Charlie Hebdo, Politics, Society, Philosophy, individualism, Authority, uniformity, military, police, urban, structure, contract, evil, good, mass, multitude, freedom, peace, dream
One choice left…From Consciousness to Conscience, post Charlie H... - ArtLyst Article image

One choice left…From Consciousness to Conscience, post Charlie H...

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 In response top the recent events of Wednesday 31st of December 2014 “where 10 journalists and two policemen were killed after gunmen opened fire on the Paris office of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo” preceding another event. Published: January 08, 2015 “The shooting is believed to have been carried out in retaliation to the controversial cartoons by Charlie Hebdo, targeting religion and particularly the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.”


What ‘lies’ behind this escalating situation?

 So called religious fanatics are only fanatics, they could not begin to comprehend the difference between the sacred and the profane or the beauty of mystical contemplation. They are not any truer or falser, better or worse than government officials or overpaid executives... all con men/women, cowards, self righteous vapid mediocre minds with an insatiable appetite for a substitute breast that must feed them la crème de la crème 24 hours a day for ever as they gurgle in a soiled apron with resentful satisfaction and fart their way into para-paradise. Ultimately, those who pay for their backhand traffic are all of us, unarmed civilians. There is a problem...obesity and cholesterol saturation of the psyche, and so little time left to make up for the soullessness of the corporate gods…it is obvious they are in much hurry to close the deal. Even black holes apparently dissolve in the emptiness, not empty enough; that incomprehensible space contains life at its most extreme level of exultation. This is what those inane spiritual midgets squeal about. They cannot face their own insipid end, having accumulated an immense superfluous wealth of many kinds over innumerable generations....


It took one man more than 2000 years ago, or rather the death of one man to set the corruption machinery of an entire civilisation across the ages into motion, and this was for a very precise purpose: to establish the supreme example, to show how the wilfulness of an individual must be deterred and stamped out for the good of all, that is, for the good of a system of social repression by which all can profit so long as each remains faithful to their position. To show how even a unique sacred being can be defeated by a wrath mightier than the judgment of a god that after all is nothing but a pitiful invention concocted by the same impostors. To do this through a mythical account from several perspectives was quite a masterful stroke, a crime of universal misinformation aided and abetted by a bunch of egocentric mentally disturbed apostles and the like. What better proof that individualism is the most risky business ever to be undertaken, that any irregularity will be regarded as an anomaly triggering a plethora of obstacles at the best, ailments, derogatory criticism, ridicule, alienation, imprisonment, censorship, torture at the worst and death …death being the only exit left, a merciful epilogue following excruciating agony….the agony and the sorrow of he or she who dares oppose the will of the majority, the potentate of the mass in the image of the supreme magnanimous leader claiming to personalise the voice of the people, the force of an indisputable order, the coherence of lifeless law , and the democratic swamp of homogenous survival. The individual is condemnable, an abomination, a traitor to the nations, an usurper, a demon who must only bare not only his/her cross but the cross of the whole species for being such a shameful scoundrel.


What is an individual? The person who questions her/his own intentions in the light of her/his own conscience in the face of a peril that would be avoided was she/he to neglect it. This is the first rule we each will apply in order to stay alive in (our) society, that is to say not to linger on a troubling feeling that can only lead to the termination of peace in our worldly existence and the destruction of what makes up the sum of who we believe to be here on earth.  Who ever begins to doubt this rule and comment against it will suffer mockery, beatings, maiming, isolation, humiliation, and annihilation, although these treatments have become if one can say, highly refined, sublimated, sophisticated, owing to the new prevailing technologies, for our ancestors the inquisitors, and the Nazis, to cite only two well known instances of organised violence against living beings, have left our ‘petits despotes’ a practicable and efficient legacy now quasi unrecognisable in the guises of helpful moral admonitions, global market packages, sensible advice on family planning, low interest mortgages, urban infrastructures, financial traps wrapped up in institutional  or charitable benevolence, educational pseudo improvements(impoverishment) driven by economic priorities …and the ubiquitous cyber bureaucratic network, state of the arts global spying system we must sing odes to , calling out Santa, our Olympian guides, the ‘supa-brands’, our petrol fakirs, our futures’ prophets to our rescue in the nick of time, far too late in the day. It is then quite a night to come, cold, bent by the blizzard in our comfy sofa, lonely in our saturated social circuits, obsessed with our personal saviour, the little bluish screen lighting up the growing obscurity…until the batteries run out.


Did anyone think that it is not solely the light of stars that is fading in the outer firmament? Each one of us shone once, yet, what is left now is a sky that is slowly emptied of this wonder, the asters once populating the human sphere, dying once and for all.  Yet is it really so? What if we had looked at a mere reflection? Stars may be moving away from a dark concave mirror. It is a reminder we should each also look away from an image that perpetuates the illusion of permanence and immutability, and rather than hypnotising ourselves with a semblance of individuality chaining our mind to the fear of loss, why not turn instead towards the sun within, and finding that a cosmos begins right there. Thereafter, what need would there be for a glittery fatalistic power structure any more than the need for a whale to be surrounded by the shell of a submarine? A grotesque comparison?…. Is this not the point? The charade we partake in is more ludicrous still.


