'We are not players, but forgotten, voiceless subjects'By Roy Ratcliffe: An extended book review of. ‘Being in Time’ (a post-political manifesto) by Gilad Atzmon.
Despite the two abstractions in the title of this recent book by Gilad Atzmon, (ie. ‘being’ and ‘time’) it’s main subject matter is far from ‘being’ abstract. Indeed, it commences with the results of the 2016 American presidential election of Donald Trump and it’s complex connection to the phenomena of identity politics and political correctness. Nevertheless, the author acknowledges having been influenced by the extremely abstract ideas of Martin Heidegger whose book ‘Being and Time’ deals philosophically with what it is to ‘be’ and it’s connection with the concept and practice of the measurement of movement or – ‘time’. [For a critique of the misuse and confusion over the concept of ‘time’ see the article ‘The Fetishisation of Time’ on this blog.]
I shall comment (briefly) later on the abstract conceptual framework, as developed by Heidegger, meanwhile I will focus on the lucid and important criticism which Gilad Atzmon applies to the current political symptoms of ‘identity politics’ and ‘political correctness’. These are two aspects of left/liberal (or what I personally designate as petite-bourgeois) ideology, which he suggests many people have uncritically ‘borrowed’. This act has impeded their ability to ‘think’ for themselves and ‘follow the rules of reason’. In explaining his motive for writing the book he writes;