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Thread: The Collective in its Negative Aspect.

  1. #1
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    Default The Collective in its Negative Aspect.

    The Conspiracy of Mediocrity. The shared Delusion. The Upheld Lie. The Violence of the Many against the Few.

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    The 2010s, especially the second half, are the decade when swarm intelligence turned into swarm idiocy full throttle.

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    "It does not seem as though any influence could induce a man to change his nature into a termite's"

    Freud. Civilization and its Discontents.

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    The audiobook I'm listening to at the moment is making more sense of this shit than anything I've come across before. It puts across the idea that this sense of isolation in society was planned. Dumbing down and all the rest too. The roots of which lie in centuries old Prussian and German thinking. The gears for the plan were put in motion in America at the beginning of the 20th c. by rich elites (Rockefeller for eg) and I think only now are their full dreams being realized.

    One excerpt I heard yesterday:

    Listen to Harris again, giant of American schooling, leading scholar of German philosophy in the
    Western hemisphere, editor and publisher of The Journal of Speculative Philosophy which trained
    a generation of American intellectuals in the ideas of the Prussian thinkers Kant and Hegel, the
    man who gave America scientifically age-graded classrooms to replace successful mixed-age
    school practice. Again, from The Philosophy of Education, Harris sets forth his gloomy vision:

    The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly
    places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature.
    School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.
    —The Philosphy of Education (1906)

    Nearly a hundred years ago, this schoolman thought self-alienation was the secret to successful
    industrial society. Surely he was right. When you stand at a machine or sit at a computer you need
    an ability to withdraw from life, to alienate yourself without a supervisor. How else could that be
    tolerated unless prepared in advance by simulated Birkenhead drills? School, thought Harris, was
    sensible preparation for a life of alienation.

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    there isn't a collective though. not the one that the right rail against, and not the one the left pine for. all over. finished. Politics is dead. its just racketeering and dog eat dog. politics is just like football. something we watch to pass the time. the political faction of the ruling class are being wiped out by history. they are just a husk. this isn't a conscious development but a subconscious one. eventually capitalism will hit its limit by which point inhospitable planet or a culling of the species through euthanasia.

    That's what Mark got wrong. he had to let it out. let out all the rage. He had to write riotous screeds, not sardonic or pensive ones. He really had it in him. no question about that.
    Last edited by thirdform; 18-02-2019 at 12:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    there isn't a collective though. not the one that the right rail against, and not the one the left pine for. all over. finished. Politics is dead. its just racketeering and dog eat dog. politics is just like football. something we watch to pass the time. the political faction of the ruling class are being wiped out by history. they are just a husk. this isn't a conscious development but a subconscious one. eventually capitalism will hit its limit by which point inhospitable planet or a culling of the species through euthanasia.

    That's what Mark got wrong. he had to let it out. let out all the rage. He had to write riotous screeds, not sardonic or pensive ones. He really had it in him. no question about that.
    I mostly agree with this but at the same time I think any group of friends is a collective (albeit typically a dysfunctional one) any conversation is a collective endeavour and process, any group of workers sharing a task, any band playing music together,any football team or, in a slightly different sense, any two teams playing one another- all these are collectives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    This sort of thing makes sense, but I can't help but feel that I want it to be true more than it probably is because then there'd be at least someone who has a handle on things, who's conscious of an overarching structure and able to exert some form of control. The thought of a conspiracy is easier to bear than the thought of everyone just winging it.
    I thought the same until I started looking up some of the more far out stuff. It's all there. Hidden in plain sight. The quote above is nothing compared to the rest of the book. That was just the first thing that sprung to mind when reading this thread. Anyone who has been to Berlin or any ex soviet eastern european city can see how the architecture is practically designed to mute the senses and minds of the people. Rockefeller definitely started the board of education and had plenty of inspiration from the Prussian systems. It's all checkable.

    This is in the intro:

    With conspiracy so close to the surface of the American imagination and American reality, I can only approach with trepidation the task of discouraging you in advance from thinking my book the chronicle of some vast diabolical conspiracy to seize all our children for the personal ends of a small, elite minority.
    Don't get me wrong, American schooling has been replete with chicanery from its very beginnings: indeed, it isn't difficult to find various conspirators boasting in public about what they pulled off. But if you take that tack you'll miss the real horror of what I'm trying to describe, that what has happened to our schools was inherent in the original design for a planned economy and a planned society laid down so proudly at the end of the nineteenth century. I think what happened would have happened anyway-without the legions of venal, half-mad men and women who schemed so hard to make it as it is. If I'm correct, we're in a much worse position than we would be if we were merely victims of an evil genius or two.

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    "the collective" is increasingly infantilised and depoliticised, hence its impotent rage

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    "the collective" is increasingly infantilised and depoliticised, hence its impotent rage
    I know it's usually fruitless trying to get you to clarify these coyly ambiguous statements but what is lurking between those inverted commas? The left? The, ahem, proletariat? Dissensus?
    I doubt I disagree fundamentally just wanting to make sure

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    the masses, the polity, the proletariat, the people. I was thinking of an essay on the philosopher augusto del noce and the death of politics, which I read recently: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/dead-end-left

    Fifty years later, it is fair to say that Del Noce’s hopes about the Molnar-Domenach debate were not realized. Still, that distant discussion helps us understand what could be called the “curse” of politics in contemporary Western societies. On the one hand, progressivism seems firmly committed to the post-Marxist idea that the road to liberation passes through the denial of Domenach’s “ascending totality within which human relationships are articulated.” In fact, the very notion of an “order of being” is viewed as “repressive” by a culture that tends to identify freedom with unconstrained self-determination (Domenach’s “delirium of the limitless”). On the other hand, our culture has largely embraced a form of “scientism” that excludes all mythical, philosophical, and religious narratives from the public debate except one: the myth of never-ending technological progress. But, as Del Noce remarked, the technological mindset is “the most conservative in the history of the world” because it radically denies the possibility of “another reality.” Technological progress keeps changing the means of production, but does not bring about any moral change. The paradox is that these two trends (the leftist critique of authority and conservative technocracy) converged into what Del Noce called prophetically “the alliance between the technocratic right and the cultural left.” Its result has been that “separation between the ruling class and the masses becomes extreme.” Indeed, one plausible interpretation of the election of Donald Trump is that today many people who do not benefit from the expansion of technology feel that the only political choice is between an alien liberal technocracy and tribalism.

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    Right, me and you. That's what I thought and I agree with you. Thanks for clarification.

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    the masses are locked out of the decision making process, not simply in a formal sense but in terms of what politics admits, what it excludes. from the perspective of the technocracy its interventions appear hysterical, and easily dismissed - pushing the masses further into hysteria, ratcheting up the tension.

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    The masses being me and vim. Yes, again I agree with you.

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    why wont they listen mate, its hard being right all the time

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    No one listens to us, that's why we're hysterical.

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