The Cult of Post-modern Impressionism

Operational Definition: The word impressionism comes from the word Impression, which means feeling, belief, notion, opinion – a vague idea in which some confidence is placed. Per se, it is a trust in the void, an unquestionably absurd common sense. It is a vaguely expressed outward appearance. In the context of this article impressionism is defined in its post-modern, socially-constructed features, as a fractured notion. Post-modern Impressionism could be put as follows:

You are expected to live explaining yourself to others (doing everyday self-advertisements) and to act in the spirit of the social script, from the book of acquiescence, affirmation without further inquiry.

This is an age of impressionism. Impressing others is given an unquestionably utmost priority, without proper scrutiny into its purpose, importance, pros and cons. In this zeitgeist each and every individual is expected to impress others, especially the statistical majority in the he dresses (He must dress to impress!), in the manner he speaks (He must be polite!), in the choice of his worship, in his groupie tendencies (He must be friendly!), in the choice of drink and eats, in his political views (He must comply with and appeal to the majoritarian view!) … etc. He is expected to worship at the wrong altar or the god he doesn’t even acknowledge. Socially-constructed, “genuine fake”, culture of impressionism has impregnated us with unnecessary extroversions over desirable introversions. Each individual is expected, as a rule than the exception, to kill himself (his being, his essence) and demolish his world views and tables of values, relinquish his dreams and imaginations for the sake of ‘satisfying’ the social appetite that never gets satisfied no matter how hard he tries. The social appetite for sacrifice is a black-hole, a voracious and infinite vortex that has been and is swallowing and continues to swallow everything in its way, especially virtues like, uniqueness, divergence, deviance, courage, introversion, innovation…etc, within or without, based the dictate: “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell!”

In the 19th century impressionism, in the arts, was a magnum opus of human apotheosis, a symbol of exuberance and real depiction with slight irony of human and non-human beauty with their immanence and transcendence. It showed beauty with all its ugliness, as it is and as it should be. And light (beauty) was there together with darkness (ugliness). The dominance of light didn’t kill the recessively existent darkness. They existed in harmony, at a relative comfort. The two forces coexisted without annihilating or supplanting each other. Light was the face, the appearance whereas darkness was the gray cardinal of difference for the appearance to be portrayed as it is or as it should be.

Mutatis mutandis, impressionism in its post-modern version in the context of the human condition, in this age of smart-thinking, with a machine precision, than intelligent-thinking with all its melodies and maladies, its ups and downs, is a rational robotic-precision-laden ritual of absurd human portrayals and expectations of instinctual outside judgment from the statistical majority, the suicidal fraternity. You impress not because you wanted to, you impress because that is the way things are and should be. You have a majoritarian obligation to kill your taste of beauty from inside-out for the sake of the mythical society of utopian, irrational utilitarianism and immoral and bizarre cultures of human sacrifice, particularly, the “public enemy number one”, the individual, with all its unexplainable absurdities.

But as Ayn Rand has said once in her philosophical novel “Anthem”:

Through all the darkness, through all the shame men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains (in this case, post-modern impressionism), but it will break through. And man will go on. Man (the individual), not men.

In conclusion, if not impressing others whenever they want to is a sin, then let it be. The individual should first be given the time and space to think for and express himself before he is obliged into this cult of impressionism. In Ayn Rand’s words, “If this (deviance from the cult) is a vice, then we wish no virtue.”

Consequently, the zeitgeist of post-modern must and should be debunked and stripped of its non-sensical myths of appeal to the majority for a “better result”, with all its “mocking piety and superstitious absurdity”, if humanity is to progress within reasonable doubt from being to becoming, capable of being anything it could other than it ever was hitherto.

Transcendence comes when there is a courageous individual to bypass the unquestionable social-veil of immanence. To quote from George William Russell’s book, “National Being”:

A lover of beauty will never contentedly live in a house where all things are devoid of taste. An intellectual man (a man of his own imaginations) will loathe a disordered (fideistically ritualistic) society.

