Colonialism, Evangelism and The Intellectual Left

Some Problems with The Intellectual Left

https://jonathanhockey.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/some-problems-with-the-intellectual-left/
— Read on jonathanhockey.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/some-problems-with-the-intellectual-left/

I think this post actually describes the situation at hand. He calls it the “political left”, but it really has to do with liberal philosophical intellectualism in general.

When we look at topics like colonialism, capitalism, religion, evangelism, and philosophical topics such as Heidegger’s Dasein and the later existential and postmodern philosophies of the continental tradition, one should not help but be struck by the significance of the meanings of this philosophical traditional lineage. We can even extend this trend back all the way to Kant through phenomenology.

It has been my repeated assertion (or at least insinuation) that phenomenology, as a cannon, is not  describing the human being as a general category; it is describing specific instances of being human. In fact Cedric Nathaniel in his book the philosophical hack will talk about how there is a failure of communication across a common category.  What he means by that is, on one hand, what Jean-François Lyotard calls the postmodern condition: There is no communication taking place despite that human beings simply will not understand the limitation of their own subjectivity, and that technology is a kind of ‘magic’ or fetish which represents the human being seeing itself as indeed communicating with other beings that are not itself (as I extrapolate and make arguments about that elsewhere).

The more pertinent example, on the other hand, is what the author of this linked post, what his essay is saying about a certain type of intellectualism that we generally can associate with academia in general and a kind of Continental tradition or adherence to a kind of philosophical dogma, or dogmatic reading, of Kant and the subsequent lineage of philosophers over the next 200+ years.

When we understand what they are saying and actually apply it to our situation, that is, our own situation, the situation of myself as a thinker, as someone who is using intellect, we may come to a more Kierkegaard understanding like that of the contemporary prophet (see: the philosophical crumbs), as opposed to an enlightenment thinker who is involved with progress. This is to say that the misreading of phenomenology is that what they (The traditional phenomenological authors) are describing cannot possibly be what is occurring in me (The academic or intellectual left Philosopher) as I am reading their philosophy: I am unable to really understand what they are saying because it offends my sense of being human; I thus displace the true meaning and invent a ‘subjective’ meaning, my own meaning. 

This is indeed why Kierkegaard critique still holds true today, and I would submit, why very few authors who consider themselves philosophers today, or critical theorists, will refer to Kierkegaard: because Kierkegaard’s philosophy sticks a spear through the gut of their critical theory.  This ‘other meaning’, the meaning that I ‘make up’ to account for the true meaning which I cannot seem to make fit into the position that I indeed find myself in and against my contest of world, is the basis for Marxist materialist critique and the further critical theorists such as the Frankfurt school.  This ‘other meaning’ which appears to oppress me is indeed the basis for the Real misinterpretation that is the foundation of ideology and political power.

The kind of incredulity, the blatant denial and active assertion of disbelief, is what is actually informing what I see as this author of the linked post is calling “the political left”, yet the author keeps it grounded in the real polemical ideology. He says it very well — I wonder if he really realizes what he’s talking about philosophically, lol — 

— but if I can reiterate:  It is basically that these (what i will call) ‘non-reflective’ intellectuals do not feel that they are a part of the same category of people that they critique. And this to say that their intellectualism insulates them from being part of their own critique,  from being subject to their own critique, and thus from being an intimate part of the world, even while they would use such intellectual ideas to argue that they are a part of the condition.  That is, so far as these philosophers want to draw upon the Continental or phenomenological philosophical lineage as well as the lineage of critical theory to support their political claims. It is the true irony that many completely misinterpret the texts that they will forever site to support their own position, which is to say their “intellectually left” position.  it is not merely that, say, the right is not looking honestly an opening or not being able to see the truth of larger significant issues, it is that the left is also in the same position. What we come up on then it’s just different examples of singular phenomenological activity, placed into a common category that is not communicating across its breadth. It is not communicating because this common category has found it self face-to-face with its own political truth. This is basically what Zizek has been saying about Trump and the American left. in order to have a left, there must be an equally formidable and true right which allows for the position to be valid. While philosophically we can uphold a transcendental encompassing category which contains both the left and right as aspects of this totality, there do we have avenues of negotiation and compromise. But we can also not hold philosophically complex or investigative activities apart from the rest of the world as though they have nothing to do with any other human involvement. At least one Philosopher has talked about how Philosophy always concerns the past even while it wants to speak of the future. In this sense, a philosophy that informs politics this accounts for the end run of left and right sides, self and other conceptual idea logical side, finding it self having no real transcendental ground, or at least to say, so much as Philosophy. is understood as getting somewhere, as finding something substantial, which, in the end we have found that there’s nothing substantial, that only nothing is substantial. This proves to be a psychological hindrance for individuals that want to be founded in a Substantialworld. It is indeed Kierkegaard despair rising up within the individual, who then searches his mind and uses his “intellectual ability” to figure out with the bigger more thorough mines have come to the conclusion, in order for this individual to be able to function effectively in the world to do something with purpose. Following these lines of flight the individual has nothing left but to ground truth, ground its own substance in a truth of its own making, a pure ideological sense. But in the end we find that that’s all it is, and in order to have this pure ideological sense there has to be a corresponding “substance” which allows my truth to stay in place. Hence our current world political situation that we find in various intelligent arenas.

While these intellectuals might point to others’ inability to see past the end of their nose towards larger issues and more significant realities, the fact is these non-reflective intellectuals are indeed doing the same exact thing as the people they condemn: not seeing past the end of their own nose. 

Thier intellectualism, though, their ability to use discursive gymnastics and believe their own scripts, allows them to proceed into life as from a “true” place of privilege from which they suppose they are critiquing “out there” issues; one could even suggest that their idea of self-critique is a self-fulfilling prophecy, at root in matters of systemic oppression (think L. Ron Hubbard and the ‘technology’ he used on himself, while also using it to mind-control and manipulate thousands of people for his benefit). Never do they want actual solution to the problems they find everywhere; never are they able to apply it to their own view, their own perception, their own method of coming up on the world, indeed they will bring out arguments from this phenomenological lineage as if to prove to everyone else how their “Intellectual left” view upon the world is actually seeing things more correctly.

This is not a straw-man argumentative gambit; it is actually describing the situation at hand. “They” indeed function in this manner, as do I.  Yet, the category –the category which is at work in the appropriation of this text , the category where by opinion and subjectivity are suspended in a transcendent ether or “cloud of unknowing” , does not communicate due to the method by which I am able to view the world and things in it; this is the issue at hand: Is there a sure ontological unity that we call “humanity”?

 This goes back to the first point, the first meaning of Lyotard’s postmodern condition: There is no communication taking place.  The rebuttal to this is simple denial through the self-proclamation of intellectualist-historical privilege; this is a simple fact of the phenomenon of being human that is completely denied by certain facets of the intellectual left for the sake of their intellectualism.

For example: “There is communication taking place, but it only appears as though none is taking place, so let me describe to you how intellectually we can create new definitions of ‘communication’ for the purpose of making progress over this apparent subjective limit.”

One could go so far as to say that this is the mistake, in a kind of Lacanian reading, which is contributing to our World political climate. This also contributes to why in some posts I have made in the past couple years I have referred climate change to the question of “just what climate is it that is changing?”

We might be able to glimpse what is occurring at multiple nodes of intersection where this lack of communication is coming together in significant moments of our environment.

Those I am going so far as to indicate as the non-reflective intellectuals (what even Zizek will point out as the “left”) are so quick to move on to the next thing (post-human; post-capitalism, etc…) the next intellectual ‘craze’.  In other works I hope to show how the “philosophical turns” might actually arise at the moment when the intellectualism, as a defining motion, begins to reflect upon itself and its limitations, that the coming into its own limitation automatically eschews reflection ‘out’ and thus as the world to thus retain a certain sense of subjectivity and excess so as to further allow the exploitation of materials it sees fit to use under its purview of self-righteousness. I submit that such ‘turns’ function through ontological denial and work to establish cosmological constants, or categories which do hold potential to communicate across their domains, for the purpose to feeding the capitalistic engine of consumption.

The philosophical turn of our time, toward objects, is due to the stalemate that has arisen by the phenomenological subject coming once again upon its limitation to point to how it is only encountering itself, and then the real ideological denial of that reasoning, that infallible logic, so to speak. The turn is indeed like Moses when he comes upon the burning bush, he turns away, but in our case, human beings turn away “not to see” what this fantastic thing is standing in front of us. Moses turns “into” that which challenges his ontological status; modern human (philosophically mistaken left) beings turn away and deny the truth for the purpose of creating their own world, and thus create infinite problems through which to establish and justify thier real being.

Hence, the denial of oneself (lack of reflection; in despair to be oneself, as Kierkegaard has termed it) for the purpose of a real intellectual subjectivity is the system of oppression that has been feeding itself with the value of disposable others which it turns into valuable commodity through ignoring ontological validity, or what we loosely call equity.  The true goal should be liberation.  Yet, the modern intellectual subject (left) is inherently an unethical subject simply because it refuses to apply its own standards to itself and its behavior: It understands itself within the context of a privileged synthetical a priori, intellectually removed from a necessity to apply its own ethical formations — which it flings righteously onto others — to itself, to exclude itself from its own practicality for the purpose of bringing about its own utopia (subjective authenticity) further through communion with the immanent/transcendent ‘other’ which is perpetually placed out of critical reach through the assumption of its own proper critical methodology.

It is colonialism justified through intellectual denial, and it is evangelism, again denied, through the critical theoretical lineage. An ideal, a cosmology for the creation of an elite individualism of the few, at the cost of expendable multitudes.

21317839_1429194883865078_693428665948367176_n-1evangelism-program

AND, when all this is said and done, we should see that what I am talking about is not another proposal of ethical impropriety which needs to be overcome through more intellectualism, more argument for solution which never desires for the solution to come about and be realized.

ON The CONTRARY: What I am proposing is that indeed this offensive situation is what the human being has been doing since its inception, that it will always do this, that it operates in this manner.  And, that due to this feature of the human being, as we are able to describe, now, without the inherent subjective bias, what the human being actually does, and thus, bring out to view the truth of what we can call the object of the subject: the universal object that is the human being.

Note: The categories “left” and “right” are as ambiguous as they are almost useless to use for any sort of absolute reference. They are terms to describe the activity of polemical negotiation. But when they become understood as actual identifiers, actual ideological sets, this is where we find the problem of “the end”. 

 

 

The Philosophical Object.

Phenomenology says that we all have subjective worlds that are reflected in our opinions and views.

The Speculative Realist conference philosophers spoke to the point of how that formulation of reality leads to a closed loop of philosophical correlation. Thus, their problem has been how to find something outside of this closed system.

The concern of an orientation upon objects is how that correlation occurs outside of the talk about it, encompassing the talk about how we are to get outside of it.

The issue here then arises between an object which withdraws from view (Harman) and the subject which is never expressed or communicated (Lyotard).

The difference, I say, lay more with orientation and less with ontological ubiquity. More with the manner that the subject is able to view the world and less with how there is a “real” world that subjects can only partially view.

The difference is thus between the phenomenon and the object. Less about how we situate philosophical definitions and more about the manner of being able to see.

The postmodern condition: Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble.

Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble”

Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble”


— Read on josephratliff.com/google-filter-bubble/

This blog, this video and the producer of the video, The fact of them now, bring up many issues, and more than whether or not Google search engine is biased and whether or not we’re being manipulated.

Let me see if I can address the issues that seem apparent to me just off the top of my head.

