The War of the World

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Thu, 2017-12-21 07:35

The great philosophical battle today -- in our post-French Revolution, post-Enlightenment, post-liberal era -- is esentially that of the post-modernists vs. the pre-modernists, or else the progressives vs. the conservatives. Without too much hyperbole, this ideological rivalry could also be referred to as the Dark Age destructors vs. The Dark Age retreaters.

Both loathsome philosophical competitors -- and secret allies -- massively reject philosophical and cultural modernity, a.k.a. the 1700s Western European Enlightenment. Both rivals heavily reject the epistemology of reason, the ethics or individualism, and the politics of liberty. Both sides even reject the aesthetics of realistic heroism and the spirituality of authentic triumph.

The philosophical post-modernists, or progressives, or leftists are truly terrifying in that they even repudiate the relatively healthy and happy lifestyles and attitudes of classical America and the West. However the philosophical pre-modenists, or conservatives, or rightists match them by repudiating the relatively healthy and happy lifestyles and attitudes of classical Greece and Rome.

It's hard to know which ideological and cultural group is more truly false and evil. Both intellectual constellations and associations don't so much need to be minimized and then elimated from the earth, as to be eviscerated and annihilated.

The leftist post-moderns oppose the idea of objective and absolute truth in favor of epistemological subjectivism and relativism. The rightest pre-moderns oppose objective and absolute truth in favor or epistemological faith and dogma. Both are highly skeptical of reason and science. Both are shockingly irrational in their confused and corrupt pursuit of the truth.

The lefties love and worship something which doesn't actually exist, which they call "the collective". The righties love and worship something which doesn't actually exist, which they call "the lord". And both philosophical groups seek to destroy the individual -- which is everyone -- in service and servitude to their suposedly higher value.

And neither nonsensical, antirational, illiberal, fatuous, and depraved ideological group is very fond of technological advance. Or pleasure. Or human greatness. Or creativity. Or sex. Or humor. Or achievement. Or anything to do with enjoyment and happiness.

Such is the essence of our nitwit, dirtbag, left-wing, right-wing planet today!

The world would be better off if it returned to the out-of-date and flawed ideas and ideals of 1700s philosophical modernity and the culture of the Enlightenment. It would be even better off if it discovered a new and radically improved version of them. Then the planet could reverse its two-century ideological and cultural decline, and ascend to the updated standards and ideals of our once-noble Western Civilization.


Bizarre

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay and Olivia -- You make reference to an extremely long essay from a decade ago, which I never heard of, as if it's the most obvious point in the world? This is your argument? Do you also expect me to have closely read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica? Or memorized the Library of Congress?

Kyrel...

Olivia's picture

This may be utterly wasted on you, in fact it probably will, but in the name of reason I will try:

For someone who considers themselves so intellectually superior to everyone else, I do not understand why you pose questions such as these -

Has Rand of any other Objectivist written about this? Does any other prominent Objectivist or conventional thinker agree with you?

Do you really mean to imply that to understand another's reasonable (and very solid) argument, you need a reference point to some other person's thinking for it to be valid? That is the very essence of not being an independent thinker, therefore being a second-rate intellect.

Music of the Gods, written by Lindsay, is probably the most considered essay written about music in our circles and he lays out exactingly why Romantic music is superior.

You wrote: Both rivals heavily reject the epistemology of reason, the ethics or individualism, and the politics of liberty. Both sides even reject the aesthetics of realistic heroism and the spirituality of authentic triumph.

The philosophical post-modernists, or progressives, or leftists are truly terrifying in that they even repudiate the relatively healthy and happy lifestyles and attitudes of classical America and the West. However the philosophical pre-modenists, or conservatives, or rightists match them by repudiating the relatively healthy and happy lifestyles and attitudes of classical Greece and Rome.

What aesthetics of "realistic heroism and the spirituality of authentic triumph" are you referring to here in regard to culture?
I ask this of you because you yourself seem so ignorant of these aesthetics in music! Which is culture.

