8. A Strong Dose of Madness

At this point, I will simply include what I refer to as “A Strong Dose of Madness” as I am incorporating that in a similar way that Hermann Hesse inserts the pamphlet “For Madmen Only” in his autobiographical novel, Steppenwolf.

A Strong Dose of Madness
An Inquiry into How to Get Through a Life Not Worth Living

Introduction

“Writing for money and reservation of copyright are, at bottom, the ruin of literature. No one writes anything that is worth writing, unless he writes entirely for the sake of his subject.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Shall I confess right from the start, dear reader? Be forewarned that you are dealing with a madman, for I have no patience for “putting on a good show.” I don’t have that luxury. You see, I have written this introduction several times. Each version has been completely different, and each version has been lost, sucked into a void. Such is the vulnerable nature of the medium we scrawl upon – computer memory, random access memory not yet written to metal disks; or, if written to disk, somehow corrupted and left unreadable, irretrievable, destroyed, suppressed by Fate.

My writing is a substitute for suicide as well as a strategy to prevent or at least postpone the act. Somehow, when one discovers the root of anxieties, this has healing power. As soon as you dive down into the depths and grasp what truly ails you, the pain disappears as if by some kind of magic or miracle. Taken to the extreme, when we sit down to write a book, this effort sets vibrating something in the brain to attract ideas, and suddenly we experience joy or delight.

Instead of merging with the unconscious omniscient inner being of Nature, one often subjects oneself to living in the existential prison of the subject, a socially constructed ego, the I, a seemingly puny little unit of consciousness trapped inside-the-skin. It is this subject which feels mocked when my animal body is dragged through the mud; and yet this subject is not inevitable! In moments of clarity, my heart understands that there is a deeper dimension, an inner life where the boundaries between “inside-the-skin” and “outside-the-skin” become blurred.

I could say that the Devil chooses his philosophers with great care. I am a natural student of Abraxas, so I will issue a warning from the beginning to potential readers of this tale told by an idiot: I don’t take goblins seriously, and I will use terminology in metaphorical ways. Nonetheless, I have no choice but to accept the fact that when I use terms like “the Devil,” referring to a shadowy aspect of reality, without the usual condemnations, this will invite boos and hisses from the gallery. People who lack depth may condemn me right away as sinister, or at the very least, lacking the appropriate “fear of God.” I suspect that on some level I am begging to be misunderstood, and actually encouraging confusion.

There are times I wish to eliminate using this clumsy medium altogether and develop some form of trance-induced telepathic communion throughout the interconnected web of reality.

Recently someone suggested to me that we are no more the individual personalities we have been in the past than the wind is the sky it has passed through. It is in this spirit that I wish to explore my old writings stored in old notebooks. Cioran suggests that diaries and letters are what is least false in literature, which is the worst reproach to be made against police states in that they oblige the destruction of just that: diaries and letters. Such literature is written spontaneously and often without censure, which is exactly why it is what is the least false, the least pretentious, and the most authentic literature.

How to get through a life not worth living?
How? – well, with a strong dose of madness, of course!
The very root of all this writing is madness itself. What mechanisms are responsible for repressing madness? Hasn’t the entire history of Western culture been the story of Reason’s repression of that which it calls madness?

There is an essential kinship between literature and madness.

Wittgenstein proclaimed that there were certain things we must pass over in silence because we can’t possibly speak of it; but, where philosophy, religion, and science have failed to speak madness, literature has been the sole channel by which madness has been able to speak with relative freedom. Often the literary madman is the disguised philosopher, serving as a voice to speak madness which is otherwise repressed. In literature, the role of madness is often philosophical. Haven’t religious, scientific, philosophical, and psychiatric tools done nothing but imprison madmen?

In 1657, France created the General Hospital. It was not a medical hospital, but “the third force of repression,” working alongside the police. This ‘third force’ had the power to try, to convict, and to execute outside of court. It began one morning when six thousand people were taken to be confined. The people subdued and apprehended were considered to be madmen, fools, loiterers, drunks, tramps, paupers, and profaners. I imagine these individuals were not much different from my unconventional brothers and sisters in our society diagnosed with chemical imbalances and other “personality disorders” that prove to be so inconvenient to the conventional who have such people at their mercy.
Modern psychiatric ideology is an adaptation of the traditional Christian Theology. Instead of being born into sin, mankind is born into “illness.” Where tyranny was once justified by theology, tyranny is now justified by therapy. As anti-psychiatric psychiatrist Thomas Szasz pointed out in the late 1960′s, the oppressor not only subdues his victim but also robs him of a vocabulary for articulating his victimization – thus making him a captive deprived of all means of escape! Under such conditions, is it a surprise that those with the strongest character and intellectual honesty could easily become criminalized and blacklisted through quasilegal means? (Felman, 1978)

Maybe “little” things one may stumble upon while exploring this world, whether through experience, conversation, or scholarly research, end up not being little at all. It is not too difficult to imagine one becoming a thorn in the side of the “managers and engineers,” especially in these times where anyone with access to a computer hooked to the Internet is capable of reaching more people than the prophets of the ancient world. Some issues are giant pink elephants that “polite society” just doesn’t discuss. One of those issues is Melanin Theory and the work done by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. I am sure to lose potential audiences if I were to reveal an Afrocentric perspective.

In our society, one would question a paleass Nordic in the Americas entertaining an Afrocentric cosmogony; and yet, since all hominids come out of the womb of a common “Africoidal” ancestor, the “Grandparents of our [hue-man] universe” are all of ours. Why would anyone question me were I to be Afrocentric? Of course, genetically, being of a “Germanic” or “Nordic” strain, the creature that my body is may be thousands of generations removed from the African maternal link; but that does nothing to change origins.

I know that some of the ideas I consider get me ostracized from mainstream “polite” society. I am not sure how often Afrocentricism will slip into my narrative, so I am bringing it out in the open in the Introduction. These kinds of things one works out in the privacy of their own heart and mind. I do not expect to convince anyone of any specific theories.

White supremacist fantasies may compensate for the insecurities and anxieties experienced by the mostly disenfranchized masses of “working poor” whites who may be afraid of being genetically wiped out by the colorful people of the world. Were masses of such people to get it through their heads that we are one species, that fear is eliminated. We are one species.

When we begin to fully grasp the fact that “white folks” did not fall from the stars from a distant planet, but that “people with white skin” came right out of the womb of a dark-hued African Mother, we can at least be aware of these deep and hidden complexes so as not to be controlled by the repressed shame (sense of rejection due to mutation).
Personal liberation requires honesty and the dignity to stand in truth. Isn’t it better to embrace the living truth than to live a lie, no matter how flattering the lie? In exploring these ideas, I have had no grand delusions about “changing the world,” but if such meditations help me change my inner “life-world,” which is the only environment I have left to defend, then these ideas do change the world, the one between my ears and in my heart.

