Why even the finest art tends to be “meh” to people like me (emphasis mine)
because human beings are led more by passion than by reason it will happen that the majority of human beings will be drawn to the kind of instruction that theology or religion offers to them, namely, an instruction communicated though dramatic narratives which appeal to the opinions, sentiments, biases, and experiences of the world that are common to human beings who are not inclined toward philosophy.
Just putting things in their proper order.
I began to continue the journey of natural progression to the alleged finest art of tragedy, then I realized–and I know this is a controversial claim–that the finest art is the philosophy of the theological-political. So why settle for tragedy? People really hate to hear it, that–never mind. So much is designed for plebs, you don’t even know the half of it.
So I’m settling for an “explicit” book on Spinoza. And yes, that is settling. The academy is incapable of producing “fine art”. Still, I take what I can get. A dramatic narrative about Spinoza, so to speak.
Nonetheless, scholarship can be a form of accelerationism in that certain writers have the gift for extrapolation and can tease out the details of points that were only hinted at in the given text that they muse on.
They rarely say what they’re doing as explicitly as this for instance
The ultimate ambition of the treatise is to solve the problem of human nature.
A less guarded way of saying this, if you scroll up and reread the initial quotation, is that he attempts to solve the problem of the rabble that only understands superstition and illusion, and can only perceive reason as a form of heresy. Spinoza was a Jew I remind you. He had to deal with the kagal minions of his own day. It’s necessary to read the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus as exile literature and in the context of the totalitarianism of classical Judaism. Something they won’t be teaching you in a (((philosophy course))). Spinoza was a real one, in ways they’re not allowed to say. Most Jews today are Spinoza by the way- he won. Recall my remarks about Rambam here.
This scholar uses terminology that resonates with today’s reality
Spinoza believed the laws and rituals were not required by “natural divine law”. Thus he’s quite similar to Horace and Jupiter in a different time and place. All this material exists across history and no one thinks to apply it to our own time and place. It’s because certain “fine art” causes too much reflection. And that’s against the “law”.
In other words, no, I’m not going to settle for studying tragic plays, because our theological-political problem is a tragic play, and I’d rather study that.