Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES - Vol. 1, #3

Expand Messages
  • Lewis Vella
    THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES A Philosophical(?)View from Scratch Volume 1, #3 Hello all, The power struggle inherent in the written form of language commences the
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 3, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES

      'A Philosophical(?)View from Scratch'
      Volume 1, #3

      Hello all,

      The power struggle inherent in the written form of
      language commences the moment a writer's fingers
      leaves the keyboard, or his pen leaves the page . What
      the text shall represent to the other, or to the
      collective, will from then on always be dialectical,
      with the popular understanding of it, as far as its
      social implications are concerned, being set by the
      establishment -- the consensual reality -- which
      imposes its customs, beliefs and laws through the
      prevailing power structure and means of production
      which it controls. Like it or not, these powers that
      be decide on what is to be our dominant culture,
      although in modern times it becomes less and less a
      conscious decision as it becomes more and more a
      sanctioned process. But before we attempt an
      understanding of that problem, let us not lose sight
      of the language battle.

      The struggle for the reigning word is a long one, part
      of an inevitable dialectical human conflict which the
      Russian expatriate philosopher, Alexander Kojeve (1902
      - 1968) described very well, that is, as a veritable
      "fight to the death," in his 'Introduction to the
      Reading of Hegal'. Kojeve used this rather brusque
      tone not to be morbid, but because that's the way he
      actually saw history. The fight for meaning would be
      pursued on all fronts by all people to its ultimate
      conclusion, wherein each opposition is no longer,
      having either abandoned itself or been annihilated by
      some master, if not indeed also so destined by the
      Supreme. The clear-sightedness of this vision,
      however, need not necesarily be so apparent in the
      grandest of schemes as it may be before your eyes
      right here and now. We need only trace any thread of
      dialogue and we'll soon notice for ourselves, how in
      the act of proclaiming something one must naturally
      negate something else:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/680

      Now then to further scrutinize the dialectic of
      existence surviving towards the fringes of society
      verses existence towards the center, it would probably
      be best for us to first familiarize ourselves with the
      mainstream and its workings, if only for those like
      myself who find themselves far apart from that set:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/719

      "In our age the objective social tendency is incarnate
      in the hidden subjective purposes of company
      directors, the foremost among whom are in the most
      powerful sectors of industry -- steel, petroleum,
      electricity, and chemicals.... The dependence of the
      most powerful broadcasting company on the electrical
      industry, or of the motion picture industry on the
      banks, is characteristic of the whole sphere, whose
      individual branches are themselves economically
      interwoven. All are in such close contact that the
      extreme concentration of mental forces allows
      demarcation lines between different firms and
      technical branches to be ignored.... The (modern
      culture-producing) alliance of word, image, and music
      is all the more perfect that in 'Tristan' (or the
      Wagnerian dream of the Gesamtkunstwerk -- the fusion
      of all the art in one work) because the sensuous
      elements which all approvingly reflect the surface of
      social reality are in principle embodied in the same
      technical process, the unity of which becomes its
      distinctive content. This process integrates all the
      elements of the production, from the novel (shaped
      with an eye to the film) to the last sound effect. It
      is the triumph of invested capital, whose title as
      absolute master is etched deep into the hearts of the
      dispossessed in the employment line, it is the
      meaningful content of every film, whatever plot the
      production team may have selected." *

      But sadder than what Horkheimer and Adorno's thoughts
      above suggest -- that "the man with leisure must
      accept what the culture manufacturers offer him" -- is
      the fact that such an individual is no longer expected
      to make a contribution, he is no longer expected of
      Kant's formalism, that is "to relate the varied
      experiences of the senses to the fundamental concepts,
      (as) industry robs the individual of his function." We
      find one such contemporary person with leisure today
      in the person of Bill Harris, a self-satisfied,
      self-admitted man of "modern, crass, material, and
      real" substance, boasting of a world that is outright
      "magnificent and getting better" every day:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist/message/6168

