This article is an extension of the most recent series here. It’s also being drawn into the series on who rules the world:
Part 1: Letter from New Zealand
Part 2: The world is in good hands
Part 3: Sovereignty – who actually owns this nation
Part 4: Wheels within wheels
Part 5: The Venetians and the concept of oligarchy
Part 6: The assault on science and the great climate scam
Part 7: Atonalism and the assault on society
Part 8: Understanding is half the battle
Part 9: The resistance
Part 10: Who rules the world – further reading
For a man so fundamentally Marxist in his career, LaRouche is a great puzzle, as this Schiller Institute article from his stable is so vehemently opposed to the Neo-Marxism of academia that he seems to have done a volte-face. There are things to be disputed in the article, e.g. the take on Aristotle but in the historical aspects, the writer checks out from other sources.
Most interesting that this is still so relevant in 2014 – the article was published in the Winter 1992 Fidelio:
The ugliness we see around us has been consciously fostered and organized in such a way, that a majority of the population is losing the cognitive ability to transmit to the next generation, the ideas and methods upon which our civilization was built.
To pause for a moment – that very ugliness can be a matter of dispute. Most of us see the windfarms despoiling the countryside as unforgivable and yet one lady came in here during such a post and said she thought they weren’t ugly at all. One presumes she finds dystopia kinda neat, to employ the Americanism.
The loss of that ability is the primary indicator of a Dark Age. And, a new Dark Age is exactly what we are in. In such situations, the record of history is unequivocal: either we create a Renaissance—a rebirth of the fundamental principles upon which civilization originated—or, our civilization dies.
This was preceded by dissident asylum seeker Yuri Bezmenov, from the late 80s:
The result? The result you can see … the people who graduated in the 60s, dropouts or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, and educational systems. You are stuck with them. You can’t get through to them. They are contaminated.
They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You cannot change their minds even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior.
In other words [for] these people the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To rid society of these people you need another 15 or 20 years to educate a new generation of patriotically minded and common sense people who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States society.
[The aim is] to “change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that – despite the abundance of information – no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”
This multi-stage process requires media complicity/mediocrity, control of educational policy, widespread corruption in politics and industry, and the unlimited money/credit of the international bankers.
For PCists who see themselves as essentially good people who want what’s best for the society. e.g. to eradicate the great evils of poverty, inequality, environmental destruction etc., it is a gross insult to quote Bezmenov but I’d add that the people he refers to are not dumb in themselves, they have simply been brainwashed and so have we all. I’m brainwashed to believe in free enterprise, in God, in many things such as low taxes and freedom of thought and expression.
The PCist hits back by saying that it was his lot which marched over Vietnam, over the raping of the earth, over war and it was his lot, that was true – I was one of them at the time. We did think we were marching for freedom, for the people – we had good hearts and only wanted what was best, not unlike a do-gooder today.
And when our lecturers and professors quoted Tawney and others, Fabianism seemed the only way to tackle these monstrous things which had been done to society by the evil banksters and industrialists.
Reading this blog now, they’d feel vindicated. So why forcefully attack these lovely PCists who only want good for all?
The answer is simple – they, we, have been subject to a giant con. Those professors of ours conveniently failed to mention the logical extension of their ideas, which were rooted in indignation at very real wrongs – no disputing those wrongs, methinks we’re all at one on those – but the manipulation we did not get to see at the time, we did not see who introduced the ideas and why, what they were like as people in private life and so on.
The impossibility of the fruition of that ideological utopia and what’s more – that the bastards perpetrating and promoting these knew fullwell it was impossible and would cause the greatest destruction to the most people – that makes them culpable and to apply a Catholic concept to it – this is mortal sin. Knowing what is right and yet consciously and malevolently leading astray.
At this point, the non-conspiracy-theorist always asks – but why? Why would anyone wish to do this to humanity? And a Christian answers – that’s simple – Ephesians 6:12. There is malevolence in these things. You might prefer the sociological explanation of the power elite wishing to keep down the plebs but it comes to the same sentiment in the end.
And there must be mechanics to all this – the nuts and bolts, the nitty gritty – and there is. From every CP grad who enters a council office to the ruination of music in the late 00s to 60s, those who perpetrated these things can be traced back, really quite easily, so easily that it’s a wonder the people who have the internet haven’t done so already with the aid of Google search or failing that, a major library in the city.
Take music and atonality. I found if difficult to follow, not being musical but when I’d read and then heard, I then understood.
Here are some reading links:
… and here’s an explanation on youtube:
Naturally, it has not been presented as diabolically destructive, with that purpose in mind but as “the shock of the new”, avant-garde and those words are given a rosy hue:
From that youtube: “the ceaseless comnsumption of things and images of things” or as Schiller Institute referred to: “the power of the word and what we want it to mean”. These are the substitutes for the old eternal values.
