Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 24 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Life Arts   

Riffin' Jazzy Jukin': Bernard-Henri Le'vy Scourges Mad King Corona

By       (Page 1 of 5 pages)   2 comments, 2 series
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 517692
Follow Me on Twitter     Message John Hawkins
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)

Image from Twitter User ademirhan
Image from Twitter User ademirhan
(Image by Twitter User ademirhan)
  Details   DMCA

Riffin' Jazzy Jukin': Bernard-Henri Le'vy Scourges Mad King Corona

by John Kendall Hawkins

"I used to be Deleuzenal, but now I'm not Saussure."

- Paris toilet stall wall where the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore used to be


"And the parting on the Left / Is now the parting on the Right"

- The Who, Who's Next, "Won't Get Fooled Again"

You have to wonder sometimes if Bernard-Henri Le'vy (BHL) ever got past May 1968. Paris. Riots. Fires. A Communist revolution. Over in Praha, they were having themselves a Spring, even a halloween party, and calling it "Socialism with a Human Face." In America, they were busy assassinating moral and political leaders and the left was on trial for its thoughts in Chicago. Baeder-Meinhof and Black Panthers and the Weather Underground were on their way. Ideological gangs of the Cold War rumbled -- chain-smoking and tired ironies in cities everywhere, the old Left-Right shuffle. Le'vy was having none of it. "Marxism is the opium of the people," he declared in Barbarism With A Human Face (1977) and Socialism, he said, always ends in the Gulag.

Now, we could add, Capitalism always ends with a Trump, chump or (drum roll) worse.

Le'vy's still at it, like Dylan, who just keeps on keeping on, another Wandering Jew condemned for his intellectual apostasies to tour the earth until the Second Coming of Marx, and arrival of the Anti-Cap. Heads will roll. But in the meantime, as far as Le'vy, and many other thinkers, are concerned, socialism is bullshit (see Gulag above), more bland pie in the overcast sky, unevenly distributed. This has not made him the darling of the Right, except by co-optation, but it has not enamored him with the Left either. He's tricky, like Dylan, that way.

Le'vy's back our way again with a new short tract, The Virus in the Age of Madness, wherein the profligate son of Hegel takes on the Corona phenomenon and how the world, especially Americans, have dealt with the pandemic's effect. The context of his response is encapsulated in the presumption of its title -- we live in an age of madness. This recalls Nietzsche's oft-cited observation from Beyond Good and Evil, that "Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule." Le'vy's The Virus is propelled by this underlying, philologically-informed Nietzschean notion. Look at the language we use around Covid-19 and the collective false consciousness it evokes.

Imagine you're hunkered down, settled into your self-isolation, Internet access gone, curfew in place, arrogantly literate, and you discover yourself with one dega book in the house, just one -- Michel Foucault's Madness and Civilization. You always meant to get around to finishing it, having stopped with the Ship of Fools description, ships as asylums for the medieval mad roving from port to port, and you thinking: I wonder if this is what happened to Hamlet on his way to exile in England; the ship fools caught on to an evil ruse and hoiked Rosencrantz and Guildenstern into their own spittoons, and, the next thing you know, It's alas poor Yorick time. You always wanted to finish M and C, but not really. And now, it's read or die, really literate motherf*cker: You choose.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Interesting 2   Must Read 1   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

John Hawkins Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Australia. His poetry, commentary, and reviews have appeared in publications in Oceania, Europe and the USA, such as Cordite, Morning Star, Hanging (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Chicago 7: Counter Cultural Learnings of America for Make Money Glorious Nation of Post-Truthvaluestan

Finding the Mother Tree: An Interview with Suzanne Simard

Sonnet: Mother's Day Poem

Book Review: 2034:A Novel of the Next World War

Outing the Appendix: The Climate Change Wars

Dylan at 80: A Sonnet of Appreciation

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: