Another argument against the existence of white privilege: The postmodern “no exit“.

There will be a few opinions expressed in this post. My main critique is that Jordan Peterson does not understand the issues that he is condemning, and so what sounds like intelligence is really just small minded opinion based upon an ignorance.

white-privilege-th

Here is a post worth reposting:

Originally posted on Cadell Last: Synthesis! Video: Slavoj Žižek or Jordan Peterson? Both Please! So it seems like Žižek heard the criticisms regarding his approach to the political phenomenon of Jordan Peterson and has responded quite clearly. In this response he attempts to remind us of the ways in which the “radical left” or the “identity…

via Slavoj Žižek or Jordan Peterson? Both Please! — AGENT SWARM

In our current situation, I do agree that people should talk about things. But, the unpopular opinion is that this is not always the case, and all too often, no communication occurs in the attempts anyways!

I am making a sweeping judgment when I say that I watched this video of Jordan Peterson and it was enough to understand his view, manner, and basis of opinions. I do not think it is a valuable thing to disseminate at least some of this guy’s “scholarship”; his arguments are just plain incorrect. Answering to his points would be like arguing with a person over why 2+4 does not equal 9; there is no point in hearing information that is just incorrect in so many ways. So, I am not even embedding his lecture so readers are greeted with a nice picture when one opens this post. 😆This guy and his lectures are not really worth reposting. They are worth noting, though, because we should keep tabs on dangerous people an their ideas; they are not worth considering as true, except that they do have an effect upon people. They are valid in as much as there is indeed someone with such an idea, but we should always try to keep in mind the audience. So I am putting the link so you reader can watch his 10 minute piece and hear how scholarship and letters can lead to and support all sorts of ideas. Education, intelligence, and letters after your name does not necessarily denote legitimate substance. It’s often, it seems, really no different than saying I have short hair, often wear flannels and wingtips.

— But nevertheless I will be getting my advanced degree. 🤘🏾starting in August. 👽

The reason why it is not always the case that communication can take place is exemplified by this very lettered dude. He is an example of what is able to be wrong with the world education system: The only thing that makes him valuable is that he did some things to get some letter behind his name that makes him important so that people will think he knows what he is talking about. There are stupid doctors you know; he may indeed be quite knowledgeable about things, but apparently philosophy is not one of them (reflection in thought is often only intensional; but there is also The philosophical divide we know as “analytical” and “continental”, even as I’m not really sure these categories locate anything for us. The plain and simple fact is that I can levy the same claims against him that he does against the “Post-Moderns”. He obviously does not understand the issues by which he stakes his position, despite his “education”. The point of the “end of philosophy” or the “end of history” and all those ends, is that philosophy has painted itself into a corner such that no matter what is argued away from the corner it finds itself in the corner. The way that Jordan is arguing, it appears, however he wants to talk about what the “postmoderns” would say, that he does not understand what it means: His reflection upon the issues shows he is not understanding what he is supposed to be reflecting upon.

Now I am not apologist for any “Post-modernity”. In fact, I can agree with him in so far as there are many self claimed Post-Modern school-people (scholars?) who do indeed fall into his category to merit his PM description. I myself have pointed out the lamer PM approach.

Let me see if I can really simply spell out the problems I see with PM and also Jordan . Lets see if I succeed.

I will not be going through his lecture point by point, but in general to those points.

In short, Jordan is a white male reactionary, and traditionally, all that needs to happen for a white male to be correct is to argue the system that the white males erected. What this system is and does is the issue that he doesn’t seem to want to address. Maybe he does elsewhere, but I suspect he will use the discursive sight-of-hand to denounce the aspects that he himself uses to prop his ideas upon, And this because he simply is not understanding the discussion of race and gender relations.