You’d think the Creation is some accidental experiment by a random collection of euphoric Mad Scientist Creators, and when the whole thing went haywire, they all went back to sleep. Biological necessity itself binds us in need, want, and desire. These theories do not solve ultimate problems, but they do provide avenues for challenging our own individual rats’ nests of psychoses threatening to incinerate the planet.
We really can go where not many sentient beings dare to go … into the collective unconscious deep sea diving, confronting the Monsters in our psychic waters before they destroy us. Once detected, the complex loses its power – and you have metaphorically slayed the Dragon. Much social change can be accomplished through solitary contemplation.

“What was the one thing that Mohammed later borrowed from Christianity? Paul’s invention, his means to priestly tyranny, to herd formation: the faith in immortality – that is, the doctrine of the ‘judgment.’” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Section One: The Earth Has Become A Madhouse!

After high school, in 1986, I was a lone white boy fresh out of “the academy” who had joined an all black crew in Freehold, New Jersey, USA to pick up the industrial debris left by the massive development taking place in that area. It wasn’t too long after that that I would find myself a confused and dejected animal in the cages of county jails, rehabs, and the less dangerous dog pounds of Taker Prison. During my first trip through the county jail, I was visited by army recruiters, and they offered to make a deal with me: all charges would be dropped if I joined the army. I refused. I would not submit. I would continue to rebel. My paternal grandfather, during a visit to the prison facility hidden in the Pine Barrens of South Jersey, nestled in Wharton State Forest, made me aware that what I was experiencing would become a huge part of my informal education. Now that I look back on it, I see the wisdom of his observation.

I despised George Bush, Sr. When he would appear on the TV screen, I could not refrain from cursing him aloud. I would become very agitated just at the sight of him. I did not join war protests since I had already been incarcerated; I already had a record, so I was on parole at the time. I didn’t want to violate parole as I had gained a new appreciation for merely having access to libraries and woods; but, I was aware of the Wintergarden movement and was prepared to make use of it in the event of a draft. Wintergarden was a change in immigration policy in Germany that offered asylum to resisters in the United States who refused to take part in the WAR FOR OIL.

As for the relationship our modern society has with the many animal nations, I am still in the process of coming to terms with the nightmarish processing of chickens and cows to feed the masses. Rarely do I allow myself to reflect too long on how we are fed. I certainly would rather take my chances with bears, wolves, and coyotes than wander into the yards of the McMansionvilles where I would become illegal just for being a living organism. The next few paragraphs remind me of just how angry I am over the development that has occurred in Monmouth County over the past 25 years. I was devastated by the construction of the Freehold Raceway Mall — and the McMansions are a true insult … more than a kick in the teeth, more than a humiliating kick in the crotch … It has filled my body with a deep sense of dejection.

Craig Rosebraugh, when standing before judges during the Congressional Hearings On Eco-Terror (February 12, 2002 ) had said,
“In the early 1990s, I learned that the lush natural acreage I used to play in as a child had been sold to a development firm. It intended to bulldoze the entire area and create a virtual community of homes for the upper middle class to wealthy. Within two years, the land as I knew it was no more. The visual reminder I used to appreciate, the one that would take me back to the years when the fields and trees were my playground, was stolen by a development corporation who saw more value in the land as luxurious houses than for its natural beauty and life.

“I remember asking myself, what would happen to the various wildlife who made the area their home for so many years? Where would the deer, coyotes, skunks, wild cats, mice, raccoons, opossums, and others go? It was obvious that the developers had not even considered these questions. Rather, it appeared, the main pursuit of the corporation was working towards building incredibly large homes as close as possible to one another for maximum financial gain. As the 1990s progressed, I became increasingly aware of the relationship between social and political problems in the United States. No single issue was truly independent but rather was affected by many others. In my work with the local animal advocacy organization, I realized that exploitation and destruction at the hands of human domination over animals also involved much more. Economics, politics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, science, religion, and other disciplines all played a significant role in understanding this unhealthy and unbalanced relationship between humans and other animals. But, by far the most important realization I made was that the problems facing animals, the problems facing the natural environment, and those affecting humans all came from a primary source. Understanding this crucial connection, I co-founded a non-profit organization in 1996 dedicated to educating the public on this fundamental realization.

“During the mid-1990s, through continued formal and informal education, I also began to understand that the history I had learned growing up was only one story of many. I gained insight into the fact that everything I had learned about the origins of the United States of America had been purely from the viewpoint of the colonists and European settlers. Thus, the history I was taught was from the perspective of the privileged white man, which not only told a mere fraction of the story, but also provided an extreme amount of misinformation as well.

“I was never taught that the origins of this country were based upon murder, exploitation, and ultimate genocide. My teachers neglected to mention the fact that the white European settlers nearly annihilated the various indigenous peoples who had existed on this land for ages. Instead, I was taught about Thanksgiving and Columbus Day.”

For me, the rapid development was a nightmare. I would awaken from bad dreams about huge houses dropping out of the sky and landing like swarms of Mother Ships lodging themselves into the earth. Even my nightmares from this time could not warn me of what I see now in Monmouth County. The disparity between the rich and the poor is a disgrace, and the abusive attitudes of the princes and princesses towards their so-called servants leads me to the conclusion that most people being fed by the machinery of society would be much better off living free and hungry rather than enslaved and fed.

In 1984, at “the academy”, there was one philosophy Teacher who went out of his way to open our eyes, and I will never know for sure how much this has influenced me. I believe my mind was good soil for the seeds of truth he planted there. Both the seeds and the good soil were necessary components. Not all students were as receptive. I discovered that my enlightened views disturbed family members during holiday dinners. My exposure to the teacher mentioned above gave me the confidence to challenge some of my maternal grandfather’s most basic assumptions. While I loved my maternal grandfather, I did not hesitate to question the authority of my elders. While my aunts and uncles took his views as gospel or quietly rebelled, I had developed enough confidence and intellectual integrity to become very vocal about my dissension.

Because of these confrontations, certain family members took my journals to my grandfather, who, in turn, declared me to be a subversive communist! Feeling violated, I took all my notebooks, written between 1980 and 1986, down by Lake Topanemus in Freehold, set them on fire, and buried the ashes by the old pit where many of us would gather as teenagers to hold council by the fire. This is how intimidated I was by the opinions of society, a society that first touches me in the form of my kin. My thoughts disturbed my sister enough to compel her to go in person to the academy to complain about the teacher who had awakened my mind in such a powerful way.

I became paranoid, but I was determined to continue to develop my capacity to rely on my own brain rather than have others convince me that I was “crazy”, “deluded”, or any other label meant to undermine my confidence in the brain I had evolved with.

We cannot allow the fear of being labeled a “terrorist” or an “eco-terrorist” prevent the free flow of communication. We have to be able to stand with confidence against herd morality. There is too much at stake to leave things in the hands of “the experts”. Writers and artists have to become vocal on issues that may be dominated by the so-called authorities. As we are human beings, and even more so, as we are animal life on this planet, we have higher instincts we answer to, instincts higher than any governing body.

