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PostSubject: Sloterdijk Wed May 08, 2013 7:45 am

Quote :
""The fundamental event of modernity is the conquest of the world as picture.''
Martin Heidegger The Age of the World Picture (2002 [1938])

The Atlas.

If one were to express, with a single word, the chief motif of European thought in its metaphysical age, it could only be `globalization'. The affair of Western reason with the totality of the world is created and unfolds in the symbol of the geometrically perfected round form, which we still signify with the Greek `sphere', or more frequently with the Latin `globe'. It was the early European metaphysicians, mathematicians, and cosmologists who forced their new, fatalistic definition on the mortals:
they would be creatures who inhabited and administered a sphere. Globalization begins as a geometricization of the immeasurable.

The representation of the world with the globe is the decisive deed of the early European enlightenment. It can be said definitively that originary philosophy was the radical change to monospherical thoughtöthe demand that entities in general be interpreted through the formal idea of the sphere. With this formalizing gesture, thinking individuals were bound to a strong relationship with the center of their existence and sworn to the unity, totality, and roundness of existence.

From this proceeds the geometry of ethics and aesthetics: first comes the sphere, then morality. In making the rule of the construction of the sphere explicit and conceiving of the ideal periphery on which every point is equidistant from the center, the early mathematicians placed an instrument of unheard-of rationality in the hands of the world-picture-creating energies of the Westerners. From now on humans can and must locate themselves in an encompassing zone, the perie¨chon. This zone is no longer a castle or a vegetative grotto, a hearth or cult commune, dancing in a circle, but a logical and cosmological construction form of timeless validity. Each intelligence is now forced to scrutinize its position with respect to the middle point: Are we near the center of being and do we enjoy from there its panoramic vistas? Or is it rather our distance from the middle that allows us to clarify where and who we are? Are we contained within the circle or are we excluded from it? Are we related to the middle or are we estranged from it? As soon as the absolute sphere had raised the totality of all beings into its representation, philosophers were permitted to lay the charge on ordinary mortals that those who did not see the things outside of the sphere were blind.

And, since they were unable to count to one, they were powerless to truly think.
It was not the evil pedantry of the eternal pedagogue that moved the first European thinker of the all-one, Parmenides, to distinguish the way of truth from that of opinion; it was the sharp insight into the unanimous `structure' of the all-round that forced him to acknowledge the difference between those who had lifted their gaze to the beautifully rounded unity and those who remained lost in the surrounding multiplicity.

The simplest geometrical form climbed to the rank of an absolutely valid ideal according to which, for an age of the world, the unevenness of life and the fissures of the world must be measured. The pure sphere created by thinking-as-circumspection-on-the-unified became a critique of empirical, unperfected, unround reality. Where there were merely surroundings, the sphere must come into beingöwith this, imperative geometry is translated into the ethical field. This imperative grants wings for the jump to the whole of the soul.With it, the transfer becomes ontologically serious. The totality of beings is now interpreted under the sign of spatiality, sense, and soul: The project of the world-soul has entered its stage of precision. The mortals are invited to step out of their hopeless path through time, where they weave away their lives in the threads of worry; they have the chance to look away from the trough of worry and at the same time come out into a great, befriended space, where everything is simultaneous, well lit, and open.

Since the sensible, supersensible figure of the sphere was chosen as the archetype of perfect beauty from the beginning of philosophical-cosmological thought, it has stamped into the conditio humana the form of a game that sustains, empowers, and surpasses its player.

As one researcher appropriately remarked, from Hellenistic time onwards, the sphaira was a common ``hieroglyph for the entire universe, especially the heavens'' (Brendel, 1977, page 78); under the Roman emperors the association of the sphere and the portrait of the ruler developed into an obligatory motif for whomever wanted to achieve or announce power. The equivalence of the symbol of the sphere and the rule of the king was taken further in sacramental elevation with the Christianized rulers of late antiquity and the Middle Ages as the sphaira transformed itself into the sovereign globus cruciger, an orb underneath the cross.

In the modern age, money, as real and speculative capital, places humans under the rule of the absolute law ofcommerce. What rules the cycle collects the whole. At the end of this development we will show why the fundamental thought of modernity was articulated not by Copernicus, but rather by Magellan. The fundamental fact of modernity is not that the earth orbits the sun, but rather that money circumnavigates the earth. The theory of the sphere is, at the same time, the first analysis of power."

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Wed May 08, 2013 7:46 am

Quote :
"I tried to show in Globes how the geometricization of the cosmos was first carried out by the Greeks; after that I reconstructed the geometricization of God under the neo-Platonic philosophers, which gave me the feeling of reopening one of the most exciting chapters in the history of ideas. Out of all this resulted, as if by itself, a philosophical history of globalization: First the universe was globalized with the help of geometry, then the earth was globalized with the help of capital.

Particularly crucial here is that below the thin layer of modern language games, in which the word sphere plays only a marginal role, lies a very powerful old layer one could call it the two-thousand-year domain of old-European "sphere thinking." As modern intellectuals, we have simply forgotten that in the era between Plato and Leibniz almost everything to be said about God and the world was expressed in terms of a spherology. Think about the magical basic principle of medieval theosophy, which says, God is a sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. One could almost claim that the individualism of the modern era signifies an unconscious realization of this dogma. Even German semantics plays a role in my choice of terms, since between Goethe and Heidegger the word sphere is employed as an approximate synonym for the circle of life or world of meaning..."
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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Wed May 08, 2013 7:46 am

Quote :
"Le Corbusier once said that we had to choose between revolution and architecture. He decided in favor of architecture. In your interpretation does that mean that he voted for the explication of residential conditions?
-

Revolution is simply the wrong word chosen to describe explication. An engineer always opts for the better technology. Everything successful is operational, while revolutionary phases achieve nothing as long as they do not contain real potential abilities. Which is why no one today still asks what programs are being announced but what programs are being written. Writing is an archetype of ability: The invention of script marks the beginning of the operational subversion of the world as it exists. Only that is effective which popularizes getting a new handle on things. Incidentally, modern apartments are full of technical appliances that explicate life in the household: Current tools no longer have handles, because handles belong to an outdated stage—they have given way to devises with buttons: We have arrived in the world of fingertip operations."
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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon May 13, 2013 12:00 pm

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"Anthropological research says that flight is older than attack. Accordingly, the human being would be, admittedly, partly predator (hunter), but not a priori a warring animal. Nevertheless the discovery of weapons —for beating, throwing, shooting (development of distance, neocortical development)—plays a key role in anthropogenesis. If one can assume anything at all about the original tendency of the human psyche regarding struggle and war, one can assume at least this much: It prefers avoidance to striking. "Cowardly but happy" (G.Kleemann, sub- title: Why the contemporary primitive human being does not want to fight; Frankfurt-Berlin-Vienna, 1981). Those who avoid can initially better secure their chances for survival than those who confront. If cowardice is neutrally understood as the primary inclination to avoid confrontation, in the economy of human drives it must have priority over the desire to fight. Initially it is smarter to flee than to hold one's ground. "The smarter person yields."
But at some point in the process of civilization it becomes smarter to stand firm than to flee. How this came to be is not our topic here —a couple of historical conceptual lumps may mark out the problem: ecological competition, increase in population density, neolithic revolution, the division between mobile herding cultures and sedentary agricultural cultures, and so on. The path to "history," to higher cultures, leads through the militarization of tribes and beyond to the state.


Military cynicism can emerge when three male martial character types have assumed clear contours in a society: the hero, the hesitater, and the coward. (This can even be seen in a rudimentary form in animal species with high intraspecies aggression, e.g., in deer populations.) An unambiguous hierarchy of values is established at whose summit the hero stands; everyone should be basically like him. Heroism is internalized as a model by the males in a combative civilization. But hereby, a new sociopsychological training of human beings also becomes necessary, with the aim of acquiring a distribution of martial temperaments not found in nature.
Cowardice, present in large quantities as raw material and in everyone, must be reworked into battle-hungry heroism, or at least into brave, battle-ready hesitancy. All training of soldiers in the history of combative civilizations works to produce this unnatural alchemy. The noble family contributes to it just as much as the armed peasant family, as do, later, royal courts, military schools, barracks, and public morals. Heroism became and remained, in part to the present day, a dominant cultural factor. The cult of the aggressive, triumphant warrior runs through all of recorded history. Where we begin to find written records, there is a high probability that it is the story of a hero, of a warrior who has been through many adventures. Where written records are not found, tales of heroes continue indefinitely back to obscure oral origins. ...The division of labor in military temperaments seems to make sense in social terms. The three types represent the advantages of three different "tactics" or styles of fighting.


Heroes make use of the advantages that attack offers in many situations where there is a compulsion to fight. Thus, attack is the best defense.


Hesitaters constitute the main mass of a "reasonable middle position"; they fight when they have to, and then they fight energetically, but they also know how to curb the danger that can come from the bravado of heroes.


Cowards, finally, can occasionally save themselves when all others who "stand firm" are doomed to perish. But that is not supposed to be mentioned, and the coward must be held in contempt because otherwise the alchemy that is held to make battle-hungry fighters out of timid deserters cannot succeed. Mercilessly, the heroic model of the military group of men is forced on all. The hero stands in the limelight; to him, the demigod in armor, all honor, acclamation, and esteem are accorded.


There are three attitudes of consciousness to this psychic ideal and exemplary image, according to which one you are. The hero, whenever success raises him above self-doubt, experiences himself as the one who lives at the zenith of his own ideal, radiant and self-confident, a man who can fulfill his own and collective dreams. He will sense the "glory" of a demigod in himself; the thought of losing does not enter his mind. Hence the breathtaking bigmouthedness of heroes who are certain of victory, at the beginning of the battle and after the victory. It speaks for the psychology of the war-experienced Romans that they granted the returned triumphant general a victory procession through his town, where he could experience his own deification in the state—and with him, the people who in this way learned to stay "in love with success"; but they also put a slave on the victor's chariot who continually had to call him: "Reflect, victor, that you are mortal!" This apotheosis of the victor, the cult of success, of divinity through battle, and of happy success is part of the sociopsychological inheritance of humanity from antiquity—and even today, this experience is repeatedly staged and peddled from sports fields to the Olympics. Pictorially, heroes are almost always represented as youths; the misfortune of heroes is that they die young.


The second attitude toward the ideal is that of the hesitater, of the relative hero. He probably sees himself as someone who fulfills and obeys the morality of the hero but who does not enjoy the glamor of success. To be sure, the ideal rules him, but it does not make him into an exemplary case. He fights and dies when there is no way out of it, and he can console himself with the certainty that he is prepared to do what is necessary. He does not feel the continual need to prove himself as does the topnotch hero, who must even seek out danger simply to keep up his self-image. The hesitater, however, pays for this with a certain mediocrity; he is neither right at the top nor right at the bottom, and when he dies his name is summarily listed among the dead heroes. Perhaps it is a good sign that modern armies cultivate, right up to the top ranks, the soldier of the hesitater type (obedience plus thinking for oneself, the "citizen in uniform"), one who does not have an inner urge to fight. Only in certain military and political leaders is there still a tendency toward the characteristic offensive mentality —"falcons," heroes
of armament, those hooked on hegemony.


The third stance toward the heroic ideal is adopted by the coward. Of course, under the unavoidable pressure of the heroic image, he must seek refuge in the hesitatingly brave masses. He must hide the fact that he is really the anti-hero; he must camouflage himself and make himself as unobtrusive as possible. As muddler, improvisor, and man of few words, he cannot even afford to internalize the image of the hero in any rigid way because otherwise self-contempt would crush him. In him, a slight decomposition of the "superego" is already under way. In the coward's consciousness lie simultaneously the germs of military kynicism and of a higher critical realism! For through his experience and self-experience, the coward is forced to reflect and look twice. He can confess his cowardice aloud just as little—otherwise he would be even more despised —as he can simply give it up. In him, to be sure often poisoned by a drop of self-contempt, a critical potential against the ethics of heroes begins to grow. Because he himself has to dissemble, he will be more sensitive to the pretense of others. When heroes and hesitaters succumb to a superior power, the coward, who allows himself to flee, is the sole survivor. Hence the sarcastic saying: Horses are the survivors of heroes.


The constitutions of armies after the Middle Ages up to Napoleonic times, in- deed even up to contemporary times, reveal a paradoxical distortion of the origi- nal connections between combat morality and the type of weaponry. The ancient hero was a lone fighter just as the knight was in feudalism. He sought to prove himself in the duel, but best of all in the constellation of one against many. Modern warfare, however, tendentially depreciates the individual fight. Wars are decided by formations and mass movements. Using the Roman legion as its model, the modern organization of armies pushes the genuinely heroic functions—combined assault, standing firm, man-to-man combat, etc.-toward the bottom. This means that the demands made of heroes fall more and more on those, who, according to their nature and motivation, tend to be hesitaters or cowards. In modern infantries, then, a schizoid drill in heroism —the instilling of an anonymous and unacknowledged courage to die —must be carried out. The top officers, who by virtue of their strategic position, are not as endangered, shove the risk of heroism, death in the front line, more and more onto those who actually have nothing at stake in the war and who often were only acquired as troops ac- cidentally or by force (compulsory conscription, extortion of the poor, enticement with alcohol, a way out for superfluous peasants' sons, etc.)


The subjects of the first political kynicism were therefore people who were led into or threatened with slavery, people who were oppressed but whose self-consciousness was not completely destroyed. For them it was natural to view the arrogant poses of superior power without awe and in doing so to recall the devastation and massacres the victor inflicted before he could strut around so. In the slave's eyes, the reduction of the king's right to pure force and of majesty to brutality was already begun.
The inventors of the original political kynicism were the Jewish people. In "our" civilization, they have provided the most powerful model to date of resis- tance against violent superior powers. "Cheeky," resolute, militant, and capable of suffering at the same time, they are, or were, the Eulenspiegel and the Schweik among peoples. To the present day in Jewish wit, something of the original kynical twist of oppressed-sovereign consciousness lives on—a reflective flash of melancholy knowledge that slyly, insolently, and alertly positions itself against powers and presumptions.


Whenever the Israelite dwarf has once again beaten the modern Goliath, an irony of three thousand years lights up in the victor's eyes: How unfair, David! (Kishon). As a people, the descendants of Adam were the first to have eaten of the tree of political knowledge—and it appears to have been a curse. For with the secret of self-preservation in one's head, one risks being sen- tenced, like Ahasver, to not being able to live or die. During the greater part of their history, the Jews were forced to lead a life that was survival on the defensive.
The political kynicism of the Jews is borne by the knowledge, both ironic and melancholy, that everything passes, even tyrannies, even oppressors, and that the °nly immutable thing is the pact between the chosen people and their God. Therefore, in a certain respect, the Jews can be held to be the inventors of "political identity"; it is a faith that, inwardly invincible and unshakable, has known how to defend its continued existence through the millennia with kynical renunciation and an ability to suffer. The Jewish people were the first to discover the power of weakness, patience, and sighing. Their survival, in a millenium of military conflicts and always in the weaker position, depended on this power.


The world situation today has brought about a permanent military eye-contact be- tween two cowardly-heroic hesitaters who both arm themselves unrestrainedly to show the other side that being cowardly will remain the only sensible stance —and that it will never be able to be anything more than a hesitater. The position of the hero remains unoccupied. The world will not see any more victors. This implies a revolutionarily new kind of duel because duelers in the past regarded each other as potential heroes. Today, everyone knows about the opponent's realistic and even indispensable cowardice. The world still lives on because East and West think of each other as cowardly, highly armed Schweiks who, after all the loud- mouthed boasting has been vented, have only one thing in mind, namely, to live on this planet a little longer. But since the military process on the global level has arrived at this nadir of an heroic-cowardly hesitation, the previous system of values has been completely unhinged. The tension, at least theoretically, has dissolved into an open equivalence of all temperaments. Heroism may be quite good, but hesitation is at least as good, and cowardice is perhaps even better. The old negative has become as positive as the old positive has become negative. On the summit of military escalation, then, has the real fight become superfluous? The military alone cannot answer this question, especially not in an age that everywhere has proclaimed the (illusory) primacy of politics over the military.


...Each side assumes that only a balance of progressive terror can secure so-called peace. This conviction is simultaneously realistic and absolutely paranoid; realistic because it is adapted to the interaction of paranoid systems; paranoid because in the long run and essen- tially, it is completely unrealistic. In this system of games it is thus realistic to be mistrustful to the point of a constant state of alert; at the same time, mistrust sustains the pressure to permanently continue the buildup of arms, more weapons could obviate mistrust. Modern politics has accustomed us to looking on a mas- sive folie a deux as the quintessence of realistic consciousness. The way in which two or more powers, in intricately thought-out interaction, drive each other crazy provides contemporary human beings with their model of reality. Those who ac- commodate themselves to this modern-day society, as it is, accommodate them- selves in the last instance to this paranoid realism. And because there is probably no one who, at least subliminally and in "clear moments,"9 does not understand this, everyone is caught up in modern military cynicism —if they do not expressly and consciously resist it. Those who resist have to, today and probably for a good while longer, put up with being defamed as dreamers, as people who, although perhaps led by good intentions ("The Sermon on the Mount"), have nonetheless begun to flee from reality. But this is not true. The concept of "reality," like no other concept, is used falsely. We must first flee into reality out of the systema- tized paranoia of our everyday world.


...How can subjects of power, sick with mistrust but nonetheless realistic, break down their destructiveness and their projections of hostility as long as the interaction of these systems until now has proved that weakness in the face of the opponent has always been exploited as an opportunity to strike again? Each thinks of itself as an essen- tially defensive power and projects aggressive potentials onto the other. In such a structure, relaxation of tension is a priori impossible. Under the conditions of the mania for making enemies it remains "realistic" to stay tense and ready for battle. Neither power can show any weakness without provoking the other's strength. With never-ending exertion the opponents must work for a small terrain on which something like self-limitation becomes possible, that is, a weakening of the consciousness of being strong, a relaxing of the feeling of being inflexible. This tiny terrain of self-limitation is, to date, the only bridgehead of reason in the military-cynical process. Everything will depend on its growth. For human be- ings it was difficult enough to learn how to fight, and everything they so far have achieved they have done so as fighters who have accepted challenges and through them developed into themselves (see Toynbee's concept of "challenge"). But to learn how not to fight would be even more difficult because it would be something completely new. Future military history will be written on a completely new front-there, where the struggle to desist struggling will be carried out. The deci- sive blows will be those that are not struck. Under them our strategic subjectivities and our defensive identities will collapse." [Critique of Cynicism]


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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon May 13, 2013 9:46 pm

Thinking is a poor conductor of activity.
Thinking, consideration, contemplation, analysis, awareness, can only lead to procrastination and an reluctance to act.

