One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I: From "To the Finland Station"

The Germans, who have done so little in the field of social observation, who have produced so few great social novels or dramas, have retained and developed to an amazing degree the genius for creating myths. The Ewig-Weibliche of Goethe, the kategorische Imperativ of Kant, the Weltgeist with its Idee of Hegel--these have dominated the minds of the Germans and haunted European thought in general like great hovering legendary divinities. Karl Marx, in the passage I have quoted above, described the Idea of Hegel as a "demiurge": this demiurge continued to walk by his side even after he imagined he had dismissed it. He still believed in the triad of Hegel: the These, the Antithese and the Synthese; and this triad was simply the old Trinity, taken over from the Christian theology, as the Christians had taken it over from Plato. It was the mythical and magical triangle which from the time of Pythagoras and before had stood as a symbol for certainty and power which probably derived its significance from its correspondence to the male sexual organs. "Philosophy," Marx once wrote, "stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as onanism to sexual love"; . . .
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