26

(7 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The anthropological and scientific side of PA was possibly more a diversion than the essence of the study.  The image of so-called Man was, we are saying, an orienting concept for a people in turmoil.  Of course such speculations were the work of a handful of scholars.  Still, they were living heir to a long line of productive philosophical speculation.  We resume that speculation here.  Later we will move on to present our real core concept, that of race, as the fulfillment of the white identity quest.  But there is no hurry for that.  In the meantime there is the issue of the process where a being, having established himself as a living being, the human being defines himself as specifically human.  From re-active life the human rises to a re-flective life.  The theme of "alienation from nature" dominates German conservative literature.  I call this a "romantic" thesis.    Ludwig Klages would be the most radical, and for our purposes the exemplary, exponent.  An animal, we are saying, is "close to nature," but the human being, on account of his intellect (Geist) is separated from nature.  We have already established, however--and we depart from Klages here--that the animal is separated from (what we are c.alling hypothetically) nature.  Meanwhile the human being, on the contrary, is brought "closer" to nature precisely because of his intellect.  The animal, we aver in an entirely simplistic way, when approaching an object simply passes around it, avoiding it altogether; this is the animal's re-action to the object.  The human approaches the object, reaches for it with hands, and in-corporates that object into his life.  In this the human is "closer" to that object than is the animal.  But there is more.  At this point we do not abandon Klages' "romantic" thesis so much as we qualify it.  I want to mention Oswald Spengler's  distinction between Kultur and Civilization which is both a romantic and a conservative thesis dominating German literature in the pre-fascist era of the '20s and 30's.  Spengler says simply that the relation between the human and his culture in culture's early phase is "natural" in this sense:  that  the human being is "grown together" with his culture, like (to use a homely example) a man wearing an old shoe.  The shoe and the foot are "grown together."  I want to make the issues as simple as possible.  Force Theory enters the discussion at this point.   What we say here, in this blog, is that the human being comes closer, not further from, nature through his intellect and through the collective wisdom of humans in general imparted through language.  And furthermore, modern or civilized man is indeed "closer" to nature than primitive man, inasmuch as the former interests himself in a much wider world of phenomena.   There are stars and genes and many things in our world that are absent from that of primitives.   The fact for instance that I know about stars etc. makes me closer to nature than primitive man.  Here we can disregard the entire thesis of German pre-War literature regarding so-called "Naturvoelker."  There is no such thing.  Primitive humans, relative to civilized humans, are indeed more, not less, separated from nature by their own ignorance.  Indeed, even while re-action and re-flex defines the identity of an animal,  ignorance is a basic condition wherein identity is maintained.  Primitive people share this ignorance, thus this enduring isolation from nature.  This is a defendable thesis about the distinction between primitive and civilized humans.   But we pass on to the kind of alienation which is specific to civilized humans--the separation of the human from his original, instinctive self.  Here again we must be precise in choosing words.  It is not that civilized  men need to bring themselves closer to nature; on the contrary, they need once more to separate themselves from nature.  This is what we call an identity quest and one that is unique to the most civilized men on earth:  having once defined themselves as animal beings, by separating themselves from so-called "nature," through culture they have in-volved themselves so intensely with nature that they no longer can distinguish themselves.  In very general terms this is what I'll call the disease of liberalism, humanitarianism or whatever else about the human comes under heading of "self-lessness," "heroism" and so forth.  The human in coming close to nature has extinguished is original "defined" self.  This self, having been separated from nature--but rejoined through culture--must re-define itself.  I have mentioned introspection, introversion and racialism as the new definition of the human being having passed through the temporary condition of self-effacing civilization.

Earlier we said that the "stick" prefigured all that we know as civilization.  As soon as the human raised the stick as a tool, he was set in an unwavering and inexorable course that has ended, we are saying, in the effacement of the individual's identity.  Culture that began as an extension of self has, in effect, absorbed the self into it.  And because culture is the human connection with nature, the self is absorbed into nature as a whole.  This is an intellectual process that humans but not animals are capable of.  Yet, through mind, the effort made by an animal to separate itself from nature, is reversed.  Through mind the human being becomes nature.  And in that regard the human is also self-less.  This is what we say of the ideal citizen, the gute buerger, that he is "self-less."  The qualities that we recognize as those of a man of society began, we are saying, at the outset of culture.  It is not too much to say that a man became a patronizer of humanity in all its lowly comings and goings as soon, we are saying, as this human picked up a stick.  He became the stick--a part of nature--and in this regard something other than a self-ish self that he had once been in an earlier animal existence.  Thus by this inevitable "dialectic" that, in the case of humans, is intellectual and logical, the person has marched from where he had a clear identity--a definable sense of separation from the surrounding world--to where he is now.  He is connected to nature, but is also absorbed into nature.  This new connection sets up a reaction in life in general:  the human being must, as a living being, dis-connect himself from nature.  Thus he becomes an individual and a racialist.  He asserts his self, just as as animal he once asserted it.   That is where we are left now:  to re-establish the individual's sense of self. 

The animal, we said, is secure in its identity insofar as that identity consists merely in the animal's autonomous movement.  The animal's identity is not a reflective one, of course,  in the troubled and neurotic sense that dominates Western philosophy.   The identity of the animal consists in the mere separation from natural objects through it's own, the animal's, movement.  Self-direction and self- or auto-motion is self-definition, in other words, the self itself.  Any other definition of self or identity is, we are say, or re-flective is neurotic and pathological.  Of course to be human means to have a universal human pathology, that is confusion as to identity.  What is straightforward to the animal is convoluted and distorted--we may even say "moral"--to the human being.  The human of course inherits this simple, unreflective and straightforward identity of his animal past.  But there is more.  Through culture, even in its earliest forms, the human re-connects with nature.  The romantic thinkers--and we mention especially the extreme position of Klages [which name in German means "complainer"--took the position that a separation appeared between man and culture at the time of the earliest culture, which was a creation of Geist (intellect).  Klages was radical; but Western philosophy is dominated, from Neo-Hegelianism to existentialism and neo-Marxism with the theme of alienation.  That alienation has come to mean a separation from the human from the culture of his creation.  Here we mean something else.  The human being has always been a part of his culture, from its earliest beginnings in the paleolithic period, to the highest forms of civilization--manufacture, commercialism etc.  Culture is human in-volvement with nature.   

We can be more detailed and documented on this point.  That is, the human being, unlike the animal which merely "passes things by," the human being stops and involves himself with these same things.  He understands these things and uses him.  This is what it means to be human as opposed to an animal.  But there is more.  In becoming part of nature, the human looses the separateness from nature that constituted his original identity.    But there is more.  Civilization is not just things but is also people.  Individiual selves are absorbed into the technology of their time; but they are also absorbed into the masses of people who live through and around these technics.  The self-effacing mentality of the later periods of civilization are codified as equalitarian and humanitarian morality.  What we propose now, with Philosophical Anthropology, is a new quest for identity.  This does not need to be proposed, it will happen on its own.  What we said earlier can be repeated:  We say that solely by acting, and acting independently from and in opposition to other objects, the animal defines its self or identity.  Secondly, through his culture, which is an in-volvement or a re-involvement with nature,  the human has blurred this definition or identity.  Again, through mind--and an instinctive aversion to self-effacement, which among animals is simply a fear of death--the human re-defines his self or identity.  I may had that although primarily an intellectual feat, this cannot be carried out without radical violence to the institutions and persons around the person.

The human being has created around himself, as culture, a "new nature."  It is possible in this sense to talk about culture as nature itself, but a certain, we may say, "second nature.  The old nature (and again, this is a crude simplification) was essentially hostile to the human being as it was to the animal; the second nature is amenable to the human's needs.  Other than to go to nature for food--which was already a dangerous act--the animal tried to escape from it.  The human became different than the animal.   To the animal, if it were able to understand such ideas, a so-called return to nature would be absurd.  This would seem to the animal to be a neurotic fantasy, an insane death-wish.    The animal on that account would only wish to live apart from humans.  As it is, in the process of domestication, animals are literally degraded in mind and body by human culture.The analogy of gravitation as it applies to a bird, as contradicting the flight of the bird, applies to life in general--and human life, too.  The human being like any animal strives to rise above the proverbial "dust" of Biblical fame.  Over the entire period of evolution and biological history there has been a consistent theme of an "escape from nature."  Nature is dead; and to be "natural" is to die.  As human or animal alike, we rise out of this dust and we return to it--although the human like the animal wants to put off this return as long as possible.  But the human being, unlike the animal--which runs from nature--is not yet finished with nature, so long as he can alter nature to suit himself.  The human creates a second nature as culture--and then in effect "returns" to this second nature.   In effect, instead of running from innert matter, as does an animal, the human gives himself over to it and dissolves in it.  Culture already lends itself to this subsiding of human beings; it creates for the human being a zone of carefree comfort.  Such comfort is already death.  Human values and morality are in essence a philosophy of dying. This idea has been expressed before; it is not new in this blog.  Here we attempt to put human morality whose basic idea is self-effacement--to obliterate life itself as a rising above and outside nature--into a larger system of being.  That is the grand plan here.  It is not too much to assume that culture is, speaking roughly, a kind of coffin.  Culture is still inert matter, and the human being, in being "cultural," is already like this proverbial dust.  The human being in becoming his own culture, in effect returns to nature--essentially, he dies.  The Biblical dust that is the fate of man as a cultural being is equivalent, we are saying, to the return of the animal, in dying, to the dust of nature.   The human has a natural--we may say lazy--inclination to subside into the comforts of culture.  We now appear to be giving a negative account of culture where only praise has been given the uniquely human way of life.  To praise culture, and to make culture the basis of all value and morality, is to be a cultural being.  But the morality of culture is essentially a death-wish of sorts.  To efface the self is to degrade the human being into a natural substance, not of original nature but of the ersatz nature.  Morality and the idea of The Good is a central thought at this time.    As expressed as an idea or ideology, culture is a point of view that demands of the human being that he submit to it.  This paradox of human existence, which sets him apart from the animal as one who approaches nature--by changing it, then living with it--has no good resolution.  Life generally "strives" or asserts itself to escape from the proverbial dust of nature; the human being voluntarily and with certain effort re-involves himself with such nature.  This is what culture is--an re-turn to nature.  Contrary to ideologists such as Rousseau, who fantasized of a "return to nature," the human being turned away from nature as soon as he first raised a stick to use as a tool.  The tool mediated the first human's relation with nature--but immediately the stick became, in fact, that same nature.

27

(7 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Does the human being really want to be "close to nature"?  What is the relation of self and personal identity to what we commonly understand as nature?    The close-to-nature ideology that has come down to us, and is ordinarily understood by precisely these words--close to nature--is incorporated, subtly or overtly, in the most sacred and foundational writings of Western civilization.  This I have said earlier in this blog.   Rousseau I aver has been a major influence.   He has been important precisely because of, not in spite of, his obscurity on the point of Natural Law.  Not only the Enlightenment but Christian and Catholic doctrine made the same point, differing only in characterizing so-called "nature" as either divinely or "naturalistically" ruled.   The Rousseauian close-to-nature doctrine suggests just this, finally--and here we have the major underpinning of democratic as also communistic and catholic ideology--that the human being is closest to one's fellow human beings in being, so to say, close to nature.  A certain amount of exposition may be needed to explain this point.  My house is separate from my driveway because I have different concepts and words for these things.  Yet my house and driveway are also connected to one another by something-or-other, or what we call "nature in general."  This is clear. But when we talk about a living being, that being is not connected in the this "natural" way to what is around him. Animal existence, on the other hand, of which humans still are a part, rebells againt nature understood as a universal system.  The considerations presented here as Force Theory are by no means original; I would suggest, as part of a larger study of Philosophical Anthropology, to peruse the writings of Hans Driesch and other Vitalist writers.  But Plessner, too, goes into these basic factors although in a very obscure way.  My own writings now are simple and simplistic, with the objective of moving from vital forces to social factors.  Force Theory is avowedly ideological.  We are saying only some very elemental things about the overall principles involved.   Life is spontaneous, inwardly motivated, and anti-gravitational.  Life in general is anti-natural law if by that we mean physical and chemical law and so forth.  We may even say that life rebells against other life.  Living forms fight againt their incorporation into other living forms.   Life as a "separatist" principle means essentally moving away from, not toward, all that is not the living being himself.  This last consideration, that life is self-motivated, and that the individual living form separates himself from everything else in his universe, goes to the issue of society.  That is:  is the human being "socially" inclined.  If he were, then socialism would be an easy inference.  What socialism sees, on the other hand, as the "social" nature of the human being is in fact the economic-and technological nature of humans, their mental capacity to "identify" with inert objects and universal principles; and to thus, as I have already said, "bring nature closer to themselves."The distinction that defines a form as living is that it separates itself, or is apart-ist, in relation to all other forms living and dead.  The human being may be social, but life in general in its individual manifestations is unsocial and anti-social.   We may wonder, then, how the human being becomes social.  I have already discussed this.  To live at all, as I say, is to "be apart."  We are not talking about any "aparteid-ism," directly, but about "apartness" which is basic condition of all living beings.  These are not forms of nature, precisely, so much as they are manifestations of an inward "volition" or a cause of self-movement.  I am talking about very general issues, not about political systems--but inferences become very easy.   An inference on society comes very easy.  To submit to society or "the state," as Rousseau would have us do, is not to contradict humans as species beings so much as to contradict life.  Life fulfills itself in the indepence of its forms, even while society, on the contrary, subjects all forms to static or naturalistic principles.    There are broad issues at stake, many of which are discussed by sociologists and anthropologists.  There is however a certain "social bias" of sociologists and anthropologists which turns good science into bad ideology.  That is, sociologists do not concede that being apart and apartist is as much a human motive as being connected.  America, as I said earlier in my writing (now verschoben) on Philtalk.de:  American so-called democracy is founded upon the bad science of Europeans (much of the good science they kept for themselves in the form of Fascist ideology).  The auto- or self-motivation of the individual living form rebells againt society as it rebells against nature, and in so rebelling--pulling away or apart--defines itself as an identity.  Life defines itself through anti-nature and anti-social rebellion.  Rebellion is not revolution; revolution is only substituting something new, but the same, for something old.  Rebellion in the sense suggested in Force Theory is essentially self-definition, identity, in other words the practice of the theory of Philosophical Anthropology.  I propose that Philosophical Anthropology is the true and correct revolt-ist theory. 

Does an animal have an identity?  The animal we may say is close to nature.  However, insofar as the animal exerts itself to remove itself from nature, the animal does have an identity.  The animal opposes nature, or pulls away from it, and thus defines itself as an auto-nomous, self-motivated being.  The animal appears out of nature but opposes nature.  The framework of my discussion will be straightforwardly Hegelian.  The most general tendency not only of Western philosophy but of Western (white) sentiment is that it is "better to be close to nature."  I want to address the issue of closeness, by which I would mean a lack of opposition to nature.  The Western viewpoint favors closeness to nature and decries distance from nature.  Culture itself causes distance from nature.   First of all, this question is being asked in the context, or against the very broad background of, a large body of philosophy which takes up the question of so-called "nature" and the human being's relation to nature.  This is perhaps the most general philosophical question that is ever asked--that of "nature."  In the so-called natural law concept, for instance, whether nature is of "natural" origin or of God, the human being's mission, according to the "natural law" point of view, is to be "close" to nature.   I want here to stress the word "close."   Close may mean in conformity to nature.  Also, "close to nature" may mean very little.  In any case there was a wide movement, begun apparently in the upper and educated classes of France and England, to "return to nature."  There was the widespread thought, perhaps resulting from refinements and artificialities and superfluous comforts of upper class life, that wealth--and wealth seems to be a primary factor here--means a separation from nature.  Wealth itself, in creating a barrier to so-called nature, was castigated as unnatural.  What for the animal was a straightforward life purpose was for the human just the opposite, a "separation from the source of his existence."  Later t will be stated that to overcome such a separation is in effect death.   Yet in those times, in 18th France, the idea prevailed that a nearness to nature constituted a moral life.  Union with nature was desirable in moral terms.  Force Theory, our own viewpoint, does not fall into the same category as these primitivistic philosophies.  From the standpoint of animal existence, at any rate, which humans themselves share at a certain psychological level, such primitivism is neurotic fantasy.  Life does not want to be part of nature; life rather wants to be free of nature.  This is our most general conclusion.  For our purposes, here, we want to stress the idea that, in fact, the main impulse of living beings--among them humans--is to draw away from nature.  Thus the whole direction of Western philosophy that demands that humans be (somehow) in conformity with or consistent with nature is a mis-take.  Of course the answer we give now as to the identity of an animal or man will be simplistic.  We may begin by saying that any living form, in  contrast to a non-living form, is self-sustaining and self-forming.   This form as a self-produced form is in effect an identity.  This is our first assertion.   The fact that an animal, among living beings, moves according to internal factors, and in so moving delineates a certain path of motion and a biological form (morphology) constitutes some implicit idea of self.  The living being, and above all the animal, defines its existence through its (independent) motion in violation, we may say, of oridinary laws of physics that control stones and such objects.

We ask again:  does an animal have an identity?  This will be a treatise in Hegelian philosophy, not in science.   Any answer we give as to an animal's identity or self-ness would be not only simplistic but will be--will have to be--through a tenuous and vague sort of explandation.  Identity or self-ness is a philosophical question that has to be addressed in a traditionally philosophical way.   For example, the animal (we are saying) simply by moving defines itself, and does so--here we are speaking philosophically rather than scientifically--as "other than" the world around it.  "Otherness" is a Hegelian term that does not appear, I believe, in empirical science.  But this is the way we must proceed.  That the bird flies contradicts gravitation; that is science.  But that through this opposition to gravity the bird forms itself as a distinct, inwardly or autonomously motiv-ated form, is philosophicaly true. The word "contradiction" is itself a logical, not an empirical term.    Hegelian philosophy juxtaposes  oppositional concepts to produce contradictions, in other words, that call for a resolution.  We are suggesting that "otherness" distinguishing a living being from a dead thing.  It is characteristic of living forms that they exist in logical opposition to their environment.   The life force itself has never been understood scientifically.   We do not mean to invoke a supernatural explanation of life, quite the contrary.  The science of life on the other hand deals merely with the expressions of life, not life's essence.  What may be observed of living forms is that they move independently of non-living things; and in so moving, we are saying, life defines itself.  All life moves away from matter.   Life is anti-gravitational and in that sense logically or categorically oppositional.   Such opposition--exclusion of one by the other and vice versa--sets two things in a categorical, mutually opposed relationship.  Science does not precisely describe this relationship; we must turn to traditional philosophy.   When we speak of an animal's so-called identity we must remember that this would not be a re-flective identity; only humans are capable of reflection.  But there is an entirely different problem when the term "life" is used; that is, we evoke the idea of "value."  Again this is an entirely different domain of philosophy.   Science is value neutral.  In philosophy, on the other hand, value is always a problem, in modern thinking as it was in ancient religion. 

 

To move physically but by virtue of some internal principle--in contradiction to the ordinary (non-living, pre-life) laws of physics,  is to define oneself in relation to other objects; and this self-definition is itself a self.  This is not a reflective self, however.  There is more.    From an idea of differentness that applies to living beings we can move to an idea consistent with the Hegelian framework we want to apply generally.  That is, the animal is "other" than its surroundings.  To be alive means to be "other" than one's surroundings, which are called generally "nature."  That is, the plant, animal or human is other than nature.   Conversely, not to be other is to be dead.That is, the animal is not simply active--activity is a word we might use for the falling of a stone--but re-active.  The animal, as one body among other objects, is acted upon; but this body also re-acts.   Action (we may say) is an overall physical principle or process that controls the movement of body; but the animal re-acts.  The bird reacts to falling by flying; the animal reacts to a predator by fleeing.  Re-action is action that originates within the living body.  I may refer the reader to Helmuth Plessner's Stufen des Organischen und der Mensch , considered a major and seminal work of Philosophical Anthropology.  I have long struggled with this book.  However, Plessner's main problem is to distinguish living from non-living entities; he postpones any consideration of the human being, as one living being among others, until the end of his book where there is scant mention of the real problems we now face in our own blog.  Some considerations emerge out of what we have said thus far, which could constitute the core of a more general Philosophical Anthropological study.  They are these:   Of course, here as always, when we speak of animal as opposed to man, or nature as opposed to culture, we are, for purposes of simplicity of our argument, refering to a hypothetical and abstract concept.   As the animal comes closer to nature, it also approaches death.  This idea is not hard to explain.  There it is--where the animal goes, as it must, to look for food--that the chaos of [our hypothetical] nature distroys and absorbs the relative order of the organism.  The animal always has in mind a retreat to a place of comfort and safe haven.  The animal runs from, rather than skips like a French aristocrat pretending to be a farm girl to [awk.], nature around it on account of it's, nature's, dangers.  Nature is abhorent to the animal even while it is compelling to the Rousseauian philosopher.  Nature is the proverbial vacuum aborhent to life.  The animal does not want to "return to nature," inasmuch as this would be tantamount to dismemberment and dissolution.   The animal resists--and so doing constitutes the life force itself--the gravitational pull of nature.  Of course nature supplies the food and other needs of the animal, which, nevertheless is specialized to search out just those things in nature that satisfy its needs, and avoid everything else in nature.  Focus is the trait of animals, while generality is the trait of man and culture.   The animal cannot do without food offered in nature; so the animal must leave its place of refuge and face danger.  The life of an animal has built within it a simple paradox or contradiction--one that humans attempt to resolve through culture.  Where the animal goes to look for food is where this same animal becomes someone else's food.    In going "to" nature, as it must do to find food and water, the animal exposes itself to greatest peril.  Where animals congretate, say at watering holes, is where predators go to look for food; but these same predators are themselves preyed upon.   Indeed, they are in maximum danger at these same places.  As I say, the human being himself faces this contradiction--that closeness to nature is essentially death--but, in his case, culture offers a resolution.  Culture addresses this (often fatal) contradiction in animal life, that, as I say, to approach nature from which life sustains itself is to expose this same life to its greatest danger.  The human being does not necessarily go "to" nature, so much as he brings nature--selectively and in altered form--to himself.  This is the essence of technology:  to de-construct and re-construct or reconstitute the objects of his world, so that these objects are amenable to his needs. 

