Voegelin’s Gnosis, Part 3: Anismism

The point at which the insight or observation of or insistence upon an “anism” or anti-gnosis converts into just another gnosis would be the central problem of anismism, the problem of anismism to itself, already foretold in the paradox of its name and the temptation to start tacking additional “isms” onto it: Anismismism would be very bad anismism as well as a bad joke, the false idol of the return to anism or the image of that return or the discourse of images of that return, and so on, rather than as the actual return to the anismic real.

I was working on some spare-time notes for a period during which I do not in theory possess any spare time, and by now the notes are an unfinished opus. It struck me today that the footnotes to that not yet finished work needed closer scrutiny, and, in the meantime, are turning out to be something like the “notes” post as I had originally envisioned it. So here they are, still rough… not sure when I’ll publish the “real” post, though it feels close to ready.

  1. The following YouTube video is built around the same closing section of “A Time for Choosing” examined in this post. I ran across the video where it was being used as an addendum to a speculative post on the Islamic State’s latest reality-horror agitprop. The juxtaposition might make for an interesting video vs. video, agitprop vs. agitprop comparison for someone with the time and stomach for it. In the meantime, the use of the speech in this way remains typical.

(With apologies to john c halasz, who could not have anticipated in his comment responding to my comment, under my most recent post collecting comments, that I would decide to make a couple of posts out of my reply. I have left his comments unaltered, and hope that others will not hold whatever typos or other incidental imperfections against him, but rather treat them as reminders that his remarks were informal, would not have been composed with the expectation that I’d be using them in this way, and, unlike mine, are not subject to convenient revision.)

1 – geography and politics

john c halasz says:

Yes, 2 oceans and abundant natural resources, (though the latter are somewhat relative to economic/technological systems). But geo-political considerations apply quite generally and are never completely explanatory.

I say:

No explanation explains anything “completely,” but there’s more to the idea than “2 oceans and abundant natural resources.”

Yes, geopolitical or geographic factors come into play according to economic and technological potentials, but the latter also are conditioned by the former. The two oceans were a nearly impassable barrier up to the 15th-16th Century, then turned into relatively more efficient avenues of trade and communication as well as attack, but still remain of a different character than land approaches. In this regard, “America” can be understood as grown-up child of a long age of practical ocean-faring, still developing in the current era under a process of globalization, with aero- and cyber-space its furthest extension, but with the global system still crucially (in terms of resource-and-supply chains) a water-borne system up to today.