Again, the fight/flight dilemma comes down to a conscious or unconscious cost/benefit evaluation.
If the potential benefits exceed, according to the evaluator, the potential costs (risks) then one does not act. In the midst of an action undertaken an organism cuts and runs, trying to reduce the costs for a an erroneous evaluation.

A more important factor is need.
No two individuals need the same object/objective to the same degree, and so their analysis of the benefits and the costs will be adjusted on the level of need behind the potential benefits.
A man who is content has on reason to act, for any hypothetical benefit.
An omnipotent God would be inert. He would not need to act and he would not act, as He would, in theory, encompass all and there would be no reason to struggle or fight or hope or create.

This is an aspect of how the absolute is unachievable.
On a psychological level, the energies required to approach the absolute, would increase exponentially, along with the need/suffering this would be experienced as. Not only that, but the closer one gets to the hypothetical eprfect state, the less reason he has, the less motivation he has, to proceed further.

This underhanded method of shaming someone out of his barricades is another example of modernity.

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Tue May 14, 2013 8:31 am

Satyr wrote:
Thinking is a poor conductor of activity.
Thinking, consideration, contemplation, analysis, awareness, can only lead to procrastination and an reluctance to act.
Again, the fight/flight dilemma comes down to a conscious or unconscious cost/benefit evaluation.
If the potential benefits exceed, according to the evaluator, the potential costs (risks) then one does not act. In the midst of an action undertaken an organism cuts and runs, trying to reduce the costs for a an erroneous evaluation.

That's a very Apollonian perspective.
But I'm a 'heart' person, and what I value is self-assertion that requires a detached severity going beyond loss/gain, pain/pleasure. The more self-clarity you attain, a mind abiding in its self-nature, the unclinging mind lends a spontaneity, you act unhesitantly. This always involves discipline and prior work - constant reassessments clinging to nothing.
I think its how Castenada put it; "Only as a warrior can one survive the path of knowledge, because the art of a warrior is to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man."
Terror and Wonder, knowledge and curiosity must flow in the same vein, if action and contemplation should constantly catalyze the other. It can flow only when you possess an ascetic discipline of a warrior.

Sloterdijk strengthens credibility in the caste system - a society composing itself on the basis of natural temperaments [thinkers/warriors/labourers]; he's arguing cynicism emerges when there's a breakdown in a natural structure via technology and a denatural hybrid is promoted between the morality of one class being imposed as the task or duty on another. With guns and weaponry, the cowardly class could be incited to rise to the task of the heroic class.

To him, Jewish ressentiment is a result of an unnaturalness initiated via technological interventions on the part of the Strong and the Heroic - its not the Jews who inverted the world, but the Heroic.
He's saying the real cowards were the Strong who made the weak fight, and the real Heroes were the weak who fought when it was in their nature not to.

I thought this an interesting twist since it made me ask myself if jewish ressentiment and ressentiment in general is the result of a being unable to affirm its self-nature or not being allowed to affirm its self-nature... Nietzsche elaborated on the former, Sloterdijk the latter [which is a clever victim-rhetoric].


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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Thu May 16, 2013 9:17 am

Laconian wrote:
But that's what he is. Not just in his progressivism, but the whole sheltering thinking of "Spheres" is to me one of the fundamentals of modernism.

I have not read his Spheres; only comments and remarks on it. I can't say anything for sure till I read his book.
A well-"rounded" individual was a wholesome person in ancient cultural semantics. An indication of balance and health, of self-possession. The well-"rounded" individual was one who's all encompassing perspective had a wider range and experience of things, someone Not sheltered in the modern sense we understand. So he's right to see the sphere as a domineering classical trope; the Roman Imperium continues the idea of the Greek Polis - "One Sphere", "One Cosmos" but the real tyranny begins when j.-Xt. subverts the mission under "One God", "One destiny". I don't know if I've misread or misjudged him on this till I read his book. Someone pointing out the features and conditions of our modernity as it IS does not make Him a modernist, but a thinker on modernity. I think he's progressivist for different reasons - his Humanist pro-posthumanism. I think Sloterdijk is a Post-modernist, not a modernist.

Quote :
"Being is simply being-in-spheres, as he puts in an unmistakably Heidegger-inspired fashion, and which means that all life takes place within membranes that protect us (give us immunity and meaning).

Quote :
"This part of the spherology effectively offers a history of glob- alization, as it demonstrates how, from Greek mythology to subsequent Christian theology, the notion of the One Sphere (the One Globe, or God) formed a predominant thought-figure. Yet God’s death implied the implosion of the One Sphere, which was replaced, Sloterdijk argues, with a plurality of minor spheres. The third volume of the spherology investigates this spherical diversity under the name of foams. In effect, the transition from the second to the third volumes amounts to a modernization theory; it shows how, in modern society, the belief in a grand unity has dissolved and how, in its stead, a heterogeneous social order has emerged which has no centre and which is characterized by no overarching logic. Indeed, when faced with a world of foams, we are confronted with an image of a rather fragmented society where life forms are only scantly related to one another. This is also the key message Sloterdijk conveys when he defines foam as ‘co-isolated associations’ or as ‘connected isolations’4: A certain association can be identified, but in the social foam we live our lives as isolated bubbles that only share membranes with our neighbours.

Quote :
"Each bubble is a singular entity which is at once sepa- rated or isolated from other bubbles and connected to its neighbours through the membranes they share. The shared membranes imply co-fragility. If one foam bubble bursts, this will affect the neighbouring bubbles. Foam bubbles are related in other ways than through shared membranes. But contrary to, for example, Luhmann’s systems theory, which emphasizes commu- nication as the social bond, Sloterdijk claims that ‘[i]n social foam there is no “communication” ... but instead only inter-autistic and mimetic relations’. In order to account for this mimetic relatedness, Sloterdijk draws on Gabriel Tarde’s sociology of imitation. Tarde developed a very original theory of society, which was based on the assertion that, ‘[s]ociety is imitation and imitation is a kind of somnambulism’ (1962: 87).
By highlighting the somnambulistic character of imitation Tarde argued that imitation should be understood as a ba- sically hypnotic relation where imitations are a result of contagious hypnotic sug- gestions. Not least affect is transmitted imitatively, Tarde believed.
Against this background, Sloterdijk is able to reject usual conceptions of so- ciety and to launch his own alternative:
By ‘society’ we understand an aggregate of micro-spheres (couples, house- holds, companies, associations) of different formats that are adjacent to one another like individual bubbles in a mound of foam and are structured one layer over/under the other, without really being accessible to or separable from one another.

Quote :
"First, the notion of foam implies a rejection of the idea of hierarchies and a stable, centred order. In the social foam, there is no centre. No bubble has pri- macy, no bubble is more important than the others. Applied to the realm of orga- nizations this means that no part of the organization (no organizational bubble) is seen as more significant than others. They are not necessarily on the same level (bubbles can lay over and under one another), but no one is per definition more important or plays a more central role than the rest.
Second, each organizational bubble is preoccupied with its own immunity stra- tegies and not with realizing some overall organizational objective. As an example of this, one may point to Samantha Warren’s study of ‘hot nesting’. Warren here examines the inventive strategies employees pursue – by bringing teddy bears, family photos, etc. to their workplace – so as to create minor personalized bubbles in the organizational foam that imitate the domestic sphere and its immunity. Third, the relations between organizational bubbles are understood in terms of imitation and contagion.

Quote :
"Foam consists of “agglomerates of bubbles.” Typical of foam is, according to Sloterdijk, that many connections exist that multiply a shared isolation. In foam, many bubbles can border the same wall of separation. Under these conditions, ‘society’ becomes “an aggregate of micro-spheres (couples, households, companies, federations) of differing formats, that, like individual bubbles, border each other in a mountain of foam and order themselves under and above each other without ever really becoming either within reach nor separable from each other.Similar to Zygmunt Bauman’s ‘liquid modernity’, society loses older forms of stability, as foam does not coagulate.
Sloterdijk claims that modern mass media, (virtual) infrastructural networks and consumption patterns have given rise to households in which each room constitutes an introvert micro-sphere, in which, as Benjamin once remarked, the goods collected constitute the person living there. Hence Sloterdijk’s attention to what are, according to him, the productive powers of luxury. He accords luxury a ‘constitutive’ role, and thereby takes a position opposite both conservatives that worry over the loss of former macro-spheres and critical theorists that can only dismiss what has replaced them. In the end, the foaming individual lives by consuming himself, and he marks the endpoint of humanism.

Quote :
"For Sloterdijk the concept of humanity ultimately means nothing but “the art of creating transitions..." [Schinkel, 'In Media Res: Sloterdijk's Sphereological Poetics of Being']


Laconian wrote:
What Satyr calls "unnatural" and I hesitate to name it such, since even birds build nests and most nature builds on some kind of sheltering already.. I'd agree that it is very (maybe overly?) emphasized in modernity. What Sloterdijk calls "Immunology".

Satyr is a Realist; Sloterdijk is an Experimentalist or Poiesisist!
To Satyr, the reality of one's past constitutes a person's being and subjectivity; to Sloterdijk, it is one constantly in making, in poeisis, in re-invention...Possibility > Reality.
"But, as Sloterdijk asks, isn’t “the main event of anthropogenesis” rather “the conquest of childhood” and of a structural “neoteny”: the retention, well into maturity, of traits previously and in other species seen only in juveniles?
In a sense, therefore, the ‘ethical’ question posed by Sloterdijk is how to remain an unformed subject of experimentation and healthy naivety." [ib.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Thu May 16, 2013 9:48 am

In my view the past is to be discovered. It is immutable because it cannot be intervened upon....it is determining - A metaphor for God.
I suspect that monist theology emerged out of this capitulation to the past, and a distaste for it.
To remedy it it was made into a goodness, a Being outside the time/space continuum, lending a solution to the unalterable past.
The past can be redefined, narrated in various ways, but never escaped.

To fully know yourself to find an identification, demands the clear, and honest knowledge and acceptance of this past.
Not creative escapes and redefinitions and narrations which offer you the illusion of freedom form it.

The past is constructed in the present; it is added to, not changed.
To better guide this poiesis one must understand and know its foundations.
Failing to fully acknowledge the foundation of the apt, will result in crooked edifices soon to crumble, as failed ideals.

The past limits your options, but it does not eliminate them.

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:57 pm

Satyr wrote:
In my view the past is to be discovered. It is immutable because it cannot be intervened upon....it is determining - A metaphor for God.
I suspect that monist theology emerged out of this capitulation to the past, and a distaste for it.
To remedy it it was made into a goodness, a Being outside the time/space continuum, lending a solution to the unalterable past.
The past can be redefined, narrated in various ways, but never escaped.

To fully know yourself to find an identification, demands the clear, and honest knowledge and acceptance of this past.
Not creative escapes and redefinitions and narrations which offer you the illusion of freedom form it.

The past is constructed in the present; it is added to, not changed.
To better guide this poiesis one must understand and know its foundations.
Failing to fully acknowledge the foundation of the apt, will result in crooked edifices soon to crumble, as failed ideals.

The past limits your options, but it does not eliminate them.  
Sloterdijk for technological repair...


Quote :
A moment of clarification: Sloterdijk, for the entire book, puts forth the idea of the placental With, a being that everyone shares the womb with. The initial closeness and connections felt in the world are not only with the mother, but rather with the placenta as well, creating a trinity. When that With is destroyed or lost, an inevitable product of birth, the beginning Subject immediately replaces the With by attaching itself to the mother. This desire for a communicatory other in which the Subject is always in intimate contact with sets the basis for Sloterdijk’s theory of spherical relationships–the subject, completed by the With and the With-substitute, is always mediated by it; the With, in any form, is a form of insulation.

The “genius” that I mentioned above is not an intellectual part of the mind, but rather the term is being used in its Roman form; it is a house spirit, a With that eternally watches over the Subject and provides her life with meaning. Sloterdijk explains that this loss of genius reformulates melancholia not as the loss of something vague, but rather it is a personal existential crisis in which one believes that there is an eternal loss of connection with the world (460). In other words, depression becomes understood as a failure of the spherical systems not operating correctly. Sloterdijk clarifies this later: “Melancholia constitutes the pathology of exile in its pure form–the impoverishment of the inner world through the life-giving field of closeness” (461).

So depression here is really just a function of the personal relationship with the mediating function of the With. Sloterdijk states that there are three ways of repairing this: the traditional practice of transference, the assertion of a higher god, and technological self alteration (462). Without getting into any of them specifically, I can assert that all three are simply a reassertion of the subject-With relationship. What becomes interesting here is that Sloterdijk is still very much interested in chasing this relationship in the microspherological relationships in individual lives. He wants to subvert Lacanian explanations for neurosis, taking is back further than Lacan, and defining ontology as being fundamentally about space.

The question that I have about the entire project of therapy in this situation is: Is a repair needed? Repair implies that there is a repairer. I think that we are supposed to understand that this is the function of the analyst, and that the repair is a project that is ultimately about calibrating the mediation system of the subject. Sloterdijk has written elsewhere about the dangers of becoming too insulated from the world, of having a genius that is too developed, which creates an autistic subject with a negative relationship with the outside world. There is also an additional danger of analysis: the analyst could repair the subject incorrectly. Cultural assumptions, views on responsibilities, and just plain ideology can stand in the way of the analyst performing a “good” repair, though there is no distinction between a good repair and a bad repair in Sloterdijk. Instead, he focuses in on why this possibility of repair is only possible through mythological thinking, which he believes should fully replace modern psychological methodology (463).

Sloterdijk closes the chapter with a refutation of the concept of a psychological object (467). He writes:

If it is productive to take into consideration something like the existence of psychological objects, then only if these are defined as relationship poles that can be replaced and transposed by the ego without acute self-impoverishment. Only something that can be occupied and let go is an object. (467)

A little work has to be done to elucidate what he is actually stating here. I believe that “occupation” of an object, something not really talked about in the essay before that sentence, can be understood as investment in the object. The subject has to be able to extend its tendrils of desire and libidinal investment into an external being in order for its object-ness to be solidified. Additionally, it has to be able to divest itself of these desires; for an object to be an object, it has to be able to exile the subject, to move away at the very limit of speed, and to force those desires to never become fulfilled.

But Sloterdijk finds the notion of the object unconvincing, and instead prefers that we think through what Thomas Macho calls the “nobject” (467). “Nobjects are things, media or persons that fulfill the function of the living genius or intimate augmenter for subjects,” (467) and they are central for the actuality of the interior psychic landscape of individuals. Whereas the object is predicated on a relationship built around distance, the conceit of the nobject is that the distance between it and the subject is both unthinkable and nonexistant. If the object is always escaping, the nobject is always being there, intermingling with the subject, surrounding her.

Sloterdijk accompanies this theory with the claim that we should actually “cancel out the term ‘subject’ or ‘ego’ with a corresponding negative, as it too displays the mistaken postulate of separability from its augmenters and allies” (468). The subject/object, ego/environment divide is impossible here, as all of those processes are built into the mediated spherical world.

This really ends the essay, but there are several places where this can take us. First, it forces us to think about the social in a new way. Instead of individuals making investments of desire, it is groups of people sharing mediating forces. From my reading of Sloterdijk, the moment of individuation followed by maturity is a time that is rife with pitfalls. The individual, in creating/developing/becoming attached to a nobject or genius in the world, could become embroiled in projects of destruction. While I understand that Sloterdijk is really simply explaining the world and the way that he believes that it operates, I am not sure how you prevent things like fascism from occurring. Obviously it would be from a “healthy” mediation, a kind of hearty soul or something like that, but if there is a process of getting there, I am not sure what it is."

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:01 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Satyr wrote:
Thinking is a poor conductor of activity.
Thinking, consideration, contemplation, analysis, awareness, can only lead to procrastination and an reluctance to act.
Again, the fight/flight dilemma comes down to a conscious or unconscious cost/benefit evaluation.
If the potential benefits exceed, according to the evaluator, the potential costs (risks) then one does not act. In the midst of an action undertaken an organism cuts and runs, trying to reduce the costs for a an erroneous evaluation.
That's a very Apollonian perspective.
But I'm a 'heart' person, and what I value is self-assertion that requires a detached severity going beyond loss/gain, pain/pleasure. The more self-clarity you attain, a mind abiding in its self-nature, the unclinging mind lends a spontaneity, you act unhesitantly. This always involves discipline and prior work - constant reassessments clinging to nothing.
I think its how Castenada put it; "Only as a warrior can one survive the path of knowledge, because the art of a warrior is to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man."
Terror and Wonder, knowledge and curiosity must flow in the same vein, if action and contemplation should constantly catalyze the other. It can flow only when you possess an ascetic discipline of a warrior.

Sloterdijk strengthens credibility in the caste system - a society composing itself on the basis of natural temperaments [thinkers/warriors/labourers]; he's arguing cynicism emerges when there's a breakdown in a natural structure via technology and a denatural hybrid is promoted between the morality of one class being imposed as the task or duty on another. With guns and weaponry, the cowardly class could be incited to rise to the task of the heroic class.

To him, Jewish ressentiment is a result of an unnaturalness initiated via technological interventions on the part of the Strong and the Heroic - its not the Jews who inverted the world, but the Heroic.
He's saying the real cowards were the Strong who made the weak fight, and the real Heroes were the weak who fought when it was in their nature not to.

I thought this an interesting twist since it made me ask myself if jewish ressentiment and ressentiment in general is the result of a being unable to affirm its self-nature or not being allowed to affirm its self-nature...  Nietzsche elaborated on the former, Sloterdijk the latter [which is a clever victim-rhetoric].


