By Gottlob Frege
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Extra info for Collected Papers on Mathematics, Logic, and Philosophy
For Bataille, fascism’s strength has been its ability to offer the sense of collective belonging which has atrophied in the individualist ideology of liberal democracy. Its appeal to the affective dimension gives it an advantage over communism, whose claims are rational – a scientific analysis of the production process and an appeal to a consciousness of the universal interest. Bataille, in the name of Contre-Attaque, declares the necessity of appropriating this power of the affects for the left.
Bataille tells us that he has to provoke himself against his own tendency to slip back into an anodyne acceptance of life within a limited but familiar world, and that his ambition is to provoke others to the same effect. The aspiration to attain the “extreme of the possible”, the apotheosis of non-meaning, he underlines, demands to be shared and communicated with others. One sees then that the work is not conceived as an exploration of extreme states for their own sake. Where the traditional pastoral role of philosophy is to dissipate anxiety by offering wisdom, this text – like certain forms of religious discourse – sets out to teach despair, demanding that one recognize and identify with the condition of non-knowledge that it describes.
Without this conviction, he writes, we remain a “question without issue” (IE, 31). Modern rationality and scientific knowledge have not fully acknowledged this absence of exit or term; they have merely imitated the authority of religion, and in this sense, remain theological in their foundations. The only way to free oneself from the belief in God, then, is through a confrontation with non-knowledge. The discourse on the absence of God and of non-knowledge in Bataille cannot be equated with what one generally refers to as atheism or scepticism.