Chisinau Forum: Lucien Cerise offers study on cognitive collapsology
Lucien Cerise, a french researcher in human and social sciences, is not only interested in language and epistemology, but also in the notions of boundaries in politics as well as in the psychological, ethical and behavioral domains.
Published: November 6, 2019, 3:57 pm
I will begin by describing the globalized system as a whole before moving on to interior nuances. The whole world is suffering from a general and growing incoherence. This is the main effect of globalization, and nobody escapes it.
Globalization is the acceleration of communications and the reduction of distances by technical progress. According to the Cartesian definition, space is “partes extra partes”, but it becomes “partes intra partes”, the parts penetrate one inside the others, this which causes great confusion on the scale of the entire Earth. All distinctions, all frontiers, boundaries, differences and identities are attacked, previously separate beings and cultures are now fused, mixed, mixed, transformed into new hybrid, composite, complex, ambivalent, ambiguous, androgynous, chimerical, chaotic forms.
We can find that good and want to accelerate this incoherent global unification even more: such is the unipolar and post-national project, supported by globalist lobbies of all kinds. But we can also remain vigilant on the dangers of this incoherent global unification and seek to organize it in a multipolar and coherent way while respecting a minimum of distances between beings and identities, thus also in the respect of the nations: it is the anti-globalist multipolar project that we come to defend in Chisinau.
The emerging new geopolitical paradigm is based on a conflict between coherence and incoherence that overdetermines everything else.
Unipolar Atlanticism, which manages to combine, as we see in Ukraine, white supremacism with Zionism, jihadism and LGBT, is a total renunciation of coherence, a culture of „anything” that seeks to bring about the whole world in its delirium by blind violence. In contrast, the Eurasian powers (Russia, China, Iran, etc.) are characterized by realism anxious to maintain control of their development, to counteract the destructuring effects of globalization and to restore a minimum of coherence in this globally incoherent world.
The nature of the political regime is quite secondary. If Atlanticism wins, if incoherence wins, it is clearly the extinction of all forms of civilization. How to react to this threat? The attack is useless, a good defense is enough. Indeed, the Atlanticist project unipolar is not viable and it destroys itself alone collapsing under the weight of its contradictions. Here, my purpose joins collapsology, the study of the collapse of civilizations.
Dmytri Orlov distinguishes 5 stages of collapse: financial, commercial, political, social, cultural, to which we can add psychological collapse and cognitive collapse. A mass psychological collapse has been visible in the capitalist West since the 1970s, which has resulted in a veritable explosion of mental pathologies of all kinds. Today, a new stage is crossed; it is the abolition in the common judgment of the difference between the normal and the pathological, and more widely between what is normal and what is not, in a relativism general from which emerges a new hierarchy where the abnormal is even affirmed as superior to normal.
Until the eighteenth century, the social norm, the rule to follow, was defined by a majority consensus, and everyone had to comply with it. The collective outweighed the individual. Since Bernard Mandeville and his “Fable of Bees” published in 1714, subtitled “Private Vices, Public Benefits,” liberalism reverses this balance of majority consensus – denounced as an oppression of individuals and minorities – then reverses the definition of the standard. There is no more normative rule imposed on individuals and minorities, each individual, each minority has the right to emancipate themselves and to define their own norm, and everyone must accept this new rule of the game, namely that everyone can follow his own rule of the game.
After the liquid society, we enter a society in the gaseous state where all common standards go into steam. The new norm is that which is the most distant from the consensus: it is the exception, the unique case, the invalid, the transgressive, and the monstrous. It is obvious that this centrifugal and entropic system cannot work, and the politically correct aggravates the situation.
In the name of equality, tolerance and diversity, public and private policies are carried out to systematically value and benefit all that is minority, which also includes mental handicaps: autism, trisomy, bulimia and various addictions, transsexualism and identity problems of all kinds, renamed “fluid identities”, etc. Mental disorders thus become life choices that must be learned to respect, and are even set up as models through “affirmative action”. In the West, anti-psychiatry, the anti-Freudian philosophical current that refused to distinguish between mental health and mental illness, won.
In France, the consequences of this reversal of values are dramatic. More and more people are making incoherent comments, and more and more people are not behaving normally, giving the impression that there are more and more people going crazy. Of course, not everyone becomes crazy in the clinical sense, but the ability to make logical reasoning based on facts is disappearing.
