Is/was Intellegentsia possible only in non-civil situations, when it serves as "society"?
* Century of Antohins (new 2005)
GeoAlaska: Theatre & Film
The Possessed 2003
NotesIn Search of Itself
2004 & After
The Soviet Mind
Academia and Revolution
Contents: I. THE INSTITUTE OF BROTHERHOOD II. BETWEEN THE VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL III. RUSSIAN PEOPLE OF CULTURE IV. NEUROTIC HEARTS V. AFTER-SHOCKS OF THE PROJECT UTOPIA VI. THEM: THE ANATOMY OF THE DRAGON VII. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF VIII. THE LEFTOVER THOUGHTS AND THE MIRACLEI haven't read this book, Fedorov's life-work, _Philosophy of the Common Task_ (see Theology of Technology). I was innocent when they accused me of having his ideas about the nature of labor and love. You can find those thoughts in Tolstoy and Solzhenitsyn. Fedorov wasn't a "legalized" writer, because he saw good where Marx saw evil. He thought that my labor and, yes, alienation are the acts of taking out of my existence the best, that it is the gift to others. Even forced labor has this quality of human brotherhood. I lived in the buildings erected by the German POWs, travel the roads built by the Gulag's prisoners -- this silent love of the dead was everywhere. We call it, excuse the word, "civilization." This is my first home, I was borne into the world of the city. Only later I found out that there is such a thing as "first nature." In the summers I had my short encounters with Mother Nature. Most of the time I lived with Father.
Fedorov was like a relative you're not supposed to mention, he wasn't in the Pantheon of the Fathers of Russian Communism, they kept him in storage. He was crazy. I had many crazy uncles, Russia is treating its writers from madness for two centuries. But Fedorov was really crazy; the Common Task he wrote about wasn't a revolution, or economic reforms, he thought that we all have to work of resurrecting of our ancestors. All of them. No, seriously, we thought that we actually must do it! He was too much even for the mental institution of the Russian thought. He was nuts. To resurrect them all who lived before us, if there is not enough of us already? And you know what? He thought that until we will do it, there's no way we could solve our problems.
Look, I understand Christians who believe that God will do it; after all they have to do nothing, just to be alive to wait and see. I understand atheists who do not believe in resurrection; we have enough to do without it. Just imagine, we have to put all our energy and resources into them, the dead, instead of concentrating on welfare of living! Madness. Forget sex and kissing babies, we ought to bring back not a few, like comrade Lenin, but all the worthless lives which shouldn't be on earth in the first place! No, think about it -- Lazarus and Jesus were fresh dead, but this lunatic talks about the return of those who died, God knows when!
"Where did you get those ideas, if not from the book?"
"Give me the book, I'll read it and I'll tell, if I'm agree with Fedorov," I said.
They didn't give me the book. They gave me back my play for rewrites. I tried, I made another revision.
"What is that?" They asked. "It's HIM again!"
"How would I know, if haven't read the book?" I cried. "Give it to me, so I'll know what not to write!"
No, I got no book to read but the play to write. I had to finish it before the deadline, it was an important for the state to tell people about the new Trans-Siberian railroad.
Since I didn't know the book, I had to think hard about this resurrection idea in order not to have Fedorov's thoughts in my brains. I had to guess them and then to avoid them. I did twelve revisions of the script. I had no idea anymore what am I writing about.
Then they all will get around the long table in the Ministry of Culture of USSR with the numbered copies of the play. They have to stamp the title page with the official permission and sign it. I couldn't fine the title and my name on it anymore, it was covered with the stamps. Every time in addition to the regular censors, we called them editors, there will be a new face, and the whole thing will start all over because of the new smart ass, who wanted to show everybody what a shrewd communist he was.
"What is that? The Title? Permafrost?"
They thought that I am young, a kid, who doesn't know what he is doing. I was twenty five. They would look at each other and then all would stare at me.
"Poetic Realism," I said.
"Poetic? As if not real? Something you don't really mean?"
You see, we can talk about a lot of stuff, we can praise it, can swear on it, but we don't really mean it. Like "I love you, baby," or this resurrection we've been hearing for two thousand years. It's poetic. Every time passing through the Red Square, I thought about Lenin's body in the Mausoleum. Do you keep it just in case, because there is a chance that this crazy Fedorov might be right? No, we don't say that we're waiting for the right time to resurrect the Leader and Teacher, it won't be scientific. But there in the special lab in Kremlin to keep it in good shape, the body. They still do it and getting their salaries, the maintenance people. I understand it, the preservation. Obviously, it will be easier to resurrect Lenin, having something, than, let say, Alexander the Great. Fedorov, I think, had something else in mind. But how would I know, I didn't read the book; they did.
If you give it a serious thought, the resurrection does make
some sense -- the THOUGHT itself is an indication that
resurrection is possible. Don't you see it everywhere? What about
the Industrial Idea or a Xerox machine? All I see in Father
Nature has a potential of being replicated, brought back from
nowhere. What is the electric bulb, if not a resurrection machine
for light? Don't you know how we all participate in this
phenomena? Do you pay your electric bills? We all in it together!
I turn on the light. I see it. I like it....
Alas! Resurrection is a "personal" business. In order for me to reappear after my death I have to have MY unique composition and components. I have it and I do it. I am the goal of it. Don't you see how specific we are about our blueprints and technologies? How precise we are in our measurements and specifications -- everything has be to exact. And the more complicated the task, more people and machines must be involved. Did you see the computer ship makers walking around in space suits?
The idea is always separate from OTHER ideas, that's how it becomes an idea. So, the collectivism of resurrection has to end in its opposite.
"Live openly".... (the motion of the Russian intelligencia's brotherhood) -- Well, a thought is free and the most open structure that could exist. It requires an understanding -- because it's extremely open. Miracle? Forget the water and wine, resurrection is an ultimate miracle! If you ask to perform a miracle, you have to know how to do it. The nature of miracles (see file) is a break from the normal into another dimension, the one we know -- the knowledge. You have to leaving the non-knowing space where everything is miracle and enter its opposite. Of course, resurrection is abnormal! So does the mind. We have to open it.
