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Delusion and Reality*

 
(for John Lodewijks)

My last post ( https://litvote.com/pipedream-2/ ) shared a pipedream.
It was little more than a thought experiment.
Why not?
Even Einstein hinted that reality may be an illusion (anticipated by the Vedic notion of Maya).
In fact, a Nobel was awarded in Physics demonstrating that the local
world is illusory.

If so, why not, in all self-awareness, dream within a dream?
 
*
 
Leaving that conundrum aside, what is the real, anyway?
A working definition: anything that has space-time co-ordinates, and/or exercises a determinate effect upon its environs (not perfect, but it will do)?
That would cover Gravity and Buddhism.
 
*
 
I have argued that EM (European Modernism) is the (Eurocentric) ethos within which we all (barring a few native peoples) co-exist, all but unconsciously.
It is the (problem) child of the European Enlightenment.
I have also suggested that it is demonstrably false in its assumptions, as to who we are as an anthropic species.
Just as you need an accurate physics to unIt isderstand chemistry and biology, you need a realist anthropology to understand our economic, societal, and political relations.
EM got the latter wrong, categorically.
Whence, ALL of its social theory is concocted, otiose, and far worse, misleading.
Left, Right, and Centre, of the EM spectrum, we have all been living under systemic delusion(s) in the E-Modernist world.
We breathe the same, unhealthy, ether.
It is the social ontology we exist in, and its dominant epistemes have
captured not merely our modes of thinking, but also our very imaginations.
Sadly.
 

*
 
The greatest sin of EM lies in its original, baseline, alienation.
We have been alienated from our own, innate, species-being.
How?.
Most mainstream EM thought, specially in its ‘economics’ avatar, has presumed us to be characterised by one or other of these attributes: rationalist (not to be confused with being reasonable) , competitive, calculating, adversarial, covetous, acquisitive, etc.
In other words, EM (mis)took its own E-Modernist prescriptive credo of codes of conduct to be universal (rather than being imposed, and required, by its own agenda).
Au contraire, stated simply, we humans are emotive, cooperative, mutualist, convivial, and familial.
That, incontestably, is our ‘human nature’(oxymoron notwithstanding).
We are moral entities first, and materialist beings afterward.
And that moral sensibility is derived from natural reciprocities that arise within family and kinship bonds.
Mother and child, for example, is the first moral relationship, stemming wholly from natural instincts.
So the denial of our organic, instinctual, natures is axiomatic with EM discourse: only then it could ‘mold’ us willy nilly into whatever policy needs might require.
Whence needs disappear, from its lexicon, to be replaced by manipulable wants.
Similarly, it sees society(like Dame Thatcher) as a mechanical entity, merely the stage upon which ‘free’ individuals conduct their life-or-death struggles.
The principle of ‘substitution’ dear to it says it all: Solow is attributed to holding that ‘we can do without nature’.
I need hardly say more (nor would I, I dare say, want to).
 
*.
 
As an aside, try to pass a Micro Econ exam with ideas drawn from the foregoing set of anthropic premises!
Now you know why it reaps a Nobel : yes, it is the crown jewel of the hegemonic ideology of EM.
An artificial, make-believe, pseudo-anthropology undergirds all economics prognostications which have NO application outside of the self-inflated EM bubble , despite the high pretence of universality.
Whence the canny resort to ‘models’ that deliver only the assumptions carefully fed into them.
What a perfect policy tool(and that’s all Economics ever was, from its very inception)!
As I have written elsewhere, (EM) Economics is all, and only, about Economics, i.e. Micro-Econ is a wholly self-referential language game , and has nothing particularly useful to say about any other real domain.
 
