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AND YOU MAY ASK YOURSELF

March 30, 2013

NOTES ON THE SOUL OF THE CITY (SPENGLER, 1922) AND THE STERILITY OF CIVILIZED MAN

1.Contemporary human experience as “Big city life” as evolution from agriculture and direct connection of man to nature and the origins of anthropological culture (written language, art, and religion in man’s pagan origin of mother nature’s child-lest you eat your own children; and man’s violent drive to imposition that is behind God as human father-figure projection itself!)

-The intellectualization of human vitality in detriment to emotionality.

-The abstraction of money as enclosed vital universe or medium of individuals.

-Life as tension:

Tension that requires distraction-even more “mindless” than life itself; and “distraction is above all emotional-visceral, “anti” intellectual as rationally dogmatic (“literature”; but as cliché, not disturbing in that aesthetic experience stays within limits of the individual’s established semiotic ken).

2.The Life mode of the individual as tension:

Vital emotion: viscerality is entertainment as distraction from natural, technical flatness of waking consciousness; and distraction is emotional compensation as supplement for an emotionally deadened reality.

3. Projection to infinity

-Lack of biological, “natural” restraint.

-Limitlessness:

Need for the individual to be held down to/by an American mythology of “personal responsibility”; but is solely in an economic sense-while suppressing emotional side of being.

Extremely rigid moral vision as internal mechanism of subjugation that becomes social structure as subjugation itself.

Thus, there is a more powerful need for viscerally invigorating products: films, TV, and later popular music-and eventually the media itself-because of a life of dissolution as vital projection into non definition-in to nothingness-into future as annihilation: a turning towards death (Spengler).

But “invigorization” is primary-mythical in a poetic-literary sense-and is not designed to ascend to higher levels of serious intellectual contemplation-must not effect disturbance and hence insecurity in the psychology of the individual, for this would make-ultimately-impossible life in the ordinary, functional flatness of life as tension-blind, ultimately purposeless movement as anatomic, vital tension-bodies in movement vitally engaged in movement as life, and necessarily “clipped” or retained in their cognitive powers to actually understand this-understanding that would create a most dire distress in cognizant organisms.

Alleviated in their need for visceral engagement through logic also-but that is nevertheless contained, downgraded and limited-so as not to pull cognizant organisms out of less conscious modes of being, thereby throwing them into situations of existential agony and violence.

Invigoration through semiotics supported also by the assigning of functions of “exemplum” to individuals as both actors and subjects, and components of human reality that are the “raw material” –in their personalities and lives-for further semiotic elaboration within broader social ken:

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………………………………SEMIOTICS OF ENTERTAINMENT

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………VITALITY AS TENSION                                             DISTRACTION

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4. Primariness of man:

Because of basic corporeal experience, foundation of human psychology will always be the same-and this is the thrust of man’s primariness, despite drift-because of technology-towards Big City Life and, finally, Spengler’s city vision projected at global level as the core of human experience itself.

But also because social structure is now structure of vital containment projected into the future (to infinity and nothingness) without really ever going anywhere, broader, more intellectually elaborate and invigorating intellectual experiences are beyond collective man’s current cognitive functions-and out of a need for systemic stability, man is trapped in his mind-cognitively contained as a “matter of state”-of executive decision in regards to foreseen and programmed circumstances that are now upon us:

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5. Spengler on Romanticism

Prerequisite for nationalism and the drive of man to natural connection with soil and mother Earth-and her wholesomeness-exactly as flight (or nostalgia)- from the flatness as dissolution of Big City Life and the hollowness of the intellectualization and abstraction of money, and of science and a culture of objectivity.

This is, essentially, Spengler’s concept of western Decadence and it is easily understandable in its link to the philosophical gloss as ideology of Hitler’s Nazi party; that Nazi symbolism and semiotics flirted with this vision of contemporary man as trapped in a natural-non induced-context of containment as flight into purposelessness, is evident.

But it was only understood by the Nazis as an instrument simply of imposition over society itself and not –obviously-in its true nihilistic nature as a turning towards death and dissolution; and this is probably of the greatest significance in understanding the Nazi historical experience as a an atomic blast of the drive in man to self-annihilation as eschatological orgasm of imposition as power.

And it truly razed the world at that time, and in the world’s ruins we have lived ever since:

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