Sloterdijk continues on, on that same premise on which he announces his break with Nietzsche on the matter of nihilist inversion, in 'You Must Change Your Life';

Quote :
"I part ways most importantly with Nietzsche in his interpretation of the difference between master morality [Herrenmoral] and slave  morality [Sklavenmoral]. I concede that I am unsure whether a major event such as the 'slave revolt in morality' invoked so forcefully by Nietzsche ever occurred. I tend more towards the view that this sup­posed revaluation of all values, this most far-reaching distortion of all that was naturally right in the history of the spirit, was a fiction in which the author elevated a number of very significant and correct observations to an untenable construct. His motive lies in the fact that Nietzsche, though not intending to found his own religion, did intend to de-found traditional Christianity with holy fury.

It is precisely the ascetological perspective reopened by Nietzsche that highlights the continuity in the transition from 'heathen' antiq­ uity to the Christian world, especially in the area most relevant here: the transference of athletic and philosophical asceticism to the monastic and ecclesiastical modus vivendi. Had this not been the case, the early monks of Egypt and Syria would not - citing Pauline images of the apostles' agon - have called themselves the 'athletes of Christ'. And were monastic asceticism not an internalization of the regimen of physical warriors as well as an adoption of philosophical doctrines of the art of living from a Christian perspective, monastic culture - especially in its West Roman and Northwest European manifestations - could not possibly have led to the unfolding of powers on all cultural fronts - charitable, architectural, administra­ tive, economic, intellectual and missionary powers - that took place between the fifth and eighteenth centuries. What actually happened, then, was a displacement of athletism from the arenas to the mon­ asteries; or, more generally speaking, a transference of proficiency from declining antiquity to the burgeoning Middle Ages - to mention only the periods, and not name each of the old and new carriers of competence, the aretological collectives of that time and later times.

Hugo Ball put his finger on the essence of these shifts when he emphasized, in his book Byzantinisches Christentum (1923), that the intellectual heroism of the monks constituted a superior counter­ project to the 'nature heroism' of warriors. It is obvious that this great transfer led to distortions under the influence of ressentiment. But even as tendentious a statement as 'But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first' (Matthew 19:30), which Nietzsche mercilessly exposed, could also be read from the perspec­ tive of the great shift of arete. It could be saying that the hierarchy resulting from the conditions of power and ownership should not remain the only permissible view - in fact, not even the central one - of intellectual rankings."


Quote :
"I repeat: a slave revolt of morality did not, in my view, take place at any time in the Old Europe. In reality, a revaluation of values occurred in the separation of power and virtue (arete, virtu) that would have been inconceivable for the ancient Greeks - a separa­ tion whose effects continued into the woolly endgames of European aristocracy in the nineteenth century. The Old European social order committed its true sin against the spirit of positive asceticism not through its Christianization, but rather through the Faustian pact with a class system that saw a nobility without virtu reaching the top in many places. This enabled the consolidation of a non-meritocratic exploitative aristocracy whose only achievement lay in the identical transference of its inflated self-image to equally useless descend­ ants, often over several centuries. One gains a clearer picture of this chronic European disgrace, the hereditary nobility, by comparing conditions in the ancient scholarly culture of China, which pushed back the hereditary nobility with an educated nobility for over two thousand years. The indicated revaluation of values did not bring to power the ressentiments of sick little people, as Nietzsche sug­gests; rather, the mixture of laziness, ignorance and cruelty among the heirs to local power was expanded into a psychopolitical factor of the highest order; the court of Versailles was only the peak of an archipelago of noble inutility that spread over Europe. It was only the neo-meritocratic renaissance between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, borne by the middle class and the virtuosos, that gradually put an end to the grotesque of hereditary aristocracy in Europe - leaving aside the still-virulent phantoms in the yellow press.

Only since then have we been able to say once more that politics as a European form of life means the struggle and the concern for the framework of institutions in which the most important of all emancipations can take place - the emancipation of the differences that arise from achievements and are controlled from the differences created and passed on through subjugation, power and privilege. Needless to say, the aforementioned group of Ubermorder were not politicians, but rather exponents of an oriental power concept that does not acknowledge any discipline except the art of domination. They had no interest in the European definition of the political, for all they got to see of the range of differences was the portion that could be explained by theories of class and race. Such theories have always been blind as soon as the birth of difference from levels of proficiency came into focus."

Sloterdijk speaks as if life left to itself ought to be fair,
And yet, Nietzsche had already remarked,

Quote :
"To demand from strength that it does not express itself as strength, that it does not consist of a will to overpower, a will to throw down, a will to rule, a thirst for enemies and opposition and triumph, is just as unreasonable as to demand from weakness that it express itself as strength." [GM, 1.13]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:49 am

Quote :
The problem of Ressentiment


"The major premise of Sloterdijk’s Kulturkampf is provided by an understanding of psychopolitics ‘beyond eroticism’ (RT 13) and based on a ‘noble anthropology’ (WF 25-47) as opposed to ‘black anthropologies’ (NHGS 149). As Sloterdijk suggests, the ‘theistic dressages in humility’ of Christian anthropology and anthropotechnics persist almost unbowedly in dismal human sciences such as economics and psychoanalysis. (S III 762, 770) Whether the constitutive discrepancy lies between the finity of resources and the infinity of needs or between the pleasure principle and the reality principle, in each case the ... conditio humana as a whole is understood on the basis of the dynamic of the libido (the homo oeconomicus, Oedipus), and thus through an original and irreducible lack that must somehow be compensated and sublimated, if not repressed (the state, the death drive). It is this morally legitimating idée fixe of humankind as ... Mängelwesen, which for Sloterdijk summarizes the whole morose analytics of finitude typical of modern anthropocentric discourse: ‘Whenever lack is in power, the “ethics of indignity” has the word.’ (RT 19; see NHGS 40-50)
By contrast, Rage and Time seeks to supplement libidinal economy with thymotic economy. Following Leo Strauss and Fukuyama’s reading of Plato’s Statesman, thymos, as opposed to eros, is the receptive sense that makes the soul the bearer of self-affirmative affects. If the blind rage or wrath (menis) of the Homerian heroes seems so incomprehensible to us, this is because for us everything that stems from pride or dignity, such as generosity, revenge, or readiness to die in battle, most often is ‘only an empty entry in the dictionary of the neurotic.’ (RT 14) The Ancient Greeks, on the other hand, saw the world as a public stage on which to exteriorize their pride in ‘an appreciation of war without limitations’ (RT 3) that is inherently worth more than all the private suffering that may follow from it:

‘In the case of pure rage there is no complex inner life, no hidden psychic world, no private secret through which the hero would become understandable to other human beings. Rather, the basic principle is that the inner life of the actor should become wholly manifest and wholly public. It should become wholly deed and, if possible, wholly song.’ (RT 9) In other words, because the subject merges without leftover with the event (RT 8 ), being merely a ‘receptacle’ or ‘meeting point of affects or partial energies’ (RT 11) that take it ‘beside itself’, there is no innate principle that suffices for the development of ressentiment. As a consequence, thymotic economies, at least in their pure form, are not based on lack and calculation, but rather on affluence and extravagant dissipation, even on selfishly ambitious generosity.
Moreover, egoism, self-esteem, vanity, amour-propre and ambition cannot be reduced to a narcissistic neurosis of the libido, because before they become egocentric they are always already socio-political affects par excellence. (RT 19-20) In fact, if life in the Greek polis is unthinkable without the proper management and domestication of thymotic energies (RT 12, 23-5), it couldn’t do without them. Whereas capitalist exploitation and hyperconsumerism have since long annexed the existing institutions of civil society, Sloterdijk therefore prophecies that the future of urban citizenship is feasible only as a ‘pride-ensemble’ (RT 19; NHGS 158-61) that ‘requests every individual to step out onto the external stages of existence and expose his powers to prove himself before his peers.’ (RT 16)

Thus it is no longer through the affect of cheekiness, but through thymos or ‘stout- heartedness’ (Beherztheit, RT 12) that Sloterdijk explores modes of non- ressentimental valuation: ‘While eroticism points to ways leading to those “objects” that we lack and whose presence or possession makes us feel complete, thymotics discloses ways for human beings to redeem what they possess, to learn what they are able to do, and to see what they want.’ (RT 15-6) This does not imply, however, that ressentiment grows from the erotic part of the soul. Ressentiment is neither the same as nor implies jealousy. On the contrary, thymos holds both the source of ressentiment and the possibility of its overcoming, whilst eros, and the eroticization of thymos in today’s ‘dynamic systems of greed’ (RT 196-203), merely amplifies its development. (RT 40) Initially, it is therefore not lack that generates ressentiment, but ressentiment that generates lack. What makes the notion of ressentiment politically relevant is precisely that, as a fixation of thymotic affects, it denotes an ‘exoneurosis’ (ST 84) and not just some private shortcoming (NHGS 139).

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:51 am

Quote :
Thymotic Economy II: Anger and Time


The basic therapeutical distinction of Rage and Time therefore revolves around an ‘ill thymotics’ and a ‘healthy’ or ‘just’ thymotics and it is here that Sloterdijk draws the genealogical cesura, as Nietzsche did before him, between Ancient Greek civilization on the one hand and Judaic-Christian-modern civilization on the other. In the former, the immediate exercise of rage is the privilege of masters whilst slaves are burdened with ressentiment. In the latter, the slaves develop a new type of rage based on a postponed and imaginary revenge that seduces the masters to internalize their rage and become slaves as well. Although Sloterdijk refers to Bataille’s distinction between the general economy of dissipation and sacrifice and a restricted economy of accumulation, conservation and reinvestment, this distinction builds on an economical theory that was already implicitly present in Nietzsche’s Genealogy. It concerns two radically opposed ways of managing the economy of pride, or more precisely, ‘anger’ as the pre-eminent affect capable of constituting political subjectivity.

Whereas the Homeric hero expresses anger in immediate release and glorious sacrifice (RT 55-9), later Europeans tend to subject it to a process of ‘sublimation, internalization, transference, and distortion.’ (RT 86) This latter economy of latent and accumulative anger is the soil on which ressentiment grows and on which the strong and intimate connection between rage and time is established. (RT 59-62) Nietzsche had already defined the man of ressentiment by his incapacity to forget (KSA V, 291-2; GM II, §1), as a consequence of which he interiorizes his traumatic past in the form of a postponed revenge. Sloterdijk interprets the history of the West in the same sense, insofar as it springs from ‘the psychic and moral wound that does not heal and which creates its own corrupt temporality, the bad infinity of an unanswered complaint.’ (RT 49)

However, the originality of Rage and Time, at least when compared to its precursor, is that it discovers a qualitative change in the restricted economy of anger during the past two centuries: ‘Just like the monetary economy, the rage economy passes a critical marker once rage had advanced from local accumulation and selective explosion to the level of a systematic investment and cyclic increase.’ (RT 64, 62-8 ) Once ressentiment becomes disconnected from the context of its origination and acquires an independent, even entrepreneurial dynamic, we go from the ‘project form of anger’ also known as ‘revenge’ to the ‘bank form of revenge’ better known as ‘revolution’. A revolutionary movement or traditional leftist party functions as monopolistic ‘collection point and agency of recycling and exploitation for investments’ and thus, Sloterdijk perversely argues, partakes of an essentially capitalistic economy of anger that contradicts and undermines the very political economy it seeks to promote. Thus if Deleuze and Guattari had already demonstrated how today the cunning and inventiveness of capitalism is many times greater still than that of the priest when it comes to the cultivation of ressentiment, Sloterdijk adds that there also exists a capitalism of ressentiment itself. ‘Your ressentiment is safe with us’, the Party says, which professionally reinvests and grows of its capital, for it believes that by growing it is made better and that its time, or the time of a final and total mobilization in the name of a global revolution (Weltrevolution), will eventually come. Moreover, the phrase ‘God is dead’ for Sloterdijk means that history and politics have taken over the wrath of God. From a perspective situated after the twentieth century, the premodern economies of inhibitive anger turn out to be preparations for the modern disinhibitions of the ‘terrifying force of the negative’. (RT 25-8 ) This also explains Sloterdijk’s shift from ressentiment to militant anger as basic affect: ‘The vast majority of the many millions standing in line at the entrance to the final tunnel do not show any symptoms of pre-suicidal morbidity, however, but rather those of a faux-religiously channeled build-up of anger.’ (GZ 158). This new ‘economy of ressentiment’ forms the starting point of an attempt ‘to continue the work that Nietzsche started and to put on the agenda a more fundamental reflection on the causes and effects of rage in modernity.’ (RT 289)

Yet if Sloterdijk seeks to go ‘beyond’ Nietzsche, this doesn’t lead him to a counter- ressentimental rehabilitation of Christianity. On the contrary, the ‘genealogy of militantism’ and ‘primary history of ressentiment’ begins with the ‘original accumulation’ of post-Babylonian hatred and revenge (RT 81, 86) as it is projected on the wrathful God of the Old Testament. The God of the New Testament is only nominally based on its opposite and internalizes hatred and revenge in the form of bad conscience. Just as for Nietzsche, all great religions partake in ‘a universal economy of cruelty’, Sloterdijk is particularly interested in the derivation of the wrath of God from his universal love, as ‘it is here that the dynamics of ressentiment responsible for the entire domain becomes especially evident’ (RT 103, 105). The two greatest contributors to the neurotizication and confusion of civilization according to Sloterdijk are Saint Augustine and Saint Paul.

To the first we owe the ‘sexual- pathological distortions’ hidden beneath an ideological ‘miserabilism’ and a metaphysics of predestination which, under the guise of divine love, establishes a ‘devious and systematic combination of a rational universalism of damnation and an unfathomable elitism of salvation.’ (GZ 61; NG 64-72, 88-100) But the heritage of the second is even worse.

Nietzsche already distinguished Christ as the only true evangelist from Paul the dysangelist, when he held the former for a passive nihilist whose gentle nobility lay in teaching the reactive life how to die serenely, whilst the latter is a downright spiteful character, whose ‘cynicism’ led him to turn hatred into an instrument of universal love. For Nietzsche, in fact, Paul singularly impersonates the figure of the tyrannous priest, ‘the instinct of ressentiment here become genius’ (KSA VI., 192; AC, 24), who reigns through sin (the transformation of the death of Christ from an individual gift into an initial collective debt/guilt) combined with the undying hatred of a reactive life (the resurrection as interest and reinvestment that makes debt infinite, cf. Deleuze 2006, 153), initiating a long and terrible revenge that had to pass through all the stages of nihilism. In a similar vein, Sloterdijk retrospectively reads Paul as the archetype of the ‘messianic-expansionist’ zealot, whose blind love of God and belief in universal salvation is positively correlated to the devastating hatred and terrorism of God’s non-inflationary, ‘eternal punishments’ for those who have not yet been converted.

Moreover, Paul stands out as proto- militant revolutionary, insofar as his ‘furious eschatology’ (RT 98) fundamentally changed the concept of time into an ‘in-between time’ or ‘time that remains’, a worldly time that already falls under the shadow of ‘the time that comes’: ‘Paul is probably the first who lived a hurried life out of principle’ (ET 282; see GE 85-6, 53; RT 98-105). It is merely the irony of a dechristianized modernity that it has its own zealots of universal truth in the guise of communism: ‘the human-churchly fanaticism of the Jacobins’, ‘the militantism of Lenin’s professional revolutionaries’, ‘the fury of the Red Guards in Mao Zedong’s China’ each of which Sloterdijk sees as ‘feral imitations of the apostolic modus vivendi’. (GZ 66, 30) They all show the same apocalyptic cheerfulness – Elendsübermut (RT 48) or ‘connection between forced exhilaration and ressentiment’ (RT 117) – that is symptomatic of the manic drives of zealots and which can be summarized as ‘going on the offensive by fleeing from the world’ (GZ 60, 32; WF 104-17) or ‘self-preservation unto death’ (SV 16).

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:53 am

Quote :
Thymotic Economy III: Generosity and Dignity


It is true that these reductive arguments on politics as a substitute for religion have been made many times, especially in the recent, post-communist and post-historical decennia. Are we therefore dealing with just another retrospective that confronts us with a world without alternatives? In order to appreciate Sloterdijk’s (and Nietzsche’s) originality, it is important to contrast his inquiry into the Pauline inspiration of militant universalists with another recent reading of Paul that couldn’t be more politically and methodologically at odds with it. Whereas Badiou, in Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, aims at ‘resurrecting’ some of the driving spirit both of Paul and twentieth century revolutionaries such as Lenin and Mao in post-political times, Sloterdijk interprets the function of the ‘manic-apocalyptic affective states’ as instruments used by priests to stabilize the soul and the social integration of believers.

Following Nietzsche, he holds Paul to be the bad doctor par excellence, whose immunological mistake has repercussions for the understanding of truth: ‘Whereas the pragmatic mentality contents itself with the belief that whatever helps is true, zealous behaviour insists on the axiom that truth is only to be found in a belief system which is entitled to demand universal subordination.’ (GZ 12) It is true that, as Badiou writes, ‘[i]f Nietzsche is so violent toward Paul, this is because he is his rival far more than his opponent’, insofar as the former makes use of the same formally universalist themes as the latter: the self-declaration of character, the breaking of History in two, and the new man as the end of slavery.6 But the crucial point Sloterdijk makes is that the thymotic economies on which the aforementioned themes are based couldn’t be more different. When Nietzsche dismisses Paul for being ‘a rebel ... against everything privileged’ and disseminating ‘the poison of the doctrine “equal rights” for all’,7 this is not because he is defending the privileges of historical aristocracy that, as Sloterdijk puts it in Über die Verbesserung der guten Nachricht, ‘guarantee that ressentiment will always finds its ideal speech situation’ (VGN 53), but on the contrary because, from a clinical point of view, true aristocracy is exclusively a ‘position directed towards the future’ (VGN 49). Whereas Paul gives us ‘a narcotic, by means of which the present were living at the expense of the future’ (KSA V, 253; GM Preface §6), Nietzsche seeks to escape from the restricted economy of gifts and poisons by making a ‘noble present’ (VGN 48, 30), i.e. a present – both in the temporal and economical sense – that cannot be reciprocated in terms of revenge or debt. His ‘bestowing virtue’ initiates a generous way of being, in which the taker on his part is activated by the gift to participate in the capacity of further opening up richer futures, thus raising the gift to the nth power. Nietzsche is thus ‘the first true sponsor’ (VGN 48 ), standing ‘at the beginning of a new moral chain of causality’ and a new concept of time: ‘the future of humanity is a test as to whether it is possible to redeem ressentiment as the first power of history... History divides into the time of debt-economy and that of generosity’ (VGN 50). In other words, whereas Paul teaches ... Nächstenliebe by demanding universal subjugation, Nietzsche ‘pro-vokes’ a proud competition of glad tidings by teaching ... Fernstenliebe (RT 31) – a ‘minor gospel’ (VGN 33) for everyone and nobody that signals a ‘grand politics’ or a politics for a people to come. For it belongs to the nature of thymotic generosity that, instead of wanting to be alone, it aims at nothing less than a potlatch pluralism of gospels that is principally opposed to the monopoly of the Good or the True. (ST 35-7; VGN 52-3; NHGS 118)

If Sloterdijk positions his own writing ‘after Nietzsche’ and thus against Paul (or contemporary leftist radicalism), this means that what is at stake is the ‘de- radicalization of alternatives’ (GZ 112), which might well appear as trivial and counterrevolutionary, but simultaneously points towards the cosmopolitical project of a ‘civilizing learning towards an existence of all human beings characterized by the universally imposed necessity of sharing a single planet.’8 (GZ 145-6; see ET 294- 327) This single planet is not the external object of struggle between competing but monomaniac visionaries of general interest, since these can only spring from a ‘ressentiment against human freedom’ (GZ 96), but the basis of our embeddednes in a world woven of a plurality of interests without common measure. In other words, dignity and freedom are understood in ecological terms. They do not depend on timeless universal values presiding over life, but solely on the creation of new particular ways of living together. This explains Sloterdijk’s rephrasing of his earlier Arendtian principle of natality in terms of generosity.

This generosity is not the false generosity of emission rights that function as indulgence for the slavery to self- preservation in our daily energy waste, but the true generosity of artistic production (the avant-garde, VGN 49, 56; ST 37) or technological innovation (‘homeotechnics’, NG 227). Both are fields in which, under the right thymotic conditions, ‘to waste is a gesture that generates dignity or mana’ (ST 334), and in which true self-respect and self-affirmation cannot be abstracted from an active responsibility – noblesse oblige – for what one has created, i.e. a responsibility that is based on abundance and embedded in ‘ecologies of freedom’ (KMPA 102).

This ecological embedment of generosity signals the repugnancy of today’s ‘dissimulation of lack’ (Mangelheuchelei) in the West – economically a lack of money, juridically a lack of justice, energetically a lack of organic fuel, politically a lack of recognition, culturally a lack of tradition, etcetera. According to Sloterdijk, we even have a lack of lack, given the constant ‘import of grievances from the other side of the world’ (S III 805). We have already seen how everything happens as if the modern emancipatory movements collapse under their own success, because citizens continue to experience themselves as handicapped subjects. This happens as soon as recognition becomes the object of an ‘imitative desire’ (Sloterdijk implicitly quotes Girard, RT 201) oriented upon already established values in relation to which we, as subjects in the process of emancipation, perceive an envious lack. Here we face a veritable metaphysics of poverty, in which lack as empirical condition has become a transcendental norm – Deleuze would speak of a transcendental stupidity (bêtise transcendentale) – for its abolition.9 For even if on a material level, there is not poverty but abundance, ‘it suffices to subjectivize the notion of poverty in order to let its dimension grow to infinity’ (S III, 690; NHGS 90-1). The eroticization – meaning both obfuscation and modernization – of thymotic economy under capitalism into a subjective ‘need for recognition’ cannot but lead to vulgarization and depoliticization.

The price of today’s post-historical and post-political ‘dispersion of rage’ is therefore an unlimited intensification of ressentiment.

There has taken place a veritable perversion of recognition, in which pride is experienced only passively, as something that depends on others, whilst economy and morality converge in reflexes against others of naming, shaming, blaming en claiming. Politically this has resulted in populist claims to the carefree consumption of acquired rights and a new common sense based on typical right-wing issues of law and order, terrorism and migration. (NHGS 160) We have become mature (mündig), but not emancipated. Today we merely consume our own ressentiment, taking ever more care of ourselves through private insurance arrangements as if they were a compensation for life itself (ZWK 131), whilst ever more passively taking our responsibility towards the outside world.

Thymotic sovereignty, by contrast, is measured by the degree to which it resists religious, political and economical routines of compensation. Both natality and generosity are principles of an unconditional and asymmetric gift by means of which life breaks with the reactionary chain of retribution and escalation, from the Biblical ... lex talionis to contemporary terrorist exchange, and substitutes it with a ‘looser chain’ (VGN 51) or a transversal ‘chain of unchaining’ (ZWK 171). Nietzsche’s glad tidings function as a medium in which such a healing can take place. What he called the ‘innocence of becoming’ is essentially ‘the innocence of dissipation’ and thus also ‘the innocence of enrichment’ necessary for the possibility of further dissipations. (VGN 51) The Christian ‘ressentiment of the self’ (RT 16) continues in the
‘smouldering ressentiment against property’ (RT 33), insofar as ‘[t]he Left’s economic mistakes were always at the same time its psychopolitical confessions’ (RT 34). Only enrichment, Sloterdijk suggests, allows for a turn of capitalism against itself in which wealth is freed from feverish and secretive value accumulation and capable of a radical expenditure. This is how he seeks a return to the ‘hetero-narcissistic’ (VGN 68, 9, 43) expressionism of pride as it could be found with Ancient Greek heroes, whose expenditures were ‘“expressions” that were forces used for display’ and promoted the ‘self-communication and self-impartation (Selbstmitteilung) of the successful’ (VGN 47-8, 66-9) as a surplus value.

Similarly, Nietzsche’s unrestrained egoism and self-praise in Ecce Homo (Why I write such good books) is therefore not the indiscrete expression of some tormented libido, but an existential relation of speech to its own suffering in its tendency towards self-cancellation and to its own pleasure in its tendency towards self-prolongation. (WF 207-9) As an immunitary act against the ‘order of lies’ and the ‘metaphysically coded ressentiment’ (VGN 28-31) that governs over all ‘indirect eulogics’ (VGN 9, 44), it constitutes an event that marks the beginning of an epoch in which ‘the confession to one’s own modus vivendi is the noblest speech act’ (VGN 10). Of course, this characterization of a psychosomatically emancipated language simultaneously offers an adequate description of Sloterdijk’s own style, to the extent that when Sloterdijk speaks of Nietzsche, he speaks of himself and thus participates in, or ‘resonates’ (VGN 8)with, this new jubilatory and hyperbolic energy of speech. (NG 272-4)10

Since we cannot come into the world without coming into language, what is needed is a relief (Freispruch) of language that is at the same time a promise (Versprechen) of further capacities for speech. (ZWK 165-6) This ‘linguistics of enthusiasm’ (WF 29) was already noticeable in his appropriations of the evangelical modus parlandi for the purpose of ‘ethnic investments’ (SG 46) in Versprechen auf Deutsch, Falls Europa Erwacht or Der starke Grund zusammen zu sein. It becomes more manifest still in his recent works, where he c/kynically (VGN 47, 68; S III 681) explores wealth as ‘source of ethos’ (S III 685) against the ‘miserabilistic International’ (S III 680) that is founded on a discursive suppression of the truth of its own prosperity. Not only critical theorists, but all of us are burdened with a schizophrenic embarrassment of the riches, helplessly submerging in ‘constant changes of mood of comfort and discomfort in our own well-being’ (S III 684-5; ZWK 131). Against the essential ‘conservatism’ (S III 671) of our intellectual auto- immune reflexes, we should therefore ask whether ‘it isn’t typical for life in luxury that one is able to avoid the embarrassment of inquiring after one’s origin?’ (S III 690) (Ex-)Posing such a question isn’t just a matter of rhetoric or parody, let alone of arrogance, but an attempt to speak without ressentiment, or what comes down to the same, to speak without squinting and regain our belief in the world.

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"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:54 am

Quote :
Asceticism and Philosophical Life


Let us now return to the cosmopolitan assignment of the philosopher, which indeed stands or falls with the possibility of a noble way of life. Dignity or nobility concerns the truthfulness of a person’s relations to his or her values. To detect baseness or ressentiment at the root of valuations, by contrast, is to detect valuations motivated by the very desires they condemn. As is well-known, for Nietzsche, the values that are typically infected by the ressentiment of their carriers are ascetic values. Yet it is a common misunderstanding that he rejected all forms of asceticism as ressentimental and nihilistic.

The alternative of contemplative life (vita contemplative) and active life (vita active) is in fact neither exclusive nor exhaustive, but merely obscures their genealogical evaluation. For everything depends on the affective economy according to which these ascetic ideals are interpreted. From the erotic perspective, they cannot but be interpreted as the hypocritical defence mechanisms of a deprived life. But from the thymotic perspective, might they not turn out to be the means of a proud self- affirmation and self-intensification? It is this alternative precisely that is at stake in the contrast Nietzsche draws between the significance of humility, poverty and chastity for the priest and for the philosopher. Whereas the former needs them as renunciatory and other-worldly imperatives, the latter uses them as a mask for hiding an especially active and superabundant life, in which the instinct of a spiritual life is sufficiently powerful to have conquered thought and subordinated every other instinct to itself. In this second sense, askēsis is not the form of a life-denying alliance between transcendence and reaction, but rather an exercise for attaining the optimum of natural conditions for a worthy and worldly life: a life which may trigger ressentiment among others but which itself takes care not to be infected by it (KSA V, 351-6; GM III §8 ) and is affirmative, not of existence in general (a contradictio in terminis), but of its own existence in relation to that of others.

Ascetism in the latter sense forms the basic intuition of Foucault’s later investigations into post-Socratic practices of the self, in particular his etho-poetic definition of philosophical activity as ‘an exercise of oneself in the activity of thought’, always aiming ‘to know how and to what extent it might be possible to think differently, instead of legitimating what is already known’.11 It also forms the basic intuition of Sloterdijk’s Du mußt dein Leben ändern, which, under the wealth of its material, contains the easily decipherable confession of the author to an athletism or acrobatism of spirit working against the ‘spirit of gravity’. Perhaps this book is closer to the Stoics than to the Cynics, since although it still bears the mark of his project of a ‘general immunology’, it reformulates its basic insights into the language of a universal ascetology. Today we do not witness a return of the religious, Sloterdijk argues, but a renewed interest in the immunitary constitution of man, religion itself being first of all an immune strategy and spiritual system of exercise.

What Nietzsche has called the morality of custom (Sittlichkeit der Sitte), the disciplining and inscribing practices of all culture in its immeasurable historical extension, is indeed the ‘anthropotechnical praxis’ by which homo natura engenders himself. The human condition is modified and kept in shape by means of ‘vertical tensions (Vertikalspannungen)’, the attracting poles that direct the biopolitical exercises through which we attain the form or power by which we is constituted. As a consequence, subject is he who is the bearer of the series of trainings by which he is ‘empowered (potenziert)’ (SD 17).

The importance of Nietzsche’s discovery of ascetic culture lies not so much in the discovery of a general anthropotechnics, however, as in the genealogical distinction between the asceses of the healthy, who goes through painful and protracted trainings in order ‘to possess the right to affirm oneself’ (KSA V, 294-5; GM II §3), and the asceses of the ill, for whom they are the paradoxical means of survival. In fact, since the purpose of genealogy is to evaluate cultural traditions by distinguishing between high and low ancestry, for Nietzsche it belongs to the philosopher’s or physician’s ascesis to attain the pathos of distance necessary ‘to ensure their tasks are kept separate for all eternity’ (KSA V, 371; GM III §14). We have seen that Sloterdijk
fully subscribes to this therapeutic understanding of philosophical practice, such that instead of the spiritual asceses of the philosopher being opposed to his cosmopolitical vocation, they are in fact its precondition. (WF 27-8, 46-7) Yet he also observes that, due to his aim for a future return to a time before the slave revolt in morality, Nietzsche focussed almost exclusively on pathological forms of ascetism in service of ‘the protective instinct of a degenerating life’ (KSA V, 361-72; GM III §11-4), whereas our ‘ascetic star’ is a planet cultivated by all kinds of cultural drillings, including the disciplining of philosophers and the exercises of warriors and athletes. By shifting the emphasis Sloterdijk contests Nietzsche’s famous genealogical thesis of a slave revolt in morality. (MLA 204-7) Instead he stresses the ascetological continuity between pagan antiquity and the Judaic-Christian world and the transfer of athletic and philosophical ascetism to the monastic and ecclesial way of living. With the distinction between the two cultures there also disappears the natural hierarchy between masters and slaves, who are now indiscernibly intertwined. (WK 242)

The new ‘anthropotechnical difference’ between good and bad trainings lies in the double nature of repetition as active or repeting repetition, such as in art or sports, and passive or repeted repetition, such as in religion or mass media culture. (MLA 308; NHGS 92-3) In more political terms, this means that, for Sloterdijk, the fundamental difference is meritocratic rather than aristocratic, and hence of a more contemporary, perhaps even liberalist and individualist nature than that found in Nietzsche: it lies in the ‘spontaneous ranking’ (SD 19) between those, who make something or much of themselves and those who make nothing or little of themselves. (MLA 66) But despite this meritocratic shift, the clinical task of the philosopher is still the same today: to provide a renewed ‘drilling of aristocrats’, an education (paideia) that ‘supports city dwellers to come into the world under megalo-athletic conditions’ (SB 32) and turns them into ‘athletes of state’ (SB 31, 39) who are capable of thinking and acting cosmopolitically. (cf. MLA 691-714)

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:55 am

Quote :
Conclusion


As a consequence of this meritocratic shift, however, doesn’t Nietzsche’s concept of ressentiment risk to lose its critical relevance? One may well wonder what the point is of a genealogical investigation if its vital distinction is reduced to an empirical, i.e. ‘genealogically neutral’ description of how good and bad, the attractive and repulsive poles of any culture, are organized. Tellingly, in a recent essay on the ‘epistemic apparent death’ of the theoretical life (bios theoretikós) called Scheintod im Denken. Von Philosophie und Wissenschaft als Übung (2010), Sloterdijk blames both Nietzsche and Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Englightement for tracing the genealogy of ‘epochē capable man’, i.e. someone capable of stepping back from existential embeddedness and abstaining from doxic judgment, to the reign of ressentiment.

Instead he sums up four tendencies that, in their conjunction, have provided the basic conditions under which the emergence of theoretical life can be reconstructed. From a psychopolitical perspective, Nietzsche was correct in seeing the rise of theoretical man as a reaction to the demise of the social and political culture of Athens around 400 B.C. into a permanent doxic agitation. Psychologically speaking, secondly, this explains how individuals could derive their worthiness from a proud but ressentimental defeatism rather than from practical urgency. In sociological terms, however, these psychopolitical and psychological explanations ignore the differentiation of the Greek educational system as an immense anthropotechnical dressage of the figure of the student. Worse still, they ignore the media-theoretical insight that the mental habitus of the theoretician is inseparable from practices of collecting, knowing, proving, reading in the medium of writing. (SD 67-94, cf. S III 765) Since the appearance of theoretical man is inextricably convoluted with the sociological and mediological fate of the culture in which he is embedded, Sloterdijk concludes, pathogenical explanations do not suffice. But, again, do we not risk a superficial, all too psychological understanding of the problematic of ressentiment here? Has Sloterdijk forgotten that Nietzsche strictly differentiates between the philosophical form of life on the one hand and later science, which is often albeit not necessarily (GM III §23) slave to an ascetic will to Truth prepared by Christian father- confessor mentality (GM III §27; VGN 29), on the other? And isn’t it precisely the sharpness of this distinction, which Sloterdijk now judges a ‘caricatural’ and ‘outrageous simplification’ (MLA 59), that has previously inspired the difference between the kynical enlightenment of gay science and the ‘ressentiment that appears as method’ or ... esprit de sérieux (ST 268; SV 134) ever since his early Critique?

Aside from this recent and perhaps somewhat circumstantial departure from the rest of his work, we have seen how Sloterdijk’s work shows a remarkable continuity in dealing with the central psychopolitical illness of ressentiment. From the beginning, its therapeutic strategy is committed to an ethics of dignity. It is based on immune strategies that are consistently phrased in the terms of ‘a new critique of temperaments’ (CCR xxxvii), a ‘critique of pure humour’ (S III 671), or a ‘Dionysian politology of passions’ and ‘ecology of pain and pleasure that precedes any of the usual politics’ of ‘combative and discursive interests along with their discourses, weapons, and institutions’ (TS 76). In this sense, the aim of the Critique is already the same as that of Rage and Time, namely a philosophical relief or retuning (Umstimmung, ST 16; S III 850; NHGS 117, 151) of the sad passions that determine the Zeitgeist no less than critical intelligence: a Dionysian cosmopolitics."

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:14 pm

Sloterdijk's 'Cosmopolitanism' in short...

Sloterdijk ['You Must Change Your Life'] wrote:
"All history is the history of immune system battles. It is identical to the history of protectionism and externalization. Protection always refers to a local self, and externalization to an anonymous environ­ ment for which no one takes responsibility. This history spans the period of human evolution in which the victories of the own could only be bought with the defeat of the foreign; it was dominated by the holy egotisms of nations and enterprises. Because 'global society' has reached its limit, however, and shown once and for all that the earth, with its fragile atmospheric and biospheric systems, is the limited shared site of human operations, the praxis of externalization comes up against an absolute boundary. From there on, a protection­ ism of the whole becomes the directive of immunitary reason. Global immunitary reason is one step higher than all those things that its anticipations in philosophical idealism and religious monotheism were capable of attaining. For this reason, General Immunology is the legitimate successor of metaphysics and the real theory of 'religions'. It demands that one transcend all previous distinctions between own and foreign; thus the classical distinctions of friend and foe collapse. Whoever continues along the line of previous separations between the own and the foreign produces immune losses not only for others, but also for themselves.

