Psychologically related to nihilism and anarchy, the Iconoclast of Iconoclasts (“IoI”) seeks, for reasons not entirely clear (even to himself) to deflate puffballs and strip vanity rather than destroy religious artifacts or political monuments.
The object of the once-removed iconoclast seems little short of that of the subversive. Human society is so patently absurd, foolish and unjust he seeks to belittle it, to ridicule greed, pomposity and vanity (and worse) wherever he encounters it.
The fat face of the bloated and corrupt businessman on his ill gotten yacht in Monaco harbor, the bewigged and pompous judiciary, committee man – the fool who pontificates in endless useless and unproductive meetings. Those who seek power over others, to dominate, to rule. The two faced, deceitful politicians and self serving councilors.
The run of the mill simple iconoclast becomes himself the target of the IoI since it is the very fury and futile, ignorant fervor of the basic iconoclast that the IoI loathes.
The puritan’s arrogant and doctrinaire despoliation of the beauty of the pre-reformation churches, the hateful Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist effigies and almost anything else the thugs can get their hands on.
Throughout history bloated, pompous, arrogant and self serving individuals and regimes have declared that theirs is the “way” and everything not of their way must be obliterated.
Nazi destruction of Judaism, Communist destruction of Christianity, Chinese reaction against Buddhists and Taoists. Iconoclasts all who destroyed icons and statues yes but also the people who had built them.
There is always a gang of conceited fools who know best and who deem it necessary to impose their warped and devious will on others.
You see it everywhere and the IoI needs to be on careful guard lest even his purer form of iconoclasm becomes unreasonable and self regarding absurdity. The IoI must not stoop to persecution.
There is undoubtedly a sense of weariness which afflicts the Iconoclast of Iconoclasts. He has seen through too much, witnessed too much foolishness. He has come to realize that eon after eon the same human tragedy gets to be played out with grinding, remorseless repetition.
The IoI is a cynic. He watches the bloated African dictator ruin a beautiful country, swindle its inhabitants and eat some of his subjects. Who could forget Idi Amin, proud product of a training with the British army? The IoI notes the comings and goings of endless tyrannies and tyrants throughout history and wryly smiles at the good intentions behind some religions, which all too soon become twisted by the greedy and the corrupt.
He smiles at the memory of the awful 19th Century Robber Barons and notes their reappearance in the 21st Century as Tecno Barons bent still on domination, obscene wealth and power.
Perhaps the Iconoclast of Iconoclasts is depressed? Perhaps his problems are purely physiological, related to the physical state of his own mind. Perhaps he over estimates the banality and venality he seems to see in the world.
Or perhaps human society really is little different to that of its lesser brethren. Perhaps as a society we share the vanity and foolishness of the peacock, the viciousness of the jackal.
The search for Utopia inevitably leads to death, cruelty and destruction it seems, so what is the way out? There is little point ruthlessly tearing down what we have only to replace it with something equally unjust, cruel and terrible.
Personally? I’m with Iain M Banks (wherever he now is). I want to emigrate to the Culture. I may be depressed but it is not without good reason methinks.