If the gorts think the US military is helping to protect them by attacking the Arab Nations, then they would believe the best way to deal with angry hornets is to throw a rock at the hive. In order to eradicate terrorism in the world, imperialism in all its manifestations must be abolished. As long as the masses are held captive by the underlying ideologies of empire, even the most progressive thinkers among us stand no chance. Therefore, a basic call to consciousness becomes a primary strategy in confronting empire.

We talk about “mental illness” and “mood disorders” and labels such as “unemployable personalities,” and I know it helps those so labeled to point out that the primary source of mood disorders is NOT a failure in cognition. Our so-called experts and professionals understand the basic causes of the bipolar and other mood disorders no better than they understand schizophrenia. How does one overcome ignorance parading around as authority?

A tree with a knot in it does not make good lumber, so “capital” will consider such a tree useless. An intellectual does not make a good “employee” – the captains of industry (and their lacky managers and engineers) will see “intellectuals” as useless. Of course we would have it no other way.

Paul M. Churchland wrote:
A nation that is watching a large economic underclass slowly disintegrating, as a coherent society, under the influence of family breakdown, educational collapse, false heroes, drug addiction, organized crime, and nightly gang warfare, is a country that must look to its various institutions of socialization and contemplate their sometimes disasterous performance. Worse still: an entire generation is currently being socialized within the civil chaos described. The momentum of our failure is not yet spent.

Back in 1996 I diagnosed myself as bipolar – back then we called it manic-depression. I diagnosed myself from doing my own research while “earning my daily bread” as a maintenance worker for the State Parks of New Jersey [as a state slave who supposedly “had it dicked” simply because I lived in a huge historic house out in the woods next to the maintenance shop]. I felt oppressed, like I was the property of the state, a piece of equipment to be “gassed up and abused until the wheels fell off,” and those higher in the chain of command seemed to be disturbed by my habit of not “knowing my place.” Well, the fucking wheels fell off! That’s what happens to abused machinery. Why would the authorities expect a complex human animal to be abused without some kind of consequences? There are consequences.

This is my reality, and I have left a trail of notes that verify, at least to myself, the deep philosophical breakthroughs as well as the severe social disintegration I experienced along the way. Professionals confirmed my diagnosis back in 1996, and by 1998, after being thrown in a cage over some trouble with “the law,” I was removed from my position as state slave and granted the opportunity to attend the University, an opportunity I did not waste. Unable to find work after graduating with honors, I bit the bullet, grabbed the bull by the horns, and declared myself not suited for the work-force. On welfare, this was the only way to protect oneself from being harassed by social workers and forced into mind-numbing dead end jobs where co-workers, managers, and the general public seemed to just accept the their fates as inevitable. They would expect me to just deal with it like they were.

I began to suspect that the professionals in psychiatric institutions and outpatient “treatment centers” knew much less about the politics of mental illness than I did. In other words, I began to understand that I had been a great “student of life,” and that many people who had me at their mercy had not been very good students of life, that they were “petty,” small-minded, and ambitious. There is no cognitive failure in mood disorders; even the symptoms of such “disorders” reflect the ambiguity of psychiatric labels.

This ape-man has sought for the truth and found the truth to be a nightmare: The earth has become a madhouse. How ironic that the madness of capitalism and industrialization is pinned on the psychiatric client! How very convenient for those who have the control of the masses. It makes perfect dollars and cents.

One would have to be inside the aggregate organism labeled “psychotic” to truly grasp the irony and absurdity of proceeding as though the Subject needed to be cured. As far as this Subject is concerned, the only thing I need to be cured of is the cure itself! What kind of nightmare world is this where adults get shuffled like cattle in and out of rooms like so many pre-schoolers at a daycare center? It’s a holding tank, and it is widespread. All these day-programs and “out-patient treatment centers” are just “day jail” for poor people that the State doesn’t want wandering outdoors all day.

Most of the modern endeavors – outpatient centers, inpatient hospitals, and even the various social clubs for the sick – remain threatened by a common danger: How does one avoid the institution’s reforming an asylum structure? How will this structure produce anything but a subjugated group?

David Cooper wrote:
Those admitted into psychiatric hospitals are admitted not so much because they are sick, as because they are protesting in a more or less adequate way against the social order.

The so-called “mentally ill” are recruited in our contemporary society. The massive manpower mobilization in the Mental Health Movement is best understood as an attempt to increase the number of mental patients “found” in society. Those who do not submit to wage-slavery will be forced to accept a psychiatric diagnosis if they want to receive social services.

Thomas Szasz wrote:
Like mine owners hiring more and more laborers to tear more copper out of the bowels of the earth, the state and federal governments, their subdivisions, and private and philanthropic organizations are hiring more and more psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to tear more madmen out of the bowels of society.

Emile Cioran wrote:

The multiplication of our kind borders on the obscene; the duty to love them on the preposterous. Which does not keep our thoughts from being contaminated by the presence of the human, from stinking of the human, and from being unable to cleanse themselves of it. He who is too weak to declare war on mankind must never forget, in his moments of fervor, to pray for a second Flood, more radical than the first.

Knowledge subverts love: in proportion as we penetrate our own secrets, we come to loathe our kind, precisely because they resemble us. When we have no further illusions about ourselves, we retain none about others; the unspeakable that we discover by introspection we extend, by legitimate generalization, to other mortals; depraved in their essence, we rightly endow them with all the vices which, oddly enough, most of us turn out to be unfit for or averse to ferreting out, to observing in ourselves or in others.

Suicide is simply the confession that life is too confusing and that one does not understand it at all. One of the ways I have personally resisted the suicidal impulse is by cultivating my ability to get by on less. This has turned out to be the most effective strategy to face and face down the strong work ethic drummed into me. In effect, I simply had to respect my stubborn refusal to kiss the asses of the money-holders, and thereby turn my father’s work-ethic upside down.

The television, the police, prisons, schools, hospitals, and factories serve to reinforce the power of the few and to coerce the many into acceptance of a brutal and degrading “rational” system. The goal of sexual repression is that of producing individuals who are adjusted to the authoritarian order and who will submit to it in spite of all the misery and degradation.

The masses are enslaved. The structures of civilization that nurture us with the food we need from the grocery stores simultaneously threaten us by keeping such items under lock and key to be exchanged for money. We live in an age of anxiety in an insane world where we witness the vulgar, wealth-warped values of the celebrity culture. Are we so easily bought and sold? Those who do not buy into the consumerist materialism may be shunned, mocked, and eventually totally marginalized by way of criminal prosecution or psychiatric diagnosis. Freud’s enthusiastic endorsement and use of psychiatric vocabulary for denigrating people place him in the mainstream of psychiatric thought: invalidating human beings by psychiatric methods.

Whereas man’s inhumanity to man was once legitimized by appeals to God, now it is legitimized by appeals to Health. The psychoanalytic description of hypomania and hysteria is but a semantic revision of a demonological one.

