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Postmodern Academic Verbiage: Blacks Not as "Souls" But as "Bodies"
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The word “soul” has been commonly associated with African-Americans at least since W.E.B. Du Bois’s 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk. For example, soul music, soul food, James Brown as Soul Brother #1 … I would imagine that the popular equation of “black” and “soul” has been, on the whole, good for blacks.

But in recent years, black intellectuals, most famously Ta-Nehisi Coates, have started to refer to African-Americans instead as “bodies:” e.g., “marginalized bodies.”

Where does this affectation come from?

A reader suggests:

I am over-familiar with the rhetoric of “bodies.” It comes mainly from Michel Foucault, originator of so much left-Marxist patois in the last 50 years. In his Discipline and Punish, he explored the notion that state power, mainly through prisons, hospitals, and the military, actually created modern consciousness through control of the body.

So, put in plain English, he hypothesized that what most people would call the soul, something peculiar to humans which is the locus of the voice of conscience and self-consciousness, is actually an effect of, for example, being forced to sit still in class, having worry about whether your classmate is looking over your shoulder, etc. Putting it this way makes the whole notion rather absurd, but it is indeed the idea campus activists are referring to when they talk about “bodies” and not “souls.”

Foucault was a bright guy, but as a homosexual sadomasochist, his obsession with “bodies” had unfortunate consequences for his health. From Wikipedia:

When in California, Foucault spent many evenings in the gay scene of the San Francisco Bay Area, frequenting sado-masochistic bathhouses, engaging in sexual intercourse with other patrons. He would praise sado-masochistic activity in interviews with the gay press, describing it as “the real creation of new possibilities of pleasure, which people had no idea about previously.”[144] Through this sexual activity, Foucault contracted HIV, which eventually developed into AIDS.

It turned out that nature wasn’t entirely socially constructed after all, and he died from the HIV virus in 1984.

 
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  1. H Parnell says:

    The greatest horror of horrors — reality is real!

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  2. anon says: • Disclaimer

    It turned out that nature wasn’t entirely socially constructed after all, and he died from the HIV virus in 1984.

    What’s really sad is, all he ever wanted to do was settle down and start a family, but Ronald Reagan wouldn’t let him.

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    • LOL: Jim Don Bob
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  3. It turned out that nature wasn’t entirely socially constructed after all, and he died from the HIV virus in 1984.

    Looks like this academic still hasn’t gotten the memo.

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  4. Dr. X says:

    It turned out that nature wasn’t entirely socially constructed after all, and he died from the HIV virus in 1984.

    What’s really sad is, all he ever wanted to do was settle down and start a family, but Ronald Reagan wouldn’t let him.

    Yeah, I remember vividly the “AIDS activists” of the late ’80s and early ’90s chanting “George Bush is killing us” — supposedly because the Federal government would have cured AIDS, if only he had sspent enough of the taxpayers’ money.

    I thought that was just about one of the craziest things I’d ever heard… and almost 30 years later I still think so.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ragno
    The king of this Reagan/Bush is killing me and all of my friends simpering was peter-puffing playwright Larry Kramer, who, but of course, is still alive and well 30+ years later. He's practically the white Magic Johnson!
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  5. Achilles says:

    Foucault’s philosophy at root was an elaborate rationalization to deaden his conscience and justify gratifying his perverted sexual appetites.

    One wonders how many of the ideas that have laid waste to so much of higher civilization have had a similar origin.

    Were Freud’s psychological theories anything more than an elaborate construct to get into the panties of the shiksas of Vienna?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    Were Freud’s psychological theories anything more than an elaborate construct to get into the panties of the shiksas of Vienna?
     
    Freud's theories were a construct designed to normalize his desire to get into the panties of his mother, or a substitute close enough to realize his incestuous dream.
    , @John B.
    You should read an excellent book that answers your question. It is called Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior by E. Michael Jones. There is a very lengthy chapter on Freud.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Cagey Beast says: • Website

    The postmodernist types, the New Left have a nasty dog-eat-dog view of humanity that turns out to mesh quite nicely with modern corporate culture. If people aren’t mortals with souls, then they’re “human resources”, using their bodies on each other in an eternal power struggle. Sometimes it might benefit one set of bodies to transfer some power to Black and/or female bodies so as to thwart other White and male bodies that are getting in the way of a larger power play. These transfers of additional bits of power to Black and female bodies are called “empowerment”. If, on the other hand, you believe human beings have souls and free will, you try to transfer some courage to them. We call that “encouragement”.

