The Radical Retroactivity of the Dialectical Process


Romney gets grief for his “retroactive retirement” comment (well, not his, but his adviser’s) but that only shows that the masses are not dialectically inclined. His campaign is just trying to follow most recent musings by Žižek – behold: 

Is not the dialectical process the temporal deployment of an eternal set of potentialities, which is why the Hegelian System is a self-enclosed set of necessary passages? This mirage of overwhelming evidence dissipates, however, the moment we fully take into account the radical retroactivity of the dialectical process: the process of becoming is not in itself necessary, but is the becoming (the gradual contingent emergence) of necessity itself. This is also (among other things) what “to conceive substance as subject” means: the subject as the Void, the Nothingness of self-relating negativity, is the very nihil out of which every new figure emerges; in other words, every dialectical passage or reversal is a passage in which the new figure emerges ex nihilo and retroactively posits or creates its necessity. [Less Than Nothing, 231]

Romney’s constant double mind about issues (“flip-flopping”) is clearly a sign of his dialectical sensibilities. And now with retroactivity entering the discussion, it is clear that his is in fact the best dialectician of our time!

The Week in Review, in list form!


leibniz.jpgAt long last the first week of the semester has come to a close. My travels down to Central America are but a distant memory and I’m back– as they used to say in ‘Nam (or at least in movies about ‘Nam)–“in the shit.” By “in the shit” I mean, but of course, back in my neighborhood where the WASPs run wild. Seriously, little toe headed kids running around, half-drunk mom’s going wild with that extra olive in the martini, Dad carrying his golf clubs into the car because maybe just maybe tomorrow will be close to 60 degrees, this after the holidays in which Moms and Dads dressed in the same sweaters and attended “holiday” parties where they discussed the old house they will tear down and build in its place a monstrosity that will inevitably ruin the historical quality of the neighborhood. WASPs-always bearing the wrong kind of history. I will have to digress…for this week was also the first week of the semester. 4 sections of Logic and Critical Thinking, 1 section of the History of Philosophy. Not to mention, masochist I am, I am putting together content for an online version of Logic and Critical Thinking. Now, I think that in general that distance learning is pretty stupid and works well for only the most motivated, skilled in both reading and writing, as well as independent minded student. But hey, “it’s a living.” To mark the end of the week I’ve decided to generate “off the cuff” a short list (in no order) that highlights its most awesome, if not largely political aspects (at least that I can recall). Here is a list of five since I’m pressed for time this morning. Continue reading

Mitt Watch: Sunday Edition


Mitt is at it again! This morning he danced and squirmed his way through Tim Russert’s questions on Meet the Press.  More about that below.  Frank Rich has written an interesting column in today’s NY Times about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Mr. Romney didn’t fight his church’s institutionalized apartheid, whatever his private misgivings, because that’s his character. Though he is trying to sell himself as a leader, he is actually a follower and a panderer, as confirmed by his flip-flops on nearly every issue. Continue reading

Mitt Watch: The Latest


mitt.jpgMore on uber-Mormon robot Mitt Romney and his bid for the White House. From Maureen Dowd’s column yesterday:

The problem with Mitt is not his religion; it is his overeager policy shape-shifting. He did not give a brave speech, but a pandering one. Disguised as a courageous, Kennedyesque statement of principle, the talk was really just an attempt to compete with the evolution-disdaining, religion-baiting Huckabee and get Baptists to concede that Mormons are Christians.” Continue reading

Politics and Religion: A Silly Thing to Mix Part III


chanukah-ham.jpg

Well, they’re at it again (see this and this). [Now with “day after” NY Times editorial links below] The pathological need for the American people to listen to politicians prate upon their religious “beliefs” has culminated in Mitt Romney’s big JFK style speech. Well, Mitt you are no JFK (you don’t have a Boston accent for one). For your reading pleasure, here are some choice quotes from Presidential hopeful, uber-Mormon and possible robot (and certain asshole) Mitt Romney’s speech this morning:

Top honors:

“Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.” Continue reading