Acting-Out Politics

Weblog opens discussion about the psychology of Bushmerican style of behavior.

She appeared in front of my nose on top of an adolescent tree for few moments
With a message from the angels.
But I don’t understand the language of angels.
I only know the fallen human language –
Russian and American fiction.
And, may be, I also know the language of dying.
But she knows how to start everything again without even for a moment stopping to be.
And when I come to the park I a bit obsessively search for her.
Not that I want to learn something – I‘m subdued by my limitations.
For me it’s either life or death.
And I don’t trust the fallen human imagination –
I don’t believe in living after death.
I believe in humming bird – in her wisdom and humility,
In her tininess full of eternal vitality.
Here she is, under the blue, turning her head, looking around, moving her wings,
Pushing the sky with her beak thin as a hair.
I cannot leave, I need to keep her presence.

The Evolution of Religion: The Transposition Of Worship Of Theological Figures Into The Worship of Seductively Entertaining Objects – The Cosmic Feminine Lips As A Mass-Cultural Icon To Be Consumed And Enjoyed

Man Ray, “The Lips”, 1933

What for heaven’s sake are the irresistible feminine lips doing in the sky? Are they some kind of a space ship? Are they archangel baptizing the flesh of the earth? While we watch them they have already slightly turned – so, their left side (right in our perspective) just got the connotation of a freshly fleshy feminine hip-and-thighs turned like Goya’s “La Maia denuda” (1800), but the right side of lips’ hip-thighs (left in our perspective) is like a tenderly flexible end of an angel’s wings.

It‘s usually the decision-makers decide where the object (here, lips in the sky) offered for consumption should be – theocrats in the past or in our time the financial and political leaders and producers of the goods people will buy, but whatever they’ll offer/allow it’s always supposed to be agreed with mass tastes – theocrats and businessmen know what the masses need and want. In other words – it was Ray’s parody that his “The Lips” was doomed to be in the sky – the desire of masses (looking at the sky for being saved from life), that of the deciders and masters of life (mediating between sky and life) and the desire of the artist are touchingly united – the rare unity, indeed.

The sky in the painting is not open to the sun – the lips are here, who does need sun? The sky, as if, is carrying a laced robe for the lips – a kind of lips’ back clothes. Like icons are the essence of the church, Man Ray’s “the lips” are the essence of profane religion of consumerism and entertainment for people.

Giant voluptuous lips are occupying a wide space with a deep background and even deeper underground – the geographic space we humans use to settle in. Feminine lips are our new heavenly fetish – mass culture of entertaining gimmicks and sentimentality as a new global authority over human hearts and minds. Female lips are seductive and inspiring us to become taller and bigger.

Today, it’s very difficult to differentiate between seductive aspect of traditional religious art and the profane – mass cultural entertaining and sentimentally playful art. When we are seduced by the icons of Mary and Christ, we’re seduced into the heavenly abyss of sublime love elevated into the grief of the cosmic suffering and its eternal importance.

Then we are simultaneously taken by belonging to the world of holy and holy… tragedy, to a supreme value and to the blasphemous destruction of value, to a power which doesn’t intend to protect itself, and to the pagan – vulgar power of destruction of power whose power is sacred – spiritual, of a kind which voluntarily not protect nor defend itself.

But, according to Man Ray, it’s our past, which is destroyed by our idolatry of unlimited prosperity suggested to us by the demons of wealth whom the today’s masses admire and whom they simultaneously being deadly and shamefully envious of.

Man Ray (1890 – 1976)

Melania Klein with her grandson Michael

Adults like to hold babies and small children in their arms – and for this age to be hold is perceived as an incredible support of vitality and objectively it is absolutely necessary for infants’ development. But in this photo we see Melania Klein refraining from physical contact with her grandson in order to reinforce the mental rapport between them and get the chance to concentrate on the “pre-thinking processes” in the head of the child. She silently observes little Michael’s gazes at various objects and his facial expressions and gesticulation. And we notice on her face that she is really getting some information about the child’s concentrations and pre-contemplations. We notice how “Dr. Klein’s” hands, as if, keep one another – how she refrains from embracing and touching the child in order to concentrate better on his mental processes.

For a child the silent presence of the adult nearby has a specific value – the adult who doesn’t express the “smart” initiative trying to involve the child in a certain activity is encouraging the child to find his own interests and fantasies more independently. Séances of the silent and, as if (positively) distant projection of adult’s attention towards the child, while limiting attempts to stimulate his verbalizations teach the child how to internalize the closeness to the other human being by making it the matrix of his own (internal) contemplation. Adult’s generous love-radiating smile, as we see in this photo, can encourage the child’s confidence more than adult’s verbalizations and actions.

