by Arran James
In the comments, someone mentions a kind of neo-stoicism. I wonder, if part of ‘Catastrophia’, really an unnecessary rebranding of pessimism- a narcissistic personalised iPhilosophy- has been leading me into this same ‘ethico-political weariness’…to Exhaustion. But I’m still intrigued by Bifo’s idea of a politics and an ethics built of this deflated, end-of-the-show, mood. Stoicism has also been on my reading list for a little while now. Nowadays my sole political concern is in my rather limited psychiatric nursing practice and writing… trying to minimse the harm to the patient. Time was I would call the mental patient a proletariat figure, in a ‘the part of no part’ sense. Nowadays I approach these people more modestly. I approach everything more modestly. As time passes I read less, I say less on politics, ethics, I pass up journals of critique or radical philosophy. Maybe I have just grown-up and given in. Too entrenched in a world to fight, or too convinced of the terror that constitutes it.
These days I find myself feeling deeply weary where discussions about ethics and politics are concerned. I reflect on this, I wonder why. Why is it that I grow so tired, so jaded, whenever discussions of politics and ethics come up. I’m divided between two tendencies, two orientations. On the one hand, there is my desire for justice, equity, and fairness. On the other hand, there is my Lucretian and Spinozist desire for peace of mind and beautitude. Ethico-politico desire, the first orientation, is a desire to transform the world, to render it just, and to denounce injustice; injustice that we see all about it. The desire for beautitude and peace of mind is something quite different. It is a desire to simply delight in the machines of the world, the beings of the world, taking them for what they are. The person who has what Spinoza called an “intellectual…
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