Tuesday, July 31, 2007

history

I'm going to keep adding to this blog post until it makes 50,000 words, then submit it to a press to get published. I will add comments and responses to the text. I will also have interviews added to this blog post, hopefully. So please comment if you have something to add and if you want to be interviewed, email me at noah.cicero@gmail.com

*

For years I have been obsessed with history. That maybe there was some meaning to history, that there was an actual dialectic.

*

I learned that civilization started because the end of the ice age. the fields cleared of ice and snow, the growing season got longer, and people started growing shit on a mass scale.

I agree with the Marxist theory that the tribal life turned into feudal life.

But it was really caused by nature and circumstance.

*

I learned yesterday that the birth of industry was caused by the plague in the 1200s. That there was such a shortage of workers. that people started little factory type of things to produce goods to be shipped out to other places.

And my theory is that this led to alienation and this led to capitalism mixed with Protestantism. "here I stand", Martin Lurther didn't do anything but proclaim the birth of alienation. and in my opinion there is no difference between Protestantism and capitalism.

I agree with Marxism how the change occurred, how the revolution led to this and that.

But still caused by nature.

*

Then there is Nietzsche, who says there is no meaning to history. basically that people behave accordingly to circumstances, and the luxury of the modern age will lead man to becoming The Last Man, a dog that lays in the sunshine.

*

Richard Wright created a synthesis between the two. This is what i think I believe in. I go more with Wright's existentialism than Sartre's. Sartre was a bourgeoisie and he kind of always believed that somehow things would turn out okay. Wright though was from Jim Crow Mississippi and had really seen first person the power of stupidity or what one man can do another man.

Wright believed that communism would eventually win out against capitalism because The Last Man would eventually be everyone in America, that God would completely die. Basically a world of Paris Hiltons.

Wright in the fifties predicted that eventually a Christian movement would rise up in America like the current one. But his theory was that eventually that one would end.

And this is a mixture of mine and his combined, is that the Christian revival would die out, that Paris Hilton would eventually win out. Which is happening, if a Democrat is elected president, The Paris Hilton Last Man will have conquered Pat Robertson.

A problem occurs though:

it is a good thing that Paris Hilton wins out. I prefer Paris Hilton to Jesus any day. I like strip joints not churches.

But Wright noticed this:

The modern world and high standard creates an insanely large neurosis.

A mind that is huge filled mostly with shit.

A highly intelligent, literate mind.

Compare that to the feudal mind.

The feudal mind was illiterate, non-thinking, imminent, and their motivations were tactile driven.

The post-modern capitalist mind is literate, thinking, future thinking, and their motivations are directly mostly to the mind.

people will say they had a the church:

But the church was different six hundred years ago. You were born into the church, there was no question of not being catholic, you were just catholic.

They didn't have television shows with crazy people asking for money, they didn't have nazi youth groups, they didn't peer pressure you into having ann SUV, having a bad haircut, and voting republican.

And this leads to the biggest difference between the feudal mind and the post-modern capitalist, that people are accustomed to a many choices.

Six hundred years ago, where you were born, what you were born as, who you married, what you did, etc, was chosen before you were even born.

*

In Wright's view since the post-modern mind would be so huge it would need a worldview just as huge, all encompassing, and violent to replace it when the old fuedal worldview finally died out.

Wright said that was the cause of the totalitian regimes and massive death during the beginning of the century, i.e. Nazies and Communists.

Basically that the modern era creates a vortex in the mind, and people will search to fill it.

*

Now to go with Nietzsche, this is a question of identity.

An identity is a worldview.

In America we have many identities.

The country redneck identity, the ghetto identity, the blue collar union identity, the successful middle class person identity, and it goes into little spin offs like punk, intellectual, hummer loving fuck ass, sport's fan, house wife, etc.

But many of these identities are all consuming.

You can drink this beer, eat at these places, wear these clothes, listen to this music, own this type of car, etc.

*

To go back to Sartre:

Sartre's theory was that scarcity was the motivation for change in history, for violence, for war, for work, etc.

America and Europe has not had to deal with extreme scarcity for decades.

This lack of scarcity has been caused by the finding of oil and natural gas to create power to make shit.

To mix Sartre and wright's theories.

Eventually oil and natural gas will run out. Or that oil will peak and we will not get enough out of the ground to run this giant civilization.

Currently the American economy has not grown since the 90s because of this lack of energy resources. Because you need limitless energy to keep an economy growing.

And the world can only supply enough food for 8 billion people. And that is is 8 billion with limitless resources.

So scarcity will return.

