51

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The small factual truths of science, when translated into social relationships--and social elites--become, by their very mention, threats to these same establishements.  That is because, as a social establishment, the elite does not want to be held to any standard whatsoever.  Any admonishon by laypeople to uphold standards of fact and logic compromise power.  Power is power only when it is uncompromising; when it will not compromise itself, even with facts and logic.

52

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

First this blog talked about the human being's own conception of man, or of himself generally.  There have been several ideas of Man that emanate from various sources.  Philosophical Anthropology admits to only a very speculative notion as to Man; but PA also is the most aggressive critique of existing concepts of Man.  These other conceptions arise from the individual himself as to who he is.  Psychologists see now, through compelling research, that a human must have an image of himself, programed in his psyche, before he can function.  This image of himself is a goal to aspire to and an orienting feature of the individual personality.  But there is more.  Culture provides everyone with a conception of Man.  Here we have a goal, too, or an image of perfection or "the good" that humans can aspire to as members of a group.  Finally, anthropological and biological science contributes a conception of Man.  This conception is the least important in the thinking of humans.  I have already said that the conception of Man is regarded by political and religious leaders (who work closely together) as much too important to be left to mere scientists.  The conception of Man is central to the unity of society.  This idea is close to, or even identical with, the idea of "the good."  Man here is a moral being rather than (we are saying) a real or scientifically describable being.    But there is more.  We interject at this point with some general considerations of Philosophical Anthropology The self-concept of Man is not science; rather, more correctly, the idea is religious.  That is, the human being actually has forever had scarcely any idea of himself as a biological species.  We find a strong imago humani in Greek philosophy; yet these same Greeks had little notion of their species as a whole.  Even while they had a concept "man," they had no sense in their time of a species as such; such science waited until Linneaus, much later.  Where we talk about a concept "man" we must understand that the biological concept and the (essentially) religious idea paralleled one another in their change and development but did not intersect.  Biology and culture had in principle and ideology no bearing on one another.  We have passed from early knowledge to that of today without any greater connection of species taxonomy to our cultural and societal conception of man.  That is convenient for social ideology.  The concept of human equality or human justice makes no sense for a taxonomic species being; such idealism has meaning only for a purely religious and metaphysical being.  Here we may say that the moral man and the real (scientifically describable) man are categorically distinct from one another.  The real man categorically cannot be the moral man and vice versa.  This is what we mean by categorical:  the one cannot be the other; neither can be the other one.  That the Man is a moral entity means he cannot be a factual man.  We have already spoken of Carnap's dictum that a value cannot be derived from a fact.  It follows that a moral man cannot be derived from a factual man.  To separate spheres of reality into moral and factual spheres is to separate them absolutely.  Ironically, on the other hand, in the popular and scientific literature we have before us we find a certain casualness as to this point.  There is a certain lapsing back and forth between the two fields wherein moral ideas appear to be factual ones, and vice versa.

It remains finally to talk about the underlying relationship between the species being and the religious one.  In pursuit of this understanding I began studies at Tubingen University in Germany under Otto Friedrich Bullnow, who was then a ranking leader and writer in the area of Philosophical Anthropology.  Through him, as readings for my course, I became acquainted with the writings of Gehlen, Plessner and Scheler.  I still after 45 years have and read these books.  Bullnow's writing was clear but specialized; the other writers have been turgid in an irritating German sort of way.  There is much to be said about these writngs.  My own point here is very simple and straightforward, yet is receptive to Hegelian dialectic.  I said earlier that Philosophical Anthropology begins its conception with a man--a man of some early sort--walking somewhere in Africa, but, unlike other animals, this man holds a stick.  We are inclined to deprecate this mere stick.  But the stick is of decisive importance to the evolution and progress of culture.  Culture begins with the stick and, always, has .within it the idea of the stick as something possessed and something used.  We are suggesting that there is nothing to culture, very much, other than this same original stick.  A branch off a tree or some hard object lying one day in the path of our ancient pedestrian.  Thus--now returning to our theme of societal man, as he is conceived not through real observation but through religion--we see that that conception, "man," has a long history as a development of culture.   We may continue.  Our basic assertion is a simple one.  Under the heading of Force Theory we say only that the "man" of culture, today and always, is "other" than the taxonomic species being.    But we may draw upon some general small facts relalted by anthropologists.  Two Aborigne men meeting, strangers to one another, begin a discussion of kinship.  Were these individuals animals, which they are not, they would simply look at each other and wonder; but probably there would be no violence between them.  With humans it is different.  The Aboriginals discuss their ancestry in order to determine whether they have a common ancestor and are therefore related.  I call this discussion "categorical."  That is, they seek to know whether they are related or not.  If they are not related, they try to kill one another.  We disparage this simple encounter and call these people savages; yet they are already on a clear humanoid path.  Thinking in terms of absolutes--absolutely a kinsman and a friend or absolutely not--determines what their mutual relations are going to be.  So-called civilized people are the same way.  The chain of categorical relations among civilized people is much more nuanced and specialized; but the logical stipulation in these relations of "either this or that, but not both" is far more sophisticated than it is among Aborigines. 

We are not being fanciful in saying that the origin of the categorical way of thinking was prefigured, in pre-stone age times, in the mere implementation of a stick as a tool.  Human thought takes its model from technological thinking at this early stage of development.  To use a stick as a tool is already to "think."  The motions of the stick as it is swung about prefigure the motions of cerebralised psychology.   As we just finished saying, the stick was not originally the man, really, nor was the man the stick.  By the same token the man who evolved from the stick was not really the original creator of this technics, who was still, for his part, a species-man.    Societal man and species-man were categorically other than one another, that is they were not one another.  This "not-ness" has become, through time as a development or evolve-ment of culture, an oppositional force to the species Homo sapiens and every member of this species.  Klages was right on this point.  Culture opposes life, in this case the biological man who was the originator of culture.  There is a long literature, of which we are altogether familiar, of the destructive effects that go along with the beneficial effects of culture.  But we are talking here, not of proposing any grand salvation of humanity from the destructive effects of his own technology, but of foreseeing a chain of events in the future.  We will see that the species principle gives way, as it must, to the race principle.  Human history moves forward dialectically, as the first opposition--of the man and his own stick or tool--plays out over and over throughout the course of human history, in wider events involving ever larger populations.  In all, the collision of societal man and species-man is the theme of human history.  Progress, so-called, is simply the resolution of unresolvable contradictions.

The life of animals is not entirely "red with tooth and claw."  Sometimes the lion does lay down with the lamb.  Our picture of the creatures of the woods and fields has possibly been distorted by Darwinism.  Rousseau has also contributed to this lopsided assessment.   Our picture of relationships in a so-called State of Nature should not be overdrawn to emphasize the carnage of it.  Sometimes an animal will simply take a nap in the cool shade of a tree, unaware of any "state of nature."    We are suggesting simply that among animals there is not always Darwinistic "struggle for survival" but rather a certain give-and-take to relationships.  I want to stress that there can be here mutual accomodation and a live-and-let-live attitude, if not downright peace, in the way animals live.  Nature seems softened by a certain flexibility and even lackadaisicalness.  Also, for humans the fact of society came as no panacea.   Humans did not escape the alleged carnage of so-called nature when they passed into a "state of society."   Human beings can think; and through their thoughts they form relationships.  These are not so much thoughts of peace and mutalism as they are, simply, categorical thoughts.   Humans think in terms of, if this not that.  Animals do not think this way.  Animals rather think of this and that at the same time and in the same way.  As animals became humans their relations of give-and-take became, as abstract human ideas, those more absolute and absolutist ideas of either/or.   Human relations were simply cast in the same categorical or absolute terms as the rest of their culture.  Where humans are concerned there is not so much a mutuality of relations so much as, what I will call, as I say, categorically "either" or categorically "or" relations.  That is, the relations were either one thing or the other, but not both. These bonds are not so much instinctual or familial relations as the logic of society.   In this dichotomy there is to be no compromise.  The idea of an absolute peace brings with it, as a categorical "other," the idea of absolute hostility.  And indeed we find the politics of human beings take on such uncompromising terms such as would be unthinkable among animals.  We find such an idea only in the lives of humans, not among animals.   In the earlier sections of this blog I discussed the way human beings think; and the way they think often determines their social relations.  Thus, as we said, human beings think and come together according to their thoughts.  But there is more.  The things that humans think of and constructure form a nexus of interpersonal relationships.  Humans come together through the things--artifacts or machines or whole infrastructures--that they think of.  Finally, the things humans think of are themselves thoughts of human beings, or the materializations of such thoughts, and, as such,  can essentially be relationships.  Christianity has proposed a religion of absolute peace.  But such a concept also evokes another, mediating term we may call, in Hegelian terms, the Absolute itself and all the negativity--the negation of the negation--that the Absolute evokes.

53

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Anthropologists who unite in an association and are individually employed with good salaries and standards of living are an elite. They can be called a sacerdotal or priestly elite.  Spengler called them lebensfremd (foreign to life).  In reality, however, they live rather well and should be envied for their money, purely, and their easy life as professors.  Their jobs should not be despised, as "practical" people tend to despise professors, but should make laypeople want to have these same professorial careers for themselves.  The university is a cash cow for someone; it could just as well be a cash cow for someone else.  The masses of people, the lay proletarians, seem too bovine to understand this.   Professors have an unconscious sense of their own position and a "healthy" desire to protect it.  Their high moral authority comes, not from anything "relative," but something provided by history, some Big Event in light of which "everything changes."  This Event event is in itself the premise of a de facto religion. Into the world of relative values comes an Event of such proportion as to by itself shock the world into a new, absolute knowledge.  Injustice demands a reverse action of Justice and the establishment of a priesthood of Justice.  The idea of cultural relativism is an exoteric, as oppose to an esoteric, doctrine fobbed off on a respectful and acquiescent public.  From the rule by Jesus we pass to rule in light of the Big Event.  The Big Event is the priests' justification for existing; this now is not a "relative" value but is an absolute claim to  power.   The fact of Injustice is sufficient to call into being, categorically, the fact of absolute Justice.  So-called science here is just a ruse.  The priviledge of these high priests of "man" is their justification of logical and theoretical inconsistency.  For the rest of the population, and in relation to everyday persons, all values and goals are called "relative."  That is, while the professor's own values are absolute, my own values, say, as a private person are "relative" to something or other, or someone or other.  The values of laypeople are deprecated.  There is a total so-called double standard here, which belies any real scientific and logical criteria, apparently, but is the very mark of a sacerdotal establishment.  Science in founding itself on some small fact that happens to be true, establishes, then, upon this fact an entire human establishment which holds all logic and even facts as threats to its own authority.  Any sort of reference to facts and logic is for these people, the professors, an assault on their priestly priviledges.  Germany has provided this centeral "absolute" concept, which I have identified as the Big Event.  How many times have I heard:  "We can pass over most things, until it comes to the Big Event; then we have to take an absolute stand.""Never again!" is a way of saying "Forever with the priests of Never."  There is no point, virtually, in discussing this Big Event which seems to have awakened the world as to what is absolutely true, or what the objective validity there is in the concept.  We need know only that  professors are a priviledged group which, like other such groups in authority, resist being held to any standard whatsoever. Power is absolute or it is not power.  This we have already said.   Presently the only standard that concerns us is the requirement, which is obvious, that one should be consistent in ones theoretical position.  We could expect that someone in authority be objectivist/idealist or relativistic, either one.  But the anthropologists that there are have the pronounced habit of shifting from one position to the other.  We fully expect them to be this way.  I have already said that it is a restriction, as opposed to an enhancement, of authority to be held to any standard whatsoever.  Power is always arbitrary and whimiscal or it is not power at all.  Power is power only by standing alone, transcendent, without respect for any earthly rules or regulation--even logical consistency.  Finally, there is obviously no point in admonishing this high group or asking them to be consistent.  To become consistent in their view is to fall from power.  What we should desire, rather, is to take from them their jobs, their money, their "groupies," and everything else of theirs that they possess.  We should take these fine things for ourselves.  This is the true solution for academic priviledge.  But their "free speech" they can keep.

Power serves a social purpose only if it, power, is arbitrary.  That is to say, one specific use of power must be equal to any other use.  Thus the whole issue of who or what is going to benefit from power is beside the point.  Power, which is only contaminated and lessened by its special uses, is able to "reign" over humans only so far as it  is "free" and transcendent.   I have heard the word "pandering" in the context of politics:   pandering means simply doing as a politician or judge what the public wants done.  This practice is universally condemned, within their ranks as their esoteric point of view, among politicians and judges and lawyers.  Thus judges and such seldom allow themselves to say in election campaigns that they will prosecute any crime; only that they have "experience."  The majesty of power should be protected over and above any constituancy.  This is how politics sustains its respect in the eyes of the general public.   This viewpoint regarding "pandering" is a perfect expression of the majesty of power; that, in other words, power as such is useless.   The application of power only distracts attention from power's majesty and thus compromises power's ability to unify human beings.    Thus the function of leadership is not to apply power but to preserve its independence.  Earlier I said that power is not disappated but only enhance insofar as it serves the selfish interests of a leader.  I misspoke.  I should have thought more deeply on this issue.  Power serving the political leader is compromised simply by serving the leader who possessed it, on grounds, that is, that the leader puts himself above the power itself.  This lowers and diminishes the power.  But there is more to be said.  Society, which gets its unity via a transcendent and majestic power, also asserts itself against such power insofar, simply, as society grows.  A larger society is more assertive and demanding and puts increasing strain on the power, transcendent though it is, for a certain applied "justice" to serve the individual needs of constituants.  There is always a temptation to "use" power; and power is thus degraded and corrupted.  The society itself falls into a terminal contradiction and self-immolation.  It "uses up" its own unifying power.   We turn to Philosophical Anthropology of Gehlen and Plessner and find, regretably, that their pronouncements on social issues are brief and sketchy.  Philosophical Anthropology takes us as far as the transition between animals and humans; but there it rests its case.  So, therefore, in Force Theory as ideological PA we embark into new waters and our assertions will naturally be tentative.  We pass on to a subject on which Oscar Wilde liked to dwell:  the "people" and the public.  Wilde's general mode of discourse was personal and eccentric; but he must be seriously considered on the issue of "the people."  I have always assumed, here, in this blog, that leaders lead; that is not necessarily the case.  I correct myself.  It is not surprising that the average man is not a leader.  What is surprising is--neither are the professed leaders of society actually leaders.  It would seem that no one is leading at all; that is our deepest concern.  It may be that we have to jump to an unconventional conclusion, taking upon ourselves still one more burden of proof, to the effect that society is a train without an engineer and heading down a track to its ultimate doom.  The final act of society will be the deepest principle of Hegel, the "negation of the negation."  After society there will be only racial politics, which I call the Politics of Nature.  I have talked about this before.  Political leaders in fact stay in power by mediating between opposing and self-interested parties.  I have discussed this in my book The Mediator:  His Strategy for Power (Howard Allen 1973).    Suffice it to say that the public, or "people," both achieve their unity and their very definition as a social entity from, in fact, this same majesty of power over which the proclaimed leaders are supposed to have control.  The public in laying claim to this same power also, then, pervert and undermine their own unity.  They are caught in a self-contradiction of degredation of their own principle of unity.  Thus they pass, in a counter-Rousseauian direction, from a state of society to a state of nature.

The politics of race are the politics of nature.   Race however is a focused and violent "anarchist" response to the vacuum in nature created by human culture.  Through culture we cut back forests; but we also cut back, and declare as hostile intruders, our very instincts of family and community.   These are what are now at issue.   There is a dialectic of race as there is of culture and society.  That dialectic of race is this:  it is precisely through the negation of race in society that defines nature as such, and causes it, on the principle that "nature abhores a vaccum," to return in the form of race.  Race is the proverbial tiger in the jungle.   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.

Human beings find themselves in what I will call categorical situations; animals never do.  Humans think categorically; animals do not.  Thus for an animal there is what may be called a "partial" movement or "partial" relationship.  If the animal is compelled to flee a predator, it may flee a short distance or a long one.  But this is not a "categorical" flight; but only a conditional and inhibited flight.  Humans, as I say, exist in a world--created by thought--of "either/or."   They exist in a world of categorical yes and categorical no.  We must keep in mind that everything humans do or make, creatively in a technological mode, is categorically this or categorically that.  Thus, for the computer, modeled on the human thought process itself, there are ones and zeros.  There are no zeros mixed with ones, and so forth.  Any machine, unlike a living organism, is essentially this way. Humans taught a machine how to think; in fact, however, the computer--instilling in my idea of the categorical thought--has taught me how to think.(!)  This part of a machine is absolutely not that part, and vice versa.   But there is more.  We pass at some point from the thoughts of individuals to entire collective situations.  Society is compartmentalized categorically.  Thus one department is not the other; and that other is not any other than itself.  Society, as I say, is not an organism but a machine according to human rules of thinking.  From the level of social interaction we pass, again, into the realm of ideology.  Here, again, we find the same categorical thinking of "yes" or "no."  What we say now additionally will be at the core of our basic theory.  That is that, finally, in a categorical situation there are no possibilities of movement or choice except between these categorical opposites.  We may take our example from religion.  To define a Christian it is necessary to say that he is not a Muslim; and vice versa.  All religious disputes are categorical precisely because they are human disputes.  The issue is as simple as that.   What happens as humans become social is that the situations the people find themselves in are essentially categorical ones.  There is no choice in a given dispute or issue other than absolutely "yes" or absolutely "no."   In most disputes that there are in society there are only absolute answers when an animal, on the other hand, would have a partial and conditional solution.  But humans never do create categorical situations as such.  This point must be stated seriously and emphatically because it is at the core of our own Force Theory.  By saying merely "absolutely yes" or "absolutely no," either one, is sufficient by itself to create a categorical situation.  For the rest, any alternatives within that context would be absolutely this or that, never "in between."   Thus to say that "race" is wrong, categorically, is to put the speaker in a categorical relation to other persons who themselves are given a choice only to answer the absolute contrary.  We are following a course of history, I say, to "absolute race."  Force Theory is compelled, not by choice but by the context in which it exists, to say that race is absolute reality and reality is race.  Animals do not think this way.  Humans inevitably do.

54

(10 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The thing that is useful to me may not be useful to you.  If "use" establishes that a thing is good, then, because what is of use to me may not be useful to you, the good for the two of us is a different good.  The good, then, as Plato would say, is not one but many.  In fact, on this personal level the notion of "good" may flatly contradict itself:  What is good for you may be outright hurtful to you.  At this point we evoke still another issue:  How may what is good for me, because it is useful to me, also be good for you?  But let us assume that what it is that we are talking about is useful to me but not to you.  Then how would it be possible for that thing that is useful to one person but not to another be also good for both.  How might we salvage out of this situation of conflict a "common good"?  There is an infinity of circumstances where humans come together, each expecting the collaboration to be useful to himself, and yet what is useful to one person in one way is useful, too, to another person in another way.  To caculate the reward to a given person is impossible, given the multitude of angles and possibilities in each instance of cooperation.  This is where the idea of "the common good" arises.  What we understand society to be depends essentially on the idea that there is something  which rewards each individual person apart from any consideration of personal usefullness.  Here, however, we have radically changed our discussion of "the good."  That is, we have separated the notion of good from the notion of use.  We have already said that the good of something follows from the use or usefulness of that thng.  Now we are saying something entirely different.  We either have to say that what is of use to me is also of use to you.  Or we must say, alternately, that the good of thing is in fact not dependent on the use of a thing.  Here we begin to talk about something vaguely as The Good. 

But before there can be such an abrupt change in human relationships a groundwork of commonality must be established.  I have already discussed this groundwork in early sections of this blog.  I will review these findings as follows. 

In this brief paragraph I am trying to bring together some of my earlier material--on agreements, contracts and the so-called Social Contract--with, on the other hand, material that is more in the area of religion.  Ideally we may strive toward a "system" such as were aspired to by the major philosophers, from Spencer to Hegel.   We are not at the point of systemitizing what is in this blog; nor do we even suggest we are close.  What I am doing now, in this "performance philosophy" (essentially, experimentation) is to run some material together with other material without however any real consciousness of the connection.  Hopefully a system will emerge.  The first interaction or relationship among humans that was purely human, and depended upon language and symbolic communication,  I call the "agreement."   This was an understanding, made possible by language--and reference to time and place and the nature of the mutual business--that only humans could have.  As an exercise in Philosophical Anthropology we begin now with a very simple situation.  On the other hand, our ultimate purpose is to move on to considerations far beyond what we'd experience in the lives of early hunters and gatherers.  I speak of government.  Could we, it is asked, find the origins of governments of advanced nations within these simple early agreements between just several men?  We aver the answer here is no.  In the agreement itself, which we call a "simple" agreement, there is no provision within this understanding as to the enforcement of it.  The agreement by itself, simply speaking, is utopian and anarchistic.  That is to say, because the agreement is just between the two or three men, and does not involve or evoke any outside authority to enforce it, the agreement "assumes" that its terms will be complied with by all parties.  There is no guarantee of compliance.  There is no guarantee, either, of compliance by citizens of any terms of a utopian or anarchistic society.  That society has no government to enforce compliance.  We move on at a brisk pace to consider one of the great social theories of all times, JJ Rousseau's Social Contract; great, we are saying, because of its extreme influence, at the criticial time of the European Enlightenment on the likewise momentous framing of the American Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution.  Rousseau's influence is inestimable.  Our only purpose here is to point out a flaw--a major contradiction--in this theory.    That contradiction is this:  Rousseau's Social Contract theory presupposes that, just as there may be a contract between individuals that enforces their agreement, there is a contract in sensu stricto between "the people" as a whole and their "government."  That contract states that the people will do such and such and the government, for its part, will do such and such. 

