misunderstand Stirner's philosophy. And I still think you grab a lot of my thinkers. However, we are not here to cheap shots but... well I would say truth, but. The main contention I have is your "structural anti-structuralism" in which you oppose any sort of semblance on putting the world in order and yet seek to have a discussion on any and all philosophical concepts so as to have the most complete system of philosophy since Hegel which seemingly explains everything according to a highest concept (whether or not it is "unessentialist"). Let alone the fact that you muddle the rhizome which has an essence, it contains itself and can be spoken of without dealing with anything inside of it, unlike say Stirner's unique which could at any time reference anything and all things. The rhizome which involes heterogeneity, connection, etc. as well as being against arborescence, i.e. something that it is not, it then seperates itself and finds an essence. The unique could be both rhizomatic and arborescent. I find that you force a conception on us all, and try to build a system of pure concepts. You have everything explained to us and leave nothing left behind to be uniquely expressed, if one were to follow you, they would have a complete thought process and system to neatly explain everything. You place structure on everything and thus create box yourself into your own personal spectacle.

    O'Langism.png O'Langism
    Now, O'Lange doesn't happen to be a Marxist, nor do they happen to understand Egoism and plainly think that it is about "believing" in the rights of individuals and that they are the center of "society". However, their critique of said egoism is the enforcement of "provisions" - "Communism actually provides them to each one, imposes them on him, and forces him to acquire them... communism forces acquisition, and recognizes only the acquirer, the tradesperson. It’s not enough that the trade is open, you must take it up."[Note 56]. And yet, if one were to be "creatively open", by earning their 'proper pensions or decent wages' and thus not being alienated from their labour then their value would be within their labour. Here we find that "Communism makes the principle of the bourgeoisie, that everyone is a holder (“property owner”), into an irrefutable truth, into an actuality, in that now the worry about acquiring ceases and everyone has what he needs from the start... He is a care-free and secure holder. And he is precisely this, because he no longer looks for his capacity in a product, but in his own labor, in his capacity for labor, thus because he is a pauper, a person of only ideal wealth. I, however, cannot be satisfied with the little I can afford through my capability for labor, because my capability doesn’t consist merely of my labor."[Note 57]. I am not solely a member of society, nor am I solely a worker. My individuality and creativity comes from so much more. And the "social" or "community" property that my master kindly gives to me is no more than the property the lord gave to the serf (oh they could use it to make a living, but the Lord owned it). And heaven forbid that the serf disrespect the society Lord or their use of that property would be swiftly taken away.

    Rock.png Rocksmanylobsters
    Have any of you noticed that existentialism seems like the philosophy for non-philosophers. Anyway, I've discussed my thoughts about Bookchin before in regard to this user, so I will refrain. I will also refrain from extrapolating, especially from the "influences" section and will instead discuss the available "content". Let us start with "Rockism... supports a more radical form of queer liberation to create a society inclusive of everyone." - Again, if queer people have to wait for a society to even "be" themselves then we aren't really getting anywhere at all, let alone the fact that "liberation" cannot come from above because then one would be nothing but a "freed" individual, instead of a free individual. Continuing on, "advocating the eventual abolition of gender, which he believes will one day be nothing but a pointless social construct." It already is a social construct if anyone has read their Foucault. However, gender and sexuality became a hot topic due to "civilisation" or more so the appropriate measures needed to moniter and "control" a populous. Precisely because the "society" took an interest in its individuals and stuck its nose in their affair to concern themselves with such topics as birth and death rates, marriage, and contraception, the proper "categorisation" of sexuality and gender had to take place. If one wanted to "abolish" gender then one would have to stop caring about "controlling" and measuring individuals not creating another "better" society, because that was the problem in the first place. "He also values freedom of speech and privacy (both in real life and on the internet) and advocates a legal system built around the harm principle." Once again, if a ruling power has to give you permission to have free-speech, then it isn't really "free" speech, but rather "freed" speech. Having a master that lets you do certain things is no freedom at all, let alone the fact that if you allow them this power, it can be easily altered at any time. The only way to "secure" free-speech is by speaking freely, not waiting for permission, but rather speaking out from your own freedom. Lastly, the harm principle never works, because no one agrees on a definition of harm.

