John Dunn

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Sheep to the lampooners

Sheep protesters on Dr John Dunn. That freedom means not leaving things alone means that it is the opposite of libertarian. A self-regulating system by its nature is stultifying and doomed to stagnation and extinction. Equilibria must be overturned if puppethood is to be avoided.

Mammals maintain their blood temperature in a variety of climates. As such they rose above the reptiles when the catastrophe struck the dinosaurs. But man is more than a self-regulating system in harmony with his surroundings. Rather, man has a mind that has exercised frivolities since the first cave paintings.

Yet new patterns of behaviour demand lots of energy. Being frivolous is hard work, quite apart from the universal opprobrium which nearly always accompanies it. So we dull our minds... being busied with all sorts of worldly affairs, by being wise to the ways of the world, such a per-son forgets himself, in a divine sense forgets his own name, dares not believe in himself, finds being himself too risky, finds it much easier and safer to be like all the others, to become a copy, a number, along with the crowd. (Kierkegaard)

Quite simply, it is much easier not to think, but rather to take from the professional experts and collaborators. Thus man relies on already formulated thought patterns or formulae. To reach a desired goal, he may use a string of these prefabricated patterns. The off-the-peg availability of such formulae in turn limits the goals so that we exchange diversity of opinion for universal accord. They who control the distribution of patterns also control the accord. Even the supposed revolutionaries are given the patterns. The 1960s counter-culture is the best example, but it continues today on the political left, through funded protest groups and lampooning comedians.

© John Dunn.


A warning from Jünger

Ernst Jünger

Ernst Jünger’s Eumeswil is an allegory about survival under the oligarchs of liberalism, pricipally the Condor, a scavenger. Implicit in Jünger’s description of the proto-Google or Wikipedia called by him the luminar, is a warning about the uses and abuses of centralised sources of knowledge. This was written in 1977 (or so Wiki tells me!), way before the internet.

‘A petrified memory’, he calls it, ‘and on the other hand, the sphinx that responds’.

‘Certainly there are objections. My dear old dad generally refuses to employ this part of the luminar; it offends his sense of historical precision. But then how precise is historiography-say, Plutarch's? The great speeches of kings and generals before a battle? Was he present? He must have put the words into his heroes' mouths. And why not? Besides, I often hear better things from the luminar. And the sources of the era that introduced speaking machines are terribly meagre.’

Better things perhaps - but from the one source of knowledge... the only source?


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