    I heard that distinction between “empowerment” and “encouragement” made by Dr. Jordan Peterson in a recent YouTube live stream video with Sargon of Akkad. It’s two hours long, so I won’t embed it here, but it’s worth looking for at YouTube under: “Interviewing Dr Jordan Peterson, Sargon of Akkad Livestream”. They talk about the SJW war on pronouns and much more.

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  7. abner says:

    I’d assumed it was in some part an osmotically transferred appropriation of the physics term “blackbody”, something that made the ears of race monomaniacs briefly perk up when they heard it in their core requirement physics 101 class. Similar to how social-science-sense “relativism” got a lot of reflected glory from Einstein and thermonuclear weapons.

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  8. Izak says:

    Hi,

    It isn’t just Foucault, but also Giorgio Agamben. Their concerns are part of a study referred to as “biopolitics.” The basic concern of biopolitics, if I can simplify it very crudely, is in discussing the way the state affects people’s actual physical selves rather than their selves seen as participants within the state, i.e. as citizens with rights. Although that sounds kind of zany, and it might remind some people of the Sovereign Citizen movement (“Jim Pewderschmitt is my citizen name! It isn’t my person name! I’m a flesh-and-blood man! I’m not driving, but merely traveling! Am I being detained?!” etc.), there are actually some interesting questions that the discourse raises, mostly related to the assumptions about human rights within classical liberalism. Agamben’s book Homo Sacer is worth looking into, if only to scratch your head over the ideas for a few minutes.

    I think “bodies” is also popular as a buzz word because of the works of Gilles Deleuze, who was interested in this idea of the “body without organs,” something originally mentioned in passing by the famous French theater actor and schizophrenic madman, Antonin Artaud. I still am not entirely sure what a “body without organs” is, and I’ve read several essays on the subject. FWIW, Deleuze died by developing TB and throwing himself out of a window.

    Also, I should say that biopolitics doesn’t really need to be as neurotically leftist as it is now, and it could still easily be reclaimed by the right, if only rightist intellectuals had the will to do it. For instance, biopolitics people frequently interact with the works of the notorious Weimar juridical scholar Carl Schmitt, they pay attention to the classical Greeks, and they currently seem to be in the process of rediscovering the supposedly proto-Nazi writer Ludwig Klages, who — though basically apolitical — is seen as an important part of the German conservative revolution of the 1920s. If a right-winger wanted, he could easily bring biopolitics in conversation with those guys, or maybe Rene Girard, or others.

    But until then, we’re all going to have to suffer through hearing about “bodies” within “spaces,” and all of these fun and neat ideas will continue to be simplified into ridiculous postmodern slogans designed to confuse and alienate the pragmatic, no-nonsense people into submission.

    Enjoy the fun!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My hyper-intellectual conservative friend in Istanbul always cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. @Izak
    Hi,

    It isn't just Foucault, but also Giorgio Agamben. Their concerns are part of a study referred to as "biopolitics." The basic concern of biopolitics, if I can simplify it very crudely, is in discussing the way the state affects people's actual physical selves rather than their selves seen as participants within the state, i.e. as citizens with rights. Although that sounds kind of zany, and it might remind some people of the Sovereign Citizen movement ("Jim Pewderschmitt is my citizen name! It isn't my person name! I'm a flesh-and-blood man! I'm not driving, but merely traveling! Am I being detained?!" etc.), there are actually some interesting questions that the discourse raises, mostly related to the assumptions about human rights within classical liberalism. Agamben's book Homo Sacer is worth looking into, if only to scratch your head over the ideas for a few minutes.

    I think "bodies" is also popular as a buzz word because of the works of Gilles Deleuze, who was interested in this idea of the "body without organs," something originally mentioned in passing by the famous French theater actor and schizophrenic madman, Antonin Artaud. I still am not entirely sure what a "body without organs" is, and I've read several essays on the subject. FWIW, Deleuze died by developing TB and throwing himself out of a window.