“The states of possession correspond to our neuroses … In our eyes, the demons are the bad and reprehensible wishes, derivatives of instinctual impulses that have been repudiated and repressed.” ~ Freud

I am seeking a broader cultural-historical-economic perspective of the psychiatric industry. What is called “mental illness” (or “psychopathology”) emerges as the name of the PRODUCT of a particular kind of relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed. (Szasz 1970)

There can be no doubt that the business-as-usual work ethic of most jobs and careers have detrimental effects on our mental health. The only way to minimize the damaging consequences of living by the wealth-warped values of the mainstream corporate mind-fuck is to rebel. The art of rebelling in a consumerist culture is to consume as little as possible.
From early childhood on, we are bombarded with meta-narratives which try to explain just about everything that happens in the world. Being incredulous toward meta-narratives means you doubt them, you disbelieve them.

What are the meta-narratives of our age? Marxism is a meta-narrative that attempts to explain and describe reality in terms of economics and class struggle. Psychoanalysis is a meta-narrative which tries to explain and describe reality in terms of internal psychological conflicts. Rational Science in general is a meta-narrative which believes all phenomena can be understood objectively.
All meta-narratives are rational. They are reductive in that they try to explain everything. Are we to resent the masses for being so manipulable?

In Fydor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, Prince Myshkin is considered an “idiot” only because he does not hold any grudges. Made ridiculous, insulted, jeered at, even threatened with death by Rogozhin, “the prince” forgives. As if he had an inkling of the suffering that underlies aggressions, he ignores them, withdraws, and even gives solace to those who have abused him.

I want to be done, once and for all, with any perspective (like Marxism, Psychoanalysis, or Rational Science) claiming that history is moving in some preordained direction, or that all events can be understood as part of some causal chain of events.

Psychoanalysis may be an instrument of control that doctors and professionals use to make people conform to the repressive rules of modern society.

I heard a “mental health professional” ask a client, “And how do you feel when you start drooling from being over-medicated?”

What kind of asinine question is this? Why not stop taking the medication when the side-effects are worse than the symptoms the medication is suppressing? I have long ceased believing in the ego. They are trying to fuck me over again. They are trying to fuck us over. We must not delude ourselves. Freud never liked schizophrenics or manics or psychotics, and those employed in hospitals and treatment centers don’t seem to like their clients there either. Freud didn’t like resistance to being oedipalized, and tended to treat his clients/patients like lab animals. I have seen this in the way some “mental health technicians,” “care takers,” “drivers,” and clerics treat clients in our current pharmacracy. They think we are lazy and pathetic? We make bad slaves, and we are mocked by good slaves for being bad slaves.

Slavery in all its forms is an essential economic pillar of the Industrial World, and has been from the beginning. The eradication of economic slavery would mean the collapse of the profit pyramid structure, the scarcity economics process on which sits the very socio-economic management of industrial civilization itself.

What is this scarcity economics? In scarcity economics, lack is produced. Lack – the sense of needing something one doesn’t possess – is produced, created, planned, and organized in and through social production. The deliberate creation of lack as a function of market economy is the ART of a DOMINANT CLASS. Media advertizes and creates this sense of lack. Lack is a product of the imagination created by the power brokers and their servile media whores.

Ivan Illich wrote, “People would rebel against industrial society if medicine did not explain their biological disorientation as a defect in their health, rather than as a defect in the way of life which is imposed upon them or which they impose upon themselves. The assurance of personal political innocence that a diagnosis offers the patient serves as a hygenic mask that justifies further subjugation …”

Mood disorders such as “bipolar disorder” are just patterns of behavior expressed by particular individuals in response to the conditions of the world. Behavior patterns are not illnesses. When doctors act as though they are “curing the sick” by suggesting compliance with taking medications, they are being dishonest. Most likely they are even and especially dishonest with themselves and their peers. They are terminating behavior patterns on the pretense that they are healing the sick.

It is more accurate to say that psychiatrists, therapists, case workers are punishing trouble-makers and coercing deviant individuals to behave in conventional ways. Drug treatment of “mental disorders” does not benefit the patient; it only benefits the established order of society, reinforcing the false hierarchy in a game that is rigged against the disenfranchized.

I am often beset with a sense of failure and frustration, but someone who never experiences contradictions and paradoxes is no serious thinker. I suffer long periods of philosophical despair, depression, nervousness, and anxiety; but these periods are interspersed with periods of furious writing and research. It’s not always scholarly research either. I am a long time fan of black humor (also known as dark comedy). Black humor is a form of humor that regards human suffering as absurd rather than pitiable, or that considers human existence as ironic and pointless but also somehow comical. Am I an absurdist?

Here I pause to insert one of my favorite excerpts from Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf:
Make an end at last of the fat and well dressed and perfumed plutocrats who used the machines to squeeze the fat from other men’s bodies, of them and their fiendishly purring automobiles.
Set factories afire at last!

Make a little room on the crippled earth!

Depopulate it so the grass may grow again, and woods, meadows, heather, stream and moor return to this world of dust and concrete.

The principal thing was clear. There was a war on, a violent, genuine and highly sympathetic war where there was no concern for Kaiser or Republic, for frontiers, flags, or colors and other equally decorative and theatrical matters, all nonsense at bottom; but a war in which every one who lacked air to breathe and no longer found life exactly pleasing gave empathetic expression to his displeasure and strove to prepare the way for a general destruction of this iron-cast civilization of ours.
In every eyes I saw the unconcealed spark of destruction and murder, and in mine too these wild red roses bloomed as rank and high, and sparkled as brightly. I joined the battle joyfully.

Or this …

“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gustav. We have taken the liberty of shooting your chauffer. May we inquire whom we have the honor to address?”

The old man looked at us coolly and sadly out of his small gray eyes.
“I am the Attorney General Loering,” he said slowly.
“You have not only killed my poor chauffer, but me too, I fancy. Why did you shoot us?”

“For exceeding the speed limit.”

“We were not traveling at more than normal speed.”

“What was normal yesterday is no longer normal today, Mr. Attorney General. We are of the opinion that whatever speed a motorcar travels is too great. We are destroying all motorcars and all other machines also.”

“Your rifles too?”

“Their turn will come, granted we have the time.”

“And now, will you please get out, or let us carry you out, as the car is to be destroyed.”

“I prefer to be destroyed with it.”

“As you wish. But allow me to ask you one more question. You are a public prosecutor. i never could understand how a man could be a public prosecutor. You make your living by bringing other men, poor devils mostly, to trial and passing sentence on them. Isn’t that so?”

“It is. I do my duty. It was my office. Exactly as it is the office of the hangman to hang those I condemn to death. You too have assumed a like office. You kill people also.”

“Quite true. Only we do not kill for duty, but pleasure, or much more rather, from displeasure and despair of the world. For this reason we find a certain amusement in killing people. Has it never amused you?”

“You bore me. Be so kind as to do your work. Since the conception of duty is unknown to you -”

I agree with Gustav when he says, “I have no objection to this stupid congested world going to bits. I am glad to help and glad to perish with it.”