*

During periods of extreme scarcity people get scared.

*

Wright basically said that America's neurosis would grow and grow, it would become a huge mind, a huge vortex that would need to be filled.

Now currently they can fill it with movies, dreams of college, marriage, babies, buying new cars, getting wedding rings ordered off of Tiffanie's, surging the Internet, video games, books about 12 year old wizards, etc.

but what if that was all taken away.

These minds so used to filling their minds with meaningless shit would demand that their minds be filled with more meaningless shit.

Now don't imagine yourself:

You are an artist probably if you are reading this blog. You probably read and enjoy things,and have found some meaning in your life.

Think about all those people you went to college with who got business degrees, teaching degrees, engineering degrees, marketing degrees who are obsessed with Tiffineys, reality television, watch sitcoms, think Will Farrel is funny, who think Julie Roberts is a great actress, basically people start 90 percent of their conversations, "I just bought" etc.

They are the bulk of the America.

The "I just bought" people are sick. They are miserable, they are scared, they are hate themselves, and are cowardly.

If all those pseudo dreams and things they bought were taken away from them.

They would want to kill first of all.

Then they would want to replace their huge literate post-modern minds with some grand bullshit.

(It must be noted: In my opinion America has a very intelligent population, but they are grossly unobservant and are lazy in thought.

they are people, don't blame them. it takes strange circumstances to wake a person up. Our greatest geniuses have never had good childhoods, but we all agree purposely beating a child to make a genius is absurd.

*

Wright's theory was that if America wa torn-asunder, if it was all taken away, if their trash was taken away from them, then they would run to communism. In his view Communism was the only worldview built for The Last Man. It demands total submission, it gives an identity, it supplies a purpose and even in some strange way a god.

his theory went so far as to say that Hitler and Stalin was nothing of what would come. That if the world kept growing and being obsessed with a higher standard of living and when scarcity hit again, because nature always returns, than the people would demand a maniac to calm their fears.

Now understand this:

When a society lets someone lead it is a song:

A leader is made transcendent.

Everyone has songs and movies they relate to.

It is the same way with politicians.

People are going to vote for Hillery or barrack because they relate to something inside of them.

The people of Russia allowed Stalin to lead because the circumstances made them feel like maniacs that wanted extreme order mixed with control.

The people who vote for bush are maniacs who want order who hate chaos and truth.

People when scarcity comes will want a leader like themselves, a maniac who wants to establish order and control.

They will want viciousness.

*

Now say, everything was taken away:

there was no oil or natural gas.

We hydro and solar power that's all.

We would have to live very close.

We would have to work farms together.

We would have to work together.


And capitalism would decline because if massive amounts of shit couldn't be bought, than 99 percent of the businesses would fail and disappear.

We have to understand that capitalism is different than feudalism in the fact the feudal leaders had to be killed because they were put their by god and they were dumb and wouldn't leave.

But much of the upper class would be destroyed if people couldn't afford to buy stupid shit.

Our government is the upper class, there is no difference between the u.s. government and the upper classes of America. (If you think there is, you're an idiot.)

Our government would collapse.

Would it fade away?

Yes, unlike a feudal government that was put there by god, a capitalist government would fade away.

*

But where is the violence if you are saying that the government will fade away?

The planet can only feed 8 billion people with a limitless supply of oil and natural gas.

if oil and natural gas is taken away.

The earth can only keep two billion people alive.

That means six billion have to die.

Everyone will fight to be that two billion.

*

What caused this?

civilization is here because a few lucky rich people like to be rich, and to be rich you need "helpers."

We are the helpers.

We help them by working for them and buying their shit.

They give the helpers enough money to live and buy stupid shit.

The lucky rich people have convinced the helpers that a higher standard is needed, that a higher standard of living is god, that they actually couldn't live without stupid shit.

Civilization is actually a few lucky people with net Worth over 500 million, and billions of their little helpers, or rats.

Communism ran the same way, they believed that a high standard was God.

I'm not saying this is a conspiracy:

The few lucky rich people truly believe they deserve it.

And most people believe they deserve it to.

*

if you have made it all the way to the end. I want to say that I am not a communist or Communist or feudalist.

And neither was Wright or Sartre.

But like them i see that if the modern world was stripped of their stupid shit and all the shit that gives their neurosis something to do.

They would react badly.

I don't know how people should live.

These are observations, not what i want.

Added after

In my opinion the main problem facing the world isn't peak oil or global warming or the war in iraq.

it is that there is too many fucking people.

because none of those problems would exist if there weren't so many fucking people.

If the governments of the world NEED to try to get people to stop reproducing.