(1) Jordan is puffed up on himself. His letters allow him to be viewed, by himself as well as others, as if he is giving intelligent lectures, lectures that contain intelligence. In fact, we can say that he has intelligence insomuch as we grant credence to the postmodern ideal that intelligence is what we make of it or what we argue of it. Intelligence in this way has dismissed itself from any actual ground: The ground is the “common sense” ground of propaganda. He has no interest in what might be true, only what is real; what is true is so because he is able to use discourse to establish its reality; this is a Post-modern tenant. He is thus caught in the Post-modern condition and is rebelling against this contradiction by outright living in denial. Though he is lettered, its seems he has conveniently missed the one of the basic tenants of white privilege: He will not look at , and is utterly unable to get outside of, his privilege. He is using Post-modern methodologies to argue that the Post-modern methodology is incorrect, then flat out simply asserting that he is correct beyond his contradictory position. In the extent that he is not involved with any irony, such a method asserts propaganda. Did I say that it is obvious that he is not understanding the issue?

(2) Jordan’s definitional categories of Post modern itself is an incorrect assessment; they are insufficient. While they do indicate a certain group who claims PM, the very ideal of PM has been corrupted by the problem that PM opened up. What is now called Post-Modernism is too often a deformity of the meaning of the texts. In short; his assessment is based upon not only upon an incorrect assessment, but he is very sure that his assessment is correct. The tenants he announces to thereby discredit are populist distortions.

The Post-modern method is exactly that which Jordan is using to discredit white privilege and PM, but in reverse; He is taking a representation of assumption of individuals and discrediting it as if it represents the whole of the group. (In this case, the purported group, the PMs, also often fall into a similar category as Jordan. Yay for letters !!) Again, while there is indeed a group who might claim the title of PM, this title is also not worth its letter, except, as Leotard might describe it, the letters themselves have become indicators or privilege and expertise and do not necessarily convey any actual truth. He understand himself with reference to truth due to the fact that he has done x amount of work; he believes his own script and is unable to consider what might not be included in his ‘expertise’. He is an example of someone caught in the the post modern condition as well as white privilege, but also the system that is being exploited by him is subject to the same fault (hence the exploitation and hence the perpetuation of the racist system).

In short; he is a white male who is reacting to a threat upon his identity. His claim that identifiers reduce to an infinity of identifiers (and so why pick ‘just these ones’) and thus have no credence in real social negotiations has, again conveniently, missed the basic fact that communication does not occur across a common category. His assumption is one of white privilege. It is based on a “should be” rather than an “Is”, but he uses his innate offense upon the basis of his identity, what he perceives as an attack upon is Being, to cater to the crowd and use general ideals such as “reality” to argue a position that is common to everyone, as if every one is a equal human being. This is called the argument from the political state; the Idea is a good one, but it doesn’t translate into reality intact. Intersectionality is a critique about overarching idealisms and institutions that enforce such ‘normalcy”. Jordan is not seeing logic as a tool; evidenced by his use of it, he sees Logic as a sort of ‘holy spirit’ by which one may commune with the great Logos God. Again, he conveniently sets aside his use of discursive gymnastics that is usually associated with the PM lineage. He is twisting and confusing academic rigor with intentionality, engendering religious intolerance under a guise of open theoretical validity.

While I tend to agree with his argument about where the ideas of racism and systemic privilege lead, he seems to miss the real issue. His position is concerned with what “should be”, but the actual issue is about what “Is”. He is arguing an ideology of ontology as an identity ( a common) rather than confronting the teleology it supposes and enforces on the ground. As we find in his other addresses, he associates an assault on his identity, on the categories given to him, as an assault on a general “human freedom” and I would guess he extrapolates this over into the freedoms of democracy and the Canadian-United Sates-and others way of life. Well of course it is an assault on your “way of life”, Jordan! Thats the point. But it doesn’t mean that the “free world” is threatened.

Yet this is also what is at root the problem in philosophy and the critical academics is that most are in a race to the finish line, a race to nowhere. And the method that has come about because of this competition to produce valuable intellectual products  advocates anticipating ends and creating academic products based in those (speculated) ends. More and more, the extension towards these products ends are creating a “ground vacuum” such that Jean-Francois Lyotard was more correct than he could have known (maybe).