      We now arrive, then, at the present amorphous if not
      non-existent state of culture, where art, if it is to
      sustain itself, must adhere to a highly integrated,
      formulaic, commercial process, and the current artist
      represents more a trained artisan or craftsmen,
      capable of producing a Picasso or Dali on demand, than
      the former self-reflective expression of an expansive
      consciousness he used to be. Nowhere is this more
      evident than in the now almost extinct realm of high
      culture. Traditionally, the art of high culture would
      attempt to present the antithesis of the present
      social dialectic in a most profound way, thus moving
      its observers to a higher level of consciousness, who
      would from there go on to create collectively a new
      synthesis, a new consensual reality -- this also being
      the philosophical ideal of a valid democracy. Today,
      however, cultural standards have been so turned upside
      down, along with society's ethics and morals, that
      anything remotely serving the old idea of high culture
      is at once suspended in mid air. Here, for example, I
      must direct you to my current debate with Christopher
      Bobo on the significance of the late Allan Bloom, a
      controversial philosopher whose teachings at Cornell,
      Toronto, and Chicago, coupled with his "judicious use
      of great texts', led to his 1987 phenomenally
      successful critique, 'The Closing of the American
      Mind':
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/699

      Bobo's intent, in his own words, is to establish Bloom
      as a "through and through ivy league ivory tower
      academician," fitting the stereo-typical, highfalutin
      image of him in 'Ravelstein', a fictional account by
      Bloom's friend -- also a famous author -- Saul Bellow,
      who seems more interested in betraying Bloom as some
      homosexual dandy who loves Armani suits, Cuban cigars,
      Mont Blanc pens, and Baccarat crystal, than the great
      thinker he actually was:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/718

      In stating his case this way, it is quite evident that
      Bobo cannot appreciate or is capable of understanding
      that not even Bloom was Bloom -- which is to say that
      no text Bloom ever wrote should ever, now or then, be
      equated with whomever Bloom the person was -- let
      alone any 3rd-person account, especially one written
      after his death, as was Bellow's, when Bloom is no
      longer around to defend himself. To substitute the
      written text for the writer is the keystone to the
      arch of fascism, which in its higher constructs and at
      its peak, annihilates a person's soul altogether. It
      does this by taking the symbolic, or the sign that
      crates a word, and making it the letter of the
      established law, as opposed to allowing the sign be
      its own free spirit. This, as it relates to the
      present, I believe I depicted quite succinctly in my
      last response to Bobo:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/716
      But if that did not suffice, I now leave it to my good
      friend, Gina, to shed a perfect light and summarize
      what Bobo is all about, that being the closed American
      mind incarnate:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/727

      In our present chaotic age of discord and confusion,
      amidst what little freedom we actually have, it is
      nice to know that every now and then some visionary
      freak of nature may suddenly appear, and provide us
      with a long-winded, yet highly appreciated and much
      needed breath of fresh air:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fallenworld12/message/59

      Copyright: 2002 Lewis Vella

      * 'Dialectic of Enlightenment', Max Horkheimer and
      Theodor W. Adorno, tr. by John Cumming, The Seabury
      Press, NY, N.Y., 1972 - p.p. 122 - 124.

      THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES is registered trademark of the
      author. Comments on its contents may be forwarded
      appropriately to any of the mailing lists noted in the
      reception box at th top of this page (free yahoogroups
      membership is required). All other enquires may be
      sent to LewisVella@....

      BACK ISSUES of 'THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES':

      Volume 1, #1:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/518
      Volume 1, #2:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/662

      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ATTENTION ADVERTISERS $$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $
      $ SPONSOR THIS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER WITH YOUR OWN 1"
      $ ADVERTISING BANNER PLACED IN THIS SPOT. REACH
      $ THOUSANDS OF KNOWLEDGEABLE READERS LIKE YOURSELF,
      $ INTERNATIONALLY, FOR AS LOW AS $25 PER ISSUE. FOR
      $ FURTHER INFORMATION AND AD RATES CONTACT ME DIRECT:
      $
      $
      $ LewisVella@...
      $
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$




































      __________________________________________________
      Do You Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! Sports - sign up for Fantasy Baseball
      http://sports.yahoo.com
    • Bill Harris
      Lewis, I read your list of name drops and titles. Do you think?What do you think? Does anything happen inside your cranium when you read? I have owned several
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 4, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Lewis, I read your list of name drops and titles. Do you think?What do you
        think? Does anything happen inside your cranium when you read? I have owned
        several Xerox machines in my life, perhaps we have met. As you wait for that
        breath of fresh air you might ask what purpose you serve, or even put forth
        your perspective. I like the modern world because I feel I belong here. I
        help create it and revel in its progress over past ages. I find the Hamlet
        like people tiresome and prefer activity in thought and action. Now I must
        go make some crass money so I can buy more toys, travel more, play more work
        less and experience all I can before the conqueror worm. Bill
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Lewis Vella" <lewisvella@...>
        To: <WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com>
        Cc: <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>; <sorenkierkegaard@yahoogroups.com>;
        <existlist@yahoogroups.com>; <Schopenhauer@yahoogroups.com>;
        <Zarathustra@yahoogroups.com>; <fallenworld12@yahoogroups.com>;
        <socialism@yahoogroups.com>; <WSM_Socialism_Forum@yahoogroups.com>;
        <Plato_republic@yahoogroups.com>; <artapre@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2002 3:37 PM
        Subject: [existlist] THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES - Vol. 1, #3