One. The thing that sticks out to me the most is that Jean-Francois Lyotard already told us this in his seminal essay the Postmodern Condition. And very short: the postmodern condition is where knowledge is determined by the experts. Of course he said a few things more than this but in very very very short term is this is really what he saying, significant to this post at least.

Let this sink in: for much of history humanity has thought it self as existing from some sort of open freedom, freedom, free thought, choice, free will, etc. And more recently, that we as intelligent creatures, intelligent human beings have a capacity to view things for what they are, and that we really just need to make a choice to investigate things to find out what bias is or what agenda might be inherent in any particular presentation. The postmodern condition is where that capacity or ability is commandeered, as part of a whole motion, such that this ability itself, the very idea of a sort of intelligent or free detachment from the object of our perception or conception, has already been determined by a certain set of people that we know, as an ideological disembodiment, as “the experts”. And his point in the essay is that this coincides with technology because human beings are, in our moments, a technological creature.

Now, when I hear anyone talk about postmodernism I think of Lyotard’s essay. I think of other authors to, postmodern original authors, but I do not really think about people who consider themselves “post modernist”, and when I hear other people critiquing postmodernism, most of the time from their critique I understand that they are talking about the subsequent category of authors that call themselves postmodernist. And so then I know right off the bat that the person who is staking their claim against postmodernism is really talking about something that I consider a somewhat superficial. Sure, what they have to say might be relevant in a kind of pop culture way of viewing academics and what academics do, so far as they have to be involved in making social commentary all the time, and indeed make money doing it.

So anyone who thinks they know what postmodernism through the authors Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari etc.. Really should read Lyotards essay, in my opinion, because really the essay gives everyone else teeth. I feel like the other authors talk about various aspects of this condition that Lactually defines. What he is saying in that essay basically encompasses the impetus for everyone else’s discussions. At least, as I say, that’s how I see it.

So once we understand what he saying is the postmodern condition then —

Two. What this video is saying is not new. In fact, we already knew that this is going on, and just because there is a computer program or the Internet that is making it more obvious to us does not mean that all the sudden we are being manipulated or being conned into thinking something. For the postmodern condition is that condition whereby what is considered knowledge is already determined for us through our humanity. And this is to say that what we think is free speech or freethinking, even to say intelligence, has already been determined by “the experts”.

Three. What does this mean? What does this mean that there is this person who is putting out this video to warn us about how biased Google search engine might be, as though this is something that’s coming up just in the past 10 years, say, or something that’s really becoming important just right now or in the past year because of technological capacity or ability. When we read the postmodern condition essay we should already understand technology as involved in this very human way of being to determine what knowledge is through expertise; because it’s manifesting in a particularly visible and tangible way actually shows of what the human being actually is as a universal object.

So again, what is the significance of the fact that this video has appeared right now, and really saying in the context of the post modern condition?

Just as a case in point for my post here:

Honestly, I have to ask myself while watching this video who is searching for that shit? Who is really caring whether or not googles or any search engine for that matter search engine is bias or not?

Of course, I think this is a little oblique of a question for most people, but it really goes to the fact that I don’t use Google very often to search for anything very important. And yet here is a blogger actually taking the time to produce this video to tell a bunch of people that what they think is an unbiased search engine is very biased and so people should be careful about being manipulated towards particular information.

So to my mind she is not talking about everyone, but she is only talking about a particular type of person.

And I have to go back to this question of knowledge being ordained by the experts.

The postmodern condition is something that is defined by Correlationalism, And you can Google that(lol) if you don’t know what it is or what it means because I’m voice dictating while I’m walking my dog so …

And this is to say that the condition is such that even “intelligence” is knowledge that is again defined by the experts, and if I haven’t been clear, what I’m saying is that this definition itself is biased. And involved of my point here is that the very idea of a free thought is already been determined through a biased created by expertise which is supposed to be unbiased but which really is not: The very idea of intelligence as some sort of grounding or ubiquitous aspect of being human in which freedom is likewise essentially grounded, is a manipulation.

Through this very simple analysis of the post modern condition with relevance to one of its products, the space apparent in between the truth of the matter and the real manifestation of the matter, points to a particular type of human being and not a whole category of universal species that we typically understand when we say or refer to “human being”.

Because again we have to ask what is the point of this video. I think there are two answers which really indicate again this ideological unity of the intelligent free human being:

The person who made this video obviously feels very concerned about people being manipulated against what would otherwise be free thought.

And, The point of the video is to elicit a reaction, to activate a legitimate fear, so to speak.

And I would say that these two things combine to form a certain concept of the human being that to such people that are alarmed or are supposed to be alarmed, create and antagonism with in humanity whereby if you are not alarmed then you are not ethical or not moral or are otherwise not intelligent.

And I don’t mean this in the sense of that we should not be worried about it, I mean this in the sense, in the same sense as climate change: we’ve known about this for a long time and in fact it is not something that creates a condition for us that we can make choices to not have occur. Indeed we should be concerned, but I would say in a manner that insights responsibility for what is actually occurring.

But the very fact of the video is an assumption that this kind of responsibility is not available to many if not most people. Apparently it’s not available to the person who made the video, but as well it’s not available to the people to whom the video is intended.

Now what does this mean in the context of a post modern world where everyone is supposed to have an equal and equitable voice?

In the words of Slavoj Zizek, It is a catastrophe.

So something to think about.

Larval Subjects, the Impetus for Communication and the Common Thought of the Past.

Prof Bryant has an interesting post today.  And it inspired me to comment, below:

As I taught Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics today, I emphasized the manner in which so many of the virtues he lists are social in nature. Although we intuitively value many of the virtues Aristotle lists, I don’t think it would occur to many of us to count these among more or ethical issues. I wonder what the […]

via The End of Dialogue? — Larval Subjects . 

Levi;

It is interesting that you happened to ponder communication right now, because I was also pondering it, but along a slightly different line. I think you are commenting along a different vector of knowledge, perhaps a different category, but still…

I was asking myself if the academic form-method of “papers” and “journals” are even needed any more, if they are relevant in the sense that considers the actual possibility of being human, in the sense of being involved with what can Be. 

I recall a post you made a while ago where you were questioning the academic proper method and presentation of papers, how the whole act seemed in some instances to mock the content of some of the papers themselves, as though the manner by which an author has to present their ideas in academia in order to be taken seriously actually functions to devalue and or discount what they have to say, actually invalidates their ideas, such that the seriousness required detracts from the significance of the meaning of the paper.

heresy-cover_2175694a

I wonder what you might think of this:

I was thinking along these lines:

The reason why ‘papers’ and journals and that whole thing came about (I could be wrong) was because thats what they had. Thinkers had to be able to communicate their ideas at length and so they had these vehicles by which to circulate those ideas so other thinkers could consider them and comment on them. The whole idea of ‘communal’ -cation.

And when you think about the whole ‘modern’ – ‘post modern’. thing, and then this ‘speculative realist’  kind of thing; It seems to have occurred in correspondence with the methods of communication available.

The breakdown of the metanarratives that Jean-Francois Lyotard brought up occurred with the opening up of methods of communicating, namely computers and similar technology. But perhaps, old ways die hard.

Think about back in the pre-computer day: It could appear that everyone was involved in a common progress, every philosopher involved in moving toward some great reckoning of knowledge (of sorts), like knowledge itself was moving in a particular direction (of enlightenment, of progress, etc). because there was only a relatively small number of papers one could come accross, not that one could read, but just the sheer lack of theoretical material, or, at least, people could still entertain the perception that because there was only a relative few number of people who were saying anything significant, we were indeed moving in a progressive motion. Also, though, just the (again relative) small number of people who even entered into “higher education” or were even allowed if not privy to being privileged even to be able to think intelligently and critically, was extremely limited. It was easy to think there was a “manifest destiny” of sorts, an “historical conscious’ moving philosophy and indeed the world. It was easy to discount the ‘ignorant’ as the necessary condition for such ‘thought’, as an historical and divinely ordered hierarchy of progress.

Now think about now. What does it mean when we have raised the ability of the aggregate and or average of people in the world to be able to consider these once effectively esoteric philosophical ideas? Is it not possible that the product itself (philosophy) might change under different conditions? What happens, say, just as a hypothetical example, when instead of 1 out of 10000 people are able to understand, consider, ponder and respond appropriately to ideas, now 50 out of 100 are able to understand, but 75 out of 100 are able to also give a considerate response. And more: The bare fact that all these people can now actually enter the discussion via our technology. I would think that not simply do we have the situation where many more people contributing to what is possible within the possibility of thought, but more so we have an entirely new arena in which thought is possible. Indeed; do you not think there would be a difference in not only the nature of ‘thought‘ itself but in fact the ‘nature‘ of thinking also? It is an odd perplexion; we need only consider what is occurring all over the world to begin to start to understand that perhaps what we are calling thought or thinking is not something that is commonly understood, but only assumed as common thing, and indeed enforced. Must we stop at the Colonialization of a particular era? Does that now bring into question what we have merely accepted due to the Fact of Colonization?

We might discover that what we are calling thought is really a harkening to another time (time is a construct also; Heidegger beckoning us to that other time), a time when there was indeed a functioning meta-narrative, a time by which we displace our time and are unable to reconcile what we experience with what we are knowing of thought and thinking, this because we are not actually considering what is really occurring right in front if us through the ability of consciousness as it is occurring right now, but are rather considering how things should be with reference to this common thought of the past.

What might happen then if we look with opened eyes upon what is occurring now? We night find that Lyotard was correct, but in a significantly different light. It is not that we become aware in someway that we must now be critical in some form about general descriptive and directive narratives. No; such an approach is missing what is occurring for what we think should occur. It is the fact that we are unable to look at knowledge without an authority as to which knowledge we are supposed to consider, why we should consider it, and how we are allowed to consider it. It is a condition of knowledge and not some logical reductive result of a traditional heritage: The heritage is alive and well in the proposal that we had some choice over whether we should approach philosophy through these tropes (meta-narratives).

Perhaps we might be able to glimpse that what occurs through the convention of Papers is no longer a general communication that concerns a direction and purpose involved in finding out independent, dependent and dynamic aspects of our world, but rather an exclusive correspondence between those who decide which knowledge is valid, a manner by which knowledge is to be contained within a certain traditional lineage of what thinking is supposed to be, presumed to be, but indeed, perhaps, allowed to be.

You, Professor Bryant, who facilitated the very notion of Object Oriented Ontology, who entertains the idea of Being machinery, involved with the Speculative; is it not possible that what before was functioning implicitly (Zizek), invisibly, is now merely staying invisible though the very ideal mechanisms that are supposed to defy such oppression (the Modern by the post-modern: The liberal critical academy) ? Would this not be a minimum plausible factor in our moment of the attempt to account for and displace the nihilism of Modernity not coming to pass?

Think not only about how difficult and fortunate you were (are) to have gained a position as a professor at an institution, but how much more difficult it is now to get one, but also the anxiety that accompanies such a position; I am thinking of The Academic’s Peculiar Dissonance — Samir Chopra, his recent post on this topic.

**

Here I get speculative:

One could argue that it has always been difficult (We have always been disenchanted), but I might venture to say for the cloister itself, that the difficulty has reached a different timbre now, and not merely more of the same kind of difficulty; I think a different type of difficulty might be in play now. Perhaps you might disagree? No?

