American Wasteland

American Wasteland-the most urgent challenge for America is its poorly hidden mental health crisis

The relentless tragedy of narcotic addiction, especially of opiates, across America has overwhelmed already depleted public resources, leaving a trail of devastated communities, families and lives – threatening a new lost generation.

opiate

Leanne Wood’s Long Campaign

The Herald, April 22, 2016, Ceredigion, Wales

Leanne Wood was not at all satisfied with a fourth place finish in the 2015 General Election.

Her immediate response to the loss – and the mere hold of her three MPs – was to declare that the campaign for the National Assembly elections of May 2016 would commence without pause.

Leanne_720

This most recent campaign has been the culmination of decades of political action: miner’s strike, CND, devolution, various assembly elections, and the 2011 referendum.

Already in campaign mode, and convinced that there would have been a breakthrough in the General Elections with a few more weeks to campaign, Wood began a series of major engagements: visiting local constituencies, attending cultural events, making visits to schools and giving major addresses on politics and policy at Aberystwyth University.  Linking up her network on the ground, Wood engaged local organisations in the campaign, giving speeches at party events and demonstrations, outlining her message for the May elections.

To read the rest of the article, please visit Leanne Wood’s Long Campaign.

In the Syrian Labyrinth: The Impasse of International Law

In the Syrian Labyrinth: The Impasse of International Law – TeleSUR

Syrian_Refugees_022714

DAMASCUS, SYRIA – JANUARY 31: In this handout provided by the United Nation Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Residents wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk refugee camp on January 31, 2014 in Damascus, Syria. The United Nations renewed calls for the Syria regime and rebels to allow food and medical aid into the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk. An estimated 18,000 people are besieged inside the camp as the conflict in Syria continues. (Photo by United Nation Relief and Works Agency via Getty Images)

 

‘Political Revolution’ is not just a sexy slogan

America’s shameful state of decay: Sanders is campaigning on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure

America’s shameful state of decay: Sanders is campaigning on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure – Salon.com

Daggers and Spears: Lu Xun and Nietzsche on Cultural Revolution

Daggers and Spears: Lu Xun and Nietzsche on Cultural Revolution

James Luchte

Lu Xun Nietzsche

 

O my brothers, not long will it be until new peoples will arise and new fountains rush down into new depths.

For the earthquake—it chokes up many wells, it causes much languishing: but it brings also to light inner powers and secrets.

The earthquake discloses new fountains. In the earthquake of old peoples, new fountains burst forth.

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, ‘On the Old and New Law Tablets’, 25.

 

Lu Xun – On ‘China’s Nietzsche’

Lu Xun was nineteen when Nietzsche died in 1900.  He had already begun to write poetry, in classical Chinese style, and came into contact with Western literature in Nanking, where he attended a mining school.  It was not until the following year however that he, with a government stipend to study mining in Japan, intensified his relationship with the available threads of world literature, European, British, and Russian – and Nietzsche. The work of which he had the most access was Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Japanese renditions of his thought, including the Untimely Meditations. Lu Xun travelled to Japan at the right time – amid the chaos of the post- war years, the reformation toward modernity, Japan sought to become an industrial and military power with the aid of Western, i.e. ‘Modern,’ science, including Western medicine and literature.

Lu Xun immediately recognized the political and cultural significance of literature, especially that of the English Romantics, Byron and Shelley (to the exclusion of the more introspective poets Wordsworth and Keats) in their individuality and defiance of a corrupt and oppressive cultural and political order.  He found a similar though deeper message in Nietzsche, one simultaneously of a poetic and philosophical order.  Yet, it is the meaning of this influence, and of Nietzsche’s message, that has remained controversial.

This current writing will be an attempt to dissolve this controversy through the exposure of the intellectual and artistic affinities of Lu Xun and Nietzsche upon their own respective and overlapping topoi.  It could be argued that Nietzsche had his most immediate impact in Japan, which already by 1903 (at a time which Lu Xun was already in Japan) had a ‘Nietzsche Dispute’, and had experienced ‘Nietzsche fever.’ Such an intellectual event could hardly have been missed by Lu Xun, and his first essays of 1907 and 1908 mention Nietzsche, echo Nietzsche, yet, from the perspective of a Chinese radical democratic ‘Mara’ poet.