Why did the intelligencia took over the aristocracy in carrying for the poor people, the children of Russia? Naturally, it was a self-appointment, an overextended charity which they couldn't afford. Don't patronize me!" Americans say. The Russian theatres without non-profit law are looking for rich patrons. They had the Party before, now all their hopes with the new rich. Why do they think that the former communist boss, today's millionaire, will give them HIS money? Because they ask for little. Because of his vanity. He is not that rich, I want to tell them, he is rich in Russia only, let his travel abroad and see how poor he is. He'll send his daughter to a US private school before thinking about giving 30 K to a theatre. There's not that many rich in Russia. A very few are very rich, by the western standards of wealth. Don't you know that they will give their money first to the police and the politicians? It's business. They are of the class where charity is replaced by the showing of, throwing cash at a drunk party. Who told the intelligencia that they can take care of Russia? It was very aristocratic and idealistic. The folk today is looking down on them, the pretenders. "Intelligent" is an insult in the public transportation conflicts.
There's another (phenomenological) reason for the all-encompassing love of intelligencia. If you let your mind (not a body) to rule your existence, you will soon discover that you are a natural communist. Not in physical communality or class solidarity, but in a design of the spiritual chronotope, where the term "brotherhood" is regressive. What brother or comrade! The selfhood knows no borders between I and You, your thought and my reaction, everything becomes mixed and difficult to separate. That is what Christian doctrine meant as a place for God in us.
The Self has this "Russian" formation; the nature of Thought is communal. A dialogical nature of thinking makes mind into Collective personality a priori and de facto. During the revolution, Andrey Bely angrily replayed to the communists that his mind is the biggest known crowd. "Myself" is always I + I, many. WE = I + I. They = he + he. Here is the problem! We and They do not mix: I + He -- need for Thou. The bridge between I and He. "Thou" (the Russians religiously keep it, separating from "You" -- formal Thou) is the breaking point in the concept of intelligencia. You say "Thou" to a lover, a child, a close friend.... to a stranger? The communists tried to get away with formal "You" -- it's still there in Russian language. Everything was in place for the model of human unity to work, if not for this tricky transition from "You" to "Thou"!
You see, it has to work in both directions. If in my relations with you, my reader, I can transcend from "He" to "You" to "Thou" and, finally, to "I" (as my own Self), I have to see myself as "He"! I have to think of myself as "We" (as the kings would sign their decrees). I guess, the intelligencia thought that all Russians are capable of this transpersonal fluidity. That was a real alternative to modernity and individualism, much deeper than the marxism. Berdyaev thought that the Russian communists fell for the marxism because of the strong Christian Orthodox tradition, when the Church is the total unity of souls, when there are no more strangers anymore. When the limits and limitations of my Ego are no more. Do I need the Other to insert between my Is? A woman. A child. A friend. Parents. All the living and the dead? Do I need to worry about defending my autonomy? Doesn't my body guaranty it?
Perhaps, they would succeed in this great spiritual revolution, if all Russians were intelligencia. Unfortunately, they were in thousands and the people are in millions. The millions saw the transition in material terms, they had no ability to see an individual as "We" -- a peasant has no respect for himself to address himself as "You." He wasn't developed to the level of complexity of Andrey Bely, he was just it -- he.
That why in the Stalin's revolution, the purges, which was the Cultural revolution, continuation of the Civil War, the Russian intelligencia, the heart of the Great Revolution, was eliminated, destroyed. An intelligent man has a glasses, a tie and a hat, he says "thank you," "please" and "excuse me." It's not that difficult, we all can be intelligencia. In my times the members of the Politburo got themselves glasses, ties and hats, but the words, this "excuse me-would you be so kind...." -- they couldn't get it. Even the New Russians in the most expensive western clothes are no better. They don't use "You" among themselves, only "Thou." Russia stumbles again over a small step on our way to heaven.
Not ready, not yet.
Resurrection changes it all -- my corporeal presence is secondary. Of course, POMO cries for return of the real. But Resurrection is this process of gaining your NEW reality. Call it creating, constructing or producing -- it ends with death, the most impressive proof that I had some physical reality. The intelligent mechanical world around me will help us to become intelligencia. The electronic environment will force the last brute to be humanized. TV camera is not only an extension of man, but a penetration as well. We enter the last idiot through technology, we collectivize all, we brain-wash them, yes, to install this LOVE, the Russian intelligencia dreamt about. Fedorov thought that LOVE is a technology of resurrection, he was A Russian Orthodox. Oh, if only he could know about Heidegger!
It will take some time before we will turn Boris and Joe into Russian intelligencia, but now we have the hardware. In the past only the few could rise, using the software (books) and God-given hardware (mind). It was a matter of choice. Not anymore. The Resurrection Age leaves no choice -- an intelligence is a must. We push knowledge on all and everyone and none has a way out. They have to function in the new world, they'll learn.
I'm "optimistic" about the future. The crowds of morons around the world do not discourage me. The failure of American education system, closing American mind, and the other indications of moral and intellectual decline are misleading. I'm not depressed watching the monsters on tv talk shows, they always were there, the silent majority. Now they speak. They are loud and, oh boy, there is a lot of them. Will it take many generation before the camera will teach them to talk? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe, it will come sooner than we can envision. It's generational, you know. (See the chapter on the Idea of Generation).
What is promising that the Idea of Intelligencia finally arrived to the non-personal forms. In the Soviet Union the intelligence was force on the populace with the iron fist of the state. It was a military in essence and methods. The ideology in the time of high tech is replaced with seduction. Instead of beating him on a head, today he himself sticks his head in the screen. Let him start with a video-game or a porno site on the web. Get him used to the screen, keyboard, typing. Hook the poor mind, make him DESIRE! We, in the American Politburo, call it an entertainment, of course.
In 1996 there were 500.000 Russians on "line." You know what took place in the USA. By the end of the century we all will be wired. What did it take? Ten years or so. Internet: "new forms of scholarly brotherhood." (Vernadsky would be on line today). I guess, the Russian Idea has to be alienated from the Russians. The essence of Intelligencia was expropriated from the intellectuals. It had to become a universal property. The totalitarian society has to develop the means of totalitarism to the point when the totality becomes invisible. Then it's total.