The history of the own that is grasped on too small a scale and the foreign that is treated too badly reaches an end at the moment when a global co-immunity structure is born, with a respectful inclusion of individual cultures, particular interests and local solidarities. This structure would take on planetary dimensions at the moment when the earth, spanned by networks and built over by foams, was con­ ceived as the own, and the previously dominant exploitative excess as the foreign. With this turn, the concretely universal would become operational. The helpless whole is transformed into a unity capable of being protected. A romanticism of brotherliness is replaced by a co­ operative logic. Humanity becomes a political concept. Its members are no longer travellers on the ship of fools that is abstract universal­ ism, but workers on the consistently concrete and discrete project of a global immune design. Although communism was a conglomeration of a few correct ideas and many wrong ones, its reasonable part - the understanding that shared life interests of the highest order can only be realized within a horizon of universal co-operative asceticisms - will have to assert itself anew sooner or later. It presses for a mac­ rostructure of global immunizations: co-immunism.

Civilization is one such structure. Its monastic rules must be drawn up now or never; they will encode the forms of anthropotechnics that befit existence in the context of all contexts. Wanting to live by them would mean making a decision: to take on the good habits of shared survival in daily exercises."

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:12 pm

Quote :
"If Sloterdijk had remained the thinker who wrote the Critique, he might not be terribly interesting to us today. There is already something “period” about the book’s distrust of the intellect (expressed in the most sophisticated intellectual terms), its romanticizing of “kynicism,” and the way it genuflects before the bomb. To compare it with his work of the last ten years, however, is to see how significantly Sloterdijk has evolved—both in his response to the times and in the scope of his vision. What he saw in the Critique as the malaise of a disappointed generation becomes, in Bubbles and You Must Change Your Life, something much bigger and more profound. It is the plight of humanity after the death of God, which Sloterdijk follows Nietzsche in seeing as a catastrophe the true dimensions of which we do not yet fully appreciate. At the same time, the impatience with Marxism that is already visible in the Critique evolves into a full-throated defense of liberal capitalism, especially in Rage and Time, which is largely an account of communism, and also Christianity, as ideologies driven by resentment and fantasies of revenge. (Here, too, the influence of Nietzsche is clear.)

Another way of putting this is that Sloterdijk is a thinker of, and for, the post–Cold War world. If you were to sketch Sloterdijk’s understanding of history, as it emerges in his recent work, it would go something like this. From earliest times until the rise of the modern world, mankind endowed the world with purpose and time with directionality by means of religion, the belief in the gods and God. As that belief waned, the Enlightenment faith in progress, and the more radical communist faith in revolution, replaced transcendent purposes with immanent ones. But by the late twentieth century, and certainly after 1989, neither of those sets of coordinates any longer mapped our world. What Sloterdijk initially diagnosed as mere “cynicism” becomes, in his mature work, a full-fledged crisis of meaning, which can be figured as a crisis of directionality. Again and again he refers to Nietzsche’s madman, who asked: “Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down?”

So far this is a familiar, indeed a venerable, way of thinking about the problem of nihilism in liberal civilization. Sloterdijk’s originality lies in the way these old problems still strike him with undiminished force; and also in his refusal to remain passive in the face of them. The whole thrust of Sloterdijk’s thought is a rebuke to Heidegger, who mused, late in life, that “only a God can save us.” On the contrary, he insists, we must save ourselves—and, what is more, we can save ourselves. Salvation, for Sloterdijk, lies in just the area where Heidegger believed perdition lay: that is, in the realm of technology.

Yet technology, for Sloterdijk, seldom has to do with machines. It is mental and spiritual technology that interests him: the techniques with which human beings have historically made themselves secure on the Earth. He does not analyze these strategies in terms of religion, which he sees as a vocabulary unavailable to us today. Rather, he re-configures them with metaphors from the realms of immunology and climatology, using language that sounds respectably scientific even when its actual bearing is deeply spiritual. He is especially fond of repurposing contemporary buzzwords to give them new dimensions of philosophical meaning, as with the term “greenhouse effect.” Considered spiritually, the greenhouse effect is not something to be deplored, but a necessity for human existence: “To oppose the cosmic frost infiltrating the human sphere through the open windows of the Enlightenment, modern humanity makes use of a deliberate greenhouse effect: it attempts to balance out its shellessness in space, following the shattering of the celestial domes, through an artificial civilizatory world. This is the final horizon of Euro-American technological titanism.”

Here Sloterdijk’s old critique of the Enlightenment is turned inside out. Human beings need to breathe an atmosphere not just of oxygen, but also of meanings and symbols and practices. The decline of religion meant the fouling of humanity’s old mental atmosphere, so that it is no longer breathable. But where Sloterdijk in the Critique wanted to go backward to Diogenes—in this resembling his antagonist Heidegger, who sought salvation in the pre-Socratics—Sloterdijk in Bubbles, from which this passage comes, believes that the only way out is forward. By using technological reason, we have found ways to air-condition our bodies; but we must also find a way to use our reason to build air-conditioning systems for our souls. Only our minds can save us.

This leads to the central metaphor of Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy, which appeared in Germany between 1998 and 2004. “Spheres,” he writes, “are air-conditioning systems in whose construction and calibration ... it is out of the question not to participate. The symbolic air conditioning of the shared space is the primal production of every society.” Law, custom, ritual, and art are ways we create such nurturing spheres, which for Sloterdijk are not so much topological figures as emotional and spiritual micro-climates: “The sphere is the interior, disclosed, shared realm inhabited by humans—in so far as they succeed in becoming humans.”

In Bubbles, the only part of the trilogy so far translated into English, Sloterdijk writes primarily as a historian of art and ideas, using his eccentric erudition to come up with numerous depictions of such nurturing “spheres” in human culture. A painting of Giotto depicts two faces turned sideways, joining to create a new face—an emblem of intimacy; Saint Catherine of Siena imagines the eating of her heart by Christ; Marsilio Ficino theorizes that love involves a mutual transfusion of blood, carried in superfine particles in the lovers’ gaze.

It is no coincidence that many of these examples come from the iconography of Christianity, since religion has been mankind’s best generator of spheres. What Sloterdijk hopes to do is to retrieve religion’s power to create intimacy while shearing it of its untenable dogmas. “It will be advantageous for the free spirit to emancipate itself from the anti-Christian affect of recent centuries as a tenseness that is no longer necessary. Anyone seeking to reconstruct basic communional and communitary experiences needs to be free of anti-religious reflexes,” he insists. In pointed contrast to Alain Badiou—who, on the basis of scattered statements in his books, seems to be Sloterdijk’s bête noire—there is no attempt here to harness the messianism and apocalypticism of Christianity for political ends. Sloterdijk’s ideal is not Pauline conversion but Trinitarian “perichoresis,” a technical word he seizes on: “Perichoresis means that the milieu of the persons is entirely the relationship itself,” he writes, envisioning love as a total mutual absorption.

But if Sloterdijk is not a believer, then where does he think we can actually experience this kind of perfectly trusting togetherness? Where do we find a sphere that is wholly earthly, yet so primal as to retain its power even now? The answer is surprising, even bizarre. In a long section of Bubbles, Sloterdijk argues that the original sphere, the one we all experience and yearn to recapture, is the mother’s womb. This is not, for him, a place of blissful isolation, where the subject can enjoy illusions of omnipotence; if it were, the womb would be only a training ground for selfishness and disillusion. Sloterdijk emphasizes instead that we are all in our mother’s womb along with a placenta. The placenta is what he calls “the With”—our first experience of otherness, but a friendly and nurturing otherness, and thus a model for all future “spheres” of intimacy.

This leads Sloterdijk to what he calls, not without a sense of humor, an “ovular Platonism.” There is a preexisting realm to which we long to return, but it is not in heaven. It is in the uterus, and since the uterus will always be with us (barring some remote but imaginable Brave New World scenario), so too will the possibility of genuine spheres. We need to recover, and give to one another, the trust that we once gave our placentas. Indeed, Sloterdijk argues that our culture’s disregard for the postpartum placenta—we incinerate it, instead of reverently eating it or burying it—is both a cause and a symptom of our loneliness: “In terms of its psychodynamic source, the individualism of the Modern Age is a placental nihilism.”

The reader who has no patience for this kind of thing—who finds the whole “With” concept New Agey, or unfalsifiable, or just wildly eccentric—will probably not get very far with Sloterdijk. This is not because placenta-ism is central to his thought. On the contrary, it is just one of the many provocative ideas that he develops and then drops in the course of the book, which reads less like a structured argument than a long prose poem. Sloterdijk’s strength and appeal come from the intuitive and metaphorical quality of his thought, his unconventional approaches to familiar problems, his willingness to scandalize. As a theorem, the “With” is easy to refute; as a metaphor, it is weirdly persuasive. It is another way of describing, and accounting for, the central experience of homelessness that drives all of Sloterdijk’s thought. Deprived of our “With,” he writes, “the officially licensed thesis ‘God is dead’ ” must be supplemented “with the private addendum ‘and my own ally is also dead.’ ”

There is something hopeful about this supplement: if we cannot re-gain God, Sloterdijk contends, we can still re-gain the sense of having an ally. Indeed, the “sphere” concept is powerful because of the way it rewrites the history of religion in respectful but fundamentally secular terms. The need for spheres—for meanings, symbols, contexts—is what is primary for human beings. That our most successful spheres have been religious ones is, for Sloterdijk, a contingent fact, not a necessary one."
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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:14 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:34 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:10 pm

Sloterdijk is a liberal democrat who proposes fascistic agendas?
Interesting.

Maybe he is a democrat in name only; out of necessity, as I am.

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:46 pm

Satyr wrote:
Sloterdijk is a liberal democrat who proposes fascistic agendas?
Interesting.

Maybe he is a democrat in name only; out of necessity, as I am.
Sloterdijk advances Overhumanism, while N. advanced the Overhuman. While the latter declared war, Rome vs. Judea to the problem of Nihilism threatening the world, Sloterdijk wants to Dionysize N. by going beyond even that ressentimental "vs.", and advances co-operation than conflict if the world is to continue to be habitable.

Sloterdijk wrote:
"Since my beginnings in philosophy," he told Alliez, "I've been too steeped in the lessons of Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Adorno, Bloch, Sartre, Foucault, Canetti, and other master-thinkers for my generation not to be persuaded of this exigency: Truth games of the philosophical type, if they are not to sink into anodyne salon conversation, cannot and must not be confined within the frames of an epistemological establishment or within institutions of a politics of knowledge that's given once and for all."

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Sloterdijk's postmodern pragmatic stance is a return to ancient Greek cosmopolitanism - real pre-enlightenment Humanism/Overhumanism/Hyperhumanism reg. his politics, while in the religious domain, he's a gnostic who believes in individualistic self-fashioning, creating one's own sphere-of-immunity by whatever ascetic means salvageable from whatever religion or spiritual path against the open abyss of nihilism above; he sees breeding as and can be, only a self-poesis - and everything from writing, walking, thinking, etc. as techniques of vertical overcomings; self-poesis as extensions of varied techno-logos - hence the name he coins to this field - anthropotechnics.

Sloterdijk wrote:
"There is no 'eugenics' in Nietzsche - despite occasional references to 'breeding'- at least no more than is implicit in the recommendation to choose a partner under decent lightning conditions and with one's self-respect intact. Everything else falls under training, discipline, education and self-design - the Übermensch implies not a biological but an artistic, not to say an acrobatic programme. The only thought-provoking aspect of the marriage recommendation quoted above is the difference between onward and upward propagation. This coincides with a critique of mere repetition - obviously it will no longer suffice in future for children, as one says, to 'return' in their children. There may be a right to imperfection, but not to triviality." [You Must Change Your Life]

This brief of Sloterdijk vs. Zizek is a quick capture of his mentality;

Quote :

"We discover in Culture Magazine a dialogue between these two indefatigable troubadours of the contemporary scene. There comes a point when the interlocutor says: “To overcome the crisis, you, Sloterdijk, opt for the revival of individual spiritual exercises, while you, Zizek insists collective political mobilization and the reactivation of the emancipatory power of Christianity. Why such differences?"

Peter Sloterdijk:


Quote :
I propose to introduce the study of pragmatism in the alleged religions: the pragmatic nature forces us to look more closely at what the religious do, to meet internal and external practices, which can be described as exercises that form a structure of personality. What I call the main subject of philosophy and psychology is the bearer of the series of exercises that make up personality. And some of the series of exercises that constitute the personality can be described as religious.
But what does this mean? Mental exercises are made to communicate with a partner invisible, are absolutely concrete things that can be described, there is nothing mysterious about that. I believe that until further notice, the term “financial system” is operating a thousand times that the term “religion” refers to the righteousness of the Roman state. We must not forget that the use of the terms “religion” “mercy” or “fidelity” was reserved in Roman times to the epithets that had the Roman legions stationed in the Rhine Valley and elsewhere. The highest privilege of a legion was carrying fedelis pia epithets, because it expressed a particular loyalty to the emperor in Rome. I think the Europeans simply forgot religious meaning. The word literally means “diligence.” Cicero gave the correct etymology: reading, legere, religere, that is, carefully consider organizing protocol for communication with higher beings. It is therefore a kind of diligence or in my terminology, a code of training. For that reason I think the “return of religion” would only be effective if it could lead to financial practices intensified. By contrast, our “new religious” are not, most times, more than lazy dreamers. But in the twentieth century, sport was imposed on Western civilization. He did not religion, sport reappeared, having been forgotten for nearly 1,500 years. It was fideism athletics but who came to the fore. Pierre de Coubertin wanted to create a religion of muscle in the early twentieth century. Failed as a founder of a religion, but succeeded as a creator of a new system of exercises.

Slavoj Zizek:


Quote :
Consider religion as a set of embodied practices already existed in the Russian avant-garde. Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) wrote a very beautiful text on the Jesuit Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) as someone who systematized some spiritual exercises. My thesis about the return to Christianity is paradoxical: I believe that only through Christianity one can truly be an atheist.
Considering the great twentieth-century atheism, it is actually a completely different logic, that of a “credit” theological. The Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962) one of the founders of quantum physics, received a visit from a friend at his dacha. This, however, refused to pass the gate of his house for a horseshoe was nailed-a superstition to keep out evil spirits. And the friend said to Bohr: “You’re a first-rate scientist, how can you believe in such superstitions?” “Do not believe it!” Said Niels Bohr. “But then why let that mule?” Insisted the friend. And Niels Bohr had this excellent response: “Someone told me that it works even if you do not believe.” It would be a pretty good picture of our current ideology. I think the death of Christ on the cross is the death of God and that is no longer the Big Other who pulls the strings. The only way to be a believer after the death of Christ is to participate in egalitarian collective ties. Christianity can be understood as a religion accompanying the order of the existing or a religion that says “no” and helps to resist. I think that Christianity and Marxism should fight together the new wave of spirituality and the capitalist gregariousness. I defend a religion without God, without love communism.

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Quote :

It is no coincidence that many of these examples come from the iconography of Christianity, since religion has been mankind’s best generator of spheres. What Sloterdijk hopes to do is to retrieve religion’s power to create intimacy while shearing it of its untenable dogmas. “It will be advantageous for the free spirit to emancipate itself from the anti-Christian affect of recent centuries as a tenseness that is no longer necessary. Anyone seeking to reconstruct basic communional and communitary experiences needs to be free of anti-religious reflexes,” he insists. In pointed contrast to Alain Badiou—who, on the basis of scattered statements in his books, seems to be Sloterdijk’s bête noire—there is no attempt here to harness the messianism and apocalypticism of Christianity for political ends. Sloterdijk’s ideal is not Pauline conversion but Trinitarian “perichoresis,” a technical word he seizes on: “Perichoresis means that the milieu of the persons is entirely the relationship itself,” he writes, envisioning love as a total mutual absorption.

But if Sloterdijk is not a believer, then where does he think we can actually experience this kind of perfectly trusting togetherness? Where do we find a sphere that is wholly earthly, yet so primal as to retain its power even now? The answer is surprising, even bizarre. In a long section of Bubbles, Sloterdijk argues that the original sphere, the one we all experience and yearn to recapture, is the mother’s womb. This is not, for him, a place of blissful isolation, where the subject can enjoy illusions of omnipotence; if it were, the womb would be only a training ground for selfishness and disillusion. Sloterdijk emphasizes instead that we are all in our mother’s womb along with a placenta. The placenta is what he calls “the With”—our first experience of otherness, but a friendly and nurturing otherness, and thus a model for all future “spheres” of intimacy.

This leads Sloterdijk to what he calls, not without a sense of humor, an “ovular Platonism.” There is a preexisting realm to which we long to return, but it is not in heaven. It is in the uterus, and since the uterus will always be with us (barring some remote but imaginable Brave New World scenario), so too will the possibility of genuine spheres. We need to recover, and give to one another, the trust that we once gave our placentas. Indeed, Sloterdijk argues that our culture’s disregard for the postpartum placenta—we incinerate it, instead of reverently eating it or burying it—is both a cause and a symptom of our loneliness: “In terms of its psychodynamic source, the individualism of the Modern Age is a placental nihilism.”

There is something hopeful about this supplement: if we cannot re-gain God, Sloterdijk contends, we can still re-gain the sense of having an ally. Indeed, the “sphere” concept is powerful because of the way it rewrites the history of religion in respectful but fundamentally secular terms. The need for spheres—for meanings, symbols, contexts—is what is primary for human beings. That our most successful spheres have been religious ones is, for Sloterdijk, a contingent fact, not a necessary one.

An identical logic informs You Must Change Your Life, in which Sloterdijk re-formulates his understanding of religion using a new geometrical metaphor: not the nurturing sphere, but the aspiring vertical line. (He barely mentions spheres at all in the new book, adding to the impression that his thoughts do not form a system but a series of improvisations.) If Bubbles mined religion—and science and art—for images of intimacy, You Must Change Your Life emphasizes instead the human proclivity for self-transcendence, for constantly remaking and exceeding ourselves, for going “higher” in every sense. Just as he half-jokingly adopted the term “greenhouse effect,” Sloterdijk now seizes on the p.c. euphemism “vertically challenged”: “This turn of phrase cannot be admired enough,” he writes. “The formula has been valid since we began to practice learning to live.”

The word “practice” is central to Sloterdijk’s argument here, and to his understanding of religion. We are living, he observes, at a time when religion is supposedly making a comeback around the world. The old assurance that all societies must inevitably converge on secularism is failing. For Sloterdijk, however, it is a mistake to think that what people are turning to is faith in the divine. Rather, the part of religion that still matters to us, for which we have a recurring need, is its practices: the “technology,” primarily mental and inner-directed, that allows us to reshape our ways of thinking and feeling. With typical bravado, he argues that “no ‘religion’ or ‘religions’ exist, only misunderstood spiritual regimens.”

