Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Response to Manuel Vider and other prolegomena

Dear Manuel,

Following our discussion about the Islamization of Europe that took place on Sunday I would like to continue elucidating the subject, for I believe strongly that our ideas collide at some point. I prefer to do it by writing since I can express myself much better, specially because here I'm not exposed to the linguistic challenge and am able to write in the language I'm best at.

You've talked about the Islamization of Europe by the year 2015 based on a poster that has been distributed over the Internet and that I've myself received a couple of weeks ago. You've noted during the meeting of the literary group that the poster should have been designed and distributed by some right-wing group, which I think it's partially right only in the ground of categoric definition.

I would like to open a discussion based on a Ha'aretz English edition section called "Make your point". In its latest opening has been formulated the question of "What will Israel be like in 25 years from now?". If you haven't read it yet, it is a section in which such questions are formulated and there's space given to the readers of the electronic edition of the newspaper to give their feedback. I've been following it for a couple of months already and I think there's a lot of food for thought there. I shall start this critical note by offering a rehearsal of the full question, following my points whereupon. Shall the above mentioned question hereinafer referred as "the question".

In Herzel's utopian novel of 1902 the so-called state of Israel or the "Altneuland" was referred to as the Jewish state of the future, a technologically advanced state, economically vital and religiously tolerant having built by the time a Third Temple in West Jerusalem. The ideas of Herzel, peak of the German-Jewish haskala of the 19th century Germany born upon the names of others like Mendelsohn and the Post-Kantian idealists have been gathered in the book bearing the title "Die Juedischestaat", that was indirectly created as a response of Herzel's experience with the "Dreyfuss case" in France.

In the awakening of the 21st century and more than a century thereafter Israel is still work in progress, a young state-of-the-art modelled Jewish-democratic state torn apart between the categorizations of both concepts, ideologic and empiric categorizations all the more. A troubled young country deeply rooted in the East and the West, seldom at peace with its neighbours or with herself. Israel constitutes in my views the underdog of post-modern decandence and also an ideological understatement by definition. I'm not referring to the idea of Israel as a modern state of the 21st century but as a national concept, that troubles the minds of the world audience and gathers unsolicited attention as the playingfield of rather dynamic processes of history which break out in a country being led towards two different directions, the East-West inner conflict that places this young nation somewhere in between the axes of evil and the end of history, as a truely unified social science would describe it. Needless to say that such science doesn't exist yet, although I strong believe inasmuch as Heidegger that poetry constitutes such science. I will not curdle up into this topical adventure momentaneously, for this belongs to the field of hyper-structuralism or hyper-textuality (terms coined by myself) as a radically new-old school of thought, whose principles have been nothing but primarily laid out.


Hence I shall start addressing this note by giving it an introductory title, that I've drawn from my lectures in the good old days of St. Anne's College and that is based on Heidegger's major piece of work, "Sein und Zeit". This note is not intended to be taken seriously for I certainly lack of enough knowledge of my own subject and of the subject in general in order to make it a valuable piece of thought, the opinions here inclusive are totally personal and based on individual hermeneutics, although I might also add I'm indebted for most of its content to my mentor G. Kaltsidou in the Classics seminar and my experience as a conferencist on Marx and the Jewish Question during the year 2002 at the Spanish literature department of the National University.

"Gigantomachia Peri Tis Ousias" - "A battle of giants concerning being", from Plato's Sophist.

The Clash of Civilizations has become a fashionable topic in the classrooms and intellectual circles of the 21st century, several books (which I haven't read) have been published in the subject and different religious, ethical, political, geographical and almost-philosophical approaches have been undertaken. As a classicist I believe there's no utter need to crawl onto the content of such books that have become an underdog and no less an undergod for the lack of social content that has been largely aroused by the fears of a post-end world. It is indeed radical to foresee with prophetic auguries proper of a Greek tragedy, the come about and go of the future in this dystopian era of Biblical odes and mobile phones. Yet any sound intellectual of our times would be likely enough to agree with us that the world of the 20th and 21st century has undergone a cyclic number of changes never experienced before. To some extent even historical anthropologists would agree that the dynamics of history have been altered to a great extent and that the human kind is being led in two different directions, the direction of progress and individual liberties with a sound constitutional ground, and the direction of a struggle between man and its very own nature, obviously product of the first. This struggle also has precedents in the legal ground; our democratic values are being replaced by bipartite judgements that hesitate between the individual liberties and the collective well being. International Law and its inability to prove the righteousness of one side without granting despise and exclusion to the other side are an axiomatic proof of my statement. I'm not demanding anything from the current state of the affairs nor pretend to apply a major change, for it would be a treat to the natural course of history. By doing so I would revert two thousand years back to the days of the Holy Roman Empire that would last a thousand years; I might simply quote Homer when he said "No man is able to run faster than his fate". The Homer scholars would argue with me the context of this phrase whose origin I hesitate about, but I don't pretend to argue with anyone, simply make use of the tools I'm readily in dispose of to desist from my intention to argue the current usability of our legal apparatus.

