Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tinned chunks - an introduction to the rejection of everything through moments in the description of deep opposition (part 2 in an extended series)

And after a false love there comes a true love - The Streets of Derry (Trad.)
Then, opposition never exceeds what it opposes. Its fanatical form, accumulated as violent acts, may be afforded only by the most conservative of organisations. Opposition is pegged back, constricted, hemmed in by conventional relations. It fails to encounter its object on its own terms, or rather the object that it meets with is a pre-packed approximation of what it anticipates - the mode of approach is formulaic, rehearsed, standardised, and pursued along official channels. Opposition fails to conceive the nature of what it is in relation to - whilst assuming a neutrality of context, it locates its object over there, disporting itself within the enemy camp. It is a truism that if the oppositionally minded individual may only encounter the world as it truly is through betrayal of his own principles, and by breaking the spell of hostile externalisation sever the covenant of belonging to his community of solidarity, then this is no great enticement for steering down the path of deep opposition in preference to that of upholding the readymade alibi of his principles. Uncertainty of position, from the standpoint of the holy warrior, must seem like a diet of ground glass for the soul. But opposition is nothing unless it is not also a mediation on the elusiveness of its object. And meditation is nothing unless it is not also a quarrying for the world's substrate that is buried within the self. So it must be that the oppositionist embarks on the perpetual so-called inner journey of unpicking those consolations and certainties which Kierkegaard identifies as the character traits of the prototypical tragic hero -  isn't the oppositionist all too prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, or rather to stage some or other symbolic stand, that demonstrates the validity of his involvement with the cause, and that this identification thereby legitimises himself via a sequestered righteousness? And isn't righteousness, always set against the world, a mere quantity of commitment, only so much shifting, funnelled sand? Then, in seeking to break from its object, opposition must become a convoluted and ritualised process of discarding the immediate modes that are taken up by opposition. Deep opposition is to be undertaken like the journey of a gleaming metal ball, ricocheting from pin to pin, as if descending through a game of bagatelle. Everything that is stuck rings wrongly, and everything wrong must be opposed. The movement of opposition reveals everything to be wrong - including the forms taken up by opposition itself. But a dantean progression towards that which lies beneath is yet another luxury afforded in the vanity of oppositional awareness. The depth model in western consciousness, by which a multiplicity of errant phenomena are disclosed as conforming to a hidden, abstract rule or organisational imperative (physical, moral, historical or economic principles) is merely a trick of profound capture - you thought you were motivated by your own purposes but by reason of my superior theoretical positioning I am able to calculate your true purpose, of which you had no prior knowledge, and thereby I reduce you to my game. The static formality of profound depth in consciousness fixes significance as the inversion of structure over experience, of law over life, of thought over action... it is no less naive in its assumptions than the immediacy it seeks to enclose. That critique of religion undertaken by contemporary neo-darwinists and other positivists is ample demonstration of this lack of sophistication: the predator, its senses fixed forward in readiness to pounce, becomes uniquely vulnerable to ambush from behind. To the chagrin of those pursuing a depth model structuring of knowing, the most trivial of triggers are folded into its propositions - underlying the laws which underly phenomena are further superficialities. Nothing is really that profound, nothing is really that deep. Then, in the game of oppositional bagatelle, it appears as if progress is being made where successive frames are applied and by which the object is disclosed on truer terms. It appears that the gleaming steel ball is making its descent to the most profound depths - thought continues to move on, being persuaded by the illusion that consciousness knows more of its object through time (or rather, knows its previous errors in conceiving of its object). Except, there is no real descent. In practice, the ball endlessly bounces between the necessary pins of the life-world as this is comprised of experience, reflection, fantasy, force of circumstance, theoretical intervention and blind chance - with no one position finally descriptive of the others. Then, deep opposition is disclosed as not deep and as not an opposition. 

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