N.B- this post has been revised on the basis of a negative comment.
Sanskrit poetry came into existence, so the story goes, when the Sage Valmiki witnessed the slaying of one of a pair of love birds amorously conjoined and spontaneously uttered a metrical couplet (shloka) in expression of his woe (shoka). The Grammarians maintain that this couplet is also an epitome of the Ramayana and, as such, could be said to call the events of that Epic into Being. Similarly, there is an Islamic tradition that when God asked 'am I not your Lord?', Adam and the sons of Adam replied 'Bala' which means both 'Yea!' and 'Woe' which is why Existence is full of sorrow.
Abu Mansur Maturidi, a tenth Century Turkish theologian, familiar with the doctrines of the Brahmins, passed on a story to the effect that Adam's grief at, his son, Abel's slaying- which apparently took place in India- first unsealed the fountainhead of Arabic poetry. A couple of centuries later, Awfi- perhaps the first literary theorist of Persian poetry, though he resided in what is now Pakistan- mentions this legend and Dr. Prashant Keshavmurthy of McGill University has drawn our attention to it in a very well written essay-
Click here for the rest of Dr. Keshavmurthy's essay.
One passage I would like to highlight is that in which Awfi interrogates the nightingale & the rose-
The problem here is that it is a fact of nature, not convention, that the mystic rose- so worthy of the rhapsodies of that winged and pious preacher, the nightingale- must, in bloom of riper days, tear its skirts and not from wantoness for, though that masculine music has stopped, the ballet has still not reached its denouement.
The rose's full blossoming falls in a season when the nightingale- which was believed to be a purely male species- has fallen silent. This conforms to that silence beyond the music of the spheres where the mystic rose unfolds itself to itself.
The Iranian Encyclopedia has this to say- It is only during the mating season that male bolbols sing; then they become silent, though roses may continue to bloom for some time, which provides an answer to a question posed by Ḥāfeẓ (p. 160): “O Ḥāfeẓ, who can be told about this strange circumstance that we are bolbols silent at the time of roses?” Bolbols are “physically and behaviorially very unobtrusive birds, thus often going unnoticed; their presence is betrayed only by their singing”; furthermore, the male and female are alike (Hüe and Étchécopar, loc. cit.). These features seem to have led Persian poets and others to consider bolbols a species without females, so that the males direct their sexual desires toward roses. Persian mystical lore thus has developed around the gol o bolbol “rose and nightingale” motif, comparable to thešamʿ o parvāna “candle and moth” theme. The bolbol as bīdel (a disheartened lover), ʿāšeq-e zār (a miserable lover), šeydā (maddened by love), and the like was supposed neither to sleep nor to eat. In one metaphor the bird has “in his beak a rose petal of a lovely color;” Ḥāfeẓ, p. 290); sometimes, however, he is mast“drunk” (cf. ʿAṭṭār, p. 42, “the bolbol entered [the birds’ assembly] mast-e mast(completely inebriated),” not with wine but with love of the gol. In fact, according to ornithologists, bolbols do feed on insects, worms, and berries; white-eared bulbuls also eat dates, causing serious damage to the crop in southern Iran (Hüe and Étchécopar, loc. cit.). Their supposed “drunkenness” can be explained by their amatory behavior during the mating season (note that mast also means “rutting” in modern Persian). Dr.Keshavmurthy suggests that Awfi is grounding 'an account of the psychological origin of poetic fiction' in the trope of 'hairat' (astonishment, amazement, being arrested) as arising from a simulated naivety.
Yet, this is far from naive and is actually quite witty and satirical. The mystic rose is doomed to wither in the vase of literature except of course it is not longer that which it signifies. The 'diegetic world of the ghazal' simply does not have the property of being outside Time or free of Autumn's blighting touch or disconnected from the rhythms of the natural world or 'its burgeoning polysemy which human senses can't cope with'. The reverse is the case. Keshavmurty thinks Awfi is 'performing or siting the psychological origin of poetry in a failed mimesis of Nature's cycle of season'. But this is patently absurd! It is the Persian carpet, not the Persian poem, whose 'diegetic universe' is outside Time and change of Season. Time is the ineluctably modality of the audible as Space is of the visible. To confuse a ghazal for a kilm is as vulgar an error as mistaking the marble of Praxiteles for the methexis of Plato
My own feeling is that the material he so ably presents is best, that is most economically, approached from the, for poetry, eternally poignant, Rose & Nightingale, tashbih/tanzih antinomy rather than the chrematistic productivity of Gadamerian 'temporal distance' as a Credentializing availability cascade in which actual living traditions are the one thing not used for 'filling in the yawning abyss' between the text and ourselves because no such gulf exists- it is a modish mise en abyme merely, unless Hermeneutics really is Hell, nor we out of it.
Indeed, what can we say about our learned hermeneut's tashbih to the texts he permits us to cherish when what comes to pass thereby is not an epistemic break- all such rupture being our rasika rapture- but an impassable tanzih with respect to himself? How else are we to read in Maturidi's knowledge of Brahmanism or speculate, in the mirroir sans tain of Keshavmurthy's text, on the similarity of Maturidi's origin story for Arab metrical verse and that of its Sanskrit counterpart which, of course, Keshavmurthy must have imbibed with his mother's milk?
Instead what we get is all the obligatory, apple polishing, linguistically tortuous and literally meaningless, genuflections to gadarening Gadamer and other such swine- even Judith Butler gets a Hosanna!- while no attempt is made to address the blindingly obvious question that has popped into the reader's mind viz. how come this Hindu guy reading Awfi doesn't think- 'well, Valmiki's couplet is also supposed to be a sort of prophesy- it encodes the whole Ramayana- so that has bearing on the question of whether prophets are prohibited poetry, indeed this fact might have been quoted, sub rosa, to support an esoteric hermeneutic, such that a passionate or figurative tashbih type utterance itself has alethic or even self-punitive force resolving the Nightingale & the Rose tashbih/tanzih antinomy re. univocity- such as is suggested by the Adamic 'bala!'- or else pointing to its bracketing in a barzakh of the Ibn Arabi type, and all this can happen within orthodox Hanafi tradition- which is all like way cool!- so lets see if Mutaridi's kitab al Tawhid itself can be mined for anything suggestive in this context coz that's the guy famous for knowing from Brahmanism'.
In other words, why isn't Keshavmurthy doing a, Leo Strauss, 'persecution and the art of writing' kinda Catskill shtick instead of touching base with the gormless vacuity of goddam Gadamer?
I dunno. I'll ask him. But he's scarcely likely to confess that people with PhD's gotta watch out for the Gadamerian Gestapo otherwise they get rounded up and cattle trucked to gas chambers. You remember the Bhopal disaster? It was a cover up. Fact is the victims weren't slum dwellers at all but actually posh JNU trained Professors who forgot to quote Gadamer every second sentence.
For which I personally blame David Cameron. That boy aint right.
