by Nora Hoppe for the Saker blog
“Poets and philosophers are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”
– from “A Philosophical View of Reform” (1819-1820), a series of essays by Percy Bysshe Shelley
In our times, there are many in the West who speak of the imminent extinction of our planet due to “man-made climate change”. But the potential extinction of our civilisation, of our humanity, does not seem to be a vital topic for the masses.
What and where is our civilisation today? What does “civilisation” mean? Generally speaking, “civilisation” is defined as “a human society that has highly developed material and spiritual resources and a complex cultural, political, and legal organization; an advanced state in social development; the peoples or nations collectively who have achieved such a state“.
But what are our spiritual resources and what is the role of culture today?
It is vital for us to reflect on this now… as we pass from a decaying unipolar world and begin to build a new, multipolar world.
Culture for society, the state and the world…
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) claimed that “music is the harmonisation of heaven and earth, and ritual is the order of heaven and earth“. According to Analects 8:8, he said: “It is through the Odes (poetry) that a man’s mind is aroused, through the rules of ritual that his character is established, and through music that he is perfected… The only way for society to thrive is to be in tune with the universal norm indicated through music… Rituals are not simply a matter of decorum. They are the institutions, orders and norms that developed from primitive magical ritual and unite the universe with society. If one wants to know whether a kingdom is well governed, whether its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will provide the answer.”
Changiz Moulâyi, (Professor of Old Iranian Culture and Languages; University of Tabriz, Iran) wrote about how culture creates identity and thus meaning: “Among fine Persian works, the theme of any work is not as closely related to the subject of ‘Iranian nationality’ and ‘Iranians national identity’ as Ferdowsi’s ‘Shahnameh’. Elements and national symbols such as ‘land’ with specific geographical boundaries (whether mythical or real), customs and traditions, history, common national language and finally the position of people, religion and government, have been reflected everywhere in this great and unique poem. In this regard, ‘Shahnameh’ has rightly been considered as the “document of national identity of Iranians”. (…) ‘Shahnameh’, while being the highest and most glorious example of Persian poetry, has been incorporated into the Persian language and is sometimes rightly considered as the agent and guarantor of its survival among the Iranian public. It is obvious that the manifestation of such patriotic feelings and passion in our national epic is due to the existence of a country called Iran and a single nation called the ‘Iranian nation’ which, despite being composed of different ethnic groups and tribes with different languages and dialects, because of their unity in culture and nationality, they all consider themselves Iranians, and the Persian language, which has been tied to Iranian culture and nationality throughout the ups and downs of Iran’s history is not considered as a language belonging to a particular nation or tribe, but as their national and common language.”
In his essay “A Defence of Poetry” (1821), the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) argued that: “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world”… “But the poets, those, that is, who imagine and express this indestructible order, are not only the authors of language and music, dance, architecture, statuary, and painting; they are also the instigators of laws, the founders of civil society, the inventors of the arts of life, the masters who derive from such a communion of beauty and truth, that partial vision of the forces of the invisible world which is called religion… The poems of Homer and his contemporaries, were the joy of infant Greece; they were the elements of that social system which is the pillar on which all subsequent civilisations rest.”
The Russian literary critic Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky (1811-1848) claimed that, “Society finds its actual life in literature” and… “In order to have a literature, a nation must live, not merely on the practical, but on the moral and spiritual plane as well, contributing through its national life to the development of some side of the universal spirit of man.”
A LOOK BACK – AT THE WEST…
Western capitalist civilisation has succeeded in setting material, technological progress as the criterion of “civilisation” while excluding the spiritual aspects from the equation entirely. Has civilisation in the West thus been reduced to a mere expedient? Has culture been reduced to trivial entertainment, an object of consumption, a distraction, a tool of brainwashing and propaganda?
Consumerism, Homogenisation and Gleichschaltung
Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote a text back in 1973, entitled “Acculturazione e assimilazione” (in his “Scritti corsari “[“Corsair Writings”] -1974) in which he warned: “No fascist centralism ever managed to do what the centralism of consumer civilization has successfully accomplished. Fascism proposed a reactionary and monumental model that was nonetheless a dead letter from the start. The various particular cultures (peasants, sub-proletarians, workers) carried on undisturbed and continued to live in accordance with their age-old models: repression was limited to obtaining their verbal support. Today, however, adherence to the models imposed by the Centre is total and unconditional. Real cultural models are repudiated. The renunciation is complete. One is therefore justified in saying that the “tolerance” of the hedonistic ideology of the new power is the worst kind of repression in human history. How has this repression been exercised? By way of two revolutions, which have taken place within bourgeois organizational forms: the infrastructural revolution and the information systems revolution. Highways, cars, etc., have today strictly united the periphery with the Centre by abolishing all physical distance. But the revolution of the information systems has been even more radical and decisive. By means of television the Centre has assimilated the whole country, which was historically so differentiated and rich in original cultures. A project of homogenization commenced, destroying all authenticity and all concrete legacies of the past. It has imposed – as I said – its models: they are the models sought by the new industrialization, which is no longer content with inducing men to consume, but seeks to create a situation in which no other ideology is even conceivable other than the ideology of consumption. A neo-secular hedonism, blindly oblivious to every humanistic value and blindly alien to human knowledge.”
In recent decades, the publishing of books, the promotion of music and the distribution of films worldwide has been handed over and sacrificed to the Moloch machine of financial capitalism that churns out homogenised best-sellers, pop hits and blockbusters. Recently, even “alternative niches” such as authentic rebel rap music and art-house cinema have become victims of Gleichschaltung. Nowhere in the world is there a real subculture any more. And long gone too are the anti-war songs….
