Thus it begins. One warm night in October I enter the world of blogging.
        Actually I “created” this blog probably over a month ago, without really understanding why or what exactly I was intending to do with it. I certainly have little interest in becoming another faceless voice on the internet expressing my snarky erudite opinion about everything from music, wine, and cheese to international politics and metaphysics. Neither am I particularly interested in drawing many readers and trying to make money or stimulate argument and conversation, though there is certainly some value to the latter. Perhaps that is part of the intention here.
        My main motivation was an obligation to writing, a directive both urged upon me by others and stemming from an inner compulsion that yet lacked the necessary form for discipline and the forum. Problematically I have always preferred reading to writing, a fault owing, no doubt, to my very unMontessorian education. Of course, as one of my great teachers once told me you have to write about something. I agree with this up to a point. What experience has taught me, and experience can teach us somethings if we reflect on it, is that the subject of writing, for me, has invariably turned into an essay in/on subjectivity itself.
        We do not stand outside our action, and writing must be a part of action, as a complete and self-sufficient entity. No, we are changed by what we do, by what we write. Every creation is also a self creation. It was Hegel’s genius to realize that, as Badiou writes, “the True is ‘self-becoming’ and must be thought ‘not only as substance but also and at the same time as subject.'”(Alain Badiou, Logics of Worlds, 141) Of course, as Badiou goes on to note one of Hegel’s challenges then becomes avoiding subjective mysticism – and here we must heed the words of my wise teacher – we must write about something. There must be substance as well as subjectivity. If the crime of the moderns or Enlightenment thinkers was the fall into “objective” dogmatism it might be said that our tendency now – the postmodern or whatever- is precisely to slip into the subjective mysticism – of the One as Badiou puts it – since we see connections and analogues everywhere. This entails a loss of rigour as substance is sacrificed to the pervasive insistence of subjectivity, that is to say basically a positing of the transcendental subject in an obfuscated, but nonetheless Kantian form – perhaps not so far from the moderns after all. Upon its insistence of its own primacy the subject is lost because, having no substance, it can again become that most objective of objects the commodity-form.
    This commodity-form of subjectivity (or if you like identity) is something we see increasingly in our world of late or cultural capitalism where it is ideas, cultures, and languages which are in numerous and frightening ways entering into the sphere of market capitalism. The classic example is, of course, the food court – all the exotic cultures etc. in the market square but having lost any real sense of difference and all subjected to the same shopping mall logic/existence. One may of course go further and look at various types of popular music or literature which can be of varying styles and yet all still purchasable, or choosable from the same massive producers (i.e. Amazon/Zondervan/SonyMusic) Actually the concept of style that is evoked, and here we should understand even the hallowed term lifestyle which seems like a supremely subjective instance – the concept of style is revealed to be a very precisely pre-packaged thing. Under the misguided assumption that we individuals create ourselves and choose who we want to be, we are produced by market conditions. We do not choose the music we like the industry chooses what we are allowed to like. Our very existence is produced by market forces beyond our control, if you like.
       No wonder I was concerned about writing a blog. There is no discernible authority on this vast network to engage my work, to critique it, to shape my subjectivity and its substance. There are only the countless faceless others and perhaps the “big Other” (Google?) who so ungraciously allow me to pretend to create myself as I spew a vacuous, disjointed, and altogether too long diatribe into this unforgiving and disembodied medium known as the internet or cyberspace. Come to think of it the internet is very like a subjective mysticism of the One. A pretense of equality and unity (of ideas and interests) which, in its largesse, takes the concreteness, the substance, the importance away from every voice.
Much like Democracy.