I know why the caged lion paces

October 10, 2023

“What we call ‘normal’ is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience. It is radically estranged from the structure of being. The more one sees this, the more senseless it is to continue with generalized descriptions of supposedly specifically schizoid, schizophrenic, hysterical ‘mechanisms.’ There are forms of alienation that are relatively strange to statistically ‘normal’ forms of alienation. The ‘normally’ alienated person, by reason of the fact that he acts more or less like everyone else, is taken to be sane. Other forms of alienation that are out of step with the prevailing state of alienation are those that are labeled by the ‘formal’ majority as bad or mad.”
-R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience

“[Foucault's] thesis: there is no essence, telos, or purpose in the self which could be realized through a well-ordered society and hence no self-alienation in the existing order; but every order, by creating a self appropriate to it out of the raw material available, simultaneously organizes and subjugates the self.”
-William E. Connolly, Politics and Ambiguity

“No individualist philosopher has ever proven that the human animal is predesigned to correspond to the shape assumed by the modern normal individual, and thus none has proven that this formation can be forged and maintained each generation without imposing cruelty upon those who adjust to its dictates as well as those who are unable or unwilling (can we ever sort out these proportions with confidence?) to do so.”
-William E. Connolly, Identity|Difference

“. . . the welding of a hitherto unchecked and shapeless populace into a firm form was not only instituted by an act of violence but also carried to its conclusion by nothing but acts of violence—that the oldest ’state’ thus appeared as a fearful tyranny, as an oppressive and remorseless machine, and went on working until this raw material of people and semi-animals was at last not only thoroughly kneaded and pliant but also formed.
-Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals