Saturday, November 27, 2010
Notes on Giving an Account of Oneself
Who can I be given the regime of truth that determines ontology for me?
Politics of “the who” …the exposure and vulnerability of the other makes a primary ethical claim upon me.
…life cannot be redeemed or extended through discourse…
The recognition that one is, at every turn, not quite the same as how one presents oneself in the available discourse might imply, in turn, a certain patience with others that would suspend the demand that they be self-same at every moment.
“”the universal…appears as something violent and extraneous and has no substantial reality for human beings.” ~ Adorno
It may be that only through an experience of the other under conditions of suspended judgment do we finally become capable of an ethical reflection in the humanity of the other, even when that other has thought to annihilate humanity.
I am that other who has thought to annihilate humanity.
“We can probably say that moral questions have always arisen when moral norms of behavior have ceased to be self-evident and unquestioned in the life of a community.”
Zersetzung : the destruction of a common and collective ethos
Unlike Max Scheler, Adorno sees the collective ethos as invariably a conservative one, which postulates a false unity that attempts to suppress the difficulty and discontinuity existing within any contemporary ethos. It is not that there was once a unity that subsequently has come apart, only that there was once, an idealization, indeed, a nationalism, that is no longer credible, and ought not be.
nothing is more degenerate than the kind of ethics or morality that survives in the shape of collective ideas even after the World Spirit has ceased to inhabit them — to use the Hegelian expression as a kind of shorthand. Once the state of human consciousness and the state of social forces of production have abandoned these collective ideas, these ideas acquire repressive and violent qualities.
because the collective ethos is no longer shared — indeed, precisely because the collective ethos which must now be herded by quotation marks, is not commonly shared — it can impose its claim to commonality only through violent means. In this sense, the collective ethos instrumentalizes violence to maintain the appearance of its collectivity. Moreover, this ethos becomes violence only once it has become an anachronism. What is strange historically — and temporally — about this form of ethical violence is that although the collective ethos has become anachronistic, it has not become past; it insists itself into the present as an anachronism.
conservatism in a nutshell
• 1 cup white sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract Continue reading
the lonely mine
I move too slowly—
lead sorting silver from mud-clotting vein.
There isn’t a step in this quick-flooding trench
I can’t drown.
Clawing through layers of putrefied bone,
fleshed from the half-life,
costing me now—
I breathe underwater.
Caught in this flash-flood of past-ward aching,
it cuts me in half.
It leaves me lonely.