Patience and the ability to maintain concentration over the long term are in decline. Attention disorders and hyperactivity take over the whole society. That’s why I’m talking about cognitive collapse, beyond the psychological. Rational thinking is overwhelmed by the pleasure principle, the addictive quest for thrills, impulsiveness, hyper-susceptibility, hyper-narcissism, emotional immaturity, and the flight into the media virtuality, the post-factual reality and the post-truth world. The mastery of the language, written and oral, is lost and tends towards a gradual abandonment of human language and articulated thinking.
The intellectual capacities of the people are in free fall, including in the highest esoteric spheres of power, which is not an oligarchy but an idiocracy, composed of idiots unable to understand that their chaos governance (Ordo Ab Chao) is bad for them too.
Power spends its time fragmenting society, but it itself loses its unity and breaks down. Every level of the social pyramid without exception slowly plunges into anarchy and disorder. Insecurity is steadily increasing and is affecting more and more the bourgeois neighborhoods.
Immigration has its share of responsibility in this civilization collapse, but it is well European French people, still demographically majority, who made Emmanuel Macron win in 2017 and who will start again in 2022. The complete disruption of the French brain also disrupts the instinct of conservation and leads to unnatural and suicidal political choices.
The liberal West and its unipolar project are being overwhelmed by the irrational. Faced with this “proud to be sick” system, how to do? In France, people still more or less lucid call other countries for help, including the group Visegrád and Russia. Protected from liberalism until the 1990s, Russia has developed a dispassionate political and geopolitical vision based on Realpolitik. In the face of Atlanticism, the Kremlin applies a defensive strategy of “managing the sick”. No frontal attack because the declared opposition reinforces the instability of the system and its inconsistency. Do not feed the delirium. Globalism is a troll: “Do not feed the troll!”
To understand Russian geopolitics – and Chinese geopolitics too – we must abandon this liberal cognitive bias called individualism, whose philosophical version is essentialism, and which leads to seeing things in terms of opposition between individual essences, substantial monads. But the system is more important than the individual. It is therefore necessary to adopt a systemic or cybernetic approach that leads to seeing things in terms of interdependence between the parts of the system, up to and including in the conflict. Russia has a great cybernetics school since the Soviet era, which works on the modeling and predictability of social phenomena, especially on this discipline derived from the game theory called “reflexive control” (Рефлексивноеуправление).
This approach opens up a systemic view of the conflict: to neutralize the enemy, we are no longer in the frontal opposition but in the integration and the creation of interdependence between him and me, by multiplying feedback loops so that it strikes itself when it strikes me, what cybernetics calls the blow-back, but also that it does good when it does me good, principle of the “virtuous circle”. A hybrid war specialist, Andrew Korybko, points out in his articles that Russia seeks to position itself as a general balancing factor between all parties, therefore an impartial actor in the position of referee and occupying the center of the geopolitical chessboard.
Korybko takes as an example diplomatic relations between Russia, Israel and Iran, including the process of Eurasian integration where Moscow wants to bring in Israel but also Iran. The Russian strategy here is to bring Israel and Iran into a system of interdependence that will mechanically force them to pacify their relations. We talk with everyone; we stay in contact with everyone, including Netanyahu, because that is precisely what Netanyahu does not want! This intentional production of interdependence between all geopolitical actors is the key to understanding the great Russian strategy, which must become the great Eurasian strategy, from Lisbon to Vladivostok, under the name of multipolar world.
To prevent war, we must already prevent the creation of clear-cut enemy camps. For that, it is necessary to create a maximum of interdependence between the enemy camps so that they are the least opposed and separated possible. For thousands of years, Chinese strategists have been talking about winning the war without fighting. It does not mean doing nothing, it is an active non-action that acts upstream of the declared conflict so that it does not declare itself.
To win the war without fighting means to prevent the emergence of clear-cut camps that clash directly, so to keep in touch with everyone, to maintain an interdependence of all the actors so that the confrontation does not even take place, or that it cannot be direct, or it impacts everyone, including the aggressor, if it ultimately happens.
Thus, and not otherwise, we will win the war against Atlanticism and unipolar globalism. You have to protect yourself from the devil, but you must not hit him.
Hitting the devil does him good and strengthens him. Hitting the devil increases the level of general violence, so increases instability and general inconsistency, and that’s what the devil wants. To really hurt the devil, you have to forgive him for being who he is and for integrating him into a larger system.
Some would say that this coldly strategic approach is structurally similar to Christian charity, particularly in the interpretation given by René Girard. That’s also what I think. I will conclude with a call to goodwill to open a new chapter of Eurasian studies that addresses this convergence between Christian wisdom, Asian wisdom and social cybernetics in what could be called a geopolitical martial art.
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