Whilst we can admire the early automobile and boat, the impressive nature of Man’s ability to invent, we don’t ascribe that to something Divine within us, we ascribe to our own great glory, Homo Sapiens, Homo Sapiens Uber Alles. The former recognizes our place in the universe – pre-eminent, yes but still between the angels and the beasts … and the other – the cult of Nietzsche, beyond good and evil, perfectability into a superman.
All the “bright young things” of an age find it is de rigeur to embrace them, whatever they think of it personally.
Herein lies the first lesson in coercion – the coercion of one’s peers:
Look at this woman again and you can get the idea. Poor sad lady – as Agatha Christie said – always dealing in externals. And by extension, that means as a measure of personal worth.
All those “in the know”, those who are well aware that this label is super-expensive and is worn on the outside of the garment to leave no doubt in the fellow-shallow-aficianado’s eyes that this lady is one to be reckoned with – do any of them stop and examine what they are doing?
No, they just love it, it makes them feel good, they say, ignoring what it is doing to their souls in the long term. They’d be offended by the charge of “shallow”, they’d see the charge as philistinism.
And so back to atonalism and Schiller:
In 1924, Adorno moved to Vienna, to study with the atonalist composers Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg, and became connected to the avant-garde and occult circle around the old Marxist Karl Kraus. Here, he not only met his future collaborator, Hans Eisler, but also came into contact with the theories of Freudian extremist Otto Gross. Gross, a long-time cocaine addict, had died in a Berlin gutter in 1920, while on his way to help the revolution in Budapest; he had developed the theory that mental health could only be achieved through the revival of the ancient cult of Astarte, which would sweep away monotheism and the “bourgeois family.”
In essence, Adorno and Benjamin’s problem was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Leibniz had once again obliterated the centuries-old gnostic dualism dividing mind and body, by demonstrating that matter does not think. A creative act in art or science apprehends the truth of the physical universe, but it is not determined by that physical universe.
By self-consciously concentrating the past in the present to effect the future, the creative act, properly defined, is as immortal as the soul which envisions the act. This has fatal philosophical implications for Marxism, which rests entirely on the hypothesis that mental activity is determined by the social relations excreted by mankind’s production of its physical existence.
Marx sidestepped the problem of Leibniz, as did Adorno and Benjamin, although the latter did it with a lot more panache. It is wrong, said Benjamin in his first articles on the subject, to start with the reasonable, hypothesizing mind as the basis of the development of civilization; this is an unfortunate legacy of Socrates. As an alternative, Benjamin posed an Aristotelian fable in interpretation of Genesis: Assume that Eden were given to Adam as the primordial physical state.
The origin of science and philosophy does not lie in the investigation and mastery of nature, but in the naming of the objects of nature; in the primordial state, to name a thing was to say all there was to say about that thing. In support of this, Benjamin cynically recalled the opening lines of the Gospel according to St. John, carefully avoiding the philosophically-broader Greek, and preferring the Vulgate (so that, in the phrase “In the beginning was the Word…”
I don’t think it’s out of order to call this misinterpretation of what the Logos really means in context and to apply it in a twisted way, as evil. Wicked and evil are words flung about like a Jackson Pollock or Pro Hart pot of paint but I use the word wicked here to mean intellectual non-rigour, i.e. doing scholastically shoddy things, even for a political end.
And this has continued down to today where those spouting equality, diversity, tolerance, fairness are abusing the words, sometimes unwittingly. Positive discrimination – positive?!!!!!
Back to Schiller:
This philosophical sleight-of-hand allows one to do several destructive things. By making creativity historically-specific, you rob it of both immortality and morality. One cannot hypothesize universal truth, or natural law, for truth is completely relative to historical development. By discarding the idea of truth and error, you also may throw out the “obsolete” concept of good and evil; you are, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “beyond good and evil.”
Benjamin is able, for instance, to defend what he calls the “Satanism” of the French Symbolists and their Surrealist successors, for at the core of this Satanism “one finds the cult of evil as a political device … to disinfect and isolate against all moralizing dilettantism” of the bourgeoisie. To condemn the Satanism of Rimbaud as evil, is as incorrect as to extol a Beethoven quartet or a Schiller poem as good; for both judgments are blind to the historical forces working unconsciously on the artist.
Thus, we are told, the late Beethoven’s chord structure was striving to be atonal, but Beethoven could not bring himself consciously, to break with the structured world of Congress of Vienna Europe (Adorno’s thesis).
Similarly, Schiller really wanted to state that creativity was the liberation of the erotic, but as a true child of the Enlightenment and Immanuel Kant, he could not make the requisite renunciation of reason (Marcuse’s thesis).
Epistemology becomes a poor relation of public opinion, since the artist does not consciously create works in order to uplift society, but instead unconsciously transmits the ideological assumptions of the culture into which he was born.
The issue is no longer what is universally true, but what can be plausibly interpreted by the self-appointed guardians of the Zeitgeist.
That last sentence, to me, is what it is all about.