The modern world is an overregulated haze of unequally distributed wealth and knowledge, being this fact totally unimpressive and predictable. Our conceptualization of justice falls as well under the category of underdog. It is impossible to a great extent to predict what the world will be like within 25 years and even within 25 hours, 11th September and no less dramatic, the foundational stone of the State of Israel are loyal proves of this statement. Without overidealizations it's not, however, difficult to display a certain number of facts that govern our current societies and discuss their outcome in mathematical terms, probability statistics and basic computer operations prove this. Maybe not for the sociologist and much the less for the philosopher; if we're talking about predictability environmentalists are probably the only ones that would claim before us, wannabe thinkers, that the sorrows and morrows of this planet are contained in a time-bomb whose biological clock tickles every year as ice melts down and temperature goes up.

I'm not an expert in history and that probably doesn't interest me that much, yet as an observer and at the same time citizen of a small Mediterranean state I'm certainly interested in the outcome of this so-called history. I don't pretend to foresee major changes in the American economy or in the Israeli military history, neither pretend to foresee major changes in my neighborhood or circle of friends. Being to a large extent Descartian myself I prefer to focus on less meaningful and epistemological clusters of science rather than attempting to embrace the whole spectrus with fatalist despise. I've read several books of political and legal theory over the last couple of years and have poisoned my Classical education with the bitter taste of supra-national ideas and globalization premises. Those books although very well written and explanatory and on their base several lectures imparted in American universities, haven't contributed even minimally to shape my opinions on the challenges faced by this world.

I'm not a very opinionated intellectual since the scope of my studies hasn't been certainly broad and I haven't watched television over a period of 6 years. My married life with the Internet hasn't been very fruitful either, for beyond casual sex and wasteful letters I haven't pursued any enterprise other than achieving an unexpected distancing from piles of unread books that make up the only art-decor of my living room. Still I've been in close contact with other more vivifying scienes such as the art of poetry, love relationships and music in the underneath. I can't claim either that I'm ignorant as I pretended to do over the last months, just following the trends of the latest Scandinavian art schools, since my awareness of the injustices of the world has increased as I've been living in the Middle East. It doesn't steal my sleep though, other less phenomenological thoughts do instead.

In this selfness I've been living during the last years of my life, the current events of the world haven't managed to surprise me even a tiny bit; not being a negative person myself I can just say I've spent more time among children's books and poems and have received a more fruitful education from them. That goes without saying that I've also pursued an extensive but incomplete Classical education that has led me to the conclusion that I'm totally unsuitable to become a classicist by all means. Yet I shouldn't refrain from writing, from being an unread writer, and from writing this note in which I pretend to explain my sympathy for the Clash of Civilizations from the perspective of the poet, the perspective that suits better my diseased personality right after the perspective of the lawyer. But being a lawyer wouldn't allow me to understand the conflictive nature of the matter, for the laws of men have been led astray from the individualist nature of man itself and constitute only a legal binding that justifies the rightdoing-wrongdoing apluralistic duality in the eyes of the collective well-being, being that totally antidemocratic in my eyes, for the justifications and motivations behind well-educated ivy-league ties and suits don't really represent the echoes that arise in the background of the mobile phone age. Our second ice age.

I'm truely not concerned with the Islamization of the "Federal States of Europe" and the circumstancial events that have led to this situation for I understand them as natural processes in a chain of events that links us as post-modern citizens with the ideas of our forebearers back in times up to the age of the most privimitives peoples of the world. Shall I be found guilty of supporting terrorism by making this explicit statement I must say I have no solid ground to justify myself and I'll aid the tribunal of my judgement to find my guilt, for I belong to no social class known by our standards and as a man of the world I prefer to be set at the root of evil than in the gates of heaven. I shall as well add it's no easy task to undertake the position in which I find myself tonight, since what I'm doing is explicitly justifying the domination of a technically inferior culture over the white supremacy. The last two-thousand years have brought along different sequences that make possible for the human being to understand the bias under which its current livelihood was built; we've developed our societies to a point in which I could say man has acquired a natural and self-deceiving ability to deny its very own nature which is by default, and since the Garden of the Paradise, destructive.

