Dehiscence: It’s Over (But What Is “It”?)
I’ve been struggling to put together a piece on the significance of co-emergence as a challenge to the mental-rational structure of consciousness and to modernity’s roots in Cartesian metaphysical dualism. So far, I haven’t been satisfied with the results.
But the principle of co-emergence bodes fair to finally displace the disease of metaphysical dualism, so I suggest you familiarise (maybe even saturate) yourself with it by reading as much as you can on the subject. Co-emergence has the same significance as “dependent co-arising” or “co-origination” (interdependency and interconnectedness) in Buddhism and is also implicated in ecology and quantum mechanics. This has a great many implications for the future of consciousness and the needful re-orientation of society in the Planetary Era.
For today, however, I wanted to draw your attention to an older article titled “It’s Finished” on the financial crisis by John Lancaster in The London Review of Books (LRB). Perhaps one of you even directed this to my attention in the old Dark Age Blog. In any case, I finally got around to reading it through to the end. It’s lengthy, but worth the read. And I may even try to acquire his book about it which he has entitled Whoops!
But after reading the article, I wasn’t entirely sure what exactly “It” was that Lancaster considers finished. I’m not even sure if Lancaster isn’t alluding to the famous last words of Jesus on the crucifix — words that, in effect, closed the era that had preceded him. And perhaps that is what Lancaster intends by entitling his article “It’s Finished”.
“It” could be understood as the Modern Era. You will note in the article some strange coincidences in this regard, particularly his mention of da Vinci’s assistant, the Franciscan monk Luca Pacioli who is credited with inventing modern accounting methods. That association of Pacioli and the perfector of perspectivism isn’t coincidental. (And if you find that association intriguing, you might want to learn more about it in Alfred Crosby’s higly recommended book The Measure of Reality: Quantification in Western Europe, 1250-1600, an important contribution to understanding the roots of the mental-rational structure of consciousness in perspectivism and the origins of the Modern Era itself).
In other respects, “It” could refer to the consensus or troika of neo-liberalism/neo-conservatism/neo-socialism that formed around the ostensible superiority and inevitable victory of the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism. You don’t really hear much about this any longer since the free market meltdown forced its proponents to eat some crow. For Lancaster, “It” is the now waning leadership role of the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism and of the consensus that formed around its alleged superiority (and about which it presumed to lecture the world).
Oh, you can bet, though, that there will be plenty of attempts at reconstructing that narrative in defiance of the reality — a lot of “perception management”, about which “manipulatory activity” LeapE2020 warned in its article on the global systemic crisis to which I linked earlier, even in the guise of “creative accounting”.
In any case, one of the aspects of the mental-rational structure of consciousness having entered into its deficient (or “de-mented”) mode is that “the pursuit of rational self-interest” slides very easily into the mood of “every man for himself” typical of the shipwrecked. That was also the ever-present negative and perverse aspect of the principle of self-interest waiting for its opportunity to erupt.
Dehiscence, dispersal, disintegration. The measures taken by governments and financial institutions to date, described by Lancaster, are stop-gap. They are not solutions because they do not address themselves to the underlying structural problem.