Postmodernism in the service of Neoliberalism and Imperialism…
German literary scholar and philosopher Thomas Metscher wrote In his text entitled “Postmoderne und Imperialismus”: “I understand postmodernism as a form of consciousness of a certain stage of capitalist society: the developed imperialist society; a form of consciousness, therefore, of the world condition of the present, related to the imperialist metropolises. Postmodernism is a form of consciousness of this world condition in a comprehensive sense. As a form of experience of everyday alienation, it emerges from everyday life and lifestyles, extends into the culture industry, media, arts, sciences and “grand” theory, and often has the status of dominance in these (with the exception of the natural sciences). (…) Imperialism in its developed, present form is the age of a crisis of world-historical dimensions. In it, a future worthy of human beings, indeed the continued existence of the human species, is at stake. It is the age of a crisis-ridden end time… [The Crisis] is potentially lethal in character and formulates a historical dilemma: the old is dying and the new cannot yet be born [Gramsci]. In this in-between realm, a multitude of morbid symptoms emerge. Indeed, the “morbidity” of imperialist society today has reached a scope and a blatancy (…) that one can justifiably speak of a pathic society – a ‘culture of death‘. …
“There is a method to postmodern nonsense (…) The implicit irrationalism covers the entire contemporary culture and consciousness industry like mildew and threatens to stifle any genuine individual articulation. It now extends from talk shows and feuilleton to the lofty heights of Bayreuth and Salzburg. (…) Certainly, the complicity of postmodernism with the neoliberal offensive is secret – part of the functioning of this ideology is that it remains secret, part of the gesture of radicalism, of political correctness… This complicity, however, explains the front position: against dialectics and reason, against utopias and ideals, against the narrative that explains history and brings connections to consciousness, against the deduction from reasons, against rational explanations of the world of every kind. This complicity explains above all the hostility against enlightenment and communism. It is the hostility against the historical exponents of an alternative conception of life.
In his illustrative essay, “The Aesthetics of Banalisation (Notes on Documenta 13 in Kassel)”, sociologist, philosopher and esteemed critic of “postmodernist culture” Werner Seppmann (1950-2021) wrote about the 2012 exhibition at “dOCUMENTA” (a “cultural event” featuring contemporary “postmodern art” which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany): “ dOCUMENTA had a pioneering role in bringing abstract “avant-garde” artists, initially mostly of US origin, to the fore and stylising them as the pinnacle of art development. They were seen as the only worthy representatives of a “free” capitalist society and positioned against “Eastern state art”. For the founders of dOCUMENTA, art was only considered “free” if it abandoned representationalism and manifested the artist’s unconditional subjectivism and immediate inwardness in his creative act.
“Through the decay of artistic form (…) and a levelling of content, the critical engagement with ordinary exhibition material pushes the critique of ideology and domination to the forefront over the reflection of aesthetic issues. Inevitably, the question arises as to which interests are being served by the privileging of an art of banality and insignificance (often with an open flank towards absurdity). Who benefits philosophically and ultimately socially when obtrusive self-absorption dominates? Which class achieves ideological added value when serious social problems (such as the destruction of our natural basis of life) are disposed of by a merely “symbolic” reference? Who has an interest in solutions to pressing contemporary issues reduced to the level of an esoteric oblivion of being?”
Appropriation of Culture for Propaganda
For some time, the festering unipolar power – the Anglo-American empire – has been the self-appointed magistrate claiming jurisdiction over the planet, as it became the accepted ‘”moral authority of interpretation” in (at least) the western world and was able to exert its influence on public opinion pretty much everywhere. The transatlantic neo-liberal propaganda machine and its various mechanisms of infiltration have always been a powerful tool – they are in fact the imperialist forces’ greatest weapons… stronger than cluster bombs, because they have a global reach and infect minds, while leaving the outward appearance intact.
A brilliantly devious tactic was its appropriation and abuse of symbols, slogans and terminology of the once authentic “left” and “progressive” movements. One of its noxious characteristics is the brazen attempt to rewrite history for its own benefit. With this appropriation, Nazis are seen as freedom fighters, the Russians as Fascists, kleptocracies as democracies, conservatives as right-wingers… and neo-liberals as left-wingers and rebels, with this last group attracting incalculable adulators of the “progressive mindset” in culture and academia, who, in turn, promote the ideas of the neo-liberals. Pasolini clearly expected this back in 1975: “I prophesy the era in which the new power will use your libertarian words to create a new homogenised power, to create a new Inquisition, to create a new conformism. And your clerics will be left-wing clerics.”
Unfortunately, many literary scholars, analysts and journalists have underestimated the imperialist and colonialist infiltration into other cultures around the world… which is why many now seem stupefied at the extent to which postmodern neo-liberal “culture” has overshadowed the local cultures of non-Western countries… Unfortunately the youth of these countries, thanks to global consumerism, have little to no other orientation and roots for their own culture… and they face many identity crises.
Cancel Culture… and the destruction of history
If one does not conform to the hegemonic narrative, one is erased from the mainstream press, from social media and, in many cases, from society… (And some journalists even end up in prison or are blacklisted.) And this increasingly applies to cultures, as well.
In addition to the fashionable trend today of tearing down statues of those repudiated by the ‘woke magistrates’, artists and thinkers from “territories seen as hostile” by the hegemony and NATO are being erased – for example: Russian artists past and present (e.g. Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Chekhov, conductor Valery Gergiev, soprano Anna Netrebko)… Even the letter “Z” is seen as a hostile character of the alphabet in many western countries…
“The proverbial ‘cancel culture’ has become a cancellation of culture,” as President Putin said.
In these days, Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic countries, in the throes of some inexplicable delirium, are feverishly demolishing monuments commemorating the Soviet sacrifices in WWII. In a recent speech, President Putin remarked on this mockery of history: “We remember our ancestors – the [WWII] front-line soldiers and their comrades-in-arms, as well as the tough home-front workers. We preserve and restore memorials in their honour. And we will never understand or accept the desire to destroy that, which reminds us of their heroism, courage, suffering and sacrifices. Or hearts bleed when in some countries we see the demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers, who gave their lives to free the people of those countries. They are mocking history and cynically betraying their own fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers. For Russia, all this is unthinkable. We are the flesh and blood of our heroes. The reconstructed memorial to the defenders of Donbass, along with the courage of our soldiers, officers and militias serve as a warning to tell all who renounced their ancestors and forgotten the lessons of history.”
