Finanz-Jargon der Eigentlichkeit: Finance, Investment Banking and the new language of Domination We live in a prison world of our own design, a permanent discursive delirium, in which language has been â€œhollowed outâ€?. What we have instead of language is a Jargon, a chronic intellectual twerk that dominates/decimates all substantial emotional and intellectual life and informs the structure of our political and economic landscape. Jargon, rigidly and eternally beautiful like an actress's perfectly arranged bedhead, has obscured everything, from the clearest, simplest, most fundamental principles of thought and aspects of our life on this earth to the most superficial. We have become so accustomed to Jargon that the world, today, cannot make sense to us. And that is the whole point of Jargon. Today, we are faced with a world we cannot understand as the most fundamental problems are not acknowledged as problems and conceptualized as such; we struggle with truths that can be immediately countered with different truths proving Ad Absurdum the relativistic contingency of truth. Jargon remains standing on a world of ruins, triumphant, invincible. The vast abundance of knowledge at our disposal does nothing to calm the nagging feeling that something has to be wrong - but what? - every attempt to go any further than this ends with an epistemological brain fart. Jargon, as a permanent Theodicee of Subjectivity is the ultimate selfie: it is autotelic to the point that it negates the idea of truth even when - a metaphysical cheerleader - it gesticulates and puts truth on a pedestal. This is a book for our Times. It draws on the findings of Finance, Micro and Macro economics, Geopolitics, Material Ontology, Linguistics, Aesthetics, Phenomenology and Critical Theory to relate how financial institutions have not merely altered but, through financial Jargon (FinanzJargon), a subversive transactional language, repelled Reality, and replaced Reality, the substratum, with their own and how they, with our enthusiastic approval, have taken complete control of the world we live in through language.
1. The Dialectics of Financial Reason and the emergence of Jargon as the new language of domination. 2. The inverted world of Finance as a prolegomenon to the existential ontology of investment banking. 3. Solus Ipse: The inverted world of Finance and the metaphysics of subjectivity 4. Finanz-Jargon der Eigentlichkeit: financial institutions, the instrumentalisation of authenticity and the dehumanisation of human relations. 5. A Jargon primer: the Federal Reserve, CNBC, Josh Brown and Tom Stolper. 6. Credit ratings as an instrument of total population control and the asymmetrical moralisation of finance. 7. â€œCustomer-centricâ€?: from the Mythodology of customer service to the Theology of the client 8. The Pragmatics of domination
“It is not impossible that it should fall to the lot of this work, in its poverty and in the darkness of this time, to bring light into one brain or another - but, of course, it is not likely.” (Wittgenstein)
. The meaning of conversation is completely lost to us. Jargon’s victory is complete. Ever since the Cartesian revolution, the equivalent of the Copernician revolution only in the realm of philosophy and theory of knowledge, the ego cogitans sits at the center of Nature, Knowledge and incidentally of Speech. The excesses of German Idealism (Fichte), Surrealism, the Aufklärung and seeing how Classicism surrendered to Baroque are illustrations of this. A corollary of this tectonic shift is that our epoch, to which a Verfall quietly befalls, cannot grasp what conversation is outside of the cybernetic scheme of an ego cogitans delivering content to a receiving end, in this instance another ego cogitans, the content of the ego cogitans being none other than himself. The obfuscation of the subject-object logic, of the relationship between subject and object, of what it actually means to be a subject for an object, is key here. If the object is nothing more than a medium for processes such as identification or projection, then the subject effectively never leaves his inner sanctum while the object is annihilated. The crucifixion of the object is the desecration of the subject himself. Conversation today, and SNS design is a constant reminder of this, is a constant annihilation of the object as object. The object requires from the subject complete immersion, and not prudent observation from within the confines of an ivory tower. This is exactly what the subject, today is not capable of. Conversation, today, is difficult for this simple reason that “excessive” individuation has made it nearly impossible for the subject to leap out of himself towards the object. . Jargon is a highly controlled and highly malleable form of violence in the community of men. . One Japanese expression immediately springs to mind when confronted with the unavoidable and unfathomable reality of modern financial institutions: 建前 , tatemae, literally the façade, the visible phenomenon as opposed to inner constituence (本音, honnae). . Modern financial institutions, essentially nihilistic, are pro-positions in the heideggerian sense, complexes of re-presentations, projections - fronts. Banks, and this is the very mechanism of their perpetual deception, project a façade, presentify their façade as inner constituency and in the process do not merely distort reality but create a new kind of reality by framing, in their own special way, the global narrative: the inverted world of high finance and investment banking. . “Ontologically” speaking, and in a radically constructivist sense, a financial institution is exactly what it claims to be. . This façade as truth in a cruel parody of the gesamtkunstwork (total work of art) is continually refined via a mélange of plug-and-play corporate communications, information operations grade marketing, customer service mythodology and design - design as violence.