Globalisation can only happen with Capital & Data?- I see, so Gayatri Spivak is not a human being. She is a function of Capital & Data. She didn't parley a Calcutta education into a Columbia Professorship. All that really happened was a transaction involving Capital- the loan she took to go do Post Grad studies in the States- everything else is just data.
Gayatri is wrong. There is no 'Globalisation' without people- metics- moving from one place to another. Data & Capital can't do shit. An Indian Chemist working in the States in the 1930's gets a better offer from the Soviet Union. He goes there. He doesn't transfer 'Data & Capital', he fucking goes there and unlike 'Chatto' wasn't killed but thrived and got married to a local lady and had real cute kids and was still alive when my Dad first went to Moscow.
It's a great pity that 'unanalysed projects'- like your or my life project- come into existence simply because 'the information is there'- i.e. there is a market and 'limited arbitrage' (Chichilinsky) opportunities- i.e. Life Chances- increase. But, that's just wrong coz it's like crowd sourcing as opposed to 'real' Democracy like they got in Korea- not Gangnam style Korea but the other truly Democratic Republic North of the 38th parallel.
Why would anybody want to 'learn the double bind'- i.e fuck up kids big time- and why is a fucking Prof. at Columbia saying this is a good thing? Is Spivak fucking mental? No. She is lying. What she does next is contradict everything she said in her opening coz she's writing for A.D.D fuckwits and they won't notice.
This is the true Globalisation- not shite about Capital and Data- but lying and cheating- i.e. the Evolutionarily Stable reason for the persistence of the Kantian aesthetic- i.e. the sublimation, by way of Gesture Politics, of a conjectural 'moral sublime'- and Gayatri is still getting away with it. Which is cool coz it's opportunistic i.e. Human.
I recall a conversation with my sister back in 1977. Dad had just been posted to London and wanted my sister to switch from St.Stephens to a Brit University on the grounds that her subject- Eng Lit- was probably better covered by people who actually spoke that revolting language coz they liked it or actually knew it as opposed to just teaching it to earn a fucking living.
Sister- we can't go to London. They hate us darkies there. Paki bashing is all the rage. I read about it in the International Herald Tribune.
Me- yes, but the Brits are stupid. When they say 'die Paki scum' we can just look over our shoulder and say 'Pakis? How dreadful. Oh, I see what you mean. Chase that damn coolie down that fog filled side street why don't you my good man, or men, or whatever. Tally Ho.'
Sister- I don't think that would work.
Me- Why not?
Sister- well, you see, Globalisation is about Capital & Data. St. Stephens, Delhi, is a lot better than that Black Hole in Calcutta that fucking worthless cunt Gayatri Spivak crawled out of. She has been plagiarizing my old lecture notes from like when I was in Nursery School all these years. All her fucking royalties should belong to me only. Mind it kindly. Aiyayo.
Me- Yes. What you say is irrefragabily veracious from a post-Kristevan perspective as well as in accordance with Spiderman Comics special issue No.1442. But the true fault lies with David Cameron. That boy aint right. Mind it kindly. Aiyayo.
This is a link to a paper by Prof. Bilimoria which makes the astounding claim that Gayatri Spivak can throw some light on Matilal's relationship with Kant. Spivak has pointed out in a recent book that Prof. Matilal, in his final days, suffered from a serious medical condition which caused flatulence and that, to ease his embarrassment, she had quoted Derrida- 'Ontology can't lay hold of a fart'- a remark whose fatuity lies in demonstrating that its subject does nothing else- but, regrettably, Bilimoria hasn't approached his topic from this angle- one singularly fecund for Socioproctology- but rather from something he claims to be a ' genuine critique of the rational'- this in the context of the 'Post Colonial Subject'- such a critique being, he assures us, 'Spivak's gift.'
Before wading into Bilimoria's essay, let me first say that there was another female Professor at Columbia, Graciella Chichilnisky, who addressed the same issue and resolved it once and for all by using innovative mathematical techniques. Essentially, a concept of 'limited arbitrage'- i.e. constrained preference diversity as in Amos 3.3- 'can 2 walk together except they be agreed?' - is sufficient to clarify all the so called 'aporias' of Reason dating back to Hegel's career as a Calculus instructor or Kant's senile failure to engage with the drunkard, but solid Math student, Solomon Maimon.
Chichilnisky, an Argentinian Jew who, quite unforgivably, lacked a penis, studied the North South problem as an engaged intellectual. Because she was five types of Smart, she cracked the Math and published her solutions. Mediocre men hated her but great men, like Ken Arrow, but also Amartya Sen, recognized her genius. Perhaps, Cambridge, England, would have been more hospitable to her but the fact remains that her results, at least in this respect, have stood up to scrutiny and though she may not get a Nobel, she has prevailed.
Essentially, Chichilnisky's work shifts the focus to preference diversity- too much of it and there is no Economics, no Literature, no prescriptivity in 'Rational' Ethics or 'Rational Historicism'- indeed, those projects are empty. Think about it for a moment. If all human beings were completely different from each other in terms of what they wanted or how they thought or what linguistic collocations appealed or felt 'natural' to them, then there would be no Commerce, no Society, no meaningful interchange. Man would be a feral animal interacting according to some Evolutionarily Stable Ethology to which he himself had no cognitive access. Granted, this describes almost everything about my own inwardness- and it may be the vast majority of people out there are like me in being what modern Philosophy of Mind calls 'p-zombies' (in other words, beings who look like or even sound like 'real' people, but who in fact are no such thing)- but Commerce & Law, if not Literature & Ethics, do exist and supervene on the Zombie Apocalypse of my Species Being. It may be that I don't actually do 'limited arbitrage' myself- in the quod nescis quo modo fiat, non facis sense (i.e. I don't know what I'm doing so I don't really do it)- but statistically the survival (or perhaps preponderance) of people like me still gives rise to Economics and Social Choice without aporias. The corollary of the p-Zombie, for shite Ethics, is the Kantian heteronomous subject. Billimoria, in charity to Kant, points out that some of his writing militates for the notion that 'primitive' people like Iyers and Hottentots can progress towards autonomy through trade and interaction with Europeans and, in that context, it might be a good idea to treat them as thought they possessed rights. However, Billimoria undoes his charity, he proves an Indian giver, by going on to say that Post Colonial Reason arises out of the ashes of the Nietzche-Heideggerian 'destruktion' of a 'purer metaphysics of reason'. This is sheer nonsense. It is like saying, 'Obama's thinking arose out of the ashes of the John Birch Society's critique of the Ku Klux Klan's deconstruction of the purer metaphysics of reason' of Abraham Lincoln or Dr. Martin Luther King'. The fact is, back then, Kant was still a guy who knew from Science, even Hegel had actually taught Calculus- he could do sums. By contrast, Nietzche was merely mad and Heidegger was really bad. Fuck they have to do with 'Post Colonial Reason'? Germany didn't have any colonies- they were taken off them at bayonet point- there is no actual Post Colonial Subject who isn't simply jumping on an academic bandwagon who pretends those two shit-heads have any fucking relevance to their own Credentialist Ponzi scheme aimed at making out they actually 'represent' some great seething subaltern mass of alterity. I recall reading about Alexander Gershenkron- associated in Development Econ with a (specious) theory or relative backwardness such that the State dominates Civil Society- who, while a Prof at Harvard, had to deal with the ridiculous claim that like the Ivy League gotta cater for Black Studies- mebbe 'Fuzzy Wuzzy Logic'?