Semantic Marxism: The Revolutionary as Shaman

The video below is the fourth in a series about Marxist discourse by the Polish video commentator Krzysztof Karon (Previously: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript (based on the original times):

40:30   SEMANTIC MARXISM The Essence of the Conflict About Homosexuality
40:32   The question of homosexuality
40:36   is so special and so significant for the New Marxism —
40:40   and for that reason it becomes increasingly important — that it reached boundaries
40:44   beyond which a truly unsolvable conflict arises
40:48   between minorities and the hetero-normative majority.
40:52   I mean that, even if there’s no problem
40:56   with tolerance for homosexualists,
41:01   the majority of society still CANNOT conceptualize
41:05   homosexuality as normal behavior, and even less
41:09   promote it, because spreading of homosexual behavior
41:13   is bound to bring not only society
41:18   but the entire species to extinction.
41:22   Limiting the reach of the phenomenon that
41:26   is homosexuality ISN’T therefore a mandate
41:30   of ANY kind of CULTURE, but it’s a warrant
Homosexuality isn’t opposed to the culture, but it is opposed to the direction of evolution
41:34   of evolution. And it doesn’t change
41:38   the fact that this conflict exists and it is fuel for
41:42   the formulating of accusations of the oppressiveness of traditional culture,
41:46   faced with which [the accusations] the majority society —
41:50   unless it wants to commit suicide — simply cannot surrender.
41:59   Semantic Marxism Joseph Beuys The cadres of the new revolution
42:03   The New Marxism, developing from the beginning
42:07   of the ’70s, which I’m calling Semantic Marxism,
42:11   has lost all the touch with the reality of the social life, and thanks to
42:15   the Linguistic Turn, it concentrated on the domain of linguistic
42:19   speculations. This is why the March Through Institutions needed a cadre
42:23   which would be engaged to piecemeal un-define the institutions
42:28   of traditional culture. Similarly, as at the end of the ’40s,
42:32   this stage of revolution began in the domain of art,
42:36   which formed the mentality of the social elites.
42:40   Joseph Beuys is considered one of the most
“Every man is an artist; on his way to a free formation of the social organism.”
42:44   important artists of the 20th century. Educated
42:48   as a sculptor, a follower of [Rudolf] Steiner’s esotericism by conviction,
42:52   an admirer of John Cage by spirit. In the ’60s Beuys became
42:56   one of the leading personalities of the Neo-Dadaistic
43:00   movement Fluxus. In 1967 Beuys
43:04   founded a German Students’ Party, whose goal, starting
43:08   in 1970, was to spread political
43:13   activity among all social groups in order to win their support —
43:17   in the pedagogical process consistent with Plastic Theory —
43:21   for individual and societal changes.
43:25   Let me explain right away what this is all about. In 1972
43:29   or 1973 Beuys joined the Anthroposophical Society
43:33   and — based on Rudolf Steiner’s theory — he developed
43:37   the concept of an Expanded Idea of Art and a so-called
43:41   Social Plastic. [Here plastic means art or creativity] It claims that the goal of an artist
43:45   should not be the production of traditional works of art,
43:46   Social Plastic. Materials about Joseph Beuys
43:49   but the formation of the one and only important work, that is, society.
43:53   Since such a conception of an artistic mission
43:57   doesn’t require traditional qualifications for craftsmanship,
44:01   everybody who in any way influences the form of social life
44:02   Social Plastic: climate (thinking, feeling, wanting), every human is an artist, a carrier of certain gifts, [which]should be introduced in society. A work of art , sculpt shapes, Society, the whole piece of art]
44:05   becomes an artist. In short: everybody is —
44:10   or at least everybody could be — an artist.
44:14   Joseph Beuys began the realization of this postulate as early as
44:18   1971, when — as a professor at the Fine Arts Academy
44:19   Joseph Beuys’ class with sculpture students
44:22   in Düsseldorf — he accepted into his workshop ALL the candidates
44:26   who DIDN’T pass their entry exams to the University. And then —
44:30   by occupying, together with the students, the Dean’s Office — he forced the authorities
44:34   into matriculating them. In accordance with the Social Plastic idea,
44:39   studying in Beuys’s workshop wasn’t about the mastering of the secrets
44:43   of the craftsmanship of sculpture, but about ideological discussions
44:47   and creating social projects. For those who know
44:51   neither the work nor the person of Beuys, it is discussed more closely
44:55   on my website. I’ll only add that despite
44:59   his training as a sculptor, he became a famous performer,
