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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Language, Tragedy, Power

The implications of the limitations of language. Because language emerges from and conditions back onto not life, reality, but a tense and complex model of/for reality, nothing said can ever be simply true. Truth can emerge in and through and via language but never purified from untruth. Everything from the structure to the concepts works against the emergence of truth in language. You can pull up the root of the plant but you can never remove all the dirt. (You would first have to define “dirt” and at that point all is lost.)

The insight of Tragedy. While “Fate” is not the proper word for our conditioned life, the insight of tragedy remains: that our lives are conditioned and determined in ways we can never fully understand or recognize. The border between “free” and “unfree” is forever blurry, always a space, an area, itself imprecisely defined with blurry edges, never a line.

The co-opting tendency of power, which is more than a tendency in fact, since a tendency is something that could be resisted or stopped, and the co-opting by power of all discourse is a prerequisite of power. But lest we go too far in our critique, order is also an effect of power. No power, no order. (Return of the social contract.) No order, no life. And so we see that the undesirable effects of power are unavoidable if we want the desirable effects of power. And if we spend our whole lives fighting power’s undesirable effects (a noble pursuit), we leave ourselves no time for the noblest pursuit of what order makes possible: thought, speculation, the pursuit of truth, knowledge, God, poetry, art.

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