After two thousand years I might say I was born to a generation that is without hesitations witnessing the very end of history as we know it, the end of the chronology and the synchrony and the state-construction model as the very first linguist would define it. History has taken a u-turn without giving us a previous notice. The modern nations, unlike those of Babylon and Sparta have failed to understand history as a process rather than as an end, and they've struggled to an enormous extent to bring history to an end with a relative rate of success. Welfare systems and highly competitive individuals in the global market don't speak by our society, these are mere inventions that bring along a revolution in the customs and outlook of the human supremacy just like the invention of scripture and the wheel did. The ancient peoples, whose wisdom hasn't all come down to us but lost on the way back and forth, understood that their existence was part of a fluctuation of ideas, that constitute the very core of humanity, or in words of Parmenides "to gar auto noein estin te kai einai" (for thinking and being are the same). The same challenges of the primitive pelasgus that inhabitated the Old continent are born as a burden on the back of our politicians and highly cultured invidividuals, to this same extent the development of social "factus" constitute nothing but the struggle of man against himself and the divine revelation of his destructive "state-of-being" (using a word less extensive than condition).

Society finds itself to very a big extent exactly in the same place where it was at the beginning of history, with a radical different though. Our society as we know it stands nowadays on a very thin wire which approximates its end. Leaving asides the materialization of the world and turning our lives into a phenomenologic state human history is nothing but predictable. I'm not talking about kabbalistic ends of appocalyptic dimensions but simple retrieval. We've come to a point in which our materializations of the world as entities have come to take over our unmaterialized phenomena and radically succeed; just like an Icelandic singer claims that the modern things have been waiting on the top of a hill to descend and take over, in an unfinished state of being which requires human permission to take over, human surrender. I would call it deconstructed state, a certain grammar term. Our modern nations stand on the point right beyond this de-construction; on an edge in which it is not the lack of a glorious or pain past what is to trouble us, it is not the lack of future what is meant to trouble us either. It is indeed the lack of present. Present is not simply a categoric statement or a state-of-being, it's in my opinion rather a flow in terms of the Logos. The materializations of our ideal state of being have brought this simple difficulty, in which we contradict Aristotle's Metaphysics when he claims that "being is the most universal concept". Any Greek-educated reader would say the translation is inaccurate for critical purposes, for "to on esti katholou malista panto" states that "being" ("to on" not as a constructed thing itself but as a constant-state-of-being) is the most universal of things above "all" or "the everything" ("panto", that is also interpreted as "one", all things constitute nothing but "one", unicity). Parting from this overcomplicated conceptualization of ideas we can infere that unbeing has turned out to become the most universal concept. Humanity has for long lost the dimension of its own existence and has turned its back to the natural course of events, with the firm believe that the material supremacy of human kind is meant to take over simple events such as the weather and wars. But nature has been tested and self-certified for over thousands of years, how are we able to neglect those elucidations? On the ground of our materialized-un-being?

Religion brings a differently similar viewpoint, for the Genesis and the Greek mythologies with their background bring with themselves events of a similar kind, in which men are condemned by default to fight against their own cause, turning their existence into a metaphysical phenomenon that can't be explained in simple words, shall it be explained in the words of the poet or in the words of the philosopher (not the philosopher, but the one who might know the philosophy) is hardly ever understood for extra-linguistic unity is primarily individual inasmuch as religion. Religion as a human creation was also designed to take over, what would primarily constitute an element of power in an ungoverned world would become the foundational stone of the legal systems of the West, as it is in the case of the Roman Law, the Talmudic Law and the Islamic Law. The three of them born to the undivisible marriage of theology (or theologems), mythology (or mythologems) and the need for an orderly society. Thereinafter religion would bring upon us a legal binding that would delimit democracy, consent and the deed-consequence duality in terms of a certain particular belief, which redundantly was believed to be upright. Religion, one of the biggest curses of humanity that was created by men in order to establish rules for men with a belief in an afterlife that would justify the process not as a process but as an end. Religion, inasmuch as a technocratic era, were carefully planned and put into action with the simple purpose to delimit the material input of men in its own world, to the same extent that law, first-born son of religion has done ever since. Human kind is meant to be constructed and not destroyed, but deconstructed by its own hand. Its existence in the eyes of history is probably meant to be circumstancial and not conditional; being the greatest civilizations of our world a first-hand example. I wouldn't like to include among these the Peoples of Israel, whose existence constitute a totally different phenomenological "fatus" to which we'll return at a later stage.