The world couldn’t live by ethics (obligations and sacrifices) alone, it also needs aesthetics, the enjoyment, understanding and preservation of beauty with all its transcendental values, limitations and transgressions. What I am modestly proposing once again in the footsteps of my predecessors is a right to be the single candle than the unconsensual obligation to explode together with and for the social fireworks. There is bizarre method to each individual’s madness and the failure to comprehend the madness or the methods should not be used as an excuse for stripping individuals of their essence, unique scent, and independent perspective to the philosophical and scientific pinnacle.


Written by John Muthukattil, Author on Ecology and Humanities, from Kottayam, Kerala, India

Machines, from the Maxim gun to the computer, are for the most part means by which a minority can keep free men in subjection.~ SIR KENNETH CLARK, (Civilization)

Men have become the tools of their tools ~ THOREAU

The real problem is not whether machines think, but whether men do. ~ B. F. SKINNER, in Contingencies of Reinforcement

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. ~ MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., Strength to Love

The inventor tries to meet the demand of a crazy civilization. ~ THOMAS ALVA EDISON

We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life remain completely untouched. ~ LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN

If we can believe advertisements, what matters to people most is the personal ownership of machinery: cooking machines, blending machines, driving machines, picture machines, sound machines, tooth-brushing machines, computing machines, machines to kill insects, deliver intimacy, send messages through wires or the naked air, entertainment machines, shooting machines, and many more mechanical extension devices of our physical self. Indirect control over even more ambitious devices like flying machines, bombing machines, voting machines…. seems to matter a lot, too. Medical science has machines that will breathe for you, talk for you, hear for you, eat for you, circulate your blood and even sweat for you if you should ever happen to need them. Medical science even now has marvelous machines which will replace parts of human body or do the work of parts that fail.

Surrounded by all-powerful tools, man is reduced to a ‘tool of his tools’.  As the years go by we won’t be able to survive without the use of current and future technology. The internet and the cell phone, for example, haven’t been around for a long time since millions of years. Can you now imagine living your life without them? We’ll continue to depend on technology until that time when we find ourselves lost and confused by them.

This crisis, it bears emphasis, originates in human success or what we call ‘progress’: humanity’s accumulating, accelerating success in acquiring, disseminating, and applying science-based knowledge. Then, at some point within this period, something happened.  To take a phrase from nuclear science, human inventiveness reached critical mass, and advance led to advance at increasing speed. Viewed through history’s eye, this success has come in a sudden burst. In just the 200 years we call the Industrial Age, humanity became an influence on Earth’s fundamental mechanisms.  Now this anthropogenic impact threatens to destroy the very environmental conditions that enabled human ‘successes’.

The individual has become increasingly dependent on large-scale production and the operation of society as a whole, and relationship are far more complex and interdependent and susceptible to mechanical control than in any earlier period. From the outset, it was clear that mechanization involved a division of labor. That demands submission to controlled environment and this has proceeded until now it is increasingly difficult for man to be in control of any given situation. When his car goes wrong, the owner seldom knows what part is causing the trouble; an elevator strike can paralyze the whole life of New York.

The story of modern society is the story of mechanization of human society – the story of evolution of human life process from automation by Nature to manual operation by man. This is the story of a society of intellectually degenerate human beings who are today completely dependent on a recently inherited, market-led and technology-sustained social system that can no longer be understood nor be controlled. By the time the machinery breaks down, humanity would be too degenerate to care for itself. In the present context, even genetic decay of all life forms is inevitable.

One of the reasons why contemporary man is overpowered by means is because his powers of integration gradually atrophied under the pressures of the fragmented and specialist approach of the nineteenth century. Today’s broiler (hybrid) chicken-like new generation humans do not know extempore even to light up a candle when suddenly the electricity fails. Now the crucial question is as to how long the intelligent system can go on building upon itself with more sophistication and more intelligence necessarily being incorporated into them, according to the growing demands of the time. It will soon reach a stage when the collective human intellect go awry – many later trends are pointers towards that direction – leading to the total system break down.