[16.] In _The Russian Idea_ (New York: Macmillan, 1948), an outstanding Russian thinker, N. Berdyaev (referring, in particular, to Khomyakov's theological thought), gives a detailed exposition of the idea of sobornost' (esp. pp. 162-165). He speaks of sobornost' as "the choric principle" (p. 52), "the organic union of freedom and love, community" (p. 162). "Western Christians," he argues, "both Catholic and Protestant usually find some difficulty in understanding what sobornost' is. Sobornost' is opposed both to Catholic authoritarianism and to Protestant individualism. It indicates a unity which knows of no external authority over it, but equally knows no individualistic isolation and seclusion" (p. 164).
The real revolutions we notice after they took place. We do not celebrate the Day of the Industrial Revolution or the Begining of the Information Age. I'm sure that there will be no "Resurrection History Month." We didn't notice what took place after the WWII. We operate with the vocabulary of modernity. "Sobornost" (if you prefer this word to "communism") is an extension of the same idea of church as a society of a higher order. The organized religions with their Church are stuck with the mode of hierarchy. The state function in the same manner, because it was the main model of our progress so far. We're forgetting how radical, let say, American democracy it. We don't see the consequences of the ongoing revolution we live through. We keep saying words of the past.
Rhizome = commune. (Deleuze) What is a paradox! The West, the father of technology in modernity, lost its place. The Age of Manufacturing which naturally grew out of the Mechanical Age of the medieval Europe, today got of the features of the East. The Asiatic rejection of Individualism: they rather dissolve themselves in Zen than to experience the pains of existentialism.... And the machine and its world I live in behaves in the same manner. In fact, my computer is the best Buddhist I know. I spend a lot of time in its company and I learn how to overcome my individualism (which is in a great degree nothing but an animal in me). My modem has no "personal" problems connecting itself to a stranger. Technology is very communal, very communistic. No wonder that Red China has no problem with the after-capitalism stage of capitalism.
Russian is outside of the West and East. It's the North.
Russia, as the synthesis of the West and the East, is the real arbitrator of the world.1 Chaadaev has understood this. We, however, have not understood this as yet. (Vernadsky. Thesis 5.)
This synthesis bloomed into what we all know as the Soviet Union, where the West and East were burned to the ashes of memories. It all became "before" -- "the real arbitrator of the world" was us, communists. Communism, however, has not been understood yet. [...]
Yes, the anti-western attitude of the Russian Thought must be responsible for communism, the Party was an instrument of objectivisation of the need for "sobornost." No way the Russian intelligencia would have heart to do what the masses did to themselves! What did they do without knowing it? Christian "brother" was replaced with "comrade." The Rastafarian (and black) brotherhood is in the same field of revolutionary rhetoric. And why do we have to understand what we are doing? Who said that our actions and our thoughts are the same?
Vernadsky wrote seventy years ago about the transition from "Living Matter" (Bio-sphere) to Noo-sphere (integration of thought within the life of universe). He saw technical progress through the eyes of the Russian "mysticism." In the Russian mind the technology, the machine is It. Almost "He"! Who is "he," who build the computer I use, how many of them? Are they present in my life (sobornost), do I know it or nor? Technology, media and etc. -- I needed those mechanical extensions which aren't my organs to connect to the world and to distant myself from me.
According to Vernadsky, the NOO-SPHERE is *"a new evolutionary condition" of the biosphere, in which "the geological role of humanity is the dominant."* (*A) (see Technology
Dear reader, I hope you understand that the Russian brought on themselves an ideological society in its extreme forms because they live on ideas. Ideas were for them what the mixture of nature and man (machine) was for the Westerner. The Russians behaved as if the ideas were REAL (remember Dostoevsky?). They act as if the ideal is possible and within our reach. They weren't practical, Russia was too much behind in its totality of millions. Only the intelligencia, as a compensation for the Russian backwardness, made a leap into the future of the West. They thought that the will and the thought could overcome the modern. Call it capitalism, imperialism, consumerism -- what's matter is their daring attempt to go beyond the history we knew. They were postmodernists in essence. In their thought they were in the place where we are about to arrive. My quarrel is not with the intelligencia and their communist ideas, I am not envious of the past, or I wish to trade my present place for a future. All I try to do is to be adequate to this overpowering push from the outside. I am not ready for this new reality and struggle to find my inner forms in the conditions of the Age of Resurrection.
Pan-human -- the Russian version of a super-man, when a man is "something" between men, the *true* relations. I have to learn to be outside of myself without losing the inside position. Do I smell Marx? The Russian translation of the concept -- man is a sum of social functions. They should sing reggae under the golden domes! By placing myself on the borders of my body and outside of myself, I overcome the ego and solve the problem of Other. Because I and He are no more, just dark shadows of our CONTACT, formerly CONFLICT.... Did you say "love"? I thought you said "love"....
I have to leave this subject, it belongs to the American Book, the place where the Great Russian Revolution continue its march. Often, I see my relocation from Russia in light of a simple practicality. I came to America to witness the next stage of history. Nothing universally significant is taking place in Russia today. The strive for the future was gone when I was ready to join the fight. America was ready to be impregnated by the dreams of the intelligencia. It was time to get out of the childhood. Russia served her role in history, if you still remember the history of the century. Let them, poor Russians have their American comfort and peace.
Oh, the invisible history!
March 1, 1881  --Tolstoy's dictum, "Thou shalt not resist evil by force," was perceived as "create, and do not destroy," "add not destruction to destruction" (S. F. Ol'denburg).
Lenin wrote a short pamphlet about the First Russian Revolution of 1905. He blamed Tolstoy for its failure. Russia didn't support the capitals and industrial cities in their proletarian revolt. Tolstoy and peasant lived close by. The pre-industrial mind has no need for destruction, the land gives it, life grows. You have to get really close to see the war in the Mother Nature. 1905 was the when Einstein published his theory of special relativity. Out there, at the end of the great Russian plains was another time, the kingdom of the Father. The worker and master. His world and dictums were different.
The problem is that any construction asks for de-construction. Work is a force. And they advocated life as work. Coming from the people who didn't have to work for living. Our mind "works" very much like a heart, it does it job without my will. I educate myself not so much out of the social necessity, it's a natural need, a hunger. The energy of potentiality. And guess what? I have to destroy in order to understand. To take it apart.
Do I have to idealize the concept of "working life"? What else did I do all my life beside working? What does the pomo world ask everybody? Work! Oh, brother! Thought is a labor!
