Saturday, August 19, 2006

For Those With No Philosophical Imagination

or, ‘We Are All Hezbollah’ = ‘There Is Only Us

A commenter, Mo, on my post about Hezbollah (and the lack of wisdom in declaring that we are all, somehow, Hezbollah) has diagnosed my arguments as exemplary cases of Western narcissism. This is my response.

In smug Hegelian fashion, I am of course in agreement with this commenter on a number of points. Mo’s right: ‘leadership’ won’t come from the left in matters of finding the “the solution to humanity”.

But nor will it come from Hezbollah. And why? Because we are, quite simply, fighting different battles – none of which are that for some sort of inert ‘solution’ to humanity.

Perhaps our respective fights are sympathetic to one another. I am quite convinced that they have a relationship, in the last instance. But the Western left short-circuits and stunts itself if it cannot wrench its eyes away from the other side of the world for long enough to realise that there are things to do here, right now. (And by that I don’t mean rallies and petitions.)

Now, while I am happy, I suppose, that Hezbollah ‘won’ against Israel – they were ‘the side I was going for’ – I must admit that this is not the prime determinant of the way in which I choose to engage myself politically.

The “real struggle” is not out there somewhere. It lies, rather, with that which my commenter has already declared the death of: the “philosophical imagination in the west”. Mo neglects to make the connection, however, that it is precisely the act of pinning our identity and political agenda to the actions of Hezbollah that kills it. We cannot look to others to lead our fight.

This is even more sharply the case given that we have such a poor bag of conceptual tools when it comes to matters of sketching what our fight actually is – as seen when Mo states that it is that of finding “the solution to humanity”.

Mo accuses Daniel and I of “looking at ourselves and ourselves only”. But when the left looks at Hezbollah and states that they are one and the same thing, they are not really looking at others at all. No, all they see reflected back at themselves are their own hopes for a new saviour. I suppose this betrays the true meaning of stating that ‘we are all Hezbollah’ – it is the ultimate moment of projection. If we are all Hezbollah, it is only because we can no longer see anything that is not our own desperate desire for a path, for a way forward.

I make no apologies for stating that it is better to have some self-knowledge and reflection upon what our position is than to go running after anything and everything that looks like revolution. It is not narcissism but unacknowledged narcissism that is the danger.

I don’t think declaring symbolic solidarity with Hezbollah while declaring that we are useless, we are the inward-looking, useless West cuts much chop. There is no point in fetishising those who are ‘taking action’ in tantalisingly direct ways. Hezbollah has asserted its agency against those who would dominate, but they have done so in a way that is useful for their situation. We would be wise to learn this lesson from them, at least: that one must first begin by creating the problem at hand.

Israel is not at my door, however. No, I am located at a very different place within this global, historical structure. And I will act accordingly, with no need for the reflected light of others’ radicalism.

To be fair, of course, Mo wasn’t really responding to my post at all. He was responding to that phantom, ‘the Western left’, which no one likes. The problem is that this Western left doesn’t really exist: it’s a made-up straw man punching-bag for those people who believe that it is the dithering of intellectuals that holds back the real resistance, the real revolution. (The right uses this definition as much as the left, of course – they invented it, after all.)

Mo and I may agree on a lot of things, but the fact that s/he confused me with this mass of positions that I have not stated or supported cannot go uncommented upon. After all, what is at issue here is precisely the question of knowing what is in front of us.

1 Comments:

Blogger mo said...

Interesting that you failed to respond to me and you failed to see the situation in the larger context. you cannot get our of yourself. it is still more about you, and you only.

YOU SAID: leadership won’t come from the left in matters of finding the “the solution to humanity”.

I REPEAT: You are generous! leadership just won’t come from the west, period. the problems of the west are non partisan and are shared by left right and center. this is why the missing leadership has to be sought elsewhere, possibly in the Muslim Arab world. A possible solution can only and ONLY come from the oppressed people of this world who are fighting the system. Please read carefully, not from those oppressed people who have accepted their miseries, NO. And not but contrary from those who have been rejecting their fate. You don’t need to go further than palestine and the rest of the arab-muslim world to find this resisting oppressed movement. Does the Islamic world offer that leadership right this moment? NO. but does it have the potential to offer the world a universal solution: YES and to be honest, i think that night be humanity’s last chance. This does not have to be an Islamic solution, but as long as it comes from those who are really fighting this system, not like us in the west who think listening to indie rock and buying fair trade is fighting the system. I cannot be more clear than this.