The so-called postmodern neo-liberal western consumerist “culture” is in fact an obliteration of the human being. Devoid of humanity and spirituality, it is a malignancy planted in the cells of the body of civilisation… Its purpose is ultimately to destroy human civilisation in order to drive the world into absolute subservience to corporate technocracy.
A LOOK FORWARD – TO THE EAST…
As we can observe, the postmodern neo-liberal “culture” of the West hast infected the world globally – not only through neo-colonialism but also through the technology of mass communication… But the West cannot be held exclusively responsible for the banalisation of culture in non-western countries. Nurturing one’s own culture and traditions and passing on one’s heritage to the next generation is the duty of every member of society.
No great works of art and thought are being produced anywhere for the moment. But their roots and seedlings in the non-western countries have not been obliterated. Though in a semi-conscious state, they have been kept alive by sovereign societies who still honour their heritage, cherish spirituality and keep the memories of the past alive. After all, great works can only come to light in the footsteps of the masters before them.
Also of note is that, whereas craftsmanship has almost vanished from most western nations, it is still alive in non-western countries. Though considerably diminished in number over the years, artisans still have a place in society in these countries, and their works are still sought.
The greatest challenge for the safeguarding civilisation in the future will be to lure younger generations away from the trivial non-culture flashing incessantly on their umbilical phones and to convince them of the significance and indispensability of their heritage and history…
The dawn of a Multipolar World – a Spiritus Mundi
The recent advancements in mutually beneficial projects spearheaded by cooperative organisations and forums (such as the BRI, BRICS+, EAEU, the SCO, the NAM, etc.) validate the emergence of a new and multipolar world… a world of sovereign states that will be free to develop according to their own needs and wishes, free to exchange goods, ideas and knowledge amongst each other, protected by truly international law. And their myriad diversities, fortunately spared from the monstrous “homogeniser”, can go on to flourish and enrich others.
The perspective of states no longer suffering under the financial, economic and bellicose yoke of a plundering power can inspire citizens and generate fertile ground not only for fruitful exchanges but also for the resumption of the development of their cultural heritages.
As the darkness drops in the West, a glimmer of a light, its hour come round at last – due especially to the recent colossal efforts of Russia – is rising in the East and heralding the birth of a multipolar world… a light that will hopefully awaken some poets from a stony sleep.
“What and where is our civilisation today?” Simple question requires a simple answer:
Busta Rhymes: https://youtu.be/un3NkWnHl9Q
Human beings live as entropic pumps of environmental energy flows. They “take energy,” while in plain English, “to take” is to rob. That is, human beings live by killing and eating other organisms. Thus, there is only one political system, namely, “organized crime.”
“Civilization” was made by the history of warfare, which was organized crime on larger and larger scales. Globalized Neolithic Civilization was based on enslaving animals and plants, and especially upon human slavery systems.
The only things which actually exist are the dynamic equilibria between different systems of more or less organized lies operating robberies. Those systems in “The West” are experiencing the consequences of excessive success. That is, those systems have become as far out of balance as humanly possible, except that those systems are driving to become even more so, as systems based on enforcing frauds endeavour to become exponentially more fraudulent.
“The West” is indeed an Empire of Lies. However, there is nothing anywhere else that is better. Rather, the only way forward for human beings, is to engage in series of profound paradigm shifts in political science, in order to better reconcile physics with politics, while that, at its core, is reconciliation of ancient mysticism within “Western Science.”
I quote from the article above:
“Western capitalist civilisation has succeeded in setting material, technological progress as the criterion of “civilisation” while excluding the spiritual aspects from the equation entirely.”
Progress in science developed in paradoxical ways, due the history whereby science was allowed to study everything dead, while religion continued to be predominate regarding life and spirituality. As that prodigious progress due to the scientific methods advanced, the domain of the thus deadened grew and grew.
However, one can change to recognized that “ENERGY IS SPIRIT,” while entropy is the scientific Satan. Indeed, one can readily develop an entire pantheon of “gods,” as animism is resurrected through science. Indeed, that should be, however, “The West” is currently based on private banks making money out of nothing as debts, in ways which are based on deliberately ignoring the principle of the conservation of energy, and misunderstanding the concept of entropy in the most absurdly backward ways possible. That is because “The West” was the flourishing of enforced frauds achieving symbolic robberies, BUT, that is not admitted and addressed, but rather, deeply buried under layer after layer of the biggest bully’s bullshit.
The only thing about “The West” that was worthwhile and thus, worth saving, was the development of the scientific methods that led to the progress in science and technology. However, that also resulted in globalized electronic monkey money frauds, backed by threats of force from apes with atomic weapons. Recently, into those systems were injected man-made viruses that a few primates made to become more infectious in those primates.
The article above concludes:
“As the darkness drops in the West, a glimmer of a light, its hour come round at last – due especially to the recent colossal efforts of Russia – is rising in the East and heralding the birth of a multipolar world… a light that will hopefully awaken some poets from a stony sleep.”
Indeed, “The West” is experiencing the excessive successfulness of organized crime therefore manifesting as runaway criminal insanities. However, there is nowhere else which is significantly better, because there is nowhere that is enabling human beings to better adapt to the prodigious progress in science and technology. There is nothing good enough anywhere in “The East” which could do that.
While it was certainly the case that both Russia and China, and most other places in the world, had the shit kicked out of them by “The West,” recognizing that in superficial ways does nothing to provide a better foundation for developing better human ecology and political economy.