Perhaps it is not merely an effort to keep one’s position of power and prestige, as well as identity capital that is involved, but a creeping suspicion, maybe not even yet apprehensible, that the academy is no longer involved with the legitimacy it is proposed upon. Perhaps it is more involved in the perpetuation of a particular kind of thinking, and that this implicit agenda is behind the difficulty, and the sheer number of ‘thinkers’ that are just as able and who have just as novel thought hiding under their dresses, pants, belts, bras and jock straps, are eager congregants just waiting to impeach the Ideal Priests of the Academy so they can Preach the message?

LOL.

I do get grandiose; for sure.

 


But I think there is something in there that needs consideration –I mean, if we are indeed involved with something legitimate.

No?

Reality, Naivety and Addiction; Part 2: Google and the failure of communication.

(Note: These posts refer to Slovoj Zizek’s talk he did in Spain a few months ago; this one:

 

***
This ‘post-traumatic world’ that might exist in a utopian dream, if it were not for the naïve subject who is able to have a view where by hope can reside, does not occur within the Symbolic and Imaginary frames; or rather, such a utopia is possible as a political empiricality within such effective frames. Where the ‘post-carnival’ state is possible, there do we find what is ‘the carnival’ itself, the moment wherein things are not what they seem and indeed shift and change in the single view. This is what Zizek (Lacan) calls ‘the impossible’, or, the Real order. The manner by which we make sense of what is impossible is called, for Zizek, psychoanalysis. When we see that these states do not change through subjective agency acting upon some actual empirical object but rather are only changes in view, then we must ask: What is this state wherein Zizek must disclaim his lecture in order to be understood, at once, to be not contradicting his innate imperative for logical consistency, and then as well not offending the sensibility that is discovered through psychoanalysis? Or more precisely: What is occurring such that this state, that he would have to qualify his subjectivity as naïve, against which a Socialist Bureaucracy seems preferable, or, what might be best to deal with things ‘after the carnival’ , needs be stated? Does not a state reflect itself de facto, automatically and axiomatically in the presentation?

What is occurring in the naive state is an inability to be dismissed from the carnival; an inability to make the next move; hence, for Zizek to communicate at this level and be honest he must qualify his presentation: What is naive is that which understands itself as not subject to psychoanalysis. So, the trauma continues and the carnival goes on; this is reality, the effect of the various periodic failures of the Symbolic and Imaginary Orders, and the solution to these evental failures is usually and commonly to resource the Symbolic and Imaginary orders, the orders by which the political world gains veracity, or the semantic scaffold by which what is political may be known.

One does not simply decide to give up on their world and then the world goes away; the world must be destroyed without consent. This is a fact. If we must speak of effective ideologies, we can hear Zizek through his book “Living in the End Times” (paraphrase): It is only at the time we notice the impending failure of an ideology that we fight hardest for its truth. We do not simply give it up, even if we know the battle is lost; we still man our stations and fight for the state. We do not simply and easily relinquish our world because we have a conception that it is ending. Notice the general responses to global warming. The rhetoric is not a condemnation of our system, rather the reaction is either flat denial or a call to adjust how we approach our modern living.

*

Likewise the recent Google diversity scandal. Notice that there is nothing terribly irrational or non sensible in the manifesto. In fact, his essay makes good sense from a open-platform ideal: Every voice should be heard, even the voice that has been marginalized in the popular political environment. He is not saying that Google should not address inequalities in the workplace; he is saying that the manner that they are being addressed may be based upon an incomplete consideration of the facts; a more complete rendition of the facts of inequality or structural misrepresentaion or skewed hiring and promoting practices being the logical and rational ideas that he presents, which are, actually, not too radical. He is not saying anything that I haven’t heard; whether or not I believe them or not, the various notions about gender he produces are indeed valid — but in a certain light.

Then look at the answer that is made by Danielle Brown, Googles new diversity manager.

…I found that it [the anti-diversity manifesto] advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.

Does anyone notice anything peculiar between the two discourses?

At risk of putting myself in either camp and looking as if I am defending the manifesto, the anonymous writer is merely putting forth his view under the ideal that everyone should be heard, he is saying that perhaps Google’s diversity policy should be put on hold until everyone is heard. There is nothing radical about this ideal; it is a very democratic and American ideal, liberal as well as conservative.

How about Ms. Brown? Her decision has already been made. The judgement of the diversity manager is that he is “promoting incorrect assumptions about gender”.  Is that really true? It kind of sounds to me that it is the diversity manager that is promoting assumptions that are not true, namely, that the dude is promoting incorrect assumptions. But as Lyotard noted,by what ground shall we legitimate either of these discourses?

Nevertheless, this (his, the Manifesto) incorrect assumption is one that Google does not endorse, and indeed is why he ended up fired.

I don’t think there is a better indication where this world of ours is headed: Nationalism is on its way out; Corperatism is in. Democratic ethics is no longer the standard but is indeed being commandeered by corporate policy, policy that will decide what is ethical for the future.

Just from a (fair) neutral position: I am curious what exactly his manifesto says that is an incorrect assumption about gender. Are we not allowed any more to suggest that men and women are different? I thought in the discussion about race, at least, we are supposed to embrace difference, acknowledge difference and not be blind to color of skin and cultural expression. Any considerate and intelligent person is left to wonder why difference in gender is not to be acknowledged and embraced? Don’t we do that when we fuck?

In the corporate world we do not fuck each other, we fuck other companies. Competition defines the space of ethics; a meta-narrative of ethics does not yet define an umbrella space of companies. Difference, it seems, is not to be abided in the consideration of the workers value: Only the overt potential involved in the equality and sameness of human beings in general is to be considered in the place of production. The ability to produce is the standard, and we, as corporate subjects, cannot afford the inefficiency that can arise in the a priori classification of workers ability: All workers are equal in the potential to produce. That is the (post-) modern ground of ethics.

What do we have? We have the very postmodern condition coming to fruition. The Manifesto Man speaks of a Google echo chamber. What could be a better description of his very condition: He is speaking about a kind of ethical space that we all know of, but because the our existential condition (for lack of a better term here), the ethical condition that is the liberal agenda of freedom and equality that has been with us for at least 200 years, he cannot be heard, indeed will not be heard. Knowledge no longer exists as some source  or conduit for access into an essential and ideal ground for ethics; knowledge now is determined along lines of which knowledge is valid, and so which knowledge is able to be heard. Lyotard puts it in terms of which knowledge is efficient. The Manifesto Man is speaking, and we all (but do we?) know what he is meaning, where he is drawing his knowledge from, but it is mute. Such knowledge is invalid: It is no longer a kid of knowledge that is included in what is valuable. The ‘experts’ have agreed and they have decided.

*

What better description of this world: carnival. And as well: dialectical. So what happens after? The discussion by two or more people is shut down and the discussion continues as if in an echo chamber, which is to say, the movement merely occurs and everyone just rides along, regardless of what sound is made. The Dialectic continues but under a new semantic rubric that is understood to not be new. Indeed; there is an irony occurring. For, while the point I make in my recent essay about ‘the event of the past’  and Zizek being naive, I find that around the same time (well, relatively speaking I suppose, lol) I was writing that post, Zizek himself was in Spain speaking about how he was going to proceed as naive (listen to the youTube above).

In this sense, we find a certain psychoanalytical significance to what is occurring at Google, but in the context of addiction as well. The naive subject has a voice that is always heard in the context of the times as a political voice, able to bring change to the world, in various potentialities, at various moments. But what occurs is that voice is automatically referred to a context that is outside of the communicative potential of the subject: She speaks, but it is as if in an echo chamber. The dialectical subject of ethics speaks of justice, but her voice resonates only in its own space, the sound that is heard in reality is offensive and indeed (now) incorrect, and actually promoting assumptions that no longer reflect what is true, except in as much as this echoing voice affirms the present justice; the past has been changed. As Zizek describes in his book “Event” determined by the facticity of the past itself, the present act alters the very condition by which it has come about to reflect the actuality of the present moment.

**

The addict in his cups is not privy to the change; she is determined by her past as she works to keep the past constituent to that ideal and dialectical moment. The addict sees the material as being unchangeable and essential, and ideal world or “musts” and “is’s”. Reality never breaks into the Imagined world to disrupt it and the addict stays in her echo chamber yelling for someone to hear her. But the world only hears a sound that no longer reflects the true of reality. The two exist within a dialectical moment that is denied for the purpose of asserting a justice that is already occurring, indeed has been occurring, albeit, to challenge the past which determined the criteria by which such justice has been ascertained.

Time behaves atemporally, as witnessed not only by Lyotard 40 some years ago, but in the movie “Fight Club” some 25 years ago:

This is no figure of speech, metaphor, or interesting artistic juxtaposition. It is the actual psychoanalytical situation that occurs.

(This clip is just so perfect ! lol)

Clean Shave, by CSP – and other postmodern avoidance.

clean shave CSP logo 2_Fotor

What is the relationship between art and philosophy?

That is the issue I treat.

In “The Postmodern Condition”, Jean-Francois Lyotard speaks of this dichotomy in terms of ‘narrative’ and ‘scientific’ discourses. Emmanuel Kant speaks of the difference between Practical and Pure reason. And others also divide essential Being into dichotomous factions and never seem to approach the ‘final frame’, as Slavoj Zizek might (maybe) call it. While they are all most commonly understood to be speaking of different aspects (all of them) of reality or whatever, the significant issue involved with all of them is that they are really using different terms to characterize and position the same thing, the same aspect of being itself (that which is being itself). This is the issue that Francois Laruelle attempts to show us, that philosophy, what we might call ‘conventional’ philosophy, understands these divisions, these decisions, as indicating essentially real and localizable essences, what we may now call ‘objects’, but also a condition that no human being can get out of (No Exit).

The conventional philosopher sees terms as identifying actual distinct and segregate idealized (there is not situation that escapes what is of an idea) situations as these situations are indeed thus due to the manner by which clausal arrangements are made: Discourse determines reality because that is what has been argued successfully, and this argument thus can no longer be questioned without determining reality in a manner whereby reality is thus determined. This is called idealism: The idea is transcribed into reality because the idea is that the idea is able to be transcribed into reality intact (is the idea itself real?) But again, conventional philosophy cannot admit this generalization, or will vehemently as casually set it aside (whatever works), and will then move to discount its idealist situation by defining further terms and clausal arrangements. They simply cannot stop seeing ‘more things’, or simultaneously ‘the comparison of things’ in their use of discourse as these lineages of meaning are understood to extend through an essential temporal substrate. 

See, though, that of course, this is not incorrect. It simply locates, evidences and positions a particular kind of thinking and the method that supports that thinking. The ability to find this philosophical situation thus, at once, understands that conventional philosophy views itself as a kind of essentialist science through its ability to situate itself above and around every assertion that is made upon it, to thereby deny that it is an idealism (religion); this type of maneuver once noticed cannot escape its scientific attitude, an attitude that ironically denies that it is any sort of science.

When we locate this situation, oddly enough, we have found an opening that places philosophy as an object; we are able to ‘see’ it as an object, and once an object can be located and defined for what it does (is something more than it does? IS more than AM? ), it becomes an object of science. This means that people are going to get nervous (isn’t this what we are already seeing?) . While philosophy will continue on in its conventional manner, there will be (is) another kind of philosophical manner that cannot help but supersede what has been traditionally the jurisdiction of philosophy as a whole kind of endeavor. This philosophy that moves beyond philosophy can therefore be called a kind of ‘science of philosophy’ and works to be able to define humanity in a manner that is better able to control and or first describe, then predict the outcomes of humanity even while humanity denies that it is being determined. The irony of this latter situation is that such control is not subject to the fears of totalitarianism or dictatorship (but neither democracy or communism) because such an understanding does not occur within the purview of real estimations; what falls into its purview will be checked by the regular political mechanisms which are around for any moment.

