The Trump Cult as Body without Organs

It has been clear to me a for a long time that Trump is a cult leader; his followers behave exactly like cult members, deflected all information that might undermine their faith in their leader or present cognitive dissonance. They find endless excuses for Trump’s offensive conduct and incompetence. If he hasn’t fulfilled a campaign promise, such as bringing back manufacturing jobs or building the border wall, his followers tell that you “he’s working on it; he’s doing the best be can, but there are lot of enemies blocking his efforts.” The same behavior is seen in QAnon and every other cult.

Including the excluded

In this panoptic society of which incarceration is the omnipresent armature, the delinquent is not outside the law; he is, from the very outset, in the law, at the very heart of the law, or at least in the midst of those mechanisms that transfer the individual imperceptibly from discipline to the law, from deviation to offence. Although it is true that prison punishes delinquency, delinquency is for the most part produced in and by an incarceration which, ultimately, prison perpetuates in its turn.

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and morality

In modernity, the universal validity of the law comes into question. The law is no longer simply God’s law or the monarch’s law or a reflection of Nature; the law is contingent, and it is not the same thing as justice. The law, like religion, is also only one function system among several. Justice is an idea, concept, aspiration, or topic of conversation, but the law is what society actually uses to stabilize normative expectations. Ibsen and Chekhov shared an interest in the question of morality–specifically, how a morality based on social hierarchy, or stratification, cannot survive in a functionally differentiated society.

The accidental and the necessary

One sort of madness consists in seeing the accidental (or contingent) as necessary. We meet someone and later think that the meeting was fated; it was written in the stars. In La Nausée (1938), Sartre explores this issue. Nothing is actually necessary; it’s all contingent. Everything that has happened could have happened differently—or not have happened at all.

The Burden of Freedom

“The astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others occasionally go out on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike: after centuries of exploitation, why do people still tolerate being humiliated and enslaved, to such a point, indeed, that they actually want humiliation and slavery not only for others but for themselves?”

The Tug of War between Functional Differentiation and De-Differentiation

Whenever people try to undercut the independence of or science or journalism, for example, we see the countermovement of functional de-differentiation. The battle between creationism (or the more respectable “intelligent design”) and the theory of evolution has been an attack on the functional differentiation of science; it’s effort to subordinate science to religion. A closely related movement has been the movement away from public schooling in the form of fundamentalist schools and religion-based homeschooling, which seeks to subordinate education to religion.

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