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 X-Men: First Class, grasped through value-ontology

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X-Men: First Class, grasped through value-ontology Empty
PostSubject: X-Men: First Class, grasped through value-ontology   X-Men: First Class, grasped through value-ontology Icon_minitimeTue Nov 29, 2011 12:32 pm

An initial analysis of basic themes. Please feel free to contribute where/how you can. This is intended to be an ongoing development and analysis.


Eric/"Magneto" (a symbol of development of the power-perspective) is created through two separate and very different processes, both of which he ultimately rejects in order to attempt to become more fully himself. The first process is pain-loss, the suffering of experiencing the murder of his mother. This "wakes him up". The second process is the cultivation of his abilities at the hands of Charles Xavier who uses compassion and self-discovery to pursue the idea that increased power is achieved through CONTROL and is to be found in a point of balance "between rage and serenity". Magneto ultimately rejects these two processes from which he is birthed, acknowledging the first as his true birthing but choosing to view it as a negative to be resisted and overcome (through the killing of the murderer, vengeance), while choosing not to acknowledge the second process and openly abandoning it as a utility to himself (Xavier tells Magneto that peace will be impossible for him if he carries through with his plan to kill the murderer of his mother, to which Magneto replies, "Peace was never an option").

Magneto posits a value higher than his own "self-control" and the growth of his power, he values (or more accurately, is unable to stop valuing) the first negation, the ultimate destruction/vengeance against the first cause of his birthing. This represents the limit of his ability to accept/understand himself (as is shown below, this symbolizes a relatively UNCONSCIOUS self-valuing). In this sense Magneto represents one half of the power-dynamic of development, the "rage". This is the initial suffering from which impetus for over-growth begins (void/need as the stimulus for initial organic/psychological motion). Xavier represents the opposite end of the spectrum and the other half, the compliment, the "serenity" of peace/tolerance. However we are given a clue into the development of a synthesis of these two dualistic views: the middle point, the balance between each. This is the supposed key to unlocking Magneto's true power, which Magneto ultimately rejects. We see this key is given through Xavier, yet he himself is also unable to actualize this path since he lacks the rage as impetus for growth (Xavier is sutured to one far end of the continuum while Magneto is sutured to the other end, neither are able to move into the middle). Yet we see that the development of the possibility for synthesis arises from Xavier and not from Magneto, giving a clue that movement toward the middle first presences itself as a possibility from this end rather than from the other.

Certainly development of "mutant powers" is a metaphor for development of self-understanding/intellect/spirituality and the power that comes with a fully actualized awareness and consciousness. Mutant powers allow for manipulation of overt conditions and others, revealing how similarly the powers of developed consciousness allow for influence upon the world and others. Likewise the fear that humanity has of mutants can symbolize the fear most people have of developing and acknowleding their power of consciousness, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of control. This fear is centered in the "lower" perspective of the "unevolved" humans who lack "mutant powers". We are told by the lesser mutant perspective (the first stage development represented by Magneto) that humans are the lower species and the past, and that mutants are the future. We are shown by the opposing perspective (Xavier) the value of co-habitation based on a belief (valuing) of mutual tolerance and acceptance based on understanding (raising of the lower rather than its elimination). This perspective is shown as higher than Magneto's, however is unable to triumph as it excludes Magneto's also vital perspective: it is unable to synthesize Magneto's position into its own and is forced to posit it as a counter-value. An almost Hegelian dialectic therefore emerges: synthesis as possible through reconciliation of Xavier's and Magneto's two opposing perspectives. The fact of this possible synthesis is hinted at and developed subtly where we are shown that Xavier and Magneto are capable of working together and helping each other toward common goals, indeed their task of killing their enemy REQUIRES their mutual cooperation (an interesting and necessary combination of separate powers to produce a new effective power/capability: the ability to remove the enemy's helmet - Magneto's ability - is necessary for Xavier to enter the enemy's mind via telepathy. And then Xavier's telepathic freezing of time is necessary for Magneto to then kill the enemy, who is otherwise too powerful for Magneto to actually kill). Desipte their beautiful working together (although Xavier is against killing the enemy), ultimately they diverge and draw apart, as they are unable to sublimate their differences into a higher unity.

