Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Politics Of The Masculine Ecology

Men are cut off from their sexuality. That is, the ideology of sexuality is to treat the erotic drive as something other than oneself. It is a form of psychic divide and conquer. It maintains that the part of ourselves that exists in our guts, in our feeling, in our intuition, in our internal senses as opposed to the basic external five senses, is something to fear, something to be distanced from us, and even battled with.

This explains a whole lot. Our suspicion of intuitive thought. Our modern disdain for the sacred. Our obsession with the Gothic, and our infatuation with violence, our love-hate fascination and fetish for brutality. We're once sickened by the realities of war, but also seduced by its codes and uniforms and tales of triumph and prowess.

The reason why our theatres are filled with tales of violence, and the reason why catharsis really does have a social function – though it might not be able to purge society of violence – is because we are dislocated from a part of ourselves that is so vital, so primal and which can't be broken down or reduced to simpler facts about our nature.

Life itself is aggressive. There is, if you want to look at it that way, a violence at the heart of all life. A drive to exist, to confront death and survive. To merely survive, may itself be interpreted as a form of aggression. But there is a difference to parsed out here. Aggression and violence can exist in non-pathological forms. That is, one can say that a plant's life force is aggressive. Or a cat's instinct to hunt. Or even a tree's imperative to shed its leaves. All these are forms of death, forms of biological violence that human beings have been struggling to accept since the birth of their consciousness.

It may sound crude to call the instinct to survive a form of violence. And it is crude. But that is almost certainly the way the earliest humans interpreted their own nature. The origins of Original Sin must absolutely be attributed to political motivations, but it would have been an easy concept to spread around and indoctrinate people with.

It's nothing new to interpret the instinct to religion, certainly religious ceremony and ritual, as a way of interpreting and in some way having an influence over, the overwhelming power and rage of nature's explosive and all consuming weather systems. The concept of God, must have at least come in part from this confrontation with thunder, and tsunami and monsoon. It was a way to try and understand the erratic and destructive violence of environmental forces that could wipe away communities over night.

The minute humanity knew of its own death, the minute it was able to understand itself as a self, and to thus understand the fragility of that self, is the minute that we created God. This notion of a God, may not be linked to the more basic notion of the 'sacred.' It is more likely that this is a biological instinct. Sacredness means value. And value is intimately linked to ecology. It is the fabric of ecology, in fact. Our values are the bones of the human network, the human ecology.

Going back to the birth of God, however, we can reasonably assume that if humanity was so terrified by the fickle violence of nature, then it must have developed a similar fear of its own self. Both on a general level, but also on a personal level. The erotic drive in particular, may have been a cause for terror because of its seemingly anarchic nature. Sexuality wasn't and could not be, subject to the new-found consciousness emerging in humanity - the rational, environment mapping and predictive qualities that were beginning to set it apart from other species.

So the newly emerging mind, and the instinctual, reptilian drive to survive, were to some extent in conflict with each other. This conflict may itself be the origins of creativity and could have a been a necessary catalyst for humanity's evolutionary supremacy. But it also seems to be the origins of pathology. The inability for the rational consciousness to integrate the truth about its own instincts, the aggressive imperatives at the heart of our life force, seemed to have created an internal dispute, the basis for a psychic war.

The very idea of their being a 'human nature' is often cited by self-congratulatory types, people who posture like they have seen into the truth of things, into the brute realities of humanity's destructive impulses. According to these academics, these pseudo-intellectuals, Hobbes was right and there is no more debate. Nasty, brutish and short. The best we can hope for is a sort of political containment of an ecological and biological chaos that is always threatening to engulf us.

This is of course, upon consideration, outright drivel, but it is surprising how much of an orthodoxy it has become among the piddling intellectuals and professional bickerers out there. It does, however, have a foundation, and it is this struggle between the rational and reptilian parts of our internal biology and external ecology.

But this friction, as I have already said, did not necessarily lead automatically to an internal psychological war. I would be able to grant that human nature, if there can even be such a notion, is defined by this friction. But I will not under any circumstances, no matter how widely accepted the propaganda of modern academic thinking is, accept that humanity is essentially pathological, or that our life force, our eroticism and our sensuality are somehow destructive forces that we are unable to control.

No. It is rather more likely that humanity has been politically dislocated from its nature, than that it is simply essentially pathological. Again, the academic orthodoxy in philosophy and even psychology seems to hold that human nature is violent and therefore some measure of political violence is necessary to counter-act our naturally selfish and destructive tendencies. War itself, is human nature.

I am sure, most esteemed and well-read reader, that you yourself hold this to be true. War is a human instinct of sorts, it is a natural result of human primitiveness, nature red in tooth and claw. The best we can hope for is some sort of temperance of this natural destructiveness, some sort of social and political mediation between the reptilian and cerebral aspects of our nature.

When such ideological assumptions are orthodoxies, they seem to be self-evident, because they themselves are the filters through which we examine the facts. They are the tools by which we make our observations and therefore all observation, especially in self-examination, is routed through these filters.

All this talk of human nature, however, merely props up archaic, but very deep rooted ideas of Original Sin. It simply gives it an academic and political gloss, but underneath it is the same quasi-religious puritanism that dislocated humanity from itself in the first place.

So at the very source of our sexual pathologies, our inability, even in a sophisticated post-Enlightenment context, to integrate sexuality into our society in a widely sustainable way, is this dislocation, this politically motivated deepening of a basic divide in human consciousness. One must divide to conquer. A single human individual divided from himself will be in a constant state of terror and hunger and spiritual slavery. The best way to maintain a slave is to make him believe he can't exist without you. And the best way to do that is to cut that individual off from his own natural resources.

The life force, the erotic drive, is man's chief natural resource. It is my belief, that is dislocation has deeper and much more pathological implications for men than it does for women. Simply because of the womb. The womb is a massive ecological advantage for a woman. It is a resource that is so dominant in the female body, that it is simply impossible to fully dislocate a woman from her intuitions and her sexuality. You can abuse her. You can rape her and humiliate her. But her womb is an enormous power centre, in that it is very difficult to convince even a slave that her ability to give birth is a sinful and depraved truth about herself.

For men, it is easier to control them. Our natural resources are less dominant, or perhaps more accurately, less tangible. The erotic drive manifests itself in a compulsion to procreate, to penetrate and leave seed. But it also manifests in fatherhood instincts, intense bursts of sensuality and excess energy. This very excess has an evolutionary function (just fucking think about it), but it is by nature contingent. Men, therefore, in a truly biological sense, are contingent, in a way that women are not.

In the crude mentality of the politics of imperialism, this contingency can be quickly deranged into being uselessness. I believe that each man is confronted with his own contingency much more than a woman. This gives him a unique existential gulf in his sub-consciousness and sense of himself. It also, however, gives him a huge chink in his psychic armor.  His search for meaning is more desperate and more hysterically driven in the absence of a womb. (Please, dearest feminist, don't interpret this as a qualitative distinction. It's really not. I am just trying to show how masculinity is more susceptible to political pathology than femininity. If anything I am trying to rationalise the origins of patriarchy).

In short, men are easier to dislocate from their eroticism than women. Easier, that's all I am saying, and it is this existential contingency coupled with politically motivated forms of ideological control, that have divorced men from their sustainable and ecological function. Men are divorced from their sexuality, and it has been a long-lasting, deep and political tool which has propped up empires, won wars and mined the earth's resources for centuries. Any social change, any breakdown of imperial thinking and any evolution in human nature, must first confront the social and spiritual tragedy that has destroyed the masculine ecology.

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