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(224) Dhūṣaraḥ

A sign that the West is in terminal decline is that no new “name” philosophers have emerged since Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Before that time, there used to be a regular supply of “name” philosophers—the 19th century was thick with them. There haven’t been any for decades—and figures like Derrida or Foucault don’t count (Foucault was an historian, anyway); and Žižek is a psychologist, not a philosopher—and he’s not even any good at that. By “a philosopher”, I mean someone who thinks about thinking and develops a consistent schema that accounts for what it means for man to be, how he knows what he knows, and how he should act—and people like Derrida just don’t do that.

Neither did Nietzsche and Marx—they are not philosophers. Marx would have agreed because he worked in a Hegelian tradition—which he inverted—and that tradition held that it had “ended philosophy”. Marx was a “social theorist”—and the whole very leftist, very pretentious field of “theory” is really Marxism strained through Godard films and made too precious to be bearable. Nietzsche is not a philosopher either—he rejects any metaphysical aspirations; he says there’s science and then there’s a poeticised science, that’s Nietzsche the Machiavellian and Nietzsche the poet—the man who makes poetry from watching what people do, not what they say. Then there’s Nietzsche the preacher who wants to reform the world’s morals and has catalogued every other preacher down history—Nietzsche, who anticipated memes through poetry.

So even in the late 19th century it was winding down; and it’s not because science has taken over, cybernetics notwithstanding—some of the questions posed are not amenable to scientific investigation by definition. It’s not because there aren’t people clever enough to do philosophy—it’s because democracy can’t permit philosophy. It’s an undemocratic enterprise, elitist and sure to offend the mob. So minds are not trained to be philosophical anymore; and yet philosophy is the highest activity man can undertake—Western twilight.


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