    Also, I should say that biopolitics doesn't really need to be as neurotically leftist as it is now, and it could still easily be reclaimed by the right, if only rightist intellectuals had the will to do it. For instance, biopolitics people frequently interact with the works of the notorious Weimar juridical scholar Carl Schmitt, they pay attention to the classical Greeks, and they currently seem to be in the process of rediscovering the supposedly proto-Nazi writer Ludwig Klages, who -- though basically apolitical -- is seen as an important part of the German conservative revolution of the 1920s. If a right-winger wanted, he could easily bring biopolitics in conversation with those guys, or maybe Rene Girard, or others.

    But until then, we're all going to have to suffer through hearing about "bodies" within "spaces," and all of these fun and neat ideas will continue to be simplified into ridiculous postmodern slogans designed to confuse and alienate the pragmatic, no-nonsense people into submission.

    Enjoy the fun!

    My hyper-intellectual conservative friend in Istanbul always cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida
     
    Foucault said that Derrida practised the method of "obscurantisme terroriste" (terrorism of obscurantism).

    And the one who really managed to disentangle this stuff - Schmitt, Satre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, Kojève, Dewey, Marx, G. H. Mead etc. (Schiller!) - was Habermas in his Philosophical Discourse of Modernity

    As an aside: Foucault is quite handy, as a basis for conspiracy-theories, because he deals with the oppressed and the oppressor lots of times, whereas Derrida is so multifaceted by design, that he's completely useless for such attempts.

    , @S.P.H.
    There's nothing in Foucault's work that ties it to leftism and much that fights it. He himself was a leftist but he was an idiosyncratic, dissident one, always getting into trouble with the thought police, especially the feminists—who during his lifetime were psychotically anti-gay-male, as I'm sure you remember.

    Toward the end of his life he was headed toward an embrace of American/Austrian libertarianism, thinking it the politics that would allow for the greatest variety of lifestyles to be tested. There was an outburst of "So is it OK to read Hayek? Foucault did..." thinkpieces a couple years ago, when an American academic finally got around to reading some of Foucault's work and found a few Infernal Names in it. The answer was, of course, "No."

    "Untutored readings" of Foucault are forbidden, too. The books themselves could never inspire silliness like "black bodies." He didn't talk like that at all. He talked like Kafka: "Identity is a trap."
    , @O'Really
    Foucault was many things, but admirable was not one of them.

    It is alleged that he knowingly and deliberately spread AIDS in his final year of life.

    He was an enthusiastic fan of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Baader-Meinhof gang.

    His favorite hobbies were drugs, suicide attempts, and whipping strangers in bathhouses.

    I strongly recommend Mark Lilla's "The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics" which conclusively demonstrates that Heidegger's Nazism, Foucault's perversions, and Derrida's anti-humanism were not mere accidents of personality, but were fundamental to their philosophical project.
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  10. @Steve Sailer
    My hyper-intellectual conservative friend in Istanbul always cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida.

    cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida

    Foucault said that Derrida practised the method of “obscurantisme terroriste” (terrorism of obscurantism).

    And the one who really managed to disentangle this stuff – Schmitt, Satre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, Kojève, Dewey, Marx, G. H. Mead etc. (Schiller!) – was Habermas in his Philosophical Discourse of Modernity

    As an aside: Foucault is quite handy, as a basis for conspiracy-theories, because he deals with the oppressed and the oppressor lots of times, whereas Derrida is so multifaceted by design, that he’s completely useless for such attempts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Habermas was, if possible, even worse of a pretentious, jargon-mongering, pseud wanker than any of the others you name. Every minute spent reading his *incredibly* boring prose is a minute wasted.
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  11. S.P.H. says:
    @Steve Sailer
    My hyper-intellectual conservative friend in Istanbul always cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida.

    There’s nothing in Foucault’s work that ties it to leftism and much that fights it. He himself was a leftist but he was an idiosyncratic, dissident one, always getting into trouble with the thought police, especially the feminists—who during his lifetime were psychotically anti-gay-male, as I’m sure you remember.

    Toward the end of his life he was headed toward an embrace of American/Austrian libertarianism, thinking it the politics that would allow for the greatest variety of lifestyles to be tested. There was an outburst of “So is it OK to read Hayek? Foucault did…” thinkpieces a couple years ago, when an American academic finally got around to reading some of Foucault’s work and found a few Infernal Names in it. The answer was, of course, “No.”

