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2014 | 2(29) lęki cywilizacji | 5-6

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Er(r)go… , … civilization—progress and order—as a source of fear. Paradoxically, civilization protects us from fear, eliminating threats that originate in nature, but at the same time it amplifies fear, giving birth to its own breed of threats. Having tamed the perilous forces of nature, man faces perils that come from his own works and ideology; every effort towards reaching an equilibrium generates new fractures and cracks, dense with anxiety, terror and fear. Errgo, disorientation, instability, a spiral fall into the naked life, homo anxius between a “grim science of nature” and “creationist fear” congealed into melancholy; man as an outcast of foster-mother nature, the tender guardian of other creatures, and at the same time, a joyful celebration of Marx. Shortage and surplus, wine and Freud’s vinegar. Heidegger’s fear and dread: dread as an ontological framework of fear—“that in the face of which we fear,” “fear itself” and “fearing for.” How is the fore-structure of understanding related to Angst? Alarm, dread and terror. Being-in-the-world as an escape from the inevitability of existence into fear? Unheimlich. Fear and anxiety, the narcissist reflex of panicking: when the object of fear is missing, fear transforms into anxiety. Thus Kierkegaard: nothingness, the source of possibility of possibility as the origin of fear – in the face of the abyss of choice. Should we, therefore, run from fear or wisely come to face it? And why do we constantly have to change masks? Is authenticity a form of a spectacle? Here appears the menacing object a. A perfect doppelganger emerges in the mirror: bliss and excremental identification; the structure of a mirror reflection as the formula of contemporary nihilism. Anxiety, castration, the castration wound, the added jouissance and the access to bliss—the doppelganger holds the key to that bliss. The necessity of bliss as the sole principle of the power of the over-Self and the resultant omnipresent fear. The crowd and raising fear—the playful vibration of community. The regimes of Führers. Adolf Hitler, enfant terrible, playing with blocks—sublime poetic moments. Utopian thinking as a perverse intellectual game of transforming fear into the semblances of collective love. Dewey’s ecology and the pastoral fears of the neopragmatists; somaaesthetics and that which is beyond human. Textuality, literature as the philosophy’s Other and the fear’s of Rorty’s liberal ironist. The fear of technology, the paranoid neo-luddism, the Apocalypse of St. John and conspiracy theories. “We are all terrorists!” ? Zombie, zombie, zombie.



  • Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach; Wydział Filologiczny; Instytut Kultur i Literatur Anglojęzycznych


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