The real issue of the "essence of life" is one we cannot face now.  It must suffice to say, as we have just said, that where we talk of identity, the animal does define itself in its relations with other beings and entities.  So, looking at a living being, we see that being as distinctive among entities--stones and such--that there are.  Motion itself of the being does in effect define that being; and that definition, from a certain external standpoint, constitutes the identity of that being.  We need not attribute to the animal any special "soul searching" or neurotic identity quest such as troubles human beings.  The animal world does not produce a Hamlet or young Werther.  This can be understood ohne weiteres (without further ado). The position taken here is that death is essentialy being "close to nature"; life, on the other hand, means being as far away from nature as possible.  Every animal knows this.   To rise up away from the ground is what the animal wills to do.   Yet humans have based their moral philosophy on what we will call now a certain (we may say) mentality of death.  This means that the human being, even while rising up, builds his life around an opposite ethics--that to "return to the soil" of nature.   The human being is a paradox.  He connects to nature by becoming, essentially, his culture--which consists of arrangements of dead things.  His ethics demand that he merge with a world which, although created by man to rise above dead matter, essentially emerses the person in this same matter.   Culture is dead, inert matter; yet the human lives within it and around it.  Culture is a world unlike that of animals, yet which world humans are content to come together with.   Through culture the human comes closer to so-called nature than an animal wishes to be.  A stone, say, is dead; how would a plant or animal "want" to be like a stone?  This is what is finally the issue.  But the human being exhibits, through culture, an entirely different point of view.  He alters nature; but this is only possible by being "close" to nature.  This essential change in the original strategy of life virtually constitutes culture, which is the human mode of living.  Technology is the paradox of a plan to come close to nature by opposing nature.  In his moral philosophy, on the other hand--in his ideals of how human beings should live together and "with nature"--the dominant cultural point of view is to "return to nature."   An entirely pervasive, we may say dominant, theme of Western philosophy has been this ideal of "closeness to nature."   We find this in Rousseau and Monbodo; and in German romantic and conservative trends.  Thus, for instance, Spengler deplores the time in history when Kultur descends into Zivilization.  The former is "close to nature," the latter departs from nature.  Even in communist theory, in for instance Engels' discussion of the Mark--the ancient pastoral society of the Teutons--there is a sense of the lost paradise when humans were part of nature, not, as now, through culture, alien to nature.  Furthermore, the prevailing ethical and moral philosophy of the West is based upon the naturalistic (close-to-nature) premise.  Of course we have not begun to talk about the oriental philosophies--Hinduism, Taoism etc.--which all have the view that human life will somehow merge with the larger world.  This is contrary to the movement of life in general, which reists and opposes dead nature.  We may understand human culture as opposing nature in the short term, as does every living thing, but finally "affirming" nature in the expressed wish to "return to nature."   With Force Theory we take an entirely opposed view.  For an animal, for instance, closeness to nature is death. This is the struggle of life in general:  to form itself out of--that is, away from--nature.    The animal in every movement it makes resists being "close to nature."  We still have not raised the issue of human ethics.  To emerse oneself in a mass of one's fellow human beings is the command of all times.  This is Kant's Categorical Imperative but also the teachings of the religions of the world.  Humanitarianism is simply the "return to nature" as this nature is constituted by the human species.  Force Theory would essentially contradict this premise.  To live--to live at all!--is to resist such absorbtion, to assert oneself, in other words, as an individual.  That is, as an individual person or entire race.  This is our basic "moral"premise developed in the present essay. 

Great philosophies emerge in times of great wars; mine is a philosophy in time of small--piddling--wars and will count, no doubt, as a small philosophy.  Still, there is important work to be done.  Earlier, in about the year I was born (1939), the beginning of WWII, there appeared a new study called Philosophical Anthropology.   This was sustained in Germany through the War years when, coincidentally, the German self-concept was shaky and troubled.   Germans were then in what could be called a search for self.   There is the important consideration that, in fact, Philosophical Anthropology emerged--partly as a reaction--out of a broad body of philosophical and metaphysical speculation.  All these thinkers of this war period focused on the issue of human identity.  Indeed, German identity was scarcely mentioned; from Nietzsche to Klages, the speculations concerned the general human beings as an entire species.  For the sake of simplicity and order, I will have to mention only several thinkers who seem--if only for the extremism of their positions--such as Ludwig Klages and Oswald Spengler.  Both men were occuped with the Kulturfrage.   Not life or even mind were at the center of their speculations; rather culture was their emphasis.  Culture was seen as dividing the human being from "nature."   For Spengler, human existence was properly "natural" only when, like the roots of a tree which grow around and among the stones and earth where they are planted, it, human nature, was inseparable from nature.  Culture on the other hand "alienated" the human from nature.  This concept of alienation, which began with Hegel and Fichte, remained a constant theme of German philosophy throughout the turbulent years.  It is Ludwig Klages, however, that I want to stress specifically.  For him culture--or the human mind in general (Geist--came, as it were from an outside source, as an intruder in human life and disrupted the relation between man and nature.  From a trivial perspective Klages appears as a sort of theoretical environmentalist.  His conclusions were radical, proposing as it were to virtually ban culture from human existence.  I say "as it were."  No serous viewpoint would propose that the human being lay down all of his tools and take up the life of animals, climbing trees and foraging with other creatures that scamper here and there.   My owns viewpoint has departed over the years from that of Klages and Spengler whom I still admire.   What is being proposed presently is that the drastic and cataclysmic separation that has occured "between man and nature" occured not between culture and nature,  but between man and culture.  (1)First, as we proposed above, the animal separated itself from nature   (2) Secondly, culture (contrary to Klages and Spenglers' views) re-connected man with nature, since it, culture, in-volved man with nature.  (3)Third, the human being confused himself with nature through his technics.  A tool, we are saying, is an object but one that can be and is confused by the human with the human being himself.  In the long period of culture the human being lost that identity--the sense of being re-active, separate and "other"--that he once shared with animals.  (4) Culture has caused the need for the human being, not to define himself as he was originally defined, but to re-define himself.  He now is not simply re-acting to nature--that re-active existence was absorbed into and lost in culture--but to re-flect upon nature as opposed to himself.  This is where Philosophical Anthropology enters:  as a human effort to re-define himself.  Insofar as a human being can still live, in a figurative sense, as an "animal" he does not need Philosophical Anthropology.  The latter study is at an elite stage of formation wherein it is set apart from the everyday life of humans.  We propose it here from the lofty perspective of pure theory.  To summaraize our position so far:  (1) Solely by acting, and acting independently from and in opposition to other objects, the animal defines its self or identity.  (2) Through his culture, which is an in-volvement or a re-involvement with nature,  the human has blurred this definition or identity.  3.Through mind--and an instinctive aversion to self-effacement, which among animals is simply a fear of death--the human re-defines his self or identity.  I may had that although primarily an intellectual feat, this cannot be carried out without radical violence to the institutions and persons around the person.

28

(5 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

There is no human unity without disunity. Unity begets disunity.   In relationships on the level of language and society, what brings persons together in one way separates them in another.  Thus, for example, in coming together as citizens of a nation--creating around themselves a national border or demarker--they in effect create other and alien nations.  When they invent for themselves a language they simultaneously consign those who don't speak it to the level of, in effect, inarticulate animals.  Humans have largely given up much of the instinctive language they inherit from their animal past; so, lacking a human language that is mutually understood, these separate groups lapse into paranoid silence.  Where animals are not mutually deaf, human beings can be in relation to outsiders and aliens.   We may call this the principle of "divisive unity' [tentatively].  This is paradoxcally true:  unity is itself divisive.   This is a point so obvious that I hesitate to say that it originates in this blog.   I may be mistaken.   Yet I am inclined to say, if this point is understood--because sociologists and historicans are intellectually capable of entertaining the idea--it is possibly suppressed.  The point is not beyond the theory of sociology so much as it is outside the ideology or religion of sociology.  Intellectually the principle of "divisive unity" is not incomprehensible; but it is ideologically objectionable. Unity is not so much the fact of society so much as unity is the aspiration and goal--or "the good"--of sociologists.   In their (what I call) priestly capacity, the American community of scholars aspires to the universal unity, not disunity, of human beings.   The phrase "unity of humanity" is their stock in trade.  To seriously entertain and promulgate a theory of the inevitability of disunity contradicts their mission, instilled in them in all their training, of "bringing humans together."  Because it contradicts scholars' "religious" purpose as those who overcome--or "heal"--divisions, to propose, simply, that every act promoting unity begets some new point of separation is to call the whole effort of behavioral science self-defeating.  Also, every point of disunity that appears out of the reconciling efforts of mediators calls for renewed efforts by these same mediators, who go from conflict to conflict in a never ending search for "justice."  The "Good," we may assume, would the final Hegelian "negation of the negation" in which the natural disunity that comes from unity is overcome in one final act of "reconciliation."  The Good negates the disunity begotten of efforts of bringing humans together.  This Good is the Holy Grail of sociology that is implicit, but unspoken, in sociology.  Force Theory takes a clear stand on this so-called Good.   We are saying that the unity that exists in nature is the unity that was there before mankind--before technology, language and other culture--as a sort of Rousseauian State of Nature.  We are talking about the kind of communication and relationships that animals have; and that humans have, too, insofar as these still function in the face of culture.  The family is an instance of this nature unity.  Earlier I spoke of the separation of humans insofar as they adopted a culture which was essentially a "foreign object."  Through this technology and language humans became in effect foreigners and aliens to one another.

29

(5 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Earlier it was stated that generalities are a way--albeit a shallow way--that humans have of dealing with one another.   That is true.  Profiling and stereotyping are an example of this, as when, for instance, one is "sized up" by a banker as a prospective borrower.  Police and airport personel do this.  This is a way, and a necessary way, of doing business in a mass, impersonal society.  But profiling and stereotyping is shallow.  One cannot judge a person essentially in this way.  We know that, and accept it, insofar as we see how impractical it would be to judge humans always in terms of their entire or essential identity.  That cannot always be done.  Of course the practice of profiling is also deried in our society by the pundits and sociologists and preachers.  Such shallow judgements are called the essence of racism.  However, this view is a two-edged sword.   The entire argument denying the existence of the white race is itself, we may say, based on the idea that this group is a mere shallow category of things.  A mere one or two traits of this group are singled out to define the whole group; then, once such a trait is seen as merely spurious, the entire category is declared invalid.  White people somehow magically disappear.  Thus the argument that "white" is not a legitmate category falls victim to the corresponding view that one trait or another "falsely" identifies other groups.  [:( This needs work.]

I should call myself the parapatetic philosopher in that, as I walk to school, my thinking becomes collected and organized. That is what, as every day, I did today.   Walking aligns a person in body and mind.  That is my own belief.  I should apologize for the title of this section,  The Politics of the Politics of Race.    By "politics of the politics..."  I mean simply the type of theoretical wrangling that academic types engage in surrounding an issue that, already, is in the public consciousness.  In fact, the people of America have already made up their minds regarding race.  Not to change minds and hearts is my mission here, nor certainly is it to engage in any politics or "activism" on the level of everyday life.  This writing is created in the pure ether of Platonic serenity and good will.  Nor, finally, are we trying here to prove anything:   .  "C-type" personality that I have, I just hate to have to convince my students or anyone of anything.   "Science" regarding racial differences is not in our domain.   Our purpose is only to give logical consistency--not "truth"--to racial ideology.  I am greatly priviledged to live in the girlhood home town of the great scholar and pioneer of psychological testing Audrey Shuey, author of The Testing of Negro Intelligence.  The title of her work speaks volumes and casts a warm glow over what is written here as Force Theory.  Her work will not be consulted in these pages.  Yet it is good and great work.   I am not myself trained in Shuey's area so am not certified to enter an opinion on every point of her work; but her science is enough our purposes.   We do not consult science because, stating our problem as we have, we do not need science. We need logic to the extent of knowing that A = A.   We do not offer arguments in support of scientific racism; neither do we want to contradict this theory.    Facts should be alone; and we also want facts to leave us alone.   What Force Theory does, rather, is to make a story--because all we try to do is to tell a story--where the particulars are consistent with one another and with the whole.  Christianity may illustrate our point.  Christianity tells a very small and rather (in Wilde's words) "charming" story.  There is nothing inconsistent or contradictory within the story itself, about a man sent by God to tell other people of himself, God.  People did not believe this man when he said he was so sent to them; they crucified him.  The idea that a man could be sent by God is consistent with the fact of the crucifiction of Christ.  Probably at some point the inconsistencies in our Bible were edited out by scholars of this or that age.  What comes down to us in the Gospels is a story that is told several times but in ways not at odds with one another.  Again, I am not a Bible scholar.   Of course, if one looks to the archeological and historical record for any evidence--any evidence whatsoever, even a hint--that Jesus ever existed, we would find none.  This is the way things stand with Force Theory.  We are glad when we don't contradict facts, but that is our only thought about facts.  What we strive for is the same goal that the old Catholic scholars had in mind when they sorted out and excised logical inconsistencies in the New Testiment.   My thesis has been from the beginning of this blog that racism has been identified as a "Conservative" ideology that is supported by, among other ideas, the Christian religion and American nationalism.  We state as our only intention that race be isolated from nationalism and religion, inasmuch as these ideologies are logically and categorically contrary to the idea of race.  For allies and friends, racism should take up the cause, perhaps, of the old clan-based society or some sort of Nordic tribal ideology.  We can be friendly with science, though we leave science--here we speak of so-called Scientific Racism--to fight its own battles.  We will not fight these battles.  Science will not defeat our purpose insofar as the real and ascertainable facts of science, from Audrey Shuey onward, also do not contradict us.  Where racist ideology becomes mired, rather,  is in trying to be friends with religion and nationalism.  We are incompatible; and furthermore a divorce is inevitable.  As I say, we would like to be "factually true"; but, given our stated goals, we do not have to be "true."

30

(5 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Race, as we think of it here, is not some mere generality.  I suggest that the reader acquaint himself with Heidegger's distinction between Algemeinheit (generality) and Sein (Being). [Identitaet und Differenz: p.65 et seq.]  We attribute race to the realm of Being or (I want to say) substantiality.  Generalities are not so much incorrect as, based on traits abstracted away from a more fundamental reality, they are simply shallow. There are generalities beyond these generalities; as, also, there are generalities within generalities.  There are categories which include other categories; and categories that make up larger categories.  These forms arise out of the way human beings expedite--simplify--their thinking.  To delineate such forms is a capacity of thought; but it is a shallow capacity of thought.  And to deny the existence of a reality on grounds that simply one or the other of its traits--ones that, in human thinking, differentiate some thing from some other thing--is a shallow criticism.  A reality cannot be denied on grounds of its category alone; or on grounds that one or the other trait is not a essential trait.  A breed of dog, we may say, is a generality; and beyond this breed is another generality, that of "dog."  But there is more to a dog, even, than its mere breed.  At some point there is a whole process, which determine's the animal substantiality, wherein this being comes into existence--as a being.  Science and taxonomy may not be incorrect on some such fine point;  it is only that such a consideration is shallow.  We do not reject science on account of error so much as we decry shallow science.  Science is often simply shallow and irrelevant.  We are talking here about a category within a category, a smaller generality within a larger generality.  When we speak seriously of race, as we are doing now, we want to say more than that race is a simple category.  And we want to attribute to race more than simply those traits that will distinguish one race from another race.  I want to use the word "substantiality."  Heidegger talks about words, but without mentioning race, that are "heavy with being."  With Force Theory we can say that race is one of those words.   Race signifies a concept in which many concepts merge and become dynamic processes and events.  In putting ourselves in this position--that we are asking about Being or substantiality--we evade most of the criticisms coming from hostile ideologies such as Maxism and Liberalism.  We have already said that Liberalism is consistently anti-racist.    But this success of Liberalism is bought at the expense of a shallow interpretation of race, as, in other words, a simple category of Being but not Being itself.  We speak at the risk of raising the issue of "essences" and "souls."  I want to be clear on this point.  What we are saying merely--and we could say the same regarding life itself, not "in general" but as Being--that life amounts to a mystery.  We present race in the same terms, as the principle of becoming of life, as "heavy with Being."  This is all we are saying.

The internet has opened new oportunities, not merely for purveyors of pornography, but for serious writing.  The essence of the matter is freedom.   In a way, the internet can handle any content--so far the masses of humans of our civilization have taken this new phenomenon in stride--but I still am concerned that the internet might not be prepared for the present webbsite on Philosophical Anthropology.    I am speculating.    It's doubtful that anywhere or anytime in the world has there been such freedom.    In this case, the word freedom has a rather clear meaning.  One can truly express one's point of view.  Having existed in schools and universities all by the first five years of my life, I can compare the internet with the university.  The American university is for everyone, student and teacher alike, a mind-numbing experience.   I may talk about this issue later.  In the meantime, the real question that is raised is, since real knowledge can be transmitted through the internet--knowledge that is prejudicial to great governments and individual--why  there such real freedom in the internet?  Te answer may be this:  all the knowledge and information that there is tends to neutralize itself by its shere volume.  Such knowledge and thought buries itself alive.  In such a state, a given piece of writing is tucked away in a vast, cavernous place where no one can find it or pay attention.  The internet censors itself, in effect, by overwhelming writing by infinitely profuse writing.  That is where I stand--or thought I stood--with Force Theory.  The writing of this blog--which is a mix of anarchism, racism and Hegelian metaphysics--is set off to the side, somewhere, where it cannot be found unless someone actually looks for it.  I have assumed all along that no one would read this material.  If someone is reading this paragraph this fact comes to me as a surprise.  Originally I dispaired; but then I thought, now, in reality, a degree of obscurity for Force Theory would be a mixed evil.  I don't think this material should be highly visible or exposed; at any rate not until it is fully developed. The term "over-exposure" comes to mind; that is what singers and such experience.  Over-exposure is not to be the fate of Philosophical Anthropology and Force Theory.  I have certain habits of writing that are objectionable.  Long paragraphs follow other long paragraphs in tiresom succession.   These same long paragraphs are packed  and saturated with Hegelian mumbo jumbo.  This should be intimidating to anyone.  Add to this the fact that I do not particularly always know what I am talking about.  I am sure criticisms are, or at least would be assuming anyone reads this, forthcoming.  Such a long, tedious-looking pagraphs might intimidate anyone even assuming he finds this Philosophical Anthropology webbsite.  And the very word Philosophical Anthropology, so I have heard from asking, is a mystery.  This field--the study and thought about where we come from as human beings and who we are--is apparently of very little interest to anyone.  A perusal of Google topics and the interest in these topics should prove my point.  Buried, then, in a tiny corner of the internet is this webbsite on Philosophical Anthropology, much as we as individual human beings are all buried alive in some tiny corner or other of mass society; so that, were one to find this webbsite, and read this blog, it is unlikely that this person, having arrived at this long paragraph, would take the effort to read this paragraph and find, there, a decisive and clearly stated strategy in presenting a racial philosophy.  That is what one will find now.   This idea, which I have stated elsewhere, is that there is no intention here of "proving" a racist or racialist point of view.  I was recently asked by my Department chairman if I were a racist.  Anticipating the question, I was going to answer no.  My final answer surprised me more than perhaps him: I said I would not answer.  But here is the jist of this whole thing:  I am not out to convince anyone of the truth or falsehood of a racist point of view.  My purpose in this webbsite is not to propound the truth of racism, so much as it is to present a racist viewpoint that is logically consistent.  In order to do this, a racial viewpoint must divest itself of all "baggage" or extraneos considerations, such as nationalism and religion.  These last things--nationalism and religion--are favorites of the Conservative group of which I was originally a member.  Now I am saying:  give up your jingoism and Christianity if you want--as I know you do--a consistant racist point of view.  Nationalism and religion contradict racism.  But if you don't divest yourself of these highly abstrract and confusing ideas, then your racism will be ineffective.  I want here to present, not a true or untrue racist viewpoint, but a logically consistent racist viewpoint.  That is my purpose in writing this webbsite.

Generality is a word we need to define.  This could be, for our purposes of argumentation, simply one trait of a larger thing but one, too, whose sole role or purpose (human express purpose) is to isolate and delinate that thing.  The real issue is not as difficult as it sounds. What we have conveyed as a "definition" or "defining trait" is in essence an abstraction for practical purposes.  A generality "expedities" a situation demanding human action.   I have stated that generality is some one "defining or definitive trait."  The purpose one has in creating a generalization is to "deal with" some phenomenon in an essentially practical, "prgamatic" way.  Generalities expedite relationships, whether between humans themselves or between humans and things.     Examples are close at hand.  Greece was once settled by groups of clans who likewise set up villages.  The clans maintained their corporate identity and also designated for themselves certain small holdings or territories.  The town assembly consisted of representatives of the clans.  I want to think of these clans as "races" insofar as their identity was established, not simply in their place of residence, but in their history--essentially, time--they had lived together and their collective experiences.  All these shared experiences, in themselves vague and ghost-like, were rolled into their self-concepts.  These experiences, we are saying, were what these people were.   I want to think of these clans as "heavy with Being," to use Heidegger's phrase.  But new circumstances appeared and new practical problems had to be faced.    In General the land these people settled, Greece, was a happy one; there was no impulse to move.  The interests of clans were not compatible, always, with those of the larger community; so a new political organization was proposed.  In this, instead of clan representation there would be representation by "districts" or essentially barrios.  But these new land designations criss-crossed and did not corrrespond to the original clan settlements.  In effect, the modern polity was born.  This system no longer recognized the clans, even remotely and distantly, but treated humans now from the standpoint solely of their district of residence.  These basic points that we make here have long been the subject of sociology and legal theory.   This polis was for the people not only a new political relationship, it was also the essence of a new human identity.  People were now separated, at least  in theory, from not only their clans but from their history--a history extending back in time to remote places and events--as a people or race.  We do not need to identify all that there is in the old clan, even, let alone the race:  this is vast and vague and unsuited for any scientific purpose of taxonomy or classification.  That is, whether this classification be biological or political.  A generality is not so much an "outline" of a thing as it is one trait that serves to set that thing off from other things.  Generality and form are not the same ideas.   Scientists apply the same thought process--to isolate one trait of a thing as "defining" that thing as separate from other things--in organization for scientific and analytic purposes as politicians and bureaucrats do for political control.  This is what Allgemeinheit (generality) is:  a reduction of one thing or person to a single trait which constitutes, in effect, a relationship with a larger entity.  No exertion is needed to see that, beginning with a movement of political order away from clan cohesion, society also began to distance itself from whole tribes and, finally, races.  In essence the race is heir to the old clan mentality.   Yet, race is who human beings are; it is their Sein (Being).   We confront at this time an entire body of literature--so-called science--that decries the "racist" notion that there is anything significant about white skin as opposed to black skin.  To isolate any one trait, and identifying that being solely by that one trait, is to trivialize that being.  Of course white or black skin is not the "essence" of a race.  That is why a race is a race in the sense of radix, or "root" and "source":  Race is the source of one's Being  an sich (in itself) and cannot be reduced to the abstract terms of science.  Race, however, does not wait to be talked about:  it asserts itself inexorably as Being.