This is a fallacious theory; there is a flaw in the theory that has become a general flaw in human thinking about government.  Indeed it is remarkable that such a flaw in such a major piece of writing, and one whose attempted application is to such a wide segment of humanity, could remain so long unnoticed.  That flaw is this:  while an agreement itself is anarchist and utopian, its terms may be enforced by submission of the agreement to a "third party," stronger than both principle parties, for enforcement.  That is, if I have a large dispute with my wife, the State of illinois, through police and judges, may step in to enforce the original marriage contract.  What makes our agreement of marriage a contract of marriage is the provision of enforcement from outside the agreement.  This is a point that is easy to understand.  But, in the instance of an "agreement" between the so-called "people" and the people's government, who is to enforce that agreement?  Since there is no agency larger than either party that could step in  to enforce the agreement, the agreement cannot be called a contract.  Rousseaus Social Contract is a categorical impossibility.  But there is more.  The relationship between the people on the one hand and government on the other, if this relation is to be called an agreement, is an agreement in every sense.  It is unenforcable, lacking a third party.  The agreement is in every sense of the words anarchistic and utopian.  In fact, lacking a power higher than government to enforce the "agreement" government has with the people, there is no real government at all; and the people live, perforce, in a state of utopian anarchy.  This state is utopian because all one can hope for is the good will of his neighbor.

Finally, The Good resolves--symbolically and in theory only--every issue raised by the contradictions of human interaction.  That is, among humans there can be an understanding--but just as likely a misunderstanding.  The Good resolves the discrepancy between my use and your use; and my good and your good.

What is useful to me is good to me!  In the mode of Philosophical Anthropology we begin with a simple, straightforward assertion. But we are ready to make an extreme proclamation.  That is that buried in this one sentence may be the history of Western philosophy and, centrally, the connection between human tecnics and ultimately the idea of God. We are not saying anything particularly radical.   We must simply turn the proposition around, run it backwards and forwards, take out a word or add one here and there for the full transparency of the sentence to appear.   Our purpose is to draw out the meaning.  Of course what is useful to me may not be good for you, and vice versa.  In this first instance of the word good, the fact that the good for one person may not be the good for another, or that one's good may actually hurt another person, identifies the word good as applying to an idea that must occur in some context.  The important point is this:  though a thing may be good for you and for me both, it may also not be good for both of us.  This good that is good for me may be harmful to you.  There is nothing necessary within this good that defines it as being good for both of us.  That it may be good for one of us, but not for both of us, categorically excludes this good from being The Good.  This latter Good is absolutely always Good.  Whereas the limited good, which we find in charitable acts, is good sometimes and sometimes not, depending on individual circumstances.  We must always qualify the word good by referring to the special application of the idea.  What connects the use of a thing and the good of the thing is "me."  Removing the word "me," we say, changes the entire relation between use and the good:  there is no relation. We may indeed assert that the generally useful is the generally good, but we assume a sort of general person or community.  The good we are talking about must be, if not good for you or me,  good at any rate to someone.   That someone is the purpose and object of the good that is done.   On the other hand, the word "good" is actually commonly spoken of in a very general way that is removed from any context, as, that is, The Good.  Plato made a whole philosophy separating The Good from everyday life.  He introduced the idea of "participation" as mediating between this abstract idea and everyday reality, in which The Good could appear without contradicting itself.

In general terms we are saying that any idea of the good, as the notion of usefulness, resolves itself finally into a something--value or thing--that is particular and indvidual.  We cannot say that a thing is useful without implying that it is useful to a person or persons.  By the same token, the thing will not be good unless it is good to a person or persons.   In any case, the good that derives from anything useful is good for a person served by that usefulness.  Good, we are suggesting, is not simply done without there being something useful that is done and for some person or persons.  One does not do good for the sake of good alone, except that he does this good for a person and that this good is done through something useful.  The good that is done exhibits itself through individual persons and particular useful acts.  It would contradict the idea of the good, as this idea has evolved out of ordinary human experience, if the good were done just by and for itself.  The good cannot normally "be done."  This is what we are saying.  But there is the further consideration that, any good that is done involves a contradiction within the idea of the good were the good is considered by itself, as an idea abstracted from the particular useful and personal applications of the good.  Good has evolved out of discrete and separate instances of useful acts toward individual persons.  Here, if I do not say the good that is done is done for me, then I must say this good is for you--or someone.   Again we thumb noses at the admonishon that one must acknowledge one's own limitations.  Here we do not respect limitations.   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 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.

If I do good for one person, that good that I do may hurt--not be good for--some other person.  If I do good for someone that hurts me, that is not good for me.  The good that is done means something bad for me.  The Good has originally appeared out of instances of particular good; but finally contradicts that particular good.  It is quite possible that I do do good for some person when that good that I do harms me or is not good for me.  It is not possible, on the other hand, to do The Good without assuming that the harm or evil I do to myself is also The Good. I would have to assume that the harm that is done to me is also Good.  This is an extreme position to take.  In other words, I must assume that I myself, the doer of The Good may possibly be evil.  In that case, we may proceed to the next proposition that I in doing The Good am possibly evil, in which case it would be logically impossible for me to do Good.  Here we are in a tight situation and one whose ambiguity closes in on us in talking at all about The Good.   No matter which way we turn, like a chess player hemmed in on all sides, our next move is going to result in defeat.  The Good itself is an "eternal" self-contradiction.  Is there any way out.  I am saying that there is a way out, which the Catholics know expressly and which the Protestants also make use of:  ritual.  I'm saying that the ritual act is the act of doing The Good without contradicting the Good.  But a ritual act is also a useless and impersonal act.  A ritual act cannot hurt anyone but also is not of any use to anyone.  But questions remain.  We ask:  Is it possible to do good?  We have said:  the good one does for another person, even without reward for oneself, is the same good one would do for oneself.  If I give money to a charity, someone who is not me will use that money; but the manner he will use it is the same as I would use it.  Moreover, what is good for that person may be harmful to some other person.  The webb of relationships and interactions is so complex that we become burdened, forthwith, in imponderables.  This act of charity I am saying is not a general good but an expression of some instance of utility.   That good is not The Good.  The Good does not engage itself in a self-contradiction.   The absolute Good is not bad or harmful to anyone; while the good that, through use and utility, is limited to an individual might be also harmful to some other person.  The general goodness of some utilitarian and individual act can be determined only by examining that good within a limited context.  There is the whole issue of the majesty of good and the value of that good to a general community.  There is in the idea of The Good the thought that any utility that that good would contribute or project is good for all people.  That there is no evil or badness contained within that Good.  A limited good, on the other hand,  is a particular and, as such, has none of the majesty about it possessed by The Good.  In order that I may do good for an actual person I must stoop to doing something merely useful, in which act any general Good is degraded into particular good.  This limited good that I do is in no sense "moral" good, or good in other words that acquires "majesty" by participation in The Good.  There is nothing moral or majestic about the good I do for some other person or persons.  That is because the good that is "done" could be "the bad" for if not this person, then for that person.  Whether the good that is done for individual persons (or whole groups) is good for all people whomsover, or whether that good while it helps some people hurts others--that is a question that still has to be answered.  But likely the answer is lost in imponderables.  Indeed, a good can be a general good, or in other words The Good, only insofar as such good is removed from any use or usefulness of some act.  Usefulness transforms what is general in a good into a particular act.  We evoke here the authority of Plato:  Is this good we are talking about one or many?  Plato says The Good is one.  But in order for The Good to be good for any person it must become individual.  We are left with the conclusion that to be moral--to have direct access to or participate in The Good--one must refrain from any outright action or from doing anything that is useful for any person.  We are left with the image, more or less, of a Pope whose goodness is entirely vague and whose contact with the world is solely through empty ritual of no utilitarian meaning.

56

(9 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

THIS MATERIAL IS OUTSIDE THE BLOG OR IRRELEVANT OR LACKS QUALITY:  I WILL CONSIDER IT AGAIN LATER

SWARTZBAUGH'S 10 SYLOGISTIC PRINCIPLES

1.A is, then not-A is not.

2.Not-A is, then A is not.

3.An animal can think A; the animal cannot think not-A.

4.Only a human being can think not-A.

5.The human being builds his human world--culture, society, civilization--upon what only the human being can do, that is, think not-A.

6.But A is.

7. Therefore not-A is not.

8. Conclusion:  the human being builds his world--culture, society and civilization--on something that is not, not-A.

9. Culture, society and civilization do not exist.

10. Only a State of Nature exists (is):  baboon fascism, Spartan socialism and Columbian town militias.

SOCIETY IS BUILT UPON A NATURAL CONTRADICTION.
The logical contradiction of something that is real is itself unreal.  Such a principle of contradiction may be sound logically, but it cannot refer to anything real.  thus for instance if evil is real then the good cannot be real. (Hegel suggested this was the case.)   All human society is unfortunately built on this naive mistake.  Society is built upon the premise that the logical opposite of what is real is itself also real.  This cannot be the case.   What society says of itself is that it is the real opposite of uncertainty and distrust.  This is a false statement that society has made.  There is no real opposite of uncertainty and distrust, only a logical but unreal opposite.  Society cannot be the real opposite of distrust because distrust has no real opposite, only a logical one.  Again, what human beings have done in working together in a "social" way is to simply set aside the whole issue of the underlying or natural contradiction within the word trust and certainty.  These words are logicallly impossible.  That is because what is real remains real in the face of its logical contradiction.  Obviously a word containing a contradiction in its own definition cannot refer to anything real.  So, too, society is not real; it is an imagined thing without long-range viability.  Where human life finally comes, then, is to a State of Nature.  I have already talked about race as the core of this State of Nature.  Race is the form of the human personality that endures beyond society;  that in other words precedes and supercedes society.

Certainty is an effort, we are saying, to reduce or eliminate uncertainty. There is no certainty ever in human thinking other than attempted certainty.   Having said this we may go on:  we have made a statement about the basic human primal and universal condition.   Uncertainty is the human or thoughtful expression of animal hesitation.   If we say certainty, then we mean only a state of mind relative to uncertainty.  Uncertainty is what we are talking about in philosophy.   Philosophy proposes to substitute certainty for uncertainty; in effect, all human beings spend their lives in this effort. The effort fails; human life is stuck in uncertainty.   Life however must carry on in the face of this uncertainty; and so life settles--but does not resolve--issues of uncertainty. Trust is the way uncertainty is settled so that life can move past animal hesitation.   Where the human being faces uncertainty, as he always does, he settles, as I just said, this state of mind with trust.  What is being proposed here is a small list of words whereby we can move from the basic human state of mind, which is uncertainty, to a collective mode of living together appropriately called society.   Society is a settlement of issues of individual and group uncertainty by a social pronouncement of trust.    Now, certainty is "about" uncertainty.  Trust is "about" certainty and uncertainty.  Trust does not resolve the issue of certainty and uncertainty so much as it settles it.  In trust the human being takes a position which enables him to act.  Whereas the animal hesitates, but then "decides" to go in one direction as opposed to another, the human being "settles" the issue of which way to go.  Uncertainty is perhaps the basic human issue; trust is the fundamental way human beings deal with uncertainty.  This last consideration--that of the direct relationship between the concepts uncertainty and trust--is encoded into the sacred documents of our civilization.   The word trust always appears in these documents; the concept of uncertainty is always understood.  From uncertainty the human being moves, by unilateral and essentially arbitrary--meaning there is still uncertainty at in the decision--to a condition of trust.  From the primal  condition of uncertainty the human being climbs by steps to the social condition of trust.

The point and substance of trust is distrust.  I said earlier that trust settles an issue of uncertainty, it does not resolve it.  To settle an issue is simply to take one side of the issue of which there are several.  To resolve a question, on the other hand, means here that all sides of the issue are understood fully in relation to one another, that all human parties are satisfied, and points of view and underlying discrepancies are "reconciled."  This resolution is a very infrequent result; the result is most often more uncertainty, distrust and further movement on the issue. One decides the matter so that one can continue to act.  There is nothing more difficult to understand than this. The correct word for this condition of settlement is "expedited."  The mere settlement of a situation of distrust is likely to be, in the case of human beings, the agreement.  The agreement, as I have said in earlier sections in this blog, is the seminal human institution; primal society, or the Rousseauian Social Contract, is the agreement.  In contradistinction to Rousseau's Contract, on the other hand, the primal agreement is not so auspicious or imposing as an understanding between a mass of humans, who are finally enlightened enough to understand such things, and on the other hand their great ruler.   Rather the agreement spoken of here  is simply an arrangement, we may say, made between two hunters regarding their work of the next day.  This proposition--that the Social Contract existed in the Paleolithic puts the present considerations in the domain of anthropology--we are calling these speculations Philosophical Anthropology.  To continue:  The primal agreement is an everyday thing. 

I have already said that the point of the agreement is the disagreement.  What trust  is to distrust--trust is the point of distrust--the agreement is to its opposite.  The Social Contract in these terms is simply a continuation that is the basic theme of society.  Hegel said that the moving force of history is not good but evil; that is true where we speak of society.  Society is the effort to settle disagreements, but an effort that seldom if ever results in their resolution.

Uncertainty has as its practical opposite trust.  The word practical must be clarified in the present context.  This will not be difficult.  Uncertainty is real; certainty is the logical opposite of uncertainty.  Here logical means just that, logical--but abstract and ureal.  I want to put this in several ways if I can.  It is correct to say that the uncertainty that is real has no real opposite, only a logical and (as I say) unreal opposite.  Correspondingly it would be incorrect to say that simply because uncertainty is real, then it follows that uncertainty's logical opposite is also real.  It would not be the case at all that by virtue of  the reality of uncertainty, uncertainty's opposite is real.  Uncertainty is an issue demanding practical approaches which are not logical so much as necessary.   Uncertainty is the basic condition of humankind.  We may include animals also, which are hesitant or have hesitation.  This hesitancy is what in animals corresponds to human uncertainty.  Uncertaincy is the uniquely human mental reflex of animal hesitancy.  Human beings then are both hesitant and uncertain.  Uncertainty however still requires--life would otherwise be impossible--a practical "settlement." This enabling settlement we call trust.  Trust is a point of view that enables the human being to get past uncertainty and continue his life in a practical way.   In calling trust a practical response I mean that trust is essentially a course of action that "settles" the uncertaincy.  Trust in these terms is some course of action, hit upon by the human being in the midst of his hesitancy and uncertainty.  I have used the word "settle."  Trust settles the issues in uncertainty but does not resolve them.

Uncertainty is never resolved but simply "settled."   Uncertainty persists as such in the presence of trust as the (mere) settlement of uncertainty.  Trust alone does not resolve any uncertainty but simply reduces the elements of uncertainty to terms that can be used by the person to set himself on a course of action.

It is a sweeping statement, but one we will still make, that trust is the pivotal word--the virtual cornerstone--that veritably holds society and civilization together.  The word is on our money.  The word trust is a word in which people have trust.  The word trust means finally, however--distrust.  To say that we trust society is to say, essentially, that we distrust society.  Since it is impossible to logically both trust and distrust at the same time in the same way, then we must say that trust never was a logical word in the first place.  All trust means is the settlement of uncertainty, in other words a practical stance in the face of uncertainty.  As we face uncertainty we trust.  The word trust implies that there is uncertainty, because where we cannot believe, categorically or certainly, we have to trust.  Trust is a meaningful word only in the face of continued uncertainty.  But the words trust and uncertainty logically contradict each other.  The logical meaning of uncertainty is distrust.  Hence one can trust and distrust at the same time.  It is true that human beings do not trust society or civilization, but essentially must rely on themselves for survival.  This is our inescapable conclusion.

Trust is the basis of what we have called "agreements."  That is only to say that at the basis of agreements is distrust.  Let us say this logical hairsplitting is just silly (!).  It is still very plausible to say that in agreements is a high level of distrust; that seems to be commonly the case.  If we call agreements "full" of distrust we are only saying what we intuitively believe.  On the other hand, it is necessary for people to come to some common point of view; this is true if they want to embark on a common course of action.  Rousseau and Locke saw this; every social philosopher has seen this.  We do not want to exist in a so-called State of Nature.  So, for some moment of time, the contradictions between certainty and uncertainty, trust and distrust are simply overlooked (it appears).  There are various possibilities at this point.  We may invoke the idea of pure energy and enthusiasm in mass movements to temporarily set aside the problems inherent within the words uncertainty and certainty, and trust and distrust.  Nevertheless, the purely logical contradictions in these words--that certainty exists where uncertainty also exists--is a contradiction that runs through all society and compels the breakdown of this society.  What destroys the agreement, finally, or renders it highly temporary, is the contradiction that finally destroys society.  This is entirely a human phenomenon.  The logic of agreements--and the fact that trust and distrust etc.--can coexist within an agreement--is made not merely possible, it can be said, but necessary by the operation of the human mind itself.  Society is one attempt to "resolve" the problems of the agreement--but only by creating more and larger agreements.  This attempt fails.Certainty is an effort, we are saying, to reduce or eliminate uncertainty. There is no certainty ever in human thinking other than attempted certainty.   Having said this we may go on:  we have made a statement about the basic human primal and universal condition.   Uncertainty is the human or thoughtful expression of animal hesitation.   If we say certainty, then we mean only a state of mind relative to uncertainty.  Uncertainty is what we are talking about in philosophy.   Philosophy proposes to substitute certainty for uncertainty; in effect, all human beings spend their lives in this effort. The effort fails; human life is stuck in uncertainty.   Life however must carry on in the face of this uncertainty; and so life settles--but does not resolve--issues of uncertainty. Trust is the way uncertainty is settled so that life can move past animal hesitation.   Where the human being faces uncertainty, as he always does, he settles, as I just said, this state of mind with trust.  What is being proposed here is a small list of words whereby we can move from the basic human state of mind, which is uncertainty, to a collective mode of living together appropriately called society.   Society is a settlement of issues of individual and group uncertainty by a social pronouncement of trust.    Now, certainty is "about" uncertainty.  Trust is "about" certainty and uncertainty.  Trust does not resolve the issue of certainty and uncertainty so much as it settles it.  In trust the human being takes a position which enables him to act.  Whereas the animal hesitates, but then "decides" to go in one direction as opposed to another, the human being "settles" the issue of which way to go.  Uncertainty is perhaps the basic human issue; trust is the fundamental way human beings deal with uncertainty.  This last consideration--that of the direct relationship between the concepts uncertainty and trust--is encoded into the sacred documents of our civilization.   The word trust always appears in these documents; the concept of uncertainty is always understood.  From uncertainty the human being moves, by unilateral and essentially arbitrary--meaning there is still uncertainty at in the decision--to a condition of trust.  From the primal  condition of uncertainty the human being climbs by steps to the social condition of trust.

The point and substance of trust is distrust.  I said earlier that trust settles an issue of uncertainty, it does not resolve it.  To settle an issue is simply to take one side of the issue of which there are several.  To resolve a question, on the other hand, means here that all sides of the issue are understood fully in relation to one another, that all human parties are satisfied, and points of view and underlying discrepancies are "reconciled."  This resolution is a very infrequent result; the result is most often more uncertainty, distrust and further movement on the issue. One decides the matter so that one can continue to act.  There is nothing more difficult to understand than this. The correct word for this condition of settlement is "expedited."  The mere settlement of a situation of distrust is likely to be, in the case of human beings, the agreement.  The agreement, as I have said in earlier sections in this blog, is the seminal human institution; primal society, or the Rousseauian Social Contract, is the agreement.  In contradistinction to Rousseau's Contract, on the other hand, the primal agreement is not so auspicious or imposing as an understanding between a mass of humans, who are finally enlightened enough to understand such things, and on the other hand their great ruler.   Rather the agreement spoken of here  is simply an arrangement, we may say, made between two hunters regarding their work of the next day.  This proposition--that the Social Contract existed in the Paleolithic puts the present considerations in the domain of anthropology--we are calling these speculations Philosophical Anthropology.  To continue:  The primal agreement is an everyday thing. 

I have already said that the point of the agreement is the disagreement.  What trust  is to distrust--trust is the point of distrust--the agreement is to its opposite.  The Social Contract in these terms is simply a continuation that is the basic theme of society.  Hegel said that the moving force of history is not good but evil; that is true where we speak of society.  Society is the effort to settle disagreements, but an effort that seldom if ever results in their resolution.

Uncertainty has as its practical opposite trust.  The word practical must be clarified in the present context.  This will not be difficult.  Uncertainty is real; certainty is the logical opposite of uncertainty.  Here logical means just that, logical--but abstract and ureal.  I want to put this in several ways if I can.  It is correct to say that the uncertainty that is real has no real opposite, only a logical and (as I say) unreal opposite.  Correspondingly it would be incorrect to say that simply because uncertainty is real, then it follows that uncertainty's logical opposite is also real.  It would not be the case at all that by virtue of  the reality of uncertainty, uncertainty's opposite is real.  Uncertainty is an issue demanding practical approaches which are not logical so much as necessary.   Uncertainty is the basic condition of humankind.  We may include animals also, which are hesitant or have hesitation.  This hesitancy is what in animals corresponds to human uncertainty.  Uncertaincy is the uniquely human mental reflex of animal hesitancy.  Human beings then are both hesitant and uncertain.  Uncertainty however still requires--life would otherwise be impossible--a practical "settlement." This enabling settlement we call trust.  Trust is a point of view that enables the human being to get past uncertainty and continue his life in a practical way.   In calling trust a practical response I mean that trust is essentially a course of action that "settles" the uncertaincy.  Trust in these terms is some course of action, hit upon by the human being in the midst of his hesitancy and uncertainty.  I have used the word "settle."  Trust settles the issues in uncertainty but does not resolve them.

Uncertainty is never resolved but simply "settled."   Uncertainty persists as such in the presence of trust as the (mere) settlement of uncertainty.  Trust alone does not resolve any uncertainty but simply reduces the elements of uncertainty to terms that can be used by the person to set himself on a course of action.

It is a sweeping statement, but one we will still make, that trust is the pivotal word--the virtual cornerstone--that veritably holds society and civilization together.  The word is on our money.  The word trust is a word in which people have trust.  The word trust means finally, however--distrust.  To say that we trust society is to say, essentially, that we distrust society.  Since it is impossible to logically both trust and distrust at the same time in the same way, then we must say that trust never was a logical word in the first place.  All trust means is the settlement of uncertainty, in other words a practical stance in the face of uncertainty.  As we face uncertainty we trust.  The word trust implies that there is uncertainty, because where we cannot believe, categorically or certainly, we have to trust.  Trust is a meaningful word only in the face of continued uncertainty.  But the words trust and uncertainty logically contradict each other.  The logical meaning of uncertainty is distrust.  Hence one can trust and distrust at the same time.  It is true that human beings do not trust society or civilization, but essentially must rely on themselves for survival.  This is our inescapable conclusion.