- coz them niggers now got guns, dude! The truth was, niggers with or without guns, were like Obama's dad- the threat they represented proved useful coz it led to the foreign language requirement being dropped in favor of more Math for Econ PhD candidates- surely a good thing. There is no 'Post Colonial Reason'. What there has been- and here I have been as guilty as any- is whining about how being black aint no picnic coz like it don't actually make your dick any bigger and how like Kipling aint really racist- he's a treasure trove of positive images of the kind of working class people in India I still fondly remember. I recall being addressed as 'Gunga Din' by an elderly Cockney warehouse 'gaffer' back when I was 17. I loved that little old man and the richness of his baritone 'palaver' . I remember I got into a little tiff with a real big, muscular, white guy and waited for him after work 'to have it out'- i.e. get a black eye and thus become properly integrated into the team- but, it turned out there was this little white guy who had been riding the big fellow all day and he was of Turkish origin and had three brothers in Jail and two out and about with Boxing fucking trophies. Anyroad, this little guy wouldn't let me get a black eye in a good cause. I ended up looking a stupid 'toff'- insisting on 'fisticuffs to clear the air' when the truth was I'd have had my head kicked in. The old gaffer got wind of what had happened and, sadly, he changed towards me. He wanted me to do the books rather than tote boxes. He even wanted to call me 'College'- the final nail in my coffin. I wanted to remain 'Gunga Din'- if only for him- and recited the poem (badly) to try to tearfully defend my 'birth-right' in this respect. How could I prevail? 'Gunga Din' is a fucking beautiful poem- the Saqi-e-Kausar as a Kabir-panthi bhishti, what's not to like?- but it did me no good- suddenly I was like Pundit fucking Nehru or Mahatma fucking Gandhi rather than just one of the lads. I had screwed myself. Anyway, that's my bit of Post-Colonial reason. What does it amount to? Things aint what they seem. Teachers are good people but they get Literature wrong. Well, they don't get their own literature wrong- the Irish Christian Bros. at St.Columba in Delhi loved teaching us Joyce- they knew he was a good Catholic precisely because he wasn't- but I can't blame a White School teacher in Hackney or Hounslow or wherever not showing enthusiasm for Kipling's 'Gunga Din'. Indeed, if I weren't a big made feller (though crap at fighting), what's more one with a 'posh' accent, some well-meaning idiot might have protected me, despite myself, from being called Gunga Din. BTW, Sambo was actually a little Tamil boy- so I'm reclaiming that name as well. Anyroad, it beats being called 'Iyer, you fat cunt' though I've got to admit Mum does put a lot of affection into her voice when she addresses me thus. Prof. Billmoria, who is probably a posh guy who never wanted to tote boxes in an East London warehouse- still the best job I've ever had and that was 35 years ago when I was sweet 17- don't get that there are actual Post Colonial people- billions of us- and we do too Reason. He thinks Dilthey and the historicist turn in hermeneutics was a good thing. It wasn't. It turned everybody against everybody. It negated Scripture and the factual truth of 'the unseen' by which we all dun be brothers from different mothers. The Turkish guy who wouldn't let me get my black eye would, according to historicist hermeneutics, be obliged to fucking give me the cold shoulder either as a kaffir or a descendant of a supporter of Khilafat. I'm supposed to hate all White people. Fuck, I'd wanna do that? But, I myself, must be an object of hate to all non-Brahmins, not to mention females (okay, the latter have a legitimate complaint against me- vide Prof. Vagina Dentata Choothopadhyay's magisterial - 'Fat is not a Feminist issue- Penis size is'). Okay, okay, I know there was an earlier theory according to which we could all get along if we could only agree to just eat the rich already. But those days are gone. Anyway, nowadays, I feel rich- I probably am not but how the fuck is anybody supposed to know whether they are actually rich or totally impoverished what with all them shenanigans in the City and what have you? Billimoria, following Spivak, thinks the West wants us guys to fuck each other over coz that's like 'authentic'. Believe me Billimoria Sahib- the West wants no such thing. Not after 9/11. What they are saying to us is- Could u guys just kindly go back to just being darkies or wogs or whatever? Fuck we want to know which type of towel head sand nigger u r? Get with the fucking program already. You know you want to. Just say yes. Billimoria says Spivak has a defence against being cast as Brahmin apologist herself. She does- it is ignorance. She says in her book, apropos of nothing, that India is called Bharat coz that was Ram's younger brother's name. Is Billimoria equally ignorant or did he read no more than one chapter of Spivak's shite book? The notion that anyone with any power with respect to India ever read Hegel is ludicrous. Yes, Hegel was European- but from a backward, piece of shit, Princedom called Prussia which the Brits have long abhorred and anathematized. (Think Thatcher's Cabinet's fervent espousal of the traditional British belief (as in A.J.P Taylor's post-War book for Allied Occupation troops I remember reading for my History A level) 'Good Germans are Rhinelanders or Hanseatics like Schopenhauer (big fan of India)- Bad Germans are Prussians.') Berlin did become a great Educational centre but in Maths and Physics and Electrical Engineering. There was literally no fucking bleed through, to either Brit or Indian, of their provincial, racist, shite- and, if you read the Education of Henry Adams, one can easily see why. German Gymnasiums were crap. Their PhD's- at least in Econ, were and are shit- Hoppe & Sinn looked kosher for a bit but they have now abundantly shown the kraut or cloven hoof, so fuck them. Germany has a good Economy coz it has only self-evidently crap 'famous' Economists. It's just Rothbard's Law is all it is- Economists fuck up the more the more famous they get- and Germans (I was born there myself) are very good at obeying laws coz if it aint forbidden it's compulsory (my winsome humour and sparkling wit, such as is displayed in this post, conforming entirely to the law regulating such scatology in the country of my birth). Billimoria writes-
