Philosophy - Part 9 - We are the aliens

Philosophy - Part 9 - We are the aliens - 14 May 2012 - by P.K.Odendaal

I hear the steel drums sing their song
They're singing man you know you've got it wrong
I hear the voice of the yellow bird
Whispering to me this is quite absurd
Sure as bananas need the sun
We are the criminal guilty ones
From Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dream coat.

When I see the aliens in the computer games of young kids, and the things these aliens do, I come to the shocking realisation that what we are, we think them to be and project our violence onto them, whilst in reality we are the aliens, totally estranged from this world and its realities.
So neuroses has really gotten us in a big way. And when we see the way mankind destroys its own, how governments and banking systems are destroying the wealth of this world, leaving man poor and disenfranchised, it is easy to see that the whole world has become neurotic - even psychotic.


There were centuries when we were near to nature, near to reality, knowledgeable of our place on earth, of our responsibilities towards earth and all on it - and specially towards each other. But that belonged to previous centuries, and may never return to us, except possibly through another world war.
We have severed ourselves from the dust of the earth from where we came, we have exchanged our deep earthly roots for a totally superficial, artificial and technologically advanced life. We are killing our brethren in ever larger numbers, because they do not think like we do or agree with us - knowing we think incorrectly ourselves. We are obliterating earth with our large scale mining activities, oil consumption, industrialisation and humanism in which the rights of man are greater than those of groups.
What have we put in the place of these so called virtues of centuries past? And what did we get for it.
Neurosis.
Where are the days when the sole activity of mankind was the pursuit of happiness - as it was at the start of the twentieth century, before World War I brought back the reality of greed to us? One cannot even imagine that there were such days. Where is the age of reason and the age of enlightenment, the age of chivalry? Yes, there were such beautiful ages in the history of mankind.
I know perfectly well why it happened - the love of money and the love of self, destroyed it. And am I prepared to give up this new love of mine - of capitalism and greed? Of course not - it is power unto me - oh, and it gives me so much. I do not have to care about others anymore - all I need to do is pick up my cell phone and talk to the mainframe web server - and I am in touch again. In touch with what? With my alter ego? All I need to do is to turn on the TV to be in touch with the brutalism and violence in the world. See where mankind is today killing each other in new innovative ways.
But this I know, that every law
that men have made for man
since first man took his brother's life
and the sad world began
but straws the wheat and saves the chaff
with a most evil fan

This too I know and wise it were
if each could know the same
that every prison that man build
is built with bricks of shame
and bound with bars lest Christ should see
how men their brothers maim

from Ballad of Reading Goal by Oscar Wilde

Most of this are leftovers from the way Karl Marx turned the noble philosophy of Hegel upside down. Today, a third of the world are living in brutal Marxist and semi-Marxist ruled countries, and many more are influenced by this plaque. And then we have the arrogance and audacity to say that God got us into this mess and why was man born to suffer. We forget that it was Karl Marx and other such philosophers, leaders and intellectuals who brought that over us. Not that I have anything against Karl Marx - he was a real intellectual - albeit an experimental one.
So let's start at the beginning of this episode.
 
We have David Hume to thank for breaking down the philosophies of old - totally - which I think was a good thing, because such a house built of stubble and grass could never stand up against a twentieth century scepticism or rationality.
And we have the brilliance of a Hegel to thank for building us a new house with spacious rooms in three storeys - the house being called Dialectic and the first level being Thesis, the next level being Antithesis and the third level being Synthesis - all finely balanced and built on a foundation of loose stones - the stones of an Absolute God.
The above Hegelian philosophy is all newspeak for the words of Socrates, uttered two thousand years earlier, but it was done more formally, intellectually and completely, and that is why Hegel is known even today as the Master Builder. This name is purely accidental to my use of the house metaphor, as is my metaphor of aliens compliant with the philosophy of Marx - but new truths fit old ones without seams and stitches. From the ashes of the burnt down house of philosophy, burnt down by David Hume, Hegel built us this new house. All the great philosophies of the world in the past century, that of Marx, Nietzsche, Existentialism and psycho-analysis had their beginning in Hegel.
So, what is the dialectic other than the Socratic Method, the way we think and the way we argue and the way we live.
 
