NOTES FOR Book 3 of the Philosophical Hack: “DARKNESS: The Second Moment of Decisive Significance”
“What does “world” mean when we are speaking of the darkening of the world? The world is always world of spirit (geistige Welt). Animals have no world, nor do they have a world-environment. The darkening of the world implies this destitution (Entmachtung) of spirit, its dissolution, consuming, its repression, and its mis interpretation (Auosung, Auszehrung, Verdr ngung und Missdeutung). We are attempting at present to elucidate (verdeutlichen) this destitution of spirit from just one perspective, and precisely that of the misinterpretation of spirit. We have said: Europe is caught in a vice between Russia and America, which metaphysically come down to the same thing in regard to their belonging to the world Ito the character of their world, or rather to their character-of-world, Weltch arak terJ and their relation to spirit ( Verh ltnis zum Geist).” – from “Of Spirit” by Jacques Derrida.
As we go along through Derrida’s book “Of Spirit” we might find that its meaning can be dismissed from the meaning that is or was intended by Derrida. This is coincidal and intentional to its meaning, for it is the pronunciation of discrepancy that arises to bring culture that must be made as spirit. Derrida cannot merely talk about a theoretical ideal; the ideal must be founded in something of substance, something by which the material gains its empirical quality. He cannot say ‘spirit’ and then mean nothing; there must have been or be some substance that is being-worked-out for the material.
While this seems a most ridiculous of ideas, and flies in the face of the very conventional Derridian notion of hermeneutics or Grammatology (if these can be distinguished, we pave over it here), as well as incites difference as life (as opposed to reality), we should notice that it is indeed Grammatology if not merely hermeneutics that can lead to this divestiture, this calling in the mark of investment, for we can be sure by now that the portfolio is deflating and its rating will surely be downgraded soon.
For this is the long game. The short gamers will always hedge their bets in the market fashions and will be quick to rebut using the latest philosophical tropes, and they will miss how their tactics never avoid a pure technologically (techne) and teleological (teleos) motivated strategy regardless of what terms they use; which is to say, they are incapable of seeing let alone trusting the pure technology of their discourses. Young in temperament despite their age, they miss the vitality of youth, smearing over the receding hairlines, salving their crows feet and graying hair with youthful ideals yet constructed in their now matured and wise status. Having succeeded in their ‘beliefs’, they never remain youthful but crowd together in the ‘hopes of yesteryear’ buttressed in their educated thinking and faithful religiousness to the substantial and real word of world.
Ask these straw people what they are talking about and most often you will be lead into a jungle of, basically, nonsense. This happens to me somewhat often. I find myself in the jungle of the philosophical literature and pause to ask myself what the hell they are talking about. Now I don’t mean this in the sense that I don’t understand what they are saying, their arguments, their pictures, their analogies; no. I mean it in the sense that at some point I realize that I have been lead away from the question that I asked, and that they never really answered it, or rather, they answered it by leading one any from the answer and then explaining how this situation of explanation that leads away from the answer is inevitable. In other words, for out example of Derrida and his “Of Spirit”, I have been lead into a jungle of ‘being-spirit-world’ that is based upon not only an assumption, but a self-axiomatic (double or redundant) argument, one that stems from the argument already in place to argue that the argument is valid. And then I look back and see that indeed Derrida addresses just this feature. So then the question arises again: How could I know this?
The first question is always “how could I know this”, but specifically it is “how could I know what this author is saying before I read his work”. Because this is not an epistemological question; it is a logistical question because we are not dealing with argument of proof, not dealing in logic as a universal methodological stratum, not rationality as some objectival standard that exists as some sort of universal ethical stasis, some transcendent absolute truth. We are dealing with description of the situation. Are we to suppose that if I say that I am sitting in front of the computer that I am putting up for argument the basis of fact? No. I am in that instance, communicating a situation that is a fact. Hence, we are not arguing a metaphysical truth of reality, some actual truth that lay at the base of Being. We are talking about the truth of a situation of Being. This question thus helps to clear up philosophy because if this is not understood, then there will be argument against it, and we will then have the evidence of the person who misunderstands the issue. We thereby are able to then draw a line and say “There you are, you who are talking about something else”.
Of course, this is not to proclaim some irreproachable truth, but merely the truth of the matter at hand. Until a person can understand how the question concerns logistics and not metaphysics, their input is always an argument about relative identities instead of facts as they are attempting to situate or prove a particular metaphysical postulate. If we are arguing over what is traditionally a subjective appropriation, an intuition of true meaning, then we continue in the conventional philosophical method for the Real, of what reality might really be, and we are thus concerned with a particular kind of Being, which is then also rooted in a certain teleology. The point here, though, is when a person can understand the meaning of the question “How could I know this”, when this question strikes home and asks against the proof that is right before them, then we can begin to talk about what the facts are, what constitutes facts, as opposed to retreading the traditional metaphysical arguments through different terms as if the terms are granting some new truth. (This Is Badou’s contribution to a fact about reality: The void that erupts into multiplicity.A description of how new things arise.)
