Anarchist Philosopher tries to explain previous altersation about nihilism and cults, but seems to become all the more difficult to understand
Anarchist Philosopher Persona, welcome back to The Sewers! We missed you. how have you been?
Well, yes, of course. Did you miss me? Or were you, more accurately, worried about me? Our previous altersation was, in a sense, not what I expected it to be.
You mean when you said you’re in a cult?
That is of course not what I said.
Sorry, a nihilist cult.
No, excuse me, that is not what I said. And I think, to an extent, that all cults are, in a sense, nihilist. But that is not the point, of course.
So what did you say?
I said that, well, theoretically, at the bottom of it, there is a similarity between being a member of a cult, and being, in some respect, an environmentalist. That is, a devoted environmentalist. I was referring, of course, to the aspect of futility of action, and for that reason I mentioned, specifically, a religious cult –
Can you talk in a simpler manner?
No. because, as I said, a religious –
Why can’t you talk like a person?
Well, what does that mean?
It means people are saying your alterviews are difficult to read.
Well. People as an abstraction of what?
Never mind. So a cult? A religious cult? Because it’s got no affect on reality?
It seems to me the word cult has taken over our previous altersation. That is what I initially intended to say. And it seems it’s taking over our current altersation as well. So I would like to make clear I had used the word cult as an abstraction, as an idea, to perhaps describe better the actuality and the practice of living in light of catastrophe and despair.
Of climate change.
Yes. Just yesterday, a friend in the commune said: “crying about kangaroos won’t cut it”. and she was right. I believe what had happened in Australia is the beginning of, well, to put it cheaply, to put it simply, it’s the beginning of the end. Have you ever read about what happened when Mount Vesuvius erupted two millennia ago?
It had an unbelievable global affect. Balance was regained, of course, several years later. Decades, I think. But that is not what’s happening today. The frequency of events allows no balance.
Are you afraid?
Well, of what, specifically? That the world we know is turning unrecognizable?
Well, that’s irrelevant. Whether I’m afraid of not. That is, again, the cult like thinking. People who are afraid are, of course, in many senses, irrational.
Is there no room for irrationality in your philosophy?
Well. Well. That is, of course, a monumental question.
My answer is twofold. Perhaps threefold. Firstly, the times when philosophy was strictly concerned with logic and rationality has ended several centuries ago. I see no dispute regarding this claim. I think restricting philosophy to the realm of pure thought, uninterrupted by our being in the world, is a practice no true philosopher would undertake today. However, the idea of irrationality itself seems to, well, have quite a difficulty rendering itself to a philosophical endeavor, which is, presumably, and nevertheless, still a systematic form of thinking and articulating.
Oh, you’re presenting a thesis and antithesis now, right? now there’ll be a synthesis. It’s dialectic!
That is not at all what I was doing. That’s not at all dialectic. I wish people would stop using this word, which they truly do not understand –
One sees an art display in a gallery, and says it is, well, dialectic. One talks about a three hour long movie and says, well, it’s dialectic. One writes his first essay about modern Scottish literature, one says it is, well it must be, dialectic!
I will not explain what I would consider dialectic –
Oh, we really appreciate it –
Because I have been reading Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit for the past 11 years, and I still cannot have this presumption, this arrogance, to say that I can properly understand its depth and complexity.
And people who have heard Hegel’s name when they’ve walked past a lecture room door, they think they can talk about things that are, well, of course, dialectic!
It makes you angry.
Well, well. That’s not the point. The point I was making about irrationality, was that the introduction of irrationality to modern philosophy during the 18th century was truly devastating. In a sense, it gave rise to nationality and all its, well, of course, all its, well, I don’t want to use strong language.
So there is no, well, no, there is no, what you would call, synthesis.
Right. So, I asked if there’s no room for irrationality in your philosophy.
Right. So there isn’t.
Of course there is. that is what we talked about in our last altersation.
You mean that trying to live your life according to some environmentalist consciousness or environmental morality is like worshiping some higher being?
What? Excuse me, when did I say that? this is ridiculous!
What are you saying then?
Well, it’s hard to say. It’s hard to say.
Maybe just living in these days is irrational and ridiculous.
That is, of course, a very shallow, a very hollow thing to say. But I understand you would say that as you’re trying to reach some bottom line. There is no bottom line. That’s, well, well, I do not mean to be provocative –
But that’s, that’s dialectic. That there is no bottom line. There is an ongoing history. The question whether or not it will continue after we’re gone – we, as in, of course, humanity – well, that question is also ridiculous. And useless. Because for as long as we live, there is no bottom line.
Well, this seems to be –
Please don’t say “this seems to be the bottom line”.
Alright. But it is for now. We thank you and congratulate you, Anarchist Philosopher.
Thank you. Take care.