In fact, Sloterdijk argues, our time is characterized by a widespread embrace of training techniques, physical and metaphysical. In one chapter of You Must Change Your Life, in a typically counterintuitive stroke, he pairs the rise of the modern Olympic games with the spread of Scientology as examples of the invention of new types of spiritual-cum-athletic regimens. The sheer idiocy of the theology behind Scientology shows, for him, how irrelevant doctrines are to the contemporary appetite for religion. L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianeticswas a spiritual technology before it was a church, and this kind of technology can be found at the heart of all religious traditions. “If one looks to the heart of the fetish of religion,” Sloterdijk writes apropos of Scientology, “one exclusively finds anthropotechnic procedures.”

“Anthropotechnics” is another favorite term of Sloterdijk’s, because of the way it combines a technological meaning and a spiritual meaning. Genetic engineering and bionics are one kind of anthropotechnics, a way of working on human beings to improve them. But so too, he insists, are the exercises of Ignatius de Loyola, or the harsh training procedures of Buddhist monks. Fasting, memorization of sacred texts, hermitism, self-flagellation—such practices actually transform the human being, building a new and “higher” inner life on the foundations of the old one.

Much of You Must Change Your Life is devoted to a cultural history and typology of these kinds of training practices, passing freely between Eastern and Western traditions. When Jesus on the cross declares “consummatum est,” Sloterdijk says that we ought to see this as a victor’s cry, equivalent to that of a Greek athlete winning a race or a wrestling match. The phrase should be translated, he argues, not as a passive “it is finished” but as “Made it!” or “Mission accomplished!” For the conquest of death is the ultimate goal of all spiritual training, and the great founders—Jesus, Buddha, Socrates—are those who won the championship by dying on their own terms. This phenomenon is what Sloterdijk refers to as “the outdoing of the gladiators by the martyrs.”

To identify religion as a form of competitive training is to reimagine history, and in You Must Change Your Life, Sloterdijk offers a mock-Hegelian account of the evolution of the human subject. In the beginning, he writes, all human beings lived in a swamp of habit and mass-mindedness. A few rare and gifted individuals lifted themselves up to the dry ground, where they could look back on their old lives in a self-conscious and critical spirit. This constitutes the true birth of the subject: “anyone who takes part in a programme for de-passivizing themselves, and crosses from the side of the merely formed to that of the forming, becomes a subject.”

These pioneers in turn draw imitators after them, people eager to remake themselves in the image of the miraculous founders: Jesus has his Paul, Socrates his Plato. In the modern age, society attempts to universalize this experience of enlightenment, to awaken all the sleepers, but with uneven and sometimes disastrous effects. For humans live on a vertical, and the definition of a vertical is that there will always be a top and a bottom: “The upper class comprises those who hear the imperative that catapults them out of their old life, and the other classes all those who have never heard or seen any trace of it.”

If this is elitism—and it is, with a vengeance—then so be it. “Egotism,” Sloterdijk writes, “is often merely the despicable pseudonym of the best human possibilities.” Indeed, it is not hard to see that what Sloterdijk has written is a re-formulation and defense of the idea of the Übermensch. The whole book could be thought of as a commentary on a single line of Nietzsche’s from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which Sloterdijk repeatedly quotes: “Man is a rope, stretched between beast and Übermensch.” Here is the original vertical—or, as Sloterdijk also has it, a kind of Jacob’s ladder, on which men ascend toward the heavens and descend toward the Earth.

For a German thinker of Sloterdijk’s generation to rehabilitate the idea of the Superman might seem like a dangerous proposition. But in his hands the concept is totally disinfected of any taints of blond beastliness or the will to power. Indeed, the figures whom Sloterdijk cites as the supreme self-trainers, at the top of the human vertical, are Jesus and Socrates—the very ones Nietzsche despised as teachers of herd morality. It is central to Sloterdijk’s vision that, for him, supremacy is totally divorced from domination. He imagines that only self-mastery is what matters to human beings, that the training of the self is more noble and satisfying than control over others. If this is a blind spot, it is one that allows him to take his Nietzsche guilt-free.

The image of the stretched rope appeals to Sloterdijk because it manages to sustain the idea of verticality—and also of hierarchy and value—in the absence of the divine. Like a snake charmer, Sloterdijk needs to make the rope of human existence stand straight without attaching it to anything on high. This is what he calls “the problematic motif of the transcendence device that cannot be fastened at the opposite pole.” The main intuition, and gamble, ofYou Must Change Your Life is that the human instinct for verticality can survive the relativizing of space in a godless world. What remains is a sort of highly intellectualized and sublimated vitalism:“Vitality, understood both somatically and mentally, is itself the medium that contains a gradient between more and less,” he writes.“It therefore contains the vertical component that guides ascents within itself, and has no need of additional external or metaphysical attractors. That God is supposedly dead is irrelevant in this context.”

The line, then, like the sphere, becomes for Sloterdijk a substitute for metaphysics. Metaphysics, he says in an aside that captures his whole argument, really ought to be called metabiotics: it is life itself that aspires upward, even if space has no up or down to speak of.“Even without God or the Übermensch, it is sufficient to note that every individual, even the most successful, the most creative and the most generous, must, if they examine themselves in earnest, admit that they have become less than their potentiality of being would have required,” he writes near the end of the book, revealing the deep Protestant roots of this conception of the conscience."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:52 pm

Nice paper:

"Sloterdijk's deconstruction of Christianity then delineates the following possibilities as describing the highest tension, both of and for humanity today:
a non-economic definition of wealth, a non-aristocratic definition of the noble, a non-athletic definition of high achievement."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:24 pm

Satyr wrote:
Sloterdijk is a liberal democrat who proposes fascistic agendas?
Interesting.

Maybe he is a democrat in name only; out of necessity, as I am.
Sloterdijk argues against Liberal Humanism only to advance a Lampertian-Socratic Humanism.
He presented Plato as a proto-Fascist / pro-Nazi! and argued against enlightenment-Humanism as a cultural Marxism,,,, no wonder he was accused of being a Nazi! Laughing
Sloterdijk's controversial paper in question is here:

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Its a fantastic paper connecting genes with memes -  selection with lection - breeding with reading.



A nice synopsis of his paper:

Quote :
"While Heidegger focused in his philosophy intensively on the center of his hermeneutical endeavour (Dasein or Being), he overlooked that human beings experience their coming-to-the-world through the medium of language, or in the words of Sloterdijk the story of “the move-in into the houses of being”[29]. Therefore Sloterdijk tries to show that humans are not immediately in their openness (in the world), but brought up by their media of the world as these media, and by this got into the dilemmas of deciding what they cannot decide, when they have to decide (a problem of turns).[30] In other words, Sloterdijk de-transcendentalizes Heigegger’s idea of the waiting in openness by asking how the medium “language” became the place for this openness where human beings discover the world and themselves.[31] So Sloterdijk regards the clearance of language in which humans entered the Being as the moment where cultural history has begun. He states: “The being in the clearance (Lichtung) is insofar an event at the border of the history of nature and culture, because the human coming-to-the-world is characterized from early on as the coming-to-language.[32] Sloterdijk’s de-transcendentalization brings up a real object to investigate: human language where Being is “domesticated” – a medium which people use actively and belong to passively.[33]

To sum up what we have figured out so far: Human Beings are not just simply there in their openness. They come actively as well as passively to the world through language. However, language has not always been there; it was developed through history. So Sloterdijk de-transcendentalizes Heidegger’s idea of the openness in the house of language to the concrete history of coming to language. So to be human becomes for him a question of the medium by means of which humans are living. Therefore he characterizes human beings as heteronomous media[34] - being and having themselves at the same time, closed and as well open in their development. If Sloterdijk would have stopped his lecture at this point, there would not have been a huge debate. Nevertheless, he goes further. In the following we will investigate the thoughts on the medium of genes which caused the controversial debate.

Sloterdijk searches for the deeper reason why humans are always in question and moreover he asks for the medium in which this question takes place. The first medium has been the medium of writing which has caused or was caused by Humanism. Nevertheless, Humanism is loosing its literal influence and new media emerge. Modern techniques like eugenics are posing the question of the human being as a new medium. The capabilities of reading and writing have brought societies to the capability to read the human genome, and since there is just a small distance from lections (taming) to selections (breeding) we are asking: Who are we in terms of the genes?[35] The genes are becoming a medium similar to the medium of books. However, everybody can write books as “humanist” proposals to educate a society, but is everybody allowed to write a genome? A simple “No” would neglect the educational process which brought us so far, namely the well-known imperative: Be autonomous, educate yourself and give yourself a law!

Since the problems of eugenics are connected to the way human beings existed through there coming to specific languages, eugenics are a part of the problem of turns and not simply decidable. The problem of turns could be therefore specified so: We can neither say that humans were just educated by themselves nor that they were educated by something else, as well as we can neither say we are our genes nor that we are not and as Sloterdijk transfers it to the question of taming and breeding: “[…] [H]umans are not just kept in political zoos, rather they keep themselves in it."
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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:25 pm

I'll have to read the paper before I can comment, but if what you say is correct then he loses me with "humanism."

The "us" is a construct.
In this case it's a sexual one.
Trashumanism proposes to surpass it through technologies, which are no more than extensions of memes, the physical projections of ideal(s).

The problem is the container: Earth.
It forces compromises, one of which is liberalism.
We must content with the sub-humans, the genetic filth, so as to not drown ourselves in garbage.
There are two methods:
Burn it or integrate it into a collage, a weave....requiring processing.
This "processing" part is what we call nihilism, feminization being a symptom of it....but it is better known as indoctrination, dumbing-down, humbling, eliminating identity, being methods. .

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:32 pm

Sloterdijk wrote:
"I am already living, but something is telling me with unchallengeable authority: you are not living properly. The numinous authority of form enjoys the prerogative of being able to tell me 'You must'.
It is the authority of a different life in this life. This authority touches on a subtle insufficiency within me that is older and freer than sin; it is my innermost not-yet. In my most conscious moment, I am affected by the absolute objection to my status quo: my change is the one thing that is necessary. If you do indeed subsequently change your life, what you are doing is no different from what you desire with your whole will as soon as you feel how a vertical tension that is valid for you unhinges your life."[You must change your life]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:36 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:46 pm

Lyssa wrote:

Sloterdijk's controversial paper in question is here:

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Its a fantastic paper connecting genes with memes -  selection with lection - breeding with reading.

A nice synopsis of his paper:

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Another take:


Quote :
"In July 1999 philosopher Peter Sloterdijk gave a lecture titled "Rules for the Human Zoo: An Answer to the Letter on Humanism" to a small group of scholars gathered to discuss "the exodus of being" in Elmau, Germany. In this talk he suggested that the advancement of humanist ideals lay in the hands of genetic engineers. As Andrew Piper reports in his Lingua Franca article on the controversy that emerged in the wake of that talk:

[Sloterdijk] posed a blunt question:

Was the age-old humanist ideal of educating human kind ever all that different from the more recent notion of genetically engineering or breeding humankind? (2000,74) Humanism, as it is understood by Sloterdijk, is informed by Enlightenment assumptions about "Man" as an autonomous and rational thinker, able to fashion or improve himself and society through education and self-reflection. Sloterdijk's talk reportedly emphasized the close relationship between humanist ideals and genetic engineering and argued:

"the advance of reason is not an emancipation from the body but a certain way of conditioning the body. Seen in this light, humanist education and genetic engineering-the selection or creation of genes that will fashion people who are more healthy, more intelligent, more attractive, perhaps even more ethical-are closely related. (Piper 2000, 74)'"

According to Sloterdijk, "Reading and selection [Lektionen und Selektionen] have more to do with each other than any cultural historian is willing or able to imagine" (Sloterdijk in Piper 2000,741, and his talk went on to trace what he sees as the parallels between the practice of teaching reading in the classroom and genetic selection in the lab. In Sloterdijk's view, however, the power of education as a tool for human improvement has lost its effectiveness. With reference to violent events in the U.S. school system, such as the shootings at Columbine High School in Denver, Colorado, he argued that "[c]ivilization's potential for barbarism is growing; the everyday bestialization of man is on the increase" ("Anger," 2).

He suggests that, with the tendency toward "barbarism" in the classroom on the rise, "traditional instruments of education have become thoroughly obsolete, rendering genetic engineering the only viable form the human progress can take today" (Piper 2000, 74). In a follow-up interview about the paper he gave at the Elmau conference, he stated: "One must finally accept that people are always 'made' in all cultures," and that "[tlhis has happened until now only through the interaction of the rules of class, caste, marriage and upbringing .. . in accordance with rules of selection and combination. In the meantime improvements in biotechnology have come into sight" ("Anger," 2).

The union of man and machine and its more general expression, the merging of nature and culture, is central to Sloterdijk's rhetoric. In a paper delivered at Harvard in June 2000 titled "The Operable Man: On the Ethical State of Gene Technology," Sloterdijk claims that, given the "spectacular encroachment of the mechanical into the subjective," it is possible to imagine a "future in which whole 'humans' can be 'made"' (3).

Referring to and elaborating on Heidegger's metaphor of "the clearing" as the originary moment of human evolution, Sloterdijk comments:

"As we know, however, the clearing cannot be thought of without its technological origin. Man does not stand in the clearing with his hands empty, not as an alert shepherd without means near the herd, as Heidegger's pastoral metaphors suggest. He holds stones and the successors of stones in his hands. The more powerful he becomes, the sooner he drops the tools that have handles to replace them with tools that have keys. In the age of the second machines, "acting" withdraws and is replaced by operations of the fingertips. (4-5)"

In his relationship with stones, tool handles, and keyboards, Sloterdijk's "Man" is imagined as a certain kind of cyborg in "his" originary state. The emphasis Sloterdijk places on the link between humans and technology and the intersection of nature and culture in the construction of identity in living organisms is echoed in the discourse of genetic engineers when queried about how foods, genetically modified in the lab, differ from those found in nature. For example, in a lengthy article of the April 10 issue of the New Yorker (Specter 2000) on the motives behind Monsanto's ever-widening interest in the research and marketing of genetically modified crops, Cornell rice research specialist Susan McCouch states:

"If you look even briefly at the history of plant breeding, then you know that every crop we eat today is genetically modified. Every one. Human begins have imposed selection on them all. So don't ask me what is natural and what is not. Because I have no idea" (69).It is clear that both Sloterdijk and geneticists share a perception of human/plant identity as essentially hybrid, the result of a dialogue between nature and culture.

The form of this cyborg "nature" and hybrid identity and the power relations that impinge on its construction and interpretation are where genetic engineers and Sloterdijk part company with critical posthuman thinkers and begin to show their more humanist stripes. While Sloterdijk and Monsanto imagine genetic engineering as humanity's way of perfecting nature and thus undermining the originary and hierarchical divide between nature and culture, Man and machine, critical posthumanism questions the view that there was ever an originary divide between these things in the first place.

The consequence of these beliefs is scientific researchers who conceptualize "the universe as composed essentially of information" where "universal informational code underlies the structure of matter, energy, spacetimeindeed, of everything that exists" (11). Not only is the world perceived as reducible to stable and uniform code, but the relationship between materiality and information, or form and content, is conceived of as inconsequential to its operation, effects, and meaning. As Hayles puts it:

"Because we are essentially information, we can do away with the body. Central to this argument is a conceptualization that sees information and materiality as distinct entities. This separation allows the construction of a hierarchy in which information is given the dominant position and materiality runs a distant second."

This view of knowledge appears to inform Sloterdijk's understanding of genetic engineering. In his Harvard talk he heralds "advances" in "cybernetics, as the theory and practice of intelligent machines, and modern biology as the study of system-environment-units," as initiating a new era in conceptions of ontology, breaking down the opposition between spirit or thought and matter (2000, 3). "Intelligent machines," he states, are examples of where "'spirit' or reflection or thought" is "infused in matter and remains there ready to be refound and further cultivated" (3). The notion of "cultivating" information through cybernetics is then equated with improving germ plasma through genetic manipulation and held up as evidence of "how the principle of information is successfully transferred into the sphere of nature" (3). In essence, Sloterdijk conceives of genetic information as something that conditions the body it inhabits, "privileging the abstract as the Real and downplaying the importance of material instantiation" (Hayles 1999, 13)."
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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:56 pm

Satyr wrote:
I'll have to read the paper before I can comment, but if what you say is correct then he loses me with "humanism."

The "us" is a construct.
In this case it's a sexual one.
Trashumanism proposes to surpass it through technologies, which are no more than extensions of memes, the physical projections of ideal(s).
Yes; so he advances what he calls a global co-immunism as opposed to a communism;


Quote :
"Sloterdijk contends that human beings are always subject to “vertical tensions” in all periods and in all cultural areas: “Wherever one encounters human beings, they are embedded in achievement fields and status classes.” I take Sloterdijk to be referring in general terms to the self-surpassing tendencies of the human animal, or its perfectionist aspirations. Thus, he recalls at the outset the Platonic Socrates, saying that man is the being who is potentially superior to himself. He takes this to indicate that all cultures and subcultures rely on distinctions by which the field of human possibilities gets subdivided into polarized classes: religious cultures are founded on the distinction between the sacred and the profane; aristocratic cultures base themselves on the distinction between the noble and the common; military cultures establish a distinction between the heroic and the cowardly; athletic cultures have the distinction between excellence and mediocrity; cognitive cultures rely on and cultivate a distinction between knowledge and ignorance; and so on. There is thus in humans an upward-tending trait, and this means for Sloterdijk that when one encounters humans, one will always find acrobats. One great modern “myth” of our time that captures this, and the idea of verticality in general, is that of Nietzsche’s tale in Thus Spoke Zarathustra of the being that is fastened on a rope between animal and superhuman. What model of vertical perfection and “progress” is encapsulated in this idea?