31

(5 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

From Onlinephilosophyforum.com:

hi belinda. You are taking up the cause of "naturalistic ethics" that was fashionable late 19th century. I can't remember names but Spencer, Sumner and the Social Darwinists come to mind. The Brit. paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn. The idea is that love, first and foremost in the family, had survival value and so, in a naturalistic sense, was affirmed and "true." Survival value = truth. I'm afraid these old Social Darwinists would disagree with you, Belinda, on the issue of race. Races like organisms were seen as entities in a struggle for survival; and between them there would be no mutual ethical respect.

It is not God, simply,that is dead in my own ideology--it is value that is dead. As an anthropologist and relativist I can say that values are simply some white and black people talking. On an issue of value, Belinda, it is your word against mine. I do not have to rid myself of the spectre of God, so long as I have answered the question of value. This is not simply the question of your values against mine, but the fundamental problem of the very existence of value. Here I refer to Max Stirner (founder of Theoretical Anarchism), who has long been my mentor. So, if you want to call me a sexist or racist, go ahead. Hume said, and carnap followed, that you can't get a value from a fact. That is true. If a value has no reference point in fact, then we cannot finally talk about values at all. And anything we say on race or so-called racial prejudice is just simply one's opinion. Dead as value is, value nonetheless supports our present civilization.

Unfortunately--and here you may be right, Belinda--society itself depends on a stable and reliable focus of orienation. So, it may be socially necessary that we say, for instance, among other things, that racism is wrong. To paraphrase Voltaire: if values does not exist, it may be necessary to invent it. That is what has been done. Then the criterion of social stability is set forth as an arbiter of all judgements on my values or yours. Mine of course would be, and are, condemned as contrary to the interests of American society. I claim the priviledge of philosophy and theory. (I know I cannot claim the priviledge of free speech within my university.)

When we ask "How should I treat my fellow human being" we are raising an issue of value, not of fact. I do not want to talk about fact. If you are going to challenge me, Belinda, speak about value. Trace your values to an absolute source. I take up these issues in my webbsite,richardswartzbaugh.com/punbb --Richard



The Declaration of Independence--America's most sacred document--begins with the statement:  "We hold these truths as self-evident, that all men are created equal..."  Our civilization stands or falls not on whether this equality is factually true, but whether the self-evidency of the statement can be upheld.  And upheld through physical force.  So long as it is self-evident that men are created equal, our culture stands; when it is no longer self-evident, whether or not it is merely factually true that men are equal, the culture falls.  We could possibly, at the outset of this blog, just go ahead and concede that "all men are equal."  This compromise would not damage our cause nor advance it.  We simply are not interested here regarding whether humans are in fact equal or unequal, which is an issue of science and can be left to the scientists.  What concerns us is the word self-evident.  This word is much more interesting than whether or not humans are in some factual sense equal.  The Declaration says, most signficantly, that it is self-evident that such and such is true, what ever that truth may or may not be.  We could say but are not permitted to say, for instance, that this truth is not evident to us; still, the truth is self-evident to itself.  In denying the facticity of human equality we would contradict also the majesty--the self-truth--of the statement that men are equal.  This would not be a mistake simply, but a crime or sin.  In the self-evidency of human equality is the authority and magiesty of the idea of human equality.  How should this concern us?   We are concerned, rather, that American civilization was through one word--a word that proclaimed the self-truth of itself--set on a course that has held, consistently, these hundreds of years.  It is not too much to say that our culture was prefigured, predetermined and predestined in a short sentence.  It is our purpose here to look at that sentence, but only part of it.  The idea that all men are created equal has a certain place in the history of ideas of our Western culture;  and to overlook Rousseau and Locke would be a disservice to philosophy.  That much we can conclude.  Human beings can in fact be considered "equal" in certain terms and with certain assumptions.  Why argue the point?  Where I am focusing attention here, on the other hand, is on the provisiion--stated so clearly--that the idea that all men are created equal is self-evident.  So it is on the point of self-evidency (Selbstverstaendlickeit) that needs analysis.  What is being said is that there is a quality--self-evidency--of this idea that belongs to, inherently, this idea.  A ball is round; and roundness is a quality of the ball.  Self-evidency would be a quality just like roundness or redness.   So, it is said, that just as redness or roundness is a quality of one object, the truth of a certain statement inheres in that statement, not dependent in any way on the human being who understands it to be true or not true.  Self-evidency in a statement belies the very idea of populist democracy.  This is the first contradiction in American civilization and one that was present the moment the first whitemen set foot on this continent.  The self-evidency of the truth of democracy is also the flat denial--categorical contradiction--of democracy.  That is, nothing is conceded to a knowing person regarding rights to know a thing.  The thing has already been proclaimed self-evident; it has proclaimed itself self-evident.  Not an authoritative statement (which needs an authority) is the problem, the issue rather is a statement that is by virtue of an inherent quality of auto-authority an authoritarian statement.  We are led to the paradox of an authoritarian democracy.  But consistently--the idea of forced equality--is what exists for Americans in practice.  The government is there, it is said, just to enforce the idea of a self-evident truth.  This idea--which ultimately is not so much self-evident as self-contradictory--festers today.  A civilization based on a self-contradiction cannot sustain itself.  It does not suffice one that one can control human beings; he must also know what they are thinking.  The thoughts of Americans and Westerners in general in this sprawling culture and society are drifting in one direction; the civilization is materially wealthy but going in another direction.  What are people like.  We see in them a certain inherent self-evidency, but that is their quality, not their culture's.  Of course, as always, there is some large or small priesthood with a stake in the question.  If truth is self-evident, their own role in culture is evident.  The idea that the truth is self-evident diverts attention away from their self-interest.  I call the statement of the Declaration of Independence the first and formative act of our civilization; as also it is the last and dissolving act.  Having a successful discussion (essentially, winning an argument) depends upon a narrow focus; that is what we've tried to foster.  We must not bother with the notion that some people, true, will want to treat others as so-called equals; this is usually just the patronizing behavior that humans are fond of.  They cannot be stopped.  Humans as citizens should understand, on the other hand, that a basis of authoritarian control was written into the first words of the Declaration, our seminal political document; and that government could rightly interpret its own role as enforcing that provision.  Our culture is basically simply force equality.  This is by no means a paradox or self-contradiction.  Where the contradiction lies, the one that will undermine our civilization, is between the self-evidency that motivates a person (essentially, self-interest) flatly contradicts the civilization that we have with no possibility of compromise.  The present blog has an anarchist assumption which affirms the absolute self-assertion of the ego at the expense of anything ephemeral that humans might contrive.

In property we face the issue of the conditional ownership of a thing (or person).  That a thing is owned conditionally compromises, and in an important sense contradicts, the idea of ownership if we mean by ownership absolute control.  That our primal being, that we talk about frequently, has with him a thing that he covets, and does not want it to leave his side, suggests absolute ownership.  We assume only that there is no fellow being that wants possession of the same thing.  In the case of humans, on the other hand, ownership is conditional.  The saying "Possession is 90% of the law" is suggestive.  We acknowledge that simply in having a thing with one does give one some legal right to that thing.  In this phrase we also evoke the issue of the law as something more than mere physical possession.  We are moving toward a paradox that, in the case of human beings, "rights of ownership" actually contradict the absolute ownership in an animal sense.  I have discussed this issue in detail in another section [cite].    neutral [expand this later....]  The contradiction is possibly resolved in the idea that the thing possessed is not itself capable of possession, so could not possess its possessor.  A simple "technicality" is afforded to the possessor by the people around him.  That is, they "agree" [see below} to leave the possession with him.  In the case of human beings, however, who themselves are capable of possession, the matter is different.  A human being is physically and mentally always capable of possession; yet he or she is possessed.  In this phase of Force Theory (which is a performance, as I have defined that term elsewhere), I am moving toward the consideration that a human being has to be declared incpable of possession before he or she is possessed.

The question now before us--pertaining to the issue of marriage as ownership--is:  what are the implications of "mutual" ownership?  That is, assuming I can "own" something, can that something (or someone) I own also own me?    And own me in the same way that I own this other thing (or person).    We are carrying our general theory of ownership--leveraged coercion and control of something (or someone)--into the issue of the relationship between a man and woman under terms of "marriage."  Fourier, Morgan and Engles call marriage an extension of slavery.  The connection between marriage and slavery--even in the ordinary marriage vows themselves--is unmistakable.  In these vows the individual commits him- or herself to the other, virtually in terms of a transaction that slave traders and owners would enter into.  The precise wording within the marriage ceremony is almost identical to a slave transaction.  And these vows are taken seriously by the principals and witnesses and agents of society.   Men altogether "own" women in this conception.  But it is also safe to assume that, under explicit terms of marriage, women also own men.  In the words of poets and musicians:  "I own you, you own me!"  This is common parlance; we simply do not think about the implications.  And these expressions of mutual ownership are not merely symbolic; they have the practical implications that agents of the third party, or society, can step into the relationship and act with authority and violent force.  The ownership of a man by a woman, and simultaneously a woman by a man, has all the imortance in everyday life that other property ownership has.  Associated with marriage are concepts of stealing, cheating, break of contract and restitution that go with other property ownership, such as ownership of--title to--one's car or house.  It should come almost as a cliche that marriage is the strongest kind of ownership of one human by another that one can have.  The fact that other forms of slavery are forbidden by the Emancipation Proclamation, while marriage remains, is a paradox no present day layperson or theorist wants to confront.  The communists are considered oddities of the past.  What is asked here, on the other hand, is whether to own and be owned by the same thing (or person) is, as it appears to be, an outright contradiction.   And if there is a contradiction, where does this contradiction lead?  We look for a resolution of the contradiction.

The question before is whether to own a thing "conditionally"--under terms of the larger society in which one lives--involves a "contradiction" of the idea of ownership.  We are talking about the orignal idea of ownership, now, such as we have already characterized as "animal" existence.  What limits an animal in its possession of some object (or female of its own species) is the strength and personality and belligerant intelligence of the being.  Ownership and possessions come down to the being's inborn capactity for violence.  Otherwise no condition is set for ownership.  Human beings on the other hand have, or tend to have, or often have rules of ownership.   In earlier sections of this blog [cite] I talked about "agreements."   Humans possess objects by virtue of agreements; other human beings are acknowledged to exist and to have an interest in one's possessions.  Interest means here two ideas:  1. there is interest in the sense of desire; 2. there is interest in the sense of "common interest,"  under some terms or other, an acknowledged participation in the ownership of the thing.  One owns one's house, we say, but not unconditionally; the town or village has aesthetic codes, taxes the property and so forth.  This is the everyday business of human beings in American communities.  In Haiti, we are told, the only rights are of squatters who appropriate and hold property solely through personal violence. We may speak of a squatter's "ownership" of property as unconditional.   The owner in America theoretically gives up some control of his possessions; on the other hand, the society around him which takes partial control of the possessions--has an "interest" in them--acts also in the interests of the "principal" or principal owner.  In the face of intrusion by non-owners, society steps in.  In this instance, some persons are declared by the larger society to be non-owners.  Under formal rules or law, there is a clear distinction between owners and non-owners. 

Does the human being contradict himself in ceding partial control of a thing to society?  We say absolutely that he does contradict himself, indeed, which is only to say that creates for himself a further problem.  To create for oneself a further problem is something entirely different than taking something away from oneself which will never be returned.  The age-old question is once again opened:  through society we give up rights but acquire new rights.  That is true.  But we also have forced upon ourselves a new competitor, society itself.  The thesis presented here has to do with marriage as a special institutions.  In this institution what is property is also the owner of the owner of that property.   We must confront this question, since here there is a contradiction that leads to new--and violent--kinds of human interaction.  Marriage is the outcome of primal slavery, in which, by superior technological force (weaponry), certain dominant males enslaved the rest of the group, including females.  We are saying that the first technics arose, not as men leveraged their strength to pry up a rock or fend off a larger preditory, but as they waved a stick (or some such object) in front of the females of the group.  This waving of a stick mesmerized the females and caused them to submit to sex.  This ritual of human mating, though raised to more sophisticated levels in modern society, still "impresses" the women; they have not evolved in this respect.  Stick waving in human corresponds to mating rituals of birds and other animals.  Such stick waving is the true origin of human technology, although, as we have already said, technology was applied to more objective purposes as time went on.  Human nature has not changed and the fundamental mentality of technics has not changed.  We may confidently assert that the real intent and purpose of technics is not in its objective (purely mechanical) function, to get food and so forth, but in its social function.  When therefore we say that men now own women, through technics, women now own men through a "technicality"--the law--and in this way restore the otherwise lost natural balance of male and female roles. 

Marriage is "perfect" mutual ownership.  The man owns the woman in the same sense that she owns him.  This ownership is qualified by certain recognition by society of the natural biological differences between men and women.  So, men and women have different roles in culture.  But in principle, the terms of ownership are the same for both sexes.  I could command my wife to do a thing; the terms of marriage are to love, honor and obey.   That one spouse can command another is written into the marriage contract.  But the wife also owns the husband; by virtue of this ownership she can countermand the husband.  She is now commanding the husband not to command her.  This is a convoluted relationship but one which, if it does not duplicate the male-female relation "in a state of nature," it emulates this natural relation and so, in other words, the balance of the sexes is restored to its pre-slavery (gender slavery) state.  In effect the dominance through technology that a human being had is obviated in the instance of marriage.  Technics is cancelled out by the technicalities of marriage.  Women have the same advantage as men by virtue of their, the women's, technicalities of law.  But this contradiction is the engine or motivator of a further progression--an externalization--of technics.  A new age of slavery--technological intimidation--is born out of the old.

33

(25 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

bump forward

For german Social Contract thinkers I should have said German Natural Law thinkers.  These seem to be in response to Rousseau's Social Contract idea...

Logical Positivists say that truth comes through the clarification of language.  This is a statement about truth; it is also a statement about language.  We don't regard ourselves as competent, here, to talk about truth; we want only to discuss language.    A reasonable conclusion drawn from Logical Positivism is that, as truth comes closer, language moves further from primal "animal" thinking.  This is thinking that humans still have and forms the basis of individual personality.   This is not unconscious thought, as psychiatry refers to, but pre-symbolic thinking.  Or it is thinking when the Logical Positivism says that truth is obtained through symbols of thinking are identical to individual thougths; as such such symbols are not shared or sharable.  Such symbols must be translated from individual symbols to ones shared by more than one person.   Translating individual symbols into shared symbols is much like translating one language into another, as English can be translated into Russian.   But by language we mean symbols that are shared; an individual language would be a contradiction in terms.  What we are saying, however, is that symbols probably originate in the individual psyche, somehow, but then are subject to a certain standardization.  This makes the thoughts of one person comprehensible to another.   This is a great advantage for human beings in competition with other animals.  Again, when we talk about "truth" we are saying simply that what one man thinks, another man understands.  This is basically the point of view of Logical Positivism.  This is why they say that truth consists solely in the clarification of language.  What is the same we can say reasonably that if  there is truth outside of language, this truth is impossible to talk about.  For Force Theory this consideration would be a disasster were it not for the fact that here we do not make truth, so-called, a priority.  For Force Theory truth, indeed, is tantamount to, or synonymous with, alienation from language.  Language can contrain and express truth, we are saying, only so far as truth purifies itself of individual contents.  This quality of language as a shared reality--shared by virtue of membership in a group of humans--is precisely the source of alienation.  The human being, in having language in the first place, becomes--because a shared world is now not his own world--"alienated from himself."  We resort to this old Hegelian cliche but one that still serves us well.  The Force Theory formulation is that truth is alienation in the only sense that alienation is a meaningful word, as self-estrangement.  There are a number of ways we can express this idea.   One thing remains clear:  what is shared is not individual.  Individual and shared mean categorically opposite things.  But the fact emerges as central to what we are talking about in the observation, simply, that in becoming "truth" language distills or rejects from itself any contents that are not general, and therefore, logically, are individual.  Through language we become the "truth" that is generality itself in a philosophical sense as "truth."   To connect with oneself, on the other hand, the person must get beyond language.  And in these terms this "whole" self is not something that can be communicated through language.  If there is to be commuication--and therefore community--at all it must be in some instinctive way other than language. 

The classical communist position, cast in Hegelian terms by Engels in his great work Socialism:  Utopian and Scientific (the work here considered the authority on communism), is this:   the human being is separated from himself inasmuch as the objects of his life--his tools and culture--are separated from him through the terms of capitalism and commercial exchange.  We need not now go into the details of this alienation.   But there is a happy solution to this problem under communism.   This  human may logically become united with these same objects insofar as he becomes united with other human beings.  The solution to alienation is not, in the communist view, a return to a simpler economy and mode of life where people take a personal, rather than a commercial, interest in their possessions and mode of life.    In other words, the transcendence (aufhebung, or rising above) of alienation would be accomplished through group life on a higher level of unity.  Putting this another way:  humans are disunited from themselves by being disuited from other persons.  Engels solution is that men have become separated from the goods of their lives through trade and particularly the commerce of capitalism which isolates humans.  Capitalism compartmentalizes and regiments men for the good of someone other than the workers themselves.  This is stated clearly by Engels.  But Engels would have us accomplish the reunion of men with their goods--and with themselves--by uniting in one final entity called communist society.  An individuality of ownership would be brought about by a mutuality of human beings, or unity under the concept Man and Mankind.  Force Theory again takes a different view.  Mutuality, we are saying here, is tantamount to alienation.  The terms by which humans come together in a society or a union of mutual interest are possible only so far as humans translate what is personal in themselves so that this personality may be "shared" by other persons.  It is in sharing with people that one becomes separated from himself.  And conversely the obstacle to such sharing is the individual self.  All theory, with the exceptions of some of the writers referred to in earlier sections of this blog--Stirner and Nietzsche would be two--decries the individual self for what it is--self-ish.  We are led to draw strong parallels between language and general human social mutuality as by being anti-individual.  Therefore Engels' conclusion is false:  one does not overcome self-alienation (the alienation of the self by the self itself) through mutuality; rather mutuality carries self-alienation to its logical conclusion.  Communism translates the terms of language as a purely logical and impersonal infrastructure into terms of practical everyday life.  Such a life contradicts the individual.  Under Force Theory we mean to do the opposite:  we mean to reunite the human with himself where, whether under capitalism or communism, he has become separated from himself.

We now turn to the notion of contract.  Does just the very use of language, when it draws humans into a relationship, lock one person or both into a definite course of action?  Do humans, just by talking, enter an agreement?   We have already said no.

Logical Positivists have equated language with thinking; they have said that language is already thinking.  In short, it is said that language is mind, and mind is language.  These theorists have said that it would be impossible to think without language.  So long have humans thought with the symbols of language, the two realities have more or less merged and are seen as one and the same thing.   This is an entirely reasonable and understandable conclusion.   We can learn from the Logical Positivists; but what we learn is simply what everyone else already believes--that thought needs language.  Our position under Force Theory differs by a nuance.  Psychology today points to experiments  wherein children seem to invent their own languages.  In any case, they invent phrases having to do with past tense and other forms of speech.  We are left with the conclusion, however, not so much that children think only with language the language they are given but with symbols.   Force Theory again takes a stand here.  Since ideas cannot be communicated from one person to another without language, we cannot say that the thoughts that happen are not connected more or less spontaneously and automatically with symbols that are basic to language.  Where Force Theory departs from Logical Positivism, on the other hand, is our assertion that symbols and signs as such are prior to, and can exist without, a finished expression in language.  Thus humans may still invent their own symbols, individually, to articulate--meaning, to adjust in a relationship--these symbols as they occur together.   The human being is first and foremost a creature of symbolic thinking and secondarily of language as  group behavior.  I say the human is capable first of symbolic behavior, or thinking, on an individual basis; I have not yet committed myself on the issue of whether it is still possible for humans to think without symbols.  Obviously, they do commonly think with symbols.  Language is something more that is added to human behavior as social beings.   We may at this point allow ourself a certain suspicion--something like a conspiracy theory--that the assertion that humans can not think without possessing a fully developed, sharable set of symbols known as language is some sort of program to actually usurp human thinking.   Or at any rate, humans are reminded that in order to think at all, they are regimented in their thinking by the very symbols they think with.  Force Theory reverts back to a sort of individualism of thinking.  But philosophical individualism opens a whole new avenue of speculation on the question of human group life.  It is uncommon, but not unknown, for Philosophical Anthropologists to extend theory to include these arcane metaphysical and epistomological issues.  This very fact--that there is a thinking outside of language, that is in a close relation with language but is not language itself--sets the stage for a possible CONFLICT between thinking and language.  It is on this conflict, which amounts off and on to an outright contradiction, that we now focus attention.

We do not talk here about what is within an agreement.  As Philosophical Anthropologists and proponents of Force Theory (an ideology of PA) we talk, rather, about what impacts the agreement from outside it.  In general terms this means enforcement.  What is inside the agreement is an issue for legal and political theorists.  That is, as I said earlier, an agreement is called "agreement" because it can be understood by all parties who also express their intentions truthfully.  Truth in an agreement means essentially the same thing as truth in language, or what Logical Positivists would call "truth."  Whatever is a part of an agreement, that is to say, whether a "utopian" agreement (an agreement in trust) or a contractual (enforced) one, the issue is the same:  if the language is understood commonly or bilaterally, the agreement is a "good" one.  There are experts in matters of law who could say, one way or another, that the terms are understandable.  That is within the authority of these experts.  So, when I submit some document to them, they can say that there is a good understanding, so far as the words go, by all parties of the terms of the agreement.   Contract theory, as it is called and identified on google, has the sole rationale of defining such a "good" agreement.  On the other hand, these same authorities or trained legalists have nothing to say, at least nothing that goes to the issue of the agreement per se, about enforcement of the agreement.  The issue of the security of an agreement is a great and vague one.  There are innumerable imponderables.  We can identify a "good" agreement, where the terms are clear and the parties truthful, without knowing precisely the fate of these persons if their agreement somehow fails.  The problem of security--of holding the parties to their understanding--evokes the great spectre of society in general and all that society entails.  That spectre also includes unpredictable and arbitrary forces and powers.  One can come into court with a good agreement to document his cause.  But the judge still can be arbitrary.  But more than that, there are forces acting upon the judge that even he does not understand.  When the judge enters his opinion it is not arbitary in the sense of "uncaused"; rather the causes of his decision are simply beyond comprehension.  We must resort--as Force Theory tries to do--to some broader theory of not only present society but universal mankind.  It was in the spirit of this wider understanding--and a willingness to leave so-called contract theory to the narrowly trained experts--that I undertook to study Philosophical Anthropology, which I suggest is the widest study of human beings.  Thus if we want to understand what an agreement is, we should look back to human beginnings.  At this early time there were simple hunters and gatherers--but they were men and women who still were capable of agreements in our sense of the word.  To meet, to form a hunting party, to work toward a common end or goal--these were the issues there were then.  These are the issues today.  Again, however, the terms of these early agreements would be easy to understand were we present at that time.  In fact, we do not really care, or think about, these common conversations even if they were refined into agreement, unless, that is, the problem is the enforcement of the agreement.  Then, when a misunderstanding or dis-agreement arises, there are forces present to exert pressure of some kind or other on the parties.  And, if no prospect of enforcement or security emerges presently, then such a force might be simply invented.  Where there are agreements, and agreements may go wrong, there is a "need" for government.  It is not the trust that humans have for one another that causes them to come together to invent government, it is their distrust.  Hegel regarded his German government as the highest order of human agreement, or a manifestation of "the Idea."  This from our standpoint here would be a false assumption.  It is not trust but distrust that produces government.  It is not because humans agree that they have government, it is because they disagree.  And the agreements that there are are essentially disagreements about language and the meaning of words.  It is this "negativism" of language--plus a basic animal instinct wherein all beings distrust one another more or less--that, in stages and by degrees, results in the orders of mediation and "third party politics" that we call government.

