THE CHEATING GAME

cheating

It is obvious that the triumph of Western liberal democracy[i] and its subsequent process of Globalisation has done very little toward bringing humanity more closely together. Quite the opposite is true: we all seem to be drifting further and further apart. But, if it has failed with humanity, what has two centuries of liberal democracy achieved with the individual? How successful has it been in its attempts to forge a society of strong-selves? If we have failed with the whole, then surely we must have succeeded with the individuals who are the antithesis of the whole?

But again it is obvious that we haven’t? In Nietzsche’s terms, we have achieved neither the Human nor the Superman, just the Last Man. The pathetic Last Man, bumbling through a cheating-game world of relativity and conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories because, whether we accept them or not, they point an accusing finger at the basic fabric of the system, undermining all responsibilities and moralities with scepticism. How can one be morally responsible in a system which is inherently corrupt? The individual, rather than standing strong and finding a good position in the competitive world, finds him or herself immersed in a society of cheats. The system has now become a cheating-game and the strong-self has to be identified in such an environment as a morally irresponsible subject.

One can only be a strong, successful player in the cheating-game by being a good cheat. This of course makes all success seem suspicious. Eventually decisions need to be made in which “honesty” is needed, but… who can we trust anymore? A strong leader is obviously a good liar and a very good cheat. This kind of leader is useful at convincing us that we are happy in a world that in reality offers us very little… Useful that is until we start to understand the truth. And the simple truth is that we are being cheated.

The first great lie is freedom as individuality and its idea of the unfettered individual along with the creation of a passion for strong individuals. Freedom is now a term used to propagate the unfettering of power: freedom to dominate; freedom to manipulate. The second great lie is democracy itself. The lie of free choice. The lie of majority rule. The lie of the individual’s capacity for achievement in the system.

The only way to combat the lie is by establishing positive, human objectives. We must look beyond the individual and the tyranny of egos in order to establish goals that are out of the cheating game. Goals without any other reward except progress towards human fulfilment. Goals that would pull us out of the cheating-game into another game with real rules that we know will really protect us and protect the world we depend on for our survival. All the rest is petty bickering, which is inevitable when you’re playing the cheating-game.

[i] See Francis Fukuyama’s thesis THE END OF HISTORY AND THE LAST MAN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_History_and_the_Last_Man

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DOXA AND ALETHEIA – TRUTH AND THE ARTIST (PART FOUR)

Time_Saving_Truth_from_Falsehood_and_Envy                                                  (Time saving truth from falsehood – François Lemoyne (1688 – 1737) )

ART AS INTRUSION

“Art should be a disclosure of truth”: an artist’s ideal, perhaps; unnecessary romanticism, perhaps; or a necessary ideal to get art back on the tracks and pull it out of the marshlands of nihilism. In any case art is an intrusion – an invasion of the imaginary into the real. It is this feeling of intrusion which makes us aware that we are perceiving a work of art and not just a copy of reality. It is a ‘positive’ invasion; most of the time a welcome distraction, but, occasionally, when there is intersubjectivity at work between our own inner reality and that of the artist, then the intrusion is a profound, soul shattering experience. We may say it works on a spiritual level, which is one way of calling the profound intersubjective experience. Afterwards we may even ‘seek’ the intrusion again. For many, it is the best and most effective way to draw themselves out of the autistic tendency of the contemplative life experience. In that way we see how art is a welcome experience – it is thrown at us, or placed before us again, but now we accept it, we want it, we need it. Or at least some of us need it. Others reject it. Perhaps there are people who have never had an intersubjective experience through art, although that it is doubtful for now there is pop-art, pop-music, pop-vehicles designed to touch the inner experiences of everyone, no matter how narrow their cultural-memory field is.

 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POPULAR ART AND DEEP ART

But the difference between popular art and deep art lies in the kind of intrusion that is made. In popular art the intersubjective connection should be immediate, building on easily recognisable connections that have already been made: formulas or tactics that have been proven effective. And it is precisely this mimicry and copying of the provenly effective product that creates the shallowness of the pop intrusion. Of course more and more of the spectators will eventually start to say: ‘I’ve seen and heard this before,’ and will demand something new. The commercial art industry must then resort to novelty: a new way to present the same old intersubjective slogans that it reworks over and over again. Then each brief explosion of originality that the need for novelty brings is reworked, reinvented and remanufactured in the commercial art factories’ production lines of kitsch…

But isn’t this also a folding and unfolding? (SEE OUR EARLIER ENTRY “The Internet as a Deep Art experience of liberation: https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/the-internet-as-a-deep-art-experience-of-liberation/)

Does the commercial factory work in the same way we propose in deep art? If this is the case, what is the difference between the shallow and the deep?

 

The difference lies in the kind of intrusion that is being made. Popular art is a forced intersubjectivity; deep art is an invitation. Deep art knows that it requires a certain kind of spectator, willing to trust the artist, who is leaving clues for them and putting up obstacles which may deliberately turn certain spectators away. It is for this reason that the deep-art artists are often accused of being elitists. Of course they are certainly demanding: they know that to go deep there has to be a strong will to do so, and those who lack such a will will be incapable of scratching more than the surface. Deep art, in a sense, is a training ground for intersubjectivity. Its goal is to create a space in which the inner reality can be successfully communicated with a conviction that this intersubjective connection is a necessity, an essential element in human development or evolution.

And so we come back to our original premise, (SEE OUR POST: DOXA AND ALETHEIA – TRUTH AND THE ARTIST https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/doxa-and-aletheia-truth-and-the-artist-part-one/ ) that true art must be a combination of doxa (opinion/perception) and aletheia (truth/disclosure). Commercial art is buried in doxa, while a dedicated artist may lose him or herself in the autistic struggle with aletheia. Real art must use doxa to seduce a favourable opinion which will be the veneer of the work whilst leaving clues to seduce the spectator into the intersubjective realm of aletheia.