The Socratic Method had these essential elements : Socrates would ask a question and someone would give the answer in the form of the Thesis. Socrates would then argue that the Thesis is wrong because there are exceptions to it (the Antithesis). The person who gave the answer, would then try and make amendments to the thesis in his following Synthesis.
This beautiful building was bound to collapse as well, being attacked by the Imperfect Storm called Karl Marx. He turned the house upside down, demolished the top and lower storeys, kept the one storey named Antithesis or Criticism intact, propped up this storey with timber log struts on the sides, just so that the bottom could fall out one hundred and fifty years later in the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the passion of Greed.
There were a few catastrophic twists in the philosophy of Hegel which Marx adapted to suit his march of destruction. Firstly, by omitting a synthesis to his antithesis, he propagated revolution and criticism without compromise to bring the workers of the world into military conflict with capitalists - not such a bad idea after all. It is happening today in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Secondly he could get rid of God, and place man there - a place man always coveted from the days of Eve. A God which exists only in human consciousness (borrowed from Hegel) and only in the form of man does not exist for him. Therefore he and the Young Hegelians were Atheists. But they drew a far more interesting conclusion from their criticism of Hegel's concept of God. If all of the Absolute's development of rationality is within the human sphere, and is carried out by man, then man is the true God. The human being is the true divinity ... Atheists, eat your heart out!
Thirdly, he instigated a world revolution - a world catastrophe on which the institutions of the world will be destroyed - quite easy if you stop at Antithesis - because that is what it is all about - to find fault with the Thesis. But this is why we have to have a Synthesis - to handle the Antithesis - but Marx was not intent on doing that.
Did the opposing philosophy of Capitalism provide any other outcome? No, because it was much worse than Communism - ask anyone who has ever played Monopoly - there is only one winner and all the other players are losers. In fact, the Bible is also against this type of exploitation of the masses, which is exactly why Marxist philosophies were so successful. (see my article on Capitalism and Communism elsewhere).
And what was our inheritance? Chaos, much like the world was in when it was created in Genesis.   
To come back to aliens, which was one of the problems Marx had with us - it still lingers on. He maintained that human alienation takes on four forms. Firstly man is alienated from the product of his work, from the act of producing, from his own social nature and from his fellow men.
And to complete this criticism of Capitalism, I wish to echo his words, which is a strange thing for me to do, being a capitalist par excellence : In the alienated world of capitalism, not only the capitalist, but the worker, too, is in bondage to greed, is a slave before the big god called Money, the money-god of capitalism. Greed has been the motivating force throughout all of human history, alienating man from his human essence and dehumanising him.
Oh, Mary, this London's a wonderful sight,
With people all working by day and by night.

Sure they don't sow potatoes, nor barley, nor wheat,
But there's gangs of them digging for gold in the street.
At least when I asked them that's what I was told,
So I just took a hand at this digging for gold,
But for all that I found there I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

In the words of Marx, I hear the echoes of the greed of people who caused the present financial crisis, but we will never learn. This abuse will just manifest itself again in a decade or two, in another form.
It is clear to me that the world is held in bondage by greed, man made philosophies, Marxism and Capitalism, and we are merrily blaming God for our predicament and the grief we have brought onto ourselves.
I need to end this part with The Four Seasons of Vivaldi.
 
There are four seasons in the year, four seasons in our lives and four seasons in our thoughts and four seasons in our world history - being repeated over and over as necessary. Our philosophies must go through these four seasons as well, repeatedly. Whereas Hegel only had three seasons (Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis) as enumerated above, I think it fit, if we are to return to our roots and the dust of the earth where we came from, that we should have four seasons in our thinking. In fact, if you take the name of Vivaldi's Opus 8, it is translated to 'The Contest between Harmony and Invention'.
There is this tension in the world and in our lives between these two. We discover something new that is alien to us, and we need to bring that into harmony with our lives, and that is the Spring (invention) and Summers (harmony) of our lives. Of course these inventions have mothers called necessity which are the Autumns (need) and Winters (necessity) of our lives.
 
It is only when we ourselves and mankind can find the synthesis whereby we bring ourselves into harmony with our new innovations, that we will remain children of this Universe, and not vice versa, which makes us aliens on our own planet. If your read my article on Soaring and getting into harmony with the Sky, this fits it perfectly. I think only that can prevent us from being aliens on our own planet.
Maybe we should stop our computer games with so called aliens, and rediscover humans to play the games with. They will enjoy staring back at us from behind the playstations, we the aliens - I am sure.