This is mad. Schopenhauer and Herder and Karl Krause may marginally affect Indian reception of the Gita, Hegel does not. He was too fucking Racist and, in any case, couldn't write worth toffee. I don't know who Sardesai and Bose are- fuckwits apparently- but Tilak, Ghose and Radhakrishnan have nothing to do with Hegel. You may say, what about Bradley & McTaggart? My reply is- what about them? They don't fit the bill. Radhakrishnan could availability cascade along lines they'd laid down but there is nothing from Hegel on the Gita in them. Kosambi is a different story- indeed the only good bits in Spivak come from him- but he was a Maths guy who did folk-lore on the side. He built no Academic Empire and created no School. This son of Acharya Kosambi was the opposite of Matilal. Not a flaneur precisely- just a rasika, perhaps- but certainly not a fucking Credentialist Ponzi scheme running Academic. Billimoria sees Matilal not as a fuckwit rescued from penury by getting a job in the West based on knowing a bit about Voodoo- sorry I mean worthless navya-nyaya shite no fucking Hindu ever subscribed to- who tried to set up as an Analytic or mebbe Ethics guy and fucking failed- no, that would be the common sense view, Billimoria sees Matilal as doing something else- viz. listening for a 'dissident voice' (subversive of Brahminical orthodoxy) within the text. This is incredibly stupid. The Gita and Itihasas and so on aint Brahminical orthodoxy. They are not dim & dissident but a loud and resonant voice which says- Brahminism is a worthless fucking pile of shite. The very castes and classes which patronized or purveyed this sublime message were non-Brahmin in the main. Brahmins themselves had every reason to espouse this view. Otherwise they would constantly be at risk of beheading or ostracism for some tiny ritual mistake. The rains didn't come on time- guess the Bhramins goofed up, let's kill them. Who wants this? The pure Occassionalist doctrine propounded in the Gita (God does everything, humans do nothing) doesn't just let Bhramins off the hook if the rains don't come on time or the Turks invade, it fucking re-valorizes karma kanda rituals as a purely gratuitous theistic gesture. An evil fuckwit like me will act as yajman for a Brahminic ceremony if a) it's very very fucking cheap and imposes no educational burden on me- like learning that Gayatri mantra which is way too long b) I already very firmly believe that the Lord of the Universe is just like gonna borrow my beloved Mum and Dad and everybody else I love and keep them in Heaven till the cup of my inequities is full and I voluntarily turn back to the virtuous path of harassing all those noble souls with my importunate love and affection and demands to like tell me a story already. Come on Billimoria- you may be a high I.Q type. Did you really have no fuckwit friends or siblings like me growing up? Do you really know shit about how Hinduism works? What was the date of the last 'Smarta Vicharam' or khap panchayat down your neck of the woods? For Tamil Iyers- you have to go a hundred years back. That's a long time dude. I'm not saying there aint a specifically Hindu preference falsification based Social Inquisitorial process- I'm just saying it's non Brahmin is all. You know this. Why pretend otherwise? Further to a pretence that Dharma-ethics does not forbid its own grounding in a rational choice hermeneutic (because, if this were possible its 'apurva' or epoche making element would vanish along with its own topos-as-Maya) Billimoria highlights a particularly crap essay by Matilal- though I suppose it has a resonance, or conjures a revenant, with respect to the crap Traditionalist anti-Brahmo polemics of the mid-Nineteenth Century, but that shite was dead in the water by the time Tagore published 'Gora'- Ramakrishna and Vivekananda and Aurobindo Ghose's younger brother didn't just steal the Reformist's clothes, they fucking cat-walked it in Chicago and all points East of the Pacos- but, what does Billimoria's highlighting of that shite essay say about his own project? Only this- the availability cascades he surfs are such as might occur in not Adelaide but land-locked Canberra. Take a butchers at this me old ocker-
The point here is that Kant and Hegel were stupid, racist, fuckwits. I'm sure Hinduism had its Kants and Hegels- them's the guys our Sacred Books hold up to ridicule, hatred and contempt. Nobody has any problem with Utilitarianism- deontology cashes out as Utilitarianism once you admit some course of action can expand your information set because it becomes your duty to so act. Buddhism knew this. No doubt some Brahmin fuckwits had fun with Buddhist wholly Intentionalist Ethics and this has been preserved somewhere BUT those Bhramin fuckwits were laughed at as fuckwits by everybody, including their teachers. Billimoria thinks India's corruption has to do with Utilitarianism. Why? How fucking ignorant is he exactly? Utilitarian Social Engineering- i.e. mechanism design- tackles the problem directly. It's what Arthashastra says- but also what Tiru or anybody else says. No fucking Indian, Muslim or Hindu or whatever ever said the way you get people to stop stealing is by preaching at them. No. Carrots and sticks and fucking Tiebout model Law-compliance as a local public good was what these guys not just said but actually fucking implemented. What is Matilal's alternative? Worthless pi-jaw. His thought is irrelevant. He was a fuckwit. No fucking Indian reads him and he made no attempt, not ignominious, to get them to read him. How is his 'thought' prescriptive? Why does Billimoria mention it? To whom exactly is he flashing this Credentialist laissez passer? Does Billimoria really believe there was some supposedly 'liberative event'? Which Indian shares that belief? Fuck the 'official ideology'. It is 'pakhand', it is 'munafiqat', it is a 'preference falsification/ availability cascade' in the terminology of Prof. Timur Kuran- a future Nobel winner surely? (his analysis of Islamic Societies is crap, racist crap, so Stockholm has already booked his flight youbetcha). Who does not know this? How fucking stupid are the people who read Billimoria and Spivak and Amartya Sen? Certainly not more stupid than me. They are just more successful coz hypocrisy is a work-skill. Read this and tell me Billimoria isn't a wanker.
Why is this fucked? What Billimoria and Spivak are talking about is a 'Transfer paradox' whereby shite donated by 'an advanced' country further impoverishes a 'developing' one. Graciella Chichilinsky did the Maths on this dude. She showed, so long as there are at least 3 countries, 'Transfer paradoxes' were phipty-phipty. I suppose, at this stage, I should say something nice about Matilal coz de mortuis &c- okay, he highlights an episode that is the dual to the Gita whereby Krishna prevents Arjuna killing the guy he thinks is his elder brother (as opposed to his actual elder brother whose will it is that the battle go forward). But Matilal misses the most important point about this (I've dealt with this in my book Ghalib, Gandhi & the Gita) which is that it shows that Krishna's Visvarupa in the Gita is a 'self-slaying', a Christ like sacrifice. Matilal sees no mathematical structure to the Gita. Nor does Billimoria. These guys can't stop Spivak from writing ignorant, school-girl, crap- like saying 'India is called Bharat coz that's what Ram's younger bro was called and like... I dunno... well, like maybe at the end of the film he gets to be the Emperor of India or something? What? India is named after the son of Shakuntala? Oh! Right! Coz like Goethe really liked Kalidasa's 'Shakuntala'. But, I mean my point still stands coz Goethe was like all you know Bourgeois or something and like Hegel, y'know, he was like y'know totally NOT like sittlichkeit guy or maybe he was but then like y'know there was like Marx and Mamta Bannerjee- not Mamta- anyway, you know what I mean. Billimoria, worthless cunt that he is, writes this-
Kant as the 'father of speculative reason'? Okay, there's an academic availability cascade there so let it slide; but 'father of the conceptual conditions for the possibility of imperialism that affected colonialism as an anthropological reality'? Are you fucking kidding me? Spivak writes shite but not quite such shite shite. What is this cunt? A fucking 'mayavadi'? Did he learn phenomenology from Colin Wilson's 'the Space Vampires' (okay, full disclosure, I did. Happy now?) where the value of pi actually changes as people get better at mensuration- or menstruation, BTW, as the only under 50 middle aged Hindutva blogger in Fulham, being 'groomed' by the witchy Wimmin at the Elderly Iyengar Mamiar Activity Centre, down Dawes road- I know it is only you guys who leave comments on my posts- I will not fucking go down on you however menopausal you claim to be. Once bitten twice shy. Mind it kindly.