Vernadsky was young intelligent man, Russian man:
As early as April 14, 1888, he was writing to Shakhovskoi: "The main goal of all my life, and, as I am convinced, of the life of any other person, must be the knowing, the endeavor to know truth. I think that the life of all humanity, that is, of all people, can have for itself only this one goal. Truth is ascertained by science, and hence I have a right to say that I live for science's sake, that all others must live for science's sake, and that humanity exists for science's sake--that science does not exist for our sake or for humanity." (60)
Vernadsky's main book on the noo-sphere, Nauchnaia mysl' kak planetnoe iavlenie [Scientific thought as a planetary phenomenon] wasn't noticed, or understood. Not in 1938. To this day we no message in science. We don't think of Einstein as a priest of God, we don't understand that his revelations of the same nature as of the biblical saints. Science was always an opposite to religion, we think. We confuse church with religion and religion with faith. Understanding that little about the science, what could we understand in resurrection.
We, intellectuals, don't understand the nature of an intelligence and the motives of an intelligent mind. Driven by the material and materialism, which is an object of science, we don't remember that the world is for us, that we are the center piece of the universe. That the resurrection is possible and doable if it is desirable. I like the humility of science, its silence about the metaphysics, as long as this is not a silence of stupidity.
On a desert island, without the hope of imparting [your] thoughts and achievements, scientific discoveries, or creative artistic works to anyone, without the hope of getting out -- should you change the creative mindwork? or should you rather continue to live, create, and work as though you were living in a society, and endeavor to leave the trace of your work in its maximum manifestation and expression? I have decided: it is precisely in this [latter] way that one should work -- I have been, and continue to be, thinking that thought and its expression do not vanish even if no one would learn of a spiritual creation that was taking place on this secluded island.... Now, already an old man, I think that one can never know the insurmountability of the obstacle -- a secluded island -- in time. (62)
Once I was a scientist, I thought that's what I am. I left the secluded island and lived long life. Now I am an old man and want to go back to this desert island.
I remember the street, new and big -- Vernadsky Prospect.... What doesn't leave my mind -- the time of Stalin's terror when they wrote it. When their "brothers" perished in Gulag, and -- in the morning Vernadsky would go on with his daily schedule. What about their "morality" as a main principle in living? Blessed who didn't make it through those times. They were no Decembrists. There was no concept of hero in Russian thought. Hero demands the paradigm of Individualism.
I remember the Vernadsky Institute and I remember myself then. I did nothing when Brodsky was arrested, Solzhenitsyn exiled and Sinyavsky sentenced. I didn't believe in Tolstoy's dictum, "Thou shalt not resist evil by force," or did I? I knew about the moral imperative of the Russian intelligencia, but I was a Soviet intellectual, I was the "people" -- and would take of me now? I guess, I have to do it myself. I did. I kept silent. For years. And then I left. I was out of this realm of the Russian intelligencia anyway, why should I remain in Russia and call myself a Russia. A Russian writer? Please, don't point at me.
"Refuge" (Priut) -- what a name they had choose for their brotherhood! Refuge from what? From the world they wanted to change. Or is our planet is a refuge from cold and empty dead space of cosmos? Did I leave the island because I couldn't face the real task? Did I go back because I couldn't life anymore? What if both answers are true? You know now, the solitude is a very crowded place....
No, they are not dead, the ancestors! They all are here! They watch you better than Big Brother, they have no mercy, they make me into a shadow. The restless, they inside me. The thought is a worse tyrant, you have no defence against it. An idea lives in humans like a welcome invader. Did I say "God"? No, I said the Noo-sphere.
They didn't know our deep panic. They died full of illusions. Or lies?
They deal with Russia the only way they knew -- take it now, take it all, grab it! They had no interest in tomorrow because tomorrow betrayed them. They have no respect for the past which brought them into a position without tomorrow. Russians without ideas are ugly, with ideas they are dangerous. soviet intelligencia was never educated. They weren't an elite, they even weren't able to hold the power in New Russia. They represented themselves, not a country. Many of them voted in 1995 for communists. Democracy in Russia tolerated only because of the market, not freedoms but the freedom to have good food (over 60% imported from abroad).
What about glastnost? What about it?
The weak and the strong. The restoration of the law of a jungle. The strong were legalized (or decriminilized) again. The preditors have no moral code of liberalism of intelligencia when the strong put themselves at a service of the weak. But about Russian Mafia later, they won, they are not losers. They are the new horisontal power structure of Russia after the vertical state structure collapsed. They're not intelligent, but smart, street smart. I know them, THE STRONGEST OF THE WEAK CLASS, they'll cary the will of the class, they're against the mind.
In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention receives but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune he makes, no matter what millions he earns. But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. And the same is true of all men between, on all levels of ambition and ability. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all their brains. Such is the nature of the "competition" between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of "exploitation" for which you have damned the strong. (Ayn Rand)
There are thousands of idiots organized in fan clubs of "Star Truck" -- they want to run to "where man has never travel before." As far as possible away from themselves. These teenagers are responsible for the industry of science fiction, when mind discoveries meet poor brains and Einstein chats with the janitor. Why do we have to call it "science" fiction, not simply fiction? The difference between Captain Kirk and Zeus (god of the Greeks' General Electric Co.) is rather serious. They, in the past, tried to understand the world, we "popularize" our understanding. We trivialize it. They didn't understand -- and give a birth to mythology. We do understand -- and breed cartoons.
Do you know what is about to happen? Let me tell you. Don't count of the New Russians, they will move with their capital as soon as they will know how to make more money somewhere else. (Story of "Americanka." The good looking, why should they stay? They follow the bright. If they can sell their personal property for a higher bit, why shouldn't they do it? What else do they have?)
For thirty years he, my strange visitor, was banned in his own country. We heard of him, there were his books you could find and not go to jail for reading "Crime and Punishment." But in the class. He was a reactionary. You know, a big talent with wrong ideas in his sick head. Couldn't see the goodness of socialism, if you can imagine it! Crazy epileptic, that's what he was.
Edwin Muir2 states that Dostoyevsky wrote of the *unconscious as if it were conscious*; that is the reason why his characters seem pathological, while they are only visualized more clearly than any other figures in imaginative literature...
Wow! Is it about me?