What in the past has been called ‘religious’, and then soon after ‘esoteric’, and then soon after ‘heretical’, now changes the stakes of the game. What has been the arena that these terms denoted has been dispelled (the term no longer ‘denotes’) in all effective ways save the enforcement of the meaning of the term itself: There is no ‘effective’ esoteric occasions but those which are defined within the general political arena as another political case, another political identity. What goes on behind closed doors is subject to the same rules as any other ‘closed door’ policy.

Due to this ideological upset that the concept of science brings about (along with its appropriate narrative support), the human situation is turned on its head and reality, by virtue of its ubiquity and omnipresence, becomes a religious institution. Once this happens, everything remotely ‘spiritual’ goes out the window into the the bin of science, yet even while it retains an effectivity within the meaning of the transcendental clause by which narratives afford, convey and maintain real worlds. What occurs then, is what otherwise would have been classified as ‘esoteric’ by modern analysts becomes the effective means to define parameters upon the human creature in such a fashion which moves beyond the ability for the real narrative to keep up with; power is enacted which does not fall into the modern ‘structural-Marxist-humanist’ designations for how power is supposed (proposed) to be used. As we have just said, what does fall into the lap of such analysts, regardless of what it means to such analysis, nevertheless functions to acquiesce data which is thus used to support the determinate scientific use of power upon reality. This is to say that what has been the problem of modern philosophy, that of what to make of essential difference and its interface, interaction or intersection, has been solved, albeit in a manner that leaves a particular mode of philosophical knowledge playing in the white wash despite its best efforts to paddle out into the monsters of Mavericks. Philosophy (conventional) becomes the means to make sense of what is already occurring, a manner to keep everyone calm and centered upon the practical business of living life, understood in the context of tradition though contingency, randomness, and the vicissitudes of free will. Religion is indeed the opiate of the masses, but to the extent that, as Giles Delueze might argue, knowledge of how this might be the case cannot and does not allow us to avoid its satiating glamour because within each attempt to overcome the oppressive and limiting aspects of our Leviathan, humanity functions to sedate itself through the very terms of its systemic freedom.

What is left is enacted by a contingent that, while recognizing the limits imposed and demanded, does not, as Zizek makes sense of the Buddhist philosophy of detachment, after all, totally comply with those limits, and indeed, lives a double life. Yet this one is not the conned apathetic agent of futility and happiness; on the contrary, it is the engaged and living aspect of the limitation itself.

There is a point, a moment, where Philosophy is split: one Philosophy continues in its traditionally real ontological approach and will see every discourse as a sign to be placed back into the correlational  (real) limit; the other Philosophy sees philosophical statements as the material of a science, as it begins to show what philosophical statements establish, what they do as objectival acts, as things in themselves, behaving in characteristic manners to establish typical situations, that can be identified and predicted along certain lines of purpose. 

This type of knowledge is deemed invalid in the narrative of reality despite every effort to validate it in narrative (the philosophical science is negated in the act of narrative) and so occupies a kind of knowledge that is usually categorized and classified as esoteric, but indeed is a science that is offensive to real agents of transcendence, which is to say, to practical reason. 

This situation always is the case (see my book “The Moment of Decisive Significance” for the description example) as history may be discerned along lines of the relationship of this polemical constant over the motions of ideological climate and of their reactionary politics. 

The Machine and Being: The Commons.

“We must situate what has been left out if we are ever to get anywhere beyond repeating the same old philosophical tropes.”

55394256-machine-learning-production-line-with-idea-lightbulbs-being-processed-by-the-microchips-circuits-co

*note on the note: ‘They’ are those who are ‘in the commons’.

{WIKI:

Commons:

– The definition from the Digital Library of the Commons is; “the commons is a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest”.
– A common is a shared resource managed by a community who create rules to make the resource durable. The resource can’t be monopolised by one or a group of individuals, it has to be as opened as possible. The resource is not private or public, it’s a third thing : a common.
– }

…But this also is not complete. We should at all times understand that this discussion has been made more than once, and by those who made it, we should assume that all the bases were covered, all aspects revealed and discussed. When we thus refer to the discussion, ‘it’, we also then cannot but remember that, strangely enough, not everything is expressed.

The discrepancy, or contradiction, evident in those conjoined sentences (just previous), thus reveals how it is possible that I might have something to say about it, since we have then the very essence of time (1) (Heidegger) played out through the stretch that occurs between any multiple of authors who had something to say about it. Further, we have an issue that arises when we consider that everything has been expressed in whichever discussion, but somehow not everything was expressed; this is the issue of the contemporary (2) because only the contemporary is able to view what has been said as, at once, describing the whole situation yet leaving something out. It is an issue of the contemporary because she does not make issue with what the other had to say, but only notices what he hasn’t said: Thus the issue of the condition of discourse (3) becomes salient. When we likewise reflect upon what is occurring, we cannot but help further notice that not everyone is privy to this view, but some are. The axis where this situation plays, what we can call the matrix that arises in the noticing of this strange situation, we call the point of contention (4), because it appears that though we might speak about it and describe it plainly, using the terms of the day and playing by the rules where by clausal structures relate definite meanings, the meaning is still not conveyed to most. One one axis (perhaps) we have the immature before the mature, and we cannot blame natural process for placing knowledge along whatever path of progress becomes each learner. On the other axis (perhaps) we have a more insidious situation because it has to do with what offends, and where offense might take place (Kierkegaard); we have the situation where the mere fact of being offended reveals a certain argumentative camp. We must situate such types within the continuum of consideration in order to be able to speak clearly about what is occurring, because there is no intension (Hursserl) to offend, but indeed such a discourse will offend certain types. It is the idea of intension where things often get fouled up.

Here then we come upon a term ‘conventional’ to describe that group who apparently cannot understand the simple meanings that are conveyed through the standard communicative medium of discourse. We thus come back around to a reason for why the term ‘common’ becomes so wonderful to indicate those who do not grasp the discussion that has already been had, nor that which is needing amendment, nor how the amendment is indeed amended to the previous and ongoing discussion, that is, over arguing with the points is has brought. Such a group are common because it is such a usual thing to place the varied elements and constituents of humanity in a hierarchical order of Being, that when someone describes this very situation to them in simple terms, terms which merely add to the discussions which have already occurred in total and describing every aspect of the situation at hand (5), the cannot but help themselves to view the description as a very complex thing, having so many aspects pro and con which can be tested by sematic meaning calculators that weigh importance within the hierarchy of meaningful ideas. They (common) simply do not (can not) see the simplicity, but must go through the hierarchy of semantic Being, (Foucault’s “order”), apply the complex functions of meaning to it in order to maybe get a glimpse at the initial simplicity of the whole situation and what has been occurring. This is the most common manner to approach knowledge as it is thereby (in the commons) already been categorized and classified into its semantic niches by the ‘identity machine’ that is the unreflected agent of faith involved with the unified reality of ideological religion (Deleuze) (belief and ‘unchosen thought-Being’)

As we have said, though, this is nothing new, but only an amendment to what has already been said in its completion about the whole of the situation. The amendment is to not figure into the automatic commonality that at one time we could call ‘reality’ and be working not only within but also toward a common human, but universal, purpose. Reality itself has become insufficient to contain the possibility of what exists, but has instead become a ‘unit’ of measure, a mode of classification, whereby knowledge may gain its quality of valid Being, such that what is common thus also defines which knowledge is valid (Lyotard), as well as through a kind of ‘established absence’ (subaltern; Spivak, after a manner) what now cannot be heard. What is ‘in the commons’, in this respect, marks a particular manner of understanding and processing things so that everyone can be included in the hierarchical ‘semantic’ universe and be put to good use with the best possibility for people not to question their situation: For the situation by this time has already included all the questions and supplied all the answers.

~{ this is all taken from my upcoming book ~ L.K. }

Materialism And Nihilism. (or: What is Philosophy?)

We have to be careful when mining resources from traditional discourse. I have proposed here and there that we need to clean up philosophical discussion, and so I’m going to give an example, a brief and not exhaustive nor rigorously thorough, rendition of what I mean when I say we have to clean up philosophy.

Check out this post on materialism.

From a certain perspective, this ( the link) approach is not incorrect. The basis of his argument and indeed what he is saying is not incorrect in itself, which is to say, the content of his argument is not what is at issue here (though you can see my questions upon the content in the comments of his post). We might recall from an earlier post of mine I suggest there are two routes upon objects; the issue with today’s philosophy is really about one’s orientation upon objects. His argument is in good form in the content that is assumed of some sort of traditional heritage, in this case Wiki as a sort of base from which to place his discussion, is used as a sensible base today to make further statements. The Wiki reference to materialism might be a philosophically established definition, but it doesn’t take into large account that even the idea of materialism is debated as to what it’s really talking about. We might even be tempted to ponder how we are even able to come up with a category that is common enough to call materialism.

Let’s take a look at the opening statements of the wiki entry on materialism:

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions.

Materialism is closely related to physicalism, the view that all that exists is ultimately physical.

Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that this entry does not make sense. At least, it does have a certain sense so far as it may reference other ideas to other wiki entries and generally goes on to discuss various ideas around let materialism may be.

First, the simple question has to be “what is materialism?” Then, there are two routes to go in finding out what ‘materialism’ might mean. One route is to do a Google search (above) or go to a professor of philosophy or critical thoery and ask all these places or look up in these places, “materialism”. And you get the usual type of philosophical answers. This route is so common that it is never even questioned; in fact, I would venture to say that it is usual and of course not to question this route, but more, that the contents of the search is likewise not questioned for what it contains (as a discursive form), but the only valid manner of questioning is upon meaning of the content as if the syntax is automatically correct as a (redundantly) syntactical form that conveys direct and equivocal meaning (that can be reduced to common) .

This may sound as if we are rehashing old postmodern modes, but it is distinctly modern in the sense that the reader cannot dismiss herself from that fact that is taking place at this moment: This moment is modern. Even if we were to attach some theoretical qualifiers to define this moment as post- modern (or post-post modern, as I like to call it), the manner by which we are able to come to the idea that this particular reading is postmodern is a modern manner. The segregating present modes or forms into categorical definitions is a modern form. The theoretical denial of this fact allows us to come to certain sensibilities about what is occurring in this moment, that is, the moment of this reading (now – are you dismissing yourself from your reading! you are reading this right now. Not in the present: Only in this moment, this modern moment) which we will not go into detail here.

The question on the table is “what is materialism”? Where do I look for this answer is the next question, the supporting question. Then, for this route that we are shedding light upon (a light that many are ((color)) blind to), the next question is: What am I trying to accomplish by taking this route? I think this is really the fundamental philosophical question involved in everything that we call philosophy; but as well, it is a question that philosophy in general, I think, largely ignores. So I can say this in the original sense of postmodern, a sense that is not the common sense of our day’s view. It is a different sense that few people care about because its basis of value is different. What is the purpose I am fulfilling or attempting to complete through taking this route? To answer ‘to gain information’ is too vague, and too redundant, but if you are OK with that answer then perhaps it is not philosophy that you are involved with (hence another reason why I say we need clean up philosophy).