Trust is the basis of what we have called "agreements."  That is only to say that at the basis of agreements is distrust.  Let us say this logical hairsplitting is just silly (!).  It is still very plausible to say that in agreements is a high level of distrust; that seems to be commonly the case.  If we call agreements "full" of distrust we are only saying what we intuitively believe.  On the other hand, it is necessary for people to come to some common point of view; this is true if they want to embark on a common course of action.  Rousseau and Locke saw this; every social philosopher has seen this.  We do not want to exist in a so-called State of Nature.  So, for some moment of time, the contradictions between certainty and uncertainty, trust and distrust are simply overlooked (it appears).  There are various possibilities at this point.  We may invoke the idea of pure energy and enthusiasm in mass movements to temporarily set aside the problems inherent within the words uncertainty and certainty, and trust and distrust.  Nevertheless, the purely logical contradictions in these words--that certainty exists where uncertainty also exists--is a contradiction that runs through all society and compels the breakdown of this society.  What destroys the agreement, finally, or renders it highly temporary, is the contradiction that finally destroys society.  This is entirely a human phenomenon.  The logic of agreements--and the fact that trust and distrust etc.--can coexist within an agreement--is made not merely possible, it can be said, but necessary by the operation of the human mind itself.  Society is one attempt to "resolve" the problems of the agreement--but only by creating more and larger agreements.  This attempt failsCertainty is an effort, we are saying, to reduce or eliminate uncertainty. There is no certainty ever in human thinking other than attempted certainty.   Having said this we may go on:  we have made a statement about the basic human primal and universal condition.   Uncertainty is the human or thoughtful expression of animal hesitation.   If we say certainty, then we mean only a state of mind relative to uncertainty.  Uncertainty is what we are talking about in philosophy.   Philosophy proposes to substitute certainty for uncertainty; in effect, all human beings spend their lives in this effort. The effort fails; human life is stuck in uncertainty.   Life however must carry on in the face of this uncertainty; and so life settles--but does not resolve--issues of uncertainty. Trust is the way uncertainty is settled so that life can move past animal hesitation.   Where the human being faces uncertainty, as he always does, he settles, as I just said, this state of mind with trust.  What is being proposed here is a small list of words whereby we can move from the basic human state of mind, which is uncertainty, to a collective mode of living together appropriately called society.   Society is a settlement of issues of individual and group uncertainty by a social pronouncement of trust.    Now, certainty is "about" uncertainty.  Trust is "about" certainty and uncertainty.  Trust does not resolve the issue of certainty and uncertainty so much as it settles it.  In trust the human being takes a position which enables him to act.  Whereas the animal hesitates, but then "decides" to go in one direction as opposed to another, the human being "settles" the issue of which way to go.  Uncertainty is perhaps the basic human issue; trust is the fundamental way human beings deal with uncertainty.  This last consideration--that of the direct relationship between the concepts uncertainty and trust--is encoded into the sacred documents of our civilization.   The word trust always appears in these documents; the concept of uncertainty is always understood.  From uncertainty the human being moves, by unilateral and essentially arbitrary--meaning there is still uncertainty at in the decision--to a condition of trust.  From the primal  condition of uncertainty the human being climbs by steps to the social condition of trust.

The point and substance of trust is distrust.  I said earlier that trust settles an issue of uncertainty, it does not resolve it.  To settle an issue is simply to take one side of the issue of which there are several.  To resolve a question, on the other hand, means here that all sides of the issue are understood fully in relation to one another, that all human parties are satisfied, and points of view and underlying discrepancies are "reconciled."  This resolution is a very infrequent result; the result is most often more uncertainty, distrust and further movement on the issue. One decides the matter so that one can continue to act.  There is nothing more difficult to understand than this. The correct word for this condition of settlement is "expedited."  The mere settlement of a situation of distrust is likely to be, in the case of human beings, the agreement.  The agreement, as I have said in earlier sections in this blog, is the seminal human institution; primal society, or the Rousseauian Social Contract, is the agreement.  In contradistinction to Rousseau's Contract, on the other hand, the primal agreement is not so auspicious or imposing as an understanding between a mass of humans, who are finally enlightened enough to understand such things, and on the other hand their great ruler.   Rather the agreement spoken of here  is simply an arrangement, we may say, made between two hunters regarding their work of the next day.  This proposition--that the Social Contract existed in the Paleolithic puts the present considerations in the domain of anthropology--we are calling these speculations Philosophical Anthropology.  To continue:  The primal agreement is an everyday thing. 

I have already said that the point of the agreement is the disagreement.  What trust  is to distrust--trust is the point of distrust--the agreement is to its opposite.  The Social Contract in these terms is simply a continuation that is the basic theme of society.  Hegel said that the moving force of history is not good but evil; that is true where we speak of society.  Society is the effort to settle disagreements, but an effort that seldom if ever results in their resolution.

Uncertainty has as its practical opposite trust.  The word practical must be clarified in the present context.  This will not be difficult.  Uncertainty is real; certainty is the logical opposite of uncertainty.  Here logical means just that, logical--but abstract and ureal.  I want to put this in several ways if I can.  It is correct to say that the uncertainty that is real has no real opposite, only a logical and (as I say) unreal opposite.  Correspondingly it would be incorrect to say that simply because uncertainty is real, then it follows that uncertainty's logical opposite is also real.  It would not be the case at all that by virtue of  the reality of uncertainty, uncertainty's opposite is real.  Uncertainty is an issue demanding practical approaches which are not logical so much as necessary.   Uncertainty is the basic condition of humankind.  We may include animals also, which are hesitant or have hesitation.  This hesitancy is what in animals corresponds to human uncertainty.  Uncertaincy is the uniquely human mental reflex of animal hesitancy.  Human beings then are both hesitant and uncertain.  Uncertainty however still requires--life would otherwise be impossible--a practical "settlement." This enabling settlement we call trust.  Trust is a point of view that enables the human being to get past uncertainty and continue his life in a practical way.   In calling trust a practical response I mean that trust is essentially a course of action that "settles" the uncertaincy.  Trust in these terms is some course of action, hit upon by the human being in the midst of his hesitancy and uncertainty.  I have used the word "settle."  Trust settles the issues in uncertainty but does not resolve them.

Uncertainty is never resolved but simply "settled."   Uncertainty persists as such in the presence of trust as the (mere) settlement of uncertainty.  Trust alone does not resolve any uncertainty but simply reduces the elements of uncertainty to terms that can be used by the person to set himself on a course of action.

It is a sweeping statement, but one we will still make, that trust is the pivotal word--the virtual cornerstone--that veritably holds society and civilization together.  The word is on our money.  The word trust is a word in which people have trust.  The word trust means finally, however--distrust.  To say that we trust society is to say, essentially, that we distrust society.  Since it is impossible to logically both trust and distrust at the same time in the same way, then we must say that trust never was a logical word in the first place.  All trust means is the settlement of uncertainty, in other words a practical stance in the face of uncertainty.  As we face uncertainty we trust.  The word trust implies that there is uncertainty, because where we cannot believe, categorically or certainly, we have to trust.  Trust is a meaningful word only in the face of continued uncertainty.  But the words trust and uncertainty logically contradict each other.  The logical meaning of uncertainty is distrust.  Hence one can trust and distrust at the same time.  It is true that human beings do not trust society or civilization, but essentially must rely on themselves for survival.  This is our inescapable conclusion.

Trust is the basis of what we have called "agreements."  That is only to say that at the basis of agreements is distrust.  Let us say this logical hairsplitting is just silly (!).  It is still very plausible to say that in agreements is a high level of distrust; that seems to be commonly the case.  If we call agreements "full" of distrust we are only saying what we intuitively believe.  On the other hand, it is necessary for people to come to some common point of view; this is true if they want to embark on a common course of action.  Rousseau and Locke saw this; every social philosopher has seen this.  We do not want to exist in a so-called State of Nature.  So, for some moment of time, the contradictions between certainty and uncertainty, trust and distrust are simply overlooked (it appears).  There are various possibilities at this point.  We may invoke the idea of pure energy and enthusiasm in mass movements to temporarily set aside the problems inherent within the words uncertainty and certainty, and trust and distrust.  Nevertheless, the purely logical contradictions in these words--that certainty exists where uncertainty also exists--is a contradiction that runs through all society and compels the breakdown of this society.  What destroys the agreement, finally, or renders it highly temporary, is the contradiction that finally destroys society.  This is entirely a human phenomenon.  The logic of agreements--and the fact that trust and distrust etc.--can coexist within an agreement--is made not merely possible, it can be said, but necessary by the operation of the human mind itself.  Society is one attempt to "resolve" the problems of the agreement--but only by creating more and larger agreements.  This attempt fails..

57

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The tool, we said, proved to be socially divisive.  The insitutions which humans implemented were not precisely technological so much as pertained only to social relationships.  What the tool divided, institutions unite.  In saying this we are following the Young Hegelian line of thinking, especially of Engels.

58

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Hegel begins with a grand cosmic world-dialectic.  We begin with a barefoot man carrying a stick.   Somewhere, however, dialectic and Philosophical Anthropology must meet.   My point is that the dialectical story of human existence began in this first event, wherein the human, carrying a stick, began his dependency on the stick and culture.   But this dependency was ambivalent.   The stick was both served its owner and opposed its owner.  The precise relation between the man and the stick must be characterized as both supportive and "oppositional."   The stick extended its owner but also became an opposed "other" (anderssein).   Not surprising is the fact that humans were opposed by their own creation;  yet the actual history of culture and society has been the attempts by humans to resolve the contradictions that occured in sequence.   We look to find the precise point where culture turned against its owner.  Obviously, the stick was necessary for survival as humans confronted adversaries, animal and human alike, who otherwise would have been unsurmountable.    The "dialectic of the stick" began, we are saying, when the human turned the stick against members of his own familial group, perhaps simply his female mate.   Simply stated, when the man hurt his female mate or his child, he hurt himself.  The organic or instinctive unity of the familial group was in this case disrupted by use of the stick.  The man "enslaved" his own family.  Rather to abandon the stick, on the other hand, and restore the purely instinctive relation with his family the person adopted the "rule of thumb" and marriage.  The rule of thumb comes to us through common law and, before that, oral tradition.  There came to be a "logic" of, first, tool use and then institutional accomodation of tool use; and this, we are saying, is the logic of cultural "progress."   Culture evolves, we are saying, dialectically.  In saying this we put ourselves in a clearly "German" or Hegelian mode of thinking in opposition to that of English and Americans, for instance Herbert Spencer or Leslie White.  The dialectic of culture is the iron law of Force Theory.   The only real issue remaining is to find the dialectical code within the complex comings and goings that make up world history, with its wars and artistic expressions and mechanical inventions.  This is too big a topic to explore right now.  Suffice it to say that every mechanical innovation requires a social and institutional accomodation.  This is an idea that is not new to sociology.  Engels had anticipated, already, the major findings of social science.  We are suggesting here, then, only that more precise discriminations are possible as regards to anticipating future culture.  This is our contribution to "science."   
I have spoken of the "negative dialectic of the good."   The tool originally and always has been an intrusion into human life as anderssein.  In the organism there is a natural unity in that every part is "in" every other part.  This principle could be stated as the genetic code in every cell that outlines the form of the organism as a whole.  We repeat:  the organism is a whole.   In the tool, on the other hand, not only is the tool "other than" the tool user;  within the tool itself the one end is other than the other end.   Also the middle is other than the two ends.  If the tool is an axe, the head of the axe is other than the handle.  But the final point is most telling.  The thing that unites the tool within itself--which is only an idea--is itself not a real part of the tool.  The idea that connects the parts of the tool must be connected to the tool by another idea.  Thus disunity in effect begets disunity.  The idea that unites the tool, or for that matter unites culture as a whole, is itself "other" than the whole that it unites; otherwise it could not be the generality that unites the tool.  The idea itself has parts which are other than one another.   As a reflex of the primal or original tool, the idea of the whole is to be characterized as simply "other than" that same whole.  Finally, any requirement--and this requirement may be built into the idea itself--that the idea actually plays a part of the working of the whole is itself opposed to this idea.  In other words the idea of the whole, in demanding of itself that it play a role in the particular elements, contradicts itself.  Here we be ascending to the level of Parmenides of Plato; this is bound to be a confusion section.   Suffice it to say that the issues we face are real and practical issues of culture.

To live is to act.  We are looking for the source of value.  That source, I aver, is in the act of life, or the act of living.  What is being said here is very simple.  If I act in a certain way, I am expressing the idea, outwardly at any rate, that the way I act is right.  In just doing a thing I am saying that the thing I do is good.  To have such a "thought," or to act out this thought, is within the capacity of any being that acts in any way.  We may even include plants.  What we are saying is that an action is per se an outward expression of a value.  This is where the idea of right, wrong and the good--and all the values derived from the good--begins. If I paint in such and such a way today, it is because I think that this is the right way to paint.  I have acted out the word value and good even if I have not spoken the word.   We owe debts to Schopenhauer who said that Wille--essentially the life force--and all the values and purposes derived from Wille are ungrounded.  Hegel for his part provided the invaluable insight that value is created in the unfolding of a great dialectical process.  The Germans thus when againt the age old wisdom, first documented as Platonism and entrenched in Christian and mystical thinking, that the good and value derived from the good exist eternally and self-sufficiently.  We turn now to the issue of race.  Race, I aver, is the primary assertion of the will to live, or life itself.  Earlier I discussed the word race, which I suggested is "heavy with Being," to use Heidegger's phrase.  Race is a kind of action in an otherwise passive world.  Race is the act of becoming, in itself, or passing into existence.

I am not going to argue the point of genetics and science with anthropologists as a group; they may know more about this sort of thing than I do.  (They really don't know more; I'm just saying that for the purposes of argument.:rolleyes:)  Rather, I will challenge these anthropologists with linguistics.  My entire argument centers around race, not as a specific phenomenon, but as a word which over centuries as accumulated, from sources around the world, a great and treasured store of meaning.  We don't want to be trivial, as the anthropologists have been.  We want to be respected philosophers and thinkers.  Our discussion does not concern, say, what white traits are vis-a-vis black traits.  We don't want to lower ourselves to talk about whether blacks can sing and dance; or whether these traits are culture or genetics.  Science of any kind, admittedly, is really not my strong point.  I generally accept the conclusions of what is called scientific racism as contributing positively to ideas of a future society in which white people can be secure.  There is little more to say on this subject than this.  But there is much more thinking that has to go into the word--the word and nothing more--race.  As per the statement of the American Anthropological Society, "race does not exist."  What the anthropologists are saying is that the phenomena attributed to "race" do not exist; they are a phantasm of someone's imagination.  I would say that the anthropologists are within their rights to this extent:  whether earth is surrounded by space aliens is, or should be, an issue of ascertainable fact.  We can look and try to find these aliens; but if we cannot find them, we may just as well assume they don't exist.  This would be our legitimate conclusion.  And there are experts on issues of outer space who can help us find the truth.  But we are not talking about such space aliens in the case of "race," we are talking about the legitimate place of a word--here, race--in the English language.  I have called the word race "heavy with Being," to use Heidegger's phrase.  The word race has a very general meaning that goes far beyond its particular limited reference to, say, black and white people.  The word race means "root."  Also it means "source of one's being."  These meanings are tracable throughout the Indo-European language family--and beyond.  Thus when I talk about race in this blog I am not going to quibble over who is smarter, white or black people, but rather the subject will be the importance of a word, here race, and all the meanings that inhere in this word.  Race is fundamental, not so much society--which as an abstract-technical mode of human relationship is structurally and philosophically categorically opposed to race--but to philosophy.  Theory is what interests us here.

Science is simply degraded philosophy.  In its attention to particulars, science--that once was philosophy--negates its own generality.  The principle we have applied to the good--that of "the negative dialectic of the good"--applies to philosophy, the "mother of all sciences."  We affirm the connection between the good and philosophy.   The more successful is science, we are saying, the more unsuited it is for ideology.   Where Force Theory comes up against science, as in the AAA Statement on Race, Force Theory will destroy that science.  We have said that race is philosophically "heavy with Being" as the source or root (Latin radix, or root:  the general meaning will trump the specific or scientific meaning.   In the meantime, the anthropologists of the American Anthropological Association contradict their own ideological purpose which is to promote some sort of belief in equality of human beings.  Here, obviously, we can just ignore these people.  Philosophy on the other hand, far from repudiating science, aspires to bring science to itself to prove its own points.  This is what we are doing here:  making the facts fit the theory.    Oscar Wilde's phrase fits:  "This is the way things should be."   We pass at this point to the trait of society and culture, that in manifesting themselves as particular, individual and personal human relationships, they degrade their original generality and therefore their original usefulness as a unifying principle (of culture and society).  The point we have been making is that technology, in intruding into social relationships--simply in becoming these relationships--disrupts what was once the instinctive social bonds of human beings.   That humans now find themselves more disunited than united provokes them to find, again, a new source of unity.  The word religion appears.  We have already spoken of the original meaning of religion in the Latin, religare--to relink.   I want to suggest that every bond instituted for the purpose of compensating for, or overcoming, a social breech or hiatus is perforce religious.  In every such bond, at least latently and unconsciously, is an idea of the good.   We have a sense in religion both of unity and goodness, that unity is good and the good is unity.  I spoke of this issue in my book The Mediator:  a Study of Philosophical Anthropology.   Religion without a sense of unity would also not be good, or I should say "the good" (or God?).  The unifying feature of religion--for example Christianity among the feudal European states--has long been noted by social philosophers.   We carry on in this tradition of thought.    What we are saying now is that unity of the feudal states was expedited through religion; with precisely the integration of these same states through industry and commerce--and a corresponding disintegration of familial and instinctive relationships--religious unity became essential.  Feudal Christianity was mystical, ideal and pure; the religion of commerce and industry was applied to everyday reality.  It is precisely in its contact with reality that Christianity--now the religion of charity and good deeds--lowered and degraded itself, loosing its transcendency and therefore its unifying power.

At the center of Force Theory is a principle I'm now calling The Negative Dialectic of the Good.  This principle stands at the core of every culture and is the motive force at the basis of what we call history.  That principle is this:  A culture, once appearing, begins already to decay as the culture enters its first stages of self-contradiction.  It is left for us to describe this self-contradiction.   The good demands to be "done," and it is in the doing of good that the good degrades itself into the particulars of everyday life.  The good, in short, once the "moral fiber" binding a culture as an integral whole, dissolves itself into the specifics of practical action.  The good loses its transcendent "majesty" in the light of which all humans of a culture stand in awe and thus are together as a group.  The good brings itself down to earth.  This is the principle at the core of Force Theory and the idea, conceding its Hegelian roots, that asks for respect among philosophers and philosophies.  I submit this claim.  The idea of Negative Dialectic is simple and straightforward, and it can claim originality.  There are versions of Dialectic from Hericlitus to Fichte and Hegel; but here is no other idea like Negative Dialectic in the history of philosophy worldwide.  This is the claim we make.  But there remains the troubling question, is the theory true.  I will follow the rules of jurisprudance, in honor of my deceased father, a Harvard-trained lawyer, in asking where the burden of proof lies.  In any original idea, that in the absence of any common acceptance this is, the burden of proof is with that idea.  Thus, in a court of law, we must show that the Negative Dialectic exists and that it functions as we say it does.  I have already mentioned a Negative Dialectic in the realm of political power.  This will be a demonstration by analogy.  The Dialectic of the Good follows the same rules as the dialectic of Power, which can easily be proven by simple logic.  Power is what it is only if unconditioned or undetermined by anything outside its lf.  To say that power "serves" the people, or anyone except perhaps the person holding power, is to say that the power is not absolute and, logically, it is only partial power.  My argument follows the line of thinking that power and the good are somehow related, or interconnected, or stand in for one another.  Whether the good is power or vice versa I cannot precisely say; but when we see one we are likely to see the other lurking close behind.   I do believe at this point of writing that not only are the two dialectics--that of the good and that of political power--the same in principle but that they are connected.  Historically the two dialectics appear together, so that when one appears the other is there, close by, almost as a shadow.  The closeness of the good and political power has been alluded to by philosophers of the past.  Nietzsche speaks of "priestly power"; Spengler follows in this vein.  It would appear that a political leader when seriously challenged resorts to "the good"; he proclaims himself to be a paragon of moral virtue.  We see this in the newspapers daily.  But there is a serious point to be made.  The good and political power have in common that they both exist in whole only insofar as they are pure and unsullied by the realities of everyday life.  It is understandable that the political ruler or (these days) politicians can "relate" to the good, inasmuch as both power and the good have a majesty which compells attention if not outright obediance on the part of the masses of humans.  I am tempted to think that power and the good are possibly the same.  This is a point which may still have to be resolved.  In the meantime, however, I want to display the good for what it is:  something which, like power, is whole and viable only when uncorrupted.  But such corruption is in what we call "good deeds."  We are saying that an idea of the good begins to decay when the good that there is is good that is done.  Whole cultures perish--because they loose the unity they have through the good--when they begin to do good.  The Negative Dialectic of the Good is paralleled by negative dialectic in power, which, through democratic and other human-oriented ideologies, is degraded in practical action.

