Apologies for scant blogging, I’m overwhelmed with work & humanity, barely able to function with people demanding my emotions at every turn. However, one anecdote from work last week: I was talking to an Italian architect woman with an austistic son, she herself strikes me as “on the spectrum” and is an unpleasant, shrewish creature; I mentioned the great Hundertwasser and she scoffed that he isn’t a good architect; she told me that, among modern architects, Le Corbusier is a great architect, and she would love to live in one of his buildings. “Really?” I said, alarmed, since not even Le Corbusier wanted to live in one of his buildings; indeed, as far as I’m aware none of these hideous modern architects chose to live in modern housing, preferring for some inexplicable reason classical houses of a modest, human scale.
She sneered at me, “You must understand what Le Corbusier is doing with space. When you know what he is doing, it is very interesting.”
I nodded politely, thinking “fuck off”.
Later, I thought this is a kind of modern gnosticism; the idea is, once you have the correct, left-wing gnosis (knowledge), you see things as they truly are. And as with some gnostic sects, this enables a total inversion of morality and aesthetics. Fair is foul and foul is fair, to quote Macbeth. In Shakespeare’s play, the witches act as an irruption into the natural order, and tempt Macbeth to kill his king; from then on, the natural order is disrupted, there is no central axis of instinctive morality and valuation. In the play, it is not so much that evil is seen as good, as that the two are confused:
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good.
Throughout the play, there are references to nature, principally of this sort “A great perturbation in nature”, and “unnatural deeds/Do breed unnatural troubles” with the gruesome image of Duncan’s horses:
And Duncan’s horses–a thing most strange and certain–
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending ‘gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.
‘Tis said they eat each other.
They did so, to the amazement of mine eyes
That look’d upon’t.
It is not so much a play about evil as madness – Macbeth and his wife don’t believe they are right, or morally justified in some demonic scale; they merely eschew all sense of right and wrong and are left with chaos.
The madness to which they succumb has, in a sense, fallen over a substantial minority of the West – principally, those deemed “intellectual”. Lady Macbeth appeals to Macbeth’s manliness, to overcome his natural reluctance to murder his king; those like this architect appeal to “knowledge”, as if knowing some piece of technical data will turn this:
into a pleasing public monument. Ah but if only you understood what he’s doing with space, then you would like it, and want to live there, the architect would say. If only you had the secret knowledge, the correct gnosis, the Masonic password, you too would worship the dark ones and spread ugliness, lies, and evil with a pleasing glow of your own superiority and election.
This modern gnositicism appeals by saying, You can ignore your god-given instincts, your nature, you can despise those who still perceive beauty and virtue; you can call them “ignorant”. We will give you knowledge, carefully artificed knowledge, and then you will see that the ugly is in fact “interesting”, and the beautiful must be exterminated and erased.
They seek to overwrite the natural instincts, to contain the human soul in a demonic cage. Thus, their buildings resemble their own minds: mechanistic, rigid, nasty, oppressive. Those like the architect may not be themselves evil, in the Sorosian sense; but they are “on the spectrum”: they do the dark one’s work, joyfully.
It is wrong to say that all modern productions are bad; it is rather that those which serve “the good, the beautiful, and the true” (Vox Day’s words) are actively suppressed, denigrated, condemned; so we should be grateful for anything post-WW2 which doesn’t make one feel small and weak and helpless. I don’t know anything about Hundertwasser’s life or character, but a building like this – in the middle of dismal Magdeburg – gives me pleasure:
– no gnosis required.