/Nature./

We are , /contra /the shibboleths of Biblical ideology, part of nature,/i.e/ ., we are /animals/

Even  the radical Marx, echoing his own  Judeo-Christian  heritage,  spoke of “Man’  proudly as the ‘sovereign of creation”.

He hadn’t  studied  Darwin (Darwin’s classic work  was published, late:  the same year as  one of Marx’s classic works: 1859).

/At any rate, we are part of nature/: and when we are kept away from it/,  as we are, more or less,  in all EM societies,/ in arid cityscapes of cement and steel, our ‘spirits sag’  (all but unconsciously) and we experience an ineffable  distress (poetically depicted  in Keats’ To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent’ verse) .

Presumably parks exist , here and there, in cities, to alleviate that disorder.

A very  welcome offer Ranjani, I'd like to add to, even extend what you suggest. And I look forward to any comments that may arise.

For reasons of experiences that I will pass over here, I have come to understand that the 'alienation' of people from Nature and of Civilisation from Nature is a profoundly damaging category error.

Swallows build nests on the walls outside this room, beavers build dams, hornets created a kind of skyscraper in a room above my head... 'nature'. People create washbasins, airliners, cities, railways homes and offices.... also 'nature'. /It is all nature/. From a planetary perspective there is nothing that isn't nature.

I have struggled to find a way of describing this integration, what might bridge nature-and-civilisation? A colleague suggested 'wilderness', and as I have dug deeper into this I have come to understand economics, families, bodies politics and civilisations as myriad interconnected wildernesses. If this seems a bit off the page, think of wilderness as a vernacular way of talking about systems theory, complexity theory etc. and if it still seems off the page, take a look at part 2 of my recent video Messages From The Blue Planet <https://vimeo.com/257467422> that seeks to open this up as a non linear, affective, imaginal take on where we are with ourselves on this planet; and that might, though it's very late, go some way to heal the alienation you speak about.

Again, thanks for opening up this topic.

Denis



On 11/07/2018 03:27, Michel Bauwens wrote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *r kanth* <involutegandh...@gmail.com <mailto:involutegandh...@gmail.com>>
Date: Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 3:54 AM
Subject: Fwd: From Rajani: On Alienation: : A Non-Eurocentric View
To: Michel Bauwens <michelsub2...@gmail.com <mailto:michelsub2...@gmail.com>>




*   Further Notes on Euro-Modernism**

*On Alienation*

**

/Alienation/ is a major theme in European discourse, both theological and philosophical, in its EM (EuroModernist) phase.

Marx , one of the great canonicals in that august lineage/, e.g.,/noted several aspects of alienation: of workers - from their product, from the production process(run by owners/agents) , from each other(via ‘competition’) , and from their own /species essence/ /(Gattungswesen/).

I wish to identify the last as specially important, if in a marginally different sense, as far as our ‘species-essence’ goes– perhaps – from Marx.

I also wish to add another species of alienation, a little less relevant, perhaps, to a child of the enlightenment, and an heir to industrial society, like Marx: /i.e/. /alienation from nature./

/*/

/Gattungswesen./

I have argued that , /contra /all the norms of EM, we as a species are /affective /beings, led to seek the felicity of warm kindred relations, /instinctually:/ familial, co-operative, and communal.

EM, by setting up its /alternate /template of competition, acquisitivenessness, individualist, self-seeking behavior (as in the pseudo-science of “Economics”), offers a paradigm strikingly opposed to this human essence.

This sets up not so-called ‘cognitive dissonance’ – a buzz-word if ever there was one - but , even deeper, an /existential nightmare/ for humans /compelled to act against their very own natures./

/This is the ontic basis of angst and despair, noted by existentialist writers, for generations./

This is why the so-called ‘happiness index’ is so low in all societies /most ‘advanced’ in EM norms/, such as the US; and why the UK, uabashedly, recently set up , no less, a ministry for ‘loneliness’.

*

/Nature./

We are , /contra /the shibboleths of Biblical ideology, part of nature,/i.e/ ., we are /animals/

Even the radical Marx, echoing his own Judeo-Christian heritage, spoke of “Man’ proudly as the ‘sovereign of creation”.

He hadn’t studied Darwin (Darwin’s classic work was published, late: the same year as one of Marx’s classic works: 1859).

/At any rate, we are part of nature/: and when we are kept away from it/, as we are, more or less, in all EM societies,/ in arid cityscapes of cement and steel, our ‘spirits sag’ (all but unconsciously) and we experiencean ineffable distress (poetically depicted in Keats’ To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent’ verse) .

Presumably parks exist , here and there, in cities, to alleviate that disorder.

/It is a unique form of alienation/ – /i.e./ /suffering/ - lifted by that trope of ‘/One Touch of Nature”, as Shakespeare had it, that “ Makes the Whole World Kin" /.

It is a misery quite akin to that caused by the rupture with /Gattungswesen./

*

To sum up.

In my view, we are, as a species, alienated when separated from /family, community, and nature./

Marx, subscribing – as did most all his peers in political economy - - to EM’s (philosophical) /materialism/ , prioritised /human engagement in production/ as critical (‘work’ is an important concept in Protestant -Calvinist - theology as well), whence his ‘alienations’ , leastways, begin in that domain.

/I theorise, au contraire, the priority of family, culture, and society, within the geist of our species./

Native American children, cruelly and brutishly separated from their families/culture/ and society by their oppressors, as part of an ‘experiment’ to ‘civilise the savage’ , apparently died ‘mysteriously’ in large numbers, or so it is reported.

/No: no mystery./

It is explained by what I argue, above: /no EM philosophy can ‘explain’ it./

/This alienation is critical/: at its extreme, /we suffer a loss of being, of sanity, of wholeness, and incur a debilitating anomie when so separated./

/I will repeat: when separated from family, community, and nature, we experience a critical breach of what we could term the wholeness of being./

For humans, involuntary isolation could well be the ultimate terror (which is why being put away’ in solitary ‘ is such a barbaric mode of ‘correction’).

Such ‘isolation’ is now, sadly, near-chronic in EM societies (/vide /Ministries of Loneliness)

It may well account for the unmistakable madness of our (EM) age, in the final stages of what I have termed, in my recent book (2017) ‘HumanDevolution’.

I will conclude by repeating my principal thesis : /in virtually Everything it claims , represents, or commends, Euromodernism is categorically mistaken : and , worse, more often than not, positively injurious to human existence. /

The sooner we see through, and reject, its many charades, the sooner we might have a chance to save what still remains of our social, natural , and emotive/personal, world.

*/*EuroModernism /*, /or EM, for short, is my term for the specific form of Modernism that Europe first invented, and imposed on itself, and its benighted populace, and then exported - perforce, to its everlasting detriment - to the world at large./

RE FERENCES

Kanth, R./Breaking with the Enlightenment/, NJ: Humanities Press, 1997

_______/Farewell to Modernism,/ NY: Peter Lang, 2017

*[©R.Kanth 2018]*






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