This is where matters get controversial in Sloterdijk’s study since he is dealing with matters such as training in the sense of “breeding” that have a highly dubious history. However, here he endeavors to be dexterous in his appreciation of projects that aim to fashion new human beings. On the one hand, he takes seriously Nietzsche’s seemingly fantastical ideas about the ?bermensch; on the other, he is severely critical of the “Soviet” attempt to create a new human and a new society by means of large-scale social and technological engineering. In reading Nietzsche, Sloterdijk does not find a biological or eugenics program (in spite of all the talk about “breeding” in Nietzsche), but an artistic and acrobatic discourse in which the emphasis is on training, discipline, education, and self-design. As Nietzsche has Zarathustra say, one builds over and beyond oneself — but to do this well one needs to be built first “four-square in body and soul.” The human subject needs to be seen as a carrier of “exercises,” made up of, on the passive side, an aggregate of individuated effects of habitus, and, on the active side, a center of competencies that allow for some minimal sense of self-direction and self-mastery. Should we thus not calmly agree with Nietzsche that egotism is but “merely the despicable pseudonym of the best human possibilities”?

For Sloterdijk, Nietzsche is an “event.” In The Art of Philosophy, he shares the view of Albert Schweitzer that Nietzsche is the next major Western ethical teacher after Socrates and Jesus. In You Must Change Your Life, his writings are said to denote an epochal shift in human self-understanding in which we move from metaphysics to “general immunology,” and for Sloterdijk this is an event in human consciousness that modern philosophy, sociology, and theology have failed to comprehend. Nietzsche is important, then, not because he says completely new things about the human condition — as Sloterdijk points out, the call for man’s superelevation has been around since ancient times and forms a key component in the mission of Christianity — but because he raises the level of articulation in the process that Sloterdijk calls “anthropotechnic explication.” Nietzsche argued that we were experiments and urged us to want to become such. Indeed, in a note, which Sloterdijk likes to return to throughout the book, Nietzsche says he wants asceticism to become natural again and outlines a schema of a new “spiritual” life for humans.

There is, of course, a dark side to the story Sloterdijk is telling us in You Must Change Your Life. This centers on programs for social engineering and the re-engineering of humans that has been a hallmark of social modernity since 1789. Sloterdijk thus speaks of “the moral-historical caesura of the Modern Age” as an era in which there is a change from “individual metanoia” to a mass reconstruction of the human condition from the roots, as it were. Modernity is in part, therefore, to be understood as the process that radically secularizes and collectivizes the life of practice by removing asceticisms from their spiritual contexts and dissolving them “in the fluid of modern societies of training, education, and work.” Now, the disciplinary measures and imperatives of modernity establish themselves on all fronts of human self-intensification. In the modern period, we have witnessed the conversion of Europe into a training camp for human improvements on a multitude of fronts, such as the school, the military context, as well as the arts and sciences.

For Sloterdijk, we misunderstand the Russian Revolution if we understand it simply as a political event. It’s better comprehended as an anthropotechnic movement in a socio-political guise. Bolshevism was an experiment in biopolitics, a politics of absolute means, a “culture of camps” that invoked the French Revolution and took over the sanctification of terror of the Jacobins. Sloterdijk thus contends that the birth of modern extremism as an entrepreneurial form can be dated precisely to September 5, 1918, when Lenin decreed on Red Terror, stating that enemies needed to be incarcerated in camps and eliminated step by step. Sloterdijk is unforgiving in his criticism: “While the denial of Nazi crimes is rightly treated as a punishable crime in some countries, the atrocities of the Marxist archipelago are still considered peccadilloes of history in some circles.” Sloterdijk judiciously alerts us to the dangers of moralism, indeed, of the inclination towards “moral-demonic excess.” He astutely notes that the 20th century was the most instructive period in world history for understanding man-made catastrophes. What was demonstrated in the century was the fact that the greatest “disaster complexes” came about in the form of projects designed to assume control of the course of history from a single center of action.

Sloterdijk appeals to the inevitability of a normative component in the activity of theory. He argues that a study of this kind, which is basically an exercise in “practice-anthropology,” cannot be simply carried out in a detached and unbiased fashion. He contends that every discourse on man goes beyond the limits of description and pursues a normative agenda (whether this is made explicit or not). He maintains that this was in fact clearly visible in the early Enlightenment of Europe and at a time when anthropology was established as the original civil science.

So, what does he offer his readers by way of a conclusion? In his final reflections on the imperative, “you must change your life,” the voice Rilke heard speaking to him at the Louvre, he notes that it has departed from its point of origin and is now part of the general zeitgeist. Being a call that cannot be neutralized into a mere statement of fact, the imperative continues to live on as an articulation of “the motto that arranges the innumerable chaotic particles of information into a concise moral form.” Once again, there is an appeal to Nietzsche since it is he who best understood the mode in which the ethical imperative needs to be conveyed in modern times (rather like his strange exhortation for us to become the ones that we are), namely, in the form of a command that establishes an unconditional overtaxing, such as demanding the impossible of oneself. Of course, the model for this ethical becoming is to be found best articulated in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. This may not be the wisest model of self-becoming to draw out from Nietzsche today, given its romantic idealization and moralization. I prefer the Nietzsche who calls for modesty in moral matters, who labors against moral fanaticism, and who remains focused on the smallest and closest things.

Sloterdijk appeals also to the sublime in his concluding reflections, claiming that if you hear the call without defenses, then you will experience the sublime in a personally addressed form. Here the sublime refers to the “overwhelming” and is as personal as death and as unfathomable as the world. Typically, the sublime refers to states of elevation. The word itself is derived from the Latin “sublimis,” which is a combination of “sub” (under), and “limen” (a lintel or the top piece of a door, suggesting threshold); thus, in the Oxford English Dictionary the sublime is defined as “set high up or raised aloft.” The treatise by Longinus, of uncertain date but typically ascribed to the first century CE, Peri Hypsous, translated as On the Sublime, On Greatness, or On Eloquence, literally means “On the Height,” and the text is concerned with showing how our natural gifts can be led to states of elevation. Sloterdijk fails to refer to Nietzsche’s critique of the sublime in his middle and late periods of writing, where it is precisely identified with the so-called profound and overwhelming. Nietzsche is much more interested in beauty (see his critique of “the sublime ones” in Zarathustra). Sloterdijk is on firmer footing when he notes that today the only authority that is still in a position to exhort us to change our lives is the global crisis. “Humanity” needs to become a political concept, he argues, in which a romanticism of brotherliness is replaced by a logic of co-operation and in which the members of this humanity are not naïve travellers on some ship of fools, such as Enlightenment ideas of abstract universalism, but “workers on the consistently concrete and discrete project of a global immune design.”

For Sloterdijk, there remains an important lesson to be learned from the example of Communism: although it had a few correct ideas and innumerable wrong ones, the reasonable part of Communism consisted in its recognition that the shared interests of life require for their realization a horizon of universal co-operative asceticisms. It’s this communism of the future that, for Sloterdijk, will have to assert itself sooner or later, pressing the need for a “macrostructure of global immunization” or “co-immunism.” In short, we need to make the decision to take on the good habits of “shared survival in daily exercises.” Sloterdijk leaves it to us, his readers, to work out the ethical and political details of this ecological conception of a new future humanity."
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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:00 pm

Satyr wrote:

The problem is the container: Earth.
It forces compromises, one of which is liberalism.
We must content with the sub-humans, the genetic filth, so as to not drown ourselves in garbage.
There are two methods:
Burn it or integrate it into a collage, a weave....requiring processing.
This "processing" part is what we call nihilism, feminization being a symptom of it....but it is better known as indoctrination, dumbing-down, humbling, eliminating identity, being methods. .  

His Spheres and Immunology theory (placental-Platonism) is with regard to the 'Earth' container and "Stress" problems:

Quote :
"Given the fact that the human being is fundamentally ‘weltoffen’ or ‘open to the world’, Gehlen here using a term of Scheler, this means that he or she is ‘highly vulnerable to stimulation and impressions from the outside world; this places a great burden on him, from which he must seek ‘relief’ (Enlastung). The German word ‘Entlastung’ meaning unburdening is rendered in the English translation of Gehlen’s book as ‘relief’. It is important however, in looking at Sloterdijk’s use of Gehlen’s term in his sphereology, to bear in mind the sense of the word as ‘unburdening’. As a result of the need to ‘unburden’ him- or herself from this sensory stimulation resulting from his openness to the world, the human being builds cultural structures, or, as Sloterdijk terms them, spheres, in order to cultivate higher faculties in a secure environment: Relief allows human behavior to concentrate increasingly on the “highest,” the most effortless, purely suggestive functions, that is, on the conscious and intellectual functions. Thus, relief is a key concept for anthropology, for it teaches us to view man’s greatest achievements in relation to his physical structure and his basic requirements for survival. (Gehlen 1988: 57)

By constructing secure environments and cultural structures, in other words, human beings can temporarily ‘immunize’ themselves from the outside world in order to devote themselves to these higher activities. ‘Immunological structures’, the term which Sloterdijk uses to describe human spheres, is obviously indebted to Gehlen’s concept of ‘relief’ (Sloterdijk 1999: 234).

I have already made reference to one sphere, the national, and the importance of the national media in constructing it. Viewed as part of an ‘immunological structure’ the national media in their ‘banal nationalism’ have a vital role, it could be argued, in constructing the ‘relief’ from outside stimulus which national identity brings. However, from the point of view of Gehlen’s anthropology and Sloterdijk’s application of it, we should not assume that the ‘puncturing’ of this national bubble or sphere by the global network society would automatically mean that we no longer seek ‘relief’, no longer seek to build ‘immunological structures’ all become totally open to the world or ‘cosmopolitan’, if this means, at least at the banal level, a life without such structures. Rather we would expect, as Sloterdijk argues has happened in the ‘world interior’, this immunological structure would rebuild itself, albeit at a higher level.

To understand how such a global immunological structure functions, it is necessary to introduce another key anthropological concept of Gehlen, of which Sloterdijk makes use in his sphereology, that of ‘cultural crystallization’. Gehlen defines this as: that state in any cultural area which begins when the all the possibilities built into that cultural area have been fully developed at a basic level.

All the counter-possibilities and antitheses have been discovered and taken into account, so that changes in the basic premises and attitudes are unlikely. (Gehlen 2004: 307) 5 A ‘crystallized’ cultural state, in other words, is one which has developed to such an extent that little new or unexpected can be presented to it which will change its basic mode of operation: There are novelties, there are surprises, but only within an already marked-out field, and only on the basis of already settled basic assumptions, from which will not be departed. (Gehlen 2004: 307) In the ‘world interior of capital’ such a state of ‘cultural crystallization’ has been reached, in Sloterdijk’s view, to the extent that there has been a ‘normative generalization of boredom’ (Sloterdijk 2005: 268). In this post-historical world, given this state of cultural crystallization and generalization of boredom, there may still be from time to events which are perceived as external threats or challenges to the system, but these, ‘in the face of the smooth functioning of the wheels of the administration and industry, can only have the nature of minor interferences’ (Gehlen 2004: 345)

The ‘generalized boredom’ of the media consumer, having experienced everything and having been everywhere, at least virtually, leads the global media to seek ever more sensational experiences and modes of presentation to break through the attention deficit of the spectator. Conclusion To return to the question from which this paper set out, that of ‘mediated cosmopolitanism’, the question of whether the nature of the global media leads to a broadening of cultural horizons, a necessary concern with the welfare of distant others and the involvement in ‘distant suffering’, if we follow the phenomenological analysis of the development of the ‘world interior of capital’ and the global media’s role in it, as described by Sloterdijk, we might come to a less optimistic conclusion about this that those who tackle the question principally by means of sociological or ethnographic micro-analysis of media consumers. The ‘world interior’ depicted by Sloterdijk, far from representing a realization of Kant’s state of ‘perpetual peace’ in which global media consumers overcome their parochialism and expand their horizons in the direction of ‘world citizenship’, we might come to Sloterdijk’s more pessimistic conclusion, that ‘world citizenship’ in the ‘world interior of capital’ takes on a new meaning:

‘the horizon of measures for the suppression of misanthropy’(Sloterdijk 2005: 220). Globalization, in this incarnation, would not be ‘cosmopolitan’ as it, doesn`t reflect a moral law according to which, in the most obliging and concerned way possible, man should think about all the other members of his kind. … just the opposite: the inevitable limitations of the interest of human beings for other human beings becomes more evident, in the course of the increasing connectivity of the world – only the moral accentuation changes in the direction of increasing resilience in the face of increasing exhaustion of the nervous system. (Sloterdijk 2005: 218)"
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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:03 pm

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"Sloterdijk finds that all three monotheisms feature outlets for stress. Here he relies on Heiner Mühlmann’s thesis, elaborated in his 1996 work, The Nature of Cultures (Die Natur der Kulturen), that human beings often associat intense stress with transcendental powers. Sloterdijk points out the wrath of Achilles, the West’s first literary example of battle-fury, as indicative of a pattern. This purely human capacity for excitation was ritualized by the religions and given expression in such rituals as stonings, exorcism and sacrifices.


Judaism: victory in defeat

Fully aware that he might well injure religious sensitivities here, Sloterdijk cites Thomas Mann and his novel, Joseph and His Brothers (Josef und seine Brüder). The chapter, “How Abraham Discovered God” (“Wie Abraham Gott entdeckte”) describes how Abraham, in deep reflection, comes to the conclusion that human beings “should serve only the Highest.” Thus the basis for religious fanaticism was created, since believers, as God’s instruments, were given a role in a “sacred enterprise,” states Sloterdijk. In the case of Judaism, Sloterdijk identifies the Exodus and the Babylonian Captivity as specific collective experiences that both involved maximum stress. “The theological reaction of post-Babylonian Judaism in countering the experience of enslavement crystallized into a cult of exaltation in defeat,” writes Sloterdijk.


Christianity: the mission begins

While Judaism remained a small, exclusive community, Christianity massively outgrew both Judaism and its own original form. With his opening of Jesus Christ’s teachings to non-Jews, the Apostle Paul founded a global missionary movement of unprecedented magnitude and extent. In Christianity, zealotry developed into the religion’s core driving force. Sloterdijk identifies Aurelius Augustinus as one of Christianity’s main zealots, who hung the Sword of Damocles of inescapable damnation over the heads of the faithful (and of pagans) with his doctrine of eternal predestination.


Islam: the late-comer

As the latest of the three monotheisms, Islam entered upon the combatants’stage and immediately laid claim to being the culmination and successor of its two predecessor religions. Unlike Christianity that at first saw itself as qualitatively distinct from the state, Islam quickly conjoined with a military apparatus and took on a warlike identity from the start. According to Sloterdijk, the history of Islam is bound up with permanent stress. After its early flowering that lasted until the 15th century, a cultural and economic decline set in that Sloterdijk describes as an “unending history of insult” that resulted in Jihad as a posture of defiance.


In praise of polyvalence

Without a trace of cynicism, the author of Critique of Cynical Reason (Kritik der zynischen Vernunft) – one of the largest-selling philosophical works of the 20th century – seeks ways to steer the ship of civilization between the fanatics’ reefs. Sloterdijk displays a cautious optimism here, maintaining that most people see clearly that there is always more than one option, one possibility, present in day-to-day life. The monotheistic religions also provide examples of a middle way between supremacy and submission. Thus, Christians and Jews in Islamic countries were allowed to keep their religions by paying a head tax, a more practical and more lucrative solution than mass murder. In Christianity, Augustine’s eternal damnation was mitigated by the idea of Purgatory. And Sloterdijk is convinced that: “The time is coming in which Moslems will also decide to skip over the darker parts of the Koran."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:02 pm

Quote :
"Heiner Muhlmann's Maximal Stress Cooperation theory states that cultures are formed largely as the response to actual or perceived threats to a society, threats which create spheres of cooperation amongst a specific population. The greater the emotional content of the stress, the more likely that that event will be retained as a cultural memory that will then be passed down through the generations.

Cultures, according to Muhlmann, originate through founding events, such as in the case of the death of a religious martyr. He points out how Christianity begins with the death of Christ and that those who were present at the crucifixion, the two Marys and John, experienced the stress of the event as acute stimuli. The event is then passed along by writing down the Gospels, in which the stimuli are reduced in power to latent stimuli. At this point, the event is portable and can be passed along through media to subsequent generations who are able to translate the latent stimuli in the texts back into their original acute stimuli through the practice of ritual and liturgy which reactivate the original emotions associated with the event. Thus, enculturated traits are passed down through the generations vertically, as it were.

Cities reflect the mnemotechnics of stress events by differentiating a sphere of cooperation on the concavities inside the traditional city from a sphere of conflict beyond the convexities of the surrounding wall beyond. The typical transversal type of city is laid out mnemeotechnically so that founding events or stressful events are associated with parades and festivals at certain topoi within the cities. But in the case of modern cities, Muhlmann points out that with the vanishing of walls, our cities are completely open, and as result security comes from electronic signals which saturate the spaces of these cities with a cybersphere of locks and surveillance.

Cyberspheres have become strategic spaces that are interpenetrated with game spaces. Drones, terrorist attacks and such phenomena as flash mobs can materialize out of the cybersphere and enter into the spaces of any of these cities in an "immersive" fashion.

This is to be contrasted with the Roman gladiatorial arenas, in which a miniaturization of the transversal model of the city had the effect of reproducing a theater of exception, a sphere of conflict, within the sphere of cooperation inside the city. This served to create a continuous Roman identity through the creation of stressful events that, however, did not pass MSC constructs down through the generations, but rather produced, through the deaths of gladiators, continual acute stimuli that never entered latent states. Roman identity, to a very large degree, depended upon having participated in watching these games.

Muhlmann's short book -- it's only 70 pages -- distills his theory beautifully and this book is well worth sitting down and spending the couple of hours it takes to read through it. You won't be disappointed."