    “Untutored readings” of Foucault are forbidden, too. The books themselves could never inspire silliness like “black bodies.” He didn’t talk like that at all. He talked like Kafka: “Identity is a trap.”

    Read More
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  12. Josh says:

    Foucault made a literal pact with the devil while on acid in the California desert. The left would stop complaining about the unjust economic system of the plutocrats in exchange for freedom of sexual degeneracy. And here were are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I am reading this comment as claiming that you have justifiable grounds to believe that Foucault literally did take himself to make a pact with the devil, or some being he construed as such, in this way. I could certainly believe that Foucault really did this, but it is news. Are you literally claiming this?
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  13. Alden says:

    I didn’t know Faucault died of AIDS how wonderful, a lefty got what he deserved.

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  14. vinteuil says:
    @Dieter Kief

    cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida
     
    Foucault said that Derrida practised the method of "obscurantisme terroriste" (terrorism of obscurantism).

    And the one who really managed to disentangle this stuff - Schmitt, Satre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, Kojève, Dewey, Marx, G. H. Mead etc. (Schiller!) - was Habermas in his Philosophical Discourse of Modernity

    As an aside: Foucault is quite handy, as a basis for conspiracy-theories, because he deals with the oppressed and the oppressor lots of times, whereas Derrida is so multifaceted by design, that he's completely useless for such attempts.

    Habermas was, if possible, even worse of a pretentious, jargon-mongering, pseud wanker than any of the others you name. Every minute spent reading his *incredibly* boring prose is a minute wasted.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    You can be pro or anti philosophy. Both is ok.

    But you can hardly be pro philosophy and be against Habermas. Derrida and Foucault (as was Rorty and is Brandom) - are pro Habermas - even togh, Foucault loathed Derrida - - and Derrida did not like Foucault at all.

    You see - in Philosophy, Habermas's standing is pretty good (and for the best of reasons: Because his arguments are good - and becaus he has lots of really good ones).

    As an aside: I disagree a lot with Habermas (but, I have to admit, not about Foucault and Derrida and Brandom - about Rorty (Achieving Our Country) though, for example. And about Greece - I'd hold, that he is wrong about Greece and the EU). And about Hayek I disagree with him as well.

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  15. I don’t doubt that Foucault influenced the use of bodies when words such as minds, people, souls, men, women, children, etc. would be more appropriate. But Foucault wrote a lot of things, so the question is why this particular usage stuck.

    Here are two theories:
    1. Bodies is meant to be evocative imagery, so that the reader visualizes scenes of Africans chained in slave ships, or Zulus in battle garb, or even a pile of corpses. The purpose of this is to evoke strong emotions of–depending on the context–shame, pride, or disgust.

    2. Bodies is supposed to be dehumanizing, causing the reader to imagine black people as soulless automatons. The aim of an author such as Coates would be to impute this dehumanizing attitude to whites.

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  16. @Achilles
    Foucault's philosophy at root was an elaborate rationalization to deaden his conscience and justify gratifying his perverted sexual appetites.

    One wonders how many of the ideas that have laid waste to so much of higher civilization have had a similar origin.

    Were Freud's psychological theories anything more than an elaborate construct to get into the panties of the shiksas of Vienna?

    Were Freud’s psychological theories anything more than an elaborate construct to get into the panties of the shiksas of Vienna?

    Freud’s theories were a construct designed to normalize his desire to get into the panties of his mother, or a substitute close enough to realize his incestuous dream.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. Lots of the ‘body’ this-and-that academic theorizing came out of feminist literary criticism in the late 80s/early 90s postmodernist boom. It was considered outré, as it focused on how literary texts and the cultures they represented dealt with the reality of the naughty bits of ladies’ physical persons, and how they emitted fluids and stuff. Or something like that — I tried to avoid courses that assigned this kind of material when I was in grad school.

    Remember, this was way before WWT, so focusing on the physical female body and its characteristics and functions was okay for Good Feminists. These days, I don’t know how this particular pomo tribe deals with the Caitlynization of the progressive gender vision and discourse — but then I don’t care, either.

    One other note about that initial wave of pomo theory-worship in the late 80s/early 90s: even in my youthful gormlessness, I noticed a subtle but real wave of relief among my peers as attention shifted from Derrida and the post-structuralists to Foucault. I think the main reason was that the latter was much easier to read, while still being super transgressive.