Yes, this is the trip in opposite direction to the science fiction or the Socialist Realism. The fantasies. No, this is not a fiction anymore, but literature. The voices of the dead and not born yet drove him crazy. They were real.
No, it's not the party which labeled him this way. You see, Western intellectuals are not intelligencia. The Intelligencia is about exclusively Russian intellectuals. The moral intellectuals. His problem was that his morals were wrong morals. According to the intelligencia which became Soviet intelligencia, the ones with the right morals. Without the pathology and the subconscious. Very Russian in his insights into the demons of the Russian mind. That's right "The Demons" ("The Possessed") was the book I couldn't find in the library.
I quote him a lot. Even now I see his morbid face.
He stares at you. The devil!
That's how my home looks like -- welcome.... "Russia's evil genius," -- Maxim Gorki (1905). "... a sick, cruel talent" -- Nikolay Mikhailovsky (1882). Joseph Conrad called "The Brothers Karamazov" "... an impossible lump of valuable matter. Its terrifically bad and impressive and exasperating. Moreover, I don't know what Dostoevsky stands for or reveals, but I do know that he is too Russian for me. It sounds like some fierce mouthings of prehistoric ages." Hermann Hesse in 1920, professed his fear of Dostoevsky's slavic murkiness.... What is so terrifying about the true human underground -- the mind? Oh, we don't like to see our another face. What do you think all the horrors in our news are coming from? "Too Russian"? "Slavic"? I guess, the concentration camps are "too German"? Atomic bomb is "too American"? Oh, we like to be nice, don't we? At least, to think that we are nice.
We are not.
How could a mind be "nice"? You must out of your mind to think that a free thought is limited by the morals. And -- you rather not to think, have no thoughts, no freedom. Quite understandable. Nothing knew about such a desire for "never know." [link to Baudrillard, war]
Although, the fact remains that you are not nice. And guess what? We know it.
Dostoevsky isn't a "Russian" and Kafka is not a Czech. There are Russians in Russia, many Czechs in Prague, and only a few are more than that. They, the flew, are humans, not humanoids. That's why people of culture tried so hard to be nice -- they knew the facts.
Every time I see a football stadium, I understand that nothing has changed. I saw one in Rome, the Coliseum. Nothing has changed, Zarathustra. Master and slave are still with us. The only difference is in property -- now it's a life. Yes, I can own my life, myself -- than I am a master. Nothing else is left to own, nothing else I desire. What was a slave for? For me to have my time. I have it, we made the nature into our slave. They, the slaves, are masters too. Or they think they are.
Picture of Chekhov: good face. He was a doctor, Dostoevsky -- an ex-officer.
The parents. My father and mother. Nice people.
Oh my parents, what have they done to me! Did they love? Me? I know them for what they are. They gave a birth to something they couldn't understand. Of course, I left home at sixteen. They wouldn't let you grow. They love you as a part of them, their property, a continuity of their life. They were Russians without reading Dostoevsky. He wrote about them. I ran away from my first country -- my family. The destruction of family is done because the global village took over. That is a socialism for you. The world became "too Russian"! Try to run away from home now, boy. We heard it before -- "Rebel Without a Cause," but not without a reason. Well, even the revolt is marketed -- punk, rock, buy yourself a revolution!
The new humanized world is modeled in my image and likeness.... And that is scary. I know myself. There is lot in me I fear. Besides, I'm a process, a becoming (of myself). How could you know me? Did you read Deleuze on capitalism and schizophrenia? You should. Listen, don't you know why I surrendered the name "human"? Of course, I read Dostoevsky, that's why! I take the place assigned for me -- Nothing.
I'm not here anymore.
... The box in the corner keeps talking. Yes, the same faces. The newscasters, celebrities, talk shows hosts.... Go ahead, try to be intelligent. The TV is the intelligencia, let them be moral leaders. Or get yourself a web site. Hitler loved radio, not Faulkner. I think that tv is an organized madness, borne out of the sick mind of dying Nietzsche. Intelligencia never value intelligence above the goodness. "TV is good," said TV. "Good TV"....
Who the hell are we?
The original intellegencia was a bunch of good humans. With big Russian hearts. Better than Christians, because they love other not because of God, but out their goodness, human-ness. That was all what they all their lives -- they loved. We, their children, we are the resurrected goodness. You know about the humanism, don't you? Homo Sapiens after the resurrection exist as Homo Humanus (HH) -- the double human, squared human, humanized human. We all are intelligencia! Thoughts and feelings became the matter of the world of spirituality.... and the law! You don't even have to be intelligent or intelligencia, I will report on you for something, well, like "animal cruelty" -- and you'll get arrested! Don't you see? The material universe is only a shadow of the spiritual. The Russian intellectual divorced themselves from the church at the time of the French Revolution. They were revolutionary, they kept their slaves -- but they LOVE them now.
....I see him, this good Russian boy, reading the forbidden book. Finally, he got it -- about the poor and exploitation, good labor and bad capitalism, very complicated reading, but he is a cleaver boy, he is young and his mind craving for answers. He reads the big book somewhere in Samara, under the oil lamp. Good heart, he wants to make a use of his young life. What if you have no talent, only good ideas? Not everybody got a talent to write, to paint, to compose. What do you do than? To do something! Change the world. Alexander, Lenin's brother was executed because he wanted to be good man. You know about the consequences.
I doubt that you read this book. I'm not even sure that Marx re-read what he wrote. He was a good boy too. A good Jewish boy in Germany who wasn't "intelligencia," but quick and intelligent. He wrote love letters to his wife, a poetry, this monster. He had no much talent for verses, what he was supposed to do? He didn't throw bombs, but he was a revolutionary. You know what? There is nothing wrong with being a revolutionary! Nothing bad about being in love! Nothing, do you hear me, nothing is wrong with trying to be good!
.... "super-structure" this product of the "basis" became our only basis. What economics? We are in service economy! Information age! Economics 101 -- too boring. We worry about the environment because our power over the "basis" is absolute. We rule the world. Almost.
That's apocalyptic, man. It's gross.
Friendly advise: you are worrying too much, son....
A Disaster Syndrome? It's normal and natural in such a place as mind. Mind is hysterical in its essence, borne and feeds itself with contradictions. Conflict is a form of mind's existence. Mind needs logic to suppress its catastrophic feelings.