There is a dialectic of race within itself which I am presently not considering; there is, on the other hand, a dialectic of race in relaltion to culture which I am considering.   We are asking about the relation of race and culture.  Commonly we hear about race talked about as though race were antithetical to everything humans believe in.  It is.  We are only asserting the truth.  It is in the point that race constitutes a principle of value that the discussion arises, the creation that is of new value.  [old material follows which will be improved and edited tomorrow]    We talked earlier about the good as a principle antithetical to race that, as the unity of culture, abhores and rejects race.    Race and culture are contrary principles.  We have already said that the idea of the good is a creation, out of "pure silk," and without ground in any fact empirical or logical, but simply for the purpose of giving to culture what culture, as a machine made of inert parts, needs but does not otherwise have to sustain its unity.  The good is an ersatz unity.  But there is more.  But the good contradicts itself insofar as, as it must inevitably do, calls for the doing of good.  I have already talked about power as a corresponding principle of culture:  power is compromised insofar as power "does good," that is is for or on behalf of anything other than itself.  The ruler sustains and protects power insofar as, in fact, he hordes power for himself and serves himself.  It is in serving the so-called public good that power is compromised and degraded.  Power is power only so far as it is absolute.   The good, of course, is closely allied with absolute power although I am uncertain presently what this exact connection is.  We can assume power and the good are in close collusion with one another as conspiratorial allies.  But what is obvious about power can give insight into what is covert but primary in the idea of the good.  We may now again consider the point with which we began:  that the "dialectic" of the good consists of the self-destruction of the good.  The good negates itself in the doing of good; and with the self-negation of the good, which is the principle of unity of culture, results the destruction of culture altogether.  It is the good that humans do that destroys them as human beings, because in doing good they degrade and destroy the good itself.  Human culture then is self-defeating.  Culture is inherently of course anti-racist because race represents the reality out of which humans as cultural and ethical beings ascended; and the reality moreover into which humans are in danger of once again descending.  Race is the principle of life itself--as opposed to inert cultural movement--and is the final ground of all living things and of humans, too, as truly living beings.  We may say that race is the ground of life but not the burial ground.  Race represents a new beginning for life and, as I say, the re-creation of value destroyed in the self-negation of the idea of the good. 

Even while the good negates itself, and negates that value that inheres in the good, race, on the contrary, creates value.   Race does not simply restore value but creates new value.  I must be clear on this point.  Here we are circling, and here and there delving into, the turgid waters of Hegelianism.  Force Theory avers that Hegel is one of two--Plato the other--dominating high points of Western philosophy.  We are not Hegel scholars.  On the other hand, one point of major originality of Hegel was the assertion that value does not simply exist, in and by itself, but must be created out of a kind of dialectic.  Force Theory is accepting half of this assertion and rejecting the other half.  I will try to be clear.  We feel that the good in its final result is created by a dialectical process within itself; but that result is the negation, that is self-negation, of the good.  What we have done here is to show the role of dialectic in the unfolding--a negative unfolding--of the good.  But we have turned Hegel upside down.  Even while culture and its idea of the good first invent and then destroy the good, and all good in the world, nature stands ready with its "groundless" (cf. Schopenhauer) energy of life, to fill that void.  Race enters where culture creates its own void.  We agree with Hegel entirely on the point that value is created, rather than existing by and through itself; we believe also that value is not created essentially by any dialectic of human logic but by a dialectic that exists prior to humanity.   It is not race that destroys culture and society; it is the good that inheres in culture as the unity of culture that destroys itself and culture.  Race simply enters--to create new value--where culture versagt.   The thing that the race is is one of value.  Furthermore, the void left by the self-negation of the good is a void filled by the value of race.  Humans have created anti-racist society which negates itself and remains only as a void; paradoxically this void is filled by the value and values of its old enemy race.

Race is form in nature.  We have not yet said, in using the word "form," that race is value.  Value is the final product of the dialectic of race--the opposition of race and the idea of the good.

The whole that the organism is is in every part of the organism.  The part is whole in the same way that the organism is whole.  We may conclude that the whole of the organism exists only through the whole that is in every part.  There are several ways to express this idea:  I suggest reading Plessner's Stufen to get some sense of the main issue.  Suffice it to say that the organism is whole only through the repetition of countless wholes which make up the organism.  We are coming by degrees to an important conclusion.   We are here making the radical suggestion that it is impossible to compare an organism with a machine.   The machine--and by extension a culture-- is whole only so far as it is thought as whole.  Thinking that the machine or culture is whole is tantamount to imposing a unity that the machine does not have inherently.  The machine can still function without being thought a unity, because the machine's functioning is a result of the relationship between its parts, not because of what is in the parts.  The unity of the machine or whole culture, unlike the unity of an organism which simply inheres,  "transcends" the whole.  The unity of an organism is inherent, that of a machine is transcendent.  It is in this way--as a transcendent unity--that we must understand such ideas as the good and any value derived from the good.  Here we can say of the different parts of a machine that they "should" work in such and such way.  It is clear that the terms of moral value--and the idea of "should" are taken from the functioning of a machine.  The piston "should" drive the crankshaft, and so forth.  Of course neither piston nor crankshaft have any sense of this purpose, which must be provided from outside the machine.    Again with Kant and all the other philosophers we are seeking a path to the ground of morality, value and, in other words, the good.  But there is more.  We know that there was "value" in nature before there was an idea of the good or before, even, that humans inhabited the earth.   For the smallest organism there is "purpose" and hence value. 

Our problem seems immense.  On the other hand, we blessed in a certain way with a certain irony.  We have a fairly free hand in discussing the "ground" of value and the good.  It is clear that, whatever we say, the good and correspondingly the value that life sees in itself have no ground whatsoever.  Wille, or life, has no ground whatsoever; it is groundless.  Schopenhauer is my original source of this understanding.  We may say with Schopenhauer that pure willing, while it shows purpose, is itself groundless and its purpose itself is purposeless.  Thus the value that derives from the life force or "will" is finally itself groundless.  On the other hand, it is also true that purpose and value exist and they do have an immediate source.  That source is life.  In this regard--that value is created rather than (Platonically) existing eternally--we as Schopenhauerians can reconcile ourselves with Hegelianism.  Hegel is the person we will talk about momentarily.  Hegel's final ground of being, world dialectic, is not of man, precisely, or of life, either one.  Therefore Hegel is a bit outside our purview of Philosophical Anthropology which deals directly and primarily with life on the one hand and human action on the other.  The one original point by Hegel, however, and the one that should confound Platonists and Kantians, is that value--and the good--does not exist eternally and unsupported or self-sufficiently but is created through the Hegelian eternal  world dialectic.  At first the good and value do not exist, but then through a dialectical process come into being.  The process can best be compared to logic but without the provision that the logic is precisely human; rather this logic exists in its own space comparable to Plato's "forms."   Some of the ideas presented just now are taught as elementary philosophy.  Where Force Theory enters the discussion, respectfully, is at the juncture between life and human culture.  The assertion is made at this time that cultural dialectic and that of life work in opposite directions.  Culture, we have said, in the practice of good destroys the good.  With life, the act of living creates value.  Culture as it destroys itself creates a void which life, as the final creator of value, moves to fill.

Earlier I talked about etymological racism:  there is such a category with google.  The word race, I am saying, using Heidegger's phrase, is "heavy with Being."  My point, aside from what else is said about the subject, is that the word race has a venerable past that protects--even enshrines-- this word against forces of change, even when--as was the case of the American Anthropological Association--those forces are allegedly or truly scientific.  Anthropologists or their ad hoc spokepeople have launched such an attack on the word race.  I want to talk briefly about the "pedigree" of the word race, which is very ancient.  We find a sense of the word in many words, such as radio, radial and so forth, all of which have the sense of a "source" from which there is radiation.  Karl Marx, a shadowy person who likely was created by Engels, spoke, or is alleged to have spoken, the idea that "his" philosophy is radical.  Indeed, the word radical comes from the same source radix as the word race.  It follows that race is "radical."  We can go on and on with examples. The spokes of a tire radiate from a source, and so forth.  Race has this same general etymological derivation.  In fact, the pedigree of the word race extends outside the Indo-European language family and is found in Arabic and other languages.  We are speaking here of a word and a concept asttached to the word that extend nearly worldwide.  That sense is of a root, as in the Latin, radix meaning "root."   The earlier point I made was rather simple.  If the anthropological community wants to ban the word race, they bear a burden of proof that is very heavy.  To challenge common usage, not just in one culture but nearly worldwide, imposes this task regardless of the "scientific" issues involved.  But there is more.  We have to ask, too, whether anthropologists as a group have "standing" to change this or any word.  And again, as is common in this blog, another issue is immediately raised.  Who does have standing to challenge, drop or replace a word in a large language?  I want to be clear about what I mean.  We are talking about the English language.  In such a large language community there are going to be specialists, whatever these are called, who do have a certain official standing to change a language whether in its vocabulary or gramar etc.  These people are appointed, trained and respected--and they are necessary.  Language will change, and, as we may call them,  language policemen should be appointed to make sure this change is orderly and comprehensible by the masses of speakers.  This has been said before and we affirm it to be true.  Now, how do anthropologists "stand" with regard to the rules and words of our own language.  Remember, they have taken it upon themselves to drop the word race out of the English language.

The word race is "heavy with Being," to use Heidegger's phrase.  We now consider the authority anthropologists have to drop a word, race or any word, from a major language.   My position here is that they have a certain standing as a scientific community to address the meaning of the word, but not authority to drop the word out of the language.  Their authority extends so far as to comment on the definition assigned to the word race.   They can say the word race has been given in popular usage an imaginary meaning.  They can say there is no real thing that the word race describes:  this the anthropologists have authority to do.  Having said this, and having assigned a group of scientists their proper role, we can continue to use the word race.  My position here is that the word not only has meaning, but  is "heavy with being."  Indeed, were anthropologist to convince anyone outside their own little ideological group (which they have not) that there is no meaning to the word race, we would only benefit in the context of Force Theory.  This Theory, while conceding that scientific racism is indeed valid, also takes no particular interest in this argument--until it is said, as the ad hoc anthropologist's committee has said, that the word race should be dropped from language.    The position of Force  Theory is that race not only is a valid word but has a meaning equivalent to the word "being," as, in other words, "the source of all being." Race is the source of humanity and the world that humanity lives in.   Race is at the very center not only of language but of human thinking about humanity itself.

Race, I am saying in the context of Force Theory, creates value.  In asserting this point now I anticipate the conclusion of this essay.  In the meantime a basis must be laid.  As Heidegger would say, the point is vague and we are leaving it vague.  At least for now.  We talked earlier about the good as a principle antithetical to race that, as the unity of culture, abhores and rejects race.    Race and culture are contrary principles.  We have already said that the idea of the good is a creation, out of "pure silk," and without ground in any fact empirical or logical, but simply for the purpose of giving to culture what culture, as a machine made of inert parts, needs but does not otherwise have to sustain its unity.  The good is an ersatz unity.  But there is more.  But the good contradicts itself insofar as, as it must inevitably do, calls for the doing of good.  I have already talked about power as a corresponding principle of culture:  power is compromised insofar as power "does good," that is is for or on behalf of anything other than itself.  The ruler sustains and protects power insofar as, in fact, he hordes power for himself and serves himself.  It is in serving the so-called public good that power is compromised and degraded.  Power is power only so far as it is absolute.   The good, of course, is closely allied with absolute power although I am uncertain presently what this exact connection is.  We can assume power and the good are in close collusion with one another as conspiratorial allies.  But what is obvious about power can give insight into what is covert but primary in the idea of the good.  We may now again consider the point with which we began:  that the "dialectic" of the good consists of the self-destruction of the good.  The good negates itself in the doing of good; and with the self-negation of the good, which is the principle of unity of culture, results the destruction of culture altogether.  It is the good that humans do that destroys them as human beings, because in doing good they degrade and destroy the good itself.  Human culture then is self-defeating.  Culture is inherently of course anti-racist because race represents the reality out of which humans as cultural and ethical beings ascended; and the reality moreover into which humans are in danger of once again descending.  Race is the principle of life itself--as opposed to inert cultural movement--and is the final ground of all living things and of humans, too, as truly living beings.  We may say that race is the ground of life but not the burial ground.  Race represents a new beginning for life and, as I say, the re-creation of value destroyed in the self-negation of the idea of the good. 

Even while the good negates itself, and negates that value that inheres in the good, race, on the contrary, creates value.   Race does not simply restore value but creates new value.  I must be clear on this point.  Here we are circling, and here and there delving into, the turgid waters of Hegelianism.  Force Theory avers that Hegel is one of two--Plato the other--dominating high points of Western philosophy.  We are not Hegel scholars.  On the other hand, one point of major originality of Hegel was the assertion that value does not simply exist, in and by itself, but must be created out of a kind of dialectic.  Force Theory is accepting half of this assertion and rejecting the other half.  I will try to be clear.  We feel that the good in its final result is created by a dialectical process within itself; but that result is the negation, that is self-negation, of the good.  What we have done here is to show the role of dialectic in the unfolding--a negative unfolding--of the good.  But we have turned Hegel upside down.  Even while culture and its idea of the good first invent and then destroy the good, and all good in the world, nature stands ready with its "groundless" (cf. Schopenhauer) energy of life, to fill that void.  Race enters where culture creates its own void.  We agree with Hegel entirely on the point that value is created, rather than existing by and through itself; we believe also that value is not created essentially by any dialectic of human logic but by a dialectic that exists prior to humanity.   It is not race that destroys culture and society; it is the good that inheres in culture as the unity of culture that destroys itself and culture.  Race simply enters--to create new value--where culture versagt.   The thing that the race is is one of value.  Furthermore, the void left by the self-negation of the good is a void filled by the value of race.  Humans have created anti-racist society which negates itself and remains only as a void; paradoxically this void is filled by the value and values of its old enemy race.

Race is form in nature.  We have not yet said, in using the word "form," that race is value.  Value is the final product of the dialectic of race--the opposition of race and the idea of the good.

The good came from nowhere and is based in nothing.  That is the most we can say about the good.  Our speculations have taken a surprising turn.  But not at all surprising is the fact that Kant tried so diligently--and failed--to find a basis for his "imperative."  There is no basis.  And if there was a such a basis, the good would be simply a thing like other things in the world.  It would have to be  derived and conditioned by other things.  The good is no such thing.  And in being no thing  lies the majesty of the good.  The truth and majesty of the good is that it is an absolute nothing.  And as nothing the good is at the center of a culture consisting of many things and many people.  We are saying, simply, that the good is absolute and unconditional and unconditioned.  We may be intimidated by the good as transcending anything mere humans can accomplish.  That is precisely the point--that the good constitutes in effect the general will of the people.  The good should be such that no one can do it.  Even attempting the good brings the good down to the level of human beings; acts, because they are individual and particular, degrade the good.   I emphasize that the good is general:  this is not a particular will but a will for all the people in all their culture, society and civilization.  These are points about the good which are at the core of Force Theory and cannot be repeated too often.  Force Theory in this respect has more latitude in philosophy than does its sister science Philosophical Anthropology.  Again I must say, because humans so earnestly believe that they can do good, Force Theory--as an agnostic and anarchist philosophy--takes upon itself a heavy burden of proof.  I will show that this burden is not so heavy to bear.   There is more.  The fact that the good is no particular thing allows it to stand over, or transcend, all things whatsoever.  Whatever one's individual perspective, one can view the good in the same way as any other person.  Having said this, we gain perspective regarding the futility of all "good acts," individual and collective. In doing any act of good the person contradicts the idea of good.  The act of doing good, because this is a particular act, corrupts the generality of the good.   The phrase "doing good" entails a contradiction; while those persons doing good engage themselves in a contradiction.  The self in its capacity as one doing good becomes itself a self-contradiction.  That is because doing good involves a particular or individual act, when all such particularity corrupts the good.  It is self contradictory to say that the good is some one thing or several or a multitude of things that a person can do, because in doing good one brings the good down to his own level.  This corrupts the good.  Anything real corrupts the good.  Finally, we may speak either of individuals as such or as whole cultures and civilizations.  What the individual cannot do--do the good without degrading the good--cultures cannot do either.  That a culture to attempts to do the good degrades the culture's vision of the good.  Every act of goodness is a self-contradiction.  And every people that does good contradicts itself.  In simplest terms, an act of goodness would obviously affirm the whole--which ultimately is humanity--when such an act, because it is particular and concrete, violates the whole. The goodness which is the whole is good only in its transcendence.  Nothing practical will enhance the good; on the contrary, any such thing will corrupt the good and therefore corrupt the whole.   This is an inescapable paradox.  Such contradictions are resolved, of course, but they only lead to new contradictions.  The history of a civilization is precisely this:  attempts one after the other, in degrading and denigrating the good, to re-create the good.

A civilization unfolds essentially in two stages.  (1)  That wherein a people knows the good;  and (2) that wherein the people does good.   As I said earlier, to simply think and know the good is a necessary condition for a viable culture and society.  We have already made this point sufficiently clear.  The good stands above a culture as a unifying principle.  Such a principle is not a genetic requirement of the culture--because cultures do not exist through genetics and vital forces--but is something humans happen to think and can use to replace what is lost in culture.  Since culture is an extension of technics, which in turn is an inert material extension of the living human body, culture is basically a souless and  essentially lifeless machine.   Inasmuch as life does not spontaneously or "naturally" inhere in the culture, such life must be taken from outside the mechanism. The life that a culture has must be taken from human beings themselves.  The life that humans have must pass at every moment into the human creation.  That the creation appears to have a life of its own is mistaken.  But there is more.  Not simply culture's motive energy but the principle wherein a culture can be called a whole must likewise be taken from outside the culture.   In this case--in the feature of the unifying spirit--the spirit comes from the mind life of the human.   And just as life itself is groundless [cf Schopenahuer] and "pointless," so the good is without any basis or point whatsoever.  I have now stated the point that culture takes its unity from a principle that is without basis in fact and is in itself pointless to any purpose.  The things that humans do gain their purpose and "value" only in that they are referred to the good.  This is not a conscious reference to the good, however, but only an unconscious one.  The good is strongest when left without any reference to anything factual, real or practical.  (Earlier we compared the power of a ruler to the power of the good:  the ruler rules truely only where he rules absolutely, that is unconcerned with any practical or real effect his rule might have.)  The good functions for its part in its essential majesty only so long as it is uncorrupted by anything real.   We are attempting finally to build a philosophy of history as regards the fate of a culture and civilization.  Where the unifying principle of a civilization is known only in a purely abstract way, without reference to particular practical matters, this ersatz soul is strongest and functions best in its unifying capacity. 

But at some point human beings undertake to "do good."  Precisely the effort to translate theoretical good into practical good is where a culture or civilization begins to decay.  The agent of that decay  is "good deeds."   Here again Force Theory must assume, unwillingly, a burden of proof.   This we do inasmuch as we violate common assumptions.  Here Force Theory reuns contrary to what people ordinarily think   A people or society knowing good but not doing good is ordinarily regarded as a corrupt people.  The contrary is true. The corruption that attacks the good is any effort by humans to bring the good down to their own level.  Some theologians and philosophers understand this.   We seach for references in our own immediate history and find that, indeed, certain religions preach a doctrine that removes humans from moral responsibility.  Calvinism--the idea of predestination, that humans are born with corruptness or goodness--might anticipate our present ideology.  I tend to side with Catholics on moral issues (I am not myself a Catholic) on the issue as to whether immorality can be expatiated through simple ritual acts.  In any case, I am sure we can find other instances.  Here and there the entire ideology laid down by Force Theory is anticipated.    We commonly assume that immoral acts preceded the decline of Roman civilization.  I have to include at precisely this point a disclaimer hoping that my argument is not disrupted.   The horrible acts of violence committed in late Rome in their "circuses" were instituted artificially by the ruler of that time, a general, in order to remind the Romans that they could not turn away from violence.   In principle he was right.  What we are saying, though, is that this general saw a trend towards goodness and righteousness and sought to reverse it.  These acts of his were horrible--but they were also useless.  Rome was caught in an irreversable slide into practical goodness which culminated, we are saying, in the ideology of Christian charity.  In this final act of Roman civilization, the idea of the good--which began perhaps in Platonism--was dragged into the gutter of so-called charity.  Its unifying principle degraded and humbled, Rome simply atomized itself. 

Rome and Romans were replaced by the Goths, we are saying, who knew the good but themselves did nothing good.
I want to dwell at some length, later, on the essential mentality of the Goths.  This was a people, now the core of Germans and Germanic people, who, having decimated Rome refused to think of themselves as Romans in any sense.  These are our antecedents of Germanic peoples and ones to whom we must look for inspiration for future society.  In the Goths the dialectic of culture--from negation to negation of the negation--has run full course.  We now proceed to the whole issue of race.

A culture is a whole; we have suggested this here only to conform to what the functionalist or social anthropologists have said all along.  Again to repeat our earlier point:  the connections between the elements and facits of a culture are rational, suggesting, of course, that culture is a whole configured rationally.   There is reason and rationality in every part of culture; these parts are strung together one to the other.  Each is glued to the other through reason, suggesting the image of the mortar of bricks.  Reason in these terms is the mortar of society and culture.  Culture as a creation of reason has continuity through reason.  A culture is a contiguous thing whose continuity is in the rational connections between its individual parts.  I have already given examples.  If two men have between them an agreement, that connection--because an agreement is an expression of reasonableness--is rational.  Such agreements form essentially the infrastructure of society and culture.  Such reasoned continuity underlys the banks, businesses, roads and communication that are the material manifestations of infrastructure.  Culture can be compared to a mechanism; but also it is true, on the other hand, culture is not an organism.  Here we need to pause to consider, if only briefly, a large body of writing that has come out of Germany, above all traditions, that distinguishes a mechanism from an organism.  There is no time here to review all this material.  It is a mystery to me how two great nations could live side by side yet have so little mutual influence on basic points of philosophy.  American intellectuals have passed over vitalism as possibly pre-Facist ideology (I have said elsewhere [cite] that there may be no such thing as American philosophy; I still think this.]   There must follow at this point a certain express commitment to the German viewpoint; otherwise Force Theory, as I have represented it, would make no sense.  We oppose the British philosophy as dominated by a certain newtonian or mechanistic view that has no sense of the issue of the Lebensdrang.   I would go into the impact of vitalism on Hegel and Engels but that would take too much time.  In writings of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Spengler the influence of vitalism is more evident.  Essentially the vitalist tradition could arguably be considered the core of German philosophy whose main point, again arguably, is that a mechanism is different than an organism.  Hans Driesch is considered by some to be the founder of Vitalism with his simple experiment on flat worms:  when cut in half, these worms grew to two new wholes.  Driesch concluded that a living thing has a sense of its own whole that is apart from, yet inheres in, all of the beings parts.  Philosophical Anthropology of Plessner and Gehlen through all its tortuous and incomprehensible twists and turns has simply been a restatement of this position.

