Showing posts from December, 2022

What's important about theology

  What's important about theology is that it works on 2 parallel puzzles:   Can the human attain communion with God, and become identical with God? and Can God exist within the universe? Both of these questions are, as Kant would put it, antinomies. That is, any attempt at an answer, either yes or no, will lead to a contradiction. Or, as a pre-Kantian might say - and perhaps in some ways this is the better way of putting it - these two questions are different ways of asking the same fundamental question, and to answer this question either positively or negatively is to risk “heresy” (from hairesis , literally “choice”). To become a master of theology is thus to learn to walk along the razor's edge, not choosing one side or the other. This skill, this mastery, is quite powerful, whether or not one believes in "God" in the traditional sense.  We could substitute the word "universality" or "the absolute" for God, here, and the skill has almo
I actually disagree with Marx.  But - I understand Marx well enough to disagree with him.  Most people think they disagree with Marx, but they actually don't.  They disagree with a phantom, a misunderstood imaginary caricature of what they think Marx said.  To actually disagree with Marx, you must study his work, and study it extremely carefully, and that is very hard work.  To truly disagree with Marx, you must not strawman Marx, but steelman his work - understand it in the most charitable way possible, trying to construct the strongest, most powerful version of his argument.  This takes many, many years of difficult study.  Only then can you disagree with Marx. Has anyone achieved this?  Hardly anyone.  Perhaps no one.  Probably the best criticism of Marx from a right wing perspective is in the writings of Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk - and even he makes some crucial mistakes, misunderstanding Marx in some fundamental ways. Furthermore - don't trust someone who says, "Oh I used
logical - reasonable - moderate - normal - dispassionate - compassionate - empathetic - judicious Logical is not the same as reasonable.  If a person is being "logical," they take their thoughts all the way to their only logical conclusion, mechanically, like a machine.  This may make them seem "extreme".   If a person is being "reasonable," they hold themselves back from these kinds of drastic conclusions.  They try to moderate their ideas, to find a "happy medium" - or a range of reasonable opinions.   But where, exactly is this happy medium?  For a person who is being logical, the concept of where one should hold oneself back from following a series of derivations to their final theora makes no sense and seems perfectly arbitrary.   If a person is being "normal," they follow the general consensus of people around them.  This is often how people determine where to establish the boundaries of moderation.  What may seem to be the "
When I wrote about the death of the proletariat , I was not at all referring - the way André Gorz, the most prominent theorist of the "New Left," i.e., the collapse of the left into a kind of bourgeois academic liberal reformism, did - to a supposed disappearance of the working class in the age of this supposedly post-industrial era.  Industry did not disappear, nor did the working class, even if many industrial jobs have been outsourced to China and to much of the "developing" world, where workers are brutally overworked, in terrible conditions, and underpaid.  It is among these countries throughout the world where the front lines of the battle over the most extreme form exploitation are fought, although it is also true that there remains quite a lot of industry, and industrial jobs, even in a country like the United States, even if "New Left" thinkers like Gorz choose to ignore them.  No, no, no.  My point is not at all like Gorz's point.  I am not s
Marx > Lenin in the same way that Moliere > Rousseau. In the cases of both Lenin and Rousseau, their fundamental problem is their lack of a sense of humor.  In each case, this causes them to misinterpret their predecessor.  (See Rousseau's writings on Moliere in his letter to d'Alembert - "On Spectacles".  Here you find everything you need to know about Lenin.)

Out-Nietzscheing Nietzsche

Here's a take that's even more Nietzschean than Nietzsche himself (I don't believe this, really; I'm just playing in the sandbox): "Philosophers" literally means "lovers of wisdom."  However, this is merely the P.R. of philosophers, their "good conscience" - but I repeat myself.  Lovers of wisdom?  Nay, I call them haters of wisdom.  Philosophy was the way that people like Socrates vented their ressentiment and envy against those who were above them, the wise, the sophists.  (For one thing, Socrates hated the sophists for being wise enough to make some money off of their wisdom.)  ...Or, even above the sophists, there is a fundamental ressentiment against the most wise of all: the sages, like the military general Pittacus of Mytilene, or the ancient enemies of the philosophers, the poets.   Given his basic biological constitution, the philosopher can never actually be wise.  Wisdom requires experience, which requires action - precisely,