Regarding the beginning quote, and concluding remarks, in that article above, I assert that we are all dreaming with data. We are building mental models of the world, which include mental models of ourselves within our models of the world. “The West’s” excessive success inevitably is leading to its fall. However, a better poetry of the soul would have to now be able to be reconciled with mathematical physics, or else, that would only have become even more psychotic than it actually has already become.
Human beings should better understand themselves as energy systems. That is certainly possible to do. However, that means recognizing that every human system, every church, country, or corporation, is another version of lies operating robberies, and it could never become anything else.
The better future for “The West” would be the same as for the whole world. However, I do not believe that nature has that in store for Globalized Neolithic Civilization. Rather, as civilization gets crazier and crazier, nature will also be going nuts.
For instance, I recommend becoming familiar with the material presented by Ben Davidson at Suspicious0bservers, which I think is presenting the best summaries possible at the present time about the rebirth of the science of catastrophism.
Blaming human beings for climate change is another Huge Lie to use as even more excuses to control people in ways which will increase the social polarization, because everything would still be done through enforced frauds becoming about exponentially more fraudulent.
What is really happening are significant changes in the combined Earth, Sun, and Galactic magnetic fields. Those changes make the bogus boogieman threats of climate change caused by human beings look quite trivial in comparison. I believe that within a hundred years, the human population of the planet will be less than one billion, rather than more than 10 billion.
I believe that factors far beyond human control are going to result in anywhere from 75% to 95% of the population perishing. The degree to which there will thus become an awesomely multipolar world can barely be imagined.
The great paradoxes of human history are due to the greatest threats to survival becoming other human beings, rather than any other factors. Hence, the history of warfare, leading to the Globalized Neolithic Civilization that currently exists.
I predict that, within the foreseeable future, threats from natural factors are going to return to being far greater than the threats from other human beings (other than as secondary effects.)
Human evolution will continue to be driven by human beings, but that will also be driven into hyperdrive, due to the impingement of much more drastic natural disasters, combining to become megadisasters.
Nobody can reasonably predict what human beings might act like after the destruction of Globalized Neolithic Civilization. I wish that we would adapt to those selection pressures in less insane ways than we are doing at the present time. However, I would not count on that!
That, at least in my opinion, is an intelligent and interesting perspective.
Personally, I think all culture is Race expression, but I am willing to allow for metaphysical effects.
Too many people today want to agree with each other, or alternatively, be correct.
I expect to see ‘the wars of annihilation’ in my lifetime. I don’t know whether to be relived or horrified by this. In the meantime, I will do my best to enjoy my time on the planet while being useful and productive in despite of my fellow humans. Thanks for your perspective.
We are all from the same energy from the same source. The Father we are a part of as He is ours.
According to the law of conservation of energy, not a single piece of you has disappeared.
The physicist spoke about conservation of energy, your funeral.
You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your bereaved family about energy conservation so they understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother of the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy is created in the universe and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every BTU of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child, remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your crying father that you gave as much good as you could in the midst of the energies of the cosmos.
And at some point you would hope the physicist would come down from the pulpit and walk over to your heartbroken spouse in the pew and tell him / her / her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile , the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, drifted away from you like children, forever changed by you.
And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, let the physicist let her know that all the photons that reflect from you have been collected in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that these photons have produced in her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will last forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation how much of all our energy is released as heat. There may be a few fanning each other’s programs, as he says. And he will tell them that the warmth that has flowed through you in life is still there, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn remain in the fire of our own lives.
And you’ll want a physicist to explain to those who loved you that they don’t need to have faith; verily, they should not have faith. Let them know they can measure that scientists have accurately measured the behavior of energy and found it to be accurate, verifiable, and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and make sure the science is solid and that they will take comfort in knowing that your energy is still around.
According to the law of conservation of energy, not a single piece of you has disappeared. You’re just less orderly. Amen.
I grew up with physical science being my primary indoctrination. I was not raised in any other religion. Therefore, yes, for me, the consolations of believing in the conservation of energy is better and more meaningful than any other human platitudes.
I get what you are saying about other people’s feelings, however, according to my primary process feelings, what you say is what I would want.
Your materialist perspective, thankfully, is gradually being exposed for the nonsense it is by a new generation of thinkers with the academic and professional qualifications to confront the feeble-mindedness that has characterized most of metaphysics in the twentieth century.
First, materialist were outraged that one, whom they considered one of their own, Thomas Nagel presented an original viewpoint in “Mind and Cosmos”. Then they were figuratively sucker-punched by Bernard Kastrup (whose credentials they couldn’t actually ignore, being a double PhD in philosophy of mind and computer science).
They’re now just starting to pick themselves up from the blows — only to stagger back from the loss of balance. Warning to materialists: do not read Kastrup, do not watch the various YouTube’s he’s featured in, and do not apply for a job at CERN or the Philips Research Lab.
your commentary / critic of the above article is jammed with contradictions. At least Nora Hoppe`s has a clear line of insight which is mostly by referring to great thinkers from ancient times till today. this game of challenging words / ideas is like any other game, in reality, kind of a confrontation, a WAR. She has chosen her trench… like the neo- Nazis of Ukraine and the soldiers of Russia. But where do you stand? I red your reply /critic but I couldn’t find out what is your stand point or ideology or belief; a Marxist, greens, eco tourist, Trotskyist, pro-western, humanist, liberal, right or pseudo left of u$$a or eu or…what? do not bother this mirror, as you westerners have no tolerance for critic when it points at themselves, though they feel free to criticize any move / word which does not comply with their hallow beliefs. And more important, the time is over for words and philosophical mind churning carrousels. We are living in a mine-field, prepared by the western old colonial hunger / plunder game and the contemporary arms industry/ race of the same aggressive imperialist system. Its time to get armed and choose a trench, either to survive this spread of evil by the west or to die…and there are no paradise, no utopia and no salvation…only death…so better die with honor than to cry out like a confused fearful baby.
