"Religion, is the doorkeeper of Totality"
The constitutive weakness of the fundamentalist, it is to irremediably be this man who saw the man who saw the bear. Even more accurately it may be said that he is the man who essentially did not see anything at all.
The fundamentalist's life denies point by point the experience of the mystics on behalf of whom he pretends to be authorized to appear. Earning his own living as a poor wretched representative, lieutenant and businessman of the mystic, the fundamentalist deeply does not live anything at all. Neither his god, nor anything else. Whereas the mystic lives his god, the fundamentalist is happy enough to believe in it and thus to prove by his own example that "when the wise shows the tree, the monkey looks at the finger ".
The fundamentalist can by no means reach anything religious, because for him the divine word is never in question. Stuck within what he thinks he understands of the Letter, his attachment to details reveals the infinite distance that separates him from what all the texts always stated as the Unutterable beyond all the details: God.
But in an historical period where one lies
better than one breathes, it is hardly surprising that one calls
fundamentalists, integrists, or radicals, those who are so
Because by no means they may be called fundamentalists, since they stick to the letter of a religion and not to the practical experience of the prophets and mystics who created it.
They can by no means be called integrists, since they focus on unimportant ritual details, hence expressing with an obsessional and fastidious precision their total oblivion of the One.
And they cannot be called radical either, since the word radical refers to roots, which as regards religion is quite precisely what was far out of their reach from the start.
of this marvellous quest of the divine, which from immemorial
threw men in an impassioned, ceaseless and patient interrogation of
the word and of the world, fundamentalism closes all questions.
Out of the divine oracle, fundamentalism simply makes a recipe.
Fundamentalism cannot be said to be a religious practice either, although its strength certainly lies in the practical aspects of things. Observing a ritual dumbness about any real concern about the Beyond, fundamentalism firmly keeps his feet on the ground and simply repeats "We do This ", or rather, according to its real prospect: "Those who do not do this are not part of us ".
The effectiveness of this assertion is
immediate, and in this immediacy lies all its proof. It cleans
up all doubts and questions in the
apparences in the same way as the
pointing out gesture
does: "That is
However this immediacy is not God, but the show business of God's owners. The Spectacle of their ownership. In its effective movement, fundamentalism is identical to nationalism, the ultimate proof of which also lies in a "We do This". And if there is certainly not a more convincing statement of the identity, there is not either any clearer statement of the fundamental error of any identity 1 . Because as regards how the used mechanism actually works it does not matter whether This designate God, the Nation, or anything else.
The effectivity of the integrism, it is to appear as the foundation act of the Social. And this act is not a contract. Despite of the obscurity where it hides, one thing is certain and anyone may feel the intimate prescience of it, this This that makes the We, when seen in transparency, always has the color of human blood 2 .
One could think for a while that the stress
that the integrism puts on the ritual could take its roots in a kind
of technical passion. But this is not the case. Fundamentalism here
also remains this emblem of the fall
that it truly is.
Technique and Art as passions rather proceed from an invitation, a proposal, of a "let's do this! ". The accent being on the "do" and not on the "this", while the "us" remains almost implicit. This "us" is like a pleasure and passion of living together without really caring who takes part in the common action. It is a kind of miracle, like a sudden encounter. Something like getting true answers from others, from real others, without even having been expecting any answers.
Although men are a technical species and are certainly not free to be anything else, being a technical species is quite precisely what makes us free.
Art is for its own sake, it is free. Only
its ashes and its slags are ever on sale. Technique, being more modest
hypocrititical, likes to move under the cover of the quite
transparent rags of utility.
The only worth of rite is to be a way, a path towards the Beyond. Or nothing at all. Rite as promoted by fundamentalism is a path to the Same and not to the Beyond. It is nothing more actually than another side of fear.
God speaks and says "Do this in memory of me
". The matter is clear, it connects the daily life to the Beyond. Like
art and technique, it is a proposal, it opens a freedom, and it only
has any sort of religious efficiency as such. One has to be a
fundamentalist to hear a command in these words. How could anyone
celebrate on command? Eating and drinking are part of the constraints
and pleasures of living beings. One may add the memory of God to
or not. But God does not order anything. As for what
he orders, Nature provides for it.