. The abstract prattle of financial institutions is nihilistic in the sense that it is imposed by a social structure that absolutely refuses to embrace the subject as a subject. . The essence of our financial institutions is the end product of modern metaphysics, a true Gestell of mankind and to understand this we need of course to go back to Kant, Descartes, Hegel and Fichte, the fathers of modern metaphysics. . An object is in itself the crystallisation of a multiplicity of perspectives surrounded by a fringe of indetermination concretely determined by one’s field of perception and temporal horizon. Jargon cannot tolerate multiplicity nor indetermination - it is an enemy of thought. . Philosophy is a will, it is the will to understand the Lebenswelt, the common fact-world that surround us, the will to understand ek-sistence and what lies beyond or beneath. Without curiosity there can be no philosophy. Philosophy springs from an absence (or rather is an absense, an impulsion towards meaning), a blank, a void that knowledge cannot penetrate. Nothingness cannot quench curiosity’s thirst, which is infinite, and there lies the fertile ground from which springs philosophy, the Science of Sciences, the Science of what is: Scientia de omnii re scibili. . What is a financial institution’s most important task? Lending? Investing? Providing liquidity to the markets? A financial institution’s most important task is to create and maintain a discursive environment in which money can function as a medium of exchange. Money having no intrinsic value cannot function outside of this narrative frame, of this discursive landscape. A financial institution sets a paradigm, and a structure of awareness, and it does so through Jargon. . Intelligence is judgment in exercise, it is a form (the form of intellection) deployed towards content/working in concert with content... the judicative function of cognition. Jargon is information (it informs content) and as such is a permanent override of judgment as the judicative function of cognition. . Security truly has become the “quintessential” metaphysical category. Security is the metaphysical endgame of this philosophical current which begins with Descartes, is consolidated by the German classics and finds its contemporary expression in an ego cogitans projecting and protecting a delirious world of secured goods - providing security. . The Verfall finds its logical conclusion in the securitization of the living and the non-living and the justification of this state of things through Jargon.
. A world of Jargon has been built around us, a prison world, and those who benefit from the effects of Jargon, those who owe their power and money to the effects of Jargon will defend its legitimacy and its lunacy until the very end. . Silent conversations held within the depths of one’s soul. Who, here and now, is capable of such a feat? Everywhere, “users”, which is a stichwort that brings us back to the “eyeballs” of the dot com boom, are invited to share, chat, tweet, interact and communicate, on any device, at any time, whether it is appropriate to do so or not, it does not matter, this is an era of absolute transparency as we are compelled, not by authorities, but ultimately by ourselves, to lay our internals bare for all to see. . Jargon behaves as if the under-handedness (Unzuhandenheit) of language was its essence. . Financial Jargon is a disconnected narrative meaning it does not need to point, does not feel the need to point towards a general fact-world. It is dislocated, autotelic and quite satisfied in its being a non-denotative language. . Foreign exchange sales is all about narrative. The Canadian housing bubble story, the New Zealand growth story, the Eurozone recovery story, it’s all about selling stories, compelling stories, to people who want to believe. And people will believe anything. As we say in the investment banking world, it’s about flow: your clients give you the means, as they are invested emotionally and materially, of achieving success, however you define it. The same clients will be left holding the bag when the narrative unravels, as it always does. Narrative is a product of the collective imagination of the investment banking community, and it finds its quintessential expression - naturally - in Finanz-Jargon. . Jargon is dislocation as a narrative. It is dislocated as it subverts the relationship between the word, the denotatum and the connotatum. . Looking back at our previous writings on the Theory of Knowledge, Phenomenology and Material Ontology… what astounds me today is that it has become next to impossible to bring up, into daily conversation and even within conversations held with learned colleagues, problems and concepts elucidated by these disciplines. . Phenomenology is the only thing that stands between the world and Jargon. However, we live in a world where Phenomenology has largely ceased to be a thematic object of philosophical investigation. . The complete absence of a clear ontological position and the subversion of Identity is the trademark of Jargon.