To answer your question,
“But where do you stand?”
I repeat that I believe in what I was raised to believe in, namely the insights of mathematical physics. I also repeat that, given that harnessing atomic and electronic energies has already happened, and has already been more disruptive than can be fully imagined, I continue to stand for genuine scientific progress, particularly with respect to political science making genuine progress in the ways I outlined above.
I regard it as pathetic when people continue to try to believe in old-fashioned religions and ideologies. Their only usefulness would be like ore to be smelted. Whatever insights those provided should be absorbed into the genuine progress of science. Morality should become more parables regarding the observation of actual evolutions, rather than anything less.
The only “freedom” which actually exists is due to the irreducible uncertain in measurements. Thus, “freedom” exists due to human beings having to act in states of relative ignorance.
O que é que uma coisa tem a ver com outra? Eu também só acredito na ciência, mas isto não me impede de ter uma moral e/ou ética, pelo contrário, tenho necessidade de a ter. Penso que só assim posso sentir-me bem comigo próprio, e também penso que isto é o mais importante.
What does one thing have to do with another? I also only believe in science, but this does not prevent me from having morals and/or ethics, on the contrary, I need to have them. I think that’s the only way I can feel good about myself, and I also think that’s the most important thing.
that’s fair comment, especially after what all the cov-mass insanity made clear as day.
I do hope it is the West that bear the brunt of their vain navel gazing hubris, a return to a simpler life will be a blessing (so long as the same regimes never again arise!).
i think the world will hopefully carry on, but the west will be reduced massively.
I’m in the west and have children and grand child, so …. so be it.
The society here is sick, and i don’t mean in that modern way of “sick”. I mean mentally, terminally ill and so many people are not coming too. Morons. willfully ignorant, confidently cognitively dissonated (argh spelling!) and increasingly plain old amorally evil.
And to mr Gavin, indeed, lets enjoy every day, being as kind and useful as we can be.
Long wide straight road ahead!!! beware.
As a Canadian with children, I agree with your statements 100%.
I eat meat and have not been able to stop despite being bothered by the fact all my life despite attempts to stop all along the way that even met with some lengthy periods of success. But I have never gone all the way to see it as a form of organized crime and at this point it surely seems to be in fact organized crime
and as I moved to plants, vegetarianism and realized that that too is the same as eating animals that it is organized crime as well even more comprehensive that meat eating Longley answers similarly, stating the reality cleary that we have no option but to be criminals and the issue flows to God! the All-mighty and the why of it???
and for the moment I can go no further..either into Longley and therefore expressing more. Longley is powerful, forcing me to admit issues that have seriously bothered me all my life. But ultimately wanting to actually live on has always trumped the alternative up to now, currently. Can I make it further? The first few paragraphs here are not unhelpful…
I cant wait to dig back in but I must stop. I must catch my breath!
“Nobody can reasonably predict what human beings might act like after the destruction of Globalized Neolithic Civilization. I wish that we would adapt to those selection pressures in less insane ways than we are doing at the present time. However, I would not count on that!”
The people – ordinary people must destroy GNC! Why would they be waiting for it to happen by whatever other causes? Global survival need with the ordinary people in the fore is urgent.
That is why I look to popular revolution overthrowing Capitalism because for the people to rise the relevant ideology contains a solution. a way out. At the very least it brings the people face to face with this reality and that it is their duty to find ways out, to go on survive indefinitely in it.
and that first off they/we ourselves can survive only if we do indeed take over and run our robbery ourselves…that is social democracy while we continue to criminalize nature for energy, surpluses to live. but now we would be free to focus without minority fraudulence and force.
first off we must find ways to organize society to meet all needs. that is going to be creative indeed in order to find a way a creativity that would be able to lead everywhere. that is imbedded in the revolutionary ideology that opposes capitalism.
we should be looking for the revolutionary change then from the bottom up…the ideas that organizes the people in response to collective survival and the socially structural responses they create and establish….
Inside the special case of Canada, I propose “Legalizing Revolution.” However, in order to do that, one must resolve the problem demonstrated by the statistics for the Canadian Political Contribution Tax Credit claims, which are that less than 1% of the people fund all registered political activity, while the other 99% fund practically no registered political activities.
I am currently engaged in my third court case against the government of Canada regarding the laws controlling the funding of political parties (Federal Court T-1481-22)
In my view, any kinds of violent revolution would be insane, and make things get even worse. (Of course, this is quite possible, given the about exponentially increasing deterioration of the “The West.”)
The principle I propose is making a greater use of information, which is the operational definition of higher consciousness. That is perspective from which I agree with your statement regarding “that is going to be creative indeed in order to find a way a creativity that would be able to lead everywhere.”
Blair, my advice is to calm down, slow down your wild mind, and focus on your breath. There is a marvelous Buddhist story:
One day a village woman suddenly observed that she had lost her head. She was disconsolate, mad with grief over her loss, running around wildly, wailing. No one in the village could console her, until finally they chose the expedient of tying her up to a post. She found her head.
This is not a very exciting story and will not make it into a Netflix epic, but the message is clear. The only remedy for someone who loses their minds is to sit meditation, what the Japanese call zazen, where you “tie yourself up” to rediscover Original Mind. By the way, this thinking comes from a several thousand years old tradition.
To see how far and fast Wester=n civilization is falling, check out the Rings of Power and compare with jackson’s LoTR of 20 years ago. Hollywood has ruined Star trek, Star wars and now Tolkien.
Tolkien is turning in his grave, mate.
Before we can go any further – and this is an issue i have been thinking much on for a piece of writing I want to do – we need to define our terms. I have searched many dictionaries and other to find a good a definition of ” civilisation ” and the are all like the one above, albeit shorter.
And basically, the come to down to the tautology of V. Gordon Child, that Civilisation is what we have now. It does, very much demand a high level of technological advancement, and nothing of spiritual, ethical, intellectual development.