Let’s not forget this little conversation:

The young woman asks, “But what is to become of us?”

“Don’t know,” said Gustav. “My friend Harry is fond of pretty girls. He’ll look after you.”

“But the police and the soldiers will come and kill us.”

“There aren’t any police and such like any more. We can choose, Dora. Either we stay quietly up here and shoot down every car that tries to pass, or else we can take a car and drive off in it and let others shoot at us. It’s all the same which side we take. I’m for staying here.”

Psychiatric medication does nothing to stop modern war, economic injustice, and the nightmare world that’s got me depressed and dejected in the first place. Before I die – which, as is true for all living creatures, could be at any moment, could be today, within the next five minutes – I want to have things sorted out in my heart, so that I am clear about what is and what is not. I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to have had a negative reaction to the civilizing process.
The great lie is that civilization is good for us.

So when do I get to the part about how to get through a life not worth living? Trust me, I am not just talking about my life, but all of our lives. I don’t believe that anyone’s life is worth living. I don’t believe the hype, not one bit of it.

So, my answer to how to get through this life of ours that is clearly not worth living, where we are better off dead, better off never having been born, is a strong dose of madness with undertones of black humor (dark comedy). The escape from the self-hatred of melancholia lies in its counter-concept, mania. Manic states such as joy and exaltation depend on the same psychical energy as melancholia. Humor is an anti-depressant that works by the ego (self) finding itself ridiculous. Humor is a relation of self-knowledge. Humor is often dark, but always lucid.

Can we have humor with a strong dose of anger? I think we can. The mood of anger is really the first political emotion. At this point, we seem to lack a name around which a radical politics can take shape.

What is glimpsed in humor is a non-hostile presence of mind that has undergone what we might call “maturation,” a maturity that comes from learning to laugh at ourselves, from finding ourselves ridiculous. Humor saves the human being from tragic hubris, from the Promethean fantasy of believing oneself omnipotent. Humor saves the human being from morbid, obsessive self-hatred. We are restless, curious, often disquieted creatures. Some would even say our condition is a mixture of wretched boredom and wretched anxiety.

Each year there are more and more “subjects”, more “clients”, more “patients”, more people in “treatment”, and more officially certified problems to justify treatment. Local, state, and federal agencies have created an enormous network of “programs” to identify and serve such “subjects” – community mental health systems serving “mental health consumers”.

Conventional psychiatrists call themselves physicians not because they deal with medical problems or make use of medical science, but because they wish to use the prestige and authority of the medical profession as a disguise. In this way, the psychiatrists can intimidate their alleged patients/clients and mislead everyone about their police function.
There exists a mandatory medical and psychological screening of all the nation’s poor (those eligible for Medicaid). This includes family histories and the collection of extensive personal data about parents, siblings, and other relationships.

There are sophisticated data systems which are used to exchange personal information among schools, welfare departments, the courts, and other agencies. These are used to track clients through the social service system. Participation in “treatment centers” is imposed on hundreds of thousands of people whose only crime may be a need for shelter, failure to cooperate with welfare workers, or lifestyles of which their neighbors disapprove.

At a time when our government accepts a high unemployment rate, when budgets for conventional forms of social services are curtailed, governments have found new ways of controlling superfluous people. They have invented new categories to convert what is essentially a political and an economic dilemma into a “problem” of mental illness or other forms of individual inadequacy.

“Mental illness” is often used as a label for behaviors which fail to satisfy social convention or cultural expectations. The programs include drugs to keep clients docile, behavior modification to keep clients cooperative, questionnaires to reinforce the authority of the agency over the client, data banks to record behavior and follow through the system. Such “treatment” is used to maintain order. Organized psychiatry is a creature of government. There is no conspiracy, no master plan of control, but there are clearly a set of interlocking interests.

There are professionals who know more about us than we know about ourselves. Federal and state policy created an outpatient system to handle people who had been hospitalized in the first place because they had nowhere to go. Most community mental health centers are so sparsely staffed that there is simply no time or money to offer genuine health care for most of the clients. Outside the gated communities of luxury homes, there is a growing army of human life experiencing the dark side of our consumerist culture.

The institutions of social services converts what are essentially problems of money, housing, or education into “mental illness”. The police have learned that it is easier and faster to dispose of cases by hauling them to psychiatric wards of hospitals – the drunks, the junkies, the screamers, the sidewalk nuisances …
The other agencies of social service, welfare, schools, and housing refer their difficult clients for counseling, “psychiatric evaluation”, or “treatment”. Entire communities have a prison ambiance to them.

Our culture of control and consumerism does not work for most people. It works for a few, but most people suffer more than if they had been born thousands of years ago among tribal people. The elite of industrial societies like to complain about the cost of welfare programs or the cost of running the prison industry, failing to see this dark side as the foundation on which the scarcity economics of the IW is based.

Jerome S. Bruner wrote:

David Garland’s disturbing book, The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, addresses the question why there are so many more people in jail in America and Britain than anywhere else. That, in any case, is its specific focus. Its broader concern is with cultures of control, how societies treat deviance and violence and whom they single out for what treatment. He deals with this politically sensitive subject less dramatically than Michel Foucault did in Discipline and Punish, which brought the subject into public debate in the 1970s. Garland brings a larger amount of factual information to bear, but Foucault’s influence shows in his account.

His argument is that by 1980, both countries established a new system of crime control, a system based almost exclusively on imprisonment. This system has continued unabated ever since, the current decade being the most punitive in US history. The new approach to managing crime, in Garland’s account, was an expression of the triumph of free-market political conservatism over the protest-generating upheavals of the late 1960s and 1970s.

What finally emerged in both countries was a highly efficient and technically controlled system of crime management directed almost exclusively at protecting crime’s potential victims instead of coping with its causes. Its principal instruments, inevitably, were swift arrest, tough sentencing, and extensive incarceration. Penal welfare and rehabilitation got lost in the process. Moreover, the transformation took place with scarcely a murmur of public protest. It seemed to escape attention, except among those it affected personally.

While the gorts sit back and thank the Lord that they aren’t inside the prison walls, they fail to see that this prison industry is the free-market’s solution to poverty and scarcity. Woe to you who finds yourself in want in Takerville!

From “The Coming Insurrection” :

France wouldn’t be the land of anxiety pills that it’s become, the paradise of anti-depressants, the Mecca of neurosis, if it weren’t also the European champion of hourly productivity.

Depression, anxiety, and other “behavioral disorders” contribute to the maintenance of the existing order, to my adjustment to idiotic norms.
My failings lead directly to the dismantling of the hypothesis of the self. These failings then become acts of resistance in the current war. They become a REBELLION and a FORCE against everything that conspires to normalize us, to amputate us.

The self is not something within us that is in a state of crisis; it is the form they mean to stamp us with.

They want to make our self something sharply defined, separate, assessable in terms of qualities, controllable, when in fact we are creatures among creatures, singularities among similars, living flesh weaving the flesh of the world.

