The End of Minerva

franciscoestigmas

Economics is a didactics of resource distribution, and a pedagogy of territorial control.  And yet, since it must represent itself as a politically liberal, progressive discipline, it has had to distract attention away from any particular territorial interests that might be at stake in doctrines. So it must hide its particular interests behind the neutrality of a universal semiotic congruent with the ideas of the revolutionary age.  The dismal science was the refuge of the old royalty as they fled the advancements of the revolutionary patrie, and today the oldest and most corrupt powers cower in that discipline, which is the sad refuge of an arcane imperialism on the brink of extinction. The situation of economics today recalls the scenes where Richard II gradually losses his kingship piece by piece:

I’ll give my jewels for a set of beads,

My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,

My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown,

My figured goblets for a dish of wood,

My scepter for a palmer’s walking staff

My subjects for a pair of carved saints

and my large kingdom for a little grave.

Economics is a monarchical hold-out that still exists at the university. This nuomenal throne is a channel for what Kant called “intellectual intuition”, or the sovereign facilitation of taste. This is an aesthetic dimension where monotheism and kingship mutual reflect in a hermetic mirror. It is commonly said that Kant flatly rejected the possibility for a intellectual judgment, since it implied direct access to the realitas of the Ding, and so western knowledge allegedly reaches its limits before the veil of Isis. But that is just the veil of technocracy, which is determined by cultural ideology. The cult of Minerva is a technocratic initiation which deploys religion as a negative aesthetics to tantalize the masses with the imperceptibility of the divine. This baroque social relation implies a transgressive alternation between Jerusalem and Athens. Jesuitical power submits the masses to Semitic tyranny, and reserves Hellenistic liberty for the elite. This synthesis was articulated as the Machiavellian interpretation of Roman culture, though it goes back to the earliest Christian emperors who performed Semitic piety publically, while privately venerating Roman gods. Monotheism exists today as the progeny of the victimized Roman plebeians, and the hedonism of today’s nepotistic elite follows the transgressive glory of the patricians.

A Roman heuristic can provide a departure point for a reinterpretation of political economy. When the affluent encounter the poor, they put on their monotheistic faces and venerate Mother Theresa. The monastic exchange of alms is the dirty symbolic face of inclusivity, which is the opposite of Minervic exclusivity, and together they compose a Janus-faced dialectic of capitalism. Caesar’s to Caesar, and God’s to God.  The left grapples incompetently with this legacy.  The veil of Isis cannot be lifted by those who believe in the imaginary Semitic despot, because their belief implies a submission of any affects generated by direct apprehension of whatever lies behind the veil.  Only the Enlightened Romans who rise above the oriental rabble and lift this veil. When the French revolutionaries dawned their laurel-bands, they were claiming a Patrician symbolic position denied to them. This is why Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt was surrounded with such awe, since that continued the same return to Roman glory. This also explains the interest which various conservative politicians have shown in Leo Strauss.  Strauss is the Machiavelli of the 20th century, though he naturally showed more respect for rationalism and couldn’t countenance the aesthetic ontology of the Italian. The Renaissance was practical about the movement of patriotic statues, and the shoring up of Republican virtue in a way that Straussian conservatism wouldn’t accept because of his Hellenistic rationalism. But both Strauss and Machiavelli were concerned with how monotheism weakened populations and made them docile for easy manageability. The Minervic society takes widely varying forms, because it communicates esoteric knowledge of shifting contingencies and gets expressed differently according to local circumstances. The important political question concerns the termination and transformation of this symbolic substance through political revolutions, and how a class regenerates itself as a genius loci in another epoch.

The discourse of economics decays endlessly, and gets forever consumed as the body of an ancestor. This is the consumption of the Patricians by the leftist academics who digest their society textually. This is an authentically revolutionary activity, insofar as it revolves the old class symbols towards a classless society. However, the process goes fowl when it falls under Semitic tyranny, and when the masses succumb again to new monotheisms. Since everyone is wary of being tricked by religion, the desert semiotic must be forced upon them cunningly. The operational model for this Jesuitical capture is hunting or trapping, and it necessitates the fabulation of unrecognizable monotheisms such as liberal idealism, with all its monotheistic morals for atheists. When revolutionaries demand universal inclusivity, making such strangely duplicitous declarations as “homme et citoyen”, they may fail to recognize their own words as implicitly demanding monotheism. The people demand to be saddled up as camels, and sent into the desert with heavy packs so that they might earn their entrance to paradise by laboring in the real. This way moralism turns the crowds atavistically towards Jerusalem, where they seek their city of refuge, and reconstruct their temple.  This distinction of the ascetic people and the hedonistic elite is a trap built for leftism, which, seeking to represent the common people, instinctively throws up its ascetic tent.  Exemplifying this tendency are mystical revolutionaries like Simone Weil or Rosa Luxemburg, who represent a female type going back to the heresies of the raving beguines in the medieval period.  This is the type who screams at the economics professor, because she is so pure that his hideous machinations upset her.