We are indeed still living in the Post-modern condition. Lettered people similar to Jordan only serve to make an argument for why the condition still exists because they are incapable of understanding the significance of the discussion. They end up reifying the condition and moving us in a swirling eddy, offering little constructive input, and plain ideological propaganda of the “we shall be great again” rhetorical type.

Oh and the “you’re next”. OMG. If that isn’t reactionary politics going on the offensive…

Maybe Ill be proven wrong. After all, I only watched one video of his.

Im game.

It’s not so much that we need a new theory, it’s that we need a different type of theoreticians.

Like that is ever going to happen for our culture of popularity and products. 😝

That’s where a philosophical divergence comes in the play.

___

Here is another little bit with Jordan about pronouns and gender issues. In short, he is  (begrudgingly, and in denial that he is) a congregant of postmodern intentionality. While I agree he has a point about pronouns, but again, he is concerned with what “should be” more than what “Is”. The consideration is generalized ,just as he argues that we can’t generalize respect; he is generalizing respect in his thinking and granting it to respect for his own.

The person who posted the vid and made the captions obviously lives on a different planet. Of course, the person thinks the captions make sense, but I don’t know what it is. That is called a “failure of communicating across a category”, and in this case there is a category that I am not recognizing that the person believes they are communicating across, but here the category itself has failed.

____

Here is a comment by Zizek.

male-privilege

But after all that: what a boring world it would be without different ideas and opinions. So actually, the academy is working well. It only appears that I’m attacking him personally because he acts and behaves as if he’s got all the information, but it is obvious to me that he’s not understanding the things that he is critiquing.

And finally; I am not convinced that Zizek and Peterson represent a thesis and anti-thesis relationship, and therefore there would really be no synthesis that would occur, except in the most mundane form, from their interaction. This is because Peterson does not represent an antithesis, he actually represents a continuing postmodern thesis.

I wonder if he thinks homosexuality is a mental disease?

Reality, Naivety and Addiction; Part 2: Google and the failure of communication.

(Note: These posts refer to Slovoj Zizek’s talk he did in Spain a few months ago; this one:

 

***
This ‘post-traumatic world’ that might exist in a utopian dream, if it were not for the naïve subject who is able to have a view where by hope can reside, does not occur within the Symbolic and Imaginary frames; or rather, such a utopia is possible as a political empiricality within such effective frames. Where the ‘post-carnival’ state is possible, there do we find what is ‘the carnival’ itself, the moment wherein things are not what they seem and indeed shift and change in the single view. This is what Zizek (Lacan) calls ‘the impossible’, or, the Real order. The manner by which we make sense of what is impossible is called, for Zizek, psychoanalysis. When we see that these states do not change through subjective agency acting upon some actual empirical object but rather are only changes in view, then we must ask: What is this state wherein Zizek must disclaim his lecture in order to be understood, at once, to be not contradicting his innate imperative for logical consistency, and then as well not offending the sensibility that is discovered through psychoanalysis? Or more precisely: What is occurring such that this state, that he would have to qualify his subjectivity as naïve, against which a Socialist Bureaucracy seems preferable, or, what might be best to deal with things ‘after the carnival’ , needs be stated? Does not a state reflect itself de facto, automatically and axiomatically in the presentation?

What is occurring in the naive state is an inability to be dismissed from the carnival; an inability to make the next move; hence, for Zizek to communicate at this level and be honest he must qualify his presentation: What is naive is that which understands itself as not subject to psychoanalysis. So, the trauma continues and the carnival goes on; this is reality, the effect of the various periodic failures of the Symbolic and Imaginary Orders, and the solution to these evental failures is usually and commonly to resource the Symbolic and Imaginary orders, the orders by which the political world gains veracity, or the semantic scaffold by which what is political may be known.