In a machine, as opposed to a living organism, no individual element has a sense of the whole of which it is a part.   Here we must descend into the semi-darkness of Philosophical Anthropological speculation.  These nonliving (inert) parts may be rationally structured as a functioning whole, but they do not individually commuicate with one another regarding the whole of which they are a part.  The parts work together but they do not contain this total togetherness within themselves.  In this they are different than living things.  With living beings, every part is also a whole, at least potentially.  The communication of which we speak, but is absent in a machine, is the most visible manifestation of a vitally constituted being.  Here we dwell on a point of both philosophy and science.  There is a certain meeting of minds, ironically, between vitalism and modern science.  A great deal of knowledge is accumulating regarding the relation between cells in a body.  Such cells commuicate by certain chemical effusions designed for this purpose.  All cells of the body are in constant commuication through these chemicals.  A depletion of chemicals, as happens in cocaine use, results in a separation of cells and the different sections of the body in a scitzophrenic [sp.] syndrome.  But, as we were saying, a machine lacks this inner connectedness.  That is what we are saying and the point has to be made clear.  The question that is now before us is this:  does a machine as a complete entity need a sense of its own completeness, or does it suffice that the machine, in order to work, is rational in the connection of its parts?  In any case, a human being ultimately stands over the machine and tells the machine what its purpose is to be.  A machine does not know itself, but its operator does know it.   Having come to ths conclusion--that a machine does not have to regard itself as a whole in order to function--we may consider a whole culture. We know a culture in its parts; and we know it in the rational connection of these parts.  But what of the whole?   In earlier sections of this blog I have decided that technology as it first appeared is not a living thing but is an extention, comprised of inert and nonliving elements, of a living thing.  The tool user must use the tool in order for the tool to be anything at all other than inert matter.  But culture as a whole, in all its extensions--in technics, in society, in economic structure and so forth--is simply a machine.  Culture is an extension of the human being, but if culture has a life it is taken from that being; the life does not inhere in the culture.  Finally, in conclusion, humans add to their culture something that is not "functionally" necessary to the culture.  That something is an idea of the generality of the culture.  We call this idea the "moral fiber" of the culture.

Of course a machine does not know itself at all.   In order for there to be knowledge of a machine, the machine must be known.  That is, it must be thought of by something or someone outside itself.   The only way a machine--and that is now what we are calling culture--could know itself in its generality, or rather be known, is for this general idea to be added to the particurity of the machine.   But this would be an idea that is above this particularity.  In a machine, the idea of the whole may be more than the sum of the parts, but at any rate the idea is not in the parts.  The idea of the whole that is not in the parts must be above the individual parts and also above the whole that is the sum of the parts. Here there are serious issues to be raised and ones that have occupied me for most of my life.  Knowledge of the German language--the language of true philosophy--is probably required, along with, in addition, an emersion, as I was priviledged to have at 24 years old, in the whole culture of Germany.  In my writing for Philtalk.de, writings that because of alleged (but pretty well proven) verfassungswidrigkeit are now consigned to the tombs of cyberspace (within reach of only one person, the aforementioned UW), I described my experience at the University of Tuebingen mainly under mentorship of Otto Friedrich Bullnow.  I have spoken earlier of these decisive life experiences.   But there is also much reading in the many years that followed.  What I wanted was, in my own mind, a conception that is both (Hegelian) dialectical and Driesch-ian vitalistic.  I move with some trepidation on to a final conclusion.  That conception, finally, is this:  Humans add to culture, which is essentially mechanistic-rationalistic, an overall sense of a whole.  This elevated or transcendent whle is a "moral" idea; we call it the moral fiber of the culture.    By moral I mean simply that the whole, as opposed to the parts, serves no particular function in the whole and repudiates any such role.  A culture is moral in the same way an individual is moral; that is, for no particular reason.   Morality must repudiate any special function insofar as such a stigma would corrupt the generality of the idea.  I said earlier that any reason given for morality corrupts the morality itself, destroys its "purity."  Moral right is impartial, if only, obviously, because to be partial is to be particular, or contrary to the generality that is the essence of morality.  Thus we can say culture is caught in a constant contradiction.  Culture is essentially particular and has no essence of being outside this particularity; in this fact, culture in turn has to repudiate its own generality and thus any sense of its own wholeness.

Classical German philosophy--Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer--begins with an imposing view of a Weltseele or Dialectic or some grand principle which moves the world.  Philosophical Anthropology refers first and foremost to a more pedestrian--literally and figuratively--fact of existence.  That fact is this:  that human existence properly defined began as the first ancestral human stood upright and held, and carried, a mere stick as a tool.  Then he went about his business.  This humble beginning the human being has parlayed, over centuries, into what we know as culture and society.  Inherent in the use of this stick, we are saying, is a kind of contradiction.  That is to say, the human being cannot use the stick without contradicting himself.  The stck is the person and behaves as the person; but the stick, as culture, is not the person.  It is in the ways humans resolve this contradiction that culture comes about.  Mediating between the person and his "contradictory" culture is society, or the relationship--through technics--of human beings one to another.  What was closed as instinctive familial relations is, through technics--the artificial mediator of the human's relation to nature--both opens and mediates between human beings.  Technology--or infrastructure, as we call technics in the widest sense--locks humans into positions in which they, as citizens, are structured.  Philosophical Anthropology has this message:  that the widest cultural relations are prefigured in the primal fact of tool use.  We pass then on to a final point:   that culture does not permanently resolve the contradiction of man and tool so much as pass on to new contradictions, ending finally in a massive and comprehensive  contradiction between man as his own creation; that creation being the idea of Man in a "higher moral sense."  Man is not so much a factual entity as a value or an idea of good.   Philosophical Anthropology leads the way in a theoretical critique of that idea of man.   But the factual result of the ultimate contradiction is race as a phenomeon of nature, which effaces (we are saying) the artificial concept of the species Homo sapiens and its theoretical expression as Man. 

Race and culture oppose one another in the final act of our human drama.  We will not overly dramatize this conflict; we cannot possibly do so.  Racial differences in themselves--whether one man is black or another man white--are of no concern to Force Theory.   Racial divergence on the other hand, and the way this happening impacts society and culture, is the very heart of Force Theory.  We are talking seriously about a force of nature in relation to a force of man.  Traits that have become and are simply there must be considered one way; traits that are becoming are to be regarded in a fundamentally different way.  Society and culture are based upon what humans observe about one another in their present.  Traits of humans that classify humans biologically into distinct and indistinct groups are in themselves something merely known.  There is a broad area of science, taxonomy, dealing with this subject.  But here that science is outside our area of interest.  Evolution as a process separation of races within a species is fundamental to living nature.   We may say that race abhores culture as nature abhores a vacuum.  Culture is created within a vacuum, or a void created when humans first lost their biological connection--teeth and claws--with nature.  This we have talked about earlier and has broadly formed the subject matter of Philosophical Anthropology. Culture has filled this void but itself remains in an important sense a void.  We have said these things before but they bear repeating:  that, filling a vacuum, culture has largely kept the trait, vis-a-vis the nature around and within human beings, that it is, in itself, a vacuum.   Culture secures a needed internal stability only by challenging and opposing such nature, setting the stage, we are saying, for the final opposition .   That conflict is between civilization and race.   But there is more.   The human being has attempted to withdraw from nature by taking refuge in the thing--cullture and technology--that connects him to nature.  But nature asserts itself, much as, for example, a boat is a refuge from the sea but must finally find land.   Culture, juxtaposed as it is between man and nature, is in itself an unnatural phenomenon.   We have talked before about culture--which combines thematerial of nature with the intelligence of man--as an "unnatural" phenomenon that is neither the nature within biology nor the nature within matter.    At this juncture in our essay we prepare to change our entire subject matter and also our mode of discourse.  Human culture has passed through its necessary phases--human alienation from nature has been resolved through culture, the alienation of culture from nature is resolved through abstract or categorical (oppositional) thinking--but finally, after all, comes into flat contradiction with nature as biological change or raciation [Swartzbaugh neologism].  At this point in our discussion, and in human history, the issue at hand is not cultural but biological.  We look to see in what way race is not merely irrelevant to culture, which we have know it to be, but categorically contrary, to culture.

Primal man, our intrepid hunter of the African plains, was separated but not alienated from nature .  This is what I am saying now, whether or not, that is, I earlier said something else (!).  I want to try best I can to make this distinction clear.   Separation from nature is the primordial fact of human existence.  This separation occured when the human, or his prototype--some kind of ape, we think--lost his teeth and claws and other biological "tools" that connected him to nature.  Before that, as animals, man's ancestors were connected by the teeth and claws etc. that they were born with.  The connection between these animals and nature was genetic, essentially, and was finally lost when these genes simply dropped out of the human gene pool.  There was a brief time, we are saying hypothetically, when the human was "defenseless."   By hypothetical I mean we have invented this period for the sake of our argument--it was either a very small period or simply a moment in time--and illustriative of Force Theory premise regarding history.  We say that man as a hunter was separated from nature, and that any connection that he had was through culture; this was a conscious effort of the man to "reconcile" himself with what he was separated from.  But this man, separated though he was was not alienated, from nature.   We may assume that separation happens through nature; alienation occurs through man.  That is, even as a void opened between man and nature, as the connecting genes dropped from the human gene pool, there was a sense on the part of the human being to affirm nature even in the face of separation from nature.  This "respect" that he showed could have been through the symbols and rituals of religion.  The "gods" that men favored were in effect natural phenomena such and wind and rain from which, out of "deficiency," the human was separated from.  The human being was conscious of both the power of nature and also of the extreme danger of being separated from nature.  The fear itself was a bond with nature and would rule out alienation.  But this state of separation without alienation was bound to come to an end, sooner or later, with the advance of culture.   With the improvement of technics and the advance of culture and language in general, the mentality of the human being change within culture and around it. Culture became, as we said earlier, not a connection so much as a refuge from nature.  This is where alienation began:  in the idea that humans could substitute their technics for what is around them. 

German romantic philosophy--Klages, Spengler and others--has cast aspersions on the accomplishments of science to the effect that science "dehumanizes" both man and nature.  There is an entire movement in science and philosophy to abstract and  in effect to reduce  nature and human relationships to impersonal facts.   German philosophers of the romantic viewpoint have advanced this truth; we take no real stand on the "moral" issues involved.  Philosophical Anthropology entered this discussion rather late, we'll say just prior to World War II.  Philosophical Anthropology is noncommital on any moral or value issue raised  but says, simply, that such dehuminization where it occurs has been the result of a long and inevitable process that began with the first separation of man--as Mangelwesen--from nature.  Separation passed into opposition; and opposition became alienation.   Advanced civilization constitutes, in itself, an entire world and one perceived by humans as superior for human purposes to the nature they have left behind.  Humans in effect "killed" nature with abstract science.  Thus what surrounds humans--and used to include humans--has become a vast and empty outer space.  My reading of German philosophy, which I did largely as a Privatgelehrter and apart from my studies at Ohio State and Colgate,  put me squarely in the tradition of Vitalism and German romantic philosophy.   But my agenda has been to understand abstract, dehumanized intelligence in its historical role, not to castigate this intellect.   I learned something also from Engels who is not in the romantic tradition (though I am unclear what he means by "materialism"; that is, the real issues are not finally moral ones.  Force Theory proposes that human intelligence at its advanced stages serves the human to "deal with" nature without, however, living in it.  The human being simultaneously "deals with" the nature or biology or instincts within himself, without wishing to live through or with these instincts.  We are left with a human being who, content with the shelter he has built around himself, seculuding himself from whatever is outside this sphere, regards nature as "alien" and in that sense an "enemy" to be defeated rather than embraced.  The final scene of this human drama is a confrontation between human culture and nature, one which nature is bound to end.  We may be more specific on this point.  It is not the nature around humans that will defeat them, it is the nature--which we here call race--within them that will cause them to fall.

66

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The German romantic thesis, in its most straightforward and radical expression, is that of Ludwig Klages of Munich.  His major work Geist als Widersacher der Seele is a book that I own;  although, in my opinion, it is simply unreadable.  On the one hand the opus might be regarded, charitably, as an early work in environmentalism.  Otherwise it is a rambling castigation of all achievements of mankind.   Lamenting of the decimation of animal and plant species,  Klages lists possibly all the species there are to list:  the bear, the beaver, the stork....and so forth.  The book largely comprises of lists of species that have suffered at the hands of human Geist, rambling on for one thousand pages.  Human intellect came into the world, Klages says, not to create anything but merely to destroy.  He presents an ideosyncratic view of human mind and thereby undertakes what jurists call the burden of proof.   This is the way Klages could reasonably be perceived, assuming that one does not look deeply at his basic message.  This message could be mythological.   

In Klages view what we commonly call human intelligence is not human, precisely--though common observation would say otherwise--so much as "alien."   An image appears of hostile beings in spaceships and with laser-type rayguns.  We are tempted to make light of this thesis by comparing intelligence to a sort of world-destroying poisonous ray directed at earth from the proverbial creations--of little green men from other planets--of lunitics and paranoids.  This image the "green space aliens" is indeed not far from Klages' actual viewpont.  Again let me suggests that Klages mode of discussion is mytho-poetic.  That is, by "alien" Klages means intrusive or entfremdet.  He says that intelligence in its analytic, dissecting capacity divides life within itself, not simply the life of humans but the life of all nature, and--because to divide is to destroy--"kills" all that is living.  We are almost at a loss as to what to make of this opus of pining and complaining.  Klage bears a heavy burden of proof.  No person would ordinarily reject human intelligence as such; it is greatly sought after, to have as a trait of one's own personality and to acquire, indirectly, from other persons.  Civilizations are admired, not castigated, on account of their intellectual achievements.   We are saying only that  this view goes against common sense and against what is readily observable.

I love Klages for his romanticism.  This blog is saturated with his romanticism, in case that fact has not been observed by the reader.  Again I say this argument bears a heavy burden of proof--but we are not saying finally that we will not bear that burden here.  There is much more to say.  In the meantime we may impartially underscore Klages' main points. We think of reason as appearing with the first humans who, relative to animals, and as an enhancement of tools and technology, was simply a practical requirement of the times.  Humans that existed then were without resources other than their own native intelligence, which was higher than that of animals.  Intelligent work was simply an alternative to starvation and there was hardly any good choice that men had other than to use it.   Intelligence was as useful in the same way that arms and legs were useful.  But there is more.  Earlier in my life, when I studied at Tuebingen, 40 years ago, I was attracted to Klages.  It was a romantic, schwaermerish phase of my life.  Then I hated academicians as "idea killers."  It was only much later that I was drawn to the professor's favorite F. Engels on account of Engels' cool and pragmatic way of reasoning and his good sense, above all, to accept and use well that--intelligence--that is our only heritage.  My first impressions were that Engels was serious and did not violate common sense, while Klages was simply silly.  Klages has suffered rejection on grounds that he was a National Socialist, which to Engels and the "Marxists" would be repellant.  I do not want the ideological issue to intrude into Force Theory at this time.  But we may opine that to bring together Engel's mode of reasoning and the final conclusions of Klages seems to be out of the question.  Or is it?  In fact, any thoughtful examination of the premises of environmental theory today would reveal a certain (at least) ambivalence  regarding the human intellect and the intellect's great--because they are great--accomplishments.  We enter into the age of spaceships and magical rays with a palpable sadness, reading, as we do in newspapers of earth-killing at the hands precisely of human beings in a great act of self-contradiction and self-destruction.  human technology relentlessly expansions to kill its own source in life.

In short:  for Klages, intellect "kills" life.  Is this so?  Force Theory, led by the economist Duhring, with his common sense and practical view of society, has attempted to expunge romanticism and hyper-vitalism from social theory.  But there is a side of romantic philosophy, and especially of Klage's views, which compels us to look deeper into the issues he raises.  This is what I am saying:  what we should say of human rational intelligence is not that it "kills" nature; rather, intellect "de-composes" nature.  Composition and its opposite, decomposition, are key words in our ex-position.  To posit means to put; to com-posite would logically mean to "put 'in common.'" In the total purview of nature things--and beings--resist decomposition.  Simply stated, these things and beings are com-posed.  They are put together somehow.  If they become de-composed they cease to exist.  The issues are really not that complicated.   We are inclined to say of culture, and the intelligence which supports, that culture "re-arranges" objects.  We look at an object:  nature has com-posed the object.  As a composed thing, the object has parts, elements, sections and so forth.  The object also has, when processed through thought, a beginning, a middle and an end.  It has a top side and an underside, these dimensions also only through intelligent dissection.  But the dissection here is only mental, not yet practical or actual.  At the risk of falling now into pure metaphysical speculation, we may also say--as we must say--that human intelligence discerns the object's natural divisions.  Intellect may also as we say discern unnatural divisions, those of "middle, end" and so forth, which are abstract separations that do not inhere in the object an sich.  This is where we stand in the present phase of our argument.  We may go on to say that this object, as naturally com-posed, is not suitable or amenable to human life.  The stone as a nature-fact (as anthropologists call it) may not be very useful to humans; but it can be modified.  But this modification entails de-composition, which the stone--which has some inward mode of cohesion--resists.  The stone resists human intrusion as a de-composing force.  Here is where we might now meet Klages and his "intellect as killing force" thesis.  We might meet him here at least half way. 

Life, of course, in contradistinction to inert matter, actively resists decomposition.  Simply stated, that is what life is:  resistance against decomposition.  If intellect does in fact decompose life, then life has lost the battle and intellect has won.  That is tantamount to saying that intellect kills life.  But human culture (we are moving ahead rapidly now) does indeed de-compose nature. Humans have in mind a "natur" with which they are compatible; if nature does not at first appear compatible with humans, it, nature, is simply re-arranged.  Before however nature can be re-composed or re-arranged, nature must be de-composed.  We say this in clear understanding that things of nature, as the things they are--inherently composed--may need no rearrangement within themselves; but in relation to other things, this relation is, through human intellectual intervention, rearranged.   It does this in order that it, culture, may re-compose or re-arrange nature to make nature compatible with himself.  He cannot easily grasp what is rough and harsh and sour so he makes it smooth and sweet.   And so forth.  But in making the thing smooth and obtainable and graspable, he "de-composes" that object.  With living beings, whether human or animal or even plant, composition is not so easy.  That is because in order to recompose something it must first be decomposed; and living beings are not to be decomposed without virtually a physical fight.  First there is the matter of de-composition of a being whose primary quality is that it resists decomposition.  If such a being cannot easily be de-composed, it also cannot be re-composed.  Thus alterations of objects are easier to accomplish, and what we call "progress" is more rapid, in the realm of non-living things.  Culture moves rapidly where technics and science are engaged with inert matter.  However--and here an interlude seems in order--to point out that, where Engels' concept of history has humans living together in happy harmony, Force Theory ends with a concept of race as the principle wherein life resolves its own inner contradictions.  Racism while banned from society because it contradicts society, is, on the other hand, the point or juncture wherein what is merely rational becomes real.  This point of self-contradiction is reached in human society as a structure wherein the only human ties are rational ones. 

The family is an issue:  the family, as Engels himself showed, is dissolved by the terms of technology and human rational intervention in general.  This is historically true and brings us to the point of industrial civilization.  The issues are clear.  There is the matter, quite different, of animals and humans living THROUGH inert matter which, by human intelligent agency, are brought together (composed) and also necessarily separated.  We are speaking of society, as I have defined the word earlier, which is inert matter and therefore not precisely human decomposition-resistant life, either one.   Biology and culture, and the connection between them, has been the major theme of this blog.  This has been a large, and failure prone, undertaking.  A most serious risk is that we let the words we use proliferate uncontrolably, as Hegel did.  Ours would be a great victory if only we compressed Hegelian theory in just several words.  We must however rely on words that have already been used and misused in a vast scientific and popular literature.  How is biology connected to culture and vice versa?  We understand biology to be something fixed and resistant to human intrusion.  An individual person inherits genes; these determines his body and his personality and so forth.  On the other hand, this same person receives stimulation from the outside world that does change him personally somewhat. There are individual experiences which shape the person as an individual.  But other persons too, all of whom have corresponding influences--although these influences are also individual ones--influence this same person.  So, wherever mind altering and behavior altering experience come from, humans affect one another and these  It is in this area of the individual, wherein he is open to change, that culture intrudes.  The human mind is individually is affected by culture; but these same influences are patterned throughout whole populations which an integral  complex of traits and habits.  These habits are what we call culture.  Such considerations have come out of academic anthropology.  Philosophical Anthropology has appeared, or at any rate has come into prominence, only after World War II in a country, Germany, that had to concede its philosophical dominance that it had enjoyed before the War.  Philosophical Anthropology, I suggest, is what was left of a war-torn German philosophy.  This way of thinking has not spread to the United States.  There are reasons for this.  I suggest that Philosophical Anthropology is a sort of quest for identity, not as individuals but as human beings in general.  Most people think of this quest as pointless.  I have trouble interesting anyone in my own philosophical pondering.  There is, we may say, built into all of us in the moment we are born an understanding of some sort as to what it means to be a human being.  Germans would call this a Selbstverstaendlichkeit, or self-evidency.  Psychologists would call it a self-image saying, at least most recently, that this image is simply born into us as part of our genes.  That one searches for his or her own identity is regarded as a personality disorder, one that affects, most commonly, actors--who always are playing another person.  A prominent actor recently consulted with a Hindu guru, asking "Who am I?" [cite]  Philosophical Anthropology is such an identity quest and one that, like the individual search, flies in the face of the fact that such knowledge--of identity--is simply part of the genetic heritage of the human species.  Humans do not ask what it means to be human because they already know this, from birth, through some genetic self-image.  But there is more.  We may assume the ancient hunter "knew" what it meant to be human and be the person he was.  That is a safe conclusion. 

But with growing populations, technological inventions and innovations, and above all an expanding sense of "society," the person acquired--in addition to his instinctive self-image and self-knowlege--the concepts of "human" from the people around him.  Not just one additional concept of "human" appeared but a multiplicity of them.  This colllective idea of self has come into collision with the older, instinctive idea. Whether it is a blessing or curse, most people are simply oblivious to this more general disorder, believing as they do that they "know" what it means to be themselves and to be human.  The average person never thinks about these things.  Who we are and where we come from and where we are headed generally never enters their minds.  But society in general, I suggest, is moving in a chaotic direction.   There are of course political issues.   Into this confusion Philosophical Anthropology has come, as I say uninvited.  There is a power struggle, not simply between the individual and society as political forces, but between concepts of "man."  It appears that this philosophical and ideological battle will be played out among a very small number of persons.

