“To be reactionary means to recognize that the human being is a problem without a human solution.”
Since some time it appears that hysteria & hype, romanticism and scandalizing form magic sides of a nihilistic triangle of the public discourse.
“Hysteria” 1) is an extreme and uncontrollable emotion or excitement or a psychological disorder. The word derives from the Greek word for womb or uterus. So it is a very female thing and the fact that political hysteria is in a very controlled and strategic way made up an excellent sign for the progressive feminisation of public discourse. “The mass is female’, maybe Benito Mussolini was right and what does that say about the chance of a rational political discourse?
“Hype” extravagant or excessive publicity or sales promotion. 2) The last two words say it all.
“Romanticism” in the public, political sphere is the subjective longing to see the world not as it is but as it should be combined with the ideological demand – which has no fundament in facts – that the human being is ‘good’ meaning that the human being will act according to certain ideological whims and constructions.
“Scandal” is a behaviour or a situation regarded as wrong or unacceptable or causing general outrage. 3) In fact, the general outrage – like accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, whatever-phobia – is constructed and the outrage today constructs in itself the scandal. To paraphrase the Austrian critic and writer Karl Kraus, “the scandal begins when the thought police starts to stop it.” Overseen is the fact that something scandalous could be a positive activator. Media politics in fact – as the Germans say – means to hunt every week another pig through the village.
And now for some pinpointing (not pin-ups) within that magical triangle. The benign reader is invited to find and define more. Many, many more do exist like a white fly on beautiful fuchsias.
“Politics of feelings”: Many feel annoyed, insulted, discriminated and make a public claim out of that. The rational response is to censor if such subjective feelings have any objective relevance.
TIME magazine dated 29th of January wants us to see a “Big Thaw” in Antarctica but does not show us melting snow or ice but only big pieces of ice breaking away from the solid mass. If you have ever been to Russia or Ukraine in springtime you know that a massive thaw is. This is not. Massive ice breaking away from other ice masses is a sign of ice masses too heavy to stick together. It is an indication that a lot of ice is being formed, due to very cold weather I may presume. That is the opposite of melting ice as you can see in your double whiskey with the ice cubes put inside and meting silently away. The magazine shows in its pictures exact the opposite of what it declares to be the ‘reality’ of a thaw. The rational response should be to check the facts and employ real science.
Cyril Ramaphosa, all right ‘St. Cyril’ will save us all and lead us into the promised land. All right, he is better than Jacob Zuma or the average African Cleptokrate and he possesses an impressive political and business career. Nevertheless, he is a party man and must balance the various centres of power and he can’t be a saviour. The rational response may see him as a chance for the citizen to improve politics and economics by ourselves.
Guptas: They had been an incredible bunch of gypsies-brothers trying to steal a whole state and economy. Now they are away (?) and we should still be very eager to hunt them down but the published anger seems to evaporate. The rational response is to demand a total clean up with all connections and activities covered up and all criminals and wrongdoers brought to the book in order to finish that kind of abstruse and most dangerous corruption once and for all.
Manichaeism: Originally a religion founded by Mani postulating a dark, evil God of this world and a good God of light for the spiritual beyond. Now in day-to-day politics, dark and bright figures are created every day and there is no space or realm or room for balanced considerations. Either one is totally good or totally evil. The rational response is to have a moderate, critical and balanced view of things and persons.
Mass shootings are of course caused by guns and not by concrete people making evil decisions. Therefore adult citizens with a clean record possessing firearms are a danger and the board “Gun free zone’ will protect you from the bullets. The rational response is to maintain that there is a link between political freedom and the right to possess and bear arms. Criminal minds are the problem and not free citizens possessing firearms.
Wakanda as a film is not so bad and shows, in fact, a quite conservative civilization eager to defend itself. Conscious objectors don’t seem to be allowed. Fine with me. What disturbs me is the racist, yes racist hype around it which in the meantime abated. All potential customers fleeced? Imagine a film set in an Aryan-Nordic kingdom somewhere in Northern Europe – never colonized by those bad, bad, bad Romans – inhabited by athletic Vikings with all the negative characters being Orientals, Levantines or Africans. Will not be produced, I guess ….. And this film shall give Afro-Americans or Black Africans self-confidence and backbone? Are they kidding? The rational response can only be: Have they all gone mad? On the Internet 4) I found the information that one million ZA Rand had been collected to enable ‘disadvantaged’ kids to view the film. What about one million Rand collected for school books? And on the 27th of February, I received the news that in the US this movie alone made already 400 million US $ on the box offices. Sales promotion was successful, wasn’t it? This is the rational response.
Inability to do basic calculations: If a government raises the VAT rate from 14 percentage points to 15 percentage points it is a rise of one percent, say the anointed. The rational response demands to differ between percentage and percentage points. Therefore we experience a seven (7) percent rise in VAT which will surely result in a further rise in consumer prices and will make all happy or better decide to cut down on expenses. Therefore a rise in income for the coffers of SARS is highly unreal.
Quota: An instrument to promote the advancement of the ‘previously disadvantaged’. Looking at human political history, whose ancestors have not at some time been disadvantaged. Not even my ones. That happens. Instead of improving present conditions like schools, training colleges and mentalities we believe to order all around as on the drill field. That someone who gets a job by a quota will have it difficult to prove his mettle and talent – much more than one getting the job without a reference to a quota – is the rational response but will never be understood by the quota-fanatics.
Horror definitionis, dicere in claritas et limites: The political correct ones strongly dislike to limit meanings, to be precise, to name, to limit, they cannot speak clearly but only obscure and blurred, fuzzy, hazy and vague. Borders and limits are evil, unnecessary and an obstacle to paradise. The rational response is that you have to speak and write clearly about things, especially disputed things in order to receive exact results.
Constantly changing rules one does if the outcome does not please the (radical left) player. The rational response is to ‘stick to the rules’ and accept victories and defeats as a gentleman.
Paranoid basic assumption, a constantly occupied political sub position, minority complex and resentment all nurtured by ugliness and primitivism against everything that appears bright, intelligent cultivated, straight and with sense are the psychological or rather psychic foundations of those attitudes, at least since the French revolution. The rational response is to enlighten, to inform, to teach and finally call in the Doctor.
Conclusion: Carl Schmitt comes into my mind with his definition of “political romantic being the ‘servile company of alien force and alien decision.” And that exactly is it. Slavery is freedom, ignorance is knowledge and want is plenty. The nihilistic triangle aims at making the organized lie triumph and ration be obliterated.
- According to “Compact Oxford English Dictionary”, 3rd edition, p 498
2) Ibid, 497
3) Ibid, 919. It does not derive as ‘Oxford’ says from a Latin word but from the Greek σκάνδαλον (skándalon) meaning both an activation and an offence. It could also be seen as a cornerstone as in the New Testament, something necessary on which you may be able to build up!
4) I guess on the 25th of February at Facebook if I remember right.