One does not simply decide to give up on their world and then the world goes away; the world must be destroyed without consent. This is a fact. If we must speak of effective ideologies, we can hear Zizek through his book “Living in the End Times” (paraphrase): It is only at the time we notice the impending failure of an ideology that we fight hardest for its truth. We do not simply give it up, even if we know the battle is lost; we still man our stations and fight for the state. We do not simply and easily relinquish our world because we have a conception that it is ending. Notice the general responses to global warming. The rhetoric is not a condemnation of our system, rather the reaction is either flat denial or a call to adjust how we approach our modern living.

*

Likewise the recent Google diversity scandal. Notice that there is nothing terribly irrational or non sensible in the manifesto. In fact, his essay makes good sense from a open-platform ideal: Every voice should be heard, even the voice that has been marginalized in the popular political environment. He is not saying that Google should not address inequalities in the workplace; he is saying that the manner that they are being addressed may be based upon an incomplete consideration of the facts; a more complete rendition of the facts of inequality or structural misrepresentaion or skewed hiring and promoting practices being the logical and rational ideas that he presents, which are, actually, not too radical. He is not saying anything that I haven’t heard; whether or not I believe them or not, the various notions about gender he produces are indeed valid — but in a certain light.

Then look at the answer that is made by Danielle Brown, Googles new diversity manager.

…I found that it [the anti-diversity manifesto] advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.

Does anyone notice anything peculiar between the two discourses?

At risk of putting myself in either camp and looking as if I am defending the manifesto, the anonymous writer is merely putting forth his view under the ideal that everyone should be heard, he is saying that perhaps Google’s diversity policy should be put on hold until everyone is heard. There is nothing radical about this ideal; it is a very democratic and American ideal, liberal as well as conservative.

How about Ms. Brown? Her decision has already been made. The judgement of the diversity manager is that he is “promoting incorrect assumptions about gender”.  Is that really true? It kind of sounds to me that it is the diversity manager that is promoting assumptions that are not true, namely, that the dude is promoting incorrect assumptions. But as Lyotard noted,by what ground shall we legitimate either of these discourses?

Nevertheless, this (his, the Manifesto) incorrect assumption is one that Google does not endorse, and indeed is why he ended up fired.

I don’t think there is a better indication where this world of ours is headed: Nationalism is on its way out; Corperatism is in. Democratic ethics is no longer the standard but is indeed being commandeered by corporate policy, policy that will decide what is ethical for the future.

Just from a (fair) neutral position: I am curious what exactly his manifesto says that is an incorrect assumption about gender. Are we not allowed any more to suggest that men and women are different? I thought in the discussion about race, at least, we are supposed to embrace difference, acknowledge difference and not be blind to color of skin and cultural expression. Any considerate and intelligent person is left to wonder why difference in gender is not to be acknowledged and embraced? Don’t we do that when we fuck?

In the corporate world we do not fuck each other, we fuck other companies. Competition defines the space of ethics; a meta-narrative of ethics does not yet define an umbrella space of companies. Difference, it seems, is not to be abided in the consideration of the workers value: Only the overt potential involved in the equality and sameness of human beings in general is to be considered in the place of production. The ability to produce is the standard, and we, as corporate subjects, cannot afford the inefficiency that can arise in the a priori classification of workers ability: All workers are equal in the potential to produce. That is the (post-) modern ground of ethics.

What do we have? We have the very postmodern condition coming to fruition. The Manifesto Man speaks of a Google echo chamber. What could be a better description of his very condition: He is speaking about a kind of ethical space that we all know of, but because the our existential condition (for lack of a better term here), the ethical condition that is the liberal agenda of freedom and equality that has been with us for at least 200 years, he cannot be heard, indeed will not be heard. Knowledge no longer exists as some source  or conduit for access into an essential and ideal ground for ethics; knowledge now is determined along lines of which knowledge is valid, and so which knowledge is able to be heard. Lyotard puts it in terms of which knowledge is efficient. The Manifesto Man is speaking, and we all (but do we?) know what he is meaning, where he is drawing his knowledge from, but it is mute. Such knowledge is invalid: It is no longer a kid of knowledge that is included in what is valuable. The ‘experts’ have agreed and they have decided.