67

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

The tool, as  inert matter, is "of nature."   Thus when we say that the human's "deficiencies"--his lack, say, of claws that clutch--separate him from nature, we must qualify that statement.    Simply in taking a tool in his hand the human has already made direct physical and sensational contact with nature.  Technics at some point always involve a real contact between man and tool or man and machine.  The point of contact may be simply a button that is pushed or a lever that is pulled.  So long as even a finger extends to the surface of a physical object the connection has been made.  But there is more.   A whole dimension of the tool--the side of technology which we call "intellect"-- remains to be discussed.   The artifact (tool) cannot be thought of apart from the intellect that controls the tool.  I have already said that this intellect could be inherent in the tool itself and would not have to be said to be from an external source.  The intellect, originating with the human, is intertwined in the tool.  But this is the same human analyzing, dissecting intellect that is so castigated by German romantic philosophy as "nature-killing."  It is tempting at this point to make fun of this point of view, asking whether, perhaps, the earliest hunter using a  spear or bow to get food would think of himself as "part" of nature or "apart" from nature.   Early man worked to get food and avoid preditors the same as modern day man; these workaday types are motivated the same and would not understand arcane Germanic distinctions between them.   It would interest the early hunter not at all to know that he is "connected" or eingegliedert as a living part of nature.   He would definitely want to live as civilized man; and would have no interest, either, in Philosophical Anthropology--neither does his civilized counterpart.  Nevertheless it remains true, as we have said all along, that the tool is "contrary" to nature.  What this means may be stated simply.

The tool consists of certain tool-elements; these are not found "in nature."  The elements are not found in human beings, nor are they found in inert matter.   We may speak of a line of action whereupon "force" is transmitted from the hand to an object, causing that object to move in a certain way.  No inert object moves in this way, this way being aptly called "anti-gravitational."  There are other expressions that would fit.  The motion of living things is in this sense anti-gravitational, moving unlike any object confined to inert motion.   In order to achieve this line of force, the "matter" that stands between the human being and his intended objective must be re-arranged.  The material must be dissected intellectually and then physically; its parts must be re-arranged in an order wherein the force originating with humans is transmitted to this said objective.  To create a bow and arrow, say, a branch from a tree must be cut into discrete bits and then these bits must be arranged in a certain way, with the addition of cord and other parts.  The tree branch must be seen as separate parts.  This dissection is an act accomplished by intellect and is basic to all technological action.   No thing of man or in nature, either one, is capable of such breaking-down into discrete parts and, correspondingly, being re-arranged.  The tool is not con-sequential.  There is no absolute bond or direection within the tool; with a "natural" thing it is otherwise.  Laws of gravity and so forth create a stable world; when humans came into that world, the connections within themselves were con-sequential.  The tool--and all of human culture--stands outside this natural order, subject as tools are to composition and decomposition; consisting of parts that have no logical or "natural" (gravitational and so forth) relationship.  Thus when a man puts his hands on a tool, he touches a part of the tool in a "connected" way--through physical touch and sensation--but the sequence of elements, strung together after having been dissected from other matter, is no direct connection.  The human connects with nature only in a mediated (vermittelt) manner or mode that can be called, in the context of the present essay, "alienated."  That is to say, the connection between two natural beings--man on the one hand and matter on the other--is itself not natura, it is, on the contrary, unnatural.  We use the terms natural and unnatural, as I already said, hypothetically.

We are talking about the connection between biology and culture.  A theoretical middle term, we can say, of this issue, if not a fact of this issue, is that of mind.  A mental problem--that the human entertained ideas that are mutually contradictory--arose in the first instance of tool use.  We have already said this in earlier sections of this blog.   That is, was the acquired (brought to the person after the fact of his birth) tool the person himself?  Or was the tool a fact of nature?  This confusion set in with primal man, who was often buried with his artifacts.  But the confusion grew.  We have stated that being "fixed" the human biololgy does not allow re-arrangement.  There are various minor possibilities to re-arrange the human anatomy, in the case of sickness, say; but these are rare instances.  The human being will resist any such intrusion to re-compose a body that is composed "by nature."  But there is more.  He will resist any attempt on the part of other persons to re-arrange his personality; and also he will fight even efforts to re-arrange his thinking, insofar as his thinking is a direct outcome of his inherited personality.  Where the rearrangement of ideas and thinking is possible is in certain outer limits of thought, where the subject of that thought is purely objective, that is, is some physical order or sequence that is problematic and debatable.  Even there, where his opinion is a matter of personal pride, there is resistance.  But the issue is more complicated than this.  If the human is resistant to personal change, he is open to change in his social relations--depending on what these relations are.  In an earlier book (available as Utopia of the Instincts) I pointed to the mother-child relation as a relation which is "of nature" and as such inviolable.  Fourier proscribed this relation in his utopian society; he was simply wrong.  No social plan has ever successfully challenged this relationship; and any society violating it has gone to ruin.  We may therefore set the point, where nature asserts itself against culture in precisely this relation between mother and child.  I have not changed my opinion since writing Utopia of the Instincts.   The human being may think that in creating culture, he has simply "disposed" of nature. ......

At the center of Force Theory is a principle I'm now calling The Negative Dialectic of the Good.  This principle stands at the core of every culture and is the motive force at the basis of what we call history.  That principle is this:  A culture, once appearing, begins already to decay as the culture enters its first stages of self-contradiction.  It is left for us to describe this self-contradiction.   The good demands to be "done," and it is in the doing of good that the good degrades itself into the particulars of everyday life.  The good, in short, once the "moral fiber" binding a culture as an integral whole, dissolves itself into the specifics of practical action.  The good loses its transcendent "majesty" in the light of which all humans of a culture stand in awe and thus are together as a group.  The good brings itself down to earth.  This is the principle at the core of Force Theory and the idea, conceding its Hegelian roots, that asks for respect among philosophers and philosophies.  I submit this claim.  The idea of Negative Dialectic is simple and straightforward, and it can claim originality.  There are versions of Dialectic from Hericlitus to Fichte and Hegel; but here is no other idea like Negative Dialectic in the history of philosophy worldwide.  This is the claim we make.  But there remains the troubling question, is the theory true.  I will follow the rules of jurisprudance, in honor of my deceased father, a Harvard-trained lawyer, in asking where the burden of proof lies.  In any original idea, that in the absence of any common acceptance this is, the burden of proof is with that idea.  Thus, in a court of law, we must show that the Negative Dialectic exists and that it functions as we say it does.  I have already mentioned a Negative Dialectic in the realm of political power.  This will be a demonstration by analogy.  The Dialectic of the Good follows the same rules as the dialectic of Power, which can easily be proven by simple logic.  Power is what it is only if unconditioned or undetermined by anything outside its lf.  To say that power "serves" the people, or anyone except perhaps the person holding power, is to say that the power is not absolute and, logically, it is only partial power.  My argument follows the line of thinking that power and the good are somehow related, or interconnected, or stand in for one another.  Whether the good is power or vice versa I cannot precisely say; but when we see one we are likely to see the other lurking close behind.   I do believe at this point of writing that not only are the two dialectics--that of the good and that of political power--the same in principle but that they are connected.  Historically the two dialectics appear together, so that when one appears the other is there, close by, almost as a shadow.  The closeness of the good and political power has been alluded to by philosophers of the past.  Nietzsche speaks of "priestly power"; Spengler follows in this vein.  It would appear that a political leader when seriously challenged resorts to "the good"; he proclaims himself to be a paragon of moral virtue.  We see this in the newspapers daily.  But there is a serious point to be made.  The good and political power have in common that they both exist in whole only insofar as they are pure and unsullied by the realities of everyday life.  It is understandable that the political ruler or (these days) politicians can "relate" to the good, inasmuch as both power and the good have a majesty which compells attention if not outright obediance on the part of the masses of humans.  I am tempted to think that power and the good are possibly the same.  This is a point which may still have to be resolved.  In the meantime, however, I want to display the good for what it is:  something which, like power, is whole and viable only when uncorrupted.  But such corruption is in what we call "good deeds."  We are saying that an idea of the good begins to decay when the good that there is is good that is done.  Whole cultures perish--because they loose the unity they have through the good--when they begin to do good.  The Negative Dialectic of the Good is paralleled by negative dialectic in power, which, through democratic and other human-oriented ideologies, is degraded in practical action.

The good is an idea central to a culture, but paradoxically is not of or for that culture.  It is not within the purview of Philosophical Anthropology to form an opinion on a "final basis of being."  On the other hand, we can clearly trace the idea of the good to human agency.   In doing so we conclude that the good is a pure invention.  But it is an invention like no other, inasmuch as the good has no purpose other than itself. In this the good is like political power, which is compromised and degraded as soon as power is no longer pointless, in other words is no longer absolute.   The piston of a motor has the purpose of driving the crankshaft; the piston "should"  have this function which is beyond itself.  Yet in the case of the good, human beings pay homage to such a "groundless" principle as the basis of "morality" as a general guide to human action .  Ultimately this action is pointless:  one does good just to be good, and for no other reason.  The good unlike the individual part of a machine needs no reason beyond itself and is sufficient to itself.  But here we have understood a major feature of culture.  This aloofness of the good is in itself awe inspiring; such is the psychology of human beings.   No sarcasm is meant but only sincere curiosity.  There is a majesty in the good precisely in its own pointlessness and its lack of apology.  All scepticism is set aside by citizens for a principle--here, the good---that is self-contained and aloof and depends on no person or power for support.  A certain "useful" blindness appears in humans that belys their critical capacities in everyday practical comings and goings.  It is precisely the non-commitment and non-engagement in everyday practical matters that puts the good--or a political power that is its own ground and reason for existence--in this central position in culture.  That this majesty of the good commands such attention causes humans to focus in common on the same objective, although the objective is not real.  Earlier we built a basis for this assertion.  We talked about the essential difference between a living being and an entity comprise of inert elements.  This led us to the conclusion that the focus provided by the idea of the good is not in any real sense a living force such as inheres in biological organisms.  The focus in itself is the sole unity of a culture and of the people who comprise that culture.  We have already said, and have supported this statement, that a culture, like a machine, has no unifying force.  The unity of a machine or culture, either one, is in the synchronization and interaction of its individual parts.  A culture or a machine, either one, has no "soul."  Here we risk having an undefinable word on our hands; suffice it to say that a culture or a machine, either on, is not alive.  Neither of these things has a life force or elan vital or lebensdrang.  These are all words that express what a living being, in contradistinction to an inert or material entity is.  What we are left with at this point is an inescapable conclusion.  That is, that the focus of a culture has nothing finally to do with the culture, except for the role that that focus is assigned by citizens.  The focus in itself--here, the good--contradicts the entire role assigned by humans to give their culture focus.  Humans give the good a role in society and culture; while the good itself eschews any such role.  The good denies the role that it has in culture because any role whatsoever, or any practical purpose, would corrupt its own majesty and cause it, the good, to lose the generality which allows the good to be central.  All culture is engaged in this contradiction.  The contradiction provides a motive energy for culture's advance, as each phase of culture falls short of its own set goal or ideal--to approximate the good.  Indeed, in bringing a use or reason to the good the culture corrupts its own ideal.  The good in these terms can survive only by repudiating the reasons why human aspire to the good.  We are left with the image of a culture as something fragile, because a culture does not contain a principle of unity that is properly its own.

At the center of every culture, society or civilization there is an idea of the absolute good.  We have said this already.   We may call this the "moral fiber" of the culture.  This is what finally holds the culture together.  There is much to say on "moral fiber" but I will be brief.   Such an ideal or moral principle is spoken of in the sacred teachings and writings of a civilization.  Here I face no burden of proof inasmuch as what I say--that the good is central to human societal life as such--is stated in everything we commonly read and hear.  The prevelance of such an idea--in the absence of any clue where such an idea came from or how it finally relates to the rest of culture--is a problem we will now confront.  So far, in noting the centrality of the idea of the good, I have said nothing that will cause an outcry of rejection.  No court will order me to bear the burden of proof.  But there is more.  The idea of the good, or the morality of a culture, is unlike anything else in the culture.  The paradox of morality or the idea of the good is that it has no rational basis when, indeed, a culture or society is put together rationally.  I may mention the sociological viewpoint "functionalism."  This a certain "Newtonian" idea carried into social theory and is ingrained in a British ideology that is anethema to Germans.   Here the discrete elements of cuture are examined in terms of the way they hold together as a viable, practical whole.  Culture is considered, essentially, a machine.  In a machine no part contradicts the mechanism as a unit.  Functionalism has long been basic to social anthropology and sociology.  To function means that the discrete elements of culture--the family, practical everyday activities of all sorts, the commings and goings of people--all have to integrate as a working whole. 

To function means, in the context of society, to interrelate "rationally"  or logically or simply "for some reason."  This would be a reason humans understand, so that they would say, "Oh, that is a rational thing to do."  The issue is not yet entirely settled, however.   Again in deferring to functionalism and a good deal of the corpus of sociology and social anthropology we cause no controversy.  What is here finally suggested, on the other hand, that morality has no inherent "function" or rational purpose may come as a surprise.  Morality has no inherent practical purpose, altlhough it can be given one.  Morality holds a culture or society or civilization together, yet morality also expressly denies any practical source or final meaning.  Morality is an absolute generality that stands not simply in contrast, but in outright opposition, to the rational connections that structure society in society's particlar elements.  Culture and society come together through the connections--which are rational--of their individual elements.  These connections are obviously--consciously--practical and in that sense rational.  When businessmen come together they have an obvious and rational reason for doing so.  On the other hand, such connections, rational and purposefull in themselves, and while individually cohering one to the other, in their sum total are weak.  A building, we are saying, can consist entirely of bricks piled one upon the other; but such a building would be weak.  It needs some central principle of support.  But this support also does not usually have any practical reason so far as the structure is functionally planned.  This central support stands alone.  Human individual relationships are connected in strings of connections the general outline of which is rather weak; some "internal support" is useful.  That is why religions and central moral concepts, though these may call themselves secular, are useful and that is why they are supported by the human populace: the idea of the good is a generality that can serve as the generality of society and culture.  But there is the further consideration that these same moral concepts, though useful to build a social generality, disclaim their own usefulness--it is only in this way that they can claim to a higher generality. 

Power whether moral or political is pure, uncontaminated by anything rational, reasonable or even useful or purposeful.  So, we are saying, that when humans come together in church and to "worship," they have no reason for doing so.  Indeed, when a human being does "good," he has no reason for doing so.  We are forced into the radical conclusion, consulting everything that is said about the good, and good acts, that any rationality would only contaminate the good.  What is good about the good is precisely its separation from any practicality or reasonableness whatsoever. Practicality and reasonableness and rationality are always particular.   Only in doing good for no reason does one do good.  The particular corrupts the generality of the good, making the good not good.  It is only by this mindlessness that the good can rise to the level of generality wherein it becomes the general binding principle of a whole civilization.  This the most sacred principle wherein human beings live together as a society or culture.

Political power is much like moral power.  True political power means that the leader exercises power for no reason at all and to no rational end.  If the leader had a reason to act in this or that way, or if he in any way "needed" a reason to act, his power would not be pure political power.  Pure power, exercised by one human being over another, is devoid of any reason or rationality or purpose.  And yet all politicians aspire to that kind of power.  For this reason--that power must be pure and uncorrupted by rationality--political leaders, always, look for inspiration to morality.   Morality, which has no source, and is grounded in no reality whatsoever, is pure, uncorrupted by reference to mundane individal needs.  A Christian, for instance (to pursue this tangent), does not serve the poor, precisely, because to serve the poor would be to exercise goodness for a reason.  The reason for service would corrupt the goodness or godliness of the Christian's actions.  These however are tangents.  The main point I am making now is that it is not in the particularities of culture, even when these are rationally put together, that culture comes into collision with nature but in culture's generalities.  I am tempted to relate the quote attributed to Hitler:  people will believe a big lie before they believe a small one.  The principle expressed here is a simple one and very true.  The "lie" we are talking about is that of goodness, which has no ground or purpose or rationality.  A great deal of thought, historically, has gone into the issue of "the ground of morality."  Rudolf Carnap, the logical positivist, said that a moral principle cannot be inferred from a fact.  That is true.  But a moral principle, while it cannot be inferred from an empirical fact, neither can it be inferred from a logical or mathematical fact.  One cannot add 2 and 2 and get "the good."   Culture is made up of facts some of which are logical or rational in their essential makeup; sometimes these facts are strung together in a logical way.  In any case, where and how morality and the good appear is a mystery.  I do not need to relate the futile attempts by Plato, Kant and many others to ground or base the good in some fact of nature or the cosmos.  We have come to the conclusion, here (at any rate), that the idea of the good, and hence morality itself, exists in its own sphere which resists corrpution from some external source, that source being the world of facts.  An actual purpose that such a transcendent good can serve is, indeed, to unite a whole culture; but it is only in the rejection of that purpose and all other rational, practical purposes that the good can sustains its elevated generality.  This--the contradiction between the value of the good in uniting a culture and its own transcendence of all purposes whatsoever--is a great paradox and one which must be of central interest to Force Theory.  But there is more.   Nature consists of facts.  By virtue precisely of its moral goodness, a culture puts itself, finally and absolutely, squarely in opposition to nature.

The facts of culture do not necessarily contradict the facts of nature; this contradiction comes about only when mediated by the absolute generality of culture, the idea of the good.  Otherwise culture and nature are compatible.  Humans arrange facts of nature, they do not "elementally" change them.  First of all, there are elements of nature that, humans agree, are unalterable.  This is a concession humans make to nature.

69

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

We understand that culture and technics are meant to be lived through, as a bridge is meant to be crossed over.  Culture and technics bridge the void that opened when humans lost their biological connection--which we are simplifying with the words teeth and claws-- with nature.  Instead, humans make and use tools.  We have said enough about this connection already.  What is left, it seems, is to determine if culture and technics are meant to be lived in.  Of course we must still deal with the highly problematic phrase "meant to be."   A hammer is "meant" to pound a nail; that is the human intention.  All we are saying in the phrase "meant to be" is that the function that culture has taken on as an escape from nature, as opposed to a method of dealing with nature, was not the original function of culture.   The original purpose of culture was to fill in the void between man and nature; culture came to be, on the other hand, an obviation of the whole need to live in nature.  Nature itself became obsolete.  Humans through culture became mere escapists, almost as it were hypernating from the word outside culture.   Was culture now a sort of sealed, sequestered-off reality into which humans can escape, ceasing, that is, to live in their old world of nature?  Here we may again, in presenting these ideas, refer to Philosophical Anthropology as a position orienting us in our pursuit of a true understanding of what Scheler called die Stellung des Menschen im Cosmos.  We look to the simplest--that is the earliest--situations humans faced as they emerged as one species among others on the African plains.    It is one thing, we are saying, to use a stick or stone or hammer or saw with which to interesect with nature, bringing physical nature closer to humans and more compatible with their interests.  We may picture a hunter on the plains of Africa, alone there with simply a stick to serve him; he is chasing some animal for food.  It would be a pointless argument to say that, if this hunter lacks the speed and strengh and (of course) teeth and claws to grasp this prey, he does not understand, through his senses and instincts, precisely where he is.  This world of the African plains is still, even for the human "creature of deficiency" (Gehlen), some sort of familiar environment and one in which he feels comfortable.  But there is more.  This very tool, itself part nature, and also part human intention and plan, constitutes a sort of safe haven.  The tool, even so simple a tool as a stick, constitutes in itself a sort of "safe haven" of defense.  The tool is also a provider and in that sense replaces the spontaneous abundance of nature.  Our picture of Africa three million years ago, the time of human appearance, is one of dwindling forests and lowering temperatures; in that sense Africa did appear to be a void.  But the change was not abrupt; looking as he did at the African vistas he did not feel cast out of nature, but still felt a part of it.  These same sticks that served as tools gradually, over time and with rising human ingenuity, became houses and protective shelters.  The stick became also not merely the means to food but the source of food.  The stick was not simply a mediator between man and nature, but tended to become, eventually, a hermetically sealed reality in itself with no comprehension of what was around it.   Abstract intelligence was simply a way of "dealing with" this outside world.  Here we are taking a position regarding German romantic philosophy (Spengler, Klages and many others):  intelligence does not so much "kill" nature as such intelligence allows humans to stay in a relation with nature even after, retreating as they do to a world of culture, separate themselves from nature.  Intelligence in these terms is not so much a connection between a nature-alienated man and nature, as it is a resolution to the opposition that sets in between culture, on the one hand, as an escape from nature; and on the other hand, nature itself.   Intelligence is an afterthought.

Where culture becomes not just a bridge to nature, but an escape from nature, a new opposition or contradiction arises.  Culture can be connected within itself, and the human being through culture is connected to himself; but culture is not necessarily connected to nature.  Culture as an "escapist" reality exists in a void; this void still must be overcome.  Culture must connect itself, or reconnect itself, with nature; otherwise culture will perish.  This is a point which I may postpone proving inasmuch as the point is self-evident.  We begin talking at some point about the connection--the resolution of the opposition of culture and nature--between these two great realities.  The Germans were right in decrying a "contradiction" (Widerspruch) between culture and nature.  They were also on the right path to understanding this opposition in beginning, as they did--interrupted by a geat war--the path of Philosophical Anthropology.  What we have done here in this essay under the title Force Theory is to advance this understanding one further step:  having separated man from nature, having then reconnected man to nature through mediation of culture, having further separated culture from nature--we must, then, rejoin culture to nature.  That is done through abstract intelligence.  The life of an animal is perilous; in the short term, at least,  humans have reduced danger in their own lives.  There remains for us to see the danger that culture faces when, constituted within itself by ties irrelevant to nature in general, this same culture confronts nature in a relationship mediated entirely through abstract ideas of science and mathematics.  And finally, the human being comes into collision with his own inner being as that being is constituted through biology and race.  Culture on the one hand and race on the other, as biological "becoming," are positioned in an oppositional relation to one another for which there is no forseeable resolution.