Renaissance subjectivity implied a restoration of religious idealism at an aesthetic level, and was sublimated into material glory. Giotto’s St. Francis, flying a Christ-kite, illustrates the Jesuitical condition where belief is an artifice performed for the masses, and which the technicians are separated from. This casts an abysmal trompe l’oiel, where the painting itself is also a kite flown by the Dedalean Giotto, who captures us into the scene of the crucifixion. The baroque elite must ensure the maintenance of a technical infrastructure that supports the performance of the symbolic act. Class relations are represented according to the two sides of this performance, so that one is either a Semite in the audience of the puppet theater, or else they are behind the curtains with the hedo-Hellenistic technicians running the machinations. These two dimensions intersect in the Parmenidean concept of the void, which is the piety of science and its desert of rationalism, which is the heart of technocratic societies.  Initiation into calculus is such a decisive passage in modern technical education because technocracy is a cult of the continuum of matter. Science operates a hieroglyphic double, which is an epistemological asceticism that reflects a Patrician repose. This dimension of coldness and cruelty is bereft of the amorous characteristics of the Christian God. The congregation cannot escape from the Semitic puppet theatre because they cannot conceive God as a void, and therefore cannot access the Parmenidean dimension of the Minervic society. This capture is necessarily terminable, and eventually the people must either escape, or be killed.  Perhaps finance is the tail end of Rome, and we are witnessing the last thrashing before that terrible beast returns to the sea of oblivion.

The sentimental kitsch that circulates as leftist propaganda today indicates a group cathexis of monotheism. This way the machine of capital holds the plebeians hostage. Their religiosity prevents them from the conceiving of spiritual automatism, and so they are subjected to those of the Patricians.  The neoclassical technocracy is a political paradigm oriented around an epistemology of the void, where power hinges on access to the medium of neutrality. This way oppression is founded on the necessitation of transcendent meaning, and liberty is the experience of an immanent medium of plastic artifice. The ideology of immanence is not just a philosophical position, and is more importantly a neoclassical social ideology. Nihilism receives a bad reputation because it is associated with emotional negativity and violence, and that is a natural basis for Minervic class subjugation. The elect pay a toll for their initiation in the experience of negative emotions. This corresponds with Hobbessian and Hegelian models of social dialectic, where the ruled are relieved of their negative emotions by transferring them onto the ruler.  In today’s technocracy the negative experience of the rulers corresponds with access to the dimension of Parminedean neutrality.

Hans Von Balthassar, arguably the most influential figure of the Second Vatican Council, wrote a book titled “The Christian and Anxiety” (1957), which begins with scriptural citations of God ordering his followers to be anxious about him alone.  This was an attempt to found a technocratic regime where it is first essential to convince everyone that God (or something else) should relieve them of their anxiety, so that people will never attempt to face the void alone.  The disburdened from anxiety has the form of an ontological proof, which makes provides immunity from Parmenidean influence, because that would cause the return of anxiety so they would flee from it. This way the publicity of the brooding romantic is used by theology in its Pavlovian manipulation of its flock through control of affects. Balthassar cites scriptural injunctions that prohibit “tarrying” and “wallowing” with negative emotions, for that is where one purportedly comes under diabolical influence. This codifies the desouvrement of the void with the marks of diabolical damnation, and those same marks put it on reserve for elites, as though they were the sons of Neptune.

The masses are subjected to a prohibition on negative emotions structurally linked with the Kantian prohibition on access nuomenal reality, and with the Semitic prohibition on images. This way technocracy generates its forbidden fruit of intellectual intuition, which only the elect may consume.  Class subordination then depends on how the void has been coded negatively by monotheism, and how the void has be reserved to God. This way the emotional trap of nihilism prevents class mobility. In this political paradigm, revolution corresponds exactly with class mobility through the void. Instead of dawning laurels, today’s revolutionaries should just move through the void, because that transgressive sea voyage can shake the financialist legacy of Rome to the ground once and for all.  Economics is critically ill, and the finality of its final demise must be symbolized.  He will die without heirs, and so perhaps we should put a stick in the ground.

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