*

What better description of this world: carnival. And as well: dialectical. So what happens after? The discussion by two or more people is shut down and the discussion continues as if in an echo chamber, which is to say, the movement merely occurs and everyone just rides along, regardless of what sound is made. The Dialectic continues but under a new semantic rubric that is understood to not be new. Indeed; there is an irony occurring. For, while the point I make in my recent essay about ‘the event of the past’  and Zizek being naive, I find that around the same time (well, relatively speaking I suppose, lol) I was writing that post, Zizek himself was in Spain speaking about how he was going to proceed as naive (listen to the youTube above).

In this sense, we find a certain psychoanalytical significance to what is occurring at Google, but in the context of addiction as well. The naive subject has a voice that is always heard in the context of the times as a political voice, able to bring change to the world, in various potentialities, at various moments. But what occurs is that voice is automatically referred to a context that is outside of the communicative potential of the subject: She speaks, but it is as if in an echo chamber. The dialectical subject of ethics speaks of justice, but her voice resonates only in its own space, the sound that is heard in reality is offensive and indeed (now) incorrect, and actually promoting assumptions that no longer reflect what is true, except in as much as this echoing voice affirms the present justice; the past has been changed. As Zizek describes in his book “Event” determined by the facticity of the past itself, the present act alters the very condition by which it has come about to reflect the actuality of the present moment.

**

The addict in his cups is not privy to the change; she is determined by her past as she works to keep the past constituent to that ideal and dialectical moment. The addict sees the material as being unchangeable and essential, and ideal world or “musts” and “is’s”. Reality never breaks into the Imagined world to disrupt it and the addict stays in her echo chamber yelling for someone to hear her. But the world only hears a sound that no longer reflects the true of reality. The two exist within a dialectical moment that is denied for the purpose of asserting a justice that is already occurring, indeed has been occurring, albeit, to challenge the past which determined the criteria by which such justice has been ascertained.

Time behaves atemporally, as witnessed not only by Lyotard 40 some years ago, but in the movie “Fight Club” some 25 years ago:

This is no figure of speech, metaphor, or interesting artistic juxtaposition. It is the actual psychoanalytical situation that occurs.

(This clip is just so perfect ! lol)

Evergreen University and the Intersectionality of Race, Vocality and Religion. An opinion — Yes, From A White Male.

(Sorry; correction: Evergreen State College) I’ve been paying attention to the blog Why Evolution Is True, specifically about the situation at Evergreen University in Olympia, Washington.

Here is a quote from that link that I think gives a pretty good representation of what is really occurring over there, but a number of places besides:


“If you had asked me who is one of racism’s most powerful foes, I would have said Bret Weinstein,” Eric Weinstein told The Times.

“There’s something sort of ‘Twilight Zone’ about one of the most thoughtful commentators on race, at one of the most progressive schools in the country, getting called a racist.”

Here is another article about that situation, and there are a bunch more articles.

I think it’s interesting that just the other day I was commenting on another post in the blog “Why evolution is true” about postmodern articles and the potential for people to hoax papers or put forth fake papers that are taken as actual legitimate theory.

I don’t know if I really understand how engaging theoretically with a
‘Sokal-esque’
hoax article or fake theory posed as a legitimate theory gets us anywhere. It seems to feed right in to the whole post-modern phenomenon where you can’t even really tell anyways if a paper is legitimate or fake; in the end the credibility or veracity of any paper ultimately relies upon whether the author comes out and tells you whether it’s fake or not.