Continue reading


Written by John Muthukattil, Author on Ecology and Humanities, from Kottayam, Kerala, India

In the present world, almost 99% humans, including our leaders, are living by depending on second-hand knowledge,  unlike in the past when almost 99% humans were living by depending on first-hand or their own natural live knowledge for almost 99% of the millions years of human existence on planet Earth. This second-hand knowledge is indeed the degenerated form of knowledge — today we call it information – which we get through the mechanization of certain past arrested knowledge or opinion that are largely framed under the influence of some vested interest. That is why today and every day, almost 99% humans are in front of the screen for a few hours, be it before TV at home, hoardings/signposts everywhere outside the home or looking at the Smartphone screen while travelling. An average post-modern adult is found to spend about 6.4 hours per day looking at screens, generally in the case of the younger generation. No wonder, market has succeeded in perpetually keeping almost 99% humans on a consumerist, festive mood by commercializing almost 99% of human activities like religion, politics, media, education, agriculture, science, arts, crafts, entertainment, sports, and so on, or events like birth, death, success, failure, right, wrong and the like— to the extent that today market is sensationalizing even catastrophic crises, including the impending extinction of the human species – to sell its products and ideas. Here who has got the time to take his time! If it is not collective stupidity, at its vituperative best, what else it is?

Psychopolitics and Mass Loyalty and Obedience

You must labour until we have dominion over the minds and bodies of every important person in your nation. You must achieve such disrepute for the state of insanity and such authority over its pronouncement that not one statesman so labelled could again be given credence by his people. You must work until suicide arising from mental imbalance is common and calls forth no general investigation or remark.

 With the institutions for the insane you have in your country prisons which can hold a million persons and can hold them without civil rights or any hope of freedom. And upon these people can be practiced shock and surgery so that never again will they draw a sane breath. You must make these treatments common and accepted. And you must sweep aside any treatment or any group of persons seeking to treat by effective means. You must dominate as respected men the fields of psychiatry and psychology. You must dominate the hospitals and universities. You must carry forward the myth that only a European doctor is competent in the field of insanity and thus excuse amongst you the high incidence of foreign birth and training. If and when we seize Vienna you shall have then a common ground of meeting and can come and take your instructions as worshippers of Freud along with other psychiatrists.

 In a Capitalistic state you are aided on all sides by the corruption of the philosophy of man and the times. You will discover that everything will aid you in your campaign to seize, control and use all “mental healing” to spread our doctrine and rid us of our enemies within their own borders.

An Excerpt from L. Ron Hubbard’sThe Brainwashing Manual


Theodor Adorno and the “Culture Industr[ial Complex]“

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in Frankfurt in 1903 into a wealthy and cultured family. His father, a wine merchant, was of Jewish origin but had converted to Protestantism at university. Teddy (as his closest friends called him) was an extremely fine pianist from a young age. Until his twenties, he planned for a career as a composer, but eventually focused on philosophy. In 1934, he was barred, on racial grounds, from teaching in Germany. So he moved to Oxford and later to New York and then Los Angeles. He was both fascinated and repelled by Californian consumer culture – and thought with unusual depth about suntans and drive-ins. After the war, he returned to West Germany, where he died in 1969, at the age of 64. Continue reading

On the Closure of History Dep’t at the AAU

The Department of History at Addis Ababa University in Focus

That is my fav advice to novice alumni and senior academicians:
Today’s students must avoid falling into the trap of becoming graduate clones. Daring to spend your higher education years doing something you may not do for the rest of your life might just pay off after all.

When Collin Powell was at the point in his life to have a university education, considering the condition of poverty they are in, though with materialistic emphasis, his  mother Ari advised young Powell to go to the School of Engineering. She said to him: “You should go to the school of engineering. That is where the money is man.” Continue reading