IV. NEUROTIC HEARTS
"Forbidden generosity.-- There is not enough love and goodness in the world for us to be permitted to give any of it away to imaginary things." Nietzsche
Realization of being in a cosmic environment asks for preservation of human life. Not better world in the future, but having the future. Any future which comes with a guaranty that it will be there for humans (in whatever forms we need to adapt to live).
Deleuze calls us (HH) "dividuals." Oh, this evil genius4 from Russia! Of course, if one looks from the inside of subconscious -- Jesus! I am not nothing but bits and pieces! Fragments and fractions. A garbage damp. What a picture!
Panic + Madness = and we built the world on mind's matter!
Twenty five years ago our times could be seen as "future shock" -- today this shock reads as panic. What is ahead? Twentieth century gave us all the reasons to be paranoid. And we got used to it. Wait and see, the final extermination of man -- next.
Courage, man, courage. Yes, they extended the walls of mental institutions to include it all. Yes, you and I are a part of this New Deal and New Order. Trust me, you still have a chance to survive the treatment. I lived in the special ward (USSR), I know -- it's possible; you know who they are and what you are. If you know, you lie, cheat, pretend. Remember, the system is blind as justice. You have to learn to live double life. Your virtual shadow shall be always ahead of you; give it your full name, give it the power of your life. Mask is the best defence for a human face.
What is my mask? You see. Now you know.
We better get MORE human, we have no time left. We MUST learn LOVE in a hurry. Turn on the tv, radio and read -- rush, man, rush....
Listen to me, more of them are coming. Billions of Chinese will enter your space. Africans. They would work their way into your living room, they're already trespassing your dreams through tv screens. They're there, they're here. Learn how to take it. Learn to live in the open but undercover, without a place to hide, without protection and friends. and you MUST LOVE THEM ALL!
....Your mind is only weapon you got against the madness of love. Keep it sane because they try to take it away from you. Remember it, my boy, that's how hell is designed -- many too many....
Man and people were and are in conflict. The third party (the state or business) protecting them both. We are stuck together.
Parallel existence, co-existence. Existentialism (awareness of your own presence) is central for a man, and peripheral for people. Co-existential.
The paradox: the more wonder kids we need the bigger human pool is required. At the best, one out of hundred (thousand?). For a small "nation" of hyper-brains we have to maintain billions of bodies. Are they, the hypers, so needed in post-history? Universal race (hyper humanity) fights for life of life. Mortality of the race must be defeated before the victory over individual mortality. Who are they? Show them to me! Intellectuals? Intelligencia? Spiritual aristocracy? Actual workers in post-industrial world? Dostoevski: are they above the common law? They can' exist as a group and could be describe only one by one. See them on the library shelf. Intelligencia was separated by the Soviet communists in a special group, apart from the workers. By its non-class status an intelligent mind was positioned as something to tolerate, remembering that by nature, anything intelligent can't be trusted. They would stress "union" of working class and intelligencia as if Soviet professors weren't working. They, the communists, were right -- artist isn't really "working." Writer writes even without pay, the labor can't understand it. They couldn't be of the same class! Hyper-Humans are not the rulers (philosopher-guards); nobody rules the universal civilization. It has life of its own. Truth as Circle.-- Error has transformed animals into men; is truth perhaps capable of changing man back into an animal?5 Yes, teacher! I saw the face of Superman? They are the ones who changed the humanity (especially in the 20th century = critical mass, enough of them for the explosion of new technology). Because of the critical mass of the earth population. 60 billions are our full size (?), the number of the people lived before us. All other borders are gone. The division between two types of humans6 became the only border and therefore the essential line. *Human quality* (brains? sensitivity?) is the only inequality which couldn't be overcome. Ever. Our social structures must be designed in such a way that the hypers would never form their own society, union, community. Should we worry? They're not social and repulsive to each other. 1. They are separated by their very nature from the rest of the humanity; they are busy with themselves. 2. They keep distance because of their competitiveness. Attraction leads them to intellectual wars. VI. THEM: THE ANATOMY OF A DRAGON 15 April. Tuesday. Many people with "good surnames" have been arrested in Moscow. People are being exiled again. (Michail Bulgakov's Diary). Didn't we say enough about them, the people, the masses? They made the arrests, Michael, the folks with bad surnames. God, why do I have to return to this subject? They do it on tuesdays and wednesdays, and even sundays. They did it yesterday, they do it today and will do it tomorrow. In April and October. Every day and every year. Since 1992 many thousands Russian scientists were exiled. In Russia they prefer to think that they are left for a better life in the West. The good news of the end of 1997, only fifteen thousands settled permanently! Something to celebrate in New Russia! Not all are gone! Who drives them out? Who pushes the intelligencia out? Not the Tatars or Germans. The Russians! INSTITUTE DIRECTOR COMMITS SUICIDE. Yury Mamatov, the director of the Yaroslavl Institute for Computer Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, shot himself on 18 December, ITAR-TASS reported. Friends and relatives said Mamatov had been depressed over a lack of funding that forces his institute to sell equipment and furniture in order to pay staff's salaries. In October 1996, the director of the Federal Nuclear Center in Chelyabinsk Oblast committed suicide, also reportedly over funding shortfalls that left him unable to pay the wages of the center's employees. LB7 They weren't shot by the Cheka, MKVD, KGB or even by the mafia. They killed themselves because of the country's sentence, the same as always. Does Mother Russia need them? Not as much as she needs the New Russians, the crooks. There was no place in the Soviet Union for the Russian intelligencia, neither in the New Russia. Hitler thought that Russia cutout its own head, he didn't know that she doesn't need it. Russia thinks that it will grow up again, like a cabbage. Don't you know that Russia is plentiful in natural resources, including the most unique of all -- human talents? Watching the crowd on the street I thought about how little they understand what they are doing. In the West was established long ago an opinion that Russia is run by a few. The Sovietologists never believed in the Soviet declaration that the power in USSR belongs to the people. The western mind has a different understanding of a representative democracy. We can't understand the people who wouldn't go to vote, although the majority of Americans never vote. They are Russians, those silent Americans. They live outside of the political and its their choice. That was the case with the Soviets. Check out the numbers of voters showing up for local elections after five years of freedom; sometimes they can't break even 20%! They