And I argue against it.
The first requirement is to determine the Dominant Paradigm, and it’s effect on the well being of all members of that society. And that alone is enough for me to determine that the collective is not civilised, but much more growing towards the illiterate barbaric savage.
But there is much more to be said.
I agree with your sentiments. I do though tend to look to word roots for meaning. Civis means city and one definition is that civilization is that form of human organization which puts cities at its organizational center. One problem with this is that cities tend to require a much larger land base than the city itself but the concentration of power in the center can lead to exploitation of that larger base.
Technology tends to grow around the needs and power of the center which is often its own pyramidal system. This has not been true for all cities or all larger organizations . A recent best selling book by David Graebner and a co-writer called The Dawn of Everything looks deep into the best current anthropologic and archeologic histories of the earliest large societies and what he finds is actually rather cheering as regards humans being able to form humane arrangements of large populations. Well worth reading.
Much of what is being said here is simply too extreme. Not a single great work of art emerging from the West? I can name many, and I too love the great art of Eastern cultures from Bezhad and Rumi to the great Chinese painters poets and craftspeople. Those are foundational to the aesthetic by which I evaluate current art. As to great art from the west, just one small example is the music posted by our host is an example of sublime artistry in the great innovative Jazz tradition. Yes there is a spew of banal and awful culture and as much of it is coming from the East as from the West. Also there is intelligent resistance to the brittle and hypocritical wokeism that has become so common. Art that transcends its time and continues to speak has always been rare and is often independent of the collectors and fans who support it. Is the painting of Francis Bacon an ad for capitalism? Yet it is widely acknowledged for its power and intensity even by those who see it primarily as a capital investment. Are Chagall’s visual love poems not a marriage of east and west, Christianity and Judaism, the feminine and masculine.
Both east and west are plagued with the short term motivational power of capitalism. Perhaps the east is managing that influx of values based around the pursuit of money more intelligently but its rivers are just as dry. Its permafrost is releasing the same methane. It is just as dependent on fossil fuels and the blind pursuit of profit. It is all deeply and fundamentally unstable, out of equlibrium with our subtle and complex interdependence with the health of the entire biosphere. Our fish are disappearing, our pollinators and amphibians and so many hundreds of thousands of species. The planet has a fever and the temperature is still going up. East and West are in the end absurd concepts on a spherical planet, completely relativistic and useful conceptually only in a local setting. Beauty Truth and Love are the same everywhere, just as Evil and consequences for stupidity, violence and abuse. i want to see the cutting down to size of the racist Anglo-Judaic empire as much as any of my brothers and sisters in Iran or China, Russia or Africa, It requires that all must stretch past our boundaries and find common ground.
Just to clarify: I never wrote that there is not a single great work of art emerging from the West. In the article I am speaking about the dominant postmodern and trivial culture coming out of the West in recent times. Certainly the West produced great achievements in all areas of civilisation in the past.
“No great works of art and thought are being produced anywhere for the moment.” Nora Hoppe
The power of human art will never die and great works of art continue be made and to seize their powerful place in the human imagination. Certainly in my imagination. This happens everywhere and at all times for anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see. If many fail to respond, if all but a handful fail to respond, the failure does not lie with the truth for the divine is ever with us in a million forms. Great writing, great visual art in all its diversity, great drama in all its diversity, beautiful gardens, holy spaces of contemplative transcendence, music that searches every nuance of form, formlessness, thought and emotion – all these are still with us along with their sources in the fathomless mysteries of earth and heavens.
Yes many popular cultures, both east and west north and south are awash in garbage, and we live in a time when the hegemony of violence prevails and its demigod pretension is centered in the dying and putrefying Anglo zionist capitalist empire and all its power-niches where, like1984, truth is what the state proclaims, and love is torture and theft . Yes we desperately need to have that artificial god exposed as a fraud, but who among us is not due for the occasional cutting down to size. My argument is that the struggle for a world where the greatest wisdom of east and west may prevail will never be so simple as a struggle between one pole and another. It is in friendship and appreciation of the beauty and truth of another that we may find healing.To repent is always needed, to rethink, to seek more light. For all of us whose faith and meaning has focused too narrowly on the self and the human, that friendship and respect must extend to chickadees, earthworms, , badgers, orangutans, amoebas, grasshoppers, beech trees, lichens, poppies and shiitakes along with humans from every color and direction. How else might love prevail in earth as in heaven. We are what we are because we are all here together. Millions of years of profound beauty and intelligence are invested in this planet. How will peace come if not through fearless love.
What you have to Understand is the Western populations are as much victims as the peoples that are invaded.
What you have in Ukraine is the classic manoeuvre that the Western people have been subjected to since the time the “elite” discovered the practice of divide and conquer.
The Western “elite” just identify a difference in a people and widen that difference, thats what the U.S has been doing since 2014 in Ukraine. Now we effectively have a civil war.
What do you think multiculturalism is all about? Its another form of divide and conquer…giving the native born a focus of anger while it takes the focus off the “elite” and allows them to make great wealth in exploitation on the conflict they created.
The only way to counter this is through “salami slicing” of power to the populace level, that means new ways of doing society.
I totally agree with you, Cookie!
“When we say ‘our rulers’, we mean those who are engaged in the manipulation of symbols. We must consider ourselves a symbolic, semantic class of life, and cannot cease from being so… those who control the symbols rule us…
“Our rulers: politicians, ‘diplomats’, bankers, priests of every description, economists, lawyers, [media,] etc. and the majority of teachers [of our rulers] and work together. They do not produce any values but manipulate the values produced by others, and often pass signs for no value at all. … are ignorant of modern science, scientific methods, structural linguistic and semantic issues of [today] and … historical and anthropological background, without which a sane orientation is impossible. … as long as such ignorance of our rulers prevails, no solution of our human problems is possible. Scientists and teachers also comprise a ruling class. They produce the main values mankind has, but, at present, they do not realize this. They are, in the main, ruled by the cunning methods of the first class.
