Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Age of Deposition

See this post on my new blog,  "A Sea of Glass and Fire."

Deposition: the action of deposing someone, especially a monarch.

We live in an age of deposition; everyone today wants to depose. There are no kings left in this era of smartphones and Twitter, but there are still things left to overthrow. 

Consider the the American public's hatred of the establishment as displayed in Donald Trump's and Bernie Sanders' presidential campaigns. Trump's hordes and the legions of young Sanders supporters don't want to build or construct anything; they want to tear down the establishment, which they perceive as corrupt and against the way things should be. Or look at the infamous "Brexit;" despite the repercussions, the vote showed that people are tired of institutional authority. And then, of course, there's the explosive interest in freedom from sexual norms and the terrifying prospect of terrorism. There's rebellion in the air, and anyone with authority had better beware.

What's going on here? Like I said, it's a deposition - the present day's Zeitgeist resents all positions of power, whatever they may be. But the change is happening on a deeper level than most think. The world's "programming" is changing. On every level, anything that regulates or imposes "shoulds" on the world is collapsing. Not limited to  governments or social norms, everything that categorizes is dying. A category, after all, is a way of saying how things should be. To categorize is to lump things together, and to lump things together is to flatten the differences between them.

Does that mean that we'll devolve into nonsense? Perhaps; much of today's gender anarchy certainly sounds like nonsense. But going into nonsense isn't a regression; it's repentance. When we depose all things that categorize, we're deposing sense, and when we depose sense, we set nonsense and its own meaning free. 

More clearly, what is dying is a "top-down" way of organizing the world. Governments and social norms fit this description, but so do conceptual thought, literal language, and even the idea of a stable ego. Words, concepts, and egos are all ways of repressing difference, and if today's Zeitgeist is going reach its consummation, they too must be torn down. But this newfound nonsense won't be chaotic: it will be a vast, intricate pattern of connections that no one can represent at once. As presaged by the Internet, this new age will have no domination: no "representation" of the world (whether a governments or a system of thought) will encapsulate everything. It will be an anarchy, not just of gender but also of thought, feeling, and self.

In any case, I think it's important we don't let the flotsam and jetsam from older ways of being get in the way of the new age that's unfolding. Be suspicious of any claim that things should be a certain way, and don't listen to anyone who says that there is only one truth. This is all outdated despotism. Let democracy take its rise in every sphere of life.

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