The year- 1977. The place- the mean streets of Hampstead. The provocation- a bunch of 'skin heads' blocking the path. Whose path?- mine, me, a righteous six foot tall black dude got up like a Harlem pimp (Mum bought my clothes. Worse, she had bought my clothes in Janpath before we'd come to London.) My reaction- Kung Fu to the max!
But seriously folks, don't try this at home. Martial Arts is not for amateurs. As a case in point, take the dismal performance put up by The Royal Free Hospital's 'Bubbees on Chemotherapy' Krav Ma'gah team back in '77. I hardly even limp any more, except in wet weather, and have been able to take solid food since 2009.
Young people nowadays, however, don't have the stones for street fighting coz they are all homos and totally apolitical and Mamma's boys completely. For which I, personally, blame David Cameron. That boy aint right.
Kapil Sibal promised to look again at permitting parallel import of books after the National Council of Applied Econ Research had compiled a report. I am appalled that my expert testimony has not been sought by that august body. As I argued in my highly influential, if entirely unread, blogpost on the subject a couple of years ago, Parallel imports of books can cause Publishing dicks to shrink. This is because if parallel importation is allowed then Indian publishing becomes entrepreneurial. You keep track of what foreign books are trending and quickly secure the Indian publishing rights and arrange marketing for your print run. The first buyers of the foreign book are doing your work for you in terms of market testing the product. The online retailer, itself, may act as the Publisher. What is the result? Quicker turn around time, topical and trending publishing, end to price discrimination by time segmentation (i.e. gap between hardback and paper back) which is totally mad in a knowledge based Economy where the youngest and most dynamic players (i.e. the readers who get highest marginal utility and have highest positive externality) are also the cash-poorest.
Actually, since India is a big place you can have a lot of price discrimination on the basis of 'local monopoly'- the p.o.d operation near campus can sell at a different price from the bazaar- or 'customization & value added' (student's edition/ middle aged Uncle's edition with all the dirty bits highlighted in extra large font/ hipster edition optimized for being read while wearing Rayban sunglasses/ Rahul Gandhi coloring book edition/ Shiv Sena coloring book edition (saffron print on saffron paper) etc etc.
Moreover, as Thomas Abraham pointed out, parallel importation will destroy Indian Publishing of Indian writing in English- surely a good thing- because it faces an extreme Keynesian Beauty Contest type problem- viz. one of systematically underestimating the backwardness and grossness of the taste of the reading public- which is compounded by the jhollawallah mentality of Publishing dicks.
Indian publishers refused to touch Rushdie's 'Satanic Verses'. The Govt. banned its import under a section of the Law on bringing in noxious products into the country. When have Indian publishers ever published anything half-way decent? Parallel import as enabling entrepreneurial publishing, including Epublishing, based on customization and local value added is the way to go.
I suppose snooty publishers and high end Booker prize winning authors might turn up their noses at popular editions which provide a glossary of difficult English words translated into the local language as well as footnotes explaining things unfamiliar to young people from ordinary backgrounds. To be honest, I myself would find such editions useful so as to get a handle on the pornographic sub-text in Amartya Sen's recent work.I should explain, back when I was young, Economists used Indifference Curves, rather than algebraic topology, to give a salacious edge to their essays and drive young students into frenzies of self-abuse. This was a good thing as it caused us to get married at a reasonable age. Look at Rahul Baba- whom Sen declares a genius- 42 years old and still unmarried! Fault is entirely that of this new type of Economics which is based on equations rather than sexy curves to which no red blooded young man can remain indifferent.
In conclusion- bad Economics is behind the complaint that parallel importation of books causes dicks to shrink. Good Economics, with plenty of indifference curves, causes dicks to expand. Mind it kindly.
Bohm-Bawerk almost destroyed Europe by getting the Austro-Hungarians to switch from levies on Production to taxes on such impredicatively chrematistic chimeras of the Economists as 'Income' & 'Capital', with the result that Market corrections to the Balance of Power ceased to be the but Campaign Season, Champagne fuelled, Sport of Kings rather than Misery's levee en masse. In contrast, the German 'Historical' School eventually gave rise to something which could prevail- the concept of a Social Market founded in actual Production not praxeology- not in the Academic Seminar but on the ground but only by a detour through ideas just as specious as 'Income' and 'Capital' viz. as 'Race & Destiny'.
Still, the German interest in Production, as opposed to the Austrian insistence on purity of method, is an important corrective to the Anglo-Saxon tradition. The, recently much reviled, Prophet of doom, Hans Werner Sinn , who now appears to be conforming to Rothbard's Law (Economists end up specializing in what they are least good at) , was surely on the side of the angels when he pointed out that the State's role as an insurer (rather than re-distributor) is highly positive for risk taking and, indeed, the 'natural' way to view Transfers, or that an obsession with demand side Environmentalism gives rise to a 'Green paradox' which would tend to hasten depletion of fossil fuels.
Tiebout models deal with local public goods and show that when consumers can 'vote with their feet' then there is a market type solution. What about transfers between Tiebout Economies? Will they create a perverse 'Transfer paradox' such that the donor is benefited and the recipient impoverished? Graciella Chichilnisky did path-breaking work on the 'Transfer paradox' but was kept out of mainstream publication for quite some time as she recorded in a rueful essay from the early Nineties. Her important work on the concept of 'limited arbitrage' as being the other side of the coin of restricted social diversity- i.e. there shouldn't be too little or too much social diversity so gains from trade exist- seems to have a natural application to Tiebout models with a Transfer paradox. The question is whether this fits something like Kyoto Carbon trading- i.e. does the apparent altruism of the developed countries have the perverse effect of impoverishing the objects of its charity such that they become, let us say, Tiebout producers of 'bad' local public 'goods'- and restricting social diversity is, in a sense, a local public good- like crazy Religious or stupid Economic ideas while the developed countries have Science based Environmentalism which, if nothing else, can improve local conditions and inculcate decent human values as opposed to the desire to chop cartoonists heads off?
Chichilnisky has written about the greater volatility in knowledge markets. If Third World 'knowledge-as-local-Public-good' production follows a Tiebout model and if there are Transfer paradoxes and, further, if such resource or other shocks have a ratchet effect, then we could predict that Third Worldism will just get stupider and stupider, tripping over its own preference falsification availability cascades any time anything sensible is suggested, until it ends up crucifying, our man of sorrows, Dr. Manmohan Singh- the International Trade expert whom our dirigiste Indianism has chosen as its not savior but scapegoat.
For a translation of the lyrics click here-
or else here is a version
Khabaram raseed imshab ki nigaar khuahi aamad;
Sar-e man fidaa-e raah-e ki sawaar khuahi aamad.
Ham-e aahwan-e sehra sar-e khud nihada bar kaf;
Ba-umeed aanki rozi bashikaar khuahi aamad.
