Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Zuckerberg knows the history. There's nothing to be puzzled about.

Leusder again, quoting the New Yorker's music critic on Ernst Jünger
We like to think that novelists possess a special ethical strength, yet the morally compromised writer can project a strange kind of honesty—especially when his society is compromised to the same degree.

"We like to think..." No, we don't. 

Fintan O'Toole: Writers are the last people we should look to for moral clarity

For the uncomfortable truth about literature is that morally virtuous people are less likely than morally slippery people to be great writers. Having a clear set of values and sticking to it through trials and tribulations makes for a splendid human being, but seldom for a splendid novel.

My response at the time

No. The ability to face the complexities of the world begins with the acceptance of the possibility of failure. The way to understanding the frailties of others begins with an ability to recognize your own. Most people who consider themselves virtuous haven't been tested, or they're less virtuous than they imagine 

right-thinking, bien pensant, 

Leusder, Jäger et al. are fans of of all variety of fascist adjacent culture but moralize about those who cross a line, unless of course it's the one about which earnest Europeans hold their tongue.

Memories of Taruskin. Moralists' ideas of art. 

And again, both linking back to the same history:

Thug life is barbarism. It needs no written philosophy. It needs no defense. It's not opposed to art. As I've said more than once, maybe not here, if art were about morality, killers wouldn't know how to dance.
A comment that labeled me a "nihilist":

12 years ago on the subway, I watched a man playing the accordion. My first thought was that he knew how to handle a knife. His playing was hard, cold and precise, but it was turned in an instant from jagged to fluid, from points to curves, swooping and stabbing. The music described the violent moral universe that made him. He was trailed by a stoop-shouldered woman with a cup. The expression on her face was heartbreaking. 

Also from Jäger, Habermas replies:

Please allow me a final intellectual historical observation. Professor Parsons has claimed that Max Weber's teaching is a development towards bringing about the end of ideology. Weber is said to have broken the trilemma of historicism. utilitarianism and  Marxism, and to have led the way into the free field of discussion  beyond the European fronts of civil war. I envy our American  colleagues their political traditions which permit such a generous  and (in the best sense of the word) liberal interpretation of Max  Weber. We here in Germany, who are still seeking for alibis,  would only too gladly follow them. But Weber's political sociology  has had a different history here. At the time of the First World War  he outlined a sketch of Caesar-like leader-democracy on the  contemporary basis of a national-state imperialism. This militant  latter-day liberalism had consequences in the Weimar period  which we, and not Weber, must answer for. If we are to judge  Weber here and now, we cannot overlook the fact that Carl Schmitt! was a ‘legitimate pupil’ of Weber’s. Viewed in the light  of the history of influences, the decisionist element in Weber's  sociology did not break the spell of ideology, but strengthened it. 

No fucking shit. 

O'Toole again, on Pinter. All I do is repeats

He goes on to quote, as if from memory, lines fromThe Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil like "What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut/ With diamonds?"; "There's a plumber laying pipes in my guts"; "My soul, like to a ship in a black storm/Is driven I know not whither"; "I have caught/ An everlasting cold. I have lost my voice/Most irrecoverably." And, of course, "Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle; she died young." He adds, "That language made me dizzy." 

These assholes read Brecht as a radical, when he needs to be read as Jünger is, as I read Brecht even as a child.

Reinhard Heydrich on his deathbed reciting the lyrics of his father. 

The world is just a barrel-organ which the Lord God turns Himself.
We all have to dance to the tune which is already on the drum

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