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StefanL, 09.08.09 23:59
Fighting unethical behaviour, which this staff here is heavily involved in, does not seem to be such a good receipt for a peaceful life and happiness in these days.
Why then, you will ask us, and we have to ask ourselves, do we still do it. Which are the reasons and what be the open or hidden benefits? Is this fight of any importance? Do we suffer from unconscious masochism? Or are we just simply a bit maladapted? Have we participated in all too few or all too many workshops? Are we the victims of classical self-deception? Have we betrayed ourselves out of the benefits of all investments in therapeutic work and coaching? Let us slow down first!
The Source of the Fighting
The daily renewed desire and resolution to go on and fight unethical behaviour flows quite naturally from a desire to lead lives at a relatively low degree of alienation*. All of us like to agree with the goals and the process of our work, be it on the job or at home. It means, we want to get along well with our associates and co-workers and get angry when hindered to. It means we want to enjoy our leisure time without having to become beings that we are actually not, but have to act as such, in order to nicely participate in the activities of our friends and families.
In the second half of the 19th century many people would still have agreed that this goal of less alienation in one's life made perfect sense. The same people would probably have agreed a lot less on how to reach that low degree of alienation. Still, even a very reflective and strongly individualized person could find a party or group with mostly the same goals and a sufficient consensus on the methods and stratagems to get there.
The first world war shook the basics for this considerably. We can judge this quite easily and precisely because we have so many records, not only in print, but als in the arts, of audio and film where the rise of violence, alienation and universal conflict in the so called first and second worlds (USA, Russia, Germany, France, the UK, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, Japan etc.) is more than amply documented. Still, in Europe, the US and elsewhere new hopes where born and many people engaged in the struggle for progress and the amelioration of life.
The so called second world war and its widely perceptible and unignorable climaxes, Auschwitz and Hiroshima, in a century that until then had verily not lacked in atrocities, jolted many people profoundly. Not least those who had liked to call themselves humanists, by which they seem to have wanted to say, they believed in man and woman, in mankind's inner forces and potentials more than they believed in a bad demiurg's world and a life that was in no way handable without strict guidance from the heavens.
The shock that the world-famous German "Kultur" did practically nothing to hinder the German government and those parts of the German, Austrian, French, Polish, Lituanian, Kalmyk and so on peoples that supported it, to murder 6 million Jews, 200 thousand Sinti and Roma, we do not know how many handicapped people and political opponents and on and on, was, by itself probably quite impossible to digest for generations to come. It would sink down into the unconscious like many lesser ethical burdens humanity had faced before.
Let us now leave away the deaths of all the people who fought, got traumatized or simply became casualties of that utterly senseless but apparently, as unavoidable and in a strange way productive war. Let us also let be all the quite incredible cruelties in remote and distant places, for example those the Japanese committed in China and what Greeks, Turks and Armenians had done to each other a mere 30 years before.
The final bang that had begun with the building of an industrial killing machine in the eastern occupied territories of the so-called 3rd German Reich came to a second climax when the US-American government, the most humanist governments of all that existed in 1945, the government that had already burned down the cities of Dresden and Tokio in firestorms the likes of which the world had not seen before decided, it was time to really take guidance away from the heaven and into its own hand, not wait for God's thunderbolt any longer, and did not only drop Little Boy on Hiroshima but as if to confirm what they had already done, also dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki 3 days** later. That particular act of grace finally caused even the last of the humanists to, unconsciously most probably, give up on their belief in humankind and give up on the buried rests of their belief in God simultaneously.
You might be to young to have experienced any of the more direct effects of this. If you want to check over on what we assert here, read any good novel from the 1950s and you will perceive this effect hard at work. A more sensitive nature like for example Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno had already written a sentence like "Es gibt kein richtiges Leben im falschen." a good year before the event when the damage was not even known in all its fullness.
What did that mean? It meant you could either go suicidal, go on vegetating hopelessly or you had to accept alienation as a fact of life and property of the universe or, if you rather believed in that, as the long term punishment from God for sins of the past, a theorem that already had been believed and accepted by a large part of mankind for a couple of thousand years. It meant the grand project of humanism and enlightenment was over. And, although many still refuse to admit it, we really mean OVER!
Slow and sophisticated adaption to alienation set in at once. Its old European ways had been disqualified. All the little disguises, dissimulations, all the little and big lies, all the harmless and harmful stupidities had suffered a change of direction and style not to be underestimated. They started to become new, postwar, sustainable, postmodern and posteverything.
And, as we said, the previous basic assumptions about an easy escape out of the selfmade Unmündigkeit des Menschen, as one guy from Königsberg had put it, by simple efforts of the logic sectors of our large brains and of being able to lower the grade of alienation and finally, having hope to be able to escape it in this life on the coziest and greenest of all planets we know, were more or less all gone. Together with these assumptions and goals practically all connected stratagems and tactics and the methods of reaching those goals appeared to have become useless and started to disappear. So go they did and still do, down into the oubliette.
Still, human genetics and human memetics have not really changed through those events. Mass traumatization had happened before. Not on that scale. It will happen again. But life goes on. Survival is imminent. Desires stay the same and so the inner core for them. The good world that so many seem to long to go back to, never existed, lots of things have gotten better and some of them worse.