        >
        > THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES
        >
        > 'A Philosophical(?)View from Scratch'
        > Volume 1, #3
        >
        > Hello all,
        >
        > The power struggle inherent in the written form of
        > language commences the moment a writer's fingers
        > leaves the keyboard, or his pen leaves the page . What
        > the text shall represent to the other, or to the
        > collective, will from then on always be dialectical,
        > with the popular understanding of it, as far as its
        > social implications are concerned, being set by the
        > establishment -- the consensual reality -- which
        > imposes its customs, beliefs and laws through the
        > prevailing power structure and means of production
        > which it controls. Like it or not, these powers that
        > be decide on what is to be our dominant culture,
        > although in modern times it becomes less and less a
        > conscious decision as it becomes more and more a
        > sanctioned process. But before we attempt an
        > understanding of that problem, let us not lose sight
        > of the language battle.
        >
        > The struggle for the reigning word is a long one, part
        > of an inevitable dialectical human conflict which the
        > Russian expatriate philosopher, Alexander Kojeve (1902
        > - 1968) described very well, that is, as a veritable
        > "fight to the death," in his 'Introduction to the
        > Reading of Hegal'. Kojeve used this rather brusque
        > tone not to be morbid, but because that's the way he
        > actually saw history. The fight for meaning would be
        > pursued on all fronts by all people to its ultimate
        > conclusion, wherein each opposition is no longer,
        > having either abandoned itself or been annihilated by
        > some master, if not indeed also so destined by the
        > Supreme. The clear-sightedness of this vision,
        > however, need not necesarily be so apparent in the
        > grandest of schemes as it may be before your eyes
        > right here and now. We need only trace any thread of
        > dialogue and we'll soon notice for ourselves, how in
        > the act of proclaiming something one must naturally
        > negate something else:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/680
        >
        > Now then to further scrutinize the dialectic of
        > existence surviving towards the fringes of society
        > verses existence towards the center, it would probably
        > be best for us to first familiarize ourselves with the
        > mainstream and its workings, if only for those like
        > myself who find themselves far apart from that set:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/719
        >
        > "In our age the objective social tendency is incarnate
        > in the hidden subjective purposes of company
        > directors, the foremost among whom are in the most
        > powerful sectors of industry -- steel, petroleum,
        > electricity, and chemicals.... The dependence of the
        > most powerful broadcasting company on the electrical
        > industry, or of the motion picture industry on the
        > banks, is characteristic of the whole sphere, whose
        > individual branches are themselves economically
        > interwoven. All are in such close contact that the
        > extreme concentration of mental forces allows
        > demarcation lines between different firms and
        > technical branches to be ignored.... The (modern
        > culture-producing) alliance of word, image, and music
        > is all the more perfect that in 'Tristan' (or the
        > Wagnerian dream of the Gesamtkunstwerk -- the fusion
        > of all the art in one work) because the sensuous
        > elements which all approvingly reflect the surface of
        > social reality are in principle embodied in the same
        > technical process, the unity of which becomes its
        > distinctive content. This process integrates all the
        > elements of the production, from the novel (shaped
        > with an eye to the film) to the last sound effect. It
        > is the triumph of invested capital, whose title as
        > absolute master is etched deep into the hearts of the
        > dispossessed in the employment line, it is the
        > meaningful content of every film, whatever plot the
        > production team may have selected." *
        >
        > But sadder than what Horkheimer and Adorno's thoughts
        > above suggest -- that "the man with leisure must
        > accept what the culture manufacturers offer him" -- is
        > the fact that such an individual is no longer expected
        > to make a contribution, he is no longer expected of
        > Kant's formalism, that is "to relate the varied
        > experiences of the senses to the fundamental concepts,
        > (as) industry robs the individual of his function." We
        > find one such contemporary person with leisure today
        > in the person of Bill Harris, a self-satisfied,
        > self-admitted man of "modern, crass, material, and
        > real" substance, boasting of a world that is outright
        > "magnificent and getting better" every day:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist/message/6168
        >
        > We now arrive, then, at the present amorphous if not
        > non-existent state of culture, where art, if it is to
        > sustain itself, must adhere to a highly integrated,
        > formulaic, commercial process, and the current artist
        > represents more a trained artisan or craftsmen,
