Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The folly of the exploiters

A greater German than any living today, Immanuel Kant, posed a simple question in 1781 in his famous Critique of Pure Reason: What can I know? For those of us for whom media studies means studying the media rather than two hungover lectures a week and the occasional special-needs circus of a student demo, it's a good question. But for us, the question reduces to; What will the media let us know?
We now know that the European project was a grand folly, that the Greeks lied about their bona fides in order to ride the gravy train of the euro, that you cannot transmute the base metal of fiscal union into the glittering gold of political union and, oh yes, that the MSM was either clueless about all of this or willingly connived in covering up this Emperor-sized Ponzi scheme.
We also know that anything even vaguely resembling democracy - demos; the people, kratos; power - is viewed by the EU elites as though it were a soiled nappy. The last Greek to tentatively suggest a referendum over EU policy was back tending his olive grove before he could say autos ho Sokrates.
But more than anything we know that our political leaders have a quasi-autistic belief in their own unassailable correctness. The various, increasingly shrill, pronouncements on the inherent rightness and indubitable fortitude of the European project remind me powerfully of the opening to The Qu'ran:

"This book is not to be doubted."

How much more, and for how much longer, will ordinary people be led into socio-economic chaos because of the delusional belief systems of a self-appointed [don't make me laugh by mentioning their respective elections] cabal of Enlightenment deniers?
Almost exactly a century after Kant's masterpiece, in 1880, another great German, Nietzsche, had the following to say in his little-known essay The Wanderer and his Shadow:

"The exploitation of the worker was, it has now been realised, a piece of stupidity, an exhausting of the soil at the expense of the future, an imperilling of society. Now we have already almost a state of war; and the cost of keeping the peace, of concluding treaties and acquiring trust, will henceforth in any event be very great, because the folly of the exploiters was very great and of long duration." [Section 268]

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