The silent communication is a valuable addition to communication with a child through voice and touch. Dr. Klein’s intense “mute laugh” we see on the photo, activates in Michael attention to the world, openness to and desire to interact with it. We feel that the child “is thinking”, although we don’t know what about, but Melania Klein, for sure has her guesses about it.

It looks necessary to teach children from the early age not only physical interaction and social action with other people, but contemplative and para-intellectual functions. In US physically active behavior is advertised and taught together with social games, but cognitive functions in existential context (not on TV screen and in video games) are neglected and the best under-taught. Among the consequences of this situation are weakness or even paralysis of self-critical ability among the teenagers and adults, the ideological naiveté and gullibility of the population in relation to governmental and media propaganda, and also impulsive rage and cruelty added to non-violent crimes like theft or robbery.

Melania Klein

Melania Klein in her youth

Photo of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Adolf Hitler at school among their classmates

This unique photograph allows us to compare the faces of schoolboys Wittgenstein and Hitler when they were just schoolkids.

Here, we see the faces of six boys of the same age.

In the second line, to the left we see a boy who is looking at us without any particular facial expression. He is just looking in the front of himself following the general instructions of the photographer.

To his left hand, in the middle of the second line we see a boy who is looking to the side – who has noticed something that doesn’t deserve particular attention.

In the middle of the first line the boy looking at us generically is, as if demonstrating to the photographer his independence.

And in the first line to the right we see a kid who is looking at the camera almost attentively and by this, as if, demonstrate his positive – based on his barely noticeable smile, presence in life.

Finally, we’re coming to Wittgenstein (to the left of the first line). He is looking without showing that he is seeing something – his function of seeing is subordinate to that of thinking not necessarily in this very moment, but as an experience of thinking before this particular situation of posing for a collective photo. We can say that his gaze is meaningful not because he is in this very moment thinking something meaningful but because he is very often thinking in his life. His gaze is hidden by a deeper than the usual sockets of his eyes, as if he looks outside from the cave of tranquility.

Now we are coming to Adolf Hitler with feeling of being a little uncomfortable by the intensity not of his gaze as such but of his whole posture. He is, as if, challenging the photographer and us looking at this photo – with his very existence and expecting from us to notice his toughness and take him seriously. His left hand is under his right arm – this, as if, creates the impression of his independence. He wants us to think that he is a “tough cookie”, that he doesn’t give a damn about this photo taking event. We understand that this boy was abused and prematurely developed a psychological armor, that he is prone to “challenge the world”. His gaze is militantly straight, as if, he wants the photographer and even the camera to put their gazes down in front of him.

According to a 2015 statistics – The top one percent of earners in US earned as much as the bottom 99%. Frances Moore Lappe, Jan. 29, 2019

*Stalin hardliners were the ideologically dogmatic and violent officials within the Soviet government of the 30s – 50s. These severe extremists together with the right-wing Communists amidst the Soviet population were psychologically conservatives – intolerant towards the slightest versatility of political opinions and the desire for progressive changes in people’s way of life**.

**Soviet left conservatives (ideologically pro-Communism, not only pro-Socialism) can be compared to the politically right functionaries in the democracies. Like right-wing Communists in Soviet Union fought for Socialism in an anti-socialist – despotic and belligerent way, right-wing American “defenders” of democracy “promote” it in an anti-democratic way and by this hurting and distorting it. This morbid incompatibility between the proclaimed ideology and psychological proclivities of its carriers is a contradiction in essence – split between what people claim to believe (usually humanely looking ideological facade) and their behavior in defending and promoting their ideology (usually people’s private interests contradicting ideological construct).

Today, in 21st century many Americans started to notice, some with shock this split between good looking and shining ideology and totalitarian behavior claiming to support it. Messianic megalomania of Soviet ideology of Communism is transformed in US into American megalomaniacal exceptionalism. American democracy became financial totalitarianism (like Soviet Union always was in essence a typical ideological totalitarianism). Despotic ideological behavior of American ultra-conservative politicians less and less ambiguously started to demand from the population to serve the accumulation of the private wealth and protect its growing profits in wars (as despotism of the Soviet Communist ideology transformed the Soviet masses into “heroic” “builders of Communism”). Stalin or Brezhnev were as alien to regular people and their opinions (locked in private life), as today’s Bull Gutts or Lord Bankfein to most Americans. Today’s Trump style of governing is as dogmatic and despotic as the Communist government was in the Soviet Union.

