I was re-pondering my recent post “Principle of sufficient discourse. “.
The example given there of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere not seeing Spanish ships caused me pause. It had not before today. This illustration is supposed to speak to the power of discourse to establish worlds, and I have always viewed it within a certain paradigm that up till this point, I think I was blind to. Interesting that a post I myself wrote would be the occasion for a rethinking, and occasion which was embedded in the post itself without my fore knowledge.
The point I am making in that post is that people cannot see what they do not already know of, what they do not have a context for, and that all knowledge, indeed all that may exist does so by virtue of the context that is implicit in the understanding of world. By extension of this facet of being human, we are able to attach our ‘Beings’, our sense of self and world, to a lineage of thought that we may call traditional. We can understand this in the context of a common human sort such that then both the natives and the Spanish are/were both human beings. The significance of my post is found when we see that we indeed are all human beings subject to the same capacities as well as limitations.
What I do not elaborate upon, though, what I did not see, nor explicitly indicated, is that we, upon enlightenment, understand this situation usually and commonly as a directional imposition, of the ‘enlightened and intelligent’ Spanish upon the ‘in darkness and ignorant’ natives. In short, this anthropological situation is most often taken to mean that these uncivilized and primitive people are the ones who are subject to the limit of discursive context but the Spanish are not, that the natives could not see the Real Truth that was the Spanish ships.
This last situation is what I call religious, requiring of faith. It indicates what I mean by ‘faith makes true’ because when we look at history, and indeed the possibility of this encounter of “old and new” worlds, we are inevitably convinced, prior to our consideration of the situation, by the occurrence of the subsequent and actual dominance of the Europeans upon the aborigines, that progress in the sense of “The Good” has occurred, and this sense of goodness can only be expressed apart from the limitation of context in the context of the progress of history, led by the Europeans, in this instance. In other words, no matter how we slice it, “God”, by any other name, including the name “No God”, is the reason why we have ended up where we have, the history the way it did. Even if we say “rationality”, or “contingency” or “random” or “luck”, in the context of how it was that we are able to not be included in the limitation that we have placed upon the ‘uncivilized’, ‘primitive’, etc.. people, which is to say, that we are not human in the sense that we know what we speak or imply what is common of being human.
This is what we call Colonialization. And it doesn’t matter if we say its bad, or what reparations we attempt to enact because of some “colonial era” atrocities, because everyone has already been colonized, and everyone has just gotten used to it.
For, when we turn the situation upon the common human sort, then we have to ask if both parties were having the same limitation being placed upon their respective ability to have a view. Then we can ask:
What did the Spanish see? Primitives? Uncivilized people? People living in the Antipodes? Potential Converts?
Why is it we never ask ourselves why it is not the Spanish who were not seeing what was really there in the natives?
The problem we find then is that such an analysis places both parties on equal grounds, and yet this ground that we find is based in the actuality of the Spanish Europeans imposing their sense of truth upon the natives, for such a ground was not present in the lived situation of that period; it is a ground that only exists in our reflection upon it, which again is a reflection that is gained through the already having been colonized natives. We then come to the meaning of (eastern/Hindu/Islamic) Indian Post-Colonial critiques that discover that the only way that the colonized have to express their identity is in the terms of the colonizer.
Yet then question that remains suspended in this post-colonial condition is how it is that the oppressed (colonized) are able to draw from any cultural purity or essence if the manner that they are able to frame such native experience is through a non-native discourse? How is it possible to even frame reparations to the abused?
