Saturday, August 15, 2009

"The system is now the god that makes us mad"

A thirty-year old book that is quite timely today:

"Our speed is constantly increasing, and it does not matter where we are going. We are caught up in the madness and hubris of the dance of death: the important thing is the dance, the Saturnalia, the Bacchanalia, the Lupercalia. We are no longer worried about what will emerge from it or about the void it points to. We are content to die of dancing. Our generation is not even capable of cynicism, it take a kind of terrible greatness to say, “After me, the deluge.” No one says that today; on the contrary, everyone is glutted with promises and regards the mad dance as a way to authentic renewal. Yet there is no goal, nothing transcendent, no value to light the way; the movement is enough.

The nihilistic revolution has succeeded. Today’s political activists who still claim to be revolutionaries have nothing to put in nihilism’s place. Movement for movement’s sake, thorough study for study’s sake, the revolution for the revolution’s sake: that, they say, is the only way to escape the system. It is a remarkable thing, however, that this system renders mad not only those who are part of it but those who reject it as well. The system is now the god that makes us mad, but it is a god we have created with our won minds...

..Fragmentary theater and deciphered Moliere, poetry without words and music that is sheer noise, destructured language, Lacan, Derrida, and all their second-rate imitators who think that absolute incomprehensibility offers a way out, when in fact we have shut the door on all possibilities and hopes, and have sunk into a resignation that knows no future..

..The West has always claimed to be on the side of David against Goliath, and it continues to make this claim. The difficulty is that the West is now a Goliath, one of the might of the earth, yet it cannot but still judge itself according to its old values"
-Ellul, "The Betrayal of the West"

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