Of course, American political propaganda is much more versatile and effective than the Soviet propaganda ever was – technological machinery of propaganda (seductive advertisements, consumerist consolation and entertaining gimmicks) is impressive achievement of the American industries which provide incredible profit for its creators, craftsmen and investors. But all these creations are oriented on distracting people from thinking about life in its facticity and potentials, the world and its mysteries and from spiritual development, as belief in Communism was a distraction from the present life and reality. Under American commercial culture of neo-conservative leadership life of regular people is more entertaining and sweetened than life was in USSR, but the lies, misinformation and fake emotional ties between the leaders and the masses have a similar disorienting and dumbing effect, like drug addiction and alcoholic poisoning. Communist totalitarianism, although much more primitive and crude than the American financial totalitarianism of the shared (totalitarian) dedication to the ideology of money/profit and common dream about becoming billionaires or at least millionaires, is in essence a very similar political system where the whole population wants – super-happiness and super-prosperity without moral and spiritual complications, without importance of decency and sensitivity and humanistic education (without which all previous additions are unavailable). In both cases (Soviet Russia and democratic US) we have ideology of one ideal for all, the same dream for every citizen. Instead of Marxist anti-capitalist dogma the American conservative leadership and its propagandists use anti-Marxist anti-Socialist dogma with the same absolutism and propagandist zeal.

We have to learn and rapidly how to differentiate between the content of ideas and beliefs and behavioral manner of representing them to the people. Ideas can be numerous – it’s how they’re communicated tells us about the difference between democracy and a totalitarian system. If something is represented in absolutist way, dogmatically and intolerantly towards disagreements and criticism – we have a totalitarian communication. People permanently defending their dogmas are prone to suspect others in being against them and then are prone to attack them as opportunists and anti-patriots – here we recognize the American neocons of the 21st century.

Ruling or the just fanatic Soviet Communists and American conservative politicians both tend to accuse those who disagree with them in disloyalty to what is beyond criticism, like “Communism” or “free market” (meaning a market free of fair competition – not for everybody but for the American monopolies able to crush their opponents instead of honestly competing with them). Like in USSR any criticism of the system was viewed as a form of treason, for American neocons the democratic politicians are the enemies of their country and don’t deserve to be in the government. We can see a curious similarity between the left-wing conservatives in USSR and the financial totalitarian conservatives in US today.

Self-aggrandizement and a lack of humanistic education are going together. Emotional reasoning, intolerance to criticism, reducing the problems to personalities and carrying hate as goal in itself looking for targets are just some of the features which belong to the same psychological kitchen as Stalin’s mass arrests. Those who are seeking direct power (Soviet Communists) or power through wealth (the wealthy or dreaming to become wealthy) have strong totalitarian psychological features and behavioral tendencies. Totalitarianism is a combination of despotic authority and proclivity for unconditional obedience to it. This combination of sadism of leaders and the self-sacrificial masochism of the masses is very unlucky for the destiny of humankind – this unity between an erected self-aggrandizement and shy melting in front of the master, between phallus and fleece.

Vincent Van Gogh (Jacques Dutronc) and Marguerite Gachet (Alexandra London)

According to Maurice Pialat the relationship between Vincent and Marguerite Gachet is characterized by the incompatibility between the intensity of spiritual pain torturing Van Gogh who was slipping closer and closer to the inevitability of his suicide and Marguerite’s hopeful youth which only touches reality through intuitive feeling of Vincent’s permanent torment without understanding it.

In the shot above the both are concentrating on the mutual feeling that their destinies are separate in spite of the magic touch of their love – they’re together, their bodies feel one another, but their gazes aren’t synchronized – Vincent looks at the dead end of his life, Marguerite somewhere else without knowing what and where it is. Our impression is that Van Gogh is looking at himself – outside of him. Marguerite is looking to the side from both of them, as if she senses what can happen soon and that she is locked in having to live alone – away from both of them. She doesn’t know why.

