Madness and Civilization


In the midst of Foucault's book, Madness and Civilization, I find myself once again wondering about this blanketing expanse of reason that is computing, or the mechanization of all matter, rendering it inert, the thing we call science. Computing is the vast citadel of passive reason, motored by science. It is at the outskirts of this empire that I speculate.

That is, before we carve this empire, we face a vast and raging sea: madness.

In order to find God, we must sally forth from our inert suburban empire and embark upon this pre-modern sea, without classification, upon the raw stuff of experience, before our categories have shaped it into something mechanical. To pursue the God experience in the modern world is to leave behind the ordered and predetermined world that we have shaped for ourselves and enter the dark night of the soul.

For it is precisely that mechanism which is mad, that inertness. Once again we are looking through the Gospel's looking-glass, at another age, at another ideology, but we nonetheless find ourselves back at the reversal of power, this time we find ourselves confronting the spectre of power over matter itself. Must we surrender that power itself? Must we recall ourselves...

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About the Author

Hi. My name is Jeremiah John. I'm a sf/f writer and activist.

I just completed a dystopian science fiction novel. I run a website which I created that connects farms with churches, mosques, and synagogues to buy fresh vegetables directly and distribute them on a sliding scale to those in need.

In 2003, I spent six months in prison for civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas, converting to Christianity, as one does, while I was in the clink.