Thus, for the Frankfurt School, the goal of a cultural elite in the modern, “capitalist” era must be to strip away the belief that art derives from the self-conscious emulation of God the Creator; “religious illumination,” says Benjamin, must be shown to “reside in a profane illumination, a materialistic, anthropological inspiration, to which hashish, opium, or whatever else can give an introductory lesson.”
Now if that is not sick, what is?
At the same time, new cultural forms must be found to increase the alienation of the population, in order for it to understand how truly alienated it is to live without socialism. “Do not build on the good old days, but on the bad new ones,” said Benjamin.
The proper direction in painting, therefore, is that taken by the late Van Gogh, who began to paint objects in disintegration, with the equivalent of a hashish-smoker’s eye that “loosens and entices things out of their familiar world.”
In music, “it is not suggested that one can compose better today” than Mozart or Beethoven, said Adorno, but one must compose atonally, for atonalism is sick, and “the sickness, dialectically, is at the same time the cure….The extraordinarily violent reaction protest which such music confronts in the present society … appears nonetheless to suggest that the dialectical function of this music can already be felt … negatively, as ‘destruction.’ ”
The purpose of modern art, literature, and music must be to destroy the uplifting — therefore, bourgeois — potential of art, literature, and music, so that man, bereft of his connection to the divine, sees his only creative option to be political revolt.
Again, that last sentence says it all, IMHO.
“To organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel the moral metaphor from politics and to discover in political action a sphere reserved one hundred percent for images.”
Thus, Benjamin collaborated with Brecht to work these theories into practical form, and their joint effort culminated in the Verfremdungseffekt (“estrangement effect”), Brecht’s attempt to write his plays so as to make the audience leave the theatre demoralized and aimlessly angry.
This is direct assault on the human spirit and for what? For what good purpose in terms of the human condition? Sure we like the new, we like to see counterpoint, we revel in the asymmetric in art and music as fresh, enlivening, we can take a certain amount of the atonal as as counterpoint … but a steady diet of same is just metal machine music.
And the perpetrators are the old familiar. We were rebellious and the Velvets filled the musical gap there, along with Jim Morrison – these become our familiars, along with Dylan, the Beatles, Stones and the Who – so as familiars, they must be in some sense “good”.
And yet they weren’t. Just as atonalism alienates, if most of the other work is couched in the melodic and friendly, we can tolerate small does of the other and like narcotics, they slowly reduce us to dependence on the dystopic. Those sad characters at their keyboards at night, watching the porn and clicking on Saw or some other dystopic film and actually needing it, wanting it, loving it – they don’t know how far from humanity they’ve strayed.
Yet they’d dispute that.
A slightly tangential analogy – in Russia, I sat down with a Russian guy to have a bite to eat and a couple of vodkas. My doses of the vodka, as were his at the start, were 100ml – all very right and proper. However, after the third, out came the large glasses, I said I was happy with the 100ml but he now poured the large glass to the top and my 100ml to the top and his was downed in one gulp, whereas I was back to sipping by this stage.
He had no way of stopping. Was it because he loved vodka? Was it rather some combination of initial taste for it but that it took him over from that point on?
Welcome to the world of addiction.
More than once, specifically when this blog has touched on Anny Besant and all that lot, critics have said – w-e-e-e-e-l-l-l-l, what have the thoughts of a bunch of kooks like that to do with us?
Everything. They have, beneath the radar of public consciousness, permeated every aspect of society, public and private. Marcuse’s brainchild of critical realism, the Frankfurt brainchild of tying Marx to culture rather than economics – this is where the ultimate destruction comes from.
We see it in the political field in the analogy of the EU. They get a no result in Ireland, stroke their chins and think hmmmm, so they present the question again. The UK rejects regionalism and they think hmmmm – and bring in regional development authorities instead, whilst the EU funds regions and ignores the nation. A constitution is rejected so it comes back as a treaty and Brown can’t wait to leap in and sign us away.
To say there is not malevolence and that it’s all just a case of s*** happens is, really sorry to say, naive in the extreme, ignoring all the indicators and signposts which anyone not hidebound by an idea can discover and take on and understand.
Lastly, compare the Ferry track The In Crowd and its ending with this other piece from the same album:
I’ve just had some feedback via email and phone and the essence of that feedback was the question: “WTF are you on about?”
The answer is multifaceted but comes down to there having been a concerted effort to drive a wedge between ourselves and what we have perceived as our heritage, universal truths, the concept of beauty, independent of fads of the time and so on.
The purpose of this wedge is to remove us, alienate us, from that which makes us “us”. When that happens, when it is successful, then we are open to all sorts of new dystopic ideas and we have no rock to cling to, no values left to reference, so we grasp for new values – readily available and prepackaged by Them.
This has the effect of debasing humans, makes them open to manipulation and enslavement and above all – kills genuine freethought.
That’s the simplest way I can express it.