In Nuce

Claude Lanzmann, whose Shoah I watched again recently, disappoints: Israeli lives, he suggests, are worth more than Palestinian lives, this because of the Holocaust. One hopes for a time when a history of suffering is not used perpetually to justify inflicting suffering, when the reactive becomes active. For a director so aware of memory, he naively forgets how the present injustice will colour his own film.

David Harvey’s cheap shot – “Under socialism, I’d hate to see an anarchist commune in charge of a nuclear power station” – deserves an equally brief riposte – I’d rather not have a Trotskyist apparatchik running a nuclear power station. Hierarchies may on occasion be the lesser evil, but if they are understood as necessitated by technology, technological reason has subordinated democratic practice and recapitulated capitalist logic.

Infinite Thought quotes Hegel to Heine: “The stars, harrumph, the stars are only a gleaming leprosy on the sky.” A marvellous line. Perhaps meant as a riposte to Kant’s conclusion to the second Critique? There a view of the stars “annihilates”  man’s importance “as an animal creature” in contrast to a view of the moral law within which elevates him again, allows man to remember his “independence of all animality”. Perhaps the stars mean nothing of the sort, Hegel seems to say, only such meaning as we posit of them. Kant’s and the Romantic’s meaning no more faithfully critical than its abstract antithesis.