And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Happiness is a Warm Gun...

Slavoj Žižek, "Living to Death"
What ethical stance is appropriate for the complicated situation we are experiencing today, which consists of health crisis, global warming, social-economic and similar conflicts?

The first figure that comes to mind is the experts, who are engaged in a special task imposed by the authorities; an expert may recklessly ignore the broad social context of his or her activity.

The second figure that comes to mind is the radical-like intellectuals; these critics of the existing order know very well that their criticism will have no real effect because they take refuge in the comfortable position of moral superiority.

So how do we continue our lives after we get rid of the illusion that critical stances have made us cringe?

It is not enough for us alone to accept our reality: as we are fascinated by the final states of our civilization, we become spectators deriving morbid pleasures from the breakdown of normality...

The time dimension should always be kept in mind: even when we panic when we talk about major catastrophes (pandemics, global warming, etc.), we as a rule postpone them to a not-so-near future (ten years from now) – "if we don't act soon, we may be too late" – or at least we postpone the disaster to a distant region (corals are disappearing in Northern Australia, the glaciers are melting...). But the global pandemic has hit us all with all its might and has greatly paused our social lives.

What kind of existential stance does such a situation entail? The main chorus of Rammstein's song "Dalai Lama" says:
Weiter, weiter ins Verderben Wir müssen leben bis wir sterben

Continue, continue towards
destruction It is imperative that you live until you die

(English: Yerçek)
This is the most proper stance you can adopt in a time when the global pandemic has reminded us all that we are finite and mortal. Our life depends on the interaction of many factors (which seem vague to us) (which seem contingent to us). The main issue we have every day is not that we can die; the main thing is that our life drifts into uncertainty, causing a permanent crisis and eroding our will to continue.

As we are fascinated by the end of our civilization by total catastrophe, we become a spectator deriving morbid pleasures from the breakdown of normality; this fascination is often fueled by a folly guilt (we deserved the punishment of the global pandemic for our corrupt lifestyle, etc.).

At the moment, on the one hand, vaccination is promised, and on the other hand, variants of the virus are diversifying and spreading, so that we are experiencing a collapse that is postponed forever. Notice how the exit door has shifted: in the spring of 2020, officials could say "things are going to get better in two weeks"; when autumn came, this period became two months; It is now being said that things will get better in six months (things could get better in the summer of 2021 or later; voices are already being heard postponing the end of the global pandemic to 2022 or even 2024... [n. it's still not over!]

New news comes in every day – vaccines are effective against new variants, but maybe not; The Russian Sputnik vaccine is not good at all, but now we understand that perhaps it is very good; there was a lot of delay in the supply of vaccines, but most of us would still be able to get vaccinated by the summer...

These waves that come and go endlessly, the waves that are crossed by the waves that are crossed by the waves that are crossed by the waves that are crossed by the waves that are crossed... Including its entire lineage: cynicism/cynicism/sarcism] of course produces its own pleasure and makes it easier for us to survive in this miserable life.

Rammstein's statement that "you must live until you die" draws the way out of this cul-de-sac: Our fight against the global pandemic should not be an excuse for withdrawing from life, but should cause us to live at the highest intensity.

Who is left alive today than the millions of health workers who continue to work every day, risking their own lives? Many of them died but lived to death. Their concern is not to sacrifice themselves for us and collect our hypocritical praise. And it cannot be said at all that they are survival machines reduced to bare lives – they are the most alive today.
Excerpt from The Last Exit to Communism
The father is now holding onto the child
And has pressed it tightly against himself
He doesn't notice its difficulty in breathing
But fear knows no mercy
So with his arms the father....

Squeezes the soul from the child
Which takes its place upon the wind and sings:

Come here, stay here
We'll be good to you
Come here, stay here
We are your brothers

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