Friday, June 18, 2010

The Political philosophy of Jeet Kune Do

In early history sovereigns were conquerors and it was well known. The violence was apparent and easy to identify.

Now sovereigns are law givers who ask you to die for the country/race.

To paint a romantic picture of the age of conquer as better than the effaced violence in our age of laws is too fall in to the same utopian trap. It is also worth pointing out that attempts to create romanticized golden ages usually result in overt totalitarianism. We should be looking to the future, where technics/biopower/disciplinary power will usurp the life-taking power found in the conqueror and the eloquent justifications of violence found in the law. These new sovereignties will amplify old powers of sovereignty by locking them in to pre-established patterns that are insulated further and further from human action. Slowly ceding control over humans' social world to machinery and science in the from of economics. The path we are on leads to an omnipresent panopticon.

We need to find some kind of sovereignty outside of these 5 metonyms, or at least excise the portions that are just baggage.

One possible way to accomplish this may be to resort to Jeet Kune Do. This is a martial arts methodology developed by Bruce Lee, the full name is Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do (Jun Fan being Bruce Lee's chinese government name), or: Bruce Lee's Way of the Intercepting Fist.

In martial arts one is expected to choose a style or a few style and master them. Bruce Lee decided instead to create a methodology: the way of the intercepting fist. This method was to take what was most valuable from all the styles he knew and discard those elements of the styles which were non-competitive in comparison. In this fashion a specific type of "way of the intercepting fist" arose: bruce lee's way of the intercepting fist. Bruce was very explicit concerning the fact he was not creating another style, but a methodology to create one's own style.

The philosophy of Jeet Kune Do much like the name implies is a counter-offensive method. Meaning that Jeet Kune Do does not involve naked aggression, but counter-attacks. In Jeet Kune Do one does not attack until attacked. Once attacked, the fist is intercepted, and a counter-attack is used.

I think that Jeet Kune Do may present a space in which to construct new ideas of sovereignty from the discarded husks of previous epistemes. To create a democracy that will not allow sovereign emergency powers under any circumstances we will need to utilize the whole human knowledge both at present and throughout history. To create a sovereignty that includes easily available participation in politics, some sort of permutation of direct democracy and micro-computing we have to be prepared to discard antiquated theories. Such as: democratic peace theory, libertarian corporate de facto ownership of the world, communist government de facto ownership of the world, or realism's inability to recognize why people care about friends and family (because you should be at war with them).

At the same time we are enacting an idea that has not been thought of yet, we will also have to be escaping the traps: Hobbes's trap: in order to overcome a great sovereign power, one must always resort to the use of an even greater sovereign power. How can one practically overcome this? Schmitt's trap: politics is marked by defining friends, and enemies. One cannot have politics without enemies.

"I have not invented a "new style,"...On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds... My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy...Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back."
-Bruce Lee

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