        > capable of producing a Picasso or Dali on demand, than
        > the former self-reflective expression of an expansive
        > consciousness he used to be. Nowhere is this more
        > evident than in the now almost extinct realm of high
        > culture. Traditionally, the art of high culture would
        > attempt to present the antithesis of the present
        > social dialectic in a most profound way, thus moving
        > its observers to a higher level of consciousness, who
        > would from there go on to create collectively a new
        > synthesis, a new consensual reality -- this also being
        > the philosophical ideal of a valid democracy. Today,
        > however, cultural standards have been so turned upside
        > down, along with society's ethics and morals, that
        > anything remotely serving the old idea of high culture
        > is at once suspended in mid air. Here, for example, I
        > must direct you to my current debate with Christopher
        > Bobo on the significance of the late Allan Bloom, a
        > controversial philosopher whose teachings at Cornell,
        > Toronto, and Chicago, coupled with his "judicious use
        > of great texts', led to his 1987 phenomenally
        > successful critique, 'The Closing of the American
        > Mind':
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/699
        >
        > Bobo's intent, in his own words, is to establish Bloom
        > as a "through and through ivy league ivory tower
        > academician," fitting the stereo-typical, highfalutin
        > image of him in 'Ravelstein', a fictional account by
        > Bloom's friend -- also a famous author -- Saul Bellow,
        > who seems more interested in betraying Bloom as some
        > homosexual dandy who loves Armani suits, Cuban cigars,
        > Mont Blanc pens, and Baccarat crystal, than the great
        > thinker he actually was:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/718
        >
        > In stating his case this way, it is quite evident that
        > Bobo cannot appreciate or is capable of understanding
        > that not even Bloom was Bloom -- which is to say that
        > no text Bloom ever wrote should ever, now or then, be
        > equated with whomever Bloom the person was -- let
        > alone any 3rd-person account, especially one written
        > after his death, as was Bellow's, when Bloom is no
        > longer around to defend himself. To substitute the
        > written text for the writer is the keystone to the
        > arch of fascism, which in its higher constructs and at
        > its peak, annihilates a person's soul altogether. It
        > does this by taking the symbolic, or the sign that
        > crates a word, and making it the letter of the
        > established law, as opposed to allowing the sign be
        > its own free spirit. This, as it relates to the
        > present, I believe I depicted quite succinctly in my
        > last response to Bobo:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/716
        > But if that did not suffice, I now leave it to my good
        > friend, Gina, to shed a perfect light and summarize
        > what Bobo is all about, that being the closed American
        > mind incarnate:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/727
        >
        > In our present chaotic age of discord and confusion,
        > amidst what little freedom we actually have, it is
        > nice to know that every now and then some visionary
        > freak of nature may suddenly appear, and provide us
        > with a long-winded, yet highly appreciated and much
        > needed breath of fresh air:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fallenworld12/message/59
        >
        > Copyright: 2002 Lewis Vella
        >
        > * 'Dialectic of Enlightenment', Max Horkheimer and
        > Theodor W. Adorno, tr. by John Cumming, The Seabury
        > Press, NY, N.Y., 1972 - p.p. 122 - 124.
        >
        > THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES is registered trademark of the
        > author. Comments on its contents may be forwarded
        > appropriately to any of the mailing lists noted in the
        > reception box at th top of this page (free yahoogroups
        > membership is required). All other enquires may be
        > sent to LewisVella@....
        >
        > BACK ISSUES of 'THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES':
        >
        > Volume 1, #1:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/518
        > Volume 1, #2:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisdomForum/message/662
        >
        > $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ATTENTION ADVERTISERS $$$$$$$$$$$$$
        > $
        > $ SPONSOR THIS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER WITH YOUR OWN 1"
        > $ ADVERTISING BANNER PLACED IN THIS SPOT. REACH
        > $ THOUSANDS OF KNOWLEDGEABLE READERS LIKE YOURSELF,
        > $ INTERNATIONALLY, FOR AS LOW AS $25 PER ISSUE. FOR
        > $ FURTHER INFORMATION AND AD RATES CONTACT ME DIRECT:
        > $
        > $
        > $ LewisVella@...
        > $
        > $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > __________________________________________________
        > Do You Yahoo!?
        > Yahoo! Sports - sign up for Fantasy Baseball
        > http://sports.yahoo.com
        >
        >
        > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
        > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
        >
        > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
        > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.