*
 
The serious , even ominous, implications of the above must be understood.
EM breaks the social tie between humans as no other episteme in human history.
The key instrument here is Asocial Individualism (AI) that is virtually a Western, and EM, monopoly.
Even Non-European societies (btw, much of Eastern Europe and the tribalist Scandies also remain impervious to it) , albeit won over to EM , could not quite stomach that egregious innovation, to this day.
It is that one vital marker that separates European EM from all its clones in the non-European world.
The most important historical agency responsible for this historic rupture is Martin Luther and his ‘Reformation’.
AI gainsays our ‘natural’ inclinations to mutualism and association.
Instead, each of us lives within an inflated ego-bubble, in dubious rivalry and competition, distrusting one another, rather than a system which breeds endless , irreconcilable, dissension.
As one of the Chicago Seven (google that) put it , when charged with conspiracy: heck, we couldn’t even agree on lunch.
We still can’t.
 
*
 
Further, EM decreed the confining corral of the ‘nation-state’ (after the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648) for us all, as a desideratum (creating total chaos, e.g., in tribal Africa).
As humans, we cannot relate to abstract norms of ‘citizenship’, required by (Gesellschaft) states.
Our anthropic needs are simple and concrete: more micro, more narrow, more local (as with Gemeinschaft entities).
Human integrity is best expressed in face-to-face relations, not in large macrocosms, run through with anonymity.
Everywhere, the Modernist State (subsisting in uneasy, unstable equilibrium with other such constructs) is an imposed entity.
And nowhere was Modernism itself, happily, ‘voted in’.
In other words, were one to deploy one of its own tendentious tools, such as ‘majority vote’, it would not be here today.
Consider that.

 
*
 
EM also enshrined the now accepted notion that ‘social engineering’ can produce designer societies, of our choice, like designer jeans.
No.
Such ‘designs’ can only hold, for a bit, via force and/or propaganda.
Human societies arise spontaneously, just like nature itself is self-organizing.
We human build societies, naturally, like ants and bees, instinctually.
And the building blocks are drawn directly from kinship(real and ersatz).
The template of the simple tribe is our original, seeding, matrix.

It is one big, extended, family.
Importantly, within that primal matrix, we may glean our REAL human nature, which gainsays the facile concoctions of EM ‘social science”.
When that original form dissolves, as it does (often, but not always), we follow the routine history of what I have termed Human Devolution.

 
*
 
In broad, metaphorical, terms, this devolution, discernible since the dissolution of the primal tribal form ,involves the (col)lapse of a Moral economy into a Material one.
In a Social Economy of Affections succumbing to a Political Economy of Interests.
In a realm of ‘feminine’ hospitalities ceding to the reign of ‘masculinist
proprieties.
In a convivial society mutating into a restless, fractious, competitive, one.
 
*
 
In fact, to digress a little, a great achievement of simple tribal society was to enchain male violence – the very bane of civilisation – within the (intra-tribal) bonds of familial affections.
Women, as the first peacemakers, had to build, and maintain, such a cordon sanitaire, if children were to be reared with any modicum of safety.
That formula has never been bettered, to this day.
However male adventurism , at some point, if not always, breaks away from such restraints, and we get the transition, eventually, to empire.
 
*
 
At any rate, all EM utopias, embodying high ideals, are really dystopias, in the making.
No wonder stellar examples of ‘engineered’ 20th century EM formations, Of Left and the Right, are at the very least, both dubious and daunting.
An engineered entity, idealists may need to note, is ever subject to the whims of the engineers.
To survive as humans, true to our natures, we may need to abandon such false trails.
All (E)Modernist paths are the same: they lead nowhere (other than to predictable tragedy).
 
*
 
In sum, force and fraud keep us tied to The Wheel, within the EM world.
There is NO EXIT from that dismal fate, within the grid.
Class, race, and gender redemption will provide no solace.
Perfect equality, perfect democracy, perfect liberty will also ring hollow.
Full employment, zero inflation, ‘sustainable’ growth, are also utter dead ends.
They will not, they cannot, heal the breach.

And yet the EM world, especially its intelligentsia, lives, daily, on those desperate, if barren, hopes.
Perhaps, they/we all need to wake up?
As Ben Franklin said: those that live on hope usually die of starvation.
 
*
 
The moment we opt out of that frame, ontically and/or epistemically, we are ‘free’, if in a real(ist) sense: to lead real, human, lives, and bask in its healing contentment(s).
Genuine human communities arise spontaneously, if given but a chance.
Those who would govern us and exploit/monetize our abilities/capabilities will try and block all such exits.
But it can be, and needs be, done.
We may not live by bread alone: neither can we subsist by dread alone.
 