Kashishi ki ishq daarad naguzaradat badinsaa;
Ba-janazah gar nayai ba-mazaar khuahi aamad.
Balabam raseed jaanam fabiya ki zindah maanam;
Pas azan ki man na-maanam bacha kar khuahi aaamad.
Tonight there came a news that you, oh beloved, would come –
Be my head sacrificed to the road along which you will come riding!
All the gazelles of the desert have put their heads on their hands
In the hope that one day you will come to hunt them….
The attraction of love won’t leave you unmoved;
Should you not come to my funeral,
you’ll definitely come to my grave.
My soul has come on my lips (e.g. I am on the point of expiring);
Come so that I may remain alive -
After I am no longer – for what purpose will you come?
Commentary Khabaram- This is not a rumor. We have 'khabar'- factual information- you will come. Just as what Quran Sharif reveals re. the Unseen is purely factual and not in the manner of a imperative or metaphoric (majazi) statement, so too is this news absolutely factual, of indefeasible authority, and import. Imshab- this night. Which night? Is it shab-e-baraat? Or laylat al qadr? Is the news we have received of the nature of predestination or of repentance and the altering of Destiny? Sar-e-man fidaa-e-raah- This head to be a sacrifice to the road by which you ride towards us. Madhva gave an interpretation of the Rg Vedic 'rupama rupama pratirupa babhoova' such that the horses (Hari) of the chariot of forms which is ever approaching nigh are the incarnations of the Lord such that there is a unique haecceity obtaining in that Reflection which, presumably, has a special salvic power. Head sacrifice is a prominent feature of Saivite and Sakta imagery. From the Saivite point of view, Jaydratha is the most fortunate for the arrows of Arjun conveyed his head to the lap of his father. In Quran Sharif, it is the son of Abraham who gives the interpretation of his father's dream whereby his own head goes as sacrifice. When the beloved son's falls the ground, how can the father avoid being shattered into a thousand pieces? Yet, what else is Love? There can be lust and sex and a sort of usury of begetting but who wants that for his fore-fathers or his own descendants?
Amir Khusrou was of mixed Turkish and Indian parentage. By devotion to his Preceptor he redeemed all his ancestors, descendants and those who cherish or were cherished by them. aahwan-e sehra- by convention, the Indian antelope was hunted by music but this points to something much older the mrga as 'beast'and its 'tishna' thirst as being directed to the mirage of the blue Sky which it hopes to drink to slake its parching thirst. The deer skinned clad ascetic is concerned with 'Viveka', discriminating the mirage (Mrga-trshna) from the Mansarovar lake aloft over which the sublime swan (Parmahans) spreads its wings and soars to the Heavens.
What is left of this poem now is just pure virtuousity and individuality. The trope is a very familiar one- in modern English literature, its locus classicus is Max Beerbohm's Zulieka Dobson. To reproach the beloved for promiscuity is just dog in the manger selfishness. But, precisely because the beloved is 'virtuous' and won't grant any favours, the suggestion is made that she glories in her merely destructive power and that she will definitely come to my grave where all the love-lorn beat their heads out against my tombstone.
True, Evolution too is a theory. Professors write about it. It must be silly. Sadly, the World is a terribly silly place and an inebriate acquiescence in taking stupid chances is what redeems its silliness from the point of view of Wisdom as the existential project of ludic agency.
Prof. Huw Price has a well written paper- easily intelligible to the intelligent lay man (or unintelligent unlaid man desperately trying to sublimate his libido by cruising philosophy blogs in the early hours of the morning so as to avoid boozily booty-calling fat chicks coz we all know how that ends)- in which he argues that a probabilistic evidential decision theory is defensible provided it incorporates notions of agency and effective strategy such that 'spurious correlations' disappear from the agent's perspective and thus they 'don't have to be dealt with by a possibly vicious restriction on the general principle that only causes increase probabilities'.
The problem here is that all causal factors we can name- including purely mental ones- are spurious because there is always some lurking variable which is too fine grained for us to measure or specify or have awareness off- and, more fundamentally, the notion of agency and effective strategy both ultimately hinge upon a teleology of backward causation (thinking about decisions which will affect your future means thinking differently, thinking as though you are someone entirely different, with different preferences and goals such that a person who will only exist in the future dictates what you do now- in other words your 'genidentity' has usurped actual identity.)
Prof. Price mentions Dummett's 'analysis of the conditions under which, without inconsistency, we might claim to be able to bring about past events. Dummett shows that we can accommodate a belief in backward influence, so long as we are prepared to give up the assumption that before we decide how to act, it is possible for us to find out whether the past event in question has already occurred.'
The fact is, it is never possible, on a sufficiently fine-grained phenomenology or theory of the world, to determine that any occurrence is truly 'Past'- which also means Gibbardian 'hyperstates' and judgments made by 'hyperagents' have no road to supervenience with respect to 'prosaic factual properties'; everything is always in a sort of 'mixed inference' or else a Frege-Geachian flux till Beenakker's boundary resolves Hempel's dilemma as the Cosmic cows come home. Thus any Agency and Intentionality-based 'inwardness' we can have knowledge off must be reverse mereological and Time arrow reversed as indeed is what we would expect if our minds evolved on a stochastic fitness landscape.
Prof. Price examines a specific medical Newcombe problem- the chocoholic who suffers from migraines. Choco (as Price calls her) may believe that craving chocs is a symptom of Migraine onset and that whether or not she succumbs to temptation is irrelevant to the outcome. However (this is the Newcombe aspect of her dilemma) refusal to eat the chocolate may be proof that she isn't in Pre-Migraine Syndrome and thus has a bearing on whether she suffers the migraine.
The problem with Price's analysis is that it doesn't look at experienced changes in the level of chocolate craving- i.e. it throws away relevant information- and thus is itself irrelevant. In fact, an actual migraine sufferer- or a guy trying to quit smoking, or ordering phall curries, or booty calling fat chicks- has to learn to monitor and manage changes in craving levels rather than how to perform some Bayesian type of cost benefit analysis or complicated Game Theoretic calculation.
Since laymen only interest themselves in Philosophy to the degree that they are struggling with the condition of being unlaid, it follows that Huw Price can't save evidential decision theory by an appeal to Agency- not even an Escort Agency- because fat chicks do too deserve love.
Mind it kindly.
What real world commitment does an affirmation of the Principle of Free Speech involve us in? Is one obliged, as Voltaire put it, to defend to the death another's right to say things disagreeable to us?
If you subscribe to this view, then could you please protect me from the U.S Secret Service which is actively preventing me from dropping by the Oval office to tell POTUS to just put on some fucking weight already, wear glasses, get some egg stains on your tie- you're making the rest of us middle aged, Kenyan origin, people look bad. Fuck is wrong with you? At least get drunk occasionally. Yes, yes, I know Michelle Obama packs a mean punch. But take one for the team dude.
Perhaps, if Voltaire came back to life today, he would amend his famous declaration to read- 'I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to your death, my right to think you a cunt.'
The only countervailing power against the shibboleth of Free Speech is this unspoken Social Compact whereby all pi-jaw posturing is viewed as cunt-queefery.
