In this podcast we comment upon some remarkable passages from Eric Voegelin's New Science of Politics explaining his understanding of what he calls Gnostic "dreamworld", carried over from the Ancient world to modernity. In the first half, after providing some preliminary explanations of Voegelin's terminology, we discuss the theoretical, or rather anti-theoretical, assumption that is a calling card of a Gnostic: a prohibition of questions; we talk about this strange attempt to constrain the intellect while simultaneously advocating for unbridled progress, especially in the paradigmatic example of Karl Marx and communist movement. Also, we point out the genuine anti-theist character of Gnostic intellectuals and the way how modern philosophy for the most part assimilated it. In the second part we talk about the very instructive, yet not so very well known, example of the one specific Gnostic neverland: Yugoslavia. We provide the main features of Yugoslav ideology, the mentality of its adherents, both past and present, and put the phenomenon in the context of our day and age. In conclusion we discuss the hypothesis of the prevalence of Gnostic ideologies in the global politics of today.
We have often pointed out the peculiar quality of the present day: praise of the modern ideals of humanist values, economical growth - sustainable or otherwise - human rights and scientific achievement are repeated ad nauseam, yet there's a strange atmosphere of vacuity about them that for the most people's sentiments was not as obvious in the final decades of 20th Century.
We posit that reason for this may just be that those ideals do not exist any more in any meaningful way.
Materialism is not only a mentality or metaphysical orientation. It is also an ontological mood - the peculiar sense of the world and oneself that is highly personal yet at the same time it imbibes all the metaphysical propositions of materialist with rather well defined pathology. This pathology, we claim is the source and the purpose of materialist metaphysics and materialist life, while the systemic form it builds for itself, be it Communism, scientism or something entirely different is quite secondary. To explain what we mean, we focus on the statements of one old fashioned dialectical materialist: Slavoj Žižek, wherein he explains his worldview.
When discussing the roots of Communism and of what is called non- or semi-communist Left – which nevertheless keeps some latent causal relation to dialectical materialism – one crucial question usually gets passed over in silence. Namely, is there a single unique ruling principle to this systematical attempt to absorb the world in thought and, if yes, what exactly is it?
Taming the KGB accents one more time, Deirdre hosts another Luminar Podcast with Mihai and me:
"on the way from David Icke to Michel Houellebecq we chat about consciousness, knowledge, ego, the dark night of the soul, smashing the idol of the self, ambition or lack thereof, what is meaningful work, the willing participation of the people in their own control, comparisons between Communism and the European Union, the rush among the masses towards progressiveness and cutting roots, Croatia, Romania and Ireland, the role of intellectuals, James Joyce's depiction of the odyssey in modernity and other writers like him, and finally onto Houellebecq's unscratchable itch."
In this iteration of Luminar Podcast, I join Deirdre to discuss the meme-based mass murder in Christchurch, Islam in media as opposed to Islam in reality, difference between genuine - albeit not automatically true - religion and its simulacrum, Wahhabism, the reality of ethnicity and other light subjects.
With the help of KT's Department of Eastern European Affairs and Keeping Asses in the Armchairs even nostalgia can reveal some important truths. The dissolution of Communism was not the only catastrophe that befell this peculiar part of the world. Let us inspect some more subtle and more sinister processes that slipped through in the wake of it and were anticipated by ill fated generation whose youth was forfeit at the dawn of the "New World Order". We on KT are hell bent on redeeming that lost time - so we invite you to sink with us in the disclosure only true nostalgia can provide ...
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.
This podcast is an answer to few provocative questions posed by KT reader. We attempt to make a distinction between discerning as an activity of intellect and being informed as its passive state that nevertheless can provide an illusion of furious activity.