--Reviewed by John David Ebert, author of "The New Media Invasion: Digital Technologies and the World They Unmake" (McFarland Books, 2011) and "Dead Celebrities, Living Icons: Tragedy and Fame in the Cult of the Multimedia Superstar" (Praeger, 2010)
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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:54 pm

Muhlmann wrote:
"MSC events... release maximal (M) stress (S) and cause strong phases of cooperation on numerous levels: the cooperation of the terrorists, cooperation of the rescuers, cooperation of the victims, their families and friends, the cooperation of the police and military units.
Stress physiology belongs to the organism’s cognitive systems and the cognitive result triggered off by the perception of a stressor is the binary reaction system ‘fight or flight’ – attack or retreat.
Under the influence of stress, noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol secretion is increased. This has the following effect; cardiac and circulatory functions are intensified, metabolism, immunity and sexual activity however are weakened. In this way all the organism’s energy reserves are channelled into the skeletal muscles in order optimise their motor abilities. They are used for fight or flight. In addition neural areas in charge of rapid perception and fast reaction are also strengthened. Stress physiology is thus a cognitive process by which a perception is transformed into a flow of energy.
Of even greater importance than the stress itself is the happy ending of the stress phase. It is here, that a second aspect of the cognitive character of stress manifests itself, and it is here, that the decision is made whether the whole process is healthy or morbid, since stress is normally associated with morbid behaviour.
It is above all this pathological and therapeutic aspect which has led to stress physiology being so well researched.
Morbid stress can lead to depression in humans for example.

Stress cognition consists of two phases. During the first phase recognition of a stressor is changed into an energy flow in which organic energy is transformed into fight or flight
activities. During the second phase stress activity is assessed.
Only if the individual arrives at a non-negative assessment of the stress action does it then enter the poststressal relaxation phase. This is typified by rapidly sinking catcholamine and cortisol values and is associated with a slightly improved general state of health and increase in testosterone production.
As testosterone is a sexual hormone the world looks a much nicer place in poststressal relaxation than it would have without the stress episode. Mars is the god of combat and victory and Venus the goddess of relaxation. Both, as we know, are well acquainted with each other." [Maximal Stress Co-operation Theory]


Quote :
"There is firstly the MSC founding event ‘the crucifixion of Christ’. It is indelibly impressed onto the memories of all those witnesses present due to the importance of the event and because of the intensive stress and emotional stimuli emanating from it. The memories of those present are affected by acute stimuli. The event is subsequently related by the Gospels.
Those who read the Gospels learn that the event took place.
But it never comes to an acute stimulation. The stimuli rooted in the events are merely latently present in the literary commentary.
In this form they can be transmitted over hundreds of generations. Liturgies transform the latent stimuli back into acute stimuli.
At Lent and especially on Good Friday the founding event is presented again with the aid of music, with the aid of theatrical performances and with the aid of meditative exercises so that the emotions are stimulated anew. Things have been carried so far in the liturgical exercises that the account in the Gospels of Jesus being whipped are re-created into intensive and acute stimuli by acts of self-flagellation.
By observing liturgies the following has been learnt: cultural founding events must be MSC events because the stress portion of the MSC phenomenon releases strong emotions and because, among all potential memory contents, the one with greatest chance of making a lasting impression on the collective memory is the one which releases the strongest emotions.

Whether one single event has the ability to become a founding event rests entirely on its ability to influence, and on a transgenerational scale, stronger than any other event. In this way it becomes clear that MSC also plays a decisive role in the case of vertical organisation of cultures. The term ‘vertical’ means – cultural traits are passed on to the next generation.
By ‘horizontal’ is meant the passing on of traits from individual to individual belonging to the same generation. Cultures are vertical by definition, i.e. culture is only what its differential traits have passed on at least one time from one generation to the next.

Verticality as a condition for functioning of cultures belongs to the anthropological constants. Mankind can only survive in the form of cultural organisations. They are dependent on the previous generation’s knowledge of rules because it is simply not possible to learn all the techniques required for survival from scratch in one single generation.
What is especially interesting about the enculturating technique of ‘liturgy’ by means of which founding events are transferred, is the verticalisation of stimuli emanating from MSC events. The stimulus is acute at the actual time of the event and subsequently is transformed by means of artificial storage systems into a latent stimulus such as scriptures and pictures.
Existing in this form, it can be passed on to any number of generations. The latent stimulus is transformed back into an acute stimulus by means of liturgies. The vertical traditional of liturgical practice however, must not be allowed to be severed.
As a culture and/or a religion is extinct, as soon as its content is to be found solely in books and pictures.

The vertical MSC construct behaves in much the same way. It is not perceptible because it is a transgenerational phenomenon.
Its evolutionary dynamics are so slow that they cannot be perceived in a generation’s time window, its stimuli only having an effect by means of its overlapping organisational structure for future generations. This organization of overlapping generations is the functional principle of cultures."[ib.]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:16 am

p.29.

Relations between the monstrous, media and medio-crity.  

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:35 am

The Philosophical Gymnasium and caring for oneself has now been relegated to a "Tele-care"...

Sloterdijk wrote:
"Industrial-scale civilization, the welfare state, the world market and the media sphere: all these large-scale projects aim, in a shelless time, for an imitation of the now impossible, imaginary spheric security. Now networks and insurance policies are meant to replace the celestial domes; telecommunication has to re-enact the all-encompassing. The body of humanity seeks to create a new immune constitution in an electronic medial skin." [Spheres]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:08 pm

Quote :
"With increasing success comes increasing entropy. Under its influence, the universalist potential of faith is confirmed and simultaneously pensioned off by the great church organizations. Entropic phenomena are also unmistakably responsible for the changing face of faith in the USA, where, as Harold Bloom incisively observed, the last fifty years have seen a reshaping of Protestant Christianity into a post-Christian ‘American religion’ with pronounced Gnostic, individualistic and Machiavellist aspects. Here, the faith of the Father has almost entirely disappeared, while the narcissistic realm of the Son no longer tolerates resistance. If there were an American trinity it would consist of Jesus, Machiavelli and the spirit of money. The postmodern credo was exemplified in exemplary fashion by the Afro-American actor Forest Whitaker when he gave his speech of thanks upon receiving the Oscar for the best leading role in 2007, closing with the words: ‘And I thank God for always believing in me.’" [Sloterdijk, God's Zeal]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:00 pm

Lyssa wrote:
"There is firstly the MSC founding event ‘the crucifixion of Christ’. It is indelibly impressed onto the memories of all those witnesses present due to the importance of the event and because of the intensive stress and emotional stimuli emanating from it. The memories of those present are affected by acute stimuli. The event is subsequently related by the Gospels.

Pretty much all of Geoff Waite's "Nietzsche's Corps/e"


Quote :
Clearly, in the Marx-Freud-Nietzsche troika, Nietzsche remains by far
the most currently "in." Somehow, an academic classical philologist
became the popcult phenom the talent scouts are always looking for.
He is the jerk-off, wet dream role model of kids and academics alike—
not only males, though he typically hooks adolescent boys first, starting
with the first page of Thus Spoke Zarathusta. The Nietzsche Industry as
circle jerk. If "orgasm is identification with the body," and if "death is
the enforced separation from the body" then "death at the moment of
orgasm literally embodies death. It would also yield an earth-bound
spirit—an incubus dedicated to reproducing that particular form of
death."371 In other words, the avatar brood that is Nietzsche's corps/e.
The mandarin guru—from Hermann Hesse's many magi to Karate
Kid
, Dead Poets Society, and beyond — becomes globally popular—especially
in modes of male bonding—when guided by what are imagined
to be Nietzsche's most extreme, most arcane, most "experimental"
thoughts. Yet while the erotic is clearly linked to death, as Eros to
Thanatos, they are rarely the same thing exactly. Thus Spoke Zarathustra
would disseminate less than it does were it only stroke literature.



Quote :
"Aesthetics" means not only a theory of beauty or art applied to the
exquisite corpse of Nietzsche's written corpus — though his writing,
sometimes, is nothing if it is not also surpassingly sublime as well as
beautiful. For the romantic-Kantian problematic within which Nietzsche/
anism was incepted, "beauty" (Scbonbeit) —or, more precisely,
"the aesthetic act" (der aestbetische Akt) —was the crucial mediating
link between epistemology and "truth" (Wahrheit) on the one hand,
and pragmatics and "the good" (die Gute) on the other.5 In Nietzsche's
own words to himself: "My direction of art: Not to write any longer
where its limits are! but rather the future of man! Many images have to
exist according to which one can live." Which also means where one
can die—hence the link to "the Sublime" (das Erbabene). In late classical
philosophy, notably Plotinus, the function of beauty had been to
conceal "evil"; in Nietzsche's beyond-good-and-evil world, evil is replaced
by such categories as "the terrific" or "horrific" (das Furcbtbare).

Quote :
The aesthetic theater of operations of Nietzsche's corps/e can be
conceptualized as what David Cronenberg calls "Videodrome "26 It is
the site in which the Nietzschean brood hallucinates realities and re-
alizes hallucinations. Recall not only philosopher Althusser's remark
that "hallucinations are also facts" but the fine distinction drawn by
porn star Marilyn Chambers: "My dream is reality and reality is like a
dream."27 In general, Videodrome might be described, recalling Virilio's
terminology, as the properly postmodern site of interface between
"architecture" and "mass communication." As an architecture, it can
also be a mood, speaking with The Mekons: "We know we should feel a
fraud / But the whole place never moves / And nothing will change."28
Videodrome, using Virilio's terms, is "more than an array of techniques
designed to shelter us from the storm. It is an instrument of measure, a
sum total of knowledge that, contending with the natural environment,
becomes capable of organizing society's time and space."29 But
today this "geodesic capacity to define a unity of time and place for all
actions now enters into direct conflia with the structural capacities of
the means of mass communication. The two processes confront each
other. The first is primarily material, constructed of physical elements,
walls, thresholds and levels, all precisely located. The other is immaterial,
and hence its representations, images and messages afford neither
locale nor stability, since they are the vectors of a momentary,
instantaneous expression, with all the manipulated meanings and misinformation
that it presupposes."30

The Nietzsche/an Videodrome is assuredly—that is, it insinuates itself
reassuringly as—the postmodernist arena of combat constituted
by mind-body-cyborg-psychoplasmic interfaces and metamorphoses
within and by means of which the struggle for total capitalist hegemony
is sadomasochistically played out on and as the "reverse-psychology"
site of "public-access" TV Nietzschean public-access TV, HDTV Aesthetics
a la Nietzsche. According to Bianca O'Blivion, not-so- distant
relative of Marshall McLuhan, in the Videodrome that is North America,
"the tone of the hallucinations is determined by the tone of the
tape's imagery. But the Videodrome signal, the one that does the
damage—it can be delivered under a test pattern, anything. The signal
induces a brain tumor in the viewer; it's the tumor that creates the
hallucinations" Finally, "Videodrome has a philosophy . that's what
makes it dangerous."31 Nietzschean philosophy, it is necessary to add.
Therefore, as high philosophy is relentlessly morphed under post-
Fordist conditions, Nietzsche's corps/e simultaneously becomes an
ever more significant aesthetic dimension of the spectacular technocul
ture of everyday life.
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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:05 pm

The best part is where Waite [rightly!] insinuates N.'s ER was a diabolical strategy to incite a holocaust... - N. - a monster, a murderer...

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"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:40 pm

Lyssa wrote:

Quote :
"There is firstly the MSC founding event ‘the crucifixion of Christ’. It is indelibly impressed onto the memories of all those witnesses present due to the importance of the event and because of the intensive stress and emotional stimuli emanating from it. The memories of those present are affected by acute stimuli. The event is subsequently related by the Gospels.
Those who read the Gospels learn that the event took place.
But it never comes to an acute stimulation. The stimuli rooted in the events are merely latently present in the literary commentary.
In this form they can be transmitted over hundreds of generations. Liturgies transform the latent stimuli back into acute stimuli.
At Lent and especially on Good Friday the founding event is presented again with the aid of music, with the aid of theatrical performances and with the aid of meditative exercises so that the emotions are stimulated anew. Things have been carried so far in the liturgical exercises that the account in the Gospels of Jesus being whipped are re-created into intensive and acute stimuli by acts of self-flagellation.
By observing liturgies the following has been learnt: cultural founding events must be MSC events because the stress portion of the MSC phenomenon releases strong emotions and because, among all potential memory contents, the one with greatest chance of making a lasting impression on the collective memory is the one which releases the strongest emotions.

Whether one single event has the ability to become a founding event rests entirely on its ability to influence, and on a transgenerational scale, stronger than any other event. In this way it becomes clear that MSC also plays a decisive role in the case of vertical organisation of cultures. The term ‘vertical’ means – cultural traits are passed on to the next generation. By ‘horizontal’ is meant the passing on of traits from individual to individual belonging to the same generation. Cultures are vertical by definition, i.e. culture is only what its differential traits have passed on at least one time from one generation to the next...



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"The availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come to mind. The availability heuristic operates on the notion that if something can be recalled, it must be important. Subsequently, people tend to heavily weigh their judgments toward more recent information, making new opinion biased toward that latest news. Further, the availability of consequences associated with an action is positively related to perceptions of the magnitude of the consequences of that action. In other words, the easier it is to recall the consequences of something, the greater we perceive these consequences to be. Finally, people not only consider what they recall in making a judgment but also use the ease or difficulty with which that content comes to mind as an additional source of information. Most notably, they only rely on the content of their recall if its implications are not called into question by the difficulty that they experience in bringing the relevant material to mind."



Sloterdijk's account of the MSC (maximal stress co-operation theory) is only partial; I think the Availability Heuristic completes the rest.

Ritual is not enough to transmit the "Crucifixion of Christ" down generations,,, the fallacy of repetition-implies-significance has to account for why certain memories are selected.

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"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Wed May 21, 2014 1:18 pm

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Sloterdijk Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:12 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Quote :
.


The world situation today has brought about a permanent military eye-contact be- tween two cowardly-heroic hesitaters who both arm themselves unrestrainedly to show the other side that being cowardly will remain the only sensible stance —and that it will never be able to be anything more than a hesitater. The position of the hero remains unoccupied. The world will not see any more victors. This implies a revolutionarily new kind of duel because duelers in the past regarded each other as potential heroes. Today, everyone knows about the opponent's realistic and even indispensable cowardice. The world still lives on because East and West think of each other as cowardly, highly armed Schweiks who, after all the loud- mouthed boasting has been vented, have only one thing in mind, namely, to live on this planet a little longer. But since the military process on the global level has arrived at this nadir of an heroic-cowardly hesitation, the previous system of values has been completely unhinged. The tension, at least theoretically, has dissolved into an open equivalence of all temperaments. Heroism may be quite good, but hesitation is at least as good, and cowardice is perhaps even better. The old negative has become as positive as the old positive has become negative. On the summit of military escalation, then, has the real fight become superfluous? The military alone cannot answer this question, especially not in an age that everywhere has proclaimed the (illusory) primacy of politics over the military.


...Each side assumes that only a balance of progressive terror can secure so-called peace. This conviction is simultaneously realistic and absolutely paranoid; realistic because it is adapted to the interaction of paranoid systems; paranoid because in the long run and essen- tially, it is completely unrealistic. In this system of games it is thus realistic to be mistrustful to the point of a constant state of alert; at the same time, mistrust sustains the pressure to permanently continue the buildup of arms, more weapons could obviate mistrust. Modern politics has accustomed us to looking on a massive folie a deux as the quintessence of realistic consciousness. The way in which two or more powers, in intricately thought-out interaction, drive each other crazy provides contemporary human beings with their model of reality. Those who accommodate themselves to this modern-day society, as it is, accommodate them- selves in the last instance to this paranoid realism. And because there is probably no one who, at least subliminally and in "clear moments,"9 does not understand this, everyone is caught up in modern military cynicism —if they do not expressly and consciously resist it. Those who resist have to, today and probably for a good while longer, put up with being defamed as dreamers, as people who, although perhaps led by good intentions ("The Sermon on the Mount"), have nonetheless begun to flee from reality. But this is not true. The concept of "reality," like no other concept, is used falsely. We must first flee into reality out of the systematized paranoia of our everyday world.


...How can subjects of power, sick with mistrust but nonetheless realistic, break down their destructiveness and their projections of hostility as long as the interaction of these systems until now has proved that weakness in the face of the opponent has always been exploited as an opportunity to strike again? Each thinks of itself as an essentially defensive power and projects aggressive potentials onto the other. In such a structure, relaxation of tension is a priori impossible. Under the conditions of the mania for making enemies it remains "realistic" to stay tense and ready for battle. Neither power can show any weakness without provoking the other's strength. With never-ending exertion the opponents must work for a small terrain on which something like self-limitation becomes possible, that is, a weakening of the consciousness of being strong, a relaxing of the feeling of being inflexible. This tiny terrain of self-limitation is, to date, the only bridgehead of reason in the military-cynical process. Everything will depend on its growth. For human be- ings it was difficult enough to learn how to fight, and everything they so far have achieved they have done so as fighters who have accepted challenges and through them developed into themselves (see Toynbee's concept of "challenge"). But to learn how not to fight would be even more difficult because it would be something completely new. Future military history will be written on a completely new front-there, where the struggle to desist struggling will be carried out. The deci- sive blows will be those that are not struck. Under them our strategic subjectivities and our defensive identities will collapse." [Critique of Cynicism]






Baudrillard wrote:
"The dream of hatred is to give rise to a heartfelt enmity, which is scarcely available at all in our world now, as all conflicts are immediately contained. Over against the hatred born of rivalry and conflict there is a hatred born of accumulated indifference which can suddenly crystallize in an extreme physical outburst. We are not speaking of class hatred now, which, paradoxically, remained a bourgeois passion. That had a target, and was the driving force behind historical action. This hatred is externalized only in episodes of `acting-out'. It does not give rise to historical violence, but to a virulence born of disaffection with politics and history. In this sense, it is the characteristic passion not of the end of history but of a history without end, a history which is a dead-end, since there has been no resolution of all the problems it posed. It is possible that beyond the end, in those reaches where things turn around, there is room for an indeterminate passion, where what remains of energy also turns around, like time, into a negative passion.

A negative passion cannot become universal. You cannot imagine a federation of hatreds. You might almost wish to see such a scenario come about. But the worst situation doesn't always materialize. The fact remains that from this point on there is something which is completely beyond social regulation. If this is not the end of History, it is certainly the end of the social. We are no longer in anomie, but in anomaly. Anomaly is what escapes not only the law but the rule. What is outside the game, `offside', no longer in a position to play. The outlaw space bred violence; this offside space breeds virulence. But as to what exactly is being bred in anomaly, we have no notion. When a system becomes universal (the media, networks, the financial markets, human rights), it automatically becomes anomalous and secretes virulences of all kinds: financial crashes, AIDS, computer viruses, deregulation, disinformation. Hatred itself is a virus of this kind." [The Perfect Crime]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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