Monday, October 15, 2007

what about atheism

(...) But while the question of god is entirely uninteresting, it is still an important task to summon, deduce, create or revive a particular surrealist atheism. Mechanistic-rationalist atheism, and especially the academic-leftist uninspired-didactic defense of it, is more or less entirely uncapable of arousing enthusiasm and seems to have very little to do with the ambitions of surrealism. I don’t think surrealist atheism has very much to do with reviving Sade, Hume, Holbach or de la Mettrie. A totally different lineage of thinkers would be more likely as the principal sources of inspiration here, those heretics, pantheists and romanticists whose hunger for the marvellous, for love, for blossoming mythologies and for poetry couldn’t leave them satisfied with any organised religion. (I don’t know: are the classic attempts to replace god with something richer and more real, like those of Robespierre, Feuerbach and Haeckel, actually as much poor rhetorics as contemporary humanist atheism or not?)

I don’t want to take any definitive position at this point in the discussion on the validity the alleged universal need for sacredness, but I can unequivocally state that the connection where I am most inclined myself to use a more or less religious terminology is regarding nonconformism, which seems to me the most relevant and concrete expression of sacredness amongst us. To see all these systematic campaigns for deterioration, for imprisoning and mutilating people, bodily, spiritually, socially, replacing own thinking with fettering religious, political and common sense banalities, replacing curiosity and experimentation with ethical and political dogma, to identify them AS THAT EVIL WHICH THEY INCARNATE, and therefore see that they demand an open radical denunciation; this is taking on a responsibility which can be sacred because it brings to its edge what it means to be a human, in relation both to one’s own thinking and to other people, and it can be sacred because it could possibly be that (you never know) which makes a certain situation turn, hinders one person from getting stuck, plants doubts, makes other people do something else than they used to, etc, and this lack of certainty is fundamental in dissolving the surrendering notion of a total distinction (lack of link) between individual acting and history, and therefore might be able to make individual action that which might concretely make something new possible, and not just any something new but specifically that something new which negates that evil reacted against and which more or less unexpectedly promotes those wishes that the current situation either breeds or lets through intact. This is totally independent of whether such actions are imagined as primarily individual or primarily collective, perhaps it’s easiest to imagine a simple interplay between them, but I would like to emphasise that resistance movements in many situations are privileged candidates for being carriers of that historical refusal and holy wraith, and this is also one of the reasons to romanticise the workers movement of the previous century turn, which sort of just opened its eyes and straightened its back in a maelstrom of evil where this with a few simple truths came to oppose a whole world order.

And in those many concrete connections where religion has a role of concrete evil, atheism can still be that equally concrete holy refusal. Outside these connections it seems to lack this immediate overwhelming relevance, but probably these aspects can be cultivated and it could retain that type of dignity, admirable clarity and authority based on consistence, crime register and teasing promises, which makes it a beacon, and a negation in a truly dialectical sense.


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