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  18. vinteuil says:

    “Foucault was a bright guy…”

    I taught a course at Johns Hopkins a few years ago, while I was an intern at the NIH, wherein I discussed the ethical views of Marx, Nietzsche, the Social Darwinists, and their modern heirs. So I had to read a whole bunch of Foucault.

    I’m not convinced that he was the least little bit “bright.” But he sure was fashionable.

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  19. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Josh
    Foucault made a literal pact with the devil while on acid in the California desert. The left would stop complaining about the unjust economic system of the plutocrats in exchange for freedom of sexual degeneracy. And here were are.

    I am reading this comment as claiming that you have justifiable grounds to believe that Foucault literally did take himself to make a pact with the devil, or some being he construed as such, in this way. I could certainly believe that Foucault really did this, but it is news. Are you literally claiming this?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Josh
    Yes. Literally literally. It was in a sympathetic biography. I'll dig up the reference later.

    Btw, this relates to an above commenter's point that Foucault embraced Austrian school capitalism is his later life.
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  20. Peterike says:

    Sex Pistols talked about “Bodies” first.

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  21. O'Really says:
    @Steve Sailer
    My hyper-intellectual conservative friend in Istanbul always cautioned me not to lump in Foucault, whom he admired, with Derrida.

    Foucault was many things, but admirable was not one of them.

    It is alleged that he knowingly and deliberately spread AIDS in his final year of life.

    He was an enthusiastic fan of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Baader-Meinhof gang.

    His favorite hobbies were drugs, suicide attempts, and whipping strangers in bathhouses.

    I strongly recommend Mark Lilla’s “The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics” which conclusively demonstrates that Heidegger’s Nazism, Foucault’s perversions, and Derrida’s anti-humanism were not mere accidents of personality, but were fundamental to their philosophical project.

    Read More
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  22. @vinteuil
    Habermas was, if possible, even worse of a pretentious, jargon-mongering, pseud wanker than any of the others you name. Every minute spent reading his *incredibly* boring prose is a minute wasted.

    You can be pro or anti philosophy. Both is ok.

    But you can hardly be pro philosophy and be against Habermas. Derrida and Foucault (as was Rorty and is Brandom) – are pro Habermas – even togh, Foucault loathed Derrida – – and Derrida did not like Foucault at all.

    You see – in Philosophy, Habermas’s standing is pretty good (and for the best of reasons: Because his arguments are good – and becaus he has lots of really good ones).

    As an aside: I disagree a lot with Habermas (but, I have to admit, not about Foucault and Derrida and Brandom – about Rorty (Achieving Our Country) though, for example. And about Greece – I’d hold, that he is wrong about Greece and the EU). And about Hayek I disagree with him as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    You can be pro or anti philosophy. Both is ok.
     
    Your assumption is that philosophers define philosophy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Philosopher cannot even 'prove' they exist. They play a game. A game which would render the rest of us impotent.

    To quote a great American philosopher. "F\/ck them guys."
    , @vinteuil
    "...you can hardly be pro philosophy and be against Habermas..."

    Wanna bet?
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  23. Josh says:
    @Anonymous
    I am reading this comment as claiming that you have justifiable grounds to believe that Foucault literally did take himself to make a pact with the devil, or some being he construed as such, in this way. I could certainly believe that Foucault really did this, but it is news. Are you literally claiming this?

    Yes. Literally literally. It was in a sympathetic biography. I’ll dig up the reference later.

    Btw, this relates to an above commenter’s point that Foucault embraced Austrian school capitalism is his later life.

    Read More
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  24. BB753 says:

    White juju took away their souls. And even their black bodies are threatened by white privilege. The KKK black body snatchers ride on. Wasn’t there a film based on that very premise, “Get Out”?
    White man won’t rest until he owns Black men’s souls and bodies.

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  25. When I file a flight plan, one of the questions I am asked is how many souls I have aboard the aircraft. I was taught in flight training that this was to distinguish between living, sentient human beings who might need rescue and any other bodies that might be aboard, e.g. human remains carried as cargo, which might show up in the course of recovery.

    By calling their compatriots ‘bodies,’ they’ve relegated them to the status of mere cargo. It is a huge step backwards, perhaps to slave-ship days.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    By calling their compatriots ‘bodies,’ they’ve relegated them to the status of mere cargo. It is a huge step backwards, perhaps to slave-ship days.
     
