The Tower of Babylon.

A few ideas coincide in our modern time of the Internet and global media. First, one might note that our global megalopolis has been referred to as “Babylon”; it doesn’t matter whether you agree with that label or not.

I was just considering how the blog platform tends to function. I myself enjoy debate. I enjoy when someone reads what I’m saying or engages with me somehow and then tells me I’m full of shit and here is why. But then also, I enjoy hitting them just as hard. But for some reason, most people do not like to hear criticisms of what they have to say. The way that I understand real friendship is that sometimes you guys argue, sometimes your agree, you can tell each other the most shitty things about each other and yet still be friends, because honesty is what the friendship is about.

But for some reason on the blog platform, bloggers especially critical theory And philosophers, do not want people to give honest comments on their blog. For the most part they do not want to hear rebuttals about their essay they just posted. The blog platform is basically, it seems to me, for people of like mind to get together and finger bang each other. To Munch on cheddars snacks and accumulate pats on the back, to tell them they agree and to give them further links to people that also probably agree.

And if you think about the issue with Internet and marketing and capitalism and stuff like that, as been pointed out by some critiques, for example, the news, you tend to start getting only the news that you like that you agree with, you only get the editorials that reflect your opinion. You get ads to buy things of things that you already own or things similar to them, or things that you might want to buy that go with the things that you already have.

No one wants to discuss anything; discussion is a code word for “let me tell you how it is”. And this seems so a prevailing attitude that discussions really end up just two people sitting there talking about their individual ideas, rather than actually having an argument.

It seems that in postmodernity, the critique of metanarratives has left discourse in such a state that the person views themselves as the discourse they use, such that we can’t even confront another person because the other person is not even dealing with what the former has to say. Not only this, but I’m not even allowed to get pissed off or have any sort of passion in an engagement in a debate, because people take it personally. You can feel it when you comment on someone else’s essay and then you give them reasons why it’s not true or why you think that it doesn’t make sense and then you give actual examples. Many people are just plain completely unable to hear what the other person is saying against their ideas because they are so attached to their own identity of discursive formations, rather than the content that is being created in the discussion. They tell you your an idiot or you don’t know the content. Has knowledge become so specialized that we’re all just a bunch of segregated automatons high stepping our way and saluting own “ethnically cleansed” selves? Everyone creating their own terms, inventing their own definitions really just amounts to a poor self that is better than anyone else because “no one understands me”; It seems the opposite of a nihilistic alienation, now it is the assertion of a self righteous alien, so full of themselves and the potential that comes with their ability to see so much.

It appears that through our hyper reasonable intelligence that we are creating a condition that could be seen as analogous to the myth of the Tower of Babylon. That despite whatever we might think that reason is naturally guiding us toward as a unitive and better society, is actually dissolving it self into a “multitude of languages” such that no one can even understand each other anymore, Such that no one is allowed to understand another person unless they speak the same language as them.

Fear, defensiveness, and insecurity are the operative terms for our modern post modern society.

19 thoughts on “The Tower of Babylon.

  1. What you’ve pointed out has been a reading fairly common in the Jewish hermeneutical tradition, with Babylon as representative of universal imperium and all that comes with it, but that dream will collapse into said multiplicity of languages and peoples. In fact, if you’re fairly familiar with Jewish political philosophy, a case can be made that the Hebrews were articulating a critique of the conception of the polis. The logical conclusion of a conception of the political rooted in the city necessarily exhausting itself into the “global city” represented by Babylon, which, of course, is the dream of our contemporary age. I actually presented a paper in Jerusalem last summer addressing Babylon as such within the political philosophy of the Tanakh in light of the long history of Jewish-Hebraic criticism.

    I share your assessment of internet culture too. Call me guilty, but that’s primarily why my own site is more or less a free educational tool going through major philosophers, their texts, and ideas, for all those seeking exit from the Cave and actual meaty content as opposed to the misleading, or outright lying, “summaries” on Wikipedia or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I’d rather get paid for some of my personal ruminations in magazines, newspapers, and such instead of venting on a blog. We’re all guilty sophists deep down! 😛

    1. I did not know that about Jewish philosophy.
      Thx

      A more eccentric philosophical view would ponder whether human beings are really learning anything more than we know 3000 years ago. Perhaps. All that changes is the picture of world and the worlds we use. Perhaps all civilizations go through the same stages of birth growth death. All having characteristic philosophies which argue human agency in various ways reflecting phases in development, remembering and then forgetting . Perhaps humanity is much much older than even 10000years. Maybe we’ve been through this many many times.

      1. I find it interesting how, in reading old texts, traditional readings make comebacks in the most unlikely of places. You should do a psychoanalysis of that! 😛

      2. Hesiod would you like to read the second book of the Philosophical Hack: “the moment of decisive significance”? I can invite you on a google drive for the pdf? You could. I think you can somehow private Message me your email if u wanted to .

      3. Don’t feel bad if you don’t want to it’s totally cool. But if you’re interested I would definitely appreciate your feedback. No timeframe.

    2. Is there a book you could suggest about Jewish philosophy commentary ? Is Perhaps. The Judaic “philosophical era” is a kind of ‘transitional moment’. Because the city already established as such is already Babylon. Such that a kind of precipitate discourse arises about an era or attitude which ‘never exists’ neither at the time before. Nor in Babylon. The city being an entity which actually disrupts understanding.

      1. Yes, R. Joseph Albo’s Sefer ha-Ikkarim (Book of Principles) would be a good intro to Jewish exposition of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the works of Isaac Abarbanel’s “Crown of the Ancients.” Of course, anything by Maimonides or Nachmanides.

  2. Haven’t we always been a Tower of Babylon? I think what you are describing is essentially postmodern alienation, although it sounds more drastic…yikes!! I have this experience when I read your blog where I think…”hey that’s a good idea”. Then I think…”someone must have said that before”. Then I think “fuck I wish I thought of that!”

    Postmodern Condition pt. 2 “Tower of Babel” by Landzek

    1. Lol. Yes. The pm condition. 🧐😆. But I keep hoping. Can’t help it . Nothing wrong with agreement though.

      Yes I can invite you to google drive and then it will always be there how’s that ?

      But maybe you’d want to read drafts of the chapters of my next book??

    2. The first book is more a comment on the Gospels but with some supporting philosophy. The book I’m working on is more plain philosophy.

      1. Are you doing a project there. Or are you still working on your pg degree?

        (You should have email link to Mment pdf now)

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