Positivist Culture


Perhaps some people may not entirely understand the back lash against Santorum’s statement that “there isn’t much Native Culture in modern American culture”.

There is plenty of Native culture in American culture, but Santorum is talking about

(1) popular material culture, where we literally do not see very much representation of Native art in pop media, cities, etc.. which is true.

(2) his positivist naive view on culture which explains current manifestations of institutions, events, activities as a result of European (read: white) ingenuity, intelligence and fortitude, etc…

This latter is false because it ignores and eliminates the actual material conditions upon which such positivist notions gain their substance. It is a “never mind that man behind the curtain” view of America. It is a view which supposes itself arising and occurring in a vacuum that is itself.


Ideals of Positivist Mental Health likewise suffer from the same kind of myopia.

As well, what I term conventional philosophy.

Later on those last two.x

The Zizekian Horror of Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” has

The Zizekian Horror of Spielberg’s “Ready Player One”

— Read on aussiesta.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/the-zizekian-horror-of-spielbergs-ready-player-one/

I might add another twist.

The emancipatory narrative that accompanies a critique in the sense of some sort of ethical compromise or the “Hidden meaning” underneath the overt presentation of plotline and set, Can itself be seen as a posture which wants to move towards emancipation. The problem then is that such a discourse falls into the same critique that it gives upon, say, this movie “ready player one”. Namely, that the critique, or the subject that is doing the critique, is emancipated, that he has been able to pull himself out of this “false dichotomy” which critiques elements of the screen presentation as though from a position beyond or above or otherwise better than what is being presented on the screen. The critique it self thus implies that there is some manner of understanding that will allow the center of the gaze, The gazing subject, to remove itself from the problematic ideological confinement.

What no one really wishes to remember, to bring into reality with them, is that there is no effective communication from outside of a situation. Rather the effect is dominance, one way communication of intention. The presumption involved in being able to communicate into a given situation from a position that is outside of it it’s called feudal sovereignty in one sense and colonialization in another. What comes up in the condition of emancipatory politics currently is the ideological residue which is proposed to be solved in the effort of critique. The discussion of race relations, for example, knows that critique only sets the stage.

This is the perpetuation of irony that people on one hand think they’ve gotten beyond or that it’s a thing of the past or some particular philosophical era, and on the other hand informs their very ability to progress in some ethical manner while remaining outside of the repercussions of that intervention, which is to say, of that correction from sovereignty.

We should’ve learned at least 30 years ago that the way situation is able to be affected in a positive manner is to find a way into the system, yet without the reasonable default of an out. Though necessary in the political environment, we cannot withhold something of ourselves in going to the front lines; we cannot all be generals sitting in our offices directing troop movements. Perhaps our problem is there is too many generals and not enough soldiers.

So it could be that and even more introspective critique upon this movie is that the goal should be that of getting the prize, because then once having gained entry into the system we might actually be able to do something about the problems it presents. So long as we withhold something from the system and propose to enact a correction upon it from outside, we have done little more then to enact and ethics of Emancipatory politics which has its roots in the colonization from sovereignty. There can be no emancipation without this sovereign element; what is at issue could concern why it is we all not only want to be kings but think we deserve to be?

The problem could be not so much that everyone goes after the prize, that this is something bad or something incorrect in the system, so much as it is the view about what the system is enacting and what the prize actually means or amounts to for the system itself.

Rockers Dying; An Insensitive Comment of Ironic Sensibility.

Rockers love to kill themselves. Not one to rally to towing the line, just grant me the sane human compassion for people who end up making the terminal decision and act on it.

I am going to present a view that I can imagine many will think insensitive.
But someone has to be able to address these things from a standpoint by which all the compassion gains its basis.

Soundgarden was one of the first bands that came out in my generation that was a signal that something was changing in music. I wasn’t so much into Linkin Park; in fact, I though it was (is) kinda wimpy (maybe that’s why he killed himself, cuz he knew it, but couldn’t help himself?). 


Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park Singer and

Chris Cornel., singer songwriter of notable Soundgarden killed themselves recently.