    Maybe they are zombies. I am sure Ta-ShoeShineBoy Coates is a zombie. Is there any evidence to contradict Coates zombiehood?

    Have you considered the possibility that the 'bodies' racket is an attempt to legitimize, normalize and mainstream soulless zombies?
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  26. John B. says:
    @Achilles
    Foucault's philosophy at root was an elaborate rationalization to deaden his conscience and justify gratifying his perverted sexual appetites.

    One wonders how many of the ideas that have laid waste to so much of higher civilization have had a similar origin.

    Were Freud's psychological theories anything more than an elaborate construct to get into the panties of the shiksas of Vienna?

    You should read an excellent book that answers your question. It is called Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior by E. Michael Jones. There is a very lengthy chapter on Freud.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. Ragno says:
    @Dr. X

    It turned out that nature wasn’t entirely socially constructed after all, and he died from the HIV virus in 1984.

    What’s really sad is, all he ever wanted to do was settle down and start a family, but Ronald Reagan wouldn’t let him.

     

    Yeah, I remember vividly the "AIDS activists" of the late '80s and early '90s chanting "George Bush is killing us" --- supposedly because the Federal government would have cured AIDS, if only he had sspent enough of the taxpayers' money.

    I thought that was just about one of the craziest things I'd ever heard... and almost 30 years later I still think so.

    The king of this Reagan/Bush is killing me and all of my friends simpering was peter-puffing playwright Larry Kramer, who, but of course, is still alive and well 30+ years later. He’s practically the white Magic Johnson!

    Read More
    • Replies: @carol
    Hey, Kramer gives good witness to pre-AIDS gay excess in Faggots. His prediction that they would all screw themselves to death was so true that I think he was mortified with embarrassment. Hence all the silly posturing later.
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  28. Ragno says:

    It turned out that nature wasn’t entirely socially constructed after all, and he died from the HIV virus in 1984.

    Crypto-normative, shmipto-normative…..who doesn’t love a happy ending?

    Read More
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  29. Ryan says:

    I think of Foucault as a fantastic historian who is also a kind of mediocre epistemologist. If you grow up in the United States and you don’t read Discipline and Punish, then you probably have no idea that prisons did not exist until they were created out of nothing in the 1600′s. Even if Foucault has a rather esoteric and unverifiable theory about why they came about, the simple fact is that he better than any historian tracks that they came about, when, where and how. The same is true of academia, modern government as biopower, etc. If you want to know why the general public notion of truth is now spoken by academics at universities instead of priests at seminaries, as in what course charted this change, you have to read The Archaeology of Knowledge. No other choice.

    My advice for anyone approaching one of Foucault’s books would be to think “I’m reading a history book by a guy who likes to drop acid, whip strangers in bath houses, and muse philosophical about discourses as demons. There’s a lot to learn about history here, and a lot to get distracted by.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Foucault was not only a gigantic pervert, he was also one of the worst writers ever to walk the earth.

    And every word he writes about history is a self-promoting lie.
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  30. Blacks only have soul if there is music playing.

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  31. carol says:
    @Ragno
    The king of this Reagan/Bush is killing me and all of my friends simpering was peter-puffing playwright Larry Kramer, who, but of course, is still alive and well 30+ years later. He's practically the white Magic Johnson!

    Hey, Kramer gives good witness to pre-AIDS gay excess in Faggots. His prediction that they would all screw themselves to death was so true that I think he was mortified with embarrassment. Hence all the silly posturing later.

    Read More
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  32. @Dieter Kief
    You can be pro or anti philosophy. Both is ok.

    But you can hardly be pro philosophy and be against Habermas. Derrida and Foucault (as was Rorty and is Brandom) - are pro Habermas - even togh, Foucault loathed Derrida - - and Derrida did not like Foucault at all.

    You see - in Philosophy, Habermas's standing is pretty good (and for the best of reasons: Because his arguments are good - and becaus he has lots of really good ones).

    As an aside: I disagree a lot with Habermas (but, I have to admit, not about Foucault and Derrida and Brandom - about Rorty (Achieving Our Country) though, for example. And about Greece - I'd hold, that he is wrong about Greece and the EU). And about Hayek I disagree with him as well.

