Tagged: French Revolution

2

Hard to be a God

We all heard so much about infantile masses, of an ability to hide in the anonymous mass - in a word: the first association we tend to get when we think in terms of mass man is irresponsibility. However, rarely do we hear anything about equally deprived mass responsibility; rarely, of course, except on Kali Tribune. 

In this podcast we'll address the subject of the flip side of popular power - popular responsibility as exemplified by idea, prevalent among the masses, that every problem and indeed everything occurring in this world is due to man or, more precisely, average man.

To demonstrate the absurdity of this notion and some of its possible roots, we'll employ the help Joseph de Maistre, with the special focus on ideas from his essay On the Generative Principle of Political Constitutions, most eminently his insight into impossibility of creating the a priori legislature and the inferiority of written, i.e. systematized, laws and the impossibility of sovereignty coming from below.

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Poetic Justice/Prosaic Terror

Poetic justice is one of those expressions we occasionally use but when asked what it really means, find it quite hard to explain. In this podcast we'll employ the help of Joseph DeMaistre and his understanding of French Revolution and ensuing terror as an instance of poetical justice and the deeper ordo essendi it stems from.

2

Die Furie der Zerstörung: Slavoj Žižek’s Reinvention of Revolutionary Terror

In this video we analyze Slavoj Žižek's proposition to reinvent the "divine violence" of "classical" revolutionary, laid out in his essay on Robespierre. We point out Slavoj's rhetorical tricks by which he obfuscates his, rather blatant, appropriation of the thesis that Revolution (a.k.a. "Event") without terror is "decaffeinated", i.e. not really revolutionary at all. Also, we lay out Žižek's proposal of "revolutionary subject" as an essentially "inhuman human" - a virtual being brought into existence by depersonalization - the proverbial "individuum" which, for some reason, pops up every now and then into our focus when we analyze ideas of postmodern totalitarians. We conclude by demonstrating how Žižek's clown like demeanour and rhetorical tricks hide quite, if only potentially, dangerous man.

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Cult of Enlightenment and the Conspiracy Culture

The proverbial "conspiracy theorist" slur more often than not hits the mark. But does this exculpate the one throwing it about from further investigation? We think not. In this podcast we'll take a dip into history of conspiracy theories, beginning with Augustin Barruel, to offer an opinion why modern academics, journalists and pop intellectuals tend to lose their powers of discernment when conspiracy theories are on the menu. Also we lay out some historical facts about inception of antisemitic conspiracy theories, which are mistakenly conflated with original ideas of Barruel and his early fellow travelers, from the so called "Simonini letter" to "Protocols of Learned Elders of Zion". In this context we offer some updates on scholarship of the subject, which is reinvigorated by some recent works of historians of ideas.

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Conspiracy of Enlightenment: Augustin Barruel and his “Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism” (pt. 2)

We continue with the introduction to Augustin Barruel's Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, a veritable historical nucleus of modern conspiracy theory. In this episode we deal with what Barruel calls "Anti-Christian conspiracy", i.e. a push to abolish both political and epistemological domination of religion and metaphysics, embodied in Catholic Church.