The first answer to the first question shows what is involved with philosophy. If my first answer is to seek the answer somewhere else, then we already know about a certain orientation upon things, and we need not look anywhere else: This route is the route which places modernity within a prior structural situation by which the agent of that structure lives out her days. This is found because the first answer is not so often: I already know what materialism is. The answer to the first question is: Materialism is a philosophical category that is defined by or otherwise associated with material. If this question is not asked and answered first, then we have a particular kind of philosophical undertaking that yields a particular kind of philosophical answer. When this is asked and answered first, then the next question becomes: What is material? And the answer again comes automatically to sense: It is the stuff that things are made out of or otherwise constituent of.

Now; lets look at a simple definition of ‘material’ without all the previous hoopla:
{Btw: I have not yet looked it up; the definition I am putting here is after I wrote this promt. So lets see:}

– Material. “The matter from which a thing is or can be made”

So now:
– ‘matter’: “That which occupies space and has mass”

OK:
– ‘space’: (we will forego the strict mathematical definitions that are given first):
“An extent or expanse of a surface or three-dimensional area”

– ‘Mass’: “1. a coherent, typically large body of matter with no definite shape. 3. physics
the quantity of matter that a body contains, as measured by its acceleration under a given force or by the force exerted on it by a gravitational field.”

I don’t know about you, but there is no definition here, in this series, that is anything unexpected forme. I bet I could go on defining the various terms, in a plain an uncomplicated manner, and never encounter a meaning that I didn’t expect (even though with physics I would probably begin to encounter definitions that I don’t immediately understand, in particular, if they began to use mathematical symbols to denote the specific meanings).

So I will ask the same question I asked at the beginning, again: What am I trying to accomplish, not only by asking the question, but by taking the route to find the answer?

*space-supernova-hd-wallpaper1

The problem I am seeing must take into account that there are different levels of learners, and that when doing a blog, I must consider the possibility that people are of various stages in their learning, but are coming across (online; through text) with a strong sense of assertion and propriety, like they have been taught to act like (sometimes, I do come across people who are humble enough to admit to their shortcomings, and that is a breath of fresh air, because then I get to learn in a whole new way also). What I mean is, while online I tend to take everyone on the same level, and deal and treat them as equals, the facts tend to show themselves to the possibility that many people are actually somewhat, either, immature in their thinking, or representative of a certain type of thinker. It is this latter that brings me to consider why we need to clean up philosophical discussion: We are not only talking about different things, we are indeed using different methods to come to various answers. But because no one has delineated or come up with a way to distinguish these types, everyone takes philosophy as a general category in which everyone participates in a sort of common arena of ideas. I am saying that there is no such common arena, or, that the common arena is an assumption that is not, or becoming, no longer a valid assumption. The common arena is not only assumed, but enforced.

It is not merely that people are in various stages of learning or in different departments, different philosophical aspects, such as epistemology or ontology, nor the worn-out continental and analytical traditions. It is that there are two different manners of enacting, appropriating and elucidating philosophical problems as well as solutions, and the assumption that these two arenas can cross-communicate is creating a situation of philosophy that we can rightly call miscommunication, or just plain, no communication. (see Leotard, Badiou and as well as a few others who grapple with this same problem, but who were, frankly, not able to enact or accompany the ‘impossible’ solution. Laruelle may be the only one who actually takes a chance – but there are probably others). The assumption that the discrepancy can be overcome is a categorical error that is enacted due to the traditional modern mode of philosophcial thinking, what we can loosely call Enlightenment thinking – but we might also loosely categorize these thinkers as those who view the failure of this Enlightenment to equate to The failure of civilization. And, in so much as we can also rightly understand modern and postmodern as complicit in the maintenance of a particular program of Enlightenment, it is then not too far off the mark to call the perpetuation of this enterprise post-postmodern, or just get un-theoretically honest, and call it Neo-modernism, a type of ages old effort of declining civilizations to rehash, and reinstate a dying ‘realism’ of yesteryear, a ‘return to the good old days’ of definite real truths (Realism).

But did we ever really stop moving forward ? Re-read (or read) “The Postmodern Condition” again and tell me if Lyotard was not situating things in light of techne. Is it any wonder that a certain Realist has attempted a discussion about over- and under-determinations? Over and under – mining ? Despite how short those discussions may extend, various truths about the ability and function of human consciousness must always show itself in time even if through different frequencies and angles. We are caught in a technical motion that has little to do with how we constitute our state of Being: The State is known, that is how, logistically, we are able to interact with technology the way we do. The various issues of consciousness are now inseparable from our technical world (if they were ever understood as separate). Any argument to the contrary is nearly superfluous (if not different).

*

This is not bleak; it is not an apocalyptic prophecy. Such gloom and doom are from the “prophets of the old Testament” projecting their dismay on the manner by which they only have to make a (dishonest) living (in the production of “honest” theory). They misunderstand reality; they are caught in a kind of upside-down ‘hope’ (faith), a kind of transcendental yearning for a ontological justification of a religious affect. 

In a way, we could see this effort (here, behind this essay) is the uprooting of the whole discursive paradigm by which we come to not only traditional philosophical conclusions, but indeed the manner that the tradition remains intact as a common method. By this, I mean to alarm the philosophical police, those philosophers that Slavoj Zizek mentions in his book “Event”. The philosophical police are on guard for philosophical statements or proposals that would seek to undo all our social political and ideological structures; basically, the philosophical police are the clerics of our current religious ideology (reality).

We have to ask what exactly these philosophical police might be on guard against, because so many of the philosophical police don’t even know that they’re working for the department; they naturally uphold a traditional sense of rationality and reason without even contemplating or being able to approach the idea that the sense that they have of rationality is itself an actual religious attitude. In short, what the philosophical police do is look for nihilism. They look for philosophical statements that represent or argue for, to them, nothing (good), and then basically assert their religious identity upon that which otherwise appears to them as chaos, anarchy or just plain nonsense (they have no criterion by which to discern real nonsense from logical nonsense: Real nonsense makes no sense to the practical and actual living that occurs in the real world; logical nonsense has no sense and cannot be made to have sense). They are apparently incapable of understanding what nihilism means without the context of their traditional religious dogma. The content of nihilism to them is effective negation of their belief system, or what should be more probably called a real religious scaffolding of meaning, even extending into the philosophical metaphysical justifications. Indeed; we only use the term to indicate where it lacks.

But we already know, if we understand what Jean-Francois Lyotard said in The first chapter of his essay “The Postmodern Condition”, what happens to people that are attempting to develop a discourse of the content of what is traditionally known as nihilism: They are ignored, de facto; they are unheard and they are automatically and axiomatically excluded from what is already understood – through the modern religious dogma (if I may be so bold) – as knowledge. Those who would discuss the content of what has been X’d-out and marked off on the map of real and valid knowledge as “monsters be here” are unheard.

So it is with this small and quick primer that I say as soon as someone said the word ‘materialism’, 150+ years or so ago, to continue along various definitions of how that materialism may be wrong in its definition or this materialism is a more proper way to situate it, the basic problem has been that these subsequent authors, the subsequent religious philosophers who basically are unable to consider their position as a religious position due to the same phenomenon that I’m talking about with materialism, founded nihilism – where such philosophers, who want to argue against and improve upon the definitions of fundament or and establish terms (what are they doing?) cannot bring themselves to understand the nihilistic intention behind the term itself, there do we have (do I have to really say it), the philosophical police. We then need to reflect upon where my capacity as a philosopher is breached. We have to consider that what I understand as true is different from what is real (has differentiated), and we have to consider the fact that I am able to make sense out of it that is communicated in one moment, and not in another.

So; if I am in to remain in good form, as form is form despite what tradition might say, then I can no longer take the term materialism and add or subtract something to it, like Badiou talks about. The addition and subtraction of term identities must occur in an arena that is different from that which posits the ordinary definition.

*

Then all the alarms go off with this one. If my readership goes down to zero then I know I have succeeded in offending religious sensibility. (Just kidding! Please keep reading.) Getting back to the question: Is there any part of the definitions above that indicate or inherently and automatically attaches to a referent? An imperative where things in-themselves are automatically and mutually excluded from the thoughts about them? From where does such an exclusion take hold and for what purpose? What is offensive or incorrect in the statement “Only material exists”? Material is that which we deal with. It is that which we deal with always and at all times. It is ultimately and always discursive, and any reference of discourse to something outside or beyond discourse is automatically discursive. The proof is found in the question: If there is something outside of discourse? What is it? Can you tell me without using discourse? Can discourse refer to something that is not discursive? These questions are foundational and pivotal to discerning what philosophy is able to do and what it is allowed (permitted) to do.

I see nothing in this which contradicts any of those extsnsions of definition above. Yet, once we understand this, once we see that there are indeed people who will have issue with this, then we can begin to notice where people, philosophers in general, are being somehow deceptive or at least being or carrying on a certain incognition about the state of affairs; and we have to ask them: For what purpose? I call such people ‘real philosophers’, or philosophers that are concerned with reality. Nothing wrong with that; just there is discussion that is as valid and pertinent to what is occurring that those kind of philosphers will not consider. This is not an accusation; it is a mere fact of what occurs. Am I ‘incorrect’ or am I accused because I have breasts? This is also a foundational and pivotal type of question.

*

To wrap this little ditty up, to really nail it home and sew it up tight, we must bring in Lyotard postmodern condition again and point out how so utterly honest and true his statements were: The state will be no longer of concern and eventually will be left behind all together.

Damn. What the hell was I talking about?

Bye.

Concerning Commitment. Violence and Nonviolence.

Yes; one could say ‘divinity’. I think the problem, as some people have talked about elsewhere, is what that term incorporates; hence the ‘need’ for commitment, what I could term, conventional commitment, or maybe a commitment to the institutionalized-ideologized State, the incorporated arena thereof that has been designated (conventionally) ‘x-ism’, or even for another arena, ‘family’ – the need for commitment because the journey ends in the wilderness, one never leaves, and so far as one might say ‘divinity’ and holds to the term as it is supposed to convey something ‘already known’, she has made a commitment to that presumption. But the presumption often misses the meaning because one is attempting to place some meaning gained in the wilderness into reality. Yet, the one stays there because the wilderness is that one-ness, the place where one is, and reality is not of oneness, and ‘divinity’ thus mis-represents – that is unless one then has made a decision for commitment. Here then one type of faith may arise out of the wilderness for its longing to bring the wilderness into reality, but reality is civilization, it is idea-ology, community, multiplicity: reality is humanity. If one needs no commitment but rather decides upon a commitment it is because she has no one to bring with, but sees reality as One, as The One, The Only One; she is the individual, the subject of multiple discourses, the pure multiple of the One. By this, as a methodological reduction, I would venture the commitment of decision is likewise the non-philosophical Real under which the (non-) article in the ‘last-instance’ of conventional methodology resides. The wanderer into the wilderness knows she is one, has encountered the one in communion, and wishes reality could be this, wishes the one-ness could be brought into reality – but alas, what is romantic? Why else would she have found herself there? Why would there even be an issue?

*

Maybe it is not so novel; perhaps this is very much like Francois Laruelle’s essay about ‘The Call’, his ‘tearing away’ from philosophy, except here the tearing has already happened. Inso much as it still might happen or is happening, as in philosophies of progress, violence appears to explain reality in a quite interesting manner. See, correspondingly, it seems, I am tending toward violence, of a type, maybe a dialectic of violence of non-violence. The ever-present violence and the ever-present effort to counter it; reality and its philosophical discursive acrobatics based in, basically, an effort of denial, of ‘covering up’ the violence. It appears that violence is the real standard, the evil that always peers its head and makes itself be known without effort.