My take on this last post about quantum theory (or at least its terms and or ideas) being used in a post-modern social cultural paper (if you scroll down a couple posts on the “Why evolution is true” blog you’ll probably find the post I’m referring to), is that, first off, I think the paper is actually not fake, and I think the professor or theorist put the paper up as a legitimate piece of theory; second, I understand what she’s saying, but I think the mode of presentation that goes along with such pomo (post-modern) theory presents it self similar to religion. and actually in the comments to that (WEiT blog) post I described how people in such theoretical academic legitimate positions are actually taking their theory as substantial, which is to say as having legitimate and authentic substance, but to the point that you cannot even argue with them about the substance of their papers, because the current environment of postmodern theory is such that if you argue against the substance of their papers (not the content; if you challenge the theoretical basis of the paper rather than challenging the argument itself then…)  you are actually confirming that the substance of their papers is correct. And I surmise this situation as a kind of fundamentalist religious situation.

Now see, what I’m saying there is not merely theoretical or speculative. Indeed I am saying something about the actual situation of certain academic arenas, or areas within the arenas, as there are indeed departments that house representatives of more than one theoretical paradigm (hopefully), and this seems to pan out if you understand that the discourse of racial relations arose out of, or at least largely at the same time as, the postmodern era.

I’m sure we could find traces of postmodernity going back all the way to the mid-19th century, say with philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard, but we could say that feminist theory is closely linked to postmodern (structural and post-structural) racial theory and where it finds its theoretical footing as a social movement; women’s suffrage, but namely white women’s suffrage (maybe, but maybe not).

I could be wrong about the actuality of the unfolding of these events, but it is not too far-fetched to say that there is a coincidence of the arrival of postmodern theory with the arrival of the 1960s and the social uprisings.

The image of race relations now, exemplified at Evergreen, doesn’t appear to be a rational discussion of race relations, but neither reaction based in being fed up. it doesn’t even seem to have its basis in the historical actuality of social justice, political movement in general or its academics. It seems to me like a bunch of kids with narrowminded views of over a century’s worth of discussions of actual hands-on working out of race relations and systemic racism.  They appear to be acting or appropriating an idea of social activism that steps into the world of fundamentalist religion.

Again I don’t know all the details about what’s happening up in the northwest of America, but it seems to me that it is not valid to reverse the situation. Of course, we do have some evidence that there is a significant form and tradition of systemic racism in the Northwest areas that we (or at least me) are not used to thinking about, so perhaps there are tensions that are not overt to the outsider (such as myself).

Systemic racism is not solved by just reversing the positional hierarchy of colors or the genders of the players involved in that system of racial and basically human oppression; that would be to admit defeat of what we consider intelligence, higher learning and just plain social justice. Systemic racism is not solved by just reversing the colours or the genders of the players involved in that system of racial and basically human oppression. (Oops. Did I just say that?) It is not correct merely to say that, oh, white people have been in power all this time oppressing people of color, and so if there’s any instance of a white person maintaining a certain type of rationality against what a person of colour maybe suggesting is proper, then he is racist; that is basically like just putting the people of colour in the position of power to oppress white people.

The true enlightened mind moves beyond such retaliation; but I think any even more appropriate statement of the situation is that these are just kids with fucked up ideas, or ideas that have removed themselves from the ideal anchor of a humanity beyond base racism and oppression. They have ceased their thinking critically about the issue and instead develop a reactionary politics (if we can even say this) that appears much like a fundamentalist religion. I may be a white man, but I am sure that there are people of colour that are in positions of power, that have a rational mind, that have been in this process of working out race relations and social oppression for many many years that would disagree with, not that these young people are protesting or not that they might disagree with what that professor did, but rather that they presume to merely switch the polls and enact the violence they propose are being effected against them. Has any of them ever read The Pedagogy of the Oppressed” ???

It appears that one of our institutions of higher learning is failing to teach higher intelligence and critical thinking to its students, and actually fostering ignorant reaction.

But again, I am outside of that area’s immediate situation, as well, a white male.