Chimpanzees and other primates are capable of duplicity and deception.  They may signal one thing and actively plan, mentally, something else.  This makes them dangerous.  These animals function without language, as we know speech to be, but can signal intentions--and signal them truthfully or deceptively--among themselves and to humans.  Humans are certainly capable of deception; they are better at it than chimpanzees.  Language creates a huge breeding ground for lies.  What we are saying in speaking of lies is that a person can, simply, say one thing and think another.  Were the person only to say what he thinks, then we would have to agree entirely with the Logical Positivists--that thinking and language are identical.  We would have to agree that mind and language are the same thing.  But obviously thoughts can depart from symbolic communication, all the more with the evolution of complex languages.  In this total environment of potential deception the phenomeon of "agreement" emerges.  An agreement is essentially a negative or critical addition--a super-language of symbols and rituals--designed to purify a given avowal by one person to another of the deceptive content of such an avowal.  The agreement is a sort of hyper-language of "truth" as opposed to the "normal" language of duplicity. The type of speech on television is compressed "normal" speech with no standards at all of truth and falsity.  In an agreement, on the other hand, parties enter into a whole different mode of language and communication wherein each word is subject to critical scrutiny.  Earlier I spent a great deal of time talking about the handshake, which signals "no weapon" or what is the same, "no harmfull intention."  The handshake expresses between persons the knowledge of the possibility of deception.   The agreement, with its handshake ritual separation from ordinary conversation, stresses that both parties in the agreement are together in a state of clear understanding.  Humanity did not await modern civilization and legal theory for agreements to come about; they were present among the earliest hunters of the African plains.  Undoubtedly these hunters also used the simple handshake to signal that the understanding was mutual. Philosophical Anthropology has not made its primary goal an understanding of language. Plessner and Gehlen have said something; but they have largely left that issue to modern philosophy and Logical Positivists.  This error should be corrected.  All aspects of the human life, and especially so important an issue as language, should be tightly incorporated into one theory. Again, for Philosophical Anthropology what went on among the earliest hunters three million years ago is as important as today's culture, or more so, because what early man did prefigures and shows in clearest simple outlines what determines modern life.   We are moving now toward a point that is a major consideration of Force Theory.   The more mutual the language, the more alien and "other" that language is from primal or "animal" or "individual" thoughts are that the person may have.    Therefore, through the very clarification of the symbols of language--wherein they are understandable and clear to more than one person--the more removed language is from "actual" or individual human life.  Of course the issue of the relationships that a person has with his own family, which are largely instinctive.  What we are saying is, if language is a relationship humans have with one another, then to clarify the symbols of language, and thus make them "mutual," to use such communication as opposed to instinctive contact is to separate the human, essentially, from his own family.  Language is essentially programmed alienation.  And as language is clarified through agreement, that alienation becomes more radical.  It is at a certain point in this encroaching separation and division with the human society and psyche that the human being decides, reasonably, to re-introduce human beings themselves into the social equasion.  Humans are invited or commissioned to intercede precisely in language, or what is the same, between the human and his own shared language.  The schism that has opened between the human being and his cultural extension, whether simple tools or the complexities of language, is filled with human intercessors we now call government.  Government is an institution like language, but one intentially comprised of human beings themselves.  It is believed that human beings could not be "alien" in the same way that the human institution of language is alien.  That is a mistaken idea.

Humans, through language, may understand one another much better than animals can; but humans also may misunderstand one another.  Animals at any rate cannot very well dupe and manipulate one another.  They lounge about in their respective lairs in dull indifference to one another.  This is what we are saying.  The human capacity for speech that allows communication also brings with it miscommunication--or simply lying.    As anthropologists we stress the value of language in bringing people together.  As dialectical philosophers we point out the fact, often unnoticed, that humans mislead as often as they enlighten one another.  For every positive instance of speech and language there opens a possibility for negative interaction.  Language itself is neutral as to the "truth" or "falsehood" of statements that are made.  Therefore language does not by itself evaluate its own assertions.  Where humans evaluate the assertions of language is through the natural or instinctive mistrust that humans have for one another.   In other words, assertions through language are rejected by an inate or instinctive negativism humans have about one another.  We can see the consequences of a utopian world in which people always trusted one another.  Animals trust one another because they cannot talk; and if they can't talk, neither can they lie.  Humans on the other hand have developed in their instincts of mistrust precisely in the measure that they have evolved in their capacity for speech--and lying.  Let us put the issue this way:  there is certainly an ambiguity over the issue whether one's thoughts are one's own or someone else's.  This is because the thoughts we have are framed or reduced to the symbols that we acquire from our community and culture.  What we are saying at this point is that there is a certain SUSPICION humans have in regard to language in general.  This distrust is a general one that humans have towards the realm of communication in which individual thoughts that are otherwise private come to be, on the other hand, public knowledge.  Language allows a person in effect to invade his own privacy.  Culture moreover offers material incentives for this invasion.  The essential issue at this point is the ambiguity and suspicion that a person has regarding the language upon which he depends.  We may see this suspicion and ambiguity  in more everyday situations.   I have presently launched into an area that could best be called legal theory.  I am talking about agreements and contracts.  But I am also talking about these things in their broadest contexts.  These considerations arise out of anthropology and especially Philosophical Anthropology.  These major philosophical issues are raised here; and we are tempted to treat them without any reference to legal theory.  But there is more.   Philosophical Anthropology has been heir, in fact, to a rich German tradition of philosophy.  Flaws in the entire American anthropological program seemed to well up as a great abyss. I must have been impatient for results, when anthropology as I first learned it seemed to demand endless patience.  The "facts" of anthropology appeared outright tedious.   If anthropology proclaims itself to be general, I thought, that is what it should be.  Yet simultaneously anthropology wants to be "scientific."  The goals of empiricism and generality are incompatible in the short time.  Such research moves slowly and gives every indication of being tired and lifeless.   In the short term, anthropology's drive to become "empirical" has caused anthropology to drastically restrict itself.  Thinking itself too general to be meaningful or amenable to focused research, this discipline divides itself into Physical Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology.  Split into these two sections what was a general study becomes in fact quite limited.  What restricts anthropology is not the subject matter--which generally is man and all man is or does--but its range of research.  Anthropology has become a "thing of shreds and tatters," to quote Malinowski.  Philosophical Anthropology in these terms is an attempt to carry out the original mission of anthropology as a general study. Again, PA, heir to German philosophy, intersects strongly with the legal philosophy of Gierke and the Social Contract thinkers.   The new but also very old area of research--or more correctly, this area of "just thinking"--runs head on into the prevailing scientific bias of our age toward so-called hard (but small) facts.  Indeed, PA seems to throw all caution aside and indulge in "wild speculation."  This abandon is only apparent.  The discipline in PA, which may be called "a discipline," restrains itself in its focus on the agreements--and contracts--that humans had in the early period of hunting and gathering.  We now return to the general topic of language.  Many matters are private matters and would remain private, too, were it not for language and the alienability and share-ability of thoughts.  We are saying that this ambiguity becomes an issue of culture, continually, in every human interaction that can be called important in any sense.  Where something is at stake, some material consideration, there is a certain care in the use of language.  It is not merely that humans are suspicious of one another, but they are suspicious, too--and regard as alien and potentially hostile--the very medium these humans use to communicate with one another.

Anthropology is the general study of mankind.  Philosophical Anthropology is something else.  We have talked about the history of this rather new discipline, beginning in Germany in the 1930s with the Max Scheler's Stellung des Menschen im Cosmos.  Imersed as I was in graduate studies at Ohio State in anthropology,I have actually forgotten when I first became acquainted with the fact even that there was such a thing as PA.   In any case, upon arriving in Tuebingen in the '60s I decided to give this study, which to my knowledge did not exist elsewhere, my most serious effort.  The course I took was under Otto Friedrich Bullnow, author of Mensch und Raum and other major books.  The direction of my interests started at that point to break away from English and American anthropology and to focus upon the German point of view.  Philosophical Anthropology has been heir, in fact, to a rich German tradition of philosophy.  Flaws in the entire American anthropological program seemed to well up as a great abyss. I must have been impatient for results, when anthropology as I first learned it seemed to demand endless patience.  The "facts" of anthropology appeared outright tedious.   If anthropology proclaims itself to be general, I thought, that is what it should be.  Yet simultaneously anthropology wants to be "scientific."  The goals of empiricism and generality are incompatible in the short time.  Such research moves slowly and gives every indication of being tired and lifeless.   In the short term, anthropology's drive to become "empirical" has caused anthropology to drastically restrict itself.  The necessity of dividing empirical anthropology into specialized studies has had the effect of vasty restricting anthropology's perview.  Split into two major sections what was a general study becomes in fact quite limited.  What restricts anthropology is not the subject matter--which generally is man and all man is or does--but its range of reseach.   Philosophical Anthropology in these terms is an attempt to carry out the original mission of anthropology as a general study.  This new area of research--or more correctly, this area of "just thinking"--runs head on into the prevailing scientific bias of our age toward so-called hard facts.  Indeed, PA seems to throw all caution aside and indulge in "wild speculation."  PA is much more adventurous that the drudgery of anthropology as (especially) Franz Boas taught it to Americans.  Looking at the basic facts, the earth so to speak of reality, conventional anthropology has simply dug its own grave.  Anthropology suffers from what Wilde called "the only vice there is, shallowness"; and also, again Wilde, "an utter lack of imagingation."  In PA on the other hand we are adventurously talking about "essences" and that sort of thing, rather more in line with alchemy than science.  What attracted me to Philosophical Anthropology was precisely this--it's "I don't care!" attitude towards precise empirical observation.   Philosophical Anthropology on the other hand has raised this corpse from the grave and has given it new life.  Here we are awash with pure speculation; we throw patience to the winds.  As I said elsewhere, Philosophical Anthropology has no sense of its own limits.    It was never my intention in this blog to be scientific.  Anthropologists have been inconsistent in their avowal of facts over broad philosophical issues:  they assert some sort of "professional" concern in areas of race particularly, where they have authority, given to them by themselves, to speak of human biology.  The theory of "human equality" is by no means a scientific idea but a moral one.  We must ask "what is a value?" or "what is the Good?"  In Force Theory--an ideological branch of Philosophical Anthropology--the issue of value still appears, if only to decry value-judgements on the part of conventional anthropologists, who swing wildly between fact and value.  In Force Theory we at any rate want to give some discipline to these swings.  We do not deny being value-oriented, even mystical.  In the consciousness of this fact we bring some order to what otherwise is chaos.

Lanaguage is a case in point.  If everything said by one human to another were taken as true, there possibly would be no truth said at all.   This would be a utopian world in the sense that there would be total trust and mutual confidence; but there would also be total chaos.  This would be a sort of "return to nature" not that humans would not talk, but they would totally mislead one another and thus cancel all the benefits of language.  Corresponding to the history of language is an evolving distrust by humans for what humans say to one another.  For this reason--that they may be lied to--humans conversing with one another evaluate, silently and only mentally, each statement made for the possibility that the statement is a lie.    It is evident that if a statement were always accepted as true, just because it was said, humans would mostly lie to one another.  Or the consequences of speech would be disasterous:  humans could manipulate one another in ways animals cannot. As it is, humans police their own conversations and look for falsehoods.   Such self-corrections constitute what we will call the inherent "dialectic" of language.  The very notion of "truth" in speech evokes the negative notion of "falsehood."   That is, in every assertion of truth there is the possibility of falsehood.  Without a statement of truth, there could be no untruth.  The untruth of a statement "balances" its truth.  In this way--in the back and forth assertions and counter-assertions--humans arrive at a modus vivendi.  But not before the entire dialectic of speech has run its full course.  In every conversation this dialectic must play itself out, more or less, to reach a satisfactory "conclusion" for the conversation.  In earlier sections of this blog, where I talked about "agreements" and "contracts," I emphasized the need that human beings have to understand one another "fully"--that the faculty of speech and language does not by itself suffice to bring humans together in cooperative relationships--does not exist simply by virtue of language itself.  As I say, to language there must be a "correction" of language.  This might be called some sort of counter-language that has evolved along with primary language.  It is in the capacity of a correction of language that we find the agreement, as I have defined the term earlier.  We move from a consideration of speech or language in general to the refinements of language in agreements and contracts.  An agreement, we are saying, is "critical" language where each term is examined for its capacity to mislead.  It is because of the misunderstandings, in other words, that more precise understandings, here called agreements, come about. An agreement, we are saying, is an understanding reached through language, but on the other hand an agreement separated from ordinary conversation on account of the seriousness of what is being said, and the harm that would come of misunderstanding.  Each person in an agreement is reminded of the possibility that inhers in every word said of possible mis-statement.  Usually the agreement is outwardly signaled or recognized in some gesture, usually a handshake.  We search at this point for a general principle that will bring together the various threads and tendencies of Force Theory.  We have already said that Hegelian dialectical philosophy could be our unifying principle.  But such a theory is too abstract for our purposes and needs, rather, to be given a specific ground in some actual human behavior.  I have chosen language.  We are saying that society and civilization are the result of a "negative dialectic" of language, wherein language is inherently misleading.  Society in these terms would be the effort of humans to overcome or transcend the untruth that is evoked by language.  Every statement has in it truth and untruth, not actually but as a possibility.  Society mediates between the truth and untruth of any statement. These are not normally the topics of Philosophical Anthropology.  Neither are they "legal theory," precisely.  A survey of google entries leads us to the conclusion that the "theory of contracts" has to do mainly with writing airtight agreements, without consideration for what a contract essentially "is."  Here we mean to go beyond legal theory to the more general issues of humanity.  The goals of empiricism and generality are incompatible in the short time.  Such research moves slowly and gives every indication of being tired and lifeless.   In the short term, anthropology's drive to become "empirical" has caused anthropology to drastically restrict itself.  Thinking itself too general to be meaningful or amenable to focused research, this discipline divides itself into Physical Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology.  Split into these two sections what was a general study becomes in fact quite limited.  What restricts anthropology is not the subject matter--which generally is man and all man is or does--but its range of reseach.


Language as a reflex of tools and technology continues the theme of alienation and anders-sein that began with technology, appearing as language does, to be mind itself-- not your mind or mine, but mind "in itself."  There is much to say on this issue and much that we cannot say.    Force Theory asserts that language resolves the contradiction that humans experienced, first, in the tools by which they lived.  I made the general (and still vague) assertion that the tool both is and is not the person using it.  This issue demands more discussion.   I want later to talk about that contradiction and that resolution of the contradiction through language.  For the moment, however, our focus will be the more limited one of language as "the other."   Language could be considered mind as such.  But this is not your language or mine, either one,  but a sort of detached, floating community mind.  As such this mind does not belong to me, it is "other" and "alien."  The paradox of language is that the thoughts you and I have, that we consider individual thoughts, are framed in language.   This is the great paradox that philosophy has faced and yet has not dealt with decisively.   Humans still have thoughts that can only be described as animal thoughts.  I call these thoughts animal-like for the reason that, assuming animals have thoughts, these are not framed or reduced to the symbols and signs of language in the human sense.  A great deal of research has been done on chimpanzees that shows that chimps are capable of learning and using human language, even though, obviously, before being taught this language they still had ideas.  Anthropology has traditionally considered primate behavior as giving insight into human behavior.  We have expressed impatience with this branch of knowledge.  Anthropology has become a "thing of shreds and tatters," to quote Malinowski.  Philosophical Anthropology in these terms is an attempt to carry out the original mission of anthropology as a general study.  This new area of research--or more correctly, this area of "just thinking"--runs head on into the prevailing scientific bias of our age toward so-called hard facts.  Indeed, PA seems to throw all caution aside and indulge in "wild speculation."  PA is much more adventurous that the drudgery of anthropology as (especially) Franz Boas taught it to Americans.  Looking at the basic facts, the earth so to speak of reality, conventional anthropology has simply dug its own grave.  Anthropology suffers from what Wilde called "the only vice there is, shallowness"; and also, again Wilde, "an utter lack of imagingation."  In PA on the other hand we are adventurously talking about "essences" and that sort of thing, rather more in line with alchemy than science.  What attracted me to Philosophical Anthropology was precisely this--it's "I don't care!" attitude towards precise empirical observation.   Without ideas in this "animal" sense they would not be capable of language.  We conclude that thinking is evolutionally prior to language.   And it would be wrong to believe, as positivists have asserted, that it is impossible to think at all without the symbols of language.   We know that, if chimpanzees can think without language, humans must also think at some level without language.  These "non-symbolic" thoughts we may identify as the primal human mentality that both preceeded and now underlies all thinking and to which, later, language has become attached.  In other words, it is still possible to separate the individual mind from the person's language.  At what dark corner of the human mind this separation takes place it is still difficult to ascertain.    It is important for us to move into this dark realm where thoughts, once chimpanzee-like, became connected or reduced to symbolic exchange which humans have and is so important to human life.  Here we are saying that animals do think, and that, moreoever, humans also think in an animal way not different than the ways chimps think.

The fact that a tool or artifact or any item of culture can be alienated, transferred and shared gives to the individual artifact--the favorite tool of a man with which he hoped one day to be bured--a certain collective aspect.  This very alienability of the tool carried the tool into a general sphere we now, with Force Theory and Hegelianism, call "alienation."  But there is more.  We can propose, too, that certain symbols were a natural outcome--given a certain level also of what we have called "animal" intelligence or thinking--that defined "ownership" of an item; and also defined a "legal transfer" of a thing.  Also defined was criminal conduct.  It is not difficult or unreasonable to trace the origins of language out of problems--of alienation of physical things--material culture.  "Mine" versus "yours" were possibly the first words of language.  But there is more.  Once established as a way to resolve problems of ownership of things, language itself became a new entity in human life and one that demanded, as well, some new relationship.  The the thoughts of a human being as any advanced animal, even on the level of a chimpanzee, seemed to that person to belong to him alone.  They were thoughts somehow inside his head as opposed to someone else's heads; ergo they were his own thoughts.  (This can be seriously questioned, however; and psychologists might want to question the notion stated here that one's thoughts must always be considered to belong to one.  Ghosts and such populate a person's brain, sometimes, as "alien beings.")  Anyway, the disjunction of a person's thoughts  and the thoughts that are merely in his brain without, however, belonging to this person--this is a phenomenon of language.  A language is "not one's own."  This must be said in agreement with the Logical Positivists.  On the other hand, one's thoughts are still framed in language so that, indeed, the average person in everyday life is not going to distinguish "his" thoughts from the thoughts of other persons and thinking in general.  One's thoughts could theoretically be separated from one's own self.  This is the condition of alienation humans find themselves in in the era of language (that followed the era of mindless tool use).    I have involved this discussion in some things I said earlier about tool use.  I now move forward into another theme of this blog, that of agreements and contracts.   I said earlier that humans, where they have between them an issue that is important, take care to define the words they use.  It is not that they distrust one another, merely, but they regard the language that they use as hostile to both of them.   There is uncertainty over the issue whether one's thoughts as framed in language are one's own or belong, rather, to the person with whom one negotiates.  This is a suspicious mediator, or go-between of uncertain loyalty.  This same mediator could be a living person; but early on, in the pure agreement (as I have defined the agreement as an understanding between just two persons), the mediator is language itself.  Here the thoughts we have are framed or reduced to the symbols that we acquire from our community and culture.  What we are saying at this point is that there is a certain reasonable distrust humans have in regard to language in general.  This distrust is a general one that humans have towards the realm of communication in which individual thoughts that are otherwise private come to be, on the other hand, public knowledge.  Language allows a person in effect to invade his own privacy. 

Culture moreover offers material incentives for this invasion.  The essential issue at this point is the ambiguity and suspicion that a person has regarding the language upon which he depends.  We may see this suspicion and ambiguity  in more everyday situations.   Many matters are private matters and would remain private, too, were it not for language and the alienability and share-ability of thoughts.  We are saying that this ambiguity becomes an issue of culture, continually, in every human interaction that can be called important in any sense.  Where something is at stake, some material consideration, there is a certain care in the use of language.  It is not merely that humans are suspicious of one another, but they are suspicious, too--and regard as alien and potentially hostile--the very medium these humans use to communicate with one another.  Finally we move to the conclusion regarding agreements, contracts and the difference between them.  An agreement is more than an ordinary conversation but is a conversation about something that is of mutual concern, whether this something is a complex or simple matter.  An agreement defines an issue as an issue common to at least two persons.  And the agreement refines the language of that understanding, so that not only is the ambiguity that exists naturally between the two persons resolved, but also resolved is the ambiguity of the language itself in relation to both parties.  When such problems are addressed, we may speak of a complete agreement.  But the agreement may still not be enough.  There is still ambiguity that inheres in the structure of the agreement as simply bilateral.  The other party is still "other."  And what is equally important is that the language between them is still other.  Can anthropology, but specifically Philosophical Anthropology, shed light on any of these issues.  I have spoken of Philosophical Anthropology as theory not only in the widest sense possible but in the most adventurous sense.  Philosophical  Anthropology is heir, we are saying, to the great tradition of legal theory from Gierke to the German Social Contract thinkers.  My thesis here is that PA not only can but must take up these issues.  We are speaking of a world that existed long before there were courts of law, precisely, but when there were issues between humans and ways of settling them.  What happens in an agreement, often, is that the ambiguity or potential confusion of the language as mediator in this situation is resolved, finally, by bringing into the relation an actual human being as mediator. What we have said is that humans, distrusting their language, resort to another "outside or third party," which is a human being.  The man and what he has created as an extension of himself--language--have fallen into a relationship of alienation and opposition.  The human decides now, even while language is supposed to resolve the distrust humans have for one another as human beings, there is a distrust now between the man and his language.  To resolve this alienation he calls upon the being he first distrusted as mediator in the relation between man and language.  The man is called "the third" party. Government, which is a mediating entity consisting, precisely, of human beings is the likely third party.  Government enforces the agreement that the principle parties have been them.  I have raised the issue already of the relation between the third party and the principals. Is this an agreement or a "contract"?