YOU SAID: We are fighting different battles ...Israel is not at my door, however. No, I am located at a very different place within this global, historical structure.

hahaha. this is why you are unable to even do the basic math of reading my text. Israel is not at your door, rather, you ARE Israel. You are not battling Israel, because Israel has already won its battle with us. The Anglo Saxon world is an Israeli occupied territory. No account of “1 per cent dissent” to the Israeli occupation of the western mindset can cover up the fact that we have already lost our battle with Zionism years ago. look at your attitude. You are unable to see how Israel forms the public opinion across the western world. -rupert murdocuh is just one example.

We are losers who pretend that we have a different fight than Hezbollah when in reality we expect Hezbollah to capitulate like us. Guess what? they won’t. And no amount of criticism or pressure from ‘the west” can make this happen. ONLY NUKES, only descending into a naked full on barbarism on our behalf may defeat the Islamic Arab spirit in their rejection of the Zionist hegemony. Now you can jump up and down a million times and reject that Zionism is running our show, i refuse to “prove’ this to you. if you cannot already see how this works. my arguments can only waste my time. Ask Nicole Kidman, ask Dennis Hopper. They’ll tell you who is right and who is wrong. Zionism which today is the ideology of Jewish supremacy, has conquered our public space here in the Anglo Saxon world. Our stance towards Israel is just the reiteration of acknowledging the Jewish supremacy among ourselves. From secular left all the way to Evangelical Christians, We love and worship Jewish nationalism, but turn around and call Islamic nationalism ‘terrorism”. sure. whatever, you think Muslims really care? NO because they know that their nationalism is nothing more than, well nationalism. it is our hierarchical approach that celebrates and elevates Jewish nationalism (our mantra: the Jewish state has a right to exist) while Islamic nationalism cannot even be supported when it is being attacked by a rainbow of missiles bombs and bullets. do you see why we ARE Israel? and why our corner of the word is already an Israeli occupied territory? NOTE: It is going to be a matter of seconds before you the reader would start thinking about me an an anti Semite :) watch it hits you ...there it comes. But guess what even that is a sham. in the age of utter total war by israel in which a neighboring country is incinerated in a month of heavy bombing in civilian areas, verbal Anti Semitism pales to the actual racist and chauvinistic actions of Israel. Let alone one can argue that in this case, An anti Semitic position may appear as more noble than inexcusable targeting of innocent people by israel’s nazi war machine. What is worse? verbal Anti Semitism, or actual slaughtering of civilians without honestly declaring your racist intentions that actually persist and come true as genocide? Which one is worse? appearing as anti semitic, or acting completely nazis?

YOU SAID: it is precisely the act of pinning our identity and political agenda to the actions of Hezbollah that kills our philosophical imagination. We cannot look to others to lead our fight.

I SAY: No. you are wrong again. it is our simple-minded logical structure (i call it narrative based reasoning) that is the basis of it. Our self love for our “progress”. our celebration of our open mindedness regarding the gay issue (what a marker this is for how full of our own crap we have become) It is our blindness to the Arab Muslim heritage in art culture and philosophy that has killed our imagination. refusing to endorse Hezbollah is just a symptom of our rotting foundations. We have failed to understand this culture ever since we lost the crusade to Muslims, then later we came back and cheated them out of their resources through our scientific advancements, but now having learned our weaknesses and having witnessed our crash into immoral and genocidal narcissism, Muslims and Arabs are back to take what was theirs to begin with. No one expect you to back them up. And you don’t have to feel guilty for not supporting the “good”. Just buy another bag of fair trade coffee and talk about how in the Muslim world they persecute gay people, or how Muslims just cant respect women. I think you are better off going this route than to be proud of yourself how you cannot back Hezbollah.

YOU SAID: I make no apologies for stating that it is better to have some self-knowledge and reflection upon what our position is than to go running after anything and everything that looks like revolution. It is not narcissism but unacknowledged narcissism that is the danger.
I SAY: Sure. i did not expect more than this, for your narcissism to find a way for another grand comeback in the name of acknowledged narcissism. you can keep talking to the mirror and call it a dialogue. But you wont be fooling those who are left alone to not be heard. You can only fool yourself in this scheme. You fail to see the real reason why you ought to have “some self knowledge and reflection”. it’s because you can afford to. You can afford to be for Hezbollah or not, because you are not engaged in a struggle for your life and death. Your interest in all this is almost charity-like. You choose to be involved; you choose to take side in this conflict. Not arabs and Muslims they ARE a side in this. For them it’s not a choice or position, it’s a necessity. You can spend the rest of your life choosing between narcissism or unacknowledged narcissism, your choice. it would not interest or involve the struggle they’re having. You can choose to involve yourself however, if you weren't so busy dissing Hezbollah and distancing your self important self from “taking sides”.

6:24 pm  

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