Only he knows that to open the door to his art he has to die. People are interested in sensationalism of great sacrifices – only this can move them – not art, not life. After his death Marguerite will understand what’s happened – she will witness his success. People are interested in his art only because it is an echo of his death. And she will live with it as she lived with him. She will love his art as she loved him – as when she was trying to hide her passion for him from her father. She will not advertise her association with him in front of the public. She will be ashamed, not for herself – she was too young to help him. She will be ashamed for people as she is for her father – for all the people allowing to destroy his life.

Fascist Propaganda Poster with Benito Mussolini’s profile

Hitler slogan underlining the unity of German people was –Ein Volk, Ein Reich, ein Führer! (One Folk, One Country, One Leader!) The slogan on this poster is – Un Cuore Solo, Una Volonta Sola, Una Decisione Sola! (A common heart, a common will, a single decision!)

The contrast between the huge crowd of Mussolini’s supporters and his giant contoured profile emphasizes the sameness of the totalitarian leader and his countless admirers. The poster makes democratic people think about the very nature of unity between political leader and his followers.

The crowd which is external in relation to Mussolini-a person’s internal world is represented in the poster as belonging to his psychological internality, while Mussolini’s thinking-and-feelings which are external to the crowd of his admirers are represented as a vessel accumulating and keeping people’s excitement. The leader and the masses are symbiotically blended – they are not just together, they’re togetherness itself, they’re, indeed una decisione sola. This is a pure totalitarianism in which there is no place for psychological variations and nuances, for otherness, human uniqueness and difference in opinion – for the freedom of human souls (any obsession including obsessive love-loyalty towards the leader is not freedom, but idolatrous fixation from our unconscious).

We’re puzzled by the extremist nature – absoluteness of this unity and by the happy atmosphere embracing togetherness of the totalitarian leader and his masses. We see that in our country, US, especially in the 21th century many people also gravitate towards an unconditional admiration for a political leader in the highest position in the executive branch. But isn’t love toward a President a worthy emotion demonstrating the unity of a great country, a unity leading us into even greater future? Aren’t internal conflicts are not healthy because they are weakening us from inside? But isn’t unity of the kind that is achieved in totalitarian countries wrong because it understood in a totalitarian way of using intolerance and cruelty and a despotic exclusion of behavioral pluralism and psychological and intellectual versatility? In democratic country unity includes criticism which is considered necessary for functioning of democratic system where versatility of opinions not only maintains a politically hygienic atmosphere but creates a balanced – rational understanding of the political and economic problems. Totalitarianism doesn’t respect the majority – it is prone to transform the people of the majority into poverty ridden paupers, servants of the decision making wealthy and soldiers for the future wars.

Unfortunately, in US today taste for really democratic governing is going through a harsh and, may be, a grave time because the present conservative leaders are prone to traditional – authoritarian rule and alienating the majority of demos from influencing the decision-making. Let’s not forget what main despotic leaders (Fuhrer, Il Duce and Franco) “achieved” in Europe during the 20th century.

Weaponry As A Savior And A Grave Digger Of Human Race

Wolfgang Paalen, “The Genius of the Species/Le Genie de L’Espece”, 1938

German-Austrian-Mexican painter, sculptor and philosopher Wolfgang Paalen tells us in his stylized construction “The Genius of the Human Species” that it is not Socrates, Sophocles, Kant, Hegel, Mozart, Garcia Lorca, Beethoven, Einstein or Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr, or Bertrand Russell are the benefactors of humankind but “gun“ – gun-our-protector (although also our killer), gun-our savior (but also our grave-digger in the midst of our confused silence). Of course, Paalen is bitterly ironical by proclaiming gun’s “metaphysical” powers! – The gun of his “Le Genie de L’Espece” is made of human bones.

People of our times like to scream viva to first weapons of humankind – spur and bow with arrows with which human beings started to kill animals hundreds of thousands years ago and by this finally “conquered” the whole planet. Today the trophy hunting by the wealthy (which cost them a lot of money – the pleasure of killing is expensive) becomes more and more widespread.

But with Global warming it seems that we’re slipping into a solemn-and-pompous sunset of our “heroic” obsession with guns and ballistic missiles – you cannot use even high-tech weapons against a collapsing nature. Sure, some groups of people will try to do this (just imagine their fun of hitting a heat) – with the hope that it, somehow, will work – the gene of optimism in human brain seems inexhaustible.

Wolfgang Paalen (1905-1959)

“When dollar only earns 6% of value here in US, then it gets restless and goes over seas to get 100% of profit. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag“.
American Major-General Smedley Butler

« Previous Entries  Next Page »


March 2019
« Feb    



Recent Comments