Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Slavoj Zizek and Nature

December 6, 2010


“Psycho-analysis shows only a temporary truth, like there is no big Other [I’m not fluent in Lacanian, but I believe this means God as a deistic or panentheistic force of will and not a pantheistic or transcendent(?) God], but then you have to return to the illusion. The idea is that our social lives are necessarily illusory. All you can do is get these momentary insights. If this is the case, then life is boring. Instead I want to know if we can make truth operative in politics and social life. My whole point would be, yes, we can. The whole development pushes in this direction. One example is ecology.


Today We Celebrate the National Day of Sweden – A Manifestation of Egoism

June 6, 2010

Nationalism and patriotism and many related terms are used to describe how egoism and egotism manifest themselves in society.

My starting point is that all humans consist of inseparable parts of a coherent universe. To care for your own body and mind more than others is to be unfair, unjust, unequal. To care for everyone as much as you do for yourself is to treat everyone the same way (you are included in the term everyone). To care for your mother and father more than for anyone else is not equality. To care more for your lover, brother, teacher, neighbour, than a goat in Istanbul is to be unjust. Of course, both the goat and your lover would probably prefer that you spent more time caring for your lover’s orgasm than the goat’s so equality doesn’t simply relate to quantity of time spent caring but considers the desired form and amount of care asked for by all individuals in the universe.

Nationalism and patriotism are difficult terms to define. Most of the time we mean by these words that we love our own country (the territory), our culture, our laws, our relatives (genetically closely related population), our common taste in music, our whatever that we define as something that binds us together and make us a group, and often that is followed by the dislike, hatred and discrimination of those who don’t agree. Usually there’s a lot of prejudice about who belongs to which groups and what their opinions and genetics et cetera are. Also, there’s often a desire for isolationism involved; people who divide people into groups want to divide them physically as well.

First of all, all humans are unique so dividing people into groups is more often generating prejudice than helping us deal with reality. Only when people are divided on the basis of singular subjects it has a positive practical function as opposed to division based on connecting subjects, like terrorism and islam or apartheid and vikings or whatever. Secondly, all actions are unique. We often connect ourselves with the actions of others. We take pride in the actions of people we defined ourselves to be in the same groups as. However, I didn’t create the democracy in Sweden and it is not a permanent thing so taking pride in it is not the way to maintain it. Besides, democracy in Sweden is far from perfect and I am personally opposed to the idea of nationstates and would like to see the end of the official Sweden. I don’t mind calling a piece of nature Sweden, but only if that comes with the recognition that nature is fluent and an everchanging constant.

To many people isolationism sounds like a good idea, because people of similar backgrounds don’t fight as much. I think that’s a valid point but there are two problems with that. Isolationism could be replaced by open-mindedness. If you strive to learn the thoughts of all humans that have ever lived you’d be able to get along with anyone. The second problem is that I don’t believe in ownership, I think it’s impossible to own nature, a dog owns itself, a flower owns itself, nature just is, it does not belong to humanity or individual humans, who themselves are natural and just are. Therefore a human has no right to claim a piece of territory for it’s group and exclude other groups from that territory, unless everybody agrees with such a division, which is perfectly possible of course seeing as we should respect each other’s lives, lifestyles and past, but the main thing is communication: just talk to each other and maybe there will be no more wars.

Live Speeches from Copenhagen Dec 16

December 16, 2009