37

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

What is useful to me is good to me.  I accept this as a categorical statement and basic to the ensuing argument.   We are talking here about "the useful" and "the good."  At the risk of appearing to fall in a Platonic or objective idealist mode of thought I speak of usefulness and goodness as qualities that may be abstracted from real situations and things.   But there is more. We need not qualify this idea but we must go beyond it.  There is here no assertion that the useful, in itself, is also the good.  Mediating in our initial assertion is "me" or the self as what stands between the useful and the good.  The good to me is what is useful to me and vice versa.    But what is useful to another person may not be good to me.  If this other person is my enemy and wants to hurt me, a tool or weapon or leveraged social principle in his hands will be, inevitably, hurtful to me.  I need not dwell on this painful point.  In the earliest days of humanity, every useful act was a good act inasmuch as, as I've already said, the human agent using the tool, and finding that artifact useful, could say of the tool "it is good."  As use became general use, however--as the tool was of use to the general community and the tool's use was a general use--the relation of that same, general tool was only of ambiguous use to the individual.  These points have been widely raised in classical economic theory.  Where we may add to the discussion is in the point that here, in the general use of tools, the notion of usefulness and goodness have become separated.  There is now no primal "me" or, in Heidegger's terms Being, connecting the use of a thing and the good of the thing.  Use and good, or Platonic "The Good," are separated and, depending on the context of their co-existence, categorically opposed to one another.  I must be more specific on this last point.  If the good is not my own good, but someone else's, the good may actually oppose me or be antithetical to me.  This good is now a "limited" good, or what is good about a specific instance of use or usefulness; and what is good for one man need not be good for another.  We still may assume the existence of a good that, as a general good, may be good for you and me both.  There may well be, and probably is, such a thing as a general good that is good for "humans in general."  This good was talked about by the Utilitarians as a basis for morality and human behavior, not merely your behavior but mine as well.  But we are not Utilitarian in our point of view.  The only point to remember is, and we invoke this point as basic to Force Theory, is the obvious one that your good and mine may be the same, but may not be the same.  A contradictory situation appears; and failure to mediate or reconcile this situation means in effect to dissolve society.      We are now moving toward a final conclusion.    Again, we are not Utilitarians.  We propose that the idea of the personal good that mediates between the person and his own technics is now opposed by the good that, once his own good, now is antithetical to him.  A resolution to this conflict may be necessary.  The idea of The Good is invoked, in short, when the good that was once inhered in something's usefulness to one person now becomes, finally, a good in the hands of this person's enemy and thus constitutes a usefulness that opposes the person.  This is not a question of empirical truth but of logic.  The Good is a logical concept that mediates in the context of  estrangement wherein humans are separated from the technics and objects that, once their own, are now their inimical "other."  This is the way The Good appeared.  The Good does not exist apart from the human agency or thought process that produced The Good.  But The Good nonetheless has a majesty that sets it above other human productions and machinations and that allows it, in its transcendence, to "mediate" in antithetical relationships which would otherwise deprecate, degrade and destroy human collective existence.  The next point we will raise is this:  how does the "doing" of Good degrade that same Good?

Philosophical Anthropology does not take its main ideas from philosophy or anthropology either one.  Both disciplines are emeshed in their own ways in onerous restrictions.  Anthropology has laid down for itself draconian empirical rules and has thereby become lost in its own details.  Philosophy has experienced much the same things.  In pursuit of so-called truth philosophy has reduced itself to the uncontrovertable propositions of mathematics and logic.  Philosophical Anthropology on the other hand, perhaps simply out of youth, is both unrestricted and undisciplined in its mode of experimentation.  Philosophical Anthropology is only a relative few years old.  It has taken from anthropology only a break from philosophy, which is thousands of years old and is the accumulation of that many years speculation.  This--a primarily negative one of escaping philosophy--is what PA has taken from anthropology.   Having done that, however, having that is separated itself from the evoloved commitment to logic, Philosophical Anthropology has played fast and loose with the rules of anthropology, or commitment to anything empirical.  PA is an entirely new line of speculation.  The original propositions of this field, which were those of Scheler and Plessner about some so-called "essence of Man" come as refreshingly vague but suggestive.  PA  we are saying has no sense of its own limitations.  It does what philosophy should do, rebel against all limitations to thinking whatsoever.  This was once the paradox of philosophy:  that it set up rules to study rules; that it laid down restructions to think about what is boundless.  Philosophy has resolved itself into a final contradiction of an entrapment within the law of non-contradiction.  PA has declared its freedom from this law or any laws of thinking, really, whatsoever.  But there is more.  PA has assumed a revolutionary role in attacking the core of any civilization, which is a concept of Man that is not an empirical concept but rather a "moral" concept closely connected to, as I say, the idea that a society has of "The Good."

What is useful to me is good to me.   This I said earlier and I will stay the course on this theme.   We are saying that an idea of the good--not as a thing but anyway as a quality--has its source in my own life. Good is the subjectivity in my experience.   At the risk of appearing merely philosophical, it seems that usefulness and good are two sides of the (Schopenhaurian) world, as object and subject.  The geneology of so-called The Good is not a particularly auspicious one, beginning as The Good does, in my own or someone else's most humble life experience.   We are suggesting that The Good is simply an abstraction from your experience or mine.   The august concept The Good does not exist from eternity in some Platonic zone but as a genesis but has a rather ordinary and humble family history.   As Bruno Bauer said, the critique of religion is the history of religion.  We propose to show the history of The Good.  The real role of The Good the disputes and contradicitions that arise between the good of you versus the good of me.  These disputes are inevitable. Human beings however, to preserve the continuity and efficacy of their relations, create the idea of The Good that suggests that in every instance of good there is a universal Good that unites every person in every relationship.  The Good is an abstraction from my good and yours.  That said, The Good is a high and transcendent idea that stands over society.  We could suggest, at the risk of raising still another controversy and diverting attention from our basic theme, that The Good and God are the same.  In English and German the words are similar; also these words already have a rather obscure origin which leaves us room to speculate.  At the present stage in our discussion of The Good we have said nothing controversial.  But we are about to.  We are going on, finally, to suggest that "doing" The Good degrades and deprecates The Good.  Our basic argument is that in the "doing" of The Good it is necessary to translate a hypothetical and abstract idea of The Good back whence The Good came, into, in other words, the particular Good of you and me.  In that case, what is good for me might not be good for you.  And vice versa.  In its particular expressions, The Good actually contradicts itself categorically. 

What is useful to me may not be useful to you; in fact, what is useful to me may be hurtful to you.  On its most basic level, where any good is connected (as subject and object) to a useful act, any idea of must include the many and opposite ways that what is useful can be good, and conversly what instances of good can be useful.  On the primal level what is good is diverse; when abstracted, on the other hand, "the good" or The Good would be categorically self-contradictory.  The ordinary good exhibits itself and exhausts itself in its particular manifestations.  On the abstract level, on the other hand, The Good can be called consistent with itself and not self-contradictory.  But this is on a transcendental level of thought wherein no particular displays of The Good are suggested.  The "doing" of The Good would change this:  doing would bring The Good down to earth as the everyday good of you or the good of me.  We are now no longer doing something that is useful but something that is first good.  "Doing" was originally an act that was useful and, as a consequence of the usefulness of what was done, became a good act.  We have already concluded this to be true.  But there is more.  When the usefulness of what is done becomes in fact antithetical to the person who does this useful thing, that thing that is done is no longer good to the person.  Is there anything to suggest that it is possible simply to do The Good?  The assumption here among people who "do" The Good is that there will also be good that is done that may be translated into something useful.   That is to say, they assume that "good" can be "done" that is also something useful.  Here is where the whole human mentality that produced technology and technical progress--the whole entity of industrial civilization--started from a "moral premise" or idea of "doing" Good.  In fact, this civilization was the consequence of humans who were doing something useful but which something was connected to anything good only through their individual selves.  Creative people first of all act out of self-interest (this is all, disappointingly, that we may be saying!).  Is The Good at all something that can be "done"?  We have already said that the fundamental essence of The Good is its role in re-connecting (in the sense of religion or religare) the useful and the limited or personal good that, under conditions of mass society, are estranged and disconnected from the individual.  What we would be saying is that in "doing" Good we would be restoring the individual connection between the useful and his own good.   We have already said that The Good appears after, first, an individual has produced a thing that is useful to himself and is thus called good.  The Good has a general existence.  But its role is to mediate in situations of estrangement.  It is not simply something to be "done."  In "doing" good that is supposed to be a good derivative of The Good, we have degraded The Good and demoted it from its majestic transcendent position as uniting persons.  Now, because doing is always individual doing, the same disputes arise between individuals that resulted, in the first place, the estrangement of use from the good of use.

38

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

What is useful to me is good to me.  I accept this as a categorical statement and basic to the ensuing argument.   We are talking here about "the useful" and "the good."  At the risk of appearing to fall in a Platonic or objective idealist mode of thought I speak of usefulness and goodness as qualities that may be abstracted from real situations and things.   But there is more. We need not qualify this idea but we must go beyond it.  There is here no assertion that the useful, in itself, is also the good.  Mediating in our initial assertion is "me" or the self as what stands between the useful and the good.  The good to me is what is useful to me and vice versa.    But what is useful to another person may not be good to me.  If this other person is my enemy and wants to hurt me, a tool or weapon or leveraged social principle in his hands will be, inevitably, hurtful to me.  I need not dwell on this painful point.  In the earliest days of humanity, every useful act was a good act inasmuch as, as I've already said, the human agent using the tool, and finding that artifact useful, could say of the tool "it is good."  As use became general use, however--as the tool was of use to the general community and the tool's use was a general use--the relation of that same, general tool was only of ambiguous use to the individual.  These points have been widely raised in classical economic theory.  Where we may add to the discussion is in the point that here, in the general use of tools, the notion of usefulness and goodness have become separated.  There is now no primal "me" or, in Heidegger's terms Being, connecting the use of a thing and the good of the thing.  Use and good, or Platonic "The Good," are separated and, depending on the context of their co-existence, categorically opposed to one another.  I must be more specific on this last point.  If the good is not my own good, but someone else's, the good may actually oppose me or be antithetical to me.  This good is now a "limited" good, or what is good about a specific instance of use or usefulness; and what is good for one man need not be good for another.  We still may assume the existence of a good that, as a general good, may be good for you and me both.  There may well be, and probably is, such a thing as a general good that is good for "humans in general."  This good was talked about by the Utilitarians as a basis for morality and human behavior, not merely your behavior but mine as well.  But we are not Utilitarian in our point of view.  The only point to remember is, and we invoke this point as basic to Force Theory, is the obvious one that your good and mine may be the same, but may not be the same.  A contradictory situation appears; and failure to mediate or reconcile this situation means in effect to dissolve society.      We are now moving toward a final conclusion.    Again, we are not Utilitarians.  We propose that the idea of the personal good that mediates between the person and his own technics is now opposed by the good that, once his own good, now is antithetical to him.  A resolution to this conflict may be necessary.  The idea of The Good is invoked, in short, when the good that was once inhered in something's usefulness to one person now becomes, finally, a good in the hands of this person's enemy and thus constitutes a usefulness that opposes the person.  This is not a question of empirical truth but of logic.  The Good is a logical concept that mediates in the context of  estrangement wherein humans are separated from the technics and objects that, once their own, are now their inimical "other."  This is the way The Good appeared.  The Good does not exist apart from the human agency or thought process that produced The Good.  But The Good nonetheless has a majesty that sets it above other human productions and machinations and that allows it, in its transcendence, to "mediate" in antithetical relationships which would otherwise deprecate, degrade and destroy human collective existence.  The next point we will raise is this:  how does the "doing" of Good degrade that same Good?

Philosophical Anthropology does not take its main ideas from philosophy or anthropology either one.  Both disciplines are emeshed in their own ways in onerous restrictions.  Anthropology has laid down for itself draconian empirical rules and has thereby become lost in its own details.  Philosophy has experienced much the same things.  In pursuit of so-called truth philosophy has reduced itself to the uncontrovertable propositions of mathematics and logic.  Philosophical Anthropology on the other hand, perhaps simply out of youth, is both unrestricted and undisciplined in its mode of experimentation.  Philosophical Anthropology is only a relative few years old.  It has taken from anthropology only a break from philosophy, which is thousands of years old and is the accumulation of that many years speculation.  This--a primarily negative one of escaping philosophy--is what PA has taken from anthropology.   Having done that, however, having that is separated itself from the evoloved commitment to logic, Philosophical Anthropology has played fast and loose with the rules of anthropology, or commitment to anything empirical.  PA is an entirely new line of speculation.  The original propositions of this field, which were those of Scheler and Plessner about some so-called "essence of Man" come as refreshingly vague but suggestive.  PA  we are saying has no sense of its own limitations.  It does what philosophy should do, rebel against all limitations to thinking whatsoever.  This was once the paradox of philosophy:  that it set up rules to study rules; that it laid down restructions to think about what is boundless.  Philosophy has resolved itself into a final contradiction of an entrapment within the law of non-contradiction.  PA has declared its freedom from this law or any laws of thinking, really, whatsoever.  But there is more.  PA has assumed a revolutionary role in attacking the core of any civilization, which is a concept of Man that is not an empirical concept but rather a "moral" concept closely connected to, as I say, the idea that a society has of "The Good."

What is useful to me is good to me.   This I said earlier and I will stay the course on this theme.   We are saying that an idea of the good--not as a thing but anyway as a quality--has its source in my own life. Good is the subjectivity in my experience.   At the risk of appearing merely philosophical, it seems that usefulness and good are two sides of the (Schopenhaurian) world, as object and subject.  The geneology of so-called The Good is not a particularly auspicious one, beginning as The Good does, in my own or someone else's most humble life experience.   We are suggesting that The Good is simply an abstraction from your experience or mine.   The august concept The Good does not exist from eternity in some Platonic zone but as a genesis but has a rather ordinary and humble family history.   As Bruno Bauer said, the critique of religion is the history of religion.  We propose to show the history of The Good.  The real role of The Good the disputes and contradicitions that arise between the good of you versus the good of me.  These disputes are inevitable. Human beings however, to preserve the continuity and efficacy of their relations, create the idea of The Good that suggests that in every instance of good there is a universal Good that unites every person in every relationship.  The Good is an abstraction from my good and yours.  That said, The Good is a high and transcendent idea that stands over society.  We could suggest, at the risk of raising still another controversy and diverting attention from our basic theme, that The Good and God are the same.  In English and German the words are similar; also these words already have a rather obscure origin which leaves us room to speculate.  At the present stage in our discussion of The Good we have said nothing controversial.  But we are about to.  We are going on, finally, to suggest that "doing" The Good degrades and deprecates The Good.  Our basic argument is that in the "doing" of The Good it is necessary to translate a hypothetical and abstract idea of The Good back whence The Good came, into, in other words, the particular Good of you and me.  In that case, what is good for me might not be good for you.  And vice versa.  In its particular expressions, The Good actually contradicts itself categorically. 

What is useful to me may not be useful to you; in fact, what is useful to me may be hurtful to you.  On its most basic level, where any good is connected (as subject and object) to a useful act, any idea of must include the many and opposite ways that what is useful can be good, and conversly what instances of good can be useful.  On the primal level what is good is diverse; when abstracted, on the other hand, "the good" or The Good would be categorically self-contradictory.  The ordinary good exhibits itself and exhausts itself in its particular manifestations.  On the abstract level, on the other hand, The Good can be called consistent with itself and not self-contradictory.  But this is on a transcendental level of thought wherein no particular displays of The Good are suggested.  The "doing" of The Good would change this:  doing would bring The Good down to earth as the everyday good of you or the good of me.  We are now no longer doing something that is useful but something that is first good.  "Doing" was originally an act that was useful and, as a consequence of the usefulness of what was done, became a good act.  We have already concluded this to be true.  But there is more.  When the usefulness of what is done becomes in fact antithetical to the person who does this useful thing, that thing that is done is no longer good to the person.  Is there anything to suggest that it is possible simply to do The Good?  The assumption here among people who "do" The Good is that there will also be good that is done that may be translated into something useful.   That is to say, they assume that "good" can be "done" that is also something useful.  Here is where the whole human mentality that produced technology and technical progress--the whole entity of industrial civilization--started from a "moral premise" or idea of "doing" Good.  In fact, this civilization was the consequence of humans who were doing something useful but which something was connected to anything good only through their individual selves.  Creative people first of all act out of self-interest (this is all, disappointingly, that we may be saying!).  Is The Good at all something that can be "done"?  We have already said that the fundamental essence of The Good is its role in re-connecting (in the sense of religion or religare) the useful and the limited or personal good that, under conditions of mass society, are estranged and disconnected from the individual.  What we would be saying is that in "doing" Good we would be restoring the individual connection between the useful and his own good.   We have already said that The Good appears after, first, an individual has produced a thing that is useful to himself and is thus called good.  The Good has a general existence.  But its role is to mediate in situations of estrangement.  It is not simply something to be "done."  In "doing" good that is supposed to be a good derivative of The Good, we have degraded The Good and demoted it from its majestic transcendent position as uniting persons.  Now, because doing is always individual doing, the same disputes arise between individuals that resulted, in the first place, the estrangement of use from the good of use.

39

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

What is useful to me is good to me.  I accept this as a categorical statement and basic to the ensuing argument.   We are talking here about "the useful" and "the good."  At the risk of appearing to fall in a Platonic or objective idealist mode of thought I speak of usefulness and goodness as qualities that may be abstracted from real situations and things.   But there is more. We need not qualify this idea but we must go beyond it.  There is here no assertion that the useful, in itself, is also the good.  Mediating in our initial assertion is "me" or the self as what stands between the useful and the good.  The good to me is what is useful to me and vice versa.    But what is useful to another person may not be good to me.  If this other person is my enemy and wants to hurt me, a tool or weapon or leveraged social principle in his hands will be, inevitably, hurtful to me.  I need not dwell on this painful point.  In the earliest days of humanity, every useful act was a good act inasmuch as, as I've already said, the human agent using the tool, and finding that artifact useful, could say of the tool "it is good."  As use became general use, however--as the tool was of use to the general community and the tool's use was a general use--the relation of that same, general tool was only of ambiguous use to the individual.  These points have been widely raised in classical economic theory.  Where we may add to the discussion is in the point that here, in the general use of tools, the notion of usefulness and goodness have become separated.  There is now no primal "me" or, in Heidegger's terms Being, connecting the use of a thing and the good of the thing.  Use and good, or Platonic "The Good," are separated and, depending on the context of their co-existence, categorically opposed to one another.  I must be more specific on this last point.  If the good is not my own good, but someone else's, the good may actually oppose me or be antithetical to me.  This good is now a "limited" good, or what is good about a specific instance of use or usefulness; and what is good for one man need not be good for another.  We still may assume the existence of a good that, as a general good, may be good for you and me both.  There may well be, and probably is, such a thing as a general good that is good for "humans in general."  This good was talked about by the Utilitarians as a basis for morality and human behavior, not merely your behavior but mine as well.  But we are not Utilitarian in our point of view.  The only point to remember is, and we invoke this point as basic to Force Theory, is the obvious one that your good and mine may be the same, but may not be the same.  A contradictory situation appears; and failure to mediate or reconcile this situation means in effect to dissolve society.      We are now moving toward a final conclusion.    Again, we are not Utilitarians.  We propose that the idea of the personal good that mediates between the person and his own technics is now opposed by the good that, once his own good, now is antithetical to him.  A resolution to this conflict may be necessary.  The idea of The Good is invoked, in short, when the good that was once inhered in something's usefulness to one person now becomes, finally, a good in the hands of this person's enemy and thus constitutes a usefulness that opposes the person.  This is not a question of empirical truth but of logic.  The Good is a logical concept that mediates in the context of  estrangement wherein humans are separated from the technics and objects that, once their own, are now their inimical "other."  This is the way The Good appeared.  The Good does not exist apart from the human agency or thought process that produced The Good.  But The Good nonetheless has a majesty that sets it above other human productions and machinations and that allows it, in its transcendence, to "mediate" in antithetical relationships which would otherwise deprecate, degrade and destroy human collective existence.  The next point we will raise is this:  how does the "doing" of Good degrade that same Good?

Philosophical Anthropology does not take its main ideas from philosophy or anthropology either one.  Both disciplines are emeshed in their own ways in onerous restrictions.  Anthropology has laid down for itself draconian empirical rules and has thereby become lost in its own details.  Philosophy has experienced much the same things.  In pursuit of so-called truth philosophy has reduced itself to the uncontrovertable propositions of mathematics and logic.  Philosophical Anthropology on the other hand, perhaps simply out of youth, is both unrestricted and undisciplined in its mode of experimentation.  Philosophical Anthropology is only a relative few years old.  It has taken from anthropology only a break from philosophy, which is thousands of years old and is the accumulation of that many years speculation.  This--a primarily negative one of escaping philosophy--is what PA has taken from anthropology.   Having done that, however, having that is separated itself from the evoloved commitment to logic, Philosophical Anthropology has played fast and loose with the rules of anthropology, or commitment to anything empirical.  PA is an entirely new line of speculation.  The original propositions of this field, which were those of Scheler and Plessner about some so-called "essence of Man" come as refreshingly vague but suggestive.  PA  we are saying has no sense of its own limitations.  It does what philosophy should do, rebel against all limitations to thinking whatsoever.  This was once the paradox of philosophy:  that it set up rules to study rules; that it laid down restructions to think about what is boundless.  Philosophy has resolved itself into a final contradiction of an entrapment within the law of non-contradiction.  PA has declared its freedom from this law or any laws of thinking, really, whatsoever.  But there is more.  PA has assumed a revolutionary role in attacking the core of any civilization, which is a concept of Man that is not an empirical concept but rather a "moral" concept closely connected to, as I say, the idea that a society has of "The Good."

What is useful to me is good to me.   This I said earlier and I will stay the course on this theme.   We are saying that an idea of the good--not as a thing but anyway as a quality--has its source in my own life. Good is the subjectivity in my experience.   At the risk of appearing merely philosophical, it seems that usefulness and good are two sides of the (Schopenhaurian) world, as object and subject.  The geneology of so-called The Good is not a particularly auspicious one, beginning as The Good does, in my own or someone else's most humble life experience.   We are suggesting that The Good is simply an abstraction from your experience or mine.   The august concept The Good does not exist from eternity in some Platonic zone but as a genesis but has a rather ordinary and humble family history.   As Bruno Bauer said, the critique of religion is the history of religion.  We propose to show the history of The Good.  The real role of The Good the disputes and contradicitions that arise between the good of you versus the good of me.  These disputes are inevitable. Human beings however, to preserve the continuity and efficacy of their relations, create the idea of The Good that suggests that in every instance of good there is a universal Good that unites every person in every relationship.  The Good is an abstraction from my good and yours.  That said, The Good is a high and transcendent idea that stands over society.  We could suggest, at the risk of raising still another controversy and diverting attention from our basic theme, that The Good and God are the same.  In English and German the words are similar; also these words already have a rather obscure origin which leaves us room to speculate.  At the present stage in our discussion of The Good we have said nothing controversial.  But we are about to.  We are going on, finally, to suggest that "doing" The Good degrades and deprecates The Good.  Our basic argument is that in the "doing" of The Good it is necessary to translate a hypothetical and abstract idea of The Good back whence The Good came, into, in other words, the particular Good of you and me.  In that case, what is good for me might not be good for you.  And vice versa.  In its particular expressions, The Good actually contradicts itself categorically. 