But fundamentalism, absent from and hence
disappointed by, the beating heart of the divine simplicity, must
absolutely hide what it permanently misses and make
diversion. THis is why it always tends to add
something of its own.
Being absolutely unable to perceive the Beyond in what it has - however - right under its own eyes, it definitely wants some show, some Spectacle. And it is critical that this show bursts the eyes, so that the ones who would have happened to grow eyes do not see the fundamentalist's obvious and absolute failure.
Buzzing around self-importanly, totally captive of the profane, profanation himself in each one of his own words and acts, the fundamentalist only conceives the divine power as a kind of police.
Little would be the power of a god if it had to rely on the zeal of the police.
Also the practical
effectiveness of fundamentalism primarily and heavily relies on
Fundamentalism does not know what to speak means and that to repeat
is not to speak.
It is a feature that it shares with the Spectacle. But the Spectacle
care about speech, knowing repetition for an active enough part of
But to repeat God or his word is a blasphemy. It is even more precisely The blasphemy. The essence of Satan is to be the Imitator. God does not have nor need interpreters. He does not even interprets himself or, to say it otherwise, in order to interpret God, the point is certainly not to come in his name, but to proceed from him. 3
Fundamentalism is an improvement. Deeper and
more perfectly than Fascism and Nazism ever were, fundamentalism
is technically equipped archaism. 4
Fascism lived out of a sign5 . The being, when it is not a process, gets empty and fades into a "have". Nazism was based on a "have", on a feature which defined the membership into the right group. That left a plenty of scope as for redefining the semantics associated with the sign at any moment, according to the requirements of the policy or to the leader's whims.
Fundamentalism creates all the possible meanings in just one statement: "We do This ". It never rests in the certainty of a "have" nor in the simple mnemonic safety of a sign. It is a permanent practical concern, the unceasingly re-uttered statement of a We by this This that we do. It is not enough to have the sign or the feature, it is critical to observe all the practice.
Neoliberalism is a fundamentalism. Not only because its permanently calls upon the laws of Economy with same meticulous zeal as religious fundamentalism does in the quasi fractal detail of its practices, but also and more deeply, because it proves everywhere that it prefers the respect of some narrow rites to the economical development that he claims to be its very corporate name.
However, religious fundamentalisms are based
on ancient doctrines or on sets of relatively old texts,
antiquity of which provides some minimum evidence that they are at
least vaguely compatible with the survival of mankind. If not always in
the theory, at least concretely enough as regards the covered
periods of time.
Out of the crucibles of their origins, the religious fundamentalisms preserved some sense of the central value of the human action, how limited by the divine it may be. On the contrary, by connecting any thought and any action to the alleged Laws of Economy, economical fundamentalism tends to evacuates the human responsibility in a kind of generalized "Inch Allah".
In times when God still casually happened to use the Laws of Economy as a sitting bench, everyone knew more or less where the good and the evil were and was thus able to act in front of the adversity. In deep need, when one was running out of resources or imagination, it was still possible to pray, which appeared to work sometimes, and was after all slightly better than doing nothing at all.
Economical fundamentalism is different from
the religious ones as for the thought of the long term. In the context
economical fundamentalism Economy, is presented
in the form of a fate. In spite of the permanent changes and
reorganizations that anyone can witness, it must be clear to all that
no other form of organisation is possible than the present one.
This kind of intellectual miracle is achieved on basis of a mimicry of the natural sciences or more precisely of what the Economy would like everyone to believe that natural sciences are. So the Laws of Economy are presented as natural laws and as such inevitable.
Some watchers 6 however are not easily deceived as, may it be a by choice or profession, they have serious reasons to keep in mind that the Laws of Economy are the only natural laws requiring Police and military forces in order to be effective.
particular framework of the Market Economy, a worsening factor of
modern fatalism is the basic statement according to which, if
each one - individual or group - was to care about his own
cows would be well kept and common interest would automatically raise
out of it, just as Minerve out of Jupiter.
Whereas life patiently invented and permanently improved sexual attraction in order to connect local individual concerns to species related ones, Market Economy pretends to solve similar problems within the social sphere by simply ignoring them.
