Twenty Questions

Go ahead.

Make my day.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2015 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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53 Responses to Twenty Questions

  1. daunted says:

    How do you cope with all the flotsam and jetsam trying to justify their need to cling to disintegrating dogmas, especially those with extreme and unpalatable views like Hitler-lovers?

    I would be terrified of their sadistic psychopathology and wonder how you have managed to remain anonymous and unharmed (i.e. physically, the mental torture of having to read some of the comments must be a heavy price to pay for self-expression).

    Emotional intelligence is more important than IQ, but I wonder whether the deteriorating conditions on earth are producing an under-class of humans who can never be anything other than fodder for the plutocracy.

  2. @ndy says:

    How does anybody cope? If you don’t die, then you continue living.

    Suicide was an important concern for the twentieth century existentialists, who saw the choice to take one’s life as impressed upon us by our experience of the absurdity or meaninglessness of the world and of human endeavor. Albert Camus illustrated this absurdity in his philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus. For Camus, Sisyphus heroically does not try to escape his absurd task, but instead perseveres and in so doing resists the lure of suicide. Suicide, Camus contends, tempts us with the promise of an illusory freedom from the absurdity of our existence, but is in the end an abdication of our responsibility to confront or embrace that absurdity head on. (Campbell and Collinson 1988, 61–70). Jean-Paul Sartre was likewise struck by the possibility of suicide as an assertion of authentic human will in the face of absurdity. Suicide is, according to Sartre, an opportunity to stake out our understanding of our essence as individuals in a godless world. For the existentialists, suicide was not a choice shaped mainly by moral considerations but by concerns about the individual as the sole source of meaning in a meaningless universe.

    Otherwise, humour is a weapon, and a kind or encouraging word from a reader every now and again helps.

    The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary asked similar questions regarding the perverseness of human nature; Marx was concerned with class consciousness. The following may be apt:

    Irrational popular tendencies do sometimes call for discretion. But powerful though they may be, they are not irresistible forces. They contain their own contradictions. Clinging to some absolute authority is not necessarily a sign of faith in authority; it may be a desperate attempt to overcome one’s increasing doubts (the convulsive tightening of a slipping grip). People who join gangs or reactionary groups, or who get caught up in religious cults or patriotic hysteria, are also seeking a sense of liberation, connection, purpose, participation, empowerment. As Reich himself showed, fascism gives a particularly vigorous and dramatic expression to these basic aspirations, which is why it often has a deeper appeal than the vacillations, compromises and hypocrisies of liberalism and leftism.

    In the long run the only way to defeat reaction is to present more forthright expressions of these aspirations, and more authentic opportunities to fulfill them. When basic issues are forced into the open, irrationalities that flourished under the cover of psychological repression tend to be weakened, like disease germs exposed to sunlight and fresh air. In any case, even if we don’t prevail, there is at least some satisfaction in fighting for what we really believe, rather than being defeated in a posture of hesitancy and hypocrisy.

    But whatever this supposed under-class might be or do, you and I can only ever really determine our own path. Marx again:

    Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. Thus Luther put on the mask of the Apostle Paul, the Revolution of 1789-1814 draped itself alternately in the guise of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and the Revolution of 1848 knew nothing better to do than to parody, now 1789, now the revolutionary tradition of 1793-95. In like manner, the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he assimilates the spirit of the new language and expresses himself freely in it only when he moves in it without recalling the old and when he forgets his native tongue.

  3. Aussie says:

    RE: The last two comments. The good news is these days all of the horse shit in the world is starting to unfold and can just simply be pointed out. A lot more people these days are starting to ‘step out of the world’. 10 years ago very few saw the ‘bigger picture’ people change, especially if you work with them. People are just scared, you can’t hate them for that.

    Question: Been meaning to ask what your stance is on Ron Paul. Thought you might have blogged on it?

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