preconceiveddemands

Limitless growth, limited patience

The Beautiful Dialectic — July 12, 2015

The Beautiful Dialectic

Pope Francis and Bolivian president Evo Morales

What a paradoxical time the aftermath of Laudato Sii has been. On one hand, we have the filth and ugliness of late capital as it marches on. On the other, the apparition of the fulfilled beautiful dialectic- he communist crucifix seems closer than ever to a reconciliation.  Indignation the state of the world characterizes the radical left and the religious right alike. What a beautiful time we live in. Awaken, comrades! You perverted proletarians and limpid leftists. Rejoice in Christ!

Служили два товарища – Two Comrades Were Serving (1968) — June 10, 2015

Служили два товарища – Two Comrades Were Serving (1968)

Two Comrades Were Serving is the rather odd-sounding translation for an absolutely beautiful Soviet film from 1968. The plot is about two soldiers from different backgrounds during the Civil war and the friendship they form while serving. The movie deals largely with the opposing perspectives of the comrades, one of whom is optimistic to a utopian degree and the other of whom is more of an idealistic cynic. The visuals are gorgeous. The brotherhood and sacrifice of the comrades is a sharp contrast to the likes of ‘Iron Man’, ‘American Sniper’ et al. The Russian singer Lyubeh has a cover of the movie’s theme song.  Putin is reportedly a fan.

25/17- Seti (Networks) — May 24, 2015

25/17- Seti (Networks)

25/17 is the Russian rap group named after a Biblical/Pulp Fiction reference.  Wish my Russian was up to par because this one has some real lyrical…25/17s.

“Кому айфон и Сваровски/Кому Афон и Саровский”

looks like he’s contrasting Iphone and Swarovski vs. Athos and Sarov

That’s the sort of thing I live for. Hope to translate the rest of this song sometime  and do an annotation type of thing. Let us use today to venerate Logos. Veni Spiritus Sanctus!

Capital is the True Meaning of the Fall — May 23, 2015

Capital is the True Meaning of the Fall

There’s a provocative, moving observation hidden away in a footnote in the ecosocialist classic The Enemy of Nature. Joel Kovel is brilliant and a true radical who has been somewhat latent lately. It’s a shame- although not surprising- that the academic establishment has attempted to silence him, mainly due to his aversion to imperialist state violence and white supremacy. His voice is still much needed. He was ostensibly secular while producing most of his output but his work abounds in hints/overtones that foreshadow  his conversion later in life: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/the-conversion-of-joel-kovel-part-1

From The Enemy of Nature.

“Commodity production expands human capability, but by introducing the germ of exchange, also becomes the serpent in the edenic arrangement noted above.”

Footnote to above passage: “Could this be the hidden meaning of the fall? One should not be too hasty, for a pre-economic life of pure utilization is not free of aggression or ambivalence, though it does lack expansive and cancerous implications.”

Jovel has too much subtlety and intellectual discernment to take this suggestion and run with it, but it’s implications are pretty potent. See also Roland Boer’s essay on the fall analogy for capital:  http://philosophersforchange.org/2014/10/28/the-failure-of-communism-a-fall-narrative/

Oscar Romero: “It is not the will of God for some to have everything and for others to have nothing.” —

Oscar Romero: “It is not the will of God for some to have everything and for others to have nothing.”

I can’t really do justice to the Archbishop. Instead of running my mouth, I’ll let others who are more eloquent and better-informed than me take it away.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/10/the-martydom-of-archbishop-oscar-romero/

http://americamagazine.org/issue/death-comes-archbishop

Of course, I also strongly recommend you access his own writings. Let’s listen to the Archbishop’s own words.

“Each one of you has to be God’s microphone. Each one of you has to be a messenger, a prophet. The church will always exist as long as there is someone who has been baptized… Where is your baptism? You are baptised in your professions, in the fields of workers, in the market. Wherever there is someone who has been baptised, that is where the Church is. There is a prophet there. Let us not hide the talent that God gave us on the day of our baptism and let us truly live the beauty and responsibility of being a prophetic people.”

“Let us be today’s Christians. Let us not take fright at the boldness of today’s church. With Christ’s light let us illuminate even the most hideous caverns of the human person: torture, jail, plunder, want, chronic illness. The oppressed must be saved, not with a revolutionary salvation, in mere human fashion, but with the holy revolution of the Son of Man, who dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.”

Let us all take the Archbishop’s words to heart. Let us all be microphones of God, instruments of His peace- a prophetic people who strive for justice and grace as Oscar did by giving his blood.

The USA is a Lars von Trier film — May 18, 2015

The USA is a Lars von Trier film

So, it looks like undeniably Terrible Person, is getting the Dogville treatment. To be honest, it’s completely understandable that the left isn’t particularly upset about this and the right is pretty fucking gleeful. I want to punch him in his ugly, smug fucking face whenever I see its photo. I mean, my knee-jerk reaction is that the punishment doesn’t go far enough, this guy should have every Eli Roth film recreated on him.

But this also doesn’t sit well in the context of the USA, a country that regularly bombs thousands of innocent people in the Middle East with flying robots. Lest anyone forgets, USA also thinks being black deserves a death penalty. As much as I fucking hate this guy, this still seems pretty damn rich considering that the USA is a terrorist state that is responsible for exponentially more deaths and mutilations- internationally and among its own- than this one guy. I give you Ranciere in 2002:

“The ultimate consequences of the excess of ethics over law and politics is the paradoxical constitution of an individual’s absolute right whose rights have, in fact, been absolutely negated. This individual actually appears as the victim of an infinite Evil against which the fight is itself infinite. This is the point at which the one defending the victim’s rights inherits absolute right.

The unlimited feature of the wrong perpetrated against the victim justifies his counsel’s unlimited right. American reparation for the absolute crime perpetrated against American lives has brought the process to its culmination. The obligation of attending to the victims of absolute Evil has become identical to the fight without limits against this evil. And this is identified with deploying unlimited military power, acting like a police force in charge of restoring order to every part of the world where Evil can find shelter. This military power is also a legal one, exercising the mythical power of Vengence in hot pursuit of Crime against all alleged accomplices of infinite Evil.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/2002/04/30/prisoners-of-the-infinite/

The West moreover needs to take responsibility for the  massive economic, political and social damage it has inflicted on the so-called Third World. Kyrgyzstan was a functional, stable country with a sound economy before the horrible tragedy of perestroika. While the Central Asian Soviet republics blossomed and prospered under the Kremlin, USA has left the third world in a horrible state of disarray. The USSR supported and created strong infrastructure, universities, opera and museums in the Central Asian republics. USA has done anything to deter democracy in the Middle East, additionally bombing the fuck out of it, supporting violent militant groups and destroying its cultural integrity.

If I thought about justice in the way the USA does would think they had it coming. But Ranciere again “unlimited right is identical to non-right.” Ideology, like Logos isn’t about doing what you want, or even about what is logically right. The strongest defenders against infinite justice are those on the religious left, such as Sister Helen Prejean and  Thich Nhat Hanh: https://books.google.com/books?id=26DT8DNnGaMC&pg=PR8&lpg=PR8&dq=thich+nhat+hanh+bin+laden&source=bl&ots=V8me4muE2_&sig=_OhNiL8mWhPJaKA0F5hAtOdKouc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RPFZVcptgu-CBLCEgcAO&ved=0CD0Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=laden&f=false

Their radical grace and compassion is a beautiful alternative.

Соль Земли – Выше Наших Этажей — May 15, 2015