    Vexism.png Vex
    Did it ever occur to you that your statism, elitism, and socialism contradicts your progressive outlook in social issues? You value the equalisation of minorities, as such you abhor the exclusion of these individuals based on essential categories. However, it apparently did not cross your mind that your statism promotes the very same exclusion. Obviously as a reader of Young Hegelian theory, I will be utilising its arguments for this. In Bauer's famous The Jewish Question he argues that 'particular' differences such as those between Christians and Jews promotes exclusion for Jewish people because they don't fit into the then current political power which was Protestant (in Germany). As such, both Christian and Jews need to realise their commonality, Humanism, in order to build a universal state, Bauer's 'republic'. However, Marx then critiques this idea arguing that we need to build a materially universal state, or the DOTP (even though it serves the interest of one class, and thus falls under Marx's critique of the capitalist state, but anyway). However, the point here still stands, a system that universalises individuals according to a singular aspect of their being, human, worker, etc. fails to account for differences, and thus excludes them. Either way, the elite state of Vex that argues it "...frees them to focus on their labor and cultural pursuits while trusting those versed in political theory and economics to run the country in their stead." - i.e. It only cares for their labour power, them being a worker and a "member" of their culture. Without realising their individual existence counts for so much more than just their ability to work. Let alone the fact that it says you may not be political important, because you are not 'elite', it excludes. Just as the "reactionary" force may say, you may not be equal, because you are not 'straight', 'man', 'white'. Or perhaps the Christian State says you cannot be integrated, because you are 'Jewish'. I don't much care for political systems that create exclusion, and I certainly don't think you can solve it through universalisation.

    MATTball.png Matteel
    Let us start with the fact that Matteel has "seperated" their politics and their philosophy as if each were mutually exclusive. How does one in fact have a philosophy of life and then not apply it to a facet of their life, or perhaps Matteel is simply referencing the fact that one must 'give' up their own life in order to further the goals of 'ideas' or political ideologies (because as we all know, you are not ideas, so either you further yourself or them). Why one must have a 'logical' conclusion to the fact that you have found no answers to questions that are asked incorrectly. See, if one were a scientist they would argue that the 'logical' conclusion is to continue searching, while the believer would have their answer. So, the fact that you make the absolute claim that there is no answer places you into the dogmatic category (not that the scientist isn't either, you'd only have to look at their assumption of empirical data for that). Matteel then goes on to argue that we have no "purpose" (point) in life, but also that there are "purposes" in life. Compulsiveness does not equate to hedonism, nor does hedonism equate to happiness. You then claim that you would like to move beyond politics, and yet this philosophy was for when you are not engaged in politics. "It could be argued that we are all hedonists" - If you wanted to argue this, and place an "essence" before my existence then you would have to remove the existentialist label from your philosophy, so too would you have to drop the anti-humanism seeing as you hold a human nature - "seek to avoid pain and do things that are pleasurable." Do you have requisite evidence for this, or is this a universal essentialist claim? Lastly, the over abundance of references to intercourse, porn, etc. is a bit distasteful and isn't really a philosophy... All in all, this just reads as a very poorly read wiki-hedonist page.


    1. Lévi-Strauss 1979, 3
    2. Stirner 1842
    3. Luther 1521
    4. Stirner 1844
    5. Dylan 1963
    6. Scholarly consensus believes it was written by Aeschylus' son
    7. Hegel, 15:523; A 1196
    8. Butler 2000, p. 5
    9. Zizek 2005, p. 306
    10. Ibid. p. 192
    11. Ibid. p. 307
    12. Lacan 1960, p. 258
    13. Ibid. p. 277
    14. Sophocles, R. Fagles (Trans.), p. 105
    15. Ibid. p. 105. Emphasis mine
    16. Stirner 1844
    17. Price 1999, p. 14
    18. Price 1999, p. 15
    19. Bowlby 2007, p. 15
    20. Sorel 1908, p. 50
    21. Sorel 1908, p. 41
    22. Sorel 1908, p. 29
    23. Modified Quote. Stirner 1847
    24. Stirner 1847
    25. In French literally, “such is our pleasure,” in other words, “as it pleases us.”
    26. Kuhn 1941, p. 2
    27. Aristophanes, H. G. D. Barret (Trans.) 2007, p. 172
    28. Schlegel, ITP: 244–45.
    29. Nassar 2013, p. 10
    30. Schelling 1800
    31. Young 2013, p. 74
    32. Bauer 1842, p. 204.
    33. Stirner 1844
    34. Stirner 1842
    35. Ibid.
    36. Hegel 1975, 1: 11
    37. Hegel 1975, 1: 598
    38. Sorel 1908, p. 29
    39. Debord 1957
    40. Stirner 1844
    41. Ibid.
    42. Ibid.
    43. Foucault, 1984, p. 42
    44. FIbid. pp. 41-42.
    45. Stirner 1844
    46. Hesiod, H. G. Evelyn-White (Trans.) 1914, ll. 25-41
    47. Stirner 1844 p. 61.
    48. Cioran 1969, p. 12.
    49. BERNHE 2023
    50. Matthew 5:48 KJV
    51. Nechayev 1869
    52. Mueller 2021 in P. J. Finglass and A. Kelly (Eds.), p.47
    53. Stirner 1844
    54. Ibid.
    55. Dolgoff 1986, pp. 187–191.
    56. Stirner 1844
    57. Ibid.


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