by Derek the Red
it’s difficult for one lone voice to speak up in today’s world, but here we go ladies and gentlemen.
the somewhat educated have heard of Socrates, his student Plato, and then his student Aristotle; now i don’t claim to understand all of said philosophers’ BS, but i have some glimmering of what they talked about. Socrates insulted the Gods, or some such thing, and the good democratic citizens of Athens forced him to drink hemlock, so civilized. never you mind that it was the Spartans who started the whole Greek experiment in self-rule (at least for citizens), it’s the Athenians who get all the credit, doesn’t matter, this entire mess was probably started by Democritus. it was Democritus who first proposed the cosmos being composed of constituent parts, which inevitably led us to where we are today, lost in a lost world, unsure of our telemetry, and alienated from our own nature. of course there were about 900 Greek philosophers, you couldn’t walk down the street w/o tripping over their robes, seeing as how these fine purveyors of considered truth had an entire slave caste to do all the work, they had plenty of time to ruminate and digest all sorts of high flying ideals, but that’s a whole other subject…….
now Plato sat in a cave a lot it seems, looking at shadows on the wall, which led him to believe that one could never divine the exact nature of the universe, there would always be something ‘lost in translation,’ so to speak. Plato’s student Aristotle however, would have none of this humble way of looking at things, oh no, Mr. Aristotle stated that he could come up with enough workable examples to empirically observe the workings of things, thereby completely sundering western thoughts relationship with nature. while this is no doubt a sophomoric analysis, and there may be more erudite takes on these people’s philosophies, i believe it covers the essential points. Pythagoras, Plato, Democritus, it’s all so confusing, but the upshot is that we are left with the ‘police agency of the look,’ as stated before, the end result of Aristotelian certainty. the Greeks, by the time of all this philsophizing, had already, as before mentioned, a well developed hierarchial system with three distinct castes, citizens, artisans/merchants, and slaves known as Helots.
not being a trained physicist, nor very ‘Aristocratic.’ the whole quantum universe, ten dimensional string theory, all just seems a bit beside the point to me, and quite mystifying, somewhat akin to the workings of the Federal Reserve system, maybe that’s where they get all that money, it ‘tunnels’ it’s way from a parallel universe. be that as it may, in the past 2500 years or so we have managed to break our world down to it’s fundamental pieces, and we’ve done a good enough job to be able to blast a modern city to rubble and vaporize all the human beings who reside in said city, but that’s not all folks!!!!!!!! all of this splitting and blasting has had it’s effect on our human societies. we all know the destruction the quest for control has had on our world thru the ages, the quest for profit, which is really just a quest for control, to grab up enough toys to stave off the Grim Reaper; or at least to make it possible to ignore the fact of death, which we used to accept much more gracefully, back when it all wasn’t about me, me, me. really, our fellow citizens can be forgiven for becoming so narcissistic (yours truly, included) as we live in a virtual Panopticon with surveillance devices on the street corners, highways, byways, and hallways, not to mention the many eyes in the sky; so, when you think about it, being constantly controlled and watched, one does want to look good for the camera. under inverted totalitarianism in the surveillance state the objectification becomes internal, a sort of Stockholm Syndrome, all that is left for people is to dwell on themselves.
now it has come down to it, objectification, quantification, commodification, and death. i could prattle on about Capitalism being a death cult, but like the preacher said ‘by their fruits ye shall know them,’ nuff said. yes indeed, since the Greeks the ‘other’ has been exploited, Good Will Hunting’s Harvard buddy may have had something to say about the market economy of the Southern States being some sort of pre-capitalist agrarian wonderland (once again, except for the slaves), but to me it has always been just a primitive form of capitalist exploitation of one kind or another, the only advances have been refinements in the methods of control, which brings us to today’s society and the subtle indoctrination in the ethos of using others for one’s own gain and satisfaction, with todays sophisticated tools of observation, analysis, and coercion, the human race has reached new levels of self examination, other examination, and extermination.
i must give a nod to Mr. Jean Baudrillard.
this objectivity was only that of the pure gaze – an objectivity at last liberated from the object, which is no more than the blind relay of the look that scans it… the rage for eliding meaning in a blind and meticulous reality. Both syntax and semantics have disappeared. There is no longer an apparition, but an arraignment of the object, the eager examination of its scattered fragments: neither metaphor nor metonymy, but a successive immanence beneath the police agency of the look. This objective microscopics makes reality swim vertiginously, arousing the dizziness of death within the confines of representation.
(from Symbolic Exchange and Death)
still, we come back to the fact that we are a part of nature, and when we split off from the rest, we split off from our selves, we did not just objectify nature we have objectified ourselves. that’s the bitch isn’t it? the law of unintended consequences? invent the airplane, you invent the airplane crash, etc. etc. when we exploit others it says that it is OK for others to exploit us. when we break down everything down to constituent parts, the whole is lost. when all is equal nothing is of value, therein lies our problem. people become ‘collateral damage,’ resources, no different than a tree, and we see what we think about trees. yes, we have cracked the genetic code, now we have synthetic DNA, it’s all so wonderful, modern, scientific, but half the world lives on what? $2 a day? we are faced with competing imperatives, a respect for life which we profess to hide our savagery, and an over-populated planet with dwindling resources.
this desire for control, this desire for security, for some it is a learned behavior, for others a deliberate plan. we see the plan most plainly in creations such as the UPC, or Universal Product Code, which all goods moving between countries and continents must carry by law, at least among the major players. we see a closed set with no escape, no frontier, a planetary wide synthetic structure mimicking that of the Earth’s natural systems, but with a much less benign intent. the desire for control does not just include planetary and outer space but the inner space of our bodies and minds. the group think indoctrination is all pervasive, and the chemical solution in the form of mood altering drugs such as SSRI’s is pushed as the cure for the ills brought on by life in an extremely alienating society. the madness, in this writers view does not stop there; there are actual groups, such as The Humanity+ movement, who in their own words “dare” to plot the course of future human evolution. whether thru genetics or implants, who knows? could be beets, could be peaches, but for who and at what cost?
seems that a few billion years of evolution is not quite adequate for some, some decades of life on good old Mother Earth is not satisfying enough. our power has made us delusional, our estrangement from nature has driven us mad. we now see ourselves as those who hold the reins of this beast wish us to, as mere cells in a great colossus, something to be studied and controlled like an amoeba in a Petri dish, maybe Aristotle should have paid more heed to his teacher, you decide.
welcome to your Cellular Identity.