Power structures and city-states are replicated and implemented at all levels of human existence, from the smallest circle, such as family to the greatest, such as species. It is also called society, which could be summed up in one word: blackmail. To leave society is equivalent to turning your back on the mafia or quitting the army while war rages, being aware we are conscientious objector refusing to kill another human being on an order passed on from the lard brain of an invisible figure of authority.  It is therefore reasonable to assume such an act will be regarded as treason or desertion. It is suicidal. Most of us rapidly conclude the odds being against such a choice, the best bet remains compliance and compromise. It is not that simple however for no sooner have we adjusted to one form of self denial than we are strongly advised to cut another branch of our tree in order to afford the tax allocated to our newly acquired privilege. It is then we must decide whether to cut the branch of someone else’s tree who did not so readily comply so as to retain our privileges. Losing such advantages would mean to become ostracised from the resources by which our survival is sustained. We therefore justify this action thus. We are freed of guilt henceforth.

Our conscience knows this to be a subterfuge. It is therefore of utmost importance to emphasise the evil of who has now become a co lateral target in a game that makes prisoners of us all.


There are psychological prompts and emotive hooks that will cause a human being to justify the absolute violation of another human’s dignity and freedom. These entities, and the latter term is intended as a reminder that such humans have lost their individual humanity, are absolutely certain of an un-retractable gain and of a full pardon, having been granted the permission to act out their sociopathic condition through the relentless re conditioning of their unbalanced mind by an authoritative body acting as the universal protector of global indiscriminate brutality towards any human who may happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (this constituting deliberate detachment from functional mapping) for the purpose of destabilising the equilibrium  and disturbing the perception of each individual existing inside the matrix of the state, thus rendering them vulnerable and impressionable. We find this situation replicates the environment of a family where a child will be at the implicit disposal of the unacceptable demands of a figure of authority that possesses a mandate to do as he/she pleases by virtue of the innate trust put in him/her according to the social/familial framework. This implies the absolute submission of the child, a social and emotional submission that will displace any feelings of love, or rather, a psychological fatal osmosis will occur by which love will be associated to the implementation and maintenance of a regime of terror, the more subtle , the more efficient.


We could think it reassuring many police abusers or suicide bombers have not actually suffered abuse at the hands of an authoritative human being in their childhood. But there is also a question of a separation between the carrot and the stick, and how to extract the perfect product of military obedience out of two main distinct sources, i.e., the broken child on one hand, the hollow child on the other. (Here the broken child is associated with the stick, the hollow child with the carrot) The latter term ‘child’ refers to the stage at which development of a psychology was arrested by saturation caused either by physical violence, emotional violence, emotional blackmail, or extreme instances of indoctrination, over emphasis on success at all cost for the sake of family, religious faith or patriotism.


Were ten journalists sacrificed in the name of a deity? Not exactly. What is to be gained, and by whom, by the outrage of public assassination? How did the perpetrators justify their choice of action? Would you wonder how a hammer decides to hit a nail on the head? Were the murderers individuals in full possession of their mind?  And if they were not, would this fact exculpate them? Would this supposition offend their fragile character? Are these fragments of society not performing a function dictated by their cultural environment? Are they not also victims? Would they find this thought insulting? Will they ever find freedom and peace, the principles attributed to the culture they abhor and attack blindly? An intellectual complex residing outside the shores of our ground level provinces, the manageable purgatory of our global techno-polis perpetuates itself by the propagation of our contemporary version of terror infiltrating all manifestations of ideology and politics.


He or she who has abandoned themselves to the ideal, and liquidated their natural asset, namely their individuality, can no longer listen to their conscience, or question the masters who make themselves known only through the ideal they incalculate. The spokes person will not be an individual but the voice of many. The many are not individuals, they are the container and reflector of the ideal declaimed by the spokes person. This conjures up images of glorious communion, of ecstatic unison, such as what is so magnificently portrayed in Triumph of the Will  by Leni Riefenstahl…Not the will to live but the will to immortalise a state of perfection. The survival of the individual entails the possibility of imperfection and must therefor not be permitted. The result is then a uniform multitude that can be moulded into an image of immortality, for perfection is the (assumed) property of deity.


This is a new promise, no longer pointing to a distant heaven in the ether of the cosmos but to the earth as a state of pure synchronised choreography of humanity to which we must all aspire equally and ensure thereby the scintillating machine of progress will transport us into an apotheosis of collective empowerment. This is the offer we cannot refuse, a social contract we sign like a blank check with a gun directed at our free hand.

Yet, again and again, a glitch will appear on the sterile plane of scientifically validated existence. An individual will stick their neck out, rear their ugly head, raise their annoying voice, laugh when they should grieve, weep when they should sneer. A solution has evaded our weak tyrants. They will continue to pay savants to invent new apparatuses in the hope these will put an end to the individual right down to the last. In their dreams…if they have any.




Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2015

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