Contrary to what has been repeated to us since childhood, intelligence doesn’t mean knowing how to adapt – or if that is a kind of intelligence, it’s the intelligence of slaves.

Our inadaptability, our fatigue, are only problems from the standpoint of what aims to subjugate us.

It’s this construction of subjectivities by the state that is breaking down, every day a little more …


Section Two: Zero Equals Infinity?

Where does the manic energy my brain experiences fit into the myth of mental illness?

Moods have nothing whatsoever to do with cognitive functioning. For me, employment is problematic not due to cognitive dysfunction, but because I seem hostile to structure, schedules, petty politics, and a host of other phenomena: back-breaking labor hardens the body and soul, and kills dreams. Sometimes it is a sign of merit to be at odds with a society, especially when society rewards conformity and mediocrity and caving into the ways of industrial man while it starves the extraordinary.

They praise honesty then let it starve.

My very being threatens and mocks the meritocracy. The feeling of the absurd and suicide are directly related. I am concerned with the absurd for I see it everywhere I look. Once we have become conscious of the absurd, we are forever bound to it. We don’t have the option of being cured of our “soul” – but only seeking to live with it as though coping with an ailment, living with the sense of the absurd.

Once I choose to continue living, how am I to exist?

Phenomenology confirms absurd thought in its initial assertion that there is no truth, but merely truths. Is the phenomenological reduction an absurd procedure? “Intention” characterizes consciousness. Returning to consciousness, as we “awaken,” we escape from everyday sleepwalking and move toward absurd freedom. It’s not so much about explaining and solving as it is about experiencing and describing.

I have become alienated, marginalized, and superfluous. I can’t explain how I’ve come to be this way. I merely experience and attempt to describe experience. Radical intellectual honesty seems to be a necessary component in this process. I want to push through the barriers that prevent us from deep experience – self-deception, delusion, and downright blindness as to the motivations underlying behaviors which baffle us.

Scientific training/education imparts an unrealistic, rational picture of the world, where the individual body-subject plays a minor role. The individual, however, as an irrational datum, is the true and authentic carrier of reality (Jung). Rationalists are incapable of psychological insight. Feeling like an insignificant statistic or “vote,” and that life has lost its meaning, the poor gort is already on its way to State slavery. The individual personality is the real life-carrier.

Science and technology made reason ascendant over our emotional system (instinct, intuition, unconscious animal responses), and from this comes the prime assumption of modern humanism: “All problems are soluable.” Emotion is held up to contempt and ridicule. Industrial society believes reason to be superior to emotion, and yet, as complex neurobiological organisms, we can’t reason without our complex emotional systems. Emotions are the mechanism that Nature has given us for fitting ourselves into our world (Ehernfeld).

A body (corps) is not reducible to an organism, any more than espirit de corps is reducible to the soul of an organism.

The essence of animism is a radical rejection of Cartesian dualism. Animism is the recognition that we are our bodies and not ephemeral spirit wrapped in an arbitrary fleshy shell; animism is the simple belief in our own experience. This is where phenomenology and animism merge. The body becomes the symbol for the I.

Alone, without the body, the I is an empty concept.

Reason seems impotent when confronted with the depths of existence. The ultimate truth of our condition cannot be known rationally, because this truth is elusive, and any attempt to objectify it can delude us. The Hegelian philosophy of history is meaningless. Worse yet, it is cruel and coercive.

Heidegger viewed reason as an obstacle to thinking.

If there is no consciousness outside of the neural nerve net (the brain), if there is no soul outside the brain, where does consciousness come from? What causes consciousness?

What does the great Oracle, Arthur Schopenhauer, have to tell me about soul or consciousness?

“The maintenance of an empirical freedom of the will, a liberum arbitrium indifferentiae, is very closely connected with the assertion that places man’s inner nature in a soul that is originally a knowing, indeed, really an abstract thinking entity, and only in consequence thereof a willing entity. Such a view, therefore, regarded the will as a secondary nature, instead of knowledge, which is really secondary.”

Of course, according to Schopenhauer, the will is first and original; knowledge is merely added to it as an instrument belonging to the phenomenon of the will. And yet, even a mind as great, as coherent and clear, as we find in Schopenhauer, can at times become ignorance parading around as authority. Perhaps the willing entity is the thinking entity, and the duality between soul and body is a consequence of artificial conceptualizations we impose upon our experience.

Do mental states have non-physical features? Schopenhauer says that everything is most certainly physical, yet not explainable. Paul M. Churchland offers an explanation with neurocomputational terminology. The existence of one’s auto-connected epistemic pathways, their origins, and their current cognitive functions are all intelligible on purely physicalist assumptions. Isn’t this going about things counter to implementing Husserl’s “pre-scientific awareness”? I don’t think so.
Husserl’s phenomenology is a bringing us into contact with things through their being perceived in their fleshly presence. Each of us, including non-human creatures, has a proprietary way of knowing about the occurrence and character of one’s own internal states. Truth cannot be limited to what can be gained through the application of the scientific method. Merleau-Ponty went as far as describing scientific points of view as “always naïve and at the same time dishonest.” Many truths we arrive at intuitively through our living bodies.

I have a strong ambivalence towards professional, academic philosophy.
What about the old issue about the essentially objective nature of physical phenomena and the essentially subjective nature of mental phenomena? We can now see that there is nothing exclusively objective about physical phenomena, since they can occasionally be known by subjective means as well, specifically, by the activity of one’s auto-connected epistemic pathways. Neither is there anything exclusively subjective about one’s mental states. While our mental states are known by way of one’s auto-connected pathways, our states can also be observed by Others. The very faculties of understanding are themselves physical in nature.

Consciousness flows. Consciousness is not me, but I am of consciousness. I am a species of consciousness. Husserl can’t transcend the ‘unknown forces of Nature” without invoking specific “magical” terminology such as the phenomenological act of reduction (epoche, bracketing off, suspending judgment). “Magic” is a simple direct way of escaping the narrowness of everydayness. Instead of turning to the great thinkers, the student of the occult turns immediately inward and tries to reach down to his subliminal depths, into the cognitive unconscious itself, what Husserl imagined to be a “pure consciousness,” a primordial pre-scientific awareness, the ground of non-conceptual, “spiritual” knowledge. I think the chief thing is to establish a link between the conscious and subconscious mind.

“There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows itself; it is the mystical.” (Wittgenstein)

According to Western neuroscience, consciousness is a product of the physiological processes in the brain, and thus critically dependent on the body. We have absolutely no proof that consciousness is actually produced by the brain. We do not have even a remote notion how something like consciousness could possibly happen. That consciousness is a brain process remains one of the leading myths of Western materialistic science and has profound influence on our entire society (Grof).

Experiences originating on deeper levels have a certain quality Jung called numinosity. The term numinous is neutral and preferable to similar names, such as religious, mystical, magical, holy, or sacred. The mystics do not need churches or temples or universities.