Can we admit there is a certain kind of childishness that is perpetuated in pop culture, but Western (colonialist) culture in general ? Can you adults, and maybe even you younger people, recognize that much of the music that gets popular is, for grown-ups, merely a nostalgic replaying of childhood?

I remember when Punk Rock started to become normalized, or rather, when it became noticeably normalized: Grunge (what lead the way into what we now generalize into Alternative Music, if not the whole rock scene we know now), but it was really earlier when people realized that childhood rebellion was a way to make money (think Sex Pistols). Grunge was just the last ditch effort to reinstate a kind of musical legitimacy in childhood rebellion, and in full view of the irony of its situation.

Now we just view everything as potential commercial product. We allow the children their confused rantings of insecurity, indeed enacourage them to remain intheir childhood well into adulthood, because now we know it merely means childhood, and we probably figure that we can let them process their childhood in whatever way they want (even if it means their whole life long) and its all good. I would venture to say that it is because we all had our childhood noticed in the most commercial way yet for the time; our generation was the one that said it was now OK to commercialize childhood insecurity, to make their expressions recognized and permissible commercial products. We ‘buy ourselves’ over and over; perhaps this is symptomatic of a declining system: More and more the civilian becomes ‘adult’ by attempting to retain childhood, as opposed to relinquishing it. 

But, one of the problems is that our generation, the one that is ‘mature’ now, has not relinquished their own childhood. They project their ‘lost youth’ from the nostalgia of the cute desperation of youth into the ‘all is good’ artistic therapeutic expression, and we all get to relive our youth vicariously through mass media.

So in a way, we allow for the occasional suicide of artists by systematically promoting artists to glamourize their innermost frustrations and insecurities. We must figure that a few sacrifices is OK for the ‘it is what it is’ goodness of the reality we create (or created). And it is indeed all good if we whole heartedly sympathize with the ‘lost artist whos life was cut short’, and morn systematically through the media that exploits the very event of desperation and suicide.

Now; the irony of this whole thing is that I am not making an argument that we should stop this or somehow it is bad; they already tried to apply some ethics to the ‘bad system’. I’m saying that it is indeed good that we recognize that childhood is filled with insecurities and confusion and let them get it out. As adults, though, we need to use this information more effectively. Rather than simply enjoying the nostalgia of our youth as adults projecting our left behind and unresolved youthful confusions for our children to play out again and again so we and them can make a colonialized profit from them, maybe we should use it more productively, see what information we can gather from such motions, predictable motions, so that we can better understand just what human beings do, and what exactly culture is and what it does.

Sure; enjoy our own misfortunes through others, but lets get practical about what is occurring — for the future humanity and their children.

Regardless of what ‘humanity’ people what to prescribe to, these artists were not living for themselves, unlike so much of their audiences.

Direction 4.5: Jargon, Bad Faith and a brief explanation of the non-philosophical project, its problems and shortcomings.

The other problem with truth is that everyone already knows what is the truth. They encounter it everyday and what they know is sufficient for them to go through life with at least adequate contentment; the rest they can invest in church or their respective church-like elements of their lives.


I came off rather strong in that last post. If I have offended anyone’s sense of truth or reality then I have struck something significant with you. It then either beckons you to a question of your reaction or to a denial of the offending proposition.

Anyways, I have only to continue. Here is a sound byte of an author taking about what non-philosophy may be.

(I hope this link is a good link to a 7 minute spoken introduction to a book about non-philosophy that just came out. )
It is possible that some readers may have noticed a paradoxical aspect of my presentation. Somehow I disagree with Laruelle but yet in that I am discussing his ideas I appear to agree with him. In particular, I have pointed out that his use of jargon is contradictory to what should seem to be a humanistic effort; as well, I have accused him of being in bad faith. But I do agree that there is a generally “unrecognized” arena or basis of knowledge that is ignored or denied; this is the reason I can speak to his project: because I am addressing the significant issue, and not so much (yet) the veracity of his position.