are back where they were before. It's them, the non-voters, who rule Russia! The body of the Russian dragon is enormous. Like his brothers in Indonesia, India or China. They, the masses (where do you think the name came from?), do it; they eat their countries' future. I was watching them, busy with their daily routine, the muddy human river ran between the embarcments of the blind buildings.... You don't think that it is possible for a body to consume its own brains. You don't think that a hungry will eat its own flesh to survive. You think that cannibalism is a pre-history.... The universal race (finally, the factual one human race) needs a concentration of brain cells (the hypers) to have its own brains (including the past knowledge). I understood that we are this global village with the brains of this six billion strong body, the mind of the global dragon must be somewhere else. Not in Russia, not in Pakistan, leave them just some brain cells to operate, collect the best cells in one place! We call it the "West." Is it sad? Not if you consider what would be done to them otherwise. Dr. Mamatov perhaps would be shot for making noise. It was done before. I rather if he would sit in MIT. Yes, yes, the Progress: stagnation and even dehumanization among the rest? The gap between the brain and the body. The West and the rest of the world. Russia's production is falling, but it's not the that bad, just a diet of the fat unproductive body which was producing for long the stuff it had no need or use for. Russia is falling down and it's a free fall. Russia is about to become a "member" of the global community. Which one? The two headed eagle which ruled the history for fifty years lost one head. It's now a normal bold eagle. Enough of this schizophrenia and paranoia of the Cold War! Two heads are too many for one country -- the United State of Universe. Amen. They were down there on the street, so many -- I wouldn't be able to count them, they were multiplying right under my eyes, coming out of doors, from the wholes of the underpasses.... More of them were coming out than were sucked in! Oh let them have it! Let them live! Eat and enjoy life. What's new? They always had to be lure into anything new, like, lets say, a future. Their new arrivals flood the space, treating yesterday's innovations as given, they are always static -- and the only good feature in them is their mortality. The body must be healthy, don't you think? Now they live longer, but humanized life ask the rats to run faster. Run, run, Americans. Go, go! Get yourselves cars and cellular phones, computers and faxes so can live in American space and time. To be in many places at once, eat images of food and have phone sex. They don't about it yet, they don't believe me. I came from their future. Even the intelligent Russians.... I saw them, the new managers of New Russia. Nothing new in our hero, too. I wanted to open the window and to cream into this cold air of Russia as a biblical prophet: I saw them, the great ruins of intelligencia. In Russia, in Ethiopia.... Not in America. A Rhodes scholar, president Bill Clinton, can't be a part of it. Neither Jimmy Carter. There are no Johns and Bills among them, the intelligencia. They had read different (difficult) books and not because of midterms and finals. I miss them, the ones with the home libraries of thousands big books.... I didn't do it. I watched them through the dusty glass. It would be stupid to scream. Russia has enough crazies without help from some freaking Fulbright scholars from America. .... What's happened to them? The Chinese Cultural Revolution was done in a harry. Twenty millions perished. China is a big country. Red Kampuchea didn't it even in a shorter time -- they took everybody with reading glasses and clubbed them to death. Do you think America hasn't learn those lessons? Turn on your tv on Saturday, or Monday night. We hummer them down all right. With the commercials and cartoons. canned laughter and tv games. America doesn't know its writers. They are not our heroes. They are our enemies, enemy of the people. But we know better methods to blow away their brains -- education! Twelve years isn't enough? Make it fourteen! The blessed, the gifted, the abnormal -- who are they? What makes them different? (We have to know everything). Why the selection process isn't possible? Intelligence isn't transmitted biologically. Accidentally. Blind fate, lack, injustice. Why couldn't this "revolutionary evolution" take place before the age of techno-culture? Maybe, in times of knowledge we don't the gifted and talented? What a sad thought. Is it a thought? No, I am not good enough to understand my life. I am no good. I wasn't good communist, Russian or Christian. To tell you the truth, I don't care much for resurrection. Why should we bring Fedorov to ask questions. Get his book and read it. And if somebody didn't write a book, leave him alone, he didn't write it for a reason and won't write after the resurrection. I, personally, wouldn't like. Would you like to have a place of Lenin, when for seventy years you have to lie and wait when the crew comes and unbuttons you to fix a few thing? No, sir, not me. But, well, what do I know? This resurrection business is not up to me, it's OUR common task. Do I like it or not, looks like we all are committed. But this is a subject of another book, as I told you, my American Book. Only in USA we can have the technology. It'll be done even if Bill Gates hasn't read Fedorov. I know that one doesn't have to read Fedorov to have his ideas. .... [Does this great split mean a split into two histories? History of arts and sciences and history of entertainment (including politics)?] This "No-History" situation asks for an *imitation of history*. Event making process -- the Media. Politics as entertainment turned history in a show business. Because we can't stand (real) history, the unknown, unpredictable, unpleasant. History must be mediated, any message has to have a messenger! Here we go! The messenger, let him witness -- we'll experience his experience! Wonderful! Back to you, Peter. And Jennings is back to his ABC Foreign correspondent, he -- to some authentic "foreign" expert, next -- maybe, some eyewitness (we have to warn you, it maybe, too graphic), a few words from victims, or relatives of victims (they are victims too).... You will never get me, life! Not in the age of mass communications. What did I experience? My experience of my experience. Yes, my experience of watching ABC news in my living room. Dinner was good. Good coverage. .... Bulgakov: 21 July. Monday. ....In Samara there are two trams. On one the sign says 'Revolution Square -- Prison', on the other 'Soviet Square --Prison'. Something like that. All roads lead to Rome, in short. In Odessa a young lady was asked whether she had been subjected to a Party purge. She replied, 'I'm a virgin."
So, what's an alternative, *non-popular* culture? (sub-culture, counter-culture, parallel and underground)? What are "other" values? Anti-popular culture? To use my Soviet experience, knowing what is a propaganda -- antisocial mentality. We knew that school is to indoctrinate us. What is their (people) push? It's THEIR educational system (public).9 To make you behave like the rest (primitive equality in mass democracy). We had to preserve our independent thinking, we were the rebels, we had our cause (?) and we paid the price. Facing yourself (selves).
I never liked myself. (Perhaps, I love myself but it's quite possible to love something which you don't like.) And it's normal. Especially, considering the extreme resurrection conditions. ...