. Traders have always entertained a most problematic relationship with temporality. We can agree that, as finite beings, it is not possible for us to breach temporality, to peer into the future, yet technical analysis pretends to do just this. Quid juris? What is needed, and here we need to proceed with a sense of urgency as this is one of the most pressing problems in finance today, is a critique, not in the Kantian sense obviously, of technical Jargon, of the pretensions of technical analysis or in other words an epistemology of technical analysis. This is the groundwork, the first propaedeutic step towards an expansive doctrine of technical analysis. The neat thing with an epistemology of technical analysis is that it would lay the groundwork for/towards a doctrine but in so doing we would know whether or not a thing such as technical analysis is possible in the first place. . Art is something that stands ready to make an impression and suffers no classification or discourse of any sort. Art is deliciously familiar yet strange in a way that will forever evade us, for we human beings will forever evade ourselves. And I quote Eva Meyer and Eran Schaerf (What does Art know): â€œ...art insists, knows that there is more to it that we can ever know about itâ€?. . Art stands adrift, and any true artist is adrift. . The art world and its antithesis is logically organized into a whole making it impossible for anything to stand outside of it. . There is no counter narrative in art for the simple reason that everything is framed, and integrated. Art practitioners know this. . Electronic music revels in the mimicry of a uniform society that wishes to remain uniform. . Electronic music borrow from other styles of music but this borrowing follows a process that undermines meaning and turns those forms into empty shells... the structure alone remains and the referential, connotations, historicity of structures, let alone the conscience of their development, all is lost. . The problem with most electronic music now is that it knows exactly what it wants to be in advance. . In Art, you cannot know in advance where the creative process will lead you. We see this in film, music, painting, sculpture, architecture. Otherwise Art would only be execution, whereas in true Art execution is means not essence.
. Facebook, a technological archetype with multiple declensions/designs iterations, is the quintessential expression of modern metaphysics as societal structure. Facebook has brought conversation into a desert of insignificance. The philosopher’s only solace lies in the fact that what conversation was before the advent of Facebook can offer a view as to what it could be. There is no conversation - only people speaking in a void, seeking attention, drawing attention to each and every aspect of themselves. Intensity and extension of conversation has been overtaken by a near universal and irrepressible urge of the individual, absolutely convinced of his metaphysical and metempirical importance, to put his tiny self at the core of the intellectual universe and not only, and this is important, of HIS intellectual universe. The individual throws himself and his "things", through this platform, towards the other in the hope that his possible interlocutor will find interest and that an exchange - a conversation in the traditional sense - will suddenly take place. . But a conversation that starts with I, with myself, is not a conversation - we have allowed ourselves to forget this. It is me throwing myself and my things towards the other individual hoping he will see me as interesting and that his views will gravitate around me and my things. When this happens we use hopelessly stale expressions such as: “We clicked” or “He has good conversation” when in fact he is only responding to an assault on the sense and the mind. A true conversation is Hegelian in the purest sense: I have to lose myself among others and their things, but by losing myself, my ego, I find myself through the other and his things, through his world. A true conversation begins by the annihilation, by the crucifixion of the self. But this is something that we forbid - it is not allowed to happen. We simply cannot let go and in order to once again converse, and not simply throw words in a void, we will have to learn how to let go of the things we have been taught to put above everything else: ourselves. ...
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Published on Feb 15, 2017
This book is a book for our Times. It draws on the findings of Finance, Micro and Macro economics, Geopolitics, Material Ontology, Linguis...