Whisper #256

One of the deficiencies of philosophical thought is that it makes you problem-oriented rather than solutions-oriented. Philosophical thought is sensitive to problems; philosophers have an almost uncanny nose for picking them up. However, they struggle to convert that sensitivity and nose towards solutions of the problems they have picked up.

One has reason to be bemused about why the above is the case, because the same application of the imagination that picks up a problem is equipped to be the one that picks up a solution.

Here, I believe, we are facing a physiological limit: lifestyle is what makes philosophers hyper-sensitive to problems and near-blind to solutions. What they express through their ‘negativity’ is something too personal and unrelated to a topic to be picked up by them with any clarity.

Maybe philosophers should spend less time on their backside, reading, writing, talking and even talking down; more time moving, dancing, shouting, screaming, going wild…

Whisper #255

What is most tragic, formidable, but also elegant power principle? Is it not the following:

Elevate the worst to devalue and finally bring down the best.

Look for this principle in the corners of power. Look for it most in the opinions about what and who is best from renowned men and women. Look for it most–in the media.

Once upon a time…

… artists had the moral dignity and intellectual conscience to learn about their topic fully before they put it on page and-or on stage.

Why have so many stopped trying to grasp their topic with the same passion and love they once exhibited towards their muse–the same love they now say they possess for her!?

What is love if you have not dared to grasp and see every corner of your beloved?

What is it worth if you have not faced the demon of the dread that you might not like what you find?

What does she care about your love if you have not faced the dread that what you find may bore you–the dread that comes with the feeling associated with the utterance ‘all is lost’?

So many artists have forgotten how to love. They have transformed from bold butterflies that hover proudly and gently over swamps to pathetic, boring and ghastly frogs spewing bile and consuming flies within just a couple of centuries.

Whisper #251

Politician A:

Why do you trust the working class so much? They have no idea what they are talking about. They blow things out of proportion. The simplicity of the interrelations between their concepts is offensive; their grasp of the facts and their knowledge even more so. Their training is dubious, at best. Why do you take them so seriously?

Politician B:

I have many fanciful and complex reasons to give you, but I will summarise them all in one principle for you, which I will explain somewhat. The working class may not know exactly why they are suffering and so they may struggle to put the reasons for their concerns and pain into words–they are certainly struggling to put them into the kinds of words and manner of expression that appeal to your delicate sensibilities. Yet, their suffering is an indication that something has gone horribly wrong.

If we left this wrong unchecked, if we suppressed it and attacked it because we find it offensive, then it will only get worse and finally bubble up to ghastly proportions. History is rife with such moments where politicians like us should have listened precisely when they least wanted to. It is my duty to provide a reasonable narrative that takes their suffering into account, explains it and offers us all a solution.

Sometimes, to make right such wrongs, to ameliorate such suffering, we have to change course and accept our resolute failures as politicians–failures that we may not recognize because we fancy ourselves as holding some moral high ground, which we struggle to give up. And, I have sympathy for that, because nothing hurts more for someone like us than to recognize that we got it wrong… Let us accept it, my dear friend, our vanity is burdensome. In short: the working class are my political and moral anchor.

Politician A:

Why make an ignorant, biggoted and rude person your moral anchor?

Politician B:

Because the faith they exemplify–even if it is contrary to my delicate sensibilities–constitutes the basis of any morality and political unity. It is my duty to pay homage to that faith irrespective of the objects or activities to which it attaches at this time or place. Moreover, it is my obligation to convince them of the limits of the objects and activities to which that faith attaches, but also of the limitlessness of their faith itself.

In short, my dear friend, I do not punish those who would follow me blindly, even to the jaws of hell and to the depths of their own misery. I reward them for following me by doing right by them, by taking them into account and by doing my best to heed their feedback. I respond to their suffering by a suffering of my own. What is my suffering?–I accept the verdict over my abilities that their suffering represents, namely: I have lost the moral high ground.