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New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Tuesday, February 19

dioretix and the lattice of coincidence

"it's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness"



Friday, February 15

more on maslow and eugenics

The following long quote is from Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind: A Bridge between Mind and Society by Israel W. Charny (pp. 42-44). The author begins here by comparing American eugenics to its German counterpart that resulted in the Holocaust.

...it is significant to note that there was also a powerful movement on behalf of eugenic solutions to society's ills in the United States that resulted in legislation to sterilize the mentally retarded in a number of states. This movement numbered among its supporters and promulgators some of the must distinguished names in American psychological professions including Truman Lee Kelley, William McDougall, Adolf Meyer, Lewis M. Terman, Edward Thorndike, Robert S. Woodward, and Robert M. Yerkes. These dIstinguished fathers of our psychological and mental health professions gave their names to public campaigns that called for the most serious measures against populations of the "inferior" in a language that can hardly be discriminated from the language of Nazi ideologues!
The time seems ripe for a strong public movement to stem the tide of threatened racial degeneracy following in the wake of the War [World War I]. America in particular needs to protect herself against indiscriminate immigration of criminal degenerates and race suicide .... Eugenics stands against the forces which work for racial deterioration, and for progressive improvement in vigor, intelligence, and moral fiber of the human race. It represents the highest form of patriotism and humanitarianism, while at the same time it offers immediate advantages to ourselves and to our children. By eugenic measures, for instance, our burden of taxes can be reduced by decreasing the number of degenerates, delinquents and defectives supported in public institutions; such measures will also increase safeguards against our persons and our property. (Eugenic Committee of the United States of America, 1924.)

An excellent and sadly shattering example of the way the mind of a devoted humanistic psychologist can move along the same track of the fascist paradigm to a point where he calls for execution [sic] of the nonbelievers -- in this case, nonbelievers in humanism! -- is found in the posthumously published writings of no less than Abraham Maslow, recognized and beloved as the founder of modern humanistic psychology! The same Maslow who conceptualized the unfolding development of the mind and personality of a person as the highest state of human development, and who attributed to the "self-actualized" person an ethical and empathic orientation toward other human beings and the society in which he lives, was revealed after his death to be a highly self-involved, bitter loner filled with contempt and rage at the many people who did not appreciate him or his ideas, and who dared to conceive on a broader community level the identification and execution of those who opposed proposed humanistic policies for the betterment of society.

The following are shocking, almost unbelievable excerpts from Maslow's posthumously published writings:

Humanistic psychology absolutely needs a doctrine of an elite, degrees of humanness, health and sickness, winners and losers, aggridants (whether by heredity or by learning), good specimens, no equal votes, non-equal weighting. The taste or judgment of one superior can and should outweigh 1000 or a million blind ones.

The Third-Force philosophy is antideath-wish, anti-exploiting of others, antistunting or crippling, antivalue-destroying, antibaby-crippling and diminishing; anti-unrealism = antifake.... We keep alive many of the people whom nature left to itself would kill off. So we are hurting the human gene pool, which must be deteriorating. We can certainly continue to do this, to be compassionate with anyone living, but this right to reproduce might very well be limited. In the immediate future -- within the next century -- we must anyway cut hack the population of the world. The right to reproduce must surely become rather a privilege which is socially controlled and socially granted.... One could speculate that the worsening gene pool is partly responsible for the large number of naysayers, death-wishers and born losers and schlemiels.

I find myself secretly entertaining all sorts of "cold-blooded" possibilities... drug users are performing a kind of biologically unselfish act, a sort of noblesse oblige for the good of the species and voluntarily killing themselves "for the good of the gene pool." ... Sooner or later, after the catastrophes force us to pace the overpopulation, we'll stop with all the crap about more food, or better strains of rice {which just produce more people). How can we give up on humanitarianism? But how can we not permit voluntary (or maybe involuntary) euthanasia and suicide? One day we'll have to talk about the exposure or killing of monster-babies, or even of healthy surplus babies.

As with some, nothing will work ultimately but shooting.

These are terrifying statements from anyone, let alone a great psychologist, especially one who is recognized as one of the fathers of "humanistic psychology." Maslow's fascist intolerance of lesser beings and his readiness to call for real murderous actions on behalf of a super race of humanists is a powerful warning to all of us to look for the corresponding readiness in us, and to overcome such readiness with what we will be describing as a democratic mindset.

