Thursday, 10 June 2010

We come from the land of ice and snow

Evan, suggestive and perplexing on that neatly insane Nazi-adopted cosmogony of 'world ice theory'. This reminded me of Roger Callois's rather dubious 30s essay 'The Winter Wind', on which Benjamin commented:

His contribution, 'The Winter Wind', celebrates the "bitter wind," under whose frosty breath all the weak must die, and in which the fit will recognize each other by their red cheeks (not from shame) in order to unite in a caste of heroes ....
and this of course:

It's interesting to analyse, as this post does, the radicalised nihilism of such fascist/Nazi 'theories', or pseudo-theories, not least for the questions they raise about the attractions of nihilism more generally and question of active/passive/completed nihilism. In what forms do such nihilisms seem to allow/accept ther very hierarchisations and distinctions they (should) problematise? What questions does this raise for the contemporary valorisation of nihilism? Is a cosmogenic 'absolute nihilism', thinking here of Thomas Ligotti, an exit from such attractions or does it reproduce an elitism of the confrontation with meaninglessness?


sorge said...

Interesting. Have you heard of this lot?

Not so much 'ice theory' but trendy radical-ecologists/catastrophists who would negate humanity in the face of nature, and cultivate a rather bookish, Modernist nihilism along the way.

Benjamin said...

many thanks sorge, I'll have a read. I've certainly come across the Zerzan strain of primitivism (everything went wrong with language...), but these are new to me. Considering I have a semi-attraction to nihilism it's something I would like to work through in more detail, when I have the time

socialism and/or barbarism said...

Yeah, I think we - and I mean both the specific "we" of you and I, and our extended circles beyond - need to take this question up again and more seriously. Not to clear the name of nihilism and make it safe for "The Left" or to make us feel OK when we listen to Blessed in Sin, but precisely to ask what of the stages, processes, objects, and, above all, assumed subject position - even as, sure, we're undoing that anthropocentric intentional self - of nihilism. Much more to say on this, will try to work up a post, and mostly, when I make it to London soon, we're gonna need plenty of beers and a lot of hours to hash through/thresh out.

Though I will say now: I refuse to surrender the health-tinged ruddy cheeks to the fascists. They can have eagles, but we're keeping a nihilism of the unnecessarily healthy. The black hole of self-destruction is a lot bleaker when you fall from apple-cheeked youth.