Alcoholism and dependence on street drugs may represent a misguided search for transcendence. “Mystical states” offer richness of philosophical insights, but drunkenness does not offer such insights. People go into therapy trying to make the unconscious conscious. And yet, our spiritual ancestors close to the origins of our species realized the conscious and subconscious are linked together through the process of breathing.

Husserl had a deep conviction that Western culture had lost its direction and purpose. The individual is threatened from both sides: by the State and by God. It seems there is a psychological opposition between the phenomenal Natural World and the monotheistic God. The peasants starve and the police are kept well-disciplined and well-fed. Who is this goon lumbering around as my government?

To me, radicalizing phenomenology is simply acknowledging that when Husserl attempted to use rational means for attaining a transcendental state, he unleashed into the world a confusion. When I refer to myself as a “radical phenomenologist,” I mean that I fully embrace the confusion Husserl has exposed; in fact, I rest in this confusion. Edmund Husserl, without trying to do so, has undermined Reason, the god of the Industrial World. As a radical phenomenologist, I call into question the conventional scientific worldview. In so doing, I set about to further undermine mass industrial society. The connection between science and totalitarian control has become apparent. The general population finds itself existing within a gargantuan industrial apparatus which it admires, worships, and idolizes, and yet cannot comprehend. Hence, the general population defers to the authority of the experts and specialists.

Albert Camus, always honest and wise, writes, “Husserl’s manner of proceeding negates the classical method of reason, disappoints hope, opens to intuition and to the heart of the whole proliferation of phenomena, the wealth of which has something about it inhuman. These paths lead to all sciences or to none.”

I am moving towards an embodied realism, and yet I trust Schopenhauer when he writes, “True philosophy must at all costs be idealistic; indeed, it must be so merely to be honest. For nothing is more certain than that no one ever came out of himself immediately with things different from him; but everything of which he has certain, sure, and hence immediate knowledge, lies within his consciousness. Beyond this consciousness, therefore, there can be no immediate certainty; but the first principle of a science must have such a certainty. It is quite appropriate to the empirical standpoint of all the other sciences to assume the objective world as positively and actually existing; it is not appropriate to the standpoint of philosophy, which has to go back to what is primary and original. Consciousness alone is immediately given, hence the basis of philosophy is limited to the facts of consciousness; in other words, philosophy is essentially idealistic.”

But I digress. Spiritualism is the false safeguard against materialism; but the real and true safeguard against materialism is idealism. In spiritualism, what is proved is the knower’s independence of matter, but in idealism, what is proved is the dependence of all matter on the knower. Husserl always reminds us that consciousness is always consciousness of something. Schopenhauer says that consciousness without object is no consciousness at all. Both appear to be transcendental idealists.

Intellect and matter are correlatives. They are one and the same thing – not opposites. From one point of view, we have intellect, from the other point of view we have matter; and both are this one thing, the phenomenon of this will-to-live, the primordial one, Ur-Einen. Immanuel Kant’s proposition, that the “I think” must accompany all our representations, is insufficient, for “the I” is an unknown quantity. The I itself is a mystery and a secret. Isn’t the I Ur-Einen? Isn’t the I the thing-in-itself? We partake in the unconscious omniscience of the great mother (the inner being of Nature).

In the emerging post-modern world, the drive for authenticity is thwarted by the entire social system in which our lives are embedded.
Why am I so intensely concerned with philosophical questions? Isn’t the real world directly accessible to us through intuition? Intuitions are the hard-won insights akin to mathematical discoveries. My insights become part and parcel of my mental equipment. Dostoevsky’s “Underground Man” is a reflection of the chaos left in the wake of Kant.

My motive is not to drive myself insane, but to overcome the fear of insanity. Losing objective consciousness might be mistaken for insanity by the “sane” who are stuck in objective consciousness. I’m too engrossed in my own transformations to be disturbed by the images my presence of mind produces in the heads of others. Most likely, I will be forgotten in the silence of history, and so, while walking upon the earth, I’ll not live for an image, for those impressions are in others’ minds, and hence are but mere phantoms, constructions intended to give them an impression of me.

Phenomenology is a kind of trained introspection and self-observation. Our so-called “outer-perception” presents us with nothing that appears the way it really is. We are subject to some serious illusions with respect to rest, motion, figure, and size. All we know are the effects of these physical things on our sense organs.

Enter philosophical movements disguised as jokes or jokes disguised as philosophical movements. These are grim days indeed. Jokes are in high demand, but a few hearty laughs may shake us from our angst so that we might become more focused on the task at hand, whether it is sleeping, feeding, warming, or even contemplating our own death. I wish we could organize a movement to keep writers, scholars, and artists physically alive – to permit them to continue their work in this most difficult century. Studios could be organized where we form our own schools.

Dressed in old coats, chilled and hungry, we could become totally absorbed in discussions of literature, philosophy, comedy, wilderness survival, and “the end of history.” My “true” inner self is different from the self that appears in conversations with others. I need writing to supplement the misleading signs of my speech. In other words, in my speech and action I may seem to be going along with the status-quo, so I need my writing to pick up on the elements within me resisting. I need writing because my speech gets misinterpreted.

The most important lesson the [phenomenological] reduction teaches us is the impossibility of a complete reduction. The philosopher is the perpetual beginner. The unfinished nature of phenomenology is not a sign of failure. It is inevitable because phenomenology’s task is to reveal the mystery of the world and the impotency of reason when confronted with the depth of our lived experiences (existence itself).
Husserl believed we should not assume any philosophic or scientific theory, and furthermore, must avoid deductive reasoning (which presupposed logic) and mathematics as well as any other speculative theory of psychology and philosophy, in order to concentrate on describing what is given directly in intuition (Anschauung). This involves the most radical form of self-questioning, involving a kind of overthrow of all previous assumptions to knowledge, and a questioning of many of our ‘natural’ (common sense, scientific) intuitions about the nature of our mental processes or the make-up of the so-called objective world.

Husserlian phenomenology focuses totally on what is given in intuition and is not meant to rely on logical inferences, or mediate knowledge of any kind.

Phenomenology must be able to cope with the most radical denial of the world, with the challenge of the most hyperbolic doubt which sees the whole world as a dream or even as non-existent. As Dermot Moran says, “The objects focused on in phenomenological viewing must be neutralized with respect to the question of actuality.”

Phenomenology is riddled with as much paradox and mystery as life itself: How can a science which claims to remain true to experience seek to be a pure science stripped of all experiential elements? Phenomenology is remote from common sense. In the phenomenological reduction, there is a radical upheaval and consciousness even ceases to be human, loses all connection to the empirical, natural, human ego and its psychological states.

