I was there at the birth,
Out of the cloudburst,
The head of the tempest.
Murder of calm.
– Kate Bush, ‘Little Earth’
Let’s, for now, posit a classical Hegelian dialectical triad. And let’s take the pig as the first point of our triad: the thesis. And let’s – as per Phil’s suggestion – take cancer as another point of the same triad: the antithesis. What would be the synthesis?
It’s worth making a short digression actually, on the issue of whether or not cancer and pigs are antithetical. In one sense, obviously not. Pigs get cancer. Pigs are used in cancer research. Eating bacon – even a tiny bit, once – will definitely give you cancer, as research has recently proved.
David Cameron is a cancer eating away at the heart of our society, and he once had intimate relations with a pig… and yet it’s hard to say that those relations, for all their intimacy, were not antithetical. After all, the pig in question was dead, and had presumably been killed and decapitated so that it could be brought to table for the members (ahem) of the Piers Gaveston society. There can hardly be any more antithetical relationship between any two subjects than that between diner and dish… and yet they are also inextricably unified. Diner and dish, and thence stomach and contents, cells and nutrition, and – ultimately – rectum and faeces. Did Cameron and his fellow Gavestonians consume the pigs they debauched? Pigs, moreover, that had previously satiated their other appetites – be they sexual, socio-cultural, or some combination thereof? If so, they entered into a relationship far more complex than the antithetical one between subject and object. And yet the antithesis remains. In the dancing fluctuation of the dialectic, the opposites are unified and the negation is negated. Just as pigs can suffer cancer – thus unifying themselves with cancer – they are also negated by cancer (as ultimately are we all) and negate cancer in return by dying and thus killing the very cancer cells which have killed them. In the end, cancer is self-negating – as, it is to be hoped, David Cameron will be – and the pig is as good a vehicle – or delivery system, or host – for this self-negation, as any creature.
We have established two important principles:
1. That cancer and the pig are antithetical, and
2. That cancer and the pig exist in an inseparable unity of opposites.
We arrive at the point of the synthesis without even trying. The synthesis is that most Marxist of insights: the fundamental, dialectical interconnectedness, and mutual reproduction, of the exploiter and the exploited. But how can this synthesis take form? So far we seem to have been heading to the obvious point of, say, selecting faeces as the synthesis. The faeces of the pig-eater… and yet, if we are to continue to subvert our original classically Hegelian dialectic (an essentially idealist formulation) into a historical materialist dialectic, we must take note of the fact that David Cameron’s crap doesn’t lead us anywhere.…