45:00   Joseph Beuys with a coyote in a New York gallery, Rene Block, 1974
45:03   and specialists described his style as “shamanism”;
45:07   and Beuys himself considered the artistic creation, or rather artistic activity,
45:12   to be conducting some sort of a social act of worshipping, which
45:16   Opened spiritual areas full of myths, magic, rituals,
45:20   and shamanic sorcery. The Marxist seal clearly
45:24   marked the activity of Joseph Beuys when
As long as Development Assistance is helping our industry more than the Third World, our prosperity is established thanks to the hunger of the others. Alternative: the Green Party
45:28   in 1979 he presented himself as a candidate
45:32   for the European Parliament from the — just then being created — Green Party,
45:36   and he gained support from the — already familiar to you — leader
45:40   of the ’60s student revolt Rudi Dutchmen.
45:44   I mentioned some details from the history of Joseph Beuys,
45:48   not without reason. Acting in a sphere of art which would be very difficult to measure,
45:53   he came up with the model of a mechanism for the creation of new elites,
45:57   the criterion for which wasn’t any real knowledge
46:01   pertaining to the branch in which they were operating, but qualifications
46:05   pertaining to the specialists in ideological propaganda and
46:09   political officers [secret police, intelligence].
46:10   Semantic Marxism Recapitulation
46:17   Because so many threads appeared in this part,
46:21   it’s time for a short summary.
46:25   The process called the March Through the Institutions had as its goal the imposition
46:29   by a Leftist minority on a — mostly conservative
46:33   and rational — society new rules of social life,
46:38   which totally ignored the practical side of that life,
46:42   and made impossible any effective production of goods that society needed.
46:46   The effectiveness of this process depended on
46:50   depriving the majority of society the capability of rational thinking
46:54   and of reliable knowledge about reality.
46:55   Semantic Marxism — Elements: Irrational Society
46:58   In practice it meant spreading the belief that reality
46:59   Magical Reality
47:02   isn’t governed by objective laws, but that it can be freely
47:06   transformed by using language,
47:10   or some performative, magical spells. The March Through the Institutions
47:12   Performative Spells
47:14   was therefore supposed to lead to a change in the understanding of reality
47:18   and the “un-defining” of all the ideas of traditional culture.
47:22   This process was facilitated by the — occurring in the social sciences —
47:24   Ritual Discourse
47:26   Linguistic Turn, which removed reflection about reality
47:31   from reality itself, and also the appearance of the new formula
47:35   of social communication, or the formula of the Discourse.
47:37   Mythical Truth about Progress
47:39   In this formula a new picture of reality is being fabricated,
47:43   called the Truth, independent from the reality of social life
47:47   and from practical experience. The Coryphaei of this
47:49   Intellectuals — Shamans
47:51   Discourse were supposed be the “Shamans” who knew the secrets
47:55   of progress and also knew the techniques of casting the spell on reality,
47:59   and who would lead the animistic rituals of social life.
48:04   In the plan for the March Through the Institutions those shamanistic elites
48:08   were recruited at the beginning of the ’70s from the first generation
48:12   of the Counter-Culture Revolution, following the template created by Joseph Beuys.
48:16   Those elites — after graduating in the second half
48:20   of the ’70s — began to climb the career ladder
48:24   in Academia, and they constitute today the core of the scholarly-professorial
48:28   milieu, while producing new generations
48:32   of their critical heirs.
48:34   Semantic Marxism Apology for Gramsci
48:40   At the end of this part of the History of Marxism, I would like to explain why
48:44   I skipped the personage of Antonio Gramsci,
48:49   associated by most commentators with the March Through the Institutions,
48:53   or even treated as its ideologue.
48:57   Antonio Gramsci was an Italian communist who spent many years
48:59   “Intellectuals and the Organization of the Culture” in “Prison Notebooks” 1926-35
49:01   in a fascist prison where he wrote down his thoughts in the so-called
49:05   Prison Notebooks. Gramsci’s writings were published
49:09   only after World War 2, and they became subject of studies
49:13   above all in the English School of Cultural Studies — the forge of
49:17   the Neo-Marxist New Left. However, the fact that
49:21   the New Left studied Gramsci’s writings doesn’t mean
49:25   that they understood anything from them, or rather that they understood from them
49:30   what they WANTED to understand.
49:34   Antonio Gramsci distinguished political power or the governing of a country