Is any argument calling for the initiation of aggression (defined by the Non Aggression Principle as violence or the threat of violence against a person or her legitimately owned property) inherently self-contradictory? No. Everything depends on whether the status quo is considered to be good in itself or having moral legitimacy simply by virtue of its existence. Any larger theory of the world which holds the status quo to be degenerate, or Fallen or Barbaric, also posits some hidden violence, of a more invidious and destructive kind, as already occurring and militates for the initiation of a visible violence that can surgically excise the danger represented by the 'hidden' violence. But, what if we introduce a further axiom such that Providence always ensures that the status quo is free of hidden violence and is the morally most perfect state possible? Surely, under those circumstances, it would be self-contradictory to argue for initiating aggression against any person or her legitimately owned property? Once again the answer is no. It may be that initiating Violence is a skill which, once mastered, brings some great benefit to Society such that a benign Providence would itself ordain that act of aggression. In other words, in addition to the axiom of the Providential nature of the status quo, we would need to add a second axiom- viz. that benign Providence can never ordain any initiation of aggression. But, now, we don't have any intellectual argument at all, just arbitrary assertions about the nature of Providence which, unless one subscribes to pure Occassionalist Theism, really does involve one in self-contradiction. An alternative tack is to deny the possibility of 'hidden violence', to dismiss the reality of unspoken intimidation, as a phantasm merely. By this account, the fact that I don't go and confront my hooligan neighbor when she turns up her hi-fi is evidence not of the 'hidden violence' by which she intimidates me but my enjoyment of the horrible, probably Lesbic & obscene, lyrics of her favorite singer- M.S. Subbalaxmi. In this case, once again, an intellectual argument has been displaced by an arbitrary assertion about the facts of the World- one which collapses under Micro-Sociological appraisal. Randall Collins, author of Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory, writes- 'Humans confronting each other come up against a wall of confrontational tension/fear (ct/f), a tension arising from the hard-wiring in humans that makes us especially susceptible to rituals of mutual solidarity, Interaction Rituals in the specifically sociological sense...Successful instances of human violence come from getting around the barrier of ct/f, sometimes by chance, but also by techniques that persons skilled in violence learn to use. ' (Randall Collins) Rene Girard developed a theory of mimetic desire which highlighted the role of the scapegoat- the human sacrifice- in rituals of mutual solidarity. Social Interaction, it seems to me, tends to be ritualized along lines of alterity whose borders are defined by the 'pharmakos' or scapegoat who no longer has to be killed in proportion to the capacity for coercion the Social sub-unit believes itself to possess.
The problem here is that Violence is a skill that has to be learned and, once learned, constitutes a type of Human or Social Capital which commands a rent even absent its exercise. Small groups, which cultivate that skill, can become decisive over much larger nomological rubrics, or unities, such as that under which Libertarians operate. Fortunately, Violence can only function as a 'Virtue Ethic' where it evokes a 'balanced game' so the Libertarians, or Gandhians, or Rousseauians or whatever are saved despite themselves.
Violence as Virtue Ethics
Dipping into a book
by Nicholas Gier got me thinking- you heard me right folks, I said thinking not
drinking- has there ever been a philosopher or prophet or politician or any
other sort of fuckwit whatsoever who has actuallyadvocatedViolence? Hilter?
No he denounced violent opposition to himself in very vehement terms. Genghis
Khan? No, he greatly disapproved of violent opposition to himself and delivered
great masses of people from this detestable vice. Hitler
never used violent means to secure his aim- viz. the end of violent opposition
to himself. He never actually shot anybody or slapped anybody or even knifed
them a little bit. Those who were already violentremoved others- violent or
not- whose counsel, example, or relative sanctity such as is conferred by mere
continued existence, might have led those same men of blood to like mebbe one
day violently oppose Hitler or something. In other words Violence used itself as the means to come to the
particular state of absolute and eternal non-violence that Hitler enjoined.
It may be true that
a good end can not be achieved by bad means. But, nothing enjoins an officious
striving to prevent a bad end frustrating itself by bad means such that a good
end is achieved, albeit with little or no assistance from good means. We can
turn any historical figure, no matter how brutal or blood-soaked, into a
champion of non-violence by positing him or her to be a mere Kagemusha, or
shadow warrior, to the true protagonist, occulted by the chronicles, who wills
that non-violent end state which violence aims at. Assuming
brain modularity, Principal Agent hazard (of the sort mentioned above) arises
in even a one person, one time period, model- one can be violent to oneself by
reason of preference falsification or Kavka's toxin. Any argument against what
I'm saying here is going to have to admit that it assumes, and thus only has
relevance to, a world where brains didn't evolve or look nothing like our own. But,
even so, such arguments are wasted words coz of the Thomas NagelBat problem. What
about a theory of Violence as a Virtue Ethics? What would a philosopher of
violence look like? No, not Nietzche- give the guy a break, he was a syphilitic
lunatic, not to say German philologist, and thus mentally incompetent to impose
a poset on what he valorized- but maybe Merlin's King Arthur or some such
mythical beast who insists every moral, that is deontic, or non alethic issue
or question be settled only by violence. This would need to be a violent agon,
otherwise there is no partial ordering of states of the world signified by the
word Violence. To see why consider the following case- I cut your throat after
you have stuck your head under a guillotine and let fall the blade. If you did
this to escape my knife, I still am credited with a lot of violence. If however
you did it for some other reason and neither knew or cared about my plan to cut
your throat- the amount of violence I have actually perpetrated is considerably
diminished. Essentially, the more causal chains having bearing on us both, the
more difficult it will be to establish a partial ordering of states of the
world such that Violence can be measured or states of the world ranked with
respect to its criteria. In practice, the only tractable way to establish a
Violence metric is to recast every interaction as a 2 person violence agon-
even if it is both multi-agent as well as diachronous- with some ad hoc weighting
formula for working out the contribution of each agent at different times.
(This is Newtonian substantivism as opposed to the mirage of Leibnizian
even with a pure two person violent agon the problem arises that I won't
fight unless I get a positive Expected value for the Outcome- so there has to
be a reward and a threshold probability of winning that reward. You may say,
well, I'll kill you if you don't fight. But, all that then happens is, I choose
the option that minimizes my own pain and suffering, not the one that maximizes
the amount of violence I do and/or provoke. So, if Violence- as opposed to a
utilitarian calculus of costs and benefits arising out ofperceived tastes andpotentialsfor violence- is going to be in a
position to actually to decide anything of moral or non alethic import- i.e. if
it is to be a virtue ethics- it has to ensure two things 1)Symmetry
and 'Balanced Gaming'(
Notice Non-Violence does not demand Symmetry for its practice- thus it throws
away information and is dissipative) Formally this means all violent
conflicts must have random outcomes- assuming all agents are risk neutral.
