Deconstruction

Emmanuel_Levinas

Emmanuel Levinas (photo Bracha L. Ettinger)

Deconstruction is an exact science that applies creative geometric thinking (specifically innovative liminal thinking) and therefore reveals priorly unknown possibilities as problems are typically opportunities in disguise.

The notion of deconstruction has been much misunderstood. It has been claimed that this is a “method”,  a “philosophical school” or even a “semiotic tendency” that purportedly “was invented” by Algerian-born French Jewish philosopher and universal genius Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) on the basis of what are known as so called “post-structuralism” and so called “post-modernism” in spite of Derrida’s vehement rejection of both replacement ideologies.

This type of simplistic fallacious thinking is precisely that which Derrida rejects such as logocentrism, phallogocentrism and phonocentrism. Since Derrida’s demise has it unfortunately become increasingly socially acceptable to spread such defamation against the extensive intellectual heritage and profound thought of Jacques Derrida. Indeed, there is probably no person in history who has been more defamed than Jacques Derrida.

Derrida’s thought is rather founded in two ancient traditions of thinking. One is the Jewish intellectual tradition of rabbinic thought as Derrida’s esteemed chavruta partner (dialectic study partner), Lithuanian-born French Jewish philosopher and avid student of the Babylonian Talmud Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) considering that Levinas indeed is the by far most important intellectual influence on the thought of Jacques Derrida to the point of Derrida saying that there is “no difference” between his thought and the thought of Levinas.

The other main influence is the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing which today in overt public discourse is mostly associated with the intellectual heritage of German-born American Jewish political philosopher and classicist Leo Strauss (1899-1973). Indeed, Levinas and Strauss were as Derrida himself prominent Jewish geniuses of their time. Prussian-born philologist, philosopher and accomplished genius Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a pro-Jewish opponent of German nationalism who inaugurated the intellectual renewal of the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing in “secular” i.e. post-Christian (but still almost completely culturally Christian) time. It should be added that the long tradition of rabbinic thought is also founded in the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing. 

Derrida’s intellectual life mission is indeed precisely about intellectually realizing Nietzsche’s own project for the Jewish intellectual reinvention of Europe. Democratic Zionism itself was founded by Jewish intellectuals who were profoundly intellectually inspired by the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, the pre-eminent innovative thinker of their time. It is no exaggeration to describe Nietzsche as what Rabbinic Judaism refers to as a person of non-Jewish parentage with a Jewish soul, as he was a magnificient modern Hebrew prophet indeed.

Then what is deconstruction? Deconstruction is not only a distinctive science but indeed an exact science. What is known as “analysis” is to deconstruction what chemistry is to physics. Indeed chemistry is devoted to studying constituent elements while physics in contrast is devoted to studying the interrelationships between constituent elements. Deconstruction therefore is the study of spacing in language and other such expressions. Contrary to common prejudice did Derrida not invent deconstruction (he merely coined the term!) although Derrida’s intellectual project very much is about selectively destroying the mostly nefarious influence of barely secularized Christian metaphysics on human cultures worldwide. For Derrida this also very much requires selectively intellectually destroying the racial supremacist ideology of “humanism” and hence the presence of so many non-human Animals in the works of Jacques Derrida.

The approach of deconstruction as introduced by Derrida involves introducing Jewish modes of thought as a means towards completing the process of secularization as inaugurated by the Aufklärer (so called “Enlightenment” thinkers). However, the approach of the Aufklärer was founded in structural Anti-Judaizing Neo-Hellenism whereby they sought to rid society from Judaizing intellectual influences of Christianity and restore Europe to the perceived historical glory of Hellenism.

Indeed, the Aufklärung (“Enlightenment”) began with the so called “Reformation” in Germany as led by vehement Anti-Jewish hater Martin Luther (1483-1546) who in his infamous 1543 book “The Jews and their Lies” (Von den Jüden und iren Lügen) advocated genocidal persecution against the Jewish people. Liberalism, Marxism and Nazism as modern political ideologies all began as political projects to structurally rid the culture of Christendom from Judaizing influences. As Christianity itself and therefore also Christendom has its roots in Hellenistic Judaism did all three movements as their medieval Christian theological predecessors completely fail in this respect and even so one might say in a spectacular manner.

Indeed the Catholic notion of “natural right” is founded in a certain Catholic historical intellectual inversion of Jewish mitzvot (Jewish religious obligations) from obligation to entitlement although the Catholic thinkers who introduced the natural rights could not say or write so openly for fear of being publicly stigmatized as so called Judaizers. Natural rights are today in contrast usually known under the racial supremacist term of “human rights”. The modern political ideology of Liberalism as separated from inception from its historical roots in the Catholic church originally sought to marginalize Judaic influences on society through the tool of the Christian ideology of “secularism” which indeed privileges imperialist Euro-Christian culture over all other human cultures. Marxism is a certain secularization of Jewish redemptive history as founded in barely secularized Christian metaphysics and so the Judaic and Hellenistic (“metaphysical”) influences on Marxism can hardly become disentangled without dismantling the modern political ideology of Marxism itself. Nazism of course was the one of the three which was the most explicitly Anti-Jewish although Nazism itself can very much be described as a culturally Christian literalist appropriation of the Israelite state archive known as the Hebrew Bible, yet entirely without the reinterpretative Jewish intellectual tradition of the two Talmuds and rabbinic literature generally.