This world in which we live is by no means condemned to disappear, neither are we in my humble opinion, yet I firmly believe the so-called Greco-Semitic lie of Nietzsche has come to an end. I would disagree with Nietszche that God is dead, yet its creator is plain dead and has given preponderance to its creation, has deconstructed itself as an slave of his creation and surrendered. There's an evident need for a change in the dynamics of the process and humanity in its current developed state is unable to bring this change to light. A kin that can't demistify itself and replace itself as a natural process due in course of time is very unlikely to be able to hold the rides of history, the endeavour. The technological advance of the world in unable to cope with the nature of man, with his loneliness, with his primary needs. The world is unable to allow the philosopher to live a minute beyond his words, for from beyond the graves he's risen up, but others his language fail to understand. A world of signified instead of signifiers, that's what we've become.

The computer era is the most impressive of examples, the reivindication of "deus est machina" in the end of times. We're approaching the days when the machines, our simple unnatural creations, are meant to bear a life of their own and take us on. The global town in which the national boundaries have been broken and that have opened a gate for the mutual interaction of persons is another of these placebos. A newborn religion in which strings of powers are inasmuch held, an absorbing religion that have separated us from all what was known before; looking into the future is not very difficult when you've seen the most brilliant science fiction films of our times. A combination of wires and network adapters that connect people to their own selfness. A powerful imaginary world that not even the subconscious of Freud and Jung would have explained back and forth. A wired world. As an overinfatuated intellectual of my times I also make part of this global town, a stateless world, an supra-verbal world. And I stare with nothing but despise at the current advances of computational linguistics and information theory, I'm still glued to a screen, living my life in a current state of "unbeingness". In the meantime the strings of the world are held just like they were held in the most primitive time. Back then we called fire, now we call it oil, tomorrow we'll call it water or simple air.

It's difficult for me to think I'd be any surprised about the current endeavours of this world, and up to this day nothing has truely surprised me other than the Classics and the most primitive feelings of men, the real core of things. The world of the phenomenological outside the scope of the post-Aristotelian materializations, including God. The honest truth is, I can't really figure out the future as a state of tolerance and open boundaries, for they by definition contradict the definition of men. I rather opt for the cluster of a newborn oscurantism which will breed a new society again. Instead of progressing we've spent the last decades going totally backwards, as I mentioned previously, reaching the end of history.

And all this I haven't learn by myself no, I haven't learnt it from the musty lectures of professors or from the latest books about theory of chaos and fashionable kabbalistic post-Jungian psychiatrists. I must confess I've gathered all these almost appocalyptic conclusions from a superficial reading of Hesiod the poet. Hesiod, who was probably recorded by the eddas more than two-thousand years ago set the political and epistemological foundations of my statement. He didn't do it through overcomplexations of basic facts as I've done in previous paragraphs and neither through prophetic statements or unreadable sentences.

Hesiod simply said: "In those days children will be born with their eyes open, with their eyes wide open"

This is probably the strongest historical statement ever made, and to the same extent the most largely neglected. As we approach the modern times men are expected to grow and develop faster, to undertake a career and marry, obtain mortgage loans and provide for their posterity. We're those children of the eyes wide open, in the painful awareness of the world we live in. Our children are those children of the eyes wide open. If you were to ask me what Israel or the world will be like in 25 years, I'd simply respond by quoting the poet and saying "in those days children will be born with eyes open, with their eyes wide open".

Those children lost in the limbo of post-modern ambitions become the victims and the fighters of post-modernism, the ultimate phase of evolution, the newborn son of men. And understand the different between the newborn son of man and the first-born son of God. I believe in the creative power of destruction as it's written in the Genesis, "And God said, let there be light, and there was light". In the deconstructed world of the poet the phenomena should take precedence to its manifestations, unlike the modern languages in which the phenomena have been largely replaced by material manifestations of thought, which connect ideas within a black hole that would be accurately defined as a semiotic continuum, or under-verbalization.

Just as it was explained in the Bible, "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". This is one of the strongest statements made in the Bible, certainly not by God but by men, for the language of the divine shall be unspoken or self-contained inasmuch as the language of the Logos that unsuccessfully Parmenides the philosopher attempted to explain.