I should make a distinction in terms between Laruelle’s and my own. Laruelle has coined ‘non-philosophy’ to distinguish his proposal from ‘philosophy’; I propose that what most people consider philosophy is not philosophy but what i call ‘conventional methodology’. Hence, his Non-Philosophy is what I consider as Philosophy, and what he points at and rebuts that he calls Philosophy, I call Conventional Methodology, because it functions the same as any other effort to solve problems between things. He has relinquished a quality of term to the masses so that he just thus frames Non-Philosophy to oppose what has been commandeered and called philosophy.

Ironically, I might say that another reason he uses such “high” jargon is so he might not offend anyone, so he might be thus able to (finally) implement or explain sufficiently the truth of the matter and thus gain some other honest seekers, but it is this futile effort that explains more thoroughly the issue at hand and the phenomenon of bad faith.

The distinction that both of us have come upon has not until somewhat recently (within the past couple hundred years maybe, but particularly in the past hundred – but maybe 4000! ) been noticed, or at least not in institutional or conventional discussion. The problem is located in the assumption of common effort, which is the idea that everyone who might be considering things is human and thus are involved in the same problems and solutions that collectively are known as progress. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were the first to notice this problem, but they were caught likewise in the assumption: they still thought that people, once shown the truth, would thereby change; but this never happens because either no one cares or because they already know what is true. Again, what was clearly delineated in both their works as a break, a polemic, was and is taken up in conventional methodology, or philosophy, to be allegorical; as if K and N were really speaking of and to “individuals”, that their discussions were aimed at everyone so the individual might consider ‘new insights into existence as a human being’ – because conventional-methodological philosophy cannot have essential difference, it must reduce everything back into its common generality. I submit that such insight is entirely wrong, a misappropriation of meaning from what Laruelle would call non-philosophical, what I would call true philosophy, into philosophy, or what I would call conventional methodology. It is correct, of course, to the extent or in the belief as one is oriented in their Being towards a absolutely true, one, single, reality: as one is of an unquestioned faith.

The assumption of common effort is what Laruelle identifies as an understanding of a world given to knowledge: the understanding which philosophy ( I will now stick with Laruelle’s usage ) takes as its ground and purpose, a progress of and towards truth, a progress that Laruelle has eloquently debunked. Yet, it is also where religion gains its purpose. We should see that Laruelle is being strategic in his presentation; he is applying discursive tactics by focusing his attack on philosophy: the analysis and construction of the basic methodological approach for conventional thinking upon being human and existence (ontology and epistemology). But indeed such a critique and commentary cannot be confined without becoming that which it decries. As i have already indicated, conventional methodology behaves as a religion, functions through faith, and develops history along particular lines of control and power. If Laruelle truly sees his effort as particular to philosophy and not to reality in general, then in one instance at least, he is in bad faith. But this kind of bad faith is only of a lower type, and the more significant is being developed here.

* *

The description of the situation is only made available with or through the understanding that I have come upon, the understanding that Laruelle seems to expound. Yet we have merely come upon and agreed upon the issue; where we diverge is at his excessive and overtly positive asserting – because this seems to necessitate jargon. This is my third explanation for his excessive jargon. Laruelle is fixated upon reconciling the discrepancies of reality, and in so doing, I fear, he is really venturing no further than the philosophy he is supposedly critiquing. The positivity – that is to say, the orientation upon a one reality that attempts to describe a completeness, or total explanation of what occurs or is occurring – that Laruelle is involved in mimics Sartre: his description is so considerate of positive, historical possibility – even while describing it away in meta-synthesis – it seems plausible and credible.


Here is a bit of synopsis of Laruelle by another author

[Gabriel Alkon,1 Boris Gunjević2
1City University of New York, Baruch College, Department of English, 455 Fort Washington Avenue, US–10033 New York, NY
2Theological Faculty “Matija Vlačić Ilirik”, Radićeva 34, HR–10000 Zagreb gabriel_alkon@msn.com, boris.gunjevic@zg.htnet.hr]

PG. 213:

“According to Laruelle, the true event for philosophy is in fact the coordinated positing of relative and absolute, combined and separate, conditioned and unconditioned, as mutual presuppositions – there is no event apart from the philosophical “decision” that sets these oppositions in motion. This decision is the “proto-event”, which is the self-positing of philosophy as the discourse concerning the relation of the unconditioned to what it conditions, or of the transcendental to the given. This relation, which becomes an immediate unity in the event, is the presupposition that establishes philosophy’s adequacy to its other. The presumed correlation of actual being to a transcendental condi- tioning power is what allows philosophy to know itself through the other by moving beyond the other as given. It is the sheer being-given of what it knows that philosophy must resist; its skill is the derivation of the transcendental – the transcendental that is its unacknowledged presupposition. The event, which undoes the given in the immediate presence of its preconditions, is the true culmination of philosophy – the moment at which it need no longer depend on its objects, which are replaced by the transcendentals that are the preserve of philosophy alone.”

Now, my problem with Laruelle is primarily founded in the high-speak of philosophical jargon. Here is another author explicating what Laruelle has said and he cannot even remove himself from the necessary jargon. It is like a disease that is contagious, spread by the mere act of dense and vague verbosity, not even the person who is attempting to disseminate into, what is suppose is meant to be, simpler language, is able to tear himself away from the sickness, is not able to get simple.

Since I am not concerned with status, position or privilege, I find the truth of the matter in much simpler terms and thus come to a more solute ground of the issue (my wording nor word count does not have a dollar or a academic discursive value attached to its effort):

The issue is the term. Since the object can never be known in itself, we are left with only knowledge. Not knowledge of it the object, but only knowledge. Knowledge concerns the object, but because of its limitation (knowledge reflects only itself) the object thus likewise must be a condition of such knowledge, and not the converse. Such conditions designate reality according to discursive relations of meaning ( I will dispense with the Big-Name droppings since there is no profit in it in truth ), relations that correspond with Laruelle’s “coordinated positing”. Such relations cannot be known in themselves without, as Laruelle also finds, resting upon silent, or denied relations upon which the new relations are thus situated for their truth, and this is Laruelle’s philosophical “decision”. Thus, to be simple, we are not ever dealing with things in-themselves, but only terms; it is not that there may be such “decision” or “proto event”‘ but how one is oriented in knowledge toward those ‘things’. Terms are thus situated in consciousness and are revealed by the manner of their use by Beings as to their orientation upon existence- this orientation operative in the questions: Is the term equivalent to its object? Does the term express a true object? Does the Being see itself essentially integral with a common true reality designated by true objects that are conveyed through terms – what Laruelle calls “the world given to knowledge” ? When we begin to understand the issue, we will see it is one of faith; in other words, terms always rely upon an ability to express absolute truths, an object in-itself, and thus implicate, in their role of expressing truth, a transcending element. Again: We are not therefore concerned here then with what the terms may be able to express so far as absolutely true objects, but whether or how one is so oriented upon the truth that is supposed to be expressed in such terms. Hence the polemical non-philosophical and philosophical projects – which I see as better expressed as ‘philosophical’ and ‘conventional- methodological’, respectively.

It appears that Laruelle in his efforts is like Sartre in that he is attempting to describe a true world. We may find over time and repeated returns to this type of philosophy ( or non-philosophy, as the case may be), that they are indeed giving us a comprehensive picture of reality as it is/was at the time of the position. We will have then another way to view reality in existence as another sort of style or fashion. So far, in as much as every expression is an exact reflection of existence at that moment, at least, we have Sartre’s description and now we have Laruelle’s. The problem is in their bad faith of being able to present a description of a real, true world; they end up only giving us a picture of a world that existed for a moment – but without the irony that would allow their proposal to give a picture of the eternally true world.
* *

I am honored if indeed anyone has continued with me this far; I must assume that if you are still here then I have been speaking to the right person.

But chances are none have ventured this far.

Nevertheless, I have only to continue, regardless.

But right now, I’ve to go to the snack stand….

Tangent: Bad Faith, Part 3

Ok, time to get serious. One has to have the time, see, to get really serious because when one gets really serious, things tend to get really funny, so funny, that most people will hardly have the time, so serious they are about having such a little amount of time. But thats a joke.