Further the Laws of Economy claim, that
market mechanisms are for more efficient as regards solving problems
and dealing with dangers and the hidden and unexpected consequences of
human actions than the human mind itself.
Where religions trusted gods that looked and behaved like men and hence were supposed to think a bit, Market Economy propagates the belief that a mechanism will solve any sort of problem far better than human intelligence.
No need to think, to anticipate, to study or to discuss, the invisible hand of the market does all that for you and for the best. Make money and shut up.
When things look like going somewhat wrong, then it's just due to the fact that people did not trust the Market deeply enough. What then? A little bit more market and it's all over.
In terms of faith, the old beliefs into whatever sort of spirits tend to look more reasonable and all well considered not essentially different. What is a spirit after all, but an invisible hand?
One may quite exactly judge of the validity
such a point of view by extending it on its own favorite
The speech of economical popularization makes quite a broad use of automobile comparisons: indicators, dashboards, gears, brakes, accelerator, seized up engine, overheating... Nothing seems to be missing and economical matters are definitely not different of car driving. It is a pleasantly simple analogy which provides on a daily basis for the understanding of economical matters just as firmly and effectively as catechism does regarding the divine ones.
Yet, pedants - academics for the
will object that this simplicity is somewhat overdone and hides the
complexities of Economy as also the pangs in which the poor decision
most often thrown.
These annoying enemies of any sane economical belief obviously sin by laziness as is their usual way. Were they to push the automobile comparison a little bit further, they would clearly see how faithfully it leads to the logical end of it. That is, the traffic jam, in which any motorist has plenty of time to experience the actual condition of decision makers of all levels, when being stuck in his private portion of the mess, he also waits for the revival of business...
It would not be a problem to accumulate
examples to the dreadful consequences of the dismissal of any
form of human intelligence and responsibility that the current faith in
the Laws of Economy has been propagating.
But deeper, whether religious or economical, fundamentalism and its laws, pomp, ceremonies and rites have never been more than the veil of prudishness that poorly covers this basic indecency : whether in groups or on his own, "man is entitled to 24 hours of freedom per day". 7 .
beginning of this
century, it appears that in terms of freedom, no better alternative of
open than choosing between the
aspergillum and the aspergillum.
In both cases the dreadful shadow of the holy temple tends to spread over both society and nature at the same pace as it destroys both.
At least, it seems reasonable to expect that religious fundamentalism will deal much vividly with traffic jams around mosquees and churches 8 than economical fundamentalism currently deals with congestions of its own holy places9. This because religious fundamentalism does not show any evidence of fatalism as regards dealing with problems and trouble makers. It does organize private initiative when necessary or compensates for the absence of it by any means, including the action of the State.10.
The melting of the two forms of
fundamentalism, is fully visible
in the daily news and the serial is almost as interesting and thrilling
as the previous fake
East-West opposition used to be. On TV sets, "In God we trust" answers to "Inch Allah".
One may hence expect that this new world wide puppet show shall provide the human species with the highest satisfactions.
For the ones who care, the advice is: Never mind. Use your wits.
1 - The old magic was
not wrong when identifying the power on the being with the knowledge of
the name. "Come closer little one, and tell me your name so that I may
enclose you in a box"..
2 - René Girard recently, and some others long before him.
3 - As a noble said to the ones who came to arrest him in the king's name: "You belong to the king, but I proceed from the king"..
4 - As the Situationnist International characterized it... But much more concretely according to the practices of the Iranian fundamentalists during the Iran-Iraq war, who used to bleed to death their Iraq prisoners in order to transfuse their wounded soldiers. Iranian muslim fundamentalists thereby demonstrated their superiority over the Nazis who, although not less Aryan than their modern Iranian counterpart were not intellectually equipped to think about such an industrial use of the jewish blood.
5 - under the swastika, the shadow of the cross remains.
6 - Mystics, philosophers, revolutionaries, gangsters of thieves.
7 - Louis Scutenaire.
8 - for instance, by physically eliminating all believers who would not strictly observe the full detail of the prescribed buffoonery. In other terms, as history regularly demonstrated, as many believers as one like. .
9 - i.e. supermarkets, hypermarkets, banks, stock exchange makets or other touristic places.
10 - which, as one may recall, is nothing else that the legitimate use of violence..