Derrida’s approach to deconstruction is to be sure neither Anti-Christian nor Anti-Hellenistic but his approach is best understood as an unfinished cleanup operation whereby nonsensical Para-Christian elements of the philosophical tradition are scandalized and ridiculed indeed. Of course this is not to infer that everything Para-Christian is nonsensical but rather than most are and that the Jewish intellectual tradition as a certain khôra (i.e. exterior perspective) is a highly appropriate starting point for scandalizing and destroying metaphysics; meaning specifically the nonsensical and even nefarious elements of the Para-Christian. Indeed, the Jewish intellectual tradition is the radical other of Christian metaphysics which Derrida correctly describes as originally a form of Greek ethnocentrism.

Derrida’s deconstruction is of course not a method but rather a certain redemptively Jewish deliberate destruction of the imperialist intellectual culture of Christendom. There is no question however that Derrida is the most misunderstood thinker in the history of what is known as philosophy as it is virtually impossible to truly understand Derrida’s modes of thought without familiarity with the history of Jewish intellectual culture. To be sure, Derrida is not a “secular” (i.e. Para-Christian) thinker, rather he is a Jewish revolutionary rebelling against oppressive nonsensically “secular” (i.e. Para-Christian) culture. Intellectual rebellion against oppressively surrounding society is indeed part of Jewish intellectual culture and so it is impossible to for example understand the historical context of the Christian so called “gospels” of the so called “New Testament” without understanding this very Jewish culture of intellectual rebellion as free and open debate is considered a religious virtue in rabbinically Jewish culture. Humor as an important element of Derrida’s intellectual heritage is also part of revolutionary Jewish intellectual culture as even Jewish religious humor is devoted to poking fun at “the sacred” although this is surely shocking to religious imperialism.

While Derrida certainly did not invent deconstruction (which is all over the Talmud and rabbinic literature!) and originated in the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing is it nevertheless important to study Derrida’s approach to deconstruction. Derrida applies geometric (specifically liminal) thinking in a manner that is certainly not reducible to any “geometric method”. Rather the purpose of dialectic yeshiva study, the Great Tradition of the Art of Writing and indeed Derrida’s own approach to deconstruction is indeed to teach others to think for themselves by means of innovatively learning geometric liminal thinking. Thus Derrida’s purpose is not to become revered by Euro-Christian society in Para-Christian style as yet another Jewish founder (sic!) of discursivity as Derrida’s discursivities which he largely derived from Levinas cannot reasonably be understood in isolation from the cultural context of Jewish intellectual culture. Jacques Derrida also cannot be reasonably understood without simultaneously also understanding his chavruta partner and main intellectual influence Emmanuel Levinas. Indeed, Levinas is precisely to Derrida what Socrates is to Plato, an esteemed chavruta partner indeed.

Although Jacques Derrida was indeed an accomplished universal genius is it nevertheless possible to learn to apply Derrida’s approach in deconstruction, certainly not as a method but rather as agency of conceptual innovation. While analysis as already mentioned divides something into its constituent parts is deconstruction rather concerned with the inter-relationship between its constituent parts, meaning that analysis is precisely like chemistry and deconstruction is precisely like physics. However it is no secret that most aspects of physics (quite unlike chemistry) are simply unknown to the scientific community and the same is true of deconstruction. While analysis typically in phallogocentric and phonocentric manner assumes that human spoken language is reducible to mathematical-style logics (i.e. Para-Christian “revelation”) does deconstruction instead prove the non-mathematical and instead liminal nature of human language, the human brain and human thinking. The neo-Hellenistic attempts at reducing veracity to “metaphysical” systems (essentially pseudo-religious conspiracy theories) are not only preposterous but fundamentally unethical considering that systems are precisely unethical indeed. So called “metaphysics” is originally an historical product of the Greek language and human language itself is contrary to a long tradition of Eurocentric (i.e. Para-Christian) thought simply language irreducible to logics.

What is specific however to Derrida’s own approach is the medical nature of his intervention in discourse. What does this mean? This means that Derrida identifies the negative influence and similar to gene therapy removes negative aspects and typically supplants it with a neologism similar to how in gene therapy an exterior allele is introduced instead of the removed pathological allele. Not only is deconstruction the physics of discourse but Derrida is himself the most preeminent physician of discourse.

Much like physics explores that which already exists does deconstruction reveal already existing structures in discourse and rigorous deconstruction is very much an exact science although unlike mathematics which reveals logic does deconstruction reveal the unfounded, yet liminal nature of the workings of the human brain and thus discredits the Para-Christian notion of the unity of Logos in the flesh. While a brain may understand logics is the brain itself not essentially logical but rather liminal indeed.

Intellectual innovation therefore reveals possibilities that in theory always were possible but only become possible once functionally understood. This is what deconstruction does by means of geometrically liminal thinking and in order to understand both deconstruction generally and Derrida’s approach to deconstruction specifically; one must understand that innovation is about making apparent what was always possible yet was simply unknown and mostly so due to intellectual inertia such as thinking inside the box of paradigm, dogma and genre. Deconstruction thus does what all science should do which is not only revealing logical phenomena but also illogical ones.

What is very much needed therefore is applied deconstruction (Derrida was mostly concerned with abstractions) and indeed applied critical theory generally as Derrida’s deconstruction of course is an extension of the Jewish science of Critical Theory which is certainly not reducible to any particular political ideology, neither Marxism nor any other political ideology. Indeed, applied deconstruction as social engineering is very much part of the task of the WPJO, namely responsible social innovation (i.e. Tikkun Olam) as a response to political and social problems worldwide.