Tuesday, June 26, 2012


ENEMETICS 


“The artificial codes of conduct and essentially superficial modes of personal expression our various cultures impose on the human spirit are very powerful, because we fear ostracism and isolation from our own kind more than we love freedom.”
After reading a couple of letters from a defender of fascism I've coined a term –– ENEMETICS. A mercifully-short, recently published article by ultra-liberal Chris Hedges, unfortunately not available to us here, is a virtual Rorschach image of the recently conventionalized ravings of the extreme right wing against the left –– so much so it is almost comical in its undisciplined use of hateful hyperbole. Ironically, however, passages from that article hit upon home truths that, I believe, apply to human relations at all levels and from every angle.
ENEMETICS: the rabid, seething and overt expression of a fundamental human craving to loathe and despise SOMETHING in order to give oneself a sense of purpose and identity.  As a species, we appear to be virtually addicted to conflict.



It's the very thing that has held ancient tribal cultures together and empowered them for countless centuries. However, it is hardly peculiar to ancient peoples. Where would anyone be without enemies? Who would they be without enemies to define them? Everyone should ask that of himself -- including thee and me.
Marxism, Fascism, Theocracy –– authoritarianism of any and all kinds –– inevitably lead to TOTALITARIANISM. So, oddly enough, does Anarchism.
"Revolutions" inevitably wind up supplanting one form of tyranny and oppression with another. That's a cliché. 


Delacroix - Liberty Leading the People

Great sage that I am I figured out for myself a long time ago that the human lust to dominate –– exert power and control over others one personally deems inferior or (more kindly) "in need of guidance" –– is the truest enemy of mankind. Certain hyper-aggressive, hubristic individuals spearhead movements, sway masses, develop poisonous cults, start wars, et al. in order to prove to themselves they count for something. That too is a cliché. 
Superstition, poisonous gossip, rabble-rousing, internecine warfare in organizations –– all of it fueled by an illusory pursuit of some kind of  "Truth" or "Justice" –– usually a counterfeit thereof –– are responsible for most of the perplexity, violence, agony, and unnecessary deaths in history.
Aggression, suppression, oppression, exploitation, enslavement –– all bad no matter who may be wielding the Big Stick. As Pogo said back in the early nineteen-fifties:
"We have met the enemy, and he is US."
SO, the moment ANY movement or philosophy becomes aggressive and domineering, it automatically becomes pernicious. Jesus Christ has been ill served by "His" church ever since it became organized, worldly, acquisitive, politically powerful and authoritarian.
While I suppose I am an elitist, and fancy the trappings (at the very least) of wealth, refinement and high culture –– as originally SPONSORED by authoritarian Christianity, Royalty, and Aristocracy and even some pretentious industrialists (i.e. certain so-called Robber Barons of The Gilded Age) –– all of whom left magnificent architectural monuments –– churches and cathedrals, hospitals, university quadrangles, libraries, museums, opera houses, concert halls, railroad stations, city halls, public parks, restored antique villages of historic importance, and many other achievements in their wake –– achievements no savage or peasant society would devise or value –– I cannot sympathize with "fascism," any more than I can tolerate Marxian proletarianism. 


Symbolic Surrogates for Human Hatred

I've met too many people up close and personal from supposedly disparate and conflicting walks of life, who act like long lost brothers when free from the constraints and pretenses of ordinary social, professional and business society, not to realize that at root we'd rather love and enjoy one another than anything else. 
The artificial codes of conduct and essentially superficial modes of personal expression our various cultures impose on the human spirit are very powerful, because we fear ostracism and isolation from our kind more than we love freedom.
Freedom scares the bleeding tar out of most people, ergo they conform. But deep down, I'm pretty sure most of us would rather fuck than fight –– at least I hope so.
~ FreeThinke 

10 comments:

  1. You were thinking of Ducky when you wrote this, weren't you?

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  2. Thinking of Ducky?

    Not really, my friend, although much of what I said could apply, but in truth it applies to just about everyone. The urge to engage in conflict seems universal. I think it's time we get wise to ourselves and moved on to greener, more tranquil pastures where the beauties of Nature are abundantly apparent, and one might hope to encounter fewer "Pasture Pies." ;-)

    If you want to know the truth, I try to think of The Malignant Muscovy as little as possible –– not because I "hate" him, but because I feel sorry for him. He depresses me. It must be terrible to live a life where the best thing you could find to amuse yourself is effectively pooping in other peoples' pastures.

    The cattle have a good excuse -- they're just being what Nature intended them to be. It's sad when a human being does his best to lose touch with his humanity, and seems happy to act the part of a suppurating boil on the butt of Civility.

    Thanks for your visit. Please tell others they're more tan welcome to voice their opinions here –– as long as they're sincere.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  3. Free Thinker...

    First, I humbly tip my hat to you sir. You are as wise as you are intelligent.

    Second, I shall certainly return, often. As well as encourage others to visit this fine and non partisan site.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, Pogo!

    I read that newspaper comic on a regular basis.

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  5. Thank you very much, RN. I hope we will be able to get better and better, and not lose our "cool."

    Not easy in an election season, is it?

    Thanks for visiting.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  6. Reminds me of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited".

    Although I've always felt he was criticizing the corrupt upper class.

    Go back to cataloging The Spoils of Poynton, Freethinker.
    And pretend you have the aptitude to appreciate them.

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  7. Thank you for stopping by, Canardo.

    You always make the rest of us look even better than we are by contrast.

    Thanks for providing a bit of scura to further brighten our already dazzling chiaro.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  8. FT,
    Have election years always been this filled with animosity on the part of all sides?

    Maybe so, but I don't remember it being that way.

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  9. Questions From a Worker Who Reads

    Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
    In the books you will find the names of kings.
    Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
    And Babylon, many times demolished
    Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
    of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
    Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
    Did the masons go? Great Rome
    Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
    Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song
    Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
    The night the ocean engulfed it
    The drowning still bawled for their slaves.

    The young Alexander conquered India.
    Was he alone?
    Caesar beat the Gauls.
    Did he not have even a cook with him?

    Philip of Spain wept when his armada
    Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
    Frederick the Second won the Seven Year's War. Who
    Else won it?

    Every page a victory.
    Who cooked the feast for the victors?
    Every ten years a great man?
    Who paid the bill?

    So many reports.
    So many questions.


    Bertolt Brecht

    ReplyDelete
  10. .Ducky,

    I'm much in sympathy with the sentiments expressed in that piece of Brecht. In my own way I said much the same thing in honor of Labor Day back in 1996.

    Take a look. It may sound too "pat," but i meant every word. No one knows better than I that no army –– and no nation –– can run properly or survive very long staffed by nothing but leaders and executives.

    The corollary is true too, however. No organized entity could function well and survive long without talented, dedicated leadership.

    Not to wax trite, but all of us need each other desperately. That still doesn't mean, however, that all of us are equal. We all have roles to play.

    Primary Sources

    Look well upon the men who dig in mines,
    And work machines in mills and factories grim.
    Be aware that those who tend the vines
    Or till the soil give much for wages slim.
    Reaping sowing, weeding hoeing make
    Full the nation’s store of nutriment.
    Overland the burly truckers take
    Rich provisions and accoutrement
    Coast to coast. The teamsters load and haul
    Enormous hordes of stuff that we’ve empowered,
    Shipped in freighters, stored in silos tall,
    Delivered, well-displayed, and then devoured.
    Awards are due to goods and who supplies them,
    Yet the wise despise the guys who advertise them.


    ~ by FreeThinke - The Sandpiper, Summer, 1996

    ReplyDelete

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