They could have marketing campiagns with Julie Roberts and Labron James telling people not to reproduce.

have free abortions.

Have no one having babies on television.

Just give massive amounts of positive reinforcement to non-repoduction.

But it won't happen.

Added Note

I have CFL lightbulbs and drive a 1990 jetta which gets 30 miles to the gallon.

14 comments:

Justin Rands said...

sigh

adam said...

This reminds me somewhat of a post Tao made a while ago about suffering and how making a priority of anything but lessening suffering would, directly or indirectly, cause suffering. On the surface it seems true but useless. But the only response to both I can think of that makes sense is useful:

Whatever one does, since it can't stop what's coming, should at least be non-assholish in nature. Don't drive a Hummer. And don't block the fucking spaces in back of my bike shop. I sell you bikes so you can't afford to give your kids those huge pieces of shit for their birthdays or bar/bat mitzvahs or quinceanera or sweet 16 or whatever. Get them BMW convertibles or Priuses or something. They're a lot more fun performancewise anyway.

jereme said...

Noah,

It doesn't read that you are pro-communist. Only a biased simpleton would notion that.

My belief is if there is a start and we are progressing to the end (apocalypse, judgement, whatever you want to believe) then the only means to prevent the end is to regress. But we are doomed. The stupid, weak, bad decision makers, etc outnumber the intelligent, strong, good decision makers, etc. We can not make a cooperative global effort to stop the progression, and eventual end. To believe that buying organic foods, riding the bus, insert earth friendly activity here is going to stop suffering is naive.

The way to regress is through catastrophe. An event to shock the established system and create change. In the meantime enjoy adult swim and an occasional beer.

At least that's my simplistic view. I am not as well read as you are.

Your post further cements my idea to move to the Belize jungle.

Oh and I don't have any solutions either.

nomes said...

On Marxism: The classical Marxist hypothesis of class struggles leading to changes (revolutions) in social organization is rather nuanced and, as you rightly point out, does take into account nature.

The point of the materialist conception of history is to look at economics broadly: the resources available (thus, nature), the various relations of production and consumption among various people (or classes of people), the advance of technology, etc. The idea is that when the relations of production and consumption can no longer be sustained by the means of production, something new develops.

On Sartre: Sartre was actually a Marxist as well, and his position is perhaps closer to Wright's (as you describe it) than is apparent. His existentialism was about taking responsibility, but when he modulated it with his Marxism, it became about returning the emphasis of social change to human agency rather than impersonal ideas prevalent in orthodox Marxist historical materialism.

I'd recommend reading some works by the Marxist geographer David Harvey to get a good grounding in Marxist thought, as well as Sartres Search for a Method to get into his ideas of existentialism and Marxism.

Keep fighting.

Miles Newbold Clark said...

A few observations:

Montesquieu (the second-most quoted source in "The Federalist Papers," after the Bible) said that one will never see a stable democracy within 60 miles of the equator. This has to do, he claims, with physiology: in hotter climates the blood lies lies closer to the skin, which makes people more easily irritable, and unable to engage in the sorts of detached debate necessary for a democratic society. While his claims seem farfetched, it's safe to say that, by and large, countries very near to the equator are often among the most politically volatile, and it's a proven geological fact that democratic principles were first linked to the commercial economy to form a government for the first time during a short, relatively mild ice age.

If this is true, and if the temperature is rising, and will continue to do so for the next 70 years whether we like it or not, then it matters very little what Richard Wright, or Harry Potter, can do to distract us. The collapse of society is inevitable, and will have nothing to do with how intelligence, or undue distribution thereof, is either changes or stays the same.

A Russian girl once told me that Neitzsche is too different from one book to the next (he did write "Ecce Homo," after all), to really say anything definitive about. My copyeditor once told me that the reason Neitzsche was so angry was because his diet was restricted to non-spicy foods.

When I read Neitzsche and then ride a bicycle, I can simultaneously evaluate distances and weave around cracks while pedaling madly. But when I park the cycle at a store and go inside to buy hamburger meat, I can't focus on the price tags.

I imagine this is similar to the experience of reading most great men, with the possible exception of Aristotle.

Fun fact of the evening:

The American flag is the flag of the British East India Company, with stars placed in the space once reserved for the British seal.

No other point regarding the collusion between big government and big business in America need be made.

Miles Newbold Clark said...

For a good Marxist read, check out R. Buckminster Fuller's "Critical Path." Its political conclusions are a little dated, and its enthusiasm is stifling, but the engineering theories give one hope.

Noah Cicero said...

gnomes

i've read search for a method several times, and the critique.