70

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Alienation, as I say, while it starts with a separation is much more than separation.  As the idea--with Darwinism, one of the two or three most influential ideas of our civilization--has come down to us, subject to a number of interpretation, it means this:  The human being as the special being that he is creates around himself an extension (ergaenzung, cf. Gehlen)  of himself.   This extension passes from what the man is to what the man is not--the "other."  This other is foreign to its own creator and, as a foreign entity, opposes the creator.  It attempts not so much to abandon its creator as to defeat its creator, so that it, the "other," cannot be left alone but must be confronted.    We are faced with an inescapable conclusion.  The opposition between the original creator and the "other" demands resolution.  In the resolution of the contradiction (Widerspruch) between creator and creation there come to be new contradictions and new resolutions.  Thus history passes from "lower" states to "higher" states of being.    Again I mention that alienation is an important concept, yet one used in many and diverse contexts; there may never be clarity of this word.  Fichte apparently first used the word; it was picked up by Hegel and given its most voluminous and ponderous formulation; at it was passed on to the neo-Hegelians, among them Engels (Engels' colleague Karl Marx seems not to have embraced the word at all).  Force Theory in these terms is simply the effort of one writer, Swartzbaugh, to introduce dialectic and the idea of alienation into Philosophical Anthropology.  Arnold Gehlen defines culture as an extension of man that completes man in his deficiencies; Force Theory attempts to show that this aforesaid extension of man is the Hegelian "alienated other."  Force Theory proposes first that the alienatied essence, which we know as technology and techno-strategies, advances in form to higher states and stages by virtue of its alienation and self-alienation.  In this passing the intelligence that there is, first in living nature and then in man, passes also from con-sequential thinking to categorical thinking.  Earlier [cite] I talked about categorical thinking.  Finally, however, this "other" passess into a flat (categorical) contradiction with nature, and as the mode of nature's becoming, race.   We might say a word here about the history of the word alienation.  We see the word in so-called Existentialism of Heidegger and Kierkegaard, but also in the expatriate or Frankfurt school of social theory notably of Marcuse, Ardono, Popper, Horkheimer and others.  In short, the word alienation is much used and probably abused.  In the world of philosophy it suffers under a burden, like many words, of overuse and popularization.  I have stated above what I believe to be a "classic" or Hegelian formulation of the idea of alienation.   But a question remains:  we have only defined the context of alienation, but we have not precisely defined the word.  Of course, consistent with our progam of Philosophical Anthropology--which is to keep words to a minimum and define them as precisely as possible and within the most understandable context (which I take to be the everyday lives of early human beings)--we cannot be content with the idea of alienation as Hegel left it, in a mass of Germanic mumbo jumbo.   We have not finished with our notion of alienation, we have only just started.  I begin with the etymological approach and suggest that the key to understanding alienation is in the word itself, with the suggestion, in other words, that alienation is (as I said earlier) not a separation but a sense of a kind of "strangeness" of the human being toward his own creation.  We find this hint also in German, Ent-fremdung, or becoming-strange-to.  It is precisely in the lack of familiarity that the human has towards his original "extension" that should concern us here.

Thus, to alienate someone is to become strange to that person.   We are saying that alienation means becoming alien. Earlier I talked about alienation as an idea at the core of religion--separation from someone or something necessary to someone.  Religion  has traditionally dealt with separations between man and nature, and between man and man.  Hegelian dialectic goes beyond this to specify the separation between the human being and what he himself has created for himself, as an "ersatz Natur".

We are assuming a human being who is disconnected from what he must finally be connected with, that is, with "nature."  We assume this first simply for purposes of argument and speak entirely in abstract terms of so-called man, the so-called animal and so-called nature.    Connection is vital; disconnection is fatal.  Solitude and isolation from one's family and friends and social relations in general is sad; final separation from nature is unthinkable.  Into this context of connection and disconnection, culture appears as a mediating agent.   We have previously talked about a void between our hypothetical man and hypothetical nature, a void that does not exist between an animal and nature.  At the risk of seeming to repeat myself I may say that the animal has nature, as biology, as the part of itself that ties this being in with nature.   Teeth and claws in a sense are nature.   There is no such gap or void between the animal and nature.   With the human being, lacking as he does these (hypothetical) teeth and claws, it is otherwise; nature has "disconnected" him.  What is in him that connects the human to nature has disappeared from his own nature or constitution.   The genetics connecting him with his surroundings have dropped out of his gene pool.  But there is more.   Into this situation of separation and alienation comes culture, which is a thing of the human's own creation.   Technics and culture in general can be described as a bridge;  this bridge would span the void between, on the one hand, the human lacking a biological or natural connection to nature and, on the other hand, (our hypothetical) nature on the other hand.   For purposes of argumentation we are dealing presently with abstract and hypothetical beings and things.   We are raising the question as to whether culture can, truthfully, be called a bridge.  Elsewhere [cite] I have called culture a mediating agent; culture stands between man and nature and between man and man.   But there is more to be said.  So far, in the preceding paragraph we have not advanced our argument.   A new point is now made and one that is central to advanced Force Theory and Philosophical Anthropology.  That is:  the human being does not construe culture as a bridge or mediator, necessarily, but as--and this is a radical departure--as a new world in itself.  This world is isolated, finally, from the nature out of which the human being originally appeared.  What began as a bridge has become an island. 

Examples may be dangerous to a formal argument constructed around hypothetical truths.  We may consider language.  Language is a connection between one human being and another.  But there is still another possibility.  Such a connection exists only when these humans speak the same language.  In a context where formal language is required--which now includes just about everything in human life--there is, lacking a common language, a nearly total sense of isolation and solitude among these same humans.   Here language can be understood as a barrier rather than a connector.  But this is true of other formal human institutions.  Where they bind some people, they separate and isolate others.  Examples of such isolation abound throughout the world, where men expecting to understand one another--because they have in common a capacity for language in a human sense--actually lack all understanding, even that understanding, we are saying, that binds animals in many situations.  Human beings are isolated from one another by precisely the thing, culture, that they had expected to bring them together.  We may mention that ideas to unite the world, say in communist ideology, optimistically point to the human capacity for formal language as a uniting fact, when, indeed, these same languages and whole cultures are a dividing force.  Even animals have a community, we are saying, in their diverse species and forms that humans do not have.  And it is precisely because of the mediating fuction of universal technics and formal culture that this isolation exists.  This is the paradox of human culture.  But there is more.   We have spoken so far of the relationship of one human being and another, as, in other words, connected--and divided--through culture.  It is part of human ingenuity that they can, sometimes and perhaps only partially, work around these cultural differences.   This has been the constant subject--if only unconsciously--of sociology and political science.  To cover the same ground as sociology is not what we have in mind for Philosophical Anthropology and Force Theory.  We are giving only a side glance, now, to the relations of man to man; we are focused, rather, on the relation of man to nature.  There has been a constant theme of philosophy, especially in Germany, of the "abstracting" effect of technology and science.  To reduce (something the Germans call) "pure nature" to the terms of science somehow "kills" this nature that is around us and within us.  This is not nonsense, we are saying, but a pertinent idea--badly formulated.  Science, and the whole culture of technics, does not abstract nature so much as, as a slowly encroaching tendency, isolate the human from nature, to create, in other words, a certain "safe" environment that replaces the original savanahs of the earliest hunters.  Again, however, such isolation raises the egregious reality that the human being, isolated from nature, comes into flat opposition and contradiction to nature.  Yet nature is the overwhelmingly superior force.

71

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

We may talk about the words separation and alienation together. This is to contrast the two great modern theories of human life:  Darwinism and Hegelianism.   Religion, as religion appeared primally in human life, is based on the idea of separation.  The word religion is derived from Latin, religare--to re-link.  Implied here is that there has been a separation between things or beings that were originally joined.  We are implying also that  humans desire that those things that have become separated be once more joined together.  This could be a separation between man and nature, between humans as members of a group or, finally, within the human body itself.     Religion enters at this point to rejoin or "relink" the separated entities.  This notion--that symbols and ritual acts can rejoin what has become dangerously disconnected--was present as a core of human culture from the earliest times.  We put this original period of religion at the point, as per our earlier statements regarding the premises of Force Theory, at the time of technology.  This topic--that man was already "thinking" through and around his first technics, even before this man had formal language--was talked about in an earlier blog.  We emphasize the point that religion--and the premise of religion, that of "dangerous" separation--has forever been at the center of human thinking.  Examples of separation are not hard to find.  The human being appears first in a natural setting (Umwelt) in which he is "naturally" connected.  He has his tools and artifacts; but nature herself is also abundant.  This is a good life.  Then comes a draught where the animals and plants vanish; the human is left without food.  Such a disasterous event constitutes a "separation."  That is what we will talk about  now.   The first impulse of the human being in the face of a separation is to rejoin himself with what he has been separated from, so long as that a union with that thing is necessary to his being.  So, in other words, what would rejoin our distressed man would be to cause rain to fall; to bring back, in other words, the original conditions under which the person was united with his familiar world.  But the rain will not fall by itself.  The easiest thing to do, upon consultation with the community's magician, is to ritually and symbolically call for the rain to fall.  He invokes magic and religion.   We assume that the rain still does not fall.  At that point the human undertakes more drastic--and more difficult--strategies to survive.  The human may simply move his campsite.  Also at that time, under such stress, the person becomes imaginative and creative in pursuing--technologically and, what is the same, strategically--new sources of food.   The scenario I have outlined, which is by no means hypothetical but must have happened millions of times upon the African savannah, is a virtual cliche of anthropology.  The man in the event of a separation has a need .  He calls upon religion to "relink" him with the world he had known.  Finally, creativity sets in and the human advances to a new level of technological and strategic adaptation.  This scenario is "darwinistic" in its conception.  But we are only at the most basic level of philosophical analysis.  We have not put this darwinistic example in the context of more general philosophical speculation where we have moved--or have attempted to move--throughout this blog.  Is this "reunion" with nature anything like the "dialectic" proposed by Hegel and the neo-Hegelians?.  To confront as humans commonly do a pathological separation.  We are asking, in other words, if the response of the human being, and/or the successful conclusion of this response, is in some general sense a "synthesis" in Hegelian terms.  We're asking if whether the human relationship of separation is also a relationship of opposition or contradiction.  We are asking whether this separation and reunion is in any sense a "formal" event that could be characterized within the Hegelian system.  The great ponderous cosmic principles laid down by Hegel under the theory of alienation is what we now must deal with; it seems at first sight that the gap between simple darwinism and Hegelianism is unbreachable, that, in other words, the Hegelian principle remains just that--a pure principle or theory unrelated, by any convincing argument, to the events of an everyday world.

We are suggesting that Hegelianism, and the ideas of dialectic and alienation, are refinements of the notion inherent in the word religion.  Synthesis corresponds to the religious notion of separation.  It is not too much to suggest that Hegelianism is an attempt, successful or not, to secularize the notion of a "relinking" that is the core idea of religion.  Hegel would not merely rejoin entities once separated, such as man and nature, but would aver that any relinking constitutes, virtually, a progress or movement to a higher level of being.  This comment on the relation of Hegel to all religion has not been made before; but is made now under auspices of Force Theory.  But it is another matter to prove or give credence to Hegel's advancement in religion and philosophy.  Our "razor" suggests that the simplest depiction is the best. Darwinism as propounded by academicians would be the more satisfying secular or scientific solution to the issue of human separation.   But I want to comment further.  The muddle which German philosophy has long been in regarding such words as "contradiction" and "alienation" and "synthesis" may simply be the result of imprecise definitions.  That is where Force Theory enters along with Duhring's call for good and scientifically precise definitions.  If we add to our original Darwinistic statement the idea that, in the case of the human being, such separation between a human and his umwelt (surrounding world) is inevitable--that there is something in the fact of human separation that is in itself unique and apart from any separation that an animal may experience--then we may move on to conclude that the human effort to overcome the alienation (aufheben wollen) does itself move "forward" according to principles that require more than the attention given to them by academic anthropologists. Here we raise the issue of a "natural" (genetic) nakedness.  Such a condition of defenselessness is the premise of an absolute or categorical philosophy which generally is Hegelian.   Within the technical/strategic act itself, we are saying, that preceded formal language and modern human symbolic behavior, was built in a certain "logic" of alienation (separation) and re-union or synthesis.  The separation of the human being was "essentially," according to our notions, an absolute or categorical separation, not the partial separation that befell the animal who was dislocated or disabled in its world.  The animal adapts to its world genetically; the animal body "assumes" a certain world.  If this world changes, the animal still "assumes" it is living in its old world.  [This statement needs work.] 

In Force Theory we first imagine a human being who is "naked to the world."  This is a purely hypothetical man, inasmuch as the first humans were not actually naked but would be forced, obviously, to survive with physical strength or tools, either one, every day of their year.  The human would have to be physically strong or technologically/strategically able, either one.  There must have been a period--very brief--when the human, literally grasping for some kind of control of his world--picked up a stick; but this act was preceded by some physical attempt to take charge of a situation.  He may have been battling some animal with teeth and arms; but then he picked up a stick.  The stick sealed his fate, not for that fight but for three million years of human culture.  The logic we are talking about is not in the human brain so much as in the human stick or artifact.  There is a logic of tool use--with the assumption that the tool user is himself essentially "naked" and defenseless--that, by formal stages, brings about human culture.  Again the logic of tool use appears against a back ground of, and upon the assumption of, a human being who is "naturally" separated from his world as a kind of "naked ape" (cite Desmond Morris).  But the nakedness is not merely in his lack of body hair but in his overall lack of protection against the world.  Again I emphasize that this is a hypothetical being; but such nakedness is also the basis of the logic of culture.  The separation of man as a being otherwise defenseless against from that nature is the categorical premise of the dialectic of technological/strategic culture.

Separation is not alienation.  Our hypothetical "naked ape" is separated from nature, not alienated from it.  The issue is a very simple one.  The hypothetical naked ape is without the means, biological or otherwise, to live in nature and therefore he must perish.  Between the hypothetical naked ape and nature there is no contradiction, only incompatibility.  But the human must be compatible with nature in order to survive.   The contradiction that there is comes rather between the naked ape as a biological organism and, on the other hand, the pure will of this being to survive.  The naked ape wills to live but is not afforded arms and teeth and claws to live; he must resort to something else in order to live.  Thus the contradiction we search for, as a Hegelian motive for forward movement to a new level of adaptation, is between the deficient organism--never meant to survive--and the motive power of life itself.  We could talk about the fear of death.  I have mentioned earlier [cite] that the program of Force Theory, as a branch (we'll say) of Philosophical Anthropology, does not commit itself to pure Hegelianism or any formal or categorical system.  Although, however, we are not Hegelian purists we do, like our mentor Engels, aspire in that direction.  As someone said (maybe Guston the artist) there is no such thing as pure art; all art is "corrupted" by reality; we say the same of philosophy.  All facts in some way or other "corrupt" a philosophical system.  Thus, in short, we attempt to approximate Hegel's grand vision.  Darwinism is without any sense of human culture and, as such,  falls short of any real understanding of the human- as opposed to the animal condition.  Darwinism with its focus entirely on the biological organism as such, a creature of teeth and claws, has left us with no good way to resolve the separation of the human from his desired world; and therefore no way of understanding, as it turns out, the passing of man as a naked ape to man as culture. Admittedly the issue--how culture mediates between man and nature--is a difficult one.  Hegel and the neo-Hegelians understood this issue but tried to solve it in terms that have proved too formal.  Here we are "soft" Hegelians.  What is being proposed at present that the human being acts, as humans do, to overcome a separation, that between himself and nature; but the contradiction that compels the human to act is that between his own incapactiy to act and his will to act anyway.  I make these points at the risk of appearing to restate what has already been stated by Gehlen.  But there is more.  The contradiction that there is is an ongoing one, that raises itself in every technical act.  Technology is inherently an ersatz solution to a problem but a solution, too, that negates itself at every step and passes, as it must, to new orders of technology, strategy and culture.

72

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

4.4a Gehlen's thesis is that Man is a Mangelwesen (creature of deficiency).  Gehlen had predecessors:  L. Bolk spoke of retardierung, referring to the human being as a "retarded" animal.  This is an animal that has not gone through full development.  We may say that this animal, as "retarded," would be at a great disadvantage in competition with other, fully developed animals.   The theme of deficiency and retardation appears throughout the literature of  Philosophical Anthropology through the 1960s when I was a student at Tubingen.  The idea is quite simple.  What the animal has by way of defenses and methods of survival the animal was born with:   teeth and claws, but many other organs and instincts.  The animal in the context of its world or environment is "complete."   The human being, individual and collective, is different.  In the context of his own world, by contrast, the human being is lacking the means of survival; he must provide these means--tools--for himself.  A tool is an object which, found rather than inherited, is "used" for some purpose.   The very fact of human subjectivity is lost in the tool  Gehlen talks about the human's puny arms; we will focus here on these arms and what these arms are subjectively.  The human being in extending his arm by a tool gives to this tool the tool's motive force; but the human also imparts to the tool his own subjectivity.  The subjectivity of the human passes into the tool--and away.   Conversely, the objectivity that is the mark of the tool is passed to its human user.   This is the objectification of the human being so decried by the critics (mostly Germans) of technological civilization.  We are setting the stage here, in other words, for an "identity crisis"--one that the tool-less animal never has--of vast proportions.  Human intellectual effort through countless ages has been simply to separate his identity from his technology.   This he does through intelligence and conscious effort. 

We can simplify our thesis if we take simply one organ, the arm, as an example.  Gehlen would say that the arm as it is genetically transmitted is "incomplete"; it is a rather weak arm with a generalized hand.  The tool, then, "completes" or "extends" the arm.   Of course the arm "extends" the body.  Is every extension of the body the body itself?  This is the question we must ask ourselves.  This may be the question of all ages (!).  It may not too much to suppose that this is the question we ask, finally, when we ask the question of God. :rolleyes:   Objective observation would tell us that the arm is one thing and the tool is another thing.  That is true.  But we do not know that the tool user knows the differences.  There is no particular reason that he should make the distinction.  As an individual being the arm has nerve endings; the tool does not.  The arm is "subjectively" known; the tool is not.  But the issue does not end here.   The human may not be regarding his arm and tool-extension from an individual standpoint but rather from a point of view that is mediated through the group.  As a collective being, we are saying, the man may not be able to distinguish his arm from the tool.   Finally, over a period of time the human is precisely the opposite of "alienated";  his identity is submerged in the group which in turn is submerged in technological "extensions."   Alenation in these terms would be the hoped for (under Force Theory) outcome of civilization and the point of transition, ultimately, to a nature- and race-based group existence.    4.b Gehlen's thesis, while not  original, takes us to the point that Philosophical Anthropology had arrived at the time I studied in Tubingen under Otto Bulnow.  There have been subsequent Philosophical Anthropologists; but they have not gone beyond what Gehlen and Plessner accomplished.  I do not mean to overly belabor a very simple point.  Where we are left, I say, is with a man without any means of self defense or attack, who, wandering alone in a dangerous place, confronted with a dangerous animal, picks up a stick to defend himself--and survives.    I want to dwell upon this very basic situation and bring it into perspective with the conclusions of PA.   Our modus operandi is to ask increasingly difficult questions, ones that PA has not yet asked.  We affirm that the man now has a stick.  Who now is this man?   Are the biological man and the stick two parts of the same man?  Does "being human" include an arm and then a stick?    Gehlen never seriously asks this question; we must ask it now.  We are moving on, then, to new territory.   We are asking whether the "being" of the human being includes some tool, if only a stick, along with the body's organs.  Gehlen could mean by "essential Man" the man who first is without a stick, and then has a stick but is still a Man without the stick; or "essential Man" may be a creature who, not yet a Man, becomes a Man when holding the stick.  These are fundamental questions and ones which must be faced if we are to justify our existence as philosophers and not merely shallow academics. 

Where we are going to launch a (friendly) critique of Gehlen is at the point where he passes from a Paleolithic setting to a modern setting;  where the man he is talking about  transitions to a being collectively engaged in the technics of his life.  The position of Force Theory (as a variant of PA) is that human engagement with tools began in simple situations--a man picks up a stick and swings it at an animal or anther human--wherein the human was already "committed" to technics inescapably; at which time not only did the tool "extend" the human being, as an extension ( ergaenzung --Gehlen), but the man could reasonably think of his tool AS an arm.    The beginning of an identity problem began at this early time.  That problem was, as I say, the thought that not only did the tool extend the arm, but that the tool was the arm.    Gehlen, who lacks this precise formulation of the issue, simply has not asked enough questions.  Gehlen never questions the idea that the man could always distinguish his arm from his tool.  Of course, early on the man could make this distinction.  But his culture, and above all the collective group of fellow technicians, could not make the distinction.   Gehlen was a prolific writer on the subject of the modern age, raising the issues also raised in Engels' Socialism: that of "alienation" of the human being in the modern technological age.  We are set on a course, under the word Force Theory, to form a new concepet around the term "alienation."  The "alienated Man," in Engels and Heidegger's sense, is the person who regards the industrial system as alien to him; he feels no belonging to the system.  Force Theory, on the other hand, regards this alienation not as a crisis so much as a necessary milestone of history:  when the human being, that is, realizes that he IS not the system and the system IS not him.  For Engels such alienation is a response to the simple fact of ownership:  the person is not "owner" of the system.  Our problem is far deeper:  the individual person, whether or not he is a legal "owner," cannot, through the entire course of human history, distinguish himself from his own technics.  This is a "spiritual" question rather than an economic one.  The fact is that the system owns the person, insofar as he cannot distinguish himself from that system.   Alienation under such conditions would be a desirable final state of awareness.   The human being, as aware of himself as an alienated being, would place himself firmly in the context of "nature" and "race."  We affirm the value of this subject matter.  We also point to the central focus of Philosophical Anthropology which is "human identity."  What we are saying here--calling our direction Force Theory--is that the "being" of the human being changes, not in kind but in degree,  in passing from the primitive technics of the stoneage to modern civilization; from "individual tools" to modern collective technology.  The issue of the identity of a human being is far simpler in a Paleolithic setting than it is in a modern, highly collective and social setting.  In the simple setting there is a man and a tool; the man can distinguish himself from his tool.  In the setting of modern industry and organized group cooperation, there is a collective being that is vaguely human and a technical being that is vaguely but not perfectly nonhuman.  The identity issue that there is reaches its most troubling phase in the era of collective work.  The individual identity quest is complicated insofar as the person thinks of himself not just in direct relation to the tools of his life, but in a relation to the tools of his life through his group association.  There is the further point, which sometime has to be raised, that the individual of whom we speak is already an artificial, abstract entity; and this abstraction has meaning only in reference to an abstract collectivity, which we have identified as Man.  The real identity confusion is one of a collective being in relation to a collectively produced technical entity.     