Anger, frustration, conflict, suffering, desperation, self righteousness, deceit; these seem the given of life. Peace, contentment, happiness, openness; these are taught to us early in childhood, but the teaching is instigated by violence. We recall here the discussions around prohibitive “Thou Shalt Not” religions, a violence, as well ironically and by contrast Socrates’s ‘daimon’ that behaves to indicate where he should not proceed, as an indicator of non-violence. The point here is that the former dictates movement, where the latter guides. Indeed, the child is initiated into human life through violence that is confirmed by the ‘no’; it is the parent saying by perfect parenthood, “you, the child shall have no contentment, no peace until your first learn that life is not acceptance, all is not good. You child need know what life really is, and it is proper assertion of who you are, and to know who you really are, you have to compete.” From birth we are taught violence against what we are. Every parental kindness, act of love and compassion is tempered by the effort for the development of the child’s real identity, of being able not only to function in the world and be able to absorb or deflect life’s inherent crassness, but to excel amidst this violence to oneself; indeed, to make by example the real effective denial of violence. A distinction between what is violent and not violent is the difference between being told the truth and knowing the truth; non-violence as a bridge between these worlds appears to seek telling without telling.

Excellence. A commonly heard standard for human life. It is no wonder that we can arrive with conventional reality, that consciousness is a retreat from the world. The human being must become something it is not, it must learn from that which is not of itself, to be itself. One must excel, endeavor for excellence, in becoming something he or she is not, so if life can be said to be a movement of coming to know oneself, then already we have a confusion involved in the effort toward, what can be called, self awareness, effectiveness, or maybe even authenticity; a confusion based in what it means for what we do to be excellent. The meaning of some centers of philosophy seem to resonate this maxim as a sort of mantra; we need only arrange terms in a excellent way and this excellence will thus be the truth, by proof that the terms could be arranged in such a way. The irony settles here and the description of where it settles evidences a prohibition that cannot be reconciled, except through a violent act of departure, and thus only of ‘witnessing’.

*

Duality insists upon the human being at its conception, for it is this conception that is the individual in reality, a conception involved with de-cision, a reiteration of the One. The violence I speak of against the One occurs due to ‘re-cision’ (or maybe even as I have said “recede”), for reality is a move of joining that which has been put asunder or is truthfully segregate. The unity of the universe is in decision since if we are part of the universe then our functioning is not segregate from its operation and we cannot be separated enough from the universe to gain any true understanding of its functioning; we have no ability to be excellent, to make progress well, to excel. So ironic it is, reality is typically and routinely the Idea that excellence is not innate to the human being, which is to say that the individual by itself is nothing – as nothing is validated in nothing, some essentially empty or null ‘no-thing’, some transcendental non-unknown but not even unknown as known…we could go on infinitely attempting to describe this nothing – and so requires an Idea outside of oneself that is true, something one must necessarily appropriate of the world, such that excellence in the world must become the object. More so, as now the individual must achieve against others in the world, a proper method arises, and the True Object is born. The individual is an inherently violent manifestation, being at odds with itself for the sake of itself, and then for this sake of itself is at odds with the things of the world. The real violence is the presentation of the individual in existence by an orientation of being re-presented by the terms of reality, as well, the terms that designate what is true of reality. One could say that this particular orientation moves linearly, progressively.

It is possible ( but I have yet to see how this can be so, beyond the witnessing mentioned above) non-violence could be seen as a revealing the curve unto its violent linearity, but the representation of this significance risks violence unto itself, since if the violence is the linearity, and this linearity is real, then to show that such linearity is really not linear and not non-linear is a violent act upon reality, for reality always transcribes for what is real. Besides, the revealing of the curvature is always done linearly, maybe to say, conventionally represented; by contrast, the curvature’s revealing is presented ironically.

Capitalization upon presented subjects is the maturity of the real individual as excessive violence (overdetermination, representation) taken in course as reality, the activity of ‘bending straight’ the divergent. Reality is then an acquiescence, non-acceptance (if you will permit) of the real individual, its necessary violence. The will against what cannot be willed, infinite strength applied upon an immovable object. Violence itself is the discrepancy inherent of the individual in reality that allows for the gaining of the upper hand in the stalemate, and its application, its effort, its assertion, what I have called ‘conventional faith’, the faith that is ‘taught’ of reality, which, as an orientation upon True Objects, arises as method, the method by which faith diversifies, as objects contain no truth in themselves, but give rise to new objects of the terms, new (conventional philosophical) Faiths of the True Universe. The universe is the clash of faiths, the arena of the ‘faithful’.

*

It might be important to delineate the situation, to bring into relief for the sake of purchase the point of contention. The point arises between the question of choice, determinism and contingency. I see the performance of non-violence as having to do with mitigating that damage that is ‘already’ done, yet acting from a position where violence is ‘not yet’ done. Violence as the basis from which human beings may exist as humans, the real issue becomes scale or degree such violence is left unchecked; the practice of non-violence then would be in reference to this ‘place’ in which we find ourselves in the world; in practice we find ourselves in conventional reality, the violence being done, making a claim as to the particular manifestation of violence in reality, such as, social equality, gender and race inequality, human abuse, drug abuse, gangs, and political justice, to mention a general few. This can be said to be the real violence.

The true violence, I dare say, is the more significant issue with regards to our existential situation, consciousness presented as consciousness of human existence and the conventional individual. That we have been taught of reality, which is to say, in hindsight we were taught, is violence already enacted and denied. The compounding of violence is already enacted by the viewing of our birth as an act of (neutralized) violence, as well as our indoctrination into reality, for here we are viewing the situation through the violent lens, the lens that is already situated to show only ‘no-violence’, ‘just’ reality, the film that violently arranges us to avoid the violence involved with the seeing that our ‘double’ birth is twice removed from the infraction. Our doctrine of reality sees neutrality where violence is occurring, because in truth, we were not taught faith, but such faith is the necessary determination of reality. Conventional faith here is the standard, the Law, for what is real.

So the deeper, or maybe, anti-meta talk about violence enters when we have the conception that we were taught (or that which could be taught); it is taught with danger, but not the danger of the wilderness, for that was already manifest, not taught. It is, as someone, I’m sure, has said, the situation of violence that we attempt to reconcile non-violently, the real situation; there are two arguing parties, and I, a third, as a vehicle of non-violence in their dispute. I am the interventionalist for the violence. When we consider the situation already brought, as I am brought into the world, (“thrown”, “held out into”, ala Heidegger) we cannot but see that a disruption has occurred somewhere. The third party is proposing by his intervention to be a one relieved of the violence. His disclaimer is only relevant by the occasion of violence; since the violent parties are obviously real, they have a possibility of referring the violence to the intervention. Yet this real situation of the interventionalist is that he has understood the issue, and thereby makes a commitment of a sort (a decision upon ‘violence is X) to teaching others (the world) the manner by which he himself has been ‘dismissed of’ or has otherwise reconciled the violence. Because he himself has been taught through the violence of his humanity (from childhood) and has understood the issue, the discrepancy involved there as to the commitment had to have occurred, further, by some third party that is not prone or ‘responsible’ to the violence, and this element is the proposed transcendent interlocutor, by which the interventionalist mediates the real violence, but also by which he is a mediator between the real and the ‘non-real’, the world and the transcendent, an agent of non-violence.

Here I am, now, using the method I was taught to speak about that the method was taught to me, implying by this talk that the method is violence, and that somehow I am going to rely upon the method, by introspection and thoughtful consideration of the issue, to counter its violence, but indeed it is this very method by which I have been able to come across the transcendent interlocutor as if the interlocutor were already operating in their life and they just need to be taught how to find it. Indeed, if I may shine a spot over to Francios Laruelle’s non-philosophy; the crux to the meaning of non-philosophy is its admitting that philosophy is the staple, the given, the present form of what is true, or the true form of what is present, by the very act of the annexation of the ‘non-‘. By this act, non-philosophy proclaims that philosophy is King of the Real, and the ‘non’ merely presents its kingdom, and at this so to suggest that the revealing of the kingdom to its King will somehow transform the King, or reveal to Him that his obligation is to step down, for the kingdom will not rise to overthrow the King because it is itself, by its very nature, the King’s-Dom-ain. It is no more ‘of the last instance’ to accompany the King on a tour of his kingdom than it is to assassinate the King. The King is dead; long live the King. Without the King there is no kingdom, and without philosophy there is no non-philosophy; non-philosophy may be able to show the King his kingdom, but it shows no more than the last guide showed of the kingdom to the last King; it was the same plot of earth. The non-philosophical Ego, regardless of how it is situated and due to its philosophical (read, methodological) basis of representation, is nothing less than the ‘Kether’ of the philosophical beast, the King of Kings, so as it may be, of non-philosophy, the ‘Future Christ’, the ‘one day as now’ God in Man. So it is with violence and non-violence.

Hence, it is just as well if I wish to enact a revolution I should not propose to be radical or reformist; I am not sure if the apocalypse, the ‘revealing’ or ‘uncovering’ is possible as a future, but it may be possible as a past for a present. The violence I wish to incite is what had already been mentioned, and it is so much that this mentioning again reveals the ‘monsters be here’ part of the Real, the place where the Real does not go or even reach but only indicates. It is not ‘non-Real’, because Laruelle already designates the Real as a realm of non-philosophy; it is ridiculous and beyond any good meaning for the intent, to then say the ‘non-non-real’. This type of reasoning is what gets is to the Real. The End. The No More but now we have to come up with a More that somehow leaves the no more behind: conventional reality is all this all is. A reaffirmation that reality is real, and that the real is One, and that the One is all there is: the real-ization of violence involved with a responsive non-violence only reifies that violence is justified, but in the Real, violence is justified by the implication of the progressed incorporated State, which in this case is non-violence as a real practice.

When we no longer wish to be radical in our approach to reality, we are left only to the revolution that comes from what is not real. In a way of speaking, one no longer practices, or develops a praxis, instead, one performs. The actor, instead of returning a play of the script and replaying the method of reality, improvises. She is no longer reading and playing His script. She takes cues from the audience and responds accordingly; no interpretation is needed, and no director. The actor no longer acts, as in pretends to be a character of the play that she is not, rehearsing backstage, secretly in mind of ‘himself’, the actor, awaiting her praises after the scene, the character of herself; instead, the actor plays the role that is given to her by the crowd. There is no longer distinction between the actor on the stage and the actor of rehearsing and praise, between the scene and the audience. She no longer ‘takes’ her place, but rather she ‘has’ a position. This is no non-violence; it is a complete rejection of the real method of violence: a violence upon violence. She has not revolted from the abyss of freedom to come able to enact a new agency. She has become freedom; she has absolutely withdrawn, to the place of relative violence, but in the position of absolute violence, absolute peace.

Perhaps, we can now speak of the elements of violence.

*

The issue is the term.

The real problem is deconstructing the conventional term, but then, once that is seen as impossible to its real end, and we ‘commit’ to radical practice, then the stakes become all the more threatening, the theatre all the more violent. For this much I think (I wonder) we can concur; the place is a madhouse, the audience is rioting.

I would venture, the move into the wilderness was already deconstruction. Indeed, perhaps that ‘(maybe) irreducible point of singularity’ is/was the impetus, the ‘prime mover’,so to speak, by virtue thereof that the wilderness was the only option, maybe in Laruelle’s terms, the Real option, but I would think the Real encompasses the possibility of retaining the wilderness in civilization. Maybe the difference lay in what the romance entailed/entails, the romance being the possibility of the deconstructed universe to its universal bias, the ‘scenario’ upon which the terms of civilization ‘take’ place.

