Operational Definition: The word impressionism comes from the word Impression, which means feeling, belief, notion, opinion – a vague idea in which some confidence is placed. Per se, it is a trust in the void, an unquestionably absurd common sense. It is a vaguely expressed outward appearance. In the context of this article impressionism is defined in its post-modern, socially-constructed features, as a fractured notion.
Post-modern Impressionism could be put as follows:
You are expected to live explaining yourself to others (doing everyday self-advertisements) and to act in the spirit of the social script, from the book of acquiescence, affirmation without further inquiry.
This is an age of impressionism. Impressing others is given an unquestionably utmost priority, without proper scrutiny into its purpose, importance, pros and cons. In this zeitgeist each and every individual is expected to impress others, especially the statistical majority in the he dresses (He must dress to impress!), in the manner he speaks (He must be polite!), in the choice of his worship, in his groupie tendencies (He must be friendly!), in the choice of drink and eats, in his political views (He must comply with and appeal to the majoritarian view!) … etc. He is expected to worship at the wrong altar or the god he doesn’t even acknowledge. Socially-constructed, “genuine fake”, culture of impressionism has impregnated us with unnecessary extroversions over desirable introversions. Each individual is expected, as a rule than the exception, to kill himself (his being, his essence) and demolish his world views and tables of values, relinquish his dreams and imaginations for the sake of ‘satisfying’ the social appetite that never gets satisfied no matter how hard he tries. The social appetite for sacrifice is a black-hole, a voracious and infinite vortex that has been and is swallowing and continues to swallow everything in its way, especially virtues like, uniqueness, divergence, deviance, courage, introversion, innovation…etc, within or without, based the dictate: “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell!”
In the 19th century impressionism, in the arts, was a magnum opus of human apotheosis, a symbol of exuberance and real depiction with slight irony of human and non-human beauty with their immanence and transcendence. It showed beauty with all its ugliness, as it is and as it should be. And light (beauty) was there together with darkness (ugliness). The dominance of light didn’t kill the recessively existent darkness. They existed in harmony, at a relative comfort. The two forces coexisted without annihilating or supplanting each other. Light was the face, the appearance whereas darkness was the gray cardinal of difference for the appearance to be portrayed as it is or as it should be.
Mutatis mutandis, impressionism in its post-modern version in the context of the human condition, in this age of smart-thinking, with a machine precision, than intelligent-thinking with all its melodies and maladies, its ups and downs, is a rational robotic-precision-laden ritual of absurd human portrayals and expectations of instinctual outside judgment from the statistical majority, the suicidal fraternity. You impress not because you wanted to, you impress because that is the way things are and should be. You have a majoritarian obligation to kill your taste of beauty from inside-out for the sake of the mythical society of utopian, irrational utilitarianism and immoral and bizarre cultures of human sacrifice, particularly, the “public enemy number one”, the individual, with all its unexplainable absurdities.
But as Ayn Rand has said once in her philosophical novel “Anthem”:
Through all the darkness, through all the shame men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains (in this case, post-modern impressionism), but it will break through. And man will go on. Man (the individual), not men.
In conclusion, if not impressing others whenever they want to is a sin, then let it be. The individual should first be given the time and space to think for and express himself before he is obliged into this cult of impressionism. In Ayn Rand’s words, “If this (deviance from the cult) is a vice, then we wish no virtue.”
Consequently, the zeitgeist of post-modern must and should be debunked and stripped of its non-sensical myths of appeal to the majority for a “better result”, with all its “mocking piety and superstitious absurdity”, if humanity is to progress within reasonable doubt from being to becoming, capable of being anything it could other than it ever was hitherto.
Transcendence comes when there is a courageous individual to bypass the unquestionable social-veil of immanence. To quote from George William Russell’s book, “National Being”:
A lover of beauty will never contentedly live in a house where all things are devoid of taste. An intellectual man (a man of his own imaginations) will loathe a disordered (fideistically ritualistic) society.
The world couldn’t live by ethics (obligations and sacrifices) alone, it also needs aesthetics, the enjoyment, understanding and preservation of beauty with all its transcendental values, limitations and transgressions. What I am modestly proposing once again in the footsteps of my predecessors is a right to be the single candle than the unconsensual obligation to explode together with and for the social fireworks. There is bizarre method to each individual’s madness and the failure to comprehend the madness or the methods should not be used as an excuse for stripping individuals of their essence, unique scent, and independent perspective to the philosophical and scientific pinnacle.