Sunday, February 21, 2016

The abandonment of knowledge

The main issue of our time – or the issue from which all the other issues depend and derive – consists in the fact that without real knowledge any society is lost in self-deception and in the delirium of a hyper-inflated ego: the Delphic maxim “know thyself” meant also “know your proper measure in life” and this teaching was, until not so long ago, one of the key elements of education. The pernicious abandonment/destruction of real knowledge witnessed by our age is certainly a typical trait of all declining societies throughout history. The contemporary “cultural deification of wealth”, as observed by Chris Hedges, is possible only in a society where man has lost his proper measure and horizon in life (Ne quid nimis, nothing in excess) and knowledge has been turned into a mere training or an access key to a higher position in a society whose streets have been paved with cruelty, superficiality, stupidity, and madness. Contemporary academics are certainly subservient to the status quo – they have to be, otherwise they could not be in their positions – but they are subservient to elites that are not true elites (or was President George W. Bush in any way, shape, or form a member of the true elite, rather than a menial member of a mediocre tribe of oligarchs?). In such a scenario it is not a mere coincidence that Larry Summers was once the President of Harvard just to mention one among far too many examples. In 2005 I published the book “La Società del Contrario” (“The Upside down Society”) regarding the contemporary betrayal of knowledge by Academia, trying to elaborate on some of the dangers of turning knowledge into a mere commodity and students into clients.
The immense difference between our society and all others of the past is that we possess terrifying, and somewhat unthinkable, weapons of mass destruction with the clear and present capability to wipe out a large part of all the species on the planet, ours included, of course. We might be a “dying civilization,” but this time our decay will coincide with the annihilation of our species and the possible destruction of the planet, so we should have a huge motivation to start thinking about our decline and act upon this realization! The only way for our society to move away from the madness we have sometimes shaped and sometimes been forced into, is through cultural awareness that is always human awareness, and this is impossible while knowledge remains just a “useful commodity” managed by the servants of the powerful. Hope is reasonable only if real reason, i.e., not a reason that is just propaganda, manipulation, and exploitation, or a reason of material assessments shaped by the hammer of power, regains its due and proper place in the lives and the hearts of the people.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Un omaggio a Guido Ceronetti.

Il professor Guido Ceronetti è un pensatore che non si smetterebbe mai di leggere né di ascoltare. In questo breve intervento anch’egli conclude, quasi come per una necessità, che il mondo “non pareggia” tra il bene ed il male e questa è, quando espressa dall’ennesima mente dalla grande profondità teorica, una conclusione terrificante. Quando si guarda all’uomo ed alla sua storia si rimane certamente allibiti e si comprendono le conclusioni del maestro, ma spero di non esprimere una stoltezza se oso aggiungere a quel suo discorso che il mondo è ancora altro dall’uomo. Ceronetti, grande studioso e traduttore biblico, sa benissimo che, nel Genesi, è detto del mondo che questo è kî-tob, “buono e bello”, mentre davanti alla creazione dell’uomo nulla di simile viene dichiarato nell’antico testo. Il Qoèlet che, da giovane, Ceronetti ha anche tradotto, richiamava ancora: «Ma ho anche notato che sotto il sole al posto del diritto c’è l’iniquità ed al posto della giustizia c’è l'empietà» (3:16). I maestri antichi avevano ben cognizione delle verità sull’uomo, ma anche non credere nell’uomo significa, indirettamente, ancora credervi, perché altrimenti egli ci sarebbe indifferente e ciò è difficilmente possibile per chi pensa perché, che lo vogliamo o meno, il nostro destino è destino d’uomini. Se Ceronetti non avesse davvero creduto nell’uomo non avrebbe neanche scritto con la bravura e l’erudizione con cui ha sempre illuminato i suoi lettori, perché scrivere è credere che un senso sia in qualche modo ancora possibile. Capiamo, allora, quanto si trova nel non detto delle sue parole e lo omaggiamo con un semplice e riverente: grazie maestro, grazie di cuore!    

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What is he talking about?

Noam Chomsky is amazing as usual! For his entire career this person has been on the payroll (for 65 years) of one of the main Academic institutions (MIT) that create this dominant class and the ideological environment in which we live. Then he comes on stage and makes, apparently, one of his many speeches against that same system that nourishes and sponsors him! Isn’t that just one more sign of the sophistic age we live in? Apart from the usual concatenation of interpretations that he claims to be “facts” in this video he also spreads, once again, the common ideology of the so-called “democracy” as being this amazing system, that if “the people” would have been heard, we would not be in such and such situation! Isn’t this one of the most vulgar forms of contemporary ideology? As far as I can remember, “the people” voted to give hemlock to Socrates, to crucify Jesus, and to elect and strongly support Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and many, many more (too many to be just coincidences). If we have the dominant class that we have, it is exactly because the majority of people fully identify with them! Senatores boni viri, senatus autem mala bestia (translation: Senators are good men, the Senate, on the other hand, is an evil beast).
One possible question on the topic of “The Emerging World Order” (whatever this means apart from the reference to his book “The emerging New World Order”, 2012) is: if universities, instead of indoctrinating students with the most vulgar ideologies of our sad times, spreading legitimized ignorance, and providing entry tickets to the system of power, would instead offer real education, would we still be where we are now? In this video, Chomsky even criticizes the same Mario Draghi who received a degree from the same institution (MIT) where Chomsky has received a comfortable income for his entire life! Are we so intellectually corrupted that we cannot perceive this paradox anymore? The fact that people like Chomsky and his fellows, can be taken seriously seems to me just one further proof of the disaster into which our society is sinking.
The “Emerging World Order”, to use Chomsky’s expression once again, is strongly supported by contemporary academia and his ancillary role of corroboration of any form of corruption in power. And this is one of the many reasons why contemporary Academia has nowadays developed into the worst enemy that knowledge has ever faced in human history. Not even Caligula or the Caliph Omar (the one who allegedly ordered General Amr ibn al-As to destroy what remained of the Library of Alexandria with the famous sentence, “If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if they are opposed to the Quran, destroy them!”) have been so dangerous to human knowledge as the contemporary diploma mills that all over the globe are selling “darkness as light, and light as darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). It is mostly because of the role of Academia in the contemporary world that ideas have almost no place in our society and opinions have the dominance in quite every field (see the difference between ideas and opinions in Platonic epistemology), basically turning intelligence into either deviousness or stupidity. Dreadful for us are all the consequences of such a horrendous confusion of darkness with knowledge.