The issue that arises, though, concerns the point at which and the manner in which the commitment takes shape. How do we situate the bias in real terms, in the scheme of which for meaning the terms are relying upon (the bias) for conventional-civilized-reality? The situation of the non-philosophical Real serves irony; while its author(s) propose to recoup all possible meaning unto itself while relieving itself from that responsibility, the seriousness of its being proposed as Real removes it as a true viable method by excluding the individual through a restating of an encompassing reality, as if the individual exists by this Statement. It is a discursive trick of mirrors. Yet if we make fun of the seriousness of the author(s), the project practitioners, and take their statements with tongue in cheek, then we begin to see how violent such peaceful and innocuous encompassment that is non-encompassing may be, how its seriousness reveals its bad faith, and how offense is the basis of the conventional faith of reality.

What we learn from the ‘post-modernists’, but Kierkegaard and Wittgenstien at least, is that the meaning they intend is/was not comprehended by the majority of people, even by people who’s interest and skill is deep critical thinking, never mind what rough interpretation has gleaned from an incomplete reading (for example, existentialism, post-modern itself, but we can include all the critical ‘turns’), and not to mention the ‘popular’ meanings that serve to justify whatever occasion through fad out of context quoting and name dropping. In effect, we have not only a misconstruing of their meaning, but we have a meaning that has taken effect as the meaning of what they said. Such it is that there was a ‘post-modern’ era and PM writers and such. The irony of the authors is that they are (were) speaking of themselves, about themselves, in reality. Their meaning is just facts, but the facts are seen as advocating an agenda (which, if argued of the authors themselves, may be said to be based in a commitment to themselves – which brings to mind the issue of commitment itself! ). The facts indicate the solution, but do not lead to a solution through the consideration of their discourse as method, as terms are ‘to be’ schematized, properly put in their place, when the terms of their discourse are taken to refer as identity to True Things. Hence, I see that such discourses have occurred throughout what is usually known as human history, and have likewise been misunderstood and misappropriated. The misappropriation, or Lacan ‘mistake’, taken as an apparent whole, is what I call reality. The nature of the misappropriation cannot be disclosed to reality as a method of understanding, but only is understood correctly when it is already understood. The nature of reality, convention, is to usurp the, maybe intended, but true, meaning for the real meaning. Deconstruction as a conventional method to truth fails, except to show that the present temporally manifested truth is faulty and needs a reworking; in reality, again, this has been the basis for the discourse of social justice. Hence, also, this ‘problem of problem’ is ‘how we found each other’, or more correctly, you found me, this as evidence of “the Crowd is Untruth” (Kierkegaard): how is one oriented?

I recall from a conversation something like us both having a resistance to be ‘boxed’, confined, labeled. I suppose that is indeed a type of risk we accept when we make the commitment; the risk ventured and lost is the coming upon the value less individual, that the value lay only in that we do (in all we do) and that the consideration of such doing by the individual ( am I doing or thinking about what to do; am I thinking about how doing is distinct from thinking ?) devalues the actual presence for being of service, in the service of love. In reality, the risk ventured and won is always won by reality through methods that are constantly developing in the effort to reconcile these questions and ideas, but they achieve only more method, and more thoughts about actions, actions of thoughts and the eternal recurrence. Perhaps this is a similar movement of K, his aesthetic, ethical and religious. That the commitment may be into the ethical, but the substance or the fidelity to the romance of the aesthetic in reality is in turn religious. It is interesting; the basic problem with which K dealt and reconciled with the ‘true’ Christian – but he could not overcome the discrepancy for his person himself, except through faith, and his discursive assertions, but even that was despairing; for his moment, his is the evidence of a qualitative movement of history – seems to be what Laruelle, and so much as I have, come to terms, and you (? -it seems) – is that the terms are the problem, not the Objects that the terms seem to be indicating, for the Objects are the terms. Hence Laruelle attempts to ‘fully deconstruct’ the Object, as he sees, of the ’cause’ of this repeating mistake, philosophy. But more so, his invocation of the Ego remains, as I see it, ‘in the last’ a bastion of this history of oneness, with his Real. A true irony that non-philosophy is of ‘in the last instance’, for he is speaking of the last words of the subject-object of a particular history of terms. Yet, as with all historical discourses on the point of contention, his will not be ‘the last’, but will, or has already become, another philosophical object to be one day set aside or placed in its category (Is Lyotard’s “The Differend” really a piece of literary critique?) in the never-ending march for reality’s one truth. His may mark a type of peak-point in the oscillating wave of meaningful existence of human consciousness, but conventional faith will not cease in its operation, as I said above, just because he, or me or you, for that matter, said something. I step from NP method, as NP announces, to aphilosophy, the rebuttal of method for the True Object. Hence, as to faith, I speak of orientation upon the Object as the issue of the point of contention.

‘From where’ does the Object take hold? Does it ‘already’ have hold? Or do I ‘hold it’? (Be-hold?) If it already has hold, then the terms, the situating of terms in or of reality is the issue; but not ‘how might I go about this’, but rather, ‘how I do go about this’. If I hold it, as I may posses and consider the Object as it is a True Thing, an object In-itself, then I find reality as the omnipotence, of which I am subject, an individual in reality. These – though I am still working – present absolute situations, partitioned in essence, that which cannot be resolved, except in a re-solution, that avoids history, and thereby avoids reality. The indication that serves to establish me in reality, amounts to the commitment that is never made, the choice that is no choice, except in reality. If I have to decide, then I am lost; the true choice made is the choice that could not be made.

So, the commitment can also be made in fidelity to the significant event, the romance, through various situations of terms. ‘How do I speak about it’, I see, as not deriving from any choice I have, but rather, how the occasion presents a correspondence of terms. Maybe our role, between us, through our interaction, is to map out some of these possibilities. But maybe this is just my part; perhaps I am just as intimately involved in yours too. For you see, just as there is the true meaning of what I intend, am obligated to say/act, so there is also a real meaning that takes shape, likewise entailing or implying an obligation. The apprehension of this is the effective conception of the State, but where the despair moves through the dreadfulness, through the offense against faith, there we have a true comprehension, just as reality itself is comprised comprehensively.

SIGHTINGS and Further Readings.

* Blog: Adfontem: Beyond Categories: Aquinas’ Commitment to Christianity (Part III). 2014.

* Book: Principles of Non-Philosophy. Francois Laruelle. 1996. English translation 2013.

* Essay: The Call and the Phenomenon. Francois Laruelle. 2013. Published in “The Journal of French and Froncophone Philosophy”.

*Book: Being and Event. Alain Badiou. 1988. English translation 2005.

* Book: The Differend. Jean-Fancois Lyotard. 1983. English translation 1988

* Essay: Letter on Humanism. Martin Heidegger. 1947.

* Any of Soren Kierkegaard’s writings.

*Essay: concerning convention; Link: http://darkecologies.com/2014/02/12/gilles-deleuze-on-humes-theory-of-society/

The Problem of the Dialectic: Convention, Reality and Irony.

The dialectic, as I have said earlier, cannot be taken too seriously. For when it is, the break that has perspective finds the levity that brings the truth of the matter over the impending doom. Yet when things have become so serious, it is only because I have been presented with my self and the truth and I wish to hold to my faith, my salvation of true things. When I try to suck from the matter something so thick with seriousness, the moves I have reduce the possibility that I have come wrong, and I am squeezed with apprehension. It is then what I do with it is significant; but the state of affairs often shows that what is significant does not matter, so what is really significant is that I proceed even when no one is looking or cares. If I had a choice then I would probably care and the whole thing would become a circus; but perhaps I’m not realizing just what a master of ceremonies I am, or have become.

*

One problem in reading a true critical exegesis of reality and truth through the dialectic, has to do with the tendency of people to read argument as if there is an absolutely true object to be discerned, that this discerning must be of an ‘either/or’ nature, that indicates a decision. This decision occupies, or is situated within a singular and particular horizon. The difficulty, then, in reading essays such as this one, but any writing really, is that the meaning taken is offensive to this orientation. The situation is this: The points I bring appear to contradict what is apparently obvious, and so the individual either sees the points as exteraneous to their activity, interest or ability, like I am involved in a division of labor, i.e. computer science speaks a certain jargon that has nothing directly applicable to mowing lawns, and so I leave what involvement their talk has to do with me in their capable hands, or, they see what I am talking about as complete nonsense.

I should point out that there is no manner of speaking that can remove the reality of, say, a rock. I can of course, as I suggest in an earlier post, talk about how there is no amount of descriptive talking that will ever gain the rock. These two statements show how the problem of the previous paragraph takes place. People want to find either the first or the latter as true; if both are included, then the assumption is that the operation of the first is accounted for by the second and the second involves a division of labor. Yet, if one is taken as true, then the other must be not true, or ridiculous nonsense. In both of these meanings, the nature of facts is misunderstood. The fact of the rock is that it is there; another fact of the rock is we cannot know of it in-itself. The orientation that involves facts with the discussion founded upon a division of labor is of the conventional methodology, of conventional reality.

Reality is real. There is no more or less real reality, and what is not real is real in so much as what is not real is really a part of giving us what is real. There is nothing more or less real than reality but that which is real. Within reality (we cannot but move within reality) situations are presented. Outside of what is presented is that which has meaning, and this meaning discerns what is real and not real. Meaning is not before or after reality, but reality cannot but involve meaning. In so much as I then have been presented with something not real in this regard, i can only situate it by real terms. It is confusion or mistake that excludes by virtue of what is real, the true and false by absolute measure. This is all also to say that situations are posed, or posited, or are posed as they are presented but we do not know what is posed until they are posited. This situation is situated by Immanuel Kant as having to do with ‘the Idea’, ‘intuition’, and ‘the concept’.

Perhaps, a little Kant primer.

I will admit, right off, that mine will be a quite brief synopsis of his formulations, one that considers what is pertinent to this process here.

Kant was attempting to reconcile what he saw as superstitious ideas to what might be called more rational thinking; he was attempting to develop a more true metaphysics. His “Critique of Pure Reason” lays out the problem as well as the conventional solution in its title. His base is that there must be a type of reasoning, or ‘reason’ as in rational thinking, that is ‘pure’. There must be a type or way of thinking that discerns what is actually true of the real world, and he presents this ideal idea as “pure reason”. Keep in mind that his intent as a writer exhibited no particular consideration of irony in his theses, and this (ironically) set the stage for the possibility of convention, as I develop the term. Nevertheless, his ‘Critique’ can be read from opposing camps: (1) Kant was critiquing the very notion that there might be a ‘pure reason’. This stems from the apparency that every one has an aptitude for ‘reason’, though it may seem ‘irrational’ (for now, we set aside the more current ideological, modernist and post-modernist assertions that developed after Kant), and that everyone has a ‘pure reasoning’ behind their assertions of truth, even those ‘irrational superstitious’ ones. In this respect, he can be understood as bringing into question this assumption not only as it might be understood of unique individuals, but more so as the capacity of individuals might be captured under an umbrella of a common human capacity or ability, an ‘absolute’ Pure Reason. (2) The basic presumption of ‘rationality’ is upon a ‘Pure Reason’; his theses can likewise be a critique from this rational ‘purity’; he is thereby staking a true world upon refuting the ‘superstitious’ reasoning. See also that the term ‘reason’ can mean purpose, as in the reason we are discussing… as well as ability or capacity, as in listen to reason.

All of these approaches in reading his “Critique” includes his analysis, at least what is necessary; what is sufficient of his theses reveals his limitation, which is the noumena. The noumena is proposed as the object in-itself; his thesis sufficiency is a reconciling of the noumena and knowledge.