Bad faith is about being seriously serious. What is serious, as I have said earlier, is that which confronts one’s mortality, and the biggest threat that one has is, what I shall call, the Object. The Object is that which impedes or confronts the subject. If I am talking about something in particular, I have addressed an Object, and to the extent that I might think that I have actually indicated somthing else, something that is not the subject, I have barred the subject from existence because I am speaking about a particular object. This is the problem of duality.

Most people understand duality, but it takes a little more consideration to come to the point made earlier: Religion is the convetional effort to overcome duality. The typical and most overt analogy to what I am talking about is Heaven and Hell, Nirvana and like religious doctrines. This kind of overcoming duality is where the person puts-off the overcoming of duality to the ‘moment’ of unity, which usually means (but not always) ‘when I die’ – they go to heaven. The duality is overcome by ‘kingdom come’; this is to say that this duality is overcome by the complete negation of duality called that which is ‘after-life’. This is the very secular way of speaking about this effort: and we call it ‘Religion’. One will find continuing with my essays, that convenetion mimics, or reflects, what is true, but does not actually get to or reveal anything true in itself beyond its own ability to suspend truth in relativity, which is to say, in duality.

But that route is to easy; it is too easy to point to religion, or believers, or, the faithful and relieve or justify oneself as to one’s belief. I am talking about truth, not relativity. Yet, here is the difficulty: I cannot say that a ‘unity’ is the truth either. Unity, or a One Universe, as I have said in another post, is just as a religious proposition as heaven and hell. In fact, I can only say what is true in reality, and reality is determined as conventional.

So, again, it is not truth that is at issue. If the truth is at issue then one is in a conventional negotiation. The investigation into the truth of an Object is a conventional negotiation of reality. When this effort is taken as substantial, that is, as what I shall call essential, or basic truth, as that which informs and has nothing else or prior that informs it – when we have an effort into the truth of an object, an effort that is taken under a premise that it has something to contribute to an essential truth, as opposed to contributing to reality, as if reality is de facto truth – and this is to say, when the effort is supposed to contribute to an essential truth of objective reality, we have what is conventional: we have a religious undertaking: we have meta-physics. We have an effort that is made under an assumption that is the assertion of the true Object. Furthermore, and this is key: The true Object is always transcendant: it is never found, the truth of it is always the objective. An effort which proposes to find a true metaphysical proposition is a real contradictory effort; it proposes to find the transcendent and bring it down into the world as an object, so it thereby can be immanent, and this would be the true Object. Every real motion which proposes this objective against a truth is a metaphysics, and as such a proposal elicits maxims, or actual truths, it proposes religious truths called dogma. The conventional secular world avoids its religiousness by discursive slight-of-hand, and calls its ( as opposed to Religious) doctrines as ‘ideological’; in other words, it finds the truth of reality by segregating religion from itself: it thereby cannot be a metaphysical (read, ‘false’) reality, but the reality it proposes is thus the True Reality.

Hence we have come to the most solvent presentation of what religion is. Such a presentation explains a feature of human reality without recourse to any other discussion. it contains all rebuttal; we have thus what can be called truth. It is real because it cannot be otherwise and be communicated, but it is not of reality because it explains reality: it is true, it has no prior or other referent but itself. This explanation is thus the ground of any discussion that concerns religion. Every other explanation inevitably must fall to this explanation as its premise. Conventional reality posits a transcendent true Object by its very motion, and because of this fact, what is true of reality is that it is a religious proposition.

We have found a fact of reality; a fact is that which is real, and what is real cannot be avoided except through denial. A life lived in denial is, by definition, lived in Bad faith. When we can come to a full acceptance of such a disclosure of the single person in the world, then we might be able to get somewhere. Until such disclosure is accepted, we will only make decisions based upon a mistaken apprehension of reality.

We can now rejoin the discussion upon the question: why do I say that Francis Laruelle’s project of Non-Philosophy is in bad faith ?

* * * A Further Tangent.