>>

We might see where this (apparently) actual situation is operative and concordant with my statement of position as it is reflected in the ideas I put forth in my essays.

For what is occurring, it appears here and there, is that what we generalize and call “Post-modern” theory or critical thinking, is actually loosening itself from any practical and indeed applicable bearings. The ‘theory’ is ‘misinformed’ by (the phenomenon) what I am calling the ‘term-object identity’. I cannot go into all the twists and turns and ramifications of this sentiment here, but basically what we are seeing is what happens when ‘talk and discussion’ and the ‘natural’ ability to ‘make sense’ takes itself Too seriously. Its not that we do not need a correction in our system, but the manner by which the meaning of theory is not only being produced, but is first and foremost being appropriated, is askew with intelligent application; substance is reduced to meaning-making instead of meaning-making being reduced to substance, which is to say, answering to actual substance. While for those who are caught up in all the ethereal theoretical and analytical postures might feel that there is actual substance underneath such heady discursive gymnastics, the actual substance is evident in what is occurring on the ground of their departments on their watch: It is inciting and enflaming ignorance.

But further, this situation, itself, is not theoretically unfounded, as I will discuss in a later essay concerning the Significant Event.


An empty success. 

What does such a success suggest? 

If I were to succeed at leaving no trace what does that mean? Since I would have left no trace after I left to therefore succeed, and because I am indeed speaking with reference to life, or my life in particular, I must be saying that for the life as it still may continue, I would have had to have failed.

And yet I live. And bythen would have lived. So for me to have failed would have to mean something else than what is typically under stood as failure or uccess.

We need a Reapproach on Kierkegaard. I have said elsewhere that in order for us to really understand the significance of Kierkegaard, especially in light of what Sartre might have said of him, we have to turn faith on its head. 

I will get into what exactly this might mean in a different essay, for now is it is enough to Bring up what Kierkegaard says about “he who gets the bread”. 

To paraphrase: People want to believe that a person who works hard gets the bread, basically that all you need to do is work hard and you will succeed well. But when we look around in the real world we find that this is not really the case. In fact we pretty much find its opposite. We find that the people who do almost no work end up with all the bread, The people who work very hard off and get no bread. Also there are people who work hard and get some bread and there are people who barely work at all and they get just a little bit a bread. All in all when we look around we really see that there is no sense in the idea that if we work hard we’re going to get the bread.  In fact we often have no idea about what work we may be doing and how much bread we’re going to get.

But Kierkegaard put it this way: In The world of the spirit he who puts in the work gets the bread every time.

The reason why we have to reapproach Kierkegaard and what he is saying is because people typically want to take K as some sort of spiritual religious guru, when in fact, even while this may be a good interpretation of Kierkegaard — and in fact in reality we can take anything that anyone says and interpret it anyway we want and it’s all good. Nevertheless, when we begin to take Kierkegaard for what he’s really saying on the whole, not taking bits and pieces here and there and not taking this one book to be philosophical and then this other book to be religious and then this one “applying to this particular situation and then this paragraph applying to this situation and how can we apply the ethics of his philosophy to the ethical world of capitalism etc. etc…  when we take all of his works and we understand them for what he is saying as a consistency and coherency, we begin to see the common thread that really displaces him from any sort of spiritual or religious posture.

And we begin to see that in order to understand him we have to turn faith on its head. We begin to understand that the idea of spirit was all he had to work with; this is pre-post modernism and post World War II Sartre making claims on him again in the manner that is particular to the trauma of World War II from which postmodernity developed its own mistakes. We begin to see that he didn’t really mean spirit in the sense that we understand spirit now as a sort of post-Heidegger/religious negation assertion subjectivity however you want to put it to classify some sort of ‘healthy manner’ of dealing with the vicissitudes of life, weather theoretical philosophical medical or religious. 

In short we see that the failure of Kierkegaard amounts to success in as much as we can understand him by standing on our heads, truly contemporaneously standing under his position of apparent failure. 

