Part 2 - The Short History of Existentialism: VI- Post Structuralists - Emmanuel LevinassteemCreated with Sketch.

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The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism.
Part 2 - The Short History of Existentialism: VI- Post Structuralists - Emmanuel Levinas

"There is no Existence, just Existents." - charlie777pt


Is through the encounter with others that we find ourselves as Existents, because our experience is fed by interpersonal relationship.
For Carl Jung, the postmodern man can only ever see himself as similar to himself and can no longer connect with his child, with his primitive being, and therefore with his own nature, and consequently with the others.

“Politics is opposed to morality, as philosophy to naïveté.” - Emmanuel Levinas

We are living in a corporatocracy that took over democracy, shaping and controlling human mind, and that's why to defend our selves, we must be voluntary and self-constituted people, seeking for self-understanding and self-awareness in a meaningless and alienating reality.
Political and economic instability, corruption, and power manipulating income inequality, with growing poverty to make the rich even more wealthy, with the system creating "neo-liberal" and deregulation measures (bought by lobbying), to fight the poor and do nothing to stop poverty.

"The principle of capitalism is to create wealth and health, not debt and famine." - charlie777pt

The world is in the eminence of a disruption, with the black shadows of the economic depression of the Decadent feudalist colonialist empires, like the US and Europe, with leaders that try to attract people with the glory of the past, that instead of bringing new solutions to stop the emerging new imperialists like China and Russia.
This actual configuration a political conflicting structure, where the economic struggle can give rise to a Third World War, a clash of giants that can be the end of History and the human race, because we didn't learn the lessons of the last planetary conflicts, that cause millions of deaths, and the sons of every country with mutilated bodies and suffering Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with hidden deep costs in society and in human pain.

Nobody wins wars because there is a price to pay in the winners and the defeated creating deep scars in their cultures forever, with wounds that can't be healed, and increase internal tensions and violence, where each party tries to make the other inhumane and transformed into an object.
We already see the signs in the regional wars, in poor and third world countries, with devastated habitats and civil populations genocide, where we see the imperialists selling their guns and indirectly confronting themselves.

Wars have shaped the human history of any century, and therefore only vigilant citizens can stop this repetitive calamity happening in every one hundred years.
I doubt this century will be immune to this civilization disease.
Only YOU can make a difference.

"We must be responsible citizens and never accept States and Governments that support hegemonic dictators, wars, violence and gun businesses." - charlie777pt

Our era has brought increasing situational uncertainty can open new views and opportunities to change people's points of view about reality.
The philosophical transmutation of experience comes with the rise of the mighty "to Be" and the end of the economic imperative of the deadly abstraction of "to Have".

"We have to break the energetical black hole of materialistic power, threatening human creation." - charlie777pt

Structuralism and neo-structuralism reveal the metaphysical concepts of domination linked to the system of power, showing the dependency of human thought inside an obscure web of power.
Structuralism focus in open systems of thinking about the conduct of people in economic and social structures, the relations within the contextual frame of history and evolution, while the neo-structuralism follows the same path to analyze the underlying structural development issues in Latin America in the 50s and 60s.

The Post-structuralism, with Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida following Nietzsche's ideas, showed that there are no static structures hidden in the cultural phenomena, opposing structuralism that believed in the paradigm of finding these fixed structural entities.
In my point of view, post-structuralism created a vacuum in western thought of the Essence and Existence as structural entities, reducing human nature to the exchange between one neuronal entity and two nothings (not objects), in the axis of time, where the only visible part is the behavioral interpersonal relationship.

     2 - Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995)

Emmanuel Levinas, was a Lithuanian philosopher, with a childhood of traditional Jewish culture, with early influences of being a pupil of Edmund Husserl and meeting Heidegger, but later he could never forgive the latter for joining the Nazi Party in Germany.
He had a variety of influences like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Spinoza, Buber, Merleau-Ponty, and Descartes, just no name a few.

For Levinas, Ethics is based on the experience of the encounter with others and that we have an inner responsibility that is deeply rooted in our subjectivity.
Levinas focus his philosophy, in an analysis of time in the alterity of being other to the other, with the several layers of the subjectivity of the individual, ethical constraints and the responsibilities of social life, language, and even God.

"The Other precisely reveals himself in his alterity not in as hock negating the I, but as the primordial phenomenon of gentleness." - Emmanuel Levinas

It's a human condition, the impossibility of sharing each other's experiences, and communication in an encounter with other people, is limited by language and interpersonal behavioral exchanges, where we are the other (autri in French) to other, as an entity with internal dynamics to built our identity between the I and the Other(with capital O).

"The relationship with the Other (in French) puts me in question, it empties me of myself and does not stop emptying me, discovering me in such a way with always new resources."- Emmanuel Levinas

The Other in Levinas is the foundation of Ethics, not an object in the ontological and metaphysical view, and that ethical responsibility is in the Subject, preceding any search for the truth, as an entity apart from its subjectivity.
Responsibility is born from the meeting with the other person, a phenomenon in which there is a mutual deep feeling of being close and distant at the same time.

In his work Existence and Existents, Levinas takes the perspective of the time of the lonely subject and the instant of the eruption of the Existent with the weight of Existence.
The concept of Alterity in anthropology is the construction of the "cultural others", our culture versus a different one, where our responsibility is very important in preserving the "wisdom of love" that Levinas thought was the meaning of Philosophy.

