A Trip to Shadowland (2003)
When I was a graduate student, in the early 1960s, a professor told me about his research project. His task was to determine how the governing politicians could reassert control when they emerged after a nuclear war. (My doubt that this would be advisable was dismissed as “merely subjective.”)
I was to interview undergraduates.
I asked, “What are your plans in life?” They were willing to sacrifice interesting work and the possibility of large financial rewards for steady employment, good benefits, predictable advancement, and decent pensions…. Gratification was so deferred as to be almost ghostly: life was instrumental. (e.g. one reads Keats in order to pass the English course in order to keep up one’s average in order to graduate with honors in order to get a good job, etc)…. Nothing for its own sake.
I asked, “Will there be an atomic war in your life time.” They answered “yes.” “Will you survive?” “No.”
I glimpsed a strange troubled shared consciousness, as though for a moment it became transparent: two incompatible unmediated worlds at once: absolute control, and absolute terminal nightmare chaos.
If we are led into our nightmare fantasies we can be lethal to ourselves and others.
End of Shadowland Continue Reading Avron Soyer’s A Dream of Reason V Part 4 Embattle Reason
On Violence as a Species of Unreasonable Objectivity (1985)
Reason and objectivity are commonly interpreted as necessarily interdependent. We follow a line of traditional usage that identifies objectivity with the capacity to impose on all sane sapient consciousness. Sapient consciousness is inherently “cultural.” Thus to impose on all sapient consciousness is to impose on all cultural constellations (i.e., to transcend cultural differences)