What is useful to me may not be useful to you; in fact, what is useful to me may be hurtful to you.  On its most basic level, where any good is connected (as subject and object) to a useful act, any idea of must include the many and opposite ways that what is useful can be good, and conversly what instances of good can be useful.  On the primal level what is good is diverse; when abstracted, on the other hand, "the good" or The Good would be categorically self-contradictory.  The ordinary good exhibits itself and exhausts itself in its particular manifestations.  On the abstract level, on the other hand, The Good can be called consistent with itself and not self-contradictory.  But this is on a transcendental level of thought wherein no particular displays of The Good are suggested.  The "doing" of The Good would change this:  doing would bring The Good down to earth as the everyday good of you or the good of me.  We are now no longer doing something that is useful but something that is first good.  "Doing" was originally an act that was useful and, as a consequence of the usefulness of what was done, became a good act.  We have already concluded this to be true.  But there is more.  When the usefulness of what is done becomes in fact antithetical to the person who does this useful thing, that thing that is done is no longer good to the person.  Is there anything to suggest that it is possible simply to do The Good?  The assumption here among people who "do" The Good is that there will also be good that is done that may be translated into something useful.   That is to say, they assume that "good" can be "done" that is also something useful.  Here is where the whole human mentality that produced technology and technical progress--the whole entity of industrial civilization--started from a "moral premise" or idea of "doing" Good.  In fact, this civilization was the consequence of humans who were doing something useful but which something was connected to anything good only through their individual selves.  Creative people first of all act out of self-interest (this is all, disappointingly, that we may be saying!).  Is The Good at all something that can be "done"?  We have already said that the fundamental essence of The Good is its role in re-connecting (in the sense of religion or religare) the useful and the limited or personal good that, under conditions of mass society, are estranged and disconnected from the individual.  What we would be saying is that in "doing" Good we would be restoring the individual connection between the useful and his own good.   We have already said that The Good appears after, first, an individual has produced a thing that is useful to himself and is thus called good.  The Good has a general existence.  But its role is to mediate in situations of estrangement.  It is not simply something to be "done."  In "doing" good that is supposed to be a good derivative of The Good, we have degraded The Good and demoted it from its majestic transcendent position as uniting persons.  Now, because doing is always individual doing, the same disputes arise between individuals that resulted, in the first place, the estrangement of use from the good of use.

40

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The human being, said Nietzsche, is a "noch nicht festgestelltes Tier" (a not-yet-finished animal).  This idea carries through much Philosophical Anthropology.  We may more precisely outline this theory.  The tool that extends the arm is the arm, seen from a certain external vantage point.  This much we have already said.  The arm that is "lacking" (sich mangelt--A. Gehlen) is "completed" by the stick.  The arm and the tool together constitute, we are saying, a complete arm.  By inference, the culture that completes the human being is that same human.  Only now this human is a cultural, not a "natural," human being.   We do not mean to be tiresome when we reiterate these basic conclusions of Philosophical Anthropology.  But there is more.  There is also an ongoing "rejection" of culture, to use a medical expression.  This rejection constitutes the motive power in human cultural progress and history.  It is appropriate now to speak of the "dialectic" of human existince, carried out that is by a mutual contradiction of culture and the "natural" species.  As I said earlier, much German philosophy begins with some great cosmic principle, Schopenhauer no less than Hegel.  This is a Wille or life-force or, in Hegelianism, a cosmic dialectic that underlies matter itself.  We are figuratively and literally more pedestrian:  we speak here of a man walking with a stick, the primal human being together with his primal culture. But inherent in these simple observations is a profound respect for the accomplishments of Hegel and the Hegelians in overturning established social theory in their own day, and laying, in effect, the ideological foundations for the world to come.  Here we are concerned with the 20th century.   In the earliest days of Philosophical Anthropology, the first decade of the 20th century was a time of impending war or actual war; this was not to be the high point of German philosophy.  The beginnings of PA were modest and humble; there was a natural avoidance of any idea that could be construed as nationalist or racialist ideology.  This rule was enforced in the German universities and among the publishers; the prohibition is basically still in force.  The one rule of democracy that Germany does not adhere to is that of so-called free speech.  We can go back and forth on this issue; free speech, as it is euphemisticaly called, is not something that I or Force Theory are expecting to happen.  The internet opens a brief window of oportunity and one that, with Force Theory, we rush to appreciate and take advantage of.  But this was always true of philosophy, where serious ideas may also be coded political speech.  Again, this is not our concern.  A simple statement of the ideas of PA and Force Theory is all that we aspire to.  What are these ideas?   I have already clearly stated what they are.  What I said earlier, but will repeat now, is that culture "completes" the human being.  But what about this "completed" person?  He is laden with a fundamental contradiction in his existence.  We begin by thinking about Arnold Gehlen's concept (acquired partially from other sources) of the Mangelwesen.  Refering back to what I said about our primal man-with-a-stick.  The early hunter, busy about his day, saw no promblem let alone contradiction in his holding and using a stick. There were sticks everywhere to be held, along with perpetual danger and threat from animals--and humans--bigger and stronger than he was.  This struggle led to a fact that was more than holding a stick, the human actually, in the face of danger, bonded with his stick.  As genetically and biologically constituted, on the other hand, the human being was the way he was before he acquired sticks as weapons and tools, or technology generally.  The human being was still, genetically, "deficient."  Arnold Gelen has used the term "creature of deficiency" (Mangelwesen) to describe the early human condition.  Our question here is, and the one we have all along aspired to answer, if the human being is deficient, HOW DEFICIENT IS HE?  That is to say, if the human lacks natural or biological tools (teeth and claws), does he also lack such things as purpose and focus?  And does he then have to invent such things as ideas of good and evil.  We have said that the early human still went on with his day, with a stick as an artificial limb, and with no trouble in understanding why he was living in this way.  He did not ask questions.  A thorough concept of "deficiency" would however include everything that the human could inherit, such as focus and direction, but did not, through "deficiency," inherit and therefore was forced to invent. And is not the idea of an invented value or concept of the good a self-contradiction? Our next paragraphs should help to anser this question.

Anthropologists have long maintained a concept called "cultural relativism," presenting this idea to introductory students as a sort of professional ideology or creed.  Force Theory in fact does not challenge this concept, but only decries the anthropologist's own exception to the notion.   The exception, we are saying, destroys the rule.  My own training (Ph.D. Ohio State 196-something) has been in anthropology and I can speak with a certain licensed authority on this issue.  What cultural relativism says is that the values of a culture are "relative" to the circumstances of that culture, or the specific challenges that those people face.  Hence, for instance, if the clan is the basic social unit, the values of religion are "designed" to, or function to, support that unit.  I dwell upon the clan and family because already Morgan and Engels have made the family a basic issue of sociology and offer us here an opportunity for discussion.  These values could include what we have already called "the good."  The good, we are saying, is not an absolute reality that transcends, in other words, the human community but, on the contrary, is produced by humans themselves. Having its source in human creativity, the good cannot be said to stand in relation to humans in a posture of majestic transcendence.  By being a human product, the good would logically be lower than the humans themselves.  (Similarly, the Brahmin idea of Brahma, or the fire, because the fire must be lighted by Brahmin priests, is therefore lower than the priest himself.)  I purposely dwell upon simple themes and situations, hoping to avoid the mud and confusion of German polemics in which I was once emersed.  What anthropologists are saying, clearly and transparently, is that the culture determines what actions and things are right and wrong, and consequently establish criteria--the good--for what is right and wrong in human behavior.  Anthropologists have thus wandered into an area that, in fact, is outside their own field of expertise and where they have no liscence to speak--philosophy.  This is dangerous territory.  And we will not lose an opportunity, under the flag of Force Theory, to exercise our strategic, philosophical advantage.  We will strike decisively at these "relativist" anthropologists.  We have already conceded the point of relativism, that values and ideas of the good are in fact products of a culture, and therefore "relative" to a given culture.  So much is clear.  Where anthropologists routinely, without any sense of self-contradiction, set themselves at a disadvantage is in their--uniform and to a man--exception to their rule.  This is in the "professionalist" [swartzbaugh's neologism] or occupational creed notion of the Big Historical Event.  Naturally, though what this event is has been stated time and time again, I do not want to be involved personally in a discussion of this Big Event.  My purpose here is not to discuss this event.  On the other hand, it is not difficult to document what this BE is.  I want to say only that the BE causes the professional anthropologists--along with scholars of many fields--to take a new course and one that is at odds with their relativistic view.  They become objective idealists in the tradition of Schelling and Plato.  This constitutes a philosphical volte facie.  Applying strict standards to discourse, as we do to ourselves under the flag of Force Theory, this is an unacceptable ducking of a serious issue.  Here, on the ship of Force Theory, we are rigorously consistent and are not deterred by any such obstacle.  We are strict relativists, so far as the values of culture are concerned--and these are the values presented to us in our everyday and practical lives as practically (in practice) absolute. 

We can understand a certain relativity in everyday sorts of judgements and opinions.  For instance, if we understand that a person does this or that on account of his culture, then we have understood that person and can predict his behavior.  Prediction is a condition of coexistence.  This is on a basic and everyday level of human interaction.  As we develop our concept of Force Theory, on the other hand, as an ideological branch of Philosophical Anthropology, we can also say that our only purpose, here, is theory.  We are only concerned to decry the anthropologist's relativism when such ideology is not consistent.  In fact, it could be argued that inconsistency, as overlooking certain facts of a situation, might be an advantage on a more basic and everyday level of human interaction.  That is certainly true.  But, as I say, this everyday life is no concern of ours presently.  We only want to point out the inconsistencies of the anthropologists who spawned me in the first place.  I have been reading Findlay's book on Hegel.  This should be a brilliant book--that is what the subject calls for--but instead it is a rather stupid book full of that smugness that characterizes many British persons.  Findlay speaks of "good British common sense" as if there ever was such a thing!  Again, Findlay feels compelled at some point to declare his own "British good sense," and sense of high moral outrage, over the issues delt with by Hegel but not fully resolved.  Findlay like the anthropologists is faced with this Big Event as somehow having a bearing on theory and philosophy.  Somehow we are to understand that it is ok to reason relativistically to a certain point; and then shift entirely to an absolutist view.  The facts of the case--in this instance, the Big Event--seems to them to provide sufficient motive for such a change.   For their part--consistent with Findlay and many other scholars--the anthropologists shift, oportunistically, between a relativisitc and absolutist point of view.  An entire book might be written on this very subject:  the consequences--in theory--of moving between these two perspectives.  Of course simple office and campus politics play a role in this wishy-washy back and forth philosophy.  Anthropologists, I have come to realize, are not trained in philosophy and logical consistency.    Finally, we may consider the inconsistency within itself of the relativistic point of view.  It would not do, really, to tell the Indian, say, that his highest values are only "relatively" true. 

Often the Indian would understand.  His viewpoint is usually reasonable and not overly reactive.  He would say of this or that practice of his, oh, is the Indian way.  The Indian understands such words as custom and habit.  He has put himself into the same box with the anthropologist; they are thinking now along the same lines.  But there is more.  At some time the anthropologist will--and this is inevitable so long as he continues to think in the same general line--hit upon a point where he resorts to an absolutist viewpoint.  I have been told that "racism" is that point where there is no longer relativity but only an absolute standard of value.  I have been put in that position myself, as the butt of such an argument--putting me for once at loss for words.  I feel that this is an unfair position for me to be in and one that must ultimately, I fear, provoke retaliation--only in theory, of course.  I want to continue with this thought.  This is as I say an unfair and unequal position for me to be in one, but a position also, with a line of lawyers as ancestors, that challenges me to rise to the occasion.  Basically what I am saying is that, at some point the relativist or "reasonable" British-like sound-thinking individual will inevitably--this is a logical barrier that is built into every such discussion--will have to speak to someone outside the framework of the original discussion, and will have to speak "absolutely."  To avoid confusion I will explain this further.  That is, the anthropologist and the Indian may understand "Indian customs" for what they are, relativistic values in relation to pressing everyday practical needs.  An outsider to the discussion will not understand this.  The anthropologist and Indian naturally understand one another, in certain cases; but the issue is entirely different if these two person were to attempt to explain Indian values to me, Richard, as an outsider to this relation.    Rather, a framework of understanding must be artificially created to even allow such a discussion to take place.    The greater the general particupation in the discussion of values, the more the values will be regarded in absolutist terms.  Again I evoke an image, literally, of the good as something majestic in its transcendence and no relative to any individual point of view.  In effect, finally, there is no way of saying, simply, that a value is "relativistic" and still maintain that this value is a value.  There is a clear contradiction here in calling a value--or any understanding of "the good"--relative.  Moreover, we can expand this idea.  A civilization built upon "relativistic" values would collapse of its own inner contradiction.  But that is what our own civilization, in its call for cultural relativism and "diversity," has attempted to do:  to reconcile the absolute opposites of relative value and absolute value.

41

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

PUSH TO FRONT

42

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Instinct is a concept that, against a background of official and intellectual resistance, has recently been undergoing slow refinement. Even now social policy makers stand by a notion that humans have no instincts and are "open"--to use a word that has come up in the context of Philosophical Anthropology--to experimental social relations.  That is, humans can be manipulated, in this notion, as parts of a machine.  Force Theory does not accept the idea that humans are "open" in this way--nor does FT have to.  Science is coming around to our way of thinking.  That is one subject--instinct--where FT does not bear a burden of proof, inasmuch as science now bears this burden for us.   Honest science is supporting rather than refuting the idea of instinct or inborn or "forced" behavior.   "Brain Sex," a recent documentary program on public television is a case in point.  In this film, old, "politically correct" opinions were all but totally overthrown.   For Force Theory, as an ideology based on Philosophical Anthropology, the focal issue would be the aforesaid concept of man.  What we are asking, then, appropriate to our main task, is whether there may be a concept of Man that is inborn with humans, is genetic and in that sense beyond the manipulative machinations of culture.  If culture proposes a concept of Man, there is another concept, of different origin, that poses to culture a serious obstacle.  This alternative concept, quite apart from any consideration of science or how the species Homo sapiens is scientifically described and categorized, originates in the psyche of the individual person.  He is born with it and it never leaves him.  At this point in our discussion we may refer back in time to the origins of psychiatric analysis, and specifically CG Jung, and his conception--purely intuitive and not empirical--of archetypal images that exist in the human brain.  Jung's views were rather fanciful and probably less compelling than his colleague Freud's ideas.  On the other hand, modern psychology is moving by stages toward a certain confirmation and justification of Jung's "archetypes."   A great deal of research, quite empirical and respectable, is done lately on the subject of "self-image," related to the issue of self-esteem.  Apparently humans have built into their conscious and unconscious minds an idea of who they, as individuals, "should" be.  We conclude that the human being has a concept of "Man"--essentially of himself in ideal form, as he "should" be--that he is born with in the same way, essentially, as he is born with arms and legs.  The concept that he has of himself as he "should" be is as much a part of him as his senses and emotions.  Were he to lack this self-image, which genetically does happen occasionally, he would lack also direction and orientation in life and society.  But it is important to consider that this self-concept is not only not provided to him by culture and society; it is categorically other than society's view of "Man."   Success in living in society would consist, for the person, in somehow understanding the distinction between the two ideas of Man--his own and society's--and articulating them together.  Thus, while I have suggested two notions of Man--that of culture which comes to humans historically and, on the other hand, the highly theoretical and new conception of Man provided by the (highly obscure and arcane) study of Philosophical Anthropology--there is still another, a third, conception.  That would be the conception that the individual has of Man--essentially, that is, of himself.  But in the course of history, finally, this individual notion and the cultural idea collide.  Unlike the contradictions which culture has resolved, on the other hand, the new resolution of the contradiction between the individual and society--essentially, between the instinctive concept of Man and the invented, cultural concept--is resolved on the level of biology.  The colliding concepts of culture and biology are resolved into the biological phenomenon of race.  Race appears to support the individual in the face of any outside threat; in this case the threat is the human being's own culture.

Is there a "racial instinct"?  We've heard the expression, "birds of a feather flock together."  Do humans have the same "flocking" instinct?  Arriving as we have at this point in our argument it is time to discuss race not only in its scientific basis but its metaphysical foundations.  We must leave no stone unturned.   Force Theory avers that there may be something we could call a racial or flocking instinct; but that is not the focus of our discussion.  Force Theory does not want to have to present a purely biological conception of race, believing, as we do, that race in fact is a phenomenon of both culture and biology.  I want to digress momentarily to suggest that classical American racial theory, of Lathrop Stoddard and Madison Grant and others, writers who influenced me in my younger years, has made some implicit assumptions that are unprovable.  We may still assume the existence of racial instincts, or "contents of the racial unconscious" (CG Jung), simply because the human unconscious is still a vague unexplored region.  Racial instincts may be hidden along with all the other instincts that there are.   These early implicit assumptions, which were never really examined openly, may have retarded and stiffled American racial theory.  That is because there are no clear racial instincts unmixed with all the other instincts that there are.  I can carry out this idea in more detail.  That is, while birds do flock together, especially when they are traveling about as geese do, when settled in a place these same birds tend to stake out territories individually; at this time they do not flock together but are rather hostile precisely to birds of their own species.  We may muddle about with all these ethological and zoological observations; but we are left with one conclusion.  To suggest that the flocking of birds is "racial" is not sound science and will get us nowhere in constructing a consistent racial theory.  What is being suggested at this point is that race is a phenomenon both of instinct and culture.  Force Theory has its feet planted in both both biology and cultural anthropology.  We are saying that race as such is a phenomenon of biology, precisely, but that the occasion and specific form of race is determined by history and culture.  Primal man, under conditions of hunting and gathering, where humans are spread over great areas, yet have clan ties to people many miles away, there is no sense of race at all.  The only ideas among hunters are "relative" and "stranger."  As societies grew and as infrastructures came more complex, and as people perceived as "strangers" came together, new ways of thinking about one's neighbors emerged.  Race, we are saying, is a categorical way of distinguishing between friends and strangers.  Of course such distinctions are always made in terms of human features that are somehow visible; and biological traits are the most visible of traits.  Again, cultural habits tend to follow lines of gender and age, but also of  demography generally which includes race.

The effect of culture is to degrade nature and biology.  I have spoken already of the effect of animal domestication on species in general.  In breeding animals to certain forms and for certain purposes the species as a whole, free of natural forces and natural selection, have bred themselves in the direction of chaos.   Paradoxically, this degradation comes as a result, precisely, of the human's effort to achieve this form in certain spheres.  There is the further consideration that humans attempt to selectively breed themselves for such purposes and to such standards,  only to reduce the broad mass of human beings to a state of amorphous "equality."  We may refer to the attempt to build highly structured and hierarchical government systems; and to the effect this has in degrading the mass of ciitizens who pay homage to such government.  But there is more.  There is no level of activity where efforts toward form do not have a corresonding effect as degrading agents.  Television was a masterful invention, we affirm; but the effect of television has been to dull and lower the aesthetic tastes of the masses of viewers. At this point we begin to lapse into cynicism.  Suffice it to say that race is a biological "correction" to a cultural deficiency.  Race restores form to human lives and relationships; though such form is biological and instinctive rather than formal and cultural.

43

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Culture resolves the contradiction between the individual person, who is still "of nature' and not "of culture," with the ideal of the "moral person."  This is something the person is supposed to rise or aspire to.  But in this aparent resolution arises a new contradiction.  The moral person confronts the real one as an "alienated other."  There is a final challenge and a final confrontation.  The resolution to this confrontation is the idea of race, in which the human being unites with other beings, or rather reunites with them, on a level that is not now of culture but is of nature.  We go on here to take up an earlier theme: A person may be educated to a high standard of civil virtue.  Hypothetically, on the other hand, he may also be bred to it.  To educate is something cultural; breeding is a biological process.  We have all along been slowly moving toward this distinction; such will be a necessary cornerstone in Force Theory.  In the beginning of this blog, somewhere, I announced that the blog's mission was to connect human biology, in theory, with culture.  To create a person through education is one thing, we are saying, to breed him in a certain way is another.  Education seems the easier course; to create a person biologically is more difficult.  Animals can be bred for certain purposes; in fact, animals are selected as breeds which are amenable to further breeding to create new breeds.  The process of domestication would seem an obvious solution to human "imperfection" as measured by the standards of culture.  We raise in this connection the obvious fact that education often just does not accomplish anything at all;  most people are relatively impervious to it.  I look in vain into the eyes of my students for some sign they are becoming educated; I most often find no glimer there.  Having spent my entire life in education I see this clear weakness in the attempt by culture to, through education, produce a higher type of human being.  Thus when we educate a person to be virtuous, or make that attempt, or just preach to him, in the final result he is not virtuous at all. Teaching is a more prolonged process of preaching.   But education in moral standards, while this makes work and incomes for idle white people, is like water off a proverbial duck's back.  The criminals are still criminals and the virtuous are no more virtuous than before.   Yet much effort goes into this kind of education, undertaken by a self-appointed clique of social and religious activists.  I have made my living this way.  We do not need here to lapse into an attitude of cynicism and irony.  In fact, precisely the ineptitude of the moral teachers and preachers gives some cause for hope that, after all, the majority of us are still "free" as creatures of nature to pursue goals that are not legislated by people--fellow human beings--who simply do not like us.  Yet there is more.  The sense of legislators of virtue is that, as I say, education is not enough and firmer measure are called for.  There is a pervasive sense throughout a society that, in fact, were virtue to be bred rather than inculcated by teaching that virtue, in other words, would be enduring and would enforce and re-enforce the tenants of society and culture.  We may look to the historical record to try to document the idea that, indeed, a society might try to breed its citizens rather than just educate them.  Here we have to say, in the most causual perusal of writen records that there are, that conscious and deliberate attempts in this direction are rare.   That is to say there are few conscious attempts in this direction.  On the other hand, the idea that "virtue pays" and "crime does not pay" translate into actual breeding oportunities, or lack of them,  for human beings in everyday situations.  Virtuous people, we suggest, have more offspring than non-virtuous persons.  This would tend to lead to a type of person consistent with the idealistic image of a human. 