Where you waffle around in vagaries, and pose (the same) questions which have been well answered, Lindsay writes specifically about the aesthetics of music in a way which I think, were she still alive, Rand would be bloody proud of, knowing he is a great lover both of music and her philosophy - not to mention one who takes her Romantic Manifesto seriously. Have you ever read her RM?

Music of the Gods says this:
In short, we know that in every important aspect of it one can name, music—demonstrably, empirically, as a matter of fact—reached its apogee in the Romantic era. Romanticism was the culmination of what preceded it, and the transcending of it; it was the high point of musical evolution to date; it was the “total height”—and it remains so. (What came after was disintegration into vagueness, gratuitous dissonance, ostentation, random plinkety-plonk, silly silences and traffic noise.) Not knowing the physiology of how music evokes the responses that it does in us, not knowing how many parts object and how many part subject are involved, cannot gainsay this fact, the supreme stature of Romantic music, and its superiority over any modern throwback to “primitive music” such as that of Slayer, which it seems ludicrous to mention in the same breath.

This superiority can also be ascribed, I should add, to the myriad forms of what one might call “mini-Romanticism” such as operetta, musical comedy, jazz (the intelligible kind), pre-80s pop, movie scores, Ayn Rand’s “tiddly-wink music” and so on. The standard pop tune of my youth was a veritable miniature sonata with a clear theme, stated, developed then reiterated (A-B-A), value-orientated (usually about love!) with meaningful if unchallenging lyrics, audibly articulated. Any of the foregoing is superior to Slayer and all other headbanging caterwauling.

Seriously Kyrel, I suggest you read Music of the Gods, slowly and carefully, who knows, you might actually learn something profound if you really do have the intellect that you like to claim you have.

The rotten state of music in the last 100 years is EXACTLY a result of cultural/aesthetic decline.

You make this observation...

And neither nonsensical, antirational, illiberal, fatuous, and depraved ideological group is very fond of technological advance. Or pleasure. Or human greatness. Or creativity. Or sex. Or humor. Or achievement. Or anything to do with enjoyment and happiness. Such is the essence of our nitwit, dirtbag, left-wing, right-wing planet today!

... yet you mistakenly think that music should be divorced somehow from such a scathing criticism of your culture?! That it didn't once have its high-point? That it has not slid unceasingly down along with many other values which have been lost along the way?

You make no sense.

Oh, and President Trump, on the conservative side of things these days, enjoys technology, pleasure, greatness, creativity, sex, humour, achievement, enjoyment and happiness - so maybe you should be thankful that he is now the most powerful man in the world. Smiling

Kyrel

Lindsay Perigo's picture

All your questions answered here. It's been up for a few years now:

http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

For the record: I'm more than morally entitled to write what I wrote. And I'm the only one intellectually capable of it.

Oh, but of course. How silly of me to forget! Smiling

Educate Us

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay -- Your extremist comments raise a whole host of questions. Why do most classical musicians today evidently also love rock 'n' roll? Is rock music somehow inherently depraved? If so, what makes it so? And what other music is thus, such as rap or jazz? Has Rand of any other Objectivist written about this? Does any other prominent Objectivist or conventional thinker agree with you? What makes classical music (I'm tempted to say: so long, tedious, boring, idiosyncratic, overcomplex, empty, and lifeless! Eye) so good and all else so bad? It would be nice if we could hear a bit of argumentation and logic on all this, rather than just take your word for it. What other musical styles do you consider evil, such as pop, soul, disco, country, marching band, show tunes, light opera, string quartets, a cappella, solos, etc.? I asked you much of this before, in the rock 'n' roll thread, but you didn't reply.

For the record: I'm more than morally entitled to write what I wrote. And I'm the only one intellectually capable of it.

Kyrel

Lindsay Perigo's picture

As an endorser of headbanging caterwauling, you're not morally entitled to say any of this. By your statements on music you have shown yourself to be an embracer of "cultural decline." Not just decline, but utter depravity.

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