49:38   from ruling over a society, and he thought that
49:42   a lasting power will only be ensured by winning cultural hegemony or imposing
49:46   on society [the Left’s] own system of values. Because only
49:50   such hegemony would legitimize political power.
49:54   It is, however, only possible when the new cultural offering
49:58   responds to spiritual needs of the society. Therefore
50:02   the template for a cultural hegemon was for Gramsci the Catholic Church.
50:07   According to Gramsci, the method for winning cultural hegemony
50:11   could be the creation of a proletarian culture as an alternative
50:15   to bourgeois culture. That’s why he attached a great
50:19   importance to education — including the education of adults — and
50:23   to the role of the intellectuals, who were supposed to be to avant-garde of such a new culture.
50:27   Gramsci claimed that everybody is
50:31   a potential intellectual, but not everybody will — in a conscious way —
50:35   take up the role of an intellectual. It is
50:39   quire possible that therein lay the source of Joseph Beuys’ slogan,
50:43   “Everybody is an artist”, because he formulated
50:48   his political project and founded the German Students’ Party
50:52   in 1967 when the first German translation
50:56   of Gramsci’s writings was published.
51:00   What’s with the misunderstanding concerning Gramsci, and what distinguishes him
51:04   in a fundamental way from the New — anti-cultural — Marxists ?
51:08   Well, it’s true that Gramsci
51:12   was a fanatical and immature communist,
51:17   which means that he sought to realize a social utopia —
51:21   which would have to end in a catastrophe — and that
51:25   he didn’t understand what a culture IS, I mean,
51:29   he didn’t understand that there’s only ONE culture, understood as the mechanism
51:33   motivating people for creative work. And he contrasted a “new proletarian culture”
51:40   with some old bourgeois culture. However, Gramsci —
51:45   because of his inability to precisely define culture —
51:49   was never programmatically “anti-cultural”. In his
51:54   program not only was there no deliberate destruction of the Work Ethic,
51:58   but he sacrificed a lot of his attention to educate the proletariat
52:02   and its elites. In contrast, the entire
52:06   Marxist anti-culture — whose first manifesto was the Right To Be Lazy [by Paul Lafargue,1883] ,
52:10   and whose intentionally formulated program was Critical Theory —
52:14   WAS and IS intentionally seeking
52:18   freedom, understood as a liberation from
52:22   any constraint, and to the destruction of the Work Ethic;
52:26   to deprive people of respect for
52:30   systematic, intentional and organized effort,
52:34   which is essential for the functioning of ANY
52:38   social system, if it is to be expected to provide
52:42   people with the fulfillment of ALL their needs,
52:46   whether sophisticated or elementary.
52:51   Because it’s impossible that the actions which will inevitably cause —
52:55   in practice — such a result [destruction of the Work Ethic], would be conducted by succeeding
52:59   generations of Marxists without their realizing their consequences,
53:03   a justifiable conclusion is that this consequence [destruction of the Work Ethic]
53:07   WAS and IS the GOAL of Marxism.
53:11   It wasn’t, however, Gramsci’s goal; that’s why, while I consider him as an immature utopian;
53:15   I don’t consider him one of the forerunners
53:19   of the March Through the Institutions, nor
53:23   as the precursor of anti-cultural Marxism.
53:28   Thank you for your attention, and I invite you to listen to the last part
53:32   of the History of Marxism.
53:35   Next part of Semantic Marxism 5/5 Eurocommunism, Spinelli Plan, Gender, EU
53:43   Show this video to your friends, parents, teachers, promote social knowledge; found in your school a social knowledge discussion club
 

4 thoughts on “Semantic Marxism: The Revolutionary as Shaman

  1. Well, they’ve arrived at their destination after their ‘long march’ which is the temple to gnostic awareness that was waiting for them after a millennia of standing vacant. The temple was, and is haunted by the demons who led astray the acolytes that came before them, acolytes that included those who laid the foundation for the Qur’an. One can only wonder what is being cooked up in their imaginations now. However, if the present trends of world events are any question, their contemplated future does not appear to portend a pleasant one for those outside the temple, and then those who are sheltering with the demons inside. Is it any wonder then why the temple was abandoned to decay in the middle of the spiritual desert? We are trying to get back to Eden on our own terms and refuse to admit that the way is barred by a Seraph with a flaming sword.

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