Prodigal scientism: OOO’s stroke of genius was to appropriate a widespread scientistic paradigm (a striking example is the Althusserian distinction of the real object and the theoretical object) , to give it an idealist cast, and to brazenly proclaim this de-natured product as a return to “realism”. Many were duped, and now we are seeing here and there the testimony of those who were among the earliest and the longest duped, and who now delight in giving us lessons in how and why not to be duped. A motley crew finds its originality in taking issue with this speculative idealism and reverting it to the scientism from whence it came. Thus inadvertently confirming by the structure of their thinking the identity of idealism and scientism that they deny at the level of their content.
Post-Hagiographic Vendetta: these bold “thinkers”, who were formerly among the most duped, now seek to legitimate their claim to originality by means of their tedious hypocritical recanting, which attains the same level of hypocrisy as their previous earnest, often long-winded, attempts at discussion with their hagiographic master. Frustrated by the deaf ear and the oppressive silence, they decided to put their long experience to good use in elaborating a strange litany, and curriculum vitae, of dupitude.
1) Early Dupees: these early adopters (alpha testers for the neoliberal noetic economy) draw their pride and glory from the fact that they were duped long before the vast majority of the crowd of followers, hangers on, and trusted clients.
2) Critical Dupitude: these in-group junkies addicted to inbred thought patterns and to the dynamics of mutual admiration, striving to establish their non-existent individuality, affirm that even during the time of their gravitational attachment as satellites to the Speculative Sun they remained “critical”. As Zizek and others have shown, critical dupitude is the hallmark of neoliberal ideolatry.
3) Dupal Empiricism: no longer duped, these no longer young original thinkers and bearers of scientistic gravitas assume that they are now in a position to give us lessons and warnings, based on their long experience of being duped. We are all today far closer to dupedom than them, since they have been at pains to distance themselves – though not very far.
This post is dedicated to Kevin, Adrian, David, Glen, and many more. We were right, and we have won. It is in the course of things that now others are reaping the benefits of our inspiration.
Disclaimer: no names were mistreated and no reputations were harmed during the composition of this text. No one person is being described, but rather a composite character has been extracted from a narcissistic group Stimmung.