What I am taking about is the strange, offensive notion that whatever is there is entirely contained in knowledge. If one has an open mind, this can easily be demonstrated: attempt to describe some object to someone so that they know exactly what you mean. At some point in this excersize I bet that you will not be able to convey what that thing is without referring to an underlying assumption that that person is human. At some point you will invaribly point to it, or say it is like this or that, or say ‘you know’ and will begin at some point to almost urge that person to understand what you are trying to indicate, you will try to convince that person that they really do know what that object is. Eventually, if the other person does not give into your urging or your compelling to agree with the common humanity, you will give up under the justification that this excersize is stupid or the other person is just being obstinate. But the fact of the matter is that there is only the object there, as a true object, to the extent that both parties agree that some reasonable amount of information has already been given before the exchange had even begun; there was already an established ‘scheme’, if you will, ‘matrix’ of meaning or understanding, knowledge, that supplies the true object prior to the interaction. Yet, as one proceeds to attempt to uncover what this knowledge is, or try to find some pattern or orderly sense to the scheme or matrix, they only find a further aggrivation of the scheme. At each juncture where the investigator comes upon a ‘truth’ of a situation, a true thing there, he or she has found only faith; they have found only the margin of thier encompassing belief, that which establishes for them thier identity as a human being in reality.

Of course, what we have now a days is a new faith; we have a world where people have given up the investigation into what is true and returned to the effort for the true Object – but, this is not because there is no truth, but because thier investigation is founded in convetional methodology: religion.

And it is not difficult to see this everywhere.

(But part of the problem I am explicating is this ‘new’-ness. As if people ever were ever not interested in attaining the Object.)

Ill let this soak for a little while now…

Tangent: Bad Faith, part 1

In an earlier post, I suggest that Francis Laruelle, by his Non-philosophy, is in bad faith, ala. Jean-Paul Sartre. So I might do well by explaining what this means.

One could easily come to a close idea of what bad faith might mean by comparing it to ‘good faith’. I would say that good faith is a kind of trust one has in another but before the other person has really earned it: the trust is given in good faith. And this can be closely associated with plain Faith, as in, I have faith in you, or, I have faith in Jesus.

Sartre comes up with the idea of Bad Faith in reference to what may be common to general human experience; so far as what may be real life, people tend to take it on good faith that it is real, or at least tend to take experience with the benefit of doubt. Even things that seem odd or disagreeable are still taken as an occasion for a plausible judgement as to what may be real or not.

Now, Sartre is making a claim against such typical experience, that such realities taken in good faith are actually of bad faith. One avenue of looking at this is to see that he stakes his claim on the possibility of freedom. In an extended analysis, one comes upon the peculiar confinement that reality places upon a person, that freedom is defined against other qualifiers of reality such that freedom itself is designated and so does not qualify itself to its meaning: freedom has no essential meaning – and this means that we are not really free.

Here we get to what is meant by existential angst. We want to be free; we feel free but upon consideration of what this means we never find any more freedom than what we want or what we feel. What has been termed an ‘ existential crisis’ is a moment when we become trapped in our existence; whatever the actual circumstances or events, we come to a point where a sensible decision into action becomes impossible, a catch 22, where the definers of free choice crowd in upon us and blur and do not allow us clearity. The decision, then, that is ultimately made is one of pure event, of pure experience: we are thrown into existence, the inevitable movement of existing itself. In response to this moment, one thereby makes sense of it, and thus comes to real freedom. Sartre says we make a choice out of the inevitable, what he calls the abyss of freedom, back into true agency where we find real freedom in our new found ability to choose truly of ourselves in reality, we ‘revolt’ against the abyss of freedom. Bad faith is the condition of the usual events of living before such crisis. This is the typical existential reading.

But this reading is wrong; it is a superficial reading that justifies freedom by denying basic existence for the sake of reality.

We cannot stop at feeling like everything is ok, because soon enough everything will not be ok again. Bad faith indicates a situation of denial. I contend that it is due to this denial that all problems occur – and if this is the case, then we will find that philosophy, and rhetoric in general, speaks of a maintenance of incorrection.

So what am I really saying when I say that Laruelle’s Non-philosophy is in bad faith? This is the issue at hand.