I understand what you're saying.

My link with wright, is emotional. We are both americans, who feel like they are being skull-fucked by the american dream of stupid shit.

"His existentialism was about taking responsibility, but when he modulated it with his Marxism, it became about returning the emphasis of social change to human agency rather than impersonal ideas prevalent in orthodox Marxist historical materialism."

yeah. But when i read his later work, he like all of the writers and philosophers talking abuot marxism of that time didn't know, it never occured to them that what they were dealing with a world created by oil and natural gas, two resources that would run out.

I don't think Sartre and other writers of that time were writing critiques of marxism, but giving analysis to the "oil era"

that is how i read his writing, not as a critique of history, but as a analysis of an era in human history when they found some resources in the ground, harnessed them to do their bidding, and then built a giant civilization which led to a giant neurosis which led to wars and a generalized empty alienated feeling the humans taking part in it.

there was a glimpse of hope in sartre, when he talks of the language of freedom, of a future that would be better. I see no hope in Wright. I have read most of Wright and I have never seen hope in it. And as long i have been alive i have never seen hope.

I cannot endorse hope.

Noah Cicero said...

Miles:

When it is hot i am pissed and want to be alone more than usual.

And i am lazy.

I was in Ridgecrest in California for three days several years ago. (Ridgecrest is in the desert)

it was the summer and everyone there seemed like they were almost dead, nobody was thinking, everyone had this glassy eyed look on their face.

Everyone was trying to move as little as possible so they wouldn't sweat so much.

chief said...

Go to this site

http://www.nickbostrom.com/

And scroll down to watch the video at the bottom of the page.

David said...

If I were born 10 years earlier I think I would appreciate "Appetite for Destruction". Lately I've tried to listen to it and see how it was different from the rest of the bullshit hair metal that was all over the radio/MTV at the time. But. I listened to it 20 years after it was released and found out that it's bullshit hair metal and that I am still going to make fun of my friends who like Guns & Roses because they are hearing the same thing I am and they have a poor perspective, but for some reason they like it.
Or
Maybe I'm biased and I've been hating that band since I was like.. 12. When I was 5 I loved "Paradise City". I was sure it was the greatest song I had ever heard. Wrong. Since I started listening to music and loving music instead of liking songs that sounded like they were relating to my life I've said fuck them. This has nothing to do with Montesqieu or Karl Marx, but this has something to do with everything else. Everything important to me. I think that anyone born before before was lucky to experience the '80s and Ronald Reagan and people geeked out over things that weren't cool but really nothing was cool anyway. I feel bad for anyone born after 1987. Some people will slip through the cracks but I bet a lot of them are listening to "Appetite for Destruction" and songs about Lip Gloss and it doesn't mean anything.
I can't fucking figure anything out.
Shit.
This might be why:
The other day I was walking back from my local corner store, llstening to music and smoking. I walked by some high school kids and was expecting to be ignored but instead I heard through the blur of music "You're skinny as fuck" come out of one of their mouths. Now come on. Why would anyone say "you're skinny as fuck" instead of "hey, guy, how are you?"????? I think this issue might be universal. I also think we might be fucked.

MadisonGlass said...

So literate cultures think more than oral-based cultures. So you know a lot about what was going on in the "feudal mind." About undocumented thought.

Miles Newbold Clark said...

Anyone who thinks that chirography inspires thought does not enjoy rap music. That's fine, you don't have to enjoy rap music. You can enjoy Dean Young. There are many reasons to enjoy Dean Young. His verse scatters surface grit across the throbbing orb of youthful fragility. But beware: when you accidentally fart at a Dean Young poetry reading and Dean Young casts his Iowa-schoolmaster eyes at you and asks, in a general way, with the gazes of psychometricians and bean-counters and United Ovid-Bashers and Ivy League graduates burning out behind him in the shadows: "is that a graduate of OUR program?"

Then, and only then, will you know the true meaning of isolation.

andrew worthington said...

i like wright a lot as a writer but not as a philosopher at all

somebody said...

酒店經紀人,

菲梵酒店經紀,

酒店經紀,

禮服酒店上班,

酒店小姐,

便服酒店經紀,

酒店打工,

酒店寒假打工,

酒店經紀,

專業酒店經紀,

合法酒店經紀,

酒店暑假打工,

酒店兼職,

便服酒店工作,

酒店打工經紀,

制服酒店經紀,

專業酒店經紀,

合法酒店經紀,

酒店暑假打工,

酒店兼職,

便服酒店工作,

酒店打工,

酒店經紀,

制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,