Eulogy for the Practical Man
Posted by Vladimir , 10 November 2012 · 658 views
This article is best read while listening to The Masterplan.
The world of practical men often has occasion to laugh and mock the theorists and theories that seek to explain their domain. "What is the point of it all" they scoff. Why question such basic causes, connections, goods, evils and truths when they’re so obvious to me? They sit smugly, surrounded comfortingly by their common sense, attempting with the last of their strength to live in an independent, practical 'world of the real'. And in each moment they fail to recognise that every action they witness and every truth they know is nothing but the lingering imprint of some dead and defunct theoretician.
One practical man looks at a war and sees a battle between alliances, another sees a battle between moralities, yet another a battle between cultures, and another still a battle between classes. Each is quite certain in his own unique truth, reacting to it in his own unique way as a result. And so the theory that he mocked as purposeless just moments before quietly welcomes him into its fold. Slowly the practical man must come to the realisation that far from being the master of his domain, he is but a slave of the theorist's.
It can be seen therefore that every man, no matter how practical or introspective he may be, is operating based on the hidden assumptions, truths and demands of an underlying theory: the only difference is how much he realises it and thus how much control he has over his own actions. If the man fails to realise the reality of the structures, powers and influences around him, then no matter how revolutionary he considers himself, no matter how inspiring his voice sounds to his own ears, he is doomed to exist as just one data-point in millions as he perpetuates the hidden hand that controls him.
We can see these practical men in every gutter and every office around us, working away diligently and thinking themselves accomplished. We saw it in the downfall of the Continuum, as so many practical men came out of the woodwork to proclaim a new world on the basis of... of what? A desire to see it? Like so many before them they were blind to the realities of power and structure. They had failed to investigate, to analyse, to theorise, and so they found themselves duped by the one-eyed king who knew how to use the structures and sought only to crown himself atop of them. The great self-proclaimed ‘revolutionaries’ of an age were buried to the eulogy of useful idiots, renewing that which they were revolting against, left as neither destroyers nor creators, forgotten to the pages of dust and mould.
It is the folly of the celebrated great men in every epoch -- preachers of death, revolutionaries and kings alike. If you cannot see the realities of power and structure, if you are blinded by the golden robes of its momentary occupants, then you cannot rise to truly control, destroy or create anything. You are forever a slave and never a master. And as the defunct theory that serves as the foundation of your 'practical' action is undermined and destroyed by contraduction, the destructive life-denying force of nihilism begins to take hold and destroy you along with it.