2012. ápr. 4.

Aleksandr Dugin: Degeneration of Fashion

A political regime of the totalitarian type broadcasts a set of sustained philosophical truths through propaganda and ideological brainwashing, presenting them as absolute and eternal. Criticism of totalitarian methods of propaganda is based on the fact that the enormous effort and cumbersome apparatus used for conveying these truths to the masses sharply contrasts with their short life-span and relativity – a moment in history passes, and the situation changes: the “eternal truths” of communism, fascism or democracy have turned into a few shattered pieces.

How silly yesterday’s ideologists now look through the prism of shame in their arrogant, unrepentant eyes! Who is beating rough and heavy totalitarianism? Who is exposing it? The ironic spirit of relativity. This is the spirit of fashion.

Fashion is a tool designed to make the absolute relative. A moment has passed – and the Soviet style is perceived as something obsolete, as a ridiculous reminder of something that is now out-of-date. The ideological season is over, and only customers of a philosophical “hold up” still consume the leftovers of this overfilled sewage. Or avant-garde outcasts reflexively playing with “Tishinka’s”1 aesthetics. Fashion is the antithesis of totalitarianism. It is the free play of the relative. Fashion has its place in the polemic with the pretension (had by any social style) of possessing continuity, eternity, and an absolute quality. If no such pretension existed, fashion would not exist either. But what happens when these totalitarian pretensions dissipate and disappear? In such a case, we have a fundamentally different intrigue: fashion as an aggressive tool of relativism finds itself in a new situation where there is no enemy, an enemy against which fashion used to apply all the force of its strategy. Only something absolute, something claiming to be absolute, and insisting on it, can be made relative. Only then can fashion act as an ironic, balanced scalpel of liberal democracy. But now the enemy has been defeated, and no longer does anybody insist on the imperative authority of one set of ideas, mode of behavior, or canonical way to dress. Fashion is now in a state of weightlessness, in a vacuum environment, and thus rapidly losing its meaning. You have probably guessed where I am going with this idea: the degeneration of fashion makes it absolute in and of itself, steals the dimension of ironic distance, and deprives it of lightness and playfulness. Fashion itself is becoming dictatorial. From an easy-going contemplative goddess, fashion is turning into a smashed idol, into a bloody Moloch demanding the blood of infants and the sweet flesh of virgins.

When there is nothing fundamental, the essense is superseded by the ephemeral, and the very same ephemeral becomes fundamental. Expressions “to lose the thread of fashion”, “to lag behind fashion” gradually go from being an exhilarating game to being a death sentence, fate, or fatal crisis. That which is not fashionable is now immoral, failed, and criminal. In the end, that which is not fashionable simply does not exist. In this respect, fashion is becoming a new type of totalitarianism. We know the expression “fashion dictates”, which can be applied to a designer, creative couturier, stylist, or an intellectual. But the focus gradually shifts from a nice subject that lies at the core of the replication of successful ideas and solutions to fashion itself. It is now fashion itself that “dictates”, turning first into a lecturer, and then into a dictator, following the logic of power relations that is reflected in the structure of human language.

Look at the evolution of linguistic concepts: first of all, “fashion” (French la mode) is a mode or mood (for example, the grammatical mood of a verb), i.e., an auxiliary part of language forming overtones. But at a certain moment, mood becomes the supreme law for construction of sentences, and then – the main subject of discourse. In the twentieth century, philosophers found that the structure of language demonstrates a rigid system of hierarchical governance, the natural forces of power and violence, where the subject, no matter what predicate it takes, always rapes the object. Moving the emphasis to “fashion” was aimed at dispelling the intense will to power and the implicit fascism of linguistic structures. It succeeded. But in place of the deposed tyrant, a new one has appeared – fashion.

Fashion has become a language, and now its modulation and twists launch operating systems of power relations. If your jeans are lagging behind fashion trends, then you are likely to be a mentally retarded person. Or you could be an economic loser. Most likely, however, an unflattering cut or a non-luxury brand, reflect your inner core. “People stopped wearing these bags two months ago” – ergo you are a loser, and there is no helping you. You hurry to rectify the situation – “I shall check out the new Prada collection and will buy the new Jacobs model”… “Too late!”, you hear the answer of the relentless judge, “Fashion is changing all the time, it has no past and no future, and if your handbag is not the “it” bag of the moment, it will never be that, and you are destined to always lag behind yourself. In an era of absolute fashion, there is nothing that could exist outside of the current moment. Thus, you have no chance. You are removed from the database. Every totalitarian regime ended by either being destroyed or simply eroded by internal forces. Such is the logic of revolutions that lies at the heart of any system. Totalitarianism of fashion is the mood of the twenty-first century. And its fate shall be akin to that of its predecessors. Fashion is now a pure expression of alienation, evil, and dictatorship. This phenomenon is not aesthetic, but rather ontological. To struggle with it, destroy it, denounce it, and overthrow it is the duty of each creature that is aware of the purpose of his or her species. Designers, stylists, makeup artists, creative artists, newscasters, sales personnel working in trendy salons and boutiques, as well as hairdressers – all of them are just a new edition of the Gestapo and KGB. Uprising against them, practicing disobedience, and even straight emancipatory terror act represent the only acceptable language that should be used against those who take the great gift of freedom from us. Designers, fashionistas and fashionmongers should be shot. Our inner voice demands it. And it would be dangerous not to take this demand seriously.

Aleksandr Dugin

From: http://depesha.com/culture/degeneration-of-fashion-by-aleksandr-dugin

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