This point is not as difficult as it initially sounds.  If I pick up a hammer, I know that hammer is not my arm; and my arm is not the hammer.  I can distinguish myself from the hammer.  For one thing, the hammer can be replaced by another tool.  It is precisely in becoming collective or social, I am saying, that the issue of identity becomes confused. A collective man is under entirely different constraints when attempting to replace one technical system for another; he is so much a part of the old one.  He has lived through and around it; he has raised his family in its shadow.  Even where technical progress is inevitable--but this progress is not what we are talking about--there is always going to be, in general, a confusion about Man; and whether, in other words, this individual can see himself as anything other than such a Man that has appeared as an apriori "goal" of his culture.   I can say, and thus make a distinction, that this is my arm and this other thing is my hammer.  Here my personal identity is more or less clear.  Where my identity becomes less clear--and where I am likely to think of myself as my tool and my tooll as myself--is in some prolonged relation with this tool where there may be actually a "bonding" with a mere object.  In the Paleolithic and even after men were buried with their weapons and tools.  The identity of the person passed from being an individual identity to one wherein the person was associated, in his own mind and in the minds of his friends, with the objects and tools and possessions of his life.   Finally we pass to the modern age.  The issue of identity, as I said above, is one of many people together in complex relations in, around and through objects.   A man can always distinguish himself from a stick that he has picked up to use as a tool; but that same man, viewing himself as a member of a group, cannot readily distinguish that group from the tools--and all the aggreements and rules that bring him into the group--from the physical objects that that group works around and through.  Here he has a serious question of his own identity.  I am saying that the collective relation of a man to tools is, or becomes by degrees, an entirely different issue than his simple or primal or individual relation to objects as tools.  Finally, the individual person is admonished--by the collective entity itself--to seem himself through and in terms of the collective entity.  Religion is essentially the admonishon to abandon the self altogether and submerge it in group identity.  In dissolving the individual in the group, however, the group itself--as a living thing composed of living beings--also dissolves itself in the impersonal, or non-living technics through which humans survive.  Death by dissolution into inert matter becomes, in the case of human beings, death by dissolution into technological matter.

73

(12 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

Blog motto:  The news today is what I think about what I said yesterday.--Richard Swartzbaugh

We talk here of "who," not of "what"--if "what" is social systems.  This is the real albeit unconscious issue of philosophy and social science worldwide.   Pundits talk of social institutions, they mean human beings.  Such a discussion evokes in the end a conception of who the human being is who creates these systems.  In this sense social science drifts in the direction of a sort of elitism.  This is an inevitable tendency and one that was already evident in Platonism.  We are saying that social systems, and what to do about them, is a topic that is irrelevant to Force Theory.  Systems are not what concern us.  What does concern us--as the most important topic worldwide--is a conception of man.  FT focuses not on system as such, but who--what human beings--sustain these systems.  In fact, "who" rather than "what" is the unconscious topic of the discussions that there are within universities and by newsmedia.  This is what we are saying.   When ideologues argue, their dicussions are not about social systems, finally--because the great systems of civilization that there are are more or less impervious to major human intervention.   They argue rather about their respective conceptions of Man.  They are debating who they are apart from their social institutions.  Throughout history humans have thought of themselves as part of institutions; there comes a point when they cannot distinguish themselves from these institutions--with serious practical consequences.    Debates then are not about what humans can do--what changes they can make in their lives--but who they are as humans in the first place.   We make a statement to this effect about the major philosophical arguments and propose to defend it.   The great sprawling civilization of which we all are a part seems to run on forever of its own accord; humans themselves apparently have little to say about this.  Social theory is largely an attempt, not to characterize a society so much as to distinguish human beings, as such, from this society.  Then certain suggestions may be made regarding human's relation to one another.    There are of course exceptional moments when, here and there, men can build small enclaves of so-called charity and humanity according to their own notions.  These is what we are talking about in this blog, not on accound of the feasibily or morality of these groups but because of their conceptions of Man.    These small descretionary entities--humanitarian causes and agencies--have some premise, that of what a human being finally is,  behind them which can be scrutinized.  As humanitarian entities they are based on some conception or other of Humanity.  What is being presented in this blog is just such a concern--with Humanity--but not to propound a doctrine so much as to raise a question.  That question is:  what or who is Man in the first place?  The small groups of which we speak all begin with a conception of Man.   There is a Communist Man, we iare saying,  a Christian Man and a Democratic Man.  But these are doctrines of Man, not the question of Man.  They are uncritical "moral imperatives," not facts of science.   Into this discussion comes--uninvited--Philosophical Anthropology.   We call Philosophical Anthropology the "Question of Man." 

This is nothing unique; every major philosophy, we are suggesting, is directly or indirectly a philosophy of Man.  Man is the measure of all things, as Protagorus said; but man is also both the most central and most problematic of all things;  and therefore  he is the proper object of philosophy.     Before a human being determines the role of the self or human essence in knowing, he must know what that self is.   Self-awareness is the first task of philosophy.  I will later say that knowing the self is basic to many human practical--that is technological--tasks:  to separate the self as the goal of action from technics as the means of action.  This will come later.  For now we may say simply that the word philosophical Anthropology is redundant:  all philosophy is PA.   The main point to be raised here is not that Philosophical Anthropology is a new vision of Man; rather that it enters a discussion that was widely considered already ended.  I made the point earlier but it bears repeating:  the main role of Philosophical Anthropology is to raise the question of Man.  The glib and complacent use of the word Man, in the American Declaration of Independence and the Communist Manifesto, among other sacred and patriotic documents, suggest that the topic of Man never has been raised.  Whether the idea of Man comes from science or simple observation has not been an issue; Man, so called, is stated simply as an apriori fact that bears no discussion.   The matter of Man is considered simply settled ohne weiteres and the social institutions based on the concept of Man are securely in place.  The intrusion of PA with its "critical" and enquiring vantagepoint has not been welcomed.  As I began my college caeer I was not shown Philosophical Anthropology, I had to look for it.  When I found it it was stagnating in the dark corners and dusty libraries of a few German universities. 

1.b  We are assuming that the human being is, and has always been, a problem to himself; that his vision of himself is clouded but that he wants to break through this cloud.  Animals, by contrast, do not have this problematic viewpoint regarding their selves.  The being of an animal consists of a subject and an object, a means and an end, established through evolution and tested through time.   We assume animals have "selves," indeed; but there is something about human beings that causes their personal being to become part of their mental slant on life.  Humans have made their lives materially secure through technics; at the same time they have confused the issue regarding what these lives were.  For the animal the end of striving is the animal itself; the animal knows this.  For human being the issue of ends and means must be found through an analysis of technics, first, and then through a certain "vision quest" that humans are forced to undertake.  The Crow youth must go to a mountain to have a great dream; but all humans are the same in this.  At this time here it woud be presumptuous to state that philosophy in general is, at root, a sort of "identity quest" of human beings, something like a Crow vision quest or a search of an Aboriginal for his totem animal; later however an attempt will be made to support this notion. This perhaps is what all theology and philosophy is; even a search for God, we are saying, has buried within it a certain quest for human identity.  Presently, however, it suffices to say that Philosophical Anthropology is a modern intellectual  event.   It is born out of a new (for several hundred years) respect for science and empirical truth that is unique to modern times.  Later I will call PA a "critical" philosophy of Man, bringing as it does science to bear on earlier philosophical speculation.      1.c  Yet at heart PA is more philosophy than science.  We may observe that in a chain of premises leading to a conclusion, if all premises are scientific except for one, that one being philosophical, the whole chain is philosophical rather than scientific.   

1.c  Philosophical Anthropology is however not a blend of science and philosophy.  PA starts with science; but it ends with philosophy.  Between the science of PA and its pure philosophical and non-empirical speculation is a clear boundary.  A simple example will suffice to make this point.  We will say, as was the case, a tooth is found in East Africa.  This is a fossilized tooth too large to be that of a modern human; yet in shape, with a crown specialized for chewing rather than stabbing and tearing, the tooth is humanoid.  We conclude that the tooth's owner would fight and subdue prey by means other than biting.  To surmise that the tooth was used for chewing rather than fighting would be in the realm of hard science; were we to go on to speculate that the being made and used tools, we would be going beyond what is directly observable.  Yet, the speculation regarding tools would be, while not based on direct observation (which would be impossible), responsibly "scientific."  This would be in the domain of academic anthropology.      1.e But there is more.  Philosophical Anthropology begins to speculate--with even less "hard" evidence--regarding a certain human "nature" or human "essence."  In its objectives, we are saying, PA is a not too distant cousin of religion which, as a core concept, proposes a certain vision of the human being.      1.f  This religious spirit extends to political ideology.  The concept of Man is basic to all religions, we are saying, with the single qualification that in the eras of rising scientific awareness there has been increasing respect, always, paid by social philosophers to the hard results of science.  Religion passes into "modern" ideologies, such as Communism and Democracy, which claim in their concept of Man to be grounded in "science."   This is mostly a symbolic gesture.  Philosophical Anthropology arrogantly proposes, on the other hand, to once more raise an issue--that of Man--that was considered by religious and academic social philosophers as already settled.

2.2.a  Our version of Philosophical Anthropology, which will prove to be a mix of Arnold Gehlen and Friedrich Engels, begins with a theory of Man that to some will seem radical.  I would say that any time we talk about  who or what a human being essentially is we run a risk of contradicting someone's religious and philosophical faith.   Man, so-called, is at the center of that faith.  Also, no one has thought to call attention to PA, which has remained  buried and obscure in several German universities.  I attended such a class in Tuebingen under Otto Bullnow.     2.b In any case, Philosophical Anthropology aspires to what Max Scheler, who may be credited with the term PA, calls a Wesensbegriff des Menschen (concept of the essence of man).   What this essence is said to be has been described in other sections of our blog.  Where we are focused here, however, is on the issue of technology.  We look first at the human being, or protohuman being, as maker and user of tools; and as one, importantly, who became dependent on tools and whose survival was based upon them.   Both Gehlen and Engels state that the issue of Man begins with the human being as a technological being.  In  Ben Franklin's words, Man is a tool making animal.  But we are going much farther than Gehlen, Engels or Franklin.     2.c  We are proposing that human ideologies and religions, while human social organization itself has been through or around technics, are precisely a reaction to, and an attempt by the human to separate himself from, the technics of his life.  The concept of Man in these ideologies is a sort of "identity quest" like the Plains Indian vision quest which attempts to define the human being, or separate him in thought, from his own group identity that is through and around his technics.  As I said before, ideology--and certain institutions such as charitable and socialistic institutions that derive from ideology--separates the human as an end or goal from the human as agent of technology as means to live.    In eveyday life, these ends and means are confused.    Ideologies result from the human being's thinking about himself.  Clearly, then, this consideration--that man's view of himself is the basis of his institutions--puts Philosophical Anthropology in a central and critical position in relation to institutions, positioned, finally, for seditious action.     

2.2.d  The thesis proposed here is that the human being, in using a tool, is forced to raise, simultaneously, the issue of his own identity.  In technics, we are saying, which is the manner and mode of human life, means and ends are indistinguishable as such from one another.  Also in technics subject and object are confused.  "Being" itself, in and through technics, is a reality without beginning, end or middle.    In animals by contrast these are organized and separate from one anaother.  We can put this various ways.  For the animal there is the predator, which the animal is, and the prey which is something else.  These things are clear.  But for the human being, alone of all animals, technics raises  the possibility that what, at the outset of life--when life separated itself from matter, when motivated existence became distinct from inert existence--again merges; life is lost in matter.   

3.3.a . The word Man appears in the sacred documents of our time, from the Declaration of Independence to the Communist Manifesto; it appears as the focal point and goal or aspiration of a proposed program or agenda. Man is the aspired-to end of his own striving.  In the Declaration or Manifesto, either one, Man is seen as something not yet achieved but, through the proposed system, will appear finally as an outcome.  We may assume even that Man does not yet exist--since there is failure and mistaken ideas in the present--but has yet to appear.  There is a ring in these pronouncements of religion, although the coming is not of Christ but of Man himself.  Whole religions--called patriotic events--resound with this proclamation.    We may conclude that Man is the objective of striving.  Also, we may conclude that without the word Man in these documents they would have no meaning at all.  I said above that I believe that God is only a word for Man; that the search for God is really a search by Man for himself.  Of course modern notions have replaced the word God, largely, with the word Man; secularization of documents would give these documents the appearance of  "scientific respectability."  Nothing could be further from the truth:  the idea of  Man is essentially a religious idea.  But the religious instinct itself is born out of a primal fact of human life.  That fact is, that human identity is obscured in the fact of human technology.  3.b  Man is a religious idea--the assumption of something that does not exist--but has, nevertheless, a certain "pragmatic" truth.  That pragmatic truth of Man is the idea that the human being, lacking other or instinctive relations with other men, orient themselves around the idea of Man.  Man is a point of reference in institutions and lawmaking.    Arnold Gehlen might make this point.  Gehlen has been a central figure in the Philosophical Anthropological movement.  His main point--that the human being is a Mangelwesen, or creature of deficiencies--has led Gehlen to the  conclusion that the human being is forced by these deficiencies to complete himself.  The human being is forced to create around himself an artificial world.  This conclusion has been a major part of Philosophical Anthropology.  Gehlen, though, although he pointed to human institutions as artificial and ritualistic, nevertheless also propounded the necessity of these institutions.  Finally, at the center of these institutions is a concept of Man.  Man has a ritualistic truth; and, as such, provides a program wherein humans can interact with one another in a predictable way.   Gehlen was the ideological Conservative of the Philosophical Anthropological movement.  Yet Gehlen, too, emphasized the role of the human being, or Man, in shaping his own destiny.  Force Theory--which in the viewpoint of the present writer will in fact supplant Philosophical Anthropology--has the radical viewpoint that, in the human being's absolute idea of himself as so-called Man, he, the human being, puts himself in flat contradiction to the course of nature, or speciation, or racial "becoming."  But this thesis remains for later.

74

(24 replies, posted in Philosophical Anthropology)

There were matings and even marriages between humans of different bands; but these were achieved partly through force or, as we say, "rape."  Brides were taken as booty.  Human beings, taken in slavery, may have been history's first property; the possession of them constituted wealth.  The point to be made here is that the dynamics of continuity and change within a species were the same for humans as for other animals.  There was competition between groups, matings were between individuals close to home, with little contact or knowledge of humans more than a few miles away.  With the advent of language, on the other hand, a scarce 500,000 years ago, new possibilities appeared.  Knowledge of the human species widened.  I talked earlier of language as a universal phenomenon among humans; individual language differences were a minor obstacle.  Along with language there appeared trade.  We can now trace trade routes that extended across great areas of the world, sometimes more than a thousand miles through Europe, America and Asia.  Gradually there emerged a human idea of the human species as a whole.  It was slow in comming.  Technological advances in transportation assisted this knowledge.  Humans understood the human species as a whole.  Through language and trade, furthermore, they have attempted to build a society--an artificial order--upon this otherwise biological concept.  The human species, on the other hand, remains an artificial concept.  The species is "fact" so long as we consider humans a species among other species of animals.  The human species, or so-called "humanity," is, on the other hand, a pure theory insofar as any relationship is implied in this concept.  Humanity is a "theory" that, in fact, may benefit humans materially through a complex division of labor, in the same way that any group, by virtue of more members, can leverage their technical abilities.  We have spoken of these issues earlier.  But there is more.  The way the species is creative is in its own dynamic principle, wherein, through race the former species is replaced by a new species.  It is of this principle we must think now when we propose a "society" of the future.  The relations between humans, consistent with the forces of nature, must be coercive.   We are left with the paradox that, from the perspective of nature and evolution, the society--here altering our definition of society as simply an order of humans--that is coercive favors the race over the species.  The species, in Nietzsche's words, is something that will be transcended.  The mode of relationship that carries this principle forward is coercion.

Force Theory must anticipate criticism.  In fact, I would be the first to concede that Spartan Socialism, as the eventual white society, makes no sense in terms of what we experience today. There is an anecdote that has always fascinated me, of middle-class American tourists whose plane crashed in the Andes mountains.  They all surived the ordeal.  They related afterwords, however, that following the crash, in as little as half an hour, they all began having thoughts that they would kill and eat their fellow passangers.  It is quite thinkable with this anecdote in mind that white people, if they can be caused to accept cannibalism, will accept slavery of weak-minded white people and some of the other "draconian" provisions of Spartan or White Socialism.  We are at no loss for an explanation.   Prohibitions against cannibalism are taught in the schools; how little these small sermons matter when humans are fearful or severly stressed.  What we are saying, in other words, the further lives of humans are removed from any pressing issue, the more they see themselves as creatures of high morality and lofty teaching.  American gets its idealistic point of view from the European Enlightenment, in other words the worst and most unrealistic ideas that Europe has to send us.  I have said this before.  America has also never known a time of physical necessity.  What demands a solution, on the other hand, is--will turn out to be--the collapse of American agreements.  Democracy, so called, is engaged fatally in a flat-out logical contradiction which may be called the paradox of forced equality.  The American way of life, here called Americanism, will not survive this fallacy.  The way is now open to a State of Nature, which I call Spartan (or White) Socialism.

We are Fascists, but not because we reject democracy, here and there, as an appropriate form of co-existence.  There have been workable democracies, from the Viking Thing to Greek councils.  All these democracies are among persons who are already social peers.  They do not apply to the lower and slave classes.  This is a matter of historical record.  General democracies, on the other hand, such as Americanist democracy, are not simply a bad practice, it is a flat-out logical contradiction.  Democracy for us today means forced equality and forced association.  This is the worst oppression of a sensitive human being conceivable--that he be brought into physical and conversational contact with humans that are of a much lower, we may almost say of an animal, nature.  I have tried in earlier sections to lay the groundwork for an understanding as to how this dismal picture has come about.  Briefly, the history of democracy is prefigured by the course and outcome of the simplest agreement.  Democracy as we know it today have turned from utopian or visionary agreement to a draconian contract.  What exists in microcosm in the logic of agreements has played large in the history of many millions of people.

                                       Force Theory is not primarily a
                                            theory of race.  Force Theory
                                            is a critique of "society."

The cover of Newsweek Magazine (September -- 09) displayed the head of baby with the caption:  "Is your baby racist?"  I want to here dwell on this subject.  There has been a general tendency of the academic and scientific community to reverse itself on the issue of nature versus nurture.   This is a consistent reversal, one major event of which was the PBS series "Brain Sex" that dwells on male-female differences.  But this is a far-reaching philosophical turnabout, insofar as, even weekly it is reported that science finds new ways to connect human biology and culture.  One article [cite] finds orientals more likely to experience social rejection; and explains the oriental propensity for ritual--what was previously thought pure culture--as aconsequence of sensitivity to rejection.  Through MRI, the actual pathways of pain, of oriental vs. caucasion (who are less prone to rejection feeling), are shown.  What this tendency of science and academic philosophy means to Force Theory is that FT no longer has to refute, on its own, the old "carte blanc" idea that culture, not biology, accounts for much of what humans do.  This development means that the burden of proof regarding, among other things race, is lifted from the shoulders of FT--from our--shoulders and placed squarely upon the opposition.  FT for its part can concentrate on the other side of human behavior--here called agreements--which explains in good part why human beings deny that race exists.  Race, along with other personal qualities, is denied in agreements as long as agreements are in force.  More of this later.

It now appears, as a result of extensive formal empirical studies within the university, that 5 year old children generally make distinctions, first, by skin color; and they follow these distinctions, secondly, with value judgements.  All Force Theory proposes is to follow the wisdom of these white children.   Our point is to learn from them, not the reverse.   Force Theory is not a theory of race.  Thus the sin of Force Theory is not racism, precisely, but to avoid the whole issue of race; to let that issue play out, in other words, on its own.  Our sin is the one of omission, not commision.   The Newsweek article is clear on this point.  Far from being color blind, it says, human beings are naturally highly sensitive to differences of race; they have a sense of group identity that they inherit as an instinct.  Why then should Force Theory bother with the whole question?  Newsweek says clearly:  parental and teacher intervention is necessary to turn children away from their inherent racist viewpoint.   All Force Theory is saying is, no, as parents we are going to make no effort along these lines with our own children.  We were never inclined to do this anyway.  Let nature take its course with children!   Force Theory commits the "sin of omission" simply by being relaxed in the face of certain subjects, among them race.   But there are other subjects.   In Mexico I witnessed "police brutality."  I always thought the police in Mexico acted appropriately in detaining, shaving and imprisoning  the white American hippy trash that came to Mexico and acted tastlessly (if not actually illegally).   There is a fascism of police work that is entirely acceptable to FT.  The best governments I believe are "oppressive dictatorships" precisely because they operate efficiently and expeditiously, and express the wishes of the best and most productive elements of society, the middle class.  Moral judgements on the subject of behavior in this or that country outside the USA are simply inappropriate, since they assume agreements.  The only justice there is is inside an agreement; where an agreement is lacking, there is no truth, justice or any of these things.  This is our most general consideration.

There is a human absolute and a biological absolute.  I call the latter a biological or organic absolute .   These two (Hegelian) ideas, one built into nature and the other created by man, contradict one another.  It is for instance impossible for a being to be both Man and Homo sapiens. The human absolute excludes--categorically or absolutely--the biological idea.   As the human absolute contradicts that of biology and race, the human being contradicts himself.  Where the human being contradicts nature (and race) he contradicts himself, forcing himself to produce a new idea which is the resolution to the prior categorical contradiction.