His proposal that is relevant here; If there is a ‘pure reason’ of any sort, then we human beings must have access to it, for if we cannot, then there is no speaking about it. Such access can be implied in experience and this, for Kant, is ‘the Idea’. Because such an Idea is only intuited, he brings in another notion, that by which we can infer the Idea in experience ‘through the senses’, which is then ‘intuition’. Then, the inferred and the inference comes together for knowledge in the ‘concept’. He proceeds to critically explicate the implications of meaning upon this base. He develops what ‘a priori’ and ‘a posteriori’ can mean involving also ‘analytical’ and ‘synthetical’ modes of knowing. The analytical has to do with ‘analyzing’ what is already given, supposedly by the ‘pure reason’, through the Idea, intuition and concept; the synthetical has to do with ‘synthesizing’ what has been derived from analysis of the given, the logical consequences of merging two ideas. Kant situates these activities through possibilities of their arrival ‘prior to’ or ‘after which’. Eventually he comes upon ‘imperatives’ that can be ‘hypothetical’ or ‘categorical’. A categorical imperative amounts to ‘what can only be done according to the pure reason’; a hypothetical imperative are those situations in which we may have an option, such as if I am thirsty I may get a drink of water. But, we come upon his limitation as his qualifiers of both these imperatives is contained within moral contingencies of activity, which is to say, of choice. The Idea is then that which is inferred by the intuition, which are then implied retrograde by the concept. The (small ‘i’) idea is that everyone has something ‘inside’ like a thought, but these thoughts do not come into actual play, in the real world, the ethical world, until they form a concept. The whole world thus concerns the object, the thing, the concept thereof, and so far as this world is an ethical world, that is, a world that exists as an interplay of activities but primarily as such activities involve behavior, such activities of human beings concern moral qualifiers of what one does or how one situates knowledge.

As an individual in the real world, it is not difficult to understand Kant’s motives nor his conclusions. It is commonplace that we have thoughts, these thoughts can be localized in ‘me’ or ‘you’, ‘I’ have thoughts that orient me in reality and the world; it makes sense that there might be a intangible Idea that has to do with an object, that I know of the object through an intuitive aspect of the mind that forms thus concepts. But part of the problem lay in the overdetermination of his (our) presentations, which is particularly conventional. His intentions were based in a type of brutal honesty that is not too often seen; he was not afraid of the potential that might contradict his preconceptions, and so his product ended up serving existence more that reality. The conventionalist – and I mean to point to the ‘philosophers’ of Laruelle, the conventional methodologists, the ‘philosophy of…’ people – would have Kant be giving us a method by which to dissect the ‘true objects’ of reality. Like learning math, they carefully and studiously learn how to discern analytical a priori statements from a posteriori synthetical statements and likewise hypothetical and categorical imperatives as if (1) the statements are really reflecting possibilities of true ‘out-there’ things, (2) that the mind is limited by its also being founded of an object (the brain or body), that knowledge is an aspect of information of an object, and (3) that the truth of reality (the true organization of the universe) can be found through applying Kant’s methods and other critically formed methods, such as the method evident with Lyotard’s ‘phrasing’ (see below). This latter application, by the way, was (maybe still is) responsible for much post-modern nonsense: the conventional misunderstanding of the point of contention activating catalyzing the intentive activities involved in discovering the truth by application of the method.

What Kant achieved though despite himself, is a cleft, a break, a ‘scandalous’ destruction of the world he was attempting to (re-)build. By undertaking a critical project based upon ‘conventional truths derived from Pure Reason’, he revealed that ethics is insufficient to establish the truth of the whole world through of the possibility of that world reduced to discourse itself. Hence, his critique that was intended to establish a particular rational base for activity in the world, not only disrupted the very Idea of rationality (pure reason), but did so through the assumption of a common rationality that ultimately lead to the disruption. This feat of existential motion that disrupts what it establishes in its establishing is called transformation, but for reality, it is called irony.

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The issue lay exactly here: there is indeed a thing there, say, a rock, and I cannot but speak about it. Lyotard goes even further by saying that even a silence speaks, he thus reduces the issue to the phrase, that even though a person may not actually vocalize about the thing, something about the thing is still being ‘said’.

Hence, we can situate Kant’s Idea, intuition, and concept. The problem inherent with his proposal had to do with thought, as thought is seen to be prior to, a priori, the world. A whole priority of ordering is thus established of reality, as what is real also designates the true world. Thought is central to this world. Thought, by this situation, appropriates all reality (this statement in itself is problematic, but), the inner and outer, and reality, due to this orientating placement of the individual subject, is thereby set in a true real duality of the ‘thinker’ and the ‘world’, a duality that calls for ethics and morality.

Now; it is just this type of stating of the facts that results in a reader being offended. It says to him, “here is the problem of the situation”, and the ‘problem’ means something must be wrong with the object of the situation, or the conclusions I state. In this case, I am taken to be saying that there is in reality no ‘thinker’, let alone ‘thought’, and no ‘world’ separate of the thinker, as well that the call for ethics must be somehow incorrect. But I am not saying this; I am saying that such an orientation, that is offended of this case, is real, but it is not true. By this I mean that reality is determined through a conventional methodology; conventional methodology is not ‘wrong’ but is absolutely necessary. What is mistaken is the placement of the idea of thought within the conventional scheme of meaning; the placement is real because the scheme says its necessary for there to be thought in such a manner in that placement, that thought can only be so in this way to be true. This necessity is then exactly what presents its fault – because, how could it not be necessary? The mistake of conventional reality is to answer: The methodology relies upon no knowable absolute base, and because this base is unknowable, the methodology that addresses or seeks the ‘ability’ is absolutely true, though through the methodology we can determine if the results of the method are false. Significantly enough, the conventionalist would deny that there is any absolute method, and would point to particular methods to show this, i.e. the mathematicians’ method, the plumbers’ method, the teachers’ method, the dialecticians’ method, the surfer’s method, the surgeon’s method, etcetera. But the base that is conventionally ‘unknowable’ is merely a situation of the term, because convention would have little problem with ‘knowing’ that the unknowable base arises with the human being existing in the world, indeed, that it is existence that allows for our ‘seeking’ as well as our ability to ‘seek’ – the seeking appears to have paid off with the absolute truth once again, as neuroscience, psychology, astrophysics and other sciences have determined and are determining, beyond a reasonable doubt, to know things beyond our ability to know (exactly: the true object of faith, the true relation of subject and object).The aggravation here is that these statements are typically read through one lens, so to speak, the conventional lens of truth, as Plato marks it, ‘of the greater position’. So we have a conventional situation where what is real is equivocal with knowing about an unknown, where a term (unknowable) is designated as real, which is to indicate a condition of reality, through the meaning of another term that is knowable (existence); together they form a conventional truth, to wit, existence is what informs humanity to what is real because reality accounts for existence. Another redundancy is found if we continue: Reality is that which allows for our knowing of existence, as existence unfolds in process to grant us reality. Knowledge, here, is always seen as a conducting catalyst of identity between the individual and the true object. The containing operation that equivocates reality with existence poses its limitation as ‘not-limited’ through designations of ‘true/false’, ‘either/or’, and this very limitation can be exhibited in many if not all real situations. The greater truth is founded in limitation, which, when addressed by the “phrase”, reveals only a conventional context.

This is not confronting any necessary context of meaning, since that by which context has meaning is the necessity of conventional method; the operations of the method have no necessary base of relations but that of the world, its object, and the world is real. So long as context is limited to a particular meaning of an object, to a particular (absolute) way of coming upon what is true, we have the redundancy that occurs with the ‘phrase’, that then necessarily moves into a specific temporal context, i.e. the ‘true universe’, that becomes, in one instance, the explication of the present existence, often known as ideological structure or a ‘meta-linguistic’ analysis, but can also at times venture out into the ‘spiritual’ or ‘scientific’ realms of matter, particles, waves, minds, souls, parallel universes and planes of existence (metaphysics and mythology), and in another, cultural critique that seeks to explain a proper course of activity, both thoughtful and behavioral, which then is the moral world that Kant Begins and ends with. Since ‘what is moral’ likewise is made into an object in this way (non-philosophy’s philosophical object), the individual becomes caught in an eternal negotiation of intent and motives based in momentary circumstances. The problem thus becomes intensified and increasingly localized as one attempts to circumscribe the world within these psychic and behavioral (discursive) realms. In the last conventional resort, the problem persists as a ‘world’ that perpetuates the transcending and immanent operations that was or is first proposed to be overcome.

Hence, we have problematized, again, duality, but reduced to its significant bases: the world or universe, and the method by which we engage with it, that is, the object and the subject, respectively. More so, we have reduced this duality to another duality (the non-philosophical quadripartite?), where the only object that exists is one confined the the dictates of an ethical situation. What this means has to do with what I have called the ‘subject-object’, the human being centered upon a true world that is discerned through thought, and ultimately the differend that is indicated by the division of faith from knowledge. For what we mean when we speak of the subject cannot but exclude or include the object in question. We cannot reduce the whole world to a single rhetoric of reality (ah, but we do!) and this is to say, where reality is reduced to a one universe, there we have exclusion, faith, and where there is at least two realities, there we have knowledge. But knowledge then can be that the subject is the meaning of the object as well as the topic of discussion, and as these conflate, the individual human being. Therefore, in so much as we have distinguished the significance of reality, we also find that knowledge tends toward an establishment of the truth where it might lack (of these realities), and is then again usurped by convention.

The issue is not about discourse as a bracketed phrase or context; Lyotard is speaking less of method and more of existence, of the necessary categories that extrapolate from any situation; which is, in his case, as well as mine, the point of contention. The dialectic is crucial here: Where the phrase may be operative for any reality, by contrast, context is a relation of meaning that defies convention while using it as a means; the point of contention can be said to be that base from which meaning springs out of context: the term. Lyotard offers us thus a rendition of the point of contention, reducing ‘reality’ to the present within or of or to discourse itself, showing how the ‘phrase’ can either encompass or lack its supposed subject, but including these motions into a proposed ‘non-lack’ or truth of reality (singular); his point thus presents convention. He leaves the differend to itself with reference to discourse, as discourse (the phrase) implicates existence. As a motion before the court, I beg to differ, and submit that, though Lyotard has fully explored conventional reality, its existential destructive motion, he comes very close but misses irony; the issue concerns the term, and a person’s orientation upon its reality.

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For those who might be where a full understanding of the issue begins, I wish to admit two things:

(1) Nothing has been discovered anew. In the same way that any object can begin the reduction to the same issues at hand, every ‘good’ philosopher worth its salt deals with the point of contention.

This is why I do little citing or relating of ideas; every other sentence I wrote would be filled with at least another sentence if not paragraph of citing and bibliography. Of course, this blog is mainly a working space, and future books and essays will most probably report the redundancy of authors’ ideas.

(2) Where I may differ is where every thinker differs in the discussion after the point of contention; but where I go further, I do so only upon the necessary results of the premises given in time.

It is not so much then that I may discover a new synthesis based upon a considerate analysis of the ideas of other authors, rather, it is that such authors deal with the point of contention, and so in reading I find out what has already been said of it, that in repeating, reiterating or ‘re-phrasing’ it, I may thus present something ‘new’. This motion can be said, thus, to be of the differend of the dialectic, which is, in every case, ironic. The reader, if s/he is keen, will then inevitably proceed to ‘throw out the ladder’.