*
 
To skeptics of the foregoing, I advocate a tourist trip to tribal Africa, or indeed tribal anywhere, just to sample, to glimpse, what simple conviviality is, and can be.
Or , perhaps. just watch pre-school kids (before EM schooling eats up their joys and morphs them into beings like us) play.
It may stir the distal memory of what we have tragically forfeited, in succumbing to the daily, EM, grind : worse, in the dissimulating name of ‘progress’.
 
*
 
You will get my point, unless hopelessly benumbed by EM nostrums.
There is nothing more to the ‘meaning of life’ than that: it is not a Rubik’s cube to be examined by a self-ordained caste of navel-gazers.
And it’s a far cry from enduring, as most of us do, in mortal insecurity, deep in debt, always running behind and playing catch-up, overcome with fear, angst, and anomie, in a life bound over to mortifying, even stultifying, servitude.
They will, of course, tell you There is No Alternative (TINA) , to struggle, strife, and adversarialism, much like Hobbes’ fantasy of societal life in the putative ‘state of nature’.
That’s high travesty, no less.
Have a look: https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/kanth-a-400-year-program-of-modernist-thinking-is-exploding
 
*
 
So, one can safely put away all the ponderous platitudes and apothegms evolving from the likes of the canonical philosophers, old or new.
What a waste of scarce, precious, time!
They can do next to nothing to soften the rigors of human existence, nor add one whit of joy to it.
Let alone ‘happy’, how many contented people do you know in putatively (self-styled) ‘First World’, ‘Advanced, and ‘Developed’ societies ?
In fact, let me make this personal: are you, possibly, one of those few lucky ones in EM societies (to escape the unremitting ennui and/or drudgery) ?
Is that Panglossian seventh heaven all yours?

You don’t need to spend/squander years in school, and plough through learned tomes, to grasp this (in fact, most of those life-draining pursuits, in so-called ‘higher’ education, only obstruct clear vision, even as they gobble up the very best years of your life in but a garner of credentials).
What could be more obvious?
We fail to see what’s playing right before us every day.
So much for our stolid hebetude.
EM ideology, daily, mocks our very inner, lived, experience.
And yet are we far better beings than the system requires us to be.
You know you are.
 
*
 
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, complained Marx, in a famous statement – to which I add, Yes, True.
The point, however, is to live a fulfilling life within it.
This, as so many wasted lives attest- though it is no less than our birthright- is virtually impossible on the EM treadmill.
‘Climb every mountain, ford every stream’, they exhort you, instead, incessantly.
Really?
Ask yourself: pourquoi?
Cui Bono?
 
* A (skeletal) Primer on EuroModernism
N.B. An important caveat: I uphold/advocate/impute no idylls, no utopias, in the foregoing. Anthropic life , or any life, in any context, is, in the last analysis, ineffably, tragic – not idyllic. All I suggest is that we have, under EM tutelage, lost sight of the fact that we are natural beings, and so deny/defy some foundational inclinations, to our serious detriment ( EM has always denied us our instinctual underpinnings). Its disregard for the powerful grip (and need) of family and kinship is a signal case in point, and its substitution of artificial communities in their stead will always be a foredoomed project. I do proffer the suggestion- though based on knowledge of real anthropic societies that have been dismissed as ‘primitive’ – that to live in conformity with our innate natures( as simple tribal formations do) may not only be fitting, but is also , quite likely, a state that we ‘naturally’ gravitate to. In comparison, and contrast, Modernist solidarities of class, gender, nation, and ideology, are all too ephemeral and evanescent. Certainly, no primal society is run through with our normal modus of restive contention, dissension, discontent, and self-immolating division. This is not mere rhetoric: look where the EM world stands now , poised on the verge of annihilation. You might ask what forces propelled us to this fateful climacteric – and then , perhaps, a bit of what I have sketched in the imperfect passages above might appear plausible and relevant?

 
[© R.Kanth 2022]

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)
 

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