A serious direction in anthropology has been the idea that culture is a "system" independent of biology.  Culture and society, it is said, are transcendent, exist in their own sphere and follow their own laws.  This idea has been fomented by the Jewish scholar Levi-Strauss, who reduces culture entirely to categorical sysmbols.  Culture is equated with language as a system of symbolic meanings.  Here, with Force Theory, we do not deny this distinction between culture and nature; in fact we suggest with Ludwig Klages that culture is not only independent of biology and nature, it is opposed to or contradicts the essential idea of nature.  What this contradiction is we will shortly say.  Culture has allowed the human being to prevail in the world; humans have expanded as cultural beings.  But although humans have produced culture, culture has not yet produced human beings.  The act of producing humans has been left to nature.  The biological being is prior in this sense to the cultural being.    Here in the act of breeding a human being to a standard of culture we have arrived at the point where culture and biology actually intersect, but with categorically violent consequences.  Culture could theoretically educate a person to a standard of virtue, as we have already said; but in attempting to breed a person to a cultural standard entails a contradiction.  Culture is defined as a thought process which is strictly speaking not biological.  Culture and society exist only insofar as they are not biological but perform certain tasks, necessarily, in ways that are superior to the same biological ways.  (An arm with a stick is superior for some purposes to the naked arm.)   The contradiction between culture and nature is that a cultural being is emasculated in the same way that a castrated person is emasculated and incapable of further decisions, although the person has castrated himself.  Culture presupposes a docile being incapable of creating culture. The creative act of making culture is itself an act of mastery which culture does not promote, indeed culture discourages this.  For culture to breed its own citizens would be like a farmer breeding himself and his children for the same purposes, and in the same terms, as he breeds his farm animals:  mindless and bovine and sheepish.   This is the being that culture would produce were culture able to do so.  Indeed, biological nature has wrought a creature capable of culture; but it is our foregone conclusion that culture itself, by itself, would be incapable of doing so.  Consequently, when culture proposes to actually breed humans to its, culture's, own purposes, this thought would be in categorical contradiction to the way humans and their culture came about.  We may then suggest that, in response to the intrusion of culture into matters--breeding--originally in the domain of nature, nature, rising to the occasion, would neutralize culture.  The name of nature's aggressive opposition to culture is "race."

The individual, we are saying, is nature's own creation.  Individuals, we say, are constituted physically and psychologically through genetics, which have had a history that long precedes culture.  Psychology is the record of human experience, genetically transmitted, for countless millenia.  Our mere learning, on the other hand, or the knowledge we acquire the the short span of our lives, is largely imparted through culture, language and formal teaching.   We are not now going to argue the issue of so-called nurture and so-called nature; this has been argued for hundreds of years, since the Greeks.  Though we do not presently argue the issue, we certainly will take a stand here.  That stand is this:  the human psychology is largely constituted through a certain genetically transmitted personality; the person does not acquire his personality from surroundings, he is simply born with it.  Hormones etc. make up the personality.  We hereby pronounce on this controversial topic in the name of Force Theory simply as a matter of (what Catholics are not afraid to call) dogma.  Force Theory, as a racial hypothesis, is clearly on the side of heredity over against environment as an explanation of human behavior.  But there is more.  The individual is the receptor of information from the species and race's surroundings.  The individual maintains himself at all costs.  Thus when culture is what threatens the biological form, the individual passes this information to what may be called the species' immune system.  This is a process too complex to thoroughly describe.  Suffice it to say that threats to the species are transmitted through the individual.  Reaction to these threats, however, is the result not of an individual's perception but by the perception of the entire species.  Nature as a whole process, founded over billions of years, defends itself as an established order of creation and dissolution.  In nature there is a processual rise and fall.  The response to a threat against an individual, which is a threat to the whole species, is a racial one.  The race is the strategy of an entire order of nature to defend itself from any threat; that threat being, in the present, an attack by culture on nature.  Race, as I said earlier, is pure becoming of nature.  But this response is in relation to culture as an interloper in nature and a thing interferring with the spontaneous, natural process of creation.

44

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

A chimpanzee in a cage sees a banana suspended slightly outside the cage.  Beside the chimp is a stick.  The chimp uses the stick to draw in the banana to where he can reach it with his hand.  This is an experiment we have all heard of, very simple and homely in its conception.   We now take this situation, which is already a cliche of science, and make it even more tedious but also better defined for our future purposes.  That purpose now is to consider every dimension and aspect of the chimp in relation to the banana.  To begin with, the banana could already be in the cage; I call this the Garden of Eden scenario.  The chimp would then not need the stick and would probably (except perhaps in play, which is normal chimp behavior) just leave it lying there.  But in this case, the banana is suspended where it can be reached only if the chimp uses the stick.  This much we have already said.  The chimp extends his arm with the stick and reaches the fruit; but he draws the fruit in with the stick to where he can, as I say, reach it with his hand.  Then the chimp has the fruit with him in his cage.  The cage we can call "the separation" or "obstacle" because, obviously, it separates the animal from the fruit or whatever is outside the cage.  Certain aspects of this experiment can be drawn out and emphasized for comparison, in fact, with human culture in this culture's most advanced stages. While elementary in our observations we are relevant on a theoretical level.   The first consideration is that human culture, like the chimp's stick,  fulfills a need; and where that need does not exist, culture lies inert, perhaps at the very feet of humans or perhaps such culture does not exist at all.  Here we have the Garden of Eden phenomenon where the fruit is first in the cage and the chimp does not use the stick.    We know of course that the Garden of Eden is a myth which explains the onerous fact of work as necessary to human life.  For the chimp in this case it is necessary for him to see the relevance of the stick in his cage and to use the stick accordingly.  This for the chimp is "work," indeed technological work in precisely the sense that such work engages his human relatives.  We pass on from this homely point to still another at the same level of analysis.  All these considerations contribute to our Philosophical Anthropological analysis, begun, as I said earlier, by the founders of this discipline in Germany.  I also said that, while Hegelians start with some grand cosmic conception--self-objectivication, alienation of the objectified other, opposition to the objectified other, and so forth--Philosophical Anthropologists begin with the primal facts of life as exhibited by the first proto-human ancestors.  Here we have lowered ourselves beyond even the earliest humans, and are talking about chimpanzees as if they were human.  The can be human, actually.  The main point I am making now would seem to contradict an earlier focus of this blog--on the "stick."  We were saying that the stick prefigures all that is in culture, in the past, present and future.  But there appears to be more than what we earlier stated.  In these actions of the chimpanzee--to reach the stick and draw it to him--are prefigured the main elements of human culture.  That is, if humans have their object (food, or whatever) with them, they will not resort to sticks.  But there is still one further possibility.  That is, that humans domesticate their food so that it is always "with them" where they do not have to "reach"--technologically--for that food.  Thus the former hunter has captured his animals and keeps them right with him so that they do not have to be chased.  But there is more.  The former hunter, now turned herder, "domesticates" his animals so that, even were they to be untended they would not escape but would remain near the humans.  Thus, once having had to "chase" and technologically subdue nature, they have brought nature "close" to them; nature--or rather domesticated nature--is compatible now with human purposes.  I want to stress that the act of domesticating plants and animals as food sources is as much a part of culture as is the creation of tools and technics as hunting weapons.  Of course we have been talking all along--and this is a significant point--about nature as an external phenomenon.  Nature is "separate" from the human, where nature is apart from man on account of some barrier such as a hill or even just pure space in itself; but then through culture is brought close to man.  Nature as a purely external phenomenon may even be right at hand with humans where they scarcely have to extend their arms in order to touch nature.  Be that as it may, the reality I am speaking of is still something outside of, and separate from, the human being.  There remains, on the other hand, the nature within the man.  At some point this nature within the man collides with the nature outside man, precisely because this external nature, so orderly and convenient, depends on the man.  And humans in this context depend upon one another.  What is created finally in the creation of an artificial world is an artificial man--who is the human being's conception of himself.  While the human being draws nature closer to himself, he becomes, precisely through this connecting act, "separate" from himself.  He becomes to himself an alien "other" and thereby virtually opposed to himself.  In this manner culture, which is the objectification of the human being, comes to contradict this very creator.

45

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Humans have long domesticated animals; but have they domesticated themselves?   Certainly they have thought of this.   Self-domestication is a concept that has been separated, unconsciously if not consciously, from the concept of slavery.  Slaves are favored for a slavish point of view and, in this sense, they are selectively bred..  Plessner mentions but does not discuss domestication gruendlich (rigorously).  He says, tellingly, but only in this short sentence, that, if the human being is "domesticated," who is it but the man himself who is domesticator?  (Stufen p. 348). There is a contradiction between what the human is and what he makes.  Nowhere does this paradox appear more clearly than between the human being nature has brought forth and the ideal of Man that human beings themselves create.  Humans, having appeared, in effect re-create themselves.   Man's re-creation of Man has been a theme of Hegelian philosophy but reached its most visible point in Engels' communist utopia.  A new man was supposed to appear with a new society.   In anticipation of the new man, on the other hand, Engels already assumed an ideal of what a human should be.   Engels' ideal of man was one of several that have been processed through thousands of years of culture.   Society rose to approximate the man; not the other way around.  All through history, we are saying, the human being while domesticating animals according to the humans' own purposes, have thought of domesticating themselves.  The paradox of human self-domestication is that, while a person may think of domesticating his neighbor--essentially, making a slave of him--the man never desired to domesticate himself.  This is precisely the paradox of culture:  that even as the human being imagines a perfect human being, he thinks of himself, individually, as already perfect.  We are compelled at this point in our discussion to look more thoroughly at the overall idea of domestication.   In fact, the issues raised in this topic are already familiar to most owners of pets and domesticated animals.  Our line of argument is straightforward.  A German Shepard is a dog breed that is artificially maintained by human beings.  Were it not for human agency, this breed as any other "pure bred" type would disappear into the mass of anonymous dogs. 

At the risk of appearing merely clever I have proposed a topic within Philosophical Anthropology:  "Dogs:  a Study of Human Nature."  Still, dog breeds are a stone that needs to be turned over in the event there is something interesting there. Comparing human beings as we do dog breeds is not what we propose to do; rather we are now raising the issue of the role of culture in animal domestication.  Domestic animals are a feature of culture.  And how they are bred--or on the other hand left to degenerate in form--reflects upon how humans would breed humans themselves, if in fact they could.  The small experiments along this line--slaves in the old South and Suma wrestlers in Japan--reveal the futility of this attempt.  Humans have failed to breed themselves as a perfect form of culture.  We disagree with Spengler who observed that Greeks came to look like their early statues.  We say here, rather,  human races are not of culture but of "nature."   It is true that the effect of domestication is both of two things.  First humans breed varieties and "breeds" that conform to human purposes.  But secondly, neglecting to maintain a breed causes the untended breeds to melt into an anonymous mass of entartet or decadent and polymorphic forms, ones which however breed among themselves.  Oswald Spengler refers to the spottedness of certain animals as a degeneration of the original animal coloring through which it camoflaged itself in a free ranging state.   To selectively breed animals for human purposes raises the paradoxical fact that domestication means decadence. Animal forms become decadent, we say, not in being selectively bred so much as, following selective breeding by humans, in being left to breed among themselves.  Here is where all the spotted and discordant features appear among animals.   Decadence can be defined, precisely, following human agency,  as simply a lapse into a certain Gattungswesen or generic type.  Applying this principle to humans themselves, in the absence of a "racist" selectivity of a type of human being there results, finally, a lapse into a kind of species-being that conforms to the idea "dog mut."   Humans who fall away from a specific form may be called the "muts" of humanity.   We are making a different point about dogs than the one that comes up, continually, in the realm of "scientific racism":  that, as there are dog breeds so are there breeds of human beings.  This point has been exhausted in the literature on race.  What we are proposing here is revealing, not so much about biology as about culture.  Strong human types come about through nature.  These features may be the African ability to tolerate strong sunlight or the Eskimo's tolerance of cold.  In any case, even as culture does not replace nature in producing distinctive human types, culture still gives humans an opportunity to breed randomly among themselves wherein the features that distinguished the human species are scrambled together in a mixed breed--or what we are calling a decadent--randomness and formlessness.

Strong races breed themselves to "form" in the following way.  They allow a casual breeding out by members of their own groups; but strictly prohibit allowing alien genes to come into their gene pool.  Whites are this way.  They congratulating themselves in allowing some of their members to breed out, even with negroes; the only thought of white people in this context is to get rid of persons who are not perfectly white, or what is the same, do not perfectly think of themselves as white.  So in the sense that humans are breeding themselves, they are also domesticating themselves to their own purposes.  These thoughts and others were first set in motion, not in precise form but as questions, in my first classes in Philosophical Anthropology at Tuebingen under Bullnow.  Later, but only severals years later, I personally met Helmuth Plessner in Lexington Kentucky at a convention of Philosophical Anthropologists and Phenomenologists.  In fact, of the most prominent people in this field I have been priviledged to have personally meet several.   Philosophical Anthropology is largely a focus on issues that philosophers in general think to be below them; even as more appropriate to animal breeders than proper philosophers.  But a corollary idea of domestication is self-domestication which is a frequent topic among Philosophical Anthropologists.  Gehlen and Plessner raise the issue but their treatment is incomplete.  Plessner accepts without explanation the idea that the human is a domestiziertes Tier.  His is a very unsatisfactory treatment of an important issue.  Here we must start from scratch.  We are saying that the term self-domestication is self-contradictory.  The point here is this:  Before there can be domestication of any kind there must be a self that to begin with is strong and commanding.  To become domesticated means, precisely, that a being is subject to a commanding will outside itself.  Domestication always means subjugation of some being other than oneself.  Were one to domesticate oneself, that would be to enslave oneself--a contradiction.  We are saying something rather simple that will not cause confusion.  We are saying that domestication means simply to carry the principle of slavery to the level of genetics.    Here one does not coerce humans to be slaves; one simply breeds them.  Seeing self-domestication in these terms, this practice would be tantamount to self-castration or even suicide.  We are in this logical dead end when we talk about self-subjucation of any kind.  In fact, we can say that the self itself is a high product of evolution and nature above which there is nothing at all that is superior or overriding.  The self is always domesticator, never what or whom is domesticated.  Where the topic of domestication and self-domestication is raised, by what writers--and I can mention a number--we may raise later. LBolk, J Heuzinge, H. Plessner names a few--we will later say.  Here there will be no attempt at an original contribution, except one this one point, that, in other words, self-domestication is a term that logically contradicts itself.  Whoever is enslaver cannot be enslaved; whoever is domesticator cannot be domesticated.  The bred slave is the lowest sort of creature.  We've already talked about dogs.  The point about the domesticated animal is that, while subject to purposes of human masters, the dog is also freed from the trials and tribulations of raw nature.  The slave likewise is both created for a purpose other than its own purpose; but it is also sequestered from the raw forces of nature.  The former source--from humans--means that the slave is formed and not random; but the latter principle, whereby the slave is protected, results in a contrary force from which other and free-ranging species are free.  That force is the natural "downhill" tendency to fall into decadence.  So we are saying, it is not the artifical way in which domestic species are selected that makes them, from our point view, pathetic; it is the lack of other forces that keep them, as Spengler would say, "in form."   Even as humans selectively breed animals, giving them distinctiveness and uniformity, they also sequester them from outside forces, opening the prospect that, "free" from these forces, these beings slide into degenerative biological chaos.   The obvious fact is that humans do selectively breed animals into distinctive forms; but humans also create for these animals and all others of their species a general state of freedom wherein the species in general can deteriorate into genetic chaos.  It is this later feature of the state of domestication  that here attracts our attention and becomes center of our focus.  Animals are bred to distinctive forms; they also are allowed degeneration that no other species, human beings included, can experience. 

We have already said that the word self-domestication entails a self-contradiction.  The state of being domesticated is a condition of powerlessness and impotence.  A man can castrate himself, but once castrated he lacks all such decision-making ability for the future.  The parallel between castration and domestication is clear.  Self-domestication would entail a momentary act that, once completed, would preclude all similar future acts.    We turn at this point to another, and much more serious matter.  Do individual human beings, if they are unwilling to domesticate themselves as individuals, think--surreptitiously, of course--of domesticating other persons.  Certainly it is well-documented that this thought arises off and on.  Bringing the issue closer to home:  does my neighbor think of "breeding" me as a slave, as he would breed a dog or some other animal?   He might for instance think of selecting and securing those children of mine who are suitable as slaves; and he would set the others free to go where they will.  I suspect he has these thoughts because I have the same ones about him (!).   Human beings have been domesticating animals for thousands of years.  Critical to this process has been the distinction in men's minds between humans and animals.  Animals, being relatively stupid, are more amenable to being bred in one way or another to suit purposes that are not their own purposes.  There is something contrary about humans and suspicious, always, about the intentions of other men.  Much in our discussion depends on how we define slavery.  I want here to point out the great deficiency of Philosophical Anthropology in discussing the highly relevant issues of slavery and the domestication of human beings.  Reasons for this deficiency may be found in the precise political conditions of post-war Germany and the likelihood that any discussion would provoke charges of revived fascism.  We are not now under these same constraints.  America is freer than Germany for discussion if only because America is so big and diverse as to be unmanagable.  The real challenge for a philosophically inclined person is, in such a large group, to find people with whom to converse.  The issue before us, as we have been saying, is not slavery so much as selective breeding and domestication. Humans are contrary and slippery and will not generally tolerate slavery with one exception:  where there is great need.  Need and necessity are the conditions of human slavery.  But once slavery is established, the temptation arises to selectively "breed" those persons who are suitable as slaves.  This was tried in old Sparta where the most rebellious among slaves were killed.  One might breed slaves as he would other animals and do so, we are saying, for a perfectly mundane purpose such as tilling the fields washing clothing.  These are the same tasks that machines do today--slavery being, in competition with machines, a highly impractical and difficult alternative.  But there is a much more serious question that arises in the course of our discussion.  Does culture inherently and by virtue of what culture essentially is "breed" a type of human, not to do mundane everyday work but to approximate an ideal of moral perfection?    We are not talking, finally, about picking cotton or cocoa beans but about being a model citizen.  Society and civilization finally would, under certain terms, having risen to an ideal of moral perfection--or what is the same, of perfect citizenship--aspire to breed, selectively and in the same way one would breed a dog or cow--precisely that citizen.

Domestication has a corollary that is not often talked about.  That is, a consistent German Shepard breed has the byproduct of "dog."  We have the spotted, multi-formed mass of dogs precisely because, paradoxically, we selectively breed certain dogs into distinctive forms.  We let the others (excepting pit bulls, which are selectively killed) simply go into a general population called "dogs."    Canis familiarisas a species is the product of the human effort to selectively breed distinctive forms of the species, while also casting off those imcompatible individuals to fend for themselves.  I want to be clear on this issue.  The species c.fam. is the result of a sort of reverse evolution wherein, even as certain dogs are favored and bred as isolated groups, non-selected dogs are protected and left to breed at random.  Mut populations of dogs arise that are polymorphic and randomly diverse.  The select bred animals can still breed outside their sequestored population but outside dogs cannot breed into these special groups.  Apart from human protection, C.familiaris could not survive in competition with other species.  Dogs are truly a degenerate species.  We except from this rule the special breeds, like German Shepard, which are carefully managed; but these are bred to human purposes.  We turn now to the heikle Thema (sensitive subject) of domestication of human beings.  Clearly, culture sets forth an "moral" ideal of what a human being should be.  It is not far from such a consideration to the idea that, indeed, culture would "breed" such a person.  Culture does indeed favor such a person in his success and in his family, if only in a very general way to, in other words, avoid crime and to contribute materially to his community.  This fostering by culture of certain humans as opposed to others is tantamount, we are saying, to selective breeding.  But as in animal domestication, this very highly principled intention has the purposeful domestication of animals, that a "mut" population of humans is thereby enabled.  Humanity as we know this group of beings is the unintended and negative byproduct of the idealism of human culture.  Humanity in general is decadent, we are saying, and, in the absence of human groups who selectively breed themselves, this group in the long run incompetent to compete with even the lowest species.  The human species is a "dog" population that is the consequence not of natural selection or any selection, but of a purely random neglectt on the part of creative humans.

46

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

delete

47

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

There is a contradiction between what the human is and what he makes.  Nowhere does this paradox appear more clearly than between the human being nature has brought forth and the ideal of Man that human beings themselves create.  Humans, having appeared, in effect re-create themselves.   Man's re-creation of Man has been a theme of Hegelian philosophy but reached its most visible point in Engels' communist utopia.  A new man was supposed to appear with a new society.   In anticipation of the new man, on the other hand, Engels already assumed an ideal of what a human should be.  Society rose to approximate the man; not the other way around.  All through history, we are saying, the human being while domesticating animals according to the humans' own purposes, have thought of domesticating themselves.  The paradox of human self-domestication is that, while a person may think of domesticating his neighbor--essentially, making a slave of him--the man never desired to domesticate himself.  This is precisely the paradox of culture:  that even as the human being imagines a perfect human being, he thinks of himself, individually, as already perfect.  We are compelled at this point in our discussion to look more thoroughly at the overall idea of domestication.   In fact, the issues raised in this topic are already familiar to most owners of pets and domesticated animals.  Our line of argument is straightforward.  A German Shepard is a dog breed that is artificially maintained by human beings.  Were it not for human agency, this breed as any other "pure bred" type would disappear into the mass of anonymous dogs. 

At the risk of appearing merely clever :rolleyes:I have proposed a topic within Philosophical Anthropology:  "Dogs:  a Study of Human Nature."  Still, dog breeds are a stone that needs to be turned over in the event there is something interesting there. Comparing human beings as we do dog breeds is not what we propose to do; rather we are now raising the issue of the role of culture in animal domestication.  Domestic animals are a feature of culture.  And how they are bred--or on the other hand left to degenerate in form--reflects upon how humans would breed humans themselves, if in fact they could.  The small experiments along this line--slaves in the old South and Suma wrestlers in Japan--reveal the futility of this attempt.  Humans have failed to breed themselves as a perfect form of culture.  We disagree with Spengler who observed that Greeks came to look like their early statues.  We say here, rather,  human races are not of culture but of "nature."   It is true that the effect of domestication is both of two things.  First humans breed varieties and "breeds" that conform to human purposes.  But secondly, neglecting to maintain a breed causes the untended breeds to melt into an anonymous mass of entartet or decadent and polymorphic forms, ones which however breed among themselves.  Oswald Spengler refers to the spottedness of certain animals as a degeneration of the original animal coloring through which it camoflaged itself in a free ranging state.   To selectively breed animals for human purposes raises the paradoxical fact that domestication means decadence. Animal forms become decadent, we say, not in being selectively bred so much as, following selective breeding by humans, in being left to breed among themselves.  Here is where all the spotted and discordant features appear among animals.   Decadence can be defined, precisely, following human agency,  as simply a lapse into a certain Gattungswesen or generic type.  Applying this principle to humans themselves, in the absence of a "racist" selectivity of a type of human being there results, finally, a lapse into a kind of species-being that conforms to the idea "dog mut."   Humans who fall away from a specific form may be called the "muts" of humanity.   We are making a different point about dogs than the one that comes up, continually, in the realm of "scientific racism":  that, as there are dog breeds so are there breeds of human beings.  This point has been exhausted in the literature on race.  What we are proposing here is revealing, not so much about biology as about culture.  Strong human types come about through nature.  These features may be the African ability to tolerate strong sunlight or the Eskimo's tolerance of cold.  In any case, even as culture does not replace nature in producing distinctive human types, culture still gives humans an opportunity to breed randomly among themselves wherein the features that distinguished the human species are scrambled together in a mixed breed--or what we are calling a decadent--randomness and formlessness.