    You can be pro or anti philosophy. Both is ok.

    Your assumption is that philosophers define philosophy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Philosopher cannot even ‘prove’ they exist. They play a game. A game which would render the rest of us impotent.

    To quote a great American philosopher. “F\/ck them guys.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Y

    our assumption is that philosophers define philosophy.
     
    Yeah - in the same way that baseball-players define baseball (see - Wittgenstein).
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  33. @The Alarmist
    When I file a flight plan, one of the questions I am asked is how many souls I have aboard the aircraft. I was taught in flight training that this was to distinguish between living, sentient human beings who might need rescue and any other bodies that might be aboard, e.g. human remains carried as cargo, which might show up in the course of recovery.

    By calling their compatriots 'bodies,' they've relegated them to the status of mere cargo. It is a huge step backwards, perhaps to slave-ship days.

    By calling their compatriots ‘bodies,’ they’ve relegated them to the status of mere cargo. It is a huge step backwards, perhaps to slave-ship days.

    Maybe they are zombies. I am sure Ta-ShoeShineBoy Coates is a zombie. Is there any evidence to contradict Coates zombiehood?

    Have you considered the possibility that the ‘bodies’ racket is an attempt to legitimize, normalize and mainstream soulless zombies?

    Read More
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  34. vinteuil says:
    @Dieter Kief
    You can be pro or anti philosophy. Both is ok.

    But you can hardly be pro philosophy and be against Habermas. Derrida and Foucault (as was Rorty and is Brandom) - are pro Habermas - even togh, Foucault loathed Derrida - - and Derrida did not like Foucault at all.

    You see - in Philosophy, Habermas's standing is pretty good (and for the best of reasons: Because his arguments are good - and becaus he has lots of really good ones).

    As an aside: I disagree a lot with Habermas (but, I have to admit, not about Foucault and Derrida and Brandom - about Rorty (Achieving Our Country) though, for example. And about Greece - I'd hold, that he is wrong about Greece and the EU). And about Hayek I disagree with him as well.

    “…you can hardly be pro philosophy and be against Habermas…”

    Wanna bet?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Wanna bet?
     
    Yeah, fine. Just - who should decide - would we in the end - - "have to leave it all behind/ And sail to the higher/ Just like the missionaries did/ So many years ago?"

    - Or would we rather end up like Rilke's Alchemist - who in the end "bowed over the hunk of gold - which he - since ages - owned?"
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. vinteuil says:
    @Ryan
    I think of Foucault as a fantastic historian who is also a kind of mediocre epistemologist. If you grow up in the United States and you don't read Discipline and Punish, then you probably have no idea that prisons did not exist until they were created out of nothing in the 1600's. Even if Foucault has a rather esoteric and unverifiable theory about why they came about, the simple fact is that he better than any historian tracks that they came about, when, where and how. The same is true of academia, modern government as biopower, etc. If you want to know why the general public notion of truth is now spoken by academics at universities instead of priests at seminaries, as in what course charted this change, you have to read The Archaeology of Knowledge. No other choice.

    My advice for anyone approaching one of Foucault's books would be to think "I'm reading a history book by a guy who likes to drop acid, whip strangers in bath houses, and muse philosophical about discourses as demons. There's a lot to learn about history here, and a lot to get distracted by."

    Foucault was not only a gigantic pervert, he was also one of the worst writers ever to walk the earth.

    And every word he writes about history is a self-promoting lie.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. @Charles Erwin Wilson

    You can be pro or anti philosophy. Both is ok.
     
    Your assumption is that philosophers define philosophy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Philosopher cannot even 'prove' they exist. They play a game. A game which would render the rest of us impotent.

    To quote a great American philosopher. "F\/ck them guys."

    Y

    our assumption is that philosophers define philosophy.

    Yeah – in the same way that baseball-players define baseball (see – Wittgenstein).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. @vinteuil
    "...you can hardly be pro philosophy and be against Habermas..."

    Wanna bet?

    Wanna bet?

    Yeah, fine. Just – who should decide – would we in the end – – “have to leave it all behind/ And sail to the higher/ Just like the missionaries did/ So many years ago?”

    - Or would we rather end up like Rilke’s Alchemist – who in the end “bowed over the hunk of gold – which he – since ages – owned?”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

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