Lu Xun is not served well by the name of ‘China’s Nietzsche’ – unless, that is, it is clear what we mean by ‘Nietzsche’.  Such clarity seems to have been lacking in many of the early receptions of Nietzsche, especially in regards to the notion of the Übermensch, which in the context of the early Japanese reception resembles more closely Zarathustra’s ape, a caricature of Zarathustra, of which Nietzsche had already anticipated, and which he warned would be due to poor reading, in his own prophesy of widespread mis-understanding of his philosophy.  In this light, I will cast into the light the caricature of Nietzsche in order to exorcise it from our subsequent discussions.

To read the rest of the essay, please visit Daggers and Spears: Lu Xun and Nietzsche on Cultural Revolution.

Mortal Thought: Hölderlin and Philosophy

Daggers and Spears: Lu Xun and Nietzsche on Cultural Revolution

The Ecstasy of Kronos

This is a poem which opens Mortal Thought: Holderlin and Philosophy, which will be published by Bloomsbury on July 28, 2016.

 

kronos

 

It has been said by the poets, servants of the Highest:

Kronos, subduer of his sublime father Uranus,

Was exiled to the abyssal depths in the wake of

His double defeat at the hands of his wife and son.

Kronos castrated the god of the eternal Heavens, and

Aphrodite, goddess of Earthly Love, born of the phallus,

Rose naked from bloody foam upon the surface of the sea.

With the usurpation, haunted by ominous prophesy of his

Overthrow by his child, Kronos began to consume

Each of his children just after their births.

His first defeat came from the wrath of his

Wife Rhea, in revenge for his ingestion of

Her children, as he sought to flee his Fate.

Rhea saved her youngest child, Zeus, by

Deception, giving Kronos, after the birth,

A stone, wrapped in swaddling clothes.

After his upbringing by nymphs and goddesses,

Zeus returned with their arts, and giving Kronos

A poison, made him vomit up his immortal children.

Liberated, his brothers and sisters ascended to

Olympus, whereupon Zeus cast his defeated

Father into the abysmal depths of Tartarus.

The second defeat of Kronos occurred when he and his fellow

Titans rose in insurrection and war against the Olympians, their attempt

Narrowly suppressed, the Titans again consigned to the nebulous abyss.

Kronos endured his time, witnessing the centuries of fidelity

To his immortal children until their worship was silenced by

Agitators of a narrative of salvation, of God made flesh.

Mouths spread the story of Eternity descending into time,

Of a heroic god conquering Time and Death, with

Promises of salvation for the mortals of the Word.

The ancient stories of the gods were cast into oblivion,

Along with their wisdom, for one thousand years by the

Poets of the god-man, proclaiming him to be the final truth.

Yet, with their proclamation, Truth, herself, awakens, contesting

The hubris of the new claim as just another fleeting illusion of time,

As with all stories of mortals, children of Prometheus, the Titan.

The goddess of truth set them each upon the other,

In the agon, the One God, who commanded

There shall be no other gods, descended into Chaos.

The stories of the God proliferated in strife, as a hydra,

The new religion shattered amidst the inexorable flux

Of the Nameless, the god made flesh, captive of time.

Seizing the moment of his liberation, in his ecstasy,

Kronos again castrates Eternity, repeating his first

Godlike act, giving to mortals their allotment of memory.

A goddess again ascends from bloody foam, Historia,

The youngest daughter of Kronos, who inhabits the

Vortex of love and strife, a still monstrous site.

Agitators of denial still fight to the death over that

Which must forever remain incomprehensible, destroying

What is Holy in the name of a religiosity of hubris.

Religions of power, unholy politics of the soul, the

Poets of immortal illusions still seek to poison

Time and Earth, the Kronian revolution still on its way.

Yet, there are other poets, however, who are still here,

Amid the strife of mortal existence, who maintain

The remembrance of the Holy, and of the gods.

Traces remain of that which is nearest, and in intimacy

Seek to incite the urgency and intensity of a feeling

That awakens the ecstatic openness of the possible.

Of Freedom: Heidegger on Spinoza – Epoche

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