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Re: [existlist] THE EXISTENTIAL TIMES - Vol. 1, #3

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Mar 4, 2002
      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

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