Self-domestication is a frequent topic among Philosophical Anthropologists.  Gehlen has the best account; regretably his is not thorough.  Plessner accepts without explanation the idea that the human is a domestiziertes Tier.  His is a very unsatisfactory treatment of an important issue.  Here we must start from scratch.  We are saying that the term self-domestication is self-contradictory.  The point here is this:  Before there can be domestication of any kind there must be a self that to begin with is strong and commanding.  To become domesticated means, precisely, that a being is subject to a commanding will outside itself.  Domestication always means subjugation of some being other than oneself.  Were one to domesticate oneself, that would be to enslave oneself--a contradiction.  We are saying something rather simple that will not cause confusion.  We are saying that domestication means simply to carry the principle of slavery to the level of genetics.    Here one does not coerce humans to be slaves; one simply breeds them.  Seeing self-domestication in these terms, this practice would be tantamount to self-castration or even suicide.  We are in this logical dead end when we talk about self-subjucation of any kind.  In fact, we can say that the self itself is a high product of evolution and nature above which there is nothing at all that is superior or overriding.  The self is always domesticator, never what or whom is domesticated.  Where the topic of domestication and self-domestication is raised, by what writers--and I can mention a number--we may raise later. LBolk, J Heuzinge, H. Plessner names a few--we will later say.  Here there will be no attempt at an original contribution, except one this one point, that, in other words, self-domestication is a term that logically contradicts itself.  Whoever is enslaver cannot be enslaved; whoever is domesticator cannot be domesticated.  The bred slave is the lowest sort of creature.  We've already talked about dogs.  The point about the domesticated animal is that, while subject to purposes of human masters, the dog is also freed from the trials and tribulations of raw nature.  The slave likewise is both created for a purpose other than its own purpose; but it is also sequestered from the raw forces of nature.  The former source--from humans--means that the slave is formed and not random; but the latter principle, whereby the slave is protected, results in a contrary force from which other and free-ranging species are free.  That force is the natural "downhill" tendency to fall into decadence.  So we are saying, it is not the artifical way in which domestic species are selected that makes them, from our point view, pathetic; it is the lack of other forces that keep them, as Spengler would say, "in form."   Even as humans selectively breed animals, giving them distinctiveness and uniformity, they also sequester them from outside forces, opening the prospect that, "free" from these forces, these beings slide into degenerative biological chaos.   The obvious fact is that humans do selectively breed animals into distinctive forms; but humans also create for these animals and all others of their species a general state of freedom wherein the species in general can deteriorate into genetic chaos.  It is this later feature of the state of domestication  that here attracts our attention and becomes center of our focus.  Animals are bred to distinctive forms; they also are allowed degeneration that no other species, human beings included, can experience.:rolleyes:

48

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

In the story of Abraham--the seminal myth that all the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam--have in common, the idea behind God's command to Abraham is that man put God higher than himself. No point is made in religions worldwide other than this simple one of human self-effacement.  But then there are all the formal and informal admonitions in culture that say the same thing.   In all the unfolding of culture, from its specializations and the depencency of humans on these specialized tools, and its involvement of humans on a mass or collective basis, this same simple idea emerges.  That idea is that culture is higher than man.  Yet, paradoxically, culture cannot continue without "man" or some one or group of humans.  Culture panders to these humans without however affirming them.   The analogy of a barnyard would help clarify our point.  The farmer feeds his animals, only to kill them later.  In this way culture "panders" to the human being who sustain the culture, as necessary to the system but not the purpose of the system.  In the instance of the barnyard, there is no contradiction or paradox in the farmer feeding his animals, since the animals do not finally create the farm in general.  That role is left to the farmer himself.  In the instance of culture, on the other hand, it is not a farmer who provides the sustaining force to culture but the very "animals" that are fed by culture.  The culture consumes and deprecates the very creatures which ultimately bring culture into existence. 

The human being once defined himself in the disuse of his culture.  He saw himself as he was without culture.  But there is more.  Today the only way a human being can define himself is in a categorically revolutionary opposition to the culture that has already falsely defined him.   Early man defined himself by dis-using his tools; present day man defines himself precisely through withdrawal and separation from his culture.  Heidegger would say humans are estranged from civilization and that is their loss; Heidegger along with certain "Marxists" such as Adorno et al would say we must reappropriate this civilization.  I say such withdrawal is a gain insofar as the human being can see himself anew and as he actually is.   And before he can once more create, he needs to define creativity as it stands apart from the creation itself. Revolution, or categorical opposition theoretical and practical, is the only course of man in his odessy to find himself. 

Culture began, we are saying, in the "fact of the stick," and has continued in the ongoing contradiction between the human being and his "other," which finally is culture in general.  This contradiction is never finally resolved but continues through partial and temporary resolutions.  We forsee a "final" contradiction between culture and nature.  The resolution to that conflict is not the total victory of nature; rather this new resolution is the fact of "race."  In other words, culture as we now know it passes away in the face of nature as race.  The culture we have always known is that of a certain "man"; this man passes away, we are saying, in the face of a new man.  It is not now culture that changes to meet the needs of a man that culture has already created, out of whole cloth, but rather the man that changes--into a racial being similar to the highest forms of the caucasian race--to create again a new and race-bound culture.he human being can survive, finally, only by separating himself from his own culture.  We must understand that the culture that evolved finally, even at so early a phase as the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, was more radical in the separation of the human creator and his own creation.  I have talked about this separation as "Swartzbaugh's Paradox".  In simplest terms, it was one thing for a man to replace a stick he had lost or broken with another stick, and entirely another thing to replace a tool that was the result of difficult individual and collective labor.  He was more dependent on the refined tool than the simple tool.  Having broken his first tool, he would have to return to his campsite and long hours spent at the campfire to make a new one.  Also he was dependent, more and more, on other members of his group.  They contributed motivation, inspiration and knowledge.  The human thus, in preparing a more specialized and refined tool, became more a collective social being in the "higher" human sense.     But there are further things to consider.  His whole existence had changed from an individual life to a life mediated by the "other" in the widest meaning--technological and social--of the word other.  His individual life was finally confronted by the collective "other."  This other presented, on the other hand, a great challenge.  That is, where the collective and technological entity conflicted with the individual one, the former was stronger; or it tended to be.  However, just as the final motivation for culture comes from the real, individual human being, in his modest drive simply to survive and reproduce himself, the "individual"--meaning the basic and original human being--must separate himself from his own culture.  This separation is in thought and pracice.  We are faced essentially with the paradox that, simply in order to exist, both the human being and the culture must finally contradict one another and also, paradoxically, resolve that contraction according to the cicumstances in which the contradiction manifests itself. The revolution that the human being has immanently before him is precisely against his image of his own self.  Once that is gone, finally, there will be the possibility of a new man and, consequently, a new culture.

The (what we are calling hypothetically) civilized person defines himself in a situation of cateogrical revolt.  By "defining" I mean he understands who he really is.  For us here, under the flag of Force Theory, what the human being finally aspires to is not the communistic  ideal of a chicken in his proverbial pot, but a true understanding of himself to replace the ideological understanding of himself provided by his culture.  The human being has been separated from himself at the time when purely technical problems became social problems.  When the stick carried by the man evolved to a composite tool which, in order to get cooperation and information, entangled the human in social relations.  The very first humans using "naturefacts" rather than artifacts were different in this regard.  He defined himself every time he put down his tool or weapon.  He was one person carrying the stick as weapon; but then he was an artificial person of his own creation.  Carrying a stick he could not see or understand the "real man."  Once he put down his stick he could see the real man. Here the outlines of his real body appeared along with a sense, all too real, of his vulnerability and fear.  In contrast to mainstream Philosophical Anthropology we see the inspirational moment of self-knowledge not in any abstract idea that we are simply "tool making animals," as Ben Franklin called human beings.  We see ourself really--we could say phenomenologically--when these tools and culture are stripped away.  Philosophical Anthropology is there finally to understand what early humans could see as practical, everyday persons--but ones without culture.  Earlier and throughout this blog I have spoken of the communist thinkers; a need exists, always, to put what these theorists say and what is said here.    Speaking of Marx and Engels (which persons are sometimes difficult to separate but did have their own ideas), there appears a concept of what we might call a new man brought into being through revolution.    Karl Marx frequently used the word "radical."  We use the same word.  But Marx proposed to use radical revolution to build a new society; and to build a new man only through this new society.  We are suggesting something entirely different.  The man we foresee, the man of the future, comes into being only by stripping away society altogether to expose the human to knowledge of himself.  This is essentially Philosophical Anthropology. Society we are saying eternalizes the man of the past as a "citizen."  Marx never thought this way.   The revolution we propose under the flag of Force Theory as the ideological wing of PA is radical in that it strips away society.  We are indicating that the communist revolution was directed only at one society as opposed to another, while maintaining the concept "society"--as suggested in the word "socialism"--while Force Theory separates, theoretically, the individual person from the entire idea of society and culture.  The "real" man becomes visible only when separated from the "faux" human being that is the human's own invention.  It is through his conception and misconception of himself, we are saying, that the human becomes estranged from his own self.  Unlike the communists, who say that the human being is essentially fulfilled--fulfilled in his essence--through social collaboration, we say, on the contrary, the important thing in human life is achieved only by separating the man from society.  Because, we are saying, this important thing is the human being's understanding of himself.  That conception is appropriate to our interest in Philosophical Anthropology, knowledge of the "essence of man" (Wesensbegriff des Menschen--Max Scheler).   Here we have no interest in economics as being simply a great confusion that befalls humankind on account of his entanglement with products of his own making.  We search here for a way to extricate ourselves and turn, then, to Philosophical Anthropology. 

PA is the new radicalism.    First there was the fact of "real man," then came, finally, as the crowning achievement of world philosophy, Philosophical Anthropology as the theory of this same essential man.  We do not include culture in understanding this real man, we understand him phenomenologically by stripping away, in thought, this same culture.   Civilized man, on the other hand, can understand only when he puts aside his entire culture and society.  There is for him no such thing as this tool or artifact as opposed to that one; everything in his life is connected with everything else.  Thus when he aspires to understand himself, the only experiment that will lead to this understanding is by stripping away--in categorical revolution--several million years of cultural evolution.  Here of course, in this blog, we are proposing no anarchist acts against society; we are speaking, again of course, theoretically.   Finally we return to Karl Marx's idea of "radicalism."  I have already spoken of the etymology of the word "radical" because this word descends from the same word as "race."  Both "radical" and "race" trace their origin to the Latin word "radix," or root.  Karl Marx said we must go to the "root" of the human situation.  We agree.  But for us the root is race itself, as the source of or link with being.

49

(4 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The human being can sustain culture only insofar as he separates himself from this culture.  In simplest terms, one can be creator only in that he understands himself as creator as opposed to creation.  When he confuses himself with his creation, the creative process stops.  The creation--which is essentially an inert object--replaces the creator; but the creation cannot itself create.  These insights came to me early in my career.  Beginning in Germany at Tubingen, where I took my first class under Otto Bullnow in Philosophical Anthropology, a basic point of view and a methodology began to take hold in my thinking.  Anthropologists in general, I think, "think small."  That is what we are doing here.  I also used the word "pedestrian" because that is what we have so far been contemplating:  a man walking in the African landscape, now stooping to pick up a stick, now using that stick, now breaking it and now throwing it away to find another one.  We have said all this before in tedious recapitulation.   It is all the more tedious speculation because to focus on some small early homunculus-type individual appears to lack the grand ambition of a Hegelian philosopher.  This is only appearance.   Because, as I have said before, we are all Hegelians through and through.  Thus if we are to meditate upon the world dialectic envisioned by Hegel himself we must, according to our notions, see this dialectic within the appropriate physical subject matter, which is primal humanity even as, as I say, the first men engaged in the first tool use.  This is some hairy, solitary beast of the African savanah.  This is what we have been sstalking about all along.  The argument I am making now is this:  that the person who extends himself through culture must understand, at some point, what the essential part of himself is that creates the culture; and where, too, the culture begins its extension.  This understanding contradicts, basically, the fundamental original purpose of the culture that it, in other words, actually becomes the human being.  Thus if our primal hunter picks up a stick, and thereby extends his arm, he may at first remember that he is a person and the stick extension of himself is an artifact and artifice, in itself insensate and not the user himself.  Fingers have sensation and are a subjective part of the person; the stick has no sensation.  Nor is the stick itself active in choosing itself as a tool; only the man can do this.    This is how our primal, isolated savanah-wanderer thinks.  At first there is no confusion as to what is the man and what is the stick.  But more history and culture was to come; and the involvement of the person in his culture was to become far more complex.  In picking up a stick, and then alternatively putting it down, the primal person defines himself.  So, every time he breaks his stick and throws it down, he defines himself as the real person he is.  He could rather have considered the stick a part of himself; so that throwing it down would be to throw away himself or at least something of himself.  He would have virtually a religious dread of destroying something that is himself.   But, regularly changing weapons and tools the early hunter was asble to distinguish himself from the extension of himself that was his stick or implement or weapon.  To him, then, he was clear as to his own identity:  the stick was one thing, he was another.  I speak hypothetically in that this early hunter, who had a brain no larger than a chimpanzee, probably did not think much about anything.  The main consideration however is that by his actions he defined himself; so that he could not think of himself as other than he was.  When I say "other" I evoke the Hegelian principle of opposition and dialectic.  Because finally, several million years later, the human being would again confront himself--and not recognize himself.  This general theory, but without its anecdotal reference to early humanity, was outlined by Hegel and the Neo-Hegelians.  In summary:  as I say, it was through the suspension of culture and separation from culture that the human being defines himself.  And so he must define himself:  without a sense of who he is, or an appropriate image of himself, all creativity is suspended.  In fact this has been the history of humanity--a decline of productivity through a loss of identity.

Philosophical Anthropology enters the discussion of, above all, value and purpose--general philosophical questions--at an important milestone of civilization.  Where we talk of value and purpose we are speaking of a human being, who traditionally has been at the center of all philosophy.  (Man is measure of all things--Protagoras.)   Philosophical Anthropology is a critical examination of the human being's concept of himself.  At the end of a civilization, as its crowning achievement, is this civilization's idea of Man, not what man is but what he should be.  Today's notion of a human being is artificial through and through, in the same way a tool or machine or even the stick weapon of primal man is artificial.  This is where things stand in our present investigation.   The feature of today's so-called global society that commands our attention is its absorption of the creative person into his own creation.  I have talked about the features of this civilization, but not in an organized way.  From the simple stick of primal man we pass by stages and degrees to such complex phenomena as the city-state, nation and world religion as phases of the self-objectification of the human being.  That I could see the nation prefigured in something like a mere stick held as a tool is an unlikely prospect.  The aspiration to see just that continues here unabated; it is our cherished hope that we can stretch our minds to see that connection.  For the present, however, we may undertake a more straightforward line of speculation.   I have said that a human being can be creative only so long as he understands himself as a creator.  The danger is that this same creator will lose himself or his identity in the creation itself; but the creation does not create.  So all creativity comes to an end.  We see this in the "persona" of the artist and there are examples at hand.  The great artists, and I mention first and foremost the greatest of them all, Pierre Renoir, as men who have known themselves as real people.  Artists are among the greatest Philosophical Anthropologists, or ones who understand themselves as real persons, precisely because they are so little acclaimed during their lifetimes.  We pick up our story now of the Paleolithic walkers and stick-user.  Early on, the hunter if he breaks his stick or loses it can simply find another.  He sees himself as on-again and off-again as a stick user; he thus defines himself as what he is, a being who in himself, as he is born, does not possess any such extension as a stick or physical weapon.  He is isolated from nature and vulnerable in the face of nature.  When he begins to fashion more advanced, complex and composite tools this changes.  His whole life takes on different meaning and direction.  His dependency has grown on the individual tool of his possession.  This is one he labored to produce and would have to labor further again were he to lose or break it.   But this dependency on one tool implies a further dependency on the human beings of his group, through whom he has inherited knowledge and support.  To create a new tooll of equal or superior quality he has to turn once again to his group; he has to return home, to his campsite or house, where there are human familials with whom he cooperates and finds support.  The advance of tools means the advance of society in general, not as a familial group, now, but as an artificial product of the same general order of being as the tool itself.  Society is simply an extension of the tool but one involving human beings as well as physical, inert objects.  Society comes now into being.  But there is now one more issue we have not yet talked about.  That is the fact that to separate onself from a mere stick, and to conceive of oneself as a being essentially independent of that stick, is not difficult. 

The stick is a very easy thing to undertand in its form and function and purpose.  Where this stick extends itself into a whole society, on the other hand, this distinction between man and thing is not so easy to make.  The human who saw clearly saw himself in contradistinction to his stick has no easy task, on the other hand, distinguishing himself from a whole social and technological organization.  This larger entity of course has its own conception of "man" which it imposes on each member of the large group; and each member, when he thinks of himself, thinks rather of the image presented by society.  This is a highly processed and artificial image.  Thus it makes sense to say, as the Neo-Hegelians do, that the human being is "alienated from himself."  We state that this is true, adding only that this truth is manifested most clearly through a consideration of the primal facts of human culture.ong the hunter's path; but, held as it was in the hunter's hand, it was "other" than the hunter.  I repeat here again the notion of "other."  At this point we may make reference, already, to this specifically and narrowly Hegelian concept of "otherness."   At the risk of falling into germanic metaphysical mumbo jumbo we need this notion of "otherness" in order to continue.  The mere stick, even by itself, was necessary to the human's life; and it followed logically--and we can see this development already in the human mind--that the stick could under certain circumstances be put by the man higher than his own life.    He could not defend himself without it, and his manner of death would be more compelling than the fact of his life.  On the other hand, as this hunter plodded along his path there were other sticks lying there, some better than the one he presently held.  We pass to a consideration as to how culture was finally placed--or rather placed itself--above the human beings who created the culture.

These and other facts were made focus of Philosophical Anthropology as this new field emerged in the 1920s in Germany under leadership of Arnold Gehlen, Helmuth Plessner and Max Scheler.  We must also give high credit to Fichte and Hegel for the essential logical underpinnings of Force Theory, the concept of dialectic and categorical thinking.  Humans think categorically, defining their concepts in terms of opposite concepts.  There emerged then in human life a new factor. That is, through human effort, the tools of one's life evolved from simple forms to more complex forms.  Reducing this principle to its simplest anecdotal expression we may say, significantly, that.while the hunter could replace a mere stick with another stick, an axe requiring great effort was not so easy to replace.  This axe was more "valuable" because of the work that went into it.  But was this artifact more valuable than a human life itself?  Even at a very early and primitive phase of culture such an artifact could mean the difference between life and death for the hunter and his family.  But there is more.  The effort that went into that axe was now increasingly a collective, rather than just an individual, effort.  We now see the existence of that same axe, which began as a mere stick lying on the ground, as no longer being  the momentary inspiration of an individual man so much as the considered and routinized work of a whole group.  Labor was provided by individuals; but they were already,  in the Paleolithic cultural period, watching one another, passing information and learning from one another.  Eventually culture began to pass into a new phase wherein its most basic structure was self-sustaining and self-affirming.  Even while the wholey individual tool such as a mere stick was of-and-for that same individual, the new technology--new already in the Paleolithic Period--was of-and-for the collective group.  We now pass to the final phase of culture; that is, the phase where culture is only for itself.  I have not said, nor will I ever maintain, that culture is actually not of human beings.  At some point, we are saying--and here is where Swartzbaugh's paradox--is most clearly stated--culture sustained itself ideologically and in religion, while, on the other hand, the bare presence of human beings themselves, as individuals and as groups in instinctive relations, was necessary to the perpetuation of culture.  In other words, even while culture itself would deny the very existence of human beings--and I make reference to the highly human-effacing concepts of nationalism and other such religions and ideologies of self-sacrifice--those same "real" humans are indeed necessary for culture.

First the ancestral human, by not only the use but the disuse of his artifacts, defines himself to himself.  I must emphasize that here, in this definition of man by himself,  the disuse of culture is as imortant as its use. The human sees himself more clearly as he is when he is without culture, which he was, in the earliest phases of history, only briefly and unwillingly.  This happened when a man lost or broke his stick-tool.  Thus we may say the following.   It is in use of culture that the human defines himself as a creative being; but it is through the disuse of culture that the human defines himself as a real being.  The use of tools first alternated with their disuse.  Human identity in that period was never a problem.  But that changed.   Human culture has had an unabated run of use, with no disuse ever.  The human being now--because he had no alternate vision of himself--had to see himself as categorically cultural.  In fact, this culture produced along with other artifacts a concept of who the human being is.  The man, obviously--except through strenuous self-assertion--accepted that concept; thus he saw himself as his culture sees him.  That is, he sees himself as a categorically social and cultural being.  This being is the same one that culture, as I say, invents; and the one also that categorically accepts culture itself.  Thus the individual person, seeing himself as culture would have him, or as culture says he "should" be, universally and absolutely affirms culture.  I am suggesting that the human finds himself in a categorical situation where the only possiblity of defining himself as he really is--and as he must see himself in order to endure--is in a posture of categorical revolution.  He has to revolt against society, ironically, just to exist as a person.  The human being and culture come into a relationship of categorical opposition and one that has no resolution, as I say, except through anarchism and racialism which envisions a new man.

50

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The public or "the people" is only incohfate and  is not a well defined entity.  This public or populace is therefore not logical or dialectical until blundering into a categorical situation such as the word "never" suggests.  To force an incohate being into a categorical mold is to force a categorical--that is opposite--response.  Thus by this logic never becomes forever.   Humans through political machinations create abstract and uncompromising contexts into which other humans seem compelled to enter.  They define an otherwise incohate mass as a thing with an also defined status within a dialectical system.  The response of this entity is not to confirm what is proscribed for it but precisely the opposite, to negate.