Throughout his career Sloterdijk has been a reactive thinker, voicing the passing moods of the time. Everything suggests he will continue running after the zeitgeist, blowing bubbles along the way.
For Sloterdijk, Christ is “God’s bastard,” the Father’s natural child, as it were, conceived and born outside all legitimate lines of inheritance and all licit structures of authority. And his anti-patriarchal revolt became in time a license granted to every soul: now each of us, in our individual humanity, liberated by this social and spiritual apostasy, can become God’s bastard too, someone in whom God directly dwells as Father.
Sloterdijk identifies three kinds of immune system that he regards as necessary for human existence: the biological (naturally), the social (which consists of solidarity and shared support), and the symbolic or ritual (which grants human beings power from higher sources whenever they feel themselves to be powerless). The third of these has been weakened irreparably by secularization and individualism, while the second has been subjected to continuous dilutions and dissolutions.
Rather than an attempted retreat into an irrecuperable past, what Sloterdijk believes we really require is a new sphere of solidarity that can encompass all life, a shelter strong enough to create a robust co-immunity for the defenseless whole: global society, animal and vegetal life, nature, the earth itself. Religion has been irretrievably lost as a binding system of values, so we need a new piety devoted to, and sustained by, the oneness of the earth that we inhabit, share, and depend on.
It's my diagnosis that right now we can't develop convincing rage collectives, ie, no convincing political parties.
So there really is no phenomenon in the Anglosphere today comparable to that of Peter Sloterdijk. In Germany and in much of Western Europe, he enjoys the kind of public visibility that we now reserve for bad popular novelists or second-tier entertainers, even though he makes little effort to accommodate his thought to the limitations of demotic culture, and even though he is so prolific that scarcely anyone can keep pace with his work. Part of his appeal lies in the sheer flamboyance of his ideas, and just how many of his readers truly understand him is impossible to say. But that flamboyance should not be mistaken for superficiality, and his fame should not be dismissed as something accidental or unearned. Sloterdijk poses genuinely interesting questions that provoke one to think in new and sometimes uncomfortable ways about oneself, or one’s culture, or the world as a whole; and the answers he provides are often fascinating, or at least fruitfully infuriating.
In fact, he regards his “spherology” as a corrective to Heidegger’s curiously lonely picture of Dasein’s place in the world. It is a “spatialization,” as he puts it, of Heidegger’s narrative of human “thrownness” (Geworfenheit). We arrive in existence not within the featureless “there” of the displaced man wielding his hammer in indigent or heroic solitude; rather, we are placed from the beginning within sites of relationship, both interpersonal and inter-animal—sites that nurture whatever powers of fruition we might possess, and shelter us from the “monstrosity” of a world encountered an sich
For Sloterdijk, Christ is “God’s bastard,” the Father’s natural child, as it were, conceived and born outside all legitimate lines of inheritance and all licit structures of authority. .... At the same time, and by the same logic, a new order of social and political desire was implanted in human nature: that of “infinite egalitarianism,” a passage from the psycho-politics of command and obedience to one of equal self-determination, the transformation of vertical into horizontal difference.
The modern human being wants not to obey a higher power but to be that power. As soon as God and the soul had been liquidated, we were left with only the world as a brute event. In this “hyper-immanent” space, a purposeless energy idly unfolds around us, with no fingerposts to guide us across the featureless terrain
Secularity was not imposed upon the Christian world by some adventitious hostile force. It simply is the old Christendom in its terminal phase.