Tangent: Bad Faith, part 2

So what is really going on? According to the lowest common meaning, everyone is in bad faith until they realize that they have nothing to lose and so then they get on with maximizing their potential to basically do what they want, or exercise their passion. While this may seem a great out for ‘living the dream’, I say that if this is a great summary of what Sartre took many many more words to say then Sartre was small minded and hardly deserving the credit given him as a big name philosopher – moreso, if we can truly agree with the adage that the more popular something is, the more likely it is of low significance and value and probably really sucks, then maybe there is something behind his big name: he was telling the world exactly what they want to hear, and backed up by the great academy to boot! (Or, he said exactly what only could be said at the time!)

One could say that such an existential take is nothing less than another conventional religion. Another system by which to classify and justify one’s placement in the world. Another out, another excuse to avoid the fact of existence.

But now we are getting somewhere. When we begin to understand the confining and ubiquitous quality of religious type propositions, of un-analyzed ideas by which we support our identity as human beings, we just might be coming upon a glimpse of the issue here.

Laruelle is indeed onto something; he has called his project ‘non-philosophy’ and it has to do with an indicating, a designating of philosophy. In my last post, I dared so much as to imply that the effort of philosophy is in bad faith; in fact, I do not exceptionalize philosophy, I call it what it is and include it in the motion of the general idea of thought itself as represented in human communication: I say it is part of the general human rhetoric: I call it conventional methodology. Yet here is Laruelle claiming a non-philosophy – and I say ( unflinchingly ) that Laruelle, too, is in bad faith by his proposition.

I must be some kind of nut. I have said earlier that the problem I have with Laruelle is his excessive use of jargon. As well, the reason why I decry his is not his proposition: it is that he cloaks it, apparently for a select few of jargonesque status. And this is because I can say as much in simple terms. What is significant in this exchange (albeit one-sided at this point) is that my ability to know what he is suggesting did not arise through any intensive studying or deciphering of philosophical or cultural critical/ theoretical texts. ( I admit that, at this point at least, I gather he has been a career academic and that I do not really know what his process has been.) I know what he is saying because it is apparent to me. There was no organized class of information or presentation by which I was informed of the issue: I found the issue because of my experience. I comment and/or rebut authors because I understand whether they understand the issue by seeing how they organize their terms.

The truth of the matter is not then, any longer, the issue, but the putting into terms the truth of the matter. So when we begin to comprehend what is occurring in reality, we begin to get a grasp on the bare fact of existence, and this is where I find purchase to speak.

– By now, if anyone has been able to hang on or be interested or keep reading, there must be some who are saying to themselves, if not out loud, ” we’ll, get to the damn issue; what is you point?” And to them I must reply “Why in such a rush? Where are you going so fast?” For if we are to be clear we must take our time. Part of the problem is that everyone is in such a hurry, everyone wants the punch line before the setup. Everyone wants to know where to start so they can take it from there and “make a name for yourself”. No one wants to start from the beginning. No one has time. No one cares, and no one cares to care – but somehow those same people have an idea of ethics: they do not want to be pointed out as the hypocrite, they’d rather hang onto their feeble idea of freedom and agency, and live in denial, the whole time proclaiming their righteousness. They would rather hang their personhood on conventional religion.

Well, I have time; so you’ll just have to be patient. Besides, for those who are getting an inkling of what this is all about, I haven’t even begun yet, but I’ve said exactly what needs to be said to be clear. The problem is the problem itself: how does one reconcile duality in the objective real world?

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