Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On Anti-Nietzsche and Ontological Poverty

Well, my copy of Malcolm Bull's Anti-Nietzsche came in, yesterday. I briefly talked about this book before. The TOC:



Ch 1: Philistinism

Ch 2: Anti-Nietzsche

Ch 3: Negative Ecologies

Ch 4: Subhumanism

Ch 5: Excommunication

Ch 6: Counter-Interest

Ch 7: The Great Beast

And then the usual back matter.

The first three chapters can basically be found in either the New Left Review, or in the links I gave earlier. But, besides sharing some information on the book, I wanted to share this wonderful paragraph:
The alignment of Durkheim and Heidegger here owes something to their shared debt to Leibniz, whose monadology provides a model not only for Durkheim's account of specialisation, but for Heidegger's account of captivation as well. But it is more than that. If to become poor in world is to become poor in common consciousness, Heidegger's attempt to exempt the human from the world-poverty of the animal is inextricably entwined with the desire to release humanity from the world-darkening of modernity. No wonder he uses the metaphor of darkness to describe both states. Nature provides us with a model of what social interaction is like without common consciousness. Becoming animal is becoming modern, perhaps, as Kojève suggests, the future of modernity. A negative ecology of value must eventually involve participating in a division of labour, a being plural plural. That is what an ecology is. Becoming world-poor opens up the possibility for a degree of anomie beyond that possible within purely human interaction. You cannot fully experience anomie within the species; you have to go outside. The human world is never dark enough. (p. 128)
This is obviously a dense paragraph, but also intense. It is only by accepting our ontological poverty that we can begin to think community and ecology.