These paradoxes thus reveal how capitalism functions, its manner of self-perpetuation, as well as indicating a feature possibility that is not included in the ideal of capitalism itself:
If we are able to understand a past where a particular cultural-ideology becomes dominant such that through this imposition all contexts are structured, then it is possible that capitalism is not to blame, but that capitalism is merely the manner by which we identify the world within a contextual scaffolding, or sorts. We might begin to see that the view that we presume whereby we gain all sorts of analyses of social relations and power formations is not unique to capitalism, but that the category itself (as a founding term) organizes meaning in such a way so that it becomes paramount and ubiquitous to sense, and such that all other political-economic systems are likewise sub-ordered. We may see then that every moment is thus organized in the same fashion to thus yield the possibility of an analysis of individual objects as indeed developing relations which do not sway under a tendency for temporally designated political fashions in the unitive context (objects withdraw from view; all objects exhibit certain relations between them). This is to say that a transition would be in play; by the mere fact of an inability to isolate and identify the unitive principle, or at least one that does not fray and disintegrate under the eye of its own perspective (capitalism, for a term), a perspective that requires an extra-conscious force by which to hold it together (the transcendent and its concordant inspiration and effective faith), we should say that our efforts to find such a unitive principle through assertive agency and philosophical argument is contradiction in action. This can be the definition of transition, so much as we might need to find a solution to this ideological problem. For the solution for such a state is the solution found, which is, the functioning itself of such a state, whereas capitalism is founded in excess, that is, a functioning in suspension, of Being not found. Here is one arm of Slavoj Zizek’s disaster..
It is thus that capitalism may indeed not define a segment or period of empirical time except in as much as such a definition must be ‘forced’ into play (eternal order imposed upon a chaotic situation –just as “chaos” is likewise imposed by the order); we find similar capitalistic subsystems in the likes of all the philosophical turns, such as the ‘linguistic’ turn, or postmodern, structural, etc…; all these juggled in a semantic circus where what is Modern precipitates out at times to give a baring, only to pop out of view again to let us talk about the various political, epistemological or ideological historical states.
But this is all nonsense, really, because such a condition cannot be reconciled with the currents of capitalistic identities. But we know what this is: We find analogies in computer science; namely, there is no segue between the expression and the language of expression, for example, Windows and the code by which Windows operates. We like to think that there is a segue in the Being of human, and indeed we activate a segue as part of the regular operation of consciousness; I call this activity reality. But, at the end of historical analysis, any attempt to reduce one to the other yields a crashed system (I think Three Pound Brain had an idea about a crash space); either the code must contradict itself through being its expression, or the expression must fall apart in the reduction to its language. At any time, each behaves as a proxy for the other, and never do the two meet except in, as above, what we must call, real space. What we may be finding in our transition is that we in philosophy (what Im calling ‘conventional’, just to begin) are hanging onto the expression; we are only looking at the Window, through the Window and coming to all sorts of truth about what is ‘underneath’ through the view allowed by the Window. This orientation is so prevalent and insistent in its assertions that in some instances the ‘experts’ argue that there is no ‘deeper’, that it is all a plane, all occurring on a horizon; this is the same argument that says its all political. Sure: Its all political when you are involved with maintaining a certain fixity of context, but then most of these political reverends would totally miss what Im saying here to overdetermine it and proscribe some collapse of civilization if we were to turn to such a nihilistic ideal. Did I mention how the two routes do not reconcile to one another?
They indeed may be true for real determinations, but the problem is compounded where capitalistic-political identity maintains a contextual hold over the occurrence of the horizon, as though it is always the same non-contextual horizon, the non-transitional horizon that is always with us, in this case, as a mythological ground, or exchangeable (with modern, and capital) founding term. the example, here, might be found in the situational analogy: Is there a True Object over which terms move, or do terms identify particular and individual, and potentially temporal, objects.
In any case, we inevitably come to that which necessitates a forensics of being human, over a conventional philosophy. Maybe I should call it “Forensic Philosophy”? And then we should remember that when one does an autopsy on a person, all human beings do not suddenly die or cease to function, so likewise a forensic investigation on philosophy, while indeed requiring the state of the particular body to be deceased, does not destroy all philosophical states; indeed, it requires that philosophy does not reconcile all things unto itself. But we are speaking of what offends here aren’t we? (Did I say religion?)
At least its some food for thought by the Philosophical Hack.