Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interim musings, continued again

Having served my time in the PC world of AIDS services, I am familiar with the Progressive Left and their points of view, especially on race and gender and class. With a little bit of transgressive pleasure, I have been visiting the land of the Traditionalist Right. These folks are not conservatives. Just as I say I am not a Republican, but a conservative, because Republicans are accomodationist pussies, the Traditionalist Right says the same of conservatives. Start with Pat Buchanan, a paleo-conservative, and keep turning Right.

This curiosity led me to watch DW Griffith's oft mentioned but, I suspect, rarely seen Birth of a Nation.

I have heard of The Birth of A Nation mentioned often in the history of film, and always with the descriptor “racist”. Three long hours of silent filming. A history of the Civil War and Reconstruction from a decidedly Southern point of view, dramatizing the birth of the Klan as heroes . Not something you run across every day! I realize I know relatively little about Reconstruction, but group vengeance is hardly a novelty in history. As I have realized, Southern Whites had precious little reason to embrace as equals a racial group they had always known as inferiors, and after the chaos of Reconstruction and unsurprising combination of revenge, incompetence and corruption Blacks exhibited, even less. It makes the Jim Crow regime intelligible.

DW Griffith’s other movie, Intolerance. Four interlocking historical moments of intolerance: contemporary (1916) America, post Reformation France, ancient Jerusalem, ancient Babylon.The “intolerance” of the US shows up in the female proponents of Moral Uplift who recruit the spinster sister of an industrialist. To raise more funds for the project, she gets her brother to cut wages and divert the savings to the Cause. In one frame, the workers complain They take our money away so they can use it to reform us and make themselves look good. Funny how history repeats. Progressives, puritans, same breed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: the workers complain »They take our money away so they can use it to reform us and make themselves look good. Funny how history repeats. Progressives, puritans, same breed.«

Methinks Nietzsche's Zarathustra proposed a solution to all Selfs' complaints about unfairness, including Gramsci's proposal that Z's brothers take the blame as capitalists who determine the cultural conditions for selfing labour.

Z's brothers must have no wish to 'look good' to surplus value money taken from Selfs -- for instance, the Grand Inquisitor's arrangement that his personnel are the good or noble who are strong who can bear understanding the truth of human naturing; and for this good opinion in the eyes of the 'slave' Selfs the personnel will "contain wastelands" while the Selfs discourse on the Grand Inquisitor's "cultural hegemony" the way Muslims discourse on Allah's omniscient providence.

Nietzsche's conclusion to Hegel's sublation of the master-slave dialectic: the masters should go for self-recognition (no wasteland which results from disowning one's hating ego), rather than slavishly depending upon slave Selfs for recognition, or attempting the impossible, namely gaining recognition from another master Self who as such would rather die than submit to another Self.

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