However, suppose Iyers are more cowardly
than Iyengars- this is empirically true of Iyer males when matched against
Iyengar females- then Iyengar women must be suitably handicapped (I suggest they not
be allowed to pull my hair or punch me in the fatty portion of my arm) and
Iyer men properly armed and armoured. 2) Impredicative Pareto efficiency-
the setting up of the conflict situation must involve an outward shift in the
production possibility frontier such that both parties to the violence can, at
least theoretically, be made better off. In other words the purse for the prize
fight must always exceed the sum of losses on both sides. Suppose, the reverse
were the case- e.g. if I say 'you and your sister must fight each other to the
death to decide who gets the hush money you are extorting from me for not
telling your Mum and Dad that I let you stay up with me to watch 'Frightnight'
even though they'd specifically said I wasn't allowed to watch it coz it makes
me pee the couch and what sort of babysitters are they sending us nowadays
problem is, to make sure you and your sister actually fight each other to the
death, I have to import extra violence into the scenario. There has to be a
credible threat that you will both die more painful and lingering deaths by
refusing combat. But, from the first principle (viz Symmetry) this extra violence
can't arise. Thus, unlike Non-Violence or Justice as Fairness or other such pi
jaw, Violence as Virtue Ethics is impredicatively Pareto efficient. But, if
these two conditions are satisfied then- for the first time in its life- Ethics
would actually yield something Ethical. Thus, not only is Violence (as opposed
to non-violence) a Virtue Ethics- it is the only Virtue Ethics which don't fuck
things up big time.
Wikipedia tells me that 'Postcolonial feminists criticize Westernfeminists because they have a history of universalizing women's issues, and their discourses are often misunderstood to represent women globally.' This is a very important point. I am a Western feminist myself and have a history of universalizing women's issues which is linked to my heavy drinking and consequent incontinence. No one stands in greater need than I do of some nice Postcolonial Feminists to come round from time to time and criticize me for universalizing women's issues in a manner such that my discourse is misunderstood to represent women globally. Why are Postcolonial Feminists failing in this duty towards me? What is my CRIME that they neglect me in such a callous and unfeeling way? Don't you know my ovaries are hurting? Maybe I am being subjected to Psychic RAPE by the Logocentric Hegelian gaze? Do you know I never recovered my figure after the birth of my son? My ex-wife did- the bitch- but what ABOUT ME? As a right-wing Hindutva blogger I have been forced to commit SUTTEE thousands of times- in fact every time I light up a bidi. CAN SUCH ATROCITIES BE PERMITTED? The need of the hour is a proactive Post Feminist Colonialism which can tackle such terrible crimes and injustices. Jai Hind! ( Vivek Iyer is the author of 'Fat is not a Feminist issue- Penis size is'.)
From Time immemorial, this has been the cri de couer of South African Labour.
The question Prof. Honeytits Obwaweyo-Golem addresses, in her magisterial 'Aestheto-Vegetarianism & South African Labour militancy' (O.U.P. 2012), is why complaints about under-bred celery- as opposed to plebeian asparagus or Grammar School Oik truffles- have so vitiated class relationships in the Republic of South Africa. Contrary to expectations, she places the blame not at the door of Mahatma Gandhi- who, as Kathryn Tidrick points out, followed Tolstoy in romanticizing the soteriological properties of peasant stock celery- but on Nelson Mandela's nuanced response to Walter Sisulu's cryptics with reference to 'proleto-celerification' as the correct, dialectically materialist, problematization of the post- NongqawuseXhosa Nobility. In the context of the current upsurge of Labour militancy in the Johannesberg area, Prof. Obawayeo Golem's book will be welcomed by all not utterly indifferent to the Industrial Relations aspect of Aestheto-Vegetarian ideology as, if not its chef d'oeuvre then, at any rate, a salutary coup de pouce or nudge in the right direction.
Click here for a searing expose of Kripke faking the results of his thought experiments.
Then, be sure to vote for it here, on the 3 quarks website, for the best philosophy blog post prize they are offering.
*Gerhard Lehmann observes, in the first fascicle, Kant's retreat, caused by his declining health, from the discursive development of an argument. Instead, Kant concentrates "more and more on one point," by incessantly redefining Transcendental Philosophy. A series of redefinitions that, as Lehmann puts it, finally become "enigmatic" when Kant determines Transcendental Philosophy as "galvanism" (AA XXI, 133, 135) and comes to see its principle in "Zoroaster" (AA XXI, 156).(27)
Classical Economics castigated something called 'chrematistics'- 'getting rich' as opposed to 'getting by'- and, it might be argued, Economics has struggled to keep a distinction between the Real and the Nominal in its theorizing because 'Money is the root of all Evil.'
A separate issue is whether a similar, or systemic, confusion or confounding, of two quite different things- Faith & Expectations- also obtains.
True, Money is Credit- in the sense that to credit someone or something is to believe someone or something, but to what extent is this based on Expectations?- i.e. some sort of rational calculation of what will happen- and to what extent is it based on Faith?- not a rational calculation but something involving one’s ethos, who one is to oneself.
Some Institutions still require a profession of Faith from us. We are required to pledge alleigance to the State and to accept what it deems legal tender in settlement of entitlements and obligations even if our Expectation is that the State might collapse. Some professions, the Law, Medicine, Accountancy, actually Banking and Broking and so on too, require a profession of Faith such that an indefeasible duty is created even if that conflicts with rationally arrived at Expectations. Yet, the astonishing progress of Science and the utter marginalization of Theology, militates for every Institution demanding Faith- or requiring Faith to function properly- to try to convert Faith into Expectations by some maneuver more or less illicit.
The Rational Expectations doctrine together with the Efficient Markets Hypothesis had the effect, for the financial sector, of taking Faith- as in good Faith and bad Faith, ‘integrity’ as against being a greedy s.o.b- out of the equation on the grounds that it wasn’t needed- it was the feather Dumbo held with his trunk, he thought he needed it to fly, but he didn’t, his big ears were doing all the heavy lifting.
This would have been fine so long as preference diversity didn’t change too much. Economists know that bad things happen when preference diversity is too great or too small. What they don’t know how to do is separate revealed preferences from true preferences- if such a thing exists. The problem this gives rise to is that, even if everybody subscribes to the correct Economic theory and all relevant information is instantly reflected in prices, still an element of impredicativity has entered the system and so there is no Muth Rational solution- i.e. Rational Expectations faces an aporia. It seems getting rid of Faith and Faith based Identity wasn’t such a good idea- Dumbo without his magic feather is just a clumsy pachyderm tripped up by his own big ears.
This isn’t a real big problem. Evolution is about Conserving Information even at the price of the occasional revolutionary saltation. Human Societies are very good at producing the next best thing to Faith- viz. the Expectation that your Life is gonna suck big time- and so Economics will triumph over Chrematistics, Expectations will be pruned back to Faith like proportions- the wagon will trundle on.
And it is this, the fact that the wagon trundles on, which is what is wrong with any grand narrative that promises to’ set our present moment against the sweep of history so as to explain our predicament and help us find footholds for changing it.’- we all know in advance that such grand narratives are a magic feather while Dumbo’s Momma is caged up in that wagon ever rolling on.