In a review of Maslow's diaries in Contemporary Psychology, Elizabeth Leonie Simpson wrote:

The petty, the trivial, the authoritarian, sexist elitist is exposed interacting with the prophet, the seeker, and the striver. He knew himself to be extraordinary - one self-actualizer among cohorts who were similar to the few just men of the Jewish tradition who live among lesser people and for whose sake God allows the world to continue to exist .... Liberalism had failed the superior being. He trusted himself more than others and, holding power, he would have exercised it absolutely, abandoning Fifth Amendment protection against such disruptive forces as civil disobedients, convicted criminals, and unemployed "loafers."
Abe, we hardly knew ye.

you have the right to remain silent. forever.



Monday, February 4

infested with ideology

I could never quite wrap my head around Slavoj Zizek. The first book I ever looked at by him was The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity. I initially picked it up because, having been raised Catholic, I could relate to the title. However, after about ten minutes I was all like "hand me those pliers!"

This state of affairs has changed with my discovery of the following clips. I think I might be in the verge of becoming a rabid fan.

The ultimate postmodern irony is today's strange exchange between the West and the East. At the very moment when, at the level of "economic infrastructure," Western technology and capitalism are triumphing worldwide, at the level of "ideological superstructure," the Judeo-Christian legacy is threatened in the West itself by the onslaught of New Age "Asiatic" thought. Such Eastern wisdom, from "Western Buddhism" to Taoism, is establishing itself as the hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. But while Western Buddhism presents itself as the remedy against the stress of capitalism's dynamics -- by allowing us to uncouple and retain some inner peace -- it actually functions as the perfect ideological supplement.

Revenge of Global Finance by Slavoj Zizek
In These Times, 21 May 21 2005

The following is from Zizek's Interrogating the Real (pp. 84-85) in a section titled "The 'Third Culture' as Ideology." Lest you wonder precisely which 'Third Culture' Zizek is referring to, scan this 1991 screed by John Brockman. Brockman's entire book is online here.
It is thus crucial to distinguish here between science itself and its inherent ideologization, its sometimes subtle transformation into a new holistic 'paradigm' (the new code name for 'world view'). A series of notions (complementarity, anthropic principle, and so on) are here doubly inscribed, functioning as scientific and ideological terms. It is difficult effectively to estimate the extent to which the third culture is infested with ideology. Among its obvious ideological appropriations (but are they merely secondary appropriations?), one should, again, note at least two obvious cases: first, the often present New Age inscription, in which the shift in paradigm is interpreted as an advance beyond the Cartesian mechanistic-materialist paradigm toward a new holistic approach that brings us back to the wisdom of ancient oriental thought (the Tao of physics, and so on). Sometimes, this is even radicalized into the assertion that the scientific shift in the predominant paradigm is an epiphenomenon of the fact that humanity is on the verge of the biggest spiritual shift in its entire history, that we are entering a new epoch in which egoistic individualism will be replaced by a transindividual cosmic awareness. The second case is the 'naturalization' of certain specific social phenomena, clearly discernible in so-called cyber-revolutionism, which relies on the notion of cyberspace (or the Internet) as a self-evolving 'natural' organism; the 'naturalization of culture' (market. society, and so on, as living organisms) overlaps here with the 'culturalization of nature' (life itself is conceived as a set of self-reproducing information -- 'genes are memes'). This new notion of life is thus neutral with respect to the distinction between natural and cultural (or 'artificial') processes -- the Earth (as Gaia) as well as the global market both appear as gigantic self-regulated living systems whose basic structure is defined in terms of the process, of coding and decoding, of passing information, and so on. So, while cyberspace ideologists can dream about the next step of evolution in which we will no longer be mechanically interacting 'Cartesian' individuals, in which individuals will cut their substantial links to their bodies and conceive of themselves as part of the new holistic mind that lives and acts through them, what is obfuscated in such a direct 'naturalization' of the Internet or market is the set of power relations -- of political decisions, of institutional conditions -- which 'organisms' like the Internet (or the market. or capitalism) require to thrive. We are dealing here with an all too fast metaphoric transposition of certain biological-evolutionist concepts to the study of the history of human civilization, like the jump from 'genes' to 'memes', that is, the idea that not only do human beings use language to reproduce themselves, multiply their power and knowledge, and so on, but also, at perhaps a more fundamental level, language itself uses human beings to replicate and expand itself, to gain a new wealth of meanings, and so on.
Mr. Dawkins... Mr. Richard Dawkins... Mr. Pinker... Mr. Steven Pinker... please come to a white paging telephone. In fact, why don't all-a y'all get yo lily white asses on over here!

btw, Mystic B also visited the Third Culture in Positively Fourth Street. And not in the good way.



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