Sublimating Fury

The public sphere has become an oppressive medium which is often indistinguishable from commodity spectacle. It is dominated by an expressive ideology which operates a trap where ideals of goodness are pre-given as a doxological inventory of unquestionably worthy ends like fresh air, high salary, happy children, world peace etc. These ideals remain reified, while discussion is limited to a debate over the most effective means for attaining them. The praxical anchoring on these ideal part-objectives is widely reflected in the discourses of science and academia, and this ideology tends to determine the political.

Under these conditions, politics should be dissolved into a transcendental aesthetics where it can restore communion with the elemental furies. This aesthetic pre-political realm has been disavowed into the alien alterity of the early modern, such as in the way opera has been rendered archaic. The early modern age serves as a dungeon for authentic spirituality, and the recovery of politics requires that it be released.  This involves a proto-politics which has no moral justification, because the ideals of morality are dissolved back into an aesthetics of morale, or rhetoric of style.  Though the symbolic negativity implicit in this rhetorical immanence needn’t end up in libertinage as it did in the late 18th century.

The power of desire is conditional on historical exiles, which are spacings and durations. Exile concerns what is institutionally innappropriate, and this excluded object can be designated with the old term fury.  This intensity would include the violent envy that characterizes the paranoid-schizoid phase according to Melanie Klein.  It’s something too intensive that institutions cannot contain, and which threatens them with the chaos of the void.

A model of exile emerged around Max Weber and his students Carl Schmitt, Georg Lukacs, and Niklas Luhman. This group rediscovered politics as a distinct value sphere that emerges through the sublimation of war, where violent hostility is sublimated through the institution of a symbolic separation between the government and the opposition. The parliamentary relation between government and loyal opposition is a product of sublimation, where exiled fury is absolved through a symbolic expression. But if the parliamentary system reaches a limit and becomes inadequate in its capacity to perform this sublimation function, then that means that the oppositional fury must be resublimated elsewhere. Another conception of the loyal opposition must emerge as a symbolic expression. This converts politics into an aesthetic problem, concerning the symbolic metabolization of fury.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s