“If a psychiatric and scientific enquiry were to be made upon our rulers, mankind would be appalled at the disclosures.
“We read unconsciously into the world the structure of the language we use. The guessing and ascribing of fanciful, mostly primitive-assumed structure of the world is precisely what ‘philosophy’ and ‘metaphysics’ do. The empirical search for a world-structure and the building of new languages (theories) … of similar structure … is precisely what science does.… It develops in the natural order, while metaphysics of every description uses the reversed, and ultimately a pathological order.
“If we consider that all we deal with represents constantly changing sub-microscopic, interrelated processes which are not, and cannot be ‘identical with themselves’, the old dictum that ‘everything is identical with itself’ becomes in [today’s understanding of the universe] a principle invariably false to facts.… and [we] must abandon permanently the “is” of identity
“The main difficulty is found in the old Aristotelian habits of speech, which do not allow the use of structure…
“We should not be surprised that we find meaningless noises in the foundation of many old ‘philosophies’, and that from them arise most of the old ‘philosophical’ fights and arguments.
“The main thesis of this non-Aristotelian system is that as yet we all (with extremely few exceptions) copy animals in our nervous processes, and that practically all human difficulties, mental ills … have this … component.
“If, in spite of all contrary evidence, or the lack of positive evidence, [a person] holds persistently … such affective beliefs is seriously ill, and, therefore, no amount of evidence can convince him.
“There seems only one thing certain, at present; namely, that the old theories and methods tended strongly to produce morons and ‘insane’ persons, while ‘geniuses’ were born only in spite of those handicaps. Perhaps in the future we shall be able to produce ‘geniuses’ while morons and ‘insane’ persons will be born only in spite of our precautions.
“It is now no mystery that some quite influential ‘philosophers’ were ‘mentally’ ill.
“…a few philosophers really do important work. This applies to the so called ‘critical philosophy’ and to the theory of knowledge or epistemology. This class of workers I call epistemologists to avoid the disagreeable implications of the term ‘philosopher’. ”
Alfred Korzybski, creator of General Sematics, “Science and Sanity”
Wouldn’t be much easier to rid ourselves of Fraudulent Central Banking and let free markets decide how things evolve Jimmy?
Most people are in the West and East are intellectual midgets and could not even begin to comprehend the words you wrote above lol.
Having “Thinkers” decide how the world should work will lead to same BS we have today.
As much of a fan as I am of classic Greek philosophy, a person that does not produce anything of value other than fancy words, cannot feed cities.
There was a time in which highly intelligent men walked among us e.g. Plato, Aristotle, etc. How did we go from that to world leaders today following talmudic/podophilic practices? But I digress.
You have discovered something in the East just as, if not far better than I have. My point of entry to this power (de) is daodejing. May I suggest it is identity as a benefit to all, or else self as in benefit to all.
Some may just dwell on the word service.
I am happy to be in yours.
Bull’s eye Nora
Thank you. This is the second contribution I have read by you, and this too is excellent.
I have a hard time finding roots or tradition that is meaningfuly helpful to my life, probably for all the reasons above. But also because people like me are traditionally oppressed and dispossessed. We are many.
I kind of find meaning in that. And great solace in subaltern culture. The secret Life, that populated the cities, that ran away from home. That fails to be respresented, that is subjected but never allowed agency,to entertain subjectivity.
Yes it has been heartbreaking to see so much progressive and genuine conservative culture be coopted for imperialist agendas. So that it all does the same thing while superficially appearing different. Every cultural object flattened to the same horrible logic and utilitarianism.
I have have hope in what cannot be said,, appears invisible but still very much exists. For in surviving we necessarily build tremendous spiritual strength.
Miró e Ligeti são génios!!! São a nossa transcendência, a nossa não existência perante o infinito!
A cultura ocidental produziu os maiores génios da Arte, e de certeza que continua a produzir. Os acima citados são nossos contemporâneos. Os russos (Dostoievski, Tolstoi, Gogol, Prokofiev. Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Tarkovsky, Klimov, etc.) são uns dos que mais contribuíram para o rol. Portanto, para o património da humanidade, duas das suas maiores riquezas, são, sem dúvida, arte ocidental e o progresso científico. Mas a sua desgraça, é, também, sem dúvida, o neo-liberalismo. O estado que o ser humano pensante atingiu: a condição trágica, a vida não faz sentido ( Camus- ensaio sobre o absurdo); Deus morreu, o Comunismo morreu. Ficar entregue à ideologia do puro individualismo só pode levar à auto-distruição.
a great text and for that my biggest thanks. I am so glad that this text can appear in the “Saker Blog”.
with kind regards, willi
Idols for Destruction by Herbert Schlossberg
Being poor is the greatest evil, in humanitarian thinking, because having material possessions is the greatest good. It is fitting that the war on poverty should come at the same time as the apogee of materialism. Modern materialism is not only an ethical philosophy that places a high value on money and possessions but a social philosophy that says that human relations are determined by material factors. Social pathology, in this thinking, requires a material cause, and that sets the stage for finding culprits on whom to inflict guilt. The readiness of humanitarian politics to exploit that philosophy leads the British historian C. Northcote Parkinson to conclude that all modern politicians are Marxist in orientation, inasmuch as they believe that all problems are primarily economic.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy:
“A man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt.. . . Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony . . . that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck.”
“The so-called postmodern neo-liberal western consumerist “culture” is in fact an obliteration of the human being. Devoid of humanity and spirituality, it is a malignancy planted in the cells of the body of civilisation… Its purpose is ultimately to destroy human civilisation in order to drive the world into absolute subservience to corporate technocracy.”
100 % accurate. PM is a destructive force, undermining causation & objectivity. Like the “woke” themselves it has become an indispensable tool in the hands of 1 % to homogenise, deracinate, & obliviate western social & cultural bonds.
