Tuesday, July 26, 2022


I wanted to see what showed up, but that's it. LOL as the kids say. With Liberal Fascism I called Goldberg the poor man's Foucault. 

Adam Kirsch
Interwar German thought exercised an enormous influence in the late-twentieth-century US, from Martin Heidegger’s existentialism to the critical theory of the Frankfurt School to the Marxist mysticism of Walter Benjamin. But the apocalyptic radicalism that made these thinkers so fascinating—the product of a period that felt like, and in a sense really was, the end of the world—is absent in Cassirer.

Goldberg and Kirsch are both tribalists, but won't admit it.

The blacks in America are the first to abjure the idea of assimilation, to realize the inherent lie in the concept of melting pot. Through black nationalism has developed a new black pride and hence the ticket to liberation. 
Today’s young American Jew is a good bit slower. He desperately wants assimilation: Jewishness embarrasses him.

Goldberg and Kirsch are more embarrassed.

The anti-Jewish prejudice in America in various areas of life, such as the universities, had quickly become evident to the émigrés. Conservative East Coast society above all clung to a clear distinction between Jew and non-Jew.  As early as 1936 a disillusioned Panofsky wrote to Fritz Saxl in London that he was reckoning on “a reunion of our whole circle of friends in Honduras or Liberia, probably in 1940. By then things will have gone so far here too that Jews and Liberals will no longer be welcome.”

No mention of Palestine, because the meaning of such a choice is obvious.

Panofsky contra Benjamin's indulgence, "love of the arcane," and "pretense".  

Judith Shklar, After Utopia, Chapter IV-The End of Radicalism 

What answers can be offered to these counsels of social despair? Romanticism refuses to analyze the social world with any degree of thoroughness, and Christian fatalism subjects modern history to an excess of simplification in order to satisfy its sense of outrage. But to have noted all these shortcomings is not a reply. In fact, no reply is forthcoming. The spirit of rational optimism which alone could furnish a reply does not flourish at present. 
"The spirit of rational optimism", and "liberal perfectionism" is pure romance. 
The liberalism of Cassirer and Panofsky, of humanism, is lost, forgotten, irrelevant.


Leusder retweeted this yesterday
There are many things the left has abandoned at its peril. One of them is certainly the abandonment of confident high modernism: large projects, space exploration, scientific and technological progress for it's own sake, the creation of a rational order etc.

quoting Jäger: 

Zero Lies detected

quoting Sarah Zedig: 

"skyscraper" is such a cool word. pure modernist idealism. they just don't make em like that anymore. if they invented the skyscraper today they'd call it some shit like "vertical housing" or "enhanced elevation office space." culture in decline 

Leusder 

Addendum: this is not Fordist nostalgia, but a non-aesthetic plaidoyer for 'scientific optimism' about the creation of a rational order that can harness distributed resources within political and ecological means. It's not motivated by the technological sublime. 
"a non-aesthetic"advocacy. Because aesthetics is something you can indulge or not.
So says Max Weber.

The fact that there are works of art is given for aesthetics. It seeks to find out under what conditions this fact exists, but it does not raise the question whether or not the realm of art is perhaps a realm of diabolical grandeur, a realm of this world, and therefore, in its core, hostile to God and, in its innermost and aristocratic spirit, hostile to the brotherhood of man. Hence, aesthetics does not ask whether there should be works of art.

Contra Weber, your aesthetic is the manifestation of your ethic. Your ethic is recorded in the history of your actions. Academia is an aesthetic and an ethic; a cafe revolutionary is a creature of the cafe, not the revolution, etc. etc. 

Leusder is an economist and club kid. That takes me back to 2008 and Henry Farrell: Leusder's "minimaldamage" to Farrell's "My Bloody Valentine"

The tweet includes a quote from James C. Scott, a variety of the same decadence: anarchism as a hobby for tenured technocrats.

And to the recent past, and the LSE again—Xenofeminism, "Storm the Heavens and Conquer Death"—it's always just a hop from rational optimism to violence and utopian kitsch. 

Sarah Zedig: @hmsnofun,"trans communist goat, she/her. 33. does video essays, writes @godfeelsCanon"
“godfeels”-an ongoing experimental homestuck fanfiction that starts with a depressed young man becoming a woman to mixed approval from her friends, and culminates in a macrocosmic war between every body and every mind.
The London School of Economics; Storm the Heavens and Conquer Death; a macrocosmic war between every body and every mind; minimal damage; My Bloody Valentine. 
Expressionism in the atomic age is the product of technocracy and the bomb, the emotion escaping the denial of emotion; it's the melodrama behind positivism, from Vienna to Weimar to New York, the relation of Strangelove to von Neumann.

I forgot about this one. It goes back to 2007 this time.  

The institutionalization of narcissism 

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