Statues of Clay


Aakar Books, New Delhi , 2022

Language: ENGLISH

116 pages

Price INR 325.00
Book Club Price INR 244.00
INR 325.00
In stock

When statues are erected, both philosophy and humanity die. Statues signify the death of reason and humanity. Thus when Stalin erected statues of Lenin after mummifying his dead body in the style of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Leninism and the will to revolution consequently died. And so too when the Statue of Liberty was constructed, liberty died. But the best image of statues and the death of reason and humanity is Hugo Rheingold’s rendering of the “ape with the skull” (Affe mit Schädel) where an ape in a contemplative pose is sculptured with a human skull in his hand and sitting on a pile of books which includes the Bible and Darwin’s magnum opus. The ape is pondering on what has happened to humanity. This book likewise is a philosophical reflection on the human condition beginning with the question of alienation that signifies the “terrible future of the world” where neurosis, psychosis and schizophrenia overpower reason and human compassion where ethno-nationalism has displaced secularism, which has then made the Congress Party playact the role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet chasing the ghost of his dead father, who is then followed by the Second Hamlet, namely the Indian communist parties, but unlike the Congress version of Hamlet who is rendered impotent, this Second Hamlet takes on the role of a theologian with a mission to perform, fantasizing that he would solve all the problems afflicting India, not knowing that he himself is part of the problem.

Murzban Jal

Murzban Jal is Professor at the Centre for Educational Studies, Indian Institute of Education, Pune and author of the Seductions of Karl Marx, Zoroastrianism: From Antiquity to the Modern Period and The New Militants. Jal is both a classical Marxist and as well as a Freudian critical theorist who bases his research on Marx and Freud's theories of alienation in the late capitalist society. Then he combines the Marxist theory of objectification of humanity with Freud's theory of Neurosis and Psychosis. His recent claim is that the old stages theory of Psycho-Analysis where Neurosis and Psychosis are divided into two distinct stages of mental illness is now redundant. Instead, he claims that both Neurosis and Psychosis are integrated as neurosis-psychosis. Combining the understanding of the neurosis-psychosis as the new disorder of contemporary society, he argues for a model of mass politics where the idea of humanity as humanity is kept at the centre of an alternative society where the programme of de-alienating humanity is hurled as a new philosophical and scientific discourse.