In the next post, we will finish the chapters of Post-structuralism with the Deconstructionism of Jacques Derrida.

I've finished reading a recent letter of Gerald Casale from the band Devo, that made one of my favorite early punk Lps of 1978 - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! - in my teenage kick years, where he talks about the concept of Devolution a new vision in the cybernetic deconstruction of rock, reality and the future.

"Devo took its name from their concept of "de-evolution" - the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society. Their music echoed this view of society as rigid, repressive, and mechanical, with appropriate touches - jerky, robotic rhythms; an obsession with technology and electronics-" Devo old website

Devo in 1976 video, created the concept of Devolution, meaning they were seeing civilization as descending to a lower or worse state, like a reversed evolution of a decadent society.
Recommended reading for the people that believe that art as still a word to say about our beautiful world, is becoming so ugly for some people's human greed.

"Social media provides the highway straight back to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. The restless natives react to digital shadows on the wall, reduced to fear, hate, and superstition. There are climate change deniers, and there are even more who think that the climate is being maliciously manipulated by corporate conglomerates owned by the Central Bank to achieve global control of resources and wealth."
"We are drowning in a devolved, WWF Smackdown-style world, with warring, huckster TV pundits from "The Left" and "The Right" distracting the clueless TV viewership while our vile, venal Mobster-in-Chief (who makes Idiocracy" Macho Camacho look fit for office) and his corrupt minions rob the nation's coffers in a shamelessly cruel, Grab-"Em-By-The-Pussy Kleptocracy"
- Gerald Casale from the band Devo.

I leave her a video and lyrics of the track Freedom of Choice from Devo

Musical Video

Devo - Freedom Of Choice (Video)

A victim of collision on the open sea
Nobody ever said that life was free
Sank, swam, go down with the ship
But use your freedom of choice

I'll say it again in the land of the free
Use your freedom of choice
Your freedom of choice

In ancient Rome
There was a poem
About a dog
Who found two bones
He picked at one
He licked the other
He went in circles
He dropped dead

Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom of choice!
Is what you want!

Then if you got it you don't want it
Seems to be the rule of thumb
Don't be tricked by what you see
You got two ways to go

I'll say it again in the land of the free
Use your freedom of choice
Freedom of choice

Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom of choice!

In ancient Rome
There was a poem
About a dog
Who found two bones
He picked at one
He licked the other
He went in circles
He dropped dead

Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want

Suggested Video: Structuralism vs. Post-Structuralism

We Are Drowning in a Devolved World: An Open Letter from Devo
Photo source: Wikipedia

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism.
Published Posts:

Introduction to the Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism and Decentralism

I - Anarchism

II - Existentialism

Next posts on the Series:
II - Existentialism(Cont.)

  • What is Existentialism ? (Cont.)
    • Part 2 - The Short History of Existentialism: VI - Post -Structuralism - Jacques Derrida
    • Part 2 - The Short History of Existentialism: VI - Post -Structuralism - Paul Ricouer
    • Part 3 - The Philosophy of Existentialism: I - The Meaning of Nonsense
    • Part 4 - The Fear of Freedom of Erich Fromm
  • The "Existentialists"
    • Part 1 - The Players and the Times
    • Part 2 - Jean Paul Sartre - the Man of The 20th Century
  • Humanism and Existentialism
  • Existentialism and Anarchism
  • The Future : Posthumanism, transhumanism and inhumanism

III - Decentralism

  • What is Decentralism?
  • The Philosophy of Decentralism
  • Blockchain and Decentralization
  • Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism

IV - Dialectic for Self-Liberation

  • The Dialectics of Liberation Congress
  • Psychedelics, Libertarian and artistical movements
  • The Zen Buddism of Alan Watts
  • Psychoanalysis and Existentialism
  • The Anti-psychiatry movement


- charlie777pt on Steemit:
Collectivism vs. Individualism
Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin - The Emergence of Anarchism
Social Reality: Index of the series about Social Reality: Power, Violence and change
Index of Chapter 1 - Anarchism of this series
Oizerman, Teodor.O Existencialismo e a Sociedade. Em: Oizerman, Teodor; Sève, Lucien; Gedoe, Andreas, Problemas Filosóficos.2a edição, Lisboa, Prelo, 1974.
Sarah Bakewell, At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Others
Levy, Bernard-Henry , O Século de Sartre,Quetzal Editores (2000)
Jacob Golomb, In Search of Authenticity - Existentialism From Kierkegaard to Camus (1995)
Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism, Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought (revised edition)
Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall, A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism (2006)
Charles Eisenstein, Ascent of Humanity
Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre(1956)
Herbert Read, Existentialism, Marxism and Anarchism (1949 )
Martin Heidegger, Letter on "Humanism"(1947)
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power (1968)
Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism And Human Emotions
Jean-Paul Sartre, O Existencialismo é um Humanismo
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Sense and Non-Sense
Michel Foucault, Power Knowledge Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977
Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom. New York: Henry Holt, (1941)
Erich Fromm, , Man for Himself. 1986
Gabriel Marcel, Being and Having: an existentialist diary
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and The Invisible
Paul Ricoeur, Freedom and Nature: The Voluntary and the Involuntary
Brigite Cardoso e Cunha, Psicanálise e estruturalismo (1979)
G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia,
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