The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from October 2018

What is it good for

October 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“What is primitive society? It is a multiplicity of undivided communities which all obey the same centrifugal logic. What institution at once expresses and guarantees the permanence of this logic? It is war, as the truth of relations between communities, as the principal sociological means of promoting the centrifugal force of dispersion against the centripetal […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Forever War · Tolstoy

What is what

October 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“Are hardness and whiteness two distinct qualities in objective existence or are they the same thing perceived by different senses? If neither the hands nor the eyes can solve this problem, who can solve it?” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

It’s logical

October 29th, 2018 · No Comments

1. ‘The white horse is not the horse’—true. 2. ‘A white horse is not a horse’—false. 3. ‘The white horse is not a horse’—false. 4. ‘A white horse is not the horse’—true. – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao; emphases in original)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Easily delineated, our fears

October 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once upon a time there was a traveller drawing for the King of Ch`i. ‘What is the hardest thing to draw?’ asked the King. ‘Dogs and horses are the hardest.’ ‘Then what is the easiest?’ ‘Devils and demons are the easiest. Indeed, dogs and horses are what people know and see at dawn and dusk […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Cart before the horse

October 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there were men of Chêng contending for seniority in age. One man said, ‘My age is the same as Yao’s.’ Another man said, ‘I am as old as the elder brother of the Yellow Emperor.’ They brought the dispute to the court, but the judge could not make any decision. Finally he ruled that […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Mulling it over

October 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“When one experiences thought in its barest form, the interval between a question and its answer can sometimes span centuries.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Tiqqun

The tie that binds

October 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“The State found it in its political interest to overturn, during the last few decades of the seventeenth century, the traditional ethics, to elevate avarice, the economic passion, from the rank of private vice to that of social virtue.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War (emphases in original)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Drink up and listen up

October 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“Drugged wine and useful advice are what wise men and enlightened sovereigns ought to appreciate in particular.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And other misfortunes

October 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“If the sovereign does not allow the humble to criticize the noble and the inferior to denounce the superior, but always expects the powers of high and low to balance, then ministers on equal footing will dare to conspire with each other. In so doing he will increase the number of delusive and deceitful officials.” […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Anti-trust

October 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“The State claims to assume the monopoly of the political, of which the well-known expression ‘monopoly on legitimate violence’ is merely the most vulgar indication. For the monopolization of the political requires the degradation of the differentiated unity of a world into a nation, then to degrade this nation into a population and a territory. […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

And so it is

October 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“If laws are distinct and clear, the worthy cannot over-run the unworthy, the strong cannot outrage the weak, and the many cannot violate the few.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Tyrants in private, dictators in the dark

October 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“The founding act of the modern State—that is, not the first act but the one it repeats over and over—is the institution of the fictitious split between public and private, between political and moral.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Mandelbrot politics

October 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“The essential function of the representation each society gives of itself is to influence the way in which each body is represented to itself, and through this to influence the structure of the psyche. The modern State is therefore first of all the constitution of each body into a molecular State, imbued with bodily integrity […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Depends on you point of view

October 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“One who knows others is clever, but one who knows himself is enlightened. One who conquers others is powerful, but one who conquers himself is mighty.” – Lao Tzu, “The Virtue of Discrimination” (quoted in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Hemmed in

October 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“The modern State means, among other things, a progressively increasing monopoly on legitimate violence, a process whereby all other forms of violence are delegitimized. The modern State serves the general process of pacification which, since the end of the Middle Ages, only persists through its continuous intensification. It is not simply that during this evolution […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Step by step

October 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“The compassionate mother, regarding her infant child, always strives to establish the child’s well-being. If she strives to establish the child’s well-being, she will endeavour to rid the child of calamities. If she endeavours to rid the child of calamities, her reflection and consideration become thorough. If her reflection and consideration are thorough, she will […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Maxed out

October 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“No greater crime than submitting to desire. No greater misery than not knowing sufficiency. No greater fault than avarice. Therefore, who knows sufficiency’s sufficiency is always sufficient.” – Lao Tzu, “Moderation of Desire” (quoted in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Add only a dash of salt

October 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Govern a big country as you would fry small fish: neither gut nor scale them.” – Lao Tzu, “How to Be in Office” (quoted in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

No muzzle-loaders left

October 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“Those who do not know the right way to political order, always say, ‘Never change ancient traditions, never remove existing institutions.’ Change or no change, the sage does not mind. For he aims only at the rectification of government. Whether or not ancient traditions should be changed, whether or not existing institutions should be removed, […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

It’s nothing personal

October 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“When the cartwright finishes making carriages, he wants people to be rich and noble; when the carpenter finishes making coffins, he wants people to die early. Not that the cartwright is benevolent and the carpenter is cruel, but that unless people are noble, the carriages will not sell, and unless people die, the coffins will […]

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Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

If

October 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“If all officials indulge in studies, sons of the family are fond of debate, peddlars and shopkeepers hide money in foreign countries, and poor people suffer miseries at home, then ruin is possible. If the ruler is fond of palatial decorations, raised kiosks, and embanked pools, is immersed in pleasures of having chariots, clothes, and […]

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Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Indeed it is, and a rare thing at that

October 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“The sage is the one who scrutinizes the facts of right and wrong and investigates the conditions of order and chaos. Therefore, when governing the state he rectifies laws clearly and establishes penalties severely in order to rescue all living beings from chaos, rid All-Under-Heaven of misfortune, prohibit the strong from exploiting the weak and […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Dating the death of god

October 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“In the West, the unity of the traditional world was lost with the Reformation and the ‘wars of religion’ that followed. The modern State then bursts on the scene with the task of reconstituting this unity—secularized, this time—no longer as an organic whole but instead as a mechanical whole, as a machine, as a conscious […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The last thing it wants to do is win

October 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“The continuity of the modern State—from absolutism to the Welfare State—shall be that of an endlessly unfinished war, waged against civil war.” Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War (emphasis in original)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Forever War · Tiqqun

The new and improved new and improved

October 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“The historicity specific to the fictions of ‘modernity’ is never that of a stability gained once and for all, of a threshold finally surpassed, but precisely that of a process of endless mobilization. Behind the inaugural dates of the official historiography, behind the edifying epic tale of linear progress, a continuous labor of reorganization, of […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

It’s obvious

October 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“We can recognize the fragile formations of power by their relentless attempts to posit fictions as self-evident. Throughout Modern Times, one of these fictions typically emerges as a neutral center, setting the scene for all the others. Reason, Money, Justice, Science, Man, Civilization, or Culture—with each there is the same phantasmagoric tendency: to posit the […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The state of affairs

October 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“Because King Ling of Ch`u liked slender waists, the country became full of starvelings; because Duke Huan of Ch`i was by nature jealous and fond of women, Shu Tiao castrated himself in order to administer the harem; because Duke Huan liked different tastes, Yi-ya steamed the head of his son and served Duke Huan with […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Long ago and far away

October 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“When the Grand Way was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled All-under-Heaven; they chose worthy and able men; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. Thus men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Put another log on the fire

October 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“The trick of life is never to take the last run, when the mountain is awash in incandescent blue and gold, when the lines and slopes are thinning out and it would be just a quick wait to get on the lift, when your body is spent but you yearn for one last run. This […]

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Tags: Betsy Lerner · Lit & Crit

The old guard

October 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“All of the men go first. Men who went to work every day, smoked cigars and wore fedoras, men who might have strayed but didn’t leave their wives, trade them in for younger models. Played ball with their sons and walked their daughters down the aisle at their weddings. These were men who poured tumblers […]

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Tags: Betsy Lerner · Economics · Lit & Crit