I'm deeply touched specially by the segment "knowledge of good and evil", which is probably what better describes the state of the affair in which we stand at the moment. Our factual knowledge of good and evil shall become the primary cause of our death, of a certain death that took place when our children started to be born with their eyes wide open. It's almost scholastic morality. Our knowledge of good and evil has placed our society in the beginning of history, in which the days would sleep away without regard to our knowledge and death would approach us at a faster speed. We don't die younger than we did 100 years ago or even 50, but our lives are spent before they are lived, a rally of empowerment and idealizations of a perfectly engineered life. When we break the national boundaries we create supra-national icons of power that re-write religion and re-write god and re-write men by categoric definition. Our lives have for long stopped being contemplative experiences in order to become radicalisms and polarizations which we could have only learned by eating from the tree of good and evil. There's no moral lesson intended here, it's a simple outline of the "fatus" that govern the current state-of-being rather than our existence itself. The tree of good and evil has erradicated the protestant ethics, has erradicated the middle classes, has erradicated the average man. Looking into the future this extra-polarizations make this world a complicated place to live in, in which all those unbridged gaps tend to disappear based on theories of power. Not in the theories of power that have been perfectly laid out by the new sociology, not really. By the theories of power of Sparta, of Maquiavelo, of Rome. We're being deconstructed before the helpless fury of God, who to a large extend allegedly ignores what his world is made of, what his phenomenology has taught us for.

We're being deconstructed by our own nature, I'm not foreign to this process, I'm just stranged from the end. The postmodern world with its victims and fighters has done nothing but erased history to a large extent. Now there's nothing left but the ultimate man, and the first man. The superman and the underman. Unfortunately I could count myself in the category of the supermen, overinfatuated and oversexualized, empowered member of society, productive, timeless, accurate, factual, pragmatic and idealized. The superman or the ultimate man is condemned to disappear and to allow the underman to return to his position in the cycle and to continue with the dynamics of history. To that same extent it doesn't surprise me at all that we, the ultimate men, haven't been able to wipe out from the surface of the earth to the first man, to the underman.

Not even our state-of-the-art technology, airplanes, tanks and missiles will wipe out the underman, for he's been raised for an ulterior purpose, for a purpose that exceeds the limits of our short and politically correct livelihood. His purpose is no other than immortality. We've been sleeping in the fields while a whole generation of undermen has been rising from beyond our underways. A generation of undermen whose eyes are still not open and who haven't eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A generation like the first generation, before Adam and Eve, a generation that doesn't "see".

Yes, our libraries will disappear and our philarmonics, our centers of instructions and our symbols of power, the Teutonic myth will simply grow stronger, for he's strong and he's human. More human that our New Yorker divinities, more human than stocks and shares. You and whose army? O Holy Roman Empire? You and your cronies? Will you take us on? Our destiny is to confront those who don't see, and with our eyes wide open we'll see them taking over.

The current war of the Western world against Islam doesn't really surprise me at all, and I've become a rather passive player in the context of my own national identity. Call me a victim of postmodernism if you want, but I personally surrender. Justice is nothing but the mother of all evils and to her we're not called for. The tank can't surpass the stone, and no education of men can surpass the power of wrath and hate, just like in the beginning of times. They still remember history for they haven't been taught, they still remember history in the primitive form of myths and tellings, they still remember the process and the end don't attempt to foresee. We've seen the end, and once that happens we're just being directed towards it. Let America be afraid, for if they weren't to suffer the fate of Rome no fear would invade their homes.

History won't change tomorrow and probably not in 25 years, I'm not so convinced that we'll see the return happen, but it'll haunt us, just like dreams do. But history by definition must return to itself and the ultimate man, the superman won't achieve to halt it, nature has been proven, immortality of men has not. Ask the Caesar if you still hold doubt.

In the meantime let me sleep away in the procrastination proper of an ultimate man, for I'm no wise men in the arts or thinker of great heights. I'm a simple man, let me spend my wasteful youth between casual toys of deliverance and embrace the old age with despise, longing for what's there forlorn. Let me become an American, an oversexualised object of thought, for I'm young, nice-looking and well-fit, let me take over the world before it takes me on. I believe I can change the world, I just need a career, a man and a house before I can sit quiet and do it. Isn't it so easy to falter?

The ultimate man will become of the last of men, and shall my life constitute the subject and not the object this search. And shall I find any answers that might demistify the ultimate man I rather by slain in my mortality, for I have no pretensions to long otherwise. Let my life be short and infatuated, that's what we're called for. In the awakening of time, as written in the apoccalyptic prophesy, each and every man will "close his eyes and observe". Heidegger would perfectly elucidate the point I want to make, but we really should leave that for some other time.

Parmenides said:

"Of the Logos which as I describe it man always prove to be uncomprehending, both before they have heard it and when once they have heard it. For although all things happen according to this Logos man are like people of no experience, even when they experience such words and deeds as I explain, when I distinguish each thing according to its constitution they wake up just as they forget what they do when they sleep".

It's time for some American movies, sexual radicalism, relief to the poor and CNN. Please ladies and gentlemen, turn your TV on.

Ari Akkermans

End of note 1
Note 2: The Jewish Question
Note 3: Greece, The Nazi Party and America

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