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On Emancipation

By Rajani Kanth

[For Noam Chomsky]

EM (Euromodernism*) ideology, born in the ferment of the Late Middle Ages, and representing the burgeoning mercantile interest, brought with it, amongst other things, tendentiously, the chimera of the litany of emancipation.

Seeking to free itself from the customary restraints of the existing social compact, which curbed its own budding material ambitions, it offered the notion as bait to social orders whose support it needed to succeed.

It worked.

And generations of the desperate sans-cullotte dreamed goodly dreams, the world over, if only as ersatz for the real thing.

And not just back then.

‘Democracy’, ‘Socialism’, ‘Equality’: O they fell for it all – in heroic sacrifice – even as the holy grail(s) eluded them generation after generation after generation.

You might know the game, as recently played out in the national politics of the greatest EM formation on earth, in the genre of ‘yes, we can’, sloganeering.

What a delectable con that was!

And the short answer to that mode of deception: no, we can’t.

Entrenched Power does not give away valuable perks to the impuissant simply because of the inducements of a noble ideology of amelioration.

They may , if at all, only be wrested (a very old lesson of real-life politics): and which creates, generally, but a temporary amelioration.

So, what is the value of the elaborate rhetoric of emancipation widespread, for long, amongst both left and right?

None.

It is rhetoric only.

So, is there any real utility to the notion at all ?

Yes: there is but one mode of ‘emancipation’ that is rather compellingly necessary.

We must emancipate ourselves from the sway of the notion itself i.e., from all political and religious fantasies.

Why?

Because men (who wield the reins of power) , qua men, find the corruptions of power irresistible: little men may occasionally overthrow big men, using such means as they can, often (if not always) moved by high ideals – but they only end up as the ‘new big men’ in a very short period of time.

And so, it recycles.

That is a sort of an Iron Law of Oligarchy in societal affairs.

It’s the sad, nay tragic, story of all societal revolutions till now.

The ‘monkey on the back’, alas, never appears to go away.

Of course, struggle against tyranny is inevitable, but it rarely leads to permanent human betterment.

If it did, given the martyrdom of millions over the Modernist centuries, we would all be living in utopia by now.

Oddly, the times we live in may be quite conducive to such a modus of ‘liberation’ from the idea.

It is the leaders, left or right, that are being led, today, much to the consternation of the corporates.

People are waking up globally – seeing through, albeit slowly, and incompletely, the Great Games of Modernist Politics.

They are legitimation games only : and ‘democracy itself is a powerful, and wildly successful, ideological tool – of effective domination.

From the point of view of the hoi polloi, it’s a very dispiriting bind: having it is bare cold comfort; not having it , even worse.

At any rate, an important, may be even profound , change is in the air: the internet, together with the excesses of the governors, have made fake news and false flags the pedestrian vocabulary of our times.

Caesar’s wife – to drag in an old adage – may be chaste or not, but must appear to be so: and today the system , everywhere, has lost , so to speak, its pristine chastity.

So, in that sense , whilst far from being the best of times, these may also not be the very worst of times.

· EuroModernism is my term that describes the entire ideological apparatus deployed to achieve the Modernist Revolutions in Late Feudal Europe. It is specified, in detail, in the Work referenced below.

R E F E R E N C E S

Kanth, R. Farewell to Modernism, New York: Peter Lang, 2017

[©R.Kanth 2018]

Professor Rajani Kanth, Author of Coda, and Expiations
Trustee; World Peace Congress

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