YOU HAVE TO HAVE GUTS TO STAND YOURSELF, BE ENGAGED BY YOURSELF. Try it at home. It's not so dangerous. To construct yourself means learning to de-construct (destroy) yourself on a daily basis. They, they never stop complaining. You are not one of them. Take it....
There was a folk Russia, the culture outside of intelligencia with Russia folk songs and dances, traditional dress. Popular culture? What a distance between two cultures!
The Intelligencia, the last cultural class division, must be destroyed. Rich and poor -- fine, but not two cultures! Why is this cultural monism is so important? Slaves and their masters are together against one -- the artist. WHY? Because he is not one of them. Because he is already immortal.
The perpetual anti-intellectualism: Cultural Revolution! To be continue!
No concentration of culture! Destraction of universities. Separate the culturated people from each other, throw them into a melting pot.
The Dominant Fields: the situation of the difference. We can't allow it! ....
Post-ideological? Doesn't that mean that it is a state of total ideology? French Revolution destroyed aristocracy to make everybody into aristocrat, to give us all this position, this social role. (Postmodernism made modernism into a mass product. Why don't we call it super-modernism?)
Tragedy? Not for a disposable human like me. Oh, before, before they were full of themselves. Even three useless sisters were important. Not in my time. Tragedy is possible only in a world where human life is a value. Not life in itself but human one. We pay (limited) attention to refugees, catastrophes. Not to a wasted life of Onegin or Oblomov. Who cares!
He never wrote the book he wanted? We have enough of them! No great artists? So what? Life goes on. Lets talk about AIDs.
I didn't want to talk or even think about it.
The busses were coming and leaving. And the trolley-busses with the advertisement on the side -- "Europe Plus" -- the new radio station in St. Petersburg. "Plus" is Russia, I guess. Tsar Peter would like the rock they were running around the clock like in America....
Drama is like a grief, not for public consumption. Not in paradise. Not in America. Sad, sad.
Berdyev believed in tragedy as a form of the human essence. So did Dostoevsky -- the suffering. After the Christ. Very much a tradition of the Russian intelligencia which is in total contradiction with the principle of paradise. Joy and pleasure! It's a matter of principle. ....
I am alone, and it makes my drama into a tragedy.
DRAMATISM was sought. The absence of drama (conflict, tension) is an indication of death. Life is dramatic. Only conflict is the solid connection. Seeking conflicts = separating yourself from the situation. Alienation is a method (reflecting). Dialectics have universal applications. Fight for independence is a war for originality v. banality.
Listen, Zarathustra. You're a loser, which is not your choice. Being different is to be marked as a loser. You can choose to turn it into a quality but only after the victory over yourself. Never come down from the mountain. Stay there even if you are in the crowd. Don't challenge gods. "Nietzsche" is not just a product, it's a gift. I construct myself because I have this ability to do so. It's not my doing. Fish is a fish, dog is a dog, Nietzsche is a soul.
They are in space, you're in time. Controlling the time starts with controlling "your" time. They have power over you, time-power is a balance asked for by the self-preservation. marking "your" time, making into yours, objectivisation through personalization of time. The rest would be taken care by the power over time.
Live Souls: so few. Where is the brotherhood of monks?
A Religious Order? Hyper-humans (HH) are bad party members, very bad. Intellectual orgies are possible only on ideological level. I can share with you my thought, not the process of thinking. Wonders of psychiatry can help it. Art appreciation courses proved this thesis -- aesthetic awareness didn't produced millions of Dantes.
Time and again:
I as "Them": the Trinity Paradox whe the Three is not a mass. A group? I am used to the company of my-selves. To the voices of the dead and the living. That intensity of the inner world separates me from the Outside. Am I a misanthrope? No and I'm not a masochist either. Serving the Masses, we all do it now, it's our natural environment. Love them? Russian intelligencia loved them to death. And died out of love.
Why should you be against them? Are they against you? Weapon: (critical) knowledge, *self-education (re-education yourself)*. Is this "critical" or practical separation? Depends on your attitude. Non-ideological and, perhaps, even non-dialectical. It's not your creation of a division. The division is always there. It's an acknowledgement of the distance and an impossibility to overcome it.
Hey, everybody is in this hyper-situation, but the difference is in your intensity of feelings. The difference comes from "knowing" your feelings. There is a difference between being hit by a car and knowing that you hit by a car. Man is a situation himself. Not much you can do about it. (Changing sex, and plastic surgeries are for people, they are in search of identity because they have no individuality). This juxtaposition of "situations" wasn't that dramatic before. Famous Oedipus (walking situation = hero) met his destiny (outside situation, an accident) -- the is known. We took another step in finalizing this drama; we (humanity) are the gods. We made life into hyper-life, we totalized the accidental. When on board of an airplane, it's not the same as on a horseback. The clash of two worlds -- mine with the world -- became the collision between me and humanity.
I can't be an intelligent man in the humanized world. I have to find some other name for myself....
There was also an old Russian cat next to me, watching the people down below. From time to time I would look at him and would look back at me. He always would sit here and thinking about Russia's future, but never had he share his thoughts with me. After so many days of observation and thinking he must know something.
"So, what do you think?" I asked the cat.
It was silly. Think about what? The Vernadsky's Noo-sphere, the Fedorov's Resurrection, the fate of Russian intelligencia? He was just an old Russian, but a cat with his own problems. What difference does it make for him -- the Soviet or the Russian history? The ancient talking cats disappeared in Russia before Peter the Great started his crazy business of westernization and creation of intelligencia. Who needs wise cats when you have people who read and write books? Besides, even according to Pushkin that learned cat was on some foreign island, not in the middle of the city.
"Well," I said to the cat. "You don't know a shit."
"Fuck off," said the cat and turned his head away.
[Resurrected Zarathustra. Alaskan Dairies.]
But one day, some day, we'll resurrect him and then we'll get our answers. We know how to interrogate, don't we? There is a strange connection between intelligencia and intelligence service. My censors in Russia were the resurrected best of the Inquisition. Russians have their own way of resurrecting, even without technology. Every time I see Yeltsin's face I know that he is my resurrected uncle Vasily, I know what he is about to say, what he thinks. You see, the problems with the resurrection is that it's easier to resurrect a simple man, than Pushkin, for instance. You know, we usually start our experiments with the frogs.
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin
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