Each of their valuing-positings are strong self-valuings based in the self-experiences of each: Xavier and his easy life of luxury, comfort and academic values of tolerance and compassionate understanding, Magneto in his tough life of rage and suffering/loss. Yet both posit themselves as AGAINST THE WORLD in their own self-valuings (this is easiest to see with Magneto, but also is the case with Xavier: rather than self-valuing from within the world Xavier self-values from outside of it, a deliberate ignorance of the world and its condition/s, difficulties, limitations, hardships. This is why he fails to understand Mystique's frustration with his disliking her appearance in her natural form). This strong self-valuing is what gives them their power, they resist traditional (conservative) moralities (mutants - a metaphor for "difference" and for new possibilities/change - are evil/bad) and instead create their own ethics. Yet at a higher level it is the inability of these strong self-valuings to envision/understand themselves as what they are which limits them: they represent largely unconscious self-valuings. Were Magneto and Xavier to become more conscious of how they are positing in terms of their own self-valuing and examine each other's and their own perspectives in this manner (were they to examine themselves through a theoretical platform of value-ontological understanding) they would see how they are each the limitation of the other in terms of development of power (of capacity for influence/successful actualizing of their intentions). Xavier wants to educate humans but he is ignorant of aspects of human nature, which Magneto is privy to, yet which Magneto focuses on at the expense of higher possibilities and unities. Both extract certain conditions from the world and suture themselves to these conditions at the expense of all others, and this extraction is based primarily in their own "history of being" (mnemosyne) of the experiences which have come to shape their current world-views and ideals (the forms under which their valuing and valuing-projectings take place).

Self-valuing relatively unconscious is a self-valuing ignorant of its own environs-conditions and world-limitations. To employ Nietzsche here, this is raw "will to power" which only acts on its own impulses/directionality but fails to subtlize its perspectives by ALSO viewing itself in terms of its world/s (this means: able to will itself but, due to a lack of proper understanding of context/conditionality/history is unable to fully actualize this will upon the world, as this will becomes frustrated by the external world/s which it does not fully understand or cannot conceptually encompass). Xavier and Magneto share the implicit view that if they were to value themselves in terms of their other/s (Magneto in terms of the human world, Xavier in terms of Magneto) then this would fatally undermine their own perspectives of power: this is shown through how strongly each clings to his own self-valuings positings and must necessarily exclude the other. This is ideological in essence. A strong willing to power in terms of one's own self-valuings positings against the world, rather than WITHIN the world. Thus a Heideggerian sort of Being-in-the-world appears here as a possible healing/cure for the failures/limits of Magneto and Xavier: Being-in-the-world as a setting-within a proper context/s, a delimiting (after the manner of Kant's transcendental categories) and a contextualizing/conditionalizing (after the manner of Deleuze & Guattari's milieu and de/reterritorialization). This brings us to the threshold of the next stage: self-valuing sufficiently developed to the point where it is able to posit itself within and alongside the world, the world as a condition of itself and itself as a conditon of the world. Along with this is required the attaining of a strength of the position to the extent that it does not undergo disintegration from its refusal to posit itself as essentially AGAINST the world/an other/ness (e.g. the ideological perspective, exemplified best through the political or religious ethos, which exists only to the extent that it is a counter-point of resistance against an "evil Other"). This higher stage is the developmental progression which Xavier cannot take (out of vanity - blindness to the truths contained within Magneto's perspective) and which Magneto refuses to take out of pride (blindness to his being a condition of the world/s of the humans rather than separate from it).
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X-Men: First Class, grasped through value-ontology Empty
PostSubject: Re: X-Men: First Class, grasped through value-ontology   X-Men: First Class, grasped through value-ontology Icon_minitimeSat Dec 03, 2011 12:26 pm

It occurs to me that the morality of Magneto is a strange play on what I have described elsewhere as slave morality. Magneto holds in the basis to slave morality in the sense that his conviction is a "no", against those who have harmed him / his mother - to the other. But parallel to this runs the notion of himself as a definitive otherness, a mutant. There is a mirror working here, which enforces the validity of his morality. The other is saying no to the not-other. He is saying no because he is other. There is a logic here. What else could the other say but no? Is that not essential to his otherness?

Only with the development of Mystiques morality do we see that the notion of otherness is being dissolved and a notion of self-ness arises. This self-ness is coupled with a weakness, a vulnerability -- knowing oneself as other is of course functional as a shield.

It may perhaps said that Xavier is not yet at the sage of Magneto, that he has not even accepted his own otherness. He is still at what begins as the safest place, the place which ultimately however becomes untenable, as the battlefield shifts and the original beacons are abandoned for more progressed fronts. It may be impossible for Xavier to really go there, as his particular mutation does not permit him the pride of Magneto. And pride is perhaps the most crucial means to establish a conscious self-valuing.


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