Divergence and the Failed Route. (More notes “Of Spirit”)

It is not progress that allows failure; it is failure that allows for progress. But not as a cause. Failure is only linked to progress through a particular framing of meaning that is oriented upon progress. This is an emotional investment. The truth in our feelings, the linking of feeling to event to decision of choice to outcome is the basis of causality, the basis of progress, of the view that sees progress as the real determinate, of the significant mode and method in having and gaining purpose. This is why failure must be defined as we are now, for the real way to have failure is already vested in the progressive outcome. In this we hear that all activity has a reason, and ponder the idea that there are only solutions. We face reality through these maxims. This is why we pout and complain when things don’t go our way. We don’t view failure as a necessity in itself, as a vital component of Being. Always there is another opportunity of triumph.

In darkness, failure has become absolute. This is not a real estimation. It is a determination that does not answer to real rationality; it is its own estimation its own rationale. Here, failure is not a half-way mark, not another means for progress; here, failure is progress itself, for its own sake, by its own motivation, within its own teleology. Decisions were made, choices enacted and progress was never made; at least, progress in the sense of activity undertaken for the sake of progressing in some particular already defined arena for activity, for the sake of real progress. Failure has its own progress but we also lose the very notion, the conventional notion, of progress by this route; we might call this then recession.

A progress of recession. The move of failure that never concedes to (conventional, real) progress is total failure, and by every existential feature, it becomes its own motion, a disregarding of want for relief. So long as we hang on to some idea that there is going to be a resolution, there have we staying in the real progress and become that Being of progress that ‘gets up again’. In darkness we have gotten up so many times that getting up has lost any real meaning, the motion means nothing any more, or rather, the getting up now relinquishes the real power, the real estimation of progressive estimation and comparison. The getting up can only occur in this moment in another way, towards another direction.

People can say all they want about trying and trying again, but the fact is – and this is the fact that no one can understand until they come upon it – is that beating one’s face against a wall is the aggravated Being; there is no ‘getting past the wall’. Getting past this wall only occurs when it wasn’t a wall to begin with, and that is thus not an actual failure but mere a real failure. Coming upon this type of wall and not recognizing it, repeatedly smashing your head into it and turning and finding that this wall surrounding you at every possible exit, but then not recognizing it – this is the cause (the eternal cause) of anger, fear, resentment, attitude, that defines the Geo-political environment, is the present world. And in this we find the discernment of the failure of the Enlightened mind that we read about in Heidegger and Derrida (the book I am going through at this moment). It is the mark of the destitution of spirit.

Failure, in this way, is the continuance of “spirit” in the Heideggerian sense, quote/unquote from the perspective of the real world. Spirit has fallen away and becomes a mockery of itself by conventional estimations; it becomes a fantasy at one end of real rational ideology of belief, and the source and object of belief in the religious sense at the other end. And this is the reason why we can no longer rely upon an extension of a common meaning of discourse, no longer merely assume that discourse contains an essential ability and capacity to uphold a consistent meaning across a supposed common humanity.

This is the reason why we posit a divergence in discourse; two routes. What we find is that there is a truth that is Being expressed, but then along side we have a meaning of this expression that is interpreted by others in various ways. The group of the various meanings get together and discuss their various meanings and never come to a consensus about what they were talking about in the first place. The consensus (conventional) thus eventually comes to the conclusion merely by order of course, that the words are containing and or actually conveying a true meaning, but this meaning is never found and indeed cannot be found, They thus then argue that reality is this arena wherein real agents are in a process of negotiating the terms thereof, such that reality is at all times a negotiation of discourse, and such that thus reality is the negotiation of discourse. Yet if we can follow Heidegger (if we can be honest about what e is saying, and if we know what he is saying before we have read him – we will get to this later), then we see that this current real estimation is an estimation founded in the destitution of spirit. Not as some conceptual apparatus that retains a distance between the thought and its object, but as an actual operating mode of reality.