To be more clear on what I mean by such ‘metaphysics’. It has entirely to do with Derrida’s Heidegger; in particular, how spirit may be destitute, how techne now becomes the material of the substance. (Nevermind that this is covered in preliminary fashion in my first two books; I writing notes here for the third book.) The idea is that we all are, in some form or another, agents of a transcendental clause; in a very mundane manner and aside from the more philosophical consideration here, for a moment, we could call this clause ‘spirit’. The idea is that each human being has a spirit that in one way or another is informing ‘a person’ as to what they know, have to say, what to do, what decision to make upon choices presented. Regardless of what clausal structure might surround (emanate from or inform to) this ‘spirit’, whether it be philosophical, religious, spiritual, psychological, evolutionary, or what, the basic fact is that each and every human being ‘feels’ at some point that they have an opinion about a matter, and that this opinion is valid in as much as the individual is privy to or somehow communes with some sort of ‘center’, ‘soul’, ‘consciousness’ or what have you. From this ontological-epistemological basis, philosophers (for our sake here) take from this source-pool of intuition (spirit) to offer their view upon the matter. The interaction of these agents proceeds through the conventional method, ie an agent offers and argument, another agent disagrees with the proposal, offers where she disagrees, and then presents her version of what might actually be the truth of the matter. Together, the method is supposed at some point to grant the actual truth of the matter.
See though, this method is patent, and I am not offering this description to say that it is somehow incorrect or otherwise achieves incorrect answers. Rather, I indicate this method and point out its operational mode for indicate how it tends to reify the closed mind, which is to say here, views and opinions invested in the Being of real truth, which is to say, a particular ontological route, which is further to say show in relief, a particular teleology.
In the attempt to reveal what I mean, I offer the following situation:
When I ask a pivotal question such as “What are you talking about”, and as I reflect upon what conversation I may have concerning this book (“Of Spirit”) further, often enough I end up speaking about the book written by Derrida instead of the issue he treats, and if I bring this up in a philosophical conversation, then my conversant will usually bring up things about, say for a pertinent example, Heidegger, and we will proceed on in this way referring to this guy and that gal, what they said, what they argue, their version of things, and I never get my answer as to what they are talking about. So in fact I find that there is certain type of person (grant that this person is informed or otherwise fond of such intellectual wonderings, but again which Derrida talks about in certain ways) that cannot escape from the ever-referencing of tradition and library for the answer to my simple question of What the hell are you talking about. I inevitably must find, evidently, by their answers, by the evasion that they do not see nor can be described or explained out of, that they are incapable of answering me. I find that it is not that there is no answer, but that their answer is tied up in the real tradition, and thereby never gains the meaning of what Derrida is talking about. Thiers is indeed a misinterpretation of spirit.
Too easily and commonly will they miss Derrida’s meaning for what I call the Object of their faith evidenced in his writings (self-evidenced through their faith), and they will apply the very strategy that Derrida marks against (see my earlier post). For the spirit may have been world, but it was the misappropriation of the meaning conveyed by that conflation (world/reality/spirit) that lead to and allows for the critique Derrida sees. The true estimation of spirit (in this context) is that the discourse about it leads to its destruction. This is exactly what I mean when I say that we are not involved in a sorting out what is true of reality through argumentative proofs; rather, we are involved in a forensic analysis of the situation at hand. As with any forensic analysis, a destruction of the material is required, and in philosophy, this is what occurs ironically by the presentation of the situation. And in this case, this is what is involved with Derrida’s “Of Spirit”. In short, it is reality, albeit, the religion of culture-technology, that is the reflection that is destitute of spirit in the terms of Derrida’s book.
This is thus not merely some theoretical postulate to be argued over, but indeed is a fact to be reckoned with: The fact that there are those who are (or will be in the contingency of the terms of reality) incapable of dismissing themselves from the (again, what I have called) the ‘term-object’ identity. The fact is that there are those who are informed of the traditional-conventional issues and the meaning of clausal formations, but who consistently have no reflection upon which such identities have substance. We thus are involved, in our work, with this ‘spirit’ (quote-unquote) that is not destitute but is nevertheless involved with the destitution of reality. We are involved with the withdrawn object.
We can thus come to a certain outline of the factual situation as it has to do with, what is effectively polemical teleologies:
On one hand, because there is an ever-present impetus sustained and promoted by what we know as the ‘philosophical academy’ to come up with novel ideas. Novelty, for any other term and for the philosophical conventional method, is the discounting of what is given by the adding on what negates. So, in the forensic presentation of the findings of the analysis of the material, the conventional method does not take that report as a finding of what is true of the matter, but rather takes it as what is effectively false, for the purpose of creating a capitalized identity, which is to say perhaps in Lacanian terms, to create jouissance, a product of pleasure, which is, desire; this is to say that the method is for the purpose of producing excess.
What is significant here, by this conventional process, is that indeed there was and is no excess. The excess that is produced is created specifically and entirely through faith, which is to say, as itself an ‘excess’ of the Enlightened mind. We find inevitably by this situation two routes. We are in the process not of establishing more identity, but in fact moving beyond the religious necessity to find True Objects. (The analysis and explication of such Objects is beyond the scope of this essay, but can be found in my past posts and in my book “The Moment of Decisive Significance”)
There is no excess in spirit. The excess is found in the redundancy of its own method for reckoning what reality is, and the conventional philosophical method argues the ubiquity of is method for the purpose of sustaining its means for capital products.
So, to get back to the selection; it was Heidegger’s mistake located in the conflation of ideal-spirit-world-reality, (see also Laruelle and Badiou’s suggestion, each in thier own terms) in short his argument for Geo-politics, that allows him to say ‘German idealism’, as if this idealism indeed also equates or somehow reflects some actual state of the world meditated by philosophy, as philosophy is then the meditation and enactment of ‘spirit-world-reality’. This is faith. Jouissance is exuded from this kind of state; it is a real state in so much as one has faith that what is come upon is coinciding with a presentable situation that has been and is reflected back unto the enlightened subject. This is the mistake. This is the reason par excellence for the current situation where the world is becoming destitute of spirit. …
…(p66. – seein these posts that i am reading to a point. Then commenting on what i read. and thst i havent read Of Spirit before nor had any primer for it. LK)