If This Blog Becomes Popular, Will It Become a Cult?

Hmm:

In sum, on this particular point, pre-conscious or dialectical processes of mentation may be contrasted with formal logic, etc., as a “domain” of process conceptions of whole processes in which the particularity, including the particular conception introduced to consciousness, is a determined feature of a determining holistic process.

– Lyndon LaRouche, quoted in “Publish and Perish” by Avi Klein in Washington Monthly

It was reading that snippet of LaRouche’s awful prose, more than the stories of his abusing subordinates to the point of suicide or the stories about his obsession with making sure his presence via publishing was literally felt, that made me gulp.

In fact, I’ve been looking for prose of mine just as awful to match this particular quote. I’m actually kinda proud of this quote below, but I know my teachers would rip me for it, and so would most sane people:

In beginnings there are endings. To allow something to return to its natural purity, a purity that might never have been afforded it by circumstances if not for an intervention, seems an ending and a beginning. Certainly it is an ending, but as it was never the case before, it is another sort of beginning: a true beginning, that which is an origin as opposed to an original. (from here)

So alright – let’s say I’m well on my way to becoming Lyndon LaRouche. I am, after all, sitting in front of the computer thinking a few words read by people bored out of their minds can change anything. Those of you who are regular readers amaze me, I need to learn your patience, willingness to listen, and ability to carefully consider arguments. I’d be bored with me if I had to read me.

The argument that what this blog is trying to achieve is cultish goes like this:

  1. Politics is the realm of action.
  2. Thinking – philosophy – is the realm of inaction.
  3. Therefore, any attempt to create a “philosophical politics,” where thought is chained to action of necessity, creates LaRouche.

The argument above is straight out of Plato and Aristotle, and look at how well it describes LaRouche’s movement: hung up on the most impractical thoughts, they were more than effective in key ways. They created their own reality, at the expense of ceasing to truly live in this one. The problem with “philosophical politics” is maybe that it works too well – maybe thought and action have to be divorced because it is imperative to think before one acts, since the interplay of both otherwise confuses each even as power grows.

I think this blog actually has a safeguard against becoming a cult. I’m really arrogant because of two separate factors informing the arrogance:

  1. I think I know everything and everyone else is an idiot
  2. I consistently appeal to authorities that know more than I do

It is precisely because both these things are in operation that I get hammered as being arrogant from people that make Elvis look like Abraham in terms of humility. Usually their arrogance is confined to their own self-esteem. They don’t have authorities higher than them, and they get mad when the very idea that there could be someone who knows better than all of us (including myself) put together is brought into play.

But it’s the latter, I think, which saves this blog from being cultish. If people read Dickinson and Jefferson and Aristotle well independent of this blog, there’s no need for it. And that’s really the definition of a cult (and, incidentally, why perhaps love is and should be a cult) – there is something that is to be worshiped because it is so, so necessary. This blog so far is absolutely unnecessary, and therefore implicitly separates thought and action despite my own attempts to idiotically unite the two.

1 Comment

  1. ok, ashok, let’s look at arrogance here and see if you qualify. here are a few definitions.

    “presumption”

    “overbearing pride”

    “overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors”

    “from L. arrogantia, from arrogantem (nom. arrogans) “assuming, overbearing, insolent,” prp. of arrogare “to claim for oneself, assume,” from ad- “to” + rogare “ask, propose” (see rogation).”

    now i have to confess that i haven’t read every single post of yours (i guess i’m not a cultie) but overbearing pride? haven’t seen much of that. you think well of your ability to reflect and think and propose arguments. that fits into the “claiming for oneself” category so you get a point for that. and we could call that pride. but where’s the overbearing part, buddy? huh?

    and with your penchant for emily dickinson … i don’t know … that doesn’t bode well for your overbearing-ness …

    “superior manner toward inferiors” – well, maybe that comes through once in a while. but don’t we all do that? then everyone else would be arrogant and your arrogance would become uninteresting.

    “assuming” is a bit of a wishy-washy word. what is being assumed here? perhaps we could stretch that word really far and say that before you look at anyone else’s argument, you “assume” a stance of know-it-all-ness? but DO you? not convinced on that one.

    so all in all, i don’t think you pass. well, maybe you can squeak through on a “pass”, maybe even a C- if you really try. but don’t give up your day job, just yet.

    on a slightly different tack … i’ve been ruminating about the word “addiction” lately. comes from the latin addicere. then there is arrogance. adrogare. dicere means to say. rogare means to ask. this morning i’m struck by the similarity yet difference between the two. ad is a prefix for “towards”. in both situations we are saying something towards someone, in the context of authority. and you know what, in both situations this authority is mind altering in one way or another. heroine, sugar, overwork and an overblown ego – they all move us away from reality.

    (yeah yeah i know. what is reality. you know what i mean)

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