Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Noise of an Open Society

In the past nation’s rulers were taking decisions based on their group interests. Full stop. The people were fat attached to state affairs. And they could weighted an important matter with their mass. At the same time they could be sliced from the deal or grilled away.

Accountability changed that habit and now politicians have to respond to the citizens, “their bosses”. Have you already start to laugh? Of course, in time it changed the way the fat is attached to state of affairs. Not being fat itself. And nowadays decisions always prefer to go lean.

Why do we suspect a thing like this? Quite simply: we’ve been told. Cruel decision about cutting the fat people are in state affairs is something that is noticed to us. We live in an open society. They tell us: we are going to cut you and grill you. We are outraged. And something else happens. And we are cut and grilled.
In Chinese political philosophy there is the concept of “heaven’s mandate”: the people rules, rulers need to comply with people’s sentiment. Of course it is a very loose, Hegelian, concept. 

Rulers don’t ask politely. They gamble (they are Chinese rulers at the end of the day) and if they lose the heaven’s mandate, they are kicked out from the throne. Rulers of course manipulate and doctor facts. But first: human reality is created and twisted. In Western neo-liberal society, when they cut you and grill you( but more often when they cut and grill others with your consent), they give you notice.

So many notices. It is an epistemological waterboarding of information. The impossibility to have proper access to the supply chain of decisions. But not far away enough to claim innocence. They invade and oppress others. But they tell you why and how. More or less. Changing few details. Crucial. The perversion of open societies is that after few years you are noticed also the few details. Kind of. We are kept in the flux of information. Enough to flow. Just enough. Blockage of information is suspicious. 

The flow is everything. A lot of flow. Massive. Treaties and wars, currency and nukes. And they tell you. You retain the mandate. In the noise. You can read the lips, almost and they ask your consent to bomb schools and hospitals. You say no and they do it. You say it is impossible, you investigate, you appeal. 

And facts are coming. An overwhelming wave of facts and information. And it is true and not difficult to verify that, yes, schools and hospitals have been bombed. And yes it wasn’t exactly to promote human rights and principles of civilization. Maybe it was more to exert hegemony. But now you know. And what do you do? Do you stay or do you flow? How to decide in the noise? Especially since in the noise, your decision as well is just another meaningless rhyme. 
In the noise conscience is a conspiracy. Will you block or flow? 
You don’t have much time, because in the rapid flow, today’s decision, is tomorrow bad memory. 
Nobody likes history. Nobody likes to remember. 

The flow can work only in the present. You need to know now. In the noise. 

Read the lips and take part in your uselessness. It looks like a civic bad dream. 
And we are lucid awake. 
It is called an open society.  

Friday, 17 July 2015

Pheromonal Governance: Procedures, machine and domination

The Trans-Oceanic Treaties for Trade and Partnership raised so many eyebrows that even the Narcos of the Mexican Cartels, in the middle of some few massacres and tortures, had to call their incredulous solicitors for some explanations.

No wonder that the rest of the civil societies around the world started to move, politely, some objections. 

 The thing is that if you try to justify the Treaties on pure economic terms, well, they don’t make any sense. The sole aim is to swallow sovereignty of states and governments. Pure and simple: an imperialist tool.

The big laugh, though, is that this massive contrivance is targeting first and foremost the United States. The rest of the world is kind of used to live under the shadow of this huge paternal figure. Sometimes it caused regime change and coup d’etat, but, ehi, if you live under the sphere of influence of a superpower, that is, more or less, what you should expect. For a couple of centuries the United States incarnated the Empire of Capitalism, with all its endowments. But with the last move, led by the like of Blankfein from Goldman Sachs, the imperial forces simply have devoured even their zombie host: the United States don’t rule but are actually subjected to the imperial governance of the Treaties.   

It is a fortuitous coincidence that China is launching a planetary program to physically connect Eurasia and Africa in a network of infrastructures and liabilities. Yes, the Chinese will build bridges and highway, ports and railway, but the main aim is to pour their internal overproduction at the service of a new order, with the centre in Beijing. It is not the imperialist desire to conquer, but the imperialist addiction to expansion. 

In the most conventional scheme, they are creating the demand for a future Chinese governance, they are accumulating a debt that will be denominated in Yuan and will require a Chinese Seigniorage. They are writing a check in Mandarin calligraphy that needs and demand an economic and political Chinese system to be interpreted (and cashed).