In the fractured alienated west our mutual bonds rarely rise above the realisation of domestic materialism.
Art, poetry, sincerity & authenticity have fallen on stony ground.
The author is correct — a genuine multipolar world is the only soil upon which culture will have a chance to flourish…. Plse, note, I said a “chance”….
As soon as you say “masses”, we know you don’t care about us people.
“civilization” means cities, holy roman walled (gated) communities on hill-tops, exploiting the surrounding “peasant” (paysan) farmers. The french word is “bourgeois”, from the german “berger”, hill-fort. The well-armed, well-armoured, fortress-protected oppressors have always considered themselves more highly developed, spiritually advanced, cultured, gooder, wiser, worth more than the poor schmucks who beat their swords into plowshares.
As soon as you say “masses”, we know you don’t care about us people. (Yes, I know I repeat me.)
Just because I have a beard does not mean you are better than me. It just means that you and a few friends are so evil that that your barber is to scarred to cut your throat.
That means total war.
Thr Ante must br here already.
I’m afraid that non-Western countries do not have any chance of achieving genuine independence (and neither do Western ones, in fact): when you consider that the overwhelming majority of central banks are owned by gigantic private banking cartels based in Wall Street or the City of London, it becomes impossible for a non-Western nation to truly embark on a path of it’s own, unless it has the economic and demographic clout of a nation like China – and even then, does the Chinese central bank answer to the country’s legitimate government, ie the CPC, or does it answer to the Bank of International Settlements in Basel?
As for homogenization, it is still happily eating away at the culture of non-Western nations, whose inhabitants look up to the Anglo-American model of jeans, t-shirts, fast-food, vapid pop music, sky-scrapers and Hollywood as models to be imitated. In Mexico the people of the Chiapas give Coca-Cola to their infants because they think that it’s the “modern” thing to do, and going to a McDonalds is seen as a special occasion; as a result Mexico has one of the highest obesity rates in the World.
Bless you, Nora, for such a deep and searching essay
All I can add is something very simple and maybe too obvious
The current paradigm of science is that, somehow, consciousness emanates from dead matter.
But modern physics tells us that all matter is just energy at different levels of vibration, or frequency.
Only slower frequencies allow us to aware of it, which we call “matter”.
So, let’s turn our awareness around and look through the lens of our senses and intellect from the other side.
Instead of consciousness expressing from dead matter, all matter in the Universe expresses from consciousness.
Nikola Tesla said that all you need to understand is frequency and resonance.
Oh, if only!
Finally, there is the myopic hubris of even considering what we have now is “civilization”. The archeological evidence of high precision monolithic construction consisting of upwards of 1200 ton pieces of granite, brought from sites hundreds of miles away that were cut with high speed cutting tools stares at us, daring us to contemplate just who our ancestors were and what kind of “civilization” we had so very long ago.
30,000 years ago? 60,000 years ago?
The timeline of homo sapiens sapiens has been extended to 300,000 years and possibly back as far as 8-900,000 years.
Plenty of time to have several “civilizations” eclipsing our present one. The Pre-Dynastic people of Egypt are but one example.
We are still in our infancy, civilization-wise. Maybe we will survive to reach our previous heights, until we are destroyed by an astronomical cataclysm like our distant ancestors.
The Younger-Dreyas Cataclysm was 12,800 years ago. It’s taken us that long to get to our present level.
So, here’s hoping….
How ironic that so called “Age of Reason” better known as “Enlightenment” in the West has been slowly smothering itself out with its Eurocentric egotism.
I think that what the writer meant to write was “Socialism or barbarism”.
Indeed, as long as capitalism continues to rule the world, we are doomed.
We can analyze the different states of capitalist evolution, but let’s be honest here:
the same people who have ran the world for quite some time, in this entity mistakenly called the west, have not changed. Our democratic institution is made to prevent any sort of threat to the ruling elite; otherwise known as the .001. The promises that are verbalized ad-nauseam during electoral campaigns are non binding and the best examples of scorn for the electors who make it their socially responsible task to vote; not to mention that voting is always done to elect the less bad option.
The constitution, the electoral system, the education, the media, the internet and every sensory and entity exists to uphold the dictatorship of the ruling elite that imposes capitalism on their victims and socialism onto themselves.
You get the idea.
In other words we are already living in a barbaric existence where the color of your skin, gender, being a citizen of a country that is rich in natural resources, decides your fate.
This leads me to raise the question of class and class consciousness.
Yes, class is the fundamental divisions in society in the entire world and throughout history.
Yes, there is a class consciousness crisis in the world, but only in the case of the victims; i.e. the working class; the ruling elite is fanatically conscious of their class and of what they need to do to maintain their power.
In order to maintain their power they need to wield a great deal of barbarism in order to erode any sense of clarity in the working masses.
The fact that Fascism is in vogue today in the “democratic west” – and has been for quite some time – demonstrates very clearly the barbarism that we are now in.
Destruction of artwork is an act of war against humanity. Visual art is always a form of propaganda (take for example Italy’s 14-17th centuries’ masterpieces paid for by the Church). Destroyed Soviet monuments in Eastern Europe were part of the cultural heritage of their respective countries, and, in the measure of their specific artistic value, of humanity as a whole. Officials endorsing such vandalism are guilty of crimes against humanity. AQ bombing the old city of Aleppo or ISIS the ruins of Babylon come to mind.
Thanks. Interessting read. A bit intellectual language that needs digestion, but it resonates well with me.
” Indeed, the “morbidity” of imperialist society today has reached a scope and a blatancy (…) that one can justifiably speak of a pathic society – a ‘culture of death‘. …”
Very good wording. In ways the term ‘cancel culture’ is the more marketable form of ‘death culture’.
Legitimizing killing all that is undesirable, from people to poems.