Here at tinytalk 1.01 we are still seriously opposed to Buddhism and its wrong teachings, so we have to ask ourselves and our audience too, what is in order then, how shall we go ahead?
An Inventory And First Conclusions
First we take an inventory. The desire to lead a "richtiges Leben" is still here. We can clearly feel and recognize it. We can also reflect upon it, which suggests - although Descartes' main theorem might be flawed, that we exist. We exist means we are alive. We are alive, - Darwin's central theorem now - suggests, we are still well adapted. What is wrong? Unethical behaviour is wrong. We had known that before, intuitively. Why then, we ask, does all of this ugly reflection take place? It just might be that more legs of the mind are better than one.
Back On Track
We so happen to conclude from all that we have seen, felt, heard and read, that fighting unethical behaviour is still a valid method to increase the number of places, moments, hours, and even entire days of happiness we can justly expect and really reach in this life, and, for all who believe in it, the sweet hereafter.
Fighting unethical behaviour on the other hand, far spread as it is, from this position is by no means a trivial venture. Let us have a closer look. Biologically we seem to be well adapted. But are we well adapted socially? On first sight this does not seem to be the case. As mentioned in the presuppositions our desire is to live at a rather low grade of alienation. Looking around we get the impression that the majority of people in western Europe, North- and Middle America, the coastal provinces of China and a couple of other places we know seem to like to live at a higher and rising level of alienation.
Nontrivial Difficulties in the Detail
Porn and human trafficking are on the rise, more and more modes of life are turned into commodities and the mere fetish character of these commodities obviously abounds. Movement and effort of the body is exercised under the command of a person you have to pay for commanding instead of the person or her sponsors paying you for the labour. Outside of small elite groups who work in clean room labs and political think tanks and who are locked into headache generating office-cages, thinking about anything important is heavily discouraged.
Being your own man or woman is denounced as being antisocial. A fiction of success is proliferated through a mass of media workers with an attention span of one day. Marketing has never been as ridiculous, mendacious and hypocritical as just now. Every poll tells us, people think any management above them is incompetent or even malignant, selfish in any case. Looking up to the government? Of course it's the same. Only rarely is a queen or king or president exempted from this common cognition.
The Short Perspective
It seems that, on short sight, there is no hope left, this fight we are talking about can in any way succeed in the foreseeable future. It would seem we would even earnestly impede our advancement if we do not adapt to these conditions and stop fighting for a hope- and senseless cause. Have we not preached against unwitting masochism for years and years?
The Longer Perspective
Yet there is something we should remember. Time still runs. Tides may turn. Given enough space and timespan in our lives, alienation will eat us up from inside. Now that we have to lead these lives for up to 85 years and more, now that cardiologic medicine is so good that not even drinking and smoking can guarantee any more for a timely farewell, everybody is well advised to think of one's old age and the long term inner effects of alienation and unethical behaviour. Would you want to feel eaten up inside from age 70 to 90? We have seen enough of those bitten and eaten up people, sudden hypocritical religiousness in the last 10 years of one's life, unexpected gnawing fears of eternal flames, repeated fits of swamping paranoia. Alienation can lead to being so afraid and full of unconscious conscience to voluntarily deliver oneself into luxury concentration camps in southern France and pay money for it as legions of rich Americans do. Luxury does not make you happy by itself and concentration camps those settlements stay, barbed wire, guard personal and all.
All of this sucks. Yuck! Waeh!
The Long Perspective
Be that as it may. We feel no need to decide wether the believers in an afterlife, the believers in many lives and the nothingness thereafter or the believers in the big sleep after death are right. Before the solution to this question will be revealed to us, there is still a life down here below to live and master. We, for one, want the rest of it to be good, funny and enjoyable. And we want to flake out in a good mood, no matter if we will then awake the next day and wherever or not.
So what then, we hear some of you asking. This is the answer of the tiny analytical team (TAT): We will go on fighting unethical behaviour and we will go on to aspire to a low grade of alienation. We know pretty well now what and how we feel. Many people will help us. Groundless solidarity will help us. As Manny tells Diego: "That's what you do in a herd. You look out for each other." We will not lose in the end.
Not losing is a lot better than winning. Victories are for losers. Every victory is a Pyrrhic victory. Think of Caesar, think of Bonaparte. You'll find a new certainty.
** Do we agree with the bombing decisions of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations? Do we think they were necessary to win WWII? We are still not completely sure. We tend to agree with fighting Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan as such by nearly all means. We tend to think, that it was necessary to convey to the German and Japanese people and not only to their soldiers that fighting on and going on to meditate fighting back later made no sense.
Arguably all city bombing just caused lost lives and had little effect on the war as such. We are even less sure about the atomic bombing. It might not have been what caused the Japanese to surrender. Maybe the Red Army in Manchuria was. But then again, the atomic bombing would never have unfolded its effect of forcing formal military peace between the great powers for 64 years now without a tough demonstration. Difficult. But we also nurture the suspicion that the confirmation thing with Fat Man was probably unnecessary and cruel. It seems to have been caused by the non-reaction of the Japanese government to the first bomb and could have been considered more carefully.
On the other hand and on second thought though, it definitely has been a merit and sign of reasonableness that US administrations from Truman to Nixon and Soviet administrations from Khrushchev to Gorbatchev always kept their general staffs and joint chiefs from ever using atomic force against people again.
last updated: 17.02.20 20:31
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