Last time superpowers materially clashed, it was the will of national sovereign states that incarnated their rush for dominance. After World War II, the forces of domination choose two champions, that accumulated merits and power by incarnating supra-national ideals and geopolitical exoskeleton: Soviet Union wore the Communist armour, the US the Capitalist one.

This new confrontation has sublimated the clash of ideals and nation-states. It is not anymore a case of decision: taking stance for one or the other, making a choice, a personal, individual, choice.
The forces of domination have simply found a new aggregation that doesn’t need to answer. To anybody. It is not the usual arrogance of power, the feeling of having a superior mandate of ruling.
Quite on the contrary there is no more human will in charge. It doesn’t answer to anybody pretty much like cyanobacteria didn’t answer to anaerobic organism, when they polluted the planet with oxygen.

If you thought that the war against the machines was with robots and droids, I’m sorry. The new world order of the machine is about procedures and treaties. They will rule with a pen-signature on a book that nobody will care, dare or be allowed to read.     

What a mixed up of sci-fi narratives: isn’t ironic that in the future, when there will be an alien invasion, it will be actually a liberation movement from the oppression of the machine?

Our question for the future is: will we be able to tell the difference between the reptilian alien liberator and the reptilian home-grown machine ruler? I can’t sleep at night for this.  

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Dasein is King Kong or the Being There of Imperial Citizenship

Teutonic precision is always admirable, especially considering how easily it can derail and drift to pure non-sense and absurdity. Heidegger was one of the sharpest mind of his generation (a bit like Chairman of Philosophical Politburo); he acutely described the relation of consciousness and technology. 

And he got it tremendously wrong. 

Like a good German, he did his own homework, he was careful with accounting, so if philosophy was born in Greece and Germany was the heir of that tradition, then Being There, the Dasein had to be in that liminal position because of technology. Wrong Marty, wrong. So interested in the line that you forgot about the pencil drawing that line, which was European imperialism.

One of the easiest objections to Christianity is: if Jesus is the universal Savior of humankind, what about those who live before him, what about those who for accidental, contingent historical reason didn’t know him? What about the Chinese??? 
Can someone theologically catholic think to the Chinese??? 

Now Marty, if the history of Dasein is so in tune with the sentiment of an imperialist German, son of a Christian preacher, with an ambiguous, unresolved relation with technology and mass production, either being there is King Kong, or simply you are not stating the universal trajectory of being and its consciousness, but simply describing the narrative of Prussian-European domination, its uncertainties and its lack of doubts.

In fact the tribulations of Dasein seem quite correlated with the declining aspirations of European imperial citizenship. The crepuscular relation with the power of technology is sinister only because the shadow grows, which means the power declines. 

Heidegger was a very intelligent man and he grasped quite clearly that the ascendant domination of European identities was somehow ungrounded. He was obtuse enough not to have the slightly idea that actually all the Greek tradition turned Christian turned Holy Roman Empire turned Europe Colonial Empire turned Prussian was just an imperialist propaganda. That other cultures weren’t so shaken by the trajectory of being, not because inferior, or not sensitive enough to listen to the story of being, but because on the different side of domination.

It was impossible for the European, Christian Heidegger to really consider equal human beings all the other people from different traditions and cultures. It is true that any human being experience the disempowering fate of being mortal. It is true that technology empower the human primate with consciousness. It is bullshit that technology and the trajectory of being have any “special relation” with the European, Christian, Teutonic  team.

A domineering consciousness is the representative of a domineering caste, which can be described as the Empire. Before, after or under the Empire, you won’t experience any of the crepuscular spleen of the Dasein; you won’t have any qualm for technology that pinched Heidegger: you are too deeply in the shit because of the Empire, to really worry about turn and pirouette of being. 

Nonsense is the other side of imperial citizenship: all the advantages can stand because oppression and exploitation of others under or outside the Empire. But of course, apart from shallow, natural enjoyment of being at the top, there is no other reason than brutal domination for being at the top. 
No matter the sophisticated propaganda, domination is always ungrounded, why-less. A bit like the rose of Meister Eckhart. Any civilization in a dominant position needs to elaborate the non-sense of its arbitrary ruling; the tricky part of course is not during the ascendant part, but when things get tough, when the rule becomes disputed, then your Angst needs a fucking good answer. Of course
becoming a true Nazi didn’t help Heidegger in finding the appropriate compassion to look beyond European Imperialism…

Anyway, very glad that Germany finally learned the lesson and found her way out of brutal application of her own self-referential domineering propaganda.