Section Three: The Wild Militants of a De-alienated World

In the preface to the English translation (2005) of Being and Event, originally published in French in 1988, Alain Badiou writes, “I would like this publication to mark an obvious fact: the nullity of the opposition between analytic thought and continental thought. And I would like this book to be read, appreciated, staked out, and contested as much by the inheritors of the formal and experimental grandeur of the sciences or of the law, as it is by the aesthetes of contemporary nihilism, the refined amateurs of literary deconstruction, the wild militants of a de-alienated world, and by those who are deliciously isolated by amorous constructions. Finally, that they say to themselves, making the difficult effort to read me: that man, in a sense that he invents, is all of us at once.”

Badiou mentions Husserl in his introduction; “We are contemporaries of the second epoch of the doctrine of the Subject. It is no longer the founding subject, centered and reflexive, whose theme runs from Descartes to Hegel and which remains legible in Marx and Freud (in fact, in Husserl and Sartre). The contemporary subject is void, cleaved, a-substantial, and ir-reflexive.”

Badiou reverses the Kantian question. It is no longer a matter of asking, “How is pure mathematics possible?” and responding, “thanks to a transcendental subject.” Rather, “Pure mathematics being the science of being, how is a subject possible?”

There is a huge payoff for working through Badiou’s text – nothing less than a revitalization of philosophy; but, that being said, this text requires patience. One would have to skim over the incomprehensible mathematics. I do not suggest reading Badiou unless you are prepared. What does it mean to ‘do ontology post-phenomenologically”?

Badiou doesn’t pull and any punches: “If mathematics is ontology, there is no other solution for those who want to participate in the actual development of ontology: they must study the mathematicians of their time. If the kernel of ‘philosophy’ is ontology, the directive, ‘be a mathematician’ is correct. Mathematicians are ontologists without knowing so. This lack of knowledge is the key to their truth.”
This lack of knowledge (zero, void) is the key to their truth (an infinite of truths).

The void is a subset of any set: it is universally included. The void possesses a subset, which is the void itself. Examining these properties of the void is an ontological exercise. The first property testifies to the omnipresence of the void. The void, to which nothing belongs, is by this very fact included in everything!

There’s a method to Badiou’s mathematical madness: “It is not for nothing that governments, when an emblem of their void wanders about – generally, an inconsistent or rioting crowd – prohibit “gatherings of more than three people,” which is to say they explicitly declare their non-tolerance of the one of such ‘parts,’ thus proclaiming that the function of the State is to number inclusions such that consistent belongings be preserved.

“The void is reduced to the non-representation of the proletariate, thus, unpresentability is reduced to a modality of nonrepresentation; the separate count of parts is reduced to the non-universality of bourgeois interests, to the presentative split between normality and singularity. Politics can be defined as an assault against the state. The State is precisely non-political.”

To think is to learn to see in a new way. The singleton of the void is written here as {VOID}. The name of the void is written here as VOID, meaning the empty set, {}, NULL.

{VOID} is the formation-into-one of the name of the void. Its sole element is VOID.

Nature has no sayable being. The Greek term phusis resonates beneath the word “nature.” Nature is not a region of being. It is the appearing, the bursting forth of being itself, and the coming-to of its presence. If being is phusis (nature), it is because being is “the appearing which resides in itself.”

“Nature” means presence, offering of what is veiled. The Platonic turn consisted of proposing an interpretation of phusis as idea. In turn, the Idea, in Plato’s sense, can only be understood on the basis of the Greek conception of nature, or phusis. The Idea is the evident aspect of what is offered. The Idea is the “surface,” the “façade,” the offering to the regard of what opens up as Nature. The particular invention of the Greeks is that being is expressible once a decision of thought subtracts it from any instance of Presence.

Badiou writes, “A subject is a militant of truth. The militant of a truth is not only the political militant. He or she is also the artist-creator, the scientist who opens up a new theoretical field, or the lover whose world is enchanted.”

Badiou says the contemporary Subject is void. What does this mean?

I want to go mad so that I can laugh from morning into the night. I will laugh at math blowing up when X = NULL. I will laugh at each of the halls of mirrors I am thrown into.
When I want to learn something new, I ask myself, first, “Is it necessary?”

All in all, Badiou uses too much mathematical jargon for my taste, and I like mathematics.
{ ∅, {∅} }

I want to make a few comments about ∅, which is a symbol for the empty set, { }, “the void,” NULL.

The void is a subset of any set: it is universally included.

The void possesses a subset, which is the void itself.

Examining these properties of the void is an ontological exercise.

The first property testifies to the omnipresence of the void.

The void, to which nothing belongs, is by this very fact included in everything!

The State considers the individual as a subset – not as Mike Hentrich (the proper name of an infinite multiple) but as {Mike Hentrich}, an indifferent figure of unicity, constituted by the forming-into-one of the name.

Coercion consists in not being held to be someone who belongs to society, but as someone who is included within society.

Again, remember that to think is to learn to see in a new way.
∅ implies { }

The singleton of the void is written here as {∅}.

The name of the void is written here as ∅, meaning the empty set, { }, NULL.

{∅} is the formation-into-one of the name of the void. Its sole element is ∅.

What would the parts of the power set of p(∅) be?

There is {∅} itself; there is also ∅ because the void is universally included in every multiple.

∅ is part of every set. The multiple p(∅) has two elements, ∅ and {∅}.
Here, woven from nothing apart from the void, we have the ontological schema of the Two, which can be written {∅, {∅}}.

The element ∅ is part of the Two.

The element {∅} is also part since ∅ is an element of the Two (it belongs to it).

The two elements of the two are also two parts of the two. The mathematical concept of transivity is therefore possible. Transitivity tells us, “everything which belongs is included.” The inverse is impossible.

It is not possible for everything which is included to belong.
Not only is the Two a transitive set, but its elements, ∅ and {∅} are also transitive.

Nothing inside ∅ is not “a part” since the void is no thing, the empty set, null.

This is the backbone of ontology – the very concept of Nature: Nature belongs to itself.

NOTE: Mathematical Definition of TRANSITIVE:

Of or relating to a mathematical or logical relation between three elements such that if the relation holds between the first and second elements and between the second and third elements, it necessarily holds between the first and third elements.

The relation of being greater than in mathematics is transitive, since if a > b and b > c, then a > c.

Transitivity tells us, “everything which belongs is included.” The inverse is impossible. It is not possible for everything which is included to belong.

A set is a collection of items considered as a whole. If there are only a few items, the set can be defined by listing them in braces. For example, the set A might be defined as follows:

A = {1,2,3}

The items in a set are called elements or members of the set. They are also said to belong to the set or to be in the set, and the set is said to contain them.

Two sets are equal if they contain exactly the same elements. That is, set A is equal to set B if every element of A is also an element of B, and every element of B is also an element of A. The order in which the elements of a set are listed in its definition is irrelevant. For example, the sets {1,2,3} and {3,2,1} are equal.

An element cannot belong to a set more than once. Therefore, when a set is defined by listing its elements, each element is listed only once.
A set that contains no elements is called the empty set, and is represented by the symbol ∅ .

If every element of the set A is also an element of the set B, then A is said to be a subset of B. B is said to include A. Every set is a subset of itself, and the empty set is a subset of every set.

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