Friday, March 16, 2012


The avoidance of the "I".

The supreme task of philosophy, and to a great extent of journalism and of any "profession" for which fact-checking, data-analysis and ultimately, the pursuit of truth, is important. Where do you draw the line? Story-telling of course would hardly qualify as "disclosure" of truth, not because it doesn't disclose truth as such, but only because that truth is not terminal, it's not a finished product and therefore, can hardly define anything.

Then there's the news, like the movies: Eisenstein spoke about cinema as such and such stars, such and such capital, what might be applied to the endlessly innovative repertory of news, as in such and such massacre, such and such revolution, such and such gossip. News. Production of information. First fallacy: Wherever the concept of production is involved, meaninglessness is inherent to the labor cycle itself and other than dialectical, the process is circular.

Information isn't the equivalent of truth, simply because truth isn't produced. The thinking process itself is circular, but truth and thinking through intimately related, are not synonymous. The process of information production is of course selfless - facts, facts, facts. Where's the "I"? Who's telling the story? Selflessness is an extreme position, as extreme as that of reckless subjectivity - Both are a reaction to loneliness, to political loneliness.

In both selflessness and (Romantic) confession the subject is absent insofar as it has either foregone all the objects or rendered them abstract and irrelevant, and is turned into a solipsism. The former has little to do with what we call truth, and the latter has little to do with what we call literature. Truth is not literature and literature is not truth; however literature does disclose truth.

We could learn from the Romans: The "persona" is but the mask that is worn when we appear in public, and though several masks are worn by the same actor - and we're all actors - the voice is unmistakably the same. When the "I" is entirely absent, the persona through which we appear in public spaces - in the political realm